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L'Eroica of California comparisons?

Old 04-18-21, 09:21 PM
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tgot
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L'Eroica of California comparisons?

L'Eroica is nominally on in 2021, in September.

I've got a C&V bike that would be appropriate for age and style. But, it's got a 32/24 low gear, for ~36 gear inches.

I'm worried about whether that's low enough for the L'Eroica route.

And yes, thank you, I know that in the route is in RideWithGps, but I'm hoping for some experienced assessment.

Basically: Is there a climb on the SF Peninsula that might be comparable to what's needed for L'Eroica?

So, for instance, I did Old La Honda on a different bike with 31" gear inches. Not quickly, but I didn't feel like I was injuring my knees or not going to make it. If I got fit enough and/or changed gearing such that OLH was rideable on the vintage bike, would that seem sufficient?

Or, "No, you better plan on being able to ride Tunitas..." ?

Thanks!
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Old 04-18-21, 10:14 PM
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Hey @tgot-

I’m planning on doing L’Eroica for the first time also, so no first hand experience. But in looking at the profiles and reading about the different terrains... If you are planning on doing one of the longer rides, the elevation gain is 6000+. On the longer routes, none of the climbs look really long, but you are looking at hitting 1500 ft of elevation coming up from sea level (with some rollers) so I’d say that sounds similar to OLH. but after that you still have probably 4000 more vertical feet to climb so a lot of rollers and the last climb is another OLH in height but is steeper (I’m thinking of the steeper parts of tunitas) and on dirt. Again, depending on which ride you are planning, I would think OLH, down 84, head over to Pescadero, the three bumps on Stage and Tunitas then down Kings would be a good ride to feel comfortable for the Santa Lucia ride. Another one would be Montebello, then the dirt over to Page Mill and down. That’ll get you the climbing plus dirt while tired. I’ll have both of those under my belt before L’Eroica.

Mike
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Old 04-18-21, 10:17 PM
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Hey tgot, Iíve ridden the last four Cal. events held and had to walk the last bit of Cypress Mtn twice. Iím running a 42/32 low gearing which I think is about 35 gear inches. Part of the challenge is the tough stretches are on dirt so your pedaling has to be smooth too. The toughest parts are significantly more challenging than paved Old laHonda. A better test might be dirt Alpine Rd up to Skyline, although I can climb all of it on my classic bike except for the single track bypass section. There is no disgrace in walking the tough parts, Iíd estimate half the participants are walking those stretches anyway. Another test might be to climb Milagra Ridge trail in Pacifica, that may be a similar challenge to the tough parts of Eroica.

I assume you are planning to ride one of the two longer routes, there are shorter more flat routes, but the longer ones are still doable and fun.
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Old 04-19-21, 01:49 PM
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I did Eroica 2019 with 34x34 and still had to walk some, but it was more to do with the soft dirt than the grade.
I would compare that last Eroica climb with Bonny Doon or Empire Grade except with gravel.
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Old 04-20-21, 07:11 PM
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Thank you to all who replied. I was thinking of the 81 mile ride, although that and the 72 are pretty close. The 36-mile route feels like not necessarily worth the trip.

I think tacking Alpine unpaved up to Skyline sounds fun, I really like the Alpine to-the-gate ride. I'll check back here as I tune up for the year.

I really appreciate the expertise, and especially the guidance that it's normal for many to be walking.
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Old 04-20-21, 08:46 PM
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I was at Arastadero park yesterday on the gravel bike and it occurs to me there are a few steepish pitches of gravel road there to try. They just laid down some deep gravel on a couple stretches if you need practice on that too. Itís a smallish park but if you ride the single track too it makes for a handy training ground.

Youíve likely seen some threads about needing good brakes for the descent off Cypress Mtn. Itís a long, sustained descent over uneven surface. Iíd give some diligence to brake evaluation too.
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Old 04-21-21, 07:14 AM
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42-26 for me... walking a bit, but actually not on the gravel portion. Last time I did it was 2018 though.
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Old 04-21-21, 10:52 AM
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If you're on the Peninsula, you likely know all the big climbs. Just focus on getting your climbing form, Old La Honda, Kings Mountain, Alpine in either direction, and my personal favorite, climb Tunitas Creek - it's steep, long, but covered in shade. I used to live in Redwood City, and one day I did Kings Mountain up to Skyline, down Tunitas Creek, down the coast to Pescadero, then up Alpine. I was pretty wiped out. Two major climbs in one day, and you get to stop at the Bike Barn:


like mirage in the middle of nowhere, there it is.

For a good gravel ride simulation, head up to Mill Valley and ride up Tamalpais on the Railroad Grade to the top, and do it on your Eroica bike. Even if you're not doing Eroica, you should do that ride at least once.


