FONDOS ARE LIKE PARTIES on wheels. The mass cycling events are about getting people—from elite racers to casual pedalers—together on their bikes in a supportive environment. Gran fondos have rapidly become what may be the hottest sporting phenomenon in the country—the largest ones draw thousands of riders and create a festive atmosphere along the route for cyclists and spectators alike.
Now local riders can join the fun on the Colavita/Fine Cooking Farm to Fork Fondo, with rides varying in length from 11 to over 90 miles through Orange County’s black dirt agricultural region.
The event, June 28 and 29, is organized by Tyler Wren, a retired pro cyclist, who organized last year’s Rensselaerville Cycling Festival—a sold-out event that attracted riders from 22 states and was named one of the best gran fondos in America by Men’s Journal. Wren says his goal for the Orange County event is to capitalize on the “great symbiosis between local farms and cyclists,“ adding, “We want to promote physical activity in a fun and supportive environment, create achievable challenges for people of all ages and abilities and to use our events to do social good.”
Up to 500 riders are expected to take part in the weekend activities, which begin with Saturday pizza-cooking classes, talks on local agriculture by Cornell Cooperative Extension, and a grand farm-to-fork dinner, featuring local products, at Cedar Lakes Estate, the host property and one of the sponsors. Sunday’s ride will include four distance options (three of which include timed segments) designed to accommodate all levels of cycling experience—from a 94-mile Gran Fondo (with a punishing ascent up Bellvale Mountain) to a light-and-easy, untimed 11-mile Ramble Ride through the area’s bucolic black-dirt farmland. Riders will be treated to local products at farm rest stops along the ride routes.
For more information, including schedules and entry fees, visit farmforkfondo.com.