9 May 2013
This year, friends and family will be able to track the progress of the GFNY participants on the course via text message or social media. It’s a cool feature that’s free and open to anyone. All you need to do is sign up HERE.
Our crew started prepping the course. That includes filling potholes, spray painting course directions as well as putting up banners and signs. If you see them, shout “GFNY!”
–Lidia and Uli
3 May 2013
C-group rode to Bear Mountain, the featured climb of GFNY last Sunday on our nearly last training ride. It was an 80+ mile day for the group, perfect weather, over 5,000 feet of climbing and a lot of people. I mean A LOT of people. Two weeks ago, co-leader Omar and I had our work cut out for us with 37 people on the ride and this week was more. More than 50 people. 52 as we were leaving Strictly Bikes in Fort Lee and believe me, that is a loooooong train that can be difficult to keep together. Thankfully Vito was back this week and the three of us managed to keep the group together. Everyone made it to the top of Perkins Memorial at Bear Mountain, as a group. I have to say, it was pretty awesome.
As I was relaying the events of the day, it struck me (again…) what an amazing group of people I have had the privilege of getting to know this year. Many started with us in December, some later, but all have been determined to better their skills, work hard and ride smart. There are been a couple who have really stood out for their courage and perseverance. I could not be more honored to have been even a small part of their development as cyclists. With only two training rides left, I will admit I’m already feeling a little wistful (although grateful for the opportunity to sleep in a little on a Sunday) about the rides ending. Just as last year, we become a little cycling family, taking care of each other on the road.
They are all ready for May 19, without a doubt.
29 April 2013
I just got the first of the summer tan!
Finally, some good weather on the weekend. Training was fantastic, being that the weather was great, the numbers were large at Gruppo Sportivo Gran Fondo New York training. 100 or so joined us for our adventure to Bear Mountain.
You could tell the excitement is building intensely as we get closer to GFNY 2013. The miles are being logged and what I think is impressive is the dramatic difference in skill sets, even just from the start of the year. People have clearly been focusing on their handling skills, on their pack riding and their spatial awareness. Now if only we could all learn not to yell “HOLE”.
Bring on the penultimate training this Sunday!
23 April 2013
What can you expect from GFNY in the remaining four weeks until the Big Day?
NYC Bike Expo is up at running at www.nycbikeexpo.com. We have returning exhibitors as well as new ones. Register now for free to receive the latest news and offers. This Wednesday will already be our second newsblast. Not to be missed.
On May 1, our GFNY Magazine will go live. It has become so much more than just the event’s logistics guide. We’re particularly proud to feature an article by the famous exercise science professor Tim Noakes about hydration. His breakthrough theory: drink to thirst. We add to that contributions from our media partners Bicisport (“TJ Van Gaarderen: the new American hope”), UK’s Cyclist Magazine (“Recovery”) and GS GFNY’s Heidi Broecking (“Gluteus Maximus”). Meanwhile Lidia and I will talk about “How To Ride A Gran Fondo”, “Antidoping”, “Gran Fondo Roma” and “Gran Fondo La Fausto Coppi”. Creating GFNY Magazine has been so much fun that we again entertained the thought to work on a monthly issue. Our new designer Blair Stelle found the perfect balance of continuing Idil’s style whilst implementing her own.
On May 8, NYC Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn will proclaim May 19 as GFNY day. We certainly look forward to that as much as to the press conference we are invited to hold May 17 at the Italian Consulate on Park Avenue. As always with GFNY, it will be an international affair: we have journalists attending from Japan, the UK, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Germany alongside the US cycling media and NYC based general media.
Last but not least: if you are in the market for a new saddle, consider the official GFNY 2013 saddle “Mantra” by Selle San Marco. Now available for purchase in our shop.
–Lidia and Uli
20 April 2013
Getting closer! We have little over a month until Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York 2013 and it’s starting to tell, the atmosphere is building! Spring cycling is well underway, Central Park is busier than ever and the 9W cycle route is packed with people!
Some cyclists are training for their session, some, just because weather is nice, but it seems that nearly everyone I met on the road is training for GFNY. Their bottle cages carry Elite GFNY bottles; many are sporting the unmistakable black & green Gran Fondo NY jersey of last year and each one of these cyclists I meet are in good spirits and seem ready to take on New York.
