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]
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.