Looking at a 300km ride in April, th distance should be ok ive done 250 in one go before but I'm not too used to doing the nav especially after a lot of riding. I'll be averaging 15 or 16mph (moving not total) so guess that's normalise for audax even if it's a Bit slow for sportives.
What's the general views of the audience?
I've never done any Sportives (but intend to do a few this year), but the impression I get is that Audaxes are basically low-key sportives, with a lower price to match (usually). Audaxes generally have a laid back atmosphere, especially on the seriously long events where those who take themselves too seriously don't seem to enjoy themselves so much! Of course, you don't get the razmattaz (chip timing, 'race' atmosphere) which you do with Sportives.
Which 300 are you looking at doing?
The navigation is one of the key things to Audaxing; getting it wrong can cost lots of time on routes which follow small lanes. I've been out of touch with it for a few years (but am now getting back in to it), but GPS devices have changed things quite a bit. If you use a route sheet, it will consist of a list of instructions which vary in both accuracy and detail from organiser to organiser - this is one of the many quirky charms of Audaxing! It is wise to go through the route on a map with the route sheet beforehand to help familiarise yourself with the route. This is especially useful when you've been in the saddle for many many hours, you've eaten your last energy bar, you're bonking, you're miles from any shops and you've got a massive hill in front of you - knowing that little bit more about the route can really help!
If you maintain the speeds you're saying then you won't have to worry about time limits and will be able to enjoy the event. At that speed, you'd probably have a decent chance of finishing in the light@ as well, but you will need to take decent lights just in case of mishap (some organisers will enforce this on a 300k)
I really love Audaxing. It comes in to its own on the long events (I.e. above 300k) where sleep management and riding in the middle of the night play a part. Anyone with the slightest interest in long distance cycling really ought to experience how it feel to ride all through the night and see the world come to life again at dawn!
You've picked a good year to start as well as it's London-Edinburgh-London year. LEL is Audax UK's flagship event, held once every four years (so don't miss out!). It's 1400km, but with a generous time limit so most people would be able to make up enough time to get a decent bit of sleep each night.
I hope some of that has helped!
Then make sure you carry enough pages torn out of a road atlas so if you have to quit, you can find your way home.
Stops really use up the time. So be organised about stopping, getting food / drink / punching your control card (don't forget!) and filling bottles etc.
Sketch out some sort of schedule and mark it on the route card so you know if you're behind or if you have time in hand.
If you're night riding on a 300 (or further) make sure you have a headtorch that fits your helmet. Have a low powered LED to read your route card / computer without blinding yourself and also so you can look down and see your gears. I know you shouldn't have to, but it helps when you're tired and beginning to get a little befuddled.
Fit a Dawg Fang as you don't want to throw a chain when riding in a group.
If you're still riding after 10.30 on a Saturday night, keep your wits about you - there are some idiots out there on the roads. Even in quiet country areas.
Not everyone that does Audaxes is a miserable old bearded bloke. Do enough and you will meet some decent people. Honest.
It all builds to doing PBP -which is fantastic and makes all the preparation and grinding out the miles worthwhile.
Having toyed with doing something silly like JOGLE with some mates, but being put off with the logistics, does anyone have any suggestions? My next thought was trying London to Paris in a day.
I've not really done any huge cycles but am relatively fit and need a goal in mind to help me get off my arse, unfortunatley LEL falls in about the time I'm going abroad.
It's a 300 from Cambridge in late April, i forget the name. The distance whilst long isn't terrifying - i'm not all that fit but do plenty of cycling: over the last few years i've done at least 3 200km rides each year and currently commute a 50mile round trip twice a week. Longest single ride last year was 150miles which i did in 11 and a bit elapsed hours and felt "ok" afterwards.
My gps wont last long enough for the 300km, so sounds like i'm going to get busy with a map if i want to do it... Good to hear others have done some though!
I normally use a garmin 405 which is pretty (very) basic for route finding and only has an 8hour batter life. My regular riding partner has a garmin 500 which is better batery and for nav but not brilliant. I believe the garmin 800 is the best of the best but comes in with an eye watering price to match... :-(
You can buy an awful lot of OS maps for the same money!
