Perhaps one of the proudest achievements of the El Paso Bicycle Club is developing the Chile Pepper Challenge into El Paso’s premier cycling event. What started out as an organized century ride for club members in the 1980’s, gained popularity over the years. Eventually the Chile Pepper Challenge blossomed, with cyclists traveling from all over the region to participate. For many years over 600 cyclists lined up for an epic ride through the scenic and historic Mesilla Valley, along pecan orchard covered country lanes, and riding by New Mexico’s world renowned chile fields.
The Chile Pepper Challenge offers routes, distances for cyclist of all skill levels and ambition. Five ride alternatives are available, 100 miles, 62 miles, 40 miles, 22 miles and a 10 mile fun ride. The 100 and 62 mile rides have included climbs over Transmountain Road and the Anthony Gap. All rides are fully supported with rest stops, route markings and SAG vehicles. Rest stops offer snacks, water and port-a-potties. Food and drinks are provided to all riders at the end of the ride.
After peaking at close to 1,000 cyclists, the Chile Pepper Challenge has been put on a brief hiatus. NMDOT denied the El Paso Bicycle Club event approval due to safety concerns of the Dona Ana county sheriff. These concerns grew out of a segment of participants treating the Chile Pepper Challenge as a race and ignoring traffic controls.
Not all is lost and the future looks bright! The El Paso Bicycle Club is working hard to develop new cycling routes that highlight different parts of our area in up coming editions of the Chile Pepper Challenge. In the future we hope to again be able to welcome riders from all over the tri-state/bi-national region to ride with us at the Chile Pepper Challenge. We look forward to riding with you again soon! Stay tuned!
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El Paso Bicycle Club
PO Box 13040
El Paso, TX 79913
The “El Paso Bicycle Club” name and the “Chile Pepper Challenge” are copyrights of the El Paso Bicycle Club. 2023.