A glimpse into the annual CHAFE 150 charity event By Damen Rodriguez|Photo by Jason Duchow Photography The scenic and sensational cycle ride of the summer, Sandpoint’s 16th annual CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo is nearly upon us! Witness this wondrous event on Saturday, June 17, as a spirited supporter or a pedaling participant. Organized by the Sandpoint Rotary, the CHAFE 150 is regarded as “One of the top charity rides in the U.S.” This year’s proceeds will be donated to Lake Pend Oreille School District’s (LPOSD) “Book Trust” program, whose mission is “to help elementary school children with little/no access to books fall in love with reading and become lifelong learners.”
A Gran Fondo, Italian for “Big Ride,” is a long-distance bike ride that challenges each rider to battle their own individual clocks rather than race against other cyclists. The Sandpoint CHAFE 150 offers a variety of distanced routes: 150, 80, 40, 25 and this year’s brand new 55-mile gravel route, all of which are majestic, joyous journeys. The 150-mile route is what separates this event from others and draws in repeat riders from all over the country as they attempt to beat their previous times. The 150-mile ride is a lavish loop around the Cabinet Mountains of Idaho and Montana, traversing through a gorgeous lake and river-riddled route.
This glorious undertaking is overseen by a dedicated year-round committee and made possible by over 80 sponsors and 150 volunteers. The day starts with a beautiful breakfast hosted at the beachfront Trinity restaurant after registering at City Beach. For those partaking in the 80- and 150-mile routes, a shuttle bus provided by LPOSD will transport you to the ride’s starting line, the rest of which will start at Sandpoint City Beach. A bike shuttle service will also be provided by Litehouse, and SAG (Support And Gear) services will be offered by Greasy Fingers. There will be a multitude of hydration stations manned by dedicated volunteers and first aid supplied by Bonner General Health. “The rest stops are some of the best of any ride you’ll find,” boasts Mel Dick, CHAFE 150’s organizer.
Circle the date, throw on some bike shorts and invite the family out this summer to participate in this year’s CHAFE 150. “We expect between 350 and 500 riders this year,” Mel states. Come challenge yourself on two wheels while taking in the lovely land of Sandpoint and aiding local students with the gift of literacy.
Registration can be found online at CHAFE150.org.