2019 Gran Fondo Guide Awards
This year we recognize those rides that have innovated, achieved, inspired and encouraged cyclists, supported worthy causes, and contributed to the growth of cycling
As a symbol of freedom and a heathly lifestyle, there is no better icon than the bicycle, arguably one of the most efficient means of transportation ever invented. It's Eco credentials are a shining example in a world that is coming to terms with global warming, protecting the environment, health and sustainability. The Gran Fondo phenomenon in North America continues to grow as it attracts more newcomers to the sport of cycling.
So please celebrate and make sure you add at least one of these fantastic events to your Bucket List this Spring.
Marty Epstein wins Lifetime Achievement Award
Gran Fondo Guide is honored to announce that Marty Epstein a Lifetime Achievement Award for raising over $1.5 million dollars for local and national charities
In nine years, Marty Epstein’s annual cycling event in Morristown, the Gran Fondo New Jersey, has raised over $1.5 million dollars for local and national charities.
As the owner of Marty’s Reliable Cycle, Marty has been the public face of cycling in Greater Morristown for more than four decades. His passion for cycling have won him near-cult status with generations of fans.
He started Marty's Reliable Cycle in March, 1978, and grew the business from a small store to a three store chain which is consistently rated by the bicycle industry as one of "America's Best Bike shops."
Marty has ridden RAGBRAI too many times for anyone to count and thousands of cycling events including the 212 mile NJ Y-axis ride two years running. Marty is a strong proponent of Cycling Advocacy both through the shops and as a board and lifetime member of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, a founding board member of Bike Walk Morristown and Sustainable Morristown too.
Unfortunately, in 2014, Marty was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Now battling an advanced form of the cancer, Marty went public about his condition at last year’s Garden State Fondo (formerly known as Gran Fondo NJ) in September 2018.
In true Epstein family tradition, Marty hasn’t let his condition stop him, he recently helped raise even more money to help Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center find cures for rare cancers. Donors took turns pedalling indoor bikes during Sloan Kettering’s Cycle for Survival, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 and Team Marty went onto to raise over $49,000 dollars.
On Saturday, March 2, 2019, Epstein went futher and donated a portion of proceeds from sales at his bike shops in Morristown, Randolph and Hackettstown to Sloan Kettering’s Cycle for Survival program.
All proceeds are earmarked for research into “drastically underfunded” cancers of the brain, pancreas, ovaries, stomach and pediatric cancers, among other rare forms of the disease, according to Sloan Kettering.
Since 2011, thousands of cycling fans from all over North America and internationally have discovered northern New Jersey’s bucolic countryside thanks to the Gran Fondo, consistently rated one of the best Gran Fondo’s in the USA by both Bicycling Magazine and Gran Fondo Guide.
In 2014, the Garden State Fondo was the first cycling event to Earn Gold Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for its implementation of Sustainability practices, with over 90% of the waste generated from the event being diverted from landfills to composting or recycling facilities.
So many worthy causes have benefited - even been transformed - thanks to the generosity of the Gran Fondo.
In coordination with Garden State Fondo’s executive director Bill Ruddick, here’s just a few of the many commendations we received on behalf of Marty’s Lifetime Achievement Award:
Jim Kutsch is the CEO, of The Seeing Eye, which raises puppies to become Seeing Eye dogs, trains Seeing Eye dogs to guide blind people, “The Seeing Eye has been privileged to be a beneficiary of the Garden State Fondo since its inception. We applaud the vision of Marty Epstein for creating this exciting event for New Jersey, and, specifically, Morristown. Through our relationship with Gran Fondo NJ we have been able to share our mission with a vast new audience and raise much needed funds.”
Stephanie Cicale is the Chief Development Officer of Homeless Solutions, a charity offering shelter, services, and supportive housing to the homeless and working poor in Morris County, New Jersey, “We grew our team from three riders the first year to 75 last year and the event has raised over $345,000 for HSI. This would not have been possible without the vision of Marty and the Garden State Fondo.”
Dan McGuire, CEO, Homeless Solutions went on to say “We are grateful to Marty for his vision and passion to Give Back Through Cycling and we are honored to be one of the beneficiaries of the event. He has given us a platform to raise awareness about homelessness in our community and generate much-needed funds. This has become a signature event for us and our ‘Riding for Homes’ bike team continues to grow and make an impact on the needs of the homeless in Morris County.”
Since being diagnosed, Marty has become an evangelist for regular check-ups, prostate exams, colonoscopies, and the like, “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” said Marty, 69, “People need to be vigilant about detection, no matter what their age.”
Last year Flu sent Marty back to the hospital, where a tumor was discovered near his spine. He is now undergoing a new round of radiation treatments, and has entered a special clinical trial, administered by doctors from Johns Hopkins and Sloan Kettering, of Keytruda, a drug not yet approved for prostate cancer. He's also working to regain his strength having lost 20 pounds. Epstein credits a positive attitude with lifting his spirits lately, “I feel much better. It’s remarkable,” Epstein said explaining that he is willing himself back to health, “My new mantra is: I was dealt the wrong card, I wasn’t supposed to get cancer. I refuse to accept it. I have too much to live for: My family, my business. I’m not ready to check out yet,” he said.
Marty Epstein stated “I never expected that the Gran Fondo would generate so much money and I am very happy and proud to help support these worthy organizations, thank you very much!”
On behalf of the whole cycling community, it is an honor and a privilege to officially thank Marty with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
You’re one in a million Marty.
Photo: Mayor Tim Dougherty (left), Italian cycling star Ivan 'The Terrible' Basso (middle) and Marty Epstein (right) at last years New Jersey Gran Fondo
Levi’s GranFondo wins Top Fondo Fundraiser Award 2019
Gran Fondo Guide are proud to announce the King Ridge Foundation, founded by professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer and community organizer Carlos Perez, has been awarded “Top Fondo Fundraiser”, having raised in excess of $3.2 million dollars for worthy causes over the last 10 years
Both Leipheimer and Perez were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their fundraising efforts.
They gained worldwide attention, when their fundraising campaign Sonoma Pride came to the rescue of the Sonoma County Community two years ago, when it suffered devastating wildfires.
Levi Leipheimer said: "It is such an honor to be recognized by Congressman Mike Thompson for the fundraising efforts by everyone at the King Ridge Foundation over the last 10 years. This award is something I personally never expected so it's a little overwhelming to think we've made a big enough difference to deserve it. Thank you Gran Fondo Guide for reinforcing what we’ve achieved."
Photo: Congressman Mike Thompson (right) awarding the Congressional Record to Carlos Perez (left) and Levi Leipheimer (middle) on behalf of the King Ridge Foundation, at the annual fundraising gala, the Festa del Fondo, held on the Thursday night before the Gran Fondo each year
The King Ridge Foundation
was founded in 2009 as the non-profit partner to Levi's GranFondo. It was always Levi’s intention to create an event and a foundation to support the community that gave him so much throughout his career. The foundation has been the vehicle through which it has raised funds for at-risk kids over the last 10 years, raising over $3.2 million dollars for a number of organizations across the country.
A couple examples of the main beneficiaries are The Forget Me Not Farm
, a therapeutic working farm with rescued animals that provide at-risk kids the chance to care for them, and the B-Rad Foundation
, which exists to support youth and their communities by fostering individual empowerment through environmental stewardship, health, and adventure programs. Their aim to give at-risk youth a chance because every child deserves the opportunities most of us have.
King Ridge Foundation board member Dave Townsend recounts the Sonoma Pride fundraising campaign "On Tuesday October 10, 2017 (one day after the devastating Tubbs Fire ripped through Santa Rosa, CA) Russian River Brewing Company, the world famous icon of the beer world in downtown Santa Rosa, opened its doors to serve free food to fire survivors and first responders. Owners Natalie and Vinnie wanted the brewery to be a place where the community could come together to share a meal, a beer, survivor stories, tears, hugs and most of all to connect with their neighbors who just experienced the most devastating wildfire in California history.”
