For the second year in a row, the Orange County area has a Gran Fondo (view map below). This year’s OC Gran Fondo goes down October 8th, beginning along Alton Parkway in Irvine. Last year’s event, routes, and sign-ups (close to 800) were such a success that a follow-up year seemed inevitable. So far, according to an article in the Orange County Register, sign-ups have already tripled last year’s total. OC Fondo organizer Cameron Jackson has put together another round of creative loops including a 10 mile Family course, 29 mile, 64 mile, and 102 mile options.
If you ride a lot in Orange County, the 64 and 102 mile routes will take you along familiar roads and bike paths, including the Santa Ana River Trail up to Angel Stadium and through Santiago Canyon. Riders will receive a timing chip at the entrance to Santiago Canyon to time the roll through to Cooks Corner. It’s custom in Gran Fondos to time a hill climb and my only thought for this route is that because the Canyon isn’t a true climb (more of a rolling course) I wonder if riders will form groups to set up a teammate and then share the spoils. While I’m guessing this is against the rules, I can think of a few friends in the area that have probably already considered this tactic!
I’ve also heard that Irvine Police will escort the mass start down Alton Parkway and provide rolling road closures – a far cry from the many times Irvine Police have pulled over Coffee Crew and Food Park group rides to issue tickets for riding outside the bike lane (among other infractions). Kudos to Cameron Jackson for great organization and pursuing positive public relations on behalf of cyclists.
Riders in the 64 and 102 mile routes will receive this cool looking jersey:
- You can read more in the Orange County Register HERE.
- You can register for the OC Gran Fondo, view all routes, and find more information by clicking ocgranfondo.com.
- You can Like the OC Gran Fondo on Facebook HERE.