This weekend’s Gruppo Sportivo Gran Fondo New York training ride will take us 80 miles through most of the course, up Colle Andrea Pinarello (Gate Hill Rd) and Colle Formaggio (Cheesecote). I am really looking for to Sunday and riding with everyone as we edge our miles toward the race on May 19th. Next weekend we take on Montagna dell’Orso (Bear mountain).
18 April 2013
T-30. BE READY!
11 April 2013
We’ve teamed up with PowerBar and Bicycling Magazine to present you the 2013 Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York course in a video. New this year: all athletes will be timed from the start on GWB until Mile 100 in Fort Lee. The last five miles from there to the finish are neutralized (not timed). There are no other timed sections on the course.
You can find the exact route, improvements, gpx file and cue sheet at granfondony.com/course.
–Lidia and Uli
8 April 2013
We’re proud to present the Official Poster of the 3rd annual international Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York. Every participant receives a print copy. It will also be available in the GFNY shop soon.
The design is by Alex Ostroy who is well known in the NYC cycling scene for his talent in kit design, a very difficult task given that it has to look good on the bike as well as on the podium. He is also one of the lead guys behind the NYC based and cycling world famous NYVelocity.com. Thank you Alex!
–Lidia and Uli
6 April 2013
You can tell it’s getting closer to GFNY when the general media is picking it up. Next week is going to be a big week for our participants: we’ll announce the course with a cool video (shhh, the course already here).
Meanwhile, the official poster has leaked two days early in social media. One guy called it “sick man cave fodder”. Don’t be afraid, it’s totally safe for work as well. Check our Facebook Monday to see it unveiled.
With spring finally hitting the Northeast in full speed, our group rides are mushrooming. In our 2013 series “In Training For”, GFNY blogger Hayden shows how he gets ready to take on New York. Enough of just talking about upcoming revelations, here is one: check out his view on the GS GFNY group rides in the video below!
–Lidia and Uli
31 March 2013
Want to know what an Italian Gran Fondo looks like from the inside? Watch this video. Happy Easter!
–Lidia and Uli
25 March 2013
This weekend saw the start of my 2013 racing session. The spring classics are well underway on the Pro circuit; with Thomas Voelker already (and again) “enjoying” a long and painful solo break in the Dwars door Vlaanderen only to lose it, literally on the line.
This means, the New York Spring series and the CRCA season are also into their early races in NYC. The Grant’s Tomb criterium on March 9th is the signal of this. I always miss the first few races of the year, mostly because I don’t like crits or park racing that much (I prefer long road races with plenty of climbing), but also because it needs to fit into my training schedule. My focus this year (as last) is three key races with Gran Fondo New York being my lead A race.
Park racing really isn’t for everyone, but for me, it helps with my training and provides me with practice for my bigger races. Practice like pack riding, drafting, eating on the go and maybe (dare I say it) even attacking – all skills that I need for the GFNY and my other A races of the year.
So my results this weekend weren’t breathtaking and I’m fine with that because of the value the time in the saddle has added to my season and my prep for GFNY.
19 March 2013
Lots has been happening on our end of things. Most of it is very political and administrative so we spare you the details. Let’s rather focus on today’s arrival of the full GFNY spring/summer collection in our shop at granfondony.com/shop. Stock is limited so if you want anything in particular, get it now.
– Lidia and Uli
13 March 2013
With only days (sure 60 or so of them, but still, they are dwindling), until GFNY 2013, the serious training has begun. Hopefully for us all, the snow and the indoor trainer days are now behind us.
Just in case, and as you may know, I took it upon myself to ensure my build training (and my 30th birthday) kicked off with a real bang. I have just spent the last week in the Santa Monica Mountains training with a climbing cycling camp. The camp itself was great, but the climbing and cycling really took the cake.
The Santa Monica Mountains seem to have it all, from sharp 4 mile climbs that top out at 19% through to long arduous 10 mile climbs that average 7% and (enjoyably) seem to go on forever, of course if you need a break (seriously?!?) from climbing, you can blast along the Pacific Coast Highway into the sunset.
