25 Jul L’Eroica, Gaiole in Chianti
Every first Sunday in October Gaiole in Chianti hosts the annual L’Eroica vintage bike race. This is an amazing weekend: in 2017 there were over 7,000 riders from all over the world who came to participate. The event is based on the premise of celebrating the heritage of cycling and of preserving the white roads of the area for future cyclists. The event is non competitive and riders wear vintage apparel and can only ride on pre 1987 bikes. They are served wine and cheese and prosciutto on the route to help maintain their energies. Riders select one of 4 routes: 46km (leisure route), 115km (Chianti Classico route), 135km (medium route) and the 209km (long route) which starts before sun rise.
The event started in 1997 and has now spawned events in the US, UK, Spain and Japan- but the Italian Gaiole in Chianti event is still considered the best. Spectators can enjoy the atmosphere in the lead up to the event and cheer on their heroes as they cycle past: L’Eroica means ‘the heroic’.