Did you spend the Summer of 2016 re-riding tired old routes in your hometown? Or perhaps your bike stood forgotten, collecting dust in the shed? With the Summer of 2017 now with us, it’s time to make a promise to the passionate cyclist within, whose desperate cries are muffled by chaotic clatter of responsibilities and the relentless thudding of priorities.
Take a moment, here and now, to promise that lycra-clad thrill-seeker inside; this Summer will be different. Whether you’d prefer to witness the top level athleticism from the sidelines, or challenge yourself to discover your own physical and mental limits; whether it’s light hearted family fun you’re seeking, or a life-changing adventure along the world’s wildest routes; this top 10 list of Summer cycling events will have you spinning to the Summer start line.
The Dragon Tour, South Wales: 9th - 12th June
Right around the corner now is The Dragon Tour in South Wales. Taking place from June 9-11, this 3-day event is in its third year and showcases some of Wales’ finest rides. Offering sweeping climbs through stunning South Wales scenery, amateur cyclists have the opportunity to experience multi-day cycling like the Tour de France pros.
Day one winds through the Gower Peninsula, before a contrasting second day featuring the brutal ascent of the Brecon Beacons. Competitors will finish this epic weekend of cycling with one of four distances of the famous Dragon Ride.
This event includes the complete Tour de France experience, with race numbers, podium finishes and a supporting crowd of thousands of spectators. If you’re a Welsh local, then be sure to join in on the training rides taking place during the lead up to this iconic event. More info is available here
Brompton World Championship USA, New York, 18th June
Happening as part of the "Harlem Cycling Skyscraper Classic" this is part of the international BWC series in which Brompton riders get to show off their fun side with some tongue in cheek racing.
BWC tradition stipulates a Le Mans style start with competitors having to run to their bike from the start line and unfold it before they can start. Speed is the name of the game for the 10 laps of NYC's Marcus Garvey Park, but it's not everything.
Entrants are awarded "not only their racing prowess, but also their sartorial style", with prizes being awarded to the best dressed! Time is short but registration is still open. at $50 it won't break the bank and you could even win cash prizes. One hitch - you do need to bring your own Brompton!
The Dunwhich Dynamo: 8th - 9th July, London
Now in it's "18th trucking year" the Dunwhich Dynamo is the legendary overnight ride that starts at the Pub on the Park in Hackney, leaving at 8pm and riding 120 miles through the night to Dunwhich beach for a dip in the sea!
Not a formal race, anyone can turn up and enjoy the ride, which is more about fun than competition. Southwark Cyclists recommend NOT wearing jeans and assure us that the Serotine bats on the roads don't normally go for the jugular...!
Rocky Mountain Trail Games: 11th - 13th August
If you’re looking for a Summer cycling event that’s like nothing you’ve experienced before, then the Switzerland’s Rocky Mountain Trail Games is the event for you. A brand new mountain bike stage event, The Rocky Mountain Trail Games takes place in the magnificent mountain resort town of St. Mortiz.
A top destination for those extreme sports adrenaline junkies, St. Moritz is now home to a totally new form of team cycling event, in which special tests have to be completed on a circuit within a timeframe. A team of two people can compete for CHF 460, while the fee for a team of three is CHF 690.
These costs provide each team member with a three day railway ticket, time measurement equipment, maps, a personal starting number, several meals, an immediate results printout, and high quality prizes. This extreme team event for competitive mountain-biking mates takes place from the 11th to the 13th of August. For registration and more information, go to the official website.
Wales in a Day: 22nd July
Have you ever wondered whether it’s possible to ride across an entire country in one day? On July 22, you’ll have the chance to find out for yourself. Wales in a Day is a road cycling event which starts at 4am inside Caenarfon Castle in the North of Wales.
In its second year, this event takes cyclists on a 190 mile journey through the best countryside Wales has to offer, all the way down to Chepstow. The £100 entry fee covers the cost of five feed stations along the route, GPX route files, an electronic timing chip, first aid cover, personal bag transfer and, of course, warm showers at the end.
