The board of directors of the Santa Fe Century is excited to announce that it is partnering with Santa Fe Community College to relocate its annual rides and races to the college's campus at 6401 Richards Avenue beginning this year.
The new larger venue at the SFCC will provide ample parking for the century's 2,400 expected riders. The site will allow the organization to host more vendors during on-site registration and packet pickup as well as a more expansive vintage bike celebration on Saturday (May 19). In addition, the college campus will provide space for a more festive beer garden and an improved awards ceremony following the rides and races on Sunday (May 20).
Relocating to the college also allows the century to add a mountain bike ride for the first time in its 33-year history. The 2018 all-dirt ride will follow a 20-mile out and back course from the campus to the Spur Trail and then along the Santa Fe Rail Trail until the turnaround at the crossing with Avenida Eldorado, where a food stop will be located.
"The Santa Fe Community College provides a wonderful new home for the century with its large parking areas and location near the Santa Fe Rail Trail, so we can offer an all-dirt ride for the first time ever," commented Mike McCalla, executive director of the century. "The Century's board of directors hopes that this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with the college."
The college's interim president, Cecilia Cervantes, stated,"Santa Fe Community College is thrilled to partner with the Santa Fe Century. It encourages people to train for a rigorous ride through some of the state's most beautiful scenery. The century aligns with the college's mission to strengthen our community through education, wellness and exercise for people of all ages."
Deborah Boldt, executive director of Santa Fe Community College Foundation, concurred: "Santa Fe Community College Foundation is delighted to be working in tandem with the Santa Fe Century. The century is giving the opportunity to all of the cycling registrants to click and donate to the foundation on their registration form. SFCC relies on the generous support of the community to sustain and share in its vision for the future. The donations will help us provide the resources we need to ensure quality education for our students. This partnership is a win-win situation for both organizations."
Other changes in 2018 include a new 100-mile route for the century ride and gran fondo timed race. The 100-mile course will be rerouted to avoid road construction on County Road 41 near Stanley and to address safety concerns regarding cyclists and motorists traveling in both directions on Highway 14.
The revised 100-mile route will feature short rolling hills on a 26-mile loop that includes Bonanza Creek Road and the I-25 Frontage Road and a short out and back to the top of La Bajada Hill, with views of the Rio Grande Valley. The loop will be completed twice to reach 100 miles. The rerouted ride with a total elevation gain of approximately 4,800 feet will not include climbing Heartbreak Hill. From there, the route returns to Highway 14, aka the Turquoise Trail, where it turns at County Road 42 and follows the 50-mile course to Galisteo and back to Santa Fe.
In 2019, the century's 100-mile ride and race will return to its regular route to Cedar Grove and on to Stanley, making 2018 the only chance riders will have to cycle this alternative course.
Because it was so popular last year, the century will host the second annual vintage bike pageant and celebration. The century is partnering with Classical Bicycles of New Mexico, an informal group of bicycle collectors and vintage bike enthusiasts, in spotlighting vintage or historic bikes built circa 1987 or earlier.
The vintage bikes also known in Italian as Bici Eroiche will be the focus of a special pageant or Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, (May 19) during registration and packet pickup. The pageant will be an opportunity to see these vintage bikes up close and meet the owners. All bicycles displayed will receive a commemorative number plate for registering as a "vintage bike rider." And, at this year's concours, all qualifying bicycles will be eligible to win a Best Of Show trophy, as well as a People's Choice award, which will be determined by the voting public.
Riders of vintage bikes are encouraged to dress in period style clothing, although ASTM-approved helmets are mandatory for all riders.
The Santa Fe Century is the first major cycling event in the spring in the Southwest and is open to riders of all ages and abilities. The weather in May is moderate and provides an opportunity to shed winter gear for warmer riding in Santa Fe.
The Century features four well-stocked food stops manned by volunteers who return year after year. Following the rides and races, all cyclists can celebrate their accomplishments with a massage as well as award-winning barbecue provided by Cowgirl Restaurant, New Mexico micro-brewed beers from Canteen Brewery and live music at the beer garden.
Age-category winners of the Gran and Medio Fondos will receive medals, and the overall top three male and female winners will receive cash awards. Century Bank is generously providing the funds for the cash awards.
The mission of the Santa Fe Century, a nonprofit organization, is to get people interested in cycling and to have fun doing it. The focus of the century event is to provide low-cost rides featuring beautiful scenery and a variety of rider services, including excellent food stops.
While proceeds from the century are not used to support other nonprofits, over its 33-year history the organization has donated funds and bicycles to many local bike programs and organizations, including the Santa Fe Public Library's summer reading program for children.
Online registration for the 2018 Century is now open. Cyclists who register to ride or race before May 19 will receive a $10 discount on their registration fees. For more information about the rides, discounted hotel rates as well as early discounted registration fees, please visit santafecentury.com.