L'Eroica living the history of cycling

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 It's the season of my "first times"!

Last time I told the story about my first gravel road challenge and my first time at the Vigorelli velodrome, now is the time to tell you about my very first L'Eroica.

I have been invited less than a month ago by Brooks England because I'm ambassador of the brand and I couldn't say another time "no" because normaly the first week end of October is very busy of any kind of events (Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure, Red Hook in Milan, etc...).

So this was the perfect time to go. The XX aniversary of L'Eroica, twenty years of this incredible event to celebrate.

Brooks England as partner and sponsor of this event has organized an amazing week end in Gaiole in Chianti to present new products, to let as taste local yummy food, wine and to make journalists and guest to take part at the Sunday ride.

7000 people were there to parteciate with so many different kind of old bikes which must to follow some rules to be accepted as vintage bicycle and to have the chance to ride the white roads of Chianti.

If you don't have anything for L'Eroica, no worries, you can find any kind of things you need once you get there: you can rent a bike, you can buy some vintage wool jersey and shorts and you can also get old cycling shoes or any other accessories that you can use for the ride.

At the beginning I wasn't sure with distance to choose, not for sure the 209 km (the longest one). I was almost deciding to ride the 135 km, but then I chose the 75 km. From this year there was also a new route: 115 km but with more than 2700 meters of elevation.
For who is not trained enough to deal with long distances it's possible to cycle the 46 km, also nice and spectacular.

So I started my ride at 8.30 in the morning and I didn't want to take with me much energy bars 'cause I knew already that there would be alot to eat at every feed zone. But the first stop was suppose to be after 45 km so it was a good idea to take something with me. You never know!

Most of the ride is on gravel road - I just love it - so be read for flat tires and some mechanical issue. Another thing to take in the pocket is a pit-stop like the Vittoria one, a foam ready to repair and pump your tire in case of puncture. I had it one with me so I could help another cyclist of my group.

The ride was awesome, every turn, every climb, every descent show you a different landascape on Chianti's hills. We were lucky to don't get the rain, actually we started in a light mist and we ended up with the sun.

At every feed zone you can find local delight from tipical bread and oil to grapefruit, from finocchiona (the local salame) to great Chianti wine.

A really incredible and hard ride which you can get the best of it if you ride with friends and which makes you live in the history of cycling.

At L'Eroica you can see over 100 years old bikes, typical characters, and a lot of ladies on their vintage bicycles.
I was so happy to be there, finally!

Hope you will have a chance once in your life to be part of L'Eroica.

Some L'Eroica rules are:

  • the bike has to be made before year 1987;
  • the brake cables must pass outside and over the handlebars;
  • must have shift levers on the down tube of the frame;
  • pedals should be with toe clips and straps or original pedals for older bikes.
But you can also find more information about bike regulation on L'Eroica website.