2022 Century Rides, Jan-Apr [Updated 4/21/22]

“The club is having a fabulous time! Wish you were here!”

Clubs and organizations that have regularly mounted century rides mostly got burned in 2021 and 2020. Only the earliest rides in 2020 got off the ground before the Pandemic hit and shelter-in-place orders ended all public events. Thinking that COVID-19 was going to be one-and-done, quite a few decided to postpone rides to the fall only to have to cancel them altogether when the summer surge put paid to regathering. Time and money spent on planning and logistics were in vain; upfront expenses were likely a complete loss. With vaccines being introduced at the end of the year, there was hope that spring rides could take place and that by late summer 2021 we’d be back to normal. Not quite. In the end most rides that took place were virtual rides and the few that actually took place were far away from urban centers with one exception being the 2021 Foxy Fall up in Davis.

What’s going to happen in 2022? In our favor, rides take place outdoors and social distancing and mask protocols have become commonplace. Public events are even taking place indoors so it’s likely that state and local mandates will not preclude permits for century rides. Whether clubs and organizations will want to risk planning and putting on an event only to have to cancel or postpone it later is another story. But at the moment a few are going ahead with publicity and advance registration even though they don’t know whether there will be a winter surge and a subsequent clampdown let alone interest from cyclists with the shadow of the Omicron variant.

Here’s what we know so far for the first months of 2022. April is when the calendar really starts to get packed. As new information becomes available, this listing will be updated.

1 Saturday. Resolution Ride/New Year’s Day Up Diablo. This isn’t a century but it’s the first “big” ride of the year and practically a club tradition. See the listing in the club calendar.

12 Saturday. Tour of Palm Springs. 100-, 50-, and 25-mile routes. $90-30. This is by today’s standards a huge ride—thousands of cyclists. It’s a long drive south but hey, it’s Palm Springs! Masks required outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Registration is open.

13 Sunday. Velo Love Ride. 63 miles. No fee. This event has been put on by Chico Velo for ages—at least going back to the mid-aughts if not earlier. It’s a much lower key event than their Wildflower attracting only a couple hundred cyclists in a good year. But it’s pleasantly flat and tours the scenic valley area around the Sutter Buttes. Unfortunately Chico Velo hasn’t been able to find a member willing to organize this long held ride. But Different Spokes is going to go up there to ride it anyway as long as it doesn’t rain. See the listing in the club calendar after January 1. You can read about two previous rides here and here.

19 or 26? Saturday. Pedaling Paths to Independence. 65-, 45- or 20-mile routes. The Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired puts on this annual fundraising ride out of Linden, which is just east of Stockton. It’s a small event of about 250-300 riders. It tours the rolling ag land south and east of the town. It’s unclear if CCBVI will run this event in 2022 but last year they announced their virtual event late. You can read about a previous ride here.

5 Saturday. Solvang Century. 96-, 68- and 52-mile routes. $125-105. Now limited to 1,000. As of 2/26 still not sold out. SOLD OUT. After not being allowed to run the Solvang in 2020 and 2021, Randy Ice, the longtime organizer of the Solvang Century, has passed the Solvang Century on to Planet Ultra, a business that puts on ultramarathon events and tours. Post-event meal (tacos or hot dog) is an extra $18. Tentatively planned for March 5 but not confirmed. PU is also putting on the Solvang Double Century on March 19 as well as a Solvang Spring Tour March 21-26. A side note: it’s probably a good thing that Randy Ice is no longer involved with the Solvang since he believed that COVID-19 is a hoax. Although the Solvang has never been short of participants—several thousand is the usual number—it’s always been priced at the high end of curve and provided disappointing, perfunctory food and then had the gall to charge extra for a post-ride meal. Planet Ultra will have its work cut out for it to improve the event’s reputation. Looks like Planet Ultra is following the same script: gouging. Seriously, a hot dog for $18? Bite me.

