La Lacustre vintage cycling event

Earlier this year I took part in the vintage cycling event ‘Tour de Rance’ in Brittany. So thought I might try another event with my 1980 Carlton Super Course! La Lacustre in northern Italy caught my eye and meant I could combine it with a long train trip. Logistics took a while to sort out but eventually saw me booked to London and then Eurostar to Paris. A cycle across Paris with a stop for coffee and cake at ‘Steel’ bike shop then a night in a hotel. Up early the next morning to the Gare de Lyon for the Paris to Milan TGV. No bikes allowed so wheels, handlebars, saddle and pedals off and all packed into a bag. Arrival in Milan 7 hours later and rebuild on the platform then pedal from Garibaldi to Centrale station taking in some of the sites. Some good cycle infrastructure but lots of tram tracks and some huge cobbles too! Then two local trains to finally arrive in Marone on Lago Iseo. Local trains take bikes as long as you have a ‘bici’ ticket.

I booked an AirBnB in an old fortified house high above Marone, steep climb but wonderful views! Up early the next morning and freewheeled down to the village seeing lots of cars unloading ‘classic’ bikes. Register (pre booked on the internet) at the ride HQ to be given a large envelope with A4 poster, cap and other bits and bobs. Problem, what do I do with that? Decide the only thing to do is to cycle back up the hill to leave them in the house! Freewheel down again and directed into the start area, a square between the lake and the church. A band playing, lots of shouting and its time to go with the band playing the Italian national anthem and many riders singing.

Out onto the road to start the 40 mile circuit of the lake. The roads are open to traffic but somehow cars coming towards us have been stopped in groups and presumably at the back too because for the whole way nobody overtook us. Pace was quite fast on good surfaced wide roads but slowed down as we went through narrower streets in villages. Everyone kept together in a huge long ‘peleton’. Supposedly there were 500 riders but it looked more! Great variety of bikes and riders, one minute riding alongside someone who looked like a classics winner from 30 years ago, then then an old delivery bike full of bread or a mobile cobbler!

After about an hour we stopped for the first time to be given a drink and a biscuit. There were two more stops before the finish, at the next one a roll with local salami and two choc biscuits, next one local cheeses and white wine. In between stops the route wound its way around the lake. At one point through two long tunnels. The instructions said we had to have lights but around half didn’t bother. Just one hairy moment with a tight bend in a tunnel which meant everyone came to a sudden halt! Lots of shouting and arm waving in the almost pitch black!

After the last stop the route left the road and used what I presume was the original road which is now a ‘shared’ path, quite a few ‘non event’ cyclists trying to go in the opposite direction which was a bit of a forlorn hope. Eventually we arrived back in Marone and were funnelled into a large garden behind the ride HQ and all given pasta, bruschetta and red wine. The weather couldn’t have been better, weak sun shining through high cloud, about 20 degrees which of course really made the day. It was really well organised, everyone very friendly, I speak virtually no Italian and never heard any other language all day but it didn’t matter I just followed everyone else!

I’m writing this in the evening after the event with local wine and food on hand! Tomorrow its a  couple of local trains to Bergamo, cycle to the airport, pack the bike away into a bag again and fly back to Manchester. Now, next year…

This guest blog was brought to you by Alastair Meikle of Wheely Fun Wheels.

Take at look at Alastair’s short video about the trip.

Eroica Germania 2018 – The Rhine, and plenty of wine…

We decided to attend the first Eroica Germania on impulse after a particularly heavy workload led us to need an adventurous weekend away! Having left the UK for Germany at the start of the year, of course as a priority (!) we had taken our classic bikes with us, both purchased from Glory Days Bikes (a racy Raleigh Record Sprint and a delightful Dawes Galaxy called Doris). They tend to attract a bit of attention among vintage bike enthusiasts, as British makes are few and far between. The Eroica website stated it was also possible to hire bikes for the event, at a cost of €150, although we didn’t meet anyone who had taken this option – many riders had travelled from mainland Europe with vehicles equipped for their own steeds.

The weekend took place just outside the town of Eltville in the Rheingau area of Germany, west of the cities of Wiesbaden and Mainz, which lie along the Rhine river.  Starting in a grand vineyard wasn’t too bad a start (except if you have an uncontrolled love of wine leaving you unable to do the ride!) Having delicious local wine and pizza on the first evening was perfect (although we were conscious of having chosen the longer ride – 120km so were a little on the sensible side). The Italians, however, went for it both evenings! There were also plenty of other shopping and food opportunities at the festival site – including waffles, oven baked pizza, clothes, books, coffees, bike jumble and some comfortable lounge seats to relax in.

