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Road Cycling Events

L’Eroica 2013 gallery, Vintage bicycle sportive

L’Eroica is a sportive with a difference. You won’t spot any slick carbon speed-demons, just retro cycle clothes, vintage bikes and chalk roads. There’s also the small matter of a couple of rules and regulations you need to follow to be allowed to ride…

Ride day rules

  1. Only cyclists with “heroic” bicycles will be permitted to participate
  2. ‘Heroic’ bicycles are road racing bikes, built before 1987
  3. Gear shift levers on the down tube of the frame (exceptionally, only pre-1980 bar-end gear shifts are allowed)

You get the idea, this is a ride for vintage bikes only!

Taking place on the first Sunday of October every year, L’Eroica – The Heroic – celebrates the heritage of the humble bicycle and is a bike lover’s dream event.

Juliet Elliott is one such bike lover and was lucky enough to be able to take part, along with 5,000 other riders who got selected in the entrants lottery, and saddled up on a vintage bicycle to experience cycling from a time long ago.

We asked Juliet to interview some of the women that took part in this prestigious event, to find out why L’Eroica and more importantly what vintage bike they had chosen to ride and retro clothing to don.

Manon, 38, Holland

© Dave Noakes
© Dave Noakes

Name: Manon
Age: 38
Home: Holland
Bike For L’Eroica: Miazzo

Why did you come to L’Eroica?
I was invited by Brooks. We work together in Holland.

What bike do you normally ride?
I either ride a cargo bike with my two children, a city bike or a vintage Pinarello.

Which length ride are you doing today?
I’m going to see how I get on. I’d like to complete the 75km, but if it starts raining I might do the 38km.

Tell us more about your outfit:
Brooks had these amazing woollen kits made for their guests. We’ve got capes for the rain as well.

What’s the best thing about L’Eroica?
It feels like stepping back in time for a minute. The landscape is totally unspoilt.

Francesca, 26, Tuscany

Francesca, 26, Tuscany
© Dave Noakes

Name: Francesca
Age: 26
Home: Tuscany
Bike For L’Eroica: Scorza

Why did you come to L’Eroica?
A friend entered me; I didn’t know anything about it!

What bike do you normally ride?
I don’t actually ride a bike!

Which length ride are you doing today?
I’ll try the 75km

Tell us more about your outfit:
I borrowed it along with the bike.

What’s the best thing about L’Eroica?
The atmosphere is amazing and I love the mix of young and old people. It’s so much fun.

Elena, 34, Tuscany

Elena, 34, Tuscany
© Dave Noakes

Name: Elena
Age: 34
Home: Tuscany
Bike For L’Eroica: Chesini

Why did you come to L’Eroica?
My friend is the son of the founder of L’Eroica

What bike do you normally ride?
I don’t have my own bike at the moment.

Tell us more about your outfit:
All of it is from my friend’s private collection of vintage cycling clothing

What’s the best thing about L’Eroica?
I’m sure everyone else said this, but it’s the atmosphere. And the wine!

Yuliya, 26, Ukraine

Yuliya, 26, Ukraine
© Dave Noakes

Name: Yuliya
Age: 26
Home: I’m from the Ukraine but I live in Stuttgart.
Bike For L’Eroica: Dancelli

Why did you come to L’Eroica?
My boyfriend organised the trip as a surprise then proposed to me yesterday!

What bike do you normally ride?
This one.

Which length ride are you doing today?
The 75km

Tell us more about your outfit:
My socks are from American Apparel and my fiancée gave my the jersey and hat. They’re in Ukrainian colours.

What’s the best thing about L’Eroica?
It feels really authentic.

Laura, 29, Como

Laura, 29, Como
© Dave Noakes

Name: Laura
Age: 29
Home: Como, Italy
Bike For L’Eroica: Colnago

Why did you come to L’Eroica?
I like bikes and I like Tuscany, so it was the perfect way to combine the two.

What bike do you normally ride?
I normally ride mountain bikes.

Which length ride are you doing today?
75km.

Tell us more about your outfit:
My friend set up a ‘bicycle society,’ so it’s his kit. The name across the front is our favourite osteria (café).

What’s the best thing about L’Eroica?
It’s such a beautiful part of the world.

Nadia, 35, Italy

© Dave Noakes
© Dave Noakes

Name: Nadia
Age: 35
Home: Italy
Bike For L’Eroica: Schillaci

Why did you come to L’Eroica?
Just for fun! I love bikes.

What bike do you normally ride?
I ride my Schillaci when I’m on my own, or my city bike with my kid.

Which length ride are you doing today?
75km.

Tell us more about your outfit:
I borrowed it from a friend who came to L’Eroica last year.

What’s the best thing about L’Eroica?
Riding bikes in the sun. You can’t beat that!

NEWS UPDATE: L’Eroica Britannia has been launched and routes unveiled

Routes of 30, 50, and 100 miles will be offered at the inaugural event, billed as a Great British Adventure. It will be staged in the Peak District on June 22, 2014, just three weeks before the Grand Depart of the Tour de France takes place in Yorkshire.

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