27 Sunday. King Ridge Supreme. 80- and 60-mile routes. $125. This is a mixed terrain ride. The 80-mile route has timed segments so it’s a race with age groups and podium places. But if you don’t want to compete, you can ride at your own pace. The 60-mile route is not timed. Starting in Duncan Mills you go to Occidental and then up Highway 1 to Fort Ross before returning to Duncan Mills. Perfect for you gravel bikers. Registration not yet open is now open. Limit of 500. Sold out as of 3/16.

7-10 Thurday through Sunday. Sea Otter Classic. 91- and 49- mile road routes; 30-mile gravel route; and 19-mile MTB route. $115. Sea Otter returns to its usual April slot. Registration and exact schedule not yet available is now available. Gran fondos and tours are on Saturday and Sunday.

9 Saturday. Cinderella Classic & Challenge. 100-, 65-, and 31-mile routes. $65-40. Limit of 800 riders; women/girls only. The Classic starts at Las Positas College near Livermore and traverses a big loop counter-clockwise through Danville, Dublin, and Pleasanton. Registration opens January 12, 2022 is open.

10 Sunday. Primavera Century. 90-, 63-, and 25-mile routes. $90-25. Starting in Fremont the 100-mile route heads up Calaveras, around the reservoir and then out to Patterson Pass before turning west and going over Palomares to Fremont. Registration is now open. 100- and 65-mile rides are sold out now.

16? Saturday. Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride. 55-, 45-, and 21-mile routes. $75-40. No exact April date set yet. Mixed terrain ride. NOW SET FOR SATURDAY MAY 7.

23 Saturday. Tierra Bella Century. 95-, 64-, 55-, 51-, and 33-mile routes. $75. Limit of 1,500. Starts in Gilroy and takes in the climbs and reservoirs in Santa Clara valley. New routes this year. Registration is now open. opens Dec. 14 16 22.

23 Saturday. Levi’s Gran Fondo. 81-, 69- and 32-mile routes. $263-140. New routes this year heading up to the Geysers rather than King Ridge. Registration is open. SOLD OUT.

23 Saturday. Bike Around the Buttes. 100-, 60-, 40-, and 20-mile routes. $55-40. No date set yet but they say they’ll be back in 2022. This ride covers much of the same area as the Velo Love Ride. Registration is open.

24 Sunday. Chico Wildflower. 125-, 100-, 65-, 60-, 30-, and 12-mile routes. $75-20. No exact date in April set yet. This used to be the ‘must do’ club ride qua getaway weekend. Terrific riding despite the incineration of Paradise three years ago during the Camp Fire. Note that the Wildflower is now on a Sunday, not a Saturday as it has been for ages. Registration opens in ‘early January’. is now open.

30 Saturday. Devil Mountain Double. 200 miles. $110. Cancelled in 2020 and not offered in 2021, no word on whether Quack Cyclists will offer their very challenging ride in 2022. The DMD might just happen this year if they can get permits–see their website. 194 miles and 16,000 vertical gain. Limit of 50. Registration is open.

29-1 Friday to Sunday. Eroica California. 108-, 81-, 72-, and 36-mile routes. $150. Limit of 1,500. Only ‘classic’ bikes—usually 1987 or earlier—are allowed. See site for detailed rules. Mixed terrain routes.

30 Saturday. SLO Wildflower. 100-, 80-, and 50-mile routes. $75. Limit of 1,000. SOLD OUT. New routes this year with all three doing the same 50-mile loop and then the 80- and 100-milers heading out to do different loops. This is turning into an ad hoc getaway weekend for the club with quite a few members heading south for this scenic riding. See the ride listing. Registration opens Jan. 2 is now open.

30 Saturday. Delta Century. 100-, 67-, and 26-mile routes. $65-45. Very flat rides in the Sacramento Valley just north of Lodi.

30? Mount Hamilton Challenge. 125- and 70-mile routes. The classic up Mt. Hamilton and down Mines and back via Calaveras, or climb up and down the front of Mt. Hamilton. This ride has not been taken place in several years but Pedalera keeps announcing it. No date set but usually the last weekend in April. Website says more information in February. UPDATE: Unfortunately no more Mt. Hamilton Challenges, alas!