FoCo Fondo brings together locals, visitors, and business partners in a celebration of community

Over 700 riders gathered in Fort Collins, Colorado on Sunday July 25 to ride, race, and have a good time

The FoCo Fondo in Fort Collins, Colorado on July 25th met my own gold star standard of gravel events: It was a bike race that didn’t feel like a bike race unless you wanted it to, and only then between the start and finish line. The majority of the time, it felt like a fun, summer weekend hanging out with old- and new bike-related friends.

Or, as L39ION of Los Angeles’ Sam Boardman put it, “it’s all about the community.”

“It’s such a trite phrase now to toss around just because it’s so overused, but it really does feel different at gravel events versus road events where you’re there to compete,” Boardman told me while sitting at the New Belgium Brewery the day before the event. “You’ll hang out with your team, but there’s not this intermingling, no one’s drinking beers before the race. At most gravel events, there really is a sense of community, and you’re helping so many people discover the bike.”

For its sixth edition, the 2021 FoCo Fondo hosted more than 700 people on the gravel roads north and east of Fort Collins and at the event venue on the brewery’s grounds. From the 12 and 25-mile family-friendly routes to the marquee 107-mile Bite the Bullet race, the event had a distance for everyone, and then some.