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Arrivée

Number 134 Autumn 2016

the Long Distance Cyclists’ Association www.aukweb.net


Nigel Deakin before the event

Rob Bullyment leading off the riders

Samuel Thompson on the best bike of the day

David Tassell on his first 200k audax

Daniel Glassey


EDITORIAL 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.

HOW TO CONTACT US Membership Enquiries: Mike Wigley (AUK Membership Secretary), Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX. Email: membership@audax.uk Membership Application Form: www.aukweb.net/ enroll

Membership fees Renewal: £14 or £56 for five years. New or lapsed members £19 (inc. £5 enrolment fee) or £61 for five years. Household members: £5 or £20 for five years. No enrolment fee for new household members. Life member’s Arrivée: £9, or £45 for five years.

Arrivée

Extra current Arrivée copies, where available, are £3 (UK), £4 (EEC), £5 (non-EEC). Contact Mike Wigley (address above). Mudguard stickers four for £1. AUK cloth badges £2 (includes UK post, EEC add £1, non-EEC add £2). Contact Mike Wigley (above).

Contributions 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.

TO ADVERTISE Advertising Manager: Tim Wainwright

4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL Email: twain@blueyonder.co.uk Rates per issue: 1/₁₂ page £25, pro-rata to £300 per full page. Payment in advance. Businesses must be recommended by a member. We rely on good faith and Arrivée cannot be held responsible for advertisers’ misrepresentations or failure to supply goods or services.

Members’ private sales, wants and events advertising: free. PUBLICATIONS MANAGERS February Editor: Sheila Simpson

33 Hawk Green Road, Marple SK6 7HR Tel: 0161 449 9309 Fax: 0709 237 4245 Email: sheila@aukadia.net May Editor: Tim Wainwright 4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL Tel: 020 8657 8179 Email: twain@blueyonder.co.uk August Editor: David Kenning Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ Tel: 07734 815133 / 01227 471448 Email: dave@widdersbel.co.uk November Editor: Peter Moir 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7YB Tel: 01993 704913 Email: peter@moir.co.uk To subscribe to the AUK e-mailing discussion list, send an Email to audax-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Autumn 2016 Welcome to the autumn edition of Arrivée at the close of Audax UK's fortieth season. Thanks to everyone who took time out to provide articles and photographs for this issue. Please do keep them coming — even one or two photographs from an event, or any other rides of audacious interest, make such a difference to the magazine. If you're getting your smartphone out to check Twitter or Facebook while you're out on a ride, use the opportunity to snap some of your fellow riders! I hope the articles included in this issue inspire you to get searching in the calendar for new and interesting events on which to ride. Congratulations to Steve Abraham, who in September broke the HAM'R highest monthly mileage record, at a distance of 7104.3 miles. Steve beat the previous monthly record of 6679.8 miles, set by André Goeritz from the USA earlier this year. Don't forget, the Audax membership year runs from 1 January each year. This is especially important this time round if you intend to use your priority entry for LEL next year — make sure you don't allow your

membership to lapse on 31 December. If you're not a member come 1 January you'll have to forego your preferential entry on 6 January and wait until general entry opens on the 20th. The next issue of Arrivée is due with you in February 2017, so please send any articles or photographs to Sheila in plenty of time. The contact details are in the panel at the left. Have a good 2017 audax season and hopefully see some of you out on the road!

Peter

Contents 8 Obituary 36 Foundation Rides 6 Rough Diamond 37 Route 66 - The Kicks Return 7 Free “MOTs”! 40 The Redemption Ride 10 Cycling the Path of Hope 42 Essex Rivers & Reservoirs 11 Neroche 100 45 Bocca Vitullu 12 LeJog Charity Ride 46 Peak Performance: National 400 17 Utterly Butterleigh 48 Daylight DIY SR Series 18 A Texas Winter Weekend 51 LEL 20 Book Reviews 52 Official News 22 An A-Z of the WAWA 56 AUK Calendar 30 A Grand National 62 Event & Mileater 33 To The Pyrenees Lorna Fewtrell

James Bradbury

Peter Bond

John Plant

Tim Harrison

Nick Elverston

John Thompson

Ribble Blue

Paul Harrison

Ian Lomas

Peter Bond

Ribble Blue

Colin Gray

Bob Damper

Peter Marshall

Alison Smedley

Entry Forms

Rosy Gray

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Front cover: Nigel Pratt & Stephen Longman on the Hills & Mills Grimpeur, January 2016 Photo: Tim Wainwright Opposite: Cambridge Autumnal 200 Photos: Nick Wilkinson

PLEASE MENTION ARRIVÉE WHEN REPLYING TO OUR ADVERTISERS

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MERCHANDISE

Clothing Official Audax UK clothing, made in Yorkshire by ForceGB, is available to buy now from the Audax UK website. The club jersey uses the latest in wicking sports fabrics and includes features such as under-arm mesh for ventilation, reflective piping, grippers to keep everything in place and three rear pockets plus a built-in zipped pocket.

The range includes: n Long & short sleeve jersey n Winter weight jersey n Softshell jacket n Gilet n Arm warmers n Special edition PBP jersey All in a range of colours, and men's & women's sizes

You can order AUK club jerseys via www.aukweb.net/members/clothing or direct from the ForceGB website at www.forcegb.com/club-shops/audax-uk (or call 01924 409290)

Badges and Medals A wide range of membership badges, frame stickers, car window stickers and other medals and badges are available for members to purchase, including a special commemorative badge to mark Audax UK's 40th Anniversary.

For full details of the range, plus prices and how to order your badges and medals, see: www.aukweb.net/results/medalsbadges 4

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THIS & THAT

Paul Whitehead & George Hanna on the Wild Atlantic Way. Photo courtesy of Eamon Nealon

VACANCY for AAA Secretary Applications are invited for the post of Audax Altitude Awards Secretary, to succeed Steve Snook, the current Secretary, when he retires from the post at the end of 2016. Duties will include: •• Running the Audax Altitude Awards scheme. •• Working out climbing and AAA points for calendar and permanent events, including DIY by GPS Perms. •• Processing claims for AAA awards. •• Maintaining the AAA pages of the AUK website. •• Keeping Rolls of Honour for each AAA award on the website. •• Selling the AAA medals and badges (not Grimpeur medals). •• Promoting and developing the AAA, and consulting with AAA riders and organisers as appropriate. •• Answering queries about AAA from members and organisers. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of methods of calculating altitude gain, whether by GPS, computer and website mapping, barometric methods etc., and experience of their application, as well as the other skills and experience needed for the rest of the duties. Applications, stating relevant knowledge and experience should be addressed to Permanents Secretary John Ward, who will be pleased to deal with any enquiries. 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ Tel: 01590 671205 Email: permanents@audax.uk

CORRESPONDENCE Dear Editor, The term “free control” amuses me. While I accept it is harmless it is arguably misleading because in one sense it could hardly be a more blatant contradiction. “Free” controls are the ones where you do have to spend money to get a receipt. I’m guessing the thinking is that you are “free” to choose a suitable place for a control. If so, would not “independent” be more appropriate or “pick your own”? I appreciate it might be felt there are more important matters to debate and I am writing this partly for fun but is there something of a serious point? While it didn’t take me long to grasp it – I do have something that stirs up top! – when a newcomer to audax the term did puzzle me initially, I will leave it at that. Just to confirm I am not considering an AGM motion!!! Yours sincerely, John Thompson

AUK Buffs

An ideal stocking-filler, AUK Buffs are available to buy now from http://buffs.paudax.com. These are custom adult sized buffs from Buff® in the original microfibre material. Two designs are available: “Silver Flock” and “MultiChain”, as shown below.

Available for delivery to the UK and overseas, visit http://buffs. paudax.com, or contact buffs@paudax.com for further details. www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

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RANDONNEE

The Rough Diamond Rough Statistics James Bradbury

M

ark Rigby's Rough Diamond is described as a "fast 300" on good roads and, being in July, the weather is usually better than 300s in the spring. Ideal for those attempting this distance for the first time, like my wife Erica, so we did the ride together on the tandem. It's a great ride and I'd recommend it to anyone doing this distance for the first time. Many cyclists, myself included, track their rides on GPS analysis sites such as Strava. After the ride you can pore over the statistics to find out how your speed varied and, with additional sensors, where your power output dipped, your heart rate shot up or your cadence was sub-optimal. Besides a thorough approach to training, I think there's a lot to be said for using these sites for nostalgic reliving or sharing rides, adding photos or planning future routes.

It can be motivational too. Trying to beat my personal records on Strava was what got me back into cycling properly some five years ago. But, liking gadgets as I do, I know I'm at risk of being sucked into obsessing over performance data. Erica teases me about uploading my rides before I've even had a shower. So whenever I'm on an audax I defiantly tell myself I'm "out for a good time, not a fast time", taking in the scenery, chatting to people I meet on the way and enjoying the adventure. Those at the very front or back of the field may have more reason to scrutinise their average speeds. Indeed, it's prudent even for those of us normally in the bulgy bit of the bell curve to keep one eye on the clock as I know from my failure to complete PBP last year. But, for many audaxers, the additional data is not of

much interest and might even be considered a distraction from the enjoyment of the ride. I enjoy looking at visual data, like that presented in the book Information Is Beautiful. So I produced a graph tracking what I thought was interesting on the ride. Everyone will have their own opinions about what makes a great ride; the variables I've described with the graph are the ones which Erica and I thought were important. They're also not very precise because we tried to reconstruct them later. I guess we could've carefully noted each one every fifteen minutes to get accurate results, but we didn't want any distractions from navigation, chatting and looking at the view. Besides, that would probably be more annoying than constantly checking our cadence. Maybe one day someone will make sensors to measure some of this directly!

The only variable I've taken from the GPS track. It helps to work out where we are on the route and you can see how the climbs and descents affected the other lines. It includes the short ride to and from our accommodation.

You're never alone on a tandem, but we still enjoyed chatting with other riders, or just cruising along with them on the flatter sections.

This was affected not only by the morning's rain but by riding up hill a bit too quickly without shedding layers.

ELEVATION PROFILE

SOCIAL INTERACTION

CLOTHING DAMPNESS

HUNGER

SCENERY

MORALE / CONFIDENCE

A rough average between myself and Erica as we seemed to get hungry at about the same time on this ride.

Plenty of interest along the route, but some definite highlights including lakes, rivers and architecture.

Again an average between the two of us. This was greatly affected by everything else we tracked and some particular events which I've marked on the graph.

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THIS & THAT

W

Free “MOTs” for older members!

e have been contacted by the National Amyloidosis Centre (NAC) at The Royal Free Hospital, London. A research team at the NAC is carrying out a medical study into one form of the disease Amyloidosis. This is regarded as a rare disease, one that has many forms, but all of which involve the deposition of amyloid protein in parts of the body. It can be genetic or occur spontaneously. It is a disease that is notoriously

difficult to diagnose. The NAC is a world leader in the development of diagnostic methods and treatments. One form of the disease known as ATTR Amyloidosis was, as you will see from the information sent by the NAC, believed to be very rare. The research team is hoping to recruit healthy and active male volunteers who are aged over 80 in order to identify if the disease is more prevelent than current data suggests. Cyclists are well known

A DPD scan showing ATTR cardiac amyloid. The arrow points to the uptake of DPD in the heart.

for their levels of health and fitness in old age and are potentially an excellent group from which to recruit volunteers. If any member, or any of their friends, meets the criteria and is interested in supporting a valuable piece of medical research in one of the foremost centres of its kind, they are invited to make contact with the the NAC using the details provided below.

A fused CT/SPECT image also showing DPD uptake by amyloid deposits in the heart. (from Updates in Cardiac Amyloidosis: A Review; Banypersad S et al; J Am Heart Assoc 2012)

John Plant

DPD Scanner

National Amyloidosis Centre Royal Free Hospital Pond Street London NW3 2QG Tel: 020 7794 0500

Are you male, over 80 years old, and interested in taking part in medical research? We would like to invite men aged over 80, with no known heart disease to take part in our research study at the National Amyloidosis Centre in the Royal Free Hospital, London.

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the study is to scan the hearts of healthy men aged over 80, to look for abnormal protein deposits that occur in a condition called ATTR amyloidosis. This condition mainly affects men after age 70 and until recently it was believed to be very rare, diagnosed in only about 100 people in the UK each year. But post mortem studies have found ATTR amyloid deposits in the hearts of 10-20% of deceased elderly men and evidence from echocardiography studies suggests that ATTR amyloid deposition in the heart may be much more common than was previously believed. This study aims to investigate the true prevalence and potential health consequences of ATTR amyloid deposition in the hearts of elderly men.

What does the study involve?

All study participants will undergo a specialist heart scan at the National Amyloidosis Centre and some participants will undergo a few additional tests. The scan is safe, painless and non-invasive, apart from receiving a single injection into the vein. Detailed information and explanation of the proposed scan will be provided to enable fully informed consent. The doctors at the NAC will notify your GP of any abnormal results and give advice on further management. You will receive £50 compensation for your time and effort in taking part in the study and travel costs to and from the National Amyloidosis Centre at the Royal Free Hospital will be refunded.

For more information, please contact the researchers: Ms Thirusha Lane Dr Julian Gillmore

t.lane@ucl.ac.uk j.gillmore@ucl.ac.uk

020 7433 2759 020 7433 2726

The study is being sponsored by University College London, and has been approved by NRES Committee South Central – Hampshire B ethics committee (REC ref. no. 13/SC/0643). All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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OBITUARY

Peter Luxton

13 Sept 1933 – 1 July 2016 Pete Luxton must have been known to almost everybody who reads Arrivée. Over the years he had ridden, organised and helped in countless events for the CTC and for the Exeter Wheelers Cycling Club. Pete passed away in the Exeter Hospice on 1st July having been ill for some time and having suffered a recent setback. Pete was born in 1933 in Egypt, where his father was stationed in the RAF. A very capable engineer, many of us will have seen or known of the bikes which he built up over the years, both with his association with Sid West at Exmouth (Westland Cycles) and some up the frames he built under his own name. For some years he ran a lawnmower business in Exeter, and it was a great shock to him when just after his retirement in 1999 his wife Eugenie was killed when she was struck by a moped rider near Cullompton. Pete continued to run the popular Audax events which she had always organised so well, and the ever popular coffee pot rides. Pete spent the last few years living at Stoke Canon with Jean Brierly, who also cared for him during his illness. I recall riding many miles on longer Audax events in Pete’s company and he always had many tales and memories to keep us occupied in the small hours. At Pete’s funeral in Exeter the chapel was packed with many of the faces of the cycling world in the Devon and Somerset area. It was good to see them all, and was a fitting tribute to Pete. Several EWCC and CTC members held up an arch of wheels as the coffin, accompanied by a floral tribute, passed through the chapel entrance as Pete headed down to the shed for the final time leaving us all with many fond memories.

Pete with friend on the Devon Delight Audax

Graham Brodie Controlling on The Devon Delight

With Neville Chanin

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BOOK REVIEW

Laid Back Around the World in 180 Days Diary of a long bike ride By Richard Evans Illustrated by Dominic Trevett

I

n a footnote to his article describing part of his epic sixmonth journey round the world by bike (Arrivée 128, Spring 2015), Richard Evans stated "The book will be published… one day". That day turned out to be in July 2016, when Richard published Laid Back Around the World in 10 Days: Diary of a long bike ride. That “long bike ride” started at BikeFix in London on 5 April 2014 and took Richard across 18 countries and four continents, for a total riding distance of 23,000km. This book chronicles not only the daily progress through each country, but the meticulous preparation and the inevitable battles with beauracracy — even the discovery that having an actual helpful Member of Parliament was not sufficient to propel him over the mountain built on Chinese red tape. Richard has been an Audax UK member since 2003, riding his first event in February that year — a 200k ride from a desolate trading estate in Ruislip. From a less than fully-enjoyable first experience — puncture, clipless moment, bent rear mech, completing bang on the time limit, etc — he went on to complete an SR series that year in order to qualify for his first PBP (the first of his four). Gaining his ultrarandonneur status in 2012, Richard states that without that wealth of experience and confidence gained due to audaxing it's difficult to see how he would ever have been able to contemplate such a round-theworld endeavour In September 2013 Richard started planning the route in detail following a visit to a central London bookshop, returning with panniers stuffed with maps. A few months later the resultant route plan consisted of over 140 GPX files to guide him on his epic journey.

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Richard's bike of choice was an American Bacchetta Giro recumbent from BikeFix, the laid-back bike specialist in central London. Proving ultra-reliable, the only mechanical concern was a rear wheel rebuild early on in the ride, in Berlin. Only four punctures in a ride around the world surely should attract the attention marketing guys from Schwalbe. Following the finer details of the preparation for the trip — route planning, visa rejections, route replanning, training — the book takes the format of a six-month daily diary. Details of a varied range of audax hotels (across the full range of star ratings) are included and, as in all the best travelogues, and in any story that calls itself a long distance cycling story… Food! Remember that nagging doubt that you had about whether the filling station you recall as being just round this next corner will still be open at this time of night? Multiply that nagging doubt by half-a-dozen meal stops a day for 180 days and you get (some of) the picture… If I lived in Australia and my brother cycled half-way round the world for my birthday I'd be pretty impressed. I'm generally pretty amazed by the appearance of a birthday card. The book conveys not only the extraordinary challenges faced by someone undertaking such a gargantuan feat, but also the levels of spontaneous generosity bestowed on Richard by complete strangers. Heartwarming is genuinely the word. To those who feel the world is a terrible place, outside their own parochial little bubble, I say, "read this book", and then, "get out more!". If I was thinking about undertaking a journey such as this I have learned, amongst many

other things, that vitally important to your success, in addition to a formidable tenacity and cycling ability will be • www.warmshowers.org • an easily-deployable dog deterrent device • a “magic letter” Illustrations and graphics in the book are by LEL and PBP rider, and Richard's fellow Kingston Wheeler, Dominic Trevett.

Richard's book is available for Kindle and in paperback from Amazon, www.amazon.co.uk. All royalites from the book go to Roadpeace, the charity looking after those bereaved and injured as a result of road crashes and campaigning for safer streets. Peter Moir

Training Centre for 2 and 5 Day General Maintenance 3 Day Wheelbuilding

Rohloff upgrades & servicing Custom Building INVICTA FRAMES and complete bikes

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martin@campagservice.co.uk | www.campagservice.co.uk

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RANDONNEE

Cycling the Path of Hope Nick Elverston 2016 was the inaugural Audax year for my brother William and me. We were drawn to Audax by its non-competitive nature. Having previously done a reasonable amount of touring, cycling long distances, unsupported, within a pre-defined time limit, where completion is success, really strikes a chord. We have now cycled a variety of wonderfully named routes (including the Willy Warmer, the Dean, the Ditchling Devil and Straight Outta Hackney). We have also joined a somewhat virtual, but very welcoming, group of like minded souls — the Audax Club Hackney. In the light of recent rise in Hate crime, we decided to combine an Audax with fundraising for HOPE not hate and its new #MoreInCommon campaign. 400km around the landing sites and battlefields of Normandy seemed a suitable, silent, elegy to what can happen when the politics of hate are allowed to take over. The rules of the event required a finish within 27 hours. A 5am start on Saturday morning dictated a finish by 8am on Sunday morning. As someone who is generally not a morning person, neither time filled me with deep joy. Cycling significantly further in one go than I have done before was also the cause of some trepidation. The event was organised by the wonderfully named Cyclo-club Montebourg - Saint-Germainde-Tournebut. We were greeted at their club house (formally the local firemen’s garage) by the “gentil organisateur” Stéphane Gibon and his father, both wearing club shirts sponsored by the local bovine podiatrist and both bearing cups of coffee. Friendly greetings with the other 30 riders and we were off.

Reminders of June 1944

The early stages of a ride, in the dark with red tail-lights snaking through the countryside, always have something magical about them. We soon came upon the first reminder of the terrible days of June 1944, in the shape of the 16 gun emplacements and bunkers of Crisbecq. These were followed by many other sites of historical significance: Utah beach, Omaha beach, Gold beach, Pegasus Bridge and too many “martyr” villages, which were razed to the ground (often by the Allied bombardment). The contrast between the beautiful, peaceful, landscapes of Normandy and the echoes of the horrors that so many people suffered, including the local civilian population, was marked. Our suffering was minimal by comparison, but long rides require constant food and water, failing which the body just stalls or, possibly worse, given the temperatures of over 33 degrees on the day, develops heat exhaustion. Fortunately, the countryside towns and villages of Normandy are well provided for, with boulangeries for restocking on the go… Around five other riders, however, succumbed to the rigours of the day and did not finish. One feature of Audax rides tends to be running into fellow, slightly mad, riders — we were playing catch-up and leapfrog, with a group of wiry, athletic, retirees and David, a lone biker on a mountain bike

(who left us for dust over the last 100km). The other feature is the need to just keep going, something I find particularly hard when tempted to stop and take in the view (or possibly a glass of rosé…). However, keep going we did, managing to finish within 20 hours and thus being able to treat ourselves to a beer, a bowl of rice pudding, and an inflatable mattress in the club house/ garage — sleep punctuated by the arrival of fellow travellers, including four other riders from the UK, throughout the night.

Major emotions

For me the day came with two major emotions. First, a real sense of achievement at having gone further than I have done before (without major physical issues, other than a nasty spot of sunburn, where I missed applying sun cream). And second, a huge sense of sadness engendered by the history I was cycling through. Two resolutions: to keep cycling, and to stay engaged.

Nick Elverston on Utah Beach William Elverston at Portbail information control 298km

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Nick Elverston - Barfleur 372km.

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BREVET POPULAIRE

Neroche 100

T

his event first appeared in the calendar three or four years ago. I think I took part in the event in 2013, but then it didn’t appear again until this year, still running with much the same route but with a different start venue. I had mistakenly thought the event started at nine so arrived a bit early only to find it was down for nine thirty – well that gave me time for an extra cup of tea, to check the bike over, and prepare for the first hill straight out from the start. I joined a small group to take on the first long hill up to the Castle Neroche area. Castle Neroche is an ancient Iron Age hillfort on the top of a hill with commanding views over the whole area. You can understand why it was built there, and also why the route is taking us up there to use up some of those 1500 metres which we all have to climb today. The route flattens out for a while before going through a series of ups and downs in the Blackdown hills, through Bishopswood and Churchingford to drop down into the Culm valley.

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Through the scenic villages of Hemyock and Culmstock beside the river Culm reaching Uffculme to climb over Chapel Hill for arrival at the first control at the Old Well Garden Centre. I think I and others got the next bit a little wrong. The route sheet told us to return to Uffculme but I ended up on the wrong side of the village which meant things were not falling into place. Up and down the road a few times before I spotted the signpost showing ‘Smithincott’ which got me back on track. I was joined at this point by Richard Miles and his wife on their tandem; Richard being the organiser of the Exmoor Spring and Autumn Colours events, I thought it advisable to string along with them for a while to save any more going off route. A nice easy section along quiet lanes through Feniton and into Ottery St Mary. This kind of prepared you for what lay ahead — the infamous Chineway Hill. It’s about a mile out of Ottery and starts off with a series of short climbs before you see the ridge ahead of you and the road snaking up into the woods. The Tour of Britain went up there a week or two beforehand, and while they may not have had any trouble climbing it, I did. It must be about a mile long in total and steps up to about 1 in 5 in places which results in me getting off and walking the steep bits. Eventually you come out through the woods at the top and are rewarded with a gentle downhill to cross a main road, followed by some fast, smooth lanes taking you past Blackbury Camp to enjoy the views over the East Devon Coast. Descending down towards Beer to go down its picturesque main street, full of visitors enjoying the autumn sunshine, to reach the beach for the second control at Duckys café. After a short stop it’s up through Beer main street again and over the hill into Seaton. There then followed a series of villages to pass through with short climbs and, to keep you on your toes, a lot of junctions to be negotiated. A group of Yeovil CC members kept coming up and going past me only to appear behind me and overtake again. I think the last time it happened there was the comment that this Garmin may not have been his best buy — I was managing quite well

with the paper route sheet the organiser had supplied. After going round Axminster there started a series of climbs going on for about 8 miles. Not altogether steep but enough for you to change down a number of gears and put a lot of extra effort in. Never seemed to be any sign of the top of the hill, it climbed from about 20 metres to over 240 over the distance with a few short downhills along the way. Coming to a T-junction and joining a main road things got easier, followed by a series of downhills which took you back into Horton and the finish at the Village Hall . The organisers must be congratulated on a very scenic and at times testing route. The up side was that fabulous section after Chineway Hill. The down side was the 20% road sign at the bottom of Chineway Hill…

Ribble Blue

Event Date Distance Organiser Start

Neroche 100 18 September 2016 100km Mark Hughes Broadway, Ilminster

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TOURING

LeJog

29th March to 9th April 2016

Afrom Charity Ride Land’s End to John O’Groats

T

here was no hesitation in saying “Yes”, when asked if I wanted to join a team of cyclists doing LeJog for Charity. I have done several long touring rides but none in the UK and LeJog has always been on my list. The ride was to enable Access Community Trust to buy a minibus to move people around their various sites in Lowestoft, to and from hospital, on trips out, etc. The Trust works with disadvantaged communities in Suffolk and Norfolk providing support with housing, health, wellbeing, education and employment. Their ethos of “supporting individuals to achieve their potential” is at the heart of everything they do as they strive to be there for people in their time of need. Our aim was to raise £5,000 and in the end we managed over £7,500; a superb effort, and the minibus is now in use. We had a trial ride to a campsite in Norfolk and all agreed that we had pushed it a bit too hard and would have to back off on the ride, but we all survived and settled down to some serious training. The bikes and camping gear all held up well and the weather on the second day back to Lowestoft gave us a taste of what was to come — rain! The full LeJog ride started on Tuesday 29 March, finishing on Saturday 9 April, a distance

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Ian Lomas of 975 miles over 12 days, with 77 hours and 9 minutes in the saddle! Rather than a traditional diary, which I did keep, I have written up my thoughts and experiences from the ride under a series of headings.

The Team

The team comprised the riders and the support crew. The riders were Barry, the Operations Director of the Trust; Gary, the Manager of one of the hostels; Rik, who had worked for the Trust in the past; and Steve, a friend of mine and Rik's. Unfortunately, Rik had caught a severe dose of flu just before the start

and despite his best efforts could not start with us. He joined us later but then suffered very serious back pains and had to abandon the ride, which was a great shame, and a poor reward for all his hard training. We had a support crew of three: Bob, the maintenance man, who could fix anything; Rhianna, who always had a smile; and Jed who would do anything for anybody. They were absolutely superb and without them we would not have made it.

We soon started having time problems due to the relatively short days and discovered that putting up tents by flashlight is not a good experience. The support crew came to our rescue and after the first couple of fraught

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TOURING days they expertly took our tents down in the morning and put them up in the evening. This was an enormous help and indicative of how much they did to help us achieve the ride.

The Route

The route we followed was one called ‘A Safer Way’ by Royston Wood. This avoids main roads wherever possible with much of the route on side roads, canal towpaths and old railway tracks. It is a lovely, picturesque route and I can thoroughly recommend it, with the slight caveat that the route is planned over 18 days but ours had been cut to 12 and we were doing it in late April / early May, and camping. This made it quite a bit harder than Royston Wood planned (note the subtle understatement!). Actually, we did have one night in a Travelodge near Preston and the support crew had a minibus.

The Weather

We had many wet, cold days, including frost on the tents on one morning in Cornwall, more frost in Scotland, and sleet in Scotland on two days. We did not actually cycle through real snow, but there was plenty on the mountains in Scotland. Towards the north of Scotland I was wearing six layers on my upper body and various items of warm clothing and sleeping equipment were bought during the ride. Barry ended up sleeping in thermals, a bivvy bag, his sleeping bag and Rik’s sleeping bag as a duvet. My tent was the smallest and I think that helped a lot at night, as there was a much smaller volume to try and keep warm. We did also have some lovely days, mainly in the middle part of the ride. The ride through Cheddar was particularly nice, with sun and great views, although none of us ever ventured into shorts and short-sleeved tops.

The Hills

I ride quite a lot in the Pyrenees and like the long, steady hills where I can get into a rhythm and stick with it for a couple of hours or so. I did NOT enjoy Cornwall and Devon, where the hills are short and steep with no chance to get a rhythm going and no time to recover on the downhills. I had been told by several riders that Cornwall and Devon was the hardest section and, for me, they were right. It did not help that for the first two days my inner chain ring would not always engage. However, there was a most enjoyable interlude when we rode across an old airfield on the way to Tiverton and rediscovered the sensation of speed. Shap Fell, near Penrith, was more to my liking, except that the weather was foul and I became ‘tail-end Charlie’. I understand that there are good views on the climb, but will have to do it again to find out. We stopped in a MacDonald’s in Penrith to celebrate conquering Shap Fell and I stupidly had an iced smoothie and promptly got very, very cold. Despite a cup of hot coffee to follow, I needed an anorak and the heater

on full in the minibus to recover — a big lesson learned. The Scottish hills were generally better for me, except on the last day when we had three horrible hills in bad weather and it became a real slog, with Barry sheltering in a bus stop at one time. The minibus provided a relay service allowing us to warm up and eat at increasingly short intervals.

