Overview

2018 IS OUR 40TH YEAR!


A little bit about us and our history...

Door County is a cycling paradise. Scenic back roads blanket a peninsula with over 300 miles of scenic shoreline, limestone bluffs, and an endless array of quaint gift shops, restaurants and lodging options. Known for its many cherry and apple orchards, scenic vistas, and unique evening sunsets, the Door Peninsula is commonly referred to by visitors as “the Cape Cod of the Midwest.” It's no wonder that the Door County Century Ride became a yearly pilgrimage for thousands of riders from all over the United States and abroad. 

The Door County Century Bike Ride was founded in 1979 by Joyce Mahlik, Bob Gaie, and members of the Bay Shore Bicycle Club in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The ride was a labor of love for the Green Bay club, truly exemplifying what we consider these days as a "grass roots" event. The ride originally took place in Sturgeon Bay, a burly shipbuilding town with boatloads of history and also the main population center of Door County. The ride remained there for five years. 

Beginning in 1984, the DCC ride moved to the tiny unincorporated town of Institute, with the start and finish venue at the historic brick K-12 Savastopol School. There are fond memories of riders parking their cars on the grassy football practice fields, filling their water bottles from the hose spigot outside the school, and the much anticipated spaghetti meal, prepared by parent groups and school volunteers.   The ride remained at Sevastopol for twenty six years! Much of the ride stayed the same over those years, in the spirit of tradition.  Some of the ride's charm in Institute came with constraints and limitations in terms of resources. In order for the popular ride to grow, it was time to move again. 

In 2010, the event relocated back to its roots in Sturgeon Bay. A larger town with ample resources, "Sturge", as the locals call it, had all the right components to allow the ride to stretch its wings and grow... and grow it did! From hundreds of riders to thousands. The Door County Fairgrounds, with its large buildings and ample parking capacity, became the new hub for activities on ride weekend. The four course routes were redesigned, with a strong emphasis on riding along the water. Course rest areas increased from three to six! Also, because of the event's ties with school programs over the years, the Sturgeon Bay School District was selected as the new charity partner of the ride. Many underfunded or unfunded special school programs are made possible from proceeds of the DCC. 

In 2012, New Belgium Brewing became the first major sponsor of the ride, providing the ever popular Fat Tire beer and their latest seasonal brews for our participants. The DCC Bike Expo became a huge part of ride weekend and shoppers began to enjoy satellite service, with broadcasts of college and NFL games at the expo and the Sunday post-ride dinner. These enhancements enabled the ride to surpass 3,000 participants by 2012.

In 2013, a new and exciting cyclocross event, The Cross of the Century, was organized on the fairgrounds campus with a crazy race course running straight through the expo building! The event became an overnight sensation, with spectators taking part shooting water cannons at the racers, drum battles on the stage, and bunny hop contests. The winner's prize was a trip to the dunk tank. This fun event went on for five straight years.

Beginning in 2015, for the safety and enjoyment of the riders, it was deemed necessary to limit the capacity of the event to 3,000 riders. We feel that this number marks the "sweet spot" for all involved.  Small town feel with big time fun! 

In recent years, we've made improvements to the catered event meal, installed a massive "video wall," modular HD sensation, and have constantly had our eye on making noticeable improvements for our riders. 2018 brings even more change. For the first time ever, the DCC is proud to announce Nicolet National Bank as our presenting sponsor! Cannondale Bicycles also jumped on board and their Synapse model has become The Official Bike of the DCC.

With all these changes, it's important to note that two aspects of the event remain constant... First, it always takes place in beautiful Door County and second, we never rest on making it better and better for you every year!  We look forward to having you come ride with us for our big anniversary in September!

40 never felt so good!
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