Eroica Britannia: The world’s best-looking bike ride
Everyone’s favourite vintage cycling festival is back for 2017 and it's bigger and better than ever. Emma Nicholson tells us what it’s all about and why we should all get a slice of that nostalgic bike-riding action...
What is Eroica Britannia?
This three-day cycling festival features headline musicians, gorgeous camping, vintage shopping, fantastic food and delightful drinks. But the big draw is a ride that invites you to flex your sartorial (and leg) muscles to recreate the looks of a bygone era. Last year’s event packed in 40,000 visitors from around the globe and 4,500 authentically-clad riders (including a record-breaking 1000+ women).
Rules to ride
There are three routes available (25, 55 and 100 miles), but what really marks this ride out as different is that you can only take part on a pre-1987 bicycle (which can be hired) while rocking era-specific clothing. Gear shifters have to be on the down tube, pedals should have toe clips and straps, and carbon fibre or lycra is forbidden. You can check out a full list of rules here.
The 25 mile ‘Short’ route is a gently undulating leg-stretcher that is suitable for riders of all abilities. This route has been designed specifically to suit families who are looking to experience the thrill of the journey.
The ‘Sportsman’ route of 55 miles is a bit more adventurous and requires a decent base level of fitness. There are several long climbs that could give riders of some vintages of bike a hard time, particularly of the single speed variety!
And the 100-mile ‘Hero’ route is open to riders of steel, a real challenge covering the very best of the Peak District National Park.
Why should I do it?
The Eroica Britannia is a ride for anyone wanting to have a good time absorbing the nostalgic atmosphere and boasts a number of well-known fans...
"The whole experience was a step back in time to a – possibly mythical – civilised era, where ladies and gentleman explored the countryside in stately style. No one is timed in Eroica Britannia. That would be uncouth." Chris Boardman MBE
Former British pro rider and now Eroica ambassador David Millar, wrote a glowing blog about last year’s festival and sums it up beautifully. “It was otherworldly, like the Goodwood Revival had collided with a bygone village fete.”
Where do I sign up?
This year’s event takes place from 16-18th June in the new location at Friden Grange, where the High Peak Trail will run straight through the festival.
Ticket sales have already broken records after their release in late November, so act fast if you don’t want to miss out.
Buy your tickets here