Frequently Asked Questions & General Ride Information

Starting at Mike Ward Park located at 20 Lake Road, Irvine, CA (Lake and Alton Parkway)

In an effort to make the OC Gran Fondo a ride in which almost any cyclist can participate, riders have the choice of four separate routes. Regardless of what type of riding appeals to you or what fitness level you’re currently enjoying, we’ve got a route that works for you.
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Safety First:

This is a “Rules of the Road” event, meaning everyone must comply with all Traffic Laws, including stopping at all Stop Signs and Traffic Lights. Police will issue tickets to riders disregarding Traffic Laws. Riders failing to heed Stop Signs will be disqualified from the Strava Competition and will not receive credit for completing the Fondo. All riders must wear an approved helmet.

FAQs:

Can I Register on the Day of the Event?

Yes, registration is available on the day of the event.

Where Do Registration Fees Go?

First, they go to cover all the expenses in putting on the ride such as the food and water at rest stops, porta-potties, city permits, liability insurance, police and EMT support requirements, post-ride meal, etc. All proceeds after ride expenses go to SJN Charities, an organization of the St. John Neumann’s Catholic Church, which helps care for the needs of the homeless, needy and unemployed in our local area.

What is Your Refund Policy?

As you could imagine, there are significant costs associated with putting a charity event together. Permits, food, City Police and EMT arrangements, vehicle, give-a-ways, etc. are committed up to a year before the event. We are not able to provide refunds if we are going to provide a quality event and pay for up front expenses.

When is Packet Pickup?

Riders may pick up packets, or register in-person (cash/credit), on Friday Oct 3rd, at A Road Bike 4U, across the freeway from John Wayne Airport, located at the intersection of Main St. & Red Hill Ave., Irvine, CA 92614 (Click here for map and directions) 949.752.2080 aroadbike4u.com. Packet Pickup Hours are from Noon – 7:30pm (Riders may pick up friends’ packets with written permission and a copy of their friends’ ID). We highly recommend picking up your packet on Friday to make your morning pre-ride preparation go much smoother. However, if you can’t make it on Friday, you may also pick up your packet on the morning of the ride at Mike Ward Park from 6:00am – 7:15am

Where does the Gran Fondo Start and Where do I Park?

The ride start and morning registration is at Mike Ward Community Park, 20 Lake Road, Irvine CA, located at the corner of Alton and Lake. Click here for map. Parking is on a first come, first serve basis. There will be additional parking near the Woodbridge High School (Alton), St. John Neumann Church (Alton), and Irvine Community College (Near Alton and University) Past rides have had well over 1,000 riders so it is recommended that you carpool, or better yet, ride your bike!

Do all the Routes Start and Finish at the Same Location?

Yes, all routes start and finish at Mike Ward Community Park.

Is a Jersey Included in the Registration Fee?

Gran and Medio Fondo riders have the option to register with the jersey included. This bundled package is a tremendous deal as you are getting a jersey included for only an additional $30 (Retail Value is $100). Riders who registered with jersey included on or before August 29th will receive them at packet pick up. Otherwise, they will be received in the mail after the ride.

What Type of Bike May I Ride in the Fondo?

We strongly recommend a standard road bicycle (650c or 700c size wheels) WITHOUT aero bars. However, mountain bikes and recumbents are fine. For safety reasons, we do not allow E-bikes or trikes.

Do I Need to Have My Bike Inspected?

Riders must individually ensure their bicycle is mechanically sound and equipped with fully serviceable brakes, wheels, and tires. We encourage every rider get a professional tune-up and safety inspection prior to the ride. Our sponsor, A Road Bike 4U, can provide this service, as well as many of the other great bike shops throughout Orange County. We highly recommend scheduling your tune-up at least one week in advance of the ride.

Will There be Mechanical Support on the Ride?

A Road Bike 4U Mechanics will be at the Start/Finish on Saturday morning from 5:45am – 8:00am. All mechanics begin roving the courses at 8:00am. You must pay mechanics for any replacement parts. Representatives from a number of local bike shops will be available at rest stops to assist with any mechanical needs you may encounter.

Will the Ride Take Place if it Rains?

Yes! The ride will occur Rain or Shine! Southern California rarely gets rain by early October but it is possible.

Is the Ride Timed?

No, the ride itself is not timed. However, there are several segments of the Gran and Medio Fondo routes that will be timed should you choose to participate. For more information, click here.

Is There a Time Limit to Complete the Fondo?

Yes, all courses are officially closed at 5pm at which time the Start/Finish area will be taken down. Before this, SAG vehicles will begin sweeping the course offering riders still on course the opportunity for a ride back to the Start/Finish.

What if I Have a Question that is not Listed Here?

Check the General Rider Information below. Otherwise, we are happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please email us at ocgranfondo@gmail.com or call us at (949)529-1241

General Rider Information

Share the Road:

Vehicle traffic may be heavy in some places. If you are in a large group please ride no more than two abreast and stay off the white lines. Announce “Car back” and give extra room, if safely possible. Keep calm if vehicles honk or behave aggressively.

Gear Drop:

You may leave your gear Saturday morning in the Start/Finish area. Do not leave valuables, as we cannot guarantee security. This service is primarily for riders wishing to leave outer layers of warm clothing worn just prior to the start. An additional Gear Drop is available on your route’s first rest stop until 10:00 A.M. These bags will be returned to the Mike Ward Park at 10:30 A.M. and stored at the Finish. Mark gear bags with Bib#/Name. Pick up Gear Bags after the ride. Unclaimed bags will be returned at rider’s expense ($7).

Ride Waivers:

All riders and volunteers must complete and sign a Waiver. Save time by downloading the waiver from our website or signing at packet pick-up. No exceptions for the ride.

Rest Stops:

Use extra caution riding in Rest Stop areas. If you are stopping, announce “Stopping!” to avoid rear-end crashes. Move bicycles completely off road. To limit vehicles, promote safety, and comply with permit restrictions, outside support from friends & family in vehicles is not permitted anywhere on the course.

Route Markings/Maps:

There will be colored arrows and signs marking the route. Rider packets will include a Route Slip and Map detailing the course and rest stops.

Ride Photos:

There will be a professional rider at the event. And photos will be posted by Bib#.

Floor Pumps/First Aid Kits:

Available at the Start and each Rest Stop

SAG Support:

Clearly marked SAG vehicles will be patrolling the course. Flag them down if you have a mechanical problem, need water, or need other assistance. A phone number for emergency SAG support will be provided on your route slip.

Lunch / After Ride Meal:

All riders registered riders receive a post-ride pasta meal with beverage. Lunches will be available starting at 11:00 A.M. Bibs indicate rider’s lunch receipt and will be “punched”. Lunch may be purchased by non-registered riders.

Trash:

Please keep all your on-route trash (especially energy bar wrappers, gel packets, and banana peels). Use trash bags located at all Rest Stops and the Start/Finish.

Course Marshals:

Volunteers will be identified by special T-shirts. Most volunteers are trained only with their station’s operation.

Volunteers:

Our Gratitude goes out to all the volunteers for all their hard work. Volunteers are giving up their weekend and have spent countless hours to help you enjoy yours. Please always be courteous and let ‘em know you appreciate their help!