“While the fires were still a threat to our community, the process of accepting the magnitude of devastation began for the City of Santa Rosa and County of Sonoma. It was then that the empathetic and passionate owners of Russian River Brewing Company hatched the idea of leveraging their world class status in the brewing community to create a fundraiser for fire survivors. They decided to brew a unique batch of beer called Sonoma Pride where 100% of all proceeds would go directly to individuals and families who lost their homes or jobs in the fire.
Photo: Sonoma Pride attracted the support of three times World Champion Peter Sagan
“Once the word got out about this fundraising idea, Natalie and Vinnie were inundated by requests from breweries across the country to follow their lead and brew a batch of their own ‘Sonoma Pride’ beer to help the cause. Right then, they knew that this was likely going to be a big thing.”
“Carlos set up a website to be the hub for Sonoma Pride fundraising and quickly sought out how they could best distribute the potential funds raised through this organic, grass roots endeavour. First and foremost they wanted the funds to go to directly to individuals and families who were most affected by the fires.”
“They wanted the money to go as directly as possible through a local Sonoma County organization who could distribute the funds in the most direct way possible to those who needed it the most. As they searched for a partner, a perfect match occurred with the King Ridge Foundation, the non-profit entity of Levi’s Gran Fondo, one of the biggest cycling events in nation, hosted here in Santa Rosa every year. Since there is such a synergy between beer, bikes, and community Natalie and Vinnie felt that the King Ridge Foundation, founded by professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer and community organizer Carlos Perez in 2009, would be the best group to get these funds to those who needed it most . The fit could not have been more perfect.”
As a result, Sonoma Pride raised an incredible $1,222,116.23 in less than 12 months! Since that time, the funds have been distributed directly to 680 families and countless individual fire survivors through partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Alternative Family Services, California Human Development, Community Action Partnership, 4Cs: Community Child Care Council, Council on Aging, St. Vincent de Paul, Sonoma Family Meal, Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Forget Me Not Farm.
In addition about 500 new bikes helmets, locks and water bottles were distributed in partnership with Specialized, NorCal Bike Sport, The Bike Peddler and The Trail House to kids who lost their bikes in the fire."
King Ridge Foundation Board Members
Leipheimer’s philanthropy and continued passion for cycling has helped transform the lives of young people and rebuild the lives of those affected by devastating wildfires.
Congratulations to King Ridge Foundation, its board members, and Levi Leipheimer who founded Levi’s Gran Fondo!
Celebrate the 11th edition this October!
Levi’s GranFondo is widely recognized as America’s Premier Gran Fondo and celebrates its 11th edition this October 4th - 6th 2019, part of the successful Sonoma Vita festival weekend.
With 11 routes on offer, Levi’s Gran Fondo is designed for cyclists of all abilities; from the 8 mile Family Ride, 30 mile Piccolo, 60 mile Medio, the 100 mile Gran, and the challenging 116.8 mile Panzer.
The 100 mile Gran Fondo, the biggest and most popular distance, will allow cyclists to ride near enough the same route and KOM climbs as used in the 2017 Tour of California. A definitive cycling experience in northern California that mustn’t be missed. From the damp redwood forests at the base of King Ridge to the 360-degree panoramas at the butcher knife-thin top, this is the stuff of memory. This includes the KOM climbs of King Ridge and Coleman Valley Road to name a few.
And if you think the climbs are amazing, the descents down Hauser Bridge Road and Meyers Grade will stay with you for the rest of your days!
Ahead of you is an unforgettable day’s cycling, with a mass start, full support on course, with mobile mechanical support from SRAM and full emergency services. Up to eight rest stops, each with whole foods as well as on-bike liquid and gel energy.
The Panzer includes a full service Espresso bar with a selection of sweet and savory handmade Panzerotti pastries. Expect mechanical service at each stop, as well as medical personnel, on top of what's driving around on-course. Once the pedalling is done, riders and their families come together at the Fondo Sonoma festival at the Finley Center for a fun day filled with plenty of activities, live music, and great food and beverages.
Levi went on to say “You can do a lot more than just ride. In your town, in your city and community there are disadvantaged kids who need help. We believe, no child should have to deal with at-risk circumstances. Yet the awful truth is that nearly 50% of youth in America do.
The Under 24 ride free program, sponsored in part by Specialized, returns for 2019.
For more information, please visit: https://www.levisgranfondo.com
RBC GranFondo Whistler wins Best North American Gran Fondo
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that RBC GranFondo Whistler has been awarded “Best North American Gran Fondo” 2019
The RBC GranFondo Whistler is the largest Gran Fondo in North America with the greatest number of cyclists crossing the iconic Whistler finish line.
Celebrating its 10th Anniversary this September 7th 2019, the event won the bid to host the 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, being held North America for the first time, and is projected to attract well over 6,000 cyclists from around to world.
The ride offers beautifully stunning landscapes and a clear, traffic-free passage over the picturesque Lions Gate Bridge followed by a challenging climb to the Mountain Resort of Whistler.
Whistler is a point-to-point ride that takes you from Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver all the way to Whistler in your own dedicated lane on the scenic Sea-to-Sky highway with beautiful coastal mountain views.
There are routes for all abilities of cyclists including the 55km Medio, the 122km Gran Fondo and the tougher 152 km Forte, which starts with an epic mountain climb up the Cat 1 Cypress Mountain!
The event is a whole weekend of festivities, including VeloSpoke Expo on the Friday at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The finish line at Whistler is truly a celebration party with BBQ and beer garden for all cyclists, topping out with an evening concert.
The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are a prestigious event where all amateur cyclists can compete for the right to wear the famous Rainbow Jersey across a range of age categories – which signifies you’re a World Champion!
Also confirmed is Whistler is an official UCI Gran Fondo World Series event in 2019. That means this year you can qualify on the very 122km course the Championships will use in 2020.
The 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will take place on September 12, 2020 along the established course from Vancouver to Whistler. The championships are likely to attract well over 3,000 additional cyclists internationally.
Vancouver is one of North America’s friendliest cycling cities. It boasts an expanding and upgraded our cycling network, increasing cycling comfort and encouraging more people to ride their bikes. It rates cycling the cleanest and most energy efficient forms of transportation and the number of people choosing to cycle in British Columbia continues to grow year after year.
Register Now to Secure a Place
The 10th Anniversary of RBC GranFondo Whistler takes place, September 7, 2019 and is likely to sell out in advance. Gran Fondo Guide subscribers get $25 CAD off when registering. Use the promo code: GFW2019_GFG (valid until March 31st) at checkout.
Click here for more information via the official website
Garden State Fondo wins Best U.S. Gran Fondo
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that Garden State Fondo (formerly known as Gran Fondo NJ) has been awarded “Best U.S. Gran Fondo” 2019
Choosing just one cycling event and recognizing it as being above all others is never an easy task, especially when there are hundreds of other events to choose from. What persuaded us to award the Garden State Fondo as the best U.S. Gran Fondo for 2019 is the brand new Estremo challenge and the inaugural weekend programming, making the event the one not to be missed this year.
We strongly believe that 2019 is going to be the biggest year yet for what already has been one of the top U.S. cycling events for years. Voted one of the top 3 Gran Fondo's in North America for four years running, the Garden State Fondo new double Metric Century route and a whole weekend of cycling events positions the Garden State Fondo in a league of its own.
For almost a decade Gran Fondo NJ made thousands of cyclists from all over the world fall in love with the Garden State: A place on earth filled with good things to eat and endless green rolling hills and quiet farm roads to ride on.
Over the years the Gran Fondo turned a corner of the USA into an immense cycling playground and built one of the most vibrant cycling communities in the nation.
From its inception Gran Fondo NJ produced cycling experiences for kids through adults, introduced the 5 star rest stop
s concept to big rides, became the advocacy force behind cycling infrastructure and cycling safety improvement, developed the first sustainable cycling event in America, energized towns across New Jersey around the sport, and created the best finish line block party in cycling.
It was never like any other Gran Fondo: This ride was not about attacking yet another mountain with brute force, but about becoming one with nature. It is about respecting the characteristic of the terrain, developing the technique to ride rolling hills, mastering nature and riders using the Garden State’s unique geography cunningly.
