Page 51

DIY ROUTES ensuring the distance on day one is ideal in terms of providing 5 to 6 hours in my own bed. Under the ‘Advisory’ arrangements this task took circa 20 hours for each of the three previous 600 km rides I planned. Presumably it’s also far simpler for the regional coordinator to whom our entry is submitted for approval. No detailed checking of the shortest distance between controls, a fairly time consuming task, just review the length of the track.


hilst the planning is easy there is one potential problem using a Mandatory route. It is essential to follow precisely the track submitted as part of your entry and ensure that you have a complete GPX tracklog to cover the whole route. I presume that in the event of coming across a road closure a detour will be acceptable provided the required distance is achieved. In the event of a SatNav failure you will not be able to use receipts from your controls unless your route also meets advisory requirements, which if your ride has been planned to be Mandatory is very unlikely. In this respect my advice is to use the relatively cheap Etrex 20 or 30 as your recording and navigating device, but do make sure you have replacement batteries with you. As long as the Etrex is on it will be recording a tracklog; in general it’s far more stable and less likely to crash than other Garmins. If you do insist on using a Garmin 500, 705, 800, 810, or 1000 the make sure that you always press the restart button if it is switched off during a café stop. However for anything over 200 km you will certainly need to carry an external battery or recharger for any of these devices, neither of which is a perfect option. External batteries tend to leave the devices USB port liable to the ingress of water and 30 minutes of recharging in a café will add less than 2 hours to the operating time before the battery runs down. A mobile phone might be a suitable back up in the event of your main device shutting down, but again they have quite limited battery time when recording a tracklog. Bearing in mind how many people own a GPS device I suggest you borrow one from a friend and keep it handy in your pocket or saddle bag as an emergency back up. Think how ‘gutted’ you would be to get to 595 km to find your device shuts down. Tracks from two devices can easily be joined, or submit them both to validate your ride.

organiser who is using them and for which distances. Note, if it’s a group ride, everyone needs to complete an online entry form.


o in conclusion give it a try. Find a longish ride you have really enjoyed on e.g. on STRAVA, Training Centre or your account on the Garmin Website and then modify it until it’s the required distance. Complete the online entry and off you go, preferable with a few mates for company. As a bonus, if you wish to change the day on which you wish to ride for any reason this can be done by e-mailing the organiser anytime up to midnight the day before you ride. FOOTNOTE It appears to me that the confusing system of entering DIY permanents on the Audax UK Website is in need of an overhaul. The requirements for each type of route would be far clearer if there was separate entry forms for Mandatory and Advisory routes. For a mandatory route there should be some way of attaching the GPX file of your proposed route to the entry for m and any mention of grid references, which are not relevant, should be removed. It would also make sense if payment was part of the entry process. When you enter a calendar event ‘online’ payment, via PayPal is part of the process. A DIY Permanent, certainly by Mandatory route, needs to be no different as it’s not possible to enter by post. The different ways of obtaining a virtual brevit is also confusing and it would be far more straight forward if this was automatically linked to the entry. I suggest that a similar arrangement would also be OK for Advisory DIY Permanents. Since it’s hardly possible to design an appropriate route without some IT skills and access to the internet then online entry linked to PayPal ought to be acceptable, and a GPX file or scanned receipts obtained at controls should be easy for rider and organiser. This does, however, need a different entry form since controls must be exactly specified, e.g. by map references. I would suggest that there are very few, if any, entries for DIY Permanents where all the entries, communications and validation are not done online and via e-mail.


inally the biggest problem you may have is making sense of the entry system on the audax UK website. There is a very clear explanation of what is required including the difference between Advisory and Mandatory routes at However the entry form could be clearer. You only need to give place names and distances for controls for a Mandatory route, but there is nowhere to indicate that you intend to ride your event as a Mandatory route so I suggest you add that in the comments box. There is also no way of including your GPX track but when you complete the form the confirmatory e-mail gives the e-mail address of the organiser. Use this to send your GPX track as an attachment to an e-mail. There are also different ways to purchase a virtual brevit to pay for your entry, and the cost is different according to which way you go through the website. If you are riding more than one DIY or doing it with others it’s probably best to use the ‘BUY CARDS HERE’ link to buy a block of cards and tell the

A traditional shop with well equipped workshop and experienced staff.

For ALL your cycling needs. 8 Shelfhanger Road, Diss, Norfolk IP22 4EH

01379 650419 Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...