Eroica 2017

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by Spokesmann, 23 Jun 2017.

  1. Spokesmann

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    This is a few accounts I have written on the Carlton Cycles of Worksop Group Facebook pages.
    It can be found here:

    There re also a number of videos I shot on the day which can be viewed on my YT channel here:

    These are just my thoughts and observations of this years event. I took part in the 55 mile route. This is my second time at Eroica.

    Eroica 2017 - a few thoughts... (Part 1)

    My overall impression of the event is a positive one, with great weather, great people and great bikes. Not to mention the stands, entertainment and quality of the facilities.

    Parking was a little easier this year, although H&S still precluded anyone from getting near their tent. Why not have a drop off point to ease things along? So glad we brought a wheelbarrow this year to help.

    Camp site signing in was easy, stewards were helpful and even funny! Plenty of room of the site itself, although by Friday evening it was getting near full. The idea of opening early on the Thursday was a good one, and help avoid the huge bottle necks experienced by many last year.

    Once on site the camp site where we were was literally a stones throw form the main show ground entrance. The ground was much bigger this year, spaced out more and allowed people to move around freely. A much bigger stage for entertainment was a clear indication of where a lot of thought and no doubt money had gone. The two bars - the 'Britannia Tavern' and the 'HQ' tent were great. The lack of Thornbridge ales and not enough staff on the bars did wrankle with me somewhat. The queues on Saturday and Friday were unacceptable at times. We went to the other HQ bar sometimes to get served quicker, which being the HQ tent had a more relaxed and conservative nature - at times!

    Overall the beer was OK, the IPA London Ale by Meantime being a good session ale. Peroni was expensive at £5 a pint, everything else at £4.50, up about a £1 on last year and also while I am on the subject of prices the Eroica Times was up £1 too to £3 a copy. Both design and print costs have not risen 33% in a year. OK complaints over...

    Friday was a cool day, with cloud and wind, with people still ariving the ground itself was quiet and I had a chance to look around the stands and the bike jumble. One or two bits caught my eye, alas a lot of stuff was out and out junk. Some goo complete bikes for sale as well as better parts and steeper prices. I was on the look out for a stem and saddle but nothing really screamed out at me to reach for my wallet.

    Saturday started warm and this set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Man it was hot. After a busy Friday night, getting back to the tent about 12am, I had a breakfast and rest as well as get a bike ready to take with me to the show - a bit like walking the dog, but with a bike. I took the Sun CB 10. We got over to the ground about 12pm and had a mooch around, bumped into several members here and chatted. Since I was riding the next day I reigned in the beer intake just have 2 or 3 pints all day. Entertainment was in full swing by now and I have to say a real effort had been made to cover all tastes, with acts form brass bands, folk and rock right through to 80s outfit ABC taking up the stage. All good stuff and enjoyed by all. We went back about 4pm for a bite to eat and came back later in the evening to see ABC as well as a pint of two. A great day and with the temperature in the high 20s the whole placed was very busy. One more thing I should add, the registration was much easier this year with the desk split in to numbered chunks.

    I'll put part two, Ride day in a seperate post!!
  2. OP

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    Eroica 2017 - Ride day

    Ride day was like the previous one, damn hot. It was clear from when I rolled up to the start line at 7.45am that things were going to get warm. A lot of the riders had switched from the 100 to the 55, this year the organisers had supplied little stickers so you could decide on the day which course you could follow - a good idea. The stickers went on your bib number and helped the marshalls a bit more with identifying riders... although it only works if you number is on the front! Thats said it did cause a problem with the food stops as because more piled on the 55 it meant later riders had to wait for their food boxes, I think the same applied for riders moving from the 55 to the 35. That said the organiser sorted it...

    The ride itself start at a fairly early pace and almost suckered you into thinking it was easy... a lot of flat, slight gradients, paths and roads. Because this is the 55 you knew hills were coming though. By about 9-9.30am the sun was really beating down and everyone began to feel it. I was taking a gentle pace and making sure I kept hydrated, drinking on the go. My first real stop was at Middleton Top where a lot of the riders took the opportunity to stop, drink, chat, nip to the loo and stock up on any snacks.

    After this stop marshalls warned you of the steep drops down, these come in two sections, both with drainage channels running across the path - you have to look out for them. I have to say the marshalls were great throughout the ride, giving advice, encouragement and warnings, I take my cap off to those in the outlying sections of the course who in some case took the full brunt of the sun.