The Camp Sites

We experienced the full range of camp sites, from a superb one at Pillaton Hall Farm where the facilities were excellent, chickens were strutting round the tents, and a peacock acted as an alarm call; to a very poor one with a single, awful shower that we had to pay for and which only gave only a few minutes of tepid water.

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TOURING At one site, Gary had the interesting experience of waking up to find a slug sharing his pillow in the morning, possibly attracted by his snoring. Overall the camp sites were adequate although nowhere near the standard of those in Iceland where I did my last big cycle tour.

Navigation

This was one of our major problem areas. A full set of Google maps with the route marked on had been printed and laminated and were intended to be the main navigation aid, with two Garmins, one of them mine, providing a back-up. However the Google maps were almost useless and we rarely used them due to a lack of detail. As an additional problem the two Garmins did not agree on the route, which resulted in me becoming chief navigator. I had only got the Garmin shortly before the ride and had only used it on a handful of short club rides beforehand. In addition, because we had shortened the number of days, the route days did not tie up with our actual days. Because I was one of the slower riders I had to bellow directions at the top of my voice at times, and even then we missed several turnings, leading to some ‘interesting’ alternatives, including one up a very steep track into the garden of an isolated house near Pitlochry. The wonders of modern technology allowed Bob, in the minibus, to track us on his iPhone. Apparently when we were trying to get through Edinburgh (not following the route) we partly circled it and took three ‘bites’ at getting to the centre. Small wonder that we did nine unplanned miles that day! From previous experience I had bought a UK road mapbook and tore out the pages each day and had them in my handlebar bag. Although the route was not marked on them, they proved very valuable on several occasions.

Canal Towpaths & Old Railway Lines These were some of the highlights of the ride with the huge advantage of being (mostly) flat and, in general, very quiet. The ability to cycle along enjoying the scenery is wonderful. However, in April/May many are very, very muddy and even on gravel or tarmac paths progress can be slow to very slow. Our bikes looked like they had just completed a

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cyclo-cross race most evenings and the brakes felt like they had sandpaper brake blocks. The ramps on canal towpaths by locks can be very steep and pushing my bike up them gave me my only injuries of the ride, fairly bad cuts on the front of both ankles that needed regular treatment and bandaging. Some of the trails have evocative names such as The Camel Trail, near Bodmin, and The Strawberry Line, near Sandford, although there were neither camels nor strawberries present in April.

Food

As any long distance tourer knows, getting adequate good food on a regular basis is essential, the aim is NOT to lose weight on a ride but to complete it with energy to spare! We ate a huge variety of food in a range of eating establishments; pubs being our favourite evening meal establishments and Subways and garages being our preferred lunch stops. I had discovered Subway in America and find their range and quality to be excellent, and plentiful. Our evening meals ranged from pizza through burgers, take-away fish and chips, mixed grill to steak and kidney pudding. By far, our most memorable meal was in Dornoch on the last night. We were too late for food in the local pub and the only food available was a take-away Chinese. However the landlady at the pub allowed us to sit in the corner of the bar eating our take-aways and drinking McEwans. A memorable night. A good breakfast is critical and I have a wonderful device called a JetBoil which makes excellent coffee to go with my wife’s muesli bars. The most unusual breakfast was Rik’s who feasted on steaming porridge mixed with a cutup Mars bar — it did not catch on.

Drink

Most of us used supplements in our drink bottles and none of us suffered from cramp or other muscular problems. My normal configuration was two bottles of weak Vimto cordial, one with a High Five Zero tablet in it. Equally important was rehydration in the evening, alternatively known as beer / lager. We made it a challenge to drink as many real ales as we could on the journey and managed a very good selection. We started with HSD from St Austell Brewery at Senen Cove near Land's End, and finished with McEwans in Dornoch . The highpoint for me was drinking Cheddar Valley cider at The Railway Inn next to Thatchers Brewery in Sandford. This was brewed with the apple skins and, at 6%, was quite a drink. The most bizarre occurred in Lancashire. I live in Southwold where Adnams is brewed and was not expecting to see it in two Lancashire pubs on consecutive nights. Although I really like Adnams I stayed with the local brews.

Energy Bars

The trend over the past few years in cycling has been to eat more and more sophisticated energy bars on long rides. Well, these are nothing compared to my wife’s speciality. Mary’s Fruity, Nutty, Spicy, Cherry flapjack is the world’s best cycling bar and has been proven around the world to get cyclists up the most horrendous climbs and see them through the most torrential downpours. Its composition is, of course, a closely guarded secret. Mary’s fruitcake and chocolate cookies are equally valuable post-ride recovery aids. Needless to say, the team made full use of her supplies, which, due to excellent planning on Mary’s part, lasted the full ride with some to spare!

Café Stops

In addition to meals we made very good use of the cafés that we came across, sometimes needing food and/or drink, sometimes needing warmth, sometimes somewhere to dry out. www.aukweb.net


TOURING

The latter probably explains why we were once asked to put plastic bags on the chairs before we sat down. All I will say is that all the cafés were very welcoming to four bedraggled cyclists and the food was excellent. The most appropriately named was the Snail’s Pace Café at Wenfordbridge where they served humungous bacon and sausage rolls. The most interesting was Church Street Stores in Morchand Bishop in Devon. It is run by Claire, is the best village shop in the South West, and is packed with fascinating trinkets and goodies. Their tea is excellent and their teapot cosies are most amusing. However, by far the best café stop was in Wick, about 17 miles from John O’Groats. We were wet, cold and knackered and all of us were flagging. Then we found Fridayz Café and had the best Chip Butties I have ever had with gallons of tomato ketchup. Chip Butty adrenaline powered us over the last 17 mile to the finish line – and even put smiles on our faces.

Truckers' Stops

Scotland is a big place with big open spaces and not many towns, meaning that cafés, pubs and restaurants are pretty infrequent. It was in Scotland that we discovered Truckers' Stops which are lifesavers for cyclists. They are always welcoming, warm, have very good showers and serve enormous quantities of good, freshly cooked, cheap food. The first one we discovered was the Heatherghyll Café Bar which served an enormous plateful of excellent fish and chips and very good Belhaven beer. When we went back in the morning for breakfast, I could only manage the mini truckers-breakfast (at £4.90); the full version would have kept me going for several days.

Falls

Rik managed to fall off in the first two miles when he joined us, which must be some sort of record. Barry fell off at a T-junction when cars were coming in both directions. Given most of our route, a busy road must have been quite a shock to him. I had, by far, the most spectacular fall. I am studying astrophysics at the Open University so when the route unexpectedly went by Jodrell Bank I was so keen to get a photo that I screeched to a (almost) stop, tried to get my camera out of my handlebar bag and promptly

fell over – which made a great story to tell to the support crew! Our one (slight) accident was near Perth when we were cycling on a path through a park. Two ladies were cycling towards us with a small dog which suddenly veered across the path behind me and caused a pile-up with two of us and the two of them. Luckily no one was hurt, although as one of the ladies was a nurse we could have received instant attention.

Mechanicals

However good and thorough the preparation is, there is always the risk of mechanical problems, especially riding on towpaths and old railway tracks as we did. Our major problem was the amount of mud and grit that accumulated on the bikes. However hard we tried we could not get them clean and stop the brakes sounding like sandpaper. However, overall we did remarkably well. We had three punctures, one on Gary’s bike on a canal towpath and two to my puncture-proof tyres. Steve had to adjust his headset, sort out a leaking tyre valve and replace his brake blocks twice. Barry had to have his cassette replaced, had problems with his mudguards and had a few days with his disc brakes sticking before Rik fixed them.

Bike Shops

Two bike shops stand out in my mind. The first is the Fish Face Cycles in Wombourne where, after initially saying that they were too busy and had no time to spare, spent a long time trying to sort out Barry’s brakes. The second is the Escape Route Bike Shop and Café in Pitlochry who have the best equipped bike workshop that I have seen in a long time – and also serve super coffee and sandwiches.

People

We met a lot of people along the way and, without exception, everyone was helpful and interested in what we were doing. The people that remain in my mind are four: Noreen was a lovely lady who we met at the Stoke Café in Stoke. We almost caused a

problem because one of us sat in her regular daily seat but when we had that sorted we had a great chat with her. Cedric was a CTC cyclist and railway enthusiast who we chatted to in Down’s Bakery in Severn Beach. He now travels everywhere by train and is a walking train timetable. Dot was the night/early morning receptionist at the Travelodge and, despite having to stay on longer because the morning receptionist was

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TOURING

The Bears

delayed was very friendly and cheerful. She does charity walks for Great Ormond Street so we had something in common. One of her Bears joined our ride – see later! Allison was a mountain biker who we met in a park in Preston when my Garmin could not indicate which of three paths we should take. She was initially from Glasgow and still had a slight accent. She supported the Preston on Wheels charity and put us on the right path with a cheery wave.

Lancashire

I was born and grew up in Lancashire, with my teenage years spent near Preston. I cycled to school every day and also around the area but could hardly remember the roads when we got near Preston. But, what I did remember very well was the Lamb and Packet pub, a Thwaites pub in Friargate, near the town centre. I did not know that the route went past the pub but got quite excited as we got nearer and nearer. The pub holds many memories of drinking sessions with friends when we were, early on, not officially old enough to be there, but they were great times. It was just as I remember it from many, many years ago and I am sure the mild would have tasted just the same. But it was not time for beer so after some photos we cycled on.

Our previous house was called Ursaden (Latin for Bear’s Den) and contained many Bears who took part in various activities. There are a number of cycling bears and there was quite a queue to ride LeJog. The two who came along, and claimed to push up the hills, were Cousin Ted from ‘Stralia (who has cycled across America amongst other epic rides) and MediTed who is a qualified DocTed. They rode in my handlebar bag and despite having fur, insisted on being protected from the rain and sleet. They also enjoyed plenty of food and drink on the ride in addition to their private supplies of Honey.

itself to a feeling of great accomplishment and joy at the end; more a feeling of satisfaction at having completed the ride, let’s now get back to somewhere more inspiring, dry and warm. But as I said the weather did not help and my feelings could have been totally different if the stretch had been in warm, sunny weather.

Desolation

The appalling weather did not help, but the sense of increasing desolation on the ride up the East Coast of Scotland, in particular the last day up to John O’Groats was very strong. The landscape is very open, bare and windswept. The few houses that are occupied look in poor condition and there are many abandoned ones that are slowly crumbling. It is a pity that the ride ended with such feelings, it does not lend 16

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BREVET POPULAIRE Dot, the receptionist at the Travelodge, was looking after several Great Ormond Street Bears and one of them just had to join us, LeJ’Ours KinderBär was a welcome addition to the team and found a very comfortable home in the back of the minibus.

My Most Embarrassing Moment To keep the ‘sit-on’ parts of the body healthy most cyclists use some type of cream on long rides. I was in the toilets at one camp site, shorts round my ankles, back facing the door,

slathering cream liberally over my bottom when Gary walked in. What a sight to behold!

Memorable Moments

There were many, many memorable moments, a few of the best being: • Gorgeous scenic views in lovely countryside from quiet roads, • Seeing large raptors (known as Weagles in our family) soaring over the hillsides • Enormous, excellent meals with good real ale • Cycling in cloud in Scotland • Slogging up a hill, soaking wet with toes squelching inside cycling shoes

• • • •

Putting on cold damp clothes at 6:00 in the morning inside a small one-man tent listening to the steady hiss of raindrops outside Gary achieving his first 80 mile day, and then in Scotland achieving a 104.3 mile day A very old Land Rover taking a short cut across a boggy bit of Bodmin moor to overtake us, churning up the ground and sliding around like a snake A lovely red sunrise in Clevedon

Utterly Butterleigh 105k

I

rode this event last year with my friend Rob who complained that the hills, and one in particular ‘destroyed his legs’. He was not on the entry list this year! I was having another go, and being joined by my cycling friend, Liz, and four other members from CTC Torbay: Stella, Kevin, Dave and his wife Chris. I had mentioned a few weeks previously that I’d put an entry in and perhaps they might like to join us. Liz and I didn’t say too much about the two steep hills you’ve got to climb; one in the first and the other in the second half. All were there in Budleigh Salterton for the start at nine along with about 40 others. After a talk by the organiser, Steven Medlock, explaining that even after overnight rain all the roads were open, no flooding anywhere, and wishes us all the ‘best of luck’. After a mile or two around some of the back lanes to get out of the town you are faced with the first challenge, a particularly evil little climb to get up onto East Budleigh Common and over to Woodbury. Liz found that two or three layers of clothing were making her a bit too warm after the hill like that and chose to stop and rearrange things which left the both of us at the back of the group. Past Woodbury and down to Clyst St George for the first info control then followed by rural lanes to go round the new Sky Business Park and onto Broadclyst. Parts of Graham Brodie’s Devon Delight route around here so no trouble finding the way. We join the old A38 for a short distance to turn past Killerton Park and into Silverton for the start of the first long climb. The climb starts off alright; nice and gentle and you’ve got three cogs to spare on the back. This soon changes as one-by-one you’re forced to change down as the hill gets into a 1-in-6 mode. It levels out and you think ‘that’s it’. Not a chance — it starts climbing again for another 100 metres.

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On the plus side it starts to go down a long, long way into Butterleigh and then you go up again, I can see where the 1300 metres of climbing on this event is coming from. Finally coming over the top with a long, steep downhill into the Canal Centre at Tiverton for the first control we're running a bit close to the control closing time so chose to ride on after getting the card stamped. On leaving the control there’s a short climb which soon flattens out, but after a short distance a road sign reads ’25%’ — and it’s not going down. Fortunately it’s only for a short distance, as just when your legs are shouting ’enough’ you turn off along a series of delightful lanes through Ash Thomas to Cullompton. Along this section unfortunately I picked up an impact puncture which resulted in a slight delay while I changed the tube. This little incident was to cause me problems for the rest of the ride. After about 15 minutes the rear tyre started to go a bit soft so I pumped it up again only for the same thing to happen again. This continued for the rest of the day, stopping every 15 to 20 minutes and putting more air in the tyre — I later worked out it was a faulty valve. Along the A373 out from Cullompton to turn into Broadhembury, that village where nothing much has changed for the last 50 years. No yellow lines or TV aerials, and most of the properties still have thatched roofs. I believe the village is still privately owned by the Drewe family — they had connections with Home and Colonial stores which had a shop in most high streets in the 60s. The other thing about Broadhembury is that there’s a long and very steep hill leading up onto the Dunkeswell airfield area which we have to climb. I rode the first third, walked the second third and managed to stay on my bike for the last bit. Along the lanes over to Shelvins Cross, the second info control, to be followed by a

Event Date

Utterly Butterleigh 4 September 2016

Distance

100km (106km)

Organiser

Steven Medlock

Start

Budleigh Salterton Devon

series of narrow rural lanes into Honiton and the Boston Tea Party café. Still having to pump this tyre up from time to time so little chance for a stop before going through the town to look for the lanes leading to Gittisham. Very picturesque village, a bit off the beaten track but well worth a visit. Along the old A30 to Fairmile to turn and follow the river Otter, now famous for its population of Beavers. Through Tipton St John to follow familiar lanes through Otterton into Budleigh Salterton and the finish . Thanks must go to Steven and his team for a well run event, certainly taking in some of the best scenery in the area while climbing those hills. I hope you run the event again next year.

Ribble Blue

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B

efore I retired in 2014, one of the perks of my job as a university professor was that every now and again I got study leave away from teaching to spend some concerted time on research. Although the main focus of these periods of study leave obviously had to be work, they were also a good time to get some cycling done in new country and I always chose the location for my leave with this partly in mind. The winter of 2009/10 was spent at the University of Texas in Austin, the US’s biggest university in its biggest state. Austin was certainly a good place to be. One of the cleanest Onion Creek on a cold and frosty winter morning in central Texas.

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Bob Damper and safest cities in the USA, renowned for its shops, restaurants and live music venues, Austin is pleasantly situated on the Columbia River and with the scenic Texas Hill Country stretching to the south and east. Having a large proportion of students, university staff and professional people in the population, cycling is a popular means of travel within the city with the local motorists used to cyclists and respectful of their place on the road. I had with me my cheap and cheerful Dawes Galaxy, which I used both for commuting to the University and for weekend trips into the Hill Country. Replacing the Dawes’ original rather flimsy wheels with more robust better-quality wheels has given me a bike equally suitable for commuting and heavy touring. Generally, Central Texas enjoys a beautiful climate in autumn and winter, not dissimilar to the best of summer in the south of England, although I would not have wanted to be in Austin in summer when, as a friend of mine put it, it is as “hot as the hinges of hell”. As my period of leave was coming to an end, and I had to be back to start teaching in Southampton at the beginning of February,

I decided that the weekend of 9/10 January 2010 should be dedicated to a longish trip across the Hill Country to San Antonio, about 70 miles south west of Austin. Perhaps not a great distance by Audax standards, but far enough for a fully-loaded weekend with the focus on relaxation. I had always wanted to see San Antonio’s famous landmark, the Alamo, for real, having watched the 1960 John Wayne film of the same name countless times as a nipper, and this was pretty much my last opportunity to do so. Until this point, my stay in Texas had been marked by weather perfect for cycling. However, things changed dramatically in the week preceding my trip as temperatures fell to a level almost unheard of in those parts. Several days of severely sub-zero temperatures prompted me to revise my plan and go for a slightly shorter excursion to New Braunfels. This also had the advantage of avoiding a potentially trafficky ride through metropolitan San Antonio to the Alamo in the heart of the city. Back in 2010, OCD CycloClimbing had still to join forces with AUK and accumulating claims formed no part of my thinking or ambitions. However, looking back over my consolidated claims record as I write this article, I see that five www.aukweb.net

The little Texas town of Driftwood,elevation 1043 feet, home to the famous Salt Lick BBQ

A Texas Winter Weekend


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Hill Country ranch near Buda.

are in Texas during my time in Austin. As the Hill Country is not especially lofty, none is very high, but all five ascents were memorable. This last weekend trip accounted for two claims, both on the Sunday on my way back to Austin.

The quirky Faust Hotel and Brewery in New Braunfels

Saturday 9 January 2010 dawned bright and frosty — very frosty. It was -10°C at 0800 and I was starting to think that even New Braunfels could be off the agenda. However, a long period without rain meant that everything was dry, with little chance of encountering ice, and by 0900 it had reached a “warm” -8°C, so off I set, well-wrapped up and with hat on head. It is The Blanco River at Wimberley

quite unusual for me to wear a hat; I only do so when it’s really cold. This hat was my much loved 80s vintage Campitello, given a new lease of life by replacing the peak (which had disintegrated) with a stiffer one cut from an ice cream cartoon. Not being much of a seamstress myself, this repair was effected for me by clubmate Wendy Etheridge. Thanks, Wendy! I took my (by now) well-worn route out of the city via South 1st Street and Old San Antonio Road. There was just one localised piece of ice, on the short bridge across Onion Creek, and this was easily avoided. Although cold, the sun was shining brightly and there was not a cloud in the sky, which made for very good cycling. Just before 1100, I reached Buda and stopped for elevenses at the Bill Miller Bar-B-Q. As on previous visits to this very welcoming eatery, this degenerated into a second breakfast. I ordered a ham and fried egg roll with coffee, and very nice it was too. Then I continued on FM2770 (FM stands for “Farm to Market” road) through Mountain City, where the temperature had risen to a respectable 5°C, and on to Kyle. Here, I picked up Old Stagecoach Road, after a few miles hitting the Blanco River (so called because of its limestone bed where dinosaur footprints have been found) and following it for a while to turn onto Post Road, which crossed the river and took me to San Marcos. San Marcos is a very attractive university town (home of Texas State University), with lots of nice cafés and coffee shops. I selected one of these for lunch, which consisted of excellent clam and sweetcorn soup with bread roll and coffee. With the sun still shining, I left the town on FM2439 heading south west. This road was mostly traffic free as well as having a more than adequate shoulder serving as a cycle track alongside, except for a short section where it became a slip road for Interstate 35. At this point, the traffic

increased dramatically, the road narrowed and the cycle track disappeared. Why is it that you always seem to get cycle facilities where they are not needed, and as soon as you need them, they disappear? Anyway, normal service was resumed after a half-mile or so and I was back on a quiet, undulating road speeding me to New Braunfels, where I arrived at about 1500. Mileage for the day was 50.1, with the sun still shining and the temperature having soared to a balmy 7°C. I had booked myself into the quaint and historic (also relatively cheap and reputedly haunted) Faust Hotel, attracted by their claim to brew their own beer. However, they were sadly “between brewers” at the time. Fortunately, they still had a fine selection and on arrival I chose the very good Alamo Golden Ale, weighing in at a respectable 5.1%. A couple of pints of this set me up for a shower, change of clothes and a night of revelry out on the town. Well, not quite. New Braunfels in the dead of winter was not exactly hopping, but after a freezing cold walk of a couple of blocks, I did find a pretty authentic German restaurant, replete with oompah band in lederhosen. I felt a little self-

Leaving San Marcos after lunch on Saturday.

conscious in the restaurant by virtue of the book I had brought with me to read. It was about Herman Göring, and attracted several quizzical glances from the waiting staff. Dinner consisted of Bavarian smoked sausage with Spaten Optimator beer (not to be trifled with at 7.5%) followed by an early night, as there was nothing on television except the stupid adverts in which the USA specialise. Reports of the hotel being haunted proved exaggerated and my sleep was uninterrupted by spectral interventions. Sunday morning was another bright and sunny offering, with a chilling temperature of -3°C as I left the hotel at 0845 after a very acceptable buffet breakfast. I headed north out of New Braunfels on FM306 towards Canyon City climbing through typical Hill Country. After some 12 miles, I turned right onto Purgatory Road. The next few miles were perhaps the nicest of the weekend in the early morning sun, so there was not much purgatorial that I could see about this road. It is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a blood stained motorist who died here in the 1930’s, but if true this ghost works no harder than his colleague in the Faust Hotel and obviously takes Sunday

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Spotted at Bear Creek

mornings off. Purgatory Road ran for 8 or so miles, taking in my first OCD claim of the weekend at the 370 metre summit, before ending at Ranch Road 32 where I turned right. This was a nice fast road, with excellent surface and a slight tail wind. At the junction with Ranch Road 12, I turned left and sped down for 4 miles on the exhilarating descent, accompanied by beautiful views across the Hill Country, into the Blanco River valley at Wimberley. Arriving at exactly 1100 at the superb Wimberley café, I partook of yet another second

breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash browns. This fine café is rightly popular on a Sunday morning with first class food and fast service. By 1130 the temperature was up to 5°C, and I was back on RR12 heading north. The climb out of the Blanco valley in the bright sunshine up to the day’s second OCD claim at 395m warmed me up to the extent that I was able to remove my beloved Campitello hat for the rest of the day. At the Driftwood winery, I turned right on the hilly Elder Hill Road. At one point, crossing a branch of Gattlin Creek, I found myself using my 22-inch bottom gear for the first time for many a week on the ultra-steep climb out of the creek, arriving at the little town of Driftwood at midday. Driftwood is home to the world famous Salt Lick BBQ restaurant but having already had two breakfasts, I dispensed with lunch in favour of a short roadside stop and some nuts and raisins washed down with water just up the road. Back on the bike, there was unfortunately no alternative for the next few miles to the narrow, hilly and very busy FM1826 to Bear Creek. Having got that out of the way, I returned to Austin

on the surreal State Highway 45 and Loop 1, an apparently well over-engineered multi-lane highway almost entirely devoid of traffic. On this last leg of the journey, I was overtaken by Lance Armstrong, who gave me a cheery wave and “howdy”. Well, it certainly looked like Lance Armstrong and he did steam past at a speed I estimated to be in excess of 30 miles an hour! He was out of sight within a few seconds. By way of Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road, downtown Austin was reached at 1515, with 65.8 very enjoyable miles completed from New Braunfels. The temperature had by now hit a pleasant 10°, which had seemed unthinkable as recently as that very morning. In the preceding months, I had developed the habit of ending rides at Jo’s Cafe on 2nd Street, just around the corner from my apartment, where I invariably ordered a glass of the excellent Lagunitas IPA (6.2%) and some peanuts. As my time in Austin was sadly coming to an end, I saw no good reason to forego this little pleasure while it was still on offer. So ended a very fine Texas winter weekend of cycling. I wonder if and when I will get the chance of another.

CYCLING THE END TO END CYCLE ROUTE CYCLING IN THE LAKE DISTRICT MOUNTAIN BIKING IN WEST AND NORTH WEST SCOTLAND MOUNTAIN BIKING IN SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL SCOTLAND Published by Cicerone Press, www.cicerone.co.uk Cicerone have released four new cycle touring and mountain biking guides. Following Cicerone’s usual format, each guide is 173mm by 116mm, taking up little space in your luggage and with the added bonus for both mountain biking guides having gloss-laminated PVC sleeves. The End-to-End guide is an updated 2016 version of the previous 2012 version with the route starting at Land’s End and following a 1,000-mile route to the northern-most point of mainland Scotland. Cyclists come from around the world to ride End-to-End and is a must for many cyclist’s bucket list. There are step-by-step route descriptions with maps and stage profiles and links to GPX mapping for your GPS. With multiple accommodation listings and bike shops for the whole route, listed stageby-stage, and with the route taking you through England, Wales and Scotland, this is an indispensible guide to a major ride in your cycling career. Cycling in the Lake District guide covers five-day and single-day rides in challenging and very scenic Cumbria with detailed routes and maps and also comes with links to GPX mapping for your GPS. The appendices contain accommodation, useful contacts and what to take. Mountain Biking in West and North-West Scotland takes you around the Scottish Highlands, the highest concentration of mountains in the UK, with 25 routes varying from 20k to 73k in length, and graded from moderate to very hard. There is turn-by-turn route descriptions and 1:50,000 OS mapping with gradient profiles. The appendices contain accommodation details, a guide to the Gaelic language, bike shops and emergency units. Mountain Biking in Southern and Central Scotland contains 21 routes with access from Glasgow and Edinburgh ranging from16k to 66k from centres including Greenock, Peebles and Milngavie. Turn-by-turn directions and route profiles are included along with 1:50,000 OS maps and a list of bike shops and repairers and emergency centres in the appendices. Tim Wainwright

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BOOK REVIEW

Cols and Passes of the British Isles By Graham Robb Published by Particular Books ISBN 9781846148736 I am sure that those of you who enjoyed Graham Robb’s ‘The Discovery of France’ (reviewed in Arrivée February 2015), will welcome this, his latest publication. The press release describes it as the first ever comprehensive catalogue of the 2002 cols and 105 passes of the British Isles and as being of particular interest to keen cyclists, walkers and climbers, fans of unusual maps and topography, and lovers of strange atlases. It continues ‘it is eccentric, obsessive, practical and beguiling…’; a description that I would not disagree with. It is dedicated to the first person to cross all 2002 cols of the British Isles (a serious challenge to the hardier OCD types.?). The col of ‘Sydenham Rise’, at 77m, is a touch lower than those that would normally appear in an OCD claim, but gives an interesting glimpse of the book’s contents: ‘An enormous, overstuffed walrus – a creature unknown to the Victorian taxidermist, who assumed it to have had a taut, unwrinkled hide – is one of many unique objects of the natural world displayed in the Horniman Museum in south London. The museum’s rarest treasure, however, lies on its very doorstep, unnamed and unrecognized – until now. London has many hills but only one col. It cuts through the Norwood Ridge, one mile to the north of the Crystal Palace Transmitter. For a long time, the gap in the Norwood Ridge was not particularly useful. London grew up around a crossing of the Thames and expanded along its tributaries. The city’s main arteries followed valleys and unbroken ridges. But eventually, the burgeoning suburbs developed their own arterial system and it became possible to orbit the city without passing through its centre. The road which crosses the col now forms part of the South Circular. It was already a busy route in 1868, when Frederick Horniman, a tea merchant and collector, bought a house and gardens with distant views of central London and began to organise his collection of curiosities, which he left to the people of London in 1901. Natural features can be hard to find in a city. In that part of south London, there are signs to everything except the col, which reveals its classic shape – two elegantly intersecting encolures – only at the very top. Streams which flowed from the watershed have been sent underground, and the place has to be imagined without its buildings and roads (a soothing mental exercise for anyone who has reached the col after shooting the rapids of the worst cycling black spots in London). It can be seen as it was in quieter days on the right of Camille Pissarro’s ‘Lordship Lane Station’, where it appears as a grassy cleft dotted with suburban villas. This is the only British col to be painted by a French Impressionist, and the first to be crossed on a bicycle by a major French novelist. During the Dreyfus Affair, Émile Zola lived in a hotel on

the Norwood Ridge, velocipeding all over the place with his camera and admiring the lacy bloomers of English lady cyclists. Though it stands in one of the most densely populated parts of Britain, this is perhaps the loneliest of British cols. Its nearest col-neighbour lies more than twenty miles to the south-west, and no col lies further to the east. It makes up for loneliness with sociability. No other col has a pedestrian crossing at its summit, no col is served by more bus-lines and none has more cycle traffic. On a chilly February afternoon, I counted half a dozen cyclists in as many minutes. Photographing them as they crossed the col entubed in dark clothing, I wondered whether Émile Zola would have bothered to record the scene. By far the commonest human powered vehicle making use of the col has four wheels and is piloted almost exclusively by women. At certain times of day, London’s only col is congested with pushchairs. The bloated walrus, the disembodied dogs’ heads, the aquarium, the park and the infant-friendly staff are a powerful attraction for the under-fives of Sydenham and Dulwich, who regularly have themselves wheeled up to the col. If col-baggers are allowed to count the same col more than once, some of those juvenile museumgoers already have more col-crossings to their credit than the most experienced fell-walker or cyclist. I have attached the name ‘Sydenham Rise’ to the anonymous col because this is one of the streets which form the sides of the col-cradle…’ ‘…The unwrinkled behemoth, originally from Canada, was purchased by Mr Horniman and brought up to the col from Kensington in 1901. Two years ago, it descended on the other side when it was moved to Margate for an exhibition and thus, unbeknownst to everyone, became, probably, the first walrus to cross a col.’ Paul Harrison

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WAWA

Day 1 - Looking towards the Sheep’s Head peninsula.

to

Peter Marshall At the finish of the inaugural Wild Atlantic Way Audax (WAWA) — 2,100km of hills, rain, and wind on the scenic west coast of Ireland, to be covered in 7 days and 7 hours — I struggled to sum up my experience to Eamon Nealon, the organiser. I’ll remember this ride as long as I live (I told him), which may not be very long if I do many events as hard as this… So here’s my A-Z of the WAWA. I hope it’ll give you a flavour of the longest and most memorable ride of my randonneuring career.

