The Southern Bicycle League (SBL) and the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (NEABA) have partnered to bring you the 2014 Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo.
The Cheaha Challenge has also partnered with the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville State University to provide a new start/finish venue in Jacksonville, Alabama on the campus of the university for 2014.
With ride lengths of 23, 44, 62, 84 and 104 miles available the ride starts at 7:30 a.m. CDT. And yes the route has been changed to include a new climb at the beginning and the end of the ride.
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" will be awarded to each finisher of the 104 mile route.
Known for its tremendous community support, the Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo benefits the Chief Ladiga Trail, Alabama's longest rail trail and has donated more than $22,000 to this wonderful project so far.
A Top 10 Event in the State of Alabama as selected by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel in 2006, 2010, and 2012.
Make it a Weekend
Friday evening will feature a free concert in downtown Anniston and a free healthy dinner for Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo riders and their traveling companions/families.
Warm up your legs and ride the Chief Ladiga Rail Trail on Saturday morning. This famous paved trail has no hills and stretches from north Anniston, through Jacksonville and Piedmont all the way to the Georgia line (33 miles) where it connects to the Silver Comet Trail.
Arrive Saturday with the whole family and enjoy the Noble Street Festival in Anniston. Downtown streets are closed for this annual event, featuring amateur and pro bike races, running races, live music, art, and lots for children in the Kids Zone.
Plan to dine outdoors at the Taste of Noble restaurant tour on Saturday evening where more than 12 restaurants will be serving from tents along the closed streets--and some will be offering carb-loaded menus for our Cheaha riders!
The festival concludes with the Pro Men's race. This race features the nation's top pro teams, begins at twilight, includes over 100 pros racing at 40 mph, and concludes under the streetlights of downtown around 9 p.m.
More than 5,000 attendees enjoy this event, selected a Top 10 Event in Alabama in 2006, 2010, and again in 2012.
Enjoy your complimentary light breakfast (bagels, coffee and such) at the ride start in Jacksonville and then tackle the Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo!
Finish your ride and enjoy an incredible post-ride meal provide by Jacksonville State University. Also check out the vendors offering cycling-related stuff.