This gravel race/ride is one of the best kept secrets in the west. 7th year running and it gets bigger and better every year.
This year was Rock Cobbler 7.0, signifying the 7th year of the event. It was my sixth year in a row participating and it gets better every time. SamBarn Promotions puts on a world class gravel event in the hills east of Bakersfield, CA. Participation this year was at an all time high of 450 people. Route choice was 48 miles for the Pebbler and 85 miles for the full Cobbler. The majority of riders do the Cobbler. The views are amazing and the routes are hard, with a good mix of dirt and pavement. Given California's weather, most years the dirt is dry and fast! The course is VERY well marked and SAG stops well placed. Each year the course changes slightly and incorporates new fun features. This year the route included racing on a paved go cart track and a bmx track. There is always a massive hike-a-bike and this year was no exception. The climb is unrideable and really testing when you hit it around mile 65. Once you reach the finish is when the party begins, with great food, friendship and brews from local Lengthwise brewery. This year I did it with a group of friends, we had a great time and I came in 152/282 with a time of 7:38. For those racing it could be done faster, but in general I would expect at least a 6+ hour day, only a select few finish under 6. If you're into gravel, adventure or pushing your limits this needs to be a bucket list ride. I'll be there!