FEATURED
ITALIAN L’EROICA
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Images: 12 / Taken by: Ben Stott

Article Submitted by: Ben Stott

 

Now in my fifth year, I’m very fond of the L’Eroica. After all, what’s not to like? Beautiful old road bikes awash with classic Italian styling, sharp shots of espresso in the freezing mist, pit stops of Prosciutto, Parmesan and Chianti and those breath-taking, awe-inspiring rolling Tuscan hills. For the uninitiated L’Eroica is a very special kind of cycling sportive (or ‘Cicloturistica’ as it’s known in Italy). The ride is held annually in Italy with the majority of the cycling taking place on ‘Strada bianche’ – the old, white dusty gravel roads that criss cross the Chianti region of Tuscany. You’ll need a road bike built before 1987 to take part and there are strict rules on the period specifications.

 

The above photo's (mostly iPhone) encapsulate the entire trip, including the event, the race and the surrounding villages. If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop us an email. You can see the full cycle route here, along with various points of interest.

 

INSIDER TIPS:

 

➊ — Flying from the UKA / Rent or borrow a good bike box and pack your bike carefully. B / Check with the airline regarding additional charges and weight limits. C / Book early if possible. The cheapest and best served destination is Pisa. D / You will need to rent a car for the 2 hour drive to Gaiole; don’t forget to allow space for the bikes. E / Get to Chianti on the Friday or Saturday to visit the bike jumble and register for the ride.

 

➋ — Alternative travellingA / You could consider the sleeper train from Paris to Florence.

 

 — AccommodationA / There are a limited number of rooms in Gaiole, so look within a 15/25k radius. Also try Airbnb as well as the variety of hotels and apartments in the surrounding area. B / There is a campsite available for the event, check the L’Eroica website for more details.

 

➍ — The EventA / The rules on bike specifications are taken very seriously and you will not be allowed to start the event if you bike does not meet the rules. B / If you are riding anything over the 75km course, be prepared to start very early. C / It gets very cold early in the morning so arm warmers or longer sleeves are recommended; it warms up later. D / Early starting times require lights, for your safety and by the marshals. E / There is plenty of food available, if you are taking energy gels/bars keep it low key. The chianti will look tempting but be careful.

 

➎ — Dress CodeA / L’Eroica is a vintage ride. The Italians do classic very well and the majority of riders will wear a degree of vintage clothing. If you don’t have any you can stock up at the jumble or a new wool vintage style jersey will also do nicely. B / Helmets. Many riders will only wear a cloth cap, or an old style leather ‘hairnet’. Obviously safety is a personal choice and you are free to wear a modern helmet.

  • Key Words:

    Vintage Cycling Event

  • Address:

    Gaiole in Chianti, Italy

  • Contact:

    hello@a-to-b.info

  • Opening Times:

    N/A

  • Website(s):

    http://en.eroica.it

  • Twitter:

    @BenStott

CHIANTI IT
Gaiole Loop↪Asciano (L’Eroica)

84m ⁄135k ⁄8,700f▴

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S — Gaiole [Location] ➊ — Jolly Caffe [Coffee] ➋ — Bar Centrale [Food + Drink] ➌ — Pizza It Ciamparini Corrado [Food] ➍ — Castello Di Meleto [Food + Drink + Rooms] ➎ — Food Stop [Scheduled] ➏ — Food Stop [Scheduled] ➐ — Food Stop [Scheduled] F — Gaiole [Location]



FEATURED
TRASÉ APPAREL
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Images: 09 / Taken by: Mads Hornsletten & Haavard Johansen

Cycle Route Submitted by: Kristoffer Rødseth

 

In 2012 Kristoffer Rødseth recognised the potential for greater diversity in cycling apparel, so he created Trasé, an alternative cycle-clothing brand that produces high quality, stylish and ethical product; we've used it ourselves and we can certainly vouch for that!

 

All their jerseys and bib shorts are developed in Norway and handmade in Italy - A winning combination of classically minimalistic Scandinavian design and the quality craftsmanship and cycling heritage of Italy. Their product range currently consists of just one kit and various accessories, but we are assured they are adding more to the line next year.

 

Kristoffer kindly submitted our latest cycle route; a breathtaking loop of the mountainous Oppland county, starting and ending in the municipality of Lom via the Sognefjellet National Tourist Route (named by the Guardian as one of the top 10 bike rides in the world).

 
The (envy-inducing) images above, along with this video will give you a good indicator of the beautiful scenery found along this route and if you are interested in riding it, you can read the full details here.

FEATURED
CYCLE ROUTE 05
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Images: 13 / Taken by: Paul Hutchinson

Cycle Route Submitted by: Paul Hutchinson

 

This is a 22m cycle route taking you through the heart of Griffith Park, comprised of quiet streets, closed roads and dedicated cycle paths. Glendale (GDL) is the nearest Amtrak Station, with multiple departures connecting with Downtown LA and North Hollywood.

