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On the Pamir Highway page 22 Audax UK

the long-distance cyclists’ association


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INSIDE ISSUE 139

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On the Pamir Highway 22 page

Audax UK

’ association the long-distance cyclists

Just a Sec

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500,000 metres up…

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High speed highland fling

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in praise of did not finish

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I get knocked down… but I get up again

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Pamir Highway

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OCD cyclo climbing

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How fast should I pedal 

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Front cover Martin Philpot experiences the road that has captured the imagination of many a long-distance cyclist

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Welcome to the winter/spring 2018 issue of Arrivée

FEEDBACK

I live on a little farm in the south Cotswolds where, as I write, the bitter Siberian wind is dumping piles of crystal white dust in every exposed orifice – it’s truly, numbingly bleak out there.

● “Judging by correspondence in the last issue, I seem to be in a minority in criticising Arrivée’s new design style. But I deplore the excessive use of body text reversed white out of colour background owing the lack of contrast which makes the story difficult to read. Reversing type white out of dark is a useful printing technique and for good readability you need high contrast, featuring type of a generous weight and size against an intensely dark background. It does not work well with large sections of body text when the typeface is slender and on the small side, especially if the background is pale. Readability is sadly compromised. I fear that legibility is being sacrificed on the altar of pretty colours.” Brian Matkins AUK 5653

● “While I was pleased about Dominic Ellis’ largesse in allowing cyclists to decide whether or not to wear a helmet, I cannot agree with his suggestion regarding only publishing pictures in the magazine of helmet wearing cyclists. Nor do I feel that any pictures of non-helmet wearers needing a statement from the association. Surely the vast majority of readers are experienced cyclist for whom this debate is tiresome, and who have already decided if they are wearers or not. It just seems to be a backhanded way of imposing his will on others. If safety was his prime interest, then perhaps he should give up cycling. Much safer to stay at home.” Clive Smith AUK 17332

● For safety’s sake… “It’s nothing new, with a helmet reducing the extent of an injury to the head and appropriate cycle clothing increasing the chances of being seen. So many cycling companions are no longer here simply down to not wearing a helmet at that critical moment. I was hit by a truck, from behind, that was travelling at 60mph and I suffered concussion. The helmet acted as a buffer to prevent direct abrasions on my skull. I’d rather be wearing one than not and it’s a personal decision for everyone to make for themselves. When organising a ride, a risk assessment is done and for a big event, like LEL, why not helmets, as is done with other international rides? In fact it would be a good idea for our major rides to require helmet wearing, reflective clothing at night and bright clothing during the day.” Chris Wilby

Clive, although many riders are experienced there are some who are not, especially members new to AUK and Audax. The debate is, possibly, tiresome for some, but it’s important to represent all of our membership. – ed.

Snow is not unprecedented, especially during the upcoming Cheltenham Festival, but I was surprised, when visiting our local Morrisons, to find the shelves stripped of essentials – no bread, no cheese – “it’s panic,” said the listless shelf-operative. I bought chocolate, just in case. We’re not used to it I guess. Incidentally, if you do need a loaf or two, just drop in, I seem to have a stack of them in my freezer… Arrivée, just like AUK, is alive and well, but the publication date has been moved forward by one month. It’s deliberate, as it works better with seasonal events and helps to get them in while they are still fresh. Look out for your copy early in the months of March, June, September and December – the revised copy deadline is on page 63. Finally I would like to thank our new editor, Claire Oldfield, who stepped up to help when our guest editor went offline. She is already on to issue 140. Take care out there, Ged Lennox 2

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

● “Cycling stands for freedom, and Audax cycling much wider freedom. So we have to respect people’s right not to wear a helmet. But the quote ‘The price of freedom is eternal vigilance’ my also be interpreted as ‘eternal awareness and consequent defence’. So no-one forces us to wear a helmet – but we need to examine the potential consequences of not doing so. The decision is easy for me as a helmet has saved me from serious head injury on a couple of occasions during 30 years of cycling. I personally give a shudder when I see a rider not wearing a helmet – but have to respect their right not to do so.” David Matthews


Mille Pennines/LEL

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A tale of three tours

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Four candals 

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Are we RRtY yet?

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Back story

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RRtY awards 2017

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AUK rides calendar 

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Contacts63

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● “Second edition of new format is even better than the first! Well done! Pictures bold and bright and laid out in very interesting ways which adds even more interest to the articles. I am very impressed with the excellent layout of my article (post pacemaker ride through France.) It may interest people to know that the stunning (although I say it myself – a piece of luck!) two-page spread photo on Luz Ardiden was taken using a Galaxy S6 phone. Fantastic definition for such a small device. Keep up the good work on the magazine, it’s much appreciated.” David Matthews ● “Love the new design layout of Arrivée and look forward even more to the next edition. Keep up the good work. Chapeaux, Iain Robert ● “In response to the ‘Helmet Wars’ article, Arrivée 138. I have wondered how long it would take for this subject to arise, but did not quite expect the subject to be raised in such a way. Having been a