Wednesday, August 12, 2009

L’Eroica, the USA Version

Ed. note: this event has been cancelled; see here for details.
Below is the press release from L'Eroica USA announcing the planning of a L'Eroica style event in Colorado. The only observation I have is that what makes the L'Eroica in Tuscany heroic are the distances involved coupled with vintage road bikes. Also, L'Eroica, which began as a vintage bike only event, has moved away beginning this year from the "open" format that permitted bikes of any types over the last few years.

BOULDER, CO USA (August 11, 2009) L’Eroica USA announces today the planning of L’Eroica Boulder, a L’Eroica-styled event to be run outside Boulder, Colorado. The event, scheduled for Sunday, October 4, 2009, the same day as L’Eroica Italy in Tuscany, may be contingent upon financial sponsorship and/or official supplier sponsors so distributors, framebuilders and manufacturers and companies outside the bicycle industry are encouraged to reply.

L’Eroica Boulder is a “period” cycletourist rallye run over country roads North of Boulder, Colorado. Fashioned after L’Eroica Italy, an event conceived to preserve the “strade bianche” or white roads of Tuscany, L’Eroica Boulder is an energetic way to enjoy open spaces by bicycle in the ambiance of a bygone cycling era and of a simpler, gentler time.

Steeped in tradition L’Eroica Boulder is unlike any organized tour. The 30-mile route taking participants over a combination of asphalt and unpaved surfaces is the perfect balance to challenge not only the experienced rider, but to afford the non-cyclist an opportunity to display his or her “heroism”.

Gastronomic Feeds
Created by some of the nation’s most celebrated local chefs, the “feed” stations along the course of L’Eroica Boulder are gastronomic. Energy bars and gels are replaced with vintage refreshments of our ancestral hero’s of the road: aged cheeses, antipasto, craft breads, fruits, traditional hams and Italian wines that freely flow.

Although there is no official rule, L’Eroica Boulder is a “period” cycletourist ride and participants are encouraged to dress in traditional costume. L’Eroica Italy attracts big old men on big old bicycles in medium-sized old jerseys, but it is the argyle socks, cotton gloves, knicker pants, sport goggles, tweed caps and spare tires wrapped around woolen shoulders that turn a rainbow of beige into a festival of color.

L’Eroica Boulder is a friendly cycling event where classic steel single- and 10-speeds ride along modern steeds of carbon. A “period” cycletourist rallye, L’Eroica Boulder encourages the use of traditional, vintage-style bicycles from the last century (1930s-1980s): lugged-steel frame, balloon tires and sprung saddle. While L’Eroica Italy politely posts signs reading “MTB No Gratzi” or mountain bikes not welcome, L’Eroica Boulder allows participants to ride any bicycle type.

Exposition / Swap
Should the ambience of L’Eroica Boulder capture the desire for a piece of bicycle history, participants and spectators can invest in precious metal under the tented L’Eroica Exposition and Swap. Located at the start / finish area (Boulder Reservoir), the exposition and swap is where collectors, framebuilders, manufacturers and secondhand vendors display and sell vintage, traditional and modern bicycles, clothing, parts and other relics showcasing cycling history and life.

Evening Celebration and Gala
The day’s festivities conclude at the Boulder Theatre that evening for an awards ceremony and the showing of an Italian double feature: The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Il Postino (1994). Based on obtaining showing rights to the films other bicycle films (i.e., Bicycle Film Festival entries) may be considered.

L’Eroica Boulder is targeting the following newspapers, periodicals, radio and television to provide coverage of L’Eroica Boulder.

L’Eroica Boulder is made possible by financial sponsorship and through the provision of products or services from individuals and organizations. The benefit of sponsoring L’Eroica Boulder is for access to the exploitable commercial potential associated with the event. Given the uniqueness of the event and past-time, it is quite possible that the Title Sponsor will become synonymous with L’Eroica Boulder, known as ‘aboutsponsorship’, ultimately providing a strong walled-garden sponsor relation between the event and the brand. In addition to Platinum, or the Title Sponsor, there are Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsorship levels available (ed. note: the press release listed a long list of sponsorship opportunites; contact L'Eroica USA if you are interested in these).

L’Eroica USA is a Boulder, Colorado-based production company specializing in the promotion of bicycle events from a simpler, gentler time. L’Eroica USA is planning L’Eroica Boulder, a “period” cycletourist rallye run over asphalt and unpaved surfaces north of Boulder, Colorado. Based on L'Eroica Italy, a L'Eroica offers surroundings and scenes from the "heroic" times of cycling: classic bicycles, tweed and wool riding apparel, vintage refreshments including Italian wines, and beautiful, meandering country roads. L'Eroica Boulder is a bicycle celebration of our open spaces and of a simpler life and time. To learn more about L’Eroica USA or the L’Eroica Boulder event planned for October 4, 2009, visit or contact L’Eroica USA by email at

Photo: event poster; riders in the 2008 L'Eroica in Tuscany

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.

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