A Weekend at Eroica California

Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.

The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?

Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…

Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.

We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…

Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!

  • Luke Myers

    Kyle’s Keith Haring bibs are FIRE!

  • http://tourdafrique.com/ Micah Markson

    Have you used either of the two lens adapters on that camera? I would guess not but just thought I’d ask.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson


  • http://matt.irwincine.com/ Matt Irwin

    The ride looks cool and all, but that stuffed banana trick? Life changing.

    • Richard Smith

      Pro tip: fill with Cadbury’s Fudge bars and wrap the banana in tin foil to stop it from burning

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        You don’t need to wrap it dude. The skins won’t burn. They char.

  • Tony Clifton

    Just like Breaking Away, without the mean Italians!

  • http://www.plattyjo.com/ Jenny Oh Hatfield

    Good seeing you! And I’m Plattyjo, not Patty! :D

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Sorry! Got to my hotel in San Jose at 1am, edited photos, wrote copy at 3am – the woke up at 5am for my ride to sea otter… I’m losing my mind! Hah

      • http://www.plattyjo.com/ Jenny Oh Hatfield

        No worries! I know how hard you work and love your photos! Great to see you and keep up the fantastic coverage. <3

  • http://www.veloveneto.com Jason Cardillo

    Awesome meeting you! Such a great weekend. Just sick, sick, sick.

  • Derek

    Eroica California 2015 was amazing! Read our review at:


  • Bob Freitas

    sag wagon= Bobs fleet of loaner bikes

  • Brian Cottrell-Thompson

    I just started wrenching at my LBS and had the pleasure of putting new tubes and tires on a ’73 De Rosa. I had to take it for a test spin. You know, to make sure the tires were seated properly… Nice gallery. Looks like a lot of fun.

  • http://about.me/warrenlain Warren Lain

    Amazing shots… I’m curious though, did you have car support, or did you manage to ride the whole thing on that Merckx WHILE SHOOTING?!

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I rode the whole thing and shot all these photos while on the bike.

      • http://about.me/warrenlain Warren Lain


        • mrbiggs


  • Derek

    Eroica California 2015 was amazing! Read our review at:

  • John Crump

    At 82 I thought the 120 miler was a bit much, so I opted for the 70 mile. That took me 6hrs riding time, it was BRUTAL but I made it and feel pretty good about it. Rode my 1953 Rotrax with sprints no flats. John Crump OldtiredBrit. Parker. Co USA