Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

L’Eroica Britannia - The bike

By Nick
19, Jun, 2014

Nick gears up for some vintage biking action

I'd seen the pictures for L'Eroica (the Tuscan version) and I guess in a way it was love at first site. I'm not a roady but I love Italy, I love food (and wine) and love biking. When they announced that it was coming to the UK, even better to the Peak District, I was hooked. I was one of the first 500 to sign up and despite missing out on a lovely bike just before Christmas I eventually found my stead.

It had to be a Raleigh, as much as I had poured over some beautiful bikes, I think I'd set my mind on a Raleigh. It's a British event so I should ride a British bike. The problem is I'm not actually sure what model it is, but to me its is the epitome of an English working mans racing bike which I think means taking an ordinary looking steel framed touring bike and turning the handle bars upside down to make it look like a club racer. My best guess is something similar to the Raleigh Superb probably made in Lenton, with the serial number dating it old enough for a bus pass.

I bought it for £20 of Gumtree and apart from replacing the rather worn inner tubes, brake cables and bar tape i haven't touched it. Most things work despite living in a leaky shed for 50 years. I have taken it on a few rides and on the straight it rolls just fine, the steering is a little tetchy and the gears may not be quite low enough for all the hills, especially as the reversed north road handlebars make it almost impossible to get out of the saddle, but it's going to be the brakes that cause me the most headaches. Emergency stops are not possible compared to modern discs, and long descents (Middleton incline here we come) may require a reassuring foot down. 

The route 
I'm planning on doing the 55 mile route which should be challenging on the bike I've chosen but not so long to turn it into a 13 hour suffer fest that I think the 100 mile would of been. 

90km - route

I hope it gives me a bit more time to appreciate the event, meet some new friends and allow time for a beer at the end.

l'Eroica Britannia website

Raliegh Bike History
Grifter - circa 79
Weekender - circa 87
Superb - circa 53

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Daring Deeds

Second City Divide Part 2
Did they make it to Glasgow?
The Frog Whitton
The UK's ultimate swim-cycle challenge
The Tour Divide story - Part 1
Rich and Tom take on the Tour Divide
Handcycle Britain Interview
An interview with Mel Nicholls
Rich and Tom Siepp Pre-Tour Divide ride
Rich and Tom's kit list and pre-amble for their Tour Divide route ride
Highland Trail 550 - 2019
“Its not worth drowning to get free fish and chips” Alan Goldsmith
Unexpected turns and hidden talents
Finding new paths when life takes an unexpected turn
A Hill In Holland
Everesting.. In the Netherlands of all places

More from Deeds

News

Mel Nicholls’ Handcycle Britain World Record Attempt
Follow Mel on her LEJOG World Record Attempt
Nat Spring: 40 Day Wellbeing Challenge
Nat Spring's journey to recovery
Pedalling the Parks
1600-mile cycle ride across the UK’s National Parks
Ireland To Asia: A Year On My Bike
Tales from Sean Hoban's journey to Asia
Alpkit Adventure Weekender
Join us in store for an adventure filled weekend
What’s in store bank holiday weekend?
Make the most of this Bank Holiday
The London Bike Show 2018
Alpkit hit the big city
Alpkit Ambleside Opening Event
new store opening event

More from News

Develop

The Squalline Story
Developing our new run/ride showerproof shell
Gripping Developments In Gloves
A whole new glove range: the inside story
Designing the Argonaut Jacket
Creating premium performance without the price-tag
Branching out with the Rando Bikepacking Bag Range
New welded bike luggage
Sonder Camino Alloy prototypes have arrived
Dropped bar alloy travel bike proto

More from Develop

Spotlight

Surviving 24hr bike races - Strathpuffer
Surviving 24 hours on a bike in northern Scotland
Layering up for Cycling
Our new Rhythm range, and how to layer for a ride
Riding the Lakes
Where to ride on the road
What a Difference a Day Makes
What can you fit into the Bank Holiday?
Top Spots: Hathersage Haunts
What to do whilst you're here
Tweedlove 2017: In at the Deep End
New event go-er Talyn’s intro to Mountain Biking
Long Mynd delights
bikepacking around Shropshire
Which Waterproof Jacket?
Our guide to the Alpkit waterproof range

More from Spotlight

Kudos

More from Kudos

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness

CLOSE

By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions