Sunday 2014-10-12 Public Service Event: Gran Fondo Virginia Bike Ride

Gran Fondo Virginia Logo
Image from web site

AARC will be providing communications support for the 2014 Gran Fondo Virginia Bike Ride.
This is a relatively new event (I think last year was the first) and is seriously understaffed. It appears that ham radio operators will be the only rest stop staff at some or all rest stops to free up scarce event volunteers.

Contact KK4SHO to volunteer.

more below the fold…

This is a timed bike ride and thus falls between the rides and the races we are accustomed to. Also, this year they are actually using RFID tags to time the event.

Do not confuse this with other events such as the Gran Fondo Allegany or Gran Fondo Carolina by the same organizer or other Gran Fondo events worldwide.

GPS Tracks

The organizer has uploaded GPS tracks to ridewithgps:
2014 Gran Fondo route:
2014 Medio Fondo route:
2014 Picollo Fondo route:
Click on the first link for crude printable maps.

Rest stops and other Waypoints

37.923082, -78.588889, GF2014_Registration, Registration and food, Picnic Shelter #2, Walnut Creek Park
37.936396, -78.592085, GF2014_Gate_House, Gate House, Walnut Creek Park, Finish Line near here
37.921714, -78.588466, GF2014_Beach_House, Walnut Creek Park, 4250 Walnut Creek Park, North Garden, VA 22959,
37.791292, -78.701889, GF2014_RS1, Walton Mountain Museum,6484 Rockfish River Rd Schuyler, VA 22969 (nelson county),
37.797741, -78.496497, GF2014_RS2, Dorrier Park, Scottsville, 250 Page Street, Scottsville, VA 24590,
37.992769, -78.444781, GF2014_RS3, Salt Artisan Market, 1330 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902,

Note that the text above was formatted so it could be directly converted to GPX waypoints for your GPS using:
gpsbabel -w -i csv -f GF2014_waypoints.csv -o gpx -F GF2014_waypoints.gpx
The coordinates are approximate based on descriptions given in email.

Dorrier park appears to be slightly off the GPS track which turns directly from Harrison to Main, about a block from the nominal location of the park.

Cell reception is dreadful at the lake beach house at Walnut Creek Park but you can hit a couple of the club repeaters from there. Note that the start/finish coordinates and the start/end of the GPS tracks are at the beach house but apparently the finish line is going to be moved closer to the park entrance for better cell phone reception. The parking is by the beach house. Registration and post event food is in picnic shelter #2 in the woods near the beach house.

Salt Artisan Market is at the intersection of Milton Rd. and Rt. 53 in Simeon/Shadwell near Jefferson Vineyards where 53 makes a right angle turn.

Note that there is considerable room for confusion around the kluge loop (Carter’s Mountain Road, Secretary Road, and Blenham Road) . The century ride goes around the Kluge loop once, clockwise from the southeast corner, then goes around another big loop, then comes back on the northern corner and does two thirds of the loop clockwise before exiting at the southwest corner. The medio ride just does the bottom side of the kluge loop, once.

The rest stops are at about 21, 42, and 76 miles on the Gran Fondo route, which leaves the century riders 34 miles between rest stop 2 and 3 and 25 miles from there to finish. The corner of secretary and blenham would be a good location for another rest stop as it would add rest stops at 61 and 81 miles.
On the Medio route, the rest stops are at approximately the 1/3 points.


King of Mountain/Queen of Mountain. Winner on designated ride segments.
Apparently the company running a website that hosts online competition on segments based on gps tracks.
Gran Fondo
Wikipedia: Gran Fondo, also the longer ride (century)
Medio Fondo
The medium length ride
Picollo Fondo
The short ride

Download script

The following script/commands can be executed under Linux, Mac OS X shell, cygwin under windoze, etc. with the requisite programs (bash, wget, gpsbabel, wkhtmltopdf) installed:

wget -O GF2014_AARC_web_story.html
wkhtmltopdf GF2014_AARC_web_story.pdf
wget -O GF2014_gran_fondo_track.gpx ""
wget -O GF2014_gran_fon ""
wget -O GF2014_medio_fondo_track.gpx ""
wget -O GF2014_medio_fondo_route.gpx ""
wget -O GF2014_picollo_fondo_track.gpx ""
wget -O GF2014_picollo_fondo_route.gpx ""
gpsbabel -t -i gpx -f GF2014_gran_fondo_track.gpx -x reverse -o gpx -F GF2014_gran_fondo_track_reverse.gpx
gpsbabel -t -i gpx -f GF2014_medio_fondo_track.gpx -x reverse -o gpx -F GF2014_medio_fondo_track_reverse.gpx
gpsbabel -t -i gpx -f GF2014_picollo_fondo_track.gpx -x reverse -o gpx -F GF2014_picollo_fondo_track_reverse.gpx

Rider’s participation guide

Last Year’s Event

The AARC page for last year’s race had propagation maps. Route may be different this year. Last year the route had to be changed (from what is on the linked page) to something different because VDOT did not want the ride crossing 29.
Looks like the bottom portion of the route, including the kluge loop may be similar but the western portion that crossed 29 has been folded over towards monticello.


Propagation study suggests that the problem areas may be in the bottom loop especially Howardsville/Schuyler/Rockfish/Faber and that the 146.760 repeater would generally be the best of the three linked club 2m repeaters. The K4DND 146.730 repeater would be useful in the event of technical difficulties on 760.

New: A Propagation map is attached for this years course. It suggests signal on 760 will be a bit weak (-80 to -90dBm) at the rest stops, The shadows shouldn’t be too bad on 146.760. Rest stop 1 might have better signal on 146.925 but it will be very dependent on exact location.

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