The 283 mile route is comprised of 22% singletrack, 58% dirt road, and 20% pavement, Through high elevation plains, alpine forests, and chaparral type environments. It snowed last week in the mountains, but it is shaping up to be perfect conditions for this weekends race start. Erin said “the route could potentially be unrideable in April or March due to snow if we get a late winter storm. Or it could be ideal. Just depends on the year.”
Erin knew this route would be good for not only a race but also a tour, he stated “ I am emphasizing that people go at their own pace” which is pretty neat and might make the route a bit more intriguing for those that don’t want to suffer too much. The route is so remote, there is actually no resupply points other than the staged Miranda Pines Campground resupply. He also made a variation of the route “tour” friendly, for those that want to stay on maintained roads and use panniers. Both of those routes can be found here.
Erin is no stranger to the Los Padres Mountains, camping and exploring for the past 8 years. “The general route has been in my head for a while now, and after touring the Coconino Loop last year, I was inspired to figure out the connections,” said Erin. That is exactly what he did. He connected the route to make a challenging but unique ride, which is sure to test all cyclists.
Erins motivation was simple: “To share what I know with others and meet other like minded bikepackers.” He also aims to demonstrate that routes and races like these don’t destroy trails: “I don’t think shutting down mountain bikers off trails is the right approach.” This has been the ongoing debate between the mountain bike user group and land managers regarding Wilderness Areas.
Erin also encourages every participant to set up a crowd funded charity, so friends and family can sponsor miles to raise money for an organization. Erin Raised $1,300 for his local dog shelter while riding the Coconino Loop last year. This year his is going to raise money for a cancer fund in honor of a few friends that have been affected.
We look forward to watching the Tour De Los Padres dots move this year, as its not only a fun time, but its for a great cause. Erin has set up a great route and is just the type of person you want involved in something like this. Make sure this is on your to do list, as it is going to be a great annual event.
Be sure to track the racers by following this link: http://trackleaders.com/lospadres14