Starting out in 1997, L’Eroica was born as a non-competitive, vintage leisure ride. It was initially created as a protest ride to ensure that the last Roman white roads of Tuscany were preserved and maintained, as well as being a bonus ride for people who had ridden in the Bartali Gran Fondo two weeks earlier.
While you will need a pre ‘87 steel bike and a woollen jersey to be eligible to take part, what isn’t written in the criteria but is clearly understood by those who participate, is that L’Eroica riders really need to have an open heart and open mind in order to fully appreciate the experience.
Founded with a vision to celebrate and rediscover the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest from the golden years of cycling, it also creates an opportunity to seek out our physical boundaries where thirst, hunger, and exhaustion are felt and overcome.
Guests on our L’Eroica cycling tours find that this special event is a day where it’s not about how fast you are and where you finish, what your PB is or beating your mates to the top of every climb.
This is a way of riding that is about taking the time to enjoy all of the elements of the ride.
The beauty of the landscape and camaraderie of a truly international field all decked out as if they are the domestiques of Coppi or Bartali in golden age of the 50’s. This is what cycling in Italy is all about.
The challenge and adrenaline of riding the gravel hills of Tuscany.
The space and time to enjoy the food, vino and ambience of the rest stops.
And the satisfaction and feeling of achievement after a long day in the saddle as you roll to a stop in the piazza.
Beyond the ride, L’Eroica has really evolved to become a ‘movement’ and a way of thinking that has continued to grow over the years. With more people being drawn to the L’Eroica orbit, all leave completely enamoured and inspired by the spirit, forever changing the way they ride – now searching and seeking out the quiet roads, the roads that may be gravel and certainly uphill.
This ethos is far reaching with Japan, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, California, England, South Africa and Argentina now all holding L’Eroica events, the pro race Strade Bianche being inspired by L’Eroica, as well as the 60 plus rides in Italy where a pre ‘87 bike and woollen jersey are all part of the requirements set. It’s a spirit which captivates you and which you can only ever feel once you’ve experienced the magic that is L’Eroica.
If you would like to read more about how you can experience the magic of L’Eroica with our Italian bike tour in Gaiole in Chianti, click here.