Adventures

The WAWA brought several adventures for Catherine and me. Day 2: We’re within a few kilometres of Ballyheigue and bed. The route seems to be travelling in circles on tiny, pitch-dark lanes. Squalls of rain and wind are buffeting us from unexpected directions. Through the rain on my glasses, I’m concentrating on following the black line on my GPS when it abruptly vanishes. Ah… Turn it off and back on again. Nope, no luck. Turn the track display off and back on again. Nope, no luck. Panic. Nope, no luck. After a few minutes of random prodding, the GPS deigns to display the track again. We heave a sigh of relief and set off. A couple of kilometres pass without incident. On a particularly pitchy lane my headlight suddenly goes black and rejects all attempts at resuscitation. I have to share 22

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Catherine’s dynamo light for the remaining 13km to the control, calling the bends and turns from the GPS. Day 6: It’s dark, and we’re descending the last of the big hills after Killybegs, plunging towards the coast. I’m in front, but moderating my speed at Catherine’s request. We pass a cottage. I glimpse black and white to my left, then there’s growling and a crash. A sheepdog has rushed at Catherine, causing her to fall. She’s remarkably calm, and quickly checks the bike. It seems okay. Day 7: Breakfast. Catherine mentions that she seems to have damaged a brake lever in the fall. I take a look. The pivot of the left lever — front brake — is an ex-pivot. It has ceased to be. It has joined the choir invisible (I wonder how she made it over the many coastal lumps after the big descent). She needs a replacement lever if she’s to complete the ride safely. Eamon to the rescue… Catherine gets a lift to and from a local bike shop, and returns eventually with a shiny new functioning lever. Mismatched, but you can’t have everything.

We set off late for the final day’s ride. There’s still plenty of time. Nothing can go wrong now, can it?

Audax ireland

Lovely people. To a man, hard as nails and mad as a parcel of amphibians. Suffer from hill-blindness.

Beards

George was the official beard of the WAWA. That is all you need to know.

Beer

My body was a—ruined—temple for the duration of the WAWA. I promised myself beer at the finish, but confined myself to casting longing glances at pubs en route. Beer might dissolve my motivation. As it slipped refreshingly down my throat. Stop it, imagination! George, on the other hand, was more sensible. He equipped himself in Kinsale with a leaflet on the breweries of the Wild Atlantic Way and visited several along the road. Mind you, I’m reasonably sure that the start was the only time George has ever entered a Temperance Hall. I was half-expecting alarms to go off as he crossed the threshold.

Bike

What to ride on the longest event I’d ever attempted? I used my Mason Definition on rides up to 400km, then rode a 600 on the carbon bike www.aukweb.net


WAWA I’d used for London-Edinburgh-London. The rough chipseal roads and potholed lanes on the 600 left me feeling battered. The comfy carbon frame couldn’t compensate for the hard ride resulting from skinny tyres, and my arms and shoulders ached from the effort of hauling on the rim brakes. There would be rough roads and tricky descents galore on the WAWA. The Mason it was, then. It worked brilliantly.

Burren

The WAWA was a ride of extraordinary landscapes, and the Burren was the weirdest of the lot. Low rolling hills paved with limestone, but with lush vegetation bursting from cracks in the rock. Like riding across an alien planet.

Camper van

The camper van control was always a welcome sight. The camper van’s first appearance was in sun-drenched Baltimore on Day 1. As riders spotted the van and homed in on tea and cake, Annette issued stern instructions to ride the loop round the village before stopping at the control. We did as we were told! Day 2: The camper van was in raindrenched Portmagee. Day 3: It wasn’t at the Cliffs of Moher. Oh no! Day 4: Normal service resumed in Connemara. Day 5: The camper van was at Keel. There was no tea. We promised to say no more about it. Day 6: The van’s farewell appearance was by the roadside in Bundoran. Henceforth Bundoran shall be known as Cakedoran.

Cap

A cyclist is improperly dressed without a traditional cotton cap, I feel. And the only appropriate response to a baseball cap in the bunch is harrumphing and goggle-eyed outrage in the style of an H.M. Bateman cartoon. I wouldn’t want you think I’m unreasonable when it comes to caps. You’re perfectly free to wear your peak up or down. But only a poseur or idiot wears his cap back to front. Inishowen, the last night: Catherine and I are in the grip of the dozies and are looking for somewhere for a snooze. She spots a picnic table by the roadside. That’ll do. It’s raining steadily, so I opt against stretching out on the wet bench, instead resting my arms and head on the table. Rain is dripping down my neck, so I flip my cap round to divert the drops. The finish at the Peace Bridge in Derry: I’m feeling happy but slightly spaced. Eamon presents the WAWA medal and trophy. I say Gubbeen. Cameras click. Afterwards I reach for the peak of my cap to take it off, but it isn’t there. I’m still wearing the cap back to front. Doh! With Catherine at the Iona Inn after the finish

Catherine

At the foot of the Conor Pass descent on Day 2 I encountered the rider who had twiddled past me on the climb. She asked to ride along to the

Before the madness…a handy route reminder

control with me, as we’d be riding into the dark. This was Catherine, and we ended up riding together for most of the rest of the WAWA. We had an informal division of labour. I tracked the route on GPS and provided snippets of local knowledge derived from past tours in Ireland. Catherine double-checked against the route sheet. We talked nonsense—well, that was mostly me—or rode in companiable silence, according to whim. As well as her wide variety of rainproofs, Catherine carried enough food secreted in various pouches, pockets, and bags to stock a decent-sized corner shop. Certainly more stock than the shop in Castlemaine… She even conjured up cold potatoes in the middle of the night on Inishowen. Towards the end of the ride, we each contributed our shrivelled rando half-brain to decisionmaking, ensuring that one full brain was available at all times. Mostly. We had several adventures. She was a calm and competent presence. It was a privilege to ride—and finish—with her.

Catherine on Achill Island

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WAWA trying to blow me off my feet at the time. Abruptly, the weather cleared. The lack of cake suddenly seemed less disturbing. After all, I still had my Clif Bar (of Moher). And the road was downhill. And soon I would come to the Burren (whatever that was).

Conor Pass

Day 4 gets a bit much for Richard

Chainring

I had a single 36-tooth elliptical chainring and an 11-36 11-speed block. This setup worked very well. The lack of really high gears prevented me from pushing too hard at the beginning when suffering from testosterone poisoning, and the lack of really low gears deterred me from making my knees go ping on the stupidly steep stuff. Decision making was simple: Just one shifter. Even my addled rando half-brain could cope with that. The SRAM shifter also required smaller hand movements than Shimano. These small things count over 2,100km.

Cliffs of Moher

For some reason—wishful thinking, probably—I was sure the camper van, and its essential supplies of tea, cake, and sympathy, would be at the Cliffs of Moher on Day 3. After a vigorous tussle with the Hill of Moher while the Wind of Moher tried to blow me back the way I’d come, I reached the sign for the car park and visitor centre. Through the raindrops on my glasses I could vaguely make out camper vans in the car park. Was one of them “our” camper van? I headed over to the ticket office and asked the attendant if one of the vans was dispensing tea and sympathy to bedraggled cyclists. She looked blank. Drat! No cake. Proof of passage would have to be a photo of the car park sign. Rather blurry, since the Wind of Moher was 24

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Having manfully spurned the cafés, bars, and assorted fleshpots of Dingle on Day 2, I paused at the foot of the climb to engulf some calories, dripping in the murk. (I halted in front of a microbrewery, as it turned out. Cue more manful spurning…) A couple were heading into town and asked where I was going. “Over the pass and on to Ballyheigue,” I said. “Fair play to you. It’s a long way to Ballyheigue.” Ah… Good… As I ground up the pass, the weather closed in again. No views. I was climbing in cloud. A rider clad in many varieties of waterproof garment greeted me as she went spinning past into the mist. This was Catherine, it turned out. The ascent was wide, so it came as a surprise to crest the pass and find myself on a narrow shelf of tarmac glued to a cliff. Nothing but a low parapet stood between me and the void to my left. A gusty crosswind added to the fun. But the weather was clear on this side. And it was a long descent. And I had disc brakes. Bwahahahaha!

Conversations

Random rando topics of conversation included: Food; Donald Trump; McNasty stashing food by the roadside; New Mexico; food; LEL; Irish weather; food; Georgia O’Keefe; Myles na gCopaleen and his bookhandling service; Marfa, Texas, and the Chinati Foundation; food; drugs; Brexit; the current hill; the upcoming hills; seafood chowder (may contain traces of food); ElliptiGOs and the WAWA—why?; the Waterboys; long rides we have known; stopping at red traffic lights; food; sheep, their dialects and hairstyles; Colorado; food; the different styles of houses in different parts of Ireland; the bike-mangling service offered by major airlines; food.

Dai

Dai definitely had the biggest saddlebag on the WAWA. He remained cheerful despite suffering from Knees and walking like a penguin.

Disc brakes

The hydraulic disc brakes on my Mason allowed me—a graduate of Hennessey’s School of Descending—to give full rein to my plummeting skills. The fact that I could brake strongly with little effort became increasingly helpful as the ride went on. Top tip (specially for Jonty): If you’re riding in rural and remote areas and have disc brakes, carry spare pads.

Eamon

Eamon, the organiser, had taken a vow of ubiquity and would teleport himself to random points along the course, where he would dispense, in no particular order: fizzing enthusiasm; spokes; beer; spare bicycles; and slightly misleading reassurances about the terrain you were about to encounter.

Earworms

Day 4 passed through Spiddle/An Spideal, giving me Waterboys earworms for the remainder of the ride. Either Fisherman’s Blues or A Bang on the Ear. Heroically, I managed to keep the earworms internal and refrained from singing/croaking tunelessly (delete as applicable).

ElliptiGO

As Flann O’Brien nearly wrote: “Is it about a bicycle?… No? Are you sure?… Would it be true that you are an itinerant dentist and that you came on a tricycle?… On a patent tandem?… Do you tell me it was a velocipede or a penny farthing?” No, I came on an ElliptiGO. “It is a queer contraption, very dangerous, a certain death-trap.” Well, maybe not. But it’s certainly a challenging choice of steed on a ride notable for a) length; b) wind; and c) hills. As one fruit-loop to another, huge respect to Stuart and Andrew for GOing where the less loopy would fear to pedal.

Excursions

Most routes go from A to B. Not so the WAWA, which meandered round the rest of the alphabet in between. Several times a day we’d encounter signposts giving distances to places we were due to pass through, but inevitably our route would take an excursion or two along the way. We’d cover double or treble the distance, via peninsulas, promontories, and fingers of land sticking out to see which way the wind was blowing.

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WAWA Eye bags

By Day 4, my usual long-ride swollen eyelids had appeared. By Day 6, slitty eyes had given way to pouches beneath the eyes big enough to carry a medium-sized multitool. By the finish, the pouches were filled with fluid. It’s okay. I’ve been able to resume my modelling career since.

Father Ted

It is now my considered opinion that Father Ted was a documentary series.

Floor

By Day 5 it had come to my attention that the floor was further away than it used to be.

Fun

The WAWA was composed entirely of Fun. Admittedly, there were occasional patches of Type 2 Fun (Like Fun, Only Different) and Type 3 Fun (You Chose To Do This So You’d Better Pretend You’re Enjoying It).

Goats’ Path

There were no goats. Presumably they had left for somewhere less vertical, where they could move about without crampons on their hooves and oxygen tanks on their backs. The Himalayas, perhaps. The road must have been constructed from some super-adhesive variety of tarmac to stick on the side of the hill. I grimped grimly up, trying not to sprain a lung. I cackled madly down the other side.

Hallucinations

Boringly, I had no hallucinations on the WAWA. This may have been because I had enough sleep. Or it may have been because Stuart on the ElliptiGO had cornered the market in hallucinations, and there were none left for anyone else.

Healy Pass

In a red van, Eamon and Seamus were mounting a roving secret control on the approach to the Healy Pass. How hard must the pass be if they were going to these lengths to keep randonneurs honest? The light was beginning to fade—like my legs—at the foot of the climb. I paused to turn on my back light, then set about spinning my way to the top. The road zigged and zagged past scattered rocks. A solitary car overtook, and I watched its tail lights zag and zig up the pass until, minutes later, it passed from view. Quite a long climb, then, but a steady one. And, eventually, a hurtle down to sea level (Yay!) followed by a draggy climb near Lauragh (Boo!) that I’d completely forgotten about.

Helpers

The helpers made for a truly special atmosphere on the WAWA. As soon as you arrived at a control—more often than not ushered in by a helper who had tracked your approach—you were bundled up in a blanket of smiling hospitality. And fed improbable quantities of food. The bike butlers would deal with mechanicals while you slept. Arriving in Kilrush on Day 3, I asked if there was a local bike shop where I could get a front light, since mine had failed in the previous evening’s deluge. We’ll see, I was told. By the time I’d wolfed down a couple of portions of lasagne—it had been at least an hour since I’d had cake on the ferry—a replacement light, complete with spare batteries, had been magically conjured up.

Hoolie

The hoolie is the official wind of the WAWA. It prefers travelling in the opposite direction to the cyclist.

Irony

Catherine was worried about colliding with a free-range sheep, but was brought off by a sheepdog.

Judo mats

Most nights we slept on airbeds or camp beds. To make sure we didn’t get too soft, Eamon gave us judo mats to sleep on in Oranmore. I never realised judo mats were made of concrete…

Kenmare

Mention Kenmare to me after the WAWA, and I’ll think of curry. Mmm, that curry at the control. Just popping out for a kenmare…

Legs

Stupid running joke: Day 4: “There was an error message this morning. Legs 2.0 could not be installed at this time. Please update to RandOS 2.0.” Day 5: “There was an another error message. Autoupdate failed. Legs 2.0 could not be installed. Reverting to Legs 1.1.” Day 6: “Autoupdate to Legs 2.0 installed successfully.”

Lighthouses

We visited many lighthouses. For many, the Old Sod—sorry, Black Sod—was the lowlight since it involved a lengthy out-and-back grovel across bogland into a tearing headwind. But a Hungarian rider described the Old Sod as his favourite sight of the ride. Mind you, I don’t think they have lighthouses in Hungary… On the wind-assisted return from the Old Sod Catherine called me to order when I tried to retrace too far. Memo to self: Make sure you display the track for the second half of the day’s ride once you reach the end of the track for the first half of the ride.

Day 7 - Sunset as we head for Mamore Gap

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WAWA Loops

The WAWA was a loopy sort of ride. The ride out to Loop Head on Day 3 was like being pressure-washed on the bike as the howling headwind joined forces with lashing rain. Conditions were so extreme all I could do was laugh hysterically and swear. The muchmissed Dave Lewis and Nik Peregrine would have been in their element. Loopily, the last few kilometres to Loop Head followed an out-and-back route. I leaned my bike against the sign at the lighthouse to take a picture as proof of passage. The wind promptly blew the bike over. I had to cant it at 45 degrees for it to remain in place. The loops around Achill Island on Day 5 provided some testing and blowy climbs and exhilarating views as the pounding Atlantic did its best to dismantle the coastline.

Luck

I was grovelling out towards Old Sod, deep in a bad patch. Catherine was chugging into the howling hoolie, with a taciturn French rider glued to her wheel, but I couldn’t maintain the pace. Mutter mutter headwind. Mutter mutter lighthouse. Mutter mutter Old Sod. Mutter mutter Eamon. Automatically I did the rando pocket pat. Phone, check; maturing sandwich, check; waterproof, what the… The wind had plucked my Gore-Tex from my pocket. I stopped by the roadside and turned round, hoping to see my waterproof in the road. No such luck, but two people were walking on the road a couple of hundred metres back. Maybe they’d spotted it and picked it up? No sooner had hope sprung up than the hoolie did likewise, and a more than usually exuberant gust toppled me onto the verge, bike and all. It took a minute or two to disentangle my limbs from the bike. Hulk angry! In a rage I stomped off towards Old Sod, vowing to look for my waterproof on the way back. Gravelly road works on the approach to the lighthouse did nothing to soothe my savage breast. I gave Catherine a snarly account of what had happened, and stomped off again. Gravelly road works. Hulk angry! Stomp stomp. Fun fact: The usual roadside litter in County Mayo is agricultural black plastic. You wouldn’t believe how many bits of plastic did persuasive impressions of my black waterproof. But there it was. Weirdly, on the windward verge of the road. Hulk not angry any more.

Malin Head

Malin Head is the End near the end. It’s linked to the other End, near the beginning, mostly by lumps and wind. It’s all downhill after Malin Head, apart from the bits that aren’t.

Mamore Gap

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passing randonneurs even in a hoolie. Which, given the prevailing weather, is just as well from the midges’ point of view, if not from the passing randonneurs’.

Mixing of Mollycules

Kenmare: I got out of my sleeping bag and put on a base layer, then had to have a little lie-down

the time we reached the base of the wall, and I’d recently mislaid the ability to balance while climbing steep hills, so it was time for a hike. Even walking up was hard work, though it gave an opportunity to rest and stretch my neck. Catherine paused for a break at the top. I said I’d wait at the bottom. One look at the descent—extremely steep, sketchy road surface, hairpins—was enough to convince me that a man with a wibbly-wobbly neck like mine had better walk down as well, especially as I wasn’t carrying spare shorts. After a couple of minutes the screech of tortured brake blocks signalled that Catherine had survived the plummet.

Meyrick

I first encountered Meyrick as I was basking in the sun outside a pub in Akahista, on the Sheep’s Head peninsula on Day 1. He was riding a rather lovely traditional steel randonneur bike but was having problems with broken spokes, and was talking of waiting at the pub for assistance. There was nothing I could do, so I wished him well and headed off for what turned out to be a tractor-paced ride to Kilcrohane. I saw him the following day in Kenmare. He’d been able to fix the problem, and his ride was back on track. I next encountered Meyrick near Malin Head in the small hours of the last day. I was walking along the road to rest and stretch my rubbery neck. He stopped to see how I was and offered advice on strapping my head to help deal with the problem. I was too tired to explain that I felt my occasional walks and stretches were staving off full-blown Shermer’s Neck, and I was certainly too tired to contemplate jury-rigging head supports with inner tubes and zip ties. This probably came over as tetchiness. Sorry, Meyrick. I really appreciated your concern.

Midges

Ireland has midges. Who knew? The Irish Tourist Board keeps that one pretty quiet. These aren’t your wimpy Scottish midges that snack on cyclists only in the lightest of airs. Brawny Irish midges are happy to feast on

The WAWA provided strong evidence in support of Policeman Pluck’s theory of the Mixing of Mollycules: People who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of the parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycles as a result of the interchanging of the mollycules of each of them, and you would be surprised at the number of people in country parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles. Even by Day 4 I was half-man, half-Mason. If I came to a halt, I had to lean on a wall for support. And I wasn’t the only one.

Mizen Head

Mizen Head is the End near the beginning. Thanks to some roads of an uphill persuasion and to the hoolie, which got particularly frisky towards the end of the peninsula, the last few kilometres seemed to take an age. I recovered with a Brunch—the ice cream, not the meal. The combination of sugar rush and tailwind led me to start out on a repeat of the Mizen Head loop, but some drinkers outside a bar soon set me right. Memo to self: Display the track for the second half of the day’s ride only when you’ve reached the end of the track for the first half.

Mojo

I thought I only found my mojo on Day 6, but it was there the whole time.

Neck

As Day 7 wore on, I gradually became aware that tarmac was filling more and more of my field of vision. It took a conscious effort to raise my head to admire the view, and, when I did, my head would swiftly droop again. By the time we reached Inishowen, I was sitting on the top tube on descents in order to see better. I realised I was suffering from incipient Shermer’s Neck, though I’d never experienced this before. At around the same time, I began to lose the ability to balance the bike on steep ascents. This was a blessing in disguise, since the resultant uphill hikes allowed me to change position, stretch, and rest my neck. Malin Head (as Meyrick knows) was probably my low point. Daylight on the final Friday lifted my mood and made it easier to see where I was going, obviously enough. There were times during that last night that I was on the verge of telling Catherine to push on alone. The ride was 95% done, but still on a knife edge. Phil: I feel your pain.

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WAWA Nurofen

Available only in pharmacies in Ireland. This has been a public service announcement.

Old age

Rides like the WAWA give insights into the experience of old age. Difficulty climbing stairs? Yep. Difficulty descending stairs? Yep. Hands not working? Yep. Eyes all blurry? Yep. Tendency, once sat, to keep sitting? Yep. Difficulty in performing simple tasks? Yep. Tendency to forg—what was the question again? Yep.

Day 7- Dawn of the dead

Pacing

How to pace myself for LEL+50%? Ride very conservatively. Trundle. Don’t do anything to make my legs hurt. Don’t faff. Honk as much as possible but use low gears. Do the rando hand jive to prevent tingly fingers. It worked, mostly. On Day 6, I finally gave in to the temptation to up the pace during a good patch. On Day 7, bits of my body went into meltdown. There may have been a connection.

Peninsulas

The WAWA never met a peninsula it didn’t like. It felt like we did all the frilly bits of a notably frilly coastline.

Pocket food

Best pocket food of my WAWA? A tie between the sandwich I made from the mountain of sausages at Curraun after the Achill loop and the slab of ginger cake from Lackenagh. Honourable mentions to the chocolate flapjack from a random garage and the succession of deli counter sandwiches (always including potato salad) that were a daytime staple.

P*nct*res

I suffered no visitations from She Who Must Not Be Mentioned, for I was riding fancy tubeless tyres full of gloop. Catherine suffered one visitation. Front wheel. Day 6. Between the pair of us and our half-brains, it took no more than, ooh, 20 minutes to fix. After 5 minutes of fruitless flailing with a minipump, I remembered I was carrying a CO2 cartridge and inflator. As I said, it was Day 6.

self-inversion makes you go that fast, maybe I should give it a try.

Roads

There seems to be a notorious tarmac ring in County Clare that has cornered the market in smooth asphalt. Its sinister agents have certainly stolen the consignments destined for Cork and Kerry.

Saddle

I expected my saddle to get medieval on my bum, but oddly it failed to turn into an instrument of torture. I carried a family-size bucket of Morgan Blue Solid chamois cream and slathered it generously on my bearing surfaces. One morning I contrived initially to put my bib shorts on inside out after greasing up and ended up smearing chamois cream on the saddle as well. Who needs Proofide? Applied after each day’s ride, Assos Skin Repair Gel—ludicrously expensive, but it’s made from unicorn tears or something—soothed any bits that needed soothing. The saddle is a Rivet Pearl. I had to retension it a couple of times after rough roads had shaken the tension bolt loose.

Scenery

Over to Flann O’Brien, who apparently rode the WAWA:

Q

There is no letter Q in Irish, so don’t go expecting it to feature in the WAWA A-Z.

Rachel

Rachel was usually glimpsed vanishing Tiggerishly up the road, or downside up against a wall. If

Note angle of bike. Any more upright and it blew over

“I found it hard to think of a time when there was no road there because the trees and all the hills and the fine views of bogland had been arranged by wise hands for the pleasing picture they made when looked at from the road.” “The hardness of the road was uncompromising and the country changed slowly but surely as I made my way through it.” Almost every ride has transitional sections. The WAWA spurns them. The landscapes are constantly shifting and generally spectacular. I’ve never done a ride with fewer unrewarding sections.

Sheep

It is a little known fact that Irish sheep have regional dialects. The sheep of Donegal, for instance, don’t baa or maa like the common sheep of Cork. Instead, they enunciate clearly: “Bar! Bar!” “Mare!” This amused us greatly as we winched ourselves up the giant hills after Killybegs. Every time a sheep said “Mare!” we’d collapse into giggles. This didn’t make climbing any easier. Fashion note: Punkish shades of fluo pink and electric blue are all the rage among the sheep of Donegal this season.

Shelter

On the average UK ride, there are frequent opportunities to take shelter: porches, lych gates, bus shelters, phone boxes, verandas. On the WAWA, there was nothing in the way of public shelter, unless you count roadside shrines: The Virgin generally had at least some kind of a roof over her head.

Shillelagh

Equip yourself with a shillelagh for the WAWA. Shake it as much as you like. Nope, there’s still more scenery than you can shake a shillelagh at…

Slea Head

Headwind, hills, rain, and—unusually for the WAWA—traffic combined to test my patience on the inland run to Dingle on Day 2. I trundled a tad grumpily through the town to begin the loop round Slea Head. Stupid loop. Want to go straight to nice warm, dry bed. Whose idea was this anyway? The roads were suddenly quiet and rural, and my mood improved. Every few metres signs advertised prehistoric sites, but these were invisible in the murk. Now I was riding round a rocky headland, and I could hear the sea off to my left. There was an info control at Slea Head, I knew. I waited in vain for a Mizen Head-type sign announcing that I had reached the point.

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WAWA the cafe or pub you were skulking in, and send chivvying text messages. WAWA organisers and helpers could see when you were off route or approaching a control and send out a search party. Or point and laugh… The trackers worked really well. Mine needed recharging once, in Curraun. My main problem was the cunning waterproof catches on the tracker pouch, which were a challenge for a Rider of Very Little Brain. It took about five minutes to summon the little grey cells and dexterity to extract the tracker from its pouch in the evening. And about ten to seal it back in the pouch next morning since both little grey cells and dexterity were AWOL again. Breakfast time in Stuart nods off on the podium… From left, Seamus, Paul O’Donoghue, Stuart, Eamon Oranmore. Eamon receives a call from a rider: Where am I? Beset by Nothing to be seen on the headland except the dozies, the rider has slept in a ditch but has some statues by the roadside. Hang on… What apparently been sleepwalking. He has woken, was the info question? but there’s no sign of his bike. Eamon breaks The wise randonneur reads the info question the news that he can tell the location of the before riding past the answer. rider’s bike from the tracker, but not of the rider himself.

Sleeping bags

WAWA riders were each provided with a sleeping bag bearing a name label. The sleeping bags would magically appear at each nighttime control (the WAWA was superbly organised). By the end of the ride, organisms unknown to science were incubating in my bag. Somewhere in Ireland, men in biohazard suits are dropping WAWA sleeping bags into an incinerator, with very long tongs.

If you expect that, you’re looking in the wrong place. No, hang on… Don’t just leave the bike pointing in your direction of travel if you stop for a roadside nap. Tether yourself to it with a bungee or an old inner tube, in case of midnight rambling.

Very

Tea

Records show I drank approximately 443 cups of tea during the WAWA. Oh, gwan gwan gwan. On Day 1 I stopped at a cafe in Schull and ordered soup, tea, and milk. The waitress looked at me oddly. A glass of milk, I explained. My tea arrived with half a pint of milk in a small bottle, plus an additional pail of milk.

Trackers

Trackers were a boon for riders, friends and relatives, WAWA organisers, and helpers. As a rider heading out into thinly populated (albeit fatly sheeped) areas, it was reassuring to think the location of the ditch you rode into or the cliff you rode off would be visible for posterity. Friends and relatives could find the name of 28

Useful advice

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The WAWA was very long, very hilly, very challenging, very enjoyable, very scenic, very rewarding. I fear it may have spoiled other long events for me. They will certainly have a lot to live up to. You’re very strongly recommended to ride it.

Walking

A bit of walking made a pleasant change from all that pedalling and saved the knees. What for, I wasn’t quite sure. Donation to science, probably. I walked most of the preposterous hill before Portmagee on Day 2 as the rain misted down. Two German girls were walking down the hill and asked about the ride. We told them. They told us we were crazy. They had a point.

By midway through Day 7, I seemed to be losing fine motor control in my arms and thus the ability to balance on steep hills, which was annoying since my legs felt fine. But walking the steep hills on Inishowen gave an opportunity to stretch my neck and helped it hold out until the finish.

