What to Know Before the Big Ride

The big ride is just days away! Here’s what you need to know before the seventh annual MSU Gran Fondo on June 22.


Friday, June 21, 11 AM–6 PM, 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids

  • Stop by 25+ booths for giveaways, merchandise, demos and more! See full expo schedule, including when you can meet this year’s special guests: Christian Vande Velde, Kikkan Randall and Brent Bookwalter!
  • Bike plate pickup is organized by route length. If you are picking up for someone else, you’ll have to wait in the corresponding line for their route, too.
  • See Downtown Grand Rapids Parking Map for nearby parking.
  • To change your route, please visit the Solutions Table.
  • Submit offline donations at Packet Pick Up using this form.


Saturday, June 22, 6-8 AM, The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids


  • Access your course map before the ride via the Strava mobile app or print a map:
  • A limited supply of maps will be available at Packet Pickup.


Starting Line: Monroe Ave NW & Fulton Street W, Grand Rapids
8 AM for 40 and 80-mile riders
8:30 AM for 10-12 mile YMCA Family Ride and 25-mile riders

  • See Downtown Grand Rapids Parking Map for nearby parking.
  • Timing, SAG wagon and police support ends at 2 PM. Ride results available here.
  • Helmets are required. All MSU Gran Fondo routes are open to two-way motorized traffic. All cyclists must obey traffic laws at all times. READ THE COMPLETE RULES OF THE ROAD.
  • Reminder: Detachable aero bars, penny farthings and unicycles are not permitted for safety reasons. Participants using non-standard bicycles must wear brightly colored clothing and attach an orange flag to cycling units.
  • Bike trailers are permitted on the 10/12-Mile YMCA Family Ride only.
  • In the case of severe weather, the course will be shut down for 1 hour. If conditions do not improve, the ride will be cancelled. SEE FULL WEATHER POLICY


Fulton Street, between Monroe Avenue and Ionia Avenue, 10 AM–5 PM

  • Enjoy a number of gourmet foods, craft brews and music! The festival is open to the public, so invite your friends and family to celebrate after the ride.
  • Share your photos on the big screen! Tag us using #msugranfondo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
  • Secure bike parking is provided by Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition.


  • There’s still time to fundraise for commemorative gear. You could also win one of these exclusive Top Fundraiser Prizes, including a Traverse City getaway.
  • Online donations will be open until July 14.
  • Submit offline donations at Packet Pick Up using this form.
  • Final jersey and vest orders will be placed after the ride, expected delivery will be mid-September.


Brent Bookwalter joins the MSU Gran Fondo!

Cycling pro Brent Bookwalter is coming to Grand Rapids for MSU Gran Fondo 7!

Mitchelton-Scott training camp  Almeria, Spain february 2019 ©kramon
Photo Cred: Jon Cartwright


Brent Bookwalter is racing in his first season with the Australian-registered Mitchelton-SCOTT squad. Throughout his cycling career he has raced at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, served as part of Cadel Evans’ winning 2011 Tour de France team and earned podium finishes at numerous stage races.

Brent’s passion about increasing interest and exposure of cycling to a broader community has led to his founding of the Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo with his wife Jamie Bookwalter (the only active fondo operated by a current professional American Cyclist). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the ANAPRC and as the Men’s Pro Athlete Representative for USA Cycling’s Professional Athletes Sports Committee.

Brent and Jamie split their time between North Carolina and Spain – but he is excited to come back to his native home of Michigan for the big ride!


Meet the Pro Cyclist and Tour de France Veteran:

Autographs & Zwift Ride at the MSU Gran Fondo Expo
June 21 at 20 Monroe Live
– Autographs at 12:45pm.
– Brent and Christian Vande Velde will be leading a Zwift ride at 2 pm.

