In 1997, Giancarlo Brocci invited a small group of enthusiasts to cycle the white roads of the province of Siena, in Toscana, Italy, in search of a sport that may often seem to have forgotten its roots. More than twenty years later, L’Eroica is one of the most famous cycling events around the world. Giancarlo help us to understand the unstoppable success of the original L’Eroica and all the other Eroicas that help to spread its values and ideals.
About Eroica’s huge popularity all around the world. “Those who don’t know the history of cycling, who haven’t followed its epic story, are now finding out how much our great sport has influenced customs and habits, with memorable tales to tell. The bicycle has become the vehicle of the future, it is a solution to the traffic problems that are suffocating our cities, it is a means to slowly discover our territory and it represents a healthy lifestyle. The cycling boom (and the L’Eroica one) in English-speaking countries is mainly due to this and the same thing is happening among young riders and women, who up to now did not know about the great adventures of the ‘heroic age’ of cycling”.
About Eroica Ciclo Club. “ The Eroica community speaks German too. Consider that the largest number of foreigners (about 500) come to the mother-event in Gaiole in Chianti precisely from Germany. But we receive many requests to organize new versions at different latitudes, involving different languages. We launched our Ciclo Club with the idea od creating a community of enthusiasts who would form a network, sharing experiences and opinions, planning events and finding occasions to spend time together. The Eroica community is special because its people have common values and a similar vision of life, the environment and the world. The aim is to develop and promote our idea of the cycling of the future; ours is a community of dreamers that is in no danger of becoming extinct”.
About modern bikes in Eroica events. “We have never been just for cycling in black and white. We have always looked to the past to find a way to regain the authentic soul of the cycling of yore, not its film version. It was my idea to organise Eroica for professional cyclists with the race that is known today as the Strade Bianche. My concept, the Giro Bio, wanted to prove that a great stage cycling event could be organised in a clean way. And bringing great cycling to the ends of the earth on white roads is a completely Eroica idea. We need to take back our roads and make cycling safer. Nova Eroica in Buonconvento is a different and innovative kind of granfondo. Our idea is to blend healthy competition with relaxation and the pleasure of spending time together. We are back, after five difficult years, with an offer of heroic cycling for Under 23s. We didn’t need to see the results to know that this formula would have a bright future.”
About Eroica values. “We’re already talked about what Eroica and its values mean to young people ans newcomers to the sport. Rediscovering the deep heart of cycling, fatigue, adventure, discovery, the unexpected, solidarity, the thrill of the conquest, the sharing of difficulties: all of these things are the heritage of our community of cyclists and increasingly of our young people. We have made cycling cool and, of course, we don’t mind if some people come to experience L’Eroica simply because it’s trendy. We are creating trends in lifestyle, in the way in which the bicycle is considered.”