VAST VISTAS, SPINNING SPOKES: Any bicycle buff can tell you that there are some truly magnificent centuries around the country, and long-distance rides of every stripe and type. There are plenty in California, from spins through the Lost Coast and the central part of the state to uphill climbs. But the Borrego Springs Century is something unto itself. It's full of vast vistas and glorious desert goodness, all enjoyed on a bright and typically crisp -- crisp until you heat up, at least -- late fall day. Very late fall: The Borrego Spring Century is set to pedal again on Saturday, Dec. 14.
STARTING POINT... is Borrego High School, and from there you can take on three ride lengths: The 32-mile, the 70-mile, and, yep, you can probably guess the final distance from the event's moniker: one hundred awesome arid country miles. The site promises "some of the greatest desert scenery anywhere," with the chance to pedal past "prehistoric desert sculptures along the route." Truly local, truly beautiful, but one more thing catches our region-obsessed heart: Julian pie for all riders. Um, where do we sign? And can anything taste better after 32 miles of serious spinnage than a hunk of the mountain town's best-loved export? No, is the answer to that question. Pie is best.
FOR MORE INFO... on the ride that has "No Stoplights!" at its heart, click here and prepare for some deep December desert bonding experiences. Call this the peaceful, sunshine-laden salve to your holiday-busy soul.