Weather

Weather is Ireland’s most abundant natural resource, and the WAWA exploited it to the full. Ireland has so much weather that it doesn’t confine itself, like most countries, to supplying only one kind at a time. We were on a little lane in Donegal, on the way to Killybegs. Wherever I looked, there were green mountains with their feet in shining water. The official wind of the WAWA was blowing. Over there, menacing leaden clouds. Over there, bright sunshine and rainbows. Over there, rain shrouding the hills. Over our heads, the sun shone while squally rain bounced off the road beneath our feet.

X-rated

As you will know by now, the WAWA was a full-service event, though we were turned loose each day to live off the land. So why X-rated? In token of the many occasions on which I had to deploy Emergency Swearing to get me where I needed to be…

Yeats

At the statue on Rosses Point, as part-time tour guide and bletherskite-in-chief, I explained to Catherine that Sligo was not shy about its associations with Yeats. We turned round to see we were opposite the Yeats Country Hotel, as if to confirm my blethering. A few kilometres later, the route took us past Yeats’ grave in Drumcliffe. Which was a bit of a thrill.

ZZZ

Sorry, I nodded off there for a minute… I managed 4 or 5 hours’ sleep most nights— enough to stave off on-the-road dozies. After our late start on Day 7, Catherine and I had to ride through the last night. Well, walk and ride, in my case. The Inishowen Peninsula at night has little to offer the drowsy randonneur. We ended up dozing at a picnic table while the Irish rain did what the Irish rain gets so much practice doing. Later we grabbed some quality ZZZs under the canopy of a garage forecourt in Moville. I slept for about 16 hours straight through after the finish. You might almost have thought I was tired.

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Cambridge Autumnal 100

WAWA

Photos: Nick Wilkinson

Geoff Sharpe leads off the riders

Sally Kelly & Jo Brooks

Rachel & Philip Garsed

Alice Sackville Hamilton & John Rackham

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Photo: James Bradbury

NATIONAL 400

A G ra n d National

Words – Alison Smedley Pictures – Tim Decker, James Bradbury, Paul Smedley, Alison Smedley slept pretty well — camping next to a river was the distance) in time (just!) with some serious he National”, “TLC’, “Van of Delights”, “ very soporific! low points. Interestingly, unlike some earlier “Designed with newcomers to the

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distance in mind” — all words and phrases which were infiltrating my consciousness over the spring months as I steadily worked towards achieving this year’s cycling goals: to ride more events than last year and to complete a 300km event successfully. The big 400 had to remain in the subconscious until I knew what 300 felt like. I completed the 300 (Knock Ventoux, my second attempt at

Event

National 400

Date

30 July 2016

Distance Organiser Start

30

400km (405km) John Perrin Peak Audax Biggin nr Hartington

Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

rides which had taken their toll, this was mainly physical and I managed to stay fairly calm and rational upstairs throughout. This felt like a big step forwards so I reckoned the National was a possibility and I duly stopped gazing at my navel and entered. The timing couldn’t have been better, falling as it did at the end of two weeks off work for Paul, who would also be riding, and for me. The first week of holiday was spent in the Yorkshire Dales riding over some big hills variously on the solo bikes and tandem, including a hilly 120km Audax permanent ‘Deepdale and Fleetmoss’ — fantastic ride! On the Thursday before the National we relocated to Hulme End, Staffordshire, where we would be camping until Monday. On Friday, preparations included recceing the ride to the start at the Biggin village hall. The OS map suggested a ‘track’ and we duly followed the NCR signs onto a vertiginous rocky footpath! We soon decided this would not be the ‘short’ cut we would take to the start, but pushed on anyway past beautiful limestone caves and expansive views which had eluded us on our valley potterings along the Manifold trail with my folks the previous day. My new cleats were now worn in and caked in sheep droppings and all was well with the world. After a quick ‘hello’ to a couple of riders and to John Perrin as he arrived with a heavily laden Van of Delights we located the sensible route back to base via Hartington YH. By our standards, planning had been pretty meticulous and we had a filling pasta meal in the tent and an early night as scheduled. I even

Everything had been prepared the night before so we were quickly riding as quietly as possible along the gravel track of the campsite and over the hill to Biggin where dozens of riders were already filling up on tea, toast and pain au chocolat. We picked up our Brevet cards and joined the scrum for the scram, making some half-hearted early morning attempts at conversation. These weren’t very deep and meaningful but I got the impression that there was a good range of riders in terms of experience and the atmosphere was pretty positive. The ‘starting gun’ was reliably silent as we gradually filed out of the carpark at 7am and filled the road out of Biggin heading north. Not one for bolting off the blocks, I rode steadily, close to the back of the pack, and was soon passed by a few late starters. The first few kilometres of the ride were too beautiful to hurry, winding up a steep valley surrounded by limestone outcrops which were lit by the rising sun. Ascending to Axe edge was familiar from recent Peak Audax rides and from growing up nearby. We were rewarded for our efforts with a long descent into Buxton over a road with it’s tarmac missing! Soon we were out the other side and after few kms of A6 we were on the Monsal trail which was quiet at this still early hour. This former railway, with its now complete set of tunnels, took us south to the first checkpoint and stamp on our cards. There was discussion along the trail as to the difference between ‘control’ and ‘checkpoint’ and we could only conclude that the difference www.aukweb.net


NATIONAL 400

Van of Delights. Photo: James Bradbury

Ready to leave Biggin Village Hall. Photo: Paul Smedley

is that controls have food! With a couple of hours riding under our belts, I think we were starting to get hungry! In fact, a little further on, as we started to encounter some hills, I had my first snack pause. The Van of Delights was so near and yet so far! A further hour of undulations and magnificent Peak District vistas and the aforementioned was a sight (and sound!) to behold. Tea was brewing and there were seemingly infinite cakes both in number and variety — elevensies! Peter Bond was alternating card stamping duties with ukulele duties — we eventually got the hint and left. The roads became flatter as we rode into Staffordshire and some beautiful, gentle lanes, A sunny Monsal Trail. Photo: Tim Decker

past villages previously unheard of. This area was all new and it really began to feel like an adventure unfolding at this point. I am not sure if it was deliberate but what worked really well in most of this ride was the first ‘half’ of each hundred chunk being significantly longer than the second. This meant that each fairly long ride was followed by a much shorter one – psychologically lovely and so the ride to Anslow for lunch (actually at lunchtime!) was pretty quick. The amusing highlight was being passed by a group wearing “Royston Vasey Cycling Club – ‘You’ll never leave’” jerseys — brilliant! We saw them again at Anslow hall where a really efficient lunch of soup, sandwiches and cake was served. Mind and body were working together well and we left without too much faff. The next stage took us deeper into the Midlands and past a strong smell of brewing which led me to guess we were near Burton-on-Trent. I knew we would soon be crossing Cannock Chase – a popular walking and mountain biking area for the nearby conurbations. I enjoyed the smell of pine forest as we climbed out of Rugely but I wasn’t overly fond of the road — fast and straight with what seemed like a slow drag of an ascent. Still, what goes up must come down and we were soon descending into Penkridge and heading south west, now happily back on the lovely lanes. The area became familiar from Shropshire outings with signs pointing to Albrighton and Cosford. We soon happened

upon our second sighting of the Van of Delights near Ryton. Riders were strewn all over the grass triangle, soaking up the sun and convivial atmosphere. Afternoon tea was duly partaken of, after which our ride became more sociable as we set off with other riders and got chatting with a few of them about who knows what? This continued as we passed historical Ironbridge and up the long headwindy drag to Atcham and then Upton Magna for tea, miraculously at tea time — this was becoming a very civilised outing! We hadn’t set a time schedule but were riding a little quicker than usual and so time pressure didn’t need to become an issue. I did comment that it would be good to get back to Upton Magna by 12 so it wouldn’t feel like the depths of night (and for a midnight feast of course!). Tea consisted of a spicy lentil soup with infinite bread, and rice pudding with fruit salad. The third ‘hundred’ was the longest at 117km and more evenly split, but this time with a sit-down meal at Llangollen to look forward to halfway. Things were a bit wonky to begin with as before long I stopped a little too abruptly and Paul collided with me. Fortunately we both stayed upright and only minor swear words were exchanged. Soon we had the fun of Saturday afternoon traffic in Shrewsbury town centre and a bit of uncertainty about the route out of town, which led to further tensions. Once back on course, we relaxed into the ride again and shared a joke about the ‘Knockin’ Shop’ and inhaled deeply as we passed some very mellow smelling smoke! The ride took us around the edges of Oswestry and we soon crossed into Wales and the small town of Chirk Tunnel on the Monsal Trail. Photo: Tim Decker

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NATIONAL 400

Anslow Village Hall – a tasty and efficient lunch control. Photo: Alison Smedley

with it’s strong smell of chocolate from the Cadbury factory. It is apparently downhill to Llangollen, but with the wind against us the stretch along the A5 was hard work. I glimpsed the magnificent Pontcysyllte aqueduct in the valley but mostly I kept my eyes on the road and my mind on the upcoming meal. The cheese and potato pie was lovely, as was the soup and the cake. I think this meal was ‘dinner’. We left Llangollen at dusk so I lit the lamps and put on my gilet and we were duly blown up the hill. The westerly assisted our ride out of Wales and towards Ellesmere. There were more 10km+ stretches on the routesheet now which allowed for steady plodding through the dusk and into the very dark night, absent of moon. The mere itself lent a chill to the air as we rode out of Ellesmere and turned south-east towards Shrewsbury and, eventually, our second visit to Upton Magna. Time and space pass differently

in darkness and I must have been getting tired as my memories from this section are less clear. I do recall being delighted to arrive at the control, where a quieter night-hush had descended; some riders took advantage of the airbeds while others ate with due consideration, ourselves included. Our midnight feast consisted of vegetable goulash with bread followed by sponge and custard and a large cup of coffee in preparation for the night section. Refreshed, we layered up and departed, ensuring our bottles were filled for the longest section of the ride — 70km to Alton. The roads were very quiet now and we rolled over gentle undulations through North Shropshire then on to Stone, where, at nearly 3am, a pair of white vans were mysteriously haring around the town, along with a number of mini-cabs. Stone appears to have an interesting night life! The hills resumed shortly after as we re-entered the Staffordshire moorlands. Our favourite cycling pastime ‘Yellow Car’ became pointless in the dark, empty lanes. I noticed a ‘Totmonslow’ sign and recognised this as the name of a John Perrin permanent (hilly) so was prepared for the lumpy bits. The fox which crossed the road was a delight as were the ancient-feeling woods and obligatory ford! Alton hall was a subtle beacon in the night, the quietest of all Wildflowers and a famous bridge. the controls with Photo: Tim Decker many sleeping or dozing. The ‘early breakfast’(? — I don’t really have a name for the 4am meal!) was fantastic and the bowl of jelly babies at the entrance was such a kind thought which lifted the spirits as well as the sugar levels. We had a leisurely break at Alton but after a while I felt the sleepy atmosphere begin to wash over me and I made preparations for the final stage of the ride. Paul wasn’t in such a hurry to move so Riders snaking along the lane. Photo: Tim Decker

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Delicious Staffordshire oatcakes at Alton. Photo: James Bradbury

I hopped around impatiently for a while in the hallway. We were met with drizzle as we left Alton, dropping the temperature noticeably but not enough to warrant a coat. We rode back to Derbyshire and the town of Ashbourne as the sun rose and everything glowed red. We were then treated to another stretch of former railway line, this time the Tissington trail. The northerly wind from the beginning of the ride seemed to still be blowing and, along with a steady incline, we made slow progress and every bump in the track shook me to my core. I was relieved to leave the trail for a section of road and was pleased that the surface when we rejoined was much better. With minimal fanfare we left the trail and descended the road to Biggin and a genuine breakfast at the arrivée. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who provided the food and facilities which allowed us to really enjoy this ride and gave us the chance to go that bit further…

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RANDONNEE

To The Pyrenees Rosy Gray A two-week tour takes Rosy and Colin Gray from the UK down the French Atlantic Coast to Tillac in the Pyrenees.

Day 1 Cherboug to Creances Plage 74km

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ay one started well. Nephew, Steve, dropped us off at Portsmouth and the Brittany Ferries ‘Vomit Comet’ (fast catamaran well known for causing sea sickness) left early and arrived in Cherbourg on time. Better than being 4 hours late as on one previous crossing. Off the ferry and no prizes for guessing what Colin had planned — straight up the steep hill to La Glacerie where Peter Sagen had won the second stage of the Tour de France two weeks earlier. Strangely he was not encumbered with two heavy panniers, or in Colin’s case a trailer full of camping kit as well. “We will soon be on a railway track”, was the only encouragement I received at the top of the first hill but somehow my dependable guide had forgotten to mention another 20km of steep ups and steep downs, some of it on a rough track, before we reached Bricquebec. Time for a beer! Bricquebec also has a fine castle and I thought of leaving Colin in the dungeon, but then wondered who would carry all my luggage, not to mention my make up. Once on the old railway line we made good progress in the late afternoon sunshine stopping at the supermarket in the next town to buy food for our evening meal and for the next day’s breakfast. No chance; we had arrived on Bastille Day, on which no one in France will be caught working. Fortunately we had a bottle of wine, some cheese and a packet of digestive biscuits in the trailer. Disaster averted. Later on I managed to grab an early lead in the puncture competition, and a well-earned rest whilst my mobile mechanic quickly fixed it. The railway line finished at Lessay, where Rommel had his headquarters prior to the D-Day landings. Then we turned west towards the coast at Créances Plage to find a pleasant campsite nestling in the sand dunes. It didn’t take long to put the tent up and even less time to polish off a fine bottle of Vacqueyras. Cycle touring at its best?

Day 2 Creances Plage to Pontaubault 84km

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nly digestive biscuits and coffee for breakfast, so I was looking forward to my first pain au raisin of the holiday. However I had to wait some time for that due to a series of route finding disasters. The ‘Navigator’ had found a short section of track on Open Street Map that avoided a main road.

“Should be OK”, I was assured, and the first 500m was brand new tarmac. However tarmac soon turned to gravel and then tussocky grass. You-know-who just ploughed on as if it was still smooth tarmac, whilst I walked. When the grass gave way to deep pockets of fine sand even the Navigator took to walking and eventually we turned round and retraced to a gravel track leading back towards the main road we were trying to avoid. Our luck was out, after 100m of gravel it was impossible to ride and was even hard work pushing through 2 to 3 inches of loose sand for almost 2km. The ‘swear box’ had enough cash in to keep us in beers for the rest of the trip. Despite an early start it was late morning before my pain au raisin arrived and we had only covered 15km. After a short section of main road past the Pont de la Roque, destroyed in 1944 during Operation Cobra, it was fairly flat to lunch, eaten in a bus shelter as there were no picnic tables or even seats on the tiny lanes that now nicely avoided the main road down the west side of the Cotentin Peninsula. If the morning was flat the afternoon was a complete contrast as our route cut inland to avoid the busy roads around Granville. Colin was amazed when I rode up a section of 15% but I had to walk on a longer 15% climb just after the Abbey of Lucerne. A very hot afternoon did not make the constant grovelling uphill any easier and I was relieved when we arrived at the campsite in Pontaubault and negotiated the use of a four berth mobile home for the princely sum of €20. In case you are wondering if our French has suddenly improved; no chance, the site owner is English. The other bonus was that he also had a fridge full of cool beer, the first of which barely touched the sides of our throats. I was gutted when Colin pulled level in the puncture competition and it stayed at 1-1 for the rest of the trip. I guess Colin was pleased; he gets to mend them all.

Day 3 Pontaubault to St Aubin du Cormier 67km

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here was a fairly leisurely start to the day with an easy ride along the coast to Mont Saint Michel. Everywhere was full of reminders of Le Grand Départ of the Tour two weeks previously. Bikes in fields, bikes hung from the bridge in Pontaubault, and bikes on bales of hay; all decorated in yellow, green or red spots on a white background. Having visited Le Mont Saint Michel several times before, and not wishing to leave our bikes unattended for an hour, we decided not to climb up to the cathedral and turned inland and headed for Pontorson, a charming and attractive town.

After coffee and chatting to a group of cyclists from Wales we headed south onto the course of an old railway line. There were some cycle route signs, but not always well placed and this should not have been a problem as Colin had the route on his Sat Nav. Yes, you have guessed it, we went wrong. The ‘Navigator’ blamed the bright sunshine shining on his Garmin screen, and we both must have missed a cycle route sign. After plunging down a steep hill and riding for some distance there was suddenly a very loud expletive in front of me. We were on the wrong side of the steep river valley the railway line had followed. “It’s not far to where we should be”, Colin said, and went in search of a way across the river. Having found a small bridge he was just about to fetch me when he was confronted by a very rude woman who seemed not to understand “Je suis perdu” (I am lost) and just kept shouting “Prive” (private) at him with a complete refusal to engage in any form of communication. Having both just voted ‘Remain’ we did wonder if perhaps Brexit was not such a bad idea. Next problem was to get back on route. The easy option denied, rather than retrace our route for 2km we pushed Colin’s bike and trailer up a 30% incline for 200m before returning for my bike. After a short detour the rest of the day was relatively straightforward until the inevitable ‘short cut’ to the campsite turned into a track that was barely rideable. At least Colin redeemed himself by riding to the supermarket and back and then cooking dinner. The little campsite by a small lake in the middle of Aubin du Cormier is a gem, but regrettably spoilt by a French group who partied until 3am, which was bad news for those of us who needed an early start. A Dutchman who had remonstrated with them several times was not too impressed either — so not too much love lost in what remains of the EU.

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Day 4 St Aubin du Cormier to Pouance 74km

felt a bit sorry for Colin. On what turned out to be another hot and hilly day, as it was Sunday he had to carry the food for our evening meal, in addition to all my luggage. Fortunately not too much of a problem after all those ‘headbanging’ audax miles he does with his mate Mark. Not long after setting off we encountered a possible problem, coming across a ‘Route Barrée’ (Road Closed). “Just ignore it”, Colin confidently said, and in the next town the reason for the lengthy diversion became apparent. There was a huge market filling every road in a decent sized town, leading to a 2km walk through packed streets. (More expletives from the ‘Navigator’, who hates walking, helped to keep the swear box full.)

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RANDONNEE On a very hot day we only passed one bar, where we stopped for morning coffee, and in Retiers the only place we could find any shelter from the sun to eat our lunch was to climb through scaffolding and metal barriers in front of the church. The campsite in Pouance was situated on the side of a large lake with a beautiful sandy beach and it seemed that the whole population of the town had made their way here. After pitching the tent the first job was to get the washing done. It was bone-dry in less than 2 hours! After four tiring days I was looking forward to a decent night’s sleep, retiring early. The campsite was quiet but just behind us was some sort of recycling facility with noisy lorries dumping their loads until well into the early hours. C’est la vie!

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Day 5 Pouance to Geste 89km

he routine was now set for the reminder of the trip — up early and try to get at least half of the day’s ride completed before it became unbearably hot. Initially we followed the Verzée through the attractive little village of Armaillé. Then after climbing away from the river a fruitless search for a bar in Challain-la-Potherie was rewarded with a lovely view of a stunning chateau. No bar in the next village but coffee finally arrived following a brief detour in Angrie. A caffeine shot was definitely needed with the terrain becoming increasingly hilly and with Colin encouragingly assuring me that this would get worse after crossing the Loire. Regrettably he’s usually right, and after a beer beside the river we crawled up a fairly steep climb for several kilometres. Temperatures in the mid 30s did not help and our four drinking bottles were soon empty. An attempt to fill them at a sports ground was thwarted as the sink was blocked and with everywhere closed we were relieved when a charming lady in a pharmacy came to our rescue. The coolest place all afternoon was in the supermarket loitering beside the cool cabinets, unfortunately some way and several steep hills before our intended destination in Gesté. The campsite was another 4km past the village and, because I was struggling with the hills and the heat, Colin pulled off just before the village having seen a Chambre d’Hôte sign. Eventually we found a brand new facility well off the beaten track. No noise tonight, a really comfortable bed, and our host agreed to do us an early breakfast. Neither of us had the energy to use the large swimming pool available to guests but we had filled the trailer with wine, beers, and iced tea to accompany a smoked salmon salad eaten on a shaded patio at the back of the building.

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Day 6 Geste to La Chataigneraie 83km

n early start and we were soon into some beautiful countryside. (That was Colin’s description; it was clear to me that the terrain was becoming seriously hilly.) After about 15km a French cyclist on a very nice racing bike joined us. He spoke reasonable English and, like Colin, talked a good game of cycling, telling us of some of the top professionals he had trained with in his youth. Before we left home Colin had spent hours poring over detailed maps and had discovered that our most direct route south involved crossing a small barrage on the Sèvre Nantaise. He had established with the local tourist office that there was pedestrian access across but they did not mention the near vertical set of steps at the far side. Our French companion was somewhat surprised that we had chosen to go this way pointing out that there were 20% descents and climbs either side of the river, but offered to help us. However first he invited us to have coffee with his mother in law in the village of Le Longeron just before the barrage. She was a lovely old lady, well into her 80s, and was delighted by the small Nottingham lace coaster I presented to her as we left. On leaving it was an easy ride to the river and it was great to have some help getting the bike and trailer down the precipitous steeps. Colin then took ‘headbanging’ to a new level cycling up a really mean hill, with some parts at 20%, complete with panniers, top bag and the trailer. Those of us with more sense walked. Shortly afterwards our French friend left us to continue south as he stopped to visit another relative. By midday it was already very hot as we sat outside a small bar in Les Herbiers eating lunch and getting as much cool water down as possible. The afternoon was a nightmare. The Navigator had plotted a route largely on very minor roads and whilst this provided a virtually traffic free option there was a constant succession of fairly steep hills, which coupled with temperatures reaching 40°C was leaving me completely drained of energy. Never has a bar stop with several glasses of ice cold water seemed more inviting. Late afternoon Colin stopped and had a good look at the map. We were heading for a small campsite but the route there was likely to be very demanding, so he suggested we followed what ought to be an easier option. This involved about 6km of main road into La Châtaigneraie where there was a good chance of finding a hotel. Fortunately the road was not too busy and then, to our surprise, there was a cycle track all the way into town. I was so tired I walked/ stumbled most of the last 2km whilst Colin went in search of a hotel. The first hotel offered him a large quiet room at a bargain price, and after sitting in the bar long enough to savour a beer and drink well over a litre of water I eventually summoned the energy to climb the stairs to our room. After dinner on the terrace I made my way back upstairs and immediately went to sleep.

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Day 7 La Chataigneraie to Benon via Surgeres 98km

hortly after setting off the clouds were rolling in and waterproofs were on and off all day, for the last time on our tour. Thunder storms rolled around, mostly in the distance, all morning. The good news, as far as I was concerned, was that after another hilly morning the landscape became much kinder. We sheltered under the entrance to a village hall eating our lunch as the last thunderstorm of the day passed uncomfortably close by. The terrain became really flat across the Marais Poitevin, a large area of marshland that is a remnant of the former Gulf of Poitou. For 30km across the marshes there was virtually no traffic as a cycle route followed a canal, a few gravel tracks and minor roads. In Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon we dived into a bar just as a brief torrential downpour arrived and immediately felt at home; it was full of the town’s pensioners, who had gathered for a party. With the weather somewhat unsettled we detoured from the planned route in search of a Chambre d’Hôte. “Sorry we are full, but suggest you try the Tourist Office in Surgères”, we were told. Despite this being a fairly large town the lady in the tourist office spoke no English at all, or refused to do, so Colin desperately had to negotiate in his almost non existent French. He eventually established that all three of the town’s hotels and the campsite were full. We have rarely come across a campsite in France where they won’t make room for cycle tourists but she insisted that the town’s site did not have room for even the smallest tent. After another 20 minutes and several phone calls she said there was a vacancy in a Chambre d’Hôte 20km away, but more or less back in the direction we had just come from. Fortunately it was a reasonably flat ride to Benon, but en route there was another ‘Route Barrée’. A local told us that a bridge was being repaired and was impassable even on a bike, so that added another 4km. Eventually we found our accommodation; a simple farmhouse and spotlessly clean. ‘Mine Hostess’ was a charming widow well into her 80s, who was delighted to show us her family photographs. She also provided us with some eggs and there was a guest kitchen so since we did not have time to find the supermarket in Surgères at least we had omelettes for tea. No internet connection either so today’s ride did not get uploaded to ‘Strava’. Colin rather ungenerously suggested that our host was still in the semaphore not the internet era.

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Day 8 Benon to Medis 82km

his should have been a short day, but first we had to retrace the extra 20km added by yesterday’s search for somewhere to stay. At coffee in Muron Colin went in search of bread and found himself giving an impromptu English lesson. The lady in the Boulangerie had her 8-year-old son collecting the money and insisted that the poor lad conducted the www.aukweb.net


RANDONNEE transaction in English. It was another warm day, but not too hilly as we crossed the Boutonne and then picnicked beside the muddy brown Charente, which was tidal here, not far from its estuary. From Pont-l’Abbé, where we cycled through the old town’s fortified gate, we picked up a very quiet lane, which eventually gave us a wonderful view over a field of sunflowers of the Abbaye de Sablonceaux, where we had stopped to get our Pilgrim’s Passports stamped on our way to Santiago de Compostella in 2003. After the hassle of finding accommodation the previous day and knowing that Royan is a very busy holiday area, especially in late July, we called in at the tourist office in Saujon. What a contrast to the previous day; two charming young ladies, who both spoke perfect English could not have been more helpful. They couldn’t find a campsite at Médis but came up with a very reasonably priced hotel and then produced a coloured A3 map showing a cycle route there avoiding the main road. Another early night and Colin was soon in bed dreaming about the two girls in the tourist office. Well as long as he’s just fantasising that’s OK with me.

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Day 9 Medis to Hourtin Plage 59km

ur plan was to catch an early ferry from Royan to Le Verdon at the northern tip of the Medoc. There was relatively little traffic on the main road into Royan at 07:00 and the town was quite empty. According to the ferry timetable we arrived with 10 minutes to spare just in time to see the barriers close as the second sailing of the day left. Guess what; more money in the swear box and even more mutterings from you know who when the next boat departed 20 minutes late. From Le Verdon there are dedicated cycle tracks virtually all the way to the bay of Arcachon soon passing through Soulac, where we had camped in the 1970s. In Montalivet after watching sand-yachts scooting past with a brisk wind and walking through the market on a warm day a beer seemed a good idea. This was followed by a second beer accompanied by eggs on toast. Then it was back on the cycle track to Hourtin Plage, another old haunt where Colin had windsurfed previously. The plan had been to turn inland and look for a campsite in Hourtin but the option of staying near to the beach was attractive since we could pick up the coastal cycle track next morning. We didn’t really fancy camping here; the four star campsite was very expensive, there were no picnic tables and the loose sandy soil was not really suitable for our thin tent pegs on a fairly windy evening. We enquired if there were any mobile homes for hire and were told no but they had a room available in their hotel; not a lot more expensive than camping. Our evening meal was different. We had collected lamb chops, potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes from the supermarket yesterday so we loaded everything, including our gas stove, into our trailer and cycled up the road to find a picnic

table in a secluded area of pine trees. A walk to the beach in the pleasant evening sunshine and the first ice cream of the trip followed. Today almost felt like a holiday.

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Day 10 Hourtin Plage to Biganos 90km

olin had booked a hotel at Biganos whilst at Medis. Nearly all day we cycled through the sand dunes and past the ‘Surf Shacks’ on a cycle track of varying quality. For once I was quite glad to experience a few small hills which helped to make a succession of pine trees slightly less than totally boring. Eventually our route turned away from the Atlantic on the way to joining a really nice cycle track along the northern edge of the Bay of Arcachon. The road we were on was a dead end but it was amazing how much traffic was heading too and from the beach. It was easy to tell you were in France not UK: no one passed us close. In Andernos after visiting the supermarket two local cyclists invited us to their house for a beer whilst we all watched Chris Froome consolidate his position in the Tour de France. At least they had the good grace not to mention ‘Brexit’. The hotel seemed a good move. After a long day a nice room and a comfortable bed were very welcome as was a nice picnic on the tables the hotel conveniently provided in its grounds. When Colin asked the receptionist if we could use the tables for a picnic, “Of course”, she replied, “that’s what they are there for”. Imagine that happening in a UK hotel.

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Day 11 Biganos to Villandraut 65km

nother small detour from our planned route with a mobile home booked at the end of a very easy day. About a kilometre from the hotel there was a well surfaced railtrack all the way to Villandraut with no stress or navigation issues at all. At coffee I was obliged to nominate the café toilets as contenders for the ‘Dirtiest toilets in France’ award. The owner could also have been a contender for ‘Grumpiest Bar Staff in France’. It was Sunday and it was a good job we had loaded up with wine, beer and food the previous day as we arrived at the only supermarket en route 5 minutes after it closed at mid-day. The rail track was a little less monotonous than anticipated with many subtle changes in gradient as it crossed several small rivers, and as always in this part of the world, lined with trees. At one stage I came to the rescue of a family cycling with two very young fair skinned children; they had left home without UV protection. Later on we witnessed an unusual birthday party. Children were taking it in turns to ‘Joust’ on a narrow beam over a very large pool of water, however it was so warm a cool dip on loosing was probably a better option to winning.

