September 20, 2016 by Joe Kukura

California bicycle fans are gearing up for the wine country cycling event that’s been voted the best in the Golden State. We’re talking about the 26th annual Konocti Challenge on Oct. 1.

The Konocti Challenge was voted Cycle California Magazine’s Best Metric Century of 2014, and is a fun annual boutique ride perfectly suited for all bicycling skill and endurance levels. It is a world-class bicycling event with world-class scenery of Lake County’s vineyards, forests of towering pine trees and breathtakingly beautiful Clear Lake. When the leaves change colors this autumn, you’ll want to turn your attention toward Lake County and the 2016 Konocti Challenge, which takes contestants around the oldest lake in North America, Clear Lake, as they breath in the cleanest air in the US.

The Konocti Challenge is fast approaching, but riders can still register online at a great rate you won’t believe.

This year’s event marks the glorious return of the Konocti Challenge 100-mile route, with gorgeous roads that weren’t accessible last year in the aftermath of the tragic Valley fire. But all of Lake County is back in business, and for more casual pedalers, the Konocti Challenge also offers a 20-mile Family Fun Ride appropriate for all ages, a 40-mile course with gorgeous views of Clear Lake and the vineyards of Lakeport, and a 65-mile course that circles the entirety of Clear Lake. Regardless of your skill level or how much you can ride in a day, the Konocti Challenge has a course that’s right for you.

What makes the Konocti Challenge such an enduring favorite is the event’s one-of-a-kind Rest Stop Competition, a hilarious array of themed rest stops that show off that special Lake County hospitality. The rest stops pull out all the stops with costumes, creative themes like Mardi Gras and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and fabulous gourmet treats to power you through your ride. These rest stops are playing for keeps with $8,000 in prizes on the line for deserving nonprofits—and riders get to vote on who wins.

Konocti Challenge 2013It’s a rewarding day for the riders, with a complimentary chicken and steak BBQ dinner waiting for all registered riders at the scenic finish line at Skylark Shores Resort. Relax and have a toast with an unforgettable view of Mount Konocti and Clear Lake, and pat yourself on the back for completing the course and raising money for a great cause. That’s because 100 percent of the race proceeds go to the charitable efforts of the Lakeport Rotary Club.

The Konocti Challenge itself is Saturday, Oct. 1, but there’s a whole weekend of activities related to the event. The fun kicks off Friday night, Sept. 30, with a wine-tasting celebration at Skylark Shores, with onsite registration available for last-minute signups. You can also visit the all-day party at Oktoberfest Lakeport (Lakeport’s famous Oktoberfest is the same day as the race) with its famous dachshund derby and northern California microbrew beer tasting garden, and Sunday activities like a guided hike to the top of Mount Konocti will be in full effect.

It’s the funnest weekend you can have on two wheels, so make plans to ride in the 2016 Konocti Challenge. To get the most out of your ride, rest up right and enjoy one of the great places to stay in Lake County and fuel up at a range of fantastic Lake County restaurants.

You’ll see why riders have voted the Konocti Challenge one of the best bicycling events in California, and you won’t forget the autumn foliage scenery that no place can deliver quite like Lake County. Register today for the 2016 Konocti Challenge and “brake” ground on the most beautiful bike ride you’ll ever take.