Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

What exactly is a Gran Fondo?

Italian for “Big Ride,” a Gran Fondo is a long-distance, mass participation event geared toward cyclists of all abilities. The GR Gran Fondo starts and ends in downtown Grand Rapids and offers multiple lengths through West Michigan. Experience the scenic terrain and the Lake Michigan shore while on a rolling party to support our West Michigan Trails. Stops along the way are a foodie’s delight offering the area’s finest cuisine and the fresh taste of Michigan-sourced foods. The day will culminate with the Finish Line Festival – an outdoor after party with craft brews, a grand feast and music.

What happened to the old Gran Fondo? Why the name change?

Things change eventually, that is the simple truth. While the name may be different, everything you loved about the MSU Gran Fondo for 8 years is still the same: the well-known finish line festival on the streets of downtown GR, the courses and ride options, professional timing, on course amenities and police support, celebrity rider and more.

Why are you not supporting skin cancer research anymore?

Throughout the 8 years of the MSU Gran Fondo, over 1.2 million dollars was raised for skin cancer research. That is astounding and due to the efforts of the event and countless riders! With the reimagining of Gran Fondo, it is time to look further into our West Michigan community and support a new cause: West Michigan Trails.

Who is Tris4Health?

For over a decade, we have produced West Michigan’s favorite large-scale endurance events such as Grand Rapids Triathlon and Michigan Titanium. We have since expanded into gravel triathlons such as The Dirty Mitten and Ugly Dog Gravel Tri as well as numerous gravel cycling events like Waterloo G+G, The Dirty Mitten Gravel Bike Race and the new Rode To Hell.

We are thrilled to take our expertise and passion for a top notch athlete experience and show you what we can do with the GR Gran Fondo.

What type of bike can I ride for the event?

We suggest using a road bike as it is the best option to ride in groups. You are welcome to ride a mountain bike, touring bike, single speed with two brakes, tandem, recumbent or hand bike. Triathlon bikes are also fine as long as you keep your hands on the brake lever.

Riders are asked to exercise extreme caution, as the majority of riders may not be familiar with non-standard bicycles. Please note, when riding a tandem both riders must be registered for the event.

  • Detachable Aero Bars, penny-farthings, and unicycles are not permitted for safety reasons.
  • Participants using non-standard bicycles must wear brightly colored clothing and attach an orange flag to cycling units
  • Bike trailers are permitted on the Family Ride only.

Where can I park for the event?

Parking for MSU Gran Fondo is at the expense of the participant and all parking must adhere to City of Grand Rapids parking rules. Please reference the map in the link provided to be sure you are parking in approved zones for the morning of the ride.

Downtown Grand Rapids Parking Map

Donations/Fundraising FAQ

Is fundraising mandatory in order to participate?

Our primary goal is to raise funds to support West Michigan Trails. Therefore, we encourage each rider to raise at least $50 prior to the ride. You will have up until the time you pick up your packet to turn in your donations.

Read the latest news about West Michigan Trails and their efforts right here in our communities, please click here.

How do I submit donations that I receive?

Please use our Offline Donation Form to record and mail in all of your donations.

LINK COMING SOON

Where do I mail donations?

Information coming soon.

If I am on a team, will the money I personally raise count for individual fundraising incentives?

Yes, the money you raise as an individual will qualify you for prizes and roll-up to count as part of the cumulative team total.

Policies FAQ

What is the cancellation policy in case of inclement weather?

The GR Gran Fondo will take place rain or shine unless threatening weather conditions exist. In the case of severe weather, the course will be shut down for 1 hour. If conditions do not improve, the ride will be cancelled. Refunds will not be issued if cancellation is due to weather. 

Threatening Weather Conditions
The start of the event(s) can be delayed up to one (1) hour from the posted start time if any of the following conditions exist.

  • Tornado warning
  • Thunderstorm
  • Tornado watch
  • Heavy rain

Cancellation of the Event
The event will be cancelled if one of the following weather conditions exist:

  • Tornado warning
  • Sever thunderstorm
  • Extreme heat index

In the event immediate shelter is needed, all persons will be directed to Fulton and Ottawa parking ramp.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellation will be broadcast from the stage/starting line as well as communicated to event staff on the course, SAG and at each rest stop.

If the event is cancelled due to inclement weather, no refunds or deferrals on entry fees will be given.

All unused food will be donated to charity.

Can I get a refund?

Since many of our costs are incurred prior to the event day and are non-refundable, we do not issue refunds for events for any reason.​ If we need to cancel or reschedule the event prior to the event day, you will be given options that may include:

  • Deferring to next year’s race
  • Switching to another T4H Race

If you are not OK with any of these options, please do not register for this event.

Can I withdraw or transfer to another event?

Withdraw

Withdrawal requests must be received in by May 24, 2023 via E-mail to lorio@tris4health.com.

All riders:
If for any reason, you need to withdraw from a race you have already registered, you can request in writing a 50% discount off an equal distance or shorter race by Tris4Health in 2024. In order to be eligible for the Deferral Discount, these requests must be received by May 24, 2023. For example, if you are currently registered for the 80 mile ride, you will receive a unique discount code to register for a 2024 race.  That discount code would be worth 50% of the total you paid for your registration.  There will be no refunds under any circumstances.

Transfers
You may transfer your registration to another rider for a $35 fee. If you would like to arrange this please email lorio@tris4health.com. Packet pick-up will require photo proof of identity. Participants who swap or sell their event number will not be allowed to race in another Tris4Health event for a period of 2 years.

RunSignup Registration FAQ

This year we are using RunSignup for our registration platform. For a complete list of registration-related FAQ, please click here.