Eroica California had to make the tough, but necessary, decision to reschedule our annual event this year due to the ongoing pandemic. We are so disappointed to postpone the event once again, but all is not lost!
Eroica is vital to our cycling community’s soul, and to continue the tradition, we invite you to join us for a unique Challenge, sponsored by Eroica California!
The Eroica Challenge 2021 – The Eroica California Alternative
The Cycle Central Coast Eroica Challenge 2021 is a series of open club events on Strava, which is a running and cycling app available on iOS and Android. By riding one of these club event routes, you’ll still be able to experience the exhausting but exhilarating long-distance Eroica routes designed for a grueling ride amid the beauty of the rugged Central Coast.
When is the Eroica Challenge?
The Challenge runs from Thursday, October 7, through Sunday, November 7, in Cambria, CA.
What is Eroica?
Eroica is the ultimate vintage cycling event. Also known as L’Eroica, the concept was born in 1997 in a small village in the Chianti province of Siena in Italy. That’s where creator Giancarlo Brocci started the first edition of an event that combines and celebrates vintage bicycles, period clothing such as wool cycling shirts and shorts, challenging gravel routes, magnificent landscapes, and unforgettable refreshments.
Since then, Eroica has grown into a global movement—a network of events attracting tens of thousands of cyclists and fans of all ages worldwide. The event has also evolved to include the NOVA component, which opens the experience to modern road bicycles. Take your pick of your own racing, gravel, or cyclo-cross bike for this year’s Cycle Central Coast Eroica Challenge 2021 event—or participate in the authentic Eroica experience if you can!
Based in Cambria, Eroica California is the only Eroica event in the United States. With routes at various lengths, changing scenery, and challenges around every turn, there are rides for each level of committed cyclist. But beware—Eroica California is not for the faint of heart. These routes are intense, and while this ride is not a race, it will test even the most experienced riders.
How the Eroica Challenge is different from Eroica California
Because the snack and water stations on the Eroica California routes aren’t available outside of the traditional rides, we’ve slightly modified several of our routes to ensure you’re not riding on empty.
The Eroica California event also featured two divisions: one purely for vintage road bicycles, and the other, called “NOVA,” open to all modern bicycles. Eroica Challenge 2021 will be a NOVA event.
This year, each person who completes the Cycle Central Coast Eroica Challenge 2021 according to the directions below will receive an Eroica T-shirt. Look out on our social channels the week after the ride—your photos from the weekend could be highlighted!
Why hold the Eroica Challenge?
We were so disappointed in 2020 when Eroica California had to postpone its annual event to 2021, so we designed a challenge that encourages anyone to ride our modified Eroica California routes. With the event now postponed until 2022, we are hosting this challenge once again for four weeks! If you choose to embark on the Eroica journey during the Challenge period, you will also receive an Eroica T-shirt, while supplies last. Anyone who also signs up with their name and email address will be entered into a drawing to win a free entry to next year’s in-person Eroica California event. Check out our blog for more information on last year’s event!
How to ride the Cycle Central Coast Eroica Challenge 2021
Follow the directions below to participate in the Cycle Central Coast Eroica Challenge 2021.
- Install or link Strava to the phone or GPS device you’ll be using to track your ride.
- Join our Strava club at Cycle Central Coast and check out the routes in the club events.
- Add our Cycle Central Coast profile to your Strava network.
- Fill out the form below if you wish to be entered into a drawing for the grand prize: free entry into next year’s Eroica California event!
- Choose the Strava club event with the modified Eroica route you’d like to ride. You may need to select “View All” to see all five routes. The event is dated Nov. 7, 2021, but you can ride the routes whenever you’d like!
- Choose “I’m in” on the event.
- On the day of your ride, check the route through the event and use the route to start your ride in Cambria. While tracking the route with Strava, feel free to take photos and video along the way to post to social media. (Tag us at @CycleCentralCoast!)
- After you complete the route, upload any photos to your Strava ride activity and share your ride activity with us by either tagging our Strava profile in a comment on your ride, or by emailing us your ride activity to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Head to the Cambria’s Visitors Center, at 767 Main St., next to the Cambria Coffee Roasting Company, to pick up your Eroica California T-shirt.
- Stick around and recover by visiting the Central Coast’s vibrant eateries and beach spots.
Where to stay
You’ll need a place to stay, prepare for the Cycle Central Coast Eroica Challenge 2021, and recover from the glorious fatigue. Cambria is a charming, vibrant town located on a beautiful stretch of the California Central Coast. Cyclists who rode last year’s Eroica California event loved their stay in Cambria, which offers several countryside or oceanfront lodging properties.
Just north of Cambria along Highway 1 is the community of San Simeon.
San Simeon is a scenic beach town that offers pristine views of the ocean and wildlife. You’ll pass by this town if you ride the Eroica Challenge Piedras Blancas Route from Cambria. Riding north on Highway 1, you may enjoy captivating views of zebras, sambar deer, barbary sheep, and other unique wildlife descending from William Randolph Hearst’s ranch.