L’ Eroica Gaiole 2022

Ride highlight of the year is always L’ Eroica Gaiole, and 2023 did not disappoint.

Colnago Master Progress , Del Tongo team, on loan to Colnago from Sr Beppe Saronni
Colnago Master Progress bottom bracket shell, a gift from Colnago.

I managed to get Sr Beppe Saronni to sign a Del Tongo team jersey while he was at the Colnago stand, and he later signed a copy of his book for me too…

Photo thanks to my friend, legendary German collector King Thai Do.

For the ride, I took the circle ’76 Tommasini I got near Grosseto earlier on…

Dressed for battle…

At the Tommasini stall I caught up with Roberta Tommasini’s husband and son, left , and my friend, Franz …

I did the medium route, and the bike was as smooth as silk, I never had to walk the walk on the Strada with the compact type gear set up …

Once finished, I managed to find Roberta on her stall , and give her the medal from the ride. A thank you for giving me the jersey for my birthday when I visited the family factory a while back…

It was very kind of Tommasini to put me on their social feed too…

Just after I left Roberta, I bumped into Eroica President, Sr Franco Rossi

I met the legendary U.K. rider “Pepsi Guy” too on the ride…

The day before ( Saturday) was for the long route, and I managed to catch my friend Eugenio Simoncini as he was just finished…

A real deal Tough Tuscan long distance rider, Eugenio is also the 3rd generation of frame builder in his family brand.

Great to see Sr Antonio Colombo and his partner Alessandra, who designed some of the best Cinelli art styles in my opinion.

Also great to see was this unique Colnago Master. Owned by my friend, Masi builder, owner , master artisan and bike collector, Simone D’Urbino Tomby.

Made by Colnago for the Silva company…

Probably the only Master with a flat crown fork..

The seat stay cap is a ‘fast-back’ style, and the least most has four flutes, like a Gilco tube.

Another rarity in Sr D’Urbino Tomby’s collection is this Mario Confente…

Also lucky to see a Richard Sachs in Tuscany…

L’Eroica is best for catching up with friends, and the best part of the weekend was being with legend Libero Colombini, a.k.a ‘Popeye’ , a veteran of 12 long route rides and old school racer. We hadn’t been together since before covid…

Popeye came to my friend Beppe’s stall and told me to come with him. I don’t speak much Italian and he does not English, but we understand each other. We walked through Gaiole to see his personal bikes .

All made to fight the good fight in the Strada Bianca battle, triple cranksets, long cage rear mech’s and knobbly tyres are what Popeye recommends ….

My good friend, Colnago legend, Beppe.

Colnago C59 Italia Team Edition Voeckler KOM .

I picked this up a while back, it was hanging on an online auction for a while.

Colnago is bucking that trend and is offering 135 of Thomas Voeckler’s Colnago C59 Italia Team Edition frame decorated with polka dots. Why just 135? That’s to commemorate the points the Frenchman accumulate in the climber’s classification and secure him the overall prize as he rolled into Paris last Sunday.”

( source https://road.cc/content/news/62470-thomas-voecklers-polka-dot-colnago-c59-available-buy)

So, 1 / 135 makes it pretty rare !

Eddy Merckx Professional circa 1982

I picked this up last summer . The Europe team rode these models in same block yellow, and they were listed in the catalog of the time

Eddy Merckx Professional 1982

I wanted it for L’Eroica, it had to be able to fight the good fight on the strada bianca and hills, so I opted for the Campagnolo Victory gruppo. The drive side has the smallest bcd, enabling a ‘compact’ type set up.

Silvio’s Cycled

I had the pleasure of meeting Silvio, the founder of Cycled ( https://cycledproject.com/ ), at two Eroica events. The Prosecco Hills gravel ride was the first, and he told me he’d spent quite a while living in London. Back in Italy, he started his circular economy business, crafting used bicycle tyres into belts and other accessories.