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Best Gravel Cycling Events in California 2023

Best Gravel Cycling Events in California 2023

Updated Nov 6, 2022

The team at Strambecco rates the top gravel cycling events in California for 2023 based on various factors, including reputation, route quality, location, rider feedback, and the overall uniqueness of the event or race.  California offers a stunning array of event options spanning high alpine, old-growth forests, remote logging roads, coastal (the famed Highway 1), desert, and everything in between.  Strambecco does not cover every event, only those we deem the best.  Our recommendations are bucket list events by themselves and almost always take place at a high-quality destination that offers a great opportunity for a longer getaway.

If we had to pick the best, we’d recommend the Belgian Waffle Ride in April, the Truckee Dirt Fondo in June, and the USAL Hopper: Lost Coast in October.   We also strongly correlate the best events and professional event producers.  In California, premiere event producers include  Monuments of Cycling, Bike Monkey, Grasshopper, and LifeTime Events.

Strambecco does not list every event.  We strive to identify and review events that are special and noteworthy.  If you have suggestions on other events we should consider or review, please get in touch with us here or send us a note at

Best Road Cycling Events in California 2023

Riding Lost and Found Gravel Grinder

Lost and Found Gravel Grinder

The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder is a celebration of Gravel Cycling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Despite the record snowfall in the Sierra this year, the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder…

Fish Rock

Fish Rock is a serious event billed as a "Road bike race for people who aren't afraid of a little hardcore gravel." Picked as one of our best gravel cycling events in…
Solo rider on Truckee Tahoe Gravel course

Truckee Tahoe Gravel

Formerly known as Truckee Dirt Fondo, Truckee Tahoe Gravel, produced by premier event operator Bike Monkey, is a wild mixed-terrain adventure ride into the gravel and dirt roads of the majestic Tahoe…

USAL Hopper: The Lost Coast

Chosen as one of our best gravel cycling events in California, the Lost Coast off-road biking event is an extremely beautiful and unique experience organized by Hopper Adventures. The Lost Coast is…

Heart of Gold Gravel

Heart of Gold Gravel, produced by Bike Monkey,  explores remote roads north and east of Nevada City, California. Picked as one of our best gravel cycling events in California, the course features…

The Hammer Road Rally

The Hammer Road Rally, produced by Bike Monkey,  is one of California’s premiere gravel events. Picked as one of our best gravel cycling events in California, it features some of the most…

The Bovine Classic

The Bovine Classic is a relatively new event billed tongue in cheek as “America’s 4th Hardest, Cow-Themed, Wine Country Experience.”  The event occurs in the Paso Robles wine region, a great, albeit…

Rock Cobbler (Bianci)

A favorite among gravel aficionados, Bianchi Rock Cobbler, is a quirky and challenging adventure race in/around the surrounding hills of Bakersfield, California.  Rated by Strambecco as one of the best gravel grinders…

Gran Fondo Hincapie Merced

A promising new event on the California early 2023 season gravel calendar, produced by Hincapie Events, whose namesake is former world tour rider George Hincapie, best known for riding and completing the…

Sea Otter Classic

The Sea Otter Classic, produced by Life Time Events, is a classic and the largest festival and gathering of cycling enthusiasts in North America. Professional and amateur athletes make the annual pilgrimage…

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