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!
This year, as I chose the brevets I needed to qualify for this year’s Paris-Brest-Paris, I mixed up my itinerary again and considered events outside of San Francisco and Davis. Fortunately, the San Luis Obispo Randonneurs, a new club led by the human dynamo Vickie Backman, was offering a full ACP series this year. I hadn’t ridden much in the “Middle Kingdom” and was looking forward to a new set of adventures south of the Bay Area.