AU Number 122 Autumn 2013
the Long Distance Cyclists’ Association www.aukweb.net
Riders approach The Gatehouse, Castle Howard, on LEL 2013 Photo: Ivo Miesen
HEADING EDITORIAL IN HERE Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom—the long distance cyclists’ association which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in the UK. AUK membership is open to any cyclist, regardless of club or other affiliation, who is imbued with the spirit of long-distance cycling. Full details in the AUK Handbook.
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Articles, info, cartoons, photos, all welcome. Please read the contributors’ advice in the Handbook. Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the Club. Produced by AUK: editing, typesetting, layout, design by Peter Moir. Printed and distributed: Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH. Distribution data from AUK membership team.
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Autumn 2013 Hello, and welcome to my first edition as Autumn editor of Arrivée. It's been a real privilege to be able to work with all the fantastic contributors to this issue, and I hope I've managed to do justice to your hard work when you see it in print. Thanks also to my editor colleagues Sheila and Tim for all their help and advice leading up to my first edition. As you are no doubt expecting, given the main event in the AUK calendar this year, we've had a fair few LEL articles submitted for this issue. Phil Whitehurst has completed his trilogy, started in the last edition of Arrivée, on the buildup and subsequent completion of LEL, and we also have a view on the event from a volunteer's standpoint. We also have lots of fantastic photographs available from Tim Wainwright and Ivo Miesen and I hope you enjoy the small selection I've been able to include within these pages. It's not all LEL, though, and there are plenty of great articles included on other topics. Many thanks to all for their contributions, and apologies if for reasons of space I've been unable to include some. All of those I haven't been able to use have been passed on to Sheila for inclusion in the next issue. Incidentally, the picture to the right shows me making my biggest ever contribution to cycling
– washing the pots at the Barnard Castle control on LEL. I'm nothing if not an all-rounder, though, I can also do baking trays. Volunteering on LEL was such a great experience, and I'd recommend to anyone it without hesitation. Many thanks to my volunteer colleagues and to all the riders for making it so. Thanks also to Mary Dyson for the photo! As we approach the end of 2013, don't forget to renew your membership. Unlike the Audax UK season, which runs from 1 October to 30 September, the membership year runs from January to December. You should already have received your renewal reminder through the post, separate this time from the Autumn issue of Arrivée. The easiest route to renew is online at www.aukweb.net/renewal. I hope you achieved all your goals for the 2013 season, and all the best for a successful 2014! Peter Please send all contributions for the next issue of Arrivée to Sheila by 15 December.
Contents 5 Officials' Reports 22 2013 - My First Audax Year 7 LEL Finance Review 23 The Beautiful Nocturne 8 Ordre des Cols Durs 24 LEL is an Adventure 9 A Story of DNF 32 LEL 2013 Info Sketches 10 Three Towers & Middle Earth 34 Mersey Roads Part 1 11 Windsor–Chester–Windsor 600k 36 Mersey Roads Part 2 12 Lakes, Valleys and Iconic Cols 38 LEL : The Softies Option 16 Filming LEL 42 Volunteering on LEL 17 Mallorca Moonpig 46 Super Randonée Pyrenees 18 Momma's Rides 50 Bristol to Brindisi 19 Rider Survey 54 LEL Video Review 20 Pain is our Friend 56 Audax Calendar Chris Smith
Front cover: "The Nutters" (L to R) Dallas Newton, Richard Marsay, John Kelly riding LEL2013, Photo by Tim Wainwright Back cover: taken on LEL2013 by rider M60, Theresa Lynch
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www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING NEWS & LETTERS IN HERE CTC Dumfries and Galloway Local Members’ Group Special Celebration Ride for Les Brown How do you get two keen cyclists on a Tandem-Trike? Easy! One of them reaches 100 years of age, Les Brown, and the other, Les’s friend Tom Hanley, organises a tribute celebration ride to mark the occasion by cycling from Lochmaben to Dalton Pottery. And here they are, the men of action. Although different generations, both are Life Members of CTC, and share the same passion. Tom is well
known as an Audax rider and organiser.Many Audax riders who have ridden Tom Hanley’s Ower the Edge 400 and many of his other events, will recognise Les as one of Tom’s reliable helpers. In support, and following Les and Tom, were a further 25 cyclists and friends, all marking this special day. And didn’t Les’s family, neighbours and friends do well by cheering us all off? So many well-wishers. Les’s nephew and great nephew, David and Matthew Brown, drove up from Leeds earlier that morning to be part of the celebration. Les is still a Member of the Tandem Club, Tricycle Association, and formerly an observer for the Roads Records Association. How many cyclists does it take eat a birthday cake? Well take a look for yourself. Coffee and cake, a chat with friends, and great day to celebrate Happy Birthday Les! And many more of them! Tom Hanley ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE - PRESS RELEASE
Two ElliptiGO Riders Complete the 881 mile “London Edinburgh London” Randonnée on First Attempt ElliptiGO Inc, creator of the world’s first elliptical bicycle, today announced that Alan McDonogh and Idai Makaya successfully completed the 2013 London-Edinburgh-London ride. This epic cycling randonnée is held every four years and draws approximately 1,000 cyclists from more than 30 countries. The 2013 LEL course was 881 miles (1,418 kilometers) long and had an official cutoff time of 116 hours, 40 minutes. Finishing the event within the cutoff time is considered a major cycling achievement with success often requiring extensive preparation and tremendous sleep deprivation during the event itself. Prior to the 2013 LEL, no one had attempted an event of this magnitude on an elliptical cycle anywhere in the world. McDonogh and Makaya set out with the rest of the riders from Loughton, London on the morning of Sunday 28 July and rode 208 miles on their first day. After just a 3 hour break for a quick nap and food, they began their second day of riding, hoping to complete another 200 miles before resting. The pair reached Edinburgh and the turnaround point behind their planned schedule but on pace to finish within the official time limit. At that point McDonogh felt like he could sustain a faster pace, so the two split up to increase the chances that at least one of them would be able to successfully complete the event. That evening disaster struck Makaya. While taking a brief rest at a control station before the Yad Moss Hills wasn't woken at the requested time. This resulted in him spending 4 additional hours at the stop, putting him well behind the required pace. McDonogh continued a strong pace throughout the return trip and as he bore down on London it was clear that he would finish well within the time limit to become the first elliptical cyclist to complete the event. However, but with 75 miles to go, Makaya was still 38 minutes behind pace even though he had ridden 35 hours straight in an effort to make up for the last time. Although many fans had assumed that was too much time to overcome at that point in the journey, Makaya pressed on. With a Herculean effort, Makaya managed to continuously ride throughout the final 43 hours of the event and make up the lost time. He crossed the finish line in 115 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds, just 15 minutes and 18 seconds 4
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
under the cutoff time, and joined McDonogh as a proud finisher of LEL. “The encouragement we got from friends around the world was hugely important in getting us through this,” stated Makaya. “I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done to keep us GOing and I know for certain I couldn’t have taken this event on without the learning and sharing I did with Alan, Steve Cook and Warren Simmons over the last year. And I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without the inspiration of my wife, children and all of my friends who supported me before and during this bike ride.” “We’ve always encouraged our ElliptiGO community to take on challenges and see what they can accomplish,” said Bryan Pate, CoFounder and Co-President of ElliptiGO. “People have ridden in 24 hour events, they’ve ridden across the U.S. and the length of Britain, but the LEL event is simply on another level. What they did truly lies beyond what many of us envisioned would be the limits of elliptical cycling.”
Correspondence BREVETS RANDONNEURS MONDIAUX
I would like to thank you one more time for another great BRM season. We are not yet at the end but the results are already very good. It will be the second or the third season for the number of homologations with more than 36000 homologated brevets outside France. Of course, 2013 will stay forever as a sad year with the passing of Robert Lepertel, creator of the BRM outside France in 1976 and first president of the Randonneurs Mondiaux in 1983, a towering figure in the sport of randonneuring. For 2014, the Audax Club Parisien will create brevet cards dedicated to Bob. It was also a sad year for some of our BRM organizers. The Audax Club Parisien thanks them all for all they have done to spread the randonneuring ethos. 2013 was also a great year with several new ACP representatives implementing BRM in their country. We were pleased to welcome in 2013 Belarus, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Colombia and some others are close to join us soon. We have now to work on our calendar for 2014. You have to know that we will use the BRM validated in 2014 for the preregistration for PBP 2015, as we did in 2011 (the longest you rode in 2014, the soonest you can preregister). However, there won’t be quotas per country, only a global number of entries. In 2011, we had many available places. It should be the same in 2015 but we have to prevent ourselves from a too large demand. There is no maximum decided yet but it could be from 6000 to 6500 riders, roughly 1000 more than the numbers of riders in 2011. About PBP, we are still uncertain for the date of the event in 2015. It will be held on August 16th to 20th or 23rd to 27th . A decision will be taken in January 2014. Best regards, Jean-Gualbert FABUREL Audax Club Parisien
I would like to record my thanks to you, all the Arrivée team and the contributors for the tributes to Jack Eason. I too have memories of the hours, often in the dark early morning, during which Jack was always the light-hearted encouraging companion. I, being six years younger than he, could only marvel at the many long distance rides which he treated so lightly and which I could not even think of emulating. My sincere thanks, Derek Clark
My husband, Peter Land, died on 1st April this year. Audax gave him such pleasure over the years, and although so many of his contemporaries are no longer with us, those that are would like to know. Reading the tributes to Jack Eason gave me such pleasure, as of course he was one of the people Peter used to relate tales about. I have met a few members at recent dinners and controls and he talked about many others who shared his interest. As he was born in 1928 and was still cycling short distances in 2012 he did very well, and your organisation enriched his life. Thank you, Wyn Land www.aukweb.net
HEADINGOFFICIAL IN HERE
Honorary Officials' Reports 2012/2013 Chairman's Annual Report
This has been a busy year for AUK. The London-Edinburgh-London team produced our largest event ever, and a huge success it was. Behind the scenes there was frantic activity, if not panic, as Paypal refused to play ball and suppliers demanded guarantees or cash up front. Membership is at an all-time high, at least partly due to the 'LEL factor'. This, coupled with an increase in validations, has resulted in a large surplus this year. The future direction of AUK is the subject of heated debate and will be a priority for the board, post-AGM. This AGM will be a busy affair with several proposals, by the board and others, as well as more than the usual number of contested elections. Meanwhile, thank-you to all our hard-working organisers and helpers, and of course our hard-riding members. Ian Hennessey
General Secretary's Annual Report
“May you live in interesting times!” is, I believe, an ancient Turkish curse. Well the past year has certainly been that. It started reasonably routinely with the normal correspondence and queries from members and nonmembers alike, some of which were even about Audax. The Board also embarked on a revision of Regulations and Appendices to make them more suitable for the Club, the results of which will have been circulated to everyone. London-Edinburgh-London was also much discussed and while the communication between the two Boards (LEL 2013 and AUK) was exemplary, some initial difficulties with PayPal needed time to overcome. The actual event went off very smoothly and the organisers and volunteers can bask in the glory of a highly successful ride, and all funds advanced by AUK have now been repaid. There were a couple of accidents on the road leading to claims on our insurance policy and it appears this is cover of last resort, meaning that payment will only be forthcoming if the rider is not insured elsewhere. Members should be aware this applies to all other AUK events too. From June onwards, the corporate governance of this Club (actually a company) began to be discussed and some of the results of these deliberations will be evident in the motions to the AGM – the busiest one I have known. At that stage, I took the decision to stand down, so that another member, with more specialised knowledge could guide the Club onward and it now appears the Board will look very different next year. For the moment, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with other Board members, which has invariably been a pleasurable experience, for which I thank them, and wish both continuing and new committee members every success in taking our Club and pastime forward and upward. Richard Phipps
Publications Manager's Annual Report
Please accept my apologies for not attending the 2013 AUK AGM. In mitigation, I have attended every AGM for over 30 years, since 1985 as a committee and then board member. In the end, the temptation to visit Rajasthan was just too great. This year, Peter Moir has joined the Arrivée editorial team with responsibility for the November issue and very glad we are to welcome some new blood. You will have noticed that the AGM agenda with membership renewal details have been posted separately to ensure your early reception of these vital documents, which were delayed last year at the publishers. My grateful thanks to the Arrivee contributors who continue to pack the magazine with articles and photos; to Tim, who joined us in 1995 and produces the May and August issues; plus Mike Wigley who supplies the membership digital address file for the publishers. The 2014 Handbook will be produced entirely by Francis Cooke who, up to now, has been acting as assistant. I have produced this since 1988, with the exception of two years when Keith Matthews and Francis Cooke each
produced a copy and then passed the job back. As I write, the AGM seems likely to be more lively than usual, whilst being held unfortunately late in the afternoon. May I suggest that in future we consider separating the AGM from the annual dinner and social events? Sheila Simpson
Membership Secretary’s Annual Report
We have a membership of 5517 (as of 30th September 2013) which is 10% up on last year (4996). Who would have thought there were that many long distance cyclists? No doubt the interest created by LEL has been a big factor, with 957 new members (a record) joining during the last 12 months. Females comprise 13.4% Membership, while 98.3% are based in the UK. A third of the membership is aged 45–55 with the most popular age appearing to be 50. The average age of an AUK member is 53 years 6 months. Membership Renewals again become due after the end of December. I created 4906 renewal notices; 1438 have nothing to pay (because they have commuted membership which hasn’t yet expired), 2304 have subscriptions due, and 851 are for Life Members who can renew for free, but if they want Arrivée there is a reduced fee of £9 to pay. Once again I’m anticipating that most renewals will take place online using credit cards, debit cards or PayPal, which really saves us days of work. 2013
one year membership
age under 24
age over 85
I thank my team of helpers, without whom my tasks as Membership Secretary would be quite overwhelming; Ian Hobbs who sends out the “welcome packs” to all new members, and my renewals team of Findlay Watt and Peter Gawthorne. I occasionally receive complaints of non-arrival of copies of Arrivée; these are sent out early in February, May, August and November, and a small number go missing in the post. If you haven’t received yours by the third week of those months, by all means query this with me at mike. firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to keep your details up to date, as I always have several copies returned to me marked “no longer at this address”. We had a big problem with February’s Arrivée, when more than 230 copies went missing. The fault involved every mailing in certain postcode areas, so my guess is that they are still sitting in a mail warehouse somewhere. After hours spent chasing this up you will be please to know that Royal Mail was extremely sorry but they were unable to shed any light, nor offer any compensation. Mike Wigley
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE OFFICIAL
Honorary Officials' Reports 2012/2013 Systems Manager's Annual Report
After 5 years as systems manager I have decided to stand down. Mainly because I’m not finding enough time to move the systems along at any great pace. It’s time for someone else to breathe new life into them. I will be ensuring that the systems continue running after the AGM, and am happy to support the new systems manager in any way I can. And wish them a successful tenure of the post. The Audax UK systems have been running fairly reliably for the whole season. We have had a couple of outages during the year. Questions and problems sent my way have usually been resolved reasonably quickly. Looking back at my report from last year, the plans I had for the 2012/2013 season are still on the table. Namely: •• Complete the revamp of the event planner. •• Move the website to an open source CMS so we can get more people editing the content on the website. •• Investigate making the website more attractive to non members. •• Add online payment option by organisers for all event charges. There have been a number of small changes and improvements during the year , including: •• The membership system now supports 5 digit numbers. We had outgrown the previous 4 digit restriction. •• The end of season / new season cutover, which is a back office task, has been simplified. •• Perms can now be entered online. •• The calendar event pages now include details of the locations of controls the ride uses. •• Online forum for use by the AUK Board. Pete Coates
south of England (although the South-East itself is generally absent) and b) around the Manchester/West Yorks region. Events also tend to cluster around the usual periods in the first half of the year with very few longer events from the end of June onwards. This year has also seen a significant increase in the popularity of online entry, with a total of 362 events offering the facility (either via AUK’s system or the organiser’s own), just over 65% of the total.
Top 5 Organisers (All Events)
This year has seen a total of 554 events (a slight increase from last year), organised by 209 organisers (an increase of 14 from last year). The breakdown of these is shown below (with the number of BRM events in brackets), along with recent years for comparison: 2008
The diagrams and tables at the end of this report show the distribution of the 300km+ events both geographically and throughout the year. As with last year there’s a definite concentration of these events a) across the 6
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No of Events
1 Mark Rigby
2 Chris Crossland
3 John Radford
4 Andy Corless
5 Thomas Deakins
No of Events
1 Mark Rigby
2 Chris Crossland
3 Thomas Deakins
4 Ian Hennessey
5 John Radford
Top 10 Organisers (BR/BRM KM Organised) Organiser
No of Events
1 Mark Rigby
2 Chris Crossland
3 Thomas Deakins
4 Ian Hennessey
5 John Radford
2013 – The Year in Numbers
Top 10 Organisers (KM Organised)
Normal year for recording of events as they were validated. Of the 34 BRM events 31 have been processed through ACP with homologation numbers added to the results. The remaining three will be finalised as the results are validated. A number of members completed rides overseas and having provided evidence of completion the results were added to their records. Approximately 100 members sent queries via the contact facility on the web site. These included claims for various awards, clarification of the rules and regulations, adding rides completed by new members before joining etc. All enquiries and claims were dealt with within a few days of receipt except for periods of holiday. The web site for medals and badges introduced in late February proved to very popular. 240 members have used the site to place orders – an average of 8 orders being processed each week. An additional supply of badges was delivered in August. Allan Taylor
No of Events
Top 5 Organisers (BR/BRM Events)
Recorder’s Annual Report
Event Secretary's Annual Report
Organiser Mark Rigby
Undoubtedly the highlight of the year was London-Edinburgh-London, organised superbly by Danial Webb and the rest of the LEL2013 team, and supported by a great number of tireless and cheerful volunteers. But there were also many other excellent events of all scales organised throughout the year, and all organisers and their helperst are owed our appreciation. With all this going on there’s plenty of competition for the Organiser’s Trophy (notwithstanding LEL itself). Some of the noteworthy nominations include: •• The National 400 was held in the South West this year and saw 88 riders take on a challenging route including Exmoor and the Mendips. The level of support from nearly 40 helpers at various controls received much praise. Less popular were some of the organiser’s gratuitous steep climbs and descents on narrow lanes on the night section. •• Shawn Shaw re-introduced a new generation of randonneurs to the ‘delights’ of the Wessex SR series as the events returned to the calendar on its 25th anniversary. •• Chris Crossland’s ‘Three Coasts’ - camping at the start, good food at HQ with a real at home feel and a trip to Blackpool! www.aukweb.net
HEADINGOFFICIAL IN HERE
Honorary Officials' Reports 2012/2013 •• Garboldisham Grovel - represents the heart of Audax with manned commercial controls and a well catered HQ prepared by the local ladies with a very friendly atmosphere. •• Philip Whiteman and Beacon RCC’s four excellent Audax events throughout the year – Snowdrop & Sunrise Expresses, Clee to Heaven and the brute that is the Kidderminster Killer. Always very smoothly organised; accurate and entertaining route sheets for those who don’t bother with GPS; and copious amounts of cake, sandwiches and hot drinks
Looking Forward to 2014
By the time you read this the calendar of BRM events for 2014 will be published. ACP have announced that they will once again be using 2014 BRM events as pre-qualification to allow earlier registration for Paris-Brest 2015 (although country quotas will not be applied). Organisers of 300km+ events have been encouraged to organise their events as BRM standard wherever possible to ensure AUKs have as much opportunity as possible to pre-qualify. Indications as I write this at the end of September are that there will be plenty of suitable events for anyone looking towards PBP in 2015. The National 400 is moving to Yorkshire for next year, although the demise of the York Cycle Rally (from which it was originally intended to be
held) have put back plans significantly. Full details will be announced in due course.
Organisers Handbook The job of overhauling the Organisers Handbook has been finished this year. I now expect yearly changes to this to be largely minor for a few years. For 2014 my intention is to expand on the basic Organisers Handbook by collating FAQs for organisers, and a “Quick Start” guide to ease the process of getting going for new organisers. A longer term project will be to start collating all the knowledge gained from LEL into a National Events Handbook for aspiring organisers of other large scale events.
The Events Team has remained largely static this year, with the only real change being a re-organisation of the regions covered by the 4 Delegates to even the workload and enable a greater focus on strategy and National Events by the Events Secretary. John Hamilton
LEL Finance Review The dust is slowly beginning to settle, but there are a lot of things still to be resolved: a court case over a failure to supply any goods despite receiving a £3000 deposit; sending brevet cards to France and back to riders; second run clothing orders; and lesser things such as lost medals and faulty zips on clothing. So much as I would like to, I can not give you the FINAL result. A good estimate—yes—but certainty? Sorry, not yet. Before turning to my best estimate of the result, let me comment on the finance side of LEL. Once we had the corporate structure in place, had done our best to avoid having to charge VAT on the entry fee and sorted out the banking set up, then my work was relatively simple for the next 2½ years, mainly trying to get a sensible budget in place, and updated as we learnt more about running the event. Initially this involved “guesses” at the likely number of riders and our costs, leading to alternative entry fee projections. There were the regular reports to the AUK Board—but things were going along comfortably until 4 Jan 2013. That evening I watched our rider tracking info with amazement as entries topped our best estimates within 12 hours. Hurried conversations on what to do, leading to carefully considered amendments and modifications producing the final rider numbers that you are aware of. Some oddities surfaced: PayPal does not work for some countries at all; and tying together payments against rider info gave a big chunk of admin work for Sue and Keith, and me. Amazing how often xxx paid but xxx was not riding, but after detective work it was identified that xxx was paying for yyy. Cracking that in Chinese script was an extra headache. All going swimmingly. £200,000 sitting in PayPal on 6 January, and I am off for 11 weeks to Australia on 25 January. Then absolute horror… On Monday 7 January PayPal block our account completely. They will release no funds until after the event is over. Panic… PANIC… I have 1000 riders coming to an international event in 6 months' time, and I have no money with which to run the event. PANIC… I don’t think I slept well that night. How did we get round this? After discussion, PayPal will release up to 50% of the entry fees against demonstrably proven paid invoices (so that gets me to £100,000). But this was difficult to action, time consuming, and their systems are designed to be unfriendly to the account holder (in my view deliberately). Wherever possible switch any new income to bank (circa £20,000), beg £30,000 more from AUK (agreed, slower than I would have liked, but we got there in the end) and start conversations with LEL's bank about a significant overdraft facility secured on my personal assets. Those steps would hold the fort until mid April when I got back from Oz,
and might be sufficient to fund the key spending months of June and July. And that is how it has turned out – at the moment (18 August) PayPal still holds £30,000 of our money—due to be released at the end of August— but some suppliers have not invoiced us yet, so all is well. My work level now is 5 to 6 hours a day, twice as much as the 3 hours or so for the 2 months before the event, but a lot of this is general tasks rather than finance. Now, what do I think the final results will look like – in very simple summary: INCOME Entry fees Other income (clothing sales, support vehicles etc) TOTAL INCOME COSTS CONTROL COSTS Control rentals Control food and running costs Control Costs CENTRAL COSTS Paypal Beds Web design Barrier Hire Blankets Van hire + costs Volunteers' expense claims Moto crews Medals Volunteers' T-shirts And so on, and so on, for another Total Central costs TOTAL COSTS
£244,000 £11,000 £255,000
£30,000 £114,000 £144,000 £11,000 £10,000 £9,000 £7,000 £5,000 £7,000
£4,000 £3,000 £3,000 £64,000 £43,000 £107,000 (£251,000)
SURPLUS (all being well)
What happens to the surplus? The current plan is to change the company name to LEL 2017 Ltd (which costs nearly nothing to do and saves quite a lot of effort to set up a new company correctly), and leave the surplus behind as cash in the bank account for the new team. Money man says—mission accomplished.
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING OCD NEWSIN HERE
OCD – Ordre des Cols Durs OCD members – "Welcome to AUK". AUK members – "Welcome to OCD, an alternative to AAA". OCD has merged with Audax UK, as a new section. Well, technically, AUK has acquired OCD, subject to approval by the AGM. The Ordre des Cols Durs, or OCD for short, was formed in France in 1960 to promote cyclo-climbing, or the art of collecting cols. The Englishspeaking UK branch has members from all over the world, including France. There are several organisations that promote hill climbing by bike. Audax UK has AAA points, there is Brevet International Grimpeurs or BIG, the Club des Cent Cols or CCC, and UIC. OCD UK is uniquely British, and promotes col claiming in a way which not only suits British cols, but also cols anywhere in the world. Unfortunately the formula has not survived the Internet age well, and membership and the core magazine, which depends totally on contributions from members, are fading away, in a death spiral. OCD is not short of members, and a few continue to join, but there are many older members who retain an interest but are no longer active. The OCD deserves to be more popular, considering the growth in Sportive rides, and mountain climbing events like La Marmotte and Raid Alpine, and the popularity of Audax Altitude Award or AAA points. The OCD has lost critical mass, and now there is not enough material for the original quarterly magazine, which reduces the interest and new membership. To find a way forward for OCD, I met with the Audax UK board in June this year. I pointed out that the OCD was in danger, and that the ethos of OCD and AUK were similar: low-cost, voluntary, noncompetitive challenges, covering significant distances and valuing hills, the AUK via AAA points, and the OCD via col heights. We agreed that a fair way forward would be to transfer the OCD bank balance to AUK, in exchange for one year’s membership for all paid-up OCD members remembering that one sixth of OCD members are already AUK members. I presented this solution in the final issue of the OCD magazine, requesting feedback, which resulted in a vast majority of positive, even enthusiastic, responses, and no negative responses. Many OCD members, like me, are already AUK members, but others will experience what Audax can do for them, and many will continue as AUK members. Audax UK will make pages available in Arrivee for OCD news and articles. That would restore the annual summary of claims, and provide regular and timely publication of articles and photos from members. Claiming cols is another way of enjoying the mountains, and is likely to lead riders into new areas. Unlike AAA points, there is no time limit; there is sufficient challenge in overcoming a significant pass, whether it is Bealach na Ba in Applecross, Scotland, or the Stelvio in the Alps. Of course there are timed challenges which take in many cols, like the Raid Alpine and the Raid Pyreneen, significantly less than Audax speed. Also, there are many AUK events like the Snow Roads and the Elenith which take in major cols. I am sure that the increased publicity among AUK members will result in many members submitting claims, which may revitalise enthusiasm for OCD. 8
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OCD has few rules, but defines cols with some care. Many cols in the Alps and Pyrenees have a sign at the summit, but this is not necessary. Many cols are marked on maps, or at least have a spot height given. Points are awarded for each col or mountain top ascended with a bicycle or similar machine, on the basis of metres above sea level. A mountain top must be a summit, like Mont Ventoux, not just a high point like Alpe d’Huez. A col is defined as having higher ground to both sides, and drainage to a different river ahead and behind, with the road or track going from one side to another. Some roads do not come to a high point at a col, but continue climbing to another col - not in the UK, but there are examples in the Alps. You may claim both cols if you continue climbing to the higher col, but not if you are descending. A col may be claimed only if there is at least 100m ascent since the previous col. Cols under 300m are not normally claimed, though cols over 200m on islands are acceptable, which are mostly climbed from sea level. It is permissible to carry the machine, for example over snow or boulder fields, but the machine must reach the col or summit. The descent may retrace the ascent. A member may claim a col only once in one day, and no more than five times in a year, which avoids rides which are too easy, out and back from a base over the same col, or excessive claims while commuting. There is no minimum time for climbing any col. Claims are on the honour system, with no evidence required. Claims for col points should be submitted annually, by January 1st, and a list will be published in Arrivee following. Recognition in the form of a certificate is sent to a member on attaining the grades: •• Officer with 100,000m •• Commander with 200,000m •• Honourable with 500,000m •• Venerable with one million metres, 10 members at present Currently there are two members with over 2,000,000m. It would have been a loss for the OCD to fade into oblivion with its history and guide material. OCD has had excellent guides to many parts of the world, as well as all over the UK. A few years ago Brendan Rowland updated OCD guides to the Alps and Pyrenees for the Internet, see: http:// www.browland.karoo.net/ocd-guides/ There is a wealth of information to share, and I look forward to moving as much as possible to the AUK website. Merging OCD into Audax UK will produce many savings and simplifications. Most official positions like President, Secretary, and Treasurer will be redundant. I am Membership Secretary and Claims Secretary; with Audax UK, I will continue to check and record claims, and act as “The OCD Man.” I hope this merge will be a good step forward for both the OCD and Audax UK.
Rod Dalitz www.aukweb.net
HEADING RANDONNÉE IN HERE
“If you can meet with triumph and disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same…” DNF by Alan Rogers My younger brother Clive must share the blame for my enthusiasm. Back in the 1970s he bought a bike and began heroic rides around England, and later Europe, reports of which filtered back via the family grapevine. When I began to ride it was as a commuter, tourist, then time-triallist, and most recently a summer Audax dabbler. Great memories of rides together at family Christmas time, including one along a deserted Kingston bypass (yes, really!) and snowy rides round the back of Box Hill. Our paths diverged and Clive resides in Worcestershire, while I live in Aberdeenshire, and we get together for a few rides 2–3 times a year. I’ve been down south for the Kidderminster Killer (twice, I must be barmy) and Over the Severn, among others, and Clive’s ridden the Snow Roads, Cromarty Cruise and most recently Tongue Twister 300 from Portmahomack, on Scottish roads. All highlights in their way, but I have a special fondness for the Pitlochry 200 a couple of years ago, when my wife Anne, Clive and I rode together on a glorious day, Team Rogers at their best! Anne had been DNF on the same ride once, when I had to leave her with an ambulance crew following a drink bottle mishap and resultant broken arm. Unfinished business. This year’s treat “doon sooth” was the Rough Diamond 300 from Tewksbury, via Worcester, Tenbury Wells, Talybont-on-Usk, and Gloucester; fast and flattish, mostly good roads, we were expecting fair weather and were raring to go. A good breakfast, a short drive to the start, a fast but easy pace to the first control at Tenbury Wells, fifty miles in a little over 3hrs. We collected another Rogers on the road, Stephen (no relation), and as we were fairly evenly matched, a good ride seemed in store. Things went a bit weird soon after and I blamed the indigestion on beans-ontoast and a flapjack eaten too quickly, but decided I could ride through it. Armies march on their stomachs and randonneurs ride on theirs; 40 miles later at Hay-on-Wye I knew I’d have to quit. Nothing I’d eaten was moving; I couldn’t drink without feeling sick; it was getting warm and I was dehydrating fast, but felt cold. I'd never had to abandon an Audax before, so this was uncharted territory.
Hay has no railway but with Clive’s local knowledge we found the Tourist Information Centre to enquire about buses to Hereford, the nearest station. I’d probably still be looking for it without his assistance. I’d missed a bus and decided I could limp to Hereford under my own power, and after wasting half-an-hour of his time I got Clive back on the road with assurances I’d be OK. He went on to complete in 14½ hours without needing lights, over lovely roads with a gentle tailwind. The ride to Hereford was the worst I can recall on a bike, but I didn’t need to walk up anything, and found I could drink a little water if I stopped and rested whilst I did so. I think the 20-or-so miles took about 2 hours, but got me to the station quicker than the earliest bus. My destination, Hartlebury station, has around 2 trains a day, and one of them was waiting to leave in 10 minutes. I’ve never been so glad to get on a train in my life, or felt so lucky! A slow trip it may have been, but I had only ½ mile to ride at the end of it, and I’d expected to have to do at least 6. When Clive arrived home many hours later he was so disappointed with the day, but I think I convinced him it had been a triumph. We’d dealt with a potential disaster calmly, we got out of the mess we were in, I arrived back home safely and he finished a lovely ride in a very good time. If we ever have to self-rescue in future we’ll have an idea how to do it, and isn’t Audax about the journey anyway? I ended up the day with 110 miles, half of them ridden without food or enough to drink. I know now what’s possible, and more important, what’s not, and that there’s no shame in physical defeat. The cause of all this misery was almost certainly a bug picked up by Clive’s youngest daughter on the way back from a university field trip to Madagascar. She was rather poorly with it when I arrived in Worcestershire the previous Wednesday, as was her Mum. It was nearly 2 weeks before I returned to my normal cyclist’s diet; “pile it high, eat it quick”, during which time I lost 2 kilos from an already unhealthily spare frame. It looks like the Rough Diamond goes on the list of unfinished business to be tackled in another season.
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www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE POPULAIRE
Three Towers and Middle Earth 125k Sunday 11th August Geoff Sharpe, Ribble Blue It’s been a bit of a lean time for Audaxes in the South West this summer with a couple not running this year, so when this one came up I thought I would get a group of CTC Torbay members together for a day’s cycling out of North Petherton. John Cooper, Arnie Read, Dave Prudden and myself made up the group and joined about 80 others from the Westcountry for a 125k ride around the Somerset levels and the hills up in the Stourhead area to visit Othery, Alfred’s and Glastonbury towers. A flat, fast 20k alongside the canals and dykes gets you past the first tower at Barrowbridge and on to Langport in record time, then it’s another 10k along the A372 and up a couple of climbs for Somerton. The route takes to the minor roads after that through some pictureque villages to arrive at the first control at Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford. Several familiar faces were at the control including John Thacker and Mike Steer from Exeter and Stuart Cottle down from Weston. We joined a group for a few miles heading for the second control at Alfreds tower on the Stourhead estate. Things start to change, gone are those flat, fast roads only to be replaced with some short but nasty little climbs that always prove steeper than they appear and always find me in the wrong gear. Alfreds tower can be seen in the far distance but always appears intimidating as it continues to stand up high. It’s not until you get to within a mile or so from it that you see why, as you start to get to grips with its 1 in 5 climb. With a lot of grunts and thoughts of, “what a way to spend a Sunday,” I manage to stay on the bike and make it to the top—quite a number walked it. An easy ride alongside the estate wall followed by a series of downhills along a B-road found us going around the one way system in the historic market town of Bruton. A few short miles out of the town brought us to the next control in the village hall at Ditcheat for a well earned cake and a few cuppas. The third section involved 45k of lanes, a host of picturesque villages and views of Glastonbury tower in the distance. The route used to go up to Glastonbury, but with the heavy traffic in that area the organisers changed the route a few years ago, so we only view it now. Out on the A39 for 12/15km into a bit of a head wind—pleased I’m riding in a group to give me a bit of shelter—to arrive back at Barrowbridge, and retrace the route back to the finish. Thanks to Keith Tudball and his crew for an enjoyable day’s cycling, sunny weather which appears always to be the case on this event, and a nice change to be cycling along some new lanes.
