Gran Fondo di Thumb

Gran Fondo di Thumb (open to the general public) presented by Jack’s Bicycle Shop, Bay City, MI


(You need to create an account with USAC, but you do not need to purchase a license.)

Volunteer Discounts

If you or a family member volunteer for the Das Tour De Frankemuth Road race,

  • you will receive free entry into the Gran Fondo di Thumb
  • Registration is $15 off! when you register for Das Tour de Frankenmuth!

Contact Ben Rollenhagen for your discount code!

Registration Discount

Register for the Road Race and receive a $10 discount for the Gran Fondo di Thumb on Sunday. Contact Ben Rollenhagen after you register for the coupon. Register here!

What Is Gran Fondo?

“Gran Fondo” means “Big Ride” in Italian.  They are long distance, mass-participation cycling events – not races – that have become immensely popular in Europe.  In France they’re known as “cyclosportives”.  participation is open to recreational and competitive amateur cyclists and tens of thousands of riders of all abilities participate.

Gran Fondos are often named after famous cyclists of the past or after companies with a long heritage in cycling.  Some of the most famous Gran Fondos include the Prosecco Classic, The Nove Colli and the Felice Gimondi.

Wind Turbines of Ubly  and  Native American Petroglpyh’s  are  the highlights of the Double Metric Century course.

Mass Start time at 8 a.m.

No USA Cycling license required.

A helmet is required

The Gran Fondo  rides all  start  at Zehnders park  which is  730 S. Main Street   Frankenmuth, MI  48734

However, if you want to start your ride at one of the first two rest stops, you may. However, you must first pick up your bib number at the registration table  in Frankenmuth.  If desired, you can pick up your bib number Friday night or Saturday. You can choose your preferred starting point, but that means ya gotta drive to get there and back.  There is no parking available at the third rest stop.

What you get

A great ride with friends, Subway sandwiches, water, Hammer/ heed drinks,  certificate of completion,  Free 2-piece Chicken Dinner after the ride for those interested!

Ride support

We will have  sag vehicles  that can pick up any distresssed rider.

Gran Fondo di Thumb routes

Mileage shown assumes you start at Frankenmuth

Map for Frankenmuth to Ubly (PDF)

40 miles – to 1st Rest stop  – GILFORD RD TOWNSHIP HALL  –  ( Water, Heed mix   and porta john available) then back  to  Frankenmuth.  This rest stop is open from 8:30 a.m. till 3 p.m.  all riders must be already be on the way back to Frankenmuth  by  3 p.m.

65 miles –  to  2nd Rest stop –  VILLAGE OF AKRON-  (   Main Lunch is here   water, sandwiches, porta johns available ) then  back to Frankenmuth this course is relatively flat. This rest stop is open from 8:30  a.m. till 2 p.m.  all riders must be already be on the way back to Frankenmuth  by  3 p.m. See map:

Map for Akron to Ubly(PDF)

90 miles –   to  3rd rest stop  – FARMER LITTLE ESTATE –  (  water,  porta john  available )- located on Kelly rd just before Cass City.  This rest stop is open from 10:30 a.m. till  2 p.m.  All riders must be    already be on the way back to Frankenmuth  by  2 p.m.   There will be no rider support after 2 p.m.

130 miles –   to 4th rest stop  –  UBLY WIND FARM REST STOP-  (  water,  available )- – then back the way you came!  Double metric Century Ride:  this “extreme” course tours through the quiet farmland of the Thumb leading to Ubly.  Ubly is the home of Michigan’s most significant wind turbine farm.

Map My Ride for Akron to Ubly:

This Ubly  rest stop is  open from  11:00  to  1 p.m.  All riders must have turned round  by 1 p.m.  There will be no rider support after 1 p.m.  ( You may start earlier than the official mass start if needed)

All these routes  are “out and back”.   In other words, a rider planning on busting the double metric  century to the wind turbine field,  will have the opportunity to stop at all the other rest stops  along the way.    All routes are flat, but probably windy.  Afterall, the wind farm needs wind to move those turbines!

The course will not be closed to traffic and does not have a rolling escort. Rules of the road apply, i.e. stop at all stop signs, yield to cars, no more than 2 riders abreast and do not cross the yellow centerline.


New for 2015 we will have a coupon for a free chicken dinner at the Zehnder’s Cafe.  Can’t beat that!