26th Annual

Cheaha Challenge

Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA

(And Chief Ladiga Cruise Family Ride)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Jacksonville, Alabama

25 Years of Challenge



Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo - Ride Rules

(Rules for UCI Qualifying can be found on our UCI Qualifying Page)




HELMETS - are required at all times.


Century Rider's Cutoff and ULTRA Rider's Cutoff


Century Rider's Cutoff: For the Cheaha Challenge century riders, we are enforcing the 12 noon cut-off at the right turn to Adam's Gap leaving Cheaha State Park (past Rest Stop 4), this is 42+ miles into the ride, and we will require that you turn left coming out of the park after 12 noon and head back towards Jacksonville on your bike, thus completing the 84 mile option.


ULTRA Rider's Cutoff: For the Cheaha Challenge ULTRA distance riders (124 miles), we are enforcing a strict 3 p.m. cutoff at mile 87, where ULTRA riders turn left off of HWY 9 onto Choccolocco Road. If you do not make the 3 p.m. cutoff, you will still be able to continue on the century route, thus completing the 100 mile option.


These cutoffs are to ensure you don't miss the Post-Ride Party, and that you are off the course by dark! But more importantly these strict cutoffs are for your safety and the safety of our volunteers and emergency/law enforcement personnel.


Please abide by these cutoffs. Thank You.




Safety is our utmost concern, so please review this information for your safety and that of your fellow riders. The Cheaha Challenge is not a closed course - there will be vehicular traffic on the roads, with the exception of Bain's Gap and Chimney Peak on the ULTRA course.


  • Helmets are required.
  • Be aware of other vehicles at all times.
  • Watch for bumpy/rough road conditions.
  • Be cautious around curves and on downhills.
  • Obey traffic laws.
  • Stay to the right at all times.
  • Heed course marshal warnings.
  • NO earphones, iPods, etc. are allowed.
  • No private SAGS are allowed on the course.
  • Please ride smart. Be safe. There are some dangerous sections on the course.
  • ULTRA course is for experienced riders only.





Your individual rider number must be attached to your back or side at all times. Please complete your emergency and medical info on the back of the ride number. You must have your number to access Rest Stops.




Cheaters beware! To keep the integrity of our ride, we go to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of our results. For this reason, we have added tracking measures and mandatory check-ins on the course.


TRACKING: There will be timing mats at the following points: Start, 3+ Mile Climb Start, 3+ Mile Climb Finish/Rest Stop 4 (crossed two times - going out to Adam’s Gap and coming back from Adam’s Gap), Chimney Peak, and the Finish.


MANDATORY CHECK-IN: Volunteers will record cyclists’ bib numbers at the following Rest Stops: Adam’s Gap/RS5, MDA Office/RS6, and Chimney Peak/RS7


Anyone found guilty of fraudulent results will be disqualified (DQ'd) and banned from the event in the future.




Cheaha Challenge Century and ULTRA: Spectators are welcome at our event in pre-authorized areas - Start, Finish, McClellan Development Authority office parking area. If you feel you must see your rider during the event, please volunteer to work one of our Rest Stops. Email: brookenelson@amcvets.com


Riders are not allowed to have outside support during the ride, as we have already arranged for support.


Chief Ladiga Cruise: Spectators are welcomed and encouraged to follow their riders by stopping at road crossings along the Chief Ladiga Trail, and at the Eubanks Welcome Center in Piedmont.




Remember, we are all visitors on these roads. Be respectful and stash your trash. Any rider caught littering will be disqualified from the event. There are plentiful Rest Stops along the routes, and they will be happy to take your trash.


Also, Share the Road applies to both vehicles and bikes. Be courteous and careful when cars are on the routes. Please review these common mistakes:


  • No switchbacking - Do not zig-zag when encountering steep climbs. Going into the other lane of on-coming traffic, in order to minimize the pain of the climb, is very dangerous for obvious reasons.


  • No packs - Please ride single file close to the shoulder of the right lane when possible, especially on climbs that are not closed to traffic. Cars not associated with the event will not expect riders to be on the road. Be aware that cars may pass riders, not expecting there to be other riders approaching them in the other lane.






Please visit our UCI Qualifying Page for specific details.



FYI: Cheaha Challenge organizers reserve the right to close any portion of the ride for safety concerns. Please note:  We do not offer refunds or deferrals for our event. However, if we are forced to cancel the ride ahead of the start, USACycling has a refund policy. If we are forced to cancel the ride after the start, we do not offer a refund.


JSU Internet: The JSU internet access is for students only and for security reasons can't be opened on ride day for general public use. However the Jacksonville area has good 4G service for most 4G carriers, so bring your phone or hot-spot device.




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Getting Here FAQ
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The Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo Century & ULTRA is a Top Ten Gran Fondo in the US, as ranked by Gran Fondo Guide!