Levi's Gran Fondo stands as a cycling spectacle that transcends geographical boundaries, earning its place as one of the premier Gran Fondos globally. Hosted in the picturesque setting of Sonoma County, California, this event is a celebration of cycling excellence, with its namesake, former world tour pro rider Levi Leipheimer, adding a touch of cycling royalty to the proceedings. Cyclists embarking on this journey can anticipate a symphony of experiences—Alpine-style climbs that test their mettle, exhilarating descents that reward their efforts, and a mesmerizing tapestry of landscapes that only Sonoma County can offer.
As riders pedal through the courses, they are treated to a visual feast—a journey through beautiful redwood forests, where the towering giants of nature provide a serene backdrop to the cycling odyssey. The route unfolds to reveal spectacular ocean views, where the azure waters meet the rugged California coastline, creating a breathtaking panorama that resonates with both seasoned cyclists and enthusiasts alike.
The event's prowess is underscored by its consistent inclusion in Strambecco's list of Best Road Cycling Events in California and the Northwest. Year after year, Levi's Gran Fondo earns its place among the elite, a testament to its commitment to providing cyclists with an unparalleled experience. Beyond the scenic beauty and challenging routes, Levi's Gran Fondo is a celebration of the cycling community. Cyclists from across the globe converge on Sonoma County, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie, shared passion, and a collective love for the open road.
Event & Course Info
There are five route options, starting with "The Growler" - 138 Miles and 13,500 ft elevation gain. The scale of the Growler is a thing to behold, so only sign up after understanding the challenge is substantial, rivaling the hardest stages of any world pro tour race. "The Gran" - 122 and 10,500 ft elevation gain is an all-new route and features the fabled King Ridge Road. Once there, you'll turn north and return with another significant climb over Skaggs Road. Once you reach the valley floor, you roll through vineyards on your return to Windsor.
"The Geysers" - 81 miles and 5,900 ft elevation gain, features Sonoma County's highest pass: Geysers Road, with incredible views of the entirety of Sonoma County. This route equates to what was formerly known as The Fort, measured by its difficulty. "The Medio" - 67 miles and 3,000 ft elevation gain extends into the Mayacamas foothills, features rolling hills with moderate pitches mixed in and the gorgeous backdrop of Sonoma County's rolling vineyards. "The Piccolo" - 32 and 1300 ft elevation gain, is completely approachable and takes participants through the backbone of Sonoma County's wine country along the rolling hills surrounding Windsor.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
Nestled in the heart of California's wine country, Windsor beckons with a delightful blend of culinary treasures and inviting accommodations. Whether you're a food enthusiast eager to indulge your palate or a traveler seeking a comfortable retreat, Windsor has something special to offer. Try Charlie's as a culinary haven, where farm-to-table freshness meets a cozy atmosphere. Indulge in a diverse menu that caters to various tastes, showcasing the best of Windsor's local ingredients. For those craving classic American fare with a touch of elegance, KC's Downtown Grill is the go-to spot. From hearty burgers to savory steaks, this grill promises a dining experience that satisfies every palate.
Unwind in comfort at Holiday Inn Windsor Wine Country, where modern amenities and warm hospitality converge. Conveniently located, it provides a serene retreat after a day of exploring Windsor's attractions. Embrace the charm of a home away from home at WorldMark Windsor. Spacious suites, resort-style amenities, and proximity to local vineyards make it an ideal choice for those seeking a relaxing stay. Nature enthusiasts and RV travelers will find solace at Russian River RV Campground. Nestled along the Russian River, it offers a tranquil setting for those looking to connect with the great outdoors.
Nestled in the heart of Sonoma County's wine country, Windsor, California, offers a delightful array of outdoor activities amid the region's vineyards and scenic landscapes. Explore the picturesque vineyards and rolling hills on two wheels with wine country cycling. Windsor is surrounded by renowned wineries, making it an ideal starting point for a leisurely bike ride through the vines. Foothill Regional Park, just a short drive from Windsor, provides a haven for hikers and nature lovers. Traverse the park's well-maintained trails, winding through oak woodlands and grassy meadows. Windsor's Town Green, a vibrant community gathering space, hosts various outdoor events throughout the year. From farmers' markets to outdoor concerts, the Town Green offers a lively atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.
Bike Monkey has carved a niche for itself as a premier cycling event producer, curating experiences that capture the essence of Northern California's diverse landscapes. From rolling roads to gravel adventures, each event is a testament to the team's dedication to delivering exceptional cycling experiences. The Bike Monkey family extends beyond their flagship event, Levi's Gran Fondo, to include a stellar portfolio of sister events that have captivated cyclists across the region. Fish Rock, Heart of Gold, Hammer Road Rally, and Stetina’s Pay Dirt—all embody the same spirit of adventure, camaraderie, and cycling excellence.