When the Peninsula Century Fall Challenge ride returns to Sister Bay’s Waterfront Park Saturday, Sept. 19, organizers will be thinking about more than getting riders through 100 miles of biking.
They expect more than 500 cyclists for the third annual event, many of them visiting the area for the first time. Myles Dannhausen Jr. of the Peninsula Pacers, the event’s organizer, said they aim to start new family traditions.
Dannhausen said that after each of the Peninsula Pacers annual events, surveys show that 7 – 15 percent of participants are making their first trip to Door County.
“We get them here that first time and we take them directly to what is best about Door County – Peninsula State Park, our scenery, our waterfront – then showcase our best restaurants and people,” Dannhausen said. “If we do that, then we’ll turn those 50 – 200 people, depending on the size of the event, into lifelong visitors who return once, twice, or a dozen times a year. If we can start those traditions through a run, or a bike ride, or a hockey tournament, we can create memories that pull people back to Door County for generations.”
The Fall Challenge celebrates Sister Bay’s Waterfront Park, where riders embark on one of four different routes through Northern Door County. There’s a 25, 50, 62, and 100-mile distance. All routes end at the park, where Sister Bay chefs have come together to showcase their talents and flavors with an amazing post-ride buffet.
“We’ll have Door County Brewing Co. pouring beer, Tapuat Kombucha making mocktails, and seven local restaurants serving up specialties,” Dannhausen said. “We love to introduce silent sports enthusiasts to the county’s natural beauty, but also introduce them to the great food, drinks, and service our communities offer.”
Restaurants include Al Johnson’s, Husby’s, Sister Bay Bowl, Grasse’s Grill, Piggly Wiggly, Base Camp Coffee Bar, Bier Zot, Fred & Fuzzy’s, Door County Creamery, Seaquist Orchards, and the Door County Ice Cream Factory.
To learn more about the Peninsula Century ride and to register, visit peninsulacenturyfallchallenge.com. Riders will be able to register on-site Friday, Sept. 18 at packet pickup and the morning of the ride, Saturday Sept. 19.