The Garden State Fondo is all about harnessing the amazing experiences that Gran Fondo NJ provided cyclists in the past while increasing focus on the core value of the event: Challenge people at all levels to experience something truly incredible on their bikes in an environment of natural beauty they didn’t know still existed.
The organizers decided on the Garden State Fondo name change and major additions to the programming in 2019 in order to strengthen the focus on creating sustainable cycling challenges in one of the most beautiful, greenest and best kept secret corners of the USA. The 2019 programming additions include adding a double metric century challenge with an aggressive time cut and a series of cycling and social events throughout the weekend leading to the Gran Fondo, introducing a brand new way for cyclists to set their goals and track their achievements at the event, offering coaching and training advice on the Garden State Fondo blog, and launching an improved training rides program.
Last year’s ride drew thousands of participants from around the US and around the world. The event attracted over 100 teams, with 16 teams of 15 riders or more.
For the past 8 years in its post-ride survey, roughly 40% of participants have consistently rated the Gran Fondo as "The best one-day cycling event ever" and over 90% rated it 8 of 10 or higher.
The Garden State Fondo will be held on September 8, 2019. Register now to secure your spot and the best prices.
For more information, please visit granfondonj.com
Reuben Kline wins U.S. Gran Fondo Format Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that Reuben Kline, Race Director of the Gran Fondo National Series has been recognized for inventing the U.S. Gran Fondo Format
The Gran Fondo phenomenon in the U.S. kick-started over ten years ago with just a handful of events.
During that time a new format was invented. In 2012, Reuben Kline decided to switch from triathlon and multi-sport events into producing Gran Fondo races full-time and launched the Gran Fondo National Series.
Reuben Kline, has more than 25 years of experience in the cycling industry, including five years as a professional mountain bike racer, 13 years as a full-time race director, and over 22 years as promoter of the Michaux Endurance Series “Our vision was to create a competitive event that also delivers a recreational experience,” Kline says.
The format allows for participants to regroup and ride with friends between segments, and also eliminates racing on descents.
“For amateur and elite cyclists, a Gran Fondo is the best way to challenge yourself, experience an amazing day’s cycling, and also presents the opportunity to win Awards and prizes. While the format provides a competitive environment, it also provides opportunity for comradery among riders. Between the time sections riders can enjoy the amazing routes and chit chat with other riders to bond and celebrate the day. Cyclists who haven’t ridden a Gran Fondo really are missing out on an amazing experience.” said Kline
Each event is designed to cater to cyclists of all abilities, typically with three distances; the 30 mile Piccolo, the 60 mile Medio and the 100 mile Gran Fondo.
Each of the three routes have timed sections for riders to compete for prizes and awards in their chosen distance and age category, as well as a very popular team award!
Each rider is provided an electronic timing-chip to keep track of their progress throughout the ride and the shortest combined times across the sections, for each of the categories (team, age, male and female), win awards and prizes for the top 3 podium places. A racing license is not required.
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.
The fully stocked aid stations on all routes keep riders fed and hydrated, SAG support will keep you going, and the Post-Race Food & Beverage make for a fun recovery with fellow riders.
There is also a *complimentary event T-shirt, Goody Bag with various swag items, a finishers Medal for completing the Gran Fondo route, awards for age placement, a raffle and of course the chance to win jerseys and prizes for placement in the overall timed climbs.
Carolyn Altman, Director Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University, a regular GFNS rider stated, “Crit races, road races, time trials: I do them all, but my over-the-top favorite cycling form is Reuben Kline's GFNS. I've done the whole series, and every event is well organized, gorgeous, personally challenging, and damn fun - there's even cold beer at the end. The heart at the center of GFNS, Reuben Kline is a combination of the highest cycling standards and a tough kind of supportive love. Believe in the Bike, he says, so I challenge myself with serious distance and rip out my lungs on the time trial sections, but kick back and enjoy everybody on the road and the rest stops in between. The alliances formed on the road have turned into lifelong friendships. Those friends are different genders, ages and ambitions, but Reuben pulls them all together in an amazing community of cycling excellence, one of the best in cycling.”
The Gran Fondo National Series is comprised of 10 European-style rides staged across the United States. Part personal challenge, part serious competition, the GFNS leads riders through country roads with challenging climbs and incredible scenery on some of the most beautiful courses in North America.
The Gran Fondo National Series nearly tripled the number of riders taking part in 2018, following a strategic partnership with Haute Route, the most prestigious multi-day event series for amateur cyclists worldwide.
This year’s Gran Fondo National Championship series culminates at the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin in California, which takes place on Marin County’s world-class roads with gourmet food and expert support. The Fondo hosts three rides of 40, 70 and 100 miles respectively, offering cyclists of all abilities the rare opportunity to ride alongside former pro cyclist, Jens Voigt.
In addition to the National Series Competition, which is comprised of a riders best three finishes across the series events, GFNS also hosts the annual Gran Fondo National Championship, a single day completion, using the same format to determine winners of the USA Gran Fondo National Championship.
The Gran Fondo National Series truly is the most fun you can have on a bike whilst challenging yourself!
Gran Fondo fanatic John Woodson, a regular rider and blogger stated “Gran Fondo grassroots racing proves that hard and competitive can coexist with safe and fun for everyone. At GFNCS races everyone is equal - no elitism. Everyone is scored - not just ‘those in the money.’ Everyone can race - even in a Pro Tour kit or cargo shorts with a sleeveless tee. In other words, it's inclusive rather than exclusive. That's innovation. That's the way to grow the sport. It's great to see promoters like Reuben Kline step up, innovate and make grassroots racing great again. Look for me at GFNCS events, it's going to be huge, believe me!”
2019 Gran Fondo National Series
March 15-17 Malibu GRANFONDO (Malibu, California)
March 24 Gran Fondo Florida (San Antonio, Florida)
April 28 TT1 Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo (Helen, Georgia)
June 2 Highlands Gran Fondo (Butler, New Jersey)
June 9 Golden Gran Fondo (Golden, Colorado)
July 13 Cache Gran Fondo (Logan, Utah)
July 21 Gran Fondo Asheville (Asheville, North Carolina)
August 4 Boone Gran Fondo (Boone, North Carolina)
September 22 Gran Fondo Maryland (Frederick, Maryland)
September 28 Jensie Gran Fondo (Marin County, California)
For more information, and register for events, please visit: granfondonationalseries.com
Included in your entry fee at every GFNS event:
Traffic control and fully marked routes
GPS downloads of the routes and timed sections
*T-Shirt included for registrations received more than 10 day’s in advance of event date
Fully stocked aid stations with energy product, food and toilets
Up to Four timed sections (requires over $100,000 in timing equipment)
Goody-bag with various schwag items
Custom “Race Winner” kits from DNA Cycling awarded to all Gran Route age group winners
Awards and Prizes for Gran, Medio, and Piccolo age-group podiums
Awards for age-group placement
Team competition: fastest four person team in the Gran Route
No racing license is required.
Hot food and cold beer waiting for you at the finish line, plus chances to win valuable raffle prizes
The enjoyment of riding some of the finest cycling routes you’ve ever ridden
Apply 100% of your GFNS entry fee toward a Haute Route entry fee
Haute Route Special Offer!
As part of the worldwide Haute Route family of cycling events, GFNS is proud to deliver world-class service, as well as valuable incentives to join us at Haute Route 3-day and 7-day cycling events in the US and around the world. If you can finish a GFNS event, you are ready for Haute Route!
To inspire you to do more, Haute Route will apply your full GFNS entry fee toward a 2019 Haute Route entry!
If you ride any GFNS event in 2018, you are entitled to credit the entire entry fee paid toward any 2019 Haute Route three-day or seven-day event. Already signed up for the Haute Route? Then take advantage of a free entry into one 2019 GFNS event of your choice to prepare for the Haute Route.
