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Gran Fondo Ephrata

Round two of the Vicious Cycle Gravel Fondo Series is the infamous Gran Fondo Ephrata, which has become a Pacific Northwest “spring classic” offering up 88/45 miles of remote central WA back roads, from rolling farm land to jagged basalt canyons.

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The Core Details

Date: Sunday April 7, 2024

Meet: Ephrata High School


Start time:

Grande – 9:00 am

Medio – 10:00 am



Grande: 88 miles (32 gravel) 4900′ climbing

Medio: 45 miles (21 gravel) 3000′ climbing



Grande – $95

Medio – $85


Registration: Opens Feb 1

Note: Registration is limited and fills up FAST, be ready!


This ride is HARD and intended for experienced cyclists. There is a lot of climbing for early April.  Speaking of early April... weather and course conditions can be wildly unpredictable, think spring classics!  This is Gran Fondo, not a race, riders must obey all traffic laws.

What to expect:

An epic day on the bike, riding a well thought out, well marked course.  A super cool Gran Fondo Ephrata souvenir, and well stocked aid stations to refuel at. Times of all finishers will be posted for bragging rights.

This is the PNW OG (Original Gravel)!  Getting right into the goods with the Norton Canyon climb followed by Baird Springs climb, a long fast gravel downhill, the make it or break it Palisades' rollers, and the infamous Three Devils Climb.  This course is designed to give riders a glimpse of some very remote, out of the way parts of central Washington.  It’s only April and 4900′ of climbing will hurt, plus approximately 32 of the 80 mile route is on gravel roads. There will be an aid station at approx mile 40.6  View Course Map

GFE Medio, half the calories, all of the flavor!  We’ll get the party started right, with a Norton Canyon climb, then Baird Springs climb, some fun fast rolling gravel mid way, then one last climb up Potter Cyn, followed by a fast downhill back into town.  This is a classic Vicious Cycle Saturday morning ride.  But don’t be fooled, this is not a lame watered down version of the big ride, 21 miles of gravel, and a fair amount of climbing (3200') this will hit the mark.  There will be an aid station at approx mile 22.7  View Course Map


Oh so many choices!  Well, for starters, Gran Fondo Ephrata features fairly smooth and fast rolling gravel, so the fast guys and gals will be running a racy set up like 30-32mm tires on an "endurance road bike".  Most will opt for a bit more comfort and be on a dedicated "gravel bike" with a 36-38mm tire.  And for others, comfort and self reliance are king, they'll be running a touring/bike packing bike with everything they need to be out for a day (or a week) on 40+mm tire.  The other big variable is Spring weather, the average is around 55 degrees, but anything goes this time of year, pay attention to the forecast.  Leg/arm warmers and a packable wind jacket can add a lot of versatility to your kit.  Nutrition: most will throw a bar in their pocket, have couple water bottles on the bike, and use the aid station to refuel as needed.  Some will need more or less than what is  available on course and should plan accordingly.


This event fill up FAST.  Registration opens Feb 1 and closes April 4.  Sign up for the series to save money, get a sweet 6pack shirt, and be eligible for The GRIT List, a general classification of all grande finishers and their cumulative ranking across the series.


Up to 30 days out?  No problemo.  Less than 30 days?  Ok, we’ll do a 50% refund.  Two weeks out?  Come on man, you’re killing the vibe, we’ve committed our efforts and resources already at this point, no refunds.

Final word

We were gravel when gravel wasn't cool, and this is the event that started it all.  Big climbs, massive views, and fast gravel, this pnw classic fills up fast, don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

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