You’ve been pedalling all winter, through all kinds of undesirable weather, now is the time, spring rouses the adventurer from within. So we recommend Gran Fondo New York as an option to head out on your wheels, and meet different guys and gals for some fun.

Gran Fondo New York (GFNY) is the brilliant brainchild of Lidia and Uli Fluhme, whose ideology is one of bringing people together:

“Lidia grew up in Poland behind the iron wall. Uli grew up in Western Germany, a country divided by a wall. We experienced first hand that walls dividing countries and cultures are harmful, disrespectful and plain dumb.

One of the things we love most about GFNY is that it brings cultures together. Whether it’s in NYC, Cozumel, France or Indonesia: we don’t have to speak the local language to enjoy riding and racing with others because we all speak cycling.

We welcome everyone at GFNY, no matter where in the world but right now particularly anyone from Mexico. We’ve stayed several months over the last few years in Mexico because we love the warmth of its people and their passion for cycling. Thank you Mexico for being part of GFNY!”

With constant media outpourings of how divided our world is becoming, there’s something kinda heartwarming thinking of a cycling shaped bandaid to help banish such negativity.

There are a plethora of events to choose from around the globe–from New York, obviously, to taking on the giant of Provence, to Mexico or Indonesia. These are closed road or moderated traffic events that anyone can sign up to. Organised as personal challenges, to compete against each other, the clock and yourself, there’s enough level of competition for everyone.

The original event from NYC to Bear Mountain is a tough 100 mile (160km) route; which can safely say it has one of the most iconic start lines—the George Washington bridge, a piece of human engineering which is the very antithesis of a wall.

With 14 different events spread over 4 continents, there is plenty to explore and different cultures to become acquainted with.

For more details on finding events near or far away from you:

Words: Hannah Troop Photos: Gran Fondo New York