I'll be honest, when I hear the words "gravel grinder," my mind immediately conjures images of ultra-fit, spandex-clad, mud-splattered cyclists powering through miles upon miles of dirt and grime. As a working mom whose time is primarily spent writing, playing, cleaning up messes, ensuring my kids' (and husband's) survival, fighting the temptation to live off macaroni and cheese, and cleaning up more messes, the idea of a hardcore biking excursion doesn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies.

So, when I found out that Bonfire Effect would be sponsoring FoCo Fondo's 2018 FondoFest (a biking event featuring an epic 100-mile gravel challenge), I initially meandered into "count-me-out" la la land and started considering my lunch options for the day. Then, a few simple words brought me back: food, beer, and bands. 

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this year's FondoFest isn't only for the gravel-grinding guru. It's a full day of biking and fun that's truly fit for the entire family - with courses geared toward everyone from the cycling aficionado to Strider-riding kiddos, plus New Belgium beer, food trucks, live bands, and more. 

FondoFest is set for August 4 from 8am to 4pm at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins. Registration and giveaways kicked off February 19 with the launch of the new FoCo Fondo website

Whether you're an experienced cyclist looking for your next challenge or you have rudimentary biking skills but can drink beer like a champ, here are five reasons to check out the 2018 FondoFest from FoCo Fondo.

1. Ride bikes

Biking fun for everyone, including a 100-mile Bite the Bullet Ultimate Adventure, 50- and 20-mile Gravel Grinders, a 12-mile Family Adventure Ride, and an on-site kids' course for the littles to explore. Plus, don't miss awesome bike demos and gear giveaways. 

2. Drink beer

Cold beers from New Belgium Brewing Company. 'Nuff said.

3. Eat food

Fill up on good food from around The Fort with a smattering of local food trucks, including CORNDOGGIES

4. Have fun

Hang out with family and friends, listen to live music, check out local vendors, and let the kids wear themselves out with morning-to-afternoon entertainment and activities. 

5. Do good

Benefit a great cause: FC Bikes' Safe Routes to School.