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HEADING RANDONNÉE IN HERE
Windsor–Chester–Windsor 600k This was the UK’s first ever 600k event, running from 1976 until 1995, organised by the late AUK founder and secretary, John Nicholas, for much of that time. It was the only 600 in the UK for the first few years but it inspired and paved the way for many to qualify and ride the Paris–Brest–Paris, especially in 1979. The Windsor–Chester–Windsor was unique in that entrants could choose their preferred start/finish point from Windsor, Worcester, Telford or Tarvin (Chester), which would surely create logistical problems these days. It also had its own unique medal (pictured). Many of the (older!) readers must certainly have some fond memories of this classic and historical event, so perhaps some of you might like to share some of your memories in future editions of this great magazine of ours. In its first few years, the Windsor–Chester–Windsor started from someone's house on the Maidenhead Road, Windsor, or at the other end from a caravan parked up in a pub car park at Tarvin (the closest it ever actually got to Chester). The controls were at The Raven 24 hour café near Whitchurch and the Pear Tree Services at Oxford, with a couple of tents at the roadside near Telford and again near Worcester. Over the years though, the start and finish points moved about a bit including from Beaconsfield and later from Marlow. The Windy Ridge café at Kelsall became the turning point for a good few years—some 12km East of Chester— which was also the start/finish of several other early AUK events, some organised by the Weaver Valley cycling club. In later years, Warrington and even Knutsford became the turning point. The Kidderminster CTC eventually used their clubroom as a control with excellent sleeping facilities upstairs, and with the 24 hour café control at the Raven Café at Prees near Whitchurch the event surely looked good to last the test of time. However, the event was one that used main roads throughout, many of which were narrow and, at times, very busy. It was a sad day indeed when it was announced that the event was to be discontinued. Could no-one come up with a suitable new route?
I had always felt that something could be done to resurrect an event as classic and historical as Windsor–Chester–Windsor surely was, and believed that someone, somewhere would eventually come up with a new, quieter route. During the cold winter nights, I spent many hours studying my maps until I finally came up with a new route. I mentioned it to several different people in the hope that they might take it further! After successfully organising a couple of shorter Audax events I began thinking that I should be able to manage to do this myself with the help of some friends and an appeal for volunteers. www.aukweb.net
Cheshire it is likely to be suitable for both I was only too aware that all but very new and experienced riders alike. The first few of the current calendar 600s were run control is at Eynsham at 73km, then it's on to as ‘shoestring’ events with entrants barely Chipping Campden at 124km. The village hall into double figures, which made me doubt at Belbroughton is the next control at 182km whether my idea would be financially and the chance for your first bag-drop. From viable. The Bryan Chapman 600 was the there it's onto Muxton (Telford) at 234km and only one that received a substantial entry then the turn at Christleton scout hut. Chester every year probably due to the fact that at 304km, where a team of helpers will be Kings Youth Hostel is used as a control as waiting to cater for your every need! well as for sleeping at, and together with its The next control will be at Upton Magna stunning scenery and challenging 8500m of village hall where sleeping facilities will be climbing this appeared to draw the riders available as well as another bag-drop (372km), to it. Not everyone, though, may be overly but for those that prefer it there is also a keen on so much climbing and before the Travelodge just off the route at Shrewsbury Bryan Chapman it was a very flat 600 from (Battlefield). The faster riders might prefer Doncaster which was very popular for several to push on to Belbrougton again (435km) years. I felt certain that there was room where there will be further sleeping facilities for another ‘big’ 600 in the calendar, available. From there its back to Chipping and after speaking to John Campden (493km) and Wheatley (560km) Hamilton who suggested that before a relatively easy final leg back to the the village hall at Upton Magna finish in Windsor. might make for a good sleep stop, The success and future of this event I was beginning to think that the depends on receiving a good entry. It is open Windsor–Chester–Windsor might for entries now, either postal or PayPal. For just make it back into the calendar £20, riders will be fed and watered at most again. I really did not want such a classic and historical event to be run on controls, together with two bag-drops. The Travelodges can be really cheap when a shoestring budget, though. It deserved booking well in advance. Please do consider so much better than that. this event for next year. Although there has To begin with, I had problems in finding already been a good response for volunteers suitable places for controls as not everyone was keen on locking or un-locking their village to help out at the controls, more are still needed, so if you feel left out while your halls in the middle of the night. The cost of some would have also pushed the budget into husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend (delete as appropriate) is out riding their bike to Chester the red. Eventually I was able to secure some and back, why not volunteer to help out and very good halls that I feel sure the riders will become part of the event. A further request be pleased with. The date has been set for for volunteers may also appear in the next 9–10 August 2014 and after the success of the issue. LEL this year, it is to be hoped that this will be one of the big events for next year. First of all, there will be sleeping facilities at the start in Windsor on the Friday night for a small fee, although there is also a Travelodge in the town which is just a few minutes walk away, but be advised that you need to book early to get a good deal there. Why not make a long weekend of it and visit the Castle while you are there? Sleeping facilities at the start are also limited, so it will be on a ‘first come, first Superb choice of Clothing and Accessories served’ basis and will need to be reserved in Large range of cycles on display advance. Excellent Wheel Building Service Now for the route. and Workshop It's not completely flat as you have to cross both the Chilterns and Cotswolds, but with 4899m of total climbing it is substantially less hilly than some 600’s and with some long flat sections across
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HEADING INTOURING OVERSEAS HERE
Lakes, Valleys and Iconic Mountain Cols 1000km from Geneva to Venice
David Matthews Fresh from riding the Route of the French “Grandes Alpes” from Geneva to Nice in 2012, and having crossed the Pyrenees the year before that, Geneva to Venice seemed a logical next step for “Cycling Extravaganza 2013”. The route taken describes an irregular south easterly arc of 1050km from Thonon Les Bains on Lake Geneva (start as for Geneva-Nice but that route heads due south) with key location points at Andermatt, Lugano, Lake Como, Bormio and Cles on the way to a 130km flat finish from Cittadella into Venice. Our team for this ride was the veterans group from Geneva-Nice 2012 comprising Daves Matthews, Pipe and Robinson, Martin Donaldson and Ray Stigter. At the last minute we were joined by obsessive cyclist Herman the Herminator from Holland on a brief jaunt to add to his cols tally. With an age range in the group of mid 40s to 68yrs, we were undoubtedly in for a tough challenge on this 11 day ride with 16,500m total ascent.
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
ur route was devised by Gav McDonald and Cheryl Frost of “Rather be Cycling”, a small tour company based in the Lake District. Their standard Geneva-Venice route takes 8 days from Thonon to the town of Mestre near Venice airport. This allows people with jobs to complete the ride within one week’s holiday and a couple of weekends. Our bunch however is either semi- or fully-retired so we do not have normal time constraints, and wish to ride at a slightly more relaxed pace than your average middle aged Etape rider. After some discussion, a bespoke eleven-day plus prologue route was devised allowing one extra day to get through the mountains, and a “rest day” at Bormio so we could ride the Stelvio Pass. Finally two extra days were added at the end of the ride to enable us to reach Venice by a series of canal-side cycle paths before island hopping from Chioggia to the Venice Lido (fantastic!). So all we had to do was get fit for this significantly harder and longer challenge, compared with our previous exploits. The Chester group did this by persevering on long rides through the winter, then training in Majorca and the Costa Blanca before riding a continuous series of Audax AAA rides through the spring until our departure in late June. David Robinson became obsessive about getting a good time on the Fred Whitton Challenge in the Lake District, which is ideal training for the rigours of the Alps. Herman cycles all the time and appears to be permanently fit enough to take on just about any cycle challenge.
Our flight from Liverpool to Geneva was rendered hassle-free as “Rather be Cycling” took our bikes and luggage from the Crewe junction of the M6 to Geneva in the support van, leaving early on prologue day minus three. We were then reunited with the van on the Swiss side of Geneva Airport, changed into cycling kit, screwed on the bike pedals and set off on the 43km prologue to Thonon Les Bains alongside Lake Geneva. All this was very familiar from last year, including a stay at the same hotel. Here we met Herman who
"unsurprisingly given the current spate of revelations... the names on the tablet are stuck on rather than engraved." had travelled from Holland by plane and bike, pulling his luggage along in a neat little trailer. As a true col addict, Herman had even ridden a couple before our arrival.
• Day 1 • Thonon Les Bains to Zweisimmen • • 112km • 1600m ascent • We set out into cloudy, cool weather to ride east alongside Lake Geneva to the UCI World Headquarters at Aigle, where Cheryl met us with the van for a welcome coffee stop. It was good to see groups of riders returning from training runs to the headquarters— sometimes one forgets the cycling amidst all the current politics. Inside the building there is a two-thirds-size velodrome, flanked by large banners depicting heroes of the past. There is also a large stone tablet honouring those who have made a special contribution to cycling history such as Eddie Merckx. Intriguingly and possible unsurprisingly given the current spate of revelations regarding supercharging, the www.aukweb.net
OVERSEAS HEADINGTOURING IN HERE names on the tablet are stuck on rather than engraved. There seems to be a faint shadow where an American's star fell off! After our brief visit to the UCI we set off onto the first serious col of the tour—the Col de Mosses at 1445m with 1028m ascent in 18.8km. The pecking order of the group soon established itself as Dave P and David M gracefully fell off the back of the front group (the split was roughly 30mins per 1000m ascent, but we are the genuine pensioners!) whilst ultra fit and strong Gav kept in touch with all of us. The weather was cold and unpleasant at the summit, so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and enjoyed a long descent to our first hotel at Zweisimmen. The hotel was right next to the railway station and after my painful efforts on the col it was tempting to book a one way ticket home to Chester, but insanity prevailed as I checked in to our hotel for the evening routine of shower, kit-wash, rehydrate, eat and sleep.
• Day 2 • Zweisimmen to Meiringen • • 86km and mostly downhill • In spite of the damp, cloudy weather, the day started comfortably with lots more downhill toward Lakes Thun and Brienz, which flank Interlaken. There is a lot of traffic in this area on major roads, forced by geography alongside the lakes. This congestion could be tricky for bikes, but fortunately the Swiss have engineered a superb cycleway that follows the lakeside for several kilometres before twisting and turning under the main road to avoid the cars. Whilst riding around the lakes, every now and then the mists would clear a little to give us tantalising glimpses of impressive waterfalls and huge rock walls up above. We were now entering the land of the seriously lumpy stuff. More cycleways beyond the lakes led us to Meiringen where we spent time wandering around the excellent Sherlock Holmes Museum. (His supposedly fatal duel with Moriarty took place at the impressive Reichenbach waterfalls above the town.)
• Day 3 • Meiringen to Andermatt • • 71km • 2800m ascent • Dave P and David M set off 30 minutes early on the long approach to the Grimsel Pass (2165m, with 1540m ascent in 26km from Innertkirchen) to gain useful distance on the fast team. The weather was still cloudy and cool which at the lower levels was ideal for climbing. The ascent proved to be a car spotter’s delight as we were overtaken by exotica ranging from 1930s Le Mans Bentleys to very sleek looking V8 Mercedes sports cars. The noise they made was fantastic and amplified as they changed down a gear to accelerate through the tunnels. Somehow these cars seemed a lot less intrusive than the plague of noisy, rasping motorbikes that now ruin the peace of so many of the big cols in Europe. The Grimsel Pass is surrounded by superb rock walls and mountain scenery, but all this gradually disappeared into the mist as we ascended. There is a huge dam and artificial lake a few hundred metres below the summit
that would be a spectacular sight in good conditions. Unfortunately the weather had really closed in by now and we pressed on through an ever colder, ever thicker mist to the summit cafe where we could enjoy our summer holidays in snowfall at a temperature of 1°C. Fortunately Cheryl was waiting at the cafe with our grab bags to allow us to change into full winter gear and thick gloves for the descent to the Furka pass. After a large, hot sausage roll and 2 cups of coffee in the hotel (too cold to care about the exorbitant cost), we descended through the mist and snow to break out into a fantastic view of the huge, high level valley (1368m) between the Grimsel and Furka passes (2431m, with 1063m ascent in 16.5km). The Furka Pass is beautifully constructed with many smooth hairpin bends providing a nice, even gradient. We were soon climbing back into the mist but by some freak of the weather it was a relatively balmy 5°C at the summit, in spite of being 300m higher than the Grimsel Pass. The descent to Andermatt was rather exciting through the rain, cold and whiteout, but eventually we all arrived safely in Andermatt after one of the hardest days of the trip.
• Day 4 • Andermatt to Morcote (Lugano) • • 130km • 1300m ascent • Once again the two Daves set off early for the climb to the summit of the San Gottardo pass (2091m, with 932m ascent in 12.7km). The weather was cloudy at first but blue patches starting peeping through the cloud cover, which cheered us up greatly after yesterday’s snow and rain. The San Gottardo pass is known for its cobbled surface, which might have been fine for a coach and horses to get a grip on the steep ascents but gives a rather
uncomfortable ride on a pushbike. All of the cobbles are now bypassed by a modern road, passing through numerous galleries built into the hillside. During the ascent David M opted for the gallery route for the last few km whilst the hardier, more traditional types rode the cobbles. Ironically, there seemed to be more motor traffic on the cobbles as a collection of motoring exotica took in the full col experience. Once gathered on the summit, leader Gav insisted that we descend the pass down the cobbles of the legendary Via Tremola (known to some of us irreverent types as Via Trembolo), as the new road galleries were wet, dark, horrible and car-infested. Well if you want to shake wrists, neck, shoulders, backside and bike to bits, this is the way to go. The descent was an especially memorable experience for Dave R who was using a pair of very expensive, very stiff carbon fibre wheels on his very expensive, very stiff carbon fibre bike which combination attempted to shake its rider and cassette to bits on the descent. Some of us were forced to protest at this treatment by inverting our happy biscuits to become misery biscuits at the coffee stop beyond the descent. Fortunately the roads improved as we sped down a very long gradual descent through an industrial valley to Bellinzona at the foot of Mount Ceneri. The weather was warming up at last as we climbed a hot, exposed and busy main road to the summit of Mount Ceneri (554m, with 344m ascent in 6.5km). Beyond the summit we descended into the hell of Lugano at the rush hour and it took us some time to traverse this city before we emerged to ride alongside the beautiful Lake to our hotel at Morcote.
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING INTOURING OVERSEAS HERE • Day 5 • Morcote (Lugano) to Cadenabbia (Lake Como) and Madonna di Ghisallo • • 63km • 1500m ascent • This is the day we left Switzerland for Italy, crossing the border during the ascent of the very steep d’Intelvi Pass (892m, with 615m ascent in 10.4km; sections of 18-20% gradient). This pass was undoubtedly the steepest of the whole trip as it was the only time my front wheel lifted off the road due to gradient— and this was before the slope eased off to an indicated 18%! The pass starts insignificantly after the causeway across the middle of Lake Lugano but soon ramps up through a small village and climbs up through several border posts before breaking out of the trees to an open, flat summit at Cerano d’Intelvi. Now, Gav had warned us to watch out for a change in car driving style as we crossed into Italy, as some Italian drivers can be downright aggressive. Well we substantiated this in full measure as a blue Polo tried to drive David M off the road as he overtook through some tasty hairpins on the long fast descent to Lake Como. There is a small rise in the middle of this descent, at which point the blue Polo caught up and attempted to viciously chop both Gav and then David M off the road. Charming! Following this, David M had another nasty experience when a Range Rover turned left into a side road without looking, right across his front wheel, and nearly wiped him into a nearby shop front. Malice and incompetence in the space of 10km—better watch out! We re-grouped on the shore of Lake Como near Argegno to ride the busy lakeside road. There was plenty of traffic, but fortunately the drivers here seemed a lot more respectful of cyclists as we rode 10km through towns and villages to the ferry terminal at Cadenabbia. The ferry took us east across the lake to Bellagio, and a steep 3km ascent followed to take us on to our swish Hotel Perlo Panorama for lunch. The views from this hotel were really outstanding as we looked north over Lake Como to the surrounding Swiss and Italian Peaks.
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
In the afternoon we had the optional treat of riding 5km and approx 300m ascent to the cyclists’ chapel at Madonna di Ghisallo. This was well worth the effort as we looked at bikes formerly belonging to the likes of Coppi, Bartarli and Fondreist and, somewhat morbidly, the bike that Casartelli ploughed into a wall on the Portet d’Aspet. We even got to hold the bars of one of Eddie Merckx’s bikes in the cycling museum. Maybe, maybe, some of his magic strength and charisma would be transferred to us mere mortals?
marked by countdown signs on the hairpins just like Alpe d’Huez, but on the Stelvio the signs are marked with alpine flowers rather than Tour stage winners. During the long and exciting descent, David M was overtaken by a couple of Garmin Pros. These guys gave a master class in
"at various points an off-road excursion would lead to a 1000m drop and certain doom"
A quick 3km descent led us to another ferry and lake crossing NW to Varenna. We then followed a well-engineered lakeside road through many galleries to the foot of the Vatellina cycle route heading gradually uphill and due east for 40km alongside a wide, glacial river to Grosio. Beyond Grosio, start of the hard side of the dreaded Mortirolo pass, we left the cycleway and climbed ever-steeper roads over a couple of unnamed passes to Bormio. This day was unexpectedly hard work as the original itinerary showed 600m ascent; this turned out to be 1500m which was somewhat psychologically damaging as we climbed the last steep pass before Bormio, feeling rather more tired than anticipated.
hairpin descending technique which was greatly appreciated whilst following their excellent lines. Once back in Bormio David M was, as ever, lost in the town trying to find the hotel. A sudden shout from over the road revealed Ray and Martin, fully changed and rested, looking for a pizzeria. This was duly found and David M and his bike subsequently pointed back at the hotel, which he found with only two wrong turnings (well he does live in the country!). A special mention on this day for Dave R, who crossed the Stelvio summit before descending the NW side of the pass in order to climb the harder side back to the top. Also for Herman who, having ridden the Stelvio on a previous trip, rode back to Grosio before returning via the feared Mortirolo (1852m) and Gavia passes to Bormio. Chapeau to both.
• Day 7 • Bormio. Passo Stelvio • • 49km • 1533m ascent •
• Day 8 • Bormio to Cles • • 100km • 2200m ascent •
In spite of earlier rumours that the Stelvio and Gavia passes had closed due to late snowfalls, we had perfect weather and a clear road— although large snow banks remained near the summit—for our “rest day” ascent of the Stelvio (2758m, with 1533m ascent in 21.5km). Memories of the ascent, after getting lost in Bormio and ascending 100m up the wrong pass, are old galleries with tricky bends inside, multi hairpins, amazing mountain views, and a steep last few km to the rather tacky summit with its stalls, cafes and shops. Progress on the ascent is
Day 8 dawned clear and bright as we resumed our path to Venice over the famed Gavia Pass (2621m, with 1404m ascent in 25.6km). This pass has a reputation for bad weather and bad roads but we were fortunate to find neither on this occasion. There is a large hotel at the summit with one wall taken up with a huge picture celebrating 50 years of the Giro d’Italia. The descent from this pass was more remarkable than the ascent, plunging through dark galleries, unprotected bends and some tricky road surfaces. This is not a descent to get wrong as at various points an off-road excursion would lead to a 1000m drop and certain doom in the valley. At the foot of the Gavia we changed from the sublime to the mundane—ascending the wooded Passo del Tonale (1884m, with 646m ascent in 10.9km) to the desolate, very outof-season ski town on the summit. The route improved greatly after this, giving an excellent descent down to the Val di Sole cycle route at Fucine. This was followed for 30km through pleasant woods (and crossing several lethal gullies) in worsening, wet weather to the main road near Mostizzolo and a minor pass to our hotel in Cles. That evening we were introduced to former World Champion, World Cup and Milan-San Remo winner Maurizio Fondriest who is based in Cles and had agreed with Gav to accompany us for the first 45km of the ride next day to Trento.
• Day 6 • Varenna (Lake Como) to Bormio • • 138km • 1500m ascent •
OVERSEAS HEADINGTOURING IN HERE • Day 9 • Cles to Asiago • • 120km • 2000m ascent In the morning, we descended a short way from the hotel to Maurizio’s shop where we admired the trophies and bikes on display. Maurizio now produces his own range of well regarded carbon fibre bikes and rode with us on a model worth about 10,000 euros, sporting the latest Lightweight brand carbon fibre wheels and Dura-Ace 11 speed electronic group set. Very nice! I must confess that as a confirmed lanterne rouge I was a little nervous that the group pace would soon accelerate beyond my humble limits, to match that of Gav and Maurizio. However, Maurizio was the perfect gentleman and ensured that the riding pace enabled all of us to stick together. The route from Cles followed various riverside cycleways as it gradually descended amongst dramatic dolomite peaks to the outskirts of Trento, where Maurizio left us to ride back, uphill, to his cycle business. Beyond Trento we followed some minor cols until we reached the village of Caldonazzo at the foot of the Passo di Vezzena (1404m, with 926m ascent over 14.5km). This was to be the last, but not least, big col climb of the trip and we had been warned to expect “major steepness”. The pass certainly lived up to its reputation as we rode up many hairpins with gradients of 15%+, all the time surrounded by spectacular
views of the Brenta Dolomites in the background. The last 4km are somewhat easier leading to a long descent to the town of Asiago and a great sense of relief that “it’s all downhill to Venice from here”.
• Day 10 • Asiago to Cittadella • • 56km • all downhill • What a treat after all our previous hard work! A super descent to a small cycling museum for coffee and then an easy flat ride to the circular, fortified town of Cittadella. This town is like a small version of Carcassonne in the Pyrenees but is almost unknown to the British. As we had arrived early, we took advantage of our spare time to watch the Tour de France in a local cafe and then walk the town and walls to avoid falling asleep by mid-afternoon.
• Day 11 • Cittadella to Venice • • 132km • flat • The temperature was well up by now and reached 36°C as we rode at a steady 28 to 30kph on cycleways alongside the many irrigation canals in this area. Our scenic, rural route avoided Venice city by skirting around to the south to the ferry port of Chioggia. We all agreed that this is a much better way of finishing the ride than going direct into Mestre—well worth the extra 2 days on the itinerary. At 40km into the ride we stopped at an innocuous speed bump to celebrate passing
the 1000km mark of the trip. Beyond this point we followed a delightful series of cycle paths alongside the irrigation canals flowing gently down to the sea at Venice. There was still some riding to do after catching the ferry at Chioggia; 5km north along a narrow strip of land to another ferry terminal at Santa Maria del Mare. This ferry hop took us onto the Venice Lido where a final 5km ride took us to our hotel on the waterfront. A beautiful location to end an exhausting, beautiful and memorable ride through the Swiss and Italian Alps.
• Day 11+1 • • The water taxi • Next morning Gav and Cheryl set off back to England with all our bikes and luggage in the support van. As there were five of us going to the airport, we could afford to hire a private water taxi. This met us right outside the hotel and ferried us at high speed through the Venice lagoons to the airport jetties—a final treat before returning to UK . Many thanks to Gav and Cheryl of “Rather be Cycling” who did a fantastic job in devising this superb route, booking excellent hotels, and generally supporting us every step of the way. (NB distances are accurate, ascent figures are approximate. Total ascent figure is taken from our GPS records at the end of the trip for the standard 1050km+43km prologue route).
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE LEL
There was a nice article in Cycling Weekly recently about the Mersey Roads 24 Hour. It described the ‘fun’ aspects of it. A demonstration of that was a helper dressed as Spiderman passing a feed up to a rider. The rider was Byron Buck, who went on to ride a very creditable 425.36 miles. I was there when this incident happened, Byron seemed to be appreciative of this gesture, but a little resigned as well. ‘Spiderman’ was a climbing friend, who wanted cheer his rider up in the depths of the night. But Byron is the son of
week after his first 24 hour time trial. I’d decided that LEL2013 would be filmed in higher quality video than previous long distance rides. I’d made films of LEL and PBP from the bike before, using lightweight cameras, combined with interviews by my partner Heather and roadside video from my friend Dave Robinson. I’d hoped that the march of technology would have thrown up the ideal camera. It hadn’t. So I decided to DNS LEL and follow it on a motorbike instead. A decision made easier by not
actually relevant to the LEL. Audax is in the process of thinking about dragging itself into the 21st Century, and LEL2013 was part of that. But the roots of Audax lie in rides such as the 24. I’ve got a glass commemorating the Centenary North Road Club 24 in 1998, so part of me, still in the 19th Century, waiting to be dragged into the 20th. A century I can’t help feeling might go badly. Alongside those embodying the traditions of 130 years of British club cycling there would be lots of 21st Century cyclists, with GPS, smart-
Drew Buck, well known for enlivening Paris Brest Paris with his ancient bikes and period costumes. So for Byron, this sort of display comes with the territory. ‘Spiderman’ said he hoped that no one took offence at a possible lack of respect for a serious event. We were in the middle of our stint marshalling a key roundabout, so we thought it was funny and diverting—I was mainly concerned about the video of it being lit well enough. The significance of the incident for me was that I could explain how Byron’s dad had behaved on three editions of Paris–Brest–Paris, in a series of videos, from 2003, 2007 and 2011. I had interviews in all those years, and I’d be able to edit a sequence of about 5 minutes very easily. But the story I should be telling is of Byron’s good debut ride in Derby Mercury colours. Drew Buck would start the following week’s London Edinburgh London, and there was speculation about what sort of attention-grabbing machine he might wheel out from his extensive collection. Byron would also start LEL. The interwoven story of Father and Son is the sort of ready-made scenario that makes for good viewing. But the Audax community knows about Drew, and would probably want to know more about how Byron felt riding the LEL a
being fit enough after a long winter and some health issues. I tested one camera by following part of the Pendle 600km Audax. Held by some to be the hardest ride they’d done. The weather was challenging enough for me on a motorbike, and was extremely chastening for the riders. The result was a nice film of about 17 minutes, some valuable experience, and a painful bout of sciatica which would last for 2 months. My mate Dave is a perfectionist, and I’m not, so I defer to him on technical matters. We had a choice between a camera which would be waterproof and simple to edit, and one which produced files acceptable to the BBC. We went for the BBC approved one. It would be more intrusive to use than the smaller kit I’m used to, and I wondered if it would be intimidating to anyone but the natural show-offs. Strangely I’ve done so much filming over the years that there’s a core of media trained Audaxers who know I’m not out to show them up. Take the mickey a bit perhaps, but I do Audax because I like it, and they trust that. I took the new Canon XF100 to the Mersey Roads 24, and got lots of great footage that’s difficult to edit, and has been put to one side while we busy ourselves with the LEL project. The 24 is
phones and bikes made of exotic metals and plastic in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes. That bewilderment would be two way, as many wouldn’t understand the local language, or have been to anywhere on the route. Mainly these would be Londoners, but the same applied to anyone from the other 32 nations. Those from India and Taiwan might feel the cold, but the Siberians and Alaskans were unlikely to be too bothered. The filming of LEL went well. It was an interesting contrast to riding it and filming it. Normally the story is of my ride, augmented by Heather’s interviews. I’d wanted to capture the diehards, the foreigners and the newbies in equal measure, and we achieved that, while conveying the scenery and the conditions. We’ve actually over-fulfilled our ambitions and could make a TV mini series, especially with the back-stories from previous rides. We do have a deadline for a film of a sensible length though, the AGM in November. That’s when the DVD and Blu-Ray will be ready. An ideal Christmas present. Details available at damonpeacock. com
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See the review of Damon's LEL2013 DVD/ BluRay, page 54
HEADING OVERSEAS IN HERE DIY
Mallorca Moonpig - A 150km DIY by GPS Martin Malins
I set myself the goal of 200 AAA for this season so every ride had to count, even when supposed to be relaxing in the sun! I’d booked the family holiday back in January on the proviso that I could have a 2 day pass to cycle. We settled on Mallorca as it was our 5th time there and the others seemed happy to veg by the pool or in front of a Nintendo DS for most of the week. Louise Rigby makes a regular trip there in the spring and furnished me with the GPX tracks of two nice hilly routes, a 150 and a 100km; she also recommended a good bike hire shop 2Gocycling in Puerto Pollenca where we were staying. I was able to reserve a Specialized for only €34 for 2 days, about the same as it would have cost to take my own bike on the flight. The resort has not only the advantage of plentiful bike hire but is also very close to the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range which runs along the Northern edge of the island. After a hearty and unhealthy “all you can eat” breakfast at the hotel I pitched up as they were unlocking the shop. 15 minutes later the forms were signed my pedals were fitted, the saddle raised as far as it would go and I was off heading towards the hills. The ride was pan flat for the first 10k before it hit the first col just after Pollenca the former island capital. They are not quite as serious about their cols as the French, just a sign at the bottom with the distance and gradient, this one was 5.5% and 7.8km. About 500m into the climb I realised the saddle was still too low, and thought of flagging down other riders to borrow an Allen key, but soon found out that the seat pin was just loose enough to yank up another 2cm without the danger of falling back down. With new found energy I reached the 515m summit just as the sun was cranking up to Regulo 6. Just afterwards at 570m is the famous petrol station and bar at which all routes in the mountain range converge. Two litres of water from the chiller cabinet was a welcome stop, and I continued up towards L’Escorca where the spectacular Torrent de Pareis gorge drops northwards towards the sea. Eventually I reached the beautiful Gorch Blau where another gorge has been dammed to make a reservoir, you could be mistaken for thinking
you were in the Rockies up here. And thence onwards and upwards to the reason for the ride’s name. I came up with Moonpig as the landscape is very lunar up there and you pass the island’s highest point the Puig Major (or simply the Pig to most cyclists). On top of the mountain a military tracking post sits brooding, all out of bounds and you’d probably need an MTB to reach it anyway. But continuing on the road I reached the non-illuminated 400m tunnel (good thing I had a small LED light on the back of my helmet) which precedes the fantastic descent to sea level at Puerto de Soller. This popular resort has really boomed since they opened a road tunnel from Palma, and has given the added benefit that the former road over the col is now almost deserted and a perfect way back down south. Dropping down the many hairpins to Bunyola I was faced with a new col (thanks Louise!) back over to Lorient in the foothills. Descending back to Selva is probably the most scenic part of the ride with a huge valley carved out of the rock from which you have a commanding view of the Puig. There was just one more climb now, back up to the petrol station. This has some lovely shaded hairpins and a fantastic balcony view but I was really feeling the intense heat by now (most riders come here in the spring not August!) and was very relieved to reach the 570m summit and a large cerveza! I dropped all the way back down to Puerto Pollenca, taking a lovely cycle route though quiet lanes for the last 8km to arrive just in time for a welcome dip in the hotel pool! Before that I sheepishly asked at reception where I might leave my bike overnight and was directed down to the basement. The whole place was a mass of bike racks; it seems they fill the hotel with cyclists in March and April. Back home and my GPS track recorded a very handy 3.75 AAA for the day. A highly recommended ride, also check out Sa Calobra which is Spanish for snake so you get the idea! (But bring a plentiful supply of water.)
Before Get-You-Home Top Tip!
After a blowout on his front tyre, Rob Davenport rode half of July's Dark Peak Grimpeur 100km with a repair using two zip-ties removed from a nearby signpost. Apparently, the zip-ties don't actually touch the road, provided you achieve a suitable tyre pressure. And you also need to remove the brake blocks. Rob thanks Robert Browning for coming up with the idea!
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE RANDONNÉE
“Momma” Audax / C&NW CTC Rides, September 2013 David Matthews
These events, now in the third year of running, are based on Old Ma’s cafe at Tattenhall nr Chester, hence the name. There are 3 rides allowing entries by cyclists with various shades of ability, fitness and experience. Firstly the 209km, 3400m ascent “Pistyll Packing Momma” which takes an easy 50k route to Chirk and goes on to visit Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall, Lake Vyrnwy, Bala, the Shelf and Llanfynydd before a stiff return over Hope Mountain. The climbs after Chirk are steep and concentrated, so this ride gives a very tough day out, even in good conditions.
for the day. Incredibly, he did all this on fixed! Secondly to Billy Weir who came up from Surrey to ride 3 × 200km, 3500m ascent rides whilst he was in the area. Billy left some comments on the yacf website regarding his experience of Pistyll Packing Momma, namely:
•• the waterfall at Pistyll. A ribbon of cascading water that was simply magical •• the clear skies in the evening, with a tail wind •• the raw brutal weather. I’m weird, I like that kind of challenge and how it makes you face up to yourself •• the controls (all good, but Old Ma’s and Cross Keys deserve special mention) •• generally great route, that just flowed together beautifully in the middle.
•• the headwind from Vyrnwy to Bala, mixed with rain. Miserable. •• me being an idiot and taking wrong turns. I could have done without being 15km over. •• an impromptu muckslide on a slurry smeared descent, which Germans probably pay good money for in the backstreets of Berlin. My name is not Hans and I didn’t find slipping and rolling 5m downhill sehr gut.
At the windy Tilston Control, Momma's Leafy Lanes
"All in all a good day out. One of those rides I’m only too happy to recommend.”
Secondly the 137km, 2000m ascent “Momma’s Mountain Views” which shares a start and finish with Pistyll Packing Momma, but diverts rightwards at Chirk to climb over the big ridge behind Chirk Castle (start of the stunning mountain views) before a steep descent through Vivod to Llangollen. The route then climbs steeply rightwards to the Panorama prior to traversing left to the 1 in 4 ascent of the Old Horseshoe pass, which in turn leads to a breathless arrival at the Ponderosa cafe. After this refreshing stop, there is a pleasant ride to Llanarmon yn Lal where the ride joins the 200k route above the Shelf.
Billy Weir and Landlord Paul---Llanfynydd
The riders on Momma’s Mountain Views had a similarly tough day. Mike Wigley, Audax UK membership secretary, left the following comments on yacf: “I wimped out of the 200 today on hearing the weather forecast and rode the 130km event instead. I’ve got enough points for one season
Inside the pub at Llanfynydd---riders preparing for Hope Mountain
Thirdly we have “Momma’s Leafy Lanes” 50k and zero ascent which is designed as an easy introduction to audax riding and a suitable day out for a cycling family—as enjoyed by the Hill family of Lyme racing club. The total entry for all 3 rides this year was over 100, but a dire weather forecast for gale force winds and severe rainstorms caused half the entrants to scratch—a shame as the weather was not quite as bad as forecast. The weather stayed dry for the start and finish, with rain being experienced in the Welsh hills. The wind did live up to expectations, so well done those riders who persevered through the difficult conditions. Special mention, over and above the general heroics, including navigating through closed roads due to a half marathon around Lake Vyrnwy, must go to 2 riders. Firstly Jimmy Froggatt who rode out to the start from Stockport and returned after the ride, giving him a 300k ride 18
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Leaving Llanfynydd on the steep ascent of Hope Mountain
ORGANISER'S HEADING SURVEY IN HERE so I decided to just enjoy a bike ride. Yep, the Momma’s Mountain Views certainly did that. Some of the Views weren’t at their best, or even visible, but what I did see was pretty good. The cattle grid on the climb of the Old Horseshoe was a challenge with back wheel slip but I trust everyone managed to stay on board. Thanks Dave for introducing me to a few new corners of North Wales.” Also on yacf from “Overhill”: “It was wet and windy out there, Mike. Traction up a lot of the hills was a real problem for those of us who climb out of the saddle!”
Riders through Momma’s Leafy Lanes missed the heavy rain and just had the strong winds to contend with. All seemed to enjoy the ride and could well be back for more next year. Your Organiser was pleased to recommended “A Shropshire Lad” 80k and “Bala Mini-Bash” 60k as suitable events in the next few weeks to further their Audax education and enjoyment. Thanks to all who took part in what was undoubtedly a memorable and challenging group of events.