What a beautiful way to spend my birthday and to get my climbing legs ready for the season. I loved all of the 345.9miles, 21hr 56m on the bike and 40,332ft of climbing last week, but what I loved most, was I still made it back in time to join the Gruppo Sportivo GFNY training ride on my birthday. Thanks for the birthday with Gran Fondo New York athletes.
Hope to see you all and more of you next week too!
7 March 2013
After hitting my wits end with the winter in New York and to celebrate a rather large (don’t ask which one) birthday, I decided to enrol in a cycling camp in California.
BUT, we have just been told that it has just been changed to 100 miles and 11,000ft. That is quite the difference…..and I’m quietly excited. I may feel differently in about two hours time though.
My legs feel good, as does my soul, it’s even better to know that these miles and feet are going to serve me well come May 19th for Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York and it sure beats more time on the trainer!
1 March 2013
Yet once again SKY SPORTS ITALY invited us to their live studios to talk all things GFNY.
26 February 2013
Okay, enough moaning and enough complaining! Yes, it’s been a tough winter, we have all relied heavily on the trainer and the gym, much more than any of us would like. But that ‘s what this is all about. You HAVE to train, no matter what. Wherever, whenever!
Some people are lucky enough to live in, or at least escape to, better cycling appropriate climates. Lidia and Uli often escape to Italy, other friends are presently in Majorca, where is your escape? Or do you just grin and bear it?
This year is my first escape to train in warmer weather. I am off this weekend, heading to the Santa Monica Mountains. And I am very excited!!
My Pinarello is packed; my summer Biemme GFNY kits are ready and…did I mention I am very excited? I have a six-day schedule to cover nearly 400 miles and 40,000ft of climbing! Brilliant! Don’t you love, that this (see below) excites us! (Well certainly me!)
21 February 2013
The 2011/12 winter was downright tropical compared to this one. We have all been quite unlucky this season so far. But that hasn’t stopped me. I wrote my training schedule out at the start of the year and I am sticking to it!
Lot’s of people tell me how hard it is to get up and get on the trainer and how hard it is to get their heart rate and their miles up on the trainer. And I agree, as I am sure you all will too. But a great lesson I learnt from Albert Gray’s The Common Denominator of Success is that successful people do the things that failures don’t like to do.
That doesn’t mean successful people like getting up and getting on the trainer, or heading outdoors in 30 degree weather, or fitting resistance training into their busy schedules…..but they sure as hell do it.
16 February 2013
While we still have to deal with ice and snow, 3,300 Italians started their Gran Fondo season in Laigueglia with beautiful sunshine at the Riviera. GF Laigueglia is one of my absolute highlights on the Gran Fondo calendar. While the course is nice and the setting beautiful, it’s the excitement that lies in every beginning that makes this day so magic. Everybody proudly shows off the new team kits and all the faces we grew a little tired of last fall, we’re so happy to see again. I was fortunate to race (I should say “attend”) Laigueglia twice. A third time my bike got stolen over night and I had to return home without bike and magic. But every year I miss out on it, I swear to not let that happen again. This was one of those. Next year we’ll be back.
Unfortunately, GFNY still makes the news for something we all would like to disappear: doping. In 2012, GFNY was the first event ever to test amateur athletes out of competition. While those tests came back negative, it was two in competition probes that were positive for EPO. It’s a sad state of affairs but it also means we’re doing something right. As a direct consequence of our testing, several organizations have stepped up from merely considering necessary steps to actually taking them. In particular, USA Cycling is working with USADA to get a program off the ground. Together, we’ll do our utmost to make sure that these beautiful 2013 GFNY Champions Jerseys will end up on deserving winners. Aren’t they awesome?
– Lidia and Uli
9 February 2013
Surely you have noticed the explosion of Gran Fondos in North America (granfondoguide.com). It’s great to see that our sport does well at the amateur level despite all the problems surfacing in the pro ranks. We love pro cycling but there’s one thing for sure: amateur cycling can exist without the pros but the pros can’t exist without a large base of amateurs. I’m glad to see that is getting recognized more and more. Last week, Paolo Bettini said that racing the World Cup in Hamburg was particularly exciting because before the race you had the 18,000 Velothon participants in the morning. “Wouldn’t it be great to have that in Italy as well?”
