Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Roger Dey
Editor - Blackfoot Valley Dispatch 

Ovando Gran Fondo Canceled Amid Fundraising, Access Changes

End of the Ride


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The Ovando Gran Fondo would attract around 150 riders every year for the 55-mile ride.

Although Ovando was recently recognized for the community's welcoming attitude and hospitality toward cyclists, one of the major cycling events that used the town as its base fell victim to last year's fire season and the realities of declining fundraising.

Last fall, as the enormous Rice Ridge Fire burned through the hills north of Ovando, the Missoula Symphony made the call to cancel their annual early-September Ovando Gran Fondo mountain bike ride.

"I think the decision at the time was a relief," said Missoula Symphony Association Executive Director John Driscoll. "Their priorities at...

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