Eroica Britannia 2017

So festival season is upon us, and we kicked it off with our annual favourite, Eroica Britannia. It’s so middle class and family friendly, we always feel slightly embarrassed to be going, but we love cycling, and we love our bikes, and though they (the bikes) have never actually made it to this outrageously fun cycling festival in the Peak District yet, we also love just being around other bikey nuts and “wow”ing at the Bianchis and Pashleys we’ll only ever own if we win the lottery. And of course, this year was Fig’s first of many Eroicas.

The weather was unbelievable and the new location, Friden Grange, (it moved from Bakewell after flooding last year) made it feel even more festivally.

Do things get any more English than this scene? We had a look around, taking in the stalls and stages and fairground, and soon realised that Factor 50 alone was not going to be enough to protect Fig’s delicate baby skin from the sizzling heat. To get from the car to where we were going, we threw a bamboo muslin over the pram as the parasol was just totally ineffective against such relentless glare, but we always had a side open and gaps around the edges to provide ventilation. In any other weather, the sling would have been more practical than the pram, but in this heat, two sweaty bodies pressed together seemed foolish at best.

We also brought a little pop-up beach shelter, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that without all this crazy stuff, we couldn’t have done such an exposed weekend. TOP TIP: soak baby’s hat in cold water to help keep him cool. Thank you, Abi!

We set up camp, and from here friends came and went, the one constant being Fig, who played happily for two days in the shade of his little pop-up. He ate straw, he smeared food all over the rug we were sitting on, he brazenly wore only a nappy and shouted at passers-by like a loon, and he laughed and gurgled and rolled around, the proverbial pig in muck.

The Sunday also happened to be Father’s Day, Saul’s first, so after presents and bacon butties in the morning, he celebrated with his little boy by watching the riders come in from their respective 25, 55 and 100 mile bike rides.

Facial hair and tweed (in this heat!) was still the uniform du jour, although there were many era-specific costumes too – who knew that 80s Madonna rode a Raleigh? We’ve pledged to do the ride ourselves in two years, when Fig will be old enough to cope with 25 miles in a trailer. Hold this space…

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