Learn more about all Haute Route events at http://www.hauteroute.org
Another industry innovation pioneered by Kline and launched in conjunction with the Haute Route partnership is the U23 Campaign. To advocate and promote youth cycling, GFNS and Haute Route have created a U23 campaign which allows any rider under 23 to register for any GFNS event for $23. Riders under 23 can register by using the coupon code U23@GFNS (Note: all riders must show photo ID with DOB indicated at check in, promotors as you please do not misuse this code, it will be obvious if you do).
Farm to Fork Fondo Series wins Community Impact Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that Farm to Fork Fondo Series has been awarded our inaugural “Community Impact Award” 2019
When Tyler Wren retired after 13 years as a professional cyclist, he wanted to do something meaningful. He wanted to share some of the best aspects of cycling in way that could have a positive social impact—while still being just plain fun and encouraging people to discover the joy of cycling!
Cycling taught Tyler that there is no limit to the work that can be done to become better. Six years ago, he started Wrenegade Sports which held its first Fondo in Rensselaerville, NY and set the standard for giving back to the host community.
It’s the many land owners who preserve the peaceful rural landscapes and quiet country roads that we as cyclists all enjoy. The Farm to Fork Fondo series is designed to raise awareness of these working rural landscapes, and support and celebrate the symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farms, and beautiful places.
The Farm to Fork Fondo series promotes the farm-to-table social movement. Get ready for a weekend filled with culinary delights made from ingredients sourced from the beautiful farms along the routes.
Foodies can celebrate the night before the event at the Meet the Farmers Dinner. Wine and dine with the farmers and chefs, and enjoy a five course farm-fresh gourmet banquet.
On event day, work up your appetite over challenging courses through beautiful farmland with timed segments, magnificent views, and farm stop aid stations featuring locally sourced treats.
After all the pedalling is done, you can celebrate with the post-ride Farm to Fork Barbecue.
Since Farm to Fork Fondo began in 2014, the number of participants has grown steadily—and so has the number of organizations benefitting and the dollars donated. Wrenegade Foundation was established in 2018. The Foundation’s mission is to leave event host communities better than they found them. They have an innovative approach to supporting social-benefit organizations that positively and tangibly impact the event host communities. Wrenegade Foundation prioritizes giving to initiatives that promote farms and help people enjoy healthy, active lifestyles.
In 2018 alone Wrenegade Foundation donated more than $50,000 to programs from Maine to Virginia, with 48 causes supported, 960 volunteer hours, 53 participating local farms. Wrenegade Sports contributed $184,901 in direct spending at local farms and businesses and $3+ million in total estimated local economic impact in the rural host communities.
Since 2014, more than $100,000 has been donated to support charities and community groups through the Volunteer Competition.
Wrenegade Foundation now operates the Volunteers Competition with generous support from participant donations and regional sponsors.
If the food doesn’t blow you away, the beautifully crafted routes past orchards, dairy farms and vineyards will! There are four routes for all abilities; from the family and friends Ramble Ride, Piccolo, Medio, right up to the Gran Fondo of approximately 80 miles, which typically features over 5,000 feet of climbing and four timed segments.
In true North American Gran Fondo format, cyclists can opt to participate in the Stages Segment Challenge at any of the Farm to Fork Fondo events. The overall male and female winners of the Stages Segment Challenge at each event will win the coveted Polka Chicken Jersey by Pactimo! One lucky participant in the Stages Segment will go home with a brand new Stages power meter worth $800! That’s just one of the many prizes on offer at each Farm to Fork Fondo event.
The Pick-A-Prize Raffle features a huge range prizes from a brand spanking new Bianchi bike to a pair of Panaracer tires.
Featured sponsors are Bianchi and Ciclismo Classico.
In 2019, Wrenegade Sports launches its fifth annual Farm to Fork Fondo event series. Information for this season's eight events, including ride details, menus, and featured farms can be found at FarmToForkFondo.com.
The unique farm-to-table bicycle event series now includes stops throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast.
The series has expanded to eight events and is already on course to SELL OUT in advance.
2019 Farm to Fork Fondo Series Calendar
Hudson Valley - June 9: Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick, NY
Asheville - June 30: Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Fairview, NC
Champlain Islands - July 21: Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero, VT
Finger Lakes - August 10: Atwater Estate Vineyards, Burdett NY
Pennsylvania Dutch - August 24: Cherry Crest Farm, Ronks, PA
Shenandoah - September 15: Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, VA
Berkshires - September 29: Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA
Louisville - October 20: Hermitage Farm, Goshen, KY
Farm to Fork Fondo is the North East’s Premier cycling series, for more information and to register please visit: farmforkfondo.com
Bookwalter Binge wins Best Fall Gran Fondo Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that that Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo has been awarded “Best Fall Gran Fondo” 2019 for it's continued success
Back in 2013, Jamie Bookwalter had just finished her master’s degree and was about to start work on her Ph.D.
Her partner Brent Bookwalter,a professional cyclist who currently rides for Mitchelton SCOTT, is away in Europe racing a lot of the time. They both wanted to hold an event in their hometown of Asheville, North Carolina as a way to connect with and give back to the local community. Jamie grew up in the region and Brent went to Lees McRae College.
Jamie also raced as a professional, riding for Colavita Pro Cycling and the USA National Women's Cycling Team. She rode both stage races and one day Classics in the U.S. and Europe, including the U.S. National Championships.
The concept was a challenging Charity ride around beautiful Asheville, North Carolina every autumn, at the end of the racing season. In true Bookwalter fashion, Jamie decided to tackle another huge project and the Bookwalter Binge was born!
“My wife Jamie gets credit for coming up with the idea for the Bookwalter Binge and for getting the project off the ground.” said Brent “Seriously, I don’t know how she fits it all into 24 hours every day!”
The first “Binge”, as it is fondly referred to, took place in 2014, “The Blue Ridge Mountains are my favorite place in the world to ride a bike,” said Brent. “The miles I’ve spent out on these roads have given me countless fond memories and helped shape the person I am, as well as the professional cyclist I’ve become. The Binge is our chance to share an amazing experience in a unique corner of the world that I’m lucky enough to call home.”
The first year was demanding, involving obtaining permits including access to a national forest road that is never open to cars, safety plans and marking out courses, to name a few of the logistical challenges!
A critical part of the ongoing success since year one has been Jen Billstrom, a veteran event promoter at Velo Girl Rides. Jen directs the event and handles all those details, her partner David Billstrom is the safety director, and he designs and implements the safety plan. Both Jen and David are a critical part of why the Binge has thrived. Their work allows Jamie and Brent to really immerse themselves in the event and interact with the participants.
The event has raised more than $22,000 for charity. The Bookwalter Binge is a non-profit organization with a mission of giving back to the Asheville community in ways that reflect a passion to protect the environment so all can enjoy playing outside. Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, as well as other local non-profits, receive charitable contributions from the Binge.
The ride is expertly designed to cater to cyclists of all abilities. Route options include the 39 mile Piccolo, the 55 mile Medio and the 77 mile Gran Fondo. The variety allows riders ranging from a Tour de France professional to the recreational rider to spend a day on two wheels and traverse some of the most beautiful roads that Brent has trained on.
While the “Binge” has a relaxed end-of-season vibe, it is studded with timed segments on tough climbs that provide an epic challenge to all, and some prizes too. Each route has timed segments and prizes are awarded based on the timed segment results. The vibe in the timed segments is competitive and the rest of the ride is more relaxed. The climbs range from tame to the beastly, with gradients approaching the high teens.
In 2018, a gravel segment was added as the final timed segment for the Gran route. It was popular with riders so Brent went out and found more gravel segments. This year, the Gran route will include three gravel segments. The Medio and Piccolo routes still offer 100% paved roads.
Every year the “Binge” attracts a smattering of top riders. This is a unique opportunity to ride alongside female and male pro cyclists as they celebrate the end of their season racing all over the world and the country. The accessible pros ride all three routes, and along with Brent, they are inspired by cyclists of all backgrounds and abilities. The 2018 line-up included Joey Rosskopf, Ben King, Megan Guarnier, Thomas Revard, George Hincapie, Christian VandeVelde, Jonny Clarke, John Murphy, Courtney Lowe, Laura Jorgensen, Bobby Julich and TJ Eisenhart.
