L'Eroica - Gaiole in Chianti - 2019

Eroica 2019 - Back to that heroic distance

Mike Lee joined me again for this adventure & in the name of good fun, we had to re-live what we did the first year…. the LONG distance. This year that was set at 209km, 4km greater than our 205 in the past.

Kalle Kangas joined our squad from the Netherlands & like Emma the year previous, was up for a new personal best.

Emma Fenton also returned for a bit more of an enjoyable adventure. Each rider loves the cultural setting of the cycling world as much as the adventure in the saddle itself. This year Mike & Kalle met me in a little town outside of Pisa, Torre del Lago Puccini. It's a small town that my friends Ale & Esme live in & have graciously hosted each year I've come to Italy. It's a great, quiet little spot with both the ocean and the lake very close. We met here as Mike needed to pick up a bike & drop some gear as we usually ride from Siena to Gaiole.

Arriving in Siena, the 'bike' portion begins. Kalle still needed to build his bike & Emma was coming in later that night so Mike & I hoped on with our bags & headed out. We did this the first time & this time as it adds a little more the trip. We like to replicate the idea of the legends who would ride to the events with their gear on their back, scouting out some of the course on route and enjoying the breathtaking scenery the Tuscan hillsides have to offer. Meeting Kalle in Gaiole, we check into our little apartment which had the best location, above a pizza shop & a cafe, 100m from the start line. Arriving on the Friday gave us time to settle in & make a preliminary lap around the market place as everyone was getting set up. It's always exciting coming to this event as friends I've made over the years are full of stories and there is much wine to enjoy & catch up with.

We got Kalle's bike put together, our registration sorted & now to just take in a little proper Italian culture. As we were getting ready for dinner, which is a bit later, Emma arrived & was ready to join the festivities. Now that everyone was there, a little pizza, some wine, music & the richnes