Organiser's Survey – Rutland Weekend Ian Oliver
What I wanted from a survey
I want to run the best possible event for the money I charge, so an important part of my event organiser’s role is to get feedback. Due to the nature of the event—the Rutland Weekend 300 on 6 July, which offered riders the option of handing me the completed brevet card in a pub for part of an evening, or posting it in with a the supplied SAE—I knew I would meet only some of the finishers at the end. So, rather than quiz people as they relaxed post-ride, and inspired by the results of fellow Willesdener Paul Stewart’s survey after his Ditchling Devil event, I thought I would offer a survey. Most of the questions could apply to any audax event, but I had a couple that were specific to the route and, as the ride was billed as a pre-LEL run-out, whether riders were doing LEL or not. I decided not to use an online option like Survey Monkey as it would get far fewer answers. Before I designed the questionnaire I set three constraints: it must fit on a piece of A5 paper so it can be sent in along with the completed brevet card; it must need no more than 1-2 minutes to complete; and it must offer an option for comments. The questions were divided into the journey to the event; the journey on the event; scoring the event; and any comments. It was clearly made optional for riders to fill in their name. I did my best to maintain anonymity, piling the responses together until I was sure that I had all the brevet cards back, and then collating the results.
I received 34 responses, which is over two thirds of the starters. They were very positive: 33 would recommend the ride to others and nobody said they would not recommend it. •• 70% were entering LEL •• The AUK site and YACF were where all but 2 riders heard about the event •• Ride location and distance were the two most important deciders on whether to do the event •• Half the riders arrived by car and the rest split evenly between train (the event starts from Baldock Station forecourt) and arriving on the bike •• I got my answers on the route options - most people followed the standard route. I asked people to rank features from 1 to 5, and got the following averages: Entry process Ease of getting to the start Roads used on route (surfacing, traffic levels etc) Landscape Food / drink options Routesheet GPS tracks Ride notes
4.9 4.8 4.6 4.6 3.9 4.6 4.5 4.7
The first response is an emphatic vote for how easy the AUK online entry process is and I passed this on to the AUK board. The food/drink options (all commercial controls) were the weakest point and I have food for thought on how to do that better next time. As for the comments there was no common theme, apart from thanks and the revelation, for those who have never done it before, of how nice cycling is in the patch of England used by the Rutland Weekend. Some information given out could be clarified and someone suggested a minor route tweak which I will look at for the next Weekend (probably a few weeks before PBP). All the starters (whether or not they had responded) were emailed a copy of my full report.
Was it worth it?
Yes. It answered my route-specific questions, it confirmed what I already suspected about en-route food and drink and it showed my what I need to tweak next time. The fact that most entrants were doing LEL indicated that to get a decent sized field I should run it just in PBP and LEL years. The comments also gave some great quotes I can use to advertise the event next time. I won’t impose this on every event, but for a newish event it’s worth it; and because I could not get face-to-face comments from everyone, it’s a chance for them to have their say. For my next survey I will add a question about AUK membership and I will try to improve the anonymity.
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE LEL
“Pain is our friend”
Highlights of London–Edinburgh–London 2013 Phil Hodgson
t was hard to imagine cycling 1440 kilometres, more or less non-stop, with a few hours' sleep here and there. Although Richard and myself had ridden a few 300km and 600km Audax events, the leap to 1000-plus kilometres was optimistic to say the least. Our friends referred to us as The Mad Badgers for even considering it. A Land’s End–John O’Groats trip earlier in the year had covered a similar distance but over a much more leisurely 11 days. It was with some trepidation that we drove down to London on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Registration at Loughton, the event HQ, on the outskirts of London was quick and easy and, having opted for the additional 30 kilometre Prologue departing from Buckingham Palace at 6am on Sunday, we left the camper van in Epping and cycled into central London. The Travelodge in Bethnal Green was easy to find—once we’d found Bethnal Green. We eventually unravelled the urban maze, after an unplanned tour of the Olympic Park, and booked in. “I’ll set the alarm for 04:45,” I told Richard, “that’ll give us plenty of time to get to Pall Mall.” “What time is it?” I groggily asked Richard when he shook me awake. “Quarter past five,” he replied. “What happened to the alarm?” I checked my watch. “Oh bugger." I’d set it for 5:45 by mistake. We wolfed down some instant porridge, quickly packed our scant baggage and headed into the City with only a vague idea of the whereabouts of Pall Mall. Our plan was to find the river and follow it but spotting a river in a landscape obscured by soaring skyscrapers proved more difficult than anticipated. Everyone we asked was a tourist. “Pell Mill?” they’d reply blankly with a shake of the head. At last we spotted a London cabbie. I politely knocked on the window and asked directions. “Straight on mate,” he told us, “you can’t miss it”. It was after 6am and we thought we’d missed the start of the Prologue. Our planned leisurely introduction to the LEL saw us hammering through the streets of London avoiding the numerous drunks wandering in the road. “I can see Pall Mall,” Richard shouted. Even better we could see the hordes of cyclists still penned up behind a big LEL banner. Fortunately for us
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
the planned road closure of Pall Mall hadn’t happened and it had taken organiser, Danial Webb, an extra 15 minutes to grab a London bobby and sort it. Phew! We posed for the mass photograph – 250 of the 1000 riders in the LEL had opted to do the Prologue; a tour of the sights of London by bicycle. Danial shouted “Go”, and the peleton cruised off down Pall Mall. It was the start of an epic four and a half day adventure to Edinburgh and back. The Mad Badgers, N46 and N47, were off! We were set off in groups, the minipeletons soon fragmenting as the surge of adrenalin kicked in and those in boy/ girl race mode pedalled off as if on a 25 kilometre time trial. We soon hooked up with three other riders and stuck together for the next two days. We rode the relatively flat (compared to Yorkshire) route at a pace we’d rarely achieve on a short Thursday ride. As there were riders from 34 different countries we rehearsed “hello” in umpteen languages: “bonjour”, “hola”, ciao”, “guten morgen”, “grüss Gott”, “g’day mate”, “namaste”, “owdo”… and marvelled
at the variety of bikes being ridden. Carbon racers, steel and titanium tourers, sportive bikes, recumbents, bullet bikes, tandems, Moultons, and ElliptiGOs (these are like running machines on wheels?). It was sunny and warm, we had a tailwind, good company and fresh legs, and we got fed and watered every 60–80km at the school based checkpoints. Marvellous. The miles flew by. The weather was kind (we suffered only two hours of rain on the whole ride) and the landscape varied as we traversed the flat fens of East Anglia, the rolling Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Wolds, the
Phil Hodgson and Richard Leonard ride the prologue
Teesdale and upper Cumbrian moorland, and the Southern uplands of Scotland… and then reversed it. We rode through some stunning scenery. I particularly remember the long ascents and neverending downhills of the Devil’s Beeftub and Yad Moss at dawn; the meandering lanes through Traquair and Eskdalemuir; the straight, panflat roads across the Holland fens battling a headwind on the way south; and the sungold wheatfields south of Cambridge stretching horizon to horizon. The route stuck mainly to quiet country lanes and small villages, rarely passing through the larger towns. Unfortunately many of the roads were potholed and pockmarked causing painful bruising to our palms as the days progressed. And as for the nether regions, one of the most enduring memories of the ride will be pain. Painful palms, painful quads, stiff shoulders and very painful backside. Shifting on the saddle every few minutes kept it at bay... just. Unlike many of the other riders we suffered no punctures or mechanicals (other than a broken bottle cage). The mechanics at each checkpoint were kept busy, mainly repairing wheels. Our main malfunctions related to GPS. Mine frustratingly switched itself off every time I hit a bump and I heard Richard on several occasions threatening to throw his GPS in the gutter “if it didn’t stop f 'ing bleeping” (water in the connection). The team of volunteers at each stop were unfailingly cheerful and helpful and the food was great; usually a choice of three or four main courses, a pudding, drinks and a variety of snack foods. As we ate at least a three course meal every four to six hours Richard actually put weight on! Most checkpoints provided an air mattress and blanket if you needed a sleep. The downside was the 'bedroom' was usually a sports hall full of sleeping riders—a snoring and farting fest. Imagine the sounds from a pig farm after they’ve had a good feed and the sun’s gone down… and treble it. On four occasions, after eating and showering, we grabbed three or four hours fitful kip, with the occasional half an hour power nap thrown in. Life was seen through reddened, sleep-deprived eyes. Despite the farmyard noise it often took several minutes to rouse Richard from his dreams of padded seats www.aukweb.net
HEADING IN HERE LEL and perpetual downhills. As the days progressed and the novelty waned, sore quads kicked in, and our backsides became even more bruised and tender, life became a wheeled treadmill. The LEL mantra: Ride, Ride, Ride–Eat, Sleep, Eat–Ride, Ride, Ride. Our focus was on reaching the next checkpoint. Our mental arithmetic, calculating how many hours it would take for the next 70 or so kilometres to food and a brief rest, was invariably optimistic. After four hours or so I’d be thinking, “we must be nearly there”, but uncannily, when consulted, Richard’s GPS would always show 15–25 kilometres to go. These were hard won miles (we’re of the age where we always convert to the old fashioned measure). Perseverance was the name of the game; just dig in, head down and keep pedalling, even more so north of the Humber when
Disaster nearly struck at St Ives with only 120 kilometres left. Someone took my shoes! Easily done, as everyone was just kicking them off at the entrances to the schools. What to do? There didn’t seem to be a
"Another painful mile and a half in stockinged-feet saw me reunited with my shoes.
Richard Leonard in the wheatfields south of Cambridge
the hills gradually got bigger and longer. Interestingly, the “hills” south of the Humber seemed much bigger and longer heading south, particularly in the dark! The often monotonous tempo required Dextrosol and Kendal Mint Cake sugar hits to stop us nodding off on the bike. We nearly did at times. The hundreds of baby frogs on the wet road near Hull after a sudden downpour were real enough but I remember hallucinating a sign showing a steep downhill ahead after we seemed to have been climbing in the dark for miles. Needless to say I’d dreamed it, and the road continued relentlessly upwards.
matching pair left by anyone else. “There’s a bike shop in town,” one of the volunteers informed me. I rang them and confirmed that they had shoes in my size and cleats to match my peals. Having to cycle the mile and a half in my red spotted King of the Mountain socks was a little embarrassing and attracted not a few comments. Arriving at the shop I walked through the door to be told, “they’ve just rung up, someone’s handed your shoes back.” Bugger! Another painful mile and a half in stockinged feet saw me reunited with my shoes. The temperature on the last day was 34 degrees. Black cycling shoes seemed to amplify the heat and our toes were on fire. At one point we were desperate to see someone watering their lawn. “Can you point that at our feet?” we were going to say. No such luck. We had to buy bottled water and pour it over our feet. We were glad to see the sun setting before we reached the last checkpoint. Forty-five kilometres to go. It’s amazing how you can feel stronger at the end of an epic endurance event than half way through it. The mind is a powerful ally. From being deadbeat as we’d battled the gratuitous hills of the penultimate leg, we set off for the finish like we were chasing a PB in a road race. We beasted the hills and swooped down dark lanes, heart rates boosted by the adrenalin rush of completing the most awesome ride of our lives. We reached event HQ just after midnight, exhilarated and exhausted; the Mad Badgers had done it. We were LEL’ers. So, was the pain worth it? Course it was. Will we do it again? Definitely. I remember agreeing with Richard, “Pain is our friend”. We can’t wait for more—bring on Paris– Brest–Paris in 2015. Bring on the pain.
Yad Moss on LEL photo by Ivo Miesen
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE ARTICLE
2013 - My First Audax Year Chris Smith, proud Condor Road Club (Calderdale) member, describes his first year in Audax—the ups and downs and everything in between.
lways being adventurous and up for a challenge, whilst out on a Sunday club run up around the Dales, a seed was sown. When fellow Condor member and AUK man Pete Horne said, “Let’s let Chris loose on the Audax calendar.” I didn’t know what this strange new word meant, or what a universe of riding was hidden amongst its depths. Could this be my first chance to prove my worth the the other Condor men (a hardened lot, with a reputation of good riding to match)? I entered my first audax event, which was The Winter Solstice, a 200km Randonnée held in December 2012. Not yet an AUK member, but to try it out and test the water. Knowing only Pete, ‘my mentor’, we embarked on this cold (and icy) ride, soon to be struck by adverse weather conditions. Many riders took a tumble that morning, but Pete hit the tarmac hard and was unable to carry on. “Push on if you want,” he said encouragingly, “I’ll get myself sorted out.” I did, and later that day, in the back of Mike Wigley’s ‘Horse Box Cafe’, which was being used as a roadside control, I decided I was hooked and soon paid my year’s membership fee there and then. Soon Arrivée magazine and various other Audax-related items came through the post and I took it upon myself to enter many more rides. After all, this was great fun! Not having a computer or internet access, as a 27-year-old bloke, I’m probably in a very small minority nowadays. Anyhow, regardless of this, using solely the hard copy calendar and handbook, via-the-post brevet cards and route sheets soon started to land behind my door, and I was riding. Winter months obviously meant starting with shorter routes, some calendar but mainly permanents. A perfect learning curve, gradually getting used to how events ran, how to handle a route sheet, how to answer info controls, and so on. As spring sprung so the distances crept up a little and became more frequent, riding perm events back to back until I was more confident with my own abilities with the mileages. I was falling for this style of riding more and more. I’m very lucky to be self-employed. I’m a farrier (shoeing horses) and I find that I’m busiest often at the weekend, when horse owners can be there to attend to their animals while I work on them. I’m kept very busy and appreciate this fact, however my diary can be rather haphazard and spasmodic with appointments depending on the weather, when the local show is held, etc. Due to this fact, the ability to ride permanent routes where and when, suited me perfectly. 200km soon became 300km, then 400km and eventually, yes, my goal of 600km. This 22
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was great, but by doing it gradually, working my way up the mileage ladder, my body and mind had adjusted. Riding solo I was getting both physically and mentally stronger. In all winds and weather, with no one else to blame when things went wrong, it felt like I was ploughing my own furrow and I felt fulfilled by this. Route sheets were second nature to negotiate and I was touring all these brand new places I would never have dreamt about going to, never mind riding through. Famous roads I have read and heard about, steeped in history and nostalgia, flicked beneath my tyres and added to my journey’s meanings. The scenery and local history of these places amazed me. Some rural, some urban and industrial and I soaked it all up like a sponge. I’m not saying it’s all been rosy. As we all know, those big distances mean riding through the night, often in all weathers. Tiredness is telling your body to stop and rest, but your mind says keep going. With the words of Melvin Hartley (another Condor RC member) ringing in my ears, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” I pressed on. The body needed more fuel to keep this mileage up week in week out, and I found that I literally couldn’t eat enough. Bus shelters became the perfect place for power naps, and the sunrise was a saving grace when the night’s cold had taken its toll on the muscles and extremities. Blackbirds were nature’s good morning call, after the drunken rabble you had avoided some Chris climbs the notorious "Mytholm short hours ago; and the fleeting as part of "The sight of a fox or deer hearing the Steeps" Hebden Bridge Star" spin of a wheel hub and gear permanent cassette made it all worthwhile. The occasional shorter populaire (often hilly one, being amongst the Pennines) broke it up a little and was perfect to gain a few easy points. I find this important to give myself time to recover from the longer rides. I didn’t want to make the mistake of pushing myself unnecessarily to ride the longest possible distance every weekend. I’ve read that performance quickly declines if this is attempted. Notes of where road signs had become hidden, where diversions have been made, or where useful controls could be used, were all added and sent back to the organisers, all of whom seemed very thankful. I’ve used my cycling as a focus and it has helped me deal with a lengthy legal battle over access to my little daughter Maili, who I love very dearly but don’t get to see very much of, at the time of writing. Hopefully things will improve and soon, who knows, she might be a keen cyclist too. Audax has helped me channel my strengths and weaknesses and I have learned a lot about myself through being alone in the saddle for hours upon hours. Effort, strength and focus have been key this year. An ability to break what seems like an impossible task into smaller more manageable pieces. Looking down at the route sheet, pushing onto the next control, another 20 km, 10 km, 5 km, and so on. I’ve chosen the traditional method of navigation simply using maps, photocopied road atlases and paper route sheet; with a DIY map holder secured to the handlebars, bulldog clips and a wind-up flashlight strung around my neck. With modern GPS systems improving, will this be pushed to the wayside? I think this would be sad as I think it adds to the whole appeal of it all. Well done to all riders who successfully completed the epic London-Edinburgh-London, a journey I’d love to make in the future, along with Paris-Brest-Paris. I was sorry to have missed the entry this time (Simon Fortune represented Condor RC). Finally, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped and advised me this year. I feel I have a better understanding now of how the audax system works and I would recommend it to anyone who is not yet a member was to improve whilst enjoying their cycling. After all, any time spent on the bike is beneficial to fitness, confidence and bike handling. With days become increasingly shorter and weather gradually worsening drawing into winter months, I wish everyone a safe winter cycling season and all the goals are complete, or in the case of round the year awards, remain on track. May I also recommend, for an excellent read, The Long Distance Cyclist’s Handbook by Simon Doughty, A and C Black (Publishers) Ltd, 2001
HEADING IN HERE AAA
The Beautiful Nocturne! Inspired to do PBP by my SWRC clubmates Paul, Alan and Matt in 2011, my programme continues and this year I increased my activity, mainly hilly but including some flat(-ish) 200kms. Having met various goals quite easily early on, I set my sights on beating Louise’s unofficial twelve-month record of 200.25AAA. I wasn’t sure how though, since I gave it my all last year and could only muster secondt place with 115AAA. Working 50–60hr weeks as I do can have an impact on the rides I am able to fit in at the weekend, so I set about creating more hours in the week! Through this summer, especially whilst the weather has been a bit more dependable, I made a commitment to myself to try leave work at 6pm twice a week, preferably Tuesdays and Thursdays but other days would do if the forecast looked better. Leaving work at 6pm (which is not guaranteed) means I get home about 7.25pm and if I’m quick (bit like Superwoman!) I can be out the door by 7.40pm. I live about 15k from the Surrey Hills so I hurtle up the relatively flat (but nonetheless uphill) road and, as I write in mid August, I begin decent climbing about sundown. The views from Polesden Lacey towards the setting sun are absolutely stunning! Thereafter the work begins in earnest, the 20% Polesden Lacey descent is technical and dark even in good light, and from there on I am lit up like a Christmas tree! Choice of recovery drinks I’ve crafted a special route for nocturnes for which the main requirements are no potholes and no gravel dumps by Surrey Highways ‘Road Maintenance’ Team. Sweet! I really like it! It’s approximately 70k (100k if you include the ‘flat’ out-and-back bit) with 1220m climbing. I admit there are a few potholes but I know where they all are! The lanes are generally quiet, especially at that time of night, and motorists are mostly courteous and appreciative! I often get encouraging toots…
You know what I’ve found? Hills are a lot easier to climb in the dark! A key focus is to get to the recovery drink-station in time! It’s remarkable, they sit there solidly till 11pm each night, just waiting for me to come through… I usually opt for a half of Curious Brew and some locallybaked cheese ’n’ chive crisps at the King’s Head, Holmbury, but they also do Wonky Donkey which I am keen to try! Although I sometimes feel a bit vulnerable, you do see some lovely things at night. The occasional deer (ones round here are small and delicate and a beautiful reddish colour, I even saw a little bambi leaping on all fours last Tuesday!); and badgers, plenty of them, lovely but they def weren’t in the queue when God gave out brains… and if you look up at the sky in the right spot, you can see every star against that magical deep black, with Recovery drink-station no ambient streetlight… It’s amazing! Other memorable experiences include being hit by a bat; meeting Jesus (well he sure looked and sounded like him); being bitten by a dog; yelled at ‘Get a car!’; chasing down some fly-tippers (twice); getting caught in the most torrential downpour 20k from home (where the lanes turned to rivers in a nanosecond); and hitting a large rabbit (just last Thursday, we were both lucky to survive!). Nonetheless I have grown to love my nocturnes despite doing solo (at least 30 since mid-May) and will continue to do them as long as I can this year. I usually get home about 1am and all I need are some good lights! Not to mention the typical hilly 300k I do each weekend. Pleased to report that last weekend I hit 202 points (!) and there are still 6 weeks to go until the Audax end of year (end of September). Maybe the men's record of 245 points is within sight? Who knows…
CUBA TRAINING RIDE Feb. 2014 12 Day Sportif
Ride Trans Cuba with me, Bill Nickson www.bicycletranscuba.com firstname.lastname@example.org Luke Joy-Smith taking on board some sports nutrition in Alston photo by Ivo Miesen
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE LEL
LEL is an adventure, with an uncertain outcome Phil Whitehurst I’d successfully completed the Kernow & SW 600 build-up ride on 1 June. I didn’t have any more long rides planned before LEL2013, now 8 weeks away. What I did have planned for 15 June was a 82km Brevet Populaire on a tandem (with my blind stoker Sean), plus a two-week high French alpine walking tour at the beginning of July. Then I’d a weekend free, and then London–Edinburgh–London would arrive...
came to the LEL weekend refreshed. My legs had a good workout from the alpine walking and smaller ligaments, tendons, muscles would have been strengthened and brought into balance by the differing combinations and wider range of movements and stretches involved. Registration on Saturday 27 July. I drove down in the late morning; living in Hertfordshire, it is only a 35–40 minute drive to the start at Loughton. The LEL banners were out, there was a marquee for bag drops, it was sunny, and a number of the riders and volunteers were around. I was quickly directed into the school to the registration desks. I was expecting queues, but was pleasantly surprised. The desks were divided by starting letter of the rider’s surname. My surname fell into S-X, with no queue. If your surname starts with a letter A-D you probably had the longest queue, but even that was not that long. I provided my LEL2013 rider details and my driving licence as proof of ID. In return I got my brevet card and waterproof lanyard pouch to carry it in, a couple of tags for my bag drops, my rider number on a laminated card to be zip tied to the bike and two sets of ear plugs, plus a goody bag which included an LEL water bottle. Back outside I found the bag drop tent and got my drop bags. I’d chosen Market Rasen and Barnard Castle as my drops. Market Rasen: principally to finish in relatively fresh kit; Barnard Castle: I’d appreciate dry kit if the northern stages and crossing Yad Moss involved poor weather. The bags were gym style bags you’ll remember from school days, with a draw-cord
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
closure. Each was coloured according to control, and then your tags would be attached; a simple but effective system. The limit was 2.5kg per bag, but my bags were so light, they didn’t even check the weight. Complete changes of cycling kit for both ways, plus two spare tubes each didn’t add up to much. Standing next to the bag drop setup was Idai "EGO-Maniac" Makaya and the other members of his team. I’d corresponded with Idai via the LEL2013 Facebook group, as we posted details and photos of our build up rides and posted or answered questions. They were riding ElliptiGOs, which use the motion of a cross trainer, driving 20” wheels through a long chain, as the rider stays upright and moves in a running-type motion. There are telescopic handlebars at the front. They are heavier than most bikes, but the weight is low down, and they are stable. We had a good chat, and spirits were high. There was a lot of interest in the ElliptiGOs. I’d brought my laptop to help out Andy Sorenson. His GPS SD card had failed and he’d lost the GPX tracks. He’d posted on the LEL Facebook group and I’d offered to help as it would be no challenge for me to bring it, living so close. As I wandered round, many riders called out, "Hey Phil," and introduced themselves. I’d been very active on the Facebook group during the build-up, had posted photos on test rides of the LEL route in winter, and answered questions. I’d also produced part of the rider guide for the route explanations, produced a control calculator, and helped out in other ways. The social build-up was important for me, and without making those connections I wonder if the excitement would have built in the way it did. It was great to finally meet and find out people were just as friendly face-to-face as online. I’d failed to spot Andy, but a volunteer recognised me and ask if I was looking for him. He knew about the problem, and that I’d offered to help. We found Andy outside with his wife, after introductions we came inside and set up the laptop. The tracks were soon on his GPS and we could see them come up properly. Andy and
his wife now wanted to get back to his hotel, so I rang the taxi firm on my mobile, and off they went. He had his bike to assemble. A number of other riders recognised me, saw the laptop, and had seen the message about GPS tracks. A queue formed, but was never long, as loading the tracks is probably 2–3 minutes' work at most. I think I sorted out around 10–12 devices in the end. I saw Susan Otcenas, whom I’d also spoken to on Facebook and her friend Lesli. We spoke for a short time, but she didn’t have time for the pub. I didn’t see Ron Walker who’d also said he’d come to the pub. I wandered back outside and saw another marquee. On investigating I saw it was Force GB. I’d completely forgotten about my orders, but popped in and got my large gilet and jersey, after quoting my rider number. I tried them on quickly in case they didn’t fit (they did). I wouldn’t wear them during the ride. After a while I went to the pub for a pint and a pie with a few other riders. I then returned to my car and drove home around 3pm. I’d spent 4 hours down there, longer than intended, but nice to soak up the atmosphere and speak with the other riders and volunteers. Back home I zip-tied my rider number to the back of the saddlebag. Other riders would then see it easily as I passed them, or more likely, they passed me. A final saddlebag contents check and everything was ready. I put the bike rack on the back of the car and the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and reading a book. Sunday dawned, and after a leisurely breakfast, the bike was loaded onto the rack, water bottles filled, and we set off for Loughton. Traffic was good and before long we were stopped in Colebrook Lane, Loughton, not more than ½ mile from the start, and free of traffic. After unloading the bike, loading up the bottles, attaching GPS, putting on cycling shoes, it was time to say goodbye to my wife. She said there was no need to keep in touch; she’d follow me through the rider tracker. The phone went into “flight” mode. I’d opted for a 9:45am start as it allowed me that leisurely start, after a good night’s sleep, www.aukweb.net
HEADING IN HERE LEL at home in my own bed. Probably my last good night's sleep till I got back. The rider prefix “T” corresponded to a 9:45am starting group. The groups were of roughly 80 riders each and would depart at 15 minute intervals, starting at 6:00am and finishing at 10:30am (the “X” group). After wandering in, a smiling volunteer looked at my rider number and I was directed to the bike park. No need to come back till about
headed in a fairly direct line for the A505 to Flint Cross. Now I was on local roads to me, and I turned off my GPS. I’d also test ridden this section in the winter, as a 200km LEL DIY, so had a fair recall of it. Cathy and Ashley caught me near Barkway and we’d ride together, on and off, all the way to St Ives. The B1368 is a gentle rolling and fast road that gradually climbs. At night you can see the Barkway transmitter at the top for miles, and it can be dispiriting (as on my winter test ride of this section). No such worries in summer daylight on fresh legs. The A505 at Flint Cross is a busy road, but is quickly crossed and the journey continues north. It is just before this crossing that you enter Cambridgeshire. You can tell, only by the flat landscape stretching to the horizon before you, as drop off the higher north Hertfordshire hills. Along here you’ll pass through many a lovely village, surrounded by golden wheat fields. The villages almost always have a few thatched houses, a pond and a green. Any other ride and I’d be enjoying a pint in the sun right now. Barrington has a little hill, with a 10% drop on the other side. After that it is undulating with no hills to speak off, the lanes are hedge-lined, with little gravel. At Bourn a young boy and girl on the right were offering lemonade and blackcurrant, lovely. With the nice southerly tailwind we were making good progress. As we overtook the tail end of earlier start groups it gave a moral boost. Whether they felt the opposite I’m not sure, but I can guess. Not something I’d considered when choosing a start time. As we progressed north the roads flattened, and big ring steady cadence was order of the day. Many a greeting was called out as we read each other’s numbers or name plates attached in various places on the bikes. Before long the St Ives control turned up, and black arrows on a white background directed that last kilometre. Bike in bike park; water bottles off to be filled; go to control desk to be checked in and have brevet card stamped; get some food. Repeat at each control. Heading north after a few small undulations the road flattened and straightened. A tailwind pushed everyone north, the road surface was good, and it was sunny. Life was good. Again I teamed up with Cathy and Ashley for a while. We found ourselves in the Fens. The Fens are flat, very flat, the vistas are wide open, where the earth meets the sky, hedges are non-existent, and the wind can gather speed without restriction. Fortunately for all the LEL riders the wind continued to push us north. I passed through Whittseley Fen, beyond which you enter Lincolnshire. I barely recognised the scene of floods so wide I could not see where they ended back on my winter test ride of this section. Beyond Crowland, and its mediaeval bridge on the right, we followed a narrow road on a raised dyke, next to the River Welland. It was as tranquil a spot as you could find, and a brilliant route choice. This took us north for Devil's Beeftub , heading north from Moffat, Scottish Borders many kilometres, before entering Spalding. Kirton was 20km or so beyond Spalding on a road with a good surface. Kirton control was busy, with a queue for food. The winds had certainly enabled me to maintain a faster average than expected and for many I think the same. Here I met Idai (ElliptiGO hero) and we shook hands and chatted before he headed off. I checked in then joined the food queue. In retrospect queuing for food and then checking in would have saved time, as there was no queue for checking in. I lost several places as others had the latter idea. At Kirton I felt dehydrated from the heat. I drank some blackcurrant whilst waiting for food. On leaving I filled both water bottles full of the blackcurrant mix from the hydration station outside. This was to be a mistake that would lead me into some dark moments later. The second mistake was not applying the sun cream I carried on the bike. Heading north to Market Rasen, the sun continued to beat down. I took a sip of the blackcurrant mix, and instantly didn’t like it. It was too strong and sickly sweet for my taste. However, the weather was hot, and I needed to drink. I continued to sip it regularly. The route here ran on straight roads often near broads. I observed that many of the fen roads turned in right angles, 90 degrees right, then 90 degrees left and continue in same direction. I guess with no hills of note, the need to curve roads round contours just wasn’t necessary. Digging the channels and broads of the fens was also easier to do in a straight line, and the road allowed access and follows these channels or fens, unless you wanted to try building a road across a marsh. I really enjoyed it along here, kept up a good pace, and soon made Market Rasen. I’d managed to finish the blackcurrant from both bottles but my stomach was complaining. Cathy and Ashley on the blue tandem were eating here and we briefly said hello. They had their clean LEL jerseys on; I wondered how long they would remain clean. I had a bag drop at Market Rasen, and so went for a shower and change of kit. I also had a razor
"No pumping music, no loud horn, just an instruction to start." 15 minutes before my start time I was told. I thus had 45 minutes to soak up the start. The park was made of scaffolding to lean bikes against, and there was plenty of space. I loved wandering round looking at the variety of different bike models and hearing the mix of languages being spoken; truly international. Inside the canteen I spoke with a few I knew, had some tea and a baguette, and then heading outside to watch the earlier groups departing. There were two “pens”, and riders would enter them about 15 minutes before they were due to start. The atmosphere was relaxed; at least that’s my perception. I’m sure a few nerves were out there, but I still felt strangely relaxed. Audax, even big events, are understated. As I watched “R” group set off; Marcus Jackson-Baker went past, heading for the “S” pen rider pen and we shook hands and said hello. We wished each other a good ride. Soon enough “S” group were off and it was time for my “T” group to the enter the pen. It was all still very relaxed, no crowding or trying to get to the front. Being at the front now would make no difference over 100km, let alone 1420km. As further riders moved into the pen, I did however find myself in the front. It was time to get going on one of the biggest cycling adventures in my life. No pumping music, no loud horn, just an instruction to start. We were off with a few photographers ahead of us. The start was a bit of cyclocross with a small section of mud to ride across, before turning left out the school gates and straight down Chester Street. I found myself riding away from the ‘T’ group, turning right and onto the road into Theydon Bois. Left at the green then off in the direction of Epping. Still no one was with me. Was I riding too fast, and was this pace wrong? Well it felt alright to me. I need not have worried, as on the second or third rolling hill I had company. A tandem bike, piloted by Cathy and Ashley, and a following group. I joined the group and we soon had a nice pace going. A few miles down the road before the Roydon level crossing we came across the London to Cambridge charity ride. This introduced a lot of inexperienced or infrequent riders into the mix, who were subsequently much slower. Safely overtaking many, the routes split just before Stansted Abbots. Before Ware I slowed a little and the group pulled away. In Ware a work colleague spotted me, and took a photo as I rode past. Not by chance completely, as I’d told him LEL went through his home town and the anticipated arrival time. Beyond Puckeridge the route turned right and
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HEADING IN HERE LEL and some shaving oil on the bike, and had a shave. This would be done at least every 24 hours, and it really boosted my mood, making me feel clean and fresh again. After eating it was decision time. Danial Webb was advising that Pocklington could be packed out with no free beds. Decision made, I decided to sleep at Market Rasen for a few hours. Food first though. Sleeping at Market Rasen was the right choice. It was quiet, with many free beds. I awoke, and left in the early hours. I’d filled one bottle with water and one using my hydration tablets. It was dark now, but still warm, no extra layers were required. Very soon there was a hill climb that steepened then eased then steepened but still climbed. However it seemed to pass quickly and I found myself on a fast and long descent. I then found myself on moderately undulating terrain, and could see the lights of the Humber Bridge in the distance. I passed a few other riders in the lanes, their lights the only clue to their presence ahead or behind. All was quiet. The lights of the Humber Bridge taunted me for some time in the darkness, but eventually I did reach them as I entered the urban landscape of Barton on the southern bank. A volunteer was there to direct us onto the east cycle track of the bridge, with a half dozen of us crossing at that time. As we crossed the first light of the day arrived, sunrise not far behind. I loved crossing the suspension bridge; you got a real sense of how long it was and how far below the water was in the milky darkness. The other side felt like an overnight parking area and I bunny-hopped a kerb to find the right way out. After negotiating further urban roads, we were soon out in the peaceful countryside, and gently rolled on to Pocklington. During the ride I’d tried my hydration solution, but had just gagged. From then on, I had only drunk from one bottle, the one with plain water. From now on, only plain water would be in my bottles. I took the opportunity for my rest, and took a bed for 2 hours in the now mostly empty sleeping area. Leaving Pocklington we soon joined minor lanes in gently undulating terrain. A few hills here and there, but never long, and often you could use downhill speed to carry you up most of the other side. I rode with a few of our Indian friends here, side by side, and we discussed many things as the kilometres rolled by. Riding side by side up a hill Damon was filming from the right on the crest. I said to the others to smile as we went past, probably too close—I’m sure the camera will have picked it up. The lanes rolled on, and after a level crossing and the A64 a gap opened. I couldn’t drink too much, else it made me gag, and so regular sipping it had to be. A short steep hill and as I negotiated the hairpin to the right I heard a ping. I continued to the top. A spoke on the rear wheel had snapped at the hub. I carried no spare spokes. I’d never had one break in tens of thousands of km, so had taken the risk. Would this be my downfall? Stopping, I spent 10 mins readjusting the spoke tension and let the rear brake out a little. I moved on, stressing about whether I’d make Thirsk before the wheel failed beyond repair. I worried for the first 25km, but when nothing had 26