The sixth edition of the Bookwalter Binge, taking place October 26, 2019 opened for registration on March 1, 2019 and is limited to just 300 riders and has sold out in advance since its inception, early registration is advised to secure a place.
Brent said “Last year, we sold out at 300 riders. We want to keep the Binge at this size going forward. In our opinion, the Binge is small enough for people to create real connections with each other and feel like they are part of a community.”
Asheville, autumn colors, the cool crisp air, craft beers, PRO riders past & present and a raffle - what's not to love?
Register Now and SAVE 10%
To celebrate the Bookwalter Binge’s award, we are pleased to provide Gran Fondo Guide visitors a special 10% discount!
Please enter promotional code GRAN_FONDO_GUIDE to start the registration process and claim your discount.
We advise early entry as the ride sells out in advance every year!
For more information, please visit Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo or click the register button below.
Vermont wins Northeast’s Premier Gran Fondo Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that the Vermont Gran Fondo has been awarded our inaugural “Northeast's Premier Gran Fondo” Award 2019
Taking place on June 29, 2019, the sixth edition of the Vermont Gran Fondo showcases the Green Mountain’s quiet, challenging climbs and breath-taking views, hailed as the best road biking in New England, and earned the status of the state with the most climbing by Strava.
The Vermont Gran Fondo is arguably one of the toughest Gran Fondo’s in North America. Such is its reputation, it attracts hundreds of cyclists from all over the USA, Canada and Internationally.
The routes include stretches of iconic Vermont dirt roads. They are hard packed and easily traversed on road bikes.
Both the Gran and Medio routes include an ascent of the eastern slope of Appalachian Gap, whose 24% maximum grade and an 8% average. The remaining 3 gaps are yet to be finalized but, whatever the combination, you’ll be assured of a 100+ miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing.
FEAR NOT, despite its formidable reputation, there is route for everyone.
The 38.8 mile Piccolo Fondo, the tamer of the routes, avoids the lager gaps but, still offers a solid challenge of 2,800 ft of climbing.
The tougher 77 miles for the Medio Fondo includes the climbs of the Appalachian and Middlebury Gaps with a maximum gradient of 24% and 7,500 feet of climbing.
The formidable Gran Fondo route cover 109 miles and more than 11,000 feet of climbing over Appalachian Gap and Middlebury Gaps, the remaining two Gap yet to be finalized, for a whopping quadruple-gap century ride.
From the first year, the Vermont Gran Fondo has always had a special emphasis on rider experience. There are fully stocked rest stops and toilets, approximately every 20 miles which will include water, Hammer Nutrition’s, yummy fresh food, and first aid supplies. The first refueling stop will be available at the peak of Appalachian Gap, and then at other critical locations.
Participants benefit from Full Moto support, Mechanical and “SAG” support vans.
After this challenging ride, you can fully recover, and relax at the after party. The Vermont Gran Fondo après ride party will take place at the start and finish area at the Bristol Rec Club, Bristol, VT.
Enjoy live music, a variety of food choices including tacos, tamales, wood fired pizza, salads and locally-produced beverages (beer of course!), and farm-to-spoon ice cream, all in our massive party tent. Entry into the party and four food tokens are included in your registration fee.
This year’s event will again feature the KOM & QOM challenge. This year we’ll be focusing on the pinnacle climb of the event, once the final course is set.
The Vermont Gran Fondo wouldn’t be possible without the founding and supporting sponsors VBT, bMighty2 and the; and event sponsor and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Hammer Nutrition, and a host of local support.
Every cyclist should add the Vermont Gran Fondo ride to their Bucket List at least once, and once it’s checked off, do it again. If the stunning views of the Green Mountains don’t take your breath away, the climbs will!
Register before April 1st and save with discounted early bird fees. Take advantage of discounted team entry for three or more riders too.
For full details please visit: http://vermontgranfondo.com or click the register now button.
The Assaults wins Southeast’s Premier Cycling Event Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that the The Assaults has been awarded our inaugural “Southeast's Premier Cycling Event” Award 2019
The Freewheelers Cycling Association of Spartanburg is pleased to announce the 2019 Assaults on Mt. Mitchell and Marion presented by Prisma Health (PH) is set for Monday, May 20, 2019.
This one-day century ride, known as the Southeast’s Premier Cycling Experience, attracts cyclists from around the world each year, with a climb of more than 10,000 vertical feet over the course of the ride. Prisma Health is presenting sponsor again this year for “the Beast of the East,” as the ride has come to be known.
The scenic mountainous course is as challenging as it is breath-taking, an experience to which cyclists return every spring to ride from Spartanburg, S.C. to either Marion, N.C. (74 miles) or the top of Mount Mitchell (103 miles) - to best previous personal records.
In 1975 – long before the days of personal bucket lists – Spartanburg, South Carolina native John Bryan, an early Freewheelers member, set out to ride from his hometown to the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. He enlisted a group of hardy Freewheelers, who were up for the challenge, to join him. Bryan’s inaugural ride evolved into what is now known as The Assault on Mt. Mitchell®.
The Assault on Mt. Mitchell® is a 103-mile challenge ride from Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, to the summit at Mt. Mitchell State Park in North Carolina —a total vertical ascent of more than 10,000 feet, reaching the highest point east of the Mississippi!
The Assault on Marion® is a 74-mile challenge ride starting from Spartanburg and ending at the Tom Johnson Rally Park Pavilion in Marion, NC. The Assault on Marion® began in 1993 as a way to allow more cyclists to participate in the event without the more challenging 28 mile Blue Ridge Parkway and Mt Mitchell climb. Although it does not include the 28-mile climb to the top of the mountain, the route is just as enjoyable and engaging with rolling hills, multiple climbs, and compelling North Carolina scenery.
Together, the two rides are known as a singular event – The Assaults.
The climb of Mt. Mitchell is also rated one of the Top 10 U.S. Hill Climb Challenges. In Gran Fondo style, The Assaults on Mt. Mitchell(R) is timed so you can compare with your friends and peers!
Past riders have included NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, ex-pro cyclist George Hincapie and pro cyclist Matthew Kutilek
Included in the entry fee are 10 rest stops that offer food, beverages, first aid and toilets. SAG and Tech volunteers will be available along the route to provide assistance for riders. Entry also includes a T-Shirt, meal at Marion and a commemorative patch.
Participants will be able to drop off a small dry clothes bag during packet pick-up that will be transported to Mt. Mitchell or Marion. Upon finishing, participants will have access to food, beverage and changing stations. Buses will transport Mitchell riders off the Mountain to the Tom Johnson Campground to enjoy post-ride festivities!
Thanks to ride sponsors and participants, a portion of the proceeds from the 2019 ride will go to support organizations in and around the Upstate and Western N.C. Organizations include FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Palmetto Cycling Association, the Spartanburg Humane Society, SC School for the Deaf and Blind and many more.
Mt. Mitchell Sold Out in Advance!
The 2019 Assaults on Mt. Mitchell has sold out in advance.
However, if you register for the 2019 Assault on Marion you secure your spot to pre-register for the Assault on Mt. Mitchell in 2020, in advance of the general public.
For more information please visit TheAssaults.com, or click on the register button below.
Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego wins Most Authentic Italian Gran Fondo Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that the Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego has been awarded a special “Authentic Italian Gran Fondo” Award 2019
The Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego represents Italian Cycling and Culture on the West Coast at its finest.
A true Italian Gran Fondo is meant to make an everyday rider feel like a fully supported professional rider, and the Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego does so with real Italian panache.
Started in 2009, its North America’s longest running Gran Fondo and along with Levi’s Gran Fondo celebrates its 11th edition this year.
Campagnolo, Italy’s finest bicycle and component manufacturer, has been title sponsor for over eight years.
Every April, thousands of cyclists line up under the iconic “Little Italy” sign in downtown San Diego, and in true Italian Flair, the huge peloton is led out by an impressive procession of the finest Ferrari’s. World-class Campy mechanics provide on-course assistance, as cyclists experience America’s Finest City and its surrounding mountains, beaches, deserts, and lakes.
