Gran Fondo Ephrata

March 11, 2018

Ephrata High School

Ephrata, Washington



Outstanding day at Gran Fondo Ephrata, cool morning temps gave way to a sunny blue skies, and some pretty good conditions.  Congrats to all finishers, not an easy ride in March (or ever really).  Lots of pics and hopefully a bit of vid footage to come.  Hope to see you all on April 15 in Goldendale!  Thank you to all of our rad volunteers!


Update:  3-10: The course is marked and looking good, couple soft spots on top of Baird.  50 mile course has been rerouted to bypass the second portion of Overen Rd. due to thawing, muddy conditions.  See GFE 50 Update

Update 3-7:  Weather is looking good and the course will be marked Saturday.  See you for early check in Saturday evening at the Pita Pit (7:00-8:00) or Sunday morning.  Live results can be seen on webscorer.

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The infamous Gran Fondo Ephrata has become a Pacific Northwest “spring classic” with 80 or 50 miles of primitive central WA back roads, plenty of climbing for March, and of course unpredictable spring weather.  Come prepared to be unprepared.

March 11, 2018

Meet: Ephrata High School.

Start time: 80 miles – 9:00 am
50 miles – 10:00 am

Length: 80 miles (30 gravel) 4700′ climbing
50 miles (20 gravel) 2700′ climbing

Price: 80 miles – $70
50 miles – $60

Registration:  FULL

Note: This event is limited to 250 and is pre-registration only.

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 souvenir, a police escort through town, a well thought out, and well marked course to ride that will leave you hooked on gravel, a well stocked aid station to refuel at mid ride, and a hot meal to refuel post ride. We will also post the times of all finishers for bragging rights.

GFE 50  NEW GFE Light, half the calories, all of the flavor!  The full Overen road is a treat, and the chill roll out leading up is nice as well.  But don’t be fooled, this is not a lame watered down version, lots of gravel (20 miles) and a fair amount of climbing (2700′) will hit the mark.  There will be an aid station mid way and hot meal waiting at the finish.

GFE 80: Back to the classic course you all know and love (conditions permitting).  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 4700′ of climbing will hurt, plus approximately 30 of the 80 mile route is on gravel roads. There will be one well stocked aid station at approx the half way point as well as a few sag wagons for additional assistance.

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. Personally I’m running a Raleigh Roker on Donnelly Strada USH 700×32 tires.  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. I would love to say it’s going to be sunny and 55 degrees, but it could just as easily rain or snow. Bring on the adventure baby!

KOM Challenge:  TBA.  To be eligible you must upload your ride to Strava within 24 hrs of the ride.  This is just for fun, remember, this is not a race and you stand nothing to gain by winning the KOM.  Other than the undying respect and adoration of your peers.