Our friend from across the pond takes us on an enthusiastic journey through the Eroica Nova course!
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.
… 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!
Follow American Cyclery on Instagram.
We’re heading up to Cambria today to take part in the Eroica California weekend! Be on the lookout for that Rad Rod Firefly during the Nova event and be sure to say hello!
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
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 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
Eroica’s most exotic location returns for 2018. Montagu is home to the Eroica South Africa and has landed a calendar date of March 18th. If you have the means to attend, I highly recommend it. As a lover of the desert, this part of South Africa is gorgeous, just like that Dream Press-made, Ello Xray Eyez-designed poster.
Head to the Eroica South Africa website for details.
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.
State attended Eroica California in Paso Robles this year, bringing along a singlespeed for the 87.2 mile Coastal route with 7368 ft climbing…
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…
Columbus Zona tubing, chrome stays, center-pull brakes, vintage Campagnolo, a Brooks Team Pro Classic saddle and 32-hole Ambrosio Montreal tubular rims all make up the new Bianchi L’Eroica. See more photos and specs at Bicycle Retailer.
Coming off the Eroica California and the Emilio De Marchi rides, I’m kind of bummed to be missing this year’s Eroica Britannia. Last year’s event was a ton of fun, so if you were on the fence about attending, head over to the 2014 Eroica Britannia Reportage… If you are planning on going, head over to Eroica Britannia to sign up!
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.
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!
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…
After another early morning flight and a three hour drive, I’ve arrived in Paso Robles for the Eroica California. The stories have only just begun, so stay tuned throughout the weekend for updates on Instagram…
Also, shouts to American Cyclery for the Nuovo Record levers and Campy straps. Wait til you see the rest of the photos from that shop!
Truthfully, when the Eroica California was announced, my hope was to find an older, California-made road bike. Something like an Eisentraut, or a Bruce Gordon. You know, classic American steel from the west coast. When all I could find were either in the 54cm or 64cm range, I began looking elsewhere. Which is where I came upon this frame on eBay.
I’ve always loved the Merckx Professionals, with their flat crown forks and Columbus SL tubing, yet this bike looked a bit strange. The seller claims it was from 1982 and raced at the European Championships in 1982 at Goodwood with the Belgian team. ’82… Giuseppe Saronni got first, Lemond got second and Sean Kelly, third. Sounds like a good year.
… but, that fork. I’ve never seen a sloping crown Merckx prior to 1985. Those seat stay caps point to a post-1985 bike. I’ve also never seen a single bottle cage Merckx before. The over-the-bottom-bracket-routing puts in the early 1980’s though. There’s a story there, somewhere. I just have to find it. The seller assured me it was unique and yes, custom.