The Cheaha Challenge is pedaling along just fine, thank you.
Some call it the toughest ride in the South. Bicyclists from around the world have converged on Calhoun County for the Cheaha Challenge, a grueling 124-mile ride over Alabama's tallest Appalachian peaks. Five reporters from The Star will follow the action from start to finish.
The four-year-old Alabama Backroads Century Ride Series includes the Cheaha Challenge on its 13-ride schedule and had a presence at Sunday’s ride, handing out calendars, medals and champion’s jerseys for 100-mile and 124-mile “ultra” course finishers.
Top finisher Kat Sweatt is the first woman to come in first in the South's toughest century bicycle ride. In the 124-mile Ultra ride, Birmigham's Mark Fisher managed to finish first even after stopping to help a competitor fix a flat.
The Cheaha Challenge has long been called “the toughest ride in the South” but organizers of the Six Gap Century call their ride “the toughest in the Southeast.”