Velo Retro, the Friendly Vintage Cycling Event of the English Lake District
June 10-12 2022
Velo Retro is ready for its 8th year. The only retro and vintage cycling event in the English Lake District, where for one weekend, steel vintage bikes rule and retro cycling jerseys are cool!
Based in the small and very lovely market town of Ulverston and originally inspired by Eroica Italy, it's a festival of friendship. There’s no fence, it’s mostly free and there are no big corporate sponsors – Velo Retro is the authentic, friendly cycling event - where you arrive as strangers...and leave as friends!
Velo Retro is the only retro cycle event in the English Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The routes are spectacular - truly world-class! Vintage cycling as part of the Retro Rendezvous Festival, a full weekend of retro loveliness - what could be better?
Did you know? The Lake District National Park came 40th in a survey of the top 500 most desirable tourist destinations in the world!
Festival Camping is now at the The Hayfield, a short distance from town Festival Camping
Come and join us, for a magical and unforgettable weekend.
2022 - A New Home at Ford Park, More Space, More Flexibility, But the Same Values!
After many years of delivering the cycling event from the town, we’ve reached the stage, with our sister vintage festival, Retro Rendezvous that this town ain’t big enough for the both of us! The administration hassles and lack of space have simply become too much.
So, it’s a new era, as we move to the nearby Ford Park (LA12 7JP), allowing us to build in the style of a traditional, English summer fete. We’re not leaving completely though; we’ll still be working with our friends and supporters to deliver some bits in the bars and restaurants in town.
This means that camping has moved from Ford Park to the new site at The Hayfield. It’s on the edge of town, with great views over the surrounding countryside. Showers will be available.
The good news is that the values of the festival remain the same, entry will be free, with only a small number of paid-for sessions, we just think that it will be bigger, better, and friendlier that ever!
Ulverston, it's closer than you think!
London Euston 3h15m
Ulverston is 25 mins from M6 Junction 36
Manchester Airport 2h by train or car
Rotterdam - Hull. Take a mini-cruise across the North Sea, then over the Pennines to Ulverston. For vintage cyclists in Belgium and the Netherlands, it's the perfect route!
A L'ancienne Classic / Super
A classic sample of all that is great in the South Lakes, rivers, lakes, climbs, castles, gravel, big views and great food! The route now includes another optional climb, for the 'Super' title - a proper day out! Fettle the steel vintage bike, polish the Brooks saddle and let's go! Note: map includes optional climbs
Le Loafeur / Super Loafeur
A tour of the beautiful Coniston Water, with fabulous lake and mountain views. One optional gravel section and fantastic food. You can now add the spectacular climb to Tarn Hows, for extra cake capacity! You don't have to be Fausto Coppi for this one, but you'll still earn your cake! Note: map includes optional climbs
The Saunter is a circuit of the Lower Furness Peninsula taking in fine coastal views and some fell side country lanes. Suitable for anyone who is reasonably active and healthy and great for historic vintage bikes, fancy dress and families.
It's a vintage cycling event classic with just one short, steep hill!
All backed up by our legendary support and great food!
The Mighty Corinthian
The Mighty Corinthian is the longest, toughest, retro bike ride in the world. It is a route of great beauty and variety, showcasing the best which the Lake District and Cumbria has to offer. The idea was to create a ride which would have been a normal classic for Eddie Merckx or Bernard Hinault and still longer than the current Milano San Remo!
It's a big experience and a day for heroes!
Unfortunately, the difficulty of the ride limits the numbers of riders prepared to undertake the challenge, which means that The Mighty Corinthian has become too challenging both logistically and financially for us to run in standard event format.
However, we feel a commitment to those of you who would like to ride it and to the concept itself, so, if you would like to ride the Mighty Corinthian, we will produce a map, route card and guide to riding the route, together with GPX track and certificate of recognition, further, we will do this free of charge. You will therefore be riding Audax style and will need to be fully self-reliant. If this is of interest to you, please get in touch.
Links to Mike Stead article and video:
Essential Rider Information 2021 - 2022 Information will be available in May
Our view on pricing is simple. We want to create a lovely cycling event, with great food, service and goodies worth having. We also want to do this at a price which is fair. To maintain this, we need sponsors - ones who are a good fit for the event.
If you know of anyone suitable, please put us in touch!
Due to the rollover of 2020 early entrants, to 2022, there will be fewer early entry discounts for 2022. Entries open at 2200 BST October 24 2021.
The SaunterVintage and Family Ride
Le LoafeurA tour of Coniston Water
À L’ancienne ClassicAll the greats of the South Lakes
Hire a quality Vintage Racing Bike
We’ve worked with Glory Days since year 1 and recommend them with confidence
We are a founder member of the Retro Rendezvous Festival a brilliant, weekend long festival of food, drink, music, film, cars, bikes, motorcycles and general daft fun! Most of the festival is free, (although someone may shake a collection can at you!) and is run entirely by volunteers. It’s a great weekend of entertainment for both riders and supporting family or friends. The festival has grown every year since it started in 2015 and we have plans to improve the programme significantly for 2019. Follow their Facebook page for regular updates.
Camping – details of festival camping will also be posted on the Retro Rendezvous site.
Read what Real People Say About our Cycling Event!
Absolutely fantastic event and pictures by Steve Fleming, when you look through them all I get the strong feeling that this is the 'upmarket' vintage ride, super scenery.
Well done both of you.
If you put one ride on your bucket list for 2017, make it this one. It will hurt you, but you’ll love it.
Road CC (The Mighty Corinthian)
I finished yesterday with a big smile on my face and feeling slightly knackered, but with the distinct feeling that I'd just experienced something uniquely English and really rather special. I have so many happy memories of Velo Retro that I'll carry with me for the rest of my days. Thank you.
Thank you thank you thank you!!! We had a marvellous time on this, our first Velo Retro! Everybody so helpful and friendly. We'll definitely be back next year!
Great day today! Done a lot of 'normal' sportives but this is my first vintage. Got to say it was one of the best. Things that made it special were Bikes, attire, home made food, and the different terrain under your tyres- not just endless Tarmac. Oh forgot the climb up to a light house. Will be back next year.
Velo Retro Sponsors, Events and Suppliers That We Like
We're always on the lookout for supporters who are a good fit, by sector, geography or values. We can offer packages at all levels to suit your objectives.
Hire a Quality Retro Bike
We've worked with Glory Days for many years, they always supply quality bikes and a great service.