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Want to feel like a pro cyclist for a few hours – no pricey bike or ridiculously low body fat required? Check out a gran fondo, or great ride, as they’re known in Italy, where these mass-start events originated. Hugely popular in Europe, gran fondos, which are a combination of recreational bike riding and competitive race, are popping up everywhere in the States and are an excellent way to cruise through beautiful scenery, partake in vibrant post-race party and maybe even rub elbows with a pro along the way.
Gran fondos can be pricey – around $100, depending on the length of the route – but registration costs usually cover a great swag bag, discounts on gear, and a meal ticket for some gourmet grub (and maybe even a beer). Spring is the unofficial kickoff for gran fondo season, which continues through the fall. Here, some beginner-friendly rides to get in the saddle for.
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