Riding in Italy: Where the Gran Fondos are Inexpensive and the Camaraderie is Incomparable

One of the upfront differences between U.S. and Italian gran fondos is cost and swag. U.S. events are pretty pricey and you’re lucky to get a water bottle and wrong size polyester t-shirt. Italian events on the other hand are only about €35 ($40) and come with a bag chock-full of Italian goodies. But the best part of an Italian gran fondo is the people. Italians love cycling like Americans love baseball.
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Charity, Cycling and Community at the Tour de Palm Springs

Are charity cycling events a lost cause? Not yet, at least at the Tour de Palm Springs. Since 1999, the nonprofit group behind the event, CVSPIN (Coachella Valley Serving People In Need), has given more than $3.2 million to charities including Boy Scout troops, homeless organizations, high school bands, Desert AIDS Project, United Cerebral Palsy, and countless others.
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