Start/Finish: Ballast Point Brewing Company, 555 International Pkwy, Daleville, VA 24083
The Ride: Gran Fondo is an Italian term meaning "big ride." The Visit Virgina's Blue Ridge Gran Fondo will feature three different routes -- 30, 50, and 80 miles. Each route has been carefully created to showcase Botetourt's County's rich scenic beauty and it's warm & welcoming communities. Riders will enjoy the area's natural beauty including the rolling terrain, open farmland, forested mountains, and the James River. Each route will also feature memorable aid stations and charming small towns. The start/finish will be at Ballast Point Brewing Company in Daleville, which will have a post-ride vibe you won't want to miss.
The VBR Gran Fondo is a non-competitive event, although each rider's finishing time will be recorded.
The Valley Ride (30 miles)
After leaving Ballast Point, you will experience Botetourt's rolling hills and open countryside on your way to Fincastle and the first aid station at Mile 16. From Fincastle, you'ill roll over scenic back roads toward the Blue Ridge before turning toward Troutville on the Bike 76 route. Another aid station awaits you on your way back to Ballast Point.
The Bank of Botetourt River Ride (50 miles)
This route has it all! You will follow the Valley route to Fincastle, then proceed on (mostly) downhill roads to the James River. You will ride alongside the river to the next aid station at Buchanan Town Park (Mile 28). From Buchanan, it's a beautiful ride on the Bike 76 route to Troutville. You'll have one more aid station on the way. From Troutville, the finish at Ballast Point is just a few miles away.
The Valley Ride: $50 before 6/15; $60 after; $70 day of event
The Bank of Botetourt River Ride: $60 before 6/15; $70 after; $80 day of event
The Mountain Ride: $80 before 6/15; $90 after; $100 day of event
Registration for all three routes includes a VBR Gran Fondo t-shirt (guaranteed if registered by 9/14), a post-ride meal and beverage catered by Ballast Point, a fully-stocked aid stations, and a sweet finisher's award.
Make it a weekend:
The VBR Gran Fondo is the weekend of the Roanoke Go Outside Festival, so you'll definitely want to check out that event on Friday evening and Saturday.
Go Fest camping & lodging options
Saturday morning is the Carvin's Cove Mountain Biking Challenge. Bring your mountain bike along and warm up for the VBR Gran Fondo on the sweet trails of Carvins Cove Reserve. The trails are beautiful and the cause is a good one: race proceeds support the Star City Cycling youth mountain bike team.
You can also try out Botetourt's world-class disc golf course, just minutes away from the start/finish at Ballast Point. This is also a great activity for your friends or family who aren't riding the Gran Fondo.
The Mountain Ride (80 miles)
For those who want more of a challenge in elevation and distance, this route is for you! You will follow the Valley route to Fincastle, then head toward the climb of Caldwell Mountain, used in an early version of the Tour DuPont. After several miles of gradual climbing, the road kicks up for 1.5 miles to the summit. The fast, twisting descent will take you into Craig County for a few miles.You will then ride along beautiful Craig Creek on your way through Oriskany and Eagle Rock, where you will find the next aid station (Mile 46). You'll parallel the James River on your way to the next aid station in Buchanan (Mile 62). From Buchanan, it's a beautiful ride on the Bike 76 route toward Troutville and the finish at Ballast Point.