Every once in a while it seems like a good idea to test my tandem stoker climbing skills on an ultra-hilly bike ride. The opportunity to do just that came in the shape of the Grand Fondue, a combination of dirt and paved roads ride sponsored by the Bike Doctor of Frederick, Maryland.
The full route came in at 99 miles and just over 11,000 feet of cumulative climbing, the gnarliest parts of which came in the first 60 miles of the ride. I should also add that these kinds of rides often are good ideas when I find myself sitting behind my desk dreaming about a weekend adventure.
When I heard about the plan for the Grand Fondue, I immediately embraced its concept. A ride about good roads, especially some unpaved ones. A big ride for a low cost, a mere $15 entry fee. An event with fondue and wine at the end! The additional challenge of attempting the Grand Fondue on tandem held its own appeal.