on tour , Eroica Gaiole 2019

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 ..,

Eroica 500 @ Eroica Britannia 2019

I recently attended the U.K. Eroica event , held by Eroica Britannia organisers , the 500 .

Instead of the usual 3 day festival , The Eroica 500 took place for one day only , Sunday the 18th of August , riding out from Bakewell for a scenic 65 mile ride around the surrounding Peak District .

I rode on my circa 1985 Colnago Nuovo Mexico , in the company of legend Doctor D

Eroica globetrotter Mr Amedeo Polito was present , always a pleasure to see , and it was nice to meet the U.K. organisers . True Eroica enthusiasts , they started riding Eroica in Chianti back in 2004 , and managed to secure U.K. rights to run an event in 2016

The region is an excellent choice to host the event , and I look forward to riding the next event .

The start at Bakewell , I managed to be possibly the only one to post there number on the front of jersey , I was always backwards …

I found this on the Eroica 500 gallery

L’Eroica , Gaiole in Chianti , 2018

This years festival was a little different , I got a little ‘behind the scenes’ action .

Instead of riding , I helped my good friend on his stall , and catching up with everyone …

My good friend Beppe , proprietor of the best stall of the festival … here with fellow trader , colleague and friend , Matteo….

Some of the treasure in Beppe and Matteo’s corner …

An Art Decor Colnago C35

A rare Ortelli , made by ex rider Vito Ortelli from Faenza , Vito taught Masi and Cinelli how to build frames …

A Cinelli Pista and Super Corsa …

I also managed to see my friend Paolo at his stall , full of prestige vintage treasure , here with a rare Colnago C35 MTB…

Paolo also had this show stopping Colnago Oval CX ….

And this very rare Colnago Mexico ‘Moscow’ Crono bike , the only Mexico produced with ribs inside chain stays …

plenty of treasure on other stalls in the market too .. like this F Moser Crono

I said ‘Hi!’ to the organisers of Eroica , the founder , Mr Giancarlo Brocci ….

legendary Mr W N Hakateyaman …

Seen again here with my good friend and colleague from Retro Velo Romania , Alexandru

And Mr Amedeo Polito..

Also caught up my friend Joshua , (far right) who has arguably one of the best life / work balances I know , Campagnolo global communications , and who very kindly introduced me to Mr Davide Campagnolo , the third generation of his family running the legendary prestige Italian cycling components brand ….

Joshua also kindly introduced me to the author of legendary derailleur blog , Mr Mike Sweatman , with whom my legendary colleague Alexandru had a great chat over beer with …

Alexandru and I working hard …

I also had the pleasure of seeing Mr Marco Gios and his father Aldo , of Gios bikes ,,,

At the Gios stand a new gravel bike was on display , which Marco let me ‘ test ‘ …

Also attending the festivities was the legendary Mr Irio Tommasini …

It was fantastic talking with him ,he spoke of the Super Prestige model , we talked about the Diamanté model with it’s asymmetric Columbus MS tubing , Mr Tommasini also spoke of his regard for U.S.A builder Mr Richard Sachs , and for my friend Simone , Mr Alberto Masi’s frame builder and business partner , I asked if young Simone is “the new Mario Confente” , to which Mr Tommasini replied ” Simone is better, more dynamic ”

This is Simone D’Urbino T’omby , the youngest artisan frame builder in Italy at just 22 , he started learning his trade aged 10 from the late , great , Mr Dario Pegoretti …

The day of the ride , it was raining when we started opening up Beppe’s stall at around 6 am , by around 9 am , things were better ….Even though I was not riding , I still had a great time , down for 2019 Eroica Gaiole certainly .

More photos here and here

Colnago Nuovo Mexico circa ‘85

This is a late example of the legendary Colnago Nuovo Mexico frame set

Has Colnago stamp on the top of the bottom bracket shell …

And rounded Colnago stamped seat stay caps , which post date the first circa ’84 Nuovo Mexico ( flat stamped stay caps )

And the iconic 4 ribbed down tube ….

I source a Campagnolo Rally Triple crank set , as I intended to use the bike on the hills in Chianti , at L’ Eroica Gaiole …

And later found a near mint 2 nd generation Campagnolo Rally Triple rear derailleur …

Bottle cage is Specialities TA , with a white cap …

I used a Concor saddle and high flange hubs on the wheelset

The bike performed really well at Gaiole , with the triple crank set , I didn’t have to walk up any inclines @ “Concurse D’ Elegance” L’Eroica XX 2016 , Gaiole , Chianti

My first L’Eroica, Gaiole ride, and I made the ‘concurse’….

I arrived on the friday afternoon, and soaked up the vibe…

 There were over 7100 bicycles in the whole event , and this year , the XX aniversary event , was the first year of the ‘Concurse D’Elegance’ , less than 100 bicycles made it, including my Colnago Super CX…


the bike faced serious competition..

I was blessed with the company of two other qualifiers from the U.K., Bob with his beautiful Hetchins who achieved 3rd place !!!

and Dave with a beautiful Gios Torino ,  seen in the crowd here in his Brooklyn jersey..


Dave’s Gios Torino won an award as well i think…


so I was over the moon that my two new friends won, I never expected anything , I was just happy being there…

On Sunday, I did the 137 km ride…here with a 6 a.m. start..



and at the finish , after two downhill crashes and a few hill walk ups..


saarf@Critical Mass, London,26/9/14

I attended the London bike Critical Mass this evening, quite a turnout!


