Gran Fondo's are mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are beginning to gain momentum in North America and beyond.
Gran Fondo means many things to many people. Loosely translated, it means everything from "great foundation", “great distance” or “great endurance.” It can be a full-on race, or just a ride. It’s both a sporting event and a cultural experience. And it’s truly Italian. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
Gran Fondo's were invented in Italy in the early 1900's and have been part of Italian cycling culture and tradition for over 100 years.
I guess we are participating in something that has a great history. We started the day with a free pancake breakfast. Judie, Sheila and Jackie! I have to say right now that Judie finished 2nd for the 30 mile riders. One man ahead of her and that was it!!!
This was one of the hardest if not the hardest bike ride I have ever done. I never wanted to quit or felt like I couldn't do it but the rolling hills got harder as the miles added up. When you work hard at something and see the finish line it feels good to work like that and get it done! Wind, heat and hills didn't stop any of us! We all got it done! Felt so good to see the finish line and I was still smiling! I was the last 30 miler to finish!
We all got pint glasses at the end of the race and a free glass of beer if we wanted it. I was riding back to the car with my glass in hand! Headed up a hill in the wrong gear, shifting was not happening and I got slower and slower. Tried to clip out of my bike pedals and didn't. I went over. I was totally fine but one foot was still clipped on my bike pedal. Sheila finished the hill and came back. I was still laying on the ground with one foot clipped in attached to my bike. She had to upright the bike so I could un-clip my shoe. The glass was shattered. I got in my car and went back to ask if I could get another one. Dave Cook was still there. "You fell on the way back to your car?" Yes, I did. "Well at least you didn't pass out this time." I did not pass out at the Windermere!!!!! I got a new glass! Happy ending! Sort of!