Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ephrata Gran Fondo March 11: new 50 mile option

That time of year is fast arriving again - the Ephrata Gran Fondo is 3/11/2018. Ok, so this is not a true Gran Fondo according to what I read by a stickler over at Red Kite Prayer, but who the heck cares about that. This is an Eastern Washington style Fondo with mixed surfaces, a fair amount of climbing, and the potential for crazy weather. There’s a meal afterwards, so that qualifies in my book. I don’t think Padraig is going to show up and complain about the format, but that’d be alright if he did.

This year Jake and the crew at Viscious Cycles added a 50 mile route in addition to the traditional 80 miler. The GFE 50 doesn’t include my favorite downhill ride on the GFE 80 - Baird Springs Road - but includes all of Overen Road, which I’ve only ridden part last year when the course had to be altered due to road closures. I’m tempted by the 50 miler but it starts at 10:00am instead of the 9:00 start for the 80. Might as well just go for the regular course, heck, I might even be in better shape for it than last year.  Been getting some workouts in at Lilac City Fit Body Boot Camp but I’m afraid I’ll still be heavier than last year. Hoping I’m not slower!

I’m tempted to order a pair of the new slick Panaracer GravelKing 700 x 38 tubeless tires I noticed over at Universal Cycles, but think I’ll stick with the Kenda Flintridges for the ride. Not the smoothest rolling tires, but they get the job done and they’re not close to wearing out yet. Much longer lasting than the Clement X’Plor MSO that came with my Vaya. (Also, interested in the Clement/Donnelly Strada Ush 700 x 38 if they ever show up in the wild).

Registration opens February 1 at BikeReg, but the reg page is up now which requires a password which I’m not privy to.

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