Black Bear Gran Fondo set to return on Saturday, July 10
Fri, 06/18/2021 - 4:58pm caleb
Event to offer 100-mile, 62-mile, and 45-mile looped courses that start and end at Hanson Hills Recreation Area
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Rotary Club Black Bear Gran Fondo was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be back this year, and online registration for the event is open.
The Black Bear Gran Fondo – formerly known as the Black Bear Bicycle Tour – offers cyclists three different looped course options – a 100-mile “century ride,” a 62-mile loop, and a 45-mile course – that start and end at Hanson Hills Recreation Area. This year’s Black Bear Gran Fondo is slated for Saturday, July 10, with three different start times: 8 a.m. for the 100-mile course, 8:30 a.m. for the 62-mile course, and 9 a.m. for the 45-mile course.
Riders can try to be among the first to finish or they can ride at a slower pace.
“It’s a race, it’s a ride, and it’s a party at the finish line,” according to www.blackbeargranfondo.com. “By definition, a (gran fondo) is a mass participation cycling event that got its start in Italy in the early 1900s. Loosely translated, it means everything from ‘great foundation,’ ‘great distance,’ or ‘great endurance.’ Some cyclists ride for the satisfaction and pride of just making it to the finish line. Others want to improve upon their previous times and to challenge themselves, their friends, their teammates. Some ride to win.”
Justin Andre of the Grayling Rotary Club, director of the event, said more than 80 riders were signed up as of Friday, June 18. He said riders can register now online or on the day of the event. Packet pick-up and registration will be conducted at Northbound Outfitters on Friday, July 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Race day packet pick-up and registration will be held at Hanson Hills on Saturday, July 10, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Andre said there are a “few changes this year to our format,” including elimination of the post-event banquet. Instead, event organizers are working with area eateries to offer discounts on food and beverages for Black Bear riders, Andre said.
Andre said the event is “one of the Rotary Club’s biggest fundraisers” and a year without it in 2020 was “tough.”
“All in all everybody’s excited to have another in-person event,” Andre said.
Course maps and a registration link are available at the Black Bear Gran Fondo website at www.blackbeargranfondo.com.