By Dave Iltis
June 30, 2016 – The 4 Peaks Gran Fondo is in its second year. The ride will be held in Pocatello, Idaho on August 20, 2016. The ride gets its name from the 4 summits it traverses over the 80 mile long course. The shorter courses cover some of the climbs too.
We asked organizer David George of 4 Peaks Gran Fondo about the ride.
Cycling West: Tell us about the courses. What are the different course options? What are the highlights of each?
4 Peaks Gran Fondo: The course covers the 4 main peaks in and around Pocatello, Idaho. It is a beautiful course with rollers, great climbs, and nice scenery. As far as options go, we have added teams (2-4 people) and also what we call a valley ride for those who want to participate, but are newer to cycling. The valley ride takes you from base to base without any of the peaks. The highlights of each are that you can challenge yourself. You can ride it all yourself, or enjoy it with friends. It is hard to choose a favorite peak: Crystal is a good warm up, Scout is beautiful, there is a sense of accomplishment with Pebble, and you may see wild turkeys and some deer on Buckskin.
Cycling West: Part of the ride is timed. Can you tell us how that works?
4PGF: The ascents are the timed portion. The KOM and QOM are strictly for the uphill portions. We want people to be careful and safe on the downhills, which by the way are fantastic!
Cycling West: Tell us more about the climbs. How hard are they? What gearing might riders need?
4PGF: The climbs vary. Crystal, Scout, and Buckskin are nice climbs with their own challenges (Category 3-4), but you will just find that gear that works for you and crank away. Pebble, well she’s special. I think Pebble would be a Category 1 climb. I have a love/hate relationship with her. She will test you, but the sense of accomplishment when you hit the top is awesome. As far as gearing goes, you won’t need anything special for the climbs, just some determination. I climb them on my mid-compact (52-36) 11-28 cassette and some of my friends do it with their 53-39 and 11-28 cassette. You should be fine with what you have.
Cycling West: The event is a fundraiser. Can you tell us more about the beneficiary?
4PGF: Last year Idaho followed suit with Utah and started their own Idaho High School Cycling League. It was a great success and we want to help it grow. We have already given over $2000 towards growing the sport and hope to increase our sponsorship every year, whether it is to the league itself or help kids get bikes who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
Cycling West: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
4PGF: Many don’t know this, but the Pocatello area is really second to none as far as quality of cycling (road and mountain). We have beautiful scenery, great climbs, and typically, very little traffic. For us that get to enjoy it every day, we feel lucky, but now it is time to share. If you come and ride, you will not be disappointed.
Event Details: August 20 — Four Peaks Gran Fondo, Pocatello, ID, One Day: 82 miles, Four Peaks: 7800ft total elevation gain. Climb the 4 peaks of the Portneuf Valley; Crystal, Scout Mountain, Pebble Creek, Buckskin. The hill climb portions are timed with timing chips. Downhill portions are not timed. Cumulative climb times will be combined to determine rank., Katie Loveday, 208-232-8996, email@example.com, 4PGF.com