What to expect at the Most Popular Memorial Day Cycling Event:
The Great Western Bicycle Rally, taking place in the premier wine producing and cycling destination of Paso Robles, CA epitomizes California’s active vacation culture. On Memorial Day weekend, May 27th-30th 2016, thousands of cyclists, friends and families will congregate here, in California’s central coast, for a weekend full of bicycle events, vineyard relaxing and exploring.
Location & Accommodations
Located in the pacific coastal hills of San Luis Obispo County, routes flow and wines stem in a variety of terrain and flavors including lower elevations and high up in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range.
The 51st Great Western Bicycle Rally, held this Memorial Day weekend from May 27th to May 30th has exclusive use of the Paso Robles events center, also known as the county fairgrounds. ‘The Hub’ is the cycling village where people can relax and laugh together, especially during afternoon and evening festivities. 25+ cycling routes begin here and parents take comfort that young children can safely ride around the western themed venue.
Grassy camping areas abound plus a separate space for trailers and RV’s. On site amenities include clean and hot showers, santa maria style community bbq pits, picnic areas, and gardens. If camping isn’t for you, many ralliers stay at a partner hotel or vacation rental. The Rally is located one mile north of the Paso Robles downtown district and city park - an adorable town square lined with enough cute shops to keep any shopper blissed out.
Full registration includes four days of cycling festivities including supported bike rides, access to the cycling village, competitions, family and kids events, cycling films and live sessions, pasta night, local craft wine and beer tasting nights, and more.
Fully supported Gran Fondos include Saturday’s Women only Velo de Femme and Sunday’s Giro di Paso. There are also organized adventure rides, the famous wine tasting ride and family outing to the Star Farms oasis. Additionally, there are 25 mapped routes for riders to co-create their own adventure. All routes begin on site, save a couple of the mountain bike rides.
The fun yet competitive events are as follows:
The hill climb competition happens two miles from the event center and requires a short and dedicated effort, great for spectators! Everyone can enter for fun and accomplishment. There’s also a time trial competition and a King and Queen of the Mountain competition during Giro di Paso with a climber’s jersey prize. A track stand competition happens one evening in the cycling village.
Additional Event Info:
Every afternoon and evening after the day’s adventures, the hub is flowing with freshened up cyclists, local beer, wine, food, vendors, and a velo-give where you can name the price on a sweet bike part or jersey, raising money for velo-youth. There’s a number of other happenings including guest speakers and a Professional BMX show.
A four day pass with all events and tastings included is only $87.50, and can be purchased on the registration page.
Wood fired pizza available all weekend, fresh brewed locally roasted coffee, ice cream, snacks and drinks available. Supermarkets and restaurants are close by. Sunday afternoon BBQ available and the option to use community coals for your own cookout. Sierra Nevada truck will be present.
A full event schedule is available on the Great Western Bicycle Rally website.
Thousands of people who enjoy cycling, exploring California, wine tasting, and friends have a blast here. At the venue you’ll see people on fitness bikes, road bikes, tandems, recumbents, cyclocross, mountain and beach cruisers. Newer is the trend of Cargo bicycles loaded with grinning kids. You’ll also notice groups of friends from all generations, social and adventure clubs, beginner and veteran cyclists, even world record holders.
When one newly discovers the joys and benefits of cycling it is common to ask ‘how did it take me this long to discover?’. When I first discovered the Great Western Bicycle Rally, the same question came up.