GWBR 2008

A few Long Beach Cyclists and I made the long commute up to Paso Robles this weekend for the Great Western Bike Rally. The GWBR is an annual event where thousands of people gather to ride back country roads and share the bike love. It has been described as a great Church picnic where the religion is the bicycle.

For Laura and I, half the fun was getting there! She loaded up her trusty commuter/touring bike, a Specialized Sirrus and I loaded up my Bilenky for its first bike tour. Here are some pics from the trip.

Laura likes to fly up hills!

I can get up a few hills myself…even with a loaded Bilenky cargo bike!

Taking a break at the summit to snap a few pics. It was a scene out of the Wizard of Oz with a bright blue sky and an endless field of yellow flowers.

The sign that every cyclists dreams of after a long climb!

Riding through some vineyards.

Water break at Morro Bay.

Made a friend at GWBR who rode back with us to SLO.

He was a fellow orange aficionado (Note orange IBEX jersey and orange Arkel panniers).

We rode and traveled hundreds of miles without once driving a car!


  1. RL Policar

    That looks really awesome Russ! Man your photos look like postcards! Glad you guys made it home safe and sound.
    How did the Bilenky perform? Was it too heaving for touring?


  2. Bike Jax

    Very nice post and the photos are beautiful. Maybe you should think about photography as a career. (sarcasm)

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Iron Man

    Dang, if you Californians aren’t spoiled when it comes to beautiful scenery. Very inspiring.

  4. Will

    This is an amazing post! I live in SLO and have never thought of taking a backroads ride up to paso before. I was wondering if you might post a link to google maps with your route from city to city? i would love to see it! also, how long did it take you to get from one city to the other? i may have to take my bike next time i go to southern california to visit my parents!

  5. Russ Roca (Post author)

    Will…I’ll post a google map route later for ya! there is some amazing riding out there…..we took the Amtrak from LA to SLO and rode to Morro Bay (via Turri road) and camped there for the first night….then we rode to Paso the next day using country roads (Old Creek Road to Santa Rita Road…to Bethel into Paso)…

    On the return trip, we rode from SLO to Morro in one straight shot (about 50 miles) taking a slightly more direct route (Hwy 41)…

    It was some great riding and we managed to avoid the 101 and the 1.

  6. BodhiSativa

    looks like a really nice ride!

  7. Will

    Sounds like an amazing ride! I am always reluctant to ride along the 101 and the 1. I find it incredibly stressful and have been looking for ways to avoid it. I look forward to the map!

  8. logan

    Russ, those are fantastic pictures. I’m envious of your skill. And your Bilenky 😉

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