JUNE 22 2019 

Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake area boast some of the finest and most challenging cycling in North America, and the Garrett County Gran Fondo has established itself as a premier North American Gran Fondo unsurpassed in challenge, scenery, and riding quality. 

With seven Timed KOM Climbs covering 14.8 miles and 5400' of elevation gain, the Garrett County Gran Fondo is the King of all Climbing Gran Fondos. No other Gran Fondo has more timed climbing! Read up on the specs of the Timed KOM Climbs and Other Major Climbs at the Garrett County Gran Fondo, and bring your climbing legs! 

The Garrett County Gran Fondo has a ride for everyone from the recreational cyclist to seasoned professionals with five supported ride options. With the exception of the "Garrett's Greatest 25", all Garrett County Gran Fondo routes are extremely challenging, very steep climbing affairs and riders should plan accordingly. Some hills peak out at over 20% pitch and have extended stretches well into the teens. It is highly recommended that you gear your bike appropriately for the severe climbing. 

All proceeds from the Garrett County Gran Fondo go to Garrett Trails Nonprofit Organization located in Garrett County, Maryland to benefit to trails throughout the area. 

What Do I Get With My Registration?
Well, you get one awesome and beautiful ride with great aid stations and top notch support that you will not soon forget! 

Oh, you mean besides that? All Garrett County Gran Fondo registrants receive: 

One $10 discount coupon at local restaurants
A Garrett County Gran Fondo participant t-shirt
A Garrett County Gran Fondo water bottle
Sponsors Goodie Bag
A Garrett County Gran Fondo Finisher's hat given to finishers only at Finish Line
One food (bbq) and non-alcoholic drink ticket at the Finish Line Festival

Can I Register Onsite?
If the event has not sold out, onsite registrations will be accepted. There is a $20 registration surcharge for onsite registrations and no discount codes are accepted for onsite registrants.

Additionally, onsite registrants will receive their participant t-shirts at the finish line after the event rather than at packet pickup in order to ensure that all early, online registrants receive their desired size first. Onsite registrants are not guaranteed swag. 
What Is The Refund, Transfer, Deferral Policy?
There are no refunds for the Garrett County Gran Fondo for registration fees, charitable donations, or merchandise purchases. 

Registration Transfers to another rider will be granted upon request at $25 charge until three weeks prior to the event (June 2). 

Registration Deferrals to a subsequent year will be granted upon request at no charge until two weeks prior to the event (June 9).

What Is The Cancellation Policy?
The Garrett County Gran Fondo will be held in all but the most extreme weather events. However in the very unlikely circumstance of event cancellation event management is not obligated to refund registration fees, charitable donations, or merchandise purchases. With that said, while under no obligation to do so, event management will make all attempts to "make it right" based on the circumstances of the event cancellation.

The Event Benefits Garrett Trails, a 501(c)3. Does That Mean My Registration Fee Is Tax-Deductible?
No, your registration fee is not tax-deductible. The registration fee covers the event production costs and reflects the the value of the services provided and is thus not tax-deducitble. 

However, with each registration is a required donation to Garrett Trails, and the chosen amount donated is tax-deductible. The registration confirmation email separates the registration fee from the donation amount and serves as the donation receipt for your tax purposes. 

Where and When Is Everything: Packet Pickup, the Start & Finish, Parking?
Everything is now conveniently located at Garrett College. Packet Pickup (both Friday and Saturday),
Start and Finish Line for all rides, and the Finish Festival with Beer Garden.

Nothing is at Wisp Resort or Adventure Sports Center International like prior years. Do not go to these places! 

Packet pickup is in the Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) from 3:00 - 8:45pm on Friday and Saturday 6-8am. 

Parking is available in the various nearby Garrett College lots for Friday and Saturday activities 

Rides will start promptly (See "What Times Do The Rides Start"), beginning with the Diabolical Double at 7am.

Do I Have To Pick Up My Packet on Friday or Can I Just Show Up Saturday Morning?
It is strongly recommended that you pick up your packet on Friday. 

But, yes, you may pick up your materials on Saturday morning. Keep in mind that everything is rushed and busy Saturday morning and that last-second packet pickup does not open until 6:00AM, so expect lines and frayed nerves. Recommendation: forgo the stress and the frayed nerves and pick up your materials on Friday!

