Are you UP for the Challenge?
The 2015 Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA ride upholds the tradition of excellence established 23 years ago. The 1992 ride organizers' vision, to create a challenging route over the highest point in Alabama - Mount Cheaha - and then back again, continues to fulfill the event's tagline promise to be "the toughest ride in the South."
The 2014 event enjoyed a change of venue from Piedmont, AL, which graciously hosted the ride for 21 years, to Jacksonville, AL on the sweeping campus of Jacksonville State University.
The Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA provide a variety of distance choices - 24, 44, 62, 84, 100 and the ULTRA - 124 miles (200K). The ULTRA is for experienced riders only.
The century ride includes 9,714 feet of climbing including the top of Alabama, and the ULTRA encompasses all major climbs in our area, for a total of 11,733 feet of climbing. The ride takes cyclists along the scenic and rugged terrain of the Talladega Mountains, and includes nine rest stop locations for the century ride and 11 rest stop locations for the ULTRA.EVENT JERSEY
The Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo is a part of the Alabama Backroads Century Series promoting the growth and development of long-distance cycling in the
state of Alabama by encouraging participation in established Alabama century
(100-mile) rides. A "Centurion Finisher's Medal" is awarded to each finisher of the 100 mile or ULTRA routes.
NEW! King & Queen of the Mountain Jersey and Team Competitions
King/Queen of the Mountain: Once again a King/Queen of the Mountain contest is for the fastest rider (male and female) up 3-Mile Climb to the Top of Alabama (Now at Bunker Tower in Cheaha State Park.). But besides recognition and bragging rights, winners receive unique, King/Queen of the Mountain custom jerseys by VERGE.
Team Competitions: Everything is always more fun with a team of riding buddies. For the first time, we are offering two team options. Sign up for the Team Competition when you register. The exact team name must be used when registering.
Winning teams receive a check for $250 to the cycling initiative of their choice. (i.e. Share the Road, Chief Ladiga Trail, Coldwater Mountain/Forever Wild, local mountain bike teams, bike clubs with nonprofit status, etc.)
Quantity - Teams compete to have the largest team, as in most number of riders (not the weight or size of riders), and is open to riders of any distance.
Quality - Teams compete to be the fastest team (averaged time of top 5 riders), and is open to riders of the century distance only.
Cheaha Challenge Century and ULTRA Ride Start Time:
Mass start at 7:30 a.m. Central Time.
CHIEF LADIGA CRUISE Ride - Looking for a little bit less of a Challenge? Or do you have family or friends looking for something to do while you're out riding the Challenge?
Check out the Chief Ladiga Cruise, a kinder/gentler ride of 24 miles (or less, if you want) on The Ladiga Trail, with three rest stop locations on the route. Enjoy this rural route with creek crossings and abundant wildlife through north Alabama's countryside with Dugger Mountain as the backdrop.
Chief Ladiga Cruise Start Time: Mass start at 8 a.m. Central Time
Where: Pete Mathews Coliseum on the campus of Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL. The coliseum is at the intersection of Park Ave. NW and Nisbett St. NW.