Villandraut has a 13th century castle built by Pope Clement V, who was born here, so that he would have somewhere to stay when he returned to visit family and friends. However it has fallen into a state of disrepair so no ‘Papal’ residence for us so we headed for the campsite, where the mobile home we had booked was also a tad ‘tired’. Most of the lights didn’t work and the shower worked intermittently but it was more comfortable than camping and dinner on the wooden patio in the warm evening sunshine was really enjoyable.

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Day 12 Villandraut to St Justin 72km

o complaints about the start of my day; breakfast in bed, and a bit of a lie in as there was every prospect of an easy day. The first 60km were almost devoid of hills, traffic, cafés and we only passed through three or four very small villages. Typically of the Landes there was no shortage of conifer trees. There were indications however, that we were in a Basque area; a few of the houses contained intricate carvings on their wooden frameworks and we also passed a ‘Fronton’, a large vertical wall at the end of a court about the size of two tennis courts. It didn’t look much used, a pity; Pelota is a game where hand, basket or racket might be used to hurl a leather ball at the fronton. It’s extremely exciting being the fastest ball game in the world with ball speeds of up to 200km/hr. Our original plan was to stop in Roquefort, however Colin had managed to find a bargain hotel another 12km further on, which hopefully would allow us to arrive at our final destination a day early. Even the main road into town was devoid of traffic. After five days down the Gironde and across the Landes I had forgotten what hills were. The final 12 Km to St Justin provided a painful reminder. However we still arrived early and had plenty of time to settle into our hotel. €49 for a 3-star seemed fine to us (even at the now crummy ‘Ex-Brexit’ exchange rate) and the evening meal was excellent.

Day 13 St Justin to Bernadets Debat 103km

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ith a long and potentially fairly hilly day my hard working guide spent some time the previous evening modifying the route with the aim of reducing the distance and total climb. This worked well and the odd bit of main road followed was not too busy. It’s also a relief to know that French drivers will usually pass much wider than we are accustomed to in UK. (The law there requires a 1½ metres minimum passing distance and I do wish the CTC — sorry, Cycling UK — would campaign for a similar law in UK.) Again an early start and shortly after admiring the wonderful arcades in Labastide d’Armagnac there were signs to the Notre Dame des Cyclists, a tiny chapel dedicated to all of us. Unfortunately it was closed but we found

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RANDONNEE out that the Tour de France had been here four times. In Nogaro the local children were playing football in the bull fighting ring. I was all set to sign Colin up for Saturday’s Bull Fight, but he claimed that he is not into animal cruelty, unless that includes dragging me across France in temperatures up to 40°C. From here to Termes, which boasts a very impressive ‘Donjon’ I was rejoined by the old enemies — ‘Heat and hills’. The good news; the remainder of the day would be reasonably flat. By the time we reached the Basque restaurant in Tillac I was beginning to experience low

blood sugar. An ice cream didn’t seem to help much but then Colin noticed some ‘yummy’ sweets in the cool cabinet. A banana, chocolate and raspberry tart worked wonders and tasted far nicer than those horrid gels he eats. The remaining 20km to our friends Mick and Gaynor’s gîte was a breeze and they were sat by the pool with a fridge full of cold beer to help us celebrate journey’s end.

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Day 14 Bernadets Debat 0km

well earned rest day. Colin reckoned that until I had ridden to the top of the Col de Tourmalet I couldn’t really claim to have ridden to the Pyrenees. Since I don’t do extreme masochism I told him to get on his bike, which typically he did a few days later with our nephew Steve. What’s more just before arriving in Bernadetts Debat a sign indicated that we had entered the Department of the High Pyrenees, and that was good enough for me!

50 km riders ready to roll

The Foundation Rides 2017 will see the fifth running of the Foundation Rides (May 7th from Crewe in Cheshire) and the 10th anniversary of the Up and Under Foundation — the charity that the event supports. Each year the event has gone from strength to strength, while maintaining the friendly, inclusive atmosphere and super post-ride refreshments. There are three rides to choose from depending upon your energy levels. The 50km Foundation Ride is an ideal introduction to cycling events (and, over the years, we have seen quite a few newbies graduate onto the longer rides); the route is pretty flat and potters around the Cheshire Lanes, taking in Audlem, Wrenbury and Nantwich, with a couple of café options. The 100km Three Counties ride takes in the lovely lanes from Staffordshire and Shropshire, as well as Cheshire, as you might expect from the name. There is a café stop at Eccleshall and this year the route will avoid the Market Drayton 10km run! And last, but certainly not least, is the 160km Tough Stuff — back for 2017 by popular demand. This is a challenging ride through the Cheshire lanes into Wales and back, taking in the iconic Horseshoe Pass. The Up and Under Foundation (registered charity: 1124079) helps Cheshire youngsters to

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take part in adventurous outdoor activities. Funds raised from the rides have contributed to school outdoor activity centre trips, scout camps, local youth group trips and a variety of other activities. The rides receive support from local businesses, such as Chatwins Bakery (gingerbread men), CTC healthcare (post-ride massage) and a number who provide funds to cover most of the event costs. This means that your entry fee goes straight to the charity and helps to change lives. To sign up for one of the rides or to find out more go to www.foundationrides.co.uk

Lorna Fewtrell Charity Activities

Chatwins gingerbread men

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Peter Bond

Route 66 The Kicks Return

A test ride for what is hoped to be the first of several traffic-free 200s.

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out of Brighouse because there is no towpath between there and Coopers Bridge. Then there is the necessity of getting across Bradford to Shipley where the route joins the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. But well over 160 of the 200 kilometres are traffic-free and some of the

ost of my longer riding in the last few months has been south and west from my home near Rochdale, exploring and finding routes along various canals with the aim (apart from just enjoying it for its own sake) of making a 200 kilometre out and back ride. By including various reclaimed railway lines and other off-road paths, I had just succeeded in making a devious 100 kilometre route out to Fiddlers Ferry on the River Mersey. I mentioned to a friend that I was about to try the whole thing, when he showed me some reports in the media about three muggings of cyclists on the Fallowfield Loop line, which is part of the proposed route. The police said that the attacks are unconnected: all occurred on the Levenshulme stretch, all the cyclists were beaten up, all were robbed, all had their bikes stolen and all were met with indifference by the police – that’s at least five connections, I think. I’ve cycled The Loop many times with no problem but I thought it might be wise to let things settle down for a while. So my thoughts turned reluctantly towards the east. I was fed up that I’d spent so many rides exploring the western route, The Marina near Kirkstall stitching together sections that would enable the distance to be Bradford section is at least on cycle lanes. covered within Audax time limits and including No, the chief reason I had been looking the advisibility of avoiding finishing along the westwards is the nature of the towpath between Rochdale Canal in the dark. There is only a few Littleborough and Hebden Bridge. It includes weeks in the summer when that is possible and several run-offs, where the canal drains in flood even fewer when the surface is at its best. conditions. These are cobbled depressions Ah well, I did at least have an eastern route and are lethal even when dry unless you have which I had already explored. It follows National Cycle Network (NCN) 66 from Rochdale to Leeds. nerves of steel or a fat-tyred bike. They are misaligned, with wheel-grabbing gaps. I’ve always It isn’t as traffic-free as the Fiddlers Ferry route: had to walk them and it gets me down! There there is a necessary (and hilly) section of road

are various other restrictions, such as pinchgates, which mean that I’ve never been able to manage an average of much above 17kph for the first hour or so on this stretch. This puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the ride, especially as I try to ride with respect for the other users of the towpath. However, I was really keen to take advantage of the dry spell and so I thought I’d see if I could do the whole ride, out and back, instead of getting a train back from Leeds. Actually, it’s a very good route for baling out because of the geography between Rochdale and Leeds. The inhospitability of the Pennine moors has forced all the main transport routes along the valleys, so road, canal and railway are following the same route. If things got too much, I could get a train home from Leeds, Bradford, Dewsbury, Mirfield or Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. It looked as if things might easily be too much because the day I had chosen turned out to be the hottest of the year. When I set off at about 7.15am, the temperature was already about 90°F and it stayed there all day. A combination of back streets and cycle lanes gets me to the Rochdale Canal only a mile from my home. I was soon bowling past the early dog-walkers and the ducks and the gently hissing pink-mouthed Canada geese. I was in high spirits as I approached Todmorden; I’d even managed to ride the first of the canal drains, though I walked the other three, whose jumbled cobbles make the pavé of ParisRoubaix look like a velodrôme. The towpath has been temporarily closed (for over a year) near the town, so I used the road for about a kilometre and made up a bit of time. But my satisfaction disappeared in short order just after I rejoined the canal bank. The towpath was fenced off in what looked like a serious way, with no signs for a diversion. There was nothing for it but to backtrack for a while before hoiking

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RANDONNEE Day 2015. So the work is extensive but necessary. the bike over a wall and weaving my way to the However, I can’t help thinking that there is a main road along the Calder Valley to Hebden failure of attitude on the part of the responsible Bridge. “Proving” the route was turning out to bodies (the Canals and Rivers Trust and their be the problem it so frequently is on routes contractors). If this had been a road, diversion dedicated to anything other than tin transport. signs would have been in place. People do use Still, four miles of road did wonders for my cycle lanes, including towpaths, to commute average speed. From Hebden Bridge the NCN and indeed are encouraged to do so. So why no 66 takes a lovely route through the woods signs? alongside and at one point across the railway. I I turned around and found a way across was glad I was following a computer guide track a works yard to a road which officially only because it would have been very easy to miss allowed me to go one way, in the direction the little cut which returned me to the canal I didn’t want. This filtered into the dual beyond Mytholmroyd, home of West Yorkshire carriageway of the A629 Huddersfield – Halifax Audaxes. The section along the canal to Sowerby Bridge was delightful, as always, with the trees dappling the sunlight across the toffee-coloured water. But somehow the shade seemed to give no relief from the inexorably building heat – and it wasn’t yet 10 in the morning. In Sowerby Bridge itself, a little detour is needed to get round the lock on Tuel Lane because there is no towpath through the tunnel. This lock was a major reconstruction project on the restored canal, combining two of the original locks into one drop of 90-or-so feet. Tuel Lane itself presents a different aspect to local cyclists, being a very steep and early inclusion on the legendary Old 240, a hilly Audax classic, as far removed from a canal bank as it is possible to be. Crossing the A58, I took the very stony path down to the canal basin, which is where Shire Cruisers is based. It is a very picturesque scene with beautiful enamelled barges tied up and beautiful young women sharing the path. As I said hello and gasped some pleasantry about the weather, one of them retorted with a smile, “Get your shirt off!”. I think the length of time it would have taken me to undo a button would have put her right, but I was greatly encouraged by the encounter. At Sowerby Bridge, I had technically left the Rochdale Canal National Cycle Network totem and joined the Calder and Hebble road, which was jammed solid with stationary Navigation. A little further on at Salterhebble traffic. I turned around and cautiously rode back locks, just before Elland, I took care to keep (there was no other traffic) until I saw another right before the tunnel to avoid the path cyclist further down the road. He was able to tell alongside the now defunct Halifax branch, me how I could regain the canal, so I hadn’t lost which I’d taken on a previous reconaissance. more than ten minutes or so by this enforced My true route went down an easy cobbled manoeuvre. slope and round past another small marina Back on the canal, I was soon enjoying the to rejoin the towpath, which at this point is Greenway again, though there are two or called the Calder Valley Greenway. The surface three cobbled turnover bridges which are a is excellent and a credit to whichever agencies bit awkward. Turnover, or “roving” bridges, are involved. Understandably, this attractive allow a horse to change towpaths without the canalside path draws many walkers and I was rope having to be unhitched. I am gradually glad to be travelling it before dinner time. Or at developing my techniques for dealing with least I was glad until I came up against another canal architecture but on a touring bike with major closure with no diversion signs. It turned relatively narrow wheels such progress is out that this work (and presumably the earlier limited. In spite of, or because of, the frustrating closure at Todmorden) was because of the delays, I was pleased to reach Brighouse, which appalling floods we had in the region on Boxing 38

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has a proper mill town feel to it as you ride between the towering walls of what remains of the energetic and exploitative past. From Brighouse it is necessary to take to the road because the towpath is unrideable (and practically unwalkable) for the next few miles. I was happy enough for some restful tarmac after thirty miles of jarring, unpredictable surfaces. I was also pleased to have the variety of some climbing to do as I reached the oddly-named Raistrick Common, which is actually a road. Perhaps it’s a relic of when this whole moorside was an open space; it’s now completely urban in its lower reaches. I was looking out for two inns on the ascent, firstly The Globe and then The Junction, which would mark a sharp left turn onto the steeper section of the climb. As I rounded the bend I realised I was struggling. It’s true that this hill, though it is not shown as having a chevron on the OS map, is quite a challenge: chevrons start at 1 in 7 and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is about 1 in 8, for about half a mile. But I’ve got up it on a “racing” chainset and here I was, reduced to the granny ring and a big cog at the back. I was becoming lightheaded and beginning to wonder if I had heart trouble, though there were no other symptoms than the light-headedness. Where was the power? Halfway up I tried a final gear change and jammed the chain. I put a foot down and engaged the lowest gear, on which I got to the top . Of course, it’s not surprising that I found the climb difficult. Not only have I done almost no climbing for over a year but this was turning out to be the hottest day of the year, it was approaching mid-day and I’d only drunk about a bottle’s worth of water in about three hours. I know I should drink more, but I just forget. Also, on the towpaths there is so much to concentrate on that eating and drinking regularly can seem like just another barrier to progress. At the top, I crossed the Huddersfield road onto the beautifully-named Shepherds Thorn Lane. Before long this becomes a path which on this occasion was almost completely overgrown with nettles and brambles, so my progress was invigorating to say the least. It’s necessary to walk some of this anyway because you can’t see the stony surface for the vegetation. The ancient route is maintained above the M62 by a narrow bridge, by which time it is possible to ride again up a dusty, gravelly track to another main road. A little more roadwork took me down through the Woodhouse estate to another section of the Calder Valley Greenway. This leads almost immediately onto an impressive viaduct, which used to carry the Low Moor and Mirfield line which I think was built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway who allowed the Midland railway to run along the route. There are a few www.aukweb.net


RANDONNEE refreshing climbs before the route drops down a short section of country lane before rejoining the old trackbed to run parallel to the current line. This is lovely leafy ride, though you need to know that there is a shooting range off to the right. Having been shot at with air-weapons on a couple of occasions, I was a little unnerved the first time I came this way, to hear guns of a more determined calibre. Another brief session of roads, which are well signed by the NCN people, brought me to the centre of Mirfield where I went right, along the Dewsbury road. After about half a mile, I jinked left onto the cycle path which winds through a housing estate before connecting with the Spen Valley Greenway. This is a superb achievement: eight miles or more of metalled surface along the defunct Cleckheaton section of the line to Bradford. It is gradually uphill all the way, which I enjoyed, while reflecting on how hard the locomotives and their firemen must have worked on the goods trains. Liversedge, Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton; the names trip off the tongue with the ease of a spanner cutting a loaf. Yet the trackside foliage means that this is essentially a country ride. It’s true that there are fitting and well-executed reminders of the working class history of the area, such as the seats made out of excavator buckets and the brillant flock of sheep made out of industrial scrap. But if you didn’t already know that the set of iron hoops was near the site of a long-gone colliery, you’d get no inkling from the bucolic surroundings. Having made a mental note to study the history further, I reached the end of the trail, which meant a bit more roadwork (again well signed). Occasionally, as when crossing the Bradford ring road, I used the traffic-light delays to drink from my bottles, juice in one, water in the other. The sun was now at its zenith and I was apprehensive about the advisability of pushing on much further in the heat. I was wearing sun-screen but my cap could only deflect so much heat, the rest was going into my head! I crossed Bowling Park and relied on my computer track to get me across the centre of Bradford. This is always a slightly hit and miss business because I make the route from the information available on computer mapping sites and while these are generally very good, they are not always able to keep up with the cavalier operations of private enterprise and occasionally council developments. However, slightly quicker than I expected, I was past the magnificent town hall and out onto the north-running valley road. The traffic is never less than busy in Bradford and so I had designed the route to take me slightly east, off the main Shipley road. I was halfway up the climb into a housing estate when I punctured. I have arthritic hands, so dealing with a puncture is not my favourite occupation. As I worked away at the back wheel, I took the opportunity to have a drink and a sandwich. I was slightly concerned that I was unable to find any cause for the deflation (the tyre’s, I

Hebden Bridge station

had plenty), which meant it might go again a little further on. As I changed the tube, the possibility of simply rolling back down the hill and getting a train home from Bradford began to loom larger with every passing minute. But in the end I persuaded myself to carry on, even if completion in the time limit was looking increasingly unlikely as the diversions and aggravations piled up. After a half hour delay, it was still only mid-day, the canal banks would never be drier and I was at least out on my bike. After rolling down the hill to Shipley, I managed to find the Leeds and Liverpool canal easily enough and settled in to enjoy the steadiest miles of the trip. There are no pinch gates that I can remember between Shipley and Leeds and the surface is excellent. There is a bit of variety with several short descents at locks, including some “flights”, and at least one very short climb by an extensive marina towards the Leeds end. Looking at such idyllic moorings, it’s easy to forget that many of these marinas were once gritty loading bays, in this case for coal for the Kirkstall power station. This section of the L&L follows the valley of the River Aire and you get a real air of being in the country. You occasionally get an air of something else as there are at least two sewage “farms” along this stretch. Looking at the map I noticed the wonderful juxtaposition of a sewage farm on one bank and Bottoms Farm on the other. The OS map also shows how the urban sprawl has closed in around the historic transport arteries. But, that aside, the ride does feel remarkably rural for the most part. As you close in on Leeds, or rather, as Leeds closes in on you, the graffiti increases on the bridges and buildings but these “artists” will never paint the water or the sky. It was dinner time as I rode the mile or two parallel to the railway, and the towpath was busy with groups of almost exclusively young people who had escaped

“…the names trip off the tongue with the ease of a spanner cutting a loaf.”

from their offices on this baking day. I had a quick mooch around the canal-side buildings of the financial area which seems to be doing very well while most of its victims are still reeling from the crash of a decade ago. Still, I would rather see fine italianate buildings in terra cotta brick than the dereliction that hugs the canals in less fashionable or less wealthy areas. I retraced and went up past the Dark Arches, the catacomb like tunnels that take the Aire under the huge Leeds station. I was sleepy, or at best blank, and I needed a rest. I’d been on the way for a little over six hours, during which I’d had a sandwich, a piece of flapjack and two pints of water. This on the hottest day of the year (and probably of the last ten oop North). Stupid. After cabling my bike to the railings in Granary Wharf, I went into an Italian coffee shop. The waitress was very nice and filled my bottles for me. When the coffee came, the cup was so hip that it had no handle, so I had to wrap a serviette round it before I could bear to hold it. But it was good. While I rested, I looked out into the square where there were two fire engines in some kind of presentation. The crews were fully togged up and must have been almost boiling, though they seemed completely unfazed by the heat. I suppose even 90 degrees is only temperate compared with their usual working conditions. Back at the bike I replaced the bottles and ate a sandwich, fully expecting that when I had finished it I would do the sensible thing and push the bike around the corner to the station for a train home. But having offered to take a photo for a family group (who had been snapping themselves in all but one possible combinations) and this being gratefully acceded to, I found I was rolling back the way I came, in cycling mode, with a smile on my face. It was still not two o’clock, I was still alive and there were many stations between Leeds and home. If I didn’t puncture, I might even get back in “Audax time” which would be fourteen hours. The ride back to Shipley was as good as I expected it would be. The dinnertime press was over and I enjoyed the long slow climb. There were some beautiful broad and narrow boats to be seen and a general air of people being calm and enjoying the surroundings. With my emergency pump, I hadn’t been able to get quite as much air in the replacement tube as I would have liked but it was holding up well, so I was able to relax about that. The Garmin computer got me across Bradford all right, though the traffic was building steadily. But by the time I reached the city centre I was suddenly extremely “flat”, as if running on empty, which, of course, was the problem. Tactfully buying a bottle of highly sugared “orange” juice, I got my already empty bottles refilled and sat down outside to eat another couple of sandwiches. The pedestrianisation of city centres may have made it more difficult to cross them on a bike but at least you usually have somewhere to sit while you are considering the problem. While I ate and drank, mumbling, “Get thee behind me, Bradford Exchange Station”, I saw a burly man in a wheelchair trying to get someone to push him up the slope behind me. A woman began to do it and then abandoned him,

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BREVET POPULAIRE apparently on the advice of her husband, who may have been worried about heart attacks. The poor chap in the chair became understandably irritable and I’d stood up to go and do the deed, when a young woman who was nearer finished the task. Of course, the chap may have been an irritable man by nature but I thought how difficult life must be for people in such circumstances, especially in hilly towns like Bradford. All thought of the station had disappeared. A bit of urban jamming brought me to the Spen Valley Greenway again, but not before I’d overshot a turn and was halfway down a steep hill before I realised I hadn’t been this way on the outward journey. But the sandwiches and drink had worked their short-term magic and I was soon on the cycle path. I was looking forward to this section because it would be downhill all the way to Mirfield. Just as I was gearing up, a couple of cyclists in club gear shot past me with no warning, other than a shout of “behind” as they squeezed past at about twenty miles an hour on a section of the path that was about six feet wide. Shouting “behind” when you are actually level with someone is useless. It fails to warn of where you actually are and merely gives a polite description of what you are. Spen Valley Wheelers, I’m talking to you. Some time later, there was one of the ilk who did it properly, asking to pass on the right, while he was still a little way behind. Make that man club president! In no time at all, I had reached Mirfield but I began to flag again by the time I reached the old viaduct. The heat was incessant and there was no breeze. I was definitely not looking forward to the climb across the housing estate and up the main road to Shepherds Thorn Lane. So I hove to where the greenway crosses the railway

and slumped down on a bench to eat my last food, two sandwiches, a piece of flapjack and an apple. It all went, though I kept back some water. My break had the same effect as in Bradford and I was able to climb steadily through the estate and up to the lane. Once again, I crossed the narrow bridge over the M62 and tingled my way through the nettles before a nice coast down into Brighouse to rejoin the Calder and Hebble Navigation. Of course, there would be the diversions to negotiate but at least I knew they were coming and that they needn’t cost me too much time, which put me in a better mood than on the way out. But I was having a bit of difficulty working out whether I might get back in time. For some reason that must have seemed sensible at the time, I’d switched my computer off while I was stopped in Bradford with the puncture, and this meant that I was cudgelling my heat and fatigue-fuddled brain with calculations, when I should have been whistling a merry tune. I negotiated the diversion near Elland with no trouble and things went fine, if slowly, through Sowerby Bridge towards Mytholmroyd. When I say things went fine, I suppose I mean that there were no navigational problems but by this time I was definitely just pushing the pedals over and wanting to be finished. But the ride through the woods and beside the railway to Hebden Bridge station really lifted my spirits. I was able to re-fill my bottles in the waiting room — and turn my back on another opportunity to take the train. When I reached the canal obstruction just beyond Hebden I took to the main road and stayed on it, rejoining the towpath beyond Todmorden. A more successful calculation than my previous ones revealed that, barring mishaps, I should just about get home in time to

I was able to re-fill my bottles… and turn my back on another opportunity to take the train.

“qualify” and so I rode the last ten miles or so in a buoyant mood. As it turned out, I got in with 40 minutes to spare. I was really pleased with this. The route worked, in spite of the efforts of providence and contractors. It had been an effort — but it had also been very hot. I had got through nine bottles of drinks and could easily have doubled that if I’d been able to get it. I’d thought of hailing one of the beautiful bright barges and asking for water but thought that they might have short supplies. A friend later told me that these vessels carry huge tanks, so next time I’ll be less reticent! Though I’d eaten everything I had with me, it wasn’t enough. For me, the difficulty is twofold. Firstly, the route is so exacting, in terms of surface and navigation, that I am reluctant to stop for fear of losing too much time. This is, of course, foolish, because slowing down owing of lack of energy loses me time as well. Secondly, I need to get to know the canals better. There are cafés along the route but they are hidden away, so I need to know where they are. I really don’t want to carry much more stuff because there is almost always a bit of lifting to do on a route like this. All in all, this was a real success for me. I’ve spent almost a year, on and off, working on the route; walking bits of it when I wasn’t allowed to ride; riding first as far as Dewsbury, then Bradford, then Leeds and finally all the way there and back. I think that in cooler and bettervictualled conditions, and knowing the route, I can take at least an hour off this time, which would enable me to be more relaxed about it. Cooler might probably mean wetter under-tyre but beyond Todmorden, I can’t think of many places where it gets muddy, and most of the cobbles are in the first (and last) section, too. So, I’ve got a ride I can do regularly in the summer months. Teesdale in the moonlight it isn’t, but it does start right outside the door!

The Redemption Ride: Two Leaf Clover Tim Harrison

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n August 2015 I entered the Tour of the Hills Audax in Surrey along with my eldest daughter, Sophie, her friend Joe, and my son Jack. We rode as a group and it was the first time I have ever failed to finish an Audax, due to running out of time at the Control halfway around the course. The blame for this lies squarely on the shoulders of Jack who, despite what he claimed, had done no training whatsoever and simply did not have the energy to complete the course. Being a reasonably kind father I congratulated him on the effort he made to get as far as we did and said no more. However, sibling rivalry meant that he didn’t

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hear the last of this episode from his big sister and to my certain knowledge since that event he has shunned cycling and ridden a bike only once, covering less than 15 kilometres. So when the plan was made to enter a local Audax – the Two Leaf Clover 110k Audax on 6 August 2016 it categorically did not include Jack. It did, however, involve Sophie, who has completed a few Audaxes; her friends Sarah, who had no idea what an Audax was; and Joe, fresh from the Prudential 100 ride. They travelled down from London to join me and my two regular cycling partners Tom and Phil. Sophie and her friends have several things in common: they are all young, fit, regular cyclists

who also commute around London on “Boris Bikes”; and are runners and gym members — who actually go to the gym. Tom, Phil and I are middle aged, not in the best of shape, and can find hills something of a challenge – on the plus side we can navigate without GPS. To make the day more relaxed for us the plan was to have a barbecue for my London guests the evening before and let the drink flow very freely indeed. I needn’t have bothered planning to take the edge off them as Saturday lunchtime saw Sophie, her friends and Jack (back home in between University and work) in the local pub, followed by drinks in the garden and later on a wine- and beer-laden barbecue. Late in the www.aukweb.net


BREVET POPULAIRE

Liquid carb loading in preparation for the Audax.

Jack, Tom, Joe, Tim, Phil, Sarah and Sophie before the off

evening the sibling rivalry began again, quickly turning into bullying as we all piled in. Jack took the bait and fell into the trap, ending up committing to ride the next day. He does not have a bike so I made some hasty adjustments to my winter bike which, whilst a touch too large, would do. The next day I felt much worse for the night before, having forgotten that the plan was to ply my guests with alcohol and not myself. They on the other hand were bright and breezy and raring to go and to my surprise Jack was also up and ready. Ready to slay his demons! The Two Leaf Clover Audax is a great event, run by the Evesham Wheelers Cycling Club and is one of three distances that take place on the same day. The club also run a 50k event, which attracts some new riders to Audax and entrants right across the age range from children to the very mature, plus a 200k event – The Four Leaf Clover. There are no commercial controls as each ride loops back to the start/finish at the Village Hall — the 110k once in the middle, and the 200k twice. This does mean that to feed and manage

Event

Three Counties Two Leaf Clover

Date

7 August 2016

Distance

100km (111km)

Organiser

Neil Robinson

Start

Wickhamford nr Evesham

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everyone they use an army of volunteers who work throughout the day starting very early and finishing late, bringing out a continual flow of both hot and cold things to eat. With a low entry fee and entries on the day accepted, not to mention quiet roads and great routes, it's one not to miss (I have previously completed both the 200k and 110k events — not on the same day). The added bonus this time was with a halfway point back at the start and being close to home we could ditch anyone who wasn’t going to make it around! We started off well, following a big Evesham Wheeler club contingency, which made navigation particularly easy and created a superb wind break. We almost coasted the first twenty or so miles as there was also a decent tail wind. It was only at the first hill that we lost the group and became the Family and Friends Seven. Most of the hills are in the first half of the ride and none could really be called significant, but for Tom they required a lot more effort. I should mention that he suffers with a heart condition, a painful knee joint following a serious injury some years ago and a recent operation to try and remedy it, topped off with acute toothache a few days earlier requiring tooth extraction and root canal work. Actually just turning up was a result and I fully expected him to retire, with good reason, at the half way point. Going down the hills he throws caution to the wind and I make sure I brief everyone not to get in his way. He records a speed of 49.7 8 Shelfhanger mph down one descent — the rest of us apply the brakes. At the halfway point we are ahead of time by over an hour and none of the group want

to quit. The Village Hall is buzzing with activity as some of the 50k riders are completing their ride and the 200k riders are coming in for their first break or maybe even second for the ultra quick ones. Food and drink keeps magically appearing. We are gently moved on as we start looking too comfortable, and start the next loop. With flatter terrain and the end in sight the younger ones start to play having a few sprints here and there with inevitably Joe being the fastest despite his chain never having seen oil; Sophie and Jack continue their rivalry whilst Sarah and Phil just power on. We pick up a few lone riders and continue on with good humour and no moaning to the very end. My day is made not just by drawing a line under a year of recriminations between two of my children but also by meeting Idai Makaya who happens to be taking his second break on the 200k event on his ElliptiGO bike. I had just read his Arrivée article on Land’s End to John O’Groats and had been deeply impressed, and was very glad to note that on this occasion he seemed to know exactly where he was, and what and why he was doing here. I had great company for the day; Sophie banked another Brevet card; Sarah was introduced to the joys of Audax riding; Jack buried his demons and shut us up; Joe had fun; and Tom, Phil and myself managed to maintain our dignity finishing comfortably with the group. Results all round.