Do I Ride My Bike To The Start Or Is There Parking?
See the venue layout map here 

There is parking in the various small to mid-size lots throughout Garrett College. Please follow parking attendees. If you are staying at the Quality Inn or Wisp Resort in McHenry, you may consider riding to the start as it is only about 1.5 miles. Your discretion.

What Time Do The Rides Start?
In order to control rider density on the roads and at the aid stations, ride starts are staggered at 20 minute intervals, with the exception of Garrett's Greatest 25 which starts later at 10:00AM. 

You must start with your registered ride or with a later ride. Please do not simply take off on your own between rides or before the 7:00 AM event start. 

7:00 AM - Diabolical Double 125

7:20 AM - Savage Century 100
7:40 AM - Masochistic Metric 63
8:00 AM - Fabulous 44
10:00 AM - Garrett's Greatest 25

Do I Have to Do the Ride For Which I Registered?
No. You can ultimately ride whichever ride you like, but you must start with your registered ride group or with a later ride. In other words, if you are registered for the Savage Century but want to do the Masochistic Metric instead, you may start with the Masochistic Metric start group (later) if you desire. However, you may not start with the Diabolical Double start group (earlier). Only riders with appropriate bike numbers will be allowed into the starting corral for each ride. 

The Garrett's Greatest 25 has no options to change route, but for the other rides, once on the road there are route divergence points at mile 30.0 (Fabulous 44 diverges from 63, 100, 125), mile 52.8 (44 and 63 diverge from 100 and 125), and mile 68.3 (100 diverges from 125). At any of these points you can decide to follow whichever route you would like, so long as within the time cutoffs. 

Should you ultimately choose to ride a route longer than what was registered for, we request a donation for the registration fee difference ($10) at the Garrett County Gran Fondo Online Store. We will know this based on the KOM timing chip data, but will keep this reimbursal for ride upgrade on the honor system until it becomes a problem.

Can I Start With My Friend Who Is Doing a Different Ride?
Yes, but you must start together with the later ride. 

If I Find This Is Harder Than I Expected, Can I Change to a Shorter Ride on the Fly?
Yes, this is encouraged. We would very much prefer you get home under your own power via a shorter ride than take up space in the broom wagon. 

If I Find This Is Harder Than I Expected and I Need a Ride Back to the Finish, What Do I Do?
Hopefully you can make it to the next aid station. From the aid stations there will be buses shuttling people and their bikes back to the finish. If you cannot make it to the next aid station, don't sweat it, we'll take care of you. We strive for motorcycles rather than vehicles out supporting the routes due to better coexistence with riders on small country roads, but we will get a sag vehicle to you.

What Should I Expect at the Finish Line Festival? Will There Be Food and Beer?
Tired legs. There will be tired legs at the finish line. 

There will also be music, barbeque, and a beer garden. All finishers receive a single food / drink ticket. Beer is available for purchase only with photo id and must be kept within the confined beer garden area.

Are There Showers and Changing Facilities at the Finish?
Yes, the Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Center will be open for Garrett County Gran Fondo participants.

Are These Rides Really That Hard? The Hills Don't Look That Big....
In a word, Yes. With the exception of Garrett's Greatest 25, these rides are extremely hard. The hills are very steep and the Garrett County Gran Fondo seeks them out. Even the Fabulous 44 has four extraordinarily challenging climbs. Come prepared with sufficient gearing! 

Do not underestimate the Garrett County Gran Fondo. Rare is the circumstance where the feedback we receive is: "I expected it to be harder". For any of the 44 to 125 mile rides, it is highly likely to be the hardest ride of that distance you will have experienced.

Is The Garrett County Gran Fondo a Race?
Nope. Sure isn't. 

There are seven timed KOM climbs within the Garrett County Gran Fondo rides and KOM champions are crowned based on these climbs, but the rides themselves are not timed and are not races. 

Roads are not closed to traffic and traffic marshals are not present at turns and intersections. Riders must abide all traffic laws while participating in the Garrett County Gran Fondo.

