A Road Bike 4U is proud to announce that it is partnering with the Orange County Gran Fondo (OCGF) organization. Earlier this year, we were approached and asked to help advise and steer the OC Grand Fondo. Given our passion for the sport and close ties with the Orange County cycling community we gladly accepted!
The Orange County Gran Fondo (OCGF) was originally created in 2010 by a group of cycling enthusiasts from St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Irvine, California. Its first event drew almost 700 riders and increased to nearly 1,000 riders as of 2012. OCGF’s long-term goal is to make the OC Gran Fondo yearly event as representative of a true European Gran Fondo as possible in a major metropolitan area of the United States.
Bruce Marshall, A Road Bike 4U’s Owner and General Manager, is currently working with OC Gran Fondo’s organizing committee to achieve four (4) key goals for this yearly event in order to closely align it with the prestigious Gran Fondo events in Europe:
“First, the mass start, as opposed to starting in waves. This creates an exciting, festival-like atmosphere as all riders start out together, no matter their ability level, excited about the journey ahead.
Second, is the uninterrupted course, free of auto traffic, stop signs and stoplights for as long as possible. While we would love to offer a course that provides an uninterrupted ride for 100 miles, this is not really feasible in our densely populated locale. However, the first several miles of the Gran, Medio, and Piccolo Fondo courses will consist of a police escort and/or controlled intersections. And beyond that, the first one-third of the Gran and Medio Fondos will be a near continuous ride with few stop signs or lights.
Third, a Gran Fondo is supposed to be challenging. Riding any metric or full century is a test of endurance and the course profile has a lot to do with just how hard it is. This year, the OC Gran Fondo will consist of 6,200 feet of climbing along a route that showcases the geographic diversity of Orange County, from mountains to sea. This is not a course for the recreational rider – it is truly a challenge for the seasoned enthusiast. The Medio Fondo route features 4,600 feet of climbing over 66 miles.
Fourth, there is a competitive element. Unlike a marathon, you will not be competing on overall time to complete the course, but there will be four timed sections – three climbs and two sprints for the Gran Fondo. The Medio Fondo will have two climbs and two sprint section. Awards will be given to the fastest male and female finishers on the KOM segments and sprint segments as well as to the male and female who have the best overall combined time. They will be considered the General Classification (GC) winners.”
You can register here for this year’s OC Gran Fondo event, held on Saturday, October 4, 2014.