A traditional shop with well equipped workshop and experienced staff.

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

01379 650419

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John Thompson

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t’s all happening in the east with audax at the moment! After a long time with a frustrating shortage of events, new and ‘established’ organisers have set up a significant number of new ones. Some of them have creative and humorous names and themes, such as the “Cambridge Pork Pie” 200 because it goes to Melton Mowbray. I chuckled that perhaps a more appropriate name might relate to the false sense of security some could get around the fact Cambridgeshire is pretty flat. Perhaps “Cambridge Mugs/ Suckers”, but I suppose “Cambridge Pork Pie” does suggest you’re going to be tackling Leicestershire hills. My goodness, that was a tough one — well, it was for me! Another new one with a nice theme is the “Essex Rivers and Reservoirs” 200, so called because it visits two reservoirs and five rivers. The inaugural event was on Saturday 6th August.

Event Date

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Essex R & R 6 August 2016

Distance

200km (215km)

Organiser

Grant Huggins

Start

Witham, Essex

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The Inaugural Essex Rivers & Reservoirs 200

Witham – the start and finish - is not so far for me and for the most part a fast drive along the A12 so I dithered at first as to whether to take digs. However, the thought of driving home along a very busy and fast dual and three-lane carriageway after a long day and 215km ride, with the possibility of feeling tired at the wheel did not fill me with joy. Also, by making a weekend of it, I could include a ride on the Sunday that would help achieve some touring objectives in Essex. I had difficulty finding accommodation specifically in Witham so I emailed organiser, Grant Huggins, who advised of the White Hart hotel. So on the Friday I caught the train to Witham. Arriving at lunchtime I made for a food bar opposite the station I was familiar with. As Witham can be a logical station for starting and/ or finishing rail assisted trips to Essex, it is worth saying something about this bar. I wont be silly as it is only a roadside food bar but in those terms it probably is a ‘cut above.’ Chunky and filling sandwiches/rolls/baguettes; perfect — and big! — sausage rolls; plus cakes and salads, including pasta. If the weather is good there are tables and chairs, if not the station is across the road. I haven’t been able to find out its full opening times but I know it’s closed Sundays. However, worth keeping in mind if you’re there at the ‘right’ time. My intention was to firstly locate the HQ to save time Saturday morning. That said, Grant’s thorough information indicated it should be easy to find being close to the station. While at the bar I asked some locals where Collingwood Road was and they pointed to the road opposite that I would have to take to the hotel anyway. On making my way, coming round a bend I spotted a building on the right. I’m not being facetious in saying that as it was mostly red I guessed it was probably the Labour Hall – correct!

Dinner in the hotel restaurant Friday evening was good and there were plenty of real ales available in the bar. On checking-in and advising I was getting up early Saturday morning they said they would bring some breakfast to my room. However, as Grant had indicated there would be a good food supply at the HQ I decided not to pursue it. If Grant’s information was lacking at all it was in a positive way because with the choice of Corn Flakes or Weetabix there was more food than had been indicated. It was a substantial spread, including Alpen bars and bread for toasting. For his first event, Grant had got off to a good start with me before I had even begun the ride! The early indication was that the forecast had been accurate and it was going to be a lovely day, albeit probably involving high liquid consumption — it did! However, as there was some early morning coolness, being my usual cautious self, I kept the layers on for the moment. I wasn’t sorry because we descended initially (was that a first for an audax?!) through Witham and it did feel a bit cool. The ride got off to a great start for me because barely out of Witham the route to Hatfield Peverel was along lanes I hadn’t ridden before. Once out of Witham, the first river, the ‘Brain’, is crossed and a not steep but gradual climb starts. I soon stopped to remove longs and a long-sleeve top! I was shortly caught by a group of riders, including my buddies Geoff Sharp and Ray Cheung. We enjoyed each other's company to the controls at Stock (30.6km) and Burnham-onCrouch (66.5km) This was along some roads I was familiar with and some I wasn’t. At around 11km at the foot of the ‘infamous’ North Hill, which www.aukweb.net

River Blackwater between Steeple & Latchingdon. Photo: Grant Huggins

RANDONNEE


RANDONNEE was on the route (some from outside East Anglia could be surprised by its severity, including a false top!), into Little Baddow, the River Chelmer was crossed. The route also included going past Hanningfield reservoir and views of the River Crouch. At Stock, we had a choice of getting cards stamped at the post office or using the Dandelion and Burdock café. To save time, particularly as it was only a short distance to that point, I think most, probably all, used the post office. I did however buy a Lucozade. When places are obliging in that way, I feel immoral if I don’t make at least a small purchase. That said, I was ready for a drink anyway. My hindsight regret is not taking a photo of Stock, as it is picturesque. Burnham-on-Crouch was a ‘free’ control but I think most used the recommended Tall Green House café. It was a good recommendation, my jacket potato being just right for quite a few miles! Visiting Burnham-on-Crouch for the first time and that ‘triangle’ corner of south-east Essex more thoroughly had been one of my objectives. Burnham-on-Crouch is an attractive old-world town in parts and I decided it merited a photo. One negative point about the area however is that the B-roads get busy and my experience is that Essex has more than its fair share of ‘think they own the roads, anti-cyclist’ drivers. That said, we only encountered one. He made a gesture to indicate he didn’t like Geoff and Ray riding two-abreast. He was driving in the opposite direction! Nevertheless, I think it is an underrated part of the UK, perhaps even by cyclists. Being ready before Geoff and Ray, I set off solo for the 12-km to the info control at Tillingham (78.5km), but it wasn’t long before they caught me. Well, I paused a few times to study the route sheet, which I doubt they did! From Tillingham it was 41km to the control at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre (119.8km). It included a nice view of the River Blackwater, and a succession of hills meant it wasn’t long before I lost contact with Geoff and Ray. The route goes through Maldon town centre; attractive but, on Saturday afternoon, busy — (another crossing of the River Chelmer and then the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation at Heybridge). Because of my propensity for going off-route I paused a lot to check the sheet. Ironically, I got through Maldon okay. It was a few miles further on in the lanes where I made a mistake – articles by me would seem incomplete without a report of going off-route! It was the silly thing of looking at the sheet while riding and partly looking at the wrong line and thinking it was right at an unsigned t-junction when it was left. It didn’t add much to the distance, but involved a bit more of the B1026 to Tolleshunt d’Arcy, in effect retracing. From Tolleshunt d’Arcy it was along the B1026 to the control. By the time I sat down at the Visitor Centre, Geoff and Ray were thinking about leaving. Well, they didn’t make the navigational error I did and again probably didn’t have to look at the route sheet as much as me. Nevertheless, it leads me to make an observation about Geoff’s claim to have got being ‘lanterne rouge’ to a fine art. I think he has because he seems to ride strongly

enough in the early stages. I’m sure he holds back later on sort of ‘Chris Froome in reverse.’ After orange juice, sandwiches and icecream, topping up the bottle and a photo of the reservoir it was through nice north Essex lanes via Bures to pass briefly into Suffolk to the Sudbury control (153.2km). The route includes crossing the River Colne at Ford Street, and after Bures taking the minor road to Sudbury via Lamarsh and Henny Street, following the River Stour, with good views of the river valley just before. Sudbury was another ‘free’ control, the suggested one being the Waitrose cafeteria. True to form, I lost a lot of time making a ‘pigs ear’ of finding the control, having to ask directions no few times and circuiting Sudbury. I do not blame the route sheet! After a coke – unusual for me,so it must have been warm! - and a baguette, it was back into Essex for the leg to Finchingfield (178.6km). I was pleasantly surprised to be doing more ‘first time’ lanes than I expected. Although only 25.2km it was a tough leg because it involved a lot of climbing. Not that I wasn’t expecting it, being a regular rider in this part of Essex. I was ‘psyched up’ for the stingy one just before Finchingfield. There is a little compensation with the following descent into the village. The official control at Finchingfield was The Picture Pot tea room. However, as it closed at 6.00 pm, Tom Deakins was stationed by the village green with an assistant to stamp cards. Geoff and Ray starting leaving as soon as I arrived so some words were exchanged about that – all in good fun! Although I didn’t have anything to eat or drink at Finchingfield, as the next control at Littley Green (199.1km) was only 20.5km I felt I could get there without stopping. Indeed as it was now only 37km to Witham, I would have liked to have just collected the sticker at Littley Green and

At the start

CC Sudbury members preparing for the road

Tall Green House cafe, Burnham-on-Crouch

continued but again I was mindful of my morals. The control was in the pub (The Compasses Inn), collecting the sticker from one of the bar staff. Again, as they were giving their time and space I felt it only right to purchase something although I was thinking in terms of a quick soft drink and back on the road. I soon changed my mind! My legs were going through a tired patch — at least it made it all the more pleasing it was now a fair tail wind — and combined with the heat, after just around 4km, seeing Geoff and Ray’s bikes outside the store in Great Bardfield I succumbed. I had my first experience of the Mars milk drink, which went down well.

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RANDONNEE

View of the River Crouch. Photo : Grant Huggins

So we had each others company again to Littley Green. It would not be completely truthful to say I never drink alcohol while riding but it is only on short rides around social events, definitely not on rides ‘of substance.’ However, I succumbed to more than a small drink going for a pint of orange juice and lemonade, which Ray kindly bought. If I remember correctly, Geoff had a coke but Ray succumbed to a ‘proper’ pint. I also resolved to stop worrying about how quick I was getting round and stop longer to unwind a bit (I thought about joking with Geoff and Ray that I need to stop riding with them as they’re getting me into bad habits but it seemed unfair!). We sat outside with members and friends of the organising club, Witham Cycling, including some on the ride and the Abberton controllers. This was around 7.45 pm and one on the ride said he had been there since 5.30 and seemed to be knocking them back! He lives at Witham so knew the route and seemingly was happy provided he finished before cut-off time. It struck me there is a lot to be said for that approach – if you are fast enough to get there by 5.30! I was pleased I did stop longer because I felt good on the last leg. Yes, it was only 10 miles with a good tail wind but even so! It was far from flat! I set off before Geoff and Ray but had company for parts of the route (second crossing of the River Ter is shortly after the control) with two ‘Witham’ riders and the Abberton controllers. However, they went on a slight detour and I didn’t want to do any more than necessary! ‚It wasn’t long before the group ‘re-caught’ me and then not long before they dropped me! They were obviously fresher than me. However, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I got to Terling, which was particularly uplifting as I knew I was now nearly there (I did however curse because it occurred to me I should have taken a photo for this article of the rider who had been at the pub since 5.30, with his pint in front of him!) Almost certainly, having a decent rest helped but it amuses me to wonder if the pint of orange juice and lemonade helped. I suggest it’s plausible. There are vitamins in orange juice that help combat 44

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tiredness and fatigue and aid body repair. It might have been just enough combined with the breather for that short distance. Perhaps some experimenting might be worthwhile, e.g. from around 20km to go, diving into the first pub for a pint of orange juice and lemonade – or just orange juice - to see if it does the trick! The Mars milk drink might also have been taking effect – who knows! Although I know Witham quite well, I nevertheless paused to check the route sheet. There is nothing more annoying than going wrong right at the end because of getting local street navigation wrong. The sheet confirmed what I thought. The final river crossing, also the second of the ‘Brain,’ was a few yards before the finish. I was timed as finishing in 13 hours 15 minutes. If Geoff thought that by finishing after me he would maintain his ‘lanterne rouge’ reputation he misjudged. The rider who spent a long time at The Compasses finished at 9.30 and two ladies finished at 10.00. As indicated in Grant’s information, there was plenty of food at the finish. I told Grant that as far as I was concerned he had passed ‘with distinction’. He informed us of new events he and Tom Deakins are planning, mainly a series of four 100s over November (5th), December (3rd), January and February. Some, possibly all, of them are using a Witham pub as the HQ. While I resist alcohol while riding ‘of substance,’ afterwards is another matter! With 10.00am starts, having checked train times, provided there are no engineering works, I won't need to drive. I also have a rule that alcohol is USUALLY evenings only. “A-ha”, you observe, I’ve in effect admitted I sometimes drink alcohol during the day. Well, I emphasised “usually” as it is with the proviso exceptions can be made in appropriate circumstances! Now to that Essex mystery. Grant explained he is intending to see if he can devise an audax route around a ‘Knights Templar’ theme. To explain, including the one at Littley Green, there are four pubs in that area called either “The Compasses” or “Square and Compasses,” in a geometric straight line. Actually, that is oversimplifying but along with some churches and

barns there is a geometric link, with theories as to the reason for it (http://vulpeculox.net/ misc/mystery.htm). Grant is looking at the possibility of a route taking in the four pubs. It’s hardly difficult to work out the gist of the jokes made about that! If I don’t ride it I guess I will be accused of chickening-out through fear of being proved a fraud over my claims of resisting alcohol! Back at the hotel, I relaxed over pints of real ale reflecting on a great day. Sunday morning started cooler and overcast. I set off along the B1018 Maldon road for a short way before turning right onto a ‘first time’ lane to Hatfield Peverel, i.e. a different route to that in the event. I wasn’t far along this lane before the sun broke through so I stopped to remove the usual unnecessary clobber. From Hatfield Peverel, I followed the B1137 for a short way to Boreham. The B1137 is the former A12 and runs into the centre of Chelmsford so was quite busy, but not uncomfortably so. From Boreham, I turned right onto a road signposted “Great Leighs.” It was a somewhat different road to what I anticipated, which was a narrow and quiet lane. It was quite wide and busier than I expected. However, it was pleasant enough and it wasn’t long before there was a signpost right for Terling, along a quiet wooded lane. From Terling, I followed the last part of Saturday’s route for the approx 4 miles to Witham station. Although a short ride, as it included a number of ‘first time’ lanes it contributed significantly to achieving my objective of seeing more of that part of Essex. Once more, I sat on the train home reflecting on a successful weekend with objectives met — nice one!

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Bocca Vitullu and the concrete dribble test

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oing over the Bocca Vitullu (787m) between the Golo and Casaluna valleys in Corsica seems pointless (unless you are a victim of OCD or you live in the village of Aiti, just below the summit) as there is a much easier way round the bottom. Climbbybike.com calls this the Cima Ferletta and gives the col height at 860m. This is not quite right (their map mustn’t be as good as mine), and I don’t trust their modest difficulty rating or gradients either. This route is fairly hard (very hard from Francardu on the Golo side) and you need to be fit to tackle it or, as in my case, have a very low bottom gear. No, a much better test of difficulty is the ‘concrete dribble’ method which you can instantly use whilst riding without having the need to resort to electronic devices or cycling websites.

I had been seeing streaks of concrete by the roadside for some time, both in the UK and more particularly in Corsica. It didn’t take long to work out that these were spillages from ready-mixed concrete wagons. Now these wagons are a clever invention. The revolving internal Archimedean screw saves mixing time at the depot and ensures the concrete arrives on site all fresh and ready, while the tilted drum ensures the contents remain inside. However, the designers obviously hadn’t thought about going up steep hills where the action of the Archimedean screw prevails over the force of gravity and the concrete is free to escape, thus providing a ready-made method of assessing the gradient to any observant onlooker. And so it is, climbing the Bocca Vitullu, that I observe some unusually large deposits. In places it is almost a concrete road. I wonder if the builder in Aiti complained he’d been delivered a light load. I have to admit to a tendency to have eyes glued to the road while climbing (and, come to think of it, when descending too, which is just as well) and so arriving at Aiti church gives me an excuse to stop and take in my surroundings. I think that building the village must have been an excuse for having a church in such a splendid position, on a small promontory overlooking the Casaluna valley. The views are breathtaking. Steep wooded hillsides drop to the Casaluna road, a small white ribbon snaking up the valley below. Beyond this, the mountain tops shrouded in low cloud add to the drama. The weather is cold and we narrowly miss some rain. Despite this, I am glad to fill my bottle at a roadside fountain. The ‘Eau Potable’ sign seems superfluous in such wild surroundings. Today, we are descending towards Francardu (thank goodness). I laugh out loud as I steer the bike round a double hairpin. Luckily Janet is out

Casaluna Valley

ORDRE DES COL DURS

Paul Harrison

of sight and earshot. The Shimano dual- pivot brakes and 28mm tyres give superb handling and the road is very quiet — only one car met in its entire length. I arrive at the bottom in one piece, exhilarated and very much in love with this beautiful island.

The Church of SaintStephen, Aiti

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NATIONAL 400

The Peak : National Performance 400

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uddenly, it’s over. The event for which we have planned and prepared for over a year has been and gone — in a flash. Peak Audax’s turn at staging the National 400 is now history, when for so long it was the future, full of intriguing problems to be solved: planning a route; securing control venues and volunteers to run them; transporting mattresses and blankets and catering requirements around the route; publicising the ride and keeping it publicised. All to do — and now it’s done. For me, it was always going to be a high point of the year. I enjoy helping on events and, having ridden the National a couple of years ago and experienced the excellent work of VC167, I was anxious to help return the favour. My task in the preparations had been to help with the publicity and to that end I placed an article in Arrivée, and had another rather grudgingly accepted and chopped about by Cycle, the magazine of CTC, who this week are called Cycling UK. As the months went past, devious but simple methods were used to keep the event high on the relevant boards of the internet. I live in Rochdale and so my plan had been to ride down the Rochdale Canal to Manchester, take a train to Buxton and then ride from there to the event venue at Biggin near Hartington in the staggering Peak District. The weather looked like being good for the whole weekend – but not for my ride down the canal. And so it proved. It rained steadily for an hour or so as I wove past the huge umbrellas of the anglers, who looked even grimmer than usual. I had to stop under a bridge to get my over-trousers on and the cobbles at the locks were so greasy and I so cautious that I missed the train I had intended to take. Still, I had plenty of time before the next one and turned the interval to good use by learning how to operate the self-service ticket machine, then buying a pasty and coffee, before settling down to do some people-watching. Manchester Piccadilly is more like an airport than a railway station now, and there is some serious flaunting of wealth to be seen. This was cast into pathetic relief by the workers of the Trussell Trust, who were trying to encourage travellers to donate to their foodbank collection, with not too much success, it seemed to me. It’s hard to put a hand

30-31 July 2016 Peter Bond

in your pocket when they are both clasping expensive flight cases or essential smartphones. Wheeling the bike onto the platform, I was pleased to see that there was still evidence of the earlier appearance of the station, in the ornate ironwork of the train shed pillars and their cuffs, and the ochre and red brickwork around the windows of the outer wall. I love rail travel and the line from Manchester to Buxton is fascinating. It is almost a miracle that after only an hour you have been transported across one of the biggest urban-post-industrial sprawls in Britain to the misty and mysterious primeval coral reefs of the Peaks. As I rolled out of the station at Buxton, I was feeling hungry again but decided to push on to the superb bookshop at Brierlow Bar, only a few hilly miles away, where there is a café and where I might pick up a Christmas present or two. I did pick up a couple of books but was disappointed to find that the café has gone hip and only offered drinks and cellophane-wrapped biscuits from Artisania. I was quietly seething with disappointment (and hunger). I wanted to say, “Have I got a beard, do I have yellow shoes and a man-bag?!” But I just kept quiet and ordered a coffee — which was excellent. Consoling myself with the knowledge that I could get something to eat at the cycle centre at Parsley Hay on the High Peak Trail, I rode on across the switchback roads to Earl Sterndale. Climbing the road above the village I was so taken aback by the views of Parkhouse and Chrome Hills across the valley that I had to put a foot down and just gaze. I suppose, being ancient coral reefs, that it is wrong to call them arrêtes but they certainly remind me of them,

Have I got a beard, do I have yellow shoes and a man-bag?!

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sharp ridges thrusting up from the fields, like emerald stegosauruses. Amazing. A few hundred yards of stony cyclo-cross brought me to the current start of the High Peak Trail, where I paused at the gate to remember the late Alan Smith, whom I’d last met at this place. Pressing on, I exulted in the kaleidoscope of colours in the verges of this old mineral railway. Purples, yellows, blues and whites studded the grass on either side of the narrow ribbon of crushed aggregate. Clovers red and white vied with the yellow meadow vetch and cat’s ear. Purple knapweed, blue geraniums and white ox-eye daisies lorded it over the creeping bacon and eggs at their base. White and pink yarrow pushed through wherever they could find space and later on there were drifts of harebells and the lavender-coloured scabious. In several places, the magenta spikes of the willowherb towered over the lot of them. My progress through God’s jewellery took my mind off my hunger but by the time I passed the stone hut (a gift from Croatia on joining the EU – remember that?), at Parsley Hay, I was ready to take advantage of the excellent café. It was shut. You wonder at the business sense of some people: four in the afternoon on a sunny holiday Friday and the café is shut. There may have been a perfectly good reason for it but I was in no mood for charity and stormed past the hordes of cyclists outside the hire shop (still wide open) and onto the junction where the trail splits into two. I took the westerly, Tissington branch and before long arrived at the village of Biggin. My total cycling for the day amounted to about thirty miles on varying surfaces and together with the connecting train journey qualified as an expedition. I met organisers John Perrin and Mike Wigley sauntering down the road in a pretty untidy fashion and before long we got stuck into the business of setting up the overnight accommodation for the riders who would be trying to sleep in the village hall. But first there was the magical appearance of that Fairy Godmother’s coach of the isolated village – the mobile chip shop. What I needed was in large letters on the board: cheese pie and chips. No cheese pie because the proprietor hadn’t brought the generator for the microwave. I began to wonder if I’d got the date wrong and it was really Friday 13th. But the chips were

My progress through God’s jewellery took my mind off my hunger

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NATIONAL 400 marvellous and hit the spot — with a hollow clang. With the help of arriving riders, we soon had the inflatable beds up in the hall and the catering organised for breakfast. Leaving John to meet and greet, Mike and I wandered down to the local, The Waterloo, and spent an hour or two talking to some of the riders, including Dean and Dale, who had arrived in the late evening only slightly daunted after riding 200k over the Pennines from County Durham (all stand, please). We walked back under a glorious sunset and before long I lay down for what I hoped would be five hours sleep before getting up at 5am to help with the breakfast. For once the conditions were perfect: I had my own room behind the kitchen, with my sleeping bag on a camp bed kindly provided by John. If there was any snoring in the main “dortoirs” I didn’t hear it and nobody slammed doors. I didn’t sleep for a second. Was it the beer? Or the adrenalin? Who knows? There was a real buzz before the départ. There were so many riders I knew and so many that I was seeing for the first time. We had entrants from Scotland, Cornwall, Cumbria, the South East. There were at least two tandems, a trike, a Moulton and Robert Webb’s beautiful Pashley, surely one of the only machines ever to have been constructed out of a single piece of lead. After all the efforts and anxieties it was gratifying to send over 120 riders off to ride what I knew to be a magnificent route and on such a beautiful morning. And Mike had about 40 entrants for his 100k companion event which would be off later in the day. For the first half of the event, John and I would man the legendary “Van of Delights”, John’s red camper, laden with cake. We would set up at two controls, at about 60 and 160k, respectively. We were joined in this by Sean Towneley (with his Van of de White). Under normal circumstances, Sean might well have ridden this, backwards, with his eyes shut and doing a crossword but — to our great advantage — he was injured a week or two earlier. We had not long been set up at Carsington Water, when the first group of riders arrived. We looked like being in for an interesting day because the field was spread over the whole control period, which must be unusual for such an early check. In fact, one poor rider, Les, had a saddle malfunction and had to abandon before Carsington – rotten luck when he had travelled so far, and been so helpful at the village hall. The spread of riders meant that we had to wait till the bitter end before we could set off to the next control. Then we ran into the only serious glitch of the operation: diversions and other delays (including a stop at the Anslow Hall, where John’s family (Elaine, Clare, Roy and John) and other helpers, including Alan Smith’s widow Marj and son Si, were doing a tremendous job,

…that Fairy Godmother’s coach of the isolated village – the mobile chip shop

especially considering that the riders on the 100k were also routed through here and had already arrived when we visited). We eventually parked the vans red and white on a grass triangle near Telford and repeated the Carsington Protocol. This included gentle musical persuasion to keep the control flowing in the right direction. Audaxers are a mixed bunch and while some shot off at the first few chords from my ukulele, others were on the phone for the men in white coats. You will be able to decide for yourselves if my sleepless night had been totally in vain if I give you a taste of the songs I wrote to while away the hours till dawn: To the tune of Stir It Up by Bob Marley Gear it up…………little darling Gear it up…………………… Gear it up…………little darling Gear it up…………………… This is a long, long ride But you have lots of time Ride with your mind on fun Forget your pride When all is said and done It’s just a ride Gear it up… etc.

To the tune of Take Me Home Country Roads by Bill and Taffy Danoff Rocky Road, take me home Try some fruit cake – or a scone Get some in yer, squashed banana Take me home Rocky Road

To the tune of He’ll Have To Go by Joe and Audrey Allison Get your toe-clips, and your Garmin, and your phone The cake’s been good but now you have to move along You’ve heard the man play on the uke-box soft and low But saddle up, the road is calling, you’ll have to go. You can’t stay stuffing your face all day, Just as if you were at home So go on, get out, just go away ‘Cos I vont to be alone.......

Occasionally it was necessary to deploy the harmonica. When that failed, running out of water did the trick. Sean, whose efforts were greatly appreciated (he’d left Colne near Burnley at dawn, to arrive for the start), set off for home while John and I headed off on a tour of most of the other controls. As we passed through Ironbridge I was again taken aback by just how small the famous bridge is. At Upton Magna, outside Shrewsbury, the control was being run by John Hamilton, who is one of the most experienced organisers in the business. His helpers included the stalwart John Clemens, who had ridden the route-check a few weeks before. I braced myself for the journey out to the turn at Llangollen with a bowl of excellent soup. On our way across the Marches, we took a direct route which crossed the 400 often enough for us to feel in touch with the riders as they popped up here and there. Llangollen was run as efficiently as you might expect by Danial Webb and his team, including Damian and especially John Jackson and Mike Roberts, two illustrious Macclesfield Wheelers, who had also been at Anslow in the morning. Danial doesn’t mess about: he not only threw us out of his kitchen, leaving us to fend for ourselves, but sent John straight off to the shop to get more beans. We were left resorting to the chip shop across the road (which was excellent). The highlight of the Llangollen visit had to be the chap in the chip shop queue who broke into an impromptu Irish dance as I regaled the staff with the harmonica. Next time they’ll be quicker. The sun was setting as we climbed back up the long incline out of the town. The cyclists we passed all seemed to be going well, refreshed after their stop. There is something mystical about a chain of red rear lights at night, something bizarre — like Eddy Merckx breaking through the cloud at the snow-strewn top of an Alpine climb. I suppose it’s to do with it being so far removed from the experience of most people, a kind of magic. Less impressed was the bad-tempered and murderous lorry driver who swing his huge artic

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RANDONNEE out onto our carriageway, lights blazing, in his frustration at having to wait to pass riders still on the descent. It is a narrow road but the riders were all in single file and with nowhere else to go. It was a really stupid manoeuvre and even the phlegmatic John raised an eyebrow as he was forced to veer out of the way. We headed on through the night to the final control at Alton. I’m never less than impressed by John’s knowledge of the countryside; it is evident in the routes he constructs. But sitting next to him as he weaves his way through the maze of narrow lanes, first in the twilight and then the starry, starry, night, is an eye-opener — which is handy if you’ve been awake for 40 hours. This is all done without a satnav or even a road atlas. It might well have been “turn left at the next badger”. I saw several lying in the verges and we just missed one as it lunged out of the undergrowth. They have a curious attitude to maintaining country lanes in these parts of Cheshire and Staffordshire. First they fertilise the surface with slurry, then they encourage the hedgerows to meet in the middle, so that the fermenting tarmac is protected from the elements. It was often like travelling along an ancient sunken track. And it rolled, too. I was beginning to feel sympathy for the riders, intead of merely resenting the fact that they were riding and I was not. This part of the run-in had switchbacks worthy of the nearby amusement park, though hopefully they would be less accident-prone. On reflection, it’s hard to see how you could plan a flat ride over this distance, except in East Anglia. We pulled into the Alton village hall just as the first few riders were leaving. The control was in

the capable hands of Denise and Tim Hughes, who’ve done such sterling work on Peak Audax rides and at Eskdalemuir on the LondonEdinburgh-London ride. I was a bit peckish again by this time, and an instant pre-prepared meal was put in front of me before I’d even reached for the harmonica. Staffordshire oatcakes, tomatoes and mushrooms went down without touching the sides before we headed off into the night again. Blinking like rabbits in the carpark, we saw Robert Webb’s Pashley on its elegant stand. Robert’s efforts deserve a special mention. When we’d been at the Upton Magna control, near Shrewsbury, Robert had decided to abandon because he was feeling out of condition. He is a vastly experienced rider, with Paris Brest Paris (and bar) and LEL to his credit, so he knew what he was doing. His intention had been to ride home to Worcester (50 or 60 miles?) and come back to base to collect his car the next day. So John and I were pretty surprised to recognise, even in the dark, his characteristic riding style, as we came up behind him on a rise towards the control at Alton. Presumably he had decided to change his arrangements and was going to ride all the way back to the start at Biggin for his car. This must mean that he had “abandoned” at getting on for 200k, then ridden a further 100k back to the finish. That is really responsible stuff: judging that you are not going to complete the whole thing, yet still having enough stamina to deal with the circumstances. Chapeau (a trilby, I think), Robert! Returning to base at Biggin, we were again beaten to it by the fastest finishers, who had got round in an impressive time. “Refreshed”,

they promptly set off to ride home to Sheffield, an additional night crossing of the Pennines. I decided to try for a few hours sleep and the next thing I knew it was 5am and the hall was full of enthusiastic riders telling fishermen’s tales. Not long after the official closing time of 10am, everyone had been accounted for and people were dragging their weary limbs back to car or campsite, while we got on with clearing the hall. It is astonishing that everything we used disppeared into either John or Mike’s van — and astonishing how much effort it takes to make that happen. Lots of riders pitched in to help before and after the ride, with special mentions for James Bradbury, Mike Lane and Les Hereward, who had suffered the broken saddle. I saw so many riders I knew but haven’t mentioned for fear of offending the unmentioned. The same is true of helpers at the controls, almost all of whom looked a lot more sprightly at their posts than I felt by the time I wished John and Mike farewell and rolled my bike out into the light of day. My journey home was the exact reverse of my journey out, except that it didn’t rain, and that I was shattered. The Rochdale canal was a bit more irritating on the way home because it was Sunday and the sunny weather meant the towpath was very busy. However, I’d succeeded in combining what I knew would be a great weekend with friends past and future with a fair amount of cycling on my own account. In short – a proper adventure!

