l'Eroica 2013 (aka follow Mrs. Spirito's wheel)

I like the hanger too! Looks great.

Also wow…

I’ve got a bucket of tube drops if you want, not quite as Italian though


How dare you

My new hero: Ron from DHBC. A sprightly 71 years young, he rode around Europe prior to the event on his Nervex lugged Jim Bundy staying at youth hostels and loading up the rack attached to his bike with p-clamps. There were tough roads where I dared not put a foot down because Ron was still pedaling. We found he was often getting lost … then came the familiar chant “Where’s Ron ??” but soon we twigged that all we had to do was look for the nearest woman and voila, there’s Ron by the fair maiden’s side and being his smooth old self. So cool, he even had time to read about himself in the paper.

He is an inspiration and I Iook forward to catching up with him soon. 8)


I thought it looked like a 76-ish centurion pro tour.

So jelly…

Also, got any photos of the swap meet?

Unfortunately no. We went to Gaiole on Saturday to register for the event and check the swap meet but it was raining cats and dogs, so heavy in fact that most venders left their goods covered under the tarps. We had an ominous feeling and felt uneasy at the prospect of 135km through heavy rain the next day, all weather forecasts were for more rain … by some miracle the next day (Sunday) was perfect and clear. Whew!

We got soaked. What we did see was mind blowing and that was perhaps just 10% of it. Tonnes of cool swag, nothing really cheap but so much to drool for. The vendors were all really cool too, often throwing in extra stuff after we’d paid and selected items (pays to mention your from Oz !!).

So many cool bikes but the one that caught my eye was a very trick Alan cyclocross with outrageously bright paint. Only later did I realize it was built by La Strana Officina who I got to meet later on with the Florentian Mafia™ … aka my mate Matteo and Andrea. That was a real treat as I’d known Matteo for some 10+ years and we’d traded, bought and sold much stuff over the years, he’d followed my trail in NYC but we’d never yet met in person. What a guy !! Made the trip down to meet up with us on Sat and also to see us off the next morning (5am), we hung with his mates and had lunch in what was the Town Community hall, masses of food and wine for $10euro, served by the kids of the town that all proceeds went to. That was such a highlight, those guys made our day and are real stand up guys, and great fun. So cool in fact that Eric Zabel sided over and wanted his picture taken with Mrs. Spirito. Dude looked like he could still race and was a treat to meet him too.

So yeah, swap meet was a wash out, we were soaking wet. I bought a little bit of stuff, as did Mrs. Spirito but we gave up and ended up having fun doing other things and it didn’t seem to matter: people are greater than bikes & parts :wink: We really had the best day, meeting Matteo and the crew from Firenze was one of the best highlights from the trip !!

So much epic. Looks like a proper ‘bucketlister.’

Just riding those backroads is joy enough without the whole l’eroica ting.

Indeed, so much win about Tuscany not least the beautiful roads. The local co-op was ultimate: pasta x 2, fresh breads & a longneck of good beer for $10euro (and it was brilliant!!). The road out from the place we stayed was epic, so many riding options in every direction, peaceful and perfect weather. It’s nice have a beer and an espresso for less than $3aud. Even the twisties are called Fonzies !!!

Though Saturday was wet enough to be English weather, Sunday was really worthwhile. I did the 205km route and probably would have enjoyed the 135km more. It was a tough ride and walking some of the hills was ripping up my feet.

It would have been good to have spent more time soaking up the atmosphere. Tuscany was gorgeous as always and I recognised small chunks of the l’Eroica route from riding 2010’s Mille Miglia brevet.

Well done !! I saw quite a few of the 205km riders and they had to keep moving. Less time to soak up the atmosphere & a long day on the saddle. Happy for you … got pics? What were you riding?

This confirms my suspicion that Erik Zabel is a real cool dude!

Really, he is !! Quite funny, happy to chat and enjoyed chatting to us Aussie’s.

I have a 1954 Claud Butler New All Rounder, 4sp freewheel (couldn’t get all of them) and half-step chainrings. Both Cyclo mechs were odd, seat tube rod shift for the front and reverse action down tube for the rear. A 48 x 22t bottom gear meant some walking. I’m the second owner and it still has the celluloid handlebar tape.

It was a real pain jumping up and down on the rear wheel and truing it with the adjustable spanner of a CoolTool the night before the event was a pain. Baggage handlers can be ever so nice. The old 40 hole rim held up OK though.

Some photos on my phone but not yet on a website. The bloke riding a dusty 50th Anniversary gruppo was unexpected.

That was my biggest worry. Luckily I only had a slight wobble on my rear wheel but otherwise no drama’s with bikes being damaged in transit. Taking two bikes was however quite tricky. Happy we did but next time I’ll buy a bike over there and leave it with friends or sell it off when I’m done.

Some of the guys who opted for rental bikes found out how hit and miss they are, and I’d be too picky for that.

Just wanted to share this video of l’Eroica from the perspective of a few guys from Milano. Gives a wonderful feel for the beauty of Tuscany and the strade bianche of the l’Eroica course. They’re all a bit hipster-ish but that’s OK, they still rode all day and you can see they had a blast.


Thanks for posting, spirito. This is how I am celebrating my 30th birthday this year. Pretty excited.

Awesome, good for you !! You’ll have an amazing time.

The lottery for entrants isn’t open for this years event yet or are you doing the course outside of the l’Eroica dates?