Old 11-04-18, 02:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: La Habra, California
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Bikes: Italvega Super Speciales and Superlights

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Originally Posted by keithdunlop View Post
Thank you for starting this thread - I'm in downtown SLO if anyone local wants to train together. I'm targeting the 75 mile route.

I'm doing this for the first time and am just starting to collect parts for a "new" build based around a Guerciotti Record frame. Here's my question about gearing -- it seems contradictory to me that that you have this "vintage" bike ride on a course that requires mortal riders to gear their bikes almost to the point of a mountain bike. I've seen Eroica bikes equipped with mountain bike derailleurs and 32 cog cassettes mounted to modern freehubs and 36 inner chainrings. This seems odd to me. I'm in my early 50's and fit and I plan to run Campy Super Record all around, which likely means 52/42 with a 14-28 freewheel. I'm prepared to do a little walking if needed, but the purist in me wants to avoid going outside the spirit of the event.

Am I going about this wrong?
If you are really fit and have plenty of experience riding climbs with standard race gearing 52/42 to 14-28, you can use this gearing and push up the hills as you like. For some of us older or less fit riders (I'm 63), we just can't climb those hills like we used to (or ever did!) and need more mechanical advantage. Many of us were more recreational riders rather than being racers, track or road, and/or have lost some of that physical edge we used to have - happens. Eroica is about recreating the challenge of the Classic European Tours and Giros, and giving everyone the chance to feel the burn and fatigue, and to suffer as much or as little as we want. However, there is precious little suffering and more like plenty of suffering on the medium and longer routes. For some, its a Typical Sunday ride, for others, a great challenge like a marathon - where having fun, pushing yourself at your own pace, and enjoying/suffering along with plenty of new friends and acquaintances, all the while enjoying all those vintage bikes, the grand scenery of California's Central Coast and the Pacific Ocean, and exploring Cambria, Cayucos, San Simeon, Morro Bay, and inland areas like Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo. With some climbs in the 7%-18% range and descents just as challenging, the vast majority will welcome a little bit more gearing before we bail and walk. Others will motor right on up.

Regardless, the Eroica "rules and regulations" permit non-standard gearing as a means to enjoy the ride - even with alpine gearing, its still a huge challenge. So come out and have fun, hope to see you there.

BTW, in the photo above, we are on the 2018 "short" 45 mile route, walking up a hill just east of Cass Winery at mile 13 to 13.7 where the grade was about 9 to 9.9% followed by another short climb from mile 14 at about 8%. I'm in the Italian colors jersey leading the walking pack on the right.

There was also another climb pushing 12% at mile 25.
Here's the GPS route map and cue:


Last edited by mech986; 11-04-18 at 02:11 AM.
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