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“
(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
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)
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.