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03/11/09
Mixed-Terrain Links
Filed under: mixed-terrain
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:37 pm

Recently, the running of the UCI race Monte Paschi Strade Bianche Eroica Tosacana cropped up onto the RBW list via a report in CyclingNews.com.  I was a little confused at first, as it had a similar name to an event which was very much a non-UCI/low-tech/high spirt event called L’Eroica

It was a good thing that the appearance of one did not mean the elimination of the other, and I’m very much in favor of any number of events in Italy which seek to publicize and maintain the “Bianca Strada” - or “White Roads” of Italy, in much the same manner that Paris-Roubaix maintains a link to the stretches of historic Pave in northern France. 

And I think I’ve mentioned before that Paris-Roubaix is hands down my favorite bike race.

In the follow-ups to the initial posts, folks started sharing their local, favorite or reknowned mixed-terrain epics.  Again, for me, the perfect ride is a mix of dirt, trails and roadways, epic vistas and challenging terrain.   Turns out there are other deeply disturbed individuals around who think the same thing… The bulk of these suggestions came from a thread on the RBW Owner’s Bunch List titled “This Calls For a Country Bike

L’Eroica
(from the website)
“L’EROICA” is a period cyclotouristic rally held mainly on gravel
roads, organized since 1997.
It is a special “race” from every point of view. It proposes
surroundings and scenes from the “heroic” times of cycling: dust or
mud, no organized service, vintage refreshments, wonderful and
demanding roads, great ability to adapt and to suffer.



We search for the authentic roots of the awesome popularity of that
cycling world made by the giants of the roads, which created so much
literary legends.

A nice writeup of L’Eroica can be read at COG Magazine.

Rouge Roubaix - (Mississippi/Lousiana)
Iron Cross (Pennsylvania)
The Barry-Roubaix (Michigan)
The Michigander (Michigan)
Ragnarok 105 (Minnesota)
Almanzo 100 (Minnesota)
The Trans Iowa (Iowa)
The GDR (Great Divide Race)
Up in the wilds of Sonoma County, there is the
Grasshopper Adventure Series (California)

Of course, the two which I was already familiar -
The D2R2 - The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee (Massachusetts)
La Ruta Loca - North of San Francisco (California)

One more for the list, though not technically a “mixed-terrain”  ride, it does have a certain amount of panache.
The Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour

Of course, after listing all these rides, I came across David “Cyclotourist” Estes’ post to the “Back Roads Bicycle” group on Flickr, which already listed most of these already.

And, as usual, everything old is new again.

7 Responses to “Mixed-Terrain Links”

  1. beth h Says:
    If money and sustainability did not matter — and if I could actually eat the food served at the event — I’d take my bike and go to Italy to ride L’Eroica in a heartbeat. It looks simply amazing.
  2. Cyclotourist Says:
    Ha, I see this conversation got you inspired, too! I’ve been pouring over biley.com routes thinking up a 100 mile mixed surface ride. The 30 miler i did last month with RBW List-Folk was just too much fun. I’d love to see a route/race established down here in SoCal… hmmmmmmm
  3. Cyclotourist Says:
    er, that’s bikely.com
  4. The Cyclofiend Says:
    I think “biley.com” is where you post about how you felt during any of the above rides.
  5. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Check out the link to Carlos’ page - http://bike.duque.net/mixed-love-hurts.htm - He built up to the idea of La Ruta Loca by connecting shorter rides we were doing. Proposed date for the 2009 LRL is July 11th.
  6. Carlos D Says:
    In case you are in the SF Bay Area, here’s a proposed calendar for Mixed Terrain rides: http://bike.duque.net/ride-calendar.htm

    Yes I think the easiest way to develop a route is to connect different off-road routes you know well, with some pavement. It also helps to have good maps :) We are blesed with the great map from the Marin Bicycle Coalition.

    I like bikely.com uncluttered layout but its interface can be slow and unresponsive at times. I recently mapped a long (360k Fleche) at http://www.mapmyride.com and it was faster. Unfortunately their interface has adds on top of your working area, you can move them but unless you are using a fairly large monitor it is very annoying. What I did was to create the route there and then exported as .GPX and import that into bikely.com
  7. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Thanks for that calendar link, Carlos! I’d forgotten you had pulled that together. That’s a great resource.

    I finally gave up on bikely.com until I can diretly upload a .GPX file. The interface just would bog down for me after about 20 miles or so, then make some incredibly indirect connection when I was changing to trail and forgot to uncheck the “follow road” box.