L'Eroica is an annual non-competitive cycling event which has taken place every year since 1997 in the province of Siena, Italy. The theme of the event is vintage cycling, with participants using vintage (pre-1987) bikes, accessories and clothing, and the route often including unpaved roads. It's held on the first Sunday of October.
The event is open to everybody, but only the following kinds of bikes are admitted:
- Vintage road-racing bikes, or so-called BICI EROICHE;
- Historically inspired or VINTAGE-STYLE BIKES, including recently built bikes.
BICI EROICHE is all road-racing bikes built up to and including 1987, both with and without gears, such as those built in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. These bicycles most likely have a steel frame or an Alan type aluminium frame.
Regarding components, bicycles should adhere to the following general guidelines:
- More recent bikes with gears and derailleurs must have shift levers on the down tube of the frame; exceptions include pre-1980 non-indexed bar-end gear shifters;
- Pedals must have toe clips and straps or original pedals for older bikes; quick release, clip-less pedals are not allowed;
- Brake cables must pass outside and over the handlebars (cables can pass inside the frame);
- Wheels must have at least 32 spokes laced to a low profile rim (20 mm depth or less); rims must be of either steel, aluminium or wood;
- Both tubular tyres and clinchers with inner tubes are allowed;
- We invite participants to fit saddles from the same period as the bicycles, so a model of 1987 or earlier; alternatively we suggest fitting a vintage model of modern production;
- Change of the gear ratios is allowed due to the difficulty of the ride.
Early 20th century bicycles without gears do not need to comply with the above criteria as long as they have their original components.
Vintage-style, steel-framed bikes of new or recent construction with vintage look and characteristics may be used only if they are road-racing bikes assembled using vintage components or replicated parts similar to the originals, as described above.
L’Eroica offers 5 different routes:
- LONG 209 km, a medical certificate for the practice of competitive cycling is required;
- MEDIUM CRETE SENESI 135 km, a medical certificate for the practice of competitive cycling is required;
- HUNDRED 106 km, a medical certificate for the practice of competitive cycling is required;
- SHORT 81 km, a medical certificate for the practice of competitive cycling is required;
- MINI-CHIANTI 46 km, a medical certificate for the practice of NON-competitive cycling is sufficient.
Participants are strongly encouraged to wear vintage or vintage-style cycling gear, such as wool jerseys and shorts and to avoid wearing modern technical gear in a visible way. The management reserves the right to disqualify any participant whose behavior is considered inappropriate.
With regard to the vintage spirit of the event, participants are invited to carefully select all their accessories, from shoes to caps and water bottles, etc. The only modern cycling accessory allowed is a safety cycling helmet, which we invite everybody to use.
Due to the popularity of the original L'Eroica, there are now 10 Eroica events around the world, including South Africa, California, Uruguay, Japan, Spain, Netherlands, and Great Britain.