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deteriorated I relaxed a little, still wary about hitting a pothole on descents. The short sharp hill had marked the start of the Howardian Hills which consisted of a series of steep up and downs, nothing as steep as the first hill (in ascent anyway). The road rose and fell between arches built for the ego of the owner of Castle Howard in a bygone era. I got out of the saddle and turned a slow rhythmic big ring cadence up the hills. The downhill I took with caution, worried about the rear wheel. As I climbed up one hill, Damon was filming from the top, he could probably see the tonsils at the back of my open mouth from that angle. Further on I caught up with Idai and the ElliptiGO team again. One member had a mechanical issue, and I mentioned my broken spoke. We wished each other well and I moved ahead of them. I enjoyed the rises and falls of the Howardian Hills, even though they hadn’t been on my radar. Exiting the hills, I passed Cargo bike man and mentioned he’d forgotten his dog. Like the ElliptiGOs the Cargo bikes were attempting more impressive feats than I, on my upright geared bike. I rolled on, exiting the hills on a fast descent, and onto Thirsk. Following the signs I found the section at the control for getting my card stamped. In the Control room were Lynn Hedley, Thirsk Controller, and Danial Webb, LEL2013 Supremo. As I handed my card over I mentioned I needed a bike shop to fix my wheel. Lynn said we can do better than that and pointed at a truing stand at the far end of the hall. Just bring your bike in she said. So I did. I’ve never fitted a spoke in my life. I’ve adjusted spoke tension, but usually only to correct minor wobbles. So, let us say, I was a little nervous of trying myself. A man in a blue top was working on a wheel, putting spokes in, so I told him my wheel needed a new spoke. He laughed; he was just fixing his own wheel, not every rider’s. He was another rider. There was a big sign for a bike shop near the truing stand and tools, so I'd mistakenly assumed he was a tame mechanic from a local bike shop. A volunteer in a grey top was the assigned mechanic. He was rather busy, and needed to get some beds ready for transport to another control. When he was finally free, he said he was somewhat tired and needed to sleep, but said he was sure I could learn myself 'on the job'. So here goes my experience. I took the rear wheel off. I deflated the inner tube, removed tyre and tube, then removed the rim tape. The tape took a while to remove as it was cloth and stuck down. I then needed to wait as the previous rider was still working on his, as he had 2 spokes to replace and there were a few challenges. I went to choose some spokes from behind him, when he asked what I was doing. "Getting a new spoke," I said, innocently, believing these had been provided at Thirsk for rider use. "No, these are mine," he responded. I then replied that I was an idiot and a numpty who hadn’t brought any spare spokes. He then
softened and took pity on me and said, “Look, once I’ve sorted out my wheel I’ll help you, but till then…”. Rider in blue top you saved my LEL ride, thank you. I then waited for him to finish his wheel and tried to see what he was doing without being too intrusive. I was worried about losing a place in the queue, as a few mechanicals seemed to be coming in, a broken derailleur hangar for instance. Eventually he had finished and selected a suitable length spoke for me to use, by comparing them to the broken one which I’d released from the rim. I then asked him how to thread the spoke and he said just follow the spoke pattern. After bending the spoke and getting stuck I asked him if you need to take the cassette off first before putting the spoke in. "Yes", he said. So cassette off I tried again. I got the spoke hooked in the hub, and turned it and brought it up to the hole in the rim. I started tightening the spoke nipple using a screwdriver. After a while the spoke came through the slot for the screwdriver and I could no longer tighten. I was all set to try and shorten the spoke (by some means), when the bloke in the blue top mentioned that I had the spoke coming out of the valve hole. The broken spoke was only two away from the valve. Yes, I’m definitely an idiot and a numpty. Spoke in the right hole, I tightened it up, and then used the truing stand to find the lateral wobbles in the rim, and adjusted the spoke tension using my spoke key. Eventually I had the wheel reasonably true, or good enough anyway. I re-stuck the rim tape, put the cassette back on, added tube and tyre and re-inflated. Wheel then back in frame. During all of this Lynn had been talking to Danial and she remarked in an amused tone, “Do you know what you’re doing?” and I’d replied good-humouredly, “No, but I’m learning on the job, and getting there.” (The wheel lasted the rest of my ride.) I then went to lunch, but found I had little appetite, and couldn’t drink that much. Stomach cramps were starting. Returning to get my bike, they were surprised I was still there. So was I. I’d arrived late morning, but was only just departing mid-afternoon. Several hours had passed. As I left Danial said he’d forgotten I was riding—he just considered me part of the team due to my help in the build-up to LEL2013. It was a nice comment. I headed off, and very shortly after the Richmond diversion my average speed began to drop. My stomach was cramping, I felt nauseous, drinking was hard, and food near impossible. I kept stopping, feeling that I was going to retch. Many riders passed me at this point but I didn’t have the energy to get on the back of any passing groups. Even the slightest rise saw me scrabbling for the most ridiculously low gear. I was in trouble. I told myself to just keep pedalling, with the lower 12km/h speed I should at least be able to keep above that and not lose any time. At Middelton Tyas I missed my GPS screaming at me that I was going the wrong way, www.aukweb.net
HEADING IN HERE LEL following Barnard Castle signs instead. At a large roundabout, and with army vehicles behind me, I saw the A1 plus some other major A-road and realised I’d gone wrong. I was over a kilometre off route. I rolled down the hill that had cost me so much energy, and re-joined the route. I struggled on, eventually reaching Barnard Castle and climbed (what seemed like) a steep hill to reach the control. I got my card stamped. This was one of my bag drops, so I went for a shower and shave and change of kit. I went to try and eat but barely managed some sausage and tomato or beans for liquid. I really can’t remember what I had with the sausage, but I didn’t finish it anyway. I managed to keep some milk and water down. I felt like death, and seriously wondered if it was time to quit. I’d looked forward to this for so long and built up to it all year, but there was
it was 24-hour. Turning the GPS back on (no need to be on for Yad Moss ascent/descent) I started the rolling climb up to Brampton. Another rider caught me and we decided to ride together. We then came across an Indian chap lying down next to his bike at the side of the road. I asked if he was OK. Not getting a positive response I turned back round. The rest of his team had stopped at Barnard Castle and he was on his own. The temperature was falling, mist was forming, and it was no time to sleep out that night. We got him to join us and we cycled on. In the next village I had to stop and started retching, bringing up bile. It went on for a while and I was sweating. My riding buddies waited for me, thank you. I got back on the bike and continued more slowly with the others. I had to reach the control. The lights of Brampton lit the clouds above long before we got there, but eventually we did. Card stamped in the warm reception, I went to get some something to eat. Again I could not manage much but found I could have a small amount of beans, sausage and buttered bread. I managed to drink a little more, and forced it down. I almost gagged but nothing came up. I now felt worse than Barnard Castle. There was a train station at Brampton. I could get that to Newcastle, then a fast train home. I was worried about my health; I was worried about continuing into the more remote terrain of Scotland. A volunteer said I didn’t look good. I was in a bad place. I made a decision to try and let my stomach recover and the only way to do that, I could see, was to rest as much as possible. I decided to book a bed using all but one hour of the time buffer I had built up. If when I woke up nothing had changed, then I would stop there and then. I fell into a deep and needed sleep, full of doubt and silent tears washing down my cheeks in the darkness. I was in my dark place once more. The volunteer came at the appointed time and woke a group of 4 of us. No-one moved. I lay
"My stomach was cramping, I felt nauseous, drinking was hard, and food near impossible." no point in damaging my health. I worked out where I would go to the get the train home, what I’d tell my wife and friends tracking me. I made a decision. I would book a bed for 3 hours, and if I didn’t feel better when I woke up, I’d quit. I woke up after 3 hours, and hadn’t recovered. I did however feel as though it had done me some good. I decided to start pedalling and see what happened. A little down the road was a garage, I got a coke and some salted crisps. I stopped for another 20 mins whilst I drank and ate. It seemed my stomach could tolerate these items. I headed up the hill in the darkness, and caught a guy dressed as a Frenchman (Drew, I’ve since learned) who’d overtaken me before. I didn’t say much really, other than bonjour or some such. I continued to spin away up the hill eventually cresting it and making the rolling descent into Middleton in Teesdale. I saw a shop open here, and I made the mistake of not stopping, thinking I’d get a coke in Alston at the 24hr garage. The road climbed up through High Force, a Korean overtook with music coming out of loudspeakers, we rode together for a while before he stopped at the pub in Langdon Beck for a coke. I continued to spin up the road; the shallow gradient enabled me to maintain a reasonable pace. I saw numerous barns, and kept thinking the top was only 400m away, but it took a long winding climb before I crested Yadd Moss and started to descend. All the time on the climb I’d been dodging rabbits, blinded in my lights. It was late, and I put my jacket on for the descent, having climbed in my shorts and jersey. I was desperate to get to the 24-hour garage at Alston. I’ve ridden the road many times, both day and night, and knew its curves and the surface intimately. I also have good focused front lights. I decided to plummet in a free-fall and didn’t apply the brakes once, until shortly before the cobbles of Alston. I passed many a more cautious rider. I rattled down the cobbles only to find the garage closed. I’d made a misjudgement for drinking and eating; I thought
there a few minutes, and almost turned over and went back to sleep. No-one else was moving; maybe we could give up together. Were they giving up? I didn’t know. Something stirred in me, and I got up. From somewhere in my head a voice said, ride, just ride, turn the pedals, move forward and see, you can always turn round. So it was with that I found my bike and started riding into the pre-dawn light. I didn’t eat anything on getting up, I couldn’t face it. The roads were wet from what must have been heavy rain, but I rode in the dry. The weather had at least blessed me; I hadn’t been rained on yet. The road to Moffat was thankfully flat, if a little rough. I found that just to the right of the white line, cars had worn the tarmac smooth, and so I stayed there. I stayed on the drops to get what little extra speed I could. I saw a shop on the right in Springfield with benches. I stopped and had two cokes and a large bag of salted crisps. I found a garage on the left in the next place, and had another coke and another large bag of salted crisps. A woman in an MX-5 asked if a 24 hr race was going on. When I explained that it was a little bit longer than that, and what we were doing, she was really excited and impressed. She left saying she must tell her friends. At the next village I found a garage on the right for yet another coke and crisps. A couple of woman riders stopped here for ice creams plus a couple of other riders turned up as I was leaving. The rest had done me good and the cokes and salted crisps were restoring my energy and hydration levels. I also wondered if the acid in coke was helping my stomach acid. My stomach was making noises anyway, when it had been silent and cramped for too long. Card stamped in Moffat, I went to eat. I found a pasta dish, drank some milk, and got some sugared tea. Some of the Indian riders were here. Steve Abraham was here, as was Chuffy. Outside I asked a volunteer if they’d take my picture. They saw my bar tape had unravelled on one side, and offered to fix it, and so they did. Thank you. Almost immediately after Moffat you start North Essex Hills, above Chrishall Grange, returning south
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HEADING IN HERE LEL the climb of the Devil’s Beeftub. It’s a lovely climb, alpine in feel, with the views across the border hills stretching out to the right. It was a shallow gradient and a good road surface. Taking many hours of rest at Barnard Castle and Brampton was beginning to pay off. I was starting to climb well, not my best, but not bad, and I was overtaking others. I loved the opening vistas as I climbed and kept thinking about photos. I waited till the top and a couple were parked up so I asked if they could take my photo. They were German tourists and loving Scotland. MiddleAgeCyclist came past at this point and we said hello, he seemed to be moving well. The descent started, I engaged the big ring and took advantage of the free speed. At last, I was feeling in the mood for some big ring fun, for the first time in many hours. I watched the GPS count down the kilometres, it was 21km of descent, and every one a joy. As I closed on Edinburgh I came across Jan’s Juicy Baps on the right, with some cyclists out front. My appetite was back with a vengeance. I pulled over and ordered a flat sausage and egg bap with a Fanta. Jan was lovely and said if she had known she’d have been willing to discuss extra things she might have stocked for cyclists. My food went down well, as did the Fanta. It rained quite heavily, as I sheltered under the flap of the van as I talked to a Dutch man. He was having an extra smoke to avoid the rain. By the time I’d eaten, the rain had stopped. Edinburgh approached and with it the traffic volume and speed increased. Before long I was riding down a long hill, excellent thought I, only to find there was another long hill up to the control. Edinburgh, of course, is built on hills. I’d arrived at the Edinburgh control, mid-afternoon, in the sun. I felt good mentally, I’d been through my darkest moments, I’d worked through it, recovered mostly, and felt much better, and I was turning south for home. Card stamped I had some Macoroni, a banana, plus sugared tea and water. On leaving I pumped my tyres up which had dropped to 75psi. The road to Traquair climbed into a remote valley. A car passed as I rode side by side with another rider. The driver said is that legal, riding side by side? What a strange comment on an empty road with easy overtaking. We let it go, it is often the best, and I was determined nothing would spoilt my improving feel good mood. The road was quiet, the surface was new, and you could big ring your way up it, out of the saddle. It felt great, I felt great. I believe this happens when you are not feeling well; in the immediate period after recovery you are often above your normal level, before dropping you down to normal. It started raining and I put my rain jacket, then a little further on, my arm warmers. The rain got heavier, but nothing could dampen my high spirits at this point. I didn’t care about the rain, I was feeling high after my darkest hours, and I flew up and down those remote valleys to Innerleithin (a famous mountain bike centre) and Traquair. I felt I could conquer the world, and that I would now finish. A foolish thought with over 600km still to go, but I felt with absolute conviction for it to be true. I truly had turned the corner, physically, 28
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mentally, and direction-wise. Traquair had porridge, tea, cake, and Glenlivet whisky. I had it all. They also kindly gave me a blanket as you can rapidly cool when a bit damp and not moving. They were a cheerful bunch and lifted the spirits of all, despite the rain. Thank you again volunteers. Duly fed we headed onto Eskdalemuir. The scenery remains magnificent, the roads quiet,
"Traquair had porridge, tea, cake, and Glenlivet whisky. I had it all. " and the setting remote. The battle between rain and sun was gradually being won by the sun and the light contrast brought out the hills in sharp relief. I was riding in a small group of 4 for a while, and I’d ride ahead and take a few photos as we ascended. In places a river ran alongside, the clearest and freshest you will ever see. Midges and flies bounced off me as I bundled along, and bats could be seen flying alongside and across my path. On a descent I looked left and saw a Golden Budda, and a White Gompa. I stopped and took some photos, I wasn’t imagining it. I’d reached the Eskdalemuir Tibetan monastery. A little further on was the control on the right; volunteers in the road ensuring tired riders did not miss it. The control was a delight. I entered the fug of the dining area, my glasses steaming up, after my card was stamped. There was Lentil soup, a home made mushroom pie and beans, home made
bread, and pudding and custard. Coke was on offer. I managed everything except the pudding, and only because I was full. I lingered a while, enjoying the conversation and the warmth, before it was time to head on back to Brampton, my next planned sleep stop. I headed out into the gloaming, LEDs blinking ahead. Mist was forming in the valley as the route twisted left and upwards. I overtook a few in the mist wreathed lanes, perhaps due to my willingness to descend quickly. The route climbed and fell, twisted left, then right. The mist got thicker and a couple of times I mistook gravel tracks for the road. The mystery tour continued, as the mist parted to reveal darkness, and darkness parted to reveal mist. Time was suspended. Eventually I came out onto the main road near Longtown and turned left and the route aimed direct to Brampton. I’d ridden Yad Moss in the dark on the way north, I wanted to see it in the light, and I had regained enough buffer time to stop. I had one need at Brampton, and that was sleep. The beds
were all occupied, I explained I had my silk liner and anywhere would do. The volunteer asked if I wanted waking up and yes that was a consideration. He went out of his way, and inflated a new airbed and found me a corner of the gym amongst equipment, to sleep. I opted for 2½ hours sleep and was soon in the land of nod. Waking, I headed out into the pre-dawn light, found my bike, and continued the journey south. Initially climbing, you are soon on the moors at the boundary between Northumberland and Cumbria. This was Maiden Moor and the Pennine Way—a two-week long distance walk heads along this section. In September the moors are a blaze of purple. Sunrise came along here, a wondrous sight, which can but lift the spirits of the most jaded soul. A descent to Slaggyford, onwards to Alston. The petrol station at Alston was like a magnet, minute after minute more LEL cyclists rolled in, and came to eat and drink. The shopping baskets when upside down made perfect seats, and the battered riders of LEL sat on them, avoiding eye contact and consuming food and drink. Before long it was time to ascend the Alston cobbles. I selected my get-out-of-gaol-free gear but the chain dropped off the front and I had to stop to put it back on. The pavements enticed me, and ride up the pavement I did. A pedestrian coming down saw me riding up and, instead of admonishing me, stepped out of the way and wished me good luck. Others followed some tried the cobbles, some walked, yet more on the pavement. The cobbles were over all too soon and the slow climb to Yad Moss began. I’d recovered pretty well by now, and I was in the big ring cranking my way up the gentle gradient. The views opened out to the right as a long string of cyclists migrated south. Soon enough I was on the summit and I stopped to take some pictures. The descent was fast and smooth and soon enough I reached Middleton in Teesdale. Here I found a shop, and bought an Orangina and a packet of crisps. When I sat outside the Orangina had turned into a shandy. I went back in to the shop, but there was no Orangina. How strange, must have imagined it, so I drank the shandy which was fine. I sat with a fellow rider whilst we watched the others pass by, some of them turning by mistake down the road with the shop on it, and then returning a few minutes later. The road from here back to Barnard Castle was rolling with no major hills, and before long I found myself climbing back up the hill to the control. Here I was in bag drop 'heaven' and changed bib shorts, jersey, socks, buff, gloves; after a hot shower and a shave. I cannot state enough how moral boosting a shower, a shave and a change of kit was. I was renewed. Some food to eat and some milk to drink. Off to Thirsk. Not far south of Barnard Castle I met a fellow rider who was lost. His GPS track wasn’t showing up. I felt guilty as I’d helped him load those tracks on the Saturday, so I said we could ride together. We soon had a good pace going, taking turns on the front, we were flying, unlike on my way north. After about an hour he asked how much further to the next control. I said, oh, about fifty kilometres or so. He said, no that www.aukweb.net
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cannot be true, Barnard Castle cannot be that far. Oh dear, he’d missed the control at Barnard Castle, and being a much earlier starter, he was close to his time limit. With reluctance he had to turn back north after I explained where the control was. I wished him well, and we understood now why his track didn’t appear on the map—he was not where he thought he was. The rest of the ride was solo, with the odd rider encountered along the way. I was riding well now, and overtook a number of other riders. At Middleton Tyas I took the correct route this time. Beyond the lanes flattened and twisted and turned as I crossed the vale to Thirsk. Lynn was still at Thirsk and gave me a hug before she headed off to sleep. I’d joked on Facebook that I’d bring an Aero bar, but had failed miserably. Next time I won’t fail. No mechanicals at Thirsk this time. My appetite was making up for the first couple of days and so I ate like it was my last meal. Tynan meanwhile had turned up and we had a good chat about the ride so far and how things were going. They had a few niggles (due to an accidently lowered saddle in Tynan’s case) but otherwise were progressing well. I departed the control ahead of them. Leaving Thirsk I soon found myself climbing the first slope that marked entry back into the Howardian Hills. Feeling good I tried climbing every hill out of the saddle and in my big ring, as I passed through a lovely village I got a cheer and a well done. Further into the hills I met Darksider (Rob) on his recumbent and we pedalled together for a while. One steep descent had gravel on a sharp corner and then another steep climb. All momentum lost I engaged my get-out-of-gaol-free gear. Rob commented on how low the gear was. It began to rain and I spotted some riders sheltering in the trees. I stopped to put my jacket on, and rode on. After a while my bike started making a new noise and initially puzzled I looked down to see the rear bottle cage swaying wildly. Just in time I stopped and tightened the bolts. If I’d lost the cage bolts, I’m not sure where I would have fitted the second water bottle other than my jersey pockets. Exiting the Howardian hills, a level crossing and then some flat roads south to Pocklington. I saw some bikes outside a pub on the way in, nice stop I thought. Pocklington was to be just a food stop. I wanted to make Market Rasen by
Wednesday night and push on for the finish on Thursday. I was starting to think beyond the next control, a sure sign I was feeling confident about finishing in time. Market Rasen would leave me with less than 300km for the last day and was also a bag drop location for me. I headed out into the dark. Initially there were some small frogs on a short climb and I zig zagged slowly to avoid Summit of Yadd Moss, Pennines squashing them. Again the lights of the Humber Bridge were visible in the distance, and they took a time to arrive. It had been raining, the roads were wet, and I saw Roberto crash to the ground in Hessle, turning a corner on his recumbent. After checking he was alright I headed into the country park below the bridge. Taking a wrong turning I somehow ended up on a gravel track near the water’s edge under the bridge. It was a spectacular view, but not the right way. Retracing my path I found my way onto the west side of the bridge. The bridge span really makes itself known riding across, and I appreciated the bridge I saw from a North Sea ferry during its construction in the late 70’s. After the surreal urban landscape of Hessle and Barton (either side of the bridge) I was soon in the dark lanes beyond. There was a hill here, not a steep hill, but a long one. My GPS indicated it went in a dead straight line, and it went up and went up and went up. Then I’d make a turn and then straight line and up up up. I seemed to be climbing that hill for ever. I got the sensation I’d died and was in purgatory my punishment to be riding up a hill without end. I would seamlessly find myself at the bottom of the hill and climbing again without respite. At Market Rasen I changed into my final set of kit, after a shower. The shower was lukewarm, not cold this time, so things were improving. I
then had the roast pork dinner, and sought a bed. A bed wasn’t available but would be in 45 minutes. I was too tired to continue safely, but had plenty of time in hand. So elected to eat and drink some more before grabbing sleep on an airbed. I awoke to find no breakfasts were being served. As I left I met Lee Imrie and Kathy Dories who had just arrived, having slept at Pocklington. After a couple of slices of dry bread I headed out into the pre-dawn light. The rain had cleared through and a promising sky indicated a sunny day ahead. Many had the idea of getting to Market Rasen the previous night, and subsequently there were many road trains heading south. Alas I couldn’t take advantage of them. I was feeling depleted having not had a breakfast. There was also another problem. I had a pain in my right quads on the inner thigh. I’d strained it slightly when big ring cranking up a Howardian Hill that was a little too steep and a little too long to keep my momentum. Now I was paying the price. I solved the depletion a little by consuming a whole bag of jelly tots from my bonk rations. The right leg I couldn’t do much about. Slowly but surely I pedalled along, sat down all the time. If I tried standing on the pedals my right leg hurt too much. So it started to get uncomfortable in the saddle, with the inability to change the pressure and let the chamois pad get some air from time to time. Alan Parkinson—with whom I’d ridden for a while on the Kernow and SW 600—caught me up, and we rode together. Alan had an LEL arrow attached to the back of his saddlebag. A northbound arrow I hope. He offered me an energy bar, but I wanted real food! The scenery was delightful. Later, as I pedalled alongside the broad, near Hedgehog Bridge, Roberto came past leading a group of twelve or so. He encouraged me to join them, which I did for a while, and the boost in speed, and the company as I drafted along, was wonderful. Alas I couldn’t maintain it, and had to drop off. Lee and Kathy passed me a few kilometres out from Kirton. Kirton did not come soon Yadd Moss, returning south
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HEADING IN HERE LEL enough. There was a queue for food, but there was no way I was bypassing it. I filled my tray with a cheese sandwich, chicken and ham pie, beans, pudding with custard, plus tea. I sat with Lee and Kathy, with Lee taking a ten-minute catnap. I ate greedily and felt energy returning to my system. A volunteer first aider took me to a private area, where she rubbed Ibuprofen into my right leg. Each time she’d ask if it felt better, and after rubbing in for the third time, I felt it was enough. The pain was less. Kirton–St Ives–Great Easton–Loughton, like many others I thought of the finish now. But there was still 200km to ride. Funny how perspectives on distance change. A year ago, 200km was longest audax I’d ridden in a day. At Kirton I took my phone off flight mode, and was pleased to see the battery still on 75%. I texted my wife, to give her an estimated time of arrival for Loughton. I’d do this at each subsequent control. At Pinchbeck I found a shop and bought some Ibuprofen tablets, a coke and some crisps. Sitting on a bench I took two tablets and consumed my purchases. I set off again, at a slower pace to save the right leg. I also tried putting more power in, when using the left leg to compensate. An American with a much earlier start time came past, and offered to give me a tow. Gratefully accepted, this took me south of Spalding till he stopped to eat his sandwiches. Thank you, fellow rider. The pain killers started to kick in, and I found I could get out of the saddle. This was important for comfort, as it allowed me to use different muscle grouping, and also the fabric of the shorts shifted and relieved any pressure points. The chamois also had a chance to dry. Along here I met a Spaniard whose map for this section had blown away in the strong headwinds. It was quite funny as he used his hands to demonstrated what happened; he explained had the maps for the next section from St Ives. We rode together to Crowland, where we found another shop. The heat by this point was relentless. It was like cycling in a furnace. The shop had an alleyway in the shade. I stayed a while, as did a number of other riders; bliss. I spoke with a local about the ride for a while. Continuing on, the pain killers doing their job, I was out of the saddle, leaning forward and enjoying powering into the headwind. I caught Susan Otcenas and we rode together for a while after I offered to give her a tow. Beyond Whittersley where we’d entered Cambridgeshire, we parted company as Susan stopped for a rest and something to eat and drink. Another shop, another coke and salted crisps. The furnace was turning the heat up and I found the need to stop at every village and eat and drink. Heat is my Achilles' heel. The road went straight south here and navigation was easy. On the drops I span the big ring and made good progress, apart from the stops. Eventually a few turns and the first signs for St Ives and Huntingdon. It’s a slight descent the last km to St Ives and I flew along to the Control. Some more food and a couple of jugs of water. I sat and chatted with the girl from Macclesfield Wheelers I’d seen a few times. The tandem team were also here but just leaving. I thanked the volunteers as I passed through that last time. I was using all-day P20 sun oil, but it was so hot (some bike computers registered 38°c that day), I applied some more. Through St Ives, across the Mediaeval Bridge, and on to Fenstanton. There was some respite from the wind here as once more the roads became hedge-lined. The hills also started to make a return. In Haslingfield I decided the next pub or shop I’d stop for a drink. The shop came first, The Country Kitchen. A few cyclists were outside, and whilst I was inside more arrived. I had a coke, a lemonade, and a freshly made ciabatta roll with freshly cut ham and cheese. As I sat outside more and more turned up, including Alan on the ElliptiGO. More and more languages were spoken. The village shop got stripped of its contents, a few weeks’ sales in a few hours. The owner was delightfully patient with us all, and no doubt delighted at the trade. Up the hill and down to Barrington, a number of cyclists on the green eating ice creams. Boy was it hot, I was being roasted alive. At Shepreth it all came to a halt. A train was coming and the level crossing barriers were down. A few of us congregated here, and we set off as one group. Susan was in the group. A car passed filming us along here. The group stayed together all the way to the Essex Hills just north of Audley End. The sun was low in the sky as I rode the Essex Hills, the golden wheat lit up either side of the quiet lanes that rose and fell, rose and fell. It was here that the group had slowed and I pushed on ahead to Great Easton. The sun finally set and the final few km passed quickly in the rolling hills, flatter after Saffron Walden. Turning right into Great Easton, once more volunteers ensured we did 30
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not miss the control. I cannot emphasise enough how much the volunteers make this event. I’m volunteering for LEL2017, are you? The Great Easton control felt like it was full of soldiers talking rest from the battle. Waiting in the trenches for the call to once again to go over the top. Weary cyclists occupied every table. I sat with Lee and Kath. This was the final control, only 55km to the finish. I ate sandwiches, Haribos, and crisps. I drank a lemon mix. The control sucked at my momentum, the volunteers making us feel so welcome, looking after us. Lee and Kathy departed, I continued to eat and drink. The heat had been brutal, it was still high twenties Celsius despite the sun setting. I needed to rest a little, have some respite. Before all momentum was lost; I pushed myself out the door of a control one more time. The volunteers filled up my water bottles. So kind, so so kind. Thank you volunteers. I turned the GPS on and found out it was only 45km, my spirits lifted more, 10km less than I thought. Initially on fast roads, I passed through Great Dunmow and along what felt like gently undulating hills. I was feeling good and moving well. The pain in my right leg had gone, despite it now being several hours since I last took some tablets. On past Debden, but not Debden campsite, not yet. The route turned onto quieter roads. A few lost riders coming from alternate directions in the dark. They turned and aligned behind me, the glow of the GPS indicating the way. The lights of London could be seen lighting the clouds orange in the distance, a transmitter lit red ahead. The lanes twisted and turned in the darkness, the LEL arrows showed the way. Along here Rob Walker and I joined up. We’d talked to each other on YACF and Facebook in the many preceding months. Only now, within sight of the finish, did we meet. We rode together, a big descent down to the M25, over the top we’d crossed the Rubicon. We were in the final straight. Not yet though. Another long climb in the lanes above Theydon Bois. A long one. We entered Theydon Bois, I recognised the green where we’d turned left a lifetime ago. We had about 2km to go, we were getting quite emotional, and we were going to finish. You never really quite believe it, not really till this point. We climbed the final rise, passed Dedden Campsite, left and left into Chester road. The final straight. We almost crashed at this point, we were trying to shake hands whilst still riding. We’d decided to cross the line together. As we came toward the school gates my wife was walking towards them. We saw each other and I stopped for a hug and kiss. Rejoining Rob, we rode on to the finish. The volunteers clapped us and directed us to the finish. They asked if I needed help off the bike, but I felt good and climbed off under my own steam. A volunteer took care of us and showed us where to leave our bikes. He took us in, we handed over the Brevet cards (always a sad moment) and got our medals. I came back out and my wife gave me a bag of clothes to get changed into. Before that, she took my picture. Looking at the picture I can understand why the volunteers wanted to help me off my bike. Mind you, I had been baked in the sun for 14 hours that day. The shower washed away the dirt and grime from the last day. I changed into shorts, t-shirt and sandals. Bliss. I retrieved my bag drops, and returned outside where Rob was talking with my wife. A little more soaking up the atmosphere and then time to head home. Bike rack on car, bikes on, and we took Rob the 3 miles back to his B&B. Good job we did, I’m not sure he’d have made it, and hills seemed steeper along the first section of the LEL route that we’d ridden 1420km before. After dropping off Rob we headed for home in Hertfordshire. It was still www.aukweb.net
HEADING IN HERE LEL 25°c, and we opened all the windows in the house. Stripping off the last of my clothes, I appreciated the bed, and cool sheets against my naked form. No bib shorts to keep on tonight. I fell into a deep and luxurious sleep, waking at 7:30am Friday morning, showering again, shaving then trundling downstairs to eat. The next few days I seemed to do nothing but eat. I’d lost 8lbs during the ride and the weight still hasn’t come back. The idea that I’ve successfully completely LEL2013, cycled 1420km at audax pace, hasn’t fully sunk in. It was definitely an adventure, and the outcome was in doubt in a few places. I had my dark moments, and reading other accounts, so did others. But it was the best of adventures, despite these moments, and the organisation, the volunteers, and other riders made it what it is. What of LEL2017? Well I’ve already decided I’m going to volunteer. I’m going to take on what I can, helping as a member of the central team. The volunteers make the ride, and I feel they have as rich an experience as the riders, if not richer. If you can’t ride, then please please volunteer. Do you want to ride LEL, but wonder if it is beyond you? So did I, having only ridden a 200km audax and a 300km audax the year before. But if adventure is what you want, if a journey of uncertain outcomes is what you want, then pursue your dreams, but come prepared. Do your build up rides; it will be a worthwhile journey, as much mental as physical. See you in 2017, volunteer or rider.
Cycle Touring and Adventure Equipment from Canada AXIOM: RIDE MORE & LIVE BETTER www.axiomgear.com /paligap.cc Axiom is exclusively distributed in the UK by www.paligap.cc
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE LEL
London - Edin
ele va ti
TIME IN HAND (HOURS)
Proportion of starters who did not make it to the end within time limit
Number of starters from Poland
Number of finishers from Poland
30 Time in hand for each rider at each control. Blue lines indicate finishers within time limit; red show non finishers.
25 20 15 10 5 0
32 DAX UK
Average speed, including all stops, of first finisher
51 hrs 11 mins
Spread of riders at 3pm on day one and day three
Time between first and last finishers
Tue 30th July Market Rasen
Sun 28th July Kirton
Average speed, including all stops, of all finishers
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50 40 30 20 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 Loughton
Numbe r of Riders
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burgh - London
Brampton Eskdalemuir Barnard Castle
Number of DNF by nationality
Number of finishers by nationality
Proportion of starters who were women
Proportion of finishers who were women
Proportion of riders from the UK
Britain Germany France United States Italy Poland Netherlands Japan Ireland Spain Canada Sweden Denmark Finland Switzerland Greece Australia Belgium India Taiwan South Africa Austria Slovenia Brazil Singapore Russia Bulgaria Croatia Uzbekistan China Norway Timor-Leste Colombia Belarus
Relative position of every rider. DNFs shown in red. St. Ives
All graphics based on data collected from digital records of riders arriving at each control. Some records may be missing and summary figures are approximate only. Thanks to Danial Webb and Alex Greenbank for providing raw data during and after the event.. For interactive versions of these graphics, see http://gicentre.org/lel2013 Jo Wood, Sept 2013 www.aukweb.net
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24 HEADING HOUR IN HERE
24 HOURS (Part One)
The Instigator's Point of View Mark Brooking
This tale began in 1976 when the Taylor brothers built a tandem trike for two small people that may have been based in the north of England. It had 165mm Cottered Stronglight cranks and 26˝ wheels.
t was discovered for sale in the 1980s by my dad who was on a walking holiday in the lake district. A phone call to the effect, "Did I want a tandem trike?" And the questions about frame size and make had to be asked. It was a small Jack Taylor and the asking price was £350. It was delivered to Euston for collection. Our then Willesden Club president Fred Fisher gave it the once over. “Whoever built this knew what he was doing,” he said after checking the steering for castor effect. It went on a few outings as it was and it was discovered that modern cotter pins are not as good as the originals—myself and Barry Parslow had to be rescued when our combined output chewed them to bits. It went on the Crest CC tandem weekend with me on the back with the remnants of flu and Jon Jennings as pilot – it was brilliant fun and ended in a tear-up into Norwich. So a good bit of kit. Later on it went to Boulogne for the Rides over there with Ian Why's whole family on it. Two kiddy seats side by side on the back axle. They managed to take it down the long hill in the town from the citadel to sea level and stop. Afterwards they discovered the nuts holding the front wheel on were not done up properly. Modification time! A new pair of front forks were ordered to take 700c wheels. They had two sets of cantilever bosses and a tab for a drum brake. New wheels in each corner and a straight through cotterless drive train. It was used in Trike association ford bashes and also to good effect in time trials—recording a few best on record figures and a few firsts (10–20:30, 25–55:41, 50–1:58:30 and 100–4:08:28 with the boys). Also, a mixed tandem trike 24 with Jane Ramsdale – 372 miles.
