What 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 MSU 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 fight skin cancer. 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 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 can also ride a mountain bike, touring bike, time trial bike, single speed with two brakes or a tandem. A triathlon bike is fine as long as you keep your hands on the brake lever while riding in a group. 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.

Are training rides available?

If you're new to gran fondos or riding in large groups, join Alger Bikes for The 101 Ride. Training rides are available now through June 16.

Is fundraising necessary in order to participate in the MSU Gran Fondo?

Our primary goal is to raise funds to support skin cancer awareness, prevention and research. 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 skin cancer research at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine:

>> MSU Gran Fondo funds promising skin cancer studies
>> Promising new drug stops spread of melanoma by 90 precent
>> Keeping skin cancer at bay

How do I import my email contacts to my participant center?

Your contacts list is automatically generated in your Participant Center with the name and email address of people you have contacted via the Participant Center Email as well as anyone who has made a donation to support your fundraising efforts. 

You can add more of your friends and family to this contacts list by importing other online contact lists or address books in email services that you use. Click HERE for help on how to import your contact lists into your Participant Center.

Are there sample emails for me to use when asking for donations?

Yes, we have email templates set up for you to use in your Participant Center! In the Participant Center click on the email tab and you will see options for "Thank You" and "Solicitation". You are welcome to use the sample emails verbatim or portions as you see fit.

If I have a discount code where do I enter it?

You will enter your discount code right after you select your distance, see image below.

Discount Code Box Location

Which hotels are nearby?

There are several hotels downtown Grand Rapids which are within biking distance of the MSU Gran Fondo start line.

Courtyard Marriott Logo 1

Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown
Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown
JW Marriott Grand Rapids
Amway Grand Plaza

Where should I park downtown Grand Rapids?

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

What if I want to change the distance I am riding?

We realize that this is usually a game-day decision! Route changes can be made prior to June 20 by emailing with the subject "Change Route" and we can take care of it for you before ride day.

After June 20 route changes will need to be made at the Solutions Table which will be set up at Packet Pick-Up on both Friday and Saturday.

What if I signed up to create a team and now want to ride as an individual or vice versa?

You are able to switch from a team to an individual participant and vice versa in your Participant Center. 

How do I create my personal URL?

  • Go to your Participant Center
  • Click on Personal Page tab
  • In the grey box you will see "Personal Page URL: (URL Settings), click on (URL Settings)
  • In the text box type in your personal page identifier. We recommend using: firstname_lastname
  • Keep your page public so your friends and family can find you to make donations
  • Click on "Save"

Cancellation Due to Weather

MSU Gran Fondo will take place in rain or shine unless the event is caneled by the authrities due to severe weather. Notification of cancelation will be sent to the email address used during registration. Refunds will not be issued if cancellation is due to weather.

Will team or group fundraising (from activities like bake sales and jeans days) count toward fundraising completed for individual team members? 


How does the money get split by the team members?

Proceeds may be split equally among team members or directed toward particular team members. The team decides how the proceeds get split, but in the case of any conflict, the Team Captain makes the final decision. 

Team Captains - a Team Donation Worksheet is available to split up funds amongst team members from one large single donation or team fundraising activity. Download Team Donation Worksheet

Who do I make a check payable to?

Please make checks payable to: MSU Gran Fondo (Checks made out to MSU College of Human Medicine Gran Fondo will also be accepted.)

How do I submit donations that I receive?

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

Where do I mail donations?

Checks and a completed Offline Donation Form can be mailed to:

MSU College of Human Medicine
Attention: Ellen Harburn
15 Michigan St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our tax ID number is 38-6005984.

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.

How do I apply the donations I receive toward my fundraising goal?

Remember: record your cash and check donations as offline gifts through your Participant Center. Offline gifts will show in your fundraising total which is how you qualify for incentives!

Cash and check donations are added to your fundraising total once received; this can take up to two weeks depending on postal delivery and volume of gifts received, they are added in order of receipt.

Credit card donations made online to your personal fundraising page are automatically added to your fundraising goal. Donors can find your personal fundraising page by searching by name under “Find a Participant” on the homepage of this website.

How do I make a donation to a participant?

By Credit Card: On the Donate page, search for a participant by entering their name. Select the participant’s name to visit their personal donation page. On this page, you can make a secure credit card donation to the rider's fundraising effort.  

By Check: Please mail your check and the completed Offline Donation Form to:

MSU College of Human Medicine
Attention: Ellen Harburn
15 Michigan St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our tax ID number is 38-6005984.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
965 Fee Road, Room A110 | East Lansing, MI 48824
15 Michigan Street NE
Grand Rapids , MI 49503
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