Now that we have returned home to 45 degrees and snow I reminisce about the amazing weekend we just had in Santa Rosa, California helping to bring family fun to the 9th annual Levi's Gran Fondo.
The weather was absolutely perfect and thousands mobilized to ride their bikes in support of at risk youth through the efforts of the King Ridge Foundation.
50 kids from the b-rad foundationreceived 50 new Specialized bikes in Sonoma county through the King Ridge Foundation.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary of this epic ride which now has 11 route options ranging from the Family fondo at 8 miles long to the Il Regno at 113 miles! With 9 route options in between there is certainly something for everyone.
For the 10th anniversary there will be a new venue location and the prices to ride will be 50% lower (Under 24 ride FREE). There are no longer any excuses to not participate:)
The Family Fondo participants get front seat viewing at the race start as Levi leads out about 4,000-5,000 riders. The classic Bicycle jockey, Dave Towle, was there announcing and getting everyone fired up!
It takes about 20-30 minutes for all the riders to pass through the start line. Super impressive to see how far down the road the riders are lined up!
Once all the riders go through the start, the Family riders are sent on course and begin the 4 mile ride to the turn around. I had to remind Braden that this is one of the ONLY times he will be allowed to ride through red traffic lights as the course was closed down to all car traffic. That was sort of fun!
This year we were lucky to have a visit from Captain Endo from The World Of Buddy Pegs Podcast. Captain Endo was super busy handing out High Fives to all the participants as they fueled up on some snacks and received their Buddy Pegs Helmet inspection before making their way back to the finish line and the festival.
Captain Endo stretches it out for the ride back!
High Fives for everyone!
Captain Endo cheers on the main pack riders!
Kids at the FONDO this year received a PASSPORT that had many tasks for the kids to accomplish including a Scavenger Hunt, decorating their (or their parents) number plate and having their parents download our podcast, The World Of Buddy Pegs!
Melon helmets are adorable!
Buddy Pegs provided a great activity table to keep kids occupied during the festival. This provided entertainment for the kids so their parents could enjoy a beer from Lagunitas and relax after their long rides! Your welcome Mom and Dad:)
Buddy Pegs activity table is a hit...with the kids and parents.
Decorating cowbells to cheer in other riders was a favorite! However, I think some parents were not that excited about having cowbells around during the road trip back from the race....doh!
Woom Bicycles who are a sponsor of our upcoming book, Taking The Lead, sent ahead great swag for kids at the FONDO. The kids loved the slap ankle protectors (great for keeping pants out of chain rings), tattoos and other fun items!
Levi's Gran Fondo is an excellent opportunity to intergrate a great family trip with Biking and giving! We highly suggest you plan on pulling the kids out of school next year and start planning your trip to Santa Rosa!
Enjoy the rest of your Fall!
We know you are tired when you come home from work or after a chaotic day, and the notion of loading up bikes, snacks and such to get to the trailhead or a safe riding area seems overwhelming, but the rewards you get when riding with your child outnumber anything else.
The added time you put in to make it happen will pay off in more ways than can be counted. Even old dogs can learn new tricks, so get out there with your child and look for those new tricks!
At Buddy Pegs, we envision a world where the kids of today become the joyful and inspiring leaders of tomorrow. Leaders who not only lead on a global scale but also leaders who act locally to guide their communities day to day.
We believe kids who grow up with outdoor adventure, and a close relationship with the adults in their lives, are more likely to change the world for the better.