Diversity Is King
With Bishop as your basecamp situated around 4,000 feet above sea level, you’ll find a plethora of options. For the serious cyclist that wants to test their mettle, no other region in America offers as many road climbs in such close proximity as the Bishop to Rock Creek endeavor. And yet on the other side of the spectrum, you’ll find a variety of pedaling opportunities that a family will enjoy such as the Warm Springs Loop. To dive deeper into all the rides available to you, we suggest starting on our road cycling guide.
The Everest Of Rides
With so many climbs and roads to choose from, double century rides (200 miles in one race) formal and informal are possible. You think “de Tour” is tough? Bishop’s Big Backyard is home to a back-to-back two-day climbing challenge tougher than ANY in Tour de France’s history. Known as the “Everest Challenge” because it has 29,035 vertical feet of climbing – making it as high as Mt. Everest. It puts you up against six of the most beautiful and brutal road bike climbs in California. By themselves, this is already a feat but all six in two days… brutal.
Eden Of Cycling
If you need a break from climbing or want to skip it for an iconic view, beeline your way to Benton Crossing Road. As Highway 395 hugs the Sierra Nevada, this road lies perpendicular to it. This undulating piece of pavement connects US-395 to Benton Hot Springs. Besides feeling like you’re riding straight into the Eastern Sierra, the route includes unique rock formations called the Benton Crags, views of the Owens River, and the north shore of Crowley Lake. And the best part is that Benton Crossing Road receives minimal traffic making it the perfect road cycling destination for families to take their first step into road cycling.
And for those that want to join others on sanctioned rides throughout the year, you’ll find cycling groups such as Eastside Velo. Then in early June, the Eastern Sierra Double Century begins the race season. Starting and ending in Bishop, the course contains 10,200 feet of elevation gain across its 200 miles. And then the big mountain climbing season finishes off with one of the top ten best gran fondos in the US – the Mammoth Gran Fondo. Starting and ending in Mammoth Lakes at a hefty 8,074′ elevation, the 102-mile race features 6,643 FEET of climbing.
From some of the toughest to the most serene, road cycling isn’t just a passing fad in Bishop. It’s a passion that any visitor must try.