Italy’s L’Eroica Ride: Old School Cool With A Tandem Sub-Plot

BikeForum.net – Tandem Sub-Forum regular Chris_W in Switzerland posted up a link to a video produced by Brooks England, maker of the famous Brooks leather saddles since 1866 that provides a glimpse into last year’s edition of the famous Italian amateur Gran Fondo the “L’Eroica”, a 200km randonneur in Tuscany held annually on the first week of in October. Participants must ride bicycles produced before 1987 with downtube or bar-end shifters and no modern cycling equipment such as integrated shifting, clipless pedals, etc.   Some 2,400 riders participate in the event each year that is ridden on the Chianti region’s famous white gravel roads over routes ranging in distances of 38km to 204km.

As noted in Chris’ post to Ritterview’s “Random Tandem” thread,

Here’s a video about the classic Eroica ride in Italy last year. Amongst several riders profiled, there are two Belgian guys who found out about the new rules requiring all bikes used to be made before 1987 just two weeks before the event. The only bike they could find that fitted the criteria was an old tandem in one of their Dad’s basement. It sounded like they struggled with the bike quite a bit, not the best advert for tandem riding, but fun to watch anyway. Here’s the YouTube link, the tandem guys start appearing at around the 4:15 mark, and a couple more times afterwards.

I’ve embedded the video below and you can also find a pretty good article on L’ Erocia at in an article regarding the 2007 edition hosted at Pez Cycling, replete with many great photos: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5418

As I watched the video three thoughts immediately came to mind:

  1. Wow, that would be a blast to attend… noting that many, many tour companies now offer trips built around this event.
  2. That reminds me, I’d really like to find a small-size Rene Herse tandem from the 40’s like the one Jan Heine owns. That’s about the only tandem I’d be able to justify adding to the stable because I’d really like to spend some time on a classic 650c tandem to appreciate what it is that Jan has described about these classic French tandems.
  3. You know, in a world with white gravel or other types of unpaved roads those larger volume tires do make a lot of sense; good thing all of our roads here in the Atlanta area are extremely smooth asphalt.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Bloggishnish, Events, News items from the web, Whimsical Or Entertaining. Bookmark the permalink.

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