Hold your breath Paolo, GFNY partner Granfondo Campagnolo Roma is working on bringing back the Giro di Lazio pro race. And speaking of Rome: Granfondo and Marathon created the “Duathlon of the Gladiators”, a combination of both events, the marathon in the spring and Granfondo in the fall. This not only provides a unique challenge but also serves the many cyclists and runners who are both, cyclists and runners. Run through the dark of winter to get ready for a spring marathon. After that, there’s plenty time to carry that shape into cyling for a fall highlight.
What all that has to do with GFNY? We’re working on putting on a pro race on the same day as GFNY. And the idea of a combination with NYC Marathon is something we started entertaining last year. “The Skyscraper Duathlon”. Let’s get NYRR excited about the idea.
And finally on a completely different note: a warm welcome to our first Japanese Tour Operator, Purpose Japan!
– Lidia and Uli
2 February 2013
February’s entry fee increase lead to record breaking entries. We’re well beyond 2012 entry status at the same time despite only offering the Gran Fondo distance. If you want to join GFNY, we highly recommend to register before the end of the month. We have several ad campaigns running right now and also soon receive entry numbers from our 20 Tour Operators. Once, we’re full, we’re full.
It was a tough but logistically necessary decision to leave out the Medio Fondo. While we enjoyed having beginners getting their Gran Fondo taste, GFNY is also supposed to be a true challenge for which riders need to be well prepared. And the satisfaction increases with the challenge. With 7,000 Gran Fondo riders expected, GFNY has become the largest Gran Fondo in the world. Most other large events have Medio, Corto, Piccolo and whatnot distances.
Bicisport was in NYC just two weeks ago to catch what GFNY is all about. The 16 page result is not only available in print in Italian’s “CT” but also in English on iPad. Dock onto iTunes and search for “Bicisport”. It’s a fantastic magazine well beyond a great story on GFNY.
Our last two weekly newsletters contained a section called “Questions You SHOULD Frequently Ask”. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “subscribe” if you want to receive our news in your inbox.
– Lidia and Uli
28 January 2013
Today I’ll just give you an excerpt from our press release (I’ll leave out what you know about GFNY anyway):
+++ Gran Fondo New York signs a multi-year title sponsorship contract with Campagnolo +++
The event is now officially called Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York, which signifies the strong partnership between the iconic bicycle components and wheel company and the iconic cycling event.
Campagnolo’s founder, Tullio Campagnolo, is said to have invented the quick release while racing in the cold Alps during the Tour de France in the 1920s. Back then, riders had to flip their rear wheel to use the smaller gear on the opposite side of the wheel. Tullio’s hands though were too cold to open the nuts so he had to ride the climb in the big gear. Coming home after the race, he invented the quick release to avoid such mishaps in the future. Since that pivotal day, Campagnolo has been at the forefront of cycling innovation.
“Like no other company in cycling, Campagnolo combines rich heritage with modern technology such as the 11-speed electronic shifting EPS”, says Gran Fondo New York co-founder Uli Fluhme. “I’m proud to have Campagnolo as a partner for Gran Fondo New York because I personally have been using nothing but Campagnolo components for over a decade. And like no other company, Campagnolo is committed to true, Italian Gran Fondo cycling where elite amateurs and recreational riders ride on the same course at the same time to do their best, whether that means competing for the win or finishing a challenging 110 mile course within the 10 hour cut-off time. At Gran Fondo New York we’re glad to provide Campagnolo exposure to our participants from over 70 countries in general and US riders in particular.”
Lorenzo Taxis, marketing and communications director for Campagnolo, states, “The prestige of an event in New York City is in line with the prestige that Campagnolo represents and the quality of the event is emblematic of the products that we produce. It is only fitting that Campagnolo, a company that has and continues to produce timeless cycling components and wheels for athletes the world over, associates its name with a globally important city such as New York and the City’s premier cycling event.”
Last year, Campagnolo became title sponsor of Gran Fondo New York’s partner event, Granfondo Roma, held this year on October 13. Both events showcase the future of the sport of cycling where riders and their families can combine a trip to the world’s greatest cities with riding and competing on their bikes. Both events raise money for Operation Smile, the international children’s medical charity, proving that fundraising and goodwill have no borders.
Gran Fondo New York co-founder Lidia Fluhme said: “Having Campagnolo as title sponsor allows us to further improve the GFNY experience for each and every rider at GFNY. Being racers ourselves that has been and will always remain our focus. Please welcome ‘Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York’!”
