Take on a summer challenge and cycle through scenic countryside and vibrant cityscapes at the fourth annual Gran Fondo Asheville hosted by New Belgium Brewing on Sunday, July 23, 2017.Friends of the Smokies welcomes cyclist of varying levels to experience the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina by riding the 30-, 60- or 100-mile scenic courses. There are timed sections along the routes for folks who would like to compete, but our motto is ‘pedal hard and party harder’ and that is exactly what we want the cyclist to do—enjoy themselves while celebrating America’s most-visited national park.The ride begins at New Belgium Brewery on the French Broad River and quickly transitions to winding roads in pastoral countryside near Marshall, North Carolina and then along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beginners and avid cyclists alike will find a course to meet their individual goals, whether that’s competing to win or taking it easy and soaking in the views.After riders will cruise into the River Arts District and greeted by Friends of the Smokies volunteers, family, and friends at New Belgium’s Liquid Center. Riders will be provided with complimentary beer from New Belgium, lunch from Ingles and a great place to hang out as they wait for their comrades to cross the finish line. At the finish area, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and National Park Service rangers will be onsite.This event features stocked aid stations along the routes where volunteer’s handout food and water, bike mechanic stations for riders who might be in need, and a raffle and fun prizes for overall and age group winners.Register today to guarantee a spot at GranFondoAVL.com.Gran Fondo Asheville benefits Friends of the Smokies to raise money for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since its founding in 1993, Friends of the Smokies has raised more than $55 million to fund critical projects and programs for the Smokies.This event is made possible by Friends of the Smokies host sponsor New Belgium and presenting sponsor Ingles as well as The Glass Foundation, Asheville Radio Group, Best Buy, Webb Investment Services, Beverly-Hanks, Fletcher Warehousing, Ken Wilson Ford, Navitat Canopy Adventures, Roberts and Stevens Attorneys at Law, Equilibar, Saunders D.D.S., Blue Ridge Outdoors, Capital at Play, Smoky Mountain Living and ImageSmith.