For those who just can’t get enough of the outdoors, there is the option to camp at the start, as well as at the end. Alternatively, a cosy hotel room and a warm bed might be far too enticing after such a day! This picturesque experience is presented by Open Cycling, and more information and registration details can be found here.
Giro Rosa, Italy: June 30 – July 9
The Summer cycling season would not be complete without watching and learning from the pros. The Giro Rosa is a 10 stage UCI World Tour event, running from the North to the South of Italy over 10 days, and is generally regarded as one of the Europe's best cycle events.
Taking place from June 30 to July 9, this is the most important road stage race for women, and is a spectator event not to be missed. Whether you’re watching from home, or checking out the action live in Italy, be sure to catch the final stage which finishes on the shoulder of the ever-threatening Mount Vesuvius! Everything you need to know about Giro Rosa 2017 can be found on the official website.
Twentyfour12, Devon: 29th - 30th July
If you're in Devon and fancy a break from the beach, head over to Newnham Park. The TwentyFour12 offers anything from a gruelling 24 hour solo slog in the saddle with matchsticks to keep your eyes open down to a 12 hour bit of fun mostly drinking coffee with mates, interspersed with occasional riding to mix it up.
The mountain bike course is set around a 14km of beautiful Devonshire scenery and played host to the cross country world cup in the 1990s. The 24 hour race starts at midday on the Saturday with the 12 hour version starting at midnight, doing as many laps as you can in the given time. In either race you can enter as a single, in pairs or in teams of four (up to eight for the 24hr). Equally important is the atmosphere.
A campsite with massages, trade stands, entertainment and a special race for the kids should stack up to a fun weekend out. Find out more and enter here (~£50 depending on race and team format)
Viking Tour, Norway: July 22 – 28
2017 is Norway’s 13th Summer in a row of hosting Europe’s most ruthless cycling quest. The Viking Tour is an event for the most fearless of warriors… Although there is the option to skip stages is you’re having a bad day, need to rest, or just want to take pictures of the mind-blowing landscape!
Make no mistake though, on this voyage to Valhalla, you will encounter hairpin roads and hidden fjords that will challenge even the most heroic cyclists. Warriors may enter the event in competition or touring classes, but a compact crank (or equivalent gearing) is recommended for everyone - you have been warned! The 13th annual Viking Tour is 6-day expedition, taking place from July 22-28. More information and registration details can be found here.
Tour de Suisse, Switzerland: 10-18 June 2017
The Tour de Suisse is a Summer cycling festival for the whole family. During the week, spectators can watch the pros compete and even see these incredible international athletes up close. On both weekends, amateurs have the unique opportunity to compete against each other on the original course, in teams, or as individuals.
Alongside fantastic giveaways, an exciting program of entertainment and an unbeatable bike expo, the Tour de Suisse presents Kids World; where the youngest family members can get their first taste of the various cycling disciplines. For more information about the biggest cycling festival of 2017, head to the official website.
Cross Country Challenge, California: June 3rd -July 25th
Ok, so we've already missed the boat here, but one to watch for 2018. If it’s a life-changing, epic US adventure you’re seeking this Summer, (and you've got some cash to burn!) then the Cross Country Challenge is the best cycle event for you. Starting on June 3rd this year, this fully supported journey begins in Burlingame CA and takes the central route across the US. Over the 52 days, cyclist average 80+ miles each day to cross 13 states all the way to Portsmouth NH.
Prices for the Cross Country Challenge start at US$8050, which includes meals, accommodation and event support, as well as five interesting and varied rest days throughout the tour. To take part in this phenomenal Summer cycling challenge, get in touch with the event organisers, America by Bicycle.
Whichever side of the Atlantic is home, this 2017 Summer cycling line-up is sure to ignite the thirst for challenge and adventure in cyclists of all backgrounds and levels of experience. If this list got you all hot and bothered, be sure to share it with all your biking buddies and together, commit to an exciting summer in the saddle.