We've spent the last 365 days fine-tuning and improving on the fundamentals that make this America's Premier Gran Fondo. Please read on so you can be prepared for the very best day on a bike that you've had all year.
A Place to Play is a spacious community park on West 3rd Street in western Santa Rosa.
There are lots of parking options in Santa Rosa. But some of them are free while others are not. All of them are convenient in different ways to different people. So please give this some serious thought before you park for the day.
Please do not park at Finley Community Center on West College Avenue. The Finley Community Center will be open for regular patrons and you will not be permitted to leave your vehicle there during the ride.
The same business park you’ve probably used many times in the past. The Stony Point Business parking lot is just south of Finley Community Center, practically attached to it near the intersection of West 9th Street and Stony Point Roads. From this parking area which can accommodate lots of cars you’ll have to ride 1.6 miles to the start. At the end of the day you’ll have to ride 1.8 miles back to your car on this designated route. We consider this to be the best option for most participants who don’t mind doing a short ride back to their car at the end of the day. It will also be the official free parking lot of the event, and will be the only lot that has a designated return route marked for your convenience to get you back to your car with ease.
Follow pink arrows to the start, and pink arrows back to your car.
Just across the street from Finley Community Center on Stony Point Road, and just south of West College Avenue is parking which is similarly convenient to Option 1. From the MSC lot it’s a 1.7 mile ride to the start, and then at the end of the day it’s a 2.5 mile ride back to the MSC lot.
Follow pink arrows to the start, and pink arrows back to your car.
There are numerous value lots in Santa Rosa, and some can accommodate an entire day’s worth of parking. There is information about value lots available on the City of Santa Rosa’s Parking page here.
Santa Rosa has abundant parking in paid garages. You can park pretty close to the finish line in a paid parking garage. It will mean your ride to the start is a little bit longer. No big deal. And it’ll mean that your ride back to your car at the end of the day will be a little bit shorter. Cool. But remember not to drive into a parking garage with your bike on the top of your car! All parking garages in Santa Rosa are incompatible with roof-mounted bike systems. If you enter a parking garage with your bike mounted to the top of your car, you’ll be walking, not riding, on Saturday.
Packet Pickup takes place at the Church of One Tree in Juilliard Park on Friday, October 4th from 11 am to 10 pm and Saturday, October 5th from 6:30 am to 7:45 am. It is crucially important that you get your rider packet before the ride. Remember, you’ll still need time to get to the start of the ride at A Place to Play on Saturday. DO NOT SHOW UP LATE! If you start your ride late, you will not have the support of law enforcement for your solo roll-out. But the course will still be marked, and eventually you’ll probably catch someone, and integrate with the group, albeit at the back.
If you are arriving Saturday morning, you'll need to get your packet from the Church of One Tree in Juilliard Park by or before 7:45 am.
We recommend the following program for your Saturday morning "late" arrival:
Keep in mind that if you choose to park downtown all day and ride your bike all the way to the start, there are limited places where you can park. The cheapest place to park all day will be in a parking garage of which there are several and you can review them here on the City of Santa Rosa's website. Make sure you don't have a roof rack though – the garages are low-clearance.
The start line for Levi’s GranFondo will be in a giant, elongated parking lot inside A Place to Play. There is no parking at A Place to Play except for staff, volunteers and sponsors with VIP parking passes. If you are not one of these people, DO NOT TRY TO PARK AT A PLACE TO PLAY! You will be turned away and you’ll waste time in the morning getting lined up.
VIP staging is where professional riders and some sponsors will line up to start Levi’s GranFondo. You will only be allowed to stage in this gated area if you have the appropriate “STAGING” pass attached to your rider bib number.
The Growler staging area is for those riders who have signed up for the Growler route--the longest route of Levi’s GranFondo, a super-challenging 116 mile behemoth that is going to challenge you to the core. This year there are approximately 450 of you.
Pack Staging will be the third and final designated staging area, and is a self-selected staging area based on known rider ability. We’ll place signs that indicate the group riding speed so that you can make sure to line up with people who will ride about the same speed as you.
Part of the fun of signing up for the family route is that you get to watch the start of the ride, and cheer riders on as they begin. We will have a special family staging area to the side of the main staging area. Our professional announcer will send you all off to bring up the rear just as soon as those last riders in the main group cross under the start line arch.
