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 http://www.disraeligears.co.uk , 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

saarf.london @ “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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