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L'Eroica Gaiole 2024 logistics

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L'Eroica Gaiole 2024 logistics

Old 04-19-24, 01:24 PM
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L'Eroica Gaiole 2024 logistics

Greetings all.


I am seriously considering attending. I have done the California version a few times, but want an excuse to go to Italy.


Registered, rented a bike...but have no other logistics set up, all nearby hotels booked, obviously.


Figuring out how to get to Gaiole from say Siena (love that city) the morning of the ride. I could ride it worst case, do folks do that? Maybe I'll just rent a car, if possible.


Any other riders staying in Siena that could offer a ride, or anyone have space in Gaiole for the event?.


Will compensate with $, wine, tall tales as appropriate+. Do not have to do the ride together.


Just trying get this little piece of the puzzle figured out before booking flights.


Any thoughts, suggestions?


Saluti!


Scott
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Old 04-19-24, 02:00 PM
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It’s been a few years since I did the Italian version but were it me, I’d stay closer. It’s the better part of an hour between Sienna and Giaole in the best of times. Put umteen thousand riders and cars headed toward one spot, in the dark or fog, and it’s a stressful way to start the day. Plus you will end up in Giaole to pick up packets, visit the stalls and exhibits, so you will likely make more than one trip to Gaiole, so that’s another consideration.
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Old 04-20-24, 08:06 PM
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I did the 130 km version in 2015. Which version are you riding? If you do the 200 or 130 km versions then you will be starting very early and in the dark. You do not want to be riding from some distant location on those roads in that darkness. Also, you will be thrashed after the ride and will not want to ride back, I assure you. For either of those versions, stay as close as possible to Gaiole and rent a car. We stayed in an agriturismo really close to Gaiole but along an unridable rocky dirt road, so we drove our rental car down and parked on the road on the outskirts of town. (on Strada Communal 6 on Google Maps).. This is probably your best bet. If you are doing a shorter route you will likely have much more difficulty parking anywhere close because you will be competing with several thousand other people. On the plus side, it would be daytime and you won't be so tired afterwards.

Another possibility is camping in town. They have a field (soccer field I think) that is reserved for camping during Eroica. You should check the Eroica website to see how to reserve a spot.

Note that we bought a package deal (offered through the Eroica official travel agent) that included lodging and registration. You may still be able to do that and get credit for your registration.

Also note that staying far away (e.g. Siena) will result in you missing out on the amazing vibe in Gaiole and the surrounding villages both before and after the ride. One more note is that the rental bikes vary substantially in quality, mechanical condition, and gearing. I took my own bike with me...a hassle, but worth the effort. One more thing... be aware that the weather can be quite changeable. My ride started out with clear skies, but after 2 hours the heavens opened and the dirt roads became muddy rivers and all the riders started to look the same because they and their bikes were completely covered in mud.. Make sure that you are prepared for this.
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Old 04-21-24, 09:11 AM
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Further on the bike rental…..traveling with a bike is a hassle, but riding with your own bike is a little more stress free. After all, you know its quirks, hopefully have the right tools, and it’s comfortable. So consider the semi disposable bike. Get one that meets the rules, but is not a keeper. Ride It, and post ride or at the end of tge sell it for 10 euros or give it away. Keep in mi d that there are plenty of non concourse worthy bikes ridden at L’Eroica so you’ll not stand out and you’ll have a bike that you know works(well enough)
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Old 04-22-24, 10:37 AM
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Folks, this information is absolute gold. Humble thanks given, will devour and consider all. 130km.

I considered (still might!) bringing my bike, but am planning on other traveling before or after that might make it more complex.

I (and others, likely) welcome any more input and, any offers of (fully shared expense) lodging near/in Gaiole.

Back to digging in and researching. This trip is a bit of unformed clay on the potter's wheel right now. Time to get focused and my hands dirty.

Cheers to you all.
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Old 04-22-24, 11:55 AM
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One more important suggestion...bring lights (a bright headlamp and a rear blinkie)! When I rode it, the first hour or so was in the dark on a moonless night. I only had some tiny, not very bright lights and could barely make out the road ahead to avoid riding into the ditch.
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Old 04-22-24, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
On a related note, I just met a Hungarian cyclist that runs a classic ride in his home country on July 20. He said there's no entry fee, he supplies a free breakfast, and the surface is all paved. He expects 50-60 folks.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/olasz-b...s-860848369647
There’s a thread for C and V events in Europe that non-fixie kindly maintains. This might be something to add there.
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Old 04-22-24, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni
There’s a thread for that...
Thanks. Deleted my post and added here.
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Old 04-23-24, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NorcalGuzzi
... but want an excuse to go to Italy.
Excellent choice.

Have little to add to what the others said above, other than that it may be a good idea to keep an eye on available lodging in the area on sites such as Booking.com. Because reservations are made very early, there are always cancellations and you may be lucky. I managed to get a nice room in a B&B in Gaiole that way in '21, three weeks before the event.
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Old 04-23-24, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by NorcalGuzzi
Greetings all.


I am seriously considering attending. I have done the California version a few times, but want an excuse to go to Italy.