Taking place on April 7th 2019, the Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego is one of North America’s top Gran Fondos, attracting cyclists from over 32 states and over 20 countries worldwide.
While the ride grows in popularity each year, it maintains its charming, friendly, and intimate atmosphere.
There are four superbly designed routes that allow cyclists of ALL abilities to enjoy this truly authentic Italian epic cycling experience.
Unlike its Italian cousin, the Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego is more personal challenge than race, however hardier riders will enjoy the 60-mile Medio Fondo with 1,500’ of climbing, and the 100-mile Gran Fondo, includes 7,000’ of climbing along with a timed King and Queen of the Mountains Competition on the climb of Harbison Canyon!
The 20-mile Fun Fondo brings riders along San Diego’s picturesque Big Bay, while the 32-mile Piccolo Fondo adds more of a challenge, heading inland for 900’ of climbing.
Riders benefit from up to five fully-stocked aid stations too.
The ride culminates on San Diego’s famous waterfront where all participants receive a finisher’s medal, a free massage, and get to enjoy the beer garden and a four-course Italian feast!
San Diego shares Italy's temperate Mediterranean climate, so you can look forward to cycling in ideal temperatures ranging from 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit!
Make sure you add America’s “Authentic Italian Gran Fondo” to your Bucket List!
Register Now and Save
Registration is filling up, so early entry is advised to secure a place.
Register now and save, prices go up March 22nd, 2019!
For more information, please visit https://www.sdgranfondo.com
Supporting Challenged Athletes Foundation®
The Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego is proud to support Challenged Athletes Foundation's® (CAF) Operation Rebound® through Life Sports Foundation.
Challenged Athletes Foundation's® (CAF) Operation Rebound® program is the premier sports and fitness program for American military personnel, veterans and first responders with permanent physical disabilities.
Although fundraising is not required it is greatly encouraged. The Ride organizers show their thankfulness by providing a free ride entry and Jersey to any rider raising $600 or more.
Phil’s Cookie Fondo wins Fastest Growing Fondo Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Fondo has been awarded “Fastest Growing Fondo” Award 2019
2019 marks the fourth edition of the highly acclaimed Cookie Fondo, it’s been a meteoric rise, with the third edition attracting well over 1,500 cyclists!
Well known LA-based Pro Cyclist, Phil Gaimon called time on his racing career in 2016 to move onto new challenges, and a cookie-themed Gran Fondo in Malibu benefiting Chef’s Cycle and No Kid Hungry was part of his “retirement party”. As a pro, Phil was always asked the question: “How can you train in LA, known only for traffic and movie stars?”
Phil’s Fondo is his answer, "I've ridden all over the world, and with great climbs, ocean air, and perfect weather year-round, I know there’s no better place to ride a bike than LA. This event is my way to show off my home roads and help Los Angeles get the reputation it deserves as a cycling destination. I designed the courses myself, and offer dinner from celebrity chefs, gourmet cookies, a Euro-style coffee stop on the beach, and high-class beer and wine for the full LA experience. Pro teams have held their training camps here for years, and this is your chance to find out why! We have timed segments and prizes for winners, but this ride is less of a competition, and more of celebration of bikes and why I love riding."
Starting in Camarillo, riders head into the Santa Monica Mountains towards Malibu to tackle iconic climbs and enjoy mountain views from the iconic Mulholland, the ocean views from the Pacific Highway, and thrilling descents down Latigo and Decker Canyons.
Riders get to test their mettle on the infamous Encinal Canyon and Yerba Buena climbs and their dirt climbing skills on Sycamore Canyon.
In 2018 the event expanded into a 2-day ride experience, Phil commented “We added another whole day of goodness as we just couldn’t fit all the best climbs into one day!”
As a pro, Phil was known for his love of cookies, so fans would bring him cookies for him at the end of every race. Now he uses his event to “give the cookies back to the people.” Courtesy of celebrity chef Jeff Mahin, a No Kid Hungry advocate and one of the founders of Chef’s Cycle, every aid station has the traditional snacks like CLIF products, and delicious gourmet cookies.
Try to beat the Pros on the Strava challenge and withcelebrity chefs you get rewarded with a truly world-class dining experience, from the expo to the post-ride meal.
In partnership with Chef's Cycle and No Kid Hungry, rider can expect world-class dining experience from the Sponsor Expo to the post-ride meal with celebrity chefs with Michelin stars.
Todd Nelson rode last year and recommends the ride, “Hands down, the best Fondo I've ever done. Logistics were perfect, cheerful and well thought out. Mavic neutral support cars and moto’s was a bonus. Loved hanging out with the pros - very nice guys. Brutal route. Fantastic scenery. I'll be back!”
Phil’s Cookie Fondo is superbly organized, but you have to earn your cookies.
There is a shorter (but not easy) ride options on the Saturday, and 4 distances for the main event on Sunday, from the 32-mile “mini Chip” route, to “for crazies only” 108-mile “Double Fudge,” with the 87-mile Chocolate Chip as the most popular ride.
All riders receive an official Cookie Fondo Swag Bag filled with gear from event sponsors and partners.
There also the VIP Experience, which includes dinner with the pros, bike support, exclusive VIP Swag Bag, full KOM Cookie Kit by Castelli, and hotel stay if you’re coming from out of town.
The fourth edition of Phil’s Cookie Fondo takes place October 26 -27th, 2019.
Registration opens, the same day as Paris-Roubiax on Sunday April 14th.
For more information please visit: philsfondo.com
RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley wins Best Start-up Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley has been awarded “Best Start-up Gran Fondo” Award 2019
Silicon Valley in the heart of northern California, is known for high-tech and venture capitalism, home to some of the most successful start-up companies in the world including Apple, Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Pay Pal to name a few.
Last June, it became the hub of cycling for the day.
What made the ride special?
Just west to the tech valley, the Santa Cruz Mountains boast some of the best Bay Area road cycling climbs.
The houses in Woodside and Palo Alto cost like 10 million dollars, and are on the edge of a cycling paradise and very famous to those in the know!
The roads north of Santa Cruz need to be ridden, even the names evoke a certain appeal; West Alpine, Tunitas Creek Road, Old La Honda, Kings Mountain Road, East Zayante and China Grade.
The 2018 inaugural event chose two carefully designed routes, a 62 mile Presto Fondo with 5,600 feet of climbing, ideally suited to those who wanted a gentler challenge whilst enjoying stunning views, and the 74 miles GranFondo which packed in 7,000 feet of climbing, more suited to those looking to give their endurance and climbing skills a real test and enjoy more of the incredible climbing on offer.
For the 2nd year on June 22, 2019, the event has added a shorter Medio route (47 miles, 4,200 feet climbing) and slightly modified the Gran Fondo course to experience even more of the epic roads in the area.
Heading into the Santa Cruz Mountains, riders sampled super cool Alpine climbs including the famous Kings Mountain Road, a true Bay Area Bucket List climb.
Preconceptions of multi-lane highways with congested traffic quickly faded away when scenic, single lane roads were discovered. Twisty, off-cambered bends, dived off the side of the hillsides… the roads are non-uniformed making it all the more fun!
The Coastal roads left riders open mouthed in amazement, even sampling a short stretch along Highway 1.
With every bend there was a breathtaking view that was seemingly too beautiful to be true. It was a stretch of tarmac that was for the most part a downward roller coaster of a ride, hugging the coastal cliffs.
Turning right up Tunitas Creek Road (another famous Bay Area Bucket List climb) signified around three quarters distance completed for the riders and another well placed feed station, not far from the famous Bike Hut. The climb up Tunitas Creek was a touch over 9 miles and 1,200 feet through an epic Redwood forest. Do you think your legs could do that?
On very quiet roads, with little or no vehicle traffic, it offered contemplative solace amongst the towering Redwoods to help offset any negative thoughts that riders legs may have had. Tunitas Creek Road was famously used during Stage Three of the 2010 Tour of California.
Topping out at over 2,000 feet, amazing views came into view, both Presto and Gran Fondo riders had the reward of knowing it was all downhill for 15 miles, back to the start for a cold beer or soft drink, hot food and feel good vibes! All included in the entry fee.
