If you are not familiar with a "gran fondo," you are not alone. A "gran fondo" is a type of bicycle ride that originated in Italy and is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. The name translates to "big ride" and is known as a "party on wheels," with scenic routes, open country roads, and fun pit stops to enjoy along the way.
The "Hospice Gran Fondo," presented by M&T Bank, will be the first charity bicycle ride to feature several Niagara County wineries. The ride will be held on May 17. It will start and finish at Chateau Niagara Winery in Newfane.
"As cycling grows in popularity, we wanted to offer a fun ride that highlights what Niagara County has to offer," said Brendan McIntyre, director of development at Niagara Hospice Alliance. "We have four routes with stops at wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail. We hope to attract all types of riders, from the casual to the more experienced."
Riders can choose a 5-mile, 15-mile, 30-mile, or 62.5-mile route. Each route will have refreshment stops at local establishments, including Honeymoon Trail Winery, Midnight Run Winery, Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Schulze Vineyards & Winery, Black Willow Winery, and Woodcock Brothers Brewing Co.
Riders will enjoy live music, snacks and wine tastings provided by the participating wineries at the post-race party at Chateau Niagara Winery. All proceeds from the event will benefit the programs and services provided by Niagara Hospice Alliance. For details about the ride and for online registration, visit www.HospiceGranFondo.com.
Volunteers and sponsors are needed for the event. For information, contact Maureen Rizzo at Niagara Hospice Alliance at 716-280-0728 or [email protected].
Niagara Hospice Alliance was established in 2009 to support the services and programs associated with the charitable mission of Niagara Hospice. Niagara Hospice has provided end-of-life comfort, care and support since 1988 to more than 20,000 Niagara County individuals and families faced with terminal illness. For more information, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org or call 716-439-4417.