July 2017 Cycling Races, Rides & Events

2010 Evanston Grand Prix Higher GearThis is it, folks!

Summer in the Midwest has finally arrived.

We suffer through the hardships of winter and the cruel taunting of spring along the lakefront for this. July and August in Chicago are perfect. Taking advantage of the great weather, cycling events abound.

No matter what kind of cyclist you are – from full time racer to fair-weathered spectator – July has something to offer for you.

Whether you want to enjoy a glass of beer while you ride or after, check out the cycling events this month.

Speaking of a tall cold one, don’t delay any longer on registering for our 4th annual Gran Fondo Hundo, taking place this month. Registration is limited to 100. Bikes, baseball and beer – all in one event. It truly doesn’t get better than this!


Higher Gear Gran Fondo Hundo WBR World Bicycle Relief 3 third annual Kenosha Kingfish Gearhead group


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.

  • 9 July: Stray Kats 2-person 50k TTT, Herscher, IL
  • 16 July: Stray Kats-Dr. Craig Schultz Memorial Regional Championship 40k, Cordova, IL
  • 22 July: MadCity Velo Kirke Vei 20k, Kegonsa, WI
  • 5 August: Lamb Little Racing Brian Akers Memorial 19k, Harvard, IL
  • 20 August: WBR Double Bong Wisconsin State Championship 40k, Kansasville, WI
  • 27 August: Rock River Multisport Return to Cherry Valley 20k, Cherry Valley, IL
  • 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!” >>



Higher Gear Chicago Chiropractic Sports Medicine Northbrook Velodrome Chicago Cycling Racing


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

  • Catherine Watkins Higher Gear Gearhead Velodrome Track Racing6 July: 10 & 5 Mile Record Attempts #2
  • 8 July: Sprinters Omnium #3*
  • 13 July: Ladies Night feat. Amy Tremmeling & Franco Panveno Memorial Race
  • 20 July: George Garner Memorial Keirin
  • 27 July: Madison Night
  • 29 Jul: IL State Masters Championships
  • 3 Aug: Thursday Night Racing + Cat 5*
  • 10 Aug: IL State Scratch Race Championships & Roger DeLanghe & Elaine Nektritz Trophy Races
  • 12-13 Aug: IL State Elite Timed Track Championships*
  • 17 Aug: Illinois Keirin State Championships
  • 24 Aug: Illinois State Point Race Championships
  • 31 Aug: Illinois State Madison Championships
  • 7 Sept: Closing Night

Note: * denotes Cat 5 training/racing; italics denotes a race that falls on another day of the week than a Thursday

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


Through 13 August: Sprinters Dream Omnium SeriesCatherine Watkins Higher Gear Gearhead Velodrome Track Racing
Northbrook, IL

Saturdays are for sprinting at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook.

  • 8 Jul: Sprinters Omnium #3*
  • 29 July: IL State Masters Championships
  • 12 Aug: IL State Elite Timed Track Championships #1*
  • 13 Aug: IL State Elite Timed Track Championships #2*

Note: * denotes Cat 5 training/racing; italics denotes a race that falls on another day of the week (i.e. not a Saturday).


Higher Gear Gran Fondo Hundo second annual WBR World Bicycle Relief Wilmette Kenosha Kingfish charity ride metric century bike biking cycling


July 2017 Cycling Races, Rides & Events


4 July: 4th of July Metric Century Plus
Plainfield, IL
Enjoy this great ride through Kendall and Grundy Counties, southwest of Plainfield, IL. The fully supported Metric Century includes three basic routes: 32, 45 and 68 miles. For those who want to get in a full Century, there is an unsupported 100-mile route option. Each basic route will offer marked routes with low traffic and light hills through farm and rural settings. There will be breaks along the way at strategically placed rest stops to refuel, refresh and chow down on bagels, sandwiches, fruit, cookies and energy drinks.


8 – 9 July: Ride for AIDS Chicago
Chicago, IL
Join more than 350 cyclists and crew for the 14th Annual Ride for AIDS Chicago, a fully supported ride and one of the only double-century rides hosted in the Midwest. The Ride for AIDS Chicago is a two-day, 200-mile, double-century cycling event, with riders traveling from Chicago, Illinois to Elkhorn, Wisconsin and back. New for this year, there is also a 100-mile option. Sponsored by Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), the Ride strives to be a catalyst for change in the HIV/AIDS Community by raising vital funds for those living with or at risk for HIV, while simultaneously fighting the shame and stigma associated with the disease. 100% of pledges raised by riders benefit the services of TPAN and its community partners.