From the creators of the largest Gran Fondo in North America
RBC GranFondos are known for their finish line festivities.
It was about the experience of going for a big ride with your friends and celebrating post-ride. Silicon Valley, hands down, delivered on this!
There was complimentary hospitality from premium sponsors at the Celebration Plaza at the start at Four Seasons Silicon Valley Hotel.
All riders were fully supported throughout the ride with medical and mechanical back up. They benefited from a choice of 4 aid stations on course providing a range of top nutritional food and hydration too.
Having finished, riders were able to grab their ride time and enjoy the finish line festivities including a beer garden, live DJ and a champagne-spray awards ceremony too, whilst enjoying a Premium swag bag!
Chief Enthusiast of RBC GranFondo, Neil McKinnon, who has cycled throughout the planet and rode on the day claimed, “This is the greatest ride I have ever experienced!”
Gran Fondo Guide cannot argue with this statement, the course is sublime, well designed, backed up with one of the most experienced Gran Fondo facilitators in North America.
Neil McKinnon stated “We are surprised and delighted to receive and accept this award! We implore ‘Fondo fanatics to come and experience America’s new Bucket List ride this June 2019!”
Giving Back - Silicon Valley Style
The inaugural RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley participants had the ability to voluntarily donate or fundraise for four outstanding nonprofits that are making a significant impact in the lives of Silicon Valley’s youth: BizWorld, Girls Who Code, Positive Coaching Alliance and Tipping Point.
In year one alone, together everyone raised an astounding $125,000 USD!
Neil McKinnon added “We thank all participants who donated to the charities and a special thanks to RBC Capital Markets, RBC Wealth Management, and City National Bank for their generous donations.”
Get US$ 50 OFF - Gran Fondo Guide exclusive!
The second edition of the RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley takes place, June 2019. Gran Fondo Guide subscribers receive $50 USD off when registering. Use the promo code: GFSV2019_GFG (valid until March 31st) at registration checkout.
If you love cycling, coding, and super cool climbs, it doesn’t get any better than this!
For more information, visit the official event website
Rollfast wins Fastest Gran Fondo Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce the Rollfast Gran Fondo has been recognized as "The Fastest Fondo" in the World
Now in its seventh year, the Rollfast International Gran Fondo has quickly become one of the world’s premier cycling events.
If you want to know what it’s like to ride a flat stage of the Tour de France, this is about as close as it gets!
If you want to know what it’s like to ride a flat stage of the Tour de France, this is about as close as it gets!
On a course which is known for being extremely flat and sheltered from the wind along the country roads of Hamilton County, Indiana, the Gran Fondo has now become the world’s fastest Gran Fondo producing times under four hours, and attracting elite riders from many countries around the globe, including Canada, El Salvador, England, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
For seasoned cyclists trying to set a new personal record or new participants looking for an opportunity to ride along with the Pro’s, the Rollfast International Gran Fondo is the event for you!
In 2015, a group of riders challenged each other to finish the century in under four hours, a time unheard for a Gran Fondo, and twenty-five riders beat the time, which is now known as the SUB4 Challenge. Riders completing the 100-mile course in under four hours or five hours (SUB5 Challenge) receive specials awards and pretty cool bragging rights too.
Participants can choose from the 100-mile Gran Route or a smaller version the 65-mile Medio.
Full neutral Moto support including water hand ups to the front group makes the event a stand out ride for many. Live video feeds will give the feel of a World Tour event on the front of the pack and finishers will be rewarded with a custom belt buckle for their efforts.
Each route has plenty of rest stops stocked with food and drinks. One even has fried chicken!
A finish line festival provides an exciting welcome for all cyclists returning from their rides. Catch your breath in the recovery tent with a recovery drink, a quick massage and chiro adjustment. Then grab a beer, make a plate of food and enjoy the live band and a streaming Fondo video.
Friends, family members and local residents can join an all-day festival during the race. The festival features food, drinks, live music in downtown Carmel.
Rider Check-In, welcome receptions, and pre-event activities will take place throughout the weekend leading up to the Sunday Fondo.
The Rollfast Gran Fondo is hosting the new Gran Fondo World Championship ®, a one day race with $3,000 USD in prize money for the winners! The event is part of world tour series with points count in the final Gran Fondo World Tour series ranking.
All event registration fees and net profits from Rollfast events are invested in the Rollfast Foundation, which engages with a unique demographic to prevent suicide. People fighting secret struggles can utilize anonymous a free text to chat service known as RollfastLIVE simply by texting ROLLFAST to 494949.
This legendary ride is so popular it sells out way in advance every year for around 800 places. So, if you are gunning for the SUB4 or SUB5 Club, or just trying to set a PR, the Rollfast Gran Fondo is quickly becoming the premier event in North America to turn your fastest century time ever. Sign up and come ride your fastest century ever!
For full details please visit: www.rollfastcycling.com or click the register now button.
CampoVelo wins inaugural Best Boutique Cycling Festival Award
Gran Fondo Guide is proud to announce that CampoVelo has won our inaugural Best Boutique Cycling Festival award
There is a wide plethora of boutique cycling festivals across North America, both on and off road, including the likes of Farm to Fork Fondo, Eroica California, Bici Gusti Gourmet Ride, Paso Robles, AMGEN VIP Tour of California and Oktoberfest to name a few!
CampoVelo is a unique celebration which combines world class cycling, wellness, cuisine, libations, and fundraising into a unique three-day event in the heart of America’s preeminent wine growing region.
The passion that exudes from former professional cyclist and Chef Chris Cosentino is truly incredible. Over the past three years, along with his fellow cyclists, chefs, winemakers, brewmasters and title sponsor Clif Bar & Company, Cosentino has consistently served up a winning recipe for a wellness weekend like no other.
Simply put, its 3 days of sheer fun, with a Michelin five-star touch!
By blending the best of the culinary world with cycling, hiking and yoga, CampoVelo, produced by Ride Napa Valley, has become the annual highlight in the Napa Valley region of California.
Over the course of the weekend, more than 20 featured guests (chefs, winemakers, pro-cyclists, and other notables), including Team CLIF Bar Cycling, lead attendees in a myriad of activities designed to support and promote CampoVelo’s deserving beneficiaries which includes Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition and Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry, with the mantra “do good, one pedal stroke at a time”
Each morning, featured guests will accompany attendees on hikes, in yoga sessions, and on mountain, road, and e-bike rides throughout Napa Valley. After hours of exploring the great outdoors on two-wheels or two-feet, Cosentino and friends will lead product demos, workshops, and prepare five-star meals for attendees.
“We have another amazing CampoVelo planned this year with even more of my chef, athlete, and wine and beer making friends joining the fun,” remarked Chef Cosentino. “My passion for food, family, cycling, and fun is what I love to share with our guests over the CampoVelo weekend.”
“One of the best parts of CampoVelo is that it gives back to the community. As locals with local businesses, my wife and Co-CEO Kit and I are always proud to show off the Napa Valley and look forward to welcoming CampoVelo guests into our community.” says Gary Erickson, founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Clif Bar & Company, the title sponsor.
Each morning, featured guests will accompany attendees on hikes, in yoga sessions, and on mountain, road, and e-bike rides throughout Napa Valley. After hours of exploring the great outdoors on two-wheels or two-feet, Cosentino and friends will lead product demos, workshops, and prepare five-star meals for attendees.
The weekend begins in St. Helena on Friday, April 26th with a selection of road and mountain bike rides followed by lunch at Clif Family Winery’s tasting room. Opening day continues with wine & beer experiences featuring Clif Family Winery and Mad Fritz Brewing Company, a poolside party at Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, and an evening Welcome Reception with bites by Cosentino, wine & beer tastings, and craft cocktails at Calistoga’s Tamber Bey Vineyards.
A ticketed five-course dinner hosted by Cosentino, Matt Jennings, Bryan Voltaggio and more paired with acclaimed Napa Valley wines and beer at Tamber Bey Vineyards will benefit No Kid Hungry.
