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 under-the-radar, cycling region, and is produced by Bike Monkey. They are behind many great events in the greater NorCal region. Participants in the inaugural event gave superlative reviews of the event, many going so far as saying it’s the best gravel event/race they’ve ever participated in. That’s saying something, given the riders’ experience that Bike Monkey events attract.
The Bovine Classic has three courses to challenge every level of mixed-surface cycling enthusiast. Each course includes a healthy dose of dirt and asphalt riding. The following routes are from 2022. As is typical for Bike Monkey, they are always tinkering with routes to make them even better, so look for updates as the event date approaches.
The Big Bovine is 101.2 Miles/8925 feet of elevation gain. This BIG course is approximately 45% dirt and 55% asphalt. See it on STRAVA (permitting in progress.)
The Happy Bovine has 65 Miles/6200 feet of elevation gain. The HAPPY course is approximately 35% dirt and 65% asphalt. See it on STRAVA (permitting in progress.)
The Gentle Bovine 40 Miles/2600 feet of elevation gain. The GENTLE course is approximately 21% dirt and 79% asphalt.
Courses may change due to weather, environmental, and final permitting requirements. The two longer routes have times segments with prizes for segment winners. On-course ride marshals, roving mechanical aid, and well-stocked aid stations will support the event. As is true for all Bike Monkey events, expect a rider gift back and a great after-ride party with food, drinks, and music.
The Bovine Classic benefits Operation Surf, which creates healing and recovery surfing programs for injured veterans. Check the event site for hotel discounts organized by Bike Monkey in Atascadero and Paso Robles for lodging options.
Bike Monkey produces some of the best road and gravel events in California and the greater Southwest, including Levi’s Gran Fondo; Rebecca’s Private Idaho; Stetina’s Pay Dirt; Truckee Dirt Fondo; Fish Rock; Heart of Gold Gravel; and the Hammer Road Rally.
Best Gravel Events in California 2023