10 Must-Do Gran Fondos
With no particular length in mind and an easy-going atmosphere, you can grind away the day with hundreds of fellow cyclists on any of these long, fully supported picturesque routes.
Grin & Barrett Black Canyon Buttkicker Charity RideJuly 30, 2016; Montrose, Colo. 1 of 11
A 155-mile ride with Colorado's ridiculous elevation gain might sound more like a dare than an easy-going group ride. But hell in July is exactly what riders who sign up for this aptly named fondo can expect.
Big Bear MTB Gran FondoJuly 30, 2016; Lake Arrowhead, Calif. 2 of 11
A gran fondo on thick tires, suspension forks and dirt and rocks—lots of dirt and rocks—will make you wish for bald tires and paved roads by the time you cross the finish line. If you thought 100 miles was an accomplishment on a road bike, completing the Big Bear MTB Gran Fondo is a triumph over the seemingly impossible.
The U5 ChallengeAug. 16, 2016; Logan, Utah 3 of 11
Register for this ride and spend five days pedaling through the gorgeous Utah countryside. From Logan to St. George, Utah, you'll travel over 400 miles feeling like you're in the pro peloton.
Farm to Fork Fondo – MaineAug. 28, 2016; Freeport, Maine 4 of 11
Escape to the north during the dog days of summer and participate in this beautiful ride through Maine's pastoral landscapes and worn down peaks of the Appalachian Mountains. And don't forget to stay for the post-ride lobster bake—true New England style.
Mammoth Gran FondoSept. 10, 2016; Mammoth Lakes, Calif. 5 of 11
Wouldn't it be nice to ride 100 miles with little-to-no vehicular traffic to worry about? Well, the Mammoth Gran Fondo might be your ticket to making this dream a reality. With 3/4 of the road closed to traffic, this is one of the best—and safest—long-distance rides you can participate in.
Giro di San DiegoSept. 11, 2016; Solana Beach, Calif. 6 of 11
Delicious food, friendly people and beautiful routes—this ride is the epitome of a true Italian-inspired Gran Fondo. But don't get too relaxed, as the 105-mile route's 10,000 feet of climbing would make any cyclist shake in his or her pedals.
Emmitt Smith Gran FondoSept. 17, 2016; Frisco, Texas 7 of 11
While Gran Fondos are famous for their leisurely pace and upbeat social atmosphere, this ride's $10,000 prize could bring out your inner Chris Froome. But if you're seeking a mellower experience, this ride still offers multiple distances and a family fun ride.
Coeur d'FondoSept. 24, 2016; Coeur d'Alene, Id. 8 of 11
No matter if you're competitive and experienced, or new to cycling and just looking to ride with friends, Coeur d'Fondo has an option for you. The rides vary in distance and difficulty, but all routes showcase beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene and the surrounding natural areas along Idaho's Scenic Byway. Think you're up for a challenge? The 108-mile option attracts cyclists from across the country to this popular event.
Bookwalter Binge Gran FondoOct. 9, 2016; Black Mountain, N.C. 9 of 11
You might think this is the perfect opportunity to take in the gorgeous fall foliage of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but we have a feeling you'll be staring down at your pain-stricken legs through this difficult ride. Fortunately, the ride ends at a local brewery.
Gran Fondo MiamiNov. 6, 2016; Coconut Grove, Fla. 10 of 11
It's never a bad time of the year to enjoy a ride through southern Florida. You'll tour the magnificent homes of some of Miami's most iconic communities before an authentic Miami party awaits all finishers at City Hall.