Garden State Fondo’s Decade Long Story

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Garden State Fondo, formerly known as Gran Fondo NJ is the Northeast’s premier cycling endurance challenge.

For almost a decade, Gran Fondo NJ has made thousands of cyclists fall in love with the Garden State: A place on earth filled with good things to eat and endless green rolling hills and quiet farm roads to ride on. Over the years we turned our corner of the Garden State into an immense cycling playground and built one of the most vibrant cycling communities in the nation. 

Gran Fondo NJ produced cycling experiences for kids through adults, introduced the 5 star rest stops concept to big rides, became the advocacy force behind cycling infrastructure and cycling safety improvement, developed the first sustainable cycling event in America, energized towns across New Jersey around the sport, and created the best finish line block party in cycling.

From day one Gran Fondo NJ’s mission was to bring all levels of people to face and respect the unique beauty and geography that the Garden State has to offer. Gran Fondo NJ was never about attacking a mountain with brute force, but about becoming one with nature. It is about respecting the characteristic of our terrain, developing the technique to ride rolling hills, mastering nature and using the Garden State’s unique geography cunningly. 

Becoming one with nature through physical challenges is in the heart of the human experience for thousands of years, and a major force in everything we do. Name is not just an identity, but a home. The Garden State Fondo name strengthens our focus on creating sustainable cycling challenges in one of the most beautiful, greenest and best kept secret corners of the USA. It’s where we want ourselves and the event to thrive.

The Garden State Fondo is all about harnessing the amazing experiences that Gran Fondo NJ provided cyclists in the past while increasing focus on our core value: Challenge people at all levels to experience something truly incredible on their bikes in an environment of natural beauty they didn’t know still existed.

We are proud to announce the following new programming elements that will debut in 2019:

  1. Estremo: The ultimate northeast one day cycling challenge featuring 125 miles, 9,500 feet of climbing and 6 timed climbs, redefining the Gran Fondo experience and bringing in into an unparalleled territory.

  2. Weekend programming: Garden State Fondo 2019 will now feature events and programs to advance the northeast’s cycling culture starting on Saturday, leading up to the main event on Sunday. Details are still being finalized so stay tuned for the full weekend schedule as the event nears. 

  3. Choose a goal: You can still challenge yourself on the hills, and we suggest to take it easy in between, but for the first time we will issue gold, silver and bronze timeframes for each of the routes, so you can choose your own goal. 

  4. Array of locally sourced foods: All the outstanding locally sourced foods and drinks you know and those you can’t even imagine: affogatos, cannolis, espressos, burgers, wood fire pizza, beers, a dozen flavors of hydration drinks and Cliff bars.

  5. Brand new cycling jersey: Designed to keep with the times, the 2019 Garden State jersey celebrates fun. It borrows cues from classic cycling jersey designs in admiration of the sport’s history and adds a modern northeastern design to the mix, resulting in a contemporary, fast-looking kit.

  6. More value: Garden State Fondo 2019 offers ride ticket + jersey bundles at a discount and a new pricing structure with lower pricing. The Estremo route is with no additional charge.

  7. Free training rides: Available for registered riders. 

  8. Coaching and training: Regular column with advice from professional coaches on the Fondo blog.

Cycling to empower our Charity Partners

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GFNJ has raised over $1,250,000 to date. Our beneficiaries include:

New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition   Working to make New Jersey a better place to live, with safer, more enjoyable ways to bicycle and walk.

New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition

Working to make New Jersey a better place to live, with safer, more enjoyable ways to bicycle and walk.

The Seeing Eye   Assists visually impaired people gain independence, self-confidence, and dignity through the use of dogs.

The Seeing Eye

Assists visually impaired people gain independence, self-confidence, and dignity through the use of dogs.

Homeless Solutions   Homeless Solutions philosophy is “A Hand Up, Not A Handout”. Offering shelter, services, and supportive housing since 1983..

Homeless Solutions

Homeless Solutions philosophy is “A Hand Up, Not A Handout”. Offering shelter, services, and supportive housing since 1983..

Raritan Headwaters   A nonprofit conservation organization that protects water in our rivers, our streams, and our homes.

Raritan Headwaters

A nonprofit conservation organization that protects water in our rivers, our streams, and our homes.

NICA - New Jersey Interscholastic Cycling League   A non-profit organization that promotes high school mountain biking programs in the United States.

NICA - New Jersey Interscholastic Cycling League

A non-profit organization that promotes high school mountain biking programs in the United States.

 

Riding for a Sustainability World

GFNJ was born out of a belief that our future depends on building sustainable communities. Our goal in the event is to promote cycling as a major part of daily life and improve how communities interact with the natural world. 

Over 90% of the “waste” generated from the event diverted from landfills to recycling, reuse, or composting. We are the first cycling event in the world to achieve the Gold Standard for Sustainability from the Council for Responsible Sport. 


To achieve our vision for we set to make GFNJ an important part of the cultural & economic life of our community. GFNJ has raised over $1,250,000 to date in support of charities which share GFNJ's vision. 

By being part of the GFNJ family you are helping us preserve Morristown's natural beauty, develop the future of our community, make New Jersey safer for cyclists and enable the next generation of American athletes. 

Gran Fondo New Jersey is the largest single sponsor of New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, a major sponsor of the New Jersey Interscholastic Mountain Biking Association (NICA), an important organization in promoting women cycling around Morris County and a strong advocate of improving road conditions in and around Morristown. 

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