I’ve written about this before, but in times of inflation and soaring energy prices, I thought it might be useful to look at other essential living costs we have: cycling events.
A client/friend emailed me yesterday and told me about his brother getting back into organizing cross country running events in the UK. People who live near Glasgow may not be able to pay their heating bills this coming winter, but they can run a race for £2!
This got me thinking about another friend recently who told me how much the Sea to Sky Gran Fondo was in Vancouver (from Van to Whistler up the Sea to Sky Hwy) – $325 if you buy right now…prices are rising. The longest version of this event is 122km.
Back in Europe, you have the Etape du Tour, which is surely the most famous ‘fondo’ in the world. I think that next year’s race is around €130 (sold out in 4 hours). This one is on closed roads, which is pretty rare here.
There are other famous fondos in Europe though – a lot of the biggest pro races have an accompanying amateur event. All the Monuments (LBL, Milan-Sanremo, Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Lombardia) have them, as well as up-and-comers like Strade Bianche, which is €97 in 2023. Most of these Monument events are under €100, which may seem like a steal to some and a sin to others.
The list could go on and on: Would you like to ride 315km around a Swedish lake? How about a Spanish/French event that you will never, ever learn to pronounce? There is a massive cycling event out Hamburg that takes place on the same day as a pro race. And of course, there’s a one-day / 3-country ride around Mont Blanc that will make you stronger if it doesn’t kill you first.
And then you have hundreds of local cyclosportives (in France) that have beautiful courses, strong competition and free wine at the end! A hidden gem that I’ve only ridden once is the Granite Mont Lozère, which is only €35 for a 122km/2800m ride. If you can get through it, that’s a lot of bang for your euro.
What do you have in your neighborhood, pricey or otherwise, Dear Reader?