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Its use declined and a comment on a time trial about the wheels being out of track—and the arrival of a shiny multipurpose Longstaff built on the experiences of the JT—ended in the frame being stripped down and shelved in 1990. Fast forward to 2011. Early that year dad passed away. The plan was to ride the PBP on what he called the “big trike”. The promise I made to someone was unfortunately broken due to domestic pressures. However fate introduced me to a new potential stoker in the diminutive shape of Arabella Maude. Adventurous enough to give it a go and an exceptional pedaler, we managed a windy 300 in fine style. Not being a regular fixie rider like she is I had trouble maintaining the fast rpm rate, but got the hang of it when we turned into the wind. That and one other 300km ride saw us headed to Paris for the big one. Starting with the ‘Velo speciale’ we trundled round comfortably just within the time limit until the penultimate control. Fortunately we had enough oomph left to up the ante for the last leg and sprint over the finish line with 14 minutes to spare. Proof that the power, determination and commitment is still there for emergencies. Back in blighty, Jane had been tracking us online. Well quite a few people were, and had witnessed the nail biting finish. Shortly after the ride Jane took custody of burple (purple with a following wind), a trike that had been languishing in my garage for a long time. Built for Linda Doughty and just the right size to learn the art of becoming a barrer boy (or girl). Jane was determined to master it and made good progress. Two months later she was out on the Silly Suffolk for her first 200km ride. The following month was the Crest CC tandem weekend. We met a few old faces, including Kate Crisp who had raced tandems rather well in the 80s. Jane swapped seats with Richard for the leg from Royston to Hare street. It includes a few long climbs and whizzy descents. Once the screams had died down she was hooked on longbarrows too… Early in 2012 the Jack Taylor tandem was dusted off and checked for tracking by Mr Booker at Trykit. It was OK so was fitted with a Trykit two wheel drive axle and 9 speed cassette which fitted into the space that once only took 6 speeds. Peter Faulkes continued the restoration in his workshop. The same year Jane she did time trials at 50 and 100 miles as a build up to the Mersey 24. Terrified most of the way round she
covered 339 miles to set a new Veterans rec ord. in so doing she injured her Achilles and wasn’t able to do the planned 12 on the longbarrow with Arabella the following month. However in September the power of Lindsay was harnessed on the back for a thirty mile time trial. They set a new best on record time of 1:29:26 for the distance. The following year Lindsay came back to have a go at a 50 mile TT ‘First’ on ladies tandem trike. The weekend before the ride a jealous third party did their utmost to undermine Lindsay. The trainer had to do a bit of ‘counselling’ before the ride. Something along the lines of "Just do it
and finish; it will be a first, but make it fast!" On a ridiculously windy day that reduced hardened testers to tears the girls were just outside evens with 2:32:11. Tentative plans were made to have a go at a special ‘first’. Two girls on a tandem trike for 24 hours. Domestic issues nearly put the venture on hold. But with a few weeks to go before the event both Jane & Arabella entered. They only ever managed a 12 mile ride together to test the kit. Jane was apprehensive – understandably as a good ride in the Mersey would be more than she had ever ridden in the pilots seat in one go; and included a night ride too.. The Friday before the event was the most difficult for me—a 334 mile drive to pick up riders, tandem and helpers from various parts of
HEADING24 INHOUR HERE east Anglia (Witham, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Peterborough) and then get everybody up to Wrexham for the night. A pre-event curry with Toby Hopper and his team set us up. A nice breakfast the following day was a must. The following day I checked the tandem, and ended up bending the superlink untangling the chain. Luckily I had enough bits in the tool box to effect a decent repair. Marcus and I went on a shopping and fuel run. Jane had a last minute pre-event crisis which Arabella dealt with admirably. Piloting a tandem is a big responsibility, more so for two mums with teenage children to consider. It is also a position of trust which has to be earned. Fortunately the ladies both have the right approach—give it all you have but no silly risks. So off to the start and time to soak up some of the atmosphere. The contenders for the title looked lean and mean. Other riders less so but all with a common aim. I got the tandem off the roof to get it ready, and gave it a final clean to remove 300 miles' worth of crushed insects from the trip
up. Damon Peacock was wandering around filming and doing interviews. He noticed the motivational icon, carefully located to catch all the blood, sweat, snot and sick throughout the event. We met the Willesden Championship contender, Stewart Birnie, who was second last year. He had improved his speed and was looking for a win this time. Three tandems had
entered. The other two were short of a wheel. McNasty and his pilot were looking forward to a day out. The other mixed pair had a few veterans targets to hit. In fact they all did. I filled up various water pots and made a few batches of energy drink 50/50 lucozade and water. The back of the car was to become a field kitchen/changing room for the next day. Marcus had never seen an event of this kind. I was a bit worried about being with him as he didn’t seem to be taking the event that seriously. As the ride unfolded the penny dropped—this was no joke and he proved to be a useful co-pilot. Even though he hasn’t a clue where we went or how we got there for most of the event. The plan was simple – fresh supplies for the tandem crew every 50 minutes. This meant shuttling between a layby 3 miles south of Espley Island (good for out and back so two feeds) and Prees for the 40 mile circuit. After that we were based at Prees for the shorter Quina Brook circuit (13 miles) until 21:00 so we could take it in turns to use the café. The tandem stopped once in the first 100 miles – Jane’s saddle was a bit wonky and was causing discomfort. A quick thump sorted it out. This pattern continued throughout the night. Regular doses of filled pasta, custard, rice pudding, pot noodles and hot drinks were in constant supply. A new day began to dawn. Arabella made good use of the bucket and parked vehicles to maintain her derrière (lorry driver still in shock). No shame. Brekky and milky coffee and pain au chocolat as requested. Night gear (green) was removed in stages as the day warmed up and the Pinkies retuned for the day. Progress was good, stops were mainly kept short but had to be earned. The cut off time for the Quina Brook circuit was close and we weren’t able to make the tea as a decamp was in order as the circuit closed. They were on the road to the finishing circuit so we bought some tea in a garage and carried it to the first available layby on the finishing circuit. This was good, the crew would get a mileage even if there was a terminal breakdown of woman or machine. Jane found wrestling with the camber hard and gained blisters to prove it. The last few hours trickled away. Stops were every two laps. At the 326+ mile mark it was time to fit the purple tassels. A significant point as they has achieved both their veterans standard and equalled the ladies' tandem bicycle record set a few years previously. Nothing quite like a daft incentive to enhance the performance. Down to the last batch of minutes and we decamped and followed at a safe distance. Sods law applied and they got to TK4 ( by the HQ) with a minute to go. So they continued to TK5 - up a big hill to get the maximum distance for the time allowed. Game over, 349.6 miles covered. Motivational
icon and inner demons dispelled forever. Another first. The missile was hoisted onto the roof rack and the crew chauffeured back to the HQ. A superb effort that should stand for a while—unless they are daft enough to do it again. Arabella remarked weeks after the ride about various things that could be done better to enhance the mileage. Addiction is sometimes not such a bad thing. We left the HQ a bit too early. Many nice things were said about the pinkies and their efforts in what was deemed a good solid ride.
Stuart Birnie won the event with a massive 518 miles(!) Can’t remember if we had dinner. Had some bacon baps at the finish around mid-afternoon. Tried to have a team celebration back at the hotel but everyone was too tired to make much effort. zzzzzzzzzzz… Monday breakfast was at Prees Raven Café and the pickup point for Fergus. My second gutbuster of the trip. The trip back took all day in sensible stages. Temperatures soared into the mid 30s so very lucky with the weather on the event. A few other distances to try. Arabella is up for a go at 100 & 12 hour next year (perhaps) and some other pilots/stokers lined up for the shorter distances. Plenty of things to do on the refurbished Jack Taylor for many years to come.
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24 HEADING HOUR IN HERE
24 HOURS (Part Two)
The Victim/Participant's View (or, Arabella pretends to cycle fast...)
To start with, I tried something, once. nce upon a time, about 2 years ago I volunteered to stoke a tandem trike on PBP. After two whole lots of 300km practice, off we went and finished just in time. In the background, Jane Swain had learnt to ride a trike. Come October, we ‘forgot’ to mention to Jane that the Silly Suffolk was a 200 only. Come April, an Easter Arrow beckoned. Meanwhile a smaller tandem trike frame had resurfaced in Mark’s garage and was being brought back to life. Once done, I trained it down to Witham, got rained on on the ride from the station and out we went for an inaugural 12 mile spin.
So far so good. I had a rather shorter spin at Mildenhall 2012 and then Lindsay Clayton took over for the shorter distances. Meanwhile Jane and I had a training session on new year’s eve.
measure. The tandem had to go on the roof, which was probably cooler. I had a cunning plan: eat lots, then I’d break the trike and get to have a nice long digestive siesta. It didn’t work. My pre-ride plan was to eat and eat, starting with sandwiches about when Jane and Mark arrived. So I fed them some as well. Having collected Fergus and Marcus we then stopped and had another lunch, and a drink (it was hot,so I even had one of those fizzy things. For some reason my drink had ice cubes in it. I don’t like ice cubes, they make drinks too cold.) We missed afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches though. I must have dozed off at the wrong moment. In between I had my knitting. So, we dropped of Fergus, went to the hotel and had a large meal. Complete with pudding; at least I think it was. I may even have eschewed chocolate in favour of something more calorific. Or eaten someone’s leftovers, or something. Thus, replete, off for an early night. The nice hotel let us have a sheet instead of the too hot quilt. So what’s all this racing stuff about then? The joy of the Mersey Roads 24 hours is that it starts at lunchtime, so we get a lie in (apart from Marcus and Mark who get to go shopping). Followed by breakfast, five courses, after which I decided I might just about be full enough, apart from lunch, of course. Off to the start to unload. In the spirit of pinkness I wore my nice pink dress.
Then I tried it again. It seemed like a good idea even though... Come June, I got rejected from blood donating and Jane was feeling slightly tired. So we entered anyway. Thus it was that on 20 July there we were in a hot sticky car on our way north with our coach Mark, support team Marcus (and Mark), plus Fergus for good
We wandered around, registered, waved at a few people, and ate lunch—rather modest compared to the previous 24 hours—but by then my tummy was nice and round so it didn’t really matter. The intricacies of food on the go were explained to me, drinks mixed and so forth. Eventually it was time to put on cycling gear and go to the start. Fortunately my pricey
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£5 supermarket sandals are still going strong after 10 years, 1 LEL and 1 PBP (not to mention a few other rides as well). Of course I’ve actually still got the pair they were supposed to replace as well, just they are in better nick now. (Thinks) "So, how can I possibly inject any interest into sitting on the back of a tandem trike and going around in circles for 24 hours?". Maybe I’ll just miss out that bit. There’s 3 different circuits: the main one, about 40 miles which I felt was fairly fast. Then the Quina Brook one of 13 miles for the rush hour, and finally the finishing circuit which has a hill on it. Time to go. We went around a couple of corners and stopped to make some adjustments to the speedo, which kept flaking out anyway; thus allowing the only tandem behind us to overtake. Already we were last :-) Then we set off to the main circuit with the instruction to drink a bottle of water+lucozade mix every hour. I did try, honestly, but wasn’t really ready by the time we saw Mark and Marcus waiting on the edge of the road with more bottles and a something else.
Bottles went OK but a bit of the something else (chopped up fruit) bounced in the air. So I fed fruit to Jane and myself and failed to think of a sensible place to put the empty cardboard container. I comforted myself that it was cardboard and tried to drink more. But oh, our consciences on tossing empty paper cups away (waxed paper, you see). Maybe I’ll go and do some litter picking to balance it out. Every now and then up popped Mark and Marcus with more drink and fruit and on we rode – the longest I’ve been continuously in the saddle, ho hum. Mostly people overtook us, some with a cheery wave, like number twentyone, Tabitha, grinding along in a huge gear, Stuart B with his electronic shifter, and most of the AUKS; others were more serious, like the ghost all in white (plus a streak of mud where the mudguard wasn’t). I like to move it, move it—off the trike and into the hedgerow. After a while all this drinking had an effect. Not being flashers, we looked for a gate. It was the gate of a farm so I promptly gave up trying to hide (there’s a traumatised lorry driver somewhere out there…). Naturally at this point a steady zip, zip, zip… of umpteen cyclists came by. I drank some more ‘water mix’, just in case. And so it came about that, apparently, 100 miles had gone by. Very early on I’d stopped counting. Unlike audax, there isn’t any point in thinking, “Are we there yet?”. There is no there. After a while I realised it was futile to count how far we’d gone, and that I’d better concentrate www.aukweb.net
HEADING24 INHOUR HERE on how long we’d gone. Without a clock, watch or similar this was a bit difficult so I entirely stopped thinking and admired the view. First, the view on the right, and then a change. Every now and then I found something I didn’t recognise, realising finally it was because I’d been looking the other way the previous n visits. "Oh, I think I’ve seen that post box before", "Yes, I’ve seen a post box before too", and so forth. Regardless, eventually we were allowed to stop and eat some real food. “It’s x o’clock and you’ve done mumblety miles," we were told. I was impressed, and wondered at what point we were going to slow down massively. Then I fled to the nearest hedge, all that drinking was having an effect. It’s always nice to sit down when you’ve been sitting on a velocipede. So we sat, ate, drank, were massaged, cosseted, waited upon and generally pampered. Shame we had to sit on the trike as well; and pedal it. To anyone doing or having done this ride unsupported—one big hats-off to you. Move along now, nothing to see… apart from a few red lights or so and ladies of the night therewith. Then off we went again. The weather was not too hot, not too cool, just right. Eventually it got dark, we turned on our lights, and the afterburners (Jane had decked the rear of the trike with fluorescent red bits). "Blimey, it looks
like a whole club run with just the one machine," quoth the esteemed chairman of AUK. The night time circuit was good, the 40 mile one. We stopped every circuit, twice, at 'ye signe of ye blue licht sabre' and were greeted by a gruffalo, and by
king Marcus in his robe (otherwise known as a blanket), which we promptly nicked to put over our knees, in the best imitation of old folks in garden chairs. Not to mention we had put on our night-time uniform of green woolly jerseys, also against the chill. One stop after 26 miles, for the first course: various flavours of ravioli, not just any ravioli, but M&S ravioli (or perhaps it was Sainsbury’s). In either case it hit the spot. Then another 13 miles to the Prees roundabout and rice pudding. It was here that, in an effort to rinse my nether regions, I may have traumatised an unfortunate lorry driver—you can imagine the scene as (s)he gazes idly at the aptly named rear view mirror. But I digress. Less fortuitous was the need, as ever, to queue in the ladies loos (we didn’t fancy the gents as an alternative). Thus is was that those extra few minutes needed to get us to 350 miles were lost (insert theatrical sniff). We obviously weren’t ladylike enough, as the cubicle-blocker stayed inside the entire time it took two of us to use the one other cubicle, separately, in series. Then the morning after the night before. By this point it was daylight. A few more people had come out to support (and the gruffalo had retired),
"Go pinkies" and "Dig deeper ladies," to which the unspoken thought, "No thanks, we’ve already dug ourselves into quite deep enough a hole already." More surprisingly, "Hello George". Do I look like George (McNasty)? Meanwhile we debated the merits of jelly babies (softer) vs tropifruits (more natural tasting). In token of the eventual finish I started citing our rider number to marshalls, "Ninety-seven!" "Thank you Arabella!’ How did she know it was me? One circuit later—ah, it’s Heather. And there aren’t exactly hordes of tandem trike stokers on this ride. In between we even managed to overtake a few people who were on the move (rather than just stopped and being pampered). Possibly something to do with there being two of us so in better spirits than perhaps were the solos. Plus the shakiest moment of the ride, a Lithuanian failing to run us off the road (phew). Tandem trike iterum post meridiem fuit. (At last it was afternoon again ). Finally it got late enough for us to go onto the finishing circuit. “I’ve really had enough of this now” said <name removed to protect the guilty>. I rather agreed, apart from anything else there was no more rice pudding and in spite of eating at least three-quarters of the pains au choc. I could have done with some more, etc.
But never mind, we went on pedalling and yabbering, to which, "You’re talking too much; you’re not supposed to be enjoying yourself," says one of the marshalls. In between we got to see Fergus and Tony every 13 miles. None of which stopped us getting out the pink streamers/tassels for the last laps. "Cos we is serius racers innit, blud." We put on a spurt at that point and thus ensured that the last section of the course we did was the UP after going past HQ. Oh, cursed cubicle blocker and thricecursed hill. Our total was but 349.6 miles. So not quite 100 more than I’d planned. So, again, I did something, once, as did Jane.
The damage: me, not too bad; Jane, a big blister and a little blister and very sore arms. Have I mentioned my bum? It was a bit sore, as were my thighs, and the backs of my knees, and the heels of my palms. But I didn’t have any blisters and they didn’t have mini-blister offspring. So not too bad really. I think this means I wasn’t trying hard enough, nonetheless I failed to recognise most of the course the next
day on our way back to actually sit inside the Raven (on soft seats!) for a large brekky. We were initially 48th in the UK, but after a recount this went down to about 52nd. Oh well. Most of them weren’t riding tandems, or trikes, let alone both at once. Conclusion: fun, now that it’s over.
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LEL : THE SOFTIES OPTION team
Nottingham Outlaws riders Mark (veteran of the cold, wet, and windy LEL 2009) Agnes (born in France, now claimed as one of us, only started road biking in January of this year) Colin (about to tackle his last major challenge?) support team Rosy, and Agnes’s partner, Luke olin started to think about LEL in the Autumn of 2012, initially motivated by reading Mark’s article on the 2009 edition, but not in any sense wanting to sleep under tables in cold wet clothes. So when it was apparent that this year’s event would be different, with substantial facilities provided at controls based in schools and the possibility to have a support vehicle, a serious analysis was needed. Firstly, looking at the draft, it was clear that it was largely an interesting route. Busy or boring roads are a ‘no no’ in his book. He also does not like riding in the dark (can feel disorientated, or nauseous), but soon became convinced that this could be kept to a minimum. After some discussion Colin and Mark agreed to ride together, with Rosy doing support to guarantee they had their own foam mattresses to sleep on and clean, dry kit for every day. At 10:30 pm on January 4th Colin sat in front of his computer waiting for online registration to start. Job done he phoned Mark and got him out of bed. Good job; registration closed very quickly and Mark would probably have missed it in the morning. A couple of weeks later Mark and Colin were introduced to Agnes who had an entry and had just started road biking. Hmm, from nothing to LEL in 8 months; that’s a huge ask, we both thought.
The following weekend after much procrastination (too much main road), Colin was persuaded to join Mark for the National 400 from Tiverton (Agnes still in France). For the first time in his life he actually enjoyed riding in the dark. Probably because he collected a ‘Fan Club’ as about a dozen riders using the Joke Sheet (sorry, route sheet) who were constantly getting lost and were prepared to follow anyone with a Garmin. At a friend of Colin’s in Frome there was a lasagne and three hours of sleep. There was a real risk of Mark getting ‘soft’. Three weeks minus ‘D-day’ and we all assembled at Colin’s for another 600k DIY. Another super route (thanks Colin) into Shropshire (Day 1); home in time to watch Froome
Day 1 London to Pocklington 335km, 2186m of ascent
As Colin is a wimp when it comes to riding in the dark he had pleaded old age, insanity, and an artificial hip to persuade the organisers to give our team an early start. Setting off with the second group of riders at 06:15 we were soon speeding through the ‘lumpy’ Essex countryside with a good tail wind and the 100km to St Ives was completed in well under 4 hours. We were hoping that it would all be as easy as this. (Wishful thinking!) From St Ives we were soon on the UK’s most boring section of road, the B1040 across the Fens through Whittlesea and Thorney. Agnes must have been to Mass the previous Sunday; God Photo: Colin Gray
“A couple of 300s, the National 400 and two 600s would be ideal”, said Mark, “Let's start with the Ellenyd, it’s character building.” You are not kidding, 300km and 4000m climb through Wales, with the Devil’s Staircase, etc, in April was definitely tough. Too soon for Agnes, but Colin and Mark completed in 17 hours including 2 hours in the dark. The new super duper headlamp that Mark had sorted out for Colin was a big help. In May we rode for the first time as a threesome with Agnes, plus Luke who had come along to keep and eye on the two dangerous old men, on the 300k ‘Everyone Rides to Skeggy’. We probably went a bit fast early on and then Colin tried to kill Agnes off by taking the Sustrans gravel route from Lincoln towards Tuxford and then a tedious climb up through Shirebrook to avoid all the foul main roads back to Alfreton. She made it, just, and we thought LEL was possible. Early July and Colin and Mark did the first 600k DIY (Agnes was in France). Beds at Colin’s on Friday and Saturday night and no main roads and no riding in the dark. Wonderful, except Colin had a really dreadful second day. Is LEL really a good idea? 38
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
Ready for the Off... Colin Gray, Mark Chambers and Agnes Baudry
‘nail’ the Tour de France, and then down to Huntingdon (Day 2). Agnes coped extremely well, and Colin was ‘flying’. Mark was struggling to cope with all the fine living. (Bed and beer both nights; can’t be proper audax riding.) Agnes has every chance of making it Mark and Colin reasoned, without in any sense being condescending. REGISTRATION
Believe it or not we were not the only crazy buggers on this ride. At the very efficient registration in Loughton there were over 1000 riders from 32 countries; less than half the entry was from UK. Then it was back to the Travelodge in Chigwell, since it would probably be the last beer stop in 5 days.
had given us a tailwind and the sun was shining. The second control at Kirton appeared quickly and Colin devoured the first of 3 Sunday lunches complete with ‘roasties’ and Yorkshire pudding (all included in the entry fee). After following the River Witham, into Woodhall Spa, there was ‘proper’ cycling terrain with nice lanes to Market Rasen and dinner number two. Here we met ‘Jack’ (short for ‘Jack in the Box’) who frequently came past us like a rocket, on and off all the way to Moffat, only for us to catch him up a few kilometres later. Our plan was to ride ‘steady tempo’ although Colin kept dreaming he was in a road race chasing after a good wheel or a fast moving bunch. Agnes was already becoming a minor ‘celeb’ being recognised at the controls as the first lady on the road. We also meet up with ‘shoe horn man’. His www.aukweb.net
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Photo: John Snook
30km. Colin was again in ‘Tour de France mode’ and forgot all about our plan to ride tempo. Live now, pay later. At the control Agnes gave him a well deserved ‘bollocking’, diplomatically backed up by Mark. Is he too old to learn? The next section looked to be the toughest of all on the route profile as it climbed over Yad Moss at 598m. Regrettably that was not all; there was a nasty, sustained climb from Barnard Castle, and after taking one’s life in one’s hands descending the precipitous cobbled street into Alston (thankfully it was dry), the quiet A689 to Brampton was more than a little ‘lumpy’. Here Rosy deserted and went to spend the night with friends in Carlisle. In fairness she had been ill with vertigo for 3 weeks, and Luke was doing a great job. We crossed the border into Scotland and an overnight at Moffat, not enjoying the B7067, which parallels the A74(M) and must have the worst road surface in the UK outside of North Notts. After some searching Luke had managed to find a couple of B & B rooms in separate locations not too far from the control. Mark drew the short straw; not only did he have to share a room with Colin but had to apply new dressings to his sore parts. What a good mate. Photo: Colin Gray
HPV (Human Performance Vehicle, not a proper cycle), was so small we reasoned he needed to be shoehorned into it. Some of these HPV’s went so fast (100km/hr downhill) we reckoned they had an engine in them. Spirits were high climbing out of Market Rasen onto the Lincolnshire Wolds well ahead of schedule, but the inadequacy of the previous Sunday’s prayers soon became apparent. God suddenly threw everything at us: thunder, lightning and rain so torrential that the roads were like rivers, with water well over wheel rims. The climbs were reminiscent of Colin’s canoeing days, paddling up a grade 3 rapid, and the descents downright dangerous. Just a heavy drizzle crossing the Humber Bridge, but as we climbed onto the Wolds beyond we were treated to Across the Humber Bridge an even more violent storm. There was nowhere to take shelter so we pressed on. Thankfully it was warm and we arrived at Pocklington for roast dinner number three. We had planned to sleep on our foam mattresses at
Day 3 Moffat to Barnard Castle 313km, 3577m of ascent Early Start, Day Two
the controls, but space and toilet facilities were limited. However Luke and Rosy had come up trumps and booked us into a local pub. There was even time for a pint before going to bed. Day 2 Pocklington to Moffat 293km, 2870m of ascent
Up at 04:00 and back to the Pocklington control for breakfast. The hotel had proved a good choice; there were people ‘crashed out’ all over the canteen area. Unfortunately it had been very busy and there was not a lot of food to choose from. We met up with John, one of Colin’s club mates and rode with him on the short section to Thirsk; very attractive countryside but with several steep hills and some dodgy sections where the previous evenings rain had washed sand, gravel and mud onto the road. Another interesting section to Barnard Castle followed, although there was a lengthy and hilly detour to avoid some minor road works. Agnes got a chance to brush up her native language as we rode with a group of French men for the last
If the ride had been reasonably easy to here all that was about to change. We settled for a few biscuits for breakfast rather than return to the control and by 05:00 were climbing through the mist over the Devil’s Beeftub on the A701 towards Edinburgh; a wonderfully scenic road with gentle climbs and very little traffic. A decent breakfast at the Edinburgh control was very welcome. “It all gets easier from here”, veteran Mark told us LEL virgins. Lying sod! Into and out of Edinburgh was not much fun in the early morning traffic and there were some steep climbs thrown in so we were soon glad to be heading southwards along the scenic B-road to controls at Traquair and Eskdalemuir; lovely cycling but with an unwelcome nagging headwind. Although the gradients were reasonable the gradual accumulation of climb was beginning to ‘bite’. There was a great welcome at the two controls with special commemorative cake (and whisky for those brave enough) at Traquair and plenty to eat at Eskdalemuir’s small village hall, where we were photographed for the local newspaper. Thanks to all you generous Scots.
Thankfully it was a reasonably easy ride from Eskdalemuir, and the cycle path alongside the A7 was more pleasant than the new main road, and more sheltered from the wind. We arrived back at Brampton at 17:40 to meet up with Rosy, and our friends from Carlisle. Not a full day off for Colin’s dear wife. More elastoplasts and haemorrhoids cream needed (too much information) the early morning phone call had demanded. We were now at a very critical point where we needed to make a clear decision; thankfully almost certainly the right one in retrospect. During a fairly lengthy stop we debated whether to push our tired bodies over Yad Moss to Barnard Castle. With little option, since there was no accommodation free at Alston, we pushed on, and were soon donning rain jackets. After a brief stop at Alston, before walking up the cobbles (yes, even Colin) and then ‘grovelling’ up Yad Moss we made the summit in the last vestiges of daylight. Colin was feeling sick, but Agnes was going like a train; amazing. Fortunately it stayed dry for the descent, which was cold but completely traffic free, until Middleton-in-Teesdale. After a late night check in at Barnard Castle control at 23:20. Rosy had found a couple of rooms in a pub nearby. Looks like a day off had invigorated her brain. Colin was brain dead, Agnes near so and Mark was on ‘Autopilot’—no problems for him. Day 4 Barnard Castle to Kirton Holme 276km, 2099m of ascent
Mark, the unofficial leader of our group (Colin, as the senior citizen thought he was in charge) decided we can all have a lie in and start at 06:30. Rosy was definitely not one to argue. It was a lovely morning as we headed out into the countryside towards Scotch Corner. Shortly afterwards we arrived at the LEL diversion and ‘Control Freak Colin’ decided he will not follow the diversion in case some idiot had moved a signpost. As it happens his philosophy of ‘you can always get through on a bike’ worked and group harmony was restored as we pottered onward towards Thirsk. In theory we were now only a day away from the ‘Arrivée’ in London. In practice it was much further bearing in mind a headwind and some not inconsiderable fatigue. So we pressed on initially into the Wolds beyond Pocklington. Colin was beginning to go well, and stopped a couple of times but fairly quickly caught up with Mark and Agnes to where we could all finally see the Humber Bridge. Six times across there for Colin and it always rains; today was no exception. Here we reached the crisis point that all audax riders dread; Colin rode with a ‘Seth African’ lady whose riding partner had experienced a ‘dramatic loss of her sense of humour’ and Agnes began to suffer really badly as the road ground up, up and even more up. Novice status had taken over and only ‘will power’ would prevail now. Mark took control—no surprise there—and for a man of few words he became remarkably vocal, riding at a very steady (pedestrian?) pace he talked Agnes through a very difficult 20km into Market Rasen. At the control Mark pulled a master stroke. Being a good mate of the LEL organiser, Danial Webb, he negotiated a massage for Agnes
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Day 5 Kirton Holme to Loughton (Arrivée) 208km 1452m of ascent
"Start at seven," Mark said and no one argued, especially Rosy and Luke, who were due a lie-in. Colin, impatient sod, nearly got everyone up at 04:30, when there was no wind, but thought better of it. (Not only does he not like riding in the dark, but he’s paranoid about a headwind. Will never make a proper audax rider according to Mark.) So after Mark’s
enforced lie-in (certainly the most comfortable bed we had been in for a week, so no bad move) we set off at 07:00 for breakfast at the control in Kirton, where we were greeted by another familiar face from Colin’s cycle club. Now our luck was really in; down the UK’s most boring road across the Fens and the forecast 20mph headwind was still in bed. Here Mark really came to the fore. It had taken Colin six months to teach Mark how to ride ‘Tempo’ (More ‘Bullshine’); now he sat on the front forkm afterkm at a steady 21km/hr, whilst Agnes nursed a sore Achilles tendon and Colin just felt dreadful. We stopped a couple of times for Colin to massage his neck, and whinge on about how hard it was, but finally London beckoned. Out of St Ives and Colin picked up as we joined a group of French men (more Tour de France Glory?). Also more chance for Agnes to practice her French, and also for Colin, who nearly parked one of them onto the grass verge at one stage (‘Pardon’, hope that’s right Agnes, you have been rather remiss with our French lessons). This sort of cultural mêlée certainly helped the time to pass quicker. Regrettably his ‘renaissance’ only lasted 40km and then we were all stopping frequently for Colin to massage his neck; a dark moment, but fortunately not terminal. Finally after another tiresome ‘detour’ along a very busy road, we reached the last control at Great Easton. We thought we had left mountains behind in Cumbria, but this hilly stage bordered on the brutal after nearly 1400km. There was a great sense of camaraderie at Great Easton, with a wonderful atmosphere, where volunteers and riders from numerous backgrounds and cultures just savoured the moment, with nobody in any hurry to rush off to complete the final 45km (not even impatient Colin). Here Agnes revealed new skills as a Photo: Colin Gray
(clearly it’s not what you know). Another big discussion over dinner as we reviewed our options. London is well in range from here tomorrow, but with a strong headwind forecast, and worse still the possibility of arriving after the pubs have closed we feel we are best to push on. For the first time we agree to split; Colin, who was feeling sick, but with good legs, headed off whilst Agnes waited for a massage. It was already getting dark, but Colin picked up a group doing 30 km/hr and felt good, at least as far as Woodhall Spa, then it was down to mode ‘grovel’ as he was constantly sick and had a real problem with his neck muscles. Meanwhile the hotel that the support team have booked turns out to be the wrong Kirton, (there are 4 Kirtons in Lincs) so Colin gets a phone call to stop 8km before Kirton and phone Rosy for new directions. At this stage he was on his knees and could hardly focus on his mobile. Rosy was also exhausted and wasn’t even sure where he was phoning from so it took 40 minutes for him to find the hotel. Fortunately the massage, or Mark’s words of encouragement, had enabled him and Agnes to find the hotel nearly as quickly as Colin. Apparently they both really enjoyed riding this section in the dark, but the rest of the team diplomatically refrained from asking too many questions. Hopefully we had now ‘cracked it.’
masseuse and councillor, sorting out Ron who was ready to pack (with a similar problem to Colin). So back on the road with the motivation to meet our loved ones again, and get to Loughton before the pubs closed. Fortunately it was now easy, but regrettably the worst part of the ride. The ‘Home Counties’ seemed to be a ‘hotbed’ of BCS (Big Car Syndrome) and we were constantly hassled by fast moving traffic, even though we were only on ‘B’ roads, until we moved onto lanes for the last 20km. Mark kept up a steady pace and he and Agnes kept a look out for traffic, as Colin could only see their back wheels, at best. We arrived at Loughton at 20:05. Agnes was elated; from a road bike virgin to LEL in 8 months was truly amazing, and she was subsequently delighted that Ron had finished as well. Mark, who had suffered cold, gales and nowhere to sleep in 2009, seemed to really enjoy being part of a pampered and fêted team. (Colin has a secret suspicion that what Mark, being a true Audax man, really enjoys is the suffering.) Colin was just pleased to finish. At 69, there can’t be too many achievable challenges that remain within his compass. LEL2013 was supposed to be a celebration of his 70th year (70 in April 2014). Conclusion
Overriding memories: a good route, great scenery, and being cheered into and out of every control all the way from St Ives to the finish by the ever enthusiastic volunteers. The LEL team did a fantastic job, especially for a totally amateur organisation. Finally, Agnes and Colin might not have made it without Rosy’s, Luke’s, and Mark’s support—thanks. Agnes, Colin and Mark The Nottingham Outlaws.
(Right to Left) Colin Gray, Agnes Baudry and Mark Chambers (photo by Tim Wainwright)
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
LEL PHOTOS BY TIM HEADING WAINWRIGHT IN HERE
Louise Auty & Janet Thacker
www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
HEADING IN HERE LEL
Volunteering for LEL MaryJane Watson
have been a member of Audax UK since 2008, and it was high time I ‘put something back’ into this great cycling club. My reason for this, was to see how a big control for the longer Audax events really works. I have never ridden any organised Audax longer than 100km. I am able, though, to cycle a DIY 200km event worth 3 AAA points. But, up to now, what has always put me off is the ‘big unknown’ grey area of what happens, what is available, and what to expect at a large control where sleeping arrangements are set up. What better way to answer this lot than to volunteer yourself and check it all out. The LEL website for the volunteers was easy to access, I wasn’t sure what skills I had that would be much use—thankfully there was a box that asked ‘Do you like cleaning?’ My answer… well, no… I hate it to be honest, but happy to do it if necessary. Blimey, I’m going on my holidays to wash floors! (for free!). I did state ‘no heavy lifting’ as I am banned from lugging furniture around for the rest of my natural life (yipee!!), pressed the ‘Go’ button and waited for the email to arrive. My personal choices were Brampton, Barnard Castle or Thirsk. Chosen simply as they were the nearest to where I lived. My eldest daughter, Beth, said she would love to come too as a volunteer. She said it would be fun cycling there, and the experience would be good for her CV for University and post University work. Even better… Now I am helping Audax UK and having some company to boot as well. Graeme at the welcome map in the front entrance. Photo from Graeme Holdsworth
They start arriving …
It starts to get busy….
The volunteers all met at the Control on 28 July—Sunday—for an array of jobs such as air bed blowing up (nearly 300 of these). Beth and I volunteered specifically for kitchen duties (phew, they had professional cleaners in the loo area, wasn’t looking forward to cleaning in there, now we didn’t have to!). We spent most of Sunday making sandwiches and learning the basics of working in a huge kitchen. I volunteered to work the dishwashing area. I am a science technician at work, I’m used to working under pressure and working in a very hands-on practical manner. The dishwashing machine was a thing of excellence! Nothing like the cabinet sized jobbie in your own kitchen. This monsterous beastie would take up my entire kitchen at home. The dirty dishes were bunged in at one end on a tray, and a conveyer Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
belt chugged the lot through. Less than 5 minutes later, there it all reappeared, steaming hot sterilised to death, and squeaky clean. Yes, this beauty and I were to work a lot together over the coming few days. I did end up getting a bit ‘territorial’ with my new stainless steel friend. Sorry Marie!
