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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:02 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:30 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Leighton Buzzard
I was aware of this event years back, but I've just started to seriously consider it, however. My bike is 1986 with it's original 86 blend of Shimano 600EX kit, but the 3t bars and stem are later quil offerings, about 1990 as is the Flita saddle, and the rules say that these parts must be of vintage. That could be sorted. However pedals/clips/straps is altogether a tougher ask, in fact it's the shoes and cleats that are the hard part.
How strict are the organizers actually?

And to compound the confusion I Googled images for help and I came across old bikes with modern LOOKs and some dubious accessories i.e later stems like mine. Though worst was a piece on two guys entered on brand spanking new Pashly G'vnors...just looky likey old bikes?

What's the real score?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:59 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Stevenage
I've just bought a Woodrup frameset from a chap who,last used it at L'Eroica along within £100 of parts, these included pedals, clips, brakes, crankset, seat tube, shifters, sun tour derailer.

I'm willing to sell the lot to anybody interested. The seller told me it was hard, and you need to eat and drink lots, as his sugar levels fell after the race and nearly passed out. I was going to restore it but a more suitable project has come up...still has L'Eroica dust on it!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:14 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 774
There's no scrutineering of bikes, just down to individuals to enter the spirit of the event - you'll see modern frames with old parts. Realistically, non-aero brake levers, downtube shifters and toeclips and straps is the order of the day.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:18 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Just to add to this, i thought i saw mention that all cables had to route outside the frames - someone may be able to clarify this.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:35 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:30 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Leighton Buzzard
Out of the hood tops, but internal routing is okay.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:02 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:51 pm
Posts: 3
Went on it last year - 135k route. The organisers don't check the bikes. As the other poster wrote it is more down to the spirit of the event.
One thing though is try to get a vintage woolen jersey otherwise you won't get the free bottle of wine and cake at the end.

They have changed the application process this year. You have to pre-register by the end of Feb for entry in the lottery. Previous to this it was on a first come first served basis.

Here are some of the rules - lifted from their Rules and Regulations

"Your vintage bicycle must have all the following characteristics:
• road racing bicycle, built before 1987 (not cyclo cross or time trial bike);
• steel frame (the only aluminum frame bikes permitted are ALAN or VITUS with either screwed or glued joints);
• gear shift levers on the down tube of the frame (exceptionally, only pre-1980 bar-end gear shifts are allowed);
• pedals with toe clips and fitted straps (quick release pedals are not allowed, except Cinelli M71 pedals);
• the passage of brake cable outside the handlebars.
New bicycles with steel frames can be used but they must be assembled with vintage components (gear levers, handlebars, pedals, etc..).
The adjustment of the rear wheel gears to suit the difficulty of the route is permitted."


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:17 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Redser,

Thanks for the clarification, would you like to share your experience of the trip. I am sure more than me would be interested.

And welcome to the forum!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:19 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:51 pm
Posts: 3
TGR wrote:
Redser,

Thanks for the clarification, would you like to share your experience of the trip. I am sure more than me would be interested.

And welcome to the forum!!!


Thanks TGR. Here is a Post I put up on another Cycling forum last October. I did the event on a 79 Carlton Professional.

Myself and 2 mates did the L’Eroica 135km route this month. Unfortunately one of the guys didn’t finish due to a buckled wheel. Here are my lessons learned – these are from the point of view of a novice cyclist.

First thing is the bike. The Strade Bianche accounts for half the distance and is basically a gravel dirt road. It puts a lot of pressure on the bike especially going down hill. You need to make sure that your wheels, tyres and brakes are up to the job. I had 700c 28 Panaracer Crosstowns which worked well for me. I didn’t have any punctures. I had a 28-14 cassette and a Compact Chainset. I cheated a bit with the Compact but apart from that the bike was standard with period components. I had replaced cables, bottom bracket etc so everything was in good working order. The bike finished well just a bit of creaking around the crankset/bottom bracket.

