Fall 2017 Cycling Races, Rides & Events

The sun is setting on another summer well-spent on two wheels. We’ve enjoyed the company of friends on our group rides, for another “winning” Gran Fondo Hundo and at the races. But we’re not done yet! 2017 still has a lot to offer. Before we even think about dusting off the cyclocross bikes, some of our favorite road cycling events are still to come.

Summer may be over. School may be starting. But the sun will still rise in the east and we still have plenty of reasons to get out and race, ride and cheer!


North Shore Century 2015 Evanston Bicycle Club Higher Gear


September brings us the North Shore Century and the Apple Cider Century, both favorites of ours. Those triathletes not making the trek up to Madison have an event close to home in September with the North Shore Triathlon.

Events not your thing? Ride into the fall with us. Our Saturday Morning Group Ride will ride on into the next season (as long as the weather holds).

Don’t miss any of the local cycling events this fall.




Continuing 2017 Cycling Races, Rides & Events


Through 24 September: Mid America Time Trial Series (MATTS)
Various cities throughout WI & IL
Since its beginning in 1988, MATTS has grown to become one of the largest and longest running time trial series in the United States. MATTS offers many events throughout the year, both indoor and outdoor, including individual and team events and over 30 age group and abilty categories to choose from, giving time trialists in Illinois and Wisconsin lots of options. MATTS encourages cyclists of all levels, juniors, masters, triathletes,and duathletes to participate in its events.

  • 2 September: Bryce Master 30k, Garden Prairie, IL
  • 9 September: 4 Person Team Time Trial Championship, Garden Prairie, IL
  • 24 September: ABD Fall Fling 10 Mile MATTS Closing Event, Maple Park, IL

Thinking about racing? Higher Gear customer Nancy Heymann tells you to “jump in!” >>


Through 7 September: Summer Night Bicycle Racing at the Velodrome
Northbrook, IL
Thursday night racing series at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome.

  • 7 Sept: Closing Night

Read about Higher Gear’s own Catherine Watkins and her successful 2013 season at the track >>


North Shore Century 2015 Evanston Bicycle Club Higher Gear Elyer Sherrick


September 2017 Cycling Races, Rides & Events


10 September: Harmon Hundred
Wilmot, WI
2017 marks the 48th year of this annual, non-competitive scenic ride through southern Wisconsin. Choose from 25, 50, 75 or 100 mile routes. Enjoy well-marked and quiet country roads, cue sheets, SAG support, friendly volunteers and our well-stocked rest stops that receive RAVE reviews every year. Free showers will be available after the ride

Higher Gear customer Glenna Lampner tells us: “A century is a party. It’s a party and they’re feeding you.”


10 September: Ironman Wisconsin
Madison, WI
Aaron Sherrick 2015 Ironman IM Madison Wisconsin Wattie Ink Specialized Shiv EvadeIn the bucolic college town of Madison, triathletes compete for one of the qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, HI. The one-loop swim takes place in Lake Monona in downtown Madison. Spectators will have a panoramic view of the swim from the Monona Terrace, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The bike course takes riders 16 miles out of town before beginning two 40-mile loops in rural Dane County. The course offers many tough climbs and turns throughout, but athletes will get a lift as they pass through the crowds at the Verona Loop Festival. Athletes will complete two run loops, which include downtown Madison, the University of Wisconsin campus, Camp Randal Stadium, State Street and the scenic path alongside Lake Mendota. Spectator support for Ironman Wisconsin is legendary across the Ironman race circuit.

Thinking about triathlon? Meet a Higher Gear customer who encourages you to “tri.” >>


16 & 23 – 24 September: ABD Fall Fling Criterium
West Chicago, IL
Part of the Tour of Illinois & Wisconsin (TOI/W) Series.


NST North Shore Triathlon Wilmette Illinois 2016 Precision Multisport swim bike run17 September: North Shore Triathlon
Wilmette, IL

Back for its fifth year, the North Shore Triathlon and SuperSprint Triathlon once again brings multisport close to home with stunning sprint-distance and supersprint-distance courses through the beautiful Wilmette, Winnetka and Kenilworth neighborhoods of the North Shore. If you’re looking for a local race that is fast, flat, and fun, you’ve found the race for you! There’s a relay option as well as volunteer opportunities.

HG customers, check back for a discount code!

Thinking about triathlon? Meet a Higher Gear customer who encourages you to “tri.”


17 September: North Shore Century
Evanston, IL
The North Shore Century offers incredibly scenic biking. You’ll experience luxurious neighborhoods, view unique architectural treasures, pedal down tranquil tree-lined streets and feel the refreshing breezes of Lake Michigan. Open it up in the flat to rolling countryside between Chicago and Wisconsin. The 100-mile ride is what this event is famous for. For those looking for a more leisurely day out on the bike with the opportunity to see some of the most architecturally impressive homes, choose from 70-, 62-, 50- or 25-mile rides.

Read Higher Gear’s own Joy Sherrick’s experience at the 2013 North Shore Century >>

Meet a young 2014 North Shore Century participant >>

A Gearhead used the 2015 NSC to say farewell to the north shore >>


2014 North Shore Century Evanston Bike Club Specialized Higher Gear


24 September: Apple Cider Century
Three Oaks, MI
2017 marks the 44th annual Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks, Michigan. This Century is a one-day 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75 or 100 mile bicycle tour of the orchards, forests and wine country in and around Three Oaks, Michigan. It hosts over 5,500 cyclists riding through the countryside and towns of Southwest Michigan. Casual to expert riders enjoy the food, sights and sounds and camaraderie of fall cycling.

