So, the market for vintage cycling continues to grow – with the l’Eroica events leading the way. There are 9 well established Eroica events in 2018 from April to December with our very own Eroica Britannia now in its 5th year and still growing.
Last week an email dropped into my inbox promoting the P&P World Cycling Revival festival at Herne Hill Velodrome in London.
My first thought was “excellent – Herne Hill is crying out for something like that, to get people flooding in again”.
Then I checked the dates
Eroica Britannia – Friday 15 – Sunday 17th June 2018
P&P World Cycling Revival – Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th June 2018
They’ve only gone and set up the Herne Hill festival on the same weekend as Eroica Britannia. What were they thinking?
Then I checked the prices
3-day pass – £30
3-day pass including entry into any of the thee rides – £70
Child ticket – free all weekend
One-day ticket – not yet on sale, but they can’t be more than the £30 3-day
P&P World Cycling Revival
3-day pass £154.50 plus £11.50 per day for a centre-field deck chair – totalling £189 per person if you want a deckchair for 3 days
Child ticket – £38
One-day ticket – £68
These prices are correct as at today’s date, so in the case of the P&P World Cycling Revival are marked as “earlybird” so I can only assume they will go up.
To put that in context, there will be plenty of riders at Eroica who will be on bikes that have cost less than the £119 difference in costs between the events top prices.
I repeat, what were they thinking?
You Can’t Always Get What You Want…
I would really love to attend both events. I want to see at first-hand Herne Hill Velodrome, the last surviving venue from the 1948 London Olympics, teeming with people again. I want to cycle there in period gear on a suitably old bike and get that lovely feeling of commonality and recognition you get as you get closer to an event like this, where you start to spot folks who are going the same way. You share a nod, admire bikes and gear and swap stories, downplaying how much it all cost!
I want to see Graeme Obree have a crack at breaking his own hour record. I want to have a little too much to drink and start bidding on overpriced vintage bikes in the auction. But I also want to go to Eroica Britannia with Sarah, ride the 55-mile which she’s been training so hard for and have right handsome time.
But if You Try Sometimes (and spend £136) You Can Get What You Need
I realise the dates don’t fully overlap. P&P is Thursday-Saturday while Eroica Britannia is Friday-Sunday (though you can arrive and camp from Thursday). It is therefore theoretically possible to go to Herne Hill on the Thursday and/or Friday then go to Derbyshire for Eroica at the weekend. I will probably go to Herne Hill for the Thusday and then head north.
Perhaps there’s more to it than I know – maybe Herne Hill has only got one free weekend in its calendar next summer – but it just seems at best like a short-sighted waste of an opportunity and at worst like a cashing-in on the popularity of others.
Why not slot P&P in somewhere else and make a proper ‘Summer Season’ of it?
The P&P World Cycling Revival is being promoted by a chap called John Postlethwaite. Surely he’s not one of the Ps in the festival’s title? That would be most egocentric and ungentlemanly, like going to the Michael Eavis Glastonbury Festival or the Duke of Richmond Goodwood Revival festival.
EPO or MBE?
Le Dandy himself, David Millar, who for the past few years has been at Eroica Britannia on behalf of Maserati, was at the launch of the P&P event alongside Ned Boulting, while Chris Boardman is an Eroica regular. Do we need to choose between EPO and MBE?