“The most handsome bike race in the world”

That’s how this new vintage cycling event to be held in England this summer is being described. L’Eroica Britannia is actually the second franchise of the original Italian event which was first held in 1997. Last year the event branched out from Italy to Japan with great success and this year the inaugural British version is being presented. Success seems almost guaranteed with the 2000 rider limit already being reached.



April 12, 2014


Isabelle and Rick near Rest Stop #2

Isabelle and Rick near Rest Stop #2

Although I have ridden this event one time before in 2002 the route has changed since then and it was almost a new event for me. This course is somewhat unique for a double century in that it is comprised of two 100 mile loops, both converging back at the start finish. This provides a unique opportunity to go a little lighter and have the ability to drop or pick up unneeded gear at the middle of the ride.

A dubious start

To get to this event in time for my planned 5:00 am start I was up and driving very early. I planned to find a McD’s on the way and grab something quick to eat. Well, I could find nothing along the way except a poorly stocked mini-mart and the best I could do was a chocolate milk for breakfast. This might not turn out very well for me!



Riding with a good group. I’m in yellow jacket at 3rd wheel. Photo courtesy of Curtis Corlew.

Saturday March 22, 2014


para 02This is a bike that I literally just stumbled upon but one it seems that fate arranged for me to have. It belonged to an old friend of mine who no longer rides due to physical issues. He was the original owner and even though he had changed out some parts over the years he still had all of the original equipment. It had not been ridden in several years and was in need of a serious cleaning. It didn’t really look that great but I could see beyond the grease and dirt so I offered to purchase it from him. He agreed to sell it to me only because he knew that it would be resurrected to its former glory. He had a sentimental attachment to the bike and wanted it to go to a good home.

Through the late 70′s the Schwinn Paramount was the most successful racing bike built in the USA.


Updated, March 4 2014

leroica2To be properly equipped for a vintage bike rally you need vintage cycling gear of the same period as the bike you are riding. The gear should be functional and must look good too! This is hard to achieve with the sources available today but it is still possible. There is also the “style” factor to consider and if your are riding at an event like L’Eroica then the bar is set very high indeed! No problem, I’ll just go down to the vintage bike store and buy the proper gear right? Wrong!

My 2012 L’Eroica bike was a 1974 Legnano Gran Premio, so to put together a kit appropriate to that bike was a bit of a challenge. For me it took a lot of time scouring eBay and Googling specific items. Eventually I was able to put together a kit suitable for L’Eroica that was comfortable to ride in and the correct style if not actually vintage.


This is the first double century ride on the calendar for the west coast and one I have ridden before. Since I already have a 200 km and a 300 km event under my belt so far this year I thought it would be a good one for me. The timing was right too! Ideally, I like about 2 weeks between my big events and this one comes just 2 weeks after the Gila Monster 300.



I’ve always enjoyed going to ride the Arizona Brevet events. This year there has been a change in leadership in the series with longtime RBA Susan Plonsky retiring and accomplished randonneur Carlton Van Lueven stepping up to take the reigns. The Arizona region is blessed not only with great brevet routes and great early season riding conditions, but also with a large volunteer base. It looks like the AZ Randos have a deep bench to draw from for putting on events! The future looks bright in Arizona!




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