This year's Mount Shasta Summit Century Ride is set for Sunday, Aug. 2 beginning in Mount Shasta.

This year’s Mount Shasta Summit Century Ride is set for Sunday, Aug. 2 beginning in Mount Shasta.

First held in 1997, the Mount Shasta Summit Century is the most challenging and “incredibly beautiful century ride of far northern California. The drama of the ride is a product of the landscape – 14,180 foot Mt. Shasta rises alone above the surrounding valleys and river canyons, a solitary peak that draws the eye of riders,” a press release states.

The Summit Century is a collection of four rides of various lengths and climbing difficulties. Bikers pass through multiple ecosystems and incredible views of alpine lakes and mountains.

The ride starts at the headwaters of the Sacramento River and climbs up to the pine scrublands of Mount Eddie. It follows the North Fork of the Sacramento through a twisty river canyon, emerald pools, then rises again to a glacial lake with views of Mount Shasta. The final climb to the Old Ski Bowl on Mt. Shasta itself passes through old growth forests and alpine meadows.

Four significant climbs anchor the rides - Parks Creek Summit, elevation 6,854 feet; Mumbo Summit, 6,300 feet; Castle Lake, 5400 feet; and a 14-mile climb up the heart of Mt. Shasta on moderately graded (6 percent average) forested road, 7,850 feet.

‏• The Super Century is 138 miles with 16,500 feet of climbing and all four summits.

‏• The Summit Century is 100 miles with 10,500 feet of climbing. It omits Parks Creek summit and half of the Mumbo climb.

‏• The Metric Century is 59 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing.

‏• The Half Metric is 30 miles and 2,100 feet of climbing.

The roads are lightly trafficked and well-marked. The clover-leaf route gives bikers options – if decided you simply can’t climb any more the finish is only a downhill away. Riders who finish all four summits get a special pint glass.

Volunteers staff the eight rest stops. One local group offers valet parking.

There is abundance of food at all rest stops provided for a wide variety of palates, and perennial favorites including boiled red potatoes, and an included post-ride dinner, the release states.

Each year organizers use the funds derived from the Summit Century to support local groups and to advocate for cycling in the community. An array of youth sports programs, Share the Road signs, a local skate park, and a mountain biking park have been funded to this day, according to the press release.

To sign up or learn more about the ride, see www.mtshastasummitcentury.com.