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  1. #1
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Gran Fondos: Ephrata, Leavenworth, Winthrop?

    Got the reminder e-mail that registration is opening for the Gran Fondo Ephrata earlier this week. It'll be March 1oth this year. Last year it was capped at 100 folks and sold out fairly early...

    I'm curious if anyone here has any experience with the Gran Fondo Leavenworth or the Gran Fondo Winthrop? I'm not seeing much information out there about them.

    I did the Gran Fondo Ephrata last year, and I highly recommend trying it if you are the adventurous sort. It's about 80 miles, with 50% of it being on asphalt and the rest being on gravel. Weather conditions vary week to week in Eastern Washington in the early Spring, they said it was warm and sunny the weak before I did it, but it I experienced freezing rain at the higher elevations of it (2,100' above sea level, IIRC), and a steady wind. I'd like to do it again some day, but I haven't lost any weight or gained any fitness since attempting it last year, despite my commuting 3-7 days a week about 15 miles a day. So I'm going to hold off from trying it again until I make some progress, as I was Tail End Charlie almost the entire day and DNF'd 53 miles into it after about seven hours in saddle. I think a lot of the folks ahead of me had an easier time of it, sometimes the ruts in the gravel could be a challenge after 100 bikes passed over it ahead of me. I could have kept going for a few more hours, but I felt bad about them literally rolling up the course behind me for the last hour or two!

    I found the terrain of that part of Washington interesting and beautiful and I frankly enjoyed how tough the course was. Some people did it on road bikes, I did it on my commuter which is a mountain bike with touring tires, and there was a smattering of everything in-between those two types. The folks who put on the race were really nice and had a good rest point with a variety of food and beverages at about the halfway point. Like I said, it was an experience, and I recommend it!

    I'll dig up the pictures I took and post them in-thread later, when I'm not at work and can dig through my Imageshack account for them.

    I'd love to hear from anyone that knows anything about the Leavenworth or Winthrop Gran Fondos...


    Cheers!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 02-07-13 at 07:00 AM. Reason: formatting
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  2. #2
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    Jake has the maps for Leavenworth and Winthrop up on the site now. I signed up for all three. Sounds like they'll be tougher courses than Ephrata. Should have better weather and fitness by that time of year though. Ephrata has been one of the most fun ride/races I've done. Great course, scenic, as hard as you want to make it, low traffic, well organized without being a circus, good post ride food and a reasonable price.

  3. #3
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Also one in Oregon, in the Eugene area

    http://dark30sports.com/ogf2013/
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  4. #4
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    There's one near Corvallis as well, the Willamette Gran Fondo on 4/28. I think Hood River and Bend are also having them. The 3 mentioned previously are notably different due to the inclusion of more primitive roads, lower fees, and the entire course being timed (Hood River as I recall, timed only certain segments). I was looking forward to the Willamette one, not so much after seeing it was $75 and an out and back course. Ephrata, Leavenworth, & Winthrop are $65 each, with loop courses (much more interesting IMO).

    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Also one in Oregon, in the Eugene area

    http://dark30sports.com/ogf2013/

  5. #5
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure you'd like the one here, course on paved roads in the forests of the coast range, very challenging, very scenic. The event is fully timed, and there are some VERY fast riders that come for this one.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Also one in Oregon, in the Eugene area

    http://dark30sports.com/ogf2013/
    How can they do a ride along the Siuslaw and Smith rivers and skip Roman Nose and still call it a Gran Fondo? It's more of a medio when you go around the only largish hill near the route. Roman Nose is the best climb we have in the Eugene area. Of course I'm biased since I used to live eight miles from it. In fairness, there is a small gravel section on the back (south) side that would need a bit of grooming (large rocks), but it's only a couple hundred meters long.

  7. #7
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    What??? No mention of the Cascade Gran Fondo?!!

    For shame!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
    What??? No mention of the Cascade Gran Fondo?!!

    For shame!
    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    .... I think Hood River and Bend are also having them. ....
    Cascade looks like the wrong ratio of low fee and interesting course in my opinion though. I will be down there for the High Cascades 100.

  9. #9
    Member C0500's Avatar
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    If your looking for some great rides around Bend Or, check out the Central Oregon 500. 5 days 5 of the best centuries around Bend. Rides are led by local guides and the event is a fund raiser for the Mt Bachelor Sports Education Foundation summer cycling program. 6/5 to 6/9. Our ride motto is Ride, eat. sleep and repeat.
    http://www.mbsef.org/events/central_oregon_500/
    http://www.mapmyride.com/events/543802/
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Centra...49231508440401
    centraloregon500@gmail.com

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