We were expecting our first cyclists about midnight on the Sunday. Myself and Beth were on ‘Welcoming’ and bike security (read this as 'bicycle cooing over') duties. Oh yes, getting to glare at some real nice machines! Beth and I worked together with Johanna from Germany, who’s husband was doing the event, and Graeme (he has just set up some nifty Audax 200km events on the East Yorkshire coast – hopefully I'll get do ride
As this was our only opportunity for a holiday this year, I decided to make a mini cycle tour of it, and spend a few days on our bikes pootling though Yorkshire. A couple of weeks later came a lovely welcoming email from Danial Webb, and he gave me the contact details of Lynn Hedley who was the lead controller for Thirsk. Shortly, Lynn introduced herself to me via email, and I was invited to join the Facebook pages set up for both LEL and for the Thirsk control itself. I was soon tapping away introducing myself and Beth to everyone. This was a very useful addition as the Facebook page at Thirsk ensured that many of us volunteers who had never met one another before all had a ice-breaker before we had even met. The Thirsk FB page was also a quick way to ask questions, even silly questions like what to bring with us. Beth is gluten intolerant and this was an important issue to ensure she had food to eat during our stay. It was all getting geared up for 4 days of the hardest continuous work I have ever done!
Beth and I on our way to Thirsk
Those airbeds! Thankfully a pump helped
one of these, perhaps in 2014). Graeme got to have some nifty red lights and by the look of it, did some really good dance moves to get himself noticed by the incoming cyclists! Beth was at the main gates, and I was sitting down (well, why not?) and working with another light to guide the cyclists to the front entrance and to the bicycle park to the left of the control. We saw our first hard-core cyclists riding solo by about 6pm, but the majority started coming in droves after midnight. It was of course quite dark. Shortly later, the main road lights went out, and it was obvious that without our own extra lights (hand held) there wasn’t going to be a lot of seeing being done had cyclists not got a decent set of front lamps. As the cyclists arrived, some in numbers, others as solos or pairs, each had a ‘mind the bump!’ shout out from me, as they had to drop off a paving slab (about 3" high) not nice for a well ridden on bum. Some of the velo riders emitted certain rude words as their loved machines crunched onto the tarmac. My shift was to end at midnight, and restart in the kitchens for 6am. Thing is about working as a volunteer, is that getting volunteers is a humungus task in itself. I expect every control was short of numbers and we were no different. Graeme's shift was to end at midnight too, but www.aukweb.net
HEADING IN HERE LEL Picture taken at the Bicycle Security park at Thirsk Control
this was the time the cyclists were arriving at the control in quite large numbers. We decided to keep going. It was pitch dark, and had we both gone off to our airbeds, there would be no warnings of the ‘bump’ and no waving of lights indicating the cyclist's arrival at the control. There simply wasn’t the number of volunteers to take over from us. Personally, I really enjoyed this part of my work. Everyone seemed really pleased to see us and thanked us for the welcome they received. It was a lovely warming feeling to guide these cyclists to their control and nosh up. Many were sleeping over, but most were not, they were getting stamped, eating and moving on. Having cycled 400km, many were not finished pushing their pedals that day. At 5.30am, it was light enough for me to leave my post. The ‘bump’ could be easily seen and not take anyone by surprise. I am not sure where Graeme was working next, but I know his next shift like mine started at 6am. Went into the kitchen to help take over the dishwashing, to find the place in total chaos. My beautiful stainless steel dishwasher lay silent and dormant. No one could get her started. The place was heaving with hungry cyclists, dishes were stacked up higher than my head, bins were full. People were tired. I didn’t even glance at the dishwasher, we were not making eye contact any Drew Buck's French bike – OK, part of its gearing system
more! I switched on the hot taps and much to the relief of the volunteer I was replacing, I got under way. I can work fast and hard when I need to, I am used to this sort of thing at work. I am the only lab tech in my department, and I have a tee shirt with the words ‘Could you just…’ on it for a reason. Thankfully Stephan the Chef appeared for his shift at 8am and saved the day. (Picture in your head, a white knight in shining armour aboard a gleaming white, long maned baroque horse, complete with silver spear galloping over the hillside to save you. That was Stephan!) It seems my fabulous dishwashing machine had a safety cut off mechanism. This was to prevent the machine being overloaded. Had someone told us about this, the machine would have worked fine and dandy thoughout the four days. Once told about it and how to prevent it kicking in, the fog lifted, the machine didn’t put a finger wrong, but it took us five hours to catch up with the backlog of dishes. Every one of the volunteers pulled together and worked really well as a team. No one fell out. I kept on working past the end of my shift. Not because I had to. Because I wanted to. These cyclists were pedalling thoughout the day and night. I wanted to push myself and do the same.
Beth working in the kitchen
I have never ever in my life worked for so long. My working day ended after 36 hours of continuous work. I had tired moments, but they were just moments. The adrenaline of the event, and of the cyclists themselves and the positive attitudes of the other volunteers kept me and others going. Beth worked for 30 hours, and I know others did similar times as well. After 36 hours, the Doc told me to leave and get some sleep. I still didn’t really want to go, I was actually really enjoying myself. After something brief to eat, I slept from 2pm to 4.30pm on the Monday afternoon. I couldn’t sleep for longer, I was all ‘pumped up’. Beth and I were having our very own LEL. Next shift was 11pm on that Monday night to 3.15am Tuesday morning, once again in the lovely kitchens. By this time 1,000 riders had gone though and the control was dead. It was such a contrast to 24 hours earlier. It became a time to talk to the other volunteers and to create friendships. Sleeping for volunteers
The sleeping accommodation for the volunteers at Thirsk was very good. A number of people had brought along tents and were in the rear garden of the school. Others such as Beth and myself had airbeds provided for us, and these were littered about the staff room of the school. The staff room was equipped with a boiler for tea and coffee, and Lynn had kindly provided us all with snacks, nibbles, wine (yes! really! booze!), and Aimee had left a layer of her wedding cake! My personal favourite. The volunteers came from all over the world. Lynn and Aidan were the ‘Boss’ Controllers overall at Thirsk, and they ran a very well-oiled working machine. It was very organised which meant things worked well. There were some problems of course, but all in all, it was a trouble free few days. The other volunteers included: Celia who had flown over from Dubai with Aimee (Lynn's daughter); Heather from London (her husband was taking part); Andrew (sounded a bit local? Hope I have that right Andrew); Osian from Wales; Johanna from Germany (her husband was also riding); Liz and Fiona. Wendy from Sussex was a volunteer as her brother was riding the event. Ellen Ann was our onsite Doctor and she was brilliant. She kept everyone sane and well, and I never saw her off duty! Then there was Chris, Colin, Paul, Iona, Wilf, Allen, Graeme (East Yorks) and his son Edward, Rebecca, Rachel and of course Stephan the Chef and Marie his second-incommand. I hope I have managed to remember everyone! Quiet before they return
No need to over-work the shifts now, things had quietened down. After cycling all the way to Edinburgh and back, this was bound to spread out the field a lot making the returning cyclist duties less intensive. Tuesday, was a much more relaxed day, I spent my shift nurturing the dishwashing machine, clearing the kitchens, catching up on cleaning duties (all kitchen based). I even managed to wash my clothes and get them outside to dry! Beth and I had the afternoon in Thirsk, to buy presents for family and friends and pootle about. Tuesday evening saw the first of the big returning guys. OK, I have to mention this chap, Anco De Jong, a Dutch rider. He, I believe, had been the first cyclist though, and now he was the first to return. He had just 400km left to ride (crikey, how much easier it is to type that than cycle it!). His eyes looked bloodshot and sore, but he had time (and energy) to speak to us. I asked him how he had got on. He had only stopped at the controls to stamp his Brevet, and to eat. He had cycled thus far from London to Edinburgh back to Thirsk without sleeping. I asked him how he did it. He
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HEADING IN HERE LEL pointed to his heart rate monitor… "This ‘elps," he said, "I like to see it at 120 bpm, if it goes under that, it means I am tiring." “Oh,” I said, “do you rest then?” “No,” he replied, “if it goes below 120 bpm, I need to work harder.” Looking at him, I don’t believe he was joking! This is not a man, he is a Anco De Jong on his way back to London. Photo Graeme Holdsworth
machine. And talking of machines, when you are a volunteer, you get to meet some real die-hard cyclists or, should I say, pedalists. Idai and his team were such riders. Not on bicycles, but on ElliptiGO machines. A sort of half way house between a bicycle and a cross-trainer. They have to be hard work. Idai was on FB and I had been following his progress during his training towards this event. I was really gunning for Idai and his friends to complete LEL on these devices, but there was a nagging doubt in my
belly, that ‘would he really finish?’ He amazed me, and to be honest I'll always think of Idai when ever I’m cycling a really toughie ride. He rode LEL without even sitting down! Another cyclist who I noticed because of his bicycle, was Drew. I see Drew photographed quite frequently in Arrivée, and loved his bicycle. A French bike. Drew was almost done on his return to Thirsk and was one of the last cyclists through our control. His old 1920 bicycle had 2 gears I believe (forgive me Drew, if I remember it badly), he had one gear to cycle turning the pedals forward, but to get a more forgiving gear for up hill work, one had to pedal backwards! Amazing. The riders in LEL are inspiring. It will be a long long time before I forget this experience. And finally, Lynn had a place in her heart for each and everyone of you guys plus us volunteers too. It was very emotional time returning home after such a positive experience. I felt the work everyone did was appreciated from the heart. Not only were we personally thanked by Lynn, but once we returned home, we received handwritten cards from her as well. Despite every cyclist's obvious tiredness and aching bodies, every one thanked us for anything we did for them. This event has been the bestest volunteering experience ever. I would do it again at a drop of a hat. I have worked for cycling events at home, where I have neither been thanked nor even been told that the event had finished! What a contrast LEL was, the volunteering controllers could really teach other events how to look after their volunteers. Will I volunteer in 2017? Too right I will… 'cept if Im out there peddlin' away for 1400km myself that is…
Beth and MaryJane Watson Team Isle of Man
LEL rider between Brampton and Barnard Castle on the return leg Photo Ivo Miesen
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LEL PHOTOS HEADING BY IVO IN MIESEN HERE
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HEADING INRANDONNÉE OVERSEAS HERE
Super Randonée Pyrenees I
’m not sure when I first read about Super Randonnées; but almost as soon as I did, I knew I had to ride one or more of them. The concept of Super Randonnée (organised and validated by Audax Club Parisien) is a permanent event of 600km with a minimum of 10000 metres of ascent, but with a time limit of 50 hours with an additional hour per 500 metres of ascent (over 10000 metres). There are currently four Super Randonnées available and one of the newest is the Pyrenean one. 2013 is the first season it has been available and I was due to be the fifth person to attempt it (of which one person had DNF’d). This ride was, on paper, the hardest Super Randonnée available, with a staggering 15,000 metres of climbing giving it a time limit of 60 hours. The ride took in a huge number of climbs, some of them iconic sites of great battles from the history of the Tour de France, and some were very rarely visited by, well, anyone. The organiser, Sophie, was very helpful with advice and updates from other riders as I began to prepare for the trip. More than any ride I have ever ridden, I needed to create a schedule and look at how to break the adventure up. This ride goes through some pretty sparsely populated areas and hotels can be few and far between, particularly in the Spanish sections. I elected to ride in mid-September to round out a great season. There was a risk of poor weather, and watching the pros suffering horribly in the Vuelta d’Espagna only a couple of days before leaving only added to the tension. Theoretically, this was an easy ride to get to. It started and finished around 15km south of Lourdes, where Ryanair have flights twice a week from Stanstead. I say theoretically. As I sat at the departure gate, I heard an announcement that no-one ever wants to hear. The words “flight”, “cancelled”, “French baggage handlers” and “strike” were all used during the course of the announcement. Sheer bloody-mindedness is a trait that is
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Marcus Jackson-Baker almost compulsory to achieve anything in Audax, so no way was a spot strike going to stop me. If I didn’t ride now, it could well be June before I could attempt it again as winter is not far off up in the mountains. I discovered that the strike was only affecting Lourdes. So, looking at options, I found an EasyJet flight to Toulouse (having rejected a BA flight to Bairritz for £800!). From Toulouse, it would be around a 2 hour train journey to Lourdes. I would arrive around 12 hours later than planned, leaving little time for rebuilding the bike and generally acclimatising and so on; but I would get there! As I boarded the coach to Gatwick, I met another person with the same exact plan, except Kit’s (a French student who studied in Edinburgh) father was driving up to Toulouse to give her a lift home. She offered me a lift, on the proviso that the bike box would fit in the car. Fortunately, it did, and I found myself in
Lourdes unpacking and rebuilding my bike in an Ibis hotel room that was barely large enough to lay the bike box down. An early night and an early start to get down to the start town of Argelès-Gazost and I was off. The ride started with one of the most iconic climbs of them all. Col du Tourmalet has been visited by the Tour de France a staggering 82 times so far (and is rumoured to be visited twice in the 2014 edition). The western approach of Tourmalet was devastated by the terrible floods in June. It was horrifying to see the damage for myself as I climbed through the town of Bareges. The road itself had been washed away in many places and the work to repair it seemed to involve just about every JCB and truck in France. As the climb progresses, the writing starts to appear on the road; this is what I came for, I was pedalling on the shoulders of giants. Tourmalet is a very long climb, but not exceptionally steep. Despite the sun coming up, it was very very cold at the top. My Garmin was reading 2 degrees, but the wind and being in the clouds made it very uncomfortable at the top. I had been advised that the café on top ‘probably’ opened at 9am, and I was very relieved to find that was true. I drank a coffee and ate a sandwich as I added some layers ready for the descent. As I descended for the next 20km, I was amazed by the number of cyclists heading up to the top. It must be so busy in summer. The ride went from an incredibly famous climb to one little travelled by anyone it seemed. Col de Sarrat de Gaye was superb and really whetted my appetite for the days ahead as I was now in some remote, picturesque mountainscapes. The day progressed and I ticked off climb after climb including many well-known ones like Hourquette d’Ancizan, Col de Peyresourde and Col du Portillon into Spain. Whilst I felt pretty good, I was getting concerned about my progress. Day one was always going to be hard, www.aukweb.net
OVERSEAS HEADING RANDONÉE IN HERE
but I had felt that 18 hours to cover 240km, even with over 6000m of climbing was going to be fine. I had to be at my hotel before midnight and my progress was just not quick enough. I had another 2000m pass (Port de la Bonaigua) to get across and I was getting concerned. Though, I did know that once I reached the top, I had 50 kilometres of descent to the town of Sort. I cautiously estimated that I would cover that 50km in under 2 hours, so I began to relax a little as I settled into the climb of Bonaigua. A very long climb, but not exceptionally steep. It was very cold towards the top and I stopped to get my proof of passage (a photo of the summit sign) and put on extra layers for the long descent. I love descending in the big mountains, and doing it at night was a real thrill. 70kph felt more like 1000! Clearly, there is a need for caution, there are many animals in the high mountains who will wander around the road without concern. Once the main descent was over, I had around 20km of gradual downhill to the hotel. However, there was an issue. I was getting the dozies. Badly. Two mornings of being up at before 5am were taking their toll and I was really in a bad way. As I have got older and wiser, I have recognised just how dangerous the dozies are and know to stop immediately and get a power nap at minimum. However, even a 20 minute stop would put getting to the hotel in time in jeopardy. So, I had no choice, I had to push on or I would be sleeping out all night, and it was very
cold indeed. I played every trick I knew, I pushed hard out of the saddle, I had some upbeat tunes on the iPod (Deadmau5, for the record) and I just about stayed awake. I reached the hotel about 11:45 and, well, it was closed. No lights on. Well that was a blow. There was a buzzer, I pressed it. I was worried I would be waking someone, but the website had said reception was open until midnight. I really didn’t fancy sleeping outside on a very cold night, so I didn’t worry too much about disturbing someone’s sleep. Luckily, I didn’t actually wake the young chap who answered the door and he was fine with sorting me out with my key, etc. It felt great to be in the warm after a very cold few hours in the dark. I was pretty soon asleep and got nearly 5 hours of fabulous sleep. It had honestly been one of the hardest days I have ever ridden on a bike. Just under 6800m of ascent in, roughly, the 190km to the top of Port de la Bonaigua! Showered, rested and in clean gear, I set off into the chilly pre-dawn and got to enjoy a truly fabulous sunrise as I climbed up towards the village of Peremea. This section was really very beautiful and very remote, it was one of my favourite parts of the whole ride. I did, however, have an issue—breakfast. Due to rushing to the hotel, I hadn’t eaten dinner and now I was riding through the middle of nowhere where the opportunities for food were minimal. I did have some cake snacks in the saddlebag, but I really wanted something more. Water was also becoming an issue. I had to work my way over the climb of La Creu de Perves in ever warming temperatures without water. At least the sign at the top amused me, the reported altitude was 1334.9 metres. I had never seen a sign with such accuracy! I finally made it to a town, where breakfast, coffee and a refill of bottles was all sorted. The 6 or so kilometres following the N-230 was the only part of the entire route where traffic was an issue. Sophie had noted it in the route sheet as being a road with lots of lorries and so on. It didn’t spoil the ride in any way, but it was a rude awakening after so many kilometres on roads with no traffic at all. It was actually the only section of the entire ride with anything like traffic, and even this was nothing like a UK main road as it had at least a metre of shoulder to ride on. Though the climbs on my second day were not on the scale of the first day, I was enjoying them very much. The scenery was generally fantastic and the climbing much more enjoyable. I was also maybe relaxing into the ride a little more. I had had a very stressful trip over to France, and the first day had been exceptionally hard. But now I was getting into the flow of the ride and
enjoying it far more. I always find, even on a regular 600, that it takes a day to shake off the stresses of everyday life and start appreciating the ride more and more. It was also getting very warm indeed, and the day topped out in the high 20s, and that felt marvellous. I reached the town of Benabarre and stopped for lunch, a huge plate of beans and sausage followed by rabbit with garlic sauce. It was superb and actually the first proper hot food I had eaten on the ride so far. Really set me up for the rest of the day. I also noticed my back tyre was soft – looked like a slow puncture, so I gave it some air and hoped for the best (and it worked until the hotel that night with only one more top up). If you thought the Buddhist temple at Eskdalemuir was remote, the one I passed in Panillo was something else! If you needed to get away and contemplate life, the universe, and everything, then 1000m up in the remote Spanish Pyrenees is a pretty good place for it. I was tempted to give it all up and go and live there; but I would probably have to give up the bike as well, so I stuck to meditating on the slopes of some amazing climbs. The day’s schedule had me riding around 200km, and progress was quicker today due to the climbing being considerably gentler (though I was still climbing around 4000m in that 200km, so this was still a tougher day than most 200s in the UK). This put me at my hotel around 8 to 9 pm. It was going to be a bit odd as I’d have to be out of the door around 4am, but that’s the way it is. The sun started to go down as I climbed through the fabulous water-sculpted shale landscape towards Los Molinos and I passed my last control of the day (a tourist information panel in the middle of nowhere). I reached the hotel, checked in and enjoyed a good meal at the bar whilst I assessed my progress and worked out what time I had to leave and so on. Another good sleep and shower and I was off into the dark. Except I wasn’t. The front door of the hotel was completely locked. I had a search around and found the garage and a magical side door that led to the outside world. I went and got my bike from the lobby and exited via this door. I was pretty relieved, I had visions of failing the ride due
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HEADING INRANDONÉE OVERSEAS HERE to not being able to get out of the place and I certainly didn’t fancy trying to find where the manager slept and waking them up at 4am! It was surprisingly warm as I got going, which was a bit of a pain as I had been expecting the cold to be as it had been the previous night, so I had put on lots of layers. I was soon having to strip off and it was a very pleasant night for cycling. The ride started with a climb up a huge gorge on a very narrow steep road. By the sound of the river below, the rain that had fallen a few days previously was still making it’s way to the sea. I felt that I was missing out on some amazing scenery due to the darkness, but that is the way it is sometimes. I did stop a couple of times and marvel at the stars. Living in London, I don’t get to see them often! The final day promised to be difficult, I had around 14 hours to cover 160km, but there were several hard climbs including two 1700m passes, one of which was Col d’Aubisque. I knew that the final 30km were primarily downhill, so was confident if I summitted Col d’Aubisque with a couple of hours to go I would be fine. So I hoped to be able to relax and enjoy the day. The terrain had other ideas and before too long I was grovelling up the Col du Pourtalet to cross into France. This climb was the high point of the day and was really quite challenging by itself. With a strong headwind, it was very difficult and it was actually the first time I had to engage my bottom gear on the trip. I was very relieved to reach the top and cross into France and enjoyed the huge descent down towards the base of Col d’Aubsique. I stopped off in Eaux-Bonnes for a spot of light lunch before the climb. I was clearly back in the main cycling areas as there were groups of slickly dressed cyclists arriving in mini-buses to head off up the next climb they wanted to tick off. An interesting way to approach cycling, but if that’s what they wanted, then fair play to them. This trip had shown a side of the Pyrenees that they would never see and that is their loss. At this point, I would have happily swapped my steel Condor for one of their carbon creations with no luggage though! The climb of Col d’Aubisque from Eaux-Bonnes was around 13km long with several sections with sustained 10% gradients. It was a very hard steep climb, but I felt okay. I was looking okay on time, I thought I would arrive at the finish with an hour or so in hand. It was very warm on the lower slopes and it felt brilliant to be on another famous climb (though the more famous side of this Col is the other side I believe). As I climbed towards the top, the clouds closed in on me and it got considerably colder. I was very pleased to reach the summit and throw a jacket on. I took my photos of the control point and headed to the café at the top for a quick coffee and Orangina. There was a roaring fire in the place, and it felt lovely and warm after the cold. Made me realise that they really are very close to winter already and the contrast to the Spanish foothills and high 20s was quite amazing. The descent to the foot of Col du Soulor (a tiny little 200m bump from this direction) was amazing, it is a view I won’t forget, with the clouds hanging over the thin string of a road that 48
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clings to the side of the mountains. Down, down, down, up Soulor. I was there! I had 20km to go and it was all downhill. I cruised down the last section, and reached the sign at the entrance to Argelès-Gazost, which was my final control. 59 hours ago I had been at the exit sign on the other side of town. Since then I had tackled some of the toughest cycling I had ever done. There were plenty of cyclists milling around Argelès-Gazost, and it does look like a great town to base yourself as you are in striking distance of many great climbs such as those I had done and others (including Hautacam, Col d’Aspin and more). I didn’t stop for long. I wanted to get to the hotel, have a look around Lourdes, eat and then pack the bike up. So, 15km back along a superb Voie Verte and I was back to Lourdes, where I cleaned up and went to explore the town a little (see the grotto and the shops full of devotional items of tat). This trip was a superb 4 days away from home. The stress of the travel at the start was worth it. This ride was a very special adventure that was completely different to most other 600s. In some ways, I had under-estimated it. I knew it would be hard, but maybe not quite how hard climbing for sustained periods of time really is. I’d ridden some very tough events this year (the Wessex SR and the Pendle 600 amongst others), so I was expecting it to be a similar level of challenge with slightly less stress about time. The ride was exceptionally difficult. Very little can prepare you for climbing for an hour plus (up to 2 hours at times), descending for half an hour, climbing for an hour plus, descending for half an hour and repeat until bedtime. I struggled at times and had some concerns about whether I would finish the ride. On the other hand, the time pressures one feels on a hilly 600 in the UK were not there. I stopped for two decent sleep stops with about 6-7 hours
in a hotel. I was able to stop and take photos when I wanted, I didn’t spend as much time enjoying the local cuisine as I would have liked, but that was partly due to the lack of facilities. I can highly recommend this ride, and I am sure the other three Super Randonnées are equally superb. Sophie says this and the Dauphiné Gratiné are the two hardest rides of the series. Each of the rides can be ridden either as a Randonneur, or as a Touriste. The Touriste requirement is to ride at least 80km a day. As I rode around this region, I did think that it would make a great route for a five or six day tour, and am considering it as an option on the tandem with Cass. This ride has a fairly short window for riding it each year. The high passes will not be passable until late May / early June and the weather by October will potentially cause them to close by then. Even if the passes aren’t closed, I wouldn’t want to be going over them in the early morning / night-time cold within a couple of weeks from when I did. Preparation is key. In the high summer, you could certainly sleep out in a bivvy bag and this would enable some flexibility to plans. But, if you are soft like me, and want a proper bed, then hotels need to be planned in advance. The split I chose worked well, I missed some great scenery on the last morning, but that was unavoidable I think. I would have only ended up climbing up the gorge at night anyway.
OVERSEAS HEADING RANDONÉE IN HERE If you fancy something very different to a standard UK 600, and a real adventure then I suggest you explore one or more of these magnificent routes and book a flight over the Channel to go and hit the hills. They are very special rides that will give a sense of achievement that is unlike any UK 600 (even something like the Pendle, the hilliest 600 put on in the UK, so far). They will test any rider with a very different demand on your body compared to a UK ride, with generally choppy up and down characteristics. But they are very achievable and even allow for a proper night’s sleep. They are not to be rushed, but to be savoured. They will show you views that will take your breath away. Whether you tackle them as a Randonneur or as a Touriste, they will reward you throughout the ride and give you a warm glow for days afterwards (and not just from your sore knees!). I am more than happy to offer specific help and advice on this route and can be emailed on email@example.com with any questions.
Nicky Gough riding LEL photo by Tony Winter
David Allison and Caroline Fenton on LEL photo by Tony Winter
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HEADING INTOURING OVERSEAS HERE
Bristol to Brindisi ■ 49 days ■ 4 countries ■ 3030km ■
How do you capture a seven-week trip in a couple of pages without filling a whole copy of Arrivée? Here are some extracts from the full account, which details the highs and lows of life on the long road between Bristol and the bottom of Italy.
The weeks before
Planning the trip and detangling yourself from ordinary life can be the most exciting, but at times stressful part. Convincing friends and family that this was a normal and fun way to spend the summer was a challenge. Also touring solo for the first time was daunting, but I needed a big adventure and this was it. Luckily the route was already prepared. I would be following the classic 2534km Calais to
that we ‘up-cycled’ after finding them in local skips and set off with no maps.
The trip was split into 5 sections, where I would either be riding with my boyfriend, riding solo, or riding solo but with company. As word got round about the trip, rather than stay at home and worry about me, people starting inviting themselves along. So I would have my parents, then my sister and her boyfriend on separate sections—not to cycle, but to see the sights by car and get together for coffees and enjoy the cyclist-sized lunches and dinners. I would stay in hotels until the South of France when I hoped that the weather would pick up, then camp through the Alps and all through Italy.
England: 4 May–8 May 2013
Susie Ramsey Day 4 : London to Doddington 117km, 372km total. A night of GPS-related dreams coupled with the foreboding feeling of riding solo until Turin resulted in only a few hours sleep. After breakfast at the hotel I headed off across London, while Rob reluctantly put his bike on the train back to Bristol and returned to the real world. Having lived in London for over 9 years, it was good to have the first couple of miles on roads that I was familiar with. London traffic is difficult at the best of times, but with a laden touring bike and the realisation that I was on my own now, it made for a difficult few hours. Riding through the Royal Parks and past the Houses of Parliament was a great start to the solo section of the trip. The obligatory photos of Gromit with London’s landmarks slowed me down, but it was all part of the trip; there would be plenty of time for miles of nondescript landscapes and churning out the miles. Once
Day 1 : Bristol to Honey Street 80km
The Grand Depart - Clifton Suspension Bridge Bristol
Brindisi permanent route as organised by Simon Jones. Initially the plan was to ride the whole 4014km Orient Express route from Bristol to Istanbul (Bristanbul as it was being called) but, due to a number of reasons, I decided to just take on the first section. By adding on the Bristol to London section, the ride totalled over 3000km. With some rough planning and seven weeks in which to do it, a schedule of 80km a day / 6 days a week was set out. A realistic daily target that could change daily depending on hills and weather. On a good day I might arrive early at my destination in time for an afternoon nap and some sightseeing. On a bad day, with hills and mechanicals, I could scrape through before it got dark. I was touring for the first time using my Garmin eTrex and a notebook laptop which gave the trip a very organised feel. Compare this back to 2003 on my first tour (4 months in Australia and New Zealand) where we tied some old backpacks to the back of our 1970s road bikes 50
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Until the early hours of Friday night my Roberts tourer was in pieces attached to the bike stand in our lounge, as Rob and I slowly checked it over and added new gear cables, new brakes, tires, stem etc. By Saturday morning, amazingly we were good to go. This trip was a personal challenge for me, but it also offered an opportunity to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital, Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Alongside all my kit I packed a small Gromit teddy (a present from my sister), which was to become the mascot for the tour and to develop his own sizeable online cult following. After waiting for the rain to stop, we headed down to Bristol Children’s Hospital to meet my sister and her boyfriend, to say our goodbyes and have our photos taken. The rainy morning made way for a warm sunshine as we headed out on the Bristol to Bath bike path. Following the Sustrans route 4, we continued along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge. This wasn’t the fastest of routes being a Saturday, but it was very picturesque and a great traffic-free alternative way of cycling to London. We were heading towards Pewsey and camping at The Barge Inn, lured by the prospect of camping, real-ale and hot food. However, on arrival we had to double check whether there wasn’t a rave going on. Being a seasoned Glastonbury goer, I am pretty broad minded, but the prospect of squeezing our tent between the massive group of Harley Davidson bikers or groups with bonfires playing non-stop techno music wasn’t what I imagined on my first night away. But as with everything while touring, when it gets bad, you’ve got to think ‘this will make a great story when I get home’.
through the centre of London it was easier to follow route 4 as it followed the riverside bike path. A short break in Greenwich outside the Royal Artillery Museum then through the Thamesview area. A good bike path but the industrial landscape was incredibly bleak and depressing. The bike path then followed the A2 for section on a segregated path, again fine for a fast ride, but intimidating as basically riding at the side of the motorway. Riding into Gravesend, I stopped at a cafe which had Wi-fi. I took the chance to email Rob to the extent of, ‘In Gravesend, really hard morning following the bike path. I’ve done 60km, but looks like 50 to 45km to go. Feeling very sorry for myself and want to cry, but going to keep going.' And that was me trying to be upbeat as I didn’t want to worry him. Anyone who has been to Gravesend may understand why I was feeling this way. I braced myself again and headed out to find route 4, which followed off-road trails through to Rochester, good routes but quite isolated. The final section from Sittingbourne to Doddington was typical Kent countryside, www.aukweb.net
OVERSEAS HEADINGTOURING IN HERE scenic but incredibly hilly. Finally arrived at 6pm at Palace Farm, an excellent independently run farm hostel. My room was set around a courtyard garden, where I could leave my bike outside my door. It turns out my first day riding solo was also one of the longest days of the trip. I expect there are lessons to be learnt there about route planning and not trying to do too much.
France: 9th May – 31st May 2013 Day 11 : Beauvais to Paris 95km, 748km total A restful night at the excellent Hotel Kyriad in Beauvais, I left that morning with a few concerns about what lay ahead of me on the road to Paris, particularly around levels of traffic and getting lost. By lunch I had made good progress to reach Auvers sur Oise, so I sat by the river eating my picnic, and steeled myself for the afternoon to come. On the road again, after getting increasingly paranoid about how busy the roads were going to be, I got lost in Herblay, so followed a diversion down to the Seine and into Bezon. All fine and very quiet just a massive detour which added about an hour to my journey. In Bezon, I managed to find a cycle path that I thought was heading to central Paris, but trying to leave Bezon was a complete disaster. I did not realise that some roads would just turn into motorways that cyclists could not go on,
Arc de Triomphe
or were not safe to go on. I managed to find a bridge into Paris, then followed a cyclist all the way through into La Defence, but again the road disappeared. Spent about half an hour trying to find a way out of La Defence. Annoyed at myself for getting so lost, I eventually found the Pont de Courbevoie which then led me finally into the centre of Paris. As I was coming over the Pont de Courbevoie I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time and my spirits surged immediately as I put into context why I was doing this and that I should be proud of my achievements rather than berating myself up for getting lost. Headed up towards the Arc de Triomphe for a break,
took the obligatory ‘selfies’ with Gromit and my bike. At this point my hands were literally shaking from a combination of Paris traffic and cobblestones. Walked my bike around the Arc de Triomphe, as I decided that cycling round it was basically suicidal. Headed slowly down the Place de la Concorde then across a bridge to St Germains. Although it was rush hour, the traffic wasn’t too terrible. I managed to get behind a few cyclists who were going my way and followed them through any awkward junctions. Finally got to the FIAP hostel in Montparnasse, which was basic, and clean, but it had everything I needed. Finally I was able to wash my clothes and had a great meal at the hostel restaurant. Not many people can say that they went to Paris and the highlight of their trip was getting their clothes washed—I can.
Day 14: Brienon sur Armancon to Semur en Auxois 101km, 1045km total Breakfast with another guest at the B & B, shared both our pidgin English and French. From what I could gather my fellow guest was in waste management and working in a nearby town for the day. Not for the first time on this holiday, I felt very pleased to have given up my job. Left at 8.30am headed down towards Chablis, got chatting to a huge group of cycle tourists from Germany who were heading to Auxerre, the first group I’d seen on the road. Continued to Noyers (55kms) for coffee and lunch. Coffee at a very modern Auberge, had a quick look around the medieval buildings then headed to my parents' car for a picnic. A good solid day, where the countryside was lovely and the roads were rolling along the river through the Bourgogne region. By 5.30pm and 101km I cycled up the medieval ramparts of Semur en Auxois. In the evening we walked around the cobbled streets, which were decked out in red and yellow bunting for a local festival. We finally found an excellent small restaurant selling only local produce and wine. After another long day in the saddle and the prospect of a rest day ahead, a 4 course meal with wine was a real treat.
Day 19 : Treffort to Hauteville Lompnes: 68kms, 1310km total Expecting a hilly day I had a restless night worrying about it. The number of ‘zeds’ on the map was giving me cause for concern. I left our little hotel in the mist at 8.30am and immediately headed up the numerous switchbacks leaving Treffort. Having looked at the gradients the night before, I was equipped with knowledge about the length and steepness which helped me pace myself. None of the climbs exceeded 8 per cent, just two short 3km climbs then a further 3 and 5km later on. During
this section the scenery changed dramatically, to alpine trees, mountains and clear air, I was riding amongst and above the clouds for most of the day. A day of long twisting climbs and descents that took your breath away, it was everything I hoped the Rhone-Alps would be, such a contrast from the rolling plains of central France.
Day 23: Rest Day Aix les Bains Spent the morning on the internet checking weather forecasts and trying to find out whether the Col du Mont Cenis (my route into Italy) was open or closed. It had closed on Friday due to snow but was expected to re-open again on Sunday, hopefully with warmer weather. The coverage from the Giro d’Italia showed snow and freezing conditions on the pass which was slightly disconcerting. The cold unseasonal weather was starting to throw all my plans out the window. Tonight my sister and her boyfriend would be arriving, I had sold the holiday to them as a lakes and mountains sunshine camping trip. It was now turning into raining and freezing conditions camping trip. So lots of contingency planning in order to make sure that campsites were open, or there were alternative hotels in these towns if it was just too cold. I suppose I could always put the bike in the car and get through the Frejus tunnel into Italy if needed.