Saturday kicks off with breakfast and a selection of rides and wellness activities throughout Napa Valley, followed by a Champion’s Lunch, culinary demos, and the CampoVelo Marketplace featuring an artisan assortment of food, drink, and wares to taste, test or buy.
Returning after its wildly popular (and often hilarious) debut last year, the “2019 Saturday Night at the Speedway” is a weekend highlight with epic bike relay races, live music, wine, beer, and food trucks at the Calistoga Speedway.
The weekend culminates in a BIG way at Napa Valley’s oldest winery Charles Krug Winery. Start the day with a BIG Breakfast followed by the BIG Ride, “Gran Fondo Style” with three route options (35/50/80 miles), or a hike at Bothe State Park. The ultimate post-ride finale is the CampoVelo BIG Feast at the iconic winery with a menu curated by Cosentino and his chef friends, Charles Krug wines and Mad Fritz beers, play lawn games, enjoy live music, relax, and bid on must-have silent auction lots.
In addition to Clif Bar & Company, other partners include Colavita, Bialetti, Giant Bicycles, Clif Family Winery, First Republic Bank, Liv Cycling, Trek Travel, Kollar Chocolates, Mad Fritz, CAPO Cycling, WD-40, Chef’s Warehouse, Whitehall Lane Winery, Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa, Kara’s Cupcakes, and Grove 45.
The third annual CampoVelo will take place April 26-28, 2019 in Napa Valley and there are a limited number of places left and will sell out in advance, so please hurry!
For more information and the full weekend itinerary, visit www.campovelo.com
CampoVelo 2019 Featured Guests
Chris Cosentino, Acacia House, Cockscomb, Jackrabbit
Matt Jennings, Full Heart Hospitality
Bryan Voltaggio, VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal, RANGE, AGGIO, Voltaggio Brothers Steak House
John McConnell, Clif Family
Jeff Mahin, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen, Do-Rite Donuts, Summer House Santa Monica
Aaron Vinten, The Athlete’s Table
Jeremy Emmerson, Personal Chef
Kara Lind, Kara’s Cupcakes
Chris Kollar, Kollar Chocolates
Bertus van Zyl, Winemaker, Farm Collective
Rebekah Wineburg, Winemaker, Quintessa
Laura Barrett, Winemaker, Clif Family Winery
Nile Zacherle, Brewmaster, Mad Fritz, and Winemaker, Zacherle Wines,David Arthur Vineyards, and Montagna
Cyclists / Athletes
Bob Roll, former pro-cyclist, author and broadcast personality
Lauren Hall, 5 Time USA National Cycling Team
Yuri Hauswald, mountain bike racer and Dirty Kanza 200 winner
Adam Pulford, CTS cycling coach
Carl Decker, pro-cyclist, Elite National Road Champion, and X-Games participant
Steve Fassbinder, cyclist, author, photographer
Tina Brubaker, former pro-cyclist, cycling coach
Serena Bishop Gordon, professional XC mountain biker/cyclocross racer, Giant & Liv Co-Factory
Jess Cerra, pro-cyclist
Ivan Dominguez, Cuban National Cycling Champion
California Coast Classic wins inaugural Best Charity Bike Tour Award
Each year we have awarded one ride the Gran Fondo Guide’s “Best Gran Fondo” award. Recently, we have seen an increased interest in charity rides, especially multi-day events
Today we are excited to announce the addition of the inaugural “Best Charity Bike Tour” award and it goes to the Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic.
We considered several factors in choosing the “Best Charity Bike Tour” including ride organization; social, community and training aspects available to participants leading up to the tour; participant support during the tour; overall challenge and route selection; and dedication and funds raised by participants.
The California Coast Classic (CCC) presented by Amgen is an epic, unforgettable, 8-day, 525-mile, self-paced pedalling adventure from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It follows a coastal route along, and parallel to, California’s iconic Highway 1 and is a bucket list ride in its own right. In fact, Outside Magazine named CCC as one of its “30 Best Road Biking Trips”.
September’s weather along the California coast is cool and temperate - perfect for pedalling among waves, woods, and wineries. Riders experience quaint towns, stunning views, and iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, 17-Mile Drive, Big Sur, and Morro Bay.
The mission of the ride is to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis affects one in four adults and 300,000 children in the United States. It’s America’s #1 cause of disability.
The Arthritis Foundation’s mission is to pursue a cure and provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections.
Participants who take part raise vital funds in the fight against arthritis. The dedication and amounts raised by individual participants are truly astounding. All participants of CCC commit to raising at least $3,500 dollars each.
One of the reasons the California Coast Classic is so successful is the social, community and training aspects that it provides to participants building up to the ride, a challenge that is open to beginner, intermediate, and advanced cyclists.
The community fully encourages cyclists to take up the challenge of riding for a full week, some who may have limited riding experience.
From the start, each participant becomes part of the community and gains access to training and fundraising tools including a training calendar, personal fundraising website, and group training rides. There is a real sense of camaraderie and coming together, to lead the fight for the arthritis community.
The organization and support for participants throughout the eight days of the tour is world-class, and includes expert SAG support, professional mechanical repair, luggage service, catered meals, and a nightly choice of campground or hotel lodging. Riders have the luxury of concentrating on their riding, working together, and making memories that last a lifetime.
The CCC attracts riders who have been affected directly or indirectly by the disease. Last year, Nancy Travis (second from left, below), the actress famous for leading roles in the film So I Married an Axe Murderer, the Fox TV show Last Man Standing and the Golden Globe-winning Netflix series The Kominsky Method, rode the CCC to honor her mother, who has arthritis.
Funds raised help to provide life-changing tools and resources for people living with arthritis, address the unique needs of children with arthritis, accelerate the path to better treatments – and ultimately a cure, and break down barriers to care at the state and federal levels.
In the past 18 years (since 2001), the California Coast Classic has raised an incredible $17,825,770 to help conquer arthritis, which is another reason why it has won our inaugural award.
While there are many one- or two-day charity bike rides across North America, there are a smaller number of full week charity bike rides. To complete a full week, requires an altogether bigger commitment and level of dedication.
Other full week charity bike tours that were shortlisted for the award included the Climate Ride California Central Coast, Tour de Florida, Tour des Trees, the CAF Million Dollar Challenge, Bike MS: Ride Across Minnesota, Aids Lifecycle, Pan Ohio Hope Ride, Tour de Rouge, California Dream Ride, Cycle Aidrondacks, and the Law Enforcement Bike Ride to DC.
2019 marks the 19th year of the California Coast Classic, Sept. 21-28, 2019, and while it attracts many repeat riders, it also maintains a friendly and welcoming vibe for newbies. Registration also includes an official CCC jersey, wind jacket, and t-shirt.
Six and a half months in advance of the ride, representatives from the Arthritis Foundation report that fewer than 100 spots are left for the 2019 event. It is capped at 250 riders.
“There’s been tremendous interest in this year’s ride, now that the road through Big Sur has reopened,” explained Shannon Marang Cox, the ride director. “We’re seeing increased registration from returning and new riders alike.”
2019 California Coast Classic Bike Tour Itinerary
9/20 Arrival and Registration in San Francisco
9/21 San Francisco to Santa Cruz, 85 miles
9/22 Santa Cruz to Monterey, 51 miles
9/23 Monterey to Big Sur, 47 miles
9/24 Big Sur to Cambria, 68 miles
9/25 Cambria to Oceano, 58 miles
9/26 Oceano to Buellton, 66 miles
9/27 Buellton to Ventura, 87 miles
9/28 Ventura to Los Angeles, 63 miles
Register today save $25!
Gran Fondo Guide readers will receive a $25 discount on registration from now until 6/30/19, though Marang Cox guesses that the ride could sell out well before then.
Register today with code GFG19 and save $25!
Top 20 North American Gran Fondo's
This year we recognize those rides that have innovated, achieved, inspired and encouraged cyclists, supported worthy causes, and contributed to the growth of cycling
So please celebrate and make sure you add at least one of these fantastic cycling event to your Bucket List this Spring.