Cyclist discovers a new legion of fans and fresh converts at Australia’s answer to L’Eroica: the Noosa Strade Bianche.
There’s no denying the envious glances and interest in a bunch when a steel frame is present. A modern, custom steel build is a dream on many rider’s lists and the rise in local artisan frame builders is testament to the renaissance of steel. Steel is still real. The aficionados would argue it always was, and as Cyclist found out at Noosa Strade Bianche, the adage is catching on.
The Noosa Strade Bianche is back again this year and will be held on the weekend of 11–12 August in an effort to break last year’s record attendance. Over 300 cyclists and their steel steeds are expected to arrive to take on the dirt and white gravel roads of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Combining our favourite things; passionate cyclists, works of custom cycling beauty, and taking the drop bars onto the dirt, it’s a weekend you’ll remember for years to come.
Can the metal mettle?
This isn’t your average fondo event. All bikes must be fabricated using steel tubing and shifting should be handled using downtube shifter. This means you can’t ride your modern dual control brake lever shifters (or bike) however, the frame can be new – as long as it’s made out of, you know what. Of course, that’s what everyone will expect you to ride but if you show up with a glossy new carbon stead then you better have a good excuse.
The classic machines on show over the weekend aren’t just shiny and meticulously maintained, they’ve been built for purpose and will be put to the test on the dirt roads and steep climbs on course with three tried and tested options. The Piccolo Fondo features 33 kilometres of terrain to stretch the legs on the Saturday morning before Sunday’s main event, The Gran Fondo. This is the original, a 135km route with approximately 2,000 metres of climbing followed by some testing descents. Take care as there are no disc brakes here! Accompanying this is Cyclist’s favourite from 2017 the 82km Medio Fondo, with 1,000 metres of ascent and plenty of gravel.
More than a Fondo
If you’re still worried whether the dust on your prized Peugeot will drop its value, grab an entry to the Show and Swap Meet. Saturday’s ride will be followed by a vintage bike fair, swap meet and undoubtedly washed down with a few vintages drops. The same goes after Sunday’s ride for sharing of tall tales and cold ales.
What: Noosa Strade Bianche
When: Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 August 2018
Where: Noosa Marina, Tewantin
Get some grease on that old Repco and dust off your woollen jersey and head to www.noosa-stradebianche.com.au for full details.