Who can ride a Gran Fondo? Honestly, my one word answer to that is anybody. But I suppose I should add a few more words – anybody that has the desire. That’s simply it. Another question might be; who can ride a Gran Fondo and have the best chance at success and enjoyment? This is where preparation and training comes into it.
I would honestly say that at this point in 2013, over 6 months from the inaugural GranFondo Niagara Falls, anyone who has the desire (and a mechanically sound bike!) could be ready to ride 125 km in September. Something very important about a GranFondo is that it is all about personal challenge. For some, the personal challenge may be to finish first or beat a set time, while many will want to simply ride their longest ever distance. In a recent twitter conversation I had with @GranFondoNY (organizers of a huge Gran Fondo in New York City in May), they drew a great comparison between a marathon and a Gran Fondo. In a marathon there are elites trying to win, runners trying to set a new personal best time, and people new to distance running just trying to conquer the 42.2 kilometres in whatever time it takes. A Gran Fondo is just like this, only on bikes.
Everyone who has that desire to ride 125 km on Sept. 14, 2013 fits somewhere in that spectrum of personal challenges. Set a goal and work towards it – if 125 km is a normal ride for you, try to finish first or to beat a certain time. If 10km is a normal ride for you, set out to increase this distance every week and build up to 125 km over the next six months. Use whatever motivation you have to strive for your goal and think about how great it will feel to achieve it on the finish line at Niagara Falls. I would bet that feeling of accomplishment will be worth it for whatever effort is required between now and then, so sign up and start training!
I have been selected to represent GranFondo Canada’s inaugural GranFondo Niagara Falls in 2013 as a blog ambassador. I will be posting a series of entries like this one leading up to the event, and wrap it up after participating in the ride in September.