The Vermont Gran Fondo was born from the cumulative passion of a group of local cyclists looking for a more challenging local event. Most of the Addison County based cycling events were geared towards recreational cyclists looking for a more relaxed ride and because this segment was fairly well accommodated for, it was time for something else in the mix. The VTGF was inspired by the mystic of the LAMB, a local term for the bucket list 4 gap ride to conquer Lincoln Gap (Rated the steepest paved mile in the US), Appalachian Gap, Middlebury Gap and the Brandon Gap: not necessarily in that order. Our inaugural event set the standard at 100+ miles climbing 10,000+ ft over predominately paved roads but, always some level of dirt roads: it is Vermont after all. The VTGF is truly a challenge. Ride it if you can.
The Vermont Gran Fondo is produced by Cycle Addison County, Inc. The organizing committee is made up of cycling enthusiasts and athletically-inclined tourism and business development representatives. Event proceeds will be distributed via grants to municipalities and non-profit organizations with the purpose of enhancing bicycling in Addison County through programs, education, infrastructure and/or equipment.
In 2015 event proceeds were donated to:
- The Kelly Boe Scholarship Fund in honor of a local resident who was killed while bicycling in 2015
- Local Motion to offer four Bike Smart events at Addison County elementary schools
What’s a Gran Fondo?
Gran Fondo is Italian for long distance or great endurance…
Gran Fondos are long distance, mass-participation cycling events – not races – that have become immensely popular in Italy and the rest of Europe and are a fast growing phenomenon in the United States. Participation is open to recreational and competitive amateur cyclists alike, and thousands of riders of all abilities participate. While Gran Fondos are not races in the traditional sense, they go well beyond the scope of most recreational or charity bicycle rides.
Gran Fondos are cycling’s equivalent of running’s marathon. As with the 26-mile running event, rather than racing other participants, most participants challenge themselves in a personal battle against the course, the distance, and, ultimately, the clock. While some faster riders will push the pace, the majority of participants are happy to complete the challenge within the allotted time.
The Vermont Gran Fond wouldn’t take place without the generous support of our sponsors. More than 350 riders have participated during the event’s first two years. And, they bring their families and friends to cheer and watch the riders. Wouldn’t you like to get your organization’s name in front of this audience of affluent, athletic people?
In 2016 we recognize the support of the following businesses:
- VBT Bicycling & Walking Vacations
- Addison County Chamber of Commerce
- Discovery Bicycle Tours
- Experience Middlebury
- J.P. Carrara & Sons
- Schneider & Palcsik Injury Lawyers
- Stonecutter Spirits
- Two Brothers Tavern
- Vermont Coffee Company
- Vermont Sun
- Addison Independent
- Vermont Sports Magazine
- Vermont Ski & Ride
If you would like to generate more business and be recognized as a supporter of the Vermont Gran Fondo, please contact Sue Hoxie, sue(at)addisoncounty.com about becoming a sponsor.