Gran Fondo San Diego

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by Byron on Feb 13, 2009 at 9:07 AM

A Gran Fondo (Italian for Big Ride) is coming to the States, to San Diego on March 1, 2009. A Gran Fondo is a long distance, mass-participation cycling event. While not a race and encouraging cylists of all types, you can bet there’s a fast group. They’re usually kitted up retro, with classic bikes ready to drop your 15 lb new, Dura-Ace lightness with their 25-pound steel, wooden-wheeled, Nuovo Record-equipped steel Colnago. Oh and these dudes with the varicose-veined, roadmap legs are likely wearing wool kits with leather chamois. I’ve spotlighted one of them in the photo below.

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We met that dude last year at the MS 150. During a long-grinding climb he popped. Miles later, rolling on the flats, he re-appeared. Huffing, puffing, with a beet-red face, the ancient one got right back into the paceline and took a hard pull. Nothing but r-e-s-p-e-c-t for that and I made sure we kept him with us up the next climb.

In France, Gran Fondos are called Cyclosportives and in 2007, Andy Tetmeyer of Hed Cycles wrote all about his Paris-Brest-Paris ride and the best excuse ever.

As I wrote about Cascade’s High pass Challenge, we’d love to do a Fondo event, and call it the Hugga Fondue.

More on Gran Fondos

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