Calvin’s Challenge to test Ultra cyclists

CALVIN’S CHALLENGE

What: Ultra bike racing consisting of 12-, 6-hour, century and a fun ride.

When: Saturday, May 3.

More info: calvinschallenge.com.

If you are up for some serious biking, then you should seriously look into Calvin’s Challenge.

There are four separate races on Saturday, May 3. Races begin and end at Shawnee High School.

Already 200 racers have signed up. Registration is available only through BikeReg.com until Sunday with no registration on race day. The four races include a 12- and 6-hour challenge, Calvin’s Century Challenge and a Fun Ride.

The race, in its 24th year, is named after Calvin Cogden and was introduced as a training ride for the Dayton Cycling Club to prepare for the Nation 24-hour Challenge held in Michigan on Father’s Day weekends.

“The first event was run out of Calvin’s garage as a 24-hour event,” said Larry Graham, co-owner of the race and the race director. “The weather was so bad that for the next year everyone thought 12 hours was enough.”

Graham and his wife Christine raced in Calvin’s Challenge many times while it was run by the Dayton Cycling Club.

“This would have created a big hole in the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association’s (UMCA) race calendar for the region, so my wife and I, along with another ultra cycling couple, approached the club to buy the race,” Graham said.

The race now is held the weekend before Mother’s Day to work around another big ride in Ohio.

According to Graham, Calvin’s Challenge is one of the largest attended ultra-cycling races for those competing in the UMCA’s Ultra Cup - a national year-long points championship.

“Races over the years have recorded some unbelievable mileage,” Graham added. “The course record for a non-faired bike is 270 miles. One thing that you will not find at any other race is that we offer riders to come out and ride the course in a non-competitive way. We call it the Fun Ride. These riders are not scored in any way, but are provided snacks and fluids at our two check points. Fun riders can register the day of the event.”

Cost of the 12-hour race is $90. The cost of the 6-hour race and the Century Challenge is $85. Cost includes a post-race meal of the racer’s choice from a number of on-site food trucks. The Fun Ride, the only race in which registration is accepted on race day, is $25 and does not include a post-race meal.

Every Century Challenge racer will also receive a custom Calvin’s Challenge finisher’s medal.

“Going 200 miles in 12 hours is awesome enough that it needs to be recognized,” Graham said. “Ultra cycling races are something that challenges the rider to go as far as they can. It’s about finding your limits and then going further”

Volunteer opportunities are always needed for Calvin’s Challenge. For additional information, to sign up to volunteer or to register see calvinschallenge.com.