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Send Poppie from Eroica South Africa to Eroica Italy!

My time in South Africa was a real treat – tendonitis inflammation aside – I met a lot of amazing people there, including Poppie, the local who cooked us such delicious food, her roosterbrood. When the organizers of Eroica Italy came to Eroica South Africa, they fell in love with Poppie’s cooking, so they bought her a plane ticket to visit the original Eroica. Stan from Tour of Ara and the Karoobaix has set up a fundraiser to get Poppie some cash to use on her trip! Head on over to donate if you have the means.

Riding on Fumes at the Nova Course During the Eroica California 2019

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Riding on Fumes at the Nova Course During the Eroica California 2019

The world of gravel racing is still very foreign to me. At least the competitive side of things, yet I find myself getting roped into these races, namely the ones where they boast features like timed sections. These enduro-inspired gravel races, like Grinduro, adopt this format in hopes that people will hang out and make the event more casual, rather than an all-out battle for who crosses the finish line. In events like Grinduro, this works perfectly, keeping the pace party-level and the conversations lively. This party vibe isn’t easy to cultivate. You’ve got to convince people it isn’t worth charging ahead, stringing the group out.

So maybe that’s why I felt compelled to try out the Eroica California’s Nova race. It boasted timed segments, chiller riding vibes, and I have ridden in the area, twice before, as well as the Eroica California’s course, back when it began and ended in Paso Robles. With this year’s event starting in the sleepy town of Cambria, it surely would be one to remember. Oh, and it was.

An Eroica California Bruce Gordon Chinook Road

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An Eroica California Bruce Gordon Chinook Road

… made in Eugene, Oregon.

This weekend was the Eroica California and while our story is coming tomorrow, we wanted to give you something special on this Sunday afternoon.

Bruce Gordon made a road bike model called the Chinook in the 1980’s from his workshop in Eugene, Oregon, where he worked prior to opening his shop in Petaluma, California. These bikes bear a branding resemblance to the Chinook camper shell conversions made popular in modern times by adventure-seekers looking to live their best lives on the road. There’s a certain nostalgia to the open road and summer tours on the West Coast and the Chinook frames embodied that. Clean lines, beautiful fastback stays, and thinned luglines were the Chinook’s calling cards.

On display at the American Cyclery booth at Eroica California was where this Bruce Gordon was living, in all its Campy Record glory, with pristine paint, Phil Wood hubs for a little California flair, and a pricetag to match… If you’re itchin’ for a Chinook, not the auto variety, give them a holler!

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Eroica and Nova California

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Eroica and Nova California

It’s been a few years, but we’ll be at the Eroica California weekend and riding in the Eroica Nova event. The riding surrounding Cambria is world-class with ripping descents and beautiful rolling hills. If you’re planning on going, be sure to say hello and show off your bike. Hopefully there will be a big gallery showcasing what bikes people brought to the Classic and Nova Eroica events. If you haven’t registered, do so now and we’ll see you there!

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada – Tenzin Namdol

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The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada – Tenzin Namdol

The Devil in a Dress; L’Eroica Celebrates Alfonsina Strada
Words and photos by Tenzin Namdol

“The act of remembering is about the future, not the past.” -Dr. Tashi Rabgey

There was a poster on the door of the Jolly Bar in downtown Gaiole In Chianti advertising a one woman play about and dedicated to Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to have competed in the Giro d’Italia way back in 1924. She was called “The Devil in Dress” by the press who sensationalized the story of a woman riding the Giro against pro racers of the time who were very well known and very male. Strada is no doubt a darling of the Italian vintage cycling social scene but completely unbeknownst to me. The play was one of the many official events organized for the L’Eroica weekend of ogling at relics that function as baseline vision for countless daydreams of bike builds, some looking much like the bike Strada rode for the Giro.

Eroica Nova California

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Eroica Nova California

Eroica California‘s course is one of the most beautiful I’ve ridden and now you can experience the winding dirt roads on a modern bike, in a competitive yet fun event dubbed Eroica Nova. This race begins separately from the Eroica ride and is limited to 200 starting places. Head to Eroica Nova to register now.

Don’t miss this exclusive chance: NOVA Eroica is limited to 200 start place. Register now

The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon – Ultra Romance

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The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon – Ultra Romance

The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon
Words and photos by Ultra Romance

We had been running from winter… riding from winter… actually hike-a-biking away from winter in the Swiss Alps for nearly 2 weeks now.  Snow, wind, rain, and low UV indexes had driven us out of the most verdant and bucolic panoramas I’ve ever eyeballed. Away from the abrupt mountaintops that rise from the undulating valleys like the jagged teeth of a gnashing puma eagle.  My hair was damp and lifeless, and our bodies were craving the sunlight and ACTUAL early September weather (fair and pleasant for those of you who live in the Swiss tundra).  In a split second decision, while climbing out of a cold and empty valley after hiking down a roots rock reggae slip n’ slide, we hopped a train south to Europe’s fashion capital, Milano. It just felt natural.

Ciao Italy!

Eroica Rolls to South African Soil – Stan Engelbrecht and Tyrone Bradey

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Eroica Rolls to South African Soil – Stan Engelbrecht and Tyrone Bradey

Eroica Rolls to South African Soil
Words by Stan Engelbrecht and photos by Tyrone Bradey

When Giancarlo Brocci imagined what would become the now world famous L’Eroica vintage bicycle homage in 1997, he surely never thought that rubber would crunch on gravel all the way at the Southern tip of Africa, in honour of his humble concept. Giancarlo saw the first L’Eroica rides as a way to bring attention to, and thus encourage the preservation of, the beautiful ‘strade bianche’, or white marble gravel roads of the area around Gaiole in Tuscany. At the same time it was a way for him to honour and remind others of the perfect peak of the sport he loves so dearly – the heady, fiery days of Anquetil, Poulidor, Coppi, Bartali, Merckx…

Radar

Giro Cycling: Eroica California

Giro just posted up a video recap from this year’s Eroica California ride in Paso Robles. It’s the only video I’ve seen from the ride and captures the vibe quite well. Head over to Giro for a photo gallery and short write-up.

A Weekend at Eroica California

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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!

Eroica California Rides: Mid 80’s Rossin Ghibli with C-Record

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Eroica California Rides: Mid 80’s Rossin Ghibli with C-Record

The time has come for Eroica California and at our rental house in Paso Robles, everyone’s bikes have been getting the final tune ups required for either the 60 mile party loop or the heroic 123 mile route. This one beauty in particular is Mark Riedy’s personal bike and it’s more modern than most of the rides you’ll be seeing in the next few days here on the site. Built with Campagnolo C-Record, this Rossin Ghibli is made from Columbus Gilco tubing with an outrageous paint job the Italian company is known for.

My personal favorite detail on the Ghibli models being the bottom bracket shell and from this bike specifically, the original Keith Haring-designed City Cycles NYC sticker from the 80’s…