A British version of Italy’s famous Eroica event is to be staged in the Peak District on June 22, 2014.
Like its Italian parent, L'Eroica Britannia will be restricted to riders on pre-1987 bikes, which means down tube shifters and almost certainly no carbon fiber.
The ride will be part of a three-day festival of cycling over the weekend on June 20-22 and will offer : 30, 60 and 100 miles, with the rest of the weekend devoted to a festival of cycling.
Entry fee is £55 for the first 500 riders and £70 thereafter. You will be expected to provide your own insurance.
The originsl l'Eroica is run on Italy's famous 'strada bianchi' white gravel roads. The British edition will start and finish in Bakewell and will use a mixture of dirt roads and minor roads, including the Monsal Trails and private roads on the Duke of Devonshire's Chatsworth Estate.
While the Italian Eroica is a race, the British edition will be more of a vintage sportive celebrating the ‘heroic’ era of bikes and bike racing (hence the name - ‘eroica’ is Italian for ‘heroic’)
To keep things heroic, therefore, other equipment rules include a restriction to steel frames except Alan and Vitus aluminium; road racing bikes only - no cyclo-cross or mountain bikes - and clip and strap pedals unless you’re brave enough to take to the open road in a pair of Cinelli M71s.
Some of the road.cc crew are on their way back from this year’s Eroica, which happened yesterday, and report that the equipment rules are enforced in spirit rather than to the letter. It’s to be hoped UK organisers take the same attitude.
For more information see l’Eroica Brittannia.
[Editor's note: this story has been amended with up-to-date, reduced, entry fees]
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.