Writer / Beth Taylor Changing it up from last year’s Geist route, this year’s Rollfast Gran Fondo ride will take place in Carmel on September 14. Whether a weekend enthusiast or a seasoned competitor, any cyclist who is at least 12 years old can participate in this fun, mass-start ride. “Everyone rolls out together, but it’s not a race,” said event organizer Matt Tanner. He explains the ride is for Lycra- and cargo-short-wearing participants alike. “If you can ride around your neighborhood a few times, you can handle this ride.” The three routes start near Union Brewing Company, go past Cicero, west toward Lebanon, and south through Zionsville. Beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., the routes are clearly marked, and course marshals are on hand to provide assistance. “We’ve provided three supported routes: the Piccolo, a 25-mile route, the Medio, which is the 65-mile route, and the Gran—the longest—at 100 miles,” said Tanner. “This year, we have more rest stops to provide support for riders,” said Tanner. “The Medio and the Gran have six stops, and the piccolo has four.” The last stop is a sweet stop five miles from the finish for an extra boost of energy to help riders cross the finish line. Cyclists can challenge themselves to complete the race in a certain amount of time. Each cyclist receives an entry number to attach to his or her handlebars. A microchip is located on the underside of the number. When the rider passes the start line, the ride time begins; when the rider crosses the finish line, it stops. Rider times, information and entry fee schedule are at rollfastfondo.com. “Last year’s event drew participants from all over Indiana and neighboring states—a few came from London. We had about 300 cyclists participate last year, and we’re hoping to grow to around 500,” Tanner said. Choosing the VIP entry option gets you extra pampering on the day of the event. VIPs receive reserved parking, VIP tent access, and unlimited food and drinks for the day. Three top professional cyclists, George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, and Tom Danielson are scheduled to appear at the event. Following the ride, cyclists and families can participate in the free festival. The Union Brewing Company is adding to the fun atmosphere by giving each participant a free beer or soft drink.