Next thing is fitness. I wasn’t great on this front. I only started training in mid-May – hadn’t cycled in earnest since I was a teenager 30 years ago. I live in Firhouse so I did regular runs up to the viewing point and 2 runs across Sally Gap. I could have done with more training to tackle the gravel hills – ended up walking up a lot of the steep bits especially after Asciano – part of this was to protect myself as I wanted to make sure I finished. There are some videos on Youtube but they don’t do justice to how steep this section is – when I was passing this way approx. 80% of cyclists walked up the hills. You could try and train on rougher road, though you learn fairly quickly on the day how to ride rough roads.

The day before you have to register in Giaole, so you just need some ID and you can pick up your pack – cloth bag, number for your jersey and your bike, route passport (stamped at beginning, end and rest spots).

The day of the event you have to start off between 5 and 7am if you want to do the 135 or 205. We started at about 6.45. We were about half an hours drive from Giaole so we had breakfast shortly after 5am (4am Irish Time). It wasn’t too cold, I just had a jersey and arm warmers – the arm warmers came off after 5 or 6 km.

There were 3 of us. One of the lads got a badly buckled rear wheel at about 12k. We spent 45 mins trying to fix it with the help of 2 guys from Dublin (think one was named Dave) and an English guy (Angelo). In the end the wheel was too bad and he had to retire. The fun started then as everyone was gone ahead of us. We had to push on as we were concerned that the rest areas and checkpoints would be closed. Unfortunately the marshals had all left and we ended up getting lost in Sienna - this cost us about half an hour. Finally we arrived at the Rest Stop in Radi. Most people had left with just a few guys getting their bikes fixed with a mechanic. We stopped there for about 40 mins before pushing on for Asciano. At this point it was warm and dusty. Eventually we arrived at Asciano – at this stage we had cycled about 90km and I was suffering mostly from dehydration. Stopped in Asciano for probably an hour before tackling the hardest section. We had now linked up with the 205km riders. Got to the final rest point and started to feel better – evening was coming in so it was a bit cooler and pushed on to the finish in Giaole


Things to note.
- Rest stops – 49km, 84km and 102km
- Water, food and wine available at each stop – cold meats, bread, cheeses, soup, biscuits, cake, fruit
- Mechanic at each rest stop – need to bring cash
- If you are running behind the main field keep a sharp lookout for the brown L’Eroica signs plus other temporary signs.
- Recommend starting as early as possible – if I was to do it again I would start at 6am for the 135km.
- You will need lights.
- Don’t have to wear a helmet, but I would recommend wearing one
- Wear Mountain Bike shoes as you will have to drag your bike up some of the gravel section
- Nobody officially examined the bikes.
- There were other cyclists on the route as it is open road with modern bikes.
- There isn’t any support if you breakdown – saw a lot of guys carrying bikes on their shoulders.
- You will need a vintage Jersey otherwise you won’t get the Bottle of wine and cake at the end of the event. Wear something that looks woollen and old fashioned.
- Make sure your bike is in good order – replace all old components – brake pads, bottom bracket, chain, cables etc.
- Carry spare tube, cables, cable ties, puncture repair kit, bike tool, electrolyte tables, rubber gloves, mobile phone, cash, pump, lights, sun glasses, sun cream if you are fair.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:35 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 774
If you search threads on here you'll find mine and Ed Edwards experiences - I rode the 205km in 2010 and it's not something to be taken lightly. I expect there'll be a Retrobike contingent travelling out again.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:58 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Here are some photos from my attempt to ride the course solo last summer - the scenery is really quite unbelievable.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 7513290e8b


+1 on redser's advice.

I would add that it's important to stay away from the edges of the white roads, which are made of dust and gravel and difficult to ride on on a road bike. Follow the trails left by cars which are packed solid.

The roads are also open to car traffic, which is a bit scary. I even saw one of those crappy little 3 wheel scooter vans struggling up one of the steeper hills!

I set up a vintage bike for someone and put cyclocross tyres on it, and he said it made things much easier.

There are bike shops in Siena (called 'Rossi' I think) and Buonconvento, but not many others. In Montalcino there is a shop but it only rents out BSOs to the fat americans.

Good luck, I pre-registered for the event so if I'm lucky I will get to try it again.

Johnny


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