We dodged the weather bullet, was supposed to rain for days, but lucked out, GFL was awesome. Even got to include the infamous Swakane Canyon which is well know as one of the ugliest climbs around (that’s the family friendly description). Thanks everyone for coming out, despite what the weather man told you, always fun seeing how many people can get that patch, not an easy one for sure, congrats! Also, big shout out to our amazing army of volunteers, thank you!!!
Located in the heart of the Washington Cascades, Gran Fondo Leavenworth is the perfect mix of pavement, Forest Service roads, and mega mountain passes!
UPDATE: Swakane is a go! Course is marked, and running as originally planned.
May 19, 2019
Meet: Peshastin/Dryden Elementary School
Start time: Grande: 8:00 am, Medio: 9:00 am
Length: Grande: 80 miles (34 gravel), 7300′ climbing
Medio: TBA approx 40 miles 3500′ climbing
Price: Grande: $75 Medio: $65
Note: Registration is limited and fills up FAST, be ready!
Warning! This ride is HARD and is intended for experienced cyclists. There will be over 8400′ of climbing (which is a lot!), much of which is on rough Forest Service roads. It will likely be HOT as well.
Time Limits: Grande riders must make it to the Entiat aid station (mile 38.9) by 12:30. If you fail to make the time cut off you are in over your head and we will provide a ride back. Should you choose to not accept a ride from our sag support YOU ARE ON YOU OWN. If you are concerned about making the time cut off be prepared to catch a ride back in our sweep or have your own support. Scoring closes at 5:00 pm.
Grande Course: Course is designed to give riders a glimpse of some very rugged, out of the way parts of the central Washington Cascades. In the spirit of rustic central Washington, much of the route is primitive Forest Service roads. There will be a water station at the junction of Mad River Road (approx mile 26.5), a full aid station with all the staples (pbj, fresh fruit, Clif, etc) at Entiat (approx mile 38.9) and one more water station near the top of Swakane (approx mile 57.7) as well as a few sag wagons for additional assistance. It is highly recommended to make use of each aid station -even if you may think you don’t need it.
Plan C Grande: This will be utilized in the event of heavy rain which makes Swakane impassible. When it’s bad, it’s sooo bad, (think peanut butter) you’ve got to trust us on this one! It is an Entiat out and back. Mileage, elevation, and gravel are all very similar to the original course. You will be amazed at how short that downhill felt in relation to how endless the climb is coming back.
Medio Course: Reminder, Medio does no stand for mediocre. This course is the real deal, big climb to get things going with an aid station at the top at approx mile 17. There will be some nice rolling gravel up on top then gradually get chunkier and faster as you descend. Sag will be limited as the road is tight and not easily accessible by vehicles.
What you get: You will receive a super cool limited Gran Fondo Leavenworth souvenir, a well thought out, and well marked course to ride, a well stocked aid station to refuel at mid ride, and a Bavarian meal to refuel post ride courtesy of Der Hinterhof. We will also post the times of all finishers for bragging rights.
Gear: With so many variable course conditions it is hard to say what’s right or wrong. Gravel, cx, or mtb, any one will work, but all will have a disadvantage at some point. I’m running Donnelly MSO 40’s (bigger the better at GFL) on my Raleigh Roker. Hydro disc brakes are also very nice to have! There will be LOTS of climbing so plan accordingly. There will be a few sag wagons and aid stations, but it’s good practice to be as self sufficient as possible on these types of rides. Weather is always something to consider too. It will likely be hot, but high in the mountains anything can happen. Bring on the adventure baby!