You Provide a Lot of Navigation Options - Cue Sheets, Garmin Files, Mobile App Navigation. Do I Need This Stuff?
Do you need it? No. Is it better to be safe than sorry? Yes. 

The roads will be painted with stenciled arrows and all that is required of riders is attentiveness to keep an eye out for these arrows. However, we do strongly recommend that you take a cue sheet with you, and if you have a Garmin or GPS bike computer that you load the routes, and/or if you ride with a cell phone that you use the mobile app route navigation. Necessary? No. Prudent? Yes.

What Gearing Do You Recommend?
The more the merrier. No one finishes the Garrett County Gran Fondo and says "I regret putting that 32 tooth cog cassette in back", but every year the sag wagon is full of riders bemoaning how their legs gave out because they didn't have a high enough climbing gear. We would recommend at least compact cranks with a 27 tooth cog in back. And, even more is better if you have the option.
What Type of Bikes Are Allowed?
The Garrett County Gran Fondo is unsanctioned and we have chosen to not restrict the type of bikes permitted. We do request that anyone planning to ride on tandem bikes contact us first. 

Triathlon bikes and aerobars are permitted, however keep in mind that what goes steeply up also comes steeply down and triathlon bikes tend not to handle as nicely as road bikes. If you are in a position of choosing from multiple bikes, gearing and handling on descents should be your primary considerations.

What Are The Roads Like? Are There Dirt or Gravel Roads?
The Garrett County Gran Fondo is overwhelmingly a paved road ride. But, yes, there are two sections of dirt or gravel throughout all the Garrett County Gran Fondo roads. 

The Diabolical Double ride only includes the 1.6 mile gravel Blue Lick Road. Blue Lick Road's quality varies year to year from smooth, well-packed dirt/gravel to rough gravel depending on how recently the county has applied the latest gravel. As of late June 2018 Blue Lick Road is in great riding condition with very smooth tread lanes, similar to the state shown from 3:32 to 4:10 of the course video. 

A detour is marked for those who would prefer to avoid Blue Lick Road. The detour adds roughly 1.1 miles. Blue Lick Road is awesome. We do not recommend detouring around it.

Are The Roads Closed to Traffic?

No. All roads are open to traffic and all riders are responsible for their own safety and for abiding traffic laws.

What Is At The Aid Stations?
Friendly volunteers. So be nice to them. They already think you are crazy; don't make them think you are mean, too. 

Aid stations will be well stocked with a combination of energy food/drink as well as "regular" food and snack items: 

Hammer HEED
Hammer Gels
Hammer Endurolytes
PB&J Sandwiches
Salty Snacks - pretzels, chips, etc...
Fruit - Oranges, bananas, ....
Sweet Stuff - Cookies, M&Ms, doughnuts
Cue Sheets
Bike Pump & Tools
Tubes & CO2 cartridges (for sale - please reimburse later if no cash on ride)

Are There Cut-Off Times?
Yes, there are cut-off times. These are lenient and are only meant to ensure that riders do not head out for the most distant corners of the rides who are not on pace to complete by dusk. 

All riders who arrive after 2:15pm at the Mile 68.3 divergence point where the 125 and 100 mile routes split must follow the 100 mile route to the finish. 

All riders who arrive after 1:15pm at the Mile 52.8 divergence point where 44/63 routes split from 100/125 routes must follow the 44/63 routes to the finish.

Is The Event Timed?
Yes and No. 

No, the event is not timed in that it is not a race and riders are not given official finishing times. In fact, there is not even a timing mat at the finish. 

Yes, the event is timed in that there are cut-off times at certain locations. And, riders wear timing chips on their ankles for the seven timed KOM climbs. These seven timed KOM climbs are the only racing portions of the day.

How Do the KOMs Work? Is There an Awards Ceremony?
Full details here on the  Timed KOM Competition. 

Unfortunately there is no Awards Ceremony due to the fact that Timed KOM Climb #7 - Dry Run Rd is so late in the ride that the timing mats (and their data) must stay out until very late in the evening. We are able to produce results for the first six climbs much earlier and post them at the finish line, but the inability to get results from the final KOM climb makes it impossible to curate final results until it is too late to hold an Awards Ceremony.