Higher Gear customer Glenna Lampner tells us: “A century is a party. It’s a party and they’re feeding you.”


24 September: Prairie Pedal
Decatur, IL
Prairie Pedal is an annual bicycle ride fundraising event for the Macon County Conservation Foundation held in the fall. 20-, 40- and 62-mile routes are available. All proceeds support the conservation of natural areas and wildlife in Macon County, Illinois.


October 2017 Cycling Races, Rides & Events


Sylvie Legere, Higher Gear, Womens Cycling, Surly, Big Dummy



1 October: Tour Wilmette!
Wilmette, IL
Higher Gear is a proud sponsor of the the inaugural Tour Wilmette! Enjoy a family-friendly guided bike tour featuring the city’s Park District facilities. Proceeds will support the Ouilmette Foundation.




1 October: Bike the Ridge
Evanston, IL
Bike the Ridge Evanston cycling IL Illinois familyBicycles are not allowed on Ridge Avenue at any other time, so come out and enjoy this non-competitive, City-sponsored special event! Ridge Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic so bicyclists may ride on a 2-mile stretch of Ridge Avenue, from Howard Street to Church Street. The event kicks off at 9am at the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Howard Street. Children are encouraged to decorate their bikes in advance. Activities will be held along the route. Non-bicyclists are encouraged to walk along the sidewalks of Ridge Avenue and support the bicyclists. Bike-related activities are plentiful.

Get in to Higher Gear for a Tune-Up, so you’re ready to ride!


1 October: Kickstand Classic
Bartlett, IL
The Kickstand Classic returns for its second year to beautiful suburban Bartlett. No spandex required for this race, which is perfect for first-timers! Racers are electronically timed and grouped with people of similar abilities on a car-free course. See how fast you can ride for this 10, 14.5 or 19-mile race. You choose the distance. Everyone is welcome! Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Active Transportation Alliance.


1 October: Pumpkin Pie Ride
Ottawa, IL
The 28th Pumpkin Pie Bicycle Ride, is organized by the Starved Rock Cycling Association. The Ride takes place in scenic North Central Illinois. Routes include but are not limited to Road Rides 25, 45, 63, 100 mile routes, with light traffic and rolling hills. Registration includes: pumpkin pie after the ride, rest stops with fresh baked cookies and other food items, hydration, maps and cue sheets.


1 October: Pumpkin Pedal
Sycamore, IL
Join the fun of the Pumpkin Pedal!! This is a wonderful ride for families and serious riders. This year’s 10-, 20- and 26-mile trail rides will be entirely on the Great Western Trail. The 40- and 62-mile road rides will be on roads. Besides the fun you’ll have and the great people you’ll meet, you’ll be riding to help Special Olympics athletes. Your entry will support year-round training for Illinois athletes with intellectual disabilities.


2 October: Al Stern Marathon Road Race
Aroma Park, IL
Part of the Tour of Illinois/Wisconsin (TOI/W) Series.


6 – 8 October: Stop the Cycle 2016
Spring Grove, IL
Stop the Cycle of Abuse is a three day cycling tour and camping event. With our base camp located the beautiful Chain of Lakes State Park. Ride 30, 45 or 60 miles for one, two or three days. This fully supported ride is not a race; it is an awareness and fundraising event. Can’t make it? Do the virtual ride! Log your miles to qualify for the fundraising incentives.


6 – 8 October: 50th Annual Hilly Hundred Bicycle Tour
Southern Indiana
2017 marks the 50th Annual Hilly Hundred Bicycle Tour in beautiful Southern Indiana. Two 50 mile days of riding on country roads over challenging hills. Also 30-mile options. Lunch, sag stops, and entertainment included. Also available: on site camping, dining and local amenities in Bloomington and Ellettsville.


WBR Brickyard Challenge Gran Fondo Tour de Cure Indiana Indianapolis Motor Speedway World Bicycle Relief Buffalo Bike


7 October: 2017 Indiana Tour de Cure
Indianapolis, IN
Tour de Cure is more than just a cycling event, it’s a day full of fun and excitement where riders of all levels join forces in the fight to Stop Diabetes and raise critical funds for diabetes research, education and advocacy in support of the American Diabetes Association. So take the Ride of Your Life and sign up today! Whether you are an occasional rider or an experienced cyclist, there is a route just for you: 50k, 75k, 100 mile, Friends/Family ride and WBR Gran Fondo.




Maxx Hall Higher Gear mechanic wrench Wilmette


We at Higher Gear have enjoyed a great summer with you and look forward to riding with you into the fall. Certainly don’t hang your bike up for the season without coming to see us first! If you’re one of those who wants to start the spring season as soon as you can, consider doing your yearly tune-up in the fall. And those of you who are chomping at the bit for cyclocross season, get your ‘cross bike in now!




To stay current with local events, sign up for our weekly newsletter. Check back here (from our home page, click Riding/Racing >> Chicagoland Cycling Calendar), as we’ll update our calendar as events are added and dates are finalized. If you or your team have an event not listed here, please contact us and let us know about it.



Need Help? Have Questions?

Highland Park | 847-433-2453
Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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