Eroica translates to the heroic in Italian and perhaps that was the intention when the Eroica California team designed the course for the forthcoming event in April. While the original event was born in the Italian countryside, on pristine strada bianche, the California event takes to the hills and mountains separating wine country from the beautiful coastline…
Equipment is essential, with strict rules and guidelines for what you can ride and wear. No bikes are allowed newer than 1987 – even though even “aero” brake routing is shunned. No STI, no Ergo, either downtube shifters, bar ends or “Cambio Corsa” on a steel bike. For your safety and those around you, please ride a durable, classic looking tire though.
For apparel, you should wear wool, to keep you cool in the hot afternoon sun and warm for the descents. A variety of shoes are available either in the vintage or vintage-inspired variety. No clipless pedals. This is an event that pays homage to cycling’s beautiful past time and it should be respected as such.
With two courses, a 100k and a 200k, Eroica is sure to offer as much dirt and elevation you would desire. The name of the game is excess. Wine, delicious olive oil with frites, dirt and yes, elevation. Everything in excess. Make sure you’ve got that 26t freewheel… you’re going to need it.
As far as the route, you begin by leaving from Paso Robles, for the Cass Winery for a quick ride around the grounds before sampling a delicious wine. Then you’re off to the Halter Ranch Vineyard, before ascending the Santa Lucia Range and one of the most beautiful climbs in the area.
The descent to the coast is one for the books, as you spill into Cambria and scenic HWY 1. Cayucos’ mellow coastal vibes distract you from the two climbs that await. One on sealed road and the other on hardpack dirt, through California orange groves. The final stretch of the last climb will leave your mouth dry, ready for the final rest stop and your arrival back to Paso Robles.
Do not be mistaken, this will be a beautiful, yet challenging ride. One that will surely embed itself in your memory and instill a new sense of respect for the forefathers of cycling, all while offering a beautiful tour of one of the most scenic states in the US.
Registration for Eroica California will be open February 16th and is expected to sell out fast, so stay tuned to the event’s Facebook and the Radavist as we’ll make sure to update you as events warrant. The Eroica California is made possible by the Hospice San Luis Obispo County.