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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Third Annual Gran Fondo Ready To Roll Aug. 26

Riders are pictured at the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo charity cycling event. This year’s Gran Fondo will be held Aug. 26. 
Submitted photos
Riders are pictured at the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo charity cycling event. This year’s Gran Fondo will be held Aug. 26. Submitted photos

The third annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo is set for Saturday, Aug. 26. This year’s charity cycling event begins and ends at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville. The tour is scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m., and a family friendly after party featuring live music, lunch and refreshments will follow.
The Chautauqua Gran Fondo is a community event designed to promote health and well being for cyclists of all skill levels while raising funds for local non-profit organizations. This year’s proceeds will go towards The Royal Family Kids Camp, Western New York Kidney Connection, and the Chautauqua County Veteran’s Endowment Fund.
“Our team is very excited about this year’s event!” said Michelle Turner, event coordinator. “We listened to our riders from the first two years and truly took their survey suggestions to heart.”
This year there are a few upgrades to the community event. There is improved, color-coded directional signage to keep riders on their chosen route, as well as additional markers for rest stops, bike repair and noteworthy scenic selfie-spots. Also, there will be a WCA Recovery Tent for post-race riders to cool down and recuperate.
“The recovery tent is another testament to the collaboration of another local partnership with UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital,” Turner said. “One of their sports physicians will be on hand for the riders to assist in any after-ride ailments, like strains, muscle cramps, or basically anything arising from their trip around the lake.”
The third upgrade to this year’s event are the finishing medals. Through a partnership with Walter Street Brass, this year will mark the first-ever solid brass finishing medals for the event. Each rider — no matter which route they choose — will receive a commemorative finishing medal after crossing the finish line.
The event coordinators are still looking for a group of cheerleaders to be on hand for a couple of hours on the day of the event while various groups cross the finish line. “It is an accomplishment for all riders so we feel it’s important to cheer them on in support of their efforts,” Turner said. “We welcome participation from one team or several teams and we are happy to give back to their squads as a thank you for their support in adding to the success of the 2017 Gran Fondo.”
The after-party is set to be held in the back parking lot at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville. This year’s after-party features the band Refuge, from Erie, Pa. This modern and classic country and rock band has won several awards over the past few years, most notably being back-to-back Rock Erie Music Award for the Country Music category. Local musician, Angel Rodriguez will also be performing. He was a finalist for Chautauqua’s Got Talent, and is known for presenting popular and familiar songs with his own unique flair. He also recently auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice.”
There will also be a food truck on location from Chef’s of Buffalo for any hungry attendants of the event, as well as many other local favorites showcasing their products and services along Vendor’s Row.
As if this wasn’t enough, the Chautauqua Gran Fondo is also seeking to help area students in need of school supplies. Through a partnership with CRECHE, there will be a Chautauqua Lake Community Sailing Foundation sailboat on location, which both strongly supports sailing instruction as well as education. Anyone attending the event — riders and non-riders — are encouraged to bring a school supply donation and fill the boat. CRECHE will then distribute backpacks full of supplies to children in need to get them ready for the upcoming school year, allowing many area students a chance to “Boat Back to School.”
For more information, or to register, contact Michelle Turner at 661-8900, or visit to register online.

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