– Lidia and Uli
26 January 2013
It’s been freezing cold in the Northeast which led to the cancellation of our Sunday group ride. But the days are getting longer and that means GFNY keeps coming closer. We’ve started the production of our video series for INSIDE GFNY. The videos will show what it takes for GS GFNY member Hayden to get ready for the big day. I’m sure many of you get inspiration from that to be ready to take on New York.
Lidia and I have been working hard “in the background” with the authorities on some new routes that will improve the overall experience. Those changes might also enable us to hold a pro race on the same course, starting just ahead of GFNY. That’s something we always wanted because we love pro cycling (yes, despite all) and pro cycling needs our support now more than ever. Two key pro races in the Northeast have already been cancelled which leaves a painful gap. But in every end lies a new beginning: Gran Premio New York is ready to emerge. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please let us know at email@example.com.
Our registration service provider Eventbrite produced a clip on why GFNY uses their platform. Its ease of use was a big plus for us because as athletes ourselves we can do without spending more time than necessary when registering for events. But there’s much more to the platform from the eyes of the organizer. Check out the video here and find out why Eventbrite could be a solution for your events, no matter how small you think they are.
– Lidia and Uli
21 January 2013
Daniele of Bicisport/CT Italy spent three days with us in NYC to capture the course and the people of GFNY. We’re proud to be the 20 page cover story in the world’s largest Gran Fondo magazine “CT”. An English version of the article will find its way into “Bicisport English Edition”. You can download it here.
In our this week’s newsletter we will be focussing on “Questions You Should Frequently Ask”. I think they are worth mentioning here as well.
What’s the difference between a bike tour and Gran Fondo New York?
While bike tours are held in open traffic, GFNY provides closed roads or moderated traffic with 150 police officers along the route who provide the cyclists the right of way. That way, every athlete is able to do his/her best, whether that means competing for the win or beating the the cut-off time.
What are the major costs of the event?
Closing roads and paying for police costs GFNY upwards of $500,000. That explains the entry fee compared to Gran Fondos in Italy where staging a GF is free. But a Gran Fondo without closed roads and moderated traffic is not a Gran Fondo, no matter what it’s called.
What is an Italian Gran Fondo like?
An Italian bike racer who did not make it to the pro ranks at age 25, turns to Gran Fondo racing. The concept of masters racing is unknown in Italy because Gran Fondos provide racing on exciting and challenging courses. The level of racing at the front is equal to a Pro/1/2 field in North America.
So all Italians are hardcore racers?
No, not at all. There may be a few hundred hardcore racers but there are thousands of riders like you and me who love the sport and do their best to get ready during the little spare time they have in their busy lives. That doesn’t stop anyone of setting high goals which may well be to simply finish a difficult course like GFNY.
– Lidia and Uli
13 January 2013
Whenever we get a chance to be in Italy, we’re naturally out on our bikes as often as possible. This time around, we might not have been able to ride as much as we wanted but it was for meeting great people: an easy trade. Lidia and I love about GFNY that we get to meet so many interesting people that are passionate about cycling. I’m still first and foremost a fan of the sport so having a pizza with former Giro boss Angelo Zomegnan and chatting all things Gran Fondo is always a great honor.
On March 2 Florence will celebrate its first annual Gran Fondo. Organizer Alessandro Cipriani is a young and dynamic guy who can take on anyone in a bike race, on or off the road. Jump on a plane and join GF Firenze if you can. Florence holds this year’s World Champs in September and the city is already very excited.
Meanwhile, Nicolangelo Zoppo organizes the Gran Fondos “Centro d’Italia”. They’re not the biggest races around because cycling is a little less popular in the center of Italy but he oversees a full season of twelve events in beautiful locations (fierce racing guaranteed). And “not the biggest” in Italy means bigger than most everything in the US. Nicolango is excited to work with GFNY and plans on putting up GS GFNY Italia. How cool is that?
It’s starting to become a January ritual for us to present the new GFNY jersey on SKY Sports 24. We’re endlessly grateful to Giovanni Bruno of Sky for giving us 10 minutes live on air (with multiple repeats for a full day).
