Vicious Cycle’s 2017 Gran Fondo Series kicked off last month in Ephrata, a town in central Washington state. Jumping right back into gravel events with a bevy of new product to test, a small group of friends and I tackled the 85miles of asphalt and packed gravel over roughly 4000ft of climbing. I am still working the write-up on that weekend, but spoiler alert: the event was so enjoyable I am committing to the rest of the five Vicious Cycle Gran Fondo events. The next is in one week (April 9) in Goldendale WA, just north of the Hood River between Portland and Walla Walla.
Like Ephrata, I have never done the Gran Fondo Goldendale, but word is that it has some of the most scenic views of the whole series. All of these dirt gran fondos from Vicious Cycle are serious events, with a measure of climbing that set them apart from the flatland gravel grinders in the Midwest. In terms of difficulty, Goldendale should be a stepping stone to the level of next month’s very popular Gran Fondo Leavenworth and the season ender GF Winthrop. But while Leavenworth has been all booked up for a couple months already, Goldendale still has some spots available. Current weather prediction is 53/36deg F, partly cloudy with just 20% chance of rain. However, six hours of riding into 17mph of wind over 90miles and 6300ft climbing is no joke.
Looking for a challenge next weekend? Come out to Goldendale.
The remainder of Vicious Cycle’s Gran Fondo events:
Gran Fondo Goldendale, April 9
Gran Fondo Leavenworth, May 21 (waitlist only)
Gran Fondo Ellensburg, June 11
Gran Fondo Winthrop, Sept 23