The 2017 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo a Great Success

By Robert Hess

The volunteers arrived well before dawn Sunday morning, October 1st, to set up registration and breakfast for the 600 riders who would be part of the 7th Edition of the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo for Prostate Cancer Awareness.

Dawn broke with the temperature a crisp, fall, 39 degrees Fahrenheit, but no one paid much attention. By 6:15 am everything was in place; registration, coffee truck, pastry, tables, Mid-Atlantic Timing. Tout ètait prêt, as the French would say. And ready it was.

A Special “Thank You” to the 2017 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any charity event, and I want to give a special ‘shout out’ to volunteers who support Erin Bishop in staffing this year’s event. They were there all day, from that very chilly pre-dawn setup to the final tear down at 7:30 pm after night fall. Thank you all!

You Can’t Squash Cancer Without an Event

Another big debt of gratitude to Jeremiah and Erin Bishop for partnering with the Cancer Journeys Foundation for our prostate cancer awareness ride.  Collectively, the riders raised just shy of $5,000 to support our prostate cancer early detection program –

More importantly, we reached another 500 men and their significant others with the importance and early detection of prostate cancer.

Some 2017 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo Stats

  • Participants – 547
  • Funds raised – About $5,000 (still totaling last minute donations)
  • Highest fundraiser – Sarah Hynes (for the second year running)
  • Miles ridden – 45,998
  • Vertical feet climbed – 3,733,250
  • Hank’s BBQ eaten -lots!
  • Brothers Craft Beer consumed – it looked like 4 kegs
  • Fun had – Immeasurable

Thanks to Special Sponsors

  • Porsche of Charlottesville
  • Blue Ridge Supply – love my KOM Mole Hill victory socks. Thank you guys.
  • See all of this year’s sponsors here – 2017 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo Sponsors

Robert’s Thoughts on the 2017 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo

First of all, I love the Shenandoah Valley and I love to come back every year for this fantastic ride.* The full Alpine Loop is the challenge of a lifetime on a bicycle. Win or lose the KOM/QOM competition, you will have pushed yourself more than you ever thought you could. And there is no better guide than Jeremiah Bishop.

There now are four separate courses for different skill levels. I rode the ‘short’ 38 mile valley route – and still logged over 38 mile and almost 3,000 feet of vertical climb – so that I could be back in the pavilion area to talk with riders when they finished.

More than just a ride, the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo is a community of riders, organizers, and volunteers challenging themselves to do some special for the cancer survivor community.

Bicycling has been an important element of my cancer recurrence prevention plan for the past 14 years. This year one of our KOM winners was a prostate cancer survivor from Lexington, Virginia who used the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo as a goal for his own cancer battle plan.

Harrisonburg is a wonderful little city and deserves its title of “the Bicyling Capital of Virginia.” I encourage everyone who enjoys cycling to put the ALGF on your calendar for 2018. And be sure and bring the family.

Thank you again to everyone – especially Erin and Jeremiah Bishop – for a great prostate cancer awareness event.

Warm regards,


Prostate Cancer Survivor
Class of 2003

Cancer Journeys Foundation president Robert Hess

10 minutes to roll out!




2018 Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
image of prostate cancer early detection system