And last time we left Italy, we were asked for autographs at Milan Malpensa airport by two cycling fans. If anything, that’s a true testament for the Italians love for Gran Fondo cycling where simple bike race organizers get TV time and are D level celebrities.
– Lidia and Uli
10 January 2013
Happy New Year everyone! Back to blogging after a holiday hiatus…so where are we all in our training? I’m guessing we’re still working off the two weeks of holiday food, drink and not-so-nice weather. In my life there have been a bunch of trainer rides, my husband and I turned our living room into an indoor cycling center. We rode so much that at one point, my 16-year-old was concerned when he DIDN’T the humming noises and floor vibrations coming from the trainers. GS-GFNY took the weekend before New Year’s off and we were back on the bikes this past Sunday for our first group ride of 2013! It was a terrific showing despite chilly temperatures and the prediction of a chance of snow flurries. No snow, and it turned out to be a spectacular and sunny winter day.
It started out a little gray and chilly, especially for those of us who forgot their spanky new Biemme booties warming on the radiator at home…ahem. Good news is that person happens to live around the block from Gypsy Donut in Nyack where her group was making a quick coffee stop, so she was able to run home and grab said booties from a somewhat groggy, confused and very surprised sixteen year old. “Wow mom! THAT was fast.” The return trip was much warmer. The A-group had a quick ride to The Runcible Spoon with Wade, Paul and I rode to Nyack with the B’s and then split into two groups for the return. Omar and Vito led C-group on a stellar round trip to Gypsy in Piermont.
It looks like winter is with us in earnest, so please remember to come to rides prepared: wind proof gloves, wicking layers, food and liquids–especially liquids, we tend to drink less when riding in winter, we don’t visibly sweat, we forget to drink–warmers for hands and feet, booties (duh.), hats and whatever gear keeps you warm and dry. You can always take a layer off, once you get cold…you stay cold. Ride routes will change a little next week so keep an eye out on the GS-GFNY facebook page Friday. Off to do some yoga for some strengthening and stretching. Looking forward to seeing you all next week!
8 January 2013
Summer in the middle of winter
I have been remiss, but read on and you will understand.
On Dec 22nd, with my Dogma 2 very securely and overprotectively packed in my bike bag, I left the rapidly cooling New York City and endured what eventuated to a 40 hour door to door trip to my home town. Napier, New Zealand.
After greeting my folks, I promptly took to constructing my bike and subsequently hit the road. My legs needed a good stretch. The day was glorious, 75°F with a light cooling breeze off the ocean. My legs and my bike took me routes I used to ride as a kid, I climbed up hills I would never have considered possible, I gazed at the land as though it was all new and enjoyed my bike through the gorgeous Hawkes Bay country and oceanside.
I put in a casual 40 miles that felt like 4, I climbed 2500ft and it felt like a flat ride, I stretched my legs as they had demanded and whilst I was in complete euphoria I still had one thing on my mind. The 2013 season…this was a cracking way to start it.
More tales of GFNY training in NZ to come.
2 January 2013
Gran Fondo New Year everyone! We tried to wind down a little in the last two weeks so things have been quiet in this blog. But much continued to happen in the background which meant our downtime was postponed to June which is cool with us. We’ve only spent a week and some in NYC after China before heading to Europe. Hence, we decided to stay on Euro time in NYC which meant getting up at 1am and going to bed at 5pm. At least the early winter darkness made it easy and we skipped yet another jetlag.
Being back in Italy means we’re finally back on the bike after a two month hiatus (Granfondo Roma was practically our last ride). Getting out for 2-3 hours a day gives us energy and often fresh ideas for GFNY. Saturday, the organizer of the 2013 Cycling World Championships will show us the course of the pro race as well as parts of the inaugural Granfondo Firenze (March 2). And next week we’ll head to Vicenza to meet with Campagnolo, one of our long term partners.
But for now, please check out the 2013 GFNY bag “Fauniera” pictured below. It’s a travel bag for your bike tools, named after a ridiculously beautiful mountain pass in Piemonte. Sign up for GFNY if you haven’t yet and get your tool bag. Then close the circle and travel to Granfondo Fausto Coppi which takes place on July 7. You guessed why: it’s in Piemonte and the course goes over Passo Fauniera.
– Lidia and Uli