Gran Fondo Highwood Pass – FAQs

Q: Why are there only 600 spaces available for this Gran Fondo?

A: Yes, 600 is smaller than many Gran Fondos, designed to be mass participation cycling events. We came to this number in consultation with Alberta Parks and Alberta Transportation. Highway 40 is a remote 2-lane highway used by all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts and sightseers. While we anticipate very light traffic in the morning hours, the highway and checkpoints along the route will remain open for other vehicles and users. 600 is also a number at which we feel that we can optimize the experience for all participants.

Q: How will the start be organized?

A: The start chute will be divided into 4 blocks each with space for 150 riders. You will be pre-assigned to one of the four blocks – you will have the choice to choose your block in advance on a first come, first served basis. On race day when the start chute opens you will check in at your assigned section. The 4 sections will start in waves, with a delay between each section to allow traffic to clear.

Q: What should we expect for weather?

A: Expect anything. Seriously. Mid-July is typically nice weather in the Rockies, but it has been known to snow, rain, sleet, blow, etc.! Even on a nice day it will be cool at the summit, and weather can change quickly, so you should bring a shell type jacket and either tights or leg-warmers even if the forecast is good. It the forecast is calling for rain, be sure to wear and/or bring some extra layers.

Q: What are the cutoff times?

A: The cutoff times are as follows:

Checkpoint 3 at 98 km – 3 PM
Finish Line – 5 PM

If you can’t make it to a checkpoint on time, the SAG will take you to the finish.

Q: What will be available at the aid stations?

A: Aid Stations will offer the following, (subject to change in the fine details):

Water
Honey Stinger Gels
Sharkies
Ultima
Fruit: Watermelons, Bananas, Oranges
Other: Sandwiches, Cookies, Chips, Pastries (Muffins/Loaf/Cakes), Trail Mix etc., Cola

We will have plenty of supply at the aid stations, so just bring what you need from station to station, unless you have specific requirements or restrictions in terms of diet.

Q: Can I leave extra gear at the start or at checkpoints?

A: Yes, we will have drop bag service available at the start and at each checkpoint. Drop Bags will be transported to the finish line.

Note that you cannot send gear ahead to a checkpoint, so please carry adequate gear over the summit of Highwood Pass, as it could be quite cool at the summit and conditions can change quickly.

Q: Do I need to carry a pump and spare tube?

We will have mechanics on course and pumps at aid stations, but we do recommend carrying basic flat repair equipment, so that in case of a flat, you will be up and running again quickly!

Q: Can I change my start block on the morning of the event?

A: You should try to select your block in advance if at all possible, since we will be placing a color coded sticker on your number plate according to your selected start block.