The Coldest Gorilla Century Ever

On October 24, 2020, more than 460 cyclists took part in the annual Gorilla Century Fun Bike Ride. Normally held the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend, this year’s ride was held later for logistic reasons due to the COVID pandemic.

Near freezing temperatures greeted the riders at the starting line at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Kansas at 7:30 a.m. By 9:00 a.m., at Big Brutus near West Mineral, the temperature was still 40 degrees, but slowly rising. Organizer, Roger Lomshek of Tailwind Cyclists, called it the coldest Gorilla Century since beginning in 2003, and likely the coldest ever because he and the riders had no desire to have it that late in the season ever again.

As always, the route took riders through Crawford and Cherokee counties in Southeast Kansas. In addition to the cold, the scenery was slightly different for returning riders who had never seen the area as leaves changed their colors.

For 2020, the 62 mile Gravel Gorilla was added – a 100 kilometer ride on the gravel roads of the two counties, providing riders with yet another different experience.

Four routes were available for 2020 – 38, 62, and 100 mile paved routes, along with the 62 mile Gravel Gorilla.