I turned up on the Colnago Rabobank Lux Dream CX

(try saying that after a few Red Stripe beers!)

The event is every last Friday of the month, and starts at the South Bank by the National Theater, on the saarf side of the River Thames..

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cyclists turned up from 18.30, some with sound systems, and set of around 19,30, across London’s Waterloo bridge…

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then we went through the underpass on the right hand lane of the other side…

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which, regrettably , is where I suffered a battery fail following this shot…


we cut across to Oxford Circus, did the length of Oxford street, down to the Notting Hill area, across to Kensington, then Knightsbridge, finishing up outside Buckingham Palace.

Here’s a link to Mass

Who are we? What are our aims?

We are not sure, opinions seem to differ. There are probably as many aims of CM as there are participants. Each person comes there with his or her own idea of what it’s about, and the sum of this makes up the Mass. We have no organisers and no planned routes and this website does not try to be representative of CM in any way.

Critical Mass achieved its international name following the first ever ride in San Francisco back in 1992, where it was christened ‘Commute Clot’. It was then “noted that, in China both motorists and bicyclists had an understood method of negotiating intersections without signals. Traffic would “bunch up” at these intersections until the back log reached a “critical mass” at which point that mass would move through the intersection”. Film ‘Return of the Scorcher’ also features the scene which led to the adoption of the name “Critical Mass” for the rides which now occur around the world.

The London monthly rides started in April 1994. 1995-96 reports. Videos from the 90s. It isn’t just for cyclists, sometimes there are wheelchairers, skateboarders, roller bladers, roller skaters and other self-propelled people. Cycle sound systems often play music on the ride.”

Tour D’Historique 2014

I managed to attend this event in Haarlem again, I took the Colnago Nuovo Mexico,

I found a square of scrap leather, and as I was riding clinchers, wrapped up a spare inner tube, air , pump and levers..



I wore these Sidi shoes..


I trimmed the leather wrap up for the ride, here it is at the start point next to an exquisite example of a Pinarello Montello..




there was a pristine Colnago Master Olympic…


and this Gentleman on his fine Springfield Special, hand made in Haarlem…


A De Rosa …



a couple of Colnago Super examples in Saronni Red,this is the first..



a Mercian owned by a German rider…


a fabulous example of a Masi Prestige






the second Saronni Super, owned by a friend, he had it refurbished and mounted Campagnolo Cobalto brakes and a practically nos Campagnolo Super Record gruppo…



nice to see a Rossin, even better one with chromed head tube lugging..



a brace of Chesini Chromovelato, the owner is a serious Chesini collector, possibly the worlds biggest,

quietly spoken, and real Gent…






the Tour’s first rest was in Haarlem’s famous market square…


I got talking with the owner of this..


a 1955 Torpado, which he imported from Italy…



complete with period correct campagnolo gruppo



the second stop was in the picturesque village of Spaarndam..


the battery went on my phone, so no more pictures, but it was a great day, riding with friends and fellow enthusiasts..

if you’re in the region next year, give it a go, here’s the link

Tour d’Historique

I got up all excited yesterday, checked my bike, ate my porridge, showerd, checked bike, got into my retro kit and set off through a downpour to the start…to find my self on my own.

The race was today.

So, had the same kind of start, with sunny weather,off  I rode on the Nuovo Mexico


This was the organizer’s maiden event,which was in Haarlem in the North of Holland.




I snapped a Colnago Super in the exact same  colour as mine



The Super had 3 top tube cable guides, mine has two,

I’ve sheered away from a few alleged “Colnago” bikes with 3 cable guides as it usually means fake, but this was the real thing.

The guides on mine seem to be different to the Super, I had originally thought this may have been an aftermarket extra, but perhaps Colnago built with either 2 or 3 guides.

The ride stopped in the beautiful village of Spaarndam,just oustide Haarlem,



some of the houses date from the mid 16th century


I saw that some of the other riders had started moving off, so I followed.

I passed a few fellow riders , and rode down a path by a canal with some houseboats moored alongside.

Suddenly I came across this


complete with this


now , in the owners eyes, this is probably Southfork or the Ponderosa, but seemed a little too Never Never Land for me, and when I saw this


my instincts told me to move on.

So I did, and to rub salt in the wounds still raw from my heroic failure of yesterdays wet, none existent race,I realized I was lost.

No drama though, the Spaarnwoude area is beautiful, and it was an opportunity to get a few more routes in my head, I was down for 80km, so I had about 3 hours in the saddle instead and called it a day.

Better luck next time I hope.

L’Anjou Velo Vintage 2012, 101 km, Saumur, Maine et Loire, France

I managed to get a ride to Paris,

and from there, I took a train to Saumur, Maine et Loire

I managed to find the bike some friends

The French riders are real Gentlemen and Ladies , great people,

we managed to stop and sample some of the region’s wines

and some food,

I had 4 punctures, and ate gravel coming round a corner.

I dropped my pump on a descent, and when I was fixing my bike

after the fall (left of picture), this hero turned up with my pump!

the support at this event was excellent, motorcycle outriders with mechanics

on the back,and excellent stewarding.

When I fell, I messed up the front derailleur, so was limping for a number of kilometers, when the motorcycle angels

came to the rescue and put it straight, thanks fellas !

See you next year!


This was a great day out, with some genuine enthusiasts,

I was fortunate enough to have been invited to

attend by the organiser.

we all had our bikes blessed

and 3 rounds of the beautiful Brabant countryside

a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday!

See you next time Peter!

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