Getting started in Gran Fondos

Getting started in Gran Fondos - Tannus
George Loch
What is a “Gran Fondo”?
Gran Fondo in ItalyGran Fondo” translates into English as “Big Ride” and that is the spirit of Gran Fondo rides. As you can guess, Gran Fondos originated in Italy where they rode as groups through the beautiful Italian Alps. In North America, most events take place in scenic locations and over scenic routes. They range from 20 miles to over 100 miles depending on the difficulty you sign up for. Most events host hundreds to thousands of cycling enthusiasts all ready to have a good time.


Did we mention the food? 
The event itself isn’t just about the ride. In fact, you can think of a Gran Fondo as more of a festival. There is often live entertainment, activities, with great food and, of course, lots of prizes. They take place over a weekend that starts on Friday night and runs through Sunday. It’s really just a big family party that everyone rode their bikes to. 

Is it for Pros?
Many levels of ridersIt's for cyclists of all levels! There are ride challenges for all levels. While some events will cater more to the in-shape experienced cyclist, there are many events that provide experiential levels that involve a nice, flat 20-mile ride. The best part is that a Gran Fondo is a celebration of life.  you get to meet new people and see places from the open air. The best experience is when you bring a friend…


If you are a pro, unless you have been living under the radar, then you know all about these events. It takes the concept of a century ride and adds the party element to it. You get one or two timed sections that have prizes awarded and big money prizes for the elites. Let’s face it though, even the pros are wanting to party and the Gran Fondo is going to provide that and more.


Can my Grandpa do it?
Bring grandpa AND grandma! The Gran Fondo is open to all. The entry classes are always over flat terrain and very accessible for even the most beginning beginner. The great news is that when you cross the finish line, no matter how long it took you to complete, you will be equally rewarded with a medal, prizes, and access to the victory celebration in the food tent. Somehow, food never tastes so good as it does after a ride with friends.


How do I find a Gran Fondo?
Everyone gets along at Gran FondosThe good news is that you have come at the right time for getting involved in Gran Fondo events in the USA. There are now hundreds of events every year all over the country. A good resource to find an event near you is the’s event calendar. You can filter by name, location, and difficulty to narrow the search results to something more to your liking.


Just go do it!

If you’ve never been involved in a sporting event, there is an electric current flowing through the participants that leave you charged up. As you get more involved, you start to make friends that you will look forward to reuniting with at every meet. Since a lot of these events are sponsored, you will also have access to industry vendors and athletes for tips and just good camaraderie. Chances are, you will probably see Tannus there cheering you on.


So, we’ll see you there, right? Let us know what events you are attending in the comments below so we can look for you! Mention this article at the even and swag will pour into your life.
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