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  1. #1
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    has anyone ridden levi's gran fondo?

    i just signed up for 2018

  2. #2
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    I am registered too. Never done it.

  3. #3
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    I'm waiting for Lance's gran fondo.....If you are going to ride with a doper, you might as well ride with the all time best.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
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    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    I'm waiting for Lance's gran fondo.....If you are going to ride with a doper, you might as well ride with the all time best.
    thanks that's helpful

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    I'm waiting for Lance's gran fondo.....If you are going to ride with a doper, you might as well ride with the all time best.
    At Lance's Gran Fondo, all the rest stops are at pharmacies

  6. #6
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    One time I rode in Levi's.

  7. #7
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    i should expand the question. how did you like the route for those that rode

  8. #8
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    skipped last 2 years.. did the previous 3... getting caught behind the stupid accidents before the H. Brigde was getting old. Besides road conditions are ****. Been doing Jensie's instead which is around the same time.
    PO is a liberal echo chamber.

  9. #9
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    I have not ridden Levi's ride, but I have ridden King Ridge Road and the one headed along the ridge overlooking the coast down towards Jenner in a loop ride out of Sebastopol. It's a beautiful ride with a couple of brutal climbs. The road conditions aren't great, but if you aren't trying to impress folks with how fast you can make the ride and keep some room between you and other riders the road conditions aren't that bad. If you're drafting in a group who you don't know or trust, it could be sketchy.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  10. #10
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    Blows your hair back.

  11. #11
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    Thanks. Maybe Velocipedesalon.com is a a better forum for this type of question

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    At Lance's Gran Fondo, all the rest stops are at pharmacies
    It's only Monday morning and we've already got the best post of the week.
    Too old to ride plastic

  13. #13
    Is it the future yet?
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    I rode it last year.

    A little about me. I'm not a racer. I'm not a climber. I'm not fast. I ride with the 20-22 group in the club in the summer months.
    I crashed pretty good the weekend before. Was really sore with very deep and bad road rash.
    Didn't go in with much training.
    I didn't set any expectations as far as what route I was going to do. I had 3 friends with me.

    It's tough and the roads were garbage. I saw guys get out of the saddle only to have their wheels spin out on gravel and pot holes and almost go down. These were decent riders too.
    At the start people were cooking the corners with speed, and even though it was a low attendance year, there was a lot of crowding the first 15 or so miles. I saw about 4 crashes that involved blood in those first 15.
    The bummer is that you have to chose to do the Grand at mile 30 something. It's like 30 or 100, if you don't do the 66 or whatever it was. Then the climbing begins.

    After Kings Ridge there are some pretty steep and tight corner descents. They have several signs to slow down, but a lot of riders didn't pay attention.
    We came around one tight corner where there was a cattle guard crossing in the apex of the turn and there was a young man lying in a not so natural position in the ditch.
    My buddy and I got off our bikes and ran up the hill and yelled "rider down" and for riders to slow. My other friend is in the medical field and stayed with the young man who was unconscious. Course marshals were soon there. They are very good by the way, and all over the place the first 50 or so miles. When we got to the next rest stop 20min later, we watched Life Flight fly in.
    Last I heard was that he would recover.
    On the Howser descent we were "escorted" down in groups because of the steep and bad conditions of the road, and the bridge being a gravel mud pot hole mess.

    I ended up doing the Grand Fondo route. I put a 32 on the back and just took it slow and easy. I was surprised I made it considering crashing the week before, but I had 3 great friends and we all worked together.

    Would I do it again?
    NO.

    Too expensive. Levi did send out a newsletter the next week saying they were gonna reduce the price by 50%. They haven't.
    The roads were awful. I am not a climber and it was a lot of effort to get over those hills. I didn't walk, but I had to paper boy the last major climb. After all that work only to get shafted on the descents because the roads were so full of pot holes and dips, I was constantly on the brakes. There was one good descent to the ocean. That was beautiful and you didn't have to worry about the road. Just the cars.
    The rest stops were excellent.
    The scenery is beautiful.
    Did I mention that the roads were bad?
    We obviously didn't set any records, but we weren't last. When we crossed the finish line. Most of the "festivities" were over. My wife did the Piccolo, the 35, and when she came across they called out her number, people cheered, etc. When we "100's" crossed...crickets. Yeah I know, who cares about that, right?

    If your a racer type and you like to climb and pot holes and crap roads don't bother you. Do it. It's a nice feather in the hat. It's for a great cause and Levi is a nice guy.

    Incidentally, a week and a half later the CA wildfires came through and devastated that area. Levi's house burnt down, the warehouse where they keep all the event stuff, burnt. The town we stayed in Windsor, evacuated.
    Last edited by maximum7; 03-23-2018 at 03:39 PM.

  14. #14
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    It's a great experience, but I'm not sure I need to do it again. Maybe in a couple/few years. The road conditions vary. The course is challenging, but it's an amazing ride. I only did the standard Gran Fondo, but now there are several routes. I think a lot of people bite off more than they can chew with this one, as I saw many walking their bikes up a couple of the big climbs. If you have the opportunity, I do recommend riding parts of the route (especially the big climbs) before doing the whole shebang, just so you know what to expect.

