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2016 Back Roads Century
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2016 Back Roads Century

The Back Roads Century is one of the premier cycling events in the mid-Atlantic region. Each fall in late September, Potomac Pedalers invites cycling enthusiasts of all ability levels for a great day of riding and fun; with distances up to 100 miles. It’s a fully supported event providing cue sheets, rest stops with food and drinks, as well as mechanical support during your ride. For the first time, this year’s cue sheets will note historical and habitat information along the route.

When: Sunday, September 18, 2016
7:00 AM
Where: Shepherd University
540 West Campus Drive
Shepherdstown, West Virginia  25443
United States
Contact: Matthew Birnbaum

Online registration is closed.
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Currently there is a chance of rain and thunderstorms Sunday afternoon. We suggest starting your ride early with plans to finish by 2 PM; the course opens at 7 AM. Please check the weather forecast and bring/wear appropriate clothing. Please see the below weather statement for complete information. This ride is a GO.


Weather Statement


The Back Roads Century is scheduled to take place rain or shine. In the event of a high impact weather event which would flood roads or force road closures we would cancel the event for the safety of our riders. An announcement cancelling the event would be made by 4 AM Sunday via this page and our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Current predictions do not call for a high impact weather event but rather passing thunderstorms and afternoon rain. As you would for any ride, please be safe. Follow our rider guidelines in the Participant Guidebook. Our team of SAG drivers, Ride Marshals, and other safety volunteers will try to alert riders if conditions change, but as with any ride, pay attention to changing road conditions and the weather. If you hear thunder or see lightning, quickly find a safe place (building, house, shelter) off your bike and wait out the storm. We suggest starting the ride early with plans to finish by 2 PM to avoid the greatest chance of rain. This ride is a GO.


2016 Registration is Closed!

There will be NO onsite registration.


  • In order to receive your member discount, Potomac Pedalers members must sign in to the website prior to registering
  • We will not be issuing refunds if a member does not sign in and pays non-member pricing
  • Each Potomac Pedalers family member must sign in and register individually under their own account


What:     2016 Back Roads Century 
When:     Sunday, September 18, 2016
Where:     Shepherdstown, WV
Parking:     Free parking at Shepherd University
Cost:     See the registration fee schedule below. Potomac Pedalers members receive a $25.00 discount.
Distances:     27, 45, 51, 63, and 101 miles
Who may Participate:     The Back Roads Century is open to everyone
Number of Riders:     Registration is capped at 2,000 riders and we sell out every year.
What's Included:     Gorgeous scenery and great times, as well as route directions/cue sheets and GPX files, wide varieties of food and drink at rest stops, ride marshals, support vehicles patrolling all routes, post-ride party at Bellevue Manor along the Potomac River with catered food and live entertainment, rider numbers mailed to your home, a full Saturday option of historical and fun rides, and special town events and entertainment.
What's Optional:    

Event t-shirt for $15.00. T-shirts have sold out!

Event jerseys for $65.00 - available in men's short sleevewomen's short sleeve and women's tank top


For full route descriptions and GPS links, please visit our Routes page. 


See our Back Roads Century web pages for more details.


The Back Roads Century is one of the premier cycling events in the mid-Atlantic region. Each fall, Potomac Pedalers invites cycling enthusiasts of all ages and abilities for a great weekend of riding and fun. The Back Roads Century features multiple distances, up to a full 100-mile ride. Every distance is a fully-supported ride with route directions/cue sheets, plenty of rest stops with delicious food and drinks - including our famous tomato sandwiches - as well as mechanical and first aid support during your ride. For the first time, this year's cue sheets will note historical and habitat information at different points along the routes. 


The Back Roads Century returns for its second year to beautiful Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a quaint yet vibrant town with an extremely warm and welcoming atmosphere. Located just across the bridge from the Antietam Battlefield, history buffs and regular travelers alike will find Shepherdstown's historical allure a perfect complement to the charm and variety readily abundant at every turn in town. The Back Roads Century begins at Shepherd University and many routes will follow parts of the Potomac River, with rolling hills taking you past apple orchards and lush farmlands. 


After Sunday’s ride, join us for our “End of Ride Celebration" at Bellevue Manor, a historic venue with great views overlooking the Potomac. The event will feature amazing food prepared by local restaurants, as well as live entertainment that will have you up on your feet even after riding for hours. 


Make it a Weekend with Saturday Rides & Fun:

Stay overnight and enjoy the great restaurants, great bars with live music, and unique shopping in Shepherdstown. The Potomac Pedalers are offering two free rides on Saturday, September 17, that will include tours of local Civil War sites commemorating the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. One route will be around 20 miles on relatively flat roads. The second route will be around 35 miles and include some hillier roads. We'll have more specific details on these rides in about a month. While both rides are free, we will have active bike marshals and other support in enjoying the breathtaking scenery and historic landscapes.

We are also partnering with local businesses and organizations to offer specially tailored entertainment featuring local artists, historic/environmental landmarks and local merchants throughout the weekend. These events will be catered to both cyclists and any of their non-bicycling companions.


So if you’re looking for a challenging, rewarding and fun way to spend a beautiful fall day or two, be sure to participate in the 2016 Back Roads Century. We’d love to see you there!


Potomac Pedalers Members Receive a $25.00 Discount

Membership in Potomac Pedalers costs only $30.00 per year for individuals, and $37.00 for families, so consider joining Potomac Pedalers before you register for the Century! You'll receive many benefits including Bike Shop Discounts and more.  


Registration Fee Schedule

Amount Eligible Riders Beginning Ending

$70.00 General Public May 1 - May 31st
$45.00 Potomac Pedalers Members May 1 - May 31st

$75.00 General Public June 1 - July 31st
$50.00 Potomac Pedalers Members June 1 - July 31st

$80.00 General Public Aug. 1st - Aug. 31st
$55.00 Potomac Pedalers Members Aug. 1st - Aug. 31st

There will be no onsite registration!

Registration will close August 31st, or as soon as we reach capacity. 


more Ride Schedule

C * 22 * VA* 10:00 AM * Cycling the W&OD Trail and Historic Waterford * Ida Lee Park, Leesburg

TRI/B/BB/A * 28 * MD * 4:30 PM * Triathlete Trainer * Riley’s Lock (RIL)

Featured Members
Matthew BirnbaumMatt was the Chair of the Club in 2015 and 2016.
Linda B. KolkoLinda is the C Ride Coordinator for MD & DC.