Daylight DIY SR Series Using Mandatory Routes

Colin Gray

A follow up to ‘In Praise of Mandatory Routes’, published in Arrivée 133.

M

ark and I started off looking for suitable calendar events but couldn’t even find anything, except the odd 200k, that had appropriate start times or even fit in with my holidays. (Being retired my wife and I are often abroad for several weeks at a time.) So I set about planning 300, 400 and 600km rides, mostly based on previous audax routes, but with a few new sections to create interest. These were then submitted to Chris Smith for approval. Chris helpfully suggested that I ought to make them at least 1% over the required distance just in case the tracklogs produced by our Garmins did not match my planning software. In practice they were all within 0.1% of that submitted, but I won’t claim this will always be the case. Finally, just to test

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all our systems for riding and recording, and as a training opportunity, I submitted an additional GPX track for a 200 km ride.

200k

Our campaign started at the end of April. We headed south through Charnwood Forest, one of the most attractive areas of the East Midlands, before passing west of Leicester for lunch at Lutterworth. All day rain threatened and through Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire showers rained down everywhere except, thankfully, on us. Don’t think that Leicestershire is flat. From Lutterworth the route to the east of Leicester up to the Windmill Café at Wymondham had plenty of ups and downs so we clocked up over 2000 metres of climbing in 200km. It should have been an easy finish from Wymondham back home but there was a strong

and very cold headwind; good preparation for later.

400k

After holidaying in Majorca and cycling to and from the International Tandem Rally in The Netherlands I was reasonably prepared for this ride, planned to almost coincide with maximum daylight. To complete this within the appropriate time required a bit of juggling distances and start times. Day one, an easy roll out at 10:00 with 255km to ride. From my home in Nottingham the route headed north to pick up part of the Rosies to Wraggs audax through Gainsborough. The usual café stop here is the spit and sawdust ‘Rosies’ but it was closing as we arrived. The garden centre next door provided a good alternative, complete with a covered enclosure especially for cycles.

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RANDONNEE

Horkstow Bridge

From Gainsborough all the way to Market Rasen, which is pretty flat, there was virtually no traffic. Then a short section of LEL 2013 led to a hilly excursion through the Lincolnshire Wolds and a fine descent to Wragby. Mark was tempted by the thought of fish and chips but we settled for sandwiches from the Spar shop as it was pleasantly warm in the early evening sunshine. From Wragby it was a very flat run home skirting south of Lincoln and Newark. Much of this section is often exposed to the prevailing SW winds. We were fortunate; it was a lovely calm evening just perfect for riding and we were back by 20.45 in time for dinner and five and a half hours sleep in my own bed, although I am not sure my wife appreciated the early start the next day. Sunday was another pleasant day and with generally more climbing. A 4:45 start and again south into Charnwood Forest before passing north of Leicester using some of the very minor roads used by the Melton Classic. We arrived at the Windmill café at 08:50 and were pleasantly surprised to find it opened at 9am, their website having said 10. It didn’t take Mark long to Windsurfer on Grafham Water

consume a second breakfast. A finish at 11:45 was well within the time limit and an average speed, moving, of 24.8 km/hr was good preparation for the 600k scheduled for two weeks time.

600k

Mark arrived on Friday evening, settled into our spare bedroom and then ‘Carbo loaded’ for the following day’s ride with a couple of bottles of Hobgoblin. We were up at 03:45 and off just after 04:30 in full daylight. It was largely a familiar route passing east of Leicester and Rugby to Southam. With 108 km already in our legs a second breakfast was surely justified. The next leg was broadly eastwards through Towcester and Olney; attractive countryside and not exactly flat, especially as it approached Grafham Water. We sat in the lakeside café and watched the windsurfers having a great time. Not entirely good news for us — ­ the ride back to Nottingham would not be easy. In practice it was rarely head-on, especially on the first section through Oundle and only

really hard going in the last 30km. Apparently it had rained in Nottingham most of the day; we almost arrived back dry but experienced a very cold heavy shower with only 15km to go. We were home at 8:45. Over dinner we watched another stunning performance by Chris Froome in the Tour de France, hoping it would inspire us on the following day’s ride, before retiring for the night; well at least part of it. The wind had abated for an 04:45 start on Sunday. Once again we headed for Rosies Café, but by an entirely different route than used on the 400 k. My stomach was unsettled (not an unusual occurrence on a long ride) but Mark tucked in to a huge breakfast with his usual relish. The next section followed the River Trent, dead flat and frankly a bit tedious, before the hills arrived either side of lunch. I am not a fan of main roads so persuaded Mark to use the very rough bridle path that crosses Horkstowe Bridge rather than follow the A1077 into Barton upon Humber. To keep the lunch stop short the local Co-op right on our route was a good option, especially as there was a seat outside. The Windmill, Wymondham

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RANDONNEE

Mark climbs up onto the Lincolnshire wolds

The town toilets, right opposite the Co-op, were locked so it was a quick visit to the bushes 3 km later, (too much information?). Apart from a short section of relatively quiet main road there was virtually no traffic all the way home. As the route skirted Lincoln we called in to see my brother in Saxilby and his wife quickly produced a welcome cup of tea. Still very little wind and arrivée at 18:45.

300k

After riding to the Pyrenees with my wife, and riding up the Col de Toumalet, 300 k ought not to present to many problems. The weather forecast for Saturday was about the worst of the whole summer and I was tempted to try and persuade Mark to move our ride back a week. In practice it didn’t turn out anywhere near as bad as expected. Mark arrived in good time on the Friday evening, (he’s never, ever late!) and was soon ‘Carbo’ loading. I didn’t sleep much, if there’s one thing I dislike nearly as much as riding in the dark it’s riding in a wind. Because of the adverse forecast we moved our start time forward on the basis that it would be better to ride in the gloom of beckoning daylight rather than late into the night. We set off just after 05:00 and although

Arrivée and SR Series complete

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Past Fenny Spring Mill into Charnwood Forest

lights were necessary it was reasonably bright from the off. Heading out towards Ashby de la Zouch was probably the hardest section, with little shelter from a stiff head wind: it was soon raining heavily and it barely stopped until lunch. After skirting south of Ashby riding became far more manageable as virtually all the way to our most westerly point at Wem there were narrow lanes, mostly well sheltered with high hedges. Thank goodness for mandatory routes that make picking out all these lanes possible. Through Rosliston, far too early for either café to be open, and then after Barton Under Needwood a new section to the edge of Cannock Chase was followed by an absolutely gem of a route into Penkridge. We dripped all over the café floor as breakfast number two arrived. From here to Wem progress was often slowed by the state of the roads, poor surfaces, deep puddles and many places where care was needed as wet sand and soil produced a thick and slimy layer. In Wem the café I had researched on Google Maps failed to materialise. Fortunately we came across a transport café on an industrial estate 3km later. Now at least the wind, approaching gale force at times, was on our side, or half behind,

through Hodnet, Eccleshall, Stone and into Uttoxeter. Unfortunately we arrived at the garden centre just before Uttoxeter as the café was closing; at least Tesco provided an alternative, although we were somewhat apprehensive as there was a large group of bored teenagers next to where our bikes were locked. Apart from a narrow and busy 3 km into Repton (Probably the worst bit of the whole SR.) the journey back to my house was easy and uneventful. Arrivée and SR series completed at 20:15 with just 20 minutes of daylight left.

Thanks to Chris Smith for his advice and approving our routes and validating our tracklogs. Even though we carried two spare GPX devices we had no problems with the equipment. Planning the routes and validating our rides proved very easy.

Care needed on the way to Wem

www.aukweb.net


L-E-L 2017

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The London Edinburgh London team www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

photo : Ivo Miesen

During the early entry/guaranteed entry period, you will be able to pay us by bank transfer only. Unfortunately we cannot accept Paypal for early or guaranteed entries, as Paypal will not release enough of your payment in time for us to run the event successfully. If you are entering from outside the United Kingdom, then Transferwise (www. transferwise.com) will allow you to make an international bank transfer using your debit or credit card. If you want to pay by Paypal, we will release a limited number of entries by Paypal, at a price of £329, when we open to everyone on 20 January 2017. If you've any questions about this, contact us at 2017@londonedinburghlondon.com and we'll do our best to help. See you in London,

photo : Ivo Miesen

The entry fee for London Edinburgh London will be £319. This will include: n A fantastic route from London to Edinburgh and back n Route sheet, GPX and TCX tracks n Sign posting for nearly 25% ofthe route n Validation of your ride with Audax UK and Les Randonneurs Mondiaux n All food, plus hot and cold drinks at controls n Beds in dormitories n Hot showers (hopefully!) nTwo bag drops to selected controls n Moto crew assistance along the route in Scotland, and a lift back to the nearest control if you get completely stranded.

photo : Tim Wainwright

f you're a member of Audax UK, and have been since 25 March 2015, you hold a guaranteed place for next year's London Edinburgh London. If you're thinking about riding, we thought you'd appreciate some news about how you can get your place. We'll open for entries from Audax UK members and people on our guaranteed entry list on 6 January 2017. You'll then have until 20 January 2017 to claim your place before we open entry to everyone.

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OFFICIAL

Chair: Chris Crossland chair@audax.uk • 01422 832853 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF General Secretary: Graeme Provan secretary@audax.uk Marlborough House, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford CM1 1LN

Registrar: Les Hereward registrar@audax.uk 20 Webster Close, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0SF Finance Director: Paul Salmons fd@audax.uk 25 Bluewater Drive, Elborough, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 8PF

Accounts: Nigel Armstrong accounts@audax.uk Directors without Portfolio Chris Boulton 15 Adel Towers Close, Leeds LS16 8ES John Sabine 107 Victoria Way, London SE7 7NU

Membership Assistants – Renewals Peter Gawthorne Allan Taylor Findlay Watt

Membership Assistants – Enrolments Peter Davis Richard Jennings

MEMBERSHIP Membership Secretary: Mike Wigley membership@audax.uk Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX

CALENDAR EVENTS, PERMANENTS & SOCIAL Calendar Events Secretary: Martin Foley events@audax.uk 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU Regional Events Delegates Scotland & N England: Nigel Hall SE England: Pat Hurt Midlands & E England: Geoffrey Cleaver SW England & Wales: Ian Hennessey Permanent Events Secretary John Ward perms@audax.uk • 01590 671205 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ DIY Regional Representatives Midlands, N & Mid Wales: Chris Smith NE England: Joe Applegarth NW England: Julian Dyson Scotland: Martin Foley SE England: Paul Stewart SW England & S Wales: Tony Hull Yorkshire & East: Andy Clarkson

Audax Altitude Award (AAA): Steve Snook steve.snook000@gmail.com 6 Briggland Court, Wilsden, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD15 0HL Ordre des Cols Durs (OCD): Rod Dalitz rod.dalitz@me.com 136 Muir Wood Road, Edinburgh EH14 5HF RRTY Award Secretary: Caroline Fenton rrty@audax.uk Fixed Wheel Challenge (FWC) & Super Fixed Wheel: Richard Phipps 77 West Farm Avenue, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2JZ Event Services Director & Recorder: Peter Lewis services@audax.uk • 07592 018947 82 Pine Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh SO53 1JT

LRM/ACP Correspondent: Chris Crossland Brevet Card Production Secretary: Oliver Iles brevetcards@audax.uk 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG Validation Secretaries: Susan Gatehouse & Keith Harrison validations@audax.uk 11 Heather Avenue, Hellesdon, Norwich NR6 6LU Annual Awards Secretary: Mike Lane mike.lane@blueyonder.co.uk 8 Ford Lane, Emersons Green, Bristol BS16 7DD Reunion Organiser: Paul Rainbow paul@audaxclubbristol.co.uk 49 Quarrington Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 9PJ

Systems Manager (aukweb.net): Francis Cooke francis@aukadia.net • 0161 4499309 33 Hawk Green Road, Marple SK6 7HR

Assistants Pete Coates Matt Haigh Terry Kay

SYSTEMS IT Manager: Richard Jennings it@audax.uk

COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLICATIONS Communications Director: Ged Lennox gedlennox@me.com Spring Cottage, Harley Wood, Nailsworth Gloucestershire GL6 0LB AUK Forum (forum.audax.uk): Martin Foley forum@audax.uk AUK Forum Assistants Peter Lewis, Les Hereward (Moderators)

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Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

Arrivée Editors Winter: Sheila Simpson sheila@aukadia.net • 0161 449 9309 33 Hawk Green Road, Hawk Green, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7HR Spring: Tim Wainwright twain@blueyonder.co.uk • 020 8657 8179 4a Brambledown Road, South Croydon CR2 0BL

Summer: David Kenning dave@widdersbel.co.uk • 07734 815133 Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ Autumn: Peter Moir peter@moir.co.uk • 01993 704913 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7YB

www.aukweb.net


www.aukweb.net

ArrivĂŠe Autumn 2016 No. 134

53


OFFICIAL

SECRETARY'S REPORT

Just a Sec…

‘Another year over and a new one just begun…’ …I hope you had/have fun.

T

he AUK year ended on 31st October and it has been another bumper year with 21,487 rides validated to date. It was also the busiest ever post-PBP year. Various delegates and board members are currently involved in a flurry of end of season activity. When that process is complete, we will have a complete picture of the season and this will form the basis for the various annual reports that will be published prior to the AGM. By the time you read this, the annual Reunion will be about to take place in Taunton. I am certain that Audax Club Bristol will live up to the high expectations that I have of them and they deserve a huge thank you for all the hard work they are putting into the event.

AGM

The next official event is our AGM. This has been moved to a quieter time of the season in terms of rides and will take place on the 11th February in Birmingham. The formal notice is set out [opposite] and contains all the formal details. One of the other reasons for moving the AGM was to allow it to become a proper forum for considering the future of our association away from the distractions of the Reunion. A dedicated section of the forum has been set up for AGM matters and I hope as draft resolutions are received that they will be reviewed and debated by as many members as possible. The Reunion itself will feature a session led by the board. The session will include updates on strategy, finance and the IT project as well as chance to ask questions of various board members and to debate potential items for consideration at the AGM. If you have anything you would like to see included in that session

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Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

or a question you would like to ask then let me have the details. Elections for the following posts will take place at the AGM: •• General Secretary •• Events Services Director •• Permanent Events Secretary •• Non-Executive Directors x 2 •• IT Director – new post, see below. The Events Services Director and the Permanent Events Secretary have indicated a willingness to continue in post. My own post is up for re-election as I was appointed by the board and that decision needs to be ratified by the members. Details of the nomination process are set out with the AGM Notice and are also available on the website and forum.

Board meeting

I attended our latest board meeting on the 12th October. You can find the minutes and reports in the Official section of the website. One of the highlights of the meeting was the attendance of Danial Webb, the organiser of LEL, of which more below. We also looked at Health & Safety and adopted a new policy which draws together the various components that make up our approach to Health and Safety. This will now form part of an annual end of season review when we can look back at the incident reports generated by organisers and see if any trends or issues can be identified. Richard Jennings, our current IT manager, reported that good progress was being made on most elements of the project to replace our website and IT infrastructure but that the scheme had also reached something of a crossroads. As a result, Richard has decided to

step aside to allow someone else to take the project forward. You will find an advert for the new post of IT Director elsewhere in this issue.

LEL

Danial Webb provided the board with a full report on the planning and preparation associated with LEL 2017. It is a staggering undertaking with many moving parts but with Danial’s experience and input from his close knit team, it looks as if it is very much, to use Danial’s phrase, “on track”. LEL is not only a flagship event for AUK with a global profile, it is also an opportunity for our sport to develop itself in other ways. An event of this scale means that huge amounts of thought and effort go into all sorts of areas from food and nutrition right through to control management. This can only be to the benefit of our sport generally as that knowledge trickles down into other events. To continue the theme I started with and at the risk of being the first person to do so, I take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas and good riding for the coming year.

Graeme Provan Secretary, Audax UK

www.aukweb.net


AGM

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - AUDAX UNITED KINGDOM LONG DISTANCE CYCLISTS’ ASSOCIATION (“Audax UK”) Notice is given that the Annual General Meeting of Audax UK will be held on Saturday 11 February 2017, at 12.00pm at Room 101, The Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2ND. Graeme Provan General Secretary secretary@audax.uk Resolutions should be submitted by members acting as proposer and seconder by post or email to the General Secretary to arrive no later than the 15th December 2016. The resolution may include a statement of no more than 1000 words, excluding details of any changes to AUK Articles and Regulations. The draft resolutions will then be available at www.aukweb.net for a period of not less than 21 days for review. During this period members may submit amendments to resolutions in the same manner as resolutions. Proposers of resolutions and/or amendments may similarly withdraw unamended resolutions and/or amendments, or otherwise combine, partition or otherwise redraft them so long as they continue to address the resolution’s original subject Elections for the following posts will take place at the AGM: General Secretary Events Services Director Permanent Events Secretary Non-Executive Directors (2) IT Director – new post Nominations with details of the members proposing and seconding the nomination and the consent of the nominated person to serve together with a statement of that person’s relevant abilities or experience of no more than 1000 words should be sent by post or email to the General Secretary to be received no later than the 12th January 2017. An agenda including the final resolutions and nominations and annual reports and accounts will be published on the website not later than the 19th January 2017. All members are very welcome to attend the meeting and tea and coffee will be provided. Alternatively, any member may appoint a proxy to attend, speak and vote in his or her place. Proxy voting will go live on the 19th January. If you or your proxy wishes to attend the meeting, I would be grateful if you could let me know in good time so that I can ensure adequate space at the venue as well as adequate supplies of refreshments. It is important that all members ensure that their email details on www.aukweb.net are accurate. Details of proxy voting will be sent to all members with email addresses. The email will be sent from elections@mi-voice.com. You may wish to save the email address to your contacts to avoid the email ending up in your junk folder. Mi-voice is the Electoral Services Company who will manage the process on our behalf. Arrangements for those who need to receive the AGM papers and notices by post were published in the last issue of Arrivée and the form is set out again below.

To: Audax UK Registrar, 20 Webster Close, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0SF I would like to register for printed AGM materials. Signed: ____________________________________________________________________ Name: ____________________________________________________________________ AUK Membership No: ________________________ Date: ____________________________

www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

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AUK CALENDAR

Riders on the National 400, photo Tim Decker

Calendar key

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

100 05 Nov Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 108km £5.00 L P R T M 100 12-28kph Updated Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP 200 05 Nov Cholsey, E of Didcot 07:30 Sat BR 212km 1900m [1943m] £6.00 L P R T M 15-30kph Thames Valley Audax 01491 651 284 audaxphil@btinternet.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL

To the Races

200 06 Nov Cheadle, Stockport 08:00 Sun BR 210km 800m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net

Eureka!

160 06 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Cheshire Safari 08:30 Sun BP 570m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ 100 06 Nov Merthyr Tydfil Dic Penderyn 09:00 Sun BP 1900m AAA2 £5.00 P R T 12-30kph Merthyr CC 01685 373 758 adrianmcd2010@talktalk.net ROA 3000 Adrian McDonald, 2 Brunswick St Merthyr Tydfil Mid Glam CF47 8SB 200 06 Nov Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth 200 08:00 Sun BR 210km 2006m £8.50 F P T 15-30kph ABAudax anton.brown@btconnect.com

Upper Thames

100 06 Nov Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth 100 09:00 Sun BP 103km 1350m £8.50 F P T 15-30kph ABAudax anton.brown@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 3RT

200 05 Nov Coryton, NW Cardiff Transporter 200 07:00 Sat BR 202km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 evansrichardd@googlemail.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW

100 12 Nov Catherington, near Portsmouth Le Bois Ocaud d'Automne 100 09:00 Sat BP 106km 1600m AAA1.5 £5.00 F L P R T 14.3-30kph Hantspol CC jondse@ntlworld.com Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road Waterlooville Hampshire PO8 0HS

200 05 Nov Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul 08:00 Sat BR 2000m £8.00 G, P,R,T 15-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

100 26 Nov Cranbrook, Exeter Breakfast in Bampton 09:00 Sat BP £4.50 T NM 12-20kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane Cranbrook Devon EX5 7AP

200 05 Nov Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's Cymraeg Cyrch 07:30 Sat BR 209km 2200m £6.00 c p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ

100 27 Nov Carlton Colville, nr Lowestoft, Suffolk The Waveney Wander 09:00 Sun BP £5.00 LPRT 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road Oulton Broad Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 9NT

100 05 Nov Witham 10:00 Sat BP 107km £4.00 X M T G 12-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close Witham Essex CM8 2XF

200 03 Dec Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2SE The South of Bucks Winter Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 207km 1100m [1290m] £5.00 YH A1 G L P T S X (100) 15-30kph Terry Lister lister4cycling@btinternet.com Terry Lister, 4 Abbey Walk Great Missenden Bucks HP16 0AY

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Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

Essex 3 R's

www.aukweb.net


AUK CALENDAR 200 03 Dec Coryton, NW Cardiff Monmouthshire Meander 07:30 Sat BR 204km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-25kph Cardiff Byways tonypember@gmail.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 200 03 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Tinsel and Lanes 08:00 Sat BR 211km 2060m £9 P R T 60 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com ROA 10000 Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth Staffordshire B78 1BY 100 03 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Flowers to Furnace 09:00 Sat BP 104km 940m £7.00 P R T 50 12-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com ROA 10000 Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY 200 03 Dec Tewkesbury Kings, Castles, Priests & Churches. 07:30 Sat BR 202km 2550m AAA1.75 [1800m] £6.00 f l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 100 03 Dec Witham, Essex The Stansted Airport Express 10:00 Sat BP £4.00 X M T 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 50 04 Dec Carharrack, Cornwall Ed's Mince Pie & Mulled Wine 50 10:00 Sun BP £4.00 F L P R T (85) 10-25kph Audax Kernow 01326 373421 angells@talktalk.net Eddie Angell, 14 Belhay Penryn Cornwall TR10 8DF 200 18 Dec Bredbury, Stockport 08:30 Sun BR 202km 700m £5.00 P R T 60 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Farm Millcroft Lane Delph OL3 5UX

Winter Solstice

200 18 Dec Great Bromley, nr Colchester Santa Special 08:00 Sun BR 204km 1142m £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph CTC Suffolk 07922772001 Andy Terry, 35 Colchester Road Lawford Manningtree Essex CO11 2BA 100 07 Jan Bradwell, nr Hope, Peak District Hopey New Year 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1750m AAA1.75 £6.00 YH C P R T 100 10-30kph David Darricott 01433 621 531 ddarricott@aol.com David Darricott, 9 Gore Lane Bradwell Hope Valley Derbyshire S33 9HT 200 07 Jan Oxford The Poor Student 08:00 Sat BR 207km 1800m £6.00 YH P X 15-30kph Updated Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL 100 08 Jan Kings Worthy, Winchester 09:30 Sun BP 108km 1235m £6.00 L F P R T M 140 14-28kph Winchester CTC coles.sue@gmail.com ROA 5000 Sue Coles, 7 Ruffield Close Winchester SO22 5JL

Watership Down

100 08 Jan York, Railway Station Goodbye Christmas Yorkshire Pudding 10:00 Sun BP [71m] £4.00 P R T (100) 15-30kph VC 167 les.bauchop@gmail.com Les Bauchop, 2a Westbourne Grove Pickering North Yorkshire YO18 8AW 100 14 Jan Swaffham Community Centre, Norfolk New Year QE2 09:30 Sat BP 107km £6.50 G L M P R T 15-30kph CC Breckland 01760722800 iceniaudax@gmail.com Jonathan Reed, Iceni Partnership Community Centre Campingland Swaffham PE37 7RB 54 14 Jan Swaffham Community Centre, Norfolk Swaffham Xenon 10:00 Sat BP £6.50 G L M P R T 10-30kph CC Breckland 01760722800 iceniaudax@gmail.com Jonathan Reed, Swaffham Community Centre The Campingland Swaffham Community Centre The Campingland PE37 7RD

200 22 Jan 08:00 Sun

Cheadle, Stockport BR 201km 800m £7.00 P R T 80 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC

A Mere Two Hundred

150 22 Jan Cheadle, Stockport A Mere Century 08:30 Sun BP 155km 600m £6.00 P R T 60 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC David Colley, 5 Huncoat Avenue Heaton Chapel Stockport SK4 5HN 100 28 Jan Aztec West, Bristol Jack and Grace Cotton Memorial 100km 09:00 Sat BP 104km £7.00 P R T 12.5-30kph Audax Club Bristol info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road Horfield Bristol Avon BS7 9PJ 100 28 Jan Hailsham Hills and Mills 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1950m AAA2 £6.00 R F P 85 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB 150 29 Jan 08:00 Sun

Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm Down 150 BP 155km [650m] £5.00 L F P R T 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk

100 29 Jan Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm-up 100 09:00 Sun BP 108km 650m £5.00 L F P R T 14-25kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 5000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane Cirencester GL7 1RL 200 04 Feb Alfreton Straight on at Rosie's 08:00 Sat BR 1190m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP 100 04 Feb Witham Knights Templar Compasses and Cross 10:00 Sat BP 105km 800m [795m] £4.00 X G T P 12-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close Witham Essex CM8 2XF 100 11 Feb Bamford, Derbyshire Occasionally Hilly 09:00 Sat BP 108km 2070m AAA2 £6.00 P, R, T, G 12.5-30kph Common Lane Occasionals owright@mac.com ROA 2000 Oliver Wright, Townhead Farm 345 Baslow Road Sheffield South Yorkshire S17 4AD 100 11 Feb Dial Post, West Sussex Worthing Winter Warmer 09:00 Sat BP 105km £5.00 FPRT 15-30kph Mick Irons 01903 240 280 Mick Irons, 36 Phrosso Road Worthing West Sussex BN11 5SL 100 12 Feb Chippenham Flapjack 09:00 Sun BP 102km £7.00 F P R T M 150 15-24kph Chip. & Dist. Whs. 01225 708449 Eric Fletcher, 174 Littleworth Lane Whitley Melksham Wiltshire SN12 8RE 100 12 Feb Leicester Rutland and Beyond 08:30 Sun BP 102km 1290m £4.00 F L P R S T 100 12-30kph Leic. Forest CC kimbo44@hotmail.com ROA 2000 Kim Suffolk, 73 Colby Road Thurmaston Leicester LE4 8LG 200 18 Feb Cardiff Gate Malmesbury Mash 07:00 Sat BRM 1000m £3.00 L P R T 15-30kph CTC Cymru oldfield.tout@btinternet.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach Monmouthshire NP16 6RT 200 18 Feb Rochdale 08:00 Sat BRM 2100m £6.00 R T 15-30kph West Pennine RC

North-West Passage

120 18 Feb Rochdale mini-North-West Passage 09:00 Sat BP 1450m £6.00 r t 15-30kph West Pennine RC ROA 5000 Noel Healey, 95 Shore Mount Littleborough Lancs OL15 8EW

200 21 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 tonypember@gmail.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB

120 25 Feb Hailsham Mad Jack's - John Seviour Memorial 09:00 Sat BP 125km 2450m AAA2.5 £6.00 R F P 100 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB

200 21 Jan Chalfont St Peter The Willy Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 209km £7.00 L P R T M 75 G 15-30kph Willesden CC paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens Chiswick London W4 3TN

120 25 Feb Whitlenge, Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Sunrise Express 08:30 Sat BP 121km £8.00 P R T F 130 15-30kph Beacon Roads Cycling Clu 01562 731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk

