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Alpine Loop Gran Fondo

October 5 - October 6

Updated April 21, 2024 -- The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo is a celebrated cycling event that welcomes cyclists and spectators to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for a weekend full of challenging rides, charity fundraising, and festivities suitable for the entire family. Named one of "America’s Top-10 Gran Fondos" by Men's Journal, the event features five route options ranging from 36 to 110 miles. The premiere Alpine Loop route is notable for its significant mountain climbs and sections of dirt and gravel roads, presenting a formidable challenge to participants. The event allows cyclists to tackle great challenges and supports community charities and cycling infrastructure.

The event is headlined and produced by Jeremiah Bishop, a distinguished mountain biking figure renowned for his prowess in ultra-endurance and marathon mountain bike racing. His illustrious career includes notable achievements such as winning the Pan American Games and securing multiple national championships in cross-country and marathon mountain biking categories. Bishop's contributions extend beyond competitions; he has been a steadfast member of the USA Cycling National Team on numerous occasions, representing his country at world championships and other international events​ (Wikipedia).  Beyond his competitive career, Jeremiah Bishop has also ventured into adventure cycling through his involvement with the "Impossible Route" series. This project showcases Bishop and his fellow cyclist, The Vegan Cyclist, undertaking some of the most daunting cycling challenges globally.

Gran Fondo National Series

For the first time in 2024, the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo is partnering with the prestigious Gran Fondo National Series, established in 2012 and comprising 10+ European-style rides/races staged in the United States. Every GFNS event offers courses covering 30, 60, and 100-mile journeys through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in endurance sports.  Timed sections allow riders to compete in specific course segments, while casual cyclists can ride at their own pace. Participants can ride as individuals or on teams. GFNS awards special prizes to the top riders in every age and gender category. Each rider is assigned an electronic timing chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for the best time through highlighted sections.

For the most competitive cyclists, the series partnered with USA Cycling to bring the one-day Gran Fondo National Championship into the portfolio of official USA Cycling National Championship events. The event is held annually, and a national championship jersey and medal are awarded to the overall winner in each Gran Route age group category. The USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship event will be held at Gran Fondo Maryland, in Frederick, Maryland, on September 15, 2024.

To compete in the National Championship category, riders must qualify by meeting specific criteria, including results and rankings in Qualification Events. However, all riders are welcome to participate in Gran Fondo Maryland and ride any of the normal Maryland Gran Fondo routes (Gran, Medio, and Piccolo), regardless of qualification status.

GFNS-owned events include Gran Fondo Florida (Dade City FL – March 17), Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo (Helen GA, April 21), Highlands Gran Fondo (Butler NJ – June 2), Gran Fondo Asheville (Asheville NC – July 14), Boone Gran Fondo (Boone NC – Aug 4), and Gran Fondo Maryland (Frederick MD, Sept 15).  Gran Fondo Maryland doubles as the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship.  Partner events include Cheaha Challenge (Jacksonville AL – May 18-19), Vermont Gran Fondo (Bristol VT – June 29), Cache Gran Fondo (Logan UT – July 13), Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill Climb – Gran Fondo (Idaho Springs, CO – July 20), 719 Ride (Colorado Springs – July 20), and Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo (Fincastle, VA – Oct 13).  All GFNS races consistently rate among the Best Road Cycling Events in the SoutheastNew EnglandRockies / Colorado, and Southwest / California.

Visiting Harrisonburg, Virginia

Harrisonburg, Virginia, is a vibrant and scenic gem in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, making it a perfect base camp for outdoor athletes and adventurers.  Breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor activities surround the city. Beyond cycling, the area is a haven for hikers, with the nearby George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park offering miles of trails ranging from serene walks to intense treks. Mountain bikers will find plenty of thrilling trails, especially in Massanutten Resort, just a short drive away and offering routes for all skill levels.

Harrisonburg boasts a variety of accommodation options to suit any preference. From cozy bed and breakfasts in the historic downtown area, such as the Joshua Wilton House, to more familiar chain hotels that provide easy access to both the city and the surrounding countryside, Harrisonburg has something for everyone. For those who prefer to be closer to nature, camping spots in the national parks or Massanutten Resort offers a more immersive outdoor experience.

The city's culinary scene is a delightful surprise, focusing on local and sustainable dining. Popular restaurants like Local Chop & Grill House and Clementine Café offer menus that feature local produce, meats, and craft beers, providing a taste of the region's best. The Friendly City Food Co-op and Black Sheep Coffee are must-visits for a quick bite or a relaxing coffee.

Beyond cycling and outdoor activities, Harrisonburg has a rich cultural scene. The downtown area has a vibrant arts scene, unique shops, and historical sites. The Virginia Quilt Museum and the Explore More Discovery Museum offer exciting diversions for those looking to soak in local culture and history.

Whether it's pushing the limits on the Gran Fondo's Alpine Loop, exploring the trails, indulging in the local food scene, or simply enjoying the charm of downtown, Harrisonburg, Virginia, promises an unforgettable weekend for any outdoor athlete.



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Harrisonburg, Virginia


Gran Fondo National Series
(765) 247-BIKE
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