Registered, rented a bike...but have no other logistics set up, all nearby hotels booked, obviously.


Figuring out how to get to Gaiole from say Siena (love that city) the morning of the ride. I could ride it worst case, do folks do that? Maybe I'll just rent a car, if possible.


Any other riders staying in Siena that could offer a ride, or anyone have space in Gaiole for the event?.


Will compensate with $, wine, tall tales as appropriate+. Do not have to do the ride together.


Just trying get this little piece of the puzzle figured out before booking flights.


Any thoughts, suggestions?


Saluti!


Scott
First up, if you`ve not been before L`eroica Gaiole is by for the best vintage bike thing ever - take a day before soaking it up and checking out the trade stands, then ride the Saturday and Sunday routes - more routes open on the Sunday and its much busier. Your booked in for the 130 - if thats Saturday (same as me) you can start pretty much anytime (booking form says from 6.30 but yo can go earlier though some will leave much later) - Sunday is busier. Chances are the start will be dark (very) and cold (very) then likely very hot as the day gets going.
Rental bikes - they are pretty good but if it were me I`d put new tyres on (pack some fgood foldable 28`s with good inners plus a spare or two) on the rental then swop back when your done with it - also maybe take it to a trade stand and get a 28 rear put on - trust me on this...
Hotels are booked up over a year in advance - mostly by the ticket/room deals laid on by the agents - as mentioned, keep an eye out on cancelations - Siena is too far for the early start and you`ll struggle to get near Gaioli in a car as thre`s a lot of vintage bike riders clogging up the roads - if in doubt maybe consider wild camping near Gaioli - I see plenty of riders do that but its not pleasant...

Also, check out the video I did last year - gives you a taste of what your in for... cheers, Dan

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Old 04-24-24, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
First up, if you`ve not been before L`eroica Gaiole is by for the best vintage bike thing ever - take a day before soaking it up and checking out the trade stands, then ride the Saturday and Sunday routes - more routes open on the Sunday and its much busier. Your booked in for the 130 - if thats Saturday (same as me) you can start pretty much anytime (booking form says from 6.30 but yo can go earlier though some will leave much later) - Sunday is busier. Chances are the start will be dark (very) and cold (very) then likely very hot as the day gets going.
Rental bikes - they are pretty good but if it were me I`d put new tyres on (pack some fgood foldable 28`s with good inners plus a spare or two) on the rental then swop back when your done with it - also maybe take it to a trade stand and get a 28 rear put on - trust me on this...
Hotels are booked up over a year in advance - mostly by the ticket/room deals laid on by the agents - as mentioned, keep an eye out on cancelations - Siena is too far for the early start and you`ll struggle to get near Gaioli in a car as thre`s a lot of vintage bike riders clogging up the roads - if in doubt maybe consider wild camping near Gaioli - I see plenty of riders do that but its not pleasant...

Also, check out the video I did last year - gives you a taste of what your in for... cheers, Dan
Dan, others.

Your information and video, as I said prior, are absolute gold. I now know the issues and am even further inspired to attend. There are a few places further out with some lodging, but maybe doable if I left very early to avoid expected traffic. Tempted to just book one as a fallback and keep eyes peeled for a closer cancellation.

28's, lights, cold weather gear! Thank you.

Any further information appreciated. But part of me just says I have enough info, time to just effing commit. Life is short.

Cheers you all.

Scott
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Old 04-25-24, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Chase
Rental bikes - they are pretty good but if it were me I`d put new tyres on (pack some fgood foldable 28`s with good inners plus a spare or two) on the rental then swop back when your done with it - also maybe take it to a trade stand and get a 28 rear put on - trust me on this...
Useful advice. Be aware, however, that not all rental bikes come with clinchers. I have seen quite a few fitted with tubulars in the past.

This is a picture I took of rental bikes being prepared for Eroica Montalcino last year. The Gavel in front ia actually on 32mm clinchers, but the rear tires on f.i. the Atala and the Rossi behind it look like tubulars to me:

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Old 04-25-24, 09:19 PM
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My experience has been solely from staying in Gaiole for the event. I usually ride on Saturday, either the 209KM or 135KM and try to roll out at 5:30. What I notice is that traffic is impacted coming in on SP408. A lane is blocked for the riders and all of the intersections are controlled.

One of the many enjoyable elements are the events / gatherings before and after the event. Unlike many rides where you show up, ride, have a post ride drink and take off, L' Eroica is a community celebration, where people hang out well into the evening. So, try to plan accordingly to enjoy the event to its fullest.

Gaiole is really tough to find lodging - every year we confirm our resevation with the hotel for the future year, so that we have a room. The surrounding towns may be a better option - Radda in Chianti has several hotels, and you could have a warm up ride in.

I agree with the advice on a rental bike. I did that my first year, while I didn't have any issues, I would have felt much more comfortable on my own bike. Plus as non-fixie notes, the rental is a crapshoot. They tag the bike with your name and you get what you get.

I'm a fellow Californian, feel free to PM if any specific questions.

Cheers
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