 

This ride is divided into 2 main parts. The first part is a fairly flat ride taking you along the bike path adjacent to the LA river, which eventually leads you into Griffith park.

 

The ride then begins to climb. You will now be riding on quiet roads (closed to vehicles), offering lots of challenging cutbacks and viewpoints over the valley. Once over the peak, the Hollywood sign is visible to your right and the road leads into a long downhill section all the way to the Observatory (still on closed roads). The steep downhill continues past the Greek Theatre and out of the park to the end of the ride.

  • Key Words:

    Cycle Route

  • Address:

    CA 90027 ➞ CA 90027

  • Contact:

    info@a-to-b.info

  • Opening Times:

    N/A

  • Website(s):

    http://hypetype.co.uk

  • Twitter:

    @hypetype

THANET UK
Broadstairs⇥Margate

5m ⁄8k ⁄150f▴

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S — Bleak House Broadstairs  [Attraction] ➊ — Stone Bay [Scenic] ➋ — North Foreland Lighthouse [Landmark] ➌ — Joss Bay Cafe [Tea + Cake] ➍ — Captain Digby [Pub + Food] ➎ — Margate Winter Gardens [Attraction] F — Turner Gallery [Art Gallery]

LOS ANGELES US
Chevy Chase Loop ↪Eagle Rock

22-(57)m ⁄35k ⁄1710f▴

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S — Velo Love / Swrve [Store] ➊ — Rose Bowl Stadium [Landmark] ➋ — Cacao Mexicatessen [Food] ➌ — Black Boar [Bar] ➍ — Oinkster [Food] ➎ — Auntie Em's [Food] F — Verdugo Bar [Bar]

  • Submitted by:

    Matt Rolletta

  • Profession:

    Lead Designer @ Swrve

  • Bike:

    333fab Road

  • Website(s):

    http://www.swrve.us

FEATURED
ANJOU VELO VINTAGE
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Images: 47 / Taken by: Darren Firth & Dan Bull

Article Submitted by: Darren Firth

 

So, what is Anjou Velo Vintage ? and who is it aimed at?  Well I guess where L'Eroica leans more towards the die-hard cyclist, Anjou Velo Vintage offers something for everyone, catering for all ages, tastes and fitness levels. Aside from the actual routes, they have 'The Village' which consists of a cycling fair, a flea market, various vintage clothing stalls and a full schedule of retro-style events taking you late into the evening - Making it a full-on weekend event, rather than just a day in the saddle.

 

Much like L'Eroica, the dress code is key here, whether it's a polka dot dress, gloves and heels or a 70's wool jersey, cap and leather shoes, the vintage theme is an integral part of the event's ethos. The general mood is lighthearted (in a good way) and the varied route lengths means that you can make your ride as easy or difficult as you like. For a more detailed look at the event and route distances available, please check out their website here.

 

We opted for the longest route, named 'La Rando' (The Ride) at 87KM. Cheered on by thousands of locals, the race starts at the Place du Chardonnet in the centre of Saumur. The route takes you to the southeast boundaries of Anjou, towards Montreuil-Bellay and Le Puy-Notre-Dame, before heading North to the famous shale hillsides of the Layon. What proceeds is a epic journey through the breathtaking Loire landscape, passing through fields, gravel tracks, historic caves, wine cellars, cathedral's and chateau's, before returning to the Place du Chardonnet - An excellent day of cycling, good wine, beautiful scenery and camaraderie.

 

The above photo's (mostly iPhone) encapsulate our entire trip, including the event, the race, the surrounding villages, our accommodation and the journey (plus stop-overs) to and from Saumur from the UK. If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop us an email.

 

Insider tips: ➊ — If you are driving to France from the UK: A / Make sure you have purchased the legal requirements before setting off. B / Don't skrimp on the bike rack. C / Look into your ferry tickets early - The amount of notice you give and the time you travel effects the final price. D / Consider purchasing a Sat Nav - The combination of the iPhone and printed directions just didn't cut it for us. E / Consider a nights stay around Normandy to break up the journey there and back. If you're travelling from anywhere North of London, it can become a long and exhausting day of driving. F / Make sure you have at least €60 to hand for the various toll roads en route. ➋ — If you don't speak any French, try learning some of the basics.  ➌ — Book your accomodation early, everyone else is looking to stay in the same places. Alternatively, consider camping on the banks of the Loire or sharing a cottage in one of the surrounding (more scenic) villages ➍ — Stock up on nutrition, the wine is lovely, but it won't get you to the finish line. ➎ — You can buy a variety of vintage cycling paraphernalia at the event, so don't stress if you haven't completed your outfit before leaving. ➏ — Anjou Velo Vintage isn't as strict as L'Eroica regarding bike criteria, however if you are fully embracing the spirit of the event, you should be using a road bike built before 1973.

  • Key Words:

    Vintage Cycling Event

  • Address:

    Saumur 49400

  • Contact:

    anjou.velo.vintage@cg49.fr

  • Opening Times:

    N/A

  • Twitter:

    @AnjouVintage