12 July 2015

Back to Bakewell - Eroica Britannia 2015...

After 12 months of anticipation (I kid you not - I've been looking forward to it since last year's adventure), the big weekend finally came round for Eroica Britannia 2015! Returning again as a guest of Lush Cosmetics, this year I had The Boy join me for a 3 day jolly in the beautiful Peak District... and to take on 30 miles of the rolling countryside with me!


Arriving on the Friday afternoon with our luggage and his 1982 E.G Bates in tow, we settled into our home for the next few days at Darwin Forest Country Park - a gorgeous pine lodge with all the creature comforts of home, and a rather luxurious his & hers welcome pack from Team Lush - a pretty amazing array of products to keep us fresh, fragrant and relaxed during our stay...
As tempting as it was to stay-in and chill on Friday night, I wanted to get down to the serious and exciting business of choosing my bike for the event. By happy coincidence, my bike hire had been arranged with Classicobici, who I met and made friends with on the last Tweed Run. Seeing them again and their stunning collection of pre-1987 bikes was fantastic. Once I was measured, I checked out the rack and was immediately drawn to a circa 1970's Elvish. Yep - I'd never come across this brand of bike either, so it was nice to go for something quite unique for the weekend...
With my steed sorted, a quick recce of Eroica Britannia was in order. While it was still relatively quiet, this was a good chance to make a mental note of what to check out on Saturday for the entire day. It was also the perfect opportunity to get a cheeky Lush spa treatment in and beat the crowds!


On Saturday, Eroica Britannia was in full swing: the show ground was packed full of spectators, vendors and beautiful bicycles as far as the eye could see... this was 30 acres of fun! I indulged in the festivities and dressed up in the first of the two vintage style outfits I had planned for the weekend. With a mix of Bob By Dop, Peponita and Forever 21, it was a fun and colourful look for the day...
The festival was a LOT bigger this time round, with so much more going on! It was great to be able to spend the entire day at the site soaking it all in and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere...
After an epic Fish & Chip supper in Bakewell and an earliy(ish) night, we were ready to take on 30 miles of the Peak District on Sunday morning. The Boy was incredibly excited about it: this was after all his old stomping ground when he was a kid, and after hearing how much fun I'd had last year, he was 100% up for the adventure. I was more than pleased to have him riding by my side this time round - considering I managed to get lost on my own at one point on the course last year, company that I knew was ideal! The buzz in Bakewell as the 30 milers set off was of course electric - all the emotions you could imagine were in the air, but the one that soared above them all - pure JOY! An added moment of excitement for me came about when I finally met (in real life) and got to ride with Warp Films Mark Herbert, and his lovely Gios Torino bike...
Setting off on our ride and through the glorious Peak District, once again my breath was taken away by the surroundings. Perhaps it was because I had The Boy with me, but it felt like I took so much more of it in this time round. We didn't race to the end - we took our time, enjoyed the scenery and really appreciated what the route had on offer. Of course there were points where some of the climbs were still a *bit* too much for me, and I have no shame in saying the moments of hopping off the bike and pushing were not defeat... those moments probably allowed me to finish the course again!
We got to the end of the trails and with the final stamps, we did it - we crossed the finish line together and we did it! Happily exhausted, we washed down our success with a couple of cocktails, before changing back into our everyday civvies and heading back to the big smoke...
Once again it was a brilliant weekend back in Bakewell for the return of Eroica Britannia, and I still have a smile on my face thinking about it now. The fact that it's a fun, relaxed and enjoyable cycling sportive is such a huge appeal, which clearly drew so many people to it this year. I'm already thinking about 2016, plans for having my own bike to take to it and perhaps bumping up to do the 55 miler... you never know what the future might bring in regards to what we'll do next for Eroica, so watch this space!

Huge thanks to Lush Cosmetics for having us as guests this year, Classicobici for the bike hire, and of course to Ian James for his photography for this post (which you can see more of here).
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2 comments

Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog, you were noted in Bicycling magazine here. Love it. Represents what biking should be about and that is fun and inclusiveness. I'm a long time cyclist and reader of other more insider blogs (Radavist, BSNYC, etc), which serve their purpose, but I have to say yours is a breath of fresh air.

Lady Vélo said...

Hello Anonymous - thank you so much, that means a lot to hear!
Ace to know you found VCG via the Bicycling piece... hopefully you'll keep on checking in with the blog! :)

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