| grän fändō |
NOUN: a long-distance road cycling event in which a large number of cyclists ride a marked route.
Emily Buckley, editor in chief
Troy Oldham, race director of the Cache Gran Fondo, is gearing up for his seventh-annual Italian-style biking event, which is held the second Saturday in July each year in Northern Utah.
“Our riders enjoy well-stocked support stations, chances to win great prizes, have a nutritious breakfast and lunch, receive big-blingy finisher medals, and have a fun day riding with 1000+ other inspiring cyclists,” Troy said.
Troy said they are expecting 1300-1400 riders this year, and that the Cache Gran Fondo has been rated as one of the top 16 Gran Fondos in North America, and was recently accepted as a qualifying race for the National Gran Fondo Series.
“Last year we had 16 states represented,” Troy said. “As a national qualifier, we expect to attract more riders from around the country and a number of our top racers will receive invitations to the national event.”
From the beginning, Cache Gran Fondo was a way to generate donations and raise awareness for charities and local causes. Originally, funds were raised to pay for mammograms for uninsured women in Cache Valley, but with recent healthcare policy changes, these screenings are now being covered in multiple ways. This year, the Cache Gran Fondo is opening options for riders to choose from several charities to support, and the Cache Gran Fondo will add to those donations. Logan Regional Hospital Cancer Center, Cache Valley for Hope, Cache Valley High School Mountain Bike Team, Bike Utah, Common Ground, Myeloma Crowdcare Foundation, and The Family Place are among the charities benefited by the race. The event is sponsored by Logan Regional Hospital.
“We continue this event to promote healthy lifestyles in the community, benefit local charities, and promote economic development across Cache Valley,” Troy said. “I have loved seeing its success. It has become a family project, so my kids are learning what is it like to run a business. Now that we are attracting more national and international recognition it is becoming a more viable enterprise and it will bring more attention and tourism to our friendly, healthy Cache Valley community.”
Cache Gran Fondo begins at Logan Regional Hospital and finishes on 100 North in Logan. “Our finish line is a community event,” Troy said. The Cache Valley Gardener’s Market and Logan Downtown Sidewalk Sale are both happening simultaneously.
The event is growing to serve more types of riders each year; this year they are offering 38-mile, 50-mile, 70-mile, and 100-mile courses. The courses are all mostly-flat courses (with a hill climb on each course), which is appealing to both beginning riders and seasoned riders training for bigger events like Ultimate Challenge and LOTOJA. “We’ve added two water stops to the 100-mile ride this year,” Troy said.
Young riders are encouraged to participate. “As part of the National Gran Fondo Series, we have a program called U23,” Troy said. “In an effort to encourage younger riders in the sport, a minimum of 23 riders, 23 years old or younger, will be allowed to register for the event for only $23. We also have an award for the youngest [and oldest] rider.” Last year’s youngest rider was 12 years old.
“There is no way we could host this event without our amazing sponsors. Check out our ad and see who is involved, and please support their businesses,” Troy said. “The thing I am most proud about is that we have no exclusive sponsorships, but rather anyone who can and wants to add value is welcome to help and make this a better local event.”
To register for the Cache Gran Fondo, or for more information, go to cachegranfondo.com.