I was in vintage bicycle heaven at the first annual L’Eroica California this past weekend in Paso Robles. Ever since I first heard of this event several years ago, I’ve been entranced by the romantic notion of paying homage to the past through this cycling celebration. It’s like the Renaissance Faire for bike nerds, with folks smartly dressed in outfits that match their pre-1987, period correct bicycles. Hopefully it’s a preview of what’s to come when I finally make the journey to its original predecessor in Italy!
The inaugural L’Eroica California kicked off this weekend and was an amazing experience. Jason and I chose the medium route (69 miles with over 5300 ft. of climbing), as we have some big randonneuring rides coming up and wanted to save some energy in our legs. Plus my easiest gear on my Pinarello is 42-26, so I was pretty trashed by the end and felt like I had done leg presses all day!
Well, I seem to have a spotty track record with randonneuring team events; as of today it’s now 2 (success) for 3 (fail). Yesterday, I DNF’ed in Geyerserville as I started to come down with some sort of plague during the ride. I took it control by control, but after tons of headwind and increasingly chilly air — I felt more run down and congested with each mile. I managed to finish 131 miles before bagging it in Healdsburg, where TBO picked me up.