Is there a better view? Actually, there is, this is only half way up Railroad Grade...
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Old 04-22-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
If you're on the Peninsula, you likely know all the big climbs. Just focus on getting your climbing form, Old La Honda, Kings Mountain, Alpine in either direction, and my personal favorite, climb Tunitas Creek - it's steep, long, but covered in shade. I used to live in Redwood City, and one day I did Kings Mountain up to Skyline, down Tunitas Creek, down the coast to Pescadero, then up Alpine. I was pretty wiped out. Two major climbs in one day, and you get to stop at the Bike Barn:
Yeah, I once did Kings Mtn, down 84, then up Alpine, and back down. Once. I remember being on Alpine thinking, "Does this climb ever end?"
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Old 04-22-21, 08:42 PM
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I've tended not to cross out to the coast and back, those keep being a bit too long for my self-supported weekend rides and fitness level.

Tunitas once as part of the Merciless Metric.

My "big climbing" route has been Alameda, up Alpine to the gate, OLH, down 84 W to WOLH, up, down 84 E, and Canada home. ~52 mi and 4800 ft.

But if I need to do that on my Eroica bike I've got both wrenching and serious training to do.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 04-23-21, 10:43 AM
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The short course (40 mile out-and-back up the coast past San Simeon to the Piedro Blancas lighthouse and a little beyond is another option if you are concerned about gearing, conditioning, etc. It doesn't have the epic dirt climbs, the brake challenging descents or the bragging rights of the other routes, but it's a fun ride and you still get to see lots pretty bikes and meet lots of great people both Saturday and Sunday.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tgot View Post
I've tended not to cross out to the coast and back, those keep being a bit too long for my self-supported weekend rides and fitness level.


Thanks for the feedback!
tgot, I see from your profile you have a ~1970 Lambert. My older brother came home from UCSB in 1972 or so with a 15 speed Lambert and let me ride it. That was my introduction to higher end cycling. My ride at that point was a Royce Union 3 speed, nothing against it, but the Lambert was an eye opener in terms of performance comparison.

The trick to coastside rides is to stop at the market in Pescadero for a sandwich, then youíre ready to continue.
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Old 04-24-21, 08:32 AM
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Just finished rebuilding my second 1980s road bike, and I can tell you that I would not attempt OLH, Kings or Tunitas Creek with the gearing that was standard - 52/42 x 13-24, and 52/43 x 13-23! Seems like the best rig for the Eroica is an old touring bike with a triple, so my hat is off to anyone who does it on a double.
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Old 04-25-21, 05:22 PM
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My Lambert is the most-vintage, and looks fairly good as-I received it. Unclear whether I would want to keep the rack and fenders on it for the ride. But I don't have more than 15 miles on it to see if I like the fit and ride!

Woes here: Chainring hitting chainstay

The problem with that is that the inner chainring still hits the chainstay at one point in the rotation.
I took the chainrings off, checked flatness & straightness; pretty true. I tried to bend the mounting ears slightly, and then re-assembled. But it still hits. I need to find or grind down a socket to get the crankset off and play with BB spacing or replacement. Then after fixing the really wrong thing, decide if I like the ride, then get a 28t low 5-speed freewheel and maybe swap to a longer-cage derailleur....

My '86 Ironman has 31" low. Still DT shifters but came with aero brakes. Late last summer I did the 50mi/5kft on that, that might be my backup bike-plan. My riding position on that is pretty aggressive for the longer days, though.

Of course, all this is conditional on getting a slot when they open up to new registrations...
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Old 04-27-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Just finished rebuilding my second 1980s road bike, and I can tell you that I would not attempt OLH, Kings or Tunitas Creek with the gearing that was standard - 52/42 x 13-24, and 52/43 x 13-23! Seems like the best rig for the Eroica is an old touring bike with a triple, so my hat is off to anyone who does it on a double.
With my knees I am at my limit with 34 x 34. No way I could I do a 43 x 23. Did they not have any hills back then?
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Old 04-28-21, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
With my knees I am at my limit with 34 x 34. No way I could I do a 43 x 23. Did they not have any hills back then?
I was looking at vintage bike parts on Ebay, and came across "Shimano Dura Ace 7402 Cranks-172.5 x 56x42 - L'Eroica"

56x42? For the Eroica ride? Yeah, like hell.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I was looking at vintage bike parts on Ebay, and came across "Shimano Dura Ace 7402 Cranks-172.5 x 56x42 - L'Eroica"

56x42? For the Eroica ride? Yeah, like hell.
Hey, it could work . . . with a 15-35 freewheel.
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