Friday, April 3, 2015

L'Eroica Event

I am likely one of the least-aware people when it comes to upcoming riding events. Generally when I find out about an organized ride of any sort, it is purely by accident (or because I happen to live close to the starting line). So, it wasn't all that surprising to discover that there is a new event taking place not far from where I grew up - and in just over a weeks time.
*Image found here
A new Eroica event (or perhaps I should say events) is starting in 2015 and taking place in cities across the world. From Spain to Japan there are several rides (in a handful of cities) taking place over the coming months.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of these type of events is that they are an opportunity to bring old into the new. I picture riders of all ages and backgrounds coming together to ride vintage bicycles on rolling hill routes similar to those in Tuscany. The events upcoming (or at least the one being held in California) doesn't state that the cyclist must ride a vintage bike, however all riders must ride something that looks "historic" or is in fact vintage, as well as dress in attire of the vintage-bicycle era.

Although I don't currently own any vintage bicycles, I cannot help but want to attend this event. My curiosity is taking over and I'm attempting to figure out a means to travel in less than a week to California to be able to ride what seems to be an interesting route. I think the Hillborne could be classified as a "historic-looking" bicycle to some people, right? Okay, maybe I'm stretching a bit, but in all fairness, it isn't common to see lugged steel sitting in most bike shops these days. Additionally, it doesn't fit the requirement of having vintage drive train equipment, so I think it is very quickly eliminating this as a possibility for me, sadly.

I would expect that there would be many vintage bicycle lovers attending and participating in this ride and I am dying with curiosity to know what sort of bicycles will be ridden. While I don't know that I care for all of the necessities of the ride (see the Regulations section through the above link, if you're curious) and the exclusions, I can still appreciate the desire to bring out some of the beautiful bikes of the past.

In a day in which most bike manufacturers turn to modern materials, I think it's an interesting idea to bring to the front the materials used in the past.

Have you attended and/or ridden in an Eroica ride in the past? What was your experience? Would you want to ride a vintage bicycle on a long, rolling hill route, or are you happy to have your modern bicycle along with its modern components?


  1. I just heard about the new E'roica California myself last night! E'roica Britannia ran for the first time last year and was a huge success. I could have been tempted to take my 1979 Puch Princess but we had plans already for the weekend in question. In any case, it was unclear whether the Princess would qualify (bikes have to be pre 1983 with downtube shifters) and she certainly does not now!

    With an age-appropriate bike with period-correct components, I'd be prepared to walk a lot!

    I hope you do go - take lots of photos! :)

    1. I would love to go, but I don't think it's in the stars this round. Perhaps next year is more plausible. I think it would be incredible to see all of the vintage bikes though, so I'm pretty sad not to be able to attend.

      Some of the requirements seem very restrictive. Needing to have downtube shifters on more "modern" vintage bicycles isn't the end of the world, but having an original drivetrain seems more unrealistic to me... but that may be because I like having my modern triple crank with a wide range. :O)

      I'm trying to con someone locally in that area to go and take photos, but I'm not sure even that will be a possibility with the short notice.

  2. That sounds fun! Of course, my only "vintage looking" bike is a 40 pound Dutch-style city bike, so I think I'll pass ;)

    1. You don't want to ride a 40+ pound upright bike on a road ride for long distances?!? ;O)

      The 40-mile loop actually allows for other bikes such as postal bicycles and others, so maybe you could sneak the Dutch bike in? You know, just in case you were considering it as a possibility.

  3. Set Google to Images and search on E'roica Britannia 2014.
    In the USA editions, you are sure to see a LOT of boxy "randonneuring" style handlebar bags. You know the ones - they don't actually mount to the bars but sit on a front rack or slot onto a decaleur. You may have one or two? Yeah, those. They are unheard of here in the UK.

    1. I don't know what the bike criteria will be in the US but here are the UK rules:
      I had the year wrong.
      Yes, Kendra could probably get her bike in on one of the shorter routes! (After all, they allow Bromptons...!)

    2. At admittedly quick review, the rules look to be the same for the UK as the ride slated in California next weekend.

      I do have a boxy handlebar bag. I don't see them often here though. I don't think they are particularly common for many riders... but perhaps it's just my region too as I don't run into many touring or rando riders (which isn't to say they don't exist - just that they don't seem to be as prevalent as in other parts of the country and world).


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