This Saturday, the Golden Gran Fondo kicks off at 8:00AM sharp! Departing right near Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in beautiful downtown Golden, CO, the Golden Gran Fondo will take racers on a historic circuit through the Rocky Mountains. In fact, the start of the event traces the route of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
The event offers 3 distances to choose from: Gran Route (81 mi), Medio Route (53mi), Piccolo Route (18 mi). Whether riding or racing the event – riding long or short – you’ll want to do your best. Given our support in both the Golden cycling community and the USA Pro Cycling challenge, we’ve got some proven tips to help you to not only finish the Golden Grand Fondo – but also, enjoying every pedal stroke of it. Following are our tips to master the Gran Fondo in style!
- Prepare your bike in advance. This is an obvious but overlooked first step. Give your road bike a once over. Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. As an example, your saddle may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving. Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible. Consider replacing worn bike parts and purchasing new cycling accessories you may need.
- Know the course and aid stations. Review the course. Identify aid station sand watch the weather. Primarily, you want to anticipate your needs as you tick off each mile. For instance, learn or write down on a card to put in your jersey the mile markers for the aid stations. You may also make note of the mileage between aid stations. You may end up passing through the earlier aid stations only to stop more frequently at the the aid stations later in the event. Having this knowledge is helpful mentally and helps you gauge your energy during the ride.
- Pack extra cycling accessories. Consider taking a rain jacket and extra chain lube in your jersey pocket or seat bag. Pack your nutritional and clothing needs to pair with the aid stations so that you ride with the items you need and can gather extra when needed. These necessary items can make all the difference in avoiding discomfort in poor weather and /or poor riding conditions.
- Don’t forget the basic essentials. Lay everything out the night before. Basic essentials include your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.
- Always a good rule of thumb to remember – don’t go out too fast. Pace yourself. It’s tempting to go out too hard when you are feeling fresh and the enthusiasm is high. You’re going to be in the saddle for a while; so be mindful of your pace, as well as, your ongoing nutrition needs. Eat and drink as needed and avoid consuming too much at the aid stations.
If you need a more comprensive list of prep items, check out our post, Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing.
The Golden Gran Fondo course is challenging, fun, and packed with breath taking views. Have a great ride!