There were a lot of riders from the Italian Ciclo Club but the event didn’t have a ‘cliquey’ or exclusive feel about it – more like a smallish festival with familiar faces from other Eroica events.  It was great chatting to the many nationalities on the small festival site and on the way round the course.  We only regretted not camping on the site, as having booked last minute we decided to stay near to Wiesbaden, which meant an extra 10km ride home and to the start (although a pleasant one, mainly flat and following the Rhine, allowing for an extra stop to do more wine tasting or to ice cream cafes!)

So…onto the ride itself.  The weather started out wet and we worried it would be a repeat of Eroica Limburg 2017 (anyone who was there will remember this!) – basically rain the whole day, but luckily it dried up by late morning. Fuelled by espresso at the start line, I can honestly say this was one of the most gruelling routes I’ve done with over 2300m of climbing, long gravelly ascents and thrilling descents (get your brakes cables checked out!)  There was the inevitable puncture near to the start but once on our way we cycled through a range of terrains – forest, road, small lanes through vineyards and farm tracks.  The helpful motorbike support, who had lived in the area most of his life was surprised at the roads and tracks the organisers had found, and especially the terrain we were on with bicycles!

The first food stop was at an interesting building, and there was plenty of cake and refreshments, plus refills and a photo opportunity of the views. Then it was back onto the forest trail (I think we surprised a few hikers on the way round as we walked our bikes/attempted to pedal on the rutted pathways!)

After this, for a long time we didn’t see anyone else (always a worry especially when choosing the longer option) but some long climbs through the Taunus ‘mountains’ found us reaching the welcome sight of a motorhome and a lovely couple with a hearty amount of filled rolls and fruit which they insisted we ate more of – it was needed! Then back on the road and it seemed like a neverending gravel ascent before we could reach the final food stop, at which point we had the feeling we were some of the last through… To be fair though, this was in our favour as they were starting to clear up and  in order to ‘help’ we ended carrying a bottle of the lovely local wine back with us (very carefully of course!)

By this time the weather was beautiful and it was a scenic ride back through the vineyards and along the Rhine.  The signposting was excellent although of course sod’s law declared we lost them in this very last section! We eventually found our way back along the Rhine path to a very welcome Finish (‘Ziel’) post and medal, accompanied by two friendly guys from The Czech Republic and Slovakia who had done extra kilometres by starting the shorter route, then doubling back as they wanted to do the longer route! As with most of these events, too much friendly chat can lead you to make a detour if you’re not careful. So it was back to celebrating with some more wine and an evening of bicycle themed films… I’d definitely recommend a three day weekend slot for this event as we were sad we had to leave early on the Sunday morning. If you like your Eroica events cosy and laidback, with a lot of climbing, gravel paths and wine, this one is for you! The Eroica organisers claims it was a success and will be back next August.

Big thanks to Emma Webster  emmaweb27@hotmail.co.uk for this guest blog.

 

Riding the Peddars Way on the wrong kind of bikes

After a dry summer we decided to ride the Peddars Way, a route that we had come across on our cycling trips to Norfolk. It is one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales and for most of its way it follows a Roman road built along the line of an even older trackway.

The trail is very rideable with decent tyres on any type of bike, even old steel road bikes! Glory Days beautiful retro road bikes are perfect for on and off road adventures like this. Though our vintage steeds did turn a few heads and elicit comments such as: “You’re riding the wrong kind of bikes”.

The trail starts in the Brecks, a unique area of forest, heath and low river valleys, running north from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk, for 46 miles through changing countryside to the north Norfolk coast near Hunstanton. We started and finished our micro adventure at the comfy Dog and Partridge country inn, conveniently located on the Peddars Way.

For an ancient route it is remarkably isolated as it only passes through two villages. Castle Acre where there is a shop, and Ringstead. So it’s a good idea to carry some supplied with you. Overall it is not hilly, from the River Nar at Castle Acre it rises just 70 metres in 4 kilometres to Shepherd’s Bush. However this is not a fast route due to the variety of surfaces ranging from gravel, flint and sand to grass and the occasional tarmac.  Concentration was therefore needed to check our front wheels didn’t drop into a rut or slide on the washout on the corners.

It’s a good day’s ride through a tunnel of green until you reach the coast at Holme-next-the-sea. Here you can continue to Hunstanton or connect with the North Norfolk Cycleway.

