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Levi’s Gran Fondo Starter Guide

a man riding a bike down a dirt road


For the uninitiated, Levi’s Gran Fondo is an exhilarating annual cycling event held in Sonoma County, California. Founded by former professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer in 2009, this road race draws both professional and amateur athletes from all over the world. The event showcases Sonoma County’s world-class roads and scenic wine region at their finest. With the Gran Fondo starting in downtown Windsor this year, the ride will begin staging at 7:00 AM, and officially kick off at 8:00 AM sharp. Participants can choose from a variety of routes, ranging from casual rides through picturesque wine country to highly competitive 138-mile challenges that rival some of the toughest stages in the Tour de France. From the Family Fondo all the way up to the Growler, here are the routes for this year:


Family Fondo

Free to join, the Family Fondo has long been a favorite among kids, parents, and loved ones. Participants can look forward to enjoying a protected ride through the beautiful roads of Wine Country.


The Piccolino route is a fun, introductory 22-mile ride that is great for beginner road cyclists and those looking for a casual ride. Expect scenic trails and breathtaking vistas through some of the most beautiful trails Sonoma County has to offer. While the trail does not feature a formal aid station, participants can stop at Veteran’s Memorial Beach in Healdsburg to refill their water and rest for a bit.


Splitting the difference between the Piccolino and the Medio, the Piccolo is a 40-mile ride with an aid station at Rued Winery. Throughout the route, participants will ride through scenic wine country roads, beautiful vineyards, and rolling hills. It’s relatively easy, but it’s 40 miles of easy.


The Medio route is the classic Sonoma County weekend ride. With two aid stations located in Cloverdale and Alexander Valley, the Medio is a fast-paced ride though paved roads, scenic vistas, beautiful vineyards and two notable climbs.


Taking you through North America’s largest producer of renewable geothermal power, the Geysers route brings participants through sweeping views of Sonoma County few people get to experience. The ride accumulates over 6,000 feet of elevation in 81 miles through some serious climbs, and has three aid stations in Cloverdale, Geysers, and Alexander Valley.


The Gran is a very difficult, 120-mile route that challenges its riders with two very substantial climbs. With three aid stations and two water stops, the route takes participants through Cazadero before traveling along King Ridge, one of California’s most celebrated cycling roads.

The Growler

Rivaling some of the toughest stages in the Tour De France, the Growler is a monster of a route that will challenge even the most experienced riders. It is also the only route that offers $55,000 in cash prizes for the top five men and women that manage to complete it. After overcoming King Ridge, participants must then take on a completely new set of roads that travel high above the surrounding hills of Sonoma County. From there, even more climbs await as riders make their way through Stewarts Point Road, The Geysers and 3,000 more feet of elevation. To help support riders on this route, the Growler includes four aid stations and two water stops. All in all, the route totals around a staggering 13,500 feet of elevation and 138 miles of travel.


At this point, Levi’s Gran Fondo is more than just a cycling event; it’s an adventure through the heart of Sonoma County. It has become a global sensation, attracting both seasoned athletes and passionate amateurs. Cyclists pedal through vineyards, rolling hills, and breathtaking vistas, all while supporting local charities. If you’d like to join in on the most important cycling event in Sonoma County and leave your mark, you can rent one of our road bikes and register for one of the routes on the Gran Fondo’s official site here. Whether you’re chasing a personal best or simply savoring the beauty of Sonoma, Levi’s Gran Fondo promises an unforgettable adventure on two wheels.