Back in the day, the mid-to-late 1980s, Chico Velo ( ), a local bike club, had a racing team and one of their training rides (race pace and no re-groups) came to be known as the Fast 50, reflecting that the ride was 50 miles long. The ride would leave from One Mile every Wednesday at 6:00pm and take a northerly-westerly (Kiefer Rd./Nord/Hamilton City/Hwy 45/River Rd.) route if it was a north wind and a easterly-southerly route (Butte College and back) when it was a south wind.  Both rides would finish up coming down River Rd. and Chico River Rd. and feature a final and premier sprint just before Miller Ave.

A shorter version of the ride, using a 25-mile loop, for the more fitness oriented riders, would leave One Mile at 7:00pm and follow the 25-mile loop that forms the base route for today's Fast 50. Back then, if fast enough, the 50-mile riders would catch up to the 25-milers on Chico River Rd. coming back toward town and all would be vying for the final sprint -- and the free Burger King meal awarded the winner.

In the early 1990s, Chico Velo eliminated their race team, but the original Fast 50 continued for a few more years during which time the interest and number of rides dropped to less than a dozen. With no race team and little interest in doing 50 miles at a blistering pace the remaining riders switched over to the less challenging 25-miler, which then started at 6:00pm. Toward the end of the 1990s the 25-mile Fast 50 ride started to suffer the same interest "fatigue" as the original Fast 50 and by the very early 2000s less than a dozen regular riders would show.

The River Road 10-mile Time Trial, which had been a two-times a month fixture was also seeing diminished interest and the now once-a-month version was "gasping" for air. Similar, the original uphill time trial series from the mid-1980s, which later would form the basis for Rodney's R.A.C.E. circuit ( ), were all but gone. The only surviving uphill time trial was the yearly "season ending" Forest Ranch Hill Time Trial.

The Women's Tri Club ( ) started using the 25-miler Fast 50 for training in the very early 2000s and for a few summers there were many more female riders than male riders. Then in the mid-2000s the Chico Corsa Cycling Team ( ) emerged ( ) and reignited the interest in training rides and racing all helping to also increase the interest in the 25-mile Fast 50.

The number of riders fast grew toward the 100 mark. In the late 2000s the start of the ride was moved to Rosedale Elementary School to better accommodate the size of the ride. The ride route was also expanded to included the Troxel Loop once or twice for those interested in a few more miles. Due to the increased size of the group and the increasing volume of traffic on Chico River Rd. the Fast 50 now skipped the Chico River Rd. stretch and instead moved the finish stretch to West Sacramento Avenue.

In the mid-2000s the Women's Tri Club started a women's group that left One Mile at 5:45pm, ahead of the main 6:00pm group, and continued to do so when the "guys" moved the Fast 50 start to the Rosedale Elementary School.

Around 2009, the general interest growth also resulted in the Fit 50 and the Fun 50. Less speedy and racy riders would join these rides. A few year later both of those rides changed their start time to 5:30pm to physically separate from the main Fast 50 ride. 

The Fast 50 is and has always been open to anybody interested in joining as long as riders understood the nature of the ride and group they joined. Some of the groups are "no re-grouping" and "any speed" goes. Other groups wait, re-group and have pace guidelines.

All riders are obligated and responsible for following all traffic laws. All roads used are open to public traffic. Bike riding and racing can be extremely dangerous so it is vital that all riders know the inherent risk they accept by joining and help make it as safe as possible.

A map of the normal course can be found on Bikely.