Great weekend at GFE! Saturday was about as good as the riding get here in March, solid turnout and some solid riding was had. For Sunday the breeze picked up a bit, but did not deter the hardened riders that are GFers. Great to finally see everyone again, even if it was behind a mask. We are more appreciative than ever for all of the rad people that come out to ride these rides with us. And of course the ones that come out to volunteer their time to make it happen, thank you!!! See you in Goldendale!
The infamous Gran Fondo Ephrata is now TWO days! The Pacific Northwest “spring classic” offers 88 or 45 miles of primitive central WA back roads, plenty of climbing for March, and of course unpredictable spring weather. Come prepared to be unprepared.
Please Note: Events will look different this year. We are working hard to make these safe and fun, and appreciate your patience and willingness to roll with the changes. Masks are required at all times other than when on the bike. Wave starts of 25 riders every 10 min. Pre-packaged/contactless aid station. No post ride meal. Please do not come if you are sick or have been around anyone who is.
March 27/28, 2021
Meet: Ephrata High School.
Start time: 88 miles – 8:00-9:30 am
45 miles – 9:40-10:30 am
Length: 88 miles (32 gravel) 4900′ climbing
45 miles (21 gravel) 3000′ climbing
Price: 88 miles – $70
50 miles – $60
Note: Registration is limited and fills up FAST, be ready!
Disclaimer: This is a HARD ride and is intended for experienced cyclists only.
What you get: You will receive a super cool limited Gran Fondo Ephrata buff, a well thought out, and well marked course to ride that will leave you hooked on gravel, an aid station to refuel at mid ride. We will also post the times of all finishers for bragging rights.
GFE 45: GFE Medio, half the calories, all of the flavor! We’ll spare you the “joy” of Norton Canyon, but you will get the Baird Springs climb just like the Grande. This is a classic Vicious Cycle Saturday ride. But don’t be fooled, this is not a lame watered down version of the big ride, 21 miles of gravel, and a fair amount of climbing (3000′) will hit the mark. There will be an aid station mid way.
GFE 88: NOTE the slight course change for 2021. Stuhmiller is off the table, but we added a bit towards the end, even-steven. The course is designed to give riders a glimpse of some very remote, out of the way parts of central Washington. It’s only March and 4900′ of climbing will hurt, plus approximately 32 of the 80 mile route is on gravel roads. There will be one aid station at approx the half way point.
Virtual GFE: Sign up on Webscorer for the distance of your choice, then ride the course anytime (as many times as you like) from March 6-March 25. Open the app, and scan the code at the start to start your time. Ride the course following the route you’ve downloaded to your device. Scan the code at the finish to stop your time, which will automatically upload to the results. Please note: the course is not marked and there is no support, please use caution and ride safely, you are responsible for yourself. We’ll even mail you a GFE buff for your efforts.
Gear: With so many variable course conditions it is hard to say what’s right or wrong. Gravel, road, cross, or mtb, any one will work, but all will have a disadvantage at some point. Jake Maedke would run a Cannondale Synapse on Schwalbe G1 Speed 700×30 tires, but he’s a bit of a minimalist. There will be lots of climbing so gear accordingly. There will be a few sag wagons and an aid station, but it’s a good idea to be self sufficient. Weather is always something to consider this time of year. We’d love to promise sunshine and 55 degrees, but it could just as easily rain or snow. Bring on the adventure baby!