Eroica South Africa
Like vintage bikes? Like dirt roads? Like hot climates? Yep, that’s right - the first ever Eroica South Africa is happening this year, next month to be more precise. Eroica will be gracing the dirt roads of the Western Cape on April 23rd and bringing with it vintage bicycles galore, vintage cycling clothing, delicious food and plenty of wine. It sounds delightful right?
Eroica was first started in 1997 in Italy by Giancarlo Brocci ‘who admired the values of a past cycling so much that he wanted to reconnect others to the heritage that inspired much Italian history, literature, culture, and music.’ Labeled as a ride and not a race, Eroica is ridden strictly on vintage bicycles dating pre-1987, donning vintage cycling attire and traveling across smooth dirt roads. It has since grown as a franchise to 8 events in different cities scattered around the world. From the Californian winelands to Mount Fuji, they are cropping up everywhere and are hugely successful. An event that adds even more so to the current popularity of vintage bicycles.
With its complex and fraught history it is no surprise that South Africa’s cycling heritage is difficult to dissect, a lot of it forgotten and unwritten. Cycling in South Africa is not what we are used to and blessed with here in the UK. This is surprising, since South Africa hosts the largest cycling event in the world. The Cape Town Cycle Tour (also known as The Cape Argus) sees 35,000 cyclists cover 109km around the idyllic city. Yet commuters are a rare sight in Cape Town, Johannesburg and elsewhere. You’ll see the occasional Sunday road rider, a handful of commuters on rusty falling-apart bikes, and then there are the mountain bikers. Unlike here in London where we are spoilt for choice with every type of cycling discipline possible and a community to support it too. So it is great news that Eroica is reaching South Africa.
If you’re interested in riding Eroica South Africa, then there is still time to sign up. The entry fee is only R500 (roughly £23). Visit the site here.