From the sea we headed back inland to ride the quieter roads east to the lovely Deepdale Backpackers Hostel  at Burnham Deepdale.  The next day picked up the National Cycle Network route 13 from Fakenham back south to the inn at East Wretham. It was great fun. The only downside being our bikes needed a thoroughly good clean.

 

OldVelos vintage classic cycle weekend

 

OldVelos Vintage Classic cycle returns to the Waterford Greenway this August!  Join in this great Irish adventure!

OldVelos will once again be celebrating our great cycling heritage on the Waterford Greenway, on the weekend of 25 – 26 August 2018.   Based at Coach House Coffee in Kilmacthomas (Waterford, Ireland), this years exhibition of classic racing and road bikes will be bigger and better than last year and on the Sunday Alec and Brendan are expecting a big turnout for the OldVelos Vintage Classic cycle.

The free exhibition and Concours d’Elegance competition, sponsored by SRAM, Legacy Irish Cider and Metal Man Beer, will showcase the efforts of enthusiastic Irish and international rebuilders and restorers of classic bicycles. There will be awards for different categories with the overall winner taking home the prestigious and coveted Longford Tractor Spares Trophy.

Sunday’s OldVelos Vintage Classic cycle ride offers two routes:

The 25 mile Curraghmore Loop allows riders of classic bikes, roadsters and High Nellies to enjoy the magnificent facility that is the Waterford Greenway. The route includes a pit stop for coffee and buns at the historic Curraghmore Estate in Portlaw.

The Comeragh Loop offers 50 & 75 mile options. This route suitable for the more adventurous cyclists, will test the mettle (and metal!) of both rider and bike. Would-be racers will have the opportunity to ride on the very roads where Seán Kelly and Sam Bennett started their careers.

For more information on what promises to be a great weekend see www.oldvelos.com

Contact Brendan Hennessy 086-3824607 or Alec Darragh 086-8181800

 

Velo Retro Lake District vintage cycling weekend

 

Veto Retro 2018 is the 5th edition of the popular Lake District vintage cycling event which takes place over the weekend 13 – 15 July.  There are three different retro rides with something for everyone, whether you want to pedal around the lake eating cake or are looking for a mountain challenge.

Event Director Alan Brenton has announced a new route for 2018:

“We’re finding a growing demand for a more challenging route which visits the wilder places in the Lake District, at the same time, the growing popularity of the event means that we were keen to disperse riders more to reduce the impact on the local community.

The result is The Great Western, which at 123km + 2254m and a whole host of classic climbs promises to be a proper day out!”

Alan and Ali have created an authentic, friendly event based in the lovely market town of Ulverston in the South Lakes, and the community have really taken the event to heart. If you love spending time drinking, dancing, eating and riding with great people in a fantastic, authentic setting, this is definitely for you!

No bike, no problem. Glory Days Bikes will be providing a retro bike rental service for this event. Bikes can be collected from registration on the Saturday and dropped off at the finish area after your ride on the Sunday. Booking essential.

Enter now and see you there!

www.veloretro.co.uk

alan@sportivelakes.co.uk

All photos by Steve Fleming Photography.

 

Get your classic ride ready for Eroica

Classic bikes are more popular than ever, and we’ve got a few! So here are some of our pre-ride tips to make sure your machine is ready for the Eroica Britannia 15 – 17 June.

Make sure your tyres are in good condition and have the ability to hold air. For the off road sections we normally would run the tyres at a slightly lower pressure. The brake pads should be new and adjusted properly. If you have the clearance fit 25 or 28mm tyres. Good tyres are a worthwhile investment.

If there are oil and grease ports use them to make sure the bearings run smoothly.

It is worth cleaning the bike thoroughly because that way you will notice if anything is loose. Check the spokes are all tight, the headset is adjusted and the seat post has not seized during the winter months.

Wiping the frame over with an oily rag and cleaning the fancy lugs will make you appreciate the detail and craftsmanship that goes into building these fine machines.

You can replace or recover the bar tape to make sure your bike is at its most handsome. Cloth tape is easy to fit and has the retro look.

You may also find our videos on what to look our for when buying a vintage bike useful.

We wouldn’t let anyone ride anything we’re not happy with ourselves. All our retro bikes are fully serviced and safety checked so you can rest assured that any cycle hired through Glory Days will do you proud on your ride through the Peak District.

