Ciao from Tuscany!
This is a great video explaining why we love bici d'epoca so much. Worth the five minutes for sure.
Some folks don't get EROICA and that's OK with us since we enjoy these events for the reasons outlined in the video clip and really don't want them to become so mainstream they lose the special atmosphere. Those who just want to bomb around on upaved roads can do that anytime they like. The old bikes and old-time clothing are what make this special.
We love everything about these events! The atmosphere reminds us of why we took up cycling in the first place, something that's too often lost in today's "you are what you buy" culture. Above you see the entrance to EROICA Primavera in the tiny village of Buonconvento, not too far from the famous Montalcino.
Pretty much the entire historic center of the town is decorated for this event. This year, the second had around 1300 participants, far less than the original October event in Gaiole. But we like this smaller event much more, for reasons we'll go into later.
Everybody seems to get into the act.
And wine is a central theme, as this bike demonstrates.
We couldn't resist a photo of this bike with all the wooden parts. GORGEOUS!
Then there were the old-time support cars, something Larry really likes.
Right out of "A Sunday in Hell"
And there's the cutest of 'em all!
Saturday was our time to pick up our numbers and schwag, roam the expo looking for that perfect old part (and we found more than one!) before grabbing a porchetta panino and watching the "famous old guy" race through the town.
Even the creator of EROICA got out there for awhile.
Round and round they went with the speed gradually increasing until a few actually looked tired.
But they still were all smiles when it came time to pose with guys like Larry.
Remember Roberto Conti? A gregario for Marco Pantani? He's way into bici d'epoca, Larry can remember him out there in the rain and mud ahead of the Giro d'Italia stage into Montalcino a few years ago.
Some of these old pros never seem to lose their love of the bike, especially when they're ones from back-in-the-day. Remember Eric Vanderaerden?
The weather forecast for Sunday's event was bad, rain getting stronger all day. Saturday was nice and we scored some old-time rain capes at the vintage expo just-in-case. We headed back to our lodging to take a quick shake-down spin on our epoca bikes before a wonderful Tuscan dinner and a night's sleep while the rain tinkled against the windows.
All about our Sunday ride in the next post....