100 21 Jan Kelvedon, Essex The Kelvedon Oyster 10:00 Sat BP 109km £5.00 X M T G 12-30kph Updated Audax Club Mid-Essex Graeme Provan, 1 Firs Road West Mersea Colchester CO5 8JS

120 25 Feb Whitlenge, Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Snowdrop Express 09:00 Sat BP 921m £8.00 P R T F 130 15-30kph Beacon Roads Cycling Clu 01562 731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW

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AUK CALENDAR 200 26 Feb Cheadle, Stockport 08:00 Sun BR 201km 750m £7.00 P, R, T 15-30kph North Cheshire Clarion

Newport

150 26 Feb Cheadle, Stockport 08:30 Sun BP 153km 450m £6.50 P, R, T 15-30kph North Cheshire Clarion Neil Shand, 12 Chapel Close Comberbach Northwich CW9 6BA

Radway

100 26 Feb Corscombe, near Beaminster The Primrose Path 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1955m AAA2 £7.00 F L NM P T 55 16/2 12.5-25kph Arthur Vince arthur.vince@btinternet.com Arthur Vince, 3 Back Lane East Coker Yeovil BA22 9JN 100 26 Feb Old Town Hall, Musselburgh Musselburgh RCC Tour of East Lothian 10:00 Sun BP 106km £10.00 L P R T NM 12.5-30kph Musselburgh RCC Alistair Mackintosh, 5 Durham Road South Edinburgh EH15 3PD 200 04 Mar Churchend,Dunmow, Essex The Horsepower 200 07:30 Sat BRM £9.00 X A[1] C L P R T G M 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com 100 04 Mar Churchend,Dunmow, Essex The Horsepower 100km 09:00 Sat BP 102km £9.00 X A[1] C L P R T G M 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 200 05 Mar Dalmeny Forth and Tay 08:00 Sun BR 208km 2500m £10.00 F G L P R T (100) 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 100 11 Mar Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1170m [1270m] £5.00 L P R T 100 12-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP 200 11 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading 07:30 Sat BR 207km 1763m £ 15-30kph Reading CTC 100 11 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading 09:00 Sat BP 895m £ 15-30kph Reading CTC Mick Simmons,

Three Fields

The Kennet Valley Run mes84uk@gmail.com The Kennet Valley 100 mes84uk@gmail.com

100 12 Mar Seaham Seaham Sircular 09:00 Sun BP 1700m AAA1.75 £5.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Dave Sharpe cycle349@gmail.com Dave Sharpe, 3 Elizabeth Street Seaham County Durham SR7 7TP 200 12 Mar Winsford, Cheshire Scouting Mam Tor 08:00 Sun BR 207km 2570m AAA2.25 [2150m] £7.75 P R T 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC pjbscott@sky.com 160 12 Mar Winsford, Cheshire 08:30 Sun BP 167km 2370m AAA2.25 [2150m] £7.75 P R T 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC pjbscott@sky.com Phil Scott, 59 Hawkshead Way Winsford Cheshire CW7 2SY

Edale Run

200 18 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Cheltenham New Flyer 08:00 Sat BRM £6 LPRT 15-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA

200 18 Mar Selkirk Scottish Borders Randonnee 08:00 Sat BR 204km 2168m £10.00 F G P R T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01750 20838 Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace Selkirk TD7 4BB 200 19 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 shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane Cranbrook EX5 7AP 100 19 Mar Exeter Mad March Exeter Excursion 09:00 Sun BP £6.00 YH F P R T 12-25kph Exeter Whs 07443 471140 shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane Cranbrook Devon EX5 7AP 200 19 Mar Golden Green,Tonbridge 08:00 Sun BRM 203km 1505m [1425m] £8.00 F L P R T (120) 15-30kph Updated San Fairy Ann CC manofkentaudax@gmail.com David Winslade, 3 Albany Close Tonbridge Kent TN9 2EY

Man of Kent 200

200 25 Mar Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington 08:00 Sat BR 1480m £5.00 X P R T 14.3-30kph VC 167 01325 374 112 nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk

Yorkshire Gallop

100 25 Mar Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington 10:00 Sat BP 572m £5.00 X L P R T 12-25kph VC 167 01325 374 112 nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft Aldbrough St John Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD

Ripon Canter

200 25 Mar Alfreton Roses to Wrags 08:00 Sat BR 212km 1391m £6.00 F P R T 150 15-30kph Alfreton CTC oggy.dude@gmail.com Stephen Ogden, The Firs 170 Nuncargate Road Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 9EA 200 26 Mar Poynton, S of Stockport 08:00 Sun BR £6.00 F P 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC daz@delph45.fsnet.co.uk Darryl Nolan, 5 Grasmere Road Royton Oldham OL2 6SR

Chirk

200 01 Apr Ballachulish Port Navigation 07:15 Sat BR 2420m £12.50 C F G P 14.3-30kph Edinburgh RC graemewyllie05@gmail.com Graeme Wyllie, 16 Corstorphine House Avenue Edinburgh EH12 7AD 200 02 Apr Clitheroe, Lancashire Delightful Dales 200 07:30 Sun BRM 205km 3300m AAA3.25 [3600m] £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 02 Apr Greenwich 07:30 Sun BRM 202km 3200m AAA3.25 £8.00 F G R (31/03) 15-28kph Change of Date Audax Club Hackney ivan.cornell@gmail.com Ivan Cornell, 13 Maidenstone Hill London SE10 8SY

The Shark

200 02 Apr 08:00 Sun

Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Ball Buster BRM 214km 2000m £7.00 F L P R T NM 15-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk

110 02 Apr 10:30 Sun

Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Blast BP 116km £7.00 F L P R T NM 12.5-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk

110 02 Apr Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Bash 09:30 Sun BP 116km 1100m £7.00 F L P R T NM 12.5-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road Horfield Bristol Avon BS7 9PJ

100 18 Mar Copdock, Nr. Ipswich The Copdock Circuit - Spring in South Suffolk 09:00 Sat BP £6.50 L P R T M 12-30kph Suffolk CTC the.kells@talk21.com Dennis Kell, 9 Pheasant Rise Copdock Ipswich Suffolk IP8 3LF

100 02 Apr North Petherton, S of Bridgwater Dunkery Dash 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1600m AAA1.5 £8.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Bridgwater CC Keith Bridges, 19 Westfield Road Burnham On Sea Somerset TA8 2AW

200 18 Mar Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Pork Pie 08:00 Sat BR 214km 1900m [1700m] £7.00 YH A C G L P R T S 15-30kph Cambridge Audax nick@camaudax.uk

300 08 Apr Poole hard boiled 300 02:00 Sat BRM 4400m AAA4.5 £10.00 L M (25/3) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT

100 18 Mar Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Spring Dash 09:00 Sat BP 850m £7.00 YH A C G L P R T S 12.5-30kph Cambridge Audax nick@camaudax.uk Nick Wilkinson, 42 Dodford Lane Girton Cambridge CB3 0QE 100 18 Mar Market Bosworth, Sports Club 1485 Tri Club Audax 09:00 Sat BP £8.00 t. s. r. nm. p. c. g.175 15-30kph 1485 Tri Club Steven Robinson, 7 Tudor Close Market Bosworth Leicestershire CV13 0NA

58

Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

300 08 Apr Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury 06:00 Sat BRM 307km 4950m AAA5 £10.00 C F G L P R T (120) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF 110 09 Apr 09:00 Sun

Yr Elenydd

Mytholmroyd Spring into the Dales BP 115km 2350m AAA2.25 £4.50 L P R T YH 12-24kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

www.aukweb.net


AUK CALENDAR 57 09 Apr Mytholmroyd Leap into the Aire 10:00 Sun BP 1325m AAA1.25 £4.00 L P R T YH 8-20kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

110 22 Apr Reepham, nr Lincoln Lincoln Imp 09:30 Sat BP 112km 200m £5.00 G L P R T 10-30kph CTC Lincolnshire andy.town@ntlworld.com Andrew Townhill, 10 Larkin Avenue Cherry Willingham Lincoln Lincolnshire LN3 4AY

200 09 Apr Wareham 07:45 Sun BRM 207km 2850m AAA2.75 £12.00 C L F R P T M 1/4 15-30kph Wessex CTC 01305 263 272 pete_loakes@yahoo.com ROA 5000 Peter Loakes, 1 Church Cottage West Stafford Dorchester DT2 8AB

Dorset Coast

200 23 Apr Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland Chevy Chase 08:00 Sun BRM 201km 2465m AAA3 [3000m] £12.00 C F G L P R T (150) 15-30kph Change of Date Tyneside Vagabonds aidan@northern-audax.org.uk Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

400 14 Apr Anywhere, to York Easter Fleches to York ::::: Fri BRM £15.00 15-30kph Audax UK pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

400 29 Apr Chalfont St Peter, Bucks London Wales London 06:00 Sat BRM 407km 3500m £23.00 F, G, L, NM, P, R, T 15-30kph Updated Willesden CC lfitzpatrick01@gmail.com Liam Fitzpatrick, 13 Heron Close Rickmansworth Hertfordshire WD3 1NF

200 14 Apr Anywhere, to York ::::: Fri BP 201km £12.00 15-30kph Audax UK martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU

Easter Trail

200 29 Apr Honiton Valley of the Rocks 200 08:00 Sat BRM 205km 3900m AAA4 £7.00 GL P R T 40 15-30kph Exeter Whs ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

300 15 Apr Cirencester Heart of England 300 06:00 Sat BR 307km 2800m £7.00 A(2) L P R T 100 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 5000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane Cirencester Glos GL7 1RL

300 29 Apr Musselburgh Merse and Moors 06:00 Sat BRM 4200m AAA4.25 £10.00 X P L R (50) 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU

200 16 Apr 08:00 Sun

200 01 May Ruislip, London 08:15 Mon BR 2037m [650m] £9.00 G P R T 15-30kph Updated Westerley CC

Congleton, Cheshire BR 207km 2130m £6.00 P R T 15-30kph Congleton CC stevedawson131@gmail.com

Ironbridge 207

Chiltern Chiltern Bang Bang

130 16 Apr Congleton, Cheshire Hawkstone 133 08:30 Sun BP 133km £5.00 P R T 15-30kph Congleton CC stevedawson131@gmail.com Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road Sandbach Cheshire CW11 3HB

100 01 May Ruislip, London Chiltern Roalds, Take Me Home 08:45 Mon BP 1231m £9.00 G P R T 15-30kph Westerley CC 07941175577 Dave Morrison, 145 Cornwall Road Ruislip Middx HA4 6AH

160 16 Apr Honiton Combwich Century 08:30 Sun BP 169km 2470m AAA2.5 £7.00 GLPRT 14-30kph Exeter Whs ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

300 06 May Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland The Mosstrooper 06:00 Sat BRM 3900m AAA3.5 [3600m] £9.00 C F G L P R T (100) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds aidan@northern-audax.org.uk Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

400 21 Apr Coryton, NW Cardiff 22:00 Fri BRM £10.00 X 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC Robyn Thomas, 44 Cosmeston Street Cardiff CF24 4LR

Buckingham Blinder

300 06 May Manningtree, Colchester Green & Yellow Fields 00:01 Sat BRM 305km 1500m £4.00 X M P C 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA

300 22 Apr Alfreton Everybody Rides to Skeggy! 06:00 Sat BR 302km 1141m £7.00 L R P T X 100 15-30kph Updated Alfreton CTC nigel.randell8664@gmail.com Nigel Randell, 15 Hammer Leys South Normanton Derbyshire DE55 3AX

400 06 May Preston, Lancashire Heartbeat 400 06:00 Sat BRM 409km 5160m AAA5 [4000m] £7.50 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

200 22 Apr 08:00 Sat

Eureka Cafe, Wirral BR 215km £6.50 R L P T 70 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CT

130 22 Apr 08:30 Sat

Eureka Cafe, Wirral BP 135km 500m £6.50 L P R T 70 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com

160 07 May Coppice House, Crewe Tough Stuff 08:00 Sun BP 161km 1765m [502m] £14.00 L P R T NM (150) 15-30kph Up and Under Cycling Clu admin@upandundergroup.com Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA

Eureka Excursion dmanu@outlook.com Tea in Prospect

68 22 Apr Eureka Cafe, Wirral Two Mills Twirl 09:00 Sat BP £6.50 R L P T 50 10-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 200 22 Apr 07:00 Sat

Leominster BR 210km 3750m AAA3.75 £6.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Hereford Wheelers cambrianaudax@gmail.com

The Cambrian

140 22 Apr 08:00 Sat

Leominster The Cambrian - Minor BP 148km 2250m AAA2.25 £6.00 L P R T 12.5-30kph Hereford & Dist. Whs cambrianaudax@gmail.com

84 22 Apr Leominster The Cambrian - Welsh Marches 09:00 Sat BP 920m £6.00 L P R T 10-22.5kph Hereford & Dist. Whs cambrianaudax@gmail.com Daryl Hayter, Weir View Breinton Common Breinton Hereford Herefordshire HR4 7PR 300 22 Apr Meopham Oasts and Coasts 300Km 06:00 Sat BRM 3300m AAA1.75 [1650m] £8.00 L P T R 15-30kph Tom Jackson 01474 815 213 tom56jackson@gmail.com ROA 5000 Tom Jackson, 19 Denesway Meopham Kent DA13 0EA 300 22 Apr Poynton, S of Stockport Plains 23:00 Sat BR 310km 1600m £5.00 P X 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ

52 07 May Coppice House, Crewe Foundation Ride 09:30 Sun BP 292m [189m] £14.00 L P R T NM (100) 10-25kph Up & Under Cycling Club admin@upandundergroup.com Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA 100 07 May Coppice House, Crewe Three Counties 08:30 Sun BP 109km 828m £14.00 L P R T NM (100) 12-30kph Up & Under Cycling Club admin@upandundergroup.com Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA 400 07 May Poole 14:00 Sun BRM 5900m AAA6 £10.00 L M (15/4) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT

Porkers 400

600 13 May Chepstow Bryan Chapman Memorial (Classic) 06:00 Sat BRM 7500m AAA7.5 £37.50 BD C F L P R S T Z 15-30kph CTC Cymru oldfield.tout@btinternet.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach Monmouthshire NP16 6RT 300 13 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Westmorland Spartans 07:00 Sat BRM 4000m AAA4 £7.00 YH A(2) L P R T S 15-30kph Lakes Velo paul@revells.com 200 13 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Cumbrian 200 08:00 Sat BRM 203km 3900m AAA4 £7.00 YH A(2) L P R T S 15-30kph Lakes Velo paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow Ulverston Cumbria LA12 8QL

www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

59


AUK CALENDAR 400 20 May Kirkley, Ponteland 09:30 Sat BRM 3711m [4020m] £9.50 C F G L P R T Z(50) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds aidan@northern-audax.org.uk Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

The Hot Trod

400 16 Jun Clayhidon, near Taunton Avalon Sunrise 400 22:30 Fri BRM 407km 3300m £17.00 flprtc 15-30kph Exeter Whs Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge Ashill Road Uffculme Devon EX15 3DP

160 20 May Meriden, Warwickshire Cotswold Challenge 08:00 Sat BP 1200m £8.00 C G P R T NM 15-30kph Jon Porteous audax2017@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk

600 17 Jun Leominster Take Ewe to the Severn, Seas & Wye (*) 06:00 Sat BR 6800m AAA6.75 [6700m] £10.00 F P T (50) 14.3-30kph Updated Pat Hurt iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL

100 20 May Meriden, Warwickshire Warwickshire Wanderer 09:00 Sat BP 105km 700m £8.00 C G P R T NM 15-30kph Jon Porteous audax2017@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk 50 20 May Meriden, Warwickshire Meriden Meander 10:00 Sat BP 540m [546m] £8.00 A C G NM P R T 15-30kph Jon Porteous audax2017@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner Springhill Gardens Webheath Redditch Worcs B97 5SY 200 20 May Willington Hall, E of Chester Tour of the Berwyns 08:00 Sat BR 210km 3100m AAA3 £6.00 L P R T 75 (17/05) 15-30kph Chester & North WalesCTC dmanu@outlook.com 130 20 May Willington Hall, nr Chester Panorama Prospect 08:30 Sat BP 136km 1150m [500m] £6.00 L P R T 75 (17/05) 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 100 21 May Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire Between the Parks 09:00 Sun BP 500m £6.00 G L P R T (75) (10/5) 15-30kph Southampton & Romsey CTC rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk 200 21 May Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire Grand National Park2Park 08:00 Sun BR 2400m £8.50 F G L P R T (150) (10/5) 15-30kph Southampton CTC rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close Chandler's Ford Eastleigh Hampshire SO53 2AB 300 27 May Honiton 06:00 Sat BRM 3400m £8.00 GLPRT 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

Old Roads 300

400 27 May Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire 05:30 Sat BR 407km 6400m AAA6.5 £8.00 A(2) L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

The Old 240

600 17 Jun 06:00 Sat

Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The 3 Coasts 600 BRM 607km 5611m AAA1.75 [1631m] £10.00 A(3) L P R S T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

600 17 Jun 06:00 Sat

Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The East & West Coasts 600 BRM 605km 4380m [5380m] £10.00 A(3) L P R S T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

200 18 Jun Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The Good Companions 08:30 Sun BRM 2697m AAA1.75 [1631m] £5.00 A(2) L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF 400 23 Jun 06:00 Fri

Anywhere, to York BR £15.00 15-30kph Audax UK

Summer Arrow to York pedaller1@sky.com

200 23 Jun Anywhere, to York Summer Dart to York ::::: Fri BR 210km £5.00 15-30kph Audax UK pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 24 Jun 08:00 Sat

Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire Hungerford Hurrah BR 2200m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net

170 24 Jun 08:30 Sat

Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire BP 1750m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Winchester CTC 01794 514124 alanandemma@talktalk.net

Hindon Hip Hip

140 24 Jun Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire Hungerford Hooray 09:00 Sat BP 1450m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close Romsey Hampshire SO51 5EG

400 27 May Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire Not Quite The Spurn Head 400 05:30 Sat BR 403km 2450m £8.00 A(2) L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

400 24 Jun Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury National 400 08:00 Sat BRM 403km 4100m AAA1.75 [1650m] £30.00 C F G L P R T 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF

200 27 May Northallerton 8::00 Sat BR 2700m [2600m] £6.50 PTR 15-30kph Hambleton RC paul.roberts901@tiscali.co.uk Paul Roberts, 37 The Close Romanby Northallerton DL7 8BL

Egton Bridge

400 01 Jul Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Kingdom of the East Saxons 11:00 Sat BR £20.00 M Z F R P L C T 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA

600 27 May Poole Brimstone 600 06:00 Sat BRM 7600m AAA7.5 £10.00 L M (13/5) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT

600 01 Jul Clitheroe, Lancashire Pendle 600 06:00 Sat BRM 609km 10150m AAA10 [9000m] £15.00 BD F L P R S T Z 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

400 02 Jun Corstorphine, Edinburgh Auld Alliance (2017) 21:00 Fri BRM 401km £11.00 F P B R T 15-24kph Edinburgh RC graemewyllie05@gmail.com Graeme Wyllie, 16 Corstorphine House Avenue Edinburgh EH12 7AD

200 01 Jul 08:00 Sat

100 03 Jun Cromford, Derbyshire 09:00 Sat BP 104km £6.00 P R T 150 11-25kph Updated Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP

Tramway 100

400 03 Jun Manningtree, Colchester Asparagus & Strawberries 09:00 Sat BRM 414km 2600m £4.00 X M P C 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 300 10 Jun Padiham, Lancashire Knock Ventoux 300 06:00 Sat BRM 4900m AAA4 [4600m] £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 300 10 Jun Rowlands Castle, nr Portsmouth Wonderfully Wessex 05:30 Sat BRM £8.50 f l p t (10/6) 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road Emsworth Hampshire PO10 7XR

60

Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

Galashiels BR 204km 2500m [2300m] £10.00 LPRTSG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com

Moffat Toffee

100 01 Jul Galashiels Broughton and Back 10:00 Sat BP 1380m £9.00 LPRTSG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 1000 07 Jul Bispham, Lancashire Mille Pennines 10:00 Fri BRM 13600m AAA13.5 [10000m] £55.00 BD F L P R S T Z (120) 13.3-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 600 08 Jul 06:00 Sat

Exeter BRM 5600m £5 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk

The Exe-Buzzard

600 08 Jul Leighton Buzzard 07:00 Sat BRM 5600m £5.00 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

The Buzzard

300 08 Jul 6.:30 Sat

Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy Cestyll Cymru 300 BR 320km 3194m [3550m] £10.00 X C A1 G L NM P R T 15-30kph Rhos-on-Sea CC cbwilby@gmail.com

www.aukweb.net


AUK CALENDAR 200 08 Jul Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy Cestyll Cymru 08:00 Sat BR 205km 2095m AAA2.25 [2200m] £10.00 A1 C G L R NM T 15-30kph Rhos-on-Sea CC cbwilby@gmail.com Chris Wilby, Gwenallt Henryd Road Gyffin Conwy LL32 8HN

150 09 Sep Galashiels Dick McTs 150 Classic 10:00 Sat BP 1576m [1600m] £10.00 LPRTSG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

100 09 Jul Combe Down, Bath Mendip Transmitter 08:30 Sun BP 1650m AAA1.75 £7.00 N.P.R.T 13-30kph Bath CC robertmcmillan@sky.com Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road Bath BA2 2AX

600 22 Sep Bispham, Lancashire Blackpool - Glasgow - Blackpool 600 22:00 Fri BRM 605km 3600m £10.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

300 14 Jul Churchend,Dunmow, Essex Hereward the Wake 21:00 Fri BRM 301km £9.00 X M G R T P L C 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA

New AUK Season

200 15 Jul 08:00 Sat

Corwen Barmouth Boulevard BR 204km 3650m AAA3.75 £6.00 P R T 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com

100 15 Jul 08:30 Sat

Corwen BP 107km 1930m AAA2 [1920m] £6.00 P R T 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com

200 07 Oct 08:30 Sat

Churchend,Dunmow, Essex Richard Ellis Memorial 200 BRM 201km £9.00 A[1] M G R P T L C 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com

The Brenig Bach

100 07 Oct Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Richard Ellis Memorial 100 09:30 Sat BP 103km £9.00 A[1] M G R P T L C 12.5-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA

60 15 Jul Corwen The Bala Parade 09:00 Sat BP 1000m £6.00 P R T 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn Penyffordd Holywell Flintshire CH8 9HH

100 08 Oct Mytholmroyd Season of Mists 09:00 Sun BP 105km 2555m AAA2.5 £4.50 L P R T YH 15-24kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

600 15 Jul Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland 06:00 Sat BRM 5500m £10.00 C F G L P R T Z(50) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds aidan@northern-audax.org.uk Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

The Border Raid

55 08 Oct 10:00 Sun ROA 25000

Mytholmroyd Mellow Fruitfulness BP 1200m AAA1.25 £4.00 L P R T YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

Newton Abbot, Devon Torplex Two Hundred BR 210km 2900m AAA3 £8.50 F G L P R T 15-30kph Devon CTC brodie@bikerider.com

200 14 Oct 08:00 Sat ROA 25000

Galashiels Etal-u-Can BR 204km 2379m £10.00 LPRTSG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

200 16 Jul 08:00 Sun

100 16 Jul Newton Abbot, Devon Devon Delight 09:00 Sun BP 107km £8.50 F G L P R T 10-25kph Devon CTC brodie@bikerider.com ROA 5000 Graham Brodie, Homelands 10 Courtenay Road Newton Abbot Devon TQ12 1HP 200 22 Jul Belbroughton, N Worcestershire The Kidderminster Killer 08:00 Sat BR 214km 3750m AAA3.75 £7.85 F L P R S T (90) (8/8) 14.6-30kph Beacon RCC 01562731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge Worcestershire DY9 0BW 120 22 Jul Belbroughton, N Worcestershire From Clee to Heaven 09:00 Sat BP 123km 1950m AAA2 £7.85 F L P R S T (70) 13.5-25kph Beacon RCC 01562 731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW

100 14 Oct Galashiels Ride of the Valkyries 10:00 Sat BP 106km 1200m [1517m] £9.00 LPRTSG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 22 Oct Bispham, Lancashire Ride The Lancashire Lights 200 07:30 Sun BRM 206km 1800m £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 28 Oct Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul 08:00 Sat BR 2000m £5.00 PRTG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

1400 30 Jul Loughton, Essex London Edinburgh London 05:00 Sun BRM 1415km 11500m AAA2.75 [2750m] £329.00 C F L P R T S NM Z (750) 12-30kph LEL 2013 ROA 5000 London Edinburgh London team, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU 200 13 Aug Padiham, Lancashire Tan Hill 200 08:30 Sun BRM 207km 4500m AAA4.5 £5.00 P X 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 02 Sep Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Pistyll Packing Momma 08:00 Sat BR 209km 3400m AAA3.5 £6.00 BD R L P T 29/08 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com 130 02 Sep Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Mountain Views 08:30 Sat BP 137km 2000m AAA2 £6.00 BD R L P T 29/08 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com 50 02 Sep Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Leafy Lanes 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 BD R L P T 29/08 10-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 200 03 Sep Musselburgh The Erit Lass 08:00 Sun BR 3000m AAA3 £10.00 C F G L P R 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 600 09 Sep Churchend,Dunmow, Essex 06:00 Sat BRM 606km £7.00 A[1] X M P R T L C 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA

The Flatlands

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2017 ENTRY FORM FOR EVENTS HELD UNDER AUK REGULATIONS NAME OF EVENT: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ From:__________________________________________________ Distance: ____________________ Date:_____________________ Fee for Audax UK Members: £______________________________ AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: _______________________ Fee for other entrants (includes £2 temporary membership): £ _______________________________ Date of birth if under 18 years: (see PARENTAL CONSENT below) ______________________________ FORENAME: ___________________________________________ SURNAME: ____________________________________________ ADDRESS: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Email: _________________________________________________ Tel: ___________________________________________________ Mobile: _______________________________________________ Club/CTC member group: _________________________________ INSURANCE: Audax UK provides its members (inc. temporary) normally resident in the UK with 3rd party insurance cover throughout the event for claims in excess of £500. Overseas residents must arrange their own insurance. By signing this form, you declare that you are insured as required. The event is run under Audax UK regulations. You should familiarise yourself with Audax UK regulations, guidance and advice (available at www.aukweb.net or on request from the organiser). The event is not a race or a trial of speed. You are expected to follow the rules of the road and show consideration to other road users. The route is on open public roads. You should prepare by studying the route. The route is not waymarked or marshalled. You are responsible for your safety and conduct. Some routes/conditions may be arduous. The organiser provides no rescue service.

• • •

• • •

PARENTAL CONSENT (required for entrants under 18 years of age): Parents should note the information on this form and be aware that this in an individual ride without ride leaders. I am the Parent/Guardian of the entrant and give my consent to this entry Signed (Parent/Guardian): _____________________________________________________________ Date: _____________________ Name (Parent/Guardian, please print): _____________________________________________________________________________ I understand that during the event I am on a private excursion on the public highway and that I am responsible for my own conduct. I agree to abide by Audax UK regulations for this ride. Entry fees are not refundable. I have relevant insurance cover as above. SIGNED (entrant): ___________________________________________________________________ Date: _____________________ Emergency contact (name & tel): _________________________________________________________________________________ Send to the organiser: 1. Completed form 2. Cheque payable to organiser (not AUK) 3. Two CS stamped addressed envelopes.

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Arrivée Autumn 2016 No. 134

www.aukweb.net


2017 MILEATER ENTRY FORM AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: _______________________ Cycling UK (CTC) Membership Number: _____________________ Date of birth if under 18 years: (see PARENTAL CONSENT below) ______________________________ FORENAME: ___________________________________________ SURNAME: ____________________________________________ ADDRESS: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Email: _________________________________________________ Tel: ___________________________________________________ Mobile: _______________________________________________ Club/CTC member group: _________________________________ PARENTAL CONSENT (required for entrants under 18 years of age) I am the Parent/Guardian of the entrant and give my consent to this entry: Signed (Parent/Guardian): _____________________________________________________________ Date: _____________________ Name (Parent/Guardian, please print): _____________________________________________________________________________ How will you submit your final mileage?

o

I will send the diary back to you

o

I will submit via an online ride logging website (please ensure that I can view your profile)

Enter the URL of your rider profile here_________________________________________________________________________

o

I will use another way (emailed spreadsheet, hard copy spreadsheet etc)

Enter submission method here_______________________________________________________________________________

Do you want to receive a medal? This will cost an extra £10.00 and is engraved with your name, year and distance recorded.

o Yes No o I understand that during the Mileater period I am responsible for my own conduct. Entry fees are not refundable or transferable. SIGNED (entrant): _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Date: __________________________________________________

Send to the organiser: 1. completed form 2. cheque payable to AUDAX UK (£4.00 if you just want to enter and receive the diary, £14.00 if you want the medal as well) 3. two C5 stamped addressed envelopes. Please ensure you include sufficient postage for a large letter weighing up to 100g (this covers the postage for 1 diary). Post your entry forms and payment to: Paul Worthington, 213 Greenhill Road, Liverpool, L18 9ST

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Riders on the National 400, photo Tim Decker

Arrivée 134 - November 2016  
Arrivée 134 - November 2016  

Autumn 2016

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