Challenge your limits. Don't limit your challenges.
The 2016 Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA ride upholds the tradition of excellence established 24 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 rides start and finish on the sweeping campus of Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, where both the University and City have proven to be gracious hosts for the events.
Each rider receives a stuffed goody bag with all sorts of cycling and fitness-related items. All finishers receive finisher gifts, and those completing the ULTRA receive a unique Finisher Shirt, a bragging rights shirts only confirmed finishers are allowed to wear.
Race Director Brooke Nelson made good on her promise, "If you didn't earn it, I'm going to burn it!" last year after the event, burning the shirts of those who had registered but not completed the ULTRA in a firepit on top of Chimney Peak, arguably the most difficult climb of the ULTRA. In addition, ULTRA Finishers are allowed to order the coveted Finisher Jerseys.
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 12,835 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
NEW THIS YEAR - TWO JERSEYS! We have two jerseys available to order. One is the Traditional Event Jersey, and the other is the Wild Ride Jersey, featuring Evil, the elevation monster.
Cost: Pre-orders are $70. If you purchase at packet pickup or event registration, jerseys are $80.
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.
King & Queen of the Mountain Competitions: Win a KOM/QOM Jersey!
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.
Team Competitions:Everything is always more fun with a team of riding buddies. 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.
2nd ANNUAL 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?
Last year proved that we needed a family ride, so bring 'em! We are adjusting the distances so riders can choose to ride to Piedmont or further and back. There will be Rest Stops on the course, which is all on the paved bike path through Alabama's countryside with Dugger Mountain as the backdrop. The Cruise ride is geared for new riders, riders getting back into cycling, Boy Scouts needing that 50-Miler Bike patch, or anyone just looking for a little bit less of a challenge than the Challenge.
TRAINING RIDES: Come and get your training!
When: Dates to be announced. Where: Golden Springs Baptist Church, Anniston, AL Time: Be ready to ride at 8:00 am What: Leaders will divide riders by experience Contact: Tom Nelson, 256-453-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org No rider left behind!
CHALLENGE CLIMBING CAMP:
When: March 3 - 6, 2016 Where: Bald Rock Lodge, Cheaha State Park Time: To be announced. What: A climbing and cycling skills camp, ,tailored to prepare riders for the challenges of the Challenge & ULTRA. Come recon the Challenge & courses, boosting your confidence for the event in May. Registration: Sign up details will be coming soon!
Cheaha Challenge Century and ULTRA Ride: Mass start at 7:30 a.m. Central Time.
Chief Ladiga Cruise: 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.