GRAN FONDO 2013
**** Note, Black Sterling Friesians was a sponsor of this amazing team---
SEE BSF logo on jerseys:)
It wasn’t destined to be your standard Saturday ride. The fact that the start line was positioned in front of nearly 7500 people basically guaranteed that. But, if there were any room for doubt, it was quickly erased when just about 60 miles into the day’s route, a nice married couple flew by me on a hairpin descent at well over 40 miles-per-hour, together—on a tandem. You see, it’s all in a day’s ride at Levi’s Gran Fondo. The largest fondo in the United States, this year marks just the fifth year for the event, making it one of the fastest-growing cycling events in the world. Attracting top pros and weekend warriors alike, the reputation of this particular fondo certainly preceeded it.
I’d heard from countless people that it was a ride one would be hard-pressed to top—anywhere. I’d also heard it was fast. While certainly the beauty of a gran fondo is the fact that it’s yours to make of it what you will, sometimes it’s hard to ignore the impudent call of competitiveness in the company of some pretty fast—and pretty competitive—dudes. Fresh off a nice little appendectomy it would be my second fondo, and I was determined to make a good go of it.
And, Black Sterling Friesians was a sponsor of our team this year---see our logo on the jerseys and vests!!
It was a day of cycling fun, excitement and a few injuries, as some 7,500 cyclists — both amateur and professional — took to the streets of Sonoma County on Saturday for the fifth annual Levi’s GranFondo. It’s the most challenging ride I’m doing this year. The hill was a REAL challenge. It’s a beautiful ride — except for that hill!
After the race, my thighs “still won’t talk to me.”
The event, now it its fifth year, drew riders from all 50 states and six continents. Riders were asked to call out their homes at the start of the race. Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Taiwain and Singapore were represented, as were American cities throughout the country, many in California. Someone even called out "Narnia!” near our Team GLC/BSF group of riders.
Two riders even formed a union during their race. They tied the knot on the cliffs at Portuguese Beach, all decked out in their finest cycling wedding attire. He wore a silver bow-tie skin suit and she a white outfit with a frilly skirt resembling a tutu. We cheered them on at the finish line:)
More than 15,000 people attended the daylong festival at the Finley Center, where cycling-related "stuff" were for sale and several restaurants manned booths with yummy food for famished cyclists, and our team drank Prosecco, thanks to sponsor Aventine, and dined at Wildfox Restaurant, while patting each other on the back for a day of GREAT riding, while supporting a worthy event.
Team GLC---- Thanks once again for an amazing Fondo. The kits, the champagne, the course, the company, and yes, the meal at the Fox were all amazing!