Hit the Open Road This Spring
Activities, Annual Events, Cycle Central Coast, Food & Wine

Category Archives: Cycle Central Coast

Hit the Open Road This Spring

Take a Road Trip to Cambria

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If you enjoy the feel of the wind in your hair and the sun on your back, the Central Coast is the perfect playground for free-spirited riders looking for an outdoor adventure. And springtime is one of the best times to hit the open road and head for the coast. The weather is almost perfect and the seaside cliffs are covered with wildflowers making for an unforgettable scenic ride. Whether your bike is a custom chrome Harley or an ultra-lightweight road bike, the Pacific Coast Highway is a favorite scenic route for all types of bikers.

And after a day on the road soaking up the scenery, Cambria offers relief for the road-weary traveler. For years, Cambria has been a year-round haven for two-wheel adventurists and outdoor enthusiasts looking to discover the Central Coast in a way that only two wheels can offer.

Photo: Debby Boutros

Photo: Debby Boutros

Eroica California, a vintage-inspired cycling event, returns to the Central Coast April 8-9. Eroica California celebrates the golden age of cycling as riders leave today’s modern conveniences behind and hit the road on vintage bikes as they travel through private vineyards, unpaved gravel roads and up the steep canyons of Central California Wine Country. Starting in Paso Robles, Eroica offers four routes ranging in length from a 40-mile scenic short route through Paso Robles and Templeton to a treacherous 127-mile seaside route with segments along Highway 1 that lead through the heart of Cambria before heading back to Paso. This route – called the Eroica (or Heroic) – will challenge the physical and mental boundaries of even the most experienced rider.

IMG_9710If hot chili, cold beer, and vintage cars & motorcycles are more your thing, you’ll want to head to Cambria for the Annual Chili Cook-Off, Car & Motorcycle Show April 22 from 10-3pm at the Veterans Hall and Pinedorado Grounds. Enjoy gourmet chili, live music, and sample great local beer while you check out some of the coolest cars and motorcycles on the Central Coast, then vote on your favorite. Entry to the car and motorcycle show is free and chili sampling is just $10.

Whatever type of bike you’re into, Cambria offers the perfect backdrop for road warriors, competitive cyclists or those just looking for a scenic ride. Check out our seasonal lodging packages and plan your spring road trip today!

Cycling on the Central Coast

If you’re into cycling, Cambria should definitely be on your bucket list of “must do” rides. The Central Coast offers some of the most renowned routes for cycling enthusiasts looking to challenge themselves or just wanting a change of scenery.

From world-class athletes and cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour to a world champion freeride mountain biker who recently chose Cambria’s rolling hills to set the backdrop for his record setting ride, the Central Coast has drawn in riders from across the country and around the world. The spectacular views and coastal terrain make for an unforgettable ride that will leave you breathless (in more ways than one).

Dawn-CyclistsThe Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most spectacular cycling routes in the world. The stretch along Highway 1 between Cambria and Gorda provides some of the most scenic cycling views in California. Cyclists hug the rocky coastline as they ride along Moonstone Beach before heading up iconic Highway 1 to Gorda. You’ll see incredible wildlife and scenic points of interest along the way, like Piedras Blancas Light Station and elephant seal rookery, the San Simeon Pier and the zebras that roam the hillsides surrounding Hearst Castle. The route heading south on Highway 1 from Cambria to Cayucos offers a shorter ride but still features stunning ocean views with many vistas and stopping points along the way.

Heading inland from Cambria on Santa Rosa Road you’ll find a favorite route of local cyclists with plenty of challenges and hills to climb. The winding road featured on this route is lush, green and very peaceful, plus you’ll discover a few hidden gems along the way.

Whether you’re planning an extended biking tour, training for an event, looking for new routes to conquer, or just want to spend the weekend cycling and sight-seeing on the coast, Cambria offers routes for every level of cyclist and a cool place for road weary riders to stay after their ride.

With luxury spa hotels and beach front cottages, gourmet and casual dining, wine tasting and craft beer, eclectic art galleries, antique stores and boutiques, Cambria is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a long day’s ride. Plan your trip to Cambria and take a ride through the scenic Central Coast.

VISIT CycleCentralCoast.com

CycleCentralCoastLogoWe’ve made cycling on the Central Coast even easier. If you’re planning a cycling excursion or looking for new routes, visit CycleCentralCoast.com. This new cycling website is a one-of-a- kind resource where cyclists can discover new routes, plan cycling trips, learn about upcoming cycling events, and keep up to date on the latest cycling news and alerts. The Cycle Central Coast website highlights 130 miles of the best local biking routes with detailed info on routes (including distance, elevation and grade), road conditions, points of interest along the route, and places to stay.

Eroica California: Italian Vintage Bike Race Comes to Cambria

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Jeff Dykzeul, central coast resident and volunteer coordinator for the upcoming Eroica California vintage bike race. Because of his regional cycling knowledge (he knows every little nook and cranny for each of the three Eroica California routes!), Jeff seemed like the perfect candidate to help educate all of us about the upcoming cycling event. You can learn more about Jeff on his blog Velobum which focuses on year-round cycling in Paso Robles and beyond!

