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Retro Sportive in the South East for 2012

Dear all,

I am new to this forum, but not to the cycling scene. Efforts are in place to organise a "retro" event for 2012 for the first half of June, possibly to be run in conjunction with an existing succesful Sportive. The idea is to bring to the UK a bit of the "Eroica" spirit and see a few of those Mercian, Hetchings and Holdsworth (and of course the Bianchi, Legnano, Atala, Gios and De Rosa) back on our roads. Our vision is that Britain is a country of collectors and if there are 300 Britons prepared to travel all the way to Tuscany to ride the Eroica, there is capacity for such an event here at home.
The setting will be the beautiful Chiltern Hills, stretching into Oxfordshire, running mainly on quiet road and the occasional bridalway and dirt road.

I have opened this thread to invite people to express their thoughts about the idea and possibly to give us some advice on how this event could suit you. At this stage we are open to suggestion, but we also have some clear ideas on how such an event should be, in detail

1) To adhere to the spirit, only bicycles of the pre ERGOlevers era, fitted with flat or toe-clips-straps pedals will be allowed. This includes racing bicycles, as well as touring and general road bicycles. No Mountain bikes will be allowed
2) Period cycling gear will be welcome but not compulsory, helmets will be compulsory
2) The event will be non competitive and we won't provide timing devices or make available results. Route cards to be stamped will be provided instead.
3) The event will be based on a sportive rather than Audax format, meaning there will be signage in place and feeding stations will be in place.
4) We will make any effort to keep the entry fee in line with the lower end of the Sportive market (hence 20 pounds rather than 40)

We look forward to your interest and we welcome your advice

Posts

  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    You'd be easier just giving a build date after which bikes may not be entered as per the Eroica. Many vintage owners try and keep their steed in original condition so with STI's arriving in 1990, mass market clipless in the mid 80s and many clipless patented much earlier, people aren't going to refit their pride and joy for one event. I personally am not a great fan of the UK sportive scene and my cynical soul says that the profit over content model will remove a lot of the joy from the feed stations. Maybe a little of the Audax model using selected cafes/pubs so local businesses can buy into the event with nice food and a glass of wine. If you're going to have route cards you are leaning more to Audax anyway. Take a look at the Gridiron, run on Audax lines lots of entrants and a friendly pleasant atmosphere
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • You'd be easier just giving a build date after which bikes may not be entered as per the Eroica. Many vintage owners try and keep their steed in original condition so with STI's arriving in 1990, mass market clipless in the mid 80s and many clipless patented much earlier, people aren't going to refit their pride and joy for one event. I personally am not a great fan of the UK sportive scene and my cynical soul says that the profit over content model will remove a lot of the joy from the feed stations. Maybe a little of the Audax model using selected cafes/pubs so local businesses can buy into the event with nice food and a glass of wine. If you're going to have route cards you are leaning more to Audax anyway. Take a look at the Gridiron, run on Audax lines lots of entrants and a friendly pleasant atmosphere

    Thanks for your imput

    Re. the bike rules, we are looking at different options and certainly we won't check serial numbers at the start, as well as some early indexed shifters might well fit in. Let's say this is a work in progress. I have taken the Eroica rules as a guideline, but up to 2008 even they were a lot more relaxed and so should we. We think the spirit of the event is the most important aspect: an enjoyable, sociable and unusual day out with the bicycle and a chance to meet up and ride alongside with likeminded fans of the two wheels.

    Re. the business model. We don't plan to make a profit and we will use the same business model adopted by the partner Chiltern 100, which is a charity event. We are thinking about partnering with cafes, but the experience is that those along the route open at 10 AM and tend to be very busy right from the opening time, making for long waits. We would like to have a "retro" feed zone, where quintessentially English snacks, like tea and scones replace the usual electrolytes, gels and bars. I can't promise a proper cream tea with scones, sandwiches and a selection of cakes, but that would be the ambition.

    Re. routecards: they are inevitable, if one wants to steer clear of timing chips and a nice souvenir of the event. However we are also keen on clear signage. Call it Audax if you like, some organised rides are borderline
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