EROICA CALIFORNIA: A THROWBACK TO CYCLING’S PAST

Updated: February, 1st

The third edition of Eroica California is set to take place April 8-9 in Paso Robles, the heart of California’s Central Coast wine country. The vintage bike cycling event draws its roots from the Italian L’Eroica, or “The Heroic”, event held annually since 1997 in the Tuscan town of Gaiole in Chianti. Eroica California has seen continued growth since its inaugural year, both in participants and an ever expanding festival.

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A full weekend of events surrounds Eroica California, including the prestigious Concours d’Elegance on Saturday the 8th, where participants can enter their own vintage road bikes for a chance to win “Best of Show”, or just enjoy the dozens of one-of-a-kind works of art that range from the early 1900s up to the more “modern” 1980s era.

Saturday evening will feature the option of a special pre-ride dinner prepared in part by a Michelin star chef brought in from Tuscany by Toscana Promozione Turistica. During the dinner, a silent auction will take place with all proceeds benefitting Hospice of SLO County. Additionally, the mayors of the sister cities of Paso Robles and Gaiole in Chianti will be present for a ceremony to add Cenicero, Spain, as a third sister city. All three areas share a common theme, and that’s world-renowned wine making. 

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In the historic Paso Robles Downtown Park, the festival features booths from local businesses and artisans, as well as a cycling fair with vendors of bikes and parts from all eras. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned vintage aficionado, or looking for your first wool jersey, the festival offers something for everyone. Saturday will also include a screening of the film “Marinoni: The Fire In The Frame” that chronicles the life of champion cyclist and frame builder Giuseppe Marinoni. 

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Sunday the 9th is the weekend’s high point, where many of the riders will come dressed for the era, complete with wool jerseys, lace-up shoes, and hairnet helmets before departing on one of four routes, ranging from 40 miles all the way up to the “Heroic” 127-miler. Regardless of the route chosen, each one features some of the best roads in the region, passing through vineyards on rolling country terrain dotted with California Oaks.

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All routes have a taste of tradition, with scenic sections of gravel roads and rest stops located at farms and vineyards offering gourmet food for a truly unique experience. The two longer options will take riders over the coastal mountain range and down to the picturesque towns of Cambria and Cayucos along the Pacific Ocean before ultimately finishing back in Paso Robles where an Italian lunch will be served.

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Registration is currently open at www.eroicacalifornia.com. A portion of every entry will go to benefiting Hospice of San Luis Obispo County.

Eroica California partners include: Santini, Bianchi, Giro, Barone Ricasoli, Continental, Brooks, Pantofola d’Oro, Mavic, Steel Vintage Bikes, Elite, Toscana Promozione Turistica, Travel Paso Robles, City of El Paso De Robles, Cayucos, Cambria, Paso Robles Wine Country, Cass Vineyard & Winery, Halter Ranch Vineyard, Olea Farm, San Luis Obispo

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