The Gorilla Century Bicycle Fun Ride has become a Pittsburg tradition held every year as part of the Little Balkans Festival eventson the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
The Gorilla Century began in 2003 to celebrate Pittsburg State University's 100th anniversary.
As the ride has grown it's settled on starting at Pittsburg High School to accommodate the large number of riders with plenty of parking, indoor bathrooms and post-ride showers.
Riders can choose a 38, 62 or 100 mile route.
This course features mostly flat, fast roads rolling through Cherokee and Crawford Counties past local sights like the awe inspiring Big Brutus Coal Shovel (world's 3rd largest).
We're up at 1:00 AM marking the course with high viz signs! If we start before the bars close the drunks steal our signs.
Whether it's the North Pole Saloon with root beer floats, baked potatoes at the Boy Scout Last Stop SAG or one of our six other SAG's we have great helpers and an incredible selection of tasty treats. Pickles, popsicles, peanut butter and lots of other quick energy foods keep you riding strong.
Roving SAG's are driven by mechanics with tools and flat gear. In 2014 we fixed over a dozen flats and shuttled over 30 riders who left it all on the road.
During the ride our roadside assistance dispatch fielded over 160 calls and text messages asking for everything from tubes to ice to Gatorade.
Every SAG is equipped with comfort items like Ibuprofen, eye drops, sun screen, first aid supplies and even feminine hygiene supplies for emergencies.
After the ride enjoy a refreshing shower at Pittsburg High School then grab a delicious meal at one of teh areas many restaurants.
Every year someone asks if we're raising money for a cause. We pay local civic and local youth groups to run our SAG's. Our SAG's will be run by 4H, Boy Scouts, school groups and others and raise over $2200 for them.
Expenses are huge for an event this size. Here are just a few examples.
SAG tents-$1200, Toilets-$1000, Food-$2500, Water & Ice-$300, Volunteers-$2500+
Pittsburg’s Little Balkans Days celebration is Friday August 30th - Sunday September 1st, 2019.
Activities run all day Saturday and go well into the evening when you can join the action for the downtown street dances & carnival. Friends and family can enjoy the live music, train rides, carnival rides, arts & crafts vendors, and a car show which are just a few of the Saturday activities with lots more Sunday.