Eroica Hispania: people who enjoy fatigue and effort
The fourth edition of Eroica Hispania can be told from the impetus and the smile of Nicola, a Frenchman who lives in Rome and who for the first time participated in the long ride. On his way through San Millán de la Cogolla at 07:30 in the morning he could fix his gear change thanks to the kindness of a villager who adjusted the screws of his bike with the screwdriver he had in his Swiss Army knife. It can also be described from the tired legs of John, an Englishman who has lived in Barcelona for 8 months and who tried to speak in Spanish with us at the San Vicente de la Sonsierra food stop, even though we tried to answer him in English. to make things easier for him. And why not, we can understand Eroica Hispania from the desire of a young man who at 08:00 in the morning had already punctured twice and who was insisting without too much kindness on being provided by the organization with cameras at the next food stop so he could continue pedalling towards the Cenicero finish line. And how endearing it is to live Eroica Hispania through Bob, a father of American family who has not missed any of the four editions and who this time came with his daughter Helen to be baptized as Eroica. Or through María, who completed the long route of 193 km and along with 3 other Heroics was one of the last to cross the finish line after more than 14 hours pedalling and enjoying the wine and the gastronomy that only a land like La Rioja can offer.
From another perspective, of persons apparently not as protagonist as the one who rides on his bike, we can tell Eroica Hispania 2018 from the work of Paolo, who portrays as nobody else a weekend in which the details, the gestures and the landscapes are the fine essence, and that thanks to whom and to his work we can relive it whenever we want. We also want to tell Eroica Hispania through Juan and his daughters Isabel and María, who have been offering wonderful breakfasts and meals to all the staff members of Eroica Hispania since last Monday, and who on Saturday evening prepared some La Rioja potatoes that tasted happily sated the tenacious Heroics, who, overcoming the fatigue, managed to reach the stop food of Labraza. And of course, we like to explain it from the desire and the friendly face of Juanito, Pablo and Elena, who for many Heroics who come from different parts of the world, are their first human contact with Eroica Hispania, since they are some of the Cenicero boys and girls that from Friday to Sunday morning are in the Casa de la Cultura giving the number and gifts to all participants. And of course, we can express it from the heart and good vibes of Ana and Silvia, the volunteers who were at the last food stop in Logroño and who were the last to pick up after almost 12 hours attending the riders ... who the received with music and festive spirit so they could sense the feeling of reaching the already quite close finish line. The celebration of classic cycling can also be told from the perseverance and delivery of Santi, who for the fourth consecutive year was once again that "man in the shade" who manages to get things through, even some that seem impossible or very difficult to get. Or from the irony and skilled work of Felipe, who, although many times is done to pray, loves to devote his time to make the village of Cenicero dress its best clothes to receive the Heroics. And we can express it through Alfonso, "El Pesca" as everyone knows him here in Cenicero, who for the fourth year gave food and dinner to everyone who wanted throughout the weekend, and who also on Sunday loaded some tools on his car to offer technical assistance to any Heroics who needed his kind and genuine help. And we also want to tell it through the kindness and charm of Oscar, who since 05:30 on Sunday morning was putting a spectacular coffee in the vintage food truck that one of the sponsors of Eroica Hispania, Café Baqué, arranged in the main place of Cenicero to set the party. And to live Eroica Hispania from the experience of Sebastian, a Swiss who a few days ago took his mountain bike and left from Zurich to get to Cenicero pedalling. Once in town, after asking for help from Juanjo, the technical person in charge of the set-up of the bikes, and getting some things fixed on his bike, as a sign of gratitude, he decided to work with him and his team over the weekend to continue learning a little more about his true passion.
Eroica Hispania is today what it is, thanks in large part to people like them. Of course, it is also thanks to the movement of L'Eroica in the world, to the thousands of participants who have pedalled through La Rioja since the first edition in 2015, to the town of Cenicero and its people, who, in their own way, have worked to welcome and host an event like this, to the tens of thousands of enthusiasts or curious who at some point have visited Cenicero to share a special moment in a unique environment, and to the villages of La Rioja Alta and La Rioja Alavesa hy which who pass the 4 rides of Eroica Hispania. To each and every one of the people who feel identified in this story, from the Organization of Eroica Hispania we say: "grazie e arrivederci all 'anno prossimo".
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