Day 24: Aix les Bains to St Pierre D’Albigny 53km, 1423km total Woke up feeling slightly apprehensive about a week of camping while it has been raining and snowing. Forecast for today was very good so
Aix les Bains
hopefully we wouldn’t have to deal with that just yet. Team briefing over breakfast with Kirsti and Springy (who arrived from Bristol late the night before) about where to meet for lunch and where we were going at the end of the day. Left the apartment; after three days of rest I felt rejuvenated to start the next leg of the trip. Headed out on the bike path between Aix les Bains and Chambery this section was reassuring busy with other cyclists, and flat. The cycle route followed alongside the lake, and after 18km I arrived in central Chambery. On leaving the town, I picked up the D road to Mayans, Les Marches and Montmellion which formed part of the local cycle network. This section
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HEADING INTOURING OVERSEAS HERE was spectacular, with quiet winding country roads within beautiful mountain scenery. I had concerns about how we were going to weave a flat route through this scenery, but the road was fairly gentle and not too demanding. Arrived at Camping Lac du Courage by 2.30pm. Put up my shiny new super-light Decathlon tent, then spent the afternoon sunbathing and reading by the lake. In all the campsites we stayed at we were the first visitors that summer as the weather had been so bad, as a result everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Our evening meal was a huge picnic on a table outside our tents. A great first evening camping in the mountains.
locked up and we were pretty scruffy, but we managed to find a small pizzeria that might take us in. After a hot meal and some drinks we immediately perked up. The locals were very interested to find out why we were on holiday at this time of year. As soon as they found out I was cycling it started a long debate and who had the strongest thighs, me or the owner. After comparing biceps, calves and thighs, I stopped the conversation short when he wanted to compare pecs. I let him win and we said our goodbyes and left in the pouring rain.
Day 25: Tuesday 28 May – St Pierre D’Albigny to St Martin sur la chambre 40kms/ 1463km total
Day 28: Friday 31 May Lanslebourg to Avigliana: 78km, 1621km total.
The day started with a steep climb up to Chateauneuf, then a lovely ride through Bourgneuf and into Aiguebelle. The route then took me onto a busy D road, decided to come off this early at La Chapelle then followed a quieter road all the way to La Chambre. The problem
Managed to sleep until 5am when the sun came up and my brain started working overtime. Climbing the Col du Mont Cenis into Italy was to be the most significant day of the tour and I was feeling nervous. Finally left at 9am and headed up the road to the Col. Stopped for photos at the bottom, next to the signposts and information boards which described the Col’s history in the Tour de France and other cycle races. Gradients on the climb ranged between 6–9 per cent, with an ascent of 693m climbing up to 2083 metres. The pass has been used five times in the Tour de France, the last time being 1999, and is categorised as ‘hors-categorie’. Just two weeks before the Giro d’Italia had passed through in the other direction on the 15th stage of the race, from Susa to Lanslebourg. My plan was to just take it very steady and keep positive. Before long I had climbed up out of the first couple of switchbacks, then managed to pass a cyclist on a training ride, this gave me confidence to power up the rest. Took 2 short drink breaks on the way up, but am proud to say that I didn’t walk any of it. On a normal day, when the gradient was getting too much I may have given myself a bit of a break, but it was early morning and it was a point of pride to get to the top without stopping. The gradient was steady enough that it wasn’t an awful ride. After 300m ascent the snow started to appear on the grass and it really started to feel high now. As we had driven the route on a reconnaissance the previous day I knew at what point I could count myself home and dry. It took about an hour to get up, with the basic strategy of putting it in my smallest/secondto-last gear, sitting down and churning out the kilometres. The climb slowly opened up at the top, with the road looping around a church onto the last stretch to the first restaurant with the huge ‘Col du Mount Cenis 2083 metres’ sign, perfect for a
"I stopped the conversation short when he wanted to compare pecs" now is that the valley is getting narrower, so all traffic is focused onto one or two roads, and most of the white roads are incredible hilly. Arrived at La Chambre camping, unfortunately it was completely shut up, with no toilets or showers available. We pitched our tents anyway, as there were no alternatives in the area. A good move as it then proceeded to rain until 10am the next day. To amuse ourselves we headed down to the village in the car and dried off at the local café reading books and route planning. It seemed that this was quite a hub for cyclists, with various groups staying here. The switch from hotels to camping now looked less appealing as I watched all these cyclists go exhausted up to their rooms for hot baths and a lie down. I was pretty frozen from my ride and now had to be without a shower until the next night. As La Chambre was pretty dead, we decided to drive to St Jean du Maurienne for the evening. Again everything was pretty Top of the Col du Mont Cenis
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Italy: 31 May–23 June 2013
photograph. We had agreed to celebrate at the top with a hot chocolate, so I quickly put on all my clothes and pedalled over to the cafe. The descent into Italy was quite something and I was very glad to be cycling this way rather than up from Italy, as they had on the Giro the previous week. 25km of steep descents round countless hairpins. At the top there was ice on the road in places, so I had to be ultra cautious. Finally as I descended into Susa at 500 metres, where the temperature was noticeably higher and I was able to strip down to normal cycling clothes for the first time in what felt like weeks. We had a quick lunch by the sign on the grass, then I bombed along the final 40km on the flat road to Avigliana to the lakeside camping that was to be our home for the next two nights.
Day 29: Avigliana to Alba 85kms, 1706kms Another change over of personnel for the trip. Rob arrived the day before and we said goodbye to my sister and her boyfriend. Left camp at 10am, very heavily laden with bags, so much so that had to stop and repack 2km down the road as my handlebars were shaking. The Piedmont region provided us with beautiful flat plains with stunning views of the mountains in distance. The roads were full of cyclists and we enjoyed working out our new salutes to fellow travellers, mainly ‘Ciao’ and the encouraging ‘Forza’. We stopped after 30km at Carmagnola to buy some food. Looking clearly lost, a group of old men on bikes took great interest in us, and approached us, with one man suggesting that he lead us to the closest supermarket. We were immediately stuck by the friendliness of the Italians, how they wanted to help, talk to us about our trip even in our terrible Italian and their non-existent English. The fact that we were cyclists and guests in their town immediately took away any barriers in language. We made fast progress leaving Carmagnola on the flat roads and despite the headwind. Arriving in Alba we couldn’t get our bearings, but eventually found the campsite at 4pm. Just in time to jump into the camp swimming pool and cool off after a day of 30 degree heat. We camped at the back of the campsite next to a number of French motorcycle tourists, who were keen to know how many miles we did each day. We said about 80km, their response was, “Oh, ok that’s not too many - about 4 hours each day?”. If only they knew!
Day 33: Wednesday 5th June Trevesso to Tabiano 91kms, 1976km total An early start after camping in the grounds of a roadside pizzeria. We continued along the S412 to Podenzano for coffee. After making good progress this morning, I noticed that the metal on the right hand side of my pannier rack had completely broken. We were immediately approached by a women who (in Italian) told us that was a bike shop around the corner and the owner speaks good English. So we take her up on the advice and head round. There we met Fulvio Biondi of Biondi Bikes who then became a central person to our tour for the next few weeks. We had only come for a new pannier www.aukweb.net
OVERSEAS HEADINGTOURING IN HERE communicate through our pidgin Italian and picking up on gestures and intonations. I think I could get used to the Italian way of life, they certainly have their priorities right—relaxed long lunches and time with friends and family. We thanked his family profusely for having us to lunch, then cycled back to the shop with Fulvio to pick up our bags. We agreed to continue to keep in touch and write when we returned safely to Bristol. With full stomachs, fully functioning bikes, and happy memories we cycled onto Castell Aquato for coffee and cakes. The S412 took us then to the spa town of Salsomaggiore Terme then up the slow climb to Tabiano and our campsite.
Day 37: Bologna to Santarcangelo di Romagna: 119kms, 2259km total Faenza
rack, and to leave after he gave both bikes a quick service. After fitting a new pannier rack, he then reset my headset, checked over my brakes and let us use his super fast pump. Rob’s back wheel had been spitting loose spokes for the
Decided to have a super-early start to beat the Bologna traffic. It was going to be a long day on the Via Emilia, so it worked out perfectly that Sunday was our day to cycle this section. Found a great route across from the campsite which kept us on quiet roads for as long as possible until we had to finally join the Via Emilia. First stop was Imola after 40km at 9.15am. We couldn’t pass through without visiting the F1 race track, so took a short diversion from the town to find it. On arriving a member of staff helpfully pointed us to the memorial to Aryton Senna which we had wanted to visit. We followed the bike path under the race track where we easily found the memorial opposite the Tamburella corner marked by a bronze statue of Senna, surrounded by flags and banners form hundred of fans. We took our coffee break in the café at the centre of the race track with a huge number of other cyclists and motorbike fans. There was a motorbike race while we were there, so managed to watch some of the race before we headed off. Back on the S9 through the beautiful towns of Faenza and Forli, as it was Sunday many of the town centres are shut to cars, but allowed cyclists and pedestrians to mill about. The squares were full of people talking, drinking coffee and socialising, a real Italian scene. Continued through to Savignano sur Rubicone where we thought there was camping, but turned out that it was actually on the coast, so we decided against it. New tactic of go for a coffee and have a discussion, rather than make a hasty decision on the side of the road that is fuelled by how tired or how much someone needs the toilet. Agreed to push onto next town where there seemed to be two hotels. Rolled up to Hotel Della Porta at Santarcangelo di Romagna, a fantastic hotel for 75 euros. Treated ourselves to eating all the food and drink we had just bought, putting the aircon on full and watching the French Open final.
"Fulvio was keen on home brew, so had his own wine, aperitifs and digestifs—which we had to try in order not to seem rude" last week (after being given the wrong size by the local bike shop - but we won’t get into that!), but with a bit of extra help tightening them the wheel actually held for the next 1000kms. After asking how much to pay for everything he only charged us 10 euros. His ethos was that you have to support those on long journeys as everyone in a foreign country on a long journey needs some help—he makes his money on those buying expensive bikes at the weekend. He then asked us to join him and his family for lunch—this is a tradition that he offers all touring cyclists—we gladly accepted and felt very grateful to be invited into someone’s home, and grateful for any hospitality. I’m not sure if I am a believer in fate and signs, but I do believe that while you are away if someone does offer you help you should accept it, as there are plenty of times when you are in need of help and it takes a while to find it. We agreed to meet him at his house at 1pm. Italians love food, so this invite to lunch was a 3-course affair of primi, secondi, cafe and fruit. Fulvio’s wife and daughter did not seem to be too surprised to see two hot and bothered cyclists in their house for lunch. Unfortunately, Fulvio was keen on home brew, so had his own wine and aperitifs/ digestifs which we had to try in order not to seem rude. They were all quite potent and we were thinking about the long 50km to Tobiano we still had to complete that afternoon. After gratefully accepting an espresso coffee at the end of the meal, it turned out that they also like to drink coffee with a large shot of sambuca! His wife could only speak Italian, so we tried to
Day 42: San Tommaso to Teramo: 104kms, 2593km total Up at 7am, on the road by 8am, cut immediately inland up to Fermo, climbed 250m slowly up in 17km stopped for a quick second breakfast at a supermarket. A huge descent immediately after where we lost all our height again. Continued climbing into Petriotoil for a desperately needed lemonade. Brutal heat today (over 38 degrees) and we were cooking in the sun on the long climbs. We stopped for lunch after 50km at Cossignano. Found a hotel that seemed to be open and ate there, the lovely Italian lady who ran the place really looked after us even though we had such basic Italian. Stayed in the restaurant for 2 hours in the hope that the weather would cool down (it didn’t). Long climb up switchbacks to Offida (where there were signs helpfully pointing out how long the climbs would be - how many turns left). A long gradient descent into Villa San Antonio valley, again lost all our height to 150m. Decided to change the route to stay in the valley, but all roads wanted to take us on the new Superstrada, a short piece of road which didn’t allow bikes but went directly to Teramo. Finally found Teramo at 8.30pm after 12 hours and 105kms. Not sure if we had a harder day than this on tour. Teramo is a beautiful walled city, again really wanted to stay another day, but needed to move on. Quick shower and change, then a Friday night walk around the square with all the other locals.
The end of the road - Brindisi
Day 46: Lido di Campomarino to Foggia: 86kms/ 2860km total. Left the campsite early again as so hot, cycled inland to Nuova Cliternia, then through to San Severo for lunch, a lovely small town that was completely closed up during the day. Headed back out in the sun at 2.30pm but still over 35 degrees. Started with an awful headache that got worse as I bumped over potholes, really just needed to lie down in a cold room and get out of the light and heat. Continued towards Lucera along lonely roads with shack housing and disused farms, starting to feel desolate and unsafe. We cycled past one run-down house
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HEADING VIDEO REVIEW IN HERE where the gates were all open and a pack of five dogs surrounded us. We had to slow down, but cycle steadily through the middle of them, then as fast as we could out the other side. Very frightening and shook us both up, but it was the only time that has happened during the whole trip, so we had to put it in perspective. We concluded that the house was definitely used for something dodgy and they were trained to come out on the road and frighten people away. Very pleased to re-join the main road, despite the heavy traffic into Foggia. Easily found our B&B, which provided a haven out of the intense heat and dirt of the road.
Day 49 Putignano to Brindisi 82kms, 3029km total Last day on the road, from the haven of our aircon B&B I touched the windows and they were already red hot at 8am. Relieved not to have been camping as we would have been up hours ago. The plan for the day was a quick 82km down to Brindisi—60km of which is downhill. Took time to pack bags, while Rob fixed his wheel, and headed off at about 11am. Lunch in Cisternino at excellent small café, again we could have done with more places like this on the road. Cheap, basic but everything we needed (pasta and coffee). Left at 2.30pm for final 50km to Brindisi, stopped in Carovigno
for last gelato and to soak up the atmosphere of the small town. Last 26km flew as slightly downhill and the road surface was very good. Finally arrived in Brindisi and had photographs taken by the sign, luckily the road was quite quiet so this wasn’t too hazardous. Headed towards the Piazza Cairoli with a huge fountain, for obligatory final photos and a litre of coke to celebrate before searching the backstreets for Hotel Torino. Spent a tired but happy low key evening celebrating with a takeaway pizza and an ice cold beer. We had done it, and we didn’t need to go anywhere tomorrow. After 49 days, 4 countries and 3029kms, it was with great sadness that we realised that we had reached the end of the road.
LEL 2013 Video Review Peter Moir
As he did for LEL back in 2009, and for PBP two years ago, Damon Peacock has been back on the road to produce a comprehensive video record of LEL this time round. Damon was kind enough to forward me advance copies of the resulting DVD and Blu-Ray for review in Arrivée. As mentioned in Damon's article describing the build-up to LEL, elsewhere in this edition of Arrivée, he's adopted a different approach to filming this time round. His colleague Dave Robinson still films the roadside footage from select locations along the route but Damon, rather than riding the event himself and filming with lightweight bike-mounted cameras, opted to use motorised two wheel transport to operate as a roving cameraman, interviewer and reporter. This makes for a highlyprofessional video, of consistent quality across the entire 50-minute runtime; from roadside footage to indoor interviews with riders and volunteers; and, interestingly, some "on-themove" chats with riders. Personally, I thought that these sequences, filming riders as they crossed Yad Moss, was something that marked this as something a cut above a run-of the-mill video production, and looked particularly slick, and made for an exciting watching experience. Damon's passion for cycling and for audax comes over time and again, from the delivery of his informed commentary to the simple fact that, even when filming, Damon cannot resist calling out, "Good luck!", "Allez! "0r "Keep it going!" to the riders as they pass (even if it is sometimes rather amusingly done sotto voce). Well, it'd be rude not to offer words of encouragement, wouldn't it? As he's well known to so many riders and volunteers, this obviously pays dividends in getting many to spend precious time chatting to him on camera, turning this from simply filming "some people riding past on bikes" into what feels more like a proper documentary production. The use of "broadcast quality" cameras for the entire production has undoubtedly paid dividends as, particularly for the Blu-Ray version, the picture quality was excellent throughout. I love, as I know others do, the low-key nature and the slight quirkyness of audax, even when we're talking of the most audacious of challenges, and I was pleased to see this reflected from the outset in this video. Witness, for example, the slightly less than dramatic start ("Well, I think it's about time you went, then"). Again abundantly obvious is the terrific good humour on show from all concerned, and that one overriding passion not to take ones self too seriously. From around 10 hours of captured footage, Damon has produced a DVD that would appeal as a souvenir not only for those that rode or volunteered (as I did) on LEL2013, but also as an introduction to the world of these super-long-distance events for the interested but uninitiated. 54
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There is sufficient background information given in the commentary to maintain interest for even the most casual viewer. "What's 'Campag'?", was about the only question I was asked after a viewing with non-cycling members of my family, watching the DVD for the first time. With those minor exceptions, the DVD itself, the commentary the interviews are instantly accessible to all. For a first-time participant, the video would be a useful introduction as to what to expect from a ride like LEL. As Damon mentions himself in the commentary, predicting where the riders will be at any particular time in order to figure out where to film and when is particularly difficult, and he tends to see the same riders time after time (look, there go Cathy and Ashley on their tandem again!).
Damon Peacock interviewing Lara Day during the filming of LEL2013 (photo by Ivo Meissen)
Alongside the 50-minute main video, Damon tells me that in the final package there will also be a 15 minute extras sequence with additional background information and interviews not in the main production. The DVD or Blu-Ray package will be available by the time this edition of Arrivée is on your doormats, priced at £18.50 for the DVD and £21.50 for the Blu-Ray, with prices including postage and packing in the UK. For full details, including international shipping options, visit Damon's website, details below DVD or Blu-Ray available from Damon Peacock, 7 Fowler Avenue, Farington Moss, Leyland, PR26 6RL. Cheques accepted, or payment via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details available at damonpeackock.com.
LEL PHOTOS BY TIM HEADING WAINWRIGHT IN HERE
Alex Foster & Paul Rainbow
Alan McDonogh & Idai Makaya, on ElliptiGOs
Richard Evans & Robin Tomes
Mark Jacklin, Paul Conyers, Mark Dowthwaite & Nick Firth
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A(1) free/cheap accommodation 1 night B very basic – no halls/beds, etc BD baggage drop DIY own route and controls, cards by post R free or cheap refreshments at start and/or finish S showers Z sleeping facilities on route 175 entries close at 175 riders YH youth hostel at/near start
C camping at or near the start F some free food and/or drink on ride L left luggage facilities at start P free or cheap motor parking at start T toilets at start M mudguards required X some very basic controls (eg service stations) (14/4) entries close 14th April
200 02 Nov Cholsey, E of Didcot 07:30 Sat BR 212km 1943m £5.00 L P R T M 15-30kph Reading DA 01491 651 284 email@example.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL
200 02 Nov 07:00 Sat ROA 3000
Coryton, NW Cardiff Transporter 200 BR 202km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW
100 02 Nov 09:00 Sat ROA 5000
Hellesdon, nr Norwich The Norfolk Nips - 1 BP £5 LPRT(170) 15-30kph NorfolknGood Audax email@example.com Keith Harrison, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU
100 09 Nov Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 108km £6.00 L P R T M 100 14-28kph Alfreton CTC Ian Hobbs, 26 Naseby Road Openwoodgate Belper DE56 0ER 200 09 Nov 07:00 Sat ROA 10000
To the Races
Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's Cymraeg Cyrch BR 209km 2200m £4.00 c p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
200 10 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Eureka! 08:00 Sun BR 210km 800m £5.00 P R T M 60 15-30kph Peak Audax email@example.com Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ 160 10 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Cheshire Safari 08:30 Sun BP 570m £5.00 P R T M 60 12.5-25kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ 200 15 Nov ::::: Fri ROA 25000
Anywhere, to York BR £5 DIY 14.4-30kph AUK 0161 449 9309 email@example.com Sheila Simpson, 33 Hawk Green Road Hawk Green Marple SK6 7HR
200 16 Nov ::::: Sat ROA 25000
AUK Dinner, York After Dinner Dart BR £5 DIY 14.4-30kph AUK 0161 449 9309 firstname.lastname@example.org Sheila Simpson, 33 Hawk Green Road Hawk Green Marple SK6 7HR
200 24 Nov 08:00 Sun ROA 25000
Petworth, W Sussex The Spordax 200 BR 203km 1500m [1000m] £6.00 F P T (14/11)(50) 15-30kph David Hudson David Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham by Sea West Sussex BN43 6LG
100 24 Nov 09:00 Sun ROA 25000
Petworth, W Sussex The Spordax 100 BP 103km 1350m [1000m] £6.00 F P T (14/11) (300) 15-30kph David Hudson David Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham by Sea West Sussex BN43 6LG
100 30 Nov Catherington, near Portsmouth Whitchurch Winter Wind-down 100 09:00 Sat BP 106km 1600m AAA1.5 £5.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Hantspol CC email@example.com Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road Waterlooville Hampshire PO8 0HS 50 01 Dec Carharrack, Cornwall Ed's Mince Pie & Mulled Wine 50 10:00 Sun BP £3.50 F L P R T (85) 10-25kph Audax Kernow 01326 373421 firstname.lastname@example.org Eddie Angell, 14 Belhay Penryn Cornwall TR10 8DF 200 07 Dec Coryton, NW Cardiff Monmouthshire Meander 07:30 Sat BR 204km £8 YH L P R T 50 15-25kph Cardiff Byways CC email@example.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB
100 07 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Flowers to Furnace 09:00 Sat BP 108km £7.00 P R T 50 12-30kph Updated Geoff Cleaver 01827 893 664 firstname.lastname@example.org Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY 200 07 Dec 07:00 Sat ROA 10000
Tewkesbury Kings, Castles, Priests & Churches. BR 202km 2550m AAA1.75 [1800m] £4.00 f l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 email@example.com Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
100 08 Dec 09:00 Sun ROA 25000
Hailsham, E Sussex The Rye Randonnee 100 BP 103km 1200m [1000m] £6.00 P R (29/11) 500 15-30kph David Hudson David Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham by Sea West Sussex BN43 6LG
200 08 Dec Hillingdon The Winter Boat Trip 07:30 Sun BR 205km £5 X 15-30kph Willesden C.C. firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens Chiswick London W4 3TN 200 22 Dec 08:30 Sun ROA 10000
Bredbury, Stockport Winter Solstice BR 202km 700m £5 P R T 60 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX
100 04 Jan Bradwell, nr Hope, Peak District Hopey New Year 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1750m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH C P R T 100 (01/01) 10-30kph Peak Audax 01433 621 531 email@example.com David Darricott, 9 Gore Lane Bradwell Hope Valley Derbyshire S33 9HT 200 04 Jan Oxford The Poor Student 08:00 Sat BR 206km 2000m £6.00 YH P X 15-30kph Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL 200 04 Jan 07:00 Sat ROA 25000
Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's January Sale BR 201km 2100m AAA1.5 [1900m] £1.0 c p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
100 05 Jan Thorne, Nr Doncaster Good bye Xmas Yorkshire Pud 09:00 Sun BP 103km 102m [71m] £4 PRT(100) 15-30kph Huddersfield CTC email@example.com Peter Ralph, 51 Edge Avenue Thornhill Dewsbury WF12 0EL 100 12 Jan 09:30 Sun ROA 5000
Kings Worthy, Winchester BP 108km 1235m £6.00 L F P R T M 140 14-28kph Winchester CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Sue Coles, 7 Ruffield Close Winchester SO22 5JL
200 18 Jan Chalfont St Peter The Willy Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 209km £6 L P R T M 75 15-30kph Willesden CC 07974 670931 email@example.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens Chiswick London W4 3TN 100 25 Jan Aztec West, Bristol Jack and Grace Cotton Memorial 100km 09:00 Sat BP 104km £5.00 P R T M 150 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road Horfield Bristol Avon BS7 9PJ 200 25 Jan Cardiff gate Dr. Foster's Winter Warmer 07:00 Sat BR 201km £6.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC email@example.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 100 25 Jan Hailsham Hills and Mills 09:00 Sat BP 102km 1850m AAA1.75 £6.00 R F P 50 09 /01/13 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB 200 26 Jan Cheadle, Stockport A Mere Two Hundred 08:00 Sun BR 201km 800m £5 P R T 80 (13/1) 15-30kph Peak Audax David Colley, 5 Huncoat Avenue Heaton Chapel Stockport SK4 5HN 150 26 Jan Cheadle, Stockport A Mere Century 08:30 Sun BP 155km 600m £5.00 P R T 60 (13/1) 15-25kph Peak Audax David Colley, 5 Huncoat Avenue Heaton Chapel Stockport SK4 5HN
Hellesdon, nr Norwich The Norfolk Nips - 2 BP £5 LPRT(170) 15-30kph NorfolknGood Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Harrison, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU
100 01 Feb 09:00 Sat ROA 5000
Hellesdon, nr Norwich The Norfolk Nips - 3 BP £5 LPRT(170) 15-30kph NorfolknGood Audax email@example.com Keith Harrison, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU
200 07 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Tinsel and Lanes 08:00 Sat BR 211km 2060m £7.00 P R T 60 15-30kph Updated Geoff Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
200 01 Feb 07:30 Sat ROA 25000
Tewkesbury Sam Weller's day trip to Wochma BR 203km 2300m [2700m] £4.00 c p r nm t 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 email@example.com Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
100 07 Dec 09:00 Sat ROA 5000
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
AUK CALENDAR 200 08 Feb Cardiff Malmesbury Mash 07:00 Sat BR 1000m AAA0.5 £3.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways RCC firstname.lastname@example.org Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach Monmouthshire NP16 6RT
100 01 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading The Kennet Valley 100 09:00 Sat BP 895m £6.00 L P R T 12-30kph Reading CTC email@example.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL
100 08 Feb Dial Post, West Sussex Worthing Winter Warmer 09:00 Sat BP £5.00 F P R T 200 (29/01) 15-30kph Worthing Excelsior CC 01903 240 280 Mick Irons, 36 Phrosso Road Worthing West Sussex BN11 5SL
200 01 Mar 07:30 Sat ROA 25000
100 09 Feb Chippenham Flapjack 09:00 Sun BP 102km £6.50 F P R T M 150 15-24kph Chip. & Dist. Whs. 01225 708449 Eric Fletcher, 174 Littleworth Lane Whitley Melksham Wiltshire SN12 8RE
200 02 Mar Exeter Mad March Coasts and Quantocks 08:00 Sun BRM 201km 2725m AAA2 [1500m] £7.00 YH F P R T X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 841553 firstname.lastname@example.org Pippa Wheeler, Rull Barn Payhembury Honiton Devon EX14 3JQ
100 09 Feb 08:30 Sun ROA 1000
Leicester Rutland and Beyond BP 102km 1290m £4.00 F L P R S T 100 12-30kph Leic. Forest CC email@example.com Kim Suffolk, 73 Colby Road Thurmaston Leicester LE4 8LG
120 15 Feb Hailsham Mad Jack's- John Seviour Memorial 09:00 Sat BP 125km 2450m AAA2.5 £6.00 R F P 50(08/2/12) 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB 200 15 Feb 08:00 Sat Updated ROA 5000
Rochdale North-West Passage BRM 2100m £6.00 R T P 15-30kph W. Pennine RC 01706 372 447 Noel Healey, 95 Shore Mount Littleborough Lancs OL15 8EW
120 15 Feb 09:00 Sat ROA 5000
Rochdale mini-North-West Passage BP 1450m £6.00 R T P 10-20kph W. Pennine RC 01706 372 447 Noel Healey, 95 Shore Mount Littleborough Lancs OL15 8EW
200 16 Feb Bedford 08:00 Sun BR 210km £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph CTC Bedfordshire firstname.lastname@example.org Jackie Popland, 48 Haylands Way Bedford MK41 9BU
160 16 Feb 8::30 Sun ROA 10000
Honiton Glastonbury 100 Miler BP 166km 1440m £6.00 f l p r t 14.3-30kph Exeter Wheelers 01404 46993 email@example.com Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU
150 22 Feb 08:00 Sat ROA 5000
Chepstow BP 2280m AAA2.25 £2.00 X P R (150) 15-30kph Bristol DA Nik Peregrine, 46 Bridge Street Chepstow NP16 5EY
120 22 Feb Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Snowdrop Express 09:00 Sat BP 123km £5.75 P R T 100 15-30kph Beacon RCC 01562 731606 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW 120 22 Feb Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Sunrise Express 08:30 Sat BP 123km £5.75 P R T 100 15-30kph Beacon RCC 01562 731606 email@example.com Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW 200 23 Feb Cheadle, Stockport 08:00 Sun BR 201km 750m £6.00 P R T 80 15-30kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Tim Hughes, 5 Peterhouse Road Sutton Macclesfield SK11 0EN
150 23 Feb Cheadle, Stockport 08:30 Sun BP 153km 450m £6.00 P R T 50 15-25kph Peak Audax email@example.com Tim Hughes, 5 Peterhouse Road Sutton Macclesfield SK11 0EN
100 23 Feb Corscombe, near Beaminster The Primrose Path 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1955m AAA2 £7 P L R T 55 15/2 12.5-25kph Arthur Vince 01935 863 429 firstname.lastname@example.org Arthur Vince, 3 Back Lane East Coker Yeovil BA22 9JN
Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's March Madness BR 209km 2600m AAA1.75 [1700m] £4.0 c f p r nm t 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 email@example.com Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
100 02 Mar Exeter Mad March Exeter Excursion 09:00 Sun BP 109km £7.00 YH F P R T 12-25kph Exeter Whs 01404 841553 firstname.lastname@example.org Pippa Wheeler, Rull Barn Payhembury Honiton Devon EX14 3JQ 200 08 Mar Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington Yorkshire Gallop 08:00 Sat BR 1480m £5.00 XPRT 14.3-30kph VC 167 01325 374 112 Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft Aldbrough St John Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD 100 08 Mar Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington 10:00 Sat BP 572m £5.00 XLPRT 12-25kph VC 167 01325 374 112 Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft Aldbrough St John Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD 100 08 Mar Alfreton, NW of Nottingham 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1270m £5.00 L P R T 100 12-30kph AlfretonCTC email@example.com ROA 5000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP 100 08 Mar Catherington, near Portsmouth 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1500m AAA1.5 £5.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Hantspol CC firstname.lastname@example.org Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road Waterlooville Hampshire PO8 0HS 200 09 Mar Lichfield 08:00 Sun BR 212km 1329m £5.00 P R T L 15-30kph Change of Date YACF email@example.com Steve Gloster, 24 Ash Street Bilston Wolverhampton WV14 8UP
Vale of Belvoir
110 09 Mar Lichfield Charnwood Forest 09:00 Sun BP 116km [928m] £5.00 P R T L 12.5-30kph Change of Date YACF firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Gloster, 24 Ash Street Bilston Wolverhampton WV14 8UP 100 09 Mar North Petherton, S of Bridgwater 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1600m AAA1.5 £8.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Bridgwater CC email@example.com Keith Tudball, 9 Winford Close Portishead N Somerset BS20 6YG
200 15 Mar Andoversford, nr. Cheltenham Cheltenham New Flyer 08:00 Sat BRM £6 15-30kph CTC West firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 4000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA 150 15 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Cider with Rosie 150 08:30 Sat BP 152km £6.00 PRTL 12.5-30kph CTC West email@example.com ROA 4000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA 100 15 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Character Coln 09:00 Sat BP 104km £5 PRTL 12.5-25kph CTC West firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 4000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA 200 15 Mar 07:00 Sat ROA 3000
Cardiff Gate, NW Cardiff BRM 203km £5.50 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 email@example.com Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW
100 23 Feb 09:00 Sun ROA 2000
Henham, S of Saffron Walden BP 106km £10.00 A(1) L P R S T (21/2) 15-30kph Victoria CC Kieron Yates, 8 Oakcroft Road London SE13 7ED
Victoria C. C. - Brazier's Run
50 23 Feb 09:00 Sun ROA 2000
Henham, S of Saffron Walden BP £9.00 A(1) L P R S T (21/2) 10-25kph Victoria CC Kieron Yates, 8 Oakcroft Road London SE13 7ED
Victoria C. C. - Brazier's Run
50 16 Mar Otford, Sevenoaks Kent Invicta Hilly 50 10:00 Sun BP 945m AAA1 £4.00 F L P R T 12-25kph West Kent CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road Northfleet Kent DA11 8AT
200 01 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading The Kennet Valley Run 07:30 Sat BR 207km 1763m £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Reading CTC email@example.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL
100 16 Mar Seaham Seaham Sircular 09:00 Sun BP 1700m AAA1.75 £5.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Dave Sharpe firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Sharpe, 3 Elizabeth Street Seaham County Durham SR7 7TP