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Jeff D on Peachy Canyon Road

Hello, vintage cycling fans. I’m the volunteer coordinator for the initial 2015 edition of Eroica California. I live right in the middle of the three Eroica routes and have ridden all of the roads being used for Eroica many times, except for those sections on private lands that are being opened up just for the event. I’ve been cycling almost my entire life, progressing from a tiny red Schwinn with training wheels to my current #1 bike, a titanium Litespeed Vortex. That’s me picture to the right, stopped at a vineyard along Peachy Canyon Road with my not-quite-vintage Joe Bringheli lugged steel road bike.

As a member of the South Bay Wheelmen club in Redondo Beach CA, I helped put on the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix for 10 years, as well as the final stage of the Tour of California in 2006, which was a circuit race in Redondo Beach. Happily for me, the fellow who started the SBW club back in the early 60’s, friend and hall of fame cyclist Ted Ernst, will be one of the judges of the Eroica Concours d’Elegance. I have ridden in many parts of the United States, as well as in Mexico, the Pyrenees and French Alps, and have assisted the manager of the United HealthCare pro cycling team for a couple of editions of the Tour of California stage race. I got involved with the Eroica California event because I am a volunteer with the Hospice of San Luis Obispo organization and Hospice SLO is the charity beneficiary of the Eroica event.

The origin of the Eroica event goes back to 1997 in the Tuscany region of Italy, where Giancarlo Brocci created it to celebrate old style non-competitive cycling. Vintage bikes, vintage clothing, using dirt/gravel roads, and a laid-back attitude so that riders can enjoy the food, drink, music, scenery and socializing without concern for all the stresses involved in racing. This formula has become a big hit with cyclists and has led to the international expansion of the event. Wes Hatakeyama, long-time cyclist and resident of San Luis Obispo County who has participated in Eroica events, was instrumental in bringing Mr. Brocci to our area, resulting in Paso Robles being selected to host the event.

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Vintage Nishiki at a winery entrance on Vineyard Drive

The original Eroica event in Tuscany takes place in early October, and currently there are several additional versions of the Eroica event sanctioned by Mr. Brocci: Eroica California during mid-April, a springtime version in Italy during early May, Japan in mid-May, Spain in early June, and Great Britain in mid-June. An online launch point for all the versions is athttp://www.eroica.cc/.

The California version will be unique in that it is the only edition that takes riders to the ocean. In our case, the long route includes the beautiful beaches and seaside towns of Cayucos and Cambria. All of the Eroica California activities are centered on the downtown park in the city of Paso Robles, from Friday evening April 10 through Sunday April 12. The Concours d’Elegance will take place in the park, as well as having cycling vendors, entertainment, food and drink. All three Eroica rides (short, medium and long) will start at the park Sunday morning, and end at the park later in the day.

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Geneseo Road near Cass Winery

Eroica California will provide a unique opportunity for cycling fans to witness a gathering of vintage bicycles, equipment and clothing in one spot. California fans will be able to meet old and new friends from around the United States and from overseas. Riders will travel on backcountry roads paved and unpaved through verdant vineyards leafing out in the springtime sun. Well-known former professional cyclists Andy Hampsten and George Mount will be guests at the event. And, of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to sample the wonderful hospitality of Paso Robles, Cambria, Cayucos, and the whole of San Luis Obispo County, including restaurants, wine and beer tasting, museums, parks and entertainment.

As I mentioned above, I live in this beautiful region and know virtually every road that will be used for the three Eroica California routes. To see the route maps hosted at RideWithGPS, click on any of these links here: short route, medium route or long route. I’d like to share with you some of my personal photos from roads that will be used for Eroica California, click on any image to start a slide show. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I hope to see you at Eroica California! Now, I wonder if I can find one of those tiny red Schwinn bikes with training wheels…

Eroica California takes place April 11 & 12 in Paso Robles. For more information, please visit eroicacalifornia.com.

 

Highway Closures

Highway 1 Closure

If you're heading to the Central Coast, be sure to be mindful of the stretch of Highway 1, 21 miles north of Cambria. Caltrans is busy with a major construction project to make traveling along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway a safer journey.

Highway 1 Storm Repair Along the Big Sur Coast Due to multiple active slides, State Route 1 is now closed between Ragged Pt. (SLO 72.87) and just south of Nepenthe (Mon 44).

Worried about Highway 1 Road Closures? Cambria and Hearst Castle are easily accessible from Highway 46 West from 101 South of Paso Robles or from northbound Highway 1 from the city of San Luis Obispo. Travelers from the north can easily take Highway 101 as an alternate route to Highway 1, which reduces travel time to Cambria by about 25 minutes.

For the latest road closure information visit the Caltrans website.