FAQs

 
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1.  How does a Alberta Gran Fondo Series event work?
Patrick Dardis, one of the organizers the series, defines a Gran Fondo is a long distance cycling event that focuses on both competitive and recreational experience. AGFS events accomplish this by the use of timed segments to provide a competitive experience and by creating unforgettable and beautiful routes to proved a recreational experience. Riders leave together at the specified start-time. Riders can choose between different course lengths. Riders can ride at their own pace with the goal to simply finish and have fun and/or focus on competing for their best time over the timed sections.

2.  Why is it a provincial series?
Riders have the opportunity to compete to be the best gran fondo rider in the province, through collective placement across the series of events.  It is an opportunity for the strongest riders to come together and test themselves against each other. Riders can choose to participate in one event or several events and all events are open to all riders. 

3. Who is the beneficiary?
Beneficiaries are listed on the event page for each event.

4. Is there a Provincial Championship competition for the 50 kilometres and 100 kilometres course?
The Gran Fondo Provincial Championship and the Gran Fondo Provincial Series focus on and refers to the 160 kilometres course only.  The 50 kilometres and 100 kilometres participants will only receive awards for their distance/category in the event for which they are competing and not be awarded any provincial standing.

5.  What are the courses like?
Choose between ~160, ~100 and ~50 kilometres distances. The roads are not closed to traffic but they are low traffic routes and include traffic control at many intersections. Expect to experience scenic, challenging, and remote roads. Amazing is the objective strive for when we design a course.

6.  What is the Schedule?
Start time is mandatory all riders must start together at the indicated time. All timed sections are open for specific durations; you must enter and exit each time section during the specified time each section is open.  This is figured on an average progression speed between 22 mph and 10 mph (note: this is not average ride speed, this is average progression speed and includes all stopped time, i.e total time)

7.  What is the Entry Fee?
Entry fees are posted online for each event and very based on the length of the loop, the specific event, and how far in advance a rider registers. Riders that want to participate in all five events will receive discounts on their entry fee if complete in one transaction.

8.  How is the course timed?
Each rider is provided with a reusable high performance timing chip that is tracked when riders cross through timing points. Splits are recorded and posted at the event and online.  Typically the 160 kilometres route has 4 timed sections, the 100 kilometres route has 2 timed sections, and the 50 kilometres loop has 1 timed section. *(the number of timed sections can vary from course to course.  See course  maps for details). Timing chips must be returned, these are high quality chips and riders are responsible for the value of the chip ($100).

9.  What are the categories?
There are several categories.  The overall winners are those who finish first regardless of categories (first as in best time section times, not first one back to the stat finish area.  For example a rider who is in the 35-44 Category and has the fastest combined times of the day will win the overall as well as 1st place for 35-44 Category (this rider would be awarded a prize for the overall best time, and also get a 1st pace award for age category).  For the Gran Fondo Provincial Championship, the fastest combined time over the 5 race series for riders in their respective categories will be crowned the Gran Fondo Provincial Champion and will earn a Gran Fondo Provincial Champion title and jersey. 

Your racing age is the age you will be on December 31st of the current year we are in. (example: If you race on Sept 22nd and are 44 years old on the day of the race, and your birthday is Nov 3rd, your racing age would be 45)

Junior Male 14-20

Men 21-34

Men 35-44

Men 45-54

Men 55-64

Men 65 and up

Junior (Female) 14-20

Women 21-34

Women 35-44

Women 45-54

Women 55-64

Women 65 and up

10.  What is included in the entry?

Apply 100% of your AGFS entry fee toward:

Traffic Control

T-Shirt included for registrations received more than 10 day’s in advance of event date

Fully stocked aid stations with energy product and food

Four timed sections (requires over $100,000 in contracted timing equipment)

Post-race food, beverage, and entertainment

Goody-bag with various schwag items

Finisher medal for all Gran Route Finishers

Awards for age-group placement

Chance to win prizes for placement

Chance to win raffle prizes

Mechanical support

The enjoyment of ride one of the finest cycling route you’ve ever ridden

11.  Registration and start location?
See specific event page for details, some events require a day before event packet/number pick up

12.  Do I need a license to participate?
No, You do not need a special license to ride.

13.  What bike is appropriate?
Any bike, in good safe working condition, can be used. The ideal bike is a road bike with skinny tires and multiple gears. These are difficult courses and heavy bikes with mountain bike tires will be at a distinct disadvantage, as will aero-bars.
No recumbent bikes allowed.

14.  Is there a minimum age for participation?
Yes, Riders must be 14 years of age to participate. 

15.  What are the timed sections like?
Many timed sections are climbs but not all are.  Timed sections are intended to determine the strongest riders.

16. Where can I stay?
See event pages for details.

17.  Where is there parking?
Parking details are provided for each event.

18.  Refunds or transfers?
No refunds or transfers will be granted. If you cannot participate in the event you can volunteer in exchange for a deferral to next year’s event.

19.  Where are the Pit stops / feed stations?
Feed stations provide food and drink along the route. The location of the feed stations are marked in the race notes and maps.  Typically feed stations are about every 30 kilometress.

20.  Is there a time cut-off?
Yes, there are cut off times. All riders must maintain and average progression speed of at least 16 kmph or they will be directed to take a shorter route. All timed sections are open for specific durations; you must enter and exit each time section during the specified scheduled time each section is open.  This is figured on an average progression speed between 35 kmph and 16 kmph (note: this is not average ride speed, this is average progression speed and includes all stopped time, i.e total time). 

21.  Mechanical Support?
Roving mechanical support is offered but be prepared to fix your own flats as you may have to wait longer for the roving support than it will take to fix it yourself

22.  Are there local bike shops I can get last minute supplies from?
Yes, each event has a bike shop in proximity

23.  If I can’t finish what do I do?
If you feel like you cannot finish, take one of the shorter routes back.  There will be a SAG vehicle that can give a ride back; however, this vehicle will stay behind the last rider and will not provide immediate transport back.

24.  Is it a mass start?
Start time is mandatory all riders must start together.

25.  Rain or shine?
Yes

26.  Is there food provided?
Yes, at aid stations and after the finish we supply some hot food, but we also recommend checking out a real meal in the downtown areas.

27.  Can I volunteer?
Yes, please contact us at info@granfondochampionship.com and see https://www.albertagranfondoseries.com for details

28.  Can I go on course and cheer people on?
Yes

29.  Are there any primes for the timed sections?
company will presents watches to the fastest riders in timed sections. The fastest females in sections 1 and 3 and the fastest men in sections 2 and 4 will receive a watch.

30. What are the size options for jerseys
Custom event jerseys are produced by . Refer to the apparel sizing chart to make sure you order the correct size.

31.  What riding gear/things do you need?

  Helmet—no helmet, no ride!

  Water bottles

  A basic tool kit

  Tire pump or CO2 cartridges

  Appropriate riding clothing to match the weather report

  Spare tube and patch kit

  If you have odd sized tires or tubes, bring an extra spare

  Personal ID and medical insurance cards

  Cell phone

32. Team Category details

Team category is only for the Gran Route distance (160 kilometres).

Teams must have 4 or more riders to qualify.

Team time is equal to the sum of any 4 team riders cumulative times (add 4 riders times together and it equals a team time).

Team riders are still eligible for individual awards.

33. No child bike seats or trailers allowed.

34. No Team Cars on Route. No exceptions! Team cars can provide support in designated feed stations.  Please do not risk the safey of others or make it difficult for us to permit the event in the future. Team Cars are one of the biggest concerns when it comes to permitting and are not allowed on AGFS routes.