Bike Centric Britannia Grand Tour February 17 2017, 0 Comments

On June 14, I will be saying that familiar, "Going for a ride" to my wife. Only this time it won't be "Just for an hour or so (I promise)", it will be my biggest ride ever. It will be my Grand Tour, destination the United Kingdom, to ride the Eroica Britannia.

The Eroica rides have been happening since 1997 in Italy and have recently went international with rides in California, Japan, Hispania (Spain) and Britannia (UK). The idea behind the rides is to allow cyclists to rediscover the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of the conquest that is a bike ride. The short version of the Erocia rules are, bikes must be made in 1987 or earlier, constructed of steel, brake cables must pass outside and over the handlebars, down tube friction shifters, toe-clips and straps and wheels must have at least 32 spokes laced to a low profile rim.

With all of this in mind, I'm adding the "journey" to the event as part of the conquest making it my Grand Tour. A Grand Tour was the traditional trip undertaken by European young men to expand their views on culture. In the process, I hope to expand my views, and others, on the possibility of using active transportation while travelling.

The first step of the journey was doing some research on the logistics. Could I get from the Manchester Airport, to the event which is only 60-70 km away, by bike. I contacted the event organizers and they put me in contact with a tour organizer that gave me advice and tips to make it possible. I'll detail the whole journey in a later post.

Next, find a flight to Manchester that is a direct flight to hopefully avoid loosing my ride during the flight. I follow Susan Williams on Facebook on her Where2Now page. She's always got great info on adventure travels so I figured she could help me with the flight booking and any questions. She had all the answers and provided choices for flights very quickly with better prices than I was getting on any site. Within the week I had my flight booked. Thanks Susan!

Registering for the event was the easiest part. The amazing site for the Eroica Britannia (warning: clicking on that link might lead to you wanting to go there too) had all the info you could ask for. As it is a three day festival, I would need overnight accommodations. They've got that covered with several different levels of camping to choose from. Entry for the ride includes the festival entry too so it was one-stop shopping for the event.

The last thing on my list was booking my first and last night of the trip. I used to take care of this and found a couple of great deals. Everything was now in place.

Next post I will detail my equipment choices and training for the event. Until then I leave you with amazing views of Eroica Britannia 2016.