Wish me luck at the Gran Fondo Niagara

On Saturday I’m off to do the Gran Fondo Niagara with my friends Eaton and David.

I love the slogan, “Let the racers race, let the riders ride.”

Now they say it’s not just a race but there are prizes for best time and KOM/QOM (king and Queen of Mountain) so like Kim I’m not sure the organizers’ hearts are in the “not a race” thing.

(A friend jokingly calls this event the “Big Hobbit” as in “Grand Frodo.”)

Have a look at the website.

“Gran fondos are mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades and are gaining momentum in North America.Loosely translated from Italian, gran fondo means “big ride”. These rides are often a hundred kilometres or more and designed for a large number of cyclists at a variety of skill levels – everyone from the competitive cyclist to the amateur enjoy these events. The rides are judged by the challenges they offer: steep climbs, long distances and a combination of the two. While these are not races, top finishers are often recognized.


Imagine for one day, the best possible cycling roads  are yours to enjoy. Before you is an epic route with challenging climbs and thrilling descents. All you have to do is concentrate on the beauty around you. You’re feeling fit and you’re lined up for a huge ride with thousands of your fellow cyclists. It’s not a race, so there’s no pressure. You can ride whatever pace you want. You can even stop for a sandwich along the way – they’re provided. And no matter what pace you choose, you’re not likely going to be riding alone. There will be a fast bunch at the front if you want to keep up with them and you can count on local spectators cheering along the way. The scenery is better than you would see in a magazine. The ride ends with a massage and a party, and everyone’s invited.This is the GranFondo Canada experience. GranFondo Canada introduced the first world-class gran fondo to Canada in 2010 with the RBC GranFondo Whistler. We are now introducing this “Big Ride” experience to world renowned locations across the country. Count on GranFondo Canada to be in the best locations providing the best cycling experience.


Following the success of the RBC GranFondo Whistler in 2010, Kevin Thomson, co-founder of GranFondo Canada, began to imagine bringing the gran fondo experience to other gorgeous destinations in Canada. After three years of work, and finding tremendous support from the Niagara Region, that dream is becoming a reality in the heart of Niagara Falls.The inaugural GranFondo Niagara Falls offers thousands of passionate cyclists the opportunity to ride the world-renowned Niagara Parkway in a cycling express lane on closed roads from the downtown corridor, through Niagara-On-The-Lake, its acclaimed wine country, and the idyllic countryside of the Niagara Region and Niagara Escarpment including the winding rollers around the Short Hills Provincial Park. This is a precedent-setting event that starts and finishes right at the Falls and you will wonder why this setting has never been the stage for an event like this before. One wonder after another, indeed.”

I’ll report back when I return!

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