At precisely 8:00 am we will roll, everyone at once into the 11th annual pilgrimage of Levi’s GranFondo. This mass start is part of the magic of Levi’s GranFondo. We do it the same way every year, together in unison, we flow out into Sonoma County to take it all in.
Time cuts are in full effect for Levi’s GranFondo and they’ve been made a little bit more aggressive than in years past because we need to ensure that riders are back in Santa Rosa at a reasonable hour for everyone’s safety. This is very important because riders not obeying the advised detours after these time cuts will not be guaranteed event support.
We offer a variety of directional course signage in addition to special caution signs that vary along the route to indicate the presence of hazards. While those course hazard signs are similar across all routes, directional signs correspond to the route you'll be following. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the sign color that corresponds to your route.
In addition to these route-specific signs which you will see at intersections where different routes go different directions, you will see "ALL ROUTES" signs when everyone is supposed to go the same direction.
NEW! Based on rider feedback that our courses need to be more clearly marked, we are introducing brand new Route Indication Tubes this year – you will see these at every major intersection. Simply follow the tubes to stay on your route – it's easy!
In order for your time to be recorded, you will be provided with a variety of timing material. One number plate that goes on the front of your bike. DO NOT FOLD OR BEND THIS NUMBER PLATE. If you do, your time may not be recorded. You will also be provided with a redundant, secondary "hang tag" which can be placed in a number of places on your bike with provided zip-ties. The diagram below indicates how this hang tag can be placed on your bike for optimum visibility. Do not fold or bend this plate either. If you do not follow these instructions properly, your time may not be recorded.
Levi's GranFondo is a fully supported ride from the moment you start with us. We provide well-stocked aid stations with a variety of food including gluten free options, water, electrolyte drink mix, snacks, sandwiches and mechanic support. You can find out where the aid stations are along each route by visiting the ride page.
We also provide vehicle support (SAG) and will have a dozen on motos and more than 100 on-bike marshals along the route. If you have a mechanical, make sure to flag down one of these amazing volunteers so they can either help you fix it (if it's a quick simple fix, anything bigger will be done by either the roaming support (Shimano) or at the aid stations by mechanics) or make sure you're safe while you fix it. They've got 10 years of experience under their belt in providing the best service in the business to make sure that you are taken care of.
Free and secure bike valet is available at Packet Pickup on Friday and at the finish line on Saturday as part of the Levi's GranFondo experience, complementary as part of your entry.
The finish of Levi’s GranFondo is taking place in the historic tree-lined jewel of downtown Santa Rosa: Juilliard Park. As soon as you roll across that finish line, valet park your bike and go get your rider meal and beer. Live music begins at 11:30 am and the line-up we have in store for you is completely off the charts with The Sam Chase and the Untraditional headlining our 11th anniversary post-ride festival. The finish line is here. The party’s over at 6:00 pm sharp.
On Friday, October 4th, check out all the sponsor booths at the Expo in Juilliard Park when you come to pick up your packet! Expo hours are 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Packet Pickup and Merchandise Tent will stay open until 10:00 pm).
We will have beer from FiftyFifty (must be 21 and over) and yummy food from Fuel the Food Truck.
The Festival will be open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 5th, at Juilliard Park. When you're done riding, check your bike at the secured complimentary bike valet, get a beer from one of the FiftyFifty beer zones (must be 21 and over), redeem your meal voucher at one of the food vendor booths (see the list below), lay down your blanket on the grass and enjoy the live music (from 11:30 am to 5:15 pm) after you check out the Merchandise Booth with the official 2019 Levi's GranFondo collection (cycling kits, apparel and accessories).
Face painting from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and Bubble Show from 3:00 to 5:00 pm so bring the kiddos!
There will be no shower options this year at Levi's GranFondo, so bring some wipes to freshen up after you're done riding and a change of clothes!
At A Place to Play, you will be able to drop your backpack or rider bag with a change of clothes or whatever basic necessities you have and we'll transport that back to the finish line so it will be available to you when you return.
Coming from out of town and haven't booked your lodging yet? Check out the offers from our partners!
Wanna help out and donate your time to a great cause? We have volunteer shifts open from mid-September to the day after the event; check them out here and tell your friends!