THE LEAD-UP: L’EROICA VINTAGE MARKETS
A big part of the the enjoyment of L’Eroica in Gaiole in Chianti is the Vintage Bike Market and seeing the town of Gaiole slowly being taken over by market stalls going up each day, starting from the Monday (6 days before the ride) when we arrive. By Friday, the markets are full steam and have popped up in every nook and cranny all over town, with over 50 exhibitors selling vintage bikes, clothing, accessories and other rare cycling finds, this is a cyclist’s dream.
The 7,000 eroici register to start the ride from Friday at Casa Eroica, the home base for the event. Riders receive their numbers and a very generous welcome pack containing a bottle of Chianti wine, a musette and cap, Italian food products, shaving cream and other bits and pieces. The generosity for riders sets the scene for the spirit of L’Eroica.
L’EROICA: THE START
Riders completing the 135 or 209km course begin from the piazza in Gaiole before sunrise, between 5 & 6am. Wearing their obligatory woollen jerseys, fuelling with an espresso and sliding into toe clips, they begin the journey of what is, for many, their most memorable day on the bike.
They begin riding in the darkness towards the candle-lit gravel roads leading up to the magnificent Brolio Castle.
L’EROICA: THE RIDE
L’Eroica is both sensationally fun while also being challenging. The white gravel roads that L’Eroica was created to preserve seem never ending, long and beautiful. You’ll see riders pass wearing their spare singles or you’ll pass riders changing a flat on the side of the road.
Throughout the course are food stops – nutella sandwiches, Chianti wine, cheese, ribollata soup, you name it, no other cycling event in the world does feed zones like L’Eroica. The scenery, roads and atmosphere of L’Eroica make the entire ride a magical experience, feeling like you were in the golden days of cycling with good friends.
To find out more about our 2018 L’Eroica tour and request a detailed itinerary, click here.