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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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  • Foresto Vecchio, Asolo http://t.co/6c7jwHxPcJ

  • @JasenThorpe every Italian male under 30 (or pretending to be) still makes this awful fashion faux pas.

  • @cyclingalps isn't riding bikes fun!?

  • @cyclingalps yeah, trying to add some real-time shots to the thread. CA has some pretty fantastic riding...

  • @cyclingalps SF Bay. Angel island on the left, & there's a hazy Mt. Diablo across the bay. Mt. D was a summit finish in the ToC this year

  • Here's a twitter-native version of that pic for #theperfecthairpin http://t.co/TCE1k0yjYN

  • Here's one for #theperfecthairpin thread over on Twitter. Looking over SF from Mt. Tam. http://t.co/LysbMFIoK8

  • RT @cyclingalps: “@PieroNasari: @cyclingalps #theperfecthairpin Sella Pass http://t.co/E50DEMbfu1” / così bella!

  • RT @BicyclingMag: 3 super-easy things your bike mechanic wishes you would do: http://t.co/R867gocT60 http://t.co/AezCG3b5rK

  • @mmcyclist ah hah, I see what you did there. Very funny. Better luck racing than with your jokes. :)

  • @cyclingalps @DeMolJohan @PatitucciPhoto here's hoping it's still quiet. Aside the flies, great road and gorgeous views throughout.

  • @DeMolJohan @PatitucciPhoto amazing! It only took therm 5 years to pave 3km.

  • @PatitucciPhoto love that section! Did you go down there late this year? Did they finally finish the paving project?

  • Love this photo. Throwing back to 2010 and the two Alexs descending Passo Gardena on the Sella Ronda.… http://t.co/4tFRliFOi0

  • @cyclingalps @jeredgruber I believe it is. Good eye!

  • The draw for the 2015 @mdolomites was announced today; did you get in? If not, we have a few places left on our trip. http://t.co/rJugaup7Jf

  • @cyclingthealps Even a blind squirrel like me can find #theperfecthairpin somewhere in here. #passopordoi http://t.co/ySNNpmXbsi

  • @cyclingthealps it must have been @a_gruber that took this version of #theperfecthairpin since @jeredgruber is in it http://t.co/g2VwPpLgDB

  • .@cyclingthealps met @jeredgruber on a similar request & then they came & took pics like this. #theperfecthairpin http://t.co/yMSGLjFdLB

  • Today the giroditalia announced the Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia, taking place on the day and course of… http://t.co/WWBrd0Hzgu