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 in California and the Southwest. According to Pro gravel cyclist Peter Stetina, “the rock cobbler is the kookiest bike race I’ve ever done. It’s unclassifiable. One minute you’re on a nice surface, and the next, you’re sliding down a scree field or just plain old riding through a field of dodging cattle. There are 30% run-ups, white claw hand-ups, ball pits, and it’s brutally difficult.”
According to the race organizer, Chief Excitement Officer Sam Ames, the event was conceived by drunken madmen…on a ride…then on barstools…late at night. The main Cobbler route is roughly 80 miles with 5500-6500 feet of elevation gain. As is tradition, the final routes are not announced until the week before the event. For illustration, we’ve posted the 2022 route details below. The Pebbler is less stupidly hard but still a true challenge at about half the distance and elevation gain.
The total rider field is limited to 500 riders. Not technically a race, but there are awards for the first male and female finisher of each ride with an extra special gift. Event entry includes gifts, event support, raffles, swag, breakfast, twinkies, and a post-ride party with music, lunch, and beer! As for travel, the organizer has arranged a special rate with the Marriott courtyard in Bakersfield, which is very close to the event starting at the Kern County Museum.