23 April, 2018

Eroica California Ride Recap

by Igor

Class. Fun. Spectacular riding in a majestic countryside setting. All without taking itself too seriously. Oh, and a bike festival to boot. Eroica's got it all - and we're excited to have been able to attend it last week in Paso Robles, CA.

Eroica California is a celebration of all things vintage bike - wood rims, non-aero brakes, and all! Saturday primarily featured a Concours-style judging and swap meet while Sunday was all about riding mixed terrain through the beautiful scenery that SLO County has to offer.

The Concours featured a whole lotta beautiful bikes that were judged according to different classes such as year, restored, original, unrestored, etc. Bikes from the early 1900s up through 1987 were scrutinized for period-correctness, backstory, and condition. Judges eyed every nook and cranny of the bikes to determine the rightful winner of each class. 

Not a ton of fender'd bikes, so this randonneur really stood out

I'm not going to lie, Theo was a hit in his Molteni onesie.

Kirk Precision!
Bent seattube on this Jack Taylor. A beauty!

Roller racing. The Faemino is wearing a Drillium Crankset.

Very, very early derailleur'd BSA.

That lugwork, my goodness.

'nago with 'nolo.
Sunday was ride day. I opted to ride the short route to allow plenty of time for socializing both on and off the bike, photographing the beautiful scenery, and indulging in the all-around chill atmosphere of the event.

The ride took us through and around vineyards, olive groves, countryside roads, and dirt farm roads - classic mixed terrain. Dirt, pavé, soft sand, and steep climbs graced our tires and sometimes the soles of our shoes.

For gearing, I opted for our 50.4 Crankset for a lowest gear of 30/28 - that was a good idea. There were several riders I spoke to that rode last year and swapped their 53/39 crankset for our 50.4 or Drillium specifically for the event. There were some adventurous souls who did the ride fixed or single speed. My mind says yes, but my knees say ouch.

Fueling up at a cafe

Should we offer this jersey?

They sent us off in waves, so there was time to ogle lots of bikes that had VO bits. This one is wearing our cassette hub and RAID rims.


Snaking around grapes



Each stop was like a mini bike show. You could walk up and down and never see the same bike twice.

Wine straight from the source. Provided at the rest stop of course. 

A custom painted Specialized Allez with our Long Setback Seatpost.

A lovely Colnago with our Hammered Fenders, Campeur Rear Rack, and Constructeur Front Rack.

What goes up...

Must come down. Thanks for the photos, Jason and Bien!

Out in the countryside

Kevin riding his Raleigh and jersey from his racing days


Over washboard gravel roads, things got a bit bumpy. Nothing 38mm tires couldn't handle.

These two were riding his and hers old French city bikes and were ripping!

Thanks for the wonderful memories and great times. We're looking forward to next year!


DaveD said...

Really enjoyed seeing your photo recap of the event!

I think the V-O Jersey would be a popular item...

Scott B. said...

I like the V-O jersey also. Classy, understated.

KCJeff said...

Love those leather gloves.

Maurice said...

Saw your jersey at some point in the day, and meant to say "hi". Glad you were out there, and glad you enjoyed!

Unknown said...

I’d be interested in a Merino wool VO jersey. Tell me more about the front fender/lowrider reinforcing strut on Igor’s Campeur. Where can I find one?

brian said...

Jersey...yes. Yes. YES.

I concur.

gugie said...

For all the people I saw at Eroica, there's an equal or greater number that I wish I'd have seen! Sorry I missed you! Maybe I'll get back to FFD again this year...

Mark Guglielmana

Unknown said...


I saw you with Theo, but didn't get a chance to come say "Hi."

That's my Kirk Precision! Frame #67 and one of the very first Kirk's in the USA.

But I rode an all chrome 1977 Colnago Super with your Gran Cru 50.4 crankset. Tina rode a 1980 CBT La Donna also with your 50.4 crankset and she used ALL the gears.

I have to say Velo Orange has great products for Eroica rides. Also "yes" on the jersey.

Keep up the good work.


Craig Lew

VeloOrange said...

It's simply a fender stay, single fender eyelet bolt, and a pair of R-clips. The stay is hand bent to connect to the lowrider mount. It isn't weight bearing, just something to hold the front of the fender in place over rough terrain.


VeloOrange said...

We'll catch up soon enough, Mark!


VeloOrange said...

Thanks for the kind words, Craig. Hope you had a wonderful time!


Unknown said...

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Yes to the jersey, yes, yes, yes.

Unknown said...


It was great to meet you and ride the first part of the course together! I'm sorry I missed you after the ride, would have loved to meet Theo! He looks like a total Eddy Doll! I will definitely try to get down to visit you folks in Annapolis when I'm back visiting my daughter at UDelaware. Good luck with the company and with the whole work life balance thing. If you come to Central California to visit Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks, give me a shout. Lots of good rides, good food and good sights here.

Dennis Johnson
Jack Taylor
Visalia CA

Anonymous said...

Hey Igor,

You are a Dad now, you need to hold onto the handle bars. Unless that was your stunt double then it's okay. :)

Oh, and great pictures looks like a fun time.

Noah Carr said...

Kevin on the white 1969 Raleigh Professional! I own a few bikes, both modern and vintage, and my '69 Pro is THE BEST. I've never had a bad ride on it.
Some great looking bikes in these photos. What is the one with hellenic stays?

VeloOrange said...


Not sure about the bike with Hellenic stays but it was very custom.


Anonymous said...

Love that cycling computer on the Jack Taylor! :)