The Redlands Strada Rossa III (RSR) is a newer addition to the Southern California bicycling event roster. Over the past 3 years, the Inland Empire Biking Alliance has promoted this annual club event to become a sell-out ride that draws the toughest bicyclists around. It was sunny with clear skies and a light breeze as we rode through the Redlands foothills – this is not your grandfather’s fondo. All surface and all-terrain, the Strada Rossa continually switches between fire roads, single track, and long stretches of pavement. This year offered riders grueling century and metric century routes, climbing local peaks, exploring suburbs, and traversing highways. All routes featured a water crossing early in the day that forced riders to dismount and hop their bike over rocks – some sloshed through, unfazed by soaked cleats.
Held in spring, the event captures the best time of year for the Redlands foothills that provide the backdrop for the event. Though the riding is excellent year-around, the spring event is the perfect showcase of the all-terain course. The Strada Rossa guarantees to bring out the toughest in anyone.