 

Enjoy the Best of British – bike in style at historic Bamford Hall

Bamford Hall in the Peak District National Park is the perfect spot for a fantastic luxury cycling break, and is located on the banks of the River Derwent in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire.

The Hall was at one time the home of an industrial magnate who owned Bamford Mill and is thought to be approximately 200 years old. It has recently been extensively renovated to provide stylish and contemporary luxury group accommodation in the heart of the Peak District.

Painstakingly renovated to a 5* standard the hall, which sleeps 20,  has secure off street parking and is not only spectacular inside, but is in an ideal location to explore the Peak District by bike.

With 8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms and a hot tub its ideal for a relaxing weekend or as a base for an action packed two wheeled adventure!! Glory Days has linked up with Bamford Hall so that discerning customers can rent our quality retro road bikes for great days out and special occasions and have them delivered direct to their accommodation at no extra charge.

For more information please contact Rick email stay@bamfordhall.uk or call +44 (0)333 9874010.

Discovering the Dolomites – a retro road bike tour

It was mid September and raining cats and dogs in the Dolomites. This was not what were we hoping for as we set off from our hotel in Cavaso del Tombo. The forecast had made us change our plans so we headed west through Bassano del Grappa towards the Piccolo Dolomiti. The alternative was the steep, long and high climb over the Passo di Giau, where it was minus four degrees and snowing.

This decision worked out well however as it gave our legs a few days to settle into cycling with panniers before the bigger climbs. Most cyclists setting off from this area have one goal – the ascents of Monte Grappa, but having tackled that the previous year we were keen to explore some of the lesser known parts of this glorious region.

One of the highlights of this trip was the Strada degli Eroi (Way of the Heroes) in the Pasubio Massif which seemed fitting for our ‘heroic retro machines’. This access road was built in 1922 but is now closed to motorised traffic. We took all day over this amazing gravel route and savoured every minute, even stopping to take photos of our fellow travellers on mountain bikes who we passed on the less technical rocky sections.

The road climbs up Monte Pasubio through galleries and tunnels with steep drops, so care is needed – but we wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

North on Eurovelo 7, the bike route from Copenhagen to Rome and then east for another   highlight, the crossing of the Alpe di Siusi. This traffic free Alpine meadow is much loved by hikers and cyclists. We adventured onwards dropping down to the Val Gardena.

We spent one night and a couple of days climbing the big cols around Cortina, along with numerous motorbikes and vintage cars. We then headed into the lesser known northern Dolomiti around Sesto where we found a comfy hotel from which to explore. The Eroica club’s inaugral Eroica Dolomiti had taken place just the week before so we checked out the route on Strava and thought hey why not? A tough route indeed – truly a ride for heroes. A long, steep ascent up to Prato Piazza at 2000m was followed by a rough gravel descent from which we had to dismount several times. The sheep and cattle had gone down to lower ground just a few days earlier leaving the valley eerily quiet of their ringing bells. A grand day out.

Heading east on Eurovelo 1, the bike route from Munich to Venice, it was mainly downhill for 60 miles back to the flatlands of Treviso and Prosecco country.

These are just a few of the highlights of our gravel road riding on retro steel bikes in the Dolomites. One thing’s for sure we wouldn’t sell or rent any bikes we’re not happy to ride ourselves. We’re proud of our bikes and loved our old fashioned tour – the paper maps – the routes – the people – the peaks – not forgetting the pasta, pizza and Prosecco. Who needs an adventure bike – our bikes are made for adventures!

Contact us if you need help choosing a retro road bike rental from our stable of fine British steel vintage bikes.

Tour Classic

The Tour Classic is a 56 mile timed ride for pre 1987 bikes around Cambridgeshire’s rural roads. The ride uses the same route and feed stations as the Medio Fondo sportive, starting and finishing at the Peterborough showground. This year Team Glory Days bike rode in the Tour Classic event, part of the Tour of Cambridge Gran Fondo series organised by Golazo Cycling Limited. In total there are around 8000 participants riding a variety of disciplines over the weekend.

So its not surprising with that number of participants that queues quickly formed at the toilets and there was a long wait to get going in the start pen. However the level of organisation is impressive, as is the number of marshals on all the road junctions on the course.

The start time for the Tour Classic is 1pm leaving time in the morning to look round the exhibition of cycle related products and vintage bikes.

There was a separate pen for classic machines and inevitably a lot of conversations about each others pride and joy. Most of the entrants also sported vintage cycling jerseys to make our category the most attractive for the crowds to cheer.

