I managed to attend this years Eroica Gaiole , thanks to the hospitality of my Danish friend Claus ( aka Velo Claus ) , founder of Team Patelli Denmark and a sponsor of Eroica South Africa .
I arrived late on Friday , after being foolish enough to miss time my leaving home for the airport , but all was good in the end
The Saturday was spent catching up with friends and meeting Legends .
I caught up with Srs Aldo and Marco Gios on their stall with my good friend Dave , who just had an exact replica of Roger De Vlaminck’s own Gios , painstakingly hand made by Mr Aldo Gios himself , the Gios family still take commissions for bespoke frames …
Dave told that Mr De Vlaminck cut the ends off his Campagnolo pedals to get the tension he wanted with feet in the cages …
Mr Davide Campagnolo was present , with his family brand , Campagnolo sponsor Eroica ..
I had a wander around the worlds greatest vintage bike market and went to see my well regarded friend , one of the most established vintage traders Beppe on his stall .
Beppe is a well connected man , who knows many of the Italians involved in the industry from past to present , and whilst at his stall , I had the honour of meeting the man who made the mythical Cinelli Laser bikes , Mr Andrea Pesenti .
The Legend arrived with his own bike , and very kindly gave me a few minutes to talk about it ….
Staggering piece of work , best bike of the festival for me , fillet brazed , under bb rear brake calliper mount , internal cable routing , integrated seat post , and aero tubes .
I walked back into the main square area and then had the good fortune to bump into Mr Federico Stanzani , with whom I have become friends after he told me ride this Cinelli Laser Tandem through Gaiole in 2016
Federico is the Columbus brand manager ,
And he said Mr Antonio Colombo himself , owner of the brands Columbus and Cinelli , was at the festival for the promotion of the centenary edition Columbus Steel tube set. I had actually met Mr Colombo in his Milano art gallery back in 2016…
I left Federico and was wandering around again when I walked straight into Mr Antonio Colombo … I was stunned when he said he remembered me …
Was really good to talk with him and his partner , who is instrumental in design for the Cinelli Winged store . I said I had seen Mr Pesenti earlier , to get a photo of the two of them with the Laser bike would have been pretty much historical .
My friend Simone won a prize for the Masi he built , he told me he took a month and a half to finish it , hand made bike usually take a week .
Simone is the youngest artisan bicycle builder in Italy currently , with a fascinating narrative .
When he was 10 he knew he wanted to build bike frames , so knocked on the door of the late , great legend Dario Pegoretti , who told him to watch him weld .
Simone is now Masi frame builder , working with Mr Alberto Masi at the atelier in Milano , Simone actually works at the late Mario Confente’s bench , and honours him in his work by implementing the Spade symbol .
Here is a Masi Stradivari , hand made by Simone and owned by a Japanese rider , shots taken on the ride , when the Gent’s chain had snapped ..
Some of the other gems seen…
Sunday was ride day …
With blessings from legend , friend and Eroica Global Man Amedeo at the start , we were off to a good ride …
Our group included Iron Man contestant Jean and Jens , a Team Molteni Denmark founder member .
Patelli is an old established artisan frame builders from Bologna , Claus had an aero model
And Jean had an earlier model , also equipped with Cambio Rina…
Vastly underrated , Cambio Rina was practically the best performing Italian gruppo of it’s era .
I rode a 1985 Colnago Nuovo Mexico , with a 1st gen Campagnolo Rally triple crankset , a 2nd gen Rally rear mech , and the rest 2nd gen Super Record
As I was riding later I managed to face plant , not paying attention to riding , ( easy to be distracted by the beauty around ) , but still finished
with another flash of genius , I managed to get to the airport too late and missed another flight , so stayed in Pisa then flew the next day .
Another magical Eroica , the brand has spread it’s wings world wide , looking forward to many more ..,