Remember that time we did Amy's Gran Fondo?×

In a few short years Amy’s Gran Fondo has gained a reputation as one of Australia’s best cycling events. Having not been able to ride previous versions due to age restrictions I was looking forward to being able to test myself along the Great Ocean Road and the closed road course that the ride offered. BG once again had strong contingent of riders down in Lorne for the event. After shutting up shop early we headed down to Lorne for the last Saturday afternoon briefing. Here we received our rider numbers and prepared for the morning’s ride.

The event’s eight a.m kick off meant that we were all awake nice and early. We then heartily consumed a truckload of porridge . After a brief warm-up BG headed to the start line to make sure we were involved in the pivotal front row picture. Lining up it was fantastic to see the amount of riders ranging from NRS racers all the way to 5 year olds coming out to enjoy the challenge of the Piccolo Fondo.

Before long the ride was underway and we were enjoying the spectacular views the Great Ocean Road has to offer. Being able to take advantage of both sides of the road is a unique experience and one rarely seen outside of professional racing. Before long the luxury of riding in a 200 strong group came to an end as we hit the climb of Skeenes Creek. Here the men were sorted out from the boys as the road headed upwards. Being on a bad day myself I was instantly shelled while resident BG mountain goat, Fergus Sully rode strongly in the front group over the climb.

The Otways

It was on the back side of the climb that the Gran Fondo could really be appreciated. In the idyllic Otways groups formed and split apart frequently. Everyone was pushing themselves to the limit on the often challenging rolling terrain. Before long I took the right turn at Dean’s Marsh signalling the final few uphill kilometres of the Fondo. With tired legs the kilometres ticked over slowly and when after an eternity the finish line finally appeared I embraced it with open arms. The descent of Benwerrin felt well deserved and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

After arriving back in Lorne we all celebrated with a well earned Burger down in Lorne. It had been a great day for all involved with some great stories shared over lunch. The event highlighted the benefit of proper organisation and the effect it has on the day. If you haven’t ridden the Amy’s Gran Fondo yet I’d thoroughly recommend it; the closed roads, beautiful scenery and perfect organisation make it an enjoyable and rewarding weekend away. Thanks to the Amy Gillett Foundation for such a great event and I look forward to seeing you down in Lorne next year!

- James Moffat