> You can buy an awful lot of OS maps for the same money!
But it's a pain to carry them all, and they tend to blow away when attached to handlebars !
I bought a Garmin 800 for mountain biking and it's been well worth the money - great for seeing where you've been/how much you done as well as navigation.
Heard a quote - Sportives are for people who like to pretend they are racing, Audaxes for people who like to pretend they are not racing
Yes, don't be deluded about the cycling prowess of some, even if they are wearing sandals and using a Nelson Longflap.
On one of my early rides I heard a couple of 'old duffers' talking about a previous ride where 'they did quite well one night, managing to knock out evens from Cambridge across to Shrewsbury. I later found out that knocking out evens means averaging 20mph.
It's also worth remembering that the LEJOG record is held by an Audax rider. The same guy who managed to put in a full shift at work during the Southport 600 and still finished with time to spare.
> Hi, slight hijack regarding gps for audax. I want to start some audax events this year and am at pondering which gps to get. Can I ask which one you use (if you use one) and also what's fairly common amongst people doing these events?
There's a whole range of opinions on this, as is always the case with equipment!
I have Garmin Etrex summit HC, but mainly because I got it for climbing/walking. By uploading maps from Open Street Map, it can do the job fine, though it doesn't have the capability to do autorouting which is a feature that many people like to have that basically allows you to use the GPS like a car satnav.
Among Audaxers, the Etrex 30 seems to be a popular choice at the moment. They have autorouting and expandable memory (pretty standard these days I think) and a whole load of other features. A big plus to Audaxers is the long battery life (I've heard reports in excess of 24 hours continuous use), and the fact that it takes standard AAs means that they can easily be replaced when they run out during an event. I'm intending to get one soon.
Garmin do, of course, do their cycle specific range. They look great for general cycling but many are of the opinion that they don't really meet the requirements of Audaxing, the main one being the battery life issue. Some people get around this by using a Power Monkey type thing to provide charge during an event, but it sounds a bit cumbersome to me. They do have a lot of 'cycle computer' functions which the Etrex30 is lacking though. They also seem to have an over-inflated price in comparison to the non cycle-specific ones (IMHO).
So, it all comes down to personal preference really and whether you expect to do the really long audaxes where you need to get more than 12hours of battery life.
Having said all that, there are much better informed people over on the yacf.co.uk forums (they have a GPS forum on there), who will be more than willing to answer any questions.
> It's also worth remembering that the LEJOG record is held by an Audax rider. The same guy who managed to put in a full shift at work during the Southport 600 and still finished with time to spare.
Is that Gethin Butler then? I've never heard that story before; very impressive!
The quote give by Chris the Tall above is very true.
Jim; you are right about PBP, it's such a fantastic event isn't it?! It seems we have a few Audaxers here on UKC, I'd always wondered if I was the only one...
I rode the Paris Brest Paris audax in 2011 and definitely recommend it - a great amateur event. The next one is 2015, so something to aim for.
The enjoyment derives from the self-sufficiency and non-competetive nature of the events. Much of the challenge is with yourself.
LEL 2013 should also be a good one - not that I've ridden it yet.
LEL looks like a fun ride, if it was next year i think id seriously consider it. PBP as my 40th birthday present is also very appealing even though i'd only be 39!
Brilliant write up of the LEL
The retrospective write up starts at page 4. Set aside a few hours...
> Looking at a 300km ride in April, th distance should be ok ive done 250 in one go before but I'm not too used to doing the nav especially after a lot of riding. I'll be averaging 15 or 16mph (moving not total) so guess that's normalise for audax even if it's a Bit slow for sportives.
> What's the general views of the audience?
He's turned that into a book. He's also doing LEL 2013 as am I
That was meant to be a reply to mtts post
Read that recently, brilliant write up.
There's 1000 riders this year, with 400 opting for the prologue from Buckingham palace.
I was glad it sold out so I couldn't enter as I was getting close to giving it serious consideration!
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