    As the rider progressed the hills started to appear, there were some great descents too, enabling me to get down on the bars on the Sun, which was handling and behaving beautifully. The 42/34 set up working well, except on some of the real killers which came later in the ride, where a 39/34 may have been better! Throughout the run I had my trusty old cycle tourmeter clicking away and was able to check its accuracy with Niall Motions Garmin/phone thingy! It was about 1/2 mile out at 25 or so miles. I was looking at this counting down the miles to the first feed station which was not until about 35 odd miles, a little too far in for many, I did hear a few complaints from participants.

    Naill and I spent a good few miles cycling together, stopping at one village after a big descent to have a snack and top up water, form here things got a bit hillier as we made our way to the first feed stop. When we got there it was quite busy, however we got a parking spot leaning against the old station platform and made our way to the feed points. I have to say I thought the food boxes a great idea, plenty of water on offer as well as a few free ales, also plenty of other snacks and sweets. Man that food tasted wonderful after 30 odd hot miles in the saddle. We must have stayed there about 25-30 minutes, it was then a walk out of the old station and straight into a really draining hill, now the real riding started. I got up these hills keeping a steady pace, the gearing helped a lot. I know on one here was a 'flat' in between the two sections so stopped on that for water, waving Niall on ahead. By now it was really hot with the sun almost right over head, the heat was a real hinderance on this ride, thats for sure. From here on in it was a mixture of hills, tarmac, off road trails and paths. From here we made our way to Biggin, the next food stop, taking in Hartington on the way - another nice climb out of this village - I walked a bit here!

    Arriving at Biggin, a lot of riders were already here, encouraged by the signs and the marshalls telling us its only another 5 miles! Food here was good, plenty of water, free ales, pies, pastires and flapjacks. Again I really fuelled up here taking in more water as well. Evertone was really feeling the heat now. My abiding memory of this is the intense heat and having a nice half of Marstons to finish off.

    After climbing out of Biggin, there following some more off road stuff, this included a climb on really rough gravel, ballast and rutted, powdery surfaces - thrown in as a last slap in the face and challenge! It was baking. One up on the top there was a steady drop down, again on the same surfaces. I know it has cause a bit of controversy talking about this type of terrain and as to whether anyone would want to ride on it, well they did, in some case on very fragile looking machines, I witnessed no mechanicals or stupidity (except for a bit of shouting on the second drop from Middleton Top). My own view on this is that these bikes can do it, its part of the heroic nature of the ride, this stuff is abound on the 55 and 100 and you have to be ready for it. Knowing what I know now, I would not have taken my purple Flyer down this stuff last year, but with careful riding, keeping ones wits about ones self, I did it, so did the bike. OK I'll NEVER ride the 1960 Flyer down here and ruin and expensive paint job and I agree wholeheartedly with some comments in this vein, however I would take any other bike I have down it. The drops on the very rough terrain demand skill, balance, patience and to some extent courage, but by golly you feel great when you have done it. I have to say I really enjoyed these sections. This is what bikes are for - to be enjoyed and RIDDEN!

    After this last rough section it was a fairly level ride back into the show area through Friden Grange station and back up the specially constructed 'road' to a rousing reception. Even a bloke on a bike with a flat, a wobbly wheel just felt the 'pull' of the finish line, hats off to him. I arrived back at 2.15pm, 15 mins outside my target time. That cheeky half at the Waterloo Inn, Biggin held me up maybe? Who cares, it was a bloody good day, I made it, the old Sun had made it too. Just wish there was maybe a bit less sun in the sky.

    There you go, I probably missed out loads, but hopefully you get a feel for the event. I'll more than likely be back next year and Im taking the 1960 Flyer as a show bike and the 18-speed Corsa as the ride bike, the '100' and I have a date!

    I'll put up a selection of images in a separate post again.
  3. OP

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    My bikes for this year, both Worksop built Sun machines:

    1962 Sun Mass Start 100 build and a Chris Barber 10 Team Replica

    Home for 4 days...


    Having a coffee after setting up on the Thursday...

    Registration at the HQ tent...


    Testing out the Britannia Tavern boozer on Friday...

    Love this:

    Cycle jumble...




    Friday night things got really busy in the beer tent...


    Saturday dawns, hot!

    Best in show comp starts...



  4. OP

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    More images:

    Sorry, I just had to...

    View from the HQ bar tent...



    ABC playing on the Saturday night. Martin Fry did the 55 the next day...



    The 'Boozer'...

