When the opportunity arose to ride in the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Los Angeles – Pasadena this past Sunday, we knew it was a ride experience that we would absolutely love to participate in.
The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Los Angeles – Pasadena started at the beautiful Pasadena City Hall and featured three different courses to choose from with a Short (25 miles), Medium (66 miles) and Long (94 miles) course selection. We had good intentions of riding the Medium distance, but lack of sleep and training persuaded us that we would have more “fun” riding the Short Course.
Excitement was in the air as nearly one thousand riders lined up in front of the Pasadena City Hall. Prior to starting, there was a moment of silence for fallen cyclist Chris “Cono” Contreras, who was fatally injured in a tragic crash on Memorial Day. Once the start got underway, the ride was led by a police escort for the first six miles which kept the pace pretty fast as we rode through Old Town, over the iconic Colorado Boulevard Bridge, dropped down along the Arroyo Seco and then went by the historic Rose Bowl Stadium along the uphill portion of the Rose Bowl Ride course.
As we rode by the Rose Bowl, the elevation started to gradually increase and a lead group began to form. We rode with this group until our turn off for the 25 mile route in Altadena, then put it in cruise mode and rode in at a more leisurely pace that allowed us to check out the beautiful mansions and landmarks along the route, which included the Huntington Library, Gambel House and Botanical Gardens.
Upon arriving back to the finish, we were greeted with cheers and the opportunity to have our photo taken with the beautiful Giro d’Italia trophy. Once the riders returned they could visit the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Expo, which featured exhibitors from cycling companies and also enjoy a Pasta Party with authentic Italian Cuisine.
We enjoyed the ride and the ambiance of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia, which brought a touch of Italy to Southern California and we are already looking forward to the next Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia.
For more information on the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Los Angeles – Pasadena and other great events, please visit SoCalCycling.com’s Event Calendars!
Report & Photos by Christy Nicholson / SoCalCycling.com
Top Photo Courtesy Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia