Eroica Britannia Ride report
This years Eroica Britannia ride is also called the Eroica 500 - a distilled down version of previous years, with just 500 riders over a 65 mile route and no festival over the weekend (although it has piggy backed onto the Peakenders festival, for those wanting beers the night before).
After finishing the ride, it could also be called the “Thanks for waiting, Martin” ride. More of which in a minute….
Having enjoyed the beer festival that is Peakenders on Saturday, Martin Bowdler and I were up early on Sunday for the start in Bakewell. Not as early as previous years, thankfully. With the start in Bakewell scheduled for between 8 & 9, Martin and I got down to Bakewell for 7.30, so as to avoid any queues. It was a bright and sunny morning, so we were able to enjoy a cup of tea whilst having our ride book stamped in plenty of time for the actual start, and ended up being the second wave away, just on the dot of 8am.
As we headed out of Bakewell and over to the Chatsworth estate, a pattern very quickly emerged. As soon as the road starting climbing, Martin would lead the way up the hill, leaving me in his wake, then wait at the top whilst I plod my way up. Each time I arrived, he’d be treated with the words “Thanks for waiting, Martin” and we’d head off in search of the next hill.
For balance, I can descend like a demon, especially on the Carlton Corsair. A steel bike is obviously heavy but is also much more stable so downhills are great fun. There is of course always another climb waiting around the corner…. Over the 65 miles we did 5000ft of climbing - not bad!
There were three stops along the route. The first was a short one - just water and a banana at the bottom end of High Peak Junction. Lunch was served at Monyash. As well as a free half of bitter, we were treated to a cheese and pickle sandwich, a sausage roll and flapjack. The third and final stop was about 15 miles from home, ice cream and espresso!
The weather was mostly kind, with blue skies in part and no rain, although the wind was strong on some of the exposed, higher parts of the route.
Another fabulous ride with Martin, featuring great organisation from the Eroica Britannia team and many volunteers around the Peak District.