Pro riders and celebrities host gran fondos, charity rides

Gran Fondos and mass-participation rides have become a popular way for current and former pros to raise money for charity.

Gran fondos and mass-participation rides hosted by former and current pros and celebrities have sprung up across the United States, and fall has become prime time for these events.

Retired pros George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, and now Jens Voigt have organized their own rides to display some of their favorite training routes or give a sampling of the roads they raced on as professionals.

“Marin County was chosen because it ticks all the boxes; it’s big, it’s beautiful, and it has all the facilities we need to make a day at my gran fondo a really fun day out,” Voigt said.

Here is a sampling of upcoming celebrity gran fondos and charity rides:

Indian Peaks Classic, September 6, Nederland, Colorado
– Hosted by former professional cyclists Timmy Duggan and Ian MacGregor
– Charity beneficiary: Just Go Hard Foundation

Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, September 20, Harrisonburg, Virginia
– Hosted by professional mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak-Ergon)
– Limit 600 participants
– Charity beneficiaries: Prostate Cancer Awareness Project, Plan Our Park, Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition

Levi’s Grand Fondo, October 3, Sonoma Country, California
– Hosted by former professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer
– Limit 7,500 participants
– Charity beneficiaries: Forget Me Not Farm, Community Giving, NorCal High School Cycling League, Velostreet’s Cycling Initiatives Program

The Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin, October 10, Marin County, California
– Hosted by former professional cyclist Jens Voigt
– Charity beneficiary: Marin Country Bicycle Coalition

Krempels King of the Road Challenge, October 17th, Stratham, New Hampshire
– Event supported by professional cyclist Ted King (Cannondale-Garmin) and his family
– Charity beneficiary: Krempels Center

Dempsey Challenge, October 17-18, Lewiston-Auburn, Maine
– Hosted by Patrick Dempsey
– Uncapped number of participants
– Charity beneficiary: The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing

Hincapie Gran Fondo, October 24, Greenville, South Carolina
– Hosted by former professional cyclist George Hincapie
– Limit 2,000 participants
– Charity beneficiary: Meals on Wheels