It’s not difficult to see why L’Eroica is dubbed the world’s most handsome bike ride. It originated in 1997, spanning the rolling hills of Tuscany with riders donning retro cycling jerseys, tackling the uneven roads on vintage bikes and stopping off on route to refuel on ribollita and chianti roadside. It’s a return to the authentic roots of the sport and brings together the best parts of cycling – incredible landscapes, good food and good company – without being overly serious and competitive.
There are now events in California, Spain and Japan as well as Italy, with Britain’s own Eroica Britannia taking place in the Peak District each June. Eroica Britannia has all the foundations of the original; a stunning bike ride, great food and drink, and the chance for every rider to be a hero for the day. But it’s also distinctively British.
The three-day festival will celebrate all things vintage, with a vintage fairground, bazaars and emporium, live music from ‘80s icons ABD and Norman Jay MBE, and a host of award-winning street vendors will be providing the food. The festival will also have an outdoor cinema, gin bars, pub and mini velodrome.
The main event, though, is the bike ride. On Sunday 18 June, thousands of riders will cycle through the Peak District National Park wearing vintage clothing, stopping off along the way at ‘feast-stops’ in local villages.
Eroica Britannia takes place 16-18 June 2017. For more information, visit the festival website.
Words by Angharad Jones. Images property of Eroica Britannia