High-Carb Dinner with Christian & Kikkan
June 21, 7-9 PM at 20 Monroe Live
– Dinner is invitation only for participants who reach the $250 fundraising level

Ride with Brent at MSU Gran Fondo 7


Protecting your Skin: Tips from a Dermatologist

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness month – but taking care of your skin is of everyday importance. We spoke with Dr. Daniel Dapprich, an MSU College of Human Medicine alum and dermatologist at Dermatology Associates of West Michigan, a sponsor for MSU Gran Fondo 7! 

Read our interview with Dr. Dapprich, who provided great insight into skin cancer and how to best protect your skin.

What are the most common types of skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer overall in the United States, the most common types being basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.  We also diagnose and treat melanoma often, and its incidence is on the rise. 

What are some warning signs to look for when it comes to skin cancer?
Various mnemonics (such as the ABCDE system) exist regarding whether a mole is concerning, but I think it is best to keep the recommendations simple when looking for skin cancer. I tell my patients to look for the “ugly duckling.” This is a lesion that looks different than your other skin lesions. New or changing lesions are also concerning. If you notice an “ugly duckling” or a new or changing lesion on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist.

What are some small lifestyle changes people can make to protect their skin?
The most important single risk factor for skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation exposure in the form of natural sunlight and tanning beds. Therefore, anything that decreases this exposure is helpful in protecting your skin. Seek shade (especially between 10 AM and 2 PM), wear protective clothing (including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses), apply sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds.

How often should people check their skin?
I would recommend once a month. Make sure to use mirrors or a family member to check areas that are hard to see yourself.

What should someone look for when buying a sunscreen?
The best sunscreen is one you don’t mind using, which is often based on personal preference regarding the vehicle (lotion, cream, spray, gel, stick or powder) and ease of use.  Ideally, it should be labelled as broad-spectrum and water-resistant, with an SPF of 30 or higher. You should apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and reapply it every 2 hours, every 80 minutes when swimming or sweating.

Two broad groups of sunscreens exist: chemical (these become less effective with continued exposure to ultraviolet radiation) and physical (titanium and zinc, which act more as microscopic reflectors for ultraviolet radiation and maintain their effectiveness with continued exposure).  Both categories are effective.

A recently published, small study has raised concern regarding the absorption of ingredients that are in chemical sunscreens. Although there is no evidence that this is harmful at this point, it is clear that excessive ultraviolet radiation exposure is harmful. Those concerned about this potential absorption may opt for a physical sunscreen containing titanium or zinc.

Avoid combination products that include both a sunscreen and insect repellent, since the frequent reapplication may lead to too much insect repellent being applied.  Most people don’t apply sunscreen in adequate amounts. You should apply 1 ounce (a shot glass) to cover all exposed areas of your skin.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Although skin cancer is more common in people with fair skin and other risk factors, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. It’s never too late to be consistent with sun protection. Many people find peace of mind with a skin check by a board-certified dermatologist. It could save your life!

What motivated you to get into the field of dermatology?
I had a positive experience working with a dermatologist in medical school. I realized through that experience and others that there are many features about dermatology I enjoy. The skin is one of the few organs you can easily see and examine, and it can show signs of problems with other organ systems. I enjoy the wide variety of problems with which I can help patients. Dermatology allows me not only to see patients for clinic visits, but also to do minor surgical procedures, and interpret pathology of skin biopsies.

You are an MSU College of Human Medicine alum! Can you tell us a little about your time as a student there?
I was fortunate to be part of the MSU College of Human Medicine as a medical student. The faculty and experiences during that time provided a solid foundation to build on when I went to the Mayo Clinic for my dermatology residency and dermatopathology fellowship. Since I started practicing in Grand Rapids with Dermatology Associates of West Michigan in 2007, I have enjoyed giving back by working with medical students and residents as Assistant Clinical Professor with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. We are so excited to be involved with the MSU Gran Fondo this year and appreciate its contributions to skin cancer research and awareness!

Join the fight against skin cancer on June 22! You can sign up to ride, volunteer or donate at msugranfondo.com.