    It's a huge production. Some folks were there to have fun, and some seemed to take themselves a little too seriously. I just did my thing and had a good time. I'm mainly sticking to charity rides now (ALS/Ataxia/GCC). Might do Marin. It's so low key. The exact opposite of LGF. Gold Country Challenge is a good one too. Very tough ride, but super low key as well.

    Have fun!
    Pop a wheelie!

    Icicle Bay a.k.a. Beetlebaum - Black Cat Disc Roadie
    Tang (CX) - 198? Curtlo Cyclocross (she's heavy, but she's mine)

  15. #15
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    Some useful responses, some not. Didn't know about the pot-holes. Still want to do it Doesn't sound like it will be as much of a challenge as some of the European sportives, not that I'll be anywhere near the front.

  16. #16
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    great event. had a blast. but i brought the wrong bike. 23 mm tires with mid-compact and 11-28 rear cassette was totally the wrong gear. with the road quality and frequent cattle guards 28 mm tires would have worked better as well as a wider rear cassette. i should have copied my french alp strategy and brought an 11-32. views were to die for and the weather was so welcome from the now disappearing new york summer.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    great event. had a blast. but i brought the wrong bike. 23 mm tires with mid-compact and 11-28 rear cassette was totally the wrong gear. with the road quality and frequent cattle guards 28 mm tires would have worked better as well as a wider rear cassette. i should have copied my french alp strategy and brought an 11-32. views were to die for and the weather was so welcome from the now disappearing new york summer.
    Glad you enjoyed! Will you do it again?
    Pop a wheelie!

    Icicle Bay a.k.a. Beetlebaum - Black Cat Disc Roadie
    Tang (CX) - 198? Curtlo Cyclocross (she's heavy, but she's mine)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreSF View Post
    Glad you enjoyed! Will you do it again?
    perhaps at some point. I also enjoyed doing the marmotte. I think I'd rather try something new rather than relive a prior ride I enjoyed. there are so many rides and locales why restrict oneself?

  19. #19
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    $168 to ride 100 miles. That's $1.68 per mile. And if you're not local and have to drive there and/or rent a room, cost can easily double. Man, what's the attraction to these fondos? Don't tell me it's because you care about charity.

  20. #20
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    People that live in this area of the gran fondue generally hate cyclists, trust me.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    People that live in this area of the gran fondue generally hate cyclists, trust me.
    I have no evidence, but generally I think Socal and Norcal residents in upscale neighborhoods tolerate cyclists pretty good. I have not seen much evidence of "us versus them" mentality between cyclists and drivers in both Norcal and Socal. Compared to other boonie places around the country where cycling means riding on what seems like a freakin' highway with a narrow shoulder, ugh I'll take Cali anyday.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I have no evidence, but generally I think Socal and Norcal residents in upscale neighborhoods tolerate cyclists pretty good. I have not seen much evidence of "us versus them" mentality between cyclists and drivers in both Norcal and Socal. Compared to other boonie places around the country where cycling means riding on what seems like a freakin' highway with a narrow shoulder, ugh I'll take Cali anyday.
    This ride is not in neighborhoods but mostly out on little to no shoulder country roads.

    I've cycled the area lots.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I have no evidence, but generally I think Socal and Norcal residents in upscale neighborhoods tolerate cyclists pretty good. I have not seen much evidence of "us versus them" mentality between cyclists and drivers in both Norcal and Socal. Compared to other boonie places around the country where cycling means riding on what seems like a freakin' highway with a narrow shoulder, ugh I'll take Cali anyday.
    the locals enjoy the race. many take part. i noticed a lot of home town pride in these events. the locals are also very proud of their new train. they see the event as bringing in tourism. this is sonoma county and they understand tourists drive the economy.

  24. #24
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    i saw good value. i was not familiar with the roads. i got a great route, sag support and food. the fondo in ny charges way more. i understand the sentiment though. i no longer do the local fondo in ny since i ride those roads for free all year long. careful though you sound a bit like a curmudgeon with that attitude. i saw many locals partaking in the event and really getting into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    $168 to ride 100 miles. That's $1.68 per mile. And if you're not local and have to drive there and/or rent a room, cost can easily double. Man, what's the attraction to these fondos? Don't tell me it's because you care about charity.

  25. #25
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    I am a local here and have never ridden LGF mainly because I ride all these roads any day I want without the mass of other riders which is most likely the main reason I have stayed away. I have had the pleasure of riding with locals Levi and Peter Stetina in other smaller organized rides. A good amount of the roads have been re-paved in the last year so conditions are looking up but Coleman Valley (I rode yesterday) and a few others still could use some work for sure. Last month I did ride one of Bike Monkeys other rides https://www.sierraprospect.com/ and it was epic! Even got to pull for Pete for a couple miles on the first climb (like he needs the help) and can't wait to do that ride again next year. We do have another great ride coming up here in my home town of Windsor https://www.saganfondo.com/ if anyone is interested, I am not associated with Bike Monkey just helping get the word out, the Sagan ride is north of here in Windsor with great road conditions with the exception of the geyser loop on the downhill side of Geysers (it's rough) but doable. FWIW Peter Sagan came here and did a charity ride with 400 of us lucky riders early last November organized by BM and it was Epic!

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