100 16 Mar Otford, Sevenoaks Kent Invicta Grimpeur 100 09:30 Sun BP 1890m AAA2 £5.00 F L P R T 12-25kph West Kent CTC email@example.com Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road Northfleet Kent DA11 8AT
www.audax.uk.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
AUK CALENDAR 200 16 Mar Winsford, Cheshire Scouting Mam Tor 08:00 Sun BR 207km 2570m AAA2.25 [2150m] £7.00 P R T 15-30kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Phil Scott, 59 Hawkshead Way Winsford Cheshire CW7 2SY
200 05 Apr 08:00 Sat ROA 10000
160 16 Mar Winsford, Cheshire 08:30 Sun BP 167km 2370m AAA2.25 [2150m] £7.00 P R T 15-30kph Peak Audax email@example.com Phil Scott, 59 Hawkshead Way Winsford Cheshire CW7 2SY
200 05 Apr Symington, Biggar More Passes than Mastermind 08:00 Sat BRM 2600m AAA1.75 [1760m] £7.00 F L P R 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01750 20838 Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace Selkirk TD7 4BB
Roses to Wrags
100 05 Apr Trowell, Nottingham Charnwood in the Spring 09:00 Sat BP 105km 950m £5.00 L P R T 150 12.5-30kph Notts DA 0115 932 9978 Mark Chambers, 62 Queens Avenue Hallam Fields Ilkeston Derbyshire DE7 4DJ
200 23 Mar Golden Green,Tonbridge Man of Kent 200 08:00 Sun BRM 203km 1505m [1425m] £7.00 F,L,P,R,T, (120), (21/03) 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC firstname.lastname@example.org David Winslade, 3 Albany Close Tonbridge Kent TN9 2EY
100 09 Apr Marple, near Stockport Monyash Peak 10:00 Wed BP 105km 2400m AAA2.5 £5.00 P R T 30 (08-04) 12.5-30kph Peak Audax email@example.com Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road Marple Cheshire SK6 7DL
200 23 Mar Pendleton, Lancashire Delightful Dales 07:30 Sun BRM 208km 3300m AAA3.25 [3600m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT
100 09 Apr Marple, near Stockport An Icecream Wensdae 10:00 Wed BP 105km 800m £5.00 P R T 30 (08-04) 15-30kph Peak Audax email@example.com Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road Marple Cheshire SK6 7DL
100 23 Mar Todmorden Todmorden Loops 09:00 Sun BP 2850m AAA2.75 £10 F L P R T YH 12-30kph Todmorden Harriers ROA 5000 Danial Webb, No advance postal entry, please enter on the line if unable to pay by Paypal
200 12 Apr 08:00 Sat ROA 5000
Hellesdon, nr Norwich BR £6 LPRT(80) 15-30kph NorfolknGood Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Harrison, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU
100 23 Mar Wigginton, N of York Fountains Monk'y-business 10:00 Sun BP 102km 641m £2.00 L P R T 12-25kph North Yorks DA 01904 795 695 email@example.com Gerry Boswell, 5 Invicta Court Acomb York YO24 3NL
100 12 Apr 09:00 Sat ROA 5000
Hellesdon, nr Norwich The Norfolk Mardle BP £5 LPRT(100) 15-30kph NorfolknGood Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Harrison, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU
300 29 Mar Oxford 06:00 Sat BRM 307km 4000m AAA4 £4.00 YH B P X 15-30kph Norton Wheelers email@example.com Andrew Rodgers, 99 Rivelin Street Sheffield South Yorkshire S6 5DL
300 12 Apr Poole hard boiled 300 02:00 Sat BRM 4400m AAA4.5 £10 L P M (50) (29/3) 15-30kph wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT
200 22 Mar 08:00 Sat Updated ROA 5000
100 30 Mar 09:00 Sun ROA 25000
Alfreton BR 212km 1391m £6.00 F P R T 150 15-30kph Alfreton CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP
Hailsham, E Sussex The WOW (World of Water)100 BP 102km 1440m [1800m] £5.00 F P 20/3 (50) 15-30kph David Hudson David Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham by Sea West Sussex BN43 6LG
Honiton Valley of the Rocks 200 BRM 205km 3900m AAA4 £7.00 L P R T 40 15-30kph Exeter Whs email@example.com Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU
200 12 Apr Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH 08:00 Sat BR 209km 2300m £7.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
The Old Squit
100 30 Mar Lanchester, near Durham Killhope Grimpeur 08:30 Sun BP 103km 1800m AAA1.75 £6.00 L P R T 100 (16/3) 13-26kph Houghton Cycling Club 0191 584 3040 email@example.com Joe Applegarth, 7 Market Cr New Herrington Houghton-le-Spring DH4 7AP
150 12 Apr Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Towering Trees 09:00 Sat BP 157km 1630m £7.00 P R T 50 14-30kph Geoff Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
200 30 Mar Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Ball Buster 08:00 Sun BR 214km 2000m £7 F, L, P, R, T, NM (200) 15-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport email@example.com Marcus Mumford, 12 Gleneagles Drive Bristol BS10 7PS
110 12 Apr Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH The Essex Bridge 09:30 Sat BP £7.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
110 30 Mar Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Bash 09:30 Sun BP 116km 1100m £7 F, L, P, R, T, NM (250) 12.5-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport email@example.com Marcus Mumford, 12 Gleneagles Drive Bristol BS10 7PS
50 12 Apr Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Just a Chuffing 50 10:00 Sat BP £6 P R T 50 10-20kph Geoff Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
110 30 Mar Long Ashton, Nr. Bristol Barry's Bristol Blast 10:30 Sun BP 116km £7 F,L,P,R,T,NM (200) 15-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport email@example.com Marcus Mumford, 12 Gleneagles Drive Bristol BS10 7PS
300 12 Apr 06:00 Sat ROA 10000
200 30 Mar Poynton, S of Stockport 08:00 Sun BRM £6.00 F P 15-30kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Darryl Nolan, 5 Grasmere Road Royton Oldham OL2 6SR
200 13 Apr Gourock Rivers Lochs and Glens 200km 08:00 Sun BRM 3300m AAA3 £9.50 F L P R T A(1) 15-30kph Inverclyde Velo Robert Mccready, 4 Mccallum Crescent Gourock Scotland PA19 1PY
Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury BRM 305km 4950m AAA5 £10.00 A(2) C F L P R T (125) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire email@example.com John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF
200 30 Mar Stevenage Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 08:15 Sun BRM 210km £6.00 P R T 150 15-30kph CTC Hertfordshire 01438 356 584 firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Boielle, 71 Lonsdale Road Stevenage SG1 5DD
110 13 Apr 09:00 Sun ROA 10000
Hebden Bridge Spring into the Dales BP 2350m AAA2.25 £4.00 L R T YH 12-24kph CTC West Yorkshire email@example.com Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
110 30 Mar Stevenage Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 10:30 Sun BP 115km £5.00 P R T 150 12.5-25kph CTC Stevenage & North He 01438 356 584 firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Boielle, 71 Lonsdale Road Stevenage SG1 5DD
53 13 Apr 10:00 Sun ROA 10000
Hebden Bridge Leap into the Aire BP 1325m AAA1.25 £3.50 L R T YH 8-20kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 email@example.com Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
300 05 Apr Chalfont St Peter 06:00 Sat BRM 2998m [3100m] £8.00 L P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue London W3 6QJ
110 13 Apr Maidenhead Jack Eason 10 Thames Bridges 09:00 Sun BP £4.00 P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC email@example.com Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue London W3 6QJ
100 05 Apr Copdock, Nr. Ipswich The Copdock Circuit - Spring in South Suffolk 09:00 Sat BP £5.00 L P R T M 12-30kph CTC Suffolk firstname.lastname@example.org Dennis Kell, 9 Pheasant Rise Copdock Ipswich Suffolk IP8 3LF
110 13 Apr Northmoor, W of Oxford The Harlequin Hack 09:30 Sun BP 600m £6 YH C F L P R S T 100 15-30kph Harlequins CC email@example.com Ken Knight, Jordan Cottage Picklescott Church Stretton Shropshire SY6 6NR
400 05 Apr Coryton, NW Cardiff 06:00 Sat BRM £8.00 X 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC Robyn Thomas, 44 Cosmeston Street Cardiff CF24 4LR
100 13 Apr 09:00 Sun ROA 25000
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
Polegate, E Sussex For those who dont do hills 100 BP 105km 650m £5.00 F P T (50) 15-30kph David Hudson Dave Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6LG
AUK CALENDAR 100 13 Apr 09:00 Sun ROA 25000
Polegate, E Sussex Hell of the Sussex Coastal Hills BP 101km 1893m AAA1.75 £5.00 P F T (50) 13-25kph David Hudson Dave Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6LG
400 03 May 06:00 Sat ROA 25000
Chepstow Brevet Cymru BRM 401km 4900m AAA2.25 [2300m] £9.00 c f l p r t nm z 100 15-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
200 13 Apr 07:45 Sun ROA 5000
Wareham BRM 207km 2850m AAA2.75 £11.00 C L F R P T M 1/4 15-30kph Wessex DA 01305 263 272 email@example.com Peter Loakes, 1 Church Cottage West Stafford Dorchester DT2 8AB
150 03 May 09:15 Sat ROA 3000
Forfar BP 1552m £5.00 C P T S 15-30kph Angus CC 01307 466123 firstname.lastname@example.org David Husband , 78 Old Halkerton Road Forfar DD8 1JP
Amulree for Tea
200 19 Apr Huntingdon Double Dutch 08:00 Sat BR £3 X 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC 01342 314 437 email@example.com Martin Malins, 64 Blount Avenue East Grinstead West Sussex RH19 IJW
50 03 May 10:00 Sat ROA 3000
Forfar BP 587m £2.50 C L T R P 10-25kph Angus CC 01307 466123 firstname.lastname@example.org David Husband , 78 Old Halkerton Road Forfar DD8 1JP
300 19 Apr Musselburgh Merse and Moors 06:00 Sat BRM 4200m AAA4.25 £6.00 X P L R (50) 15-30kph Audax Ecosse email@example.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU
100 03 May 09:00 Sat ROA 25000
Hailsham, E Sussex BP 103km 1360m [1450m] £5.00 P F (50) 15-30kph David Hudson Dave Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6LG
300 19 Apr Poynton, S of Stockport Plains 23:00 Sat BRM 310km £5.00 P X 15-30kph Updated Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ
300 03 May Wigginton, York 05:00 Sat BR 302km £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 email@example.com Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive Wigginton York YO32 2DB
110 26 Apr Broadlands, Wolverhampton Needwood Forest 09:00 Sat BP £5.00 P L R T 15-30kph YACF firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Gloster, 24 Ash Street Bilston Wolverhampton WV14 8UP
200 04 May 08:00 Sun ROA 3000
300 26 Apr 06:00 Sat ROA 5000
Cirencester Heart of England 300 BRM 307km 2800m £6.00 A(2) L P R T 100 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 email@example.com Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane Cirencester Glos GL7 1RL
100 04 May Grange School Pavilion, Hartford Ron Sant Memorial Ride 9::00 Sun BP 106km £5 P R T S 15-30kph Weaver Valley Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive Hartford Northwich Cheshire CW8 1SJ
200 26 Apr 08:00 Sat ROA 4000
Eureka Cafe, Wirral Eureka Excursion BR 215km £5.50 R L P T 50 15-30kph Chester & N. Wales CTC firstname.lastname@example.org David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
400 04 May Poole 14:00 Sun BRM 5900m AAA6 £10 L P R T M (50) (20/4) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT
110 26 Apr 08:30 Sat ROA 4000
Eureka Cafe, Wirral Two Mills Tour BP 113km £5.50 R L P T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N. Wales CTC email@example.com David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
200 05 May 08:00 Mon ROA 10000
Bredbury, Stockport May-as-well Solstice BR 202km 700m £5 P R T 60 (05/03) 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX
68 26 Apr 09:00 Sat ROA 4000
Eureka Cafe, Wirral Two Mills Twirl BP £5.50 R L P T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N. Wales CTC firstname.lastname@example.org David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
100 05 May 10:00 Mon ROA 5000
High Easter, Nr Chelmsford The Counties Festival 100 BP 105km £5 L P R T (70) 15-30kph ECCA 01245 467 683 Terry Anderson, 1 Claypits Road Boreham Chelmsford Essex CM3 3BZ
200 26 Apr 08:00 Sat ROA 10000
Galashiels Moffat Toffee Reinvented BRM 204km 2500m [2300m] £10.00 L,P,R,T,S 15-30kph Audax Ecosse email@example.com Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
56 05 May 11:00 Mon ROA 5000
High Easter, Nr Chelmsford The Counties Festival 50 BP £5 L P R T (70) 12-25kph ECCA 01245 467 683 Terry Anderson, 1 Claypits Road Boreham Chelmsford Essex CM3 3BZ
100 26 Apr 09:00 Sat ROA 10000
Galashiels Broughton and Back BP 1380m £5.00 LPRTS 12-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 firstname.lastname@example.org Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
100 07 May Hurst, E of Reading 10:00 Wed BP 103km £3.00 L P R T 60 15-30kph Reading DA email@example.com Mike Hardiman, 7 Somerset Close Woosehill Wokingham RG41 3AJ
The Hell Forest 100
Forfar BR 2450m AAA2 [2025m] £8.00 L C P R T 15-30kph Angus C.C. firstname.lastname@example.org David Husband, 78 Old Halkerton Road Forfar Angus DD8 1JP
300 26 Apr Manningtree, Colchester Green & Yellow Fields 00:01 Sat BRM 305km 1500m £4.00 PT X 19/04 15-25kph Flitchbikes CC email@example.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA
300 10 May 06:00 Sat ROA 10000
Honiton BRM 3400m £8.00 LPRT 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU
Old Roads 300
300 26 Apr 06:00 Sat ROA 4000
Meopham Oasts and Coasts 300Km BRM 3178m £6 LPTR 15-30kph Independent 01474 815 213 email@example.com Tom Jackson, 19 Denesway Meopham Kent DA13 0EA
200 10 May Thorneyford Farm, Nr Morpeth 08:00 Sat BR 201km 3000m AAA3 £7.00 F L P R T 60 27/4 15-30kph Tyneside Vag. CC 07897561140 firstname.lastname@example.org Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX
110 26 Apr Reepham, nr Lincoln Lincoln Imp 09:30 Sat BP 112km 200m £5.00 P R F L T 10-30kph Lincs. DA Andrew Townhill, 80 Rudgard Avenue Cherrry Willingham Lincoln LN3 4JG
100 10 May Thorneyford farm, Nr Morpeth 09:00 Sat BP 1600m AAA1.5 £5.00 FPRT 12-25kph Tyneside Vagabonds email@example.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX
200 26 Apr Wolverhampton, Broadlands (WV10 6TA) 08:00 Sat BR 208km 2350m AAA1.75 [1700m] £5.00 P L R T 15-30kph YACF 07732 583318 firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Gloster, 24 Ash Street Bilston Wolverhampton WV14 8UP
Cat & Fiddle
600 17 May Chepstow Bryan Chapman Memorial (Classic) 06:00 Sat BRM 619km 8300m AAA8.25 £30.00 BD C F L P R S T Z (4/5) 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC email@example.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach Monmouthshire NP16 6RT
200 27 Apr Halifax The Red Rose Ride 08:00 Sun BR 2600m AAA1.5 [1500m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph W. Yorks DA firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Dodwell, 32 Parkside Avenue Queensbury Bradford BD13 2HQ
160 17 May Meriden, Warwickshire Cotswold Challenge 08:00 Sat BP 1300m £8.00 C L P R T NM 100 15-30kph CTC-heartofengland email@example.com Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner Springhill Gardens Webheath Redditch Worcs B97 5SY
300 03 May 06:00 Sat ROA 2000
Alfreton, NW of Nottingham Everybody Rides to Skeggy! BR 302km 1141m £7.00 L R P T X 100 15-30kph Alfreton CTC 01 773 828 737 firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Horne, 32 Ashop Road Belper Derbys. DE56 0DP
100 17 May Meriden, Warwickshire Warwickshire Wanderer 09:00 Sat BP 105km 602m [1000m] £8.00 C L P R T NM 100 12-25kph CTC-heartofengland email@example.com Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner Springhill Gardens Webheath Redditch Worcs B97 5SY
400 03 May Chalfont St Peter, Bucks Severn Across 06:00 Sat BRM 407km 3500m £7.00 YH L P R T 70 15-30kph Willesden CC Liam Fitzpatrick, 13 Heron Close Rickmansworth Hertfordshire WD3 1NF
400 17 May Musselburgh The Southern Uplands 06:00 Sat BRM 5000m AAA5 £2.00 X P T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse firstname.lastname@example.org Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU
www.audax.uk.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
AUK CALENDAR 200 17 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Cumbrian 200 08:00 Sat BR 203km 3900m AAA4 £5.00 YH L P R T S (60) 15-30kph Lakes School Windermere email@example.com Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow Ulverston Cumbria LA12 8QL
100 31 May 09:30 Sat ROA 25000
100 17 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria La'al Lakeland 100 10:00 Sat BP 107km 2350m AAA2.25 £5.00 YH L P R T S (60) 12.5-30kph Lakes School Windermere firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow Ulverston Cumbria LA12 8QL
200 31 May Wem, Shropshire Four Rivers Ride 07:30 Sat BR 215km 3150m AAA3.25 £7.00 F L P R T 40 15-30kph CTC Shropshire email@example.com Edwin Hargraves, 22 Trentham Road Wem North Shropshire SY4 5HN
100 17 May 09:00 Sat ROA 25000
170 31 May Wem, Shropshire Three Rivers Ride 08:30 Sat BP 2200m AAA1.75 [1800m] £7.00 F L P R T 50 15-30kph Shropshire DA firstname.lastname@example.org Edwin Hargraves, 22 Trentham Road Wem North Shropshire SY4 5HN
Washington, W Sussex The Devils Punchbowl 100 BP 104km 1100m [1200m] £5.00 F P (8/5) (50) 15-30kph David Hudson Dave Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6LG
Tewkesbury BP 800m £3.50 P, T, 10-25kph BlackSheep CC email@example.com Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
The Silk Run
200 18 May Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield 08:00 Sun BR 210km 2450m AAA2 [1930m] £8.00 F L P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB
130 31 May Wem, Shropshire Two Rivers Ride 09:00 Sat BP £7.00 L F P R T 50 12-24kph Shropshire DA email@example.com Edwin Hargraves, 22 Trentham Road Wem North Shropshire SY4 5HN
200 18 May Claughton, N of Preston 07:30 Sun BR 212km 3290m AAA3.25 £5.50 P R T 15-30kph Ribble Valley C & RC firstname.lastname@example.org Susan Harvey, 15 Kingsley Drive Chorley PR7 2NE
Fleet Moss 212
200 01 Jun Padiham, Lancashire Tan Hill 200 08:00 Sun BRM 206km 4500m AAA4.5 £5 P X 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv email@example.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT
150 18 May Claughton, N of Preston Lunesdale Populaire 08:30 Sun BP 158km 2280m AAA2.25 £5.50 P R T 100 13-30kph Ribble Valley C & RC firstname.lastname@example.org Susan Harvey, 15 Kingsley Drive Chorley PR7 2NE
200 01 Jun 08:00 Sun ROA 10000
Portmahomack, IV20 Cromarty Cruise BR 1730m £5 A(2) C L P R T S (40) 15-30kph CTC Highland 01862 871 136 email@example.com Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach Rockfield Village Portmahomack IV20 1RF
110 18 May Claughton, N of Preston 09:00 Sun BP 112km 1540m £5.50 P R T 10-25kph Ribble Valley C & RC firstname.lastname@example.org Susan Harvey, 15 Kingsley Drive Chorley PR7 2NE
100 01 Jun 10:00 Sun ROA 10000
Portmahomack, nr Tain Dornoch Dander BP 765m £2 A(2)CFLPRTS 12-24kph CTC Highland 01862 871 136 email@example.com Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach Rockfield Village Portmahomack IV20 1RF
200 24 May Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond Hartside 200 08:00 Sat BR 203km 2752m AAA3 [3000m] £6.00 FLPRT 14.3-30kph VC167 07887628513 firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Atkinson , 4 Borrowby Avenue Northallerton North Yorkshire DL6 1AL
300 07 Jun Kirriemuir 06:00 Sat BR 4800m AAA4.75 £12.00 A(2) C F L P R T S(80) 15-30kph Angus Bike Chain email@example.com Alex Pattison, 1 Angle Park Crescent Kirriemuir Angus DD8 4TJ
100 24 May Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond Northern Dales Summer Outing 08:00 Sat BP 1475m [3000m] £4.50 FLPRT 10-30kph VC167 07834750576 firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Atkinson , 23 Hailstone Drive Northallerton North Yorkshire DL6 1SP
600 07 Jun Pendleton, Lancashire Swan With Two Necks 600 06:00 Sat BRM 8000m AAA8 £10 L P R T Z 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv email@example.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT
400 24 May Manningtree, Colchester Asparagus & Strawberries 09:00 Sat BRM 414km 2600m £4.00 PT X 17/05 15-25kph Flitchbikes CC firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA
160 08 Jun Coppice House, Crewe Tough Stuff 08:00 Sun BP 162km [502m] £10 L P R T NM (150) 15-30kph Up and Under Foundation email@example.com Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA
600 24 May Poole Brimstone 600 06:00 Sat BRM 7700m AAA7.75 £10 L P M (50) (24/5) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT
100 08 Jun Coppice House, Crewe Good Stuff 09:00 Sun BP 102km 502m £10 L P R T NM (150) 12-30kph Up and Under Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA
400 24 May 09:00 Sat ROA 10000
51 08 Jun Coppice House, Crewe Foundation Ride 09:30 Sun BP 189m £7.50 L P R T NM (100) 10-25kph Up and Under Foundation email@example.com Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA
Poynton, S of Stockport , Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 400 BRM £8.50 XP 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX
300 24 May Thorneyford Farm, Nr Morpeth 06:00 Sat BRM 4000m AAA4 £6 C P T A 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds firstname.lastname@example.org Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX
200 25 May Pendleton, Lancashire Dales Delight 200 08:00 Sun BRM 203km 3600m AAA3.5 [4100m] £5 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv email@example.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 120 28 May Chapel-en-le-Frith The Old Lead Miners Trail 09:00 Wed BP 2350m AAA2.25 £5.00 P R T S 60 12.5-25kph Peak Audax davecatlow@PeakAudax.co.uk David Catlow, 9 Friars Close Rainow Macclesfield SK10 5UQ 600 31 May 06:00 Sat ROA 10000
Exeter Kernow and Southwest 600 BRM 8200m AAA8.25 £15.00 YH L F R Z 60 15-25kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU
200 31 May Pateley Bridge Dales Grimpeur 200 08:00 Sat BR 215km 4596m AAA4.5 £5.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Hambleton Road Club email@example.com Paul Roberts, 37 The Close Romanby Northallerton DL7 8BL 300 31 May 06:00 Sat ROA 10000
Portmahomack, Tain Quinaig Quest BRM 313km 4142m AAA4 [2000m] £5 A(2)CFLPRS(14/5) 15-30kph CTC Highland 01862 871 136 firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach Rockfield Village Portmahomack IV20 1RF
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
The Snow Roads
200 14 Jun Apperley, nr. Cheltenham Gospel Pass 200 08:00 Sat BR 3075m AAA3 £12 A(1)CPRTL 14.3-30kph CTC West email@example.com ROA 5000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA 150 14 Jun Apperley, Nr Cheltenham YatMon 150 09:00 Sat BP 2230m AAA2.25 £9 A(1)CPRTL 12.5-30kph CTC West firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 5000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA 100 14 Jun Apperley, Nr Cheltenham Hoarwithy 100 (2Severn2Wye) 09:30 Sat BP £5 A(1)CPRTL 12.5-30kph CTC West email@example.com ROA 5000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA 300 14 Jun 07:00 Sat ROA 10000
Galashiels Alston and Back BRM 2700m £5.00 PBX 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 firstname.lastname@example.org Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
600 14 Jun 06:00 Sat ROA 25000
Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The 3 Coasts 600 BRM 607km 5611m AAA1.75 [1631m] £10.00 A(3) L P R T Z YH 15-30kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 email@example.com Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
600 14 Jun 06:00 Sat ROA 25000
Mytholmroyd The East & West Coasts 600 BRM 605km 4380m [5380m] £10.00 A(3) L P R T Z YH 15-30kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
AUK CALENDAR 200 15 Jun 08:30 Sun ROA 25000
Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The Good Companions BR 2697m AAA1.75 [1631m] £5.00 A(2) L P R T YH 15-30kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 email@example.com Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
200 13 Jul Denshaw, NE of Oldham 08:00 Sun BR 4400m AAA4.5 £5.00 P R T 14.3-30kph Saddleworth Clarion 07850 208 977 firstname.lastname@example.org Nephi Alty, 13 Ambrose Crescent Diggle Saddleworth OL3 5XG
600 21 Jun 05:30 Sat ROA 25000
Bushley, Tewkesbury. Mae Mr Pickwick yn mynd i chwilio am ddreigiau a chwedlau. BRM 601km 9500m AAA9.5 £17.50 C F L P R T S Z NM 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 email@example.com Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
170 13 Jul Denshaw, NE of Oldham 08:30 Sun BP 3200m AAA3.25 £5.00 P R T 12.5-25kph Saddleworth Clarion 07850 208 977 firstname.lastname@example.org Nephi Alty, 13 Ambrose Crescent Diggle Saddleworth OL3 5XG
100 13 Jul Denshaw, NE of Oldham 09:00 Sun BP 2500m AAA2.5 £5.00 P R T 10-25kph Saddleworth Clarion 07850 208 977 email@example.com Nephi Alty, 13 Ambrose Crescent Diggle Saddleworth OL3 5XG
600 28 Jun York Station York-Langholm-York (YLY) 06:00 Sat BRM 608km 6000m AAA2.5 [2500m] £15 F Z T 15-30kph VC 167 firstname.lastname@example.org Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX 300 29 Jun Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Flattest Possible 300 02:00 Sun BRM 304km £5.00 C F L P R T 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC email@example.com David Winslade, 3 Albany Close Tonbridge Kent TN9 2EY 100 29 Jun Easingwold, N of York Mother Shipton 100k 10:00 Sun BP 103km 769m £2.00 L P R T 12-25kph North Yorks DA 01904 795 695 firstname.lastname@example.org Gerry Boswell, 5 Invicta Court Acomb York YO24 3NL 51 29 Jun Easingwold, N of York 10:30 Sun BP 204m £2.00 L P R T 12-25kph North Yorks DA 01904 795 695 email@example.com Gerry Boswell, 5 Invicta Court Acomb York YO24 3NL
Linton Locks 50k
300 04 Jul Great Dunmow, Essex Hereward the Wake 21:00 Fri BRM 301km £8 X R L P T M (26/06) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 200 05 Jul Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield 08:00 Sat BR 201km 3150m AAA3.25 £8.00 F L P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax email@example.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB
110 05 Jul Hulme End, nr Hartington 09:30 Sat BP 1800m AAA1.75 £6.00 C F P T 12.5-25kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB
300 05 Jul Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Golden Road and Standing Stones 06:00 Sat BR 3850m [3200m] £12 A(3) 80 L P R S T F C 15-30kph Hebridean CC email@example.com Ian Gilbert, 19 Churchill Drive Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2NP 110 05 Jul Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Hebridean Hundred 10:00 Sat BP 113km 1068m £5 A(3) R S P T (22/6) 12.5-30kph Hebridean CC firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Gilbert, 19 Churchill Drive Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2NP 100 06 Jul Combe Down,, Bath 08:30 Sun BP 1650m AAA1.75 £7 N.P.R.T 15-30kph Bath CC Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road Bath BA2 2AX
200 06 Jul Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Outer Hebrides Island Hop 08:00 Sun BR 2300m £10 A(3) 80 FLPRSTX (22/6) 15-30kph Hebridean CC email@example.com Ian Gilbert, 19 Churchill Drive Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2NP 600 12 Jul 07:00 Sat ROA 10000
Galashiels Borderlands Roc Trevezal BRM £10.00 P,L,R,T,S 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 firstname.lastname@example.org Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
600 12 Jul 07:00 Sat ROA 10000
Leighton Buzzard BRM 5600m £5 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 email@example.com Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU
200 12 Jul Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH 08:00 Sat BR 216km 2300m £7 P R T 50 14.4-30kph Geoff Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
160 12 Jul Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH 09:00 Sat BP 1400m [2300m] £7 P R T 50 14.4-30kph Geoff Cleaver email@example.com Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
110 12 Jul Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH 09:30 Sat BP 750m [2300m] £7 P R T 50 14.4-30kph Geoffrey Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY
100 13 Jul East Finchley, N2 9ED Suburban Breakout 09:30 Sun BP 103km 1085m [755m] £5 PRT 15-30kph Central London CTC email@example.com Nick Bloom, 32 Fortis Green Avenue Fortis Green London N2 9NA 200 13 Jul Smallworth, Garboldisham, nr Diss Garboldisham Groveller 08:00 Sun BR £6.00 P R T 15-30kph Diss CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Elkins, 6 Marston Lane Norwich NR4 6LZ 100 13 Jul Smallworth, Garboldisham, nr Diss Garboldisham Grafter 09:00 Sun BP £6.00 P R T F 15-30kph Diss CTC email@example.com Tom Elkins, 6 Marston Lane Norwich NR4 6LZ 55 13 Jul Smallworth, Garboldisham, nr Diss Garboldisham Grinder 10:00 Sun BP £6.00 P R F T 15-30kph Diss CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Elkins, 6 Marston Lane Norwich NR4 6LZ 160 19 Jul Bildeston, Suffolk 100 miles of Suffolk Lanes - Cornfields, Castles,Coast 08:45 Sat BP 168km £5.00 L P R T S 15-30kph CC Sudbury email@example.com Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street Bildeston Ipswich Suffolk IP7 7EP 100 19 Jul Bildeston, Suffolk Bildeston Lanes 09:30 Sat BP 104km £5.00 L P R T S 15-30kph CC Sudbury firstname.lastname@example.org Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street Bildeston Ipswich Suffolk IP7 7EP 200 19 Jul Bildeston, Suffolk Suffolk Lanes Extravaganza - Castles and the Coast 08:30 Sat BR 209km £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Cycle Club Sudbury 01449 741048 email@example.com Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street Bildeston Ipswich Suffolk IP7 7EP 600 19 Jul Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield Three Steps to Severn 06:00 Sat BRM 601km 4300m £8.00 F L P T 15-25kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB 200 19 Jul 08:00 Sat ROA 5000
Corwen Barmouth Boulevard BR 204km 3650m AAA3.75 £5.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Chester & N. Wales CTC email@example.com David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
100 19 Jul 09:00 Sat ROA 5000
Corwen The Brenig Bach BP 107km 1920m AAA2 £5.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester& N. Wales CTC firstname.lastname@example.org David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
60 19 Jul 10:00 Sat ROA 5000
Corwen The Bala Parade BP 1000m £5.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N. Wales CTC email@example.com David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
1300 21 Jul 11:15 Mon ROA 25000
Brodick, Isle of Arran The Highlands, Glens & Western Isles BRM 1302km 17950m AAA18 [2200m] £10 T NM YH X 60 12-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ
400 09 Aug 07:00 Sat ROA 10000
Galashiels Over the Hill and Back BRM £5.00 PBX 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 email@example.com Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
600 09 Aug Windsor Windsor - Chester - Windsor 06:00 Sat BRM £20.00 A(1) F L P R T S Z (100) 15-30kph YACF firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Gloster, 24 Ash Street Bilston Wolverhampton WV14 8UP 200 16 Aug Belbroughton, N Worcestershire Kidderminster Killer 08:00 Sat BR 211km 3750m AAA3.75 £7.25 F L P R S T (70) (8/8) 14.3-30kph Beacon RCC 01562731606 email@example.com Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace, Drayton, Belbroughton, Stourbridge Worcestershire DY9 0BW
www.audax.uk.netArrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122
AUK CALENDAR 120 16 Aug Belbroughton, North Worcestershire From Clee to Heaven 09:00 Sat BP 1950m AAA2 £7.25 F L P R S T (65) 13-25kph Beacon Roads Cycling Clu 01562 731606 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW
50 21 Sep 10:00 Sun ROA 5000
100 17 Aug Musselburgh The Crystal Run 10:00 Sun BP 1600m AAA1.5 £5.00 F L P R 12.5-25kph Audax Ecosse email@example.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU
200 27 Sep Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield 08:00 Sat BR 210km 2750m AAA2.25 [2333m] £8.00 F L P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax firstname.lastname@example.org John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB
100 20 Aug Marple West Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 103km 2400m AAA2.5 £5.00 P R T 60 (16/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax davecatlow@PeakAudax.co.uk David Catlow, 9 Friars Close Rainow Macclesfield SK10 5UQ
200 28 Sep 07:30 Sun
Pendleton, Lancashire Last Chance Dales Dance 200 BRM 3300m AAA3.25 [3000m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv email@example.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT
200 05 Oct 08:00 Sun ROA 10000
Galashiels BRM 204km 2379m £5.00 BPX 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 firstname.lastname@example.org Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
100 05 Oct 09:00 Sun ROA 25000
Hebden Bridge Season of Mists BP 2555m AAA2.5 £4.00 L R T YH 12-24kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 email@example.com Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
50 05 Oct 10:00 Sun ROA 25000
Hebden Bridge Mellow Fruitfulness BP 1200m AAA1.25 £3.50 L R T YH 8-20kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
300 23 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally Mildenhall Rally Roving 300 04:00 Sat BR 312km £5.00 CPT (16/08) 15-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook Colchester Road Great Bromley Essex CO7 7TN 200 23 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally Mildenhall Rally Randonnee 08:00 Sat BR 206km £5.00 CPTS (16/8) 15-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook Colchester Road Great Bromley Essex CO7 7TN 160 23 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally Mildenhall Rally 100 miler 08:15 Sat BP 161km £5.00 CPTS (16/8) 15-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook Colchester Road Great Bromley Essex CO7 7TN 100 23 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally Mildenhall Rally Brevet 09:00 Sat BP 105km £5.00 CPTS (16/8) 12-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook Colchester Road Great Bromley Essex CO7 7TN 50 23 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally Mildenhall Rally Brief Brevet 10:00 Sat BP £5.00 CPTS 16/8 10-25kph CTC Suffolk Andy Terry, The Nook Colchester Road Great Bromley Essex CO7 7TN 200 23 Aug 08:00 Sat ROA 10000
Newtonmore Rothes Reccie BR 2347m £3 CPT 15-30kph CTC Highland 01862 871 136 email@example.com Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach Rockfield Village Portmahomack IV20 1RF
100 23 Aug 10:00 Sat ROA 10000
Newtonmore Grantown Gallop BP 104km 992m £2.00 C YH L P R T 10-20kph CTC Highland firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach Rockfield Tain Ross-shire IV20 1RF
400 23 Aug 05:30 Sat ROA 25000
Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire The Old 240 BRM 407km 6400m AAA6.5 £5.00 C F L P R T 15-30kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 email@example.com Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
400 23 Aug 05:30 Sat ROA 25000
Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire Not Quite The Spurn Head 400 BRM 403km 2450m £5.00 C L P R T 15-30kph CTC West Yorkshire 01422 832 853 firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF
Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Leafy Lanes BP £5.00 P R 50 T L (16/09) 10-20kph Chester & N Wales CTC email@example.com David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG Venetian Nights
New Season, 2015 Etal-u-Can
100 12 Oct Wigginton, N of York Gerry's Autumn Brevet 10:00 Sun BP 101km 942m £3.00 L P R T 12-25kph North Yorks DA 01904 795 695 firstname.lastname@example.org Gerry Boswell, 5 Invicta Court Acomb York YO24 3NL 100 26 Oct 10:00 Sun ROA 10000
Galashiels Ride of the Valkyrie's BP 106km 1200m [1517m] £7.00 LPRTS 12-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 email@example.com Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL
400 06 Sep Stonehaven Old Military Roads 10:30 Sat BRM 6000m AAA6 £6 X P L R T (25) 15-30kph None Stephen Reed, CAIRNBANNO 34 Dunnottar Avenue STONEHAVEN AB39 2JJ 200 13 Sep 07:30 Sat ROA 5000
Chepstow Castle BR 3000m AAA3 £2.00 YHXPRT(14/9) 15-30kph Bristol DA Nik Peregrine, 46 Bridge Street Chepstow NP16 5EY
Border Castles Randonnee
600 13 Sep Great Dunmow 06:00 Sat BRM 606km £6 X A(1) CLPRTM (06/09)(50) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA
200 14 Sep Musselburgh The Erit Lass 08:00 Sun BR 3000m AAA3 £7.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse email@example.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 200 21 Sep 08:00 Sun ROA 5000
Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Pistyll Packing Momma BR 209km 3400m AAA3.5 £5.00 P R 50 T L (16/09) 15-30kph Chester & N Wales CTC firstname.lastname@example.org David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
130 21 Sep 09:00 Sun ROA 5000
Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Mountain Views BP 137km 2000m AAA2 £5.00 P R 50 T L (16/09) 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC email@example.com David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG
Arrivée Autumn 2013 No. 122 AU
Ruthven Barracks, Kingussie, on the Grantown Gallop & Forres Foray. Photo Peter Moir
Cathy and Ashley Brown, on LEL, near Innerleithen Photo: Tim Wainwright
Published on Feb 23, 2014