‘The Most Handsome Festival in The World’
The market town of Bakewell hosts the gentlemanly clad hordes as they partake of a little exercise in the Eroica Britannia
Preview by Sam Clark Photography by James Brown
In a month where Bradley Wiggins smashed the hour cycling distance record in the Lee Valley Olympic Velopark, London, there will be a much more genteel and altogether gentlemanly cycling event staged in the picturesque valleys of the Peak District. Eroica Britannia is a three day celebration of the bicycle, proclaimed the, ‘The Most Handsome Festival in The World’.
For a weekend in June the market town of Bakewell, widely known for its infamous and delicious pudding of the same name (Riddle highly recommends you seek out the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for one, or two!) will be filled with music, local food and beers, the world’s largest bicycle jumble and a vintage fair. A barbers will provide a wet-shave, perfect if your handlebar (moustache) needs a little trim and wax.
The festivities center around three unique, ‘bone shaking’, cycling tours. 3,000 riders will weave their way through the beautiful landscape on pre-1987 bicycles dressed in vintage cycling attire. This is more of a rolling social occasion rather than a race. The routes are punctuated with regular stops for a chat over an espresso. But with the longest of the three routes stretching to 100 miles, this is not for the faint hearted. That said, it may be as much of a test for your classic Colnago or Claud Butler as it is for your legs.
Savile Row’s Patrick Grant will be keeping a sartorial eye on proceedings and judging the best in show, finding the best dressed riders and spectators. If you can’t be Bradley Wiggins, be, as they say in Italy, bella in sella. Beautiful in the saddle.
Eroica Britannia runs 19 – 21 June, Bakewell, Peak District National Park. Entry for all three days is £10 for adults, £5 for individual days.