Day 1 of Eroica Britannia started with packing the car and then a two hour drive through the rain, cloud and occasional sun up to Bakewell. Arriving just before noon we were able to park up almost immediately in a field that wasn’t too churned up. We then had the excitement of setting up our tent. The tent that has only been used once before in the 12 years or so that we’ve owned it!
Fortunately, Erik had done a quick practice run in the garden a few days ago (more checking for holes than practice if truth be told). So, armed with that knowledge he was able to get us through the process without us looking like total newbies. That said, I think that our tiny tent which is dwarfed by the tented mansions around us probably marks us out as camping amateurs anyway.
Once thrown up we quickly abandoned the tent in pursuit of food and more interesting things to engage with, like bicycles and bicycle shopping…! One of the great things about Eroica is being in a place where there are loads of bicycles, many are in beautiful condition and there is so much interesting variation in makes, years and colours.
We had a modest queue to get our cycling bands (bigger tomorrow I’m sure) and then had some nice flatbreads for lunch, sitting on a straw bale. The ground inside the showground is very wet and squelchy. They’ve put straw down in sections but we suspect that once the crowds start to build tomorrow it’ll get pretty bad pretty fast. Glastonbury on two wheels!
After our walk-around, we went for a short test ride. Kyla’s new bike, a Harry Hall, worked well, I’m pleased to say. We bought the Harry Hall bike when it became clear that even being fitter isn’t going to get the Raleigh Chopper up the hills of the Peak District! We did see a couple earlier with fixies but they were considerably younger than us – I think we need all the gears we can get!
Erik bought one of the fancy Eroica sweaters that cost a small fortune and a lovely leather belt. So far I haven’t bought anything although several bikes took my fancy. There’s always tomorrow!