Cape Town, Mar 16 - The second South African version of the Italian vintage bike riding event, L'Eroica, takes place this weekend in Cape Town's rural town of Montagu. This international cycling series celebrates the beauty of cycling on vintage bikes, in vintage kit. The original L'Eroica was imagined in 1997 by Giancarlo Brocci, who through his admiration of the values of the cycle races of old, wanted others to reconnect to the heritage that inspired much Italian history, literature, culture, and music.
L'Eroica was also begun as a foundation for the protection and preservation of the last gravel roads in Tuscany. "Our second Eroica South Africa kicks off in Montagu on Saturday March 18, so bring your beautiful old vintage bicycles and take on the spectacular gravel roads around Montagu," the organisers said in a statement. After riding the first edition of Eroica South Africa last year, Brocci, said: "This event brings us back to our primordial instincts in an old, yet young land filled with contagious passion."
According to the organisers the Cape Town race, which spans three gravel routes - 140km, 90km and 40km - offers the most gravel roads of all Eroica events. Though the L'Eroica event has been expanded to many countries, the core of the ride is the same regardless of the country in which it takes place: to strip away the trappings of modern cycling, revert to a time before carbon fibre and electric gear shifting, and embrace the pain and joy that comes from the pure experience.