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Eroica cyclists from 29 countries sample breathtaking North County scenery 

Eroica Paso Robles 2016

Eroica California Vintage Bike Swap in the park in downtown Paso Robles. Photo by Noah Cyrns.

Cycling three-day festival receives rave reviews

–The City of Paso Robles was the epicenter for Eroica California over the weekend, Apr. 8-10, with 850 cyclists participating in the cycling festival touring the beautiful North County countryside.

Due to the success of its inaugural year, the event was expanded to a three-day festival celebrating cycling’s historic roots. Riders got to choose from four routes, a 38 mile short route, a 65 mile medium route, a new 85 mile coastal route and a 120 mile long route. Event participants increased by 20-percent from the previous year, the oldest rider was 83-years-old and the youngest was 15-years-old. Riders from 29 countries were in attendance and 100 women riders participated this year.

Eroica California Marketing and Public Relations Manager Kristine Larsen said those that returned a second year loved the event even more. “In particular, they really enjoyed the routes, especially the new Coastal Route and the food and wine selections,” she said. “We heard rave reviews about our pre-ride dinner sponsored by Paso Robles Travel Alliance. Everyone loved the wine provided by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, local beer by Firestone Walker Brewery, and food catered by Cass Winery an exceptional evening was had by all...Those that attended for the first time and who were introduced to Paso Robles and the San Luis Obispo County became enchanted with the area – cycling, general geography, hospitality, food, wine – and plan on returning.”

The events held in the park in downtown Paso Robles were well attended, Larsen said. “The new vintage bike swap was a huge success, allowing participants to get parts they needed for their bikes and to exchange stories about the history of their bikes,” she said. “In addition the Bicycle Concours d’Elegance, with Masi Bicycles who kicked off their 90th Anniversary at our event, was also a highlight…Movie star, Dennis Christopher of ‘Breaking Away’ was in attendance with Masi USA showcasing his Masi bike from the movie.”

“Year two was a big success for us and we want to extend our gratitude to our City Sponsors and local support. I am hopeful that we can do more to get the word out next year within the community,” she said.

Participant Jim Coggeshall from South Dartmouth, MA said the weekend was fantastic, from the Friday VIP event right though to riding his bike ride on Sunday. “Thanks to all those who put in the work and had the passion to make it all happen, it is a beautiful area and I hope to return,” he said.

A portion of all proceeds from the event are donated to the Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. Larsen said we were all very impressed with Hospice of San Luis Obispo and the friendly, helpful volunteers from all over the county.

The bikes in all Eroica events must be steel-frame and built before 1987 and have gear shift levers on the down tube of the frame and pedals with toe clips or fitted straps. The spirit of Eroica is not of a competitive race, but of a shared experience. The event was founded in Italy in 1997 to safeguard the heritage of the white roads of Tuscany. The event in Italy continues, but other Eroica events across the world have taken place.

To read more about the event and sponsors that make it possible visit www.eroicacalifornia.com

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.