The route itself was not completely flat but having only 1700ft of climb was good to keep a steady pace. The long 4 mile straight into the wind was probably the hardest section, but eased by tucking in behind the large groups of riders doing the longer distances – as long as we could keep up! As the finish approached the adrenaline kicked in as you could hear the roar of carbon wheels and frame approaching at speed. There were several crashes and broken carbon frames at the roadside. We were proud to be riding our classic steel Swinnerton and Raleigh Competition that proved reliable and comfortable as we put them through their paces.

The feed stations had a good variety of food, including bananas,  biscuits, water and electrolyte. Along the route there were many people enjoying the spectacle and cheering the riders from pubs and private roadside barbecues.

The day was topped off with podium presentations. Carol was awarded 2nd women but it later transpired the 1st women was a man riding with a women’s number, so unfortunately she missed out on taking the beers home.

Its good to ride hard from time to time and we had a good day in the saddle on Glory Days steel vintage road bikes.

 

The Cycle Museum Walton Hall & Gardens

 

The Cycle Museum at Walton Hall & Gardens near Warrington is the cumulation of Paul Adam’s obsession of collecting vintage bikes, and in fact all sorts of quirky things. The 200 plus strong collection of bicycles includes two rare machines. The 1893 Crypto Bantamette Ladies bicycle is one of only two known in the world. It hangs proudly alongside the rare 1895 solid tired Hillman Herbert and Cooper Gentleman’s Premier bicycle in the former stable block of Walton Hall.

Paul’s cycle collection is an obsession which began in childhood when he developed an interest in vintage cars – before moving on to bicycles which were “more affordable’.

The museum is a hidden gem of interesting and quirky wheeled objects – not just classic and vintage bikes. Amongst the piles of treasure which are stored haphazardly in the old hall out buildings we spotted an Itera plastic bike, a Pedersen, and a Sinclair C5! You have to watch where you tread as the floor is covered in cycling memorabilia.

As purveyors of fine hand made British bikes we spotted an immaculate Reg Harris and a beautiful Bates amongst the solderless nipples and abandoned toilets. There were some classic Italian steel steads as well.

Collectors might be interested to know that the 26th annual antique and classic bicycle auction and swap meet takes place in Copake, New Jersey on 22 April 2017. We are wondering what gems Paul might return with!

Groups wishing to arrange a tour can contact Paul. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

 

 

 

Peak District cycling – Nicky’s favourite ride

Glory Days have set me a tough assignment – to write about my favourite Peak District ride. Why is it difficult? It is because there are so many wonderful Peak District cycling routes to choose from. The Peak District is a special place for me, and there is no better way to enjoy it than pedalling away the miles on a bicycle.

I love visiting the Monsal Trail, especially when it is quiet. Every single time I travel along it I see something different. It isn’t a long trail, or a particularly challenging one as it is mostly flat, but the smiles per mile ratio is very high.

The trail is an old railway route that runs for 8.5 miles from Blackwell Mill near Buxton, as far as the popular Peak District town of Bakewell to the South-East. As I love photography together with cycling, the unique landscape along the trail offers a lot of photo opportunities.

The Monsal Trail is a spectacular combination of nature at its finest, and industry of old. It’s difficult to imagine that steam trains once hurtled through the tunnels, stopping at the stations where today you can relax with a slice of cake and a hot chocolate.

When the railway was built in 1863 it caused objections in the same manner as new developments do to this day. There are not many objections quite so eloquent I feel as the famous writer John Ruskin wrote about the construction of the railway line:

“There was a rocky valley between Buxton and Bakewell, once upon a time, divine as the Vale of Tempe… You Enterprised a Railroad through the valley – you blasted its rocks away, heaped thousands of tons of shale into its lovely stream. The valley is gone, and the Gods with it; and now, every fool in Buxton can be in Bakewell in half an hour, and every fool in Bakewell at Buxton; which you think a lucrative process of exchange – you Fools everywhere”.

The tunnels add an element of surprise to the landscape as you pedal through them; as you exit each tunnel a new view of the Peak District is revealed. The trail cuts through the countryside going from a valley one moment, to spectacular viaduct views high above the River Wye the next.

I’ve travelled along the Monsal Trail in every kind of weather, and enjoyed all conditions. From hot summer days, when cycling through the old railway tunnels feels like pedalling through a refrigerator, to the depths of winter, when there is snow on the ground and ice tyres with spikes enable you to stay upright.

