Tehachapi’s Gran Fondo is “first in the state of California and thirteenth in the nation,” said Fondo Director Michelle Vance.

With this year seeing nearly 1,200 riders signed up, it’s no wonder the race is gaining in popularity across the nation. Warm temperatures and little to no wind made the 7 a.m. Saturday start a delight for all riders.

The race this year featured five courses for all levels of riders to enjoy, from the 100-mile event down to the 18-mile family orientated FunFondo ride.

Every year the GranFondo produces a King and Queen of the Mountain. This year’s Queen award went to rider Thialor Mize.

“I’m surprised I did so well as I’m still recovering from a collar bone injury,” Mize said.

King Cory Lockwood remains undefeated in the five years that Tehachapi has had the race. His time this year for the 100-mile race was 4:55.11 for a blistering average speed of 20.3 miles an hour.

“It’s hard to stay away. I love riding,” Lockwood said. “It’s addictive and so much more than just the competitiveness of it. It’s a journey and I enjoy being around those who share my passion.”

It’s truly a "village” effort to host 1,000-plus riders and their families.

On the course, which covers most every major and many smaller roads in the Tehachapi Valley, a cadre of CHP officers, CERT volunteers, KCSO Sheriff’s personnel and their volunteers patrolled the route and manned traffic control at major road crossings.

Hall Ambulances moves its ambulances to key sites along the route for even faster response times should it be necessary. So far every year has been safe with nearly 250 behind-the-scenes volunteers working to make it so.