I think it’s fair to say that I’m basking in a warm glow after riding this year’s Eroica Britannia. I’ve tasted the event before as a day visitor so was familiar with the vintage vibe on site. The ride underpinned my affection for it though.
The route was similar to last year – no bad thing – save for a lengthy and agreeable diversion into Staffordshire.
It was challenging, too, particularly the section heading to beautiful Ilam and another wonderful food stop. I think this was more to do with poor nutrition on my part during the ride rather than the terrain. My depleted state was soon remedied with – ahem – four cups of soup, numerous sandwiches and, naturally, cake.
There were some wonderful bikes on show again making me want to redouble my efforts to find a genuine vintage ride that fits my ungainly frame. I think I may struggle, but a Hetchins with gorgeous ‘curvy’ stays would be a lovely addition to the fleet!
My ‘mongrel’ Bob Jackson performed effortlessly as you might expect from a modern/retro bike. It’s pretty clear why the cycling community have largely steered away from toe clips and straps though!
Some folk in the 100-mile class take it very seriously and I doff my cycling cap to them. My approach is perhaps too haphazard and riding a tourer with a triple (wash your mouth out!) a little disrespectful of those grinding their knees to dust on old groupsets with unhelpful ratios.
Perhaps the 55-mile route would make more sense for this trundler?
I hope I’ll be in a position to ride it again next year and encourage one or two other cycling friends to take the heroic plunge. It’s a fitting showcase of the Peak District and its fabulous riding.