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


14 – 23 July: Intelligentsia Cup
Various cities throughout Illinois
Joe Pepe Sullivan Higher Gear racing cycling Specialized Venge Evade Intelligentsia Cup Chicago 2015The Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series is a series of crits and road races in the greater Chicago area that benefits one of Higher Gear’s favorite charities: World Bicycle Relief. Beginning as the Prairie State Cycling Series in 2012 Intelligentsia Coffee joined a year later, renaming the series as well as expanding to seven races. In 2014 the series grew to eight races — seven criteriums and a road race. The series has hosted the Illinois State Road Racing Championships since 2015 and will again this year. While it was previously announced that the series would not return in 2017, local members of the community have since rallied, ensuring the race will be back.

  • Friday, July 14th: 15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Beverly, IL
  • Saturday, July 15th: Tour of Lake Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL
  • Sunday, July 16th: Illinois State Road Race Championships, Willow Springs, IL
  • Monday, July 17th: South Chicago Kermesse Road Race, Chicago, IL
  • Tuesday, July 18th: Road Race, Elgin, IL
  • Wednesday, July 19th: West Dundee River Challenge, West Dundee, IL
  • Thursday, July 20th: Niles, IL
  • Friday, July 21st: 5th Annual Elmhurst Cycling Classic (Twilight Criterium), Elmhurst, IL
  • Saturday, July 22nd: Northwestern Medicine Lake Bluff Criterium & Block Party, Lake Bluff, IL
  • Sunday, July 23rd: Goose Island Grand Prix p/b SRAM, Chicago, IL

Think you’re too old to try racing? Higher Gear customer Kiki Demopoulos found the Fountain of Youth on her bike.



15 July: Ride Across Indiana (RAIN)
Terre Haute to Richmond, IN
Are you ready to ride 160 miles across Indiana? Join this one-day adventure and find out whether you have what it takes to be a RAIN finisher! The ride begins at 7am on the campus of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, and crosses the state to Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. The 160-mile length runs mostly on the Historic National Route 40, an older, divided four-lane road with light traffic and gentle rolling hills. You should be able to average at least 12 to 14 mph for over 11 hours.


16 July: Tri-State Tour #1
Hammond, IN to Kenosha, WI
Bicycle Illinois is excited to present the Tri-State Tour. With this tour, you’ll travel through three states in one day! The ride will begin just over the Illinois/Indiana border in Hammond, Indiana and finish in Kenosha, Wisconsin, traveling north along Lake Michigan through Illinois. The single day event covers approximately 85 miles and includes a century option as well. Tri-State Tour #2 is in August.


15 July: Z-Tour Bike Ride
Princeton, IL
For the seventh year in a row, the scenic Z-Tour offers 30-, 50-, 65- and 100-mile routes beginning and ending at Princeton’s beautiful Zearing Park. There is also a 10-mile family ride. This road ride provides you a chance to enjoy some of the best bike roads that northwest Illinois has to offer. The routes will feature loops that incorporate hills, rolling terrain, beautiful views of Bureau Creek with minimal traffic.


16 July: Biking with Beanzie
DeKalb, IL
This recreational ride consists of primarily flat rural roads with some rolling terrain with estimated ride options of 25, 46, 62, 80 or 101 miles. There are also 3, 5 and 8-mile family/community bicycle pathway routes. All ride routes are provided with rest stops and water stops, regardless of the length of the route chosen. BWB is a “family” event that promotes fitness and family fun. Profits from this ride go to support the Kishwaukee Bike Pathway Projects and other projects within DeKalb County.


Specialized Transition Expert triathlete Aaron Sherrick Racine 70.3 triathlon16 July: Ironman 70.3 Racine
Racine, WI
Local and world class triathletes gather in Racine to compete over a fast course for one of the 30 qualifying slots available to the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. Athletes traverse a point-to-point 1.2-mile swim along Lake Michigan’s North Beach. The bike is an exciting, mostly rolling, 56-mile course through the countryside of Racine County. There are a handful of steeper climbs to keep athletes honest. The 13.1-mile, double out-and-back run course features a tour of the Racine Zoo and the beautiful Lake Michigan coastline. The course is very flat and fast.

Higher Gear customer Aaron Sherrick encourages you to give triathlon a “tri!” >>


16 July: CFK 60
Bloomington, Illinois
Stop the cycle of abuse! True to Stop the Cycle tradition – three 60’s to give a kid’s life a chance at a 180 – enjoy a single day, 60-mile ride that will support Stop the Cycle. A 30-mile option is also available.


Venus de Miles Lake Forest22 July: Venus de Miles
Lake Forest, IL
Celebrate the spirit of sisterhood with an exhilarating ride or run under the Illinois sun! With the choice of a 25-mile or 60-mile ride or a 5k run, Venus de Miles is an unforgettable day of fun with extensive on-course support, complimentary lunch and cocktails, post-event pampering and a stylish commemorative t-shirt. All proceeds benefit Greenhouse Scholars, an education non-profit cultivating extraordinary young leaders from low-income communities.