    First stop on the ride, here at Middleton Top. Ride day was hot. I took most of the pictures of the course on a video camera:


    Looking dusty...

    Final food stop was at The Waterloo Inn, Biggin...


    Sunday night, a bit quieter, but still very warm...

    This old machine was faultless on the ride...

    Ready to roll

    Friday night...

    Beers after the ride...
  5. Cycleops

    Cycleops Guru

    Accra, Ghana
    Perhaps you could tell us what other CCers were in attendance.
  6. Great photos and ride report, thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a great weekend and a pity it was so hot, probably better than torrential rain though which we are more used to.
    Spokesmann likes this.
  7. OP

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    I mates with Gez1973 on here who we met up with. Apart from that Im not aware of any other members from this forum at the event, Im sure there was. I met a few from the Retrobike forum, they recognised the bike rather than me! I met up with a lot of friends on the Carlton Cycles of Worksop Facebook Group though.
    Gez73 and raleighnut like this.
  8. OP

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
    Yes ride day was baking. Thankfully plenty of water on hand to keep hydrated. It did make the going tough at times, certainly affected a lot of riders on some of the climbs.
    Gez73 likes this.
  9. Gez73

    Gez73 Über Member

    DSC_0790.JPG Great write up Mike, Paula says hi to you both. Really tempted to find a bike for next year myself. Have decided to leave the dog in kennels whatever the weather. Six hours marshalling in the relentless sun on the 100 miler took its toll, the dog was in the shade at the feedstation with Paula but I was on the road at a pretty hairy junction guiding the riders in. Missed the returning riders at the finish too so might not sacrifice the Sunday next year. Love those photos too especially the Luciano one! Well done. Gez
    Last edited: 24 Jun 2017
  10. onb

    onb Über Member

    North Yorks
    OK my two pennoth

    I really enjoyed this year the venue was good although I did like the proximity to Bakewell last year but didn't like the near welly top mud on the campsite you cant have it all .I much preferred this years weather to last years
    When I got up to ride the 55 on sunday I felt I had hardly slept given the very loud music until 2.00 am and then nearby 100 mile riders getting up at 5.00 to breakfast and prepare for their ride (loudly) a quiet field might have been an option. After ABC we went to the singalong in the pub tent and it was really good.
    Going to look at a 40 year old Carlton later this week .

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 28 Jun 2017
    Oldfentiger, Gez73 and raleighnut like this.
  11. Sara_H

    Sara_H Guru

    My first time at Eroica and we absolutely loved it. Though afternoon snoozing in a tent in such high temperatures was a bit sweaty, other than that I have no complaints!
    Oldfentiger likes this.
  12. Oldfentiger

    Oldfentiger Über Member

    Pendle, Lancs
    Me and Mrs OFT were there too. Great weekend!
    We moored the caravan on a small site 1.5 miles from the venue. As it was our first Eroica we had no idea what the venue site would be like, particularly regarding noise. Mrs OFT is a particularly light sleeper, and I didn't want to run the risk of her being sleep deprived and grumpy all weekend.
    We spent most of the weekend laughing with and at fellow Eroicists. The vast majority had thrown themselves whole-heartedly into whatever era fitted with their chosen steed.
    We did the 25 mile ride. Me on my Claud Butler and wife on her Raleigh Romana. Very well organised and marshalled with most of the route being off-road. It appears that we had the same rocky section mentioned upthread to negotiate. In a masochistic way I quite enjoyed the challenge. The only equipment issue we had was the sole of Mrs OFTs vintage cycle shoe becoming detached around halfway. With true bulldog spirit she chucked the sole in her saddlebag and soldiered on to complete the ride. I think around half of the 25 mile participants were female. Great to see the fairer sex battling the terrain while dressed in '50s style voluminous frocks.
    We also took part in the Friday night pub run, with the bikes bedecked with fairy lights and those LED thingumyjigs which fit over the tyre valves.
    Eroica 2018 is on our to-do list!
    Gez73 likes this.
  13. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Love the bike pics!!!!!!!
    Miss Goodbody spent ages reading these posts, but then admitted she'd misread it as Erotica.
    Last edited: 1 Jul 2017
    raleighnut, mjr, Gez73 and 1 other person like this.
  14. OP

    Spokesmann Keeping the Carlton and Sun names alive...

    Plymouth, Devon
  15. Oldfentiger

    Oldfentiger Über Member

    Pendle, Lancs
    raleighnut likes this.
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