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I read JP Partland’s account of his visit to the 2012 New York Gran Fondo with, admittedly, a bit of dismay. Sad, partly, because I’d love to ride a Gran Fondo in and around New York, but the timing will never work for me. And sad, too, because it seems like he could have had a better time. Part of it, I’m sure, was the group(s) he found himself with, but it seems like the event itself is but a poor facsimile of the real thing – an true Italian Gran Fondo.

Contrast that with this account, which I will never tire of reading, from Bud Napolio of the Gran Fondo Pinarello (now La Pina). It starts, as they always do, with that bit of confusion that comes from riding an event in a foreign land. As Bud settles in, you can feel the excitement building throughout the day, finishing with a thrilling conclusion!

Any event, no matter where in the world, is what you make of it, I suppose. But there is something, something special, about riding a Gran Fondo in Italy.

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