There’s something brewing in Northern Colorado. Well, there are a few things brewing, actually. The first, obviously, is New Belgium beer. The second is a gravel community and vibrant bike culture that extends from commuters, just-for-funners, and exercisers to racers and professional athletes. The third is what ties them together: the FoCo Fondo.
If you’ve never heard of a Gran Fondo, the term is Italian in origin and loosely translates to “big ride.” An endurance event for the masses, a fondo is traditionally a giant party on wheels where cyclists compete against the clock and each other. Fondo participation can swell into the thousands, and the size keeps spirits up and makes each event feel like an epic group ride.
The FoCo Fondo is equal parts gravel race and gravel ride - the experience rooted in the insanity of the traditional fondo with the added levity of the Fort Collins community. Whether you’re into racing bikes or more interested in an all-day party, the FoCo Fondo might be your next adventure.
This gravel bike party was created by PEARL iZUMi athletes and professional gravel racers, Whit and Zack Allison. Born of the desire to celebrate the local bike culture in Fort Collins, and tap into the professional event experience they have acquired over their dozen years racing all over the country, Whit and Zack have created something truly unique for the community.
If you’ve never been to Fort Collins, it’s known for its world-class bike infrastructure, easy access to the outdoors, miles of single track, and more. For the Fondo, riders can choose from one of four routes which increase in both mileage and challenging terrain. Route distances include the 12-mile Here for It Route, 32-mile Dare You Route, 53-mile Double Dog Dare You Route, and the 118-mile Triple Dog Dare You route. FoCo Fondo works with multiple private landowners to gain access to routes only available on event day.
The shorter routes are straightforward and designed to be a more accessible adventure. Both the Double and Triple Dog Dare You Routes are intentionally designed to be "busy," with various B-roads, deep gravel, goat paths, treated smooth gravel, and some legit rollers. Triple Dog Dare You Route heads further west into the mountains topping out at 8k feet of elevation before barreling downhill nearly all the way back to New Belgium Brewing where the finish line party - with live music, an active mix of local and industry vendors, lunch, and BOTTOMLESS Fat Tire from New Belgium - awaits.
To keep things even more interesting, Zack and Whit have layered competition opportunities of all kinds throughout FoCo Fondo. The Triple Dog Dare you course offers a $9k cash prize purse for overall racers, as well as a signature bolo tie for those coming in under the 7 hour or 7.5 hour time stamp. Across the Dare You, Double Dog Dare You, and Triple Dog Dare You routes, riders also compete for overall, age group, para, and single speed awards. For those who are competitive at heart but also just want to have fun, the Gambler's Prime in-ride game let's riders collect points for things like costumes, finding the party police, "becoming" a hot dog and more. Top Gambler's Prime riders receive special prizes from New Belgium
If you’re looking for a late summer biking adventure, the FoCo Fondo is just the thing! Festivities abound all weekend long, with live music, shakeout rides, brewery tours, and more!