GFNS Highlands Gran Fondo Timed Sections
With more cycling enthusiasts embracing the sport of Gran Fondo, the New York Metro area is ready for a fresh approach to staging big rides
The Gran Fondo National Championship Series® (GFNS) event in the Highlands region on Sunday, June 3th presents an even more accessible and beautiful take on the increasingly popular European-style race/rides.
Do you know why it called Highlands?
The route showcases the Highlands area which is a 1,343 square mile region of Northern New Jersey which is noted for its scenic landscape and environmental importance. Start and finish venue at High Point Brewing Company in Butler, NJ. Route goes over "High Point" the highest point in New Jersey, through High Point State Park were you'll enjoy the closed park road for a time segment.
The GFNS circuit makes its third stop in northern New Jersey with courses covering 35, 60 and 100 mile journeys through rolling farmland, hilly ridgelines, and winding roads that weave up and down the lush green mountains.
For racers, GFNS events feature four timed sections, more than any other regional big ride. “But,” Kline added, “the event is not a start-to-finish race; riders can stop at our fully-stocked aid stations, regroup with friends and enjoy themselves along this beautiful and amazing route without feeling the constant pressure of monitoring their overall time.”
Kline’s rider-friendly approach also extends to the cost of the event; with registration fees starting at $50, the GFNS New Jersey Highlands race/ride costs approximately one-half of what the other regional Gran Fondo organizers charge. Donations benefit the Boy Scouts of America Patriots’ Path Council #358.
While taking advantage of northern New Jersey’s beautiful back roads, the Highlands Gran Fondo is not just a one-time event. All GFNS race/rides are part of a North American series, offering winners in every category points towards the national series standings.
The Highlands Gran Fondo will start and finish at High Point Brewing Company, 22 Park Place, Butler, NJ. Post-race food will be provided along with beer from High Point Brewing Company.
The event has courses to suit all abilities of cyclists; the Gran Route (100 miles, 4 timed sections), the Medio Route (60 miles), 3 timed sections and the Piccolo Route (35 miles 2 timed section).
It showcases some of the best riding around. It’s hard to believe riding this good is located in such close proximity to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. Riders will gain up to 8,000 feet in vertical elevation as they ride through three counties within New Jersey and New York regions in close proximity to the metropolitan area but cleverly using many back roads you never thought could be tucked away - to minimize exposure to traffic.
Ride with your friends, Race with your friends
While riders have the opportunity to pace themselves and enjoy the view, professional or competitive cyclists can "show their strength" at every section. When you’re outside those timed sections, you have an opportunity to look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery, relax, stop at aid stations and regroup with friends.
4 Timed Sections in the Gran Route – Best Combined Time Wins
Custom “Race Winner” jerseys for all Gran Route age group winners
Cash Purse and Prizes for Gran Route winners
Awards and Prizes for Medio and Piccolo winners
No racing license required
Fully stocked aid stations and SAG support to keep you going
Post Race Food & Beverage for a fun recovery
The Timed Sections
After leaving Butler, riders will have just 1.3 miles to warm up before the first timed section of Macopin. A just under 5 miles, riders will climb over 655 feet, average 2% grade.
Riders have 5 miles until the second timed section.
Comes into view and hails the start of the second timed section. Its 5.5 miles and will suit riders who like a constantly shifting gradient either up or down. In only goes up 200 feet but hides away a bigger amount climbing due the undulating terrain. Relax it’s only 8 miles to the first feed station.
Riders will have 25 miles of beautiful winding roads to enjoy before reaching the second feed station. This is just before the 3rd timed section on Ridge Road, on their way to High Point.
Ridge Road, aka “The Highpoint”
Its 4.7 miles long and climbs 3 pitches with nothing more steep than 8% until the end where it rears up to 11%. Enjoy the 6 mile descent down to the 3rd feed station.
Riders will then cross into New York for 20 miles of quiet back roads.
NY/NJ State Line
2.1 miles long the climb ascends 323 feet over the New York to New Jersey state line. The last feed station is well placed just 2 miles after the last timed section.
As for recommendations for race day, Kline says “riders should conserve their energy throughout the race in order to tap into their reserves in the timed sections”.