Another lovely feature of the Monsal Trail is that is allows you to easily link up with many other favourite Peak District locations. It is only a short uphill ride from Millers Dale, (an old station on the trail) to the pretty village of Tideswell. Known as the Cathedral of the Peak, Tideswell is an ideal place to enjoy an ice cream, find a pub or a tea room. From the end of the trail at Bakewell, it is only a short distance to Haddon Hall and a bit further away to the Chatsworth Estate. Chatsworth Hall is one of the most popular places in the Peak District, and well worth a look on your travels if you have not visited before.

The only downside of the Monsal Trail is that it can get exceedingly busy at peak holiday times, so I tend to try and find routes away from the crowds when that is the case. Even so, the Monsal Trail is somewhere I recommend to any cyclist who wants an easy, traffic free trail in the Peak District.

Many thanks to Nicky Griffiths, www.peakdistrictcycling.co.uk for this guest blog.

Exploring the road less travelled on Glory Days Bikes

We love to explore the road less travelled on our vintage bikes. This summer Glory Days travelled to the ‘other Alps’ of Switzerland and northern Italy to explore some unpaved roads and climbs on our fully laden Reynolds steel bikes.

As you all know great rides start with great bikes, so we chose two of our favourite hero bikes: the 1981 Vernon Barker and the 1981 F W Evans for our trusty companions.

Travelling north from our starting base in Milan we journeyed alongside majestic Lake Maggiore before catching a ferry to Ascona, Switzerland to take part in the first edition of La Belverdere vintage bike event. The event is dedicated to pre 1987 bicycles but had several hardy participants on early 20th century machines. There were two different routes to choose from, the Half Belvedere (30km) on the Saturday and the Belvedere Classic, 60km on the Sunday. We wanted to see as much of the area as possible so rode both. It was fun and friendly with plenty of wine at the feed stations and a tasty meal post ride overlooking the lake.

Following the excitement of the weekend we headed north into the ‘other Alps’ to seek out some of the quieter, lesser known climbs and escape the heat of the Lakes. From Bellinzona we started to climb the San Bernardino Pass taking the old gravel road. Our pace was slow and the heat immense. 40km of dust, sweat and climb later we arrived at our hotel for the night in the beautiful village of San Bernardino. The following day fully rested it was a short climb to the summit at 2066m. We continued north over the Julier Pass (2284m) in the Abula Alps, the watershed of the Rivers Rhine and Danube. We journeyed onwards through the stunning Engadin valley to Zernez.

Heading eastwards we took the long climb up through the trees to the Fuorno Pass (2149m) and dropped into the Alto Adige valley where we picked up the amazing Euro Velo route 7 which runs from Copenhagen to Rome. This is a popular tarmac bike route with villages and plenty of pit stops along the way. We spent the night in historic Trento, home of the lovely friendly bike shop Moser Cicli (established 1933) where it was necessary to invest in some new brake blocks. Trento is also home to La Moserissima, a non competitive cycle event for pre 1987 bicycles in honour of Francesco Moser and his family who are from the area.

Our next stop was Bassano via Lago di Caldonazzo where we camped in the shadow of Monte Grappa. We took one of the less travelled ten different routes up and down the infamous mountain, which was challenging with narrow tricky hairpins. If you climb (or descend) Grappa by the “classic” route (from Romano d’Ezzelino), you can stop at the inn at Ponte San Lorenzo and see autographed photos of Gino Bartali and Marco Pantani.

Our trip back to Milan was via Torbole, and the Lakes of Garda and Iseo. We spent the last few days camped by Lake Iseo opposite Monte Isola in the village of Marone. It was too hot to rest so we rode around the side of beautiful Lake Iseo on the route taken by vintage bike enthusiasts for La Lacustre, an event that evokes the charm of past cycling. The next day we arranged to meet up with Matteo Bonardi organiser of La Lacustre, keen cyclist and passionate founder of Pedale Vintage. Matteo has founded several events in the area for fellow enthusiasts as an alternative to the increasingly technological modern cycling. He showed us around his small collection of vintage cycling memorabilia and bicycles, including  a 1969 Atala racer and a 1975 Guerciotti.  We hope to have persuaded him to come and do the Eroica Britannia next year on a classic British Glory Days bike!

We bode our fond farewells and cycled off to Bergamo and then by train back to Milan.

From La Belvedere and beyond, on roads less travelled, we put our retro bikes through the paces so you can be assured that any bike hired through Glory Days will do you proud.