What the heck is Gran Fondo?


That was exactly what I was wondering last month when I received an email asking if I’d consider being a blog ambassador for the inaugural Niagara Falls “mass participation cycling event.”

The answer:  “Loosely translated from Italian, gran fondo means ‘big ride’.”

I did a little recon and after reading about how scenic this 125km ride would be, the route starts and finishes at the falls, and hits 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” I thought why not! And immediately text my sister and cycling obsessed friend Vince to see if they’d join me.

I agreed to this exciting opportunity, immediately realized I had committed to riding 125km, had a mild panic attack, and then received another email identifying that I would be bringing the perspective of a fitness enthusiast and not pro rider – phew! Now that was something I could handle.

So for the time being I am continuing to teach three indoor cycling classes a week as my unofficial training (amongst my spring marathon training) and once May hits, will start my outdoor training using the races 20 week training plan.

I’m still a little nervous; my previous longest ride was a disastrous impromptu endeavor as part of a dear friend Allison’s Becel Ride for Heart team when I rode 50km (eek, maybe it was only 25km) on a borrowed mountain bike of which the chain kept falling off. But with last year’s switch to triathlons, and my fancy road bike I’m ready to rock…or roll!

So, what are you doing Saturday September 14? Wanna join me! More info here. Let’s Ride!


3 thoughts on “What the heck is Gran Fondo?

  1. Cherry says:

    Let’s ride indeed!! You’ll be fine. I find indoor spinning harder than cycling since you can coast in the latter. So if you can spin 3x/wk, you’ll be fine!

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