22 – 23 July: 25th Anniversary Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour
Mequon – Sturgeon Bay, WI
The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour is a two-day, 150-mile, fully-supported cycling event that is open to riders of all ages and abilities. One of Wisconsin’s most popular bike rides, the Scenic Shore 150 is the largest locally organized and supported event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan is the picturesque setting for a weekend of riding the shore for a cure! You join up to 1,500 cycling enthusiasts who will pedal 150 miles in support of a cure for blood cancer. Your life will be changed as you are cheered on and supported on the route by blood cancer survivors and their families! The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour was named Best Cycling Event in the Midwest by Competitor Magazine for the 3rd year in a row! To celebrate 25 years of the Scenic Shore 150, there is a new 25-mile route, bringing a taste of Scenic Shore to even more riders!


23 July: Ride Ataxia
Channahon, IL
Appealing to all levels of cycling abilities, the fourth annual Ride Ataxia Chicago will include 4, 12, 32, and 52 mile route options with a meal provided by Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill after the ride. Enjoy beautiful rural Chicago river views and delicious food while raising money for FARA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and a cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. Registration includes T-shirt (with early registration), Strong SAG support, rest stop food and delicious lunch provided by Outback Steakhouse.


RAGBRAI 2010 Team Newkie Dyersville Iowa IA23 – 29 July: RAGBRAI XLV
From Orange City to Lancing, Iowa
The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. It is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. The route averages 468 miles, always beginning along Iowa’s western border on the Missouri River and ending at the eastern border on the Mississippi River. This year’s participants will be rolling through northern Iowa. The people of Iowa truly make RAGBRAI a special event by opening up their towns and communities to participants. You are invited to enjoy this Iowa hospitality and a memorable trip across the state.

Higher Gear customer Dr. Tony Breitbach takes his touring bike on the road – through Iowa and beyond!



Gran Fondo Hundo Higher Gear metric century bike ride Kane County Cougars fifth third ballpark Geneval Illinois IL baseball23 July: 4th Annual Gran Fondo Hundo presented by Higher Gear
Wilmette, IL to Kenosha, WI
Join 99 of your friends for Higher Gear’s fourth annual Gran Fondo Hundo. This metric century will take us one-way from Higher Gear-Wilmette up to historic Simmons Field in Kenosha, WI. At the ride finish, you’ll be treated to showers, grub and a Kenosha Kingfish baseball game. Rest stops will be provided along the route. Riders will be transported back to Wilmette to meet up with their bikes. Registration to this event is extremely limited; you’re encouraged to register early so that you don’t miss out.

Register now for our 4th annual Gran Fondo Hundo >>

Learn more about our Gran Fondo Hundo >>

Check out the recap of our first annual Gran Fondo Hundo >>

We hit it out of the park again for our second annual Gran Fondo Hundo >>

Our third time is a charm >>


29 July: Tour de Fat
Chicago, IL
Tour de Fat is New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle, honoring humankind’s greatest invention. Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, to increase awareness and participation in cycling as a sustainable form of transportation, Tour de Fat has grown into a national rite of passage for cycling advocates and bon vivants alike. Opening each show with a costumed bike parade through the host city, Tour de Fat celebrates the power of the bike by encouraging everyone to embrace their inner-cyclist and ride the streets as a rolling carnival of creativity. The festival also features a celebration of the inspirational car-for-bike swapper series in which brave souls hand over their car keys as a commitment to commute by bike. The car-for-bike program is what gives Tour de Fat its deeper meaning as people make a life-changing commitment. Anyone is welcome to be a swapper – whether you’re an avid cyclist or just starting to rekindle your love for the bike.


29 – 31 July: CowaLUNGa
Gurnee, IL
Join hundreds of cyclists to continue the tradition of supporting lung health through advocacy, education and research! Escape the noise of the city for a weekend pedaling over rolling hills through northern Illinois into southern Wisconsin. Choose your challenge! Cyclists of all ages and abilities will ride anywhere from 18 miles to over 190 miles over one, two or three days. Along the way, you’ll meet new friends and experience an unparalleled level of camaraderie and support from other cyclists and the Respiratory Health Association.

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


Gran Fondo Hundo Higher Gear metric century Wilmette Plaza del Lago




Maxx Hall Higher Gear mechanic wrench Wilmette

Make these next few months count. Get out and ride (with us) this summer.


Make sure your ride is ready and safe. Bring it in to Higher Gear before your cycling race or event for a proper tune-up.

Don’t get on your bike without a proper cycling helmet, cycling glasses and your Road ID. And always use sunscreen!


For more event listings, visit Chicago Bike Racing, League of Illinois Bicyclists, Wisconsin Cycling Association, Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, Michigan Bicycle Racing Association, and League of Michigan Bicylists.


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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