Back to articles

Medical Center Sponsors Benefit Cycling Event


In partnership with the City of Sonora and the U.S. Forest Service, Sonora Regional Medical Center will again sponsor the Sonora Gran Fondo, a cycling event benefiting its Live Well, Be Well wellness program, which offers free and low-cost exercise/health classes and support groups to the community. The ride will occur on Sunday, May 1.

The Medical Center launched the Gran Fondo in 2012, when the city of Sonora was chosen to host Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California cycling race. “We held a promotional ride for local cyclists that year and have continued to offer the Sonora Gran Fondo ever since,” says Gail Witzlsteiner, the Medical Center’s Foundation Executive Director. “This year we have added two new rides to the event, a fifteen-mile mini ride and a fifty-mile ride out to Cherry Lake with a vehicle shuttle return. We hope the additional ride options will encourage more cyclists of varying abilities to participate.” Witzlsteiner adds that riders who choose one of the three longer routes will be able to see the recovering Rim Fire landscape.

The Sonora Gran Fondo isn’t just for cyclists, though. Individuals and businesses can support the ride and the Live Well, Be Well programs by sponsoring and/or volunteering. “There is still time to become an event sponsor, and we also have a huge need for volunteers to help on the day of the event,” Witzlsteiner says. “People can help at the registration tables, staff the rest stops along the route, or help with the barbeque at the end of the race.” Anyone interested in sponsoring or volunteering should call 209-536-5029 or email

The event includes five ride choices: 
Rim Fire Century Ride – a 100-mile ride from Sonora Regional Medical Center to Cherry Lake and back. 
Gran Fondo – a 70-mile ride to the Clavey River and back. 
Medio Fondo – a 50-mile ride to Cherry Lake with a vehicle shuttle back. This is open to the first 25 riders to register for it. 
Piccolo Fondo – a 30-mile ride to Tuolumne Park via Algerine and Yosemite Roads, and back. 
Mini Ride – a 15-mile ride to Tuolumne Park. Riders provide their own transportation back. 

Sign-in will begin at 7:00 am at Sonora Regional Medical Center. The ride will begin at 8:00 am with a police-escorted, rolling start through the stoplights on Greenley Road. Rest stops will be located approximately every 20 miles/2 hours average ride time apart. Food and beverages will be provided, including a barbeque at the end of the race.

Riders’ finish times will be recorded and published on following the event. The top three men and top three women finishers of each ride will receive prizes.

The early-registration entry fees for each of the rides are as follows: Century - $65, Gran Fondo - $50, Medio Fondo - $50, Piccolo Fondo - $30, and Mini Ride – $20.

To enter, register online at or call (209) 536-5029. Registrations will be taken on the day of the ride, but entrants are encouraged to sign up early to avoid the late sign-up fee. The event will be held rain or shine. No refunds. The race will be held under USA Cycling event permit and rules.

For more information contact Gail at the Foundation office at (209) 536-5029, email at, or visit the event website at, then click on Northern California on the map.