Get Yer Vintage On

I just returned home from a city council meeting in the town of Paso Robles, California, the next town north along US101 from where I live in Templeton. Pretty much every week I am riding in or through Paso Robles at least once, since I lead a weekly ride for the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club starting in Paso.

This is very exciting news for vintage riders like myself – the council unanimously approved hosting an international event for riding vintage bicycles (pre-1987) called L’Eroica for the second weekend of April 2015. It’s going to benefit HospiceSLO, a county-wide organization for which I volunteer as in-home support for clients. I presume that HospiceSLO also is going to be involved with the management and production of the event since they have years of experience with events such as the California Festival of Beers and the San Luis Obispo Concours.

Here are some of the movers and shakers for the local L’Eroica also attending the city council meeting

Gracie, Steve, Kris and Wes.

Gracie, Steve, Kris and Wes.


Gracie Rey, the events & development director for HospiceSLO, spoke before the city council to promote the event, and both Wes Hatakeyama and Steve Fleury stepped up to the mike to speak in favor of it. Wes used to own a bike shop in the county, while Steve and his wife Carol own Best Bike Zone in Paso Robles. Kris Kington-Barker is the executive director of HospiceSLO.

Beginning in the Tuscany region of Italy circa 1997, L’Eroica now is coming to San Luis Obispo County. Check out the L’Eroica web site for the history, philosophy and implementations of the event. From what I read, one reason for starting the event was to protect “le strade bianche” (the white roads) of Tuscany. These are unpaved roads, dirt and gravel, which typically are a lighter color than your standard strip of asphalt, ergo “white”.

Since I moved to SLO County earlier this year, I have been exploring many of the white roads nearby:

  • Cypress Mountain Road
  • Santa Rita Road
  • Arbor Road
  • Kiler Canyon Road
  • Penman Springs Road
  • Moss Lane

all of which are joyful pedaling experiences. But, but, but, there are many more white roads nearby on private lands, dirt lanes through vineyards that we mortal riders never get to traverse. In my fantasy ride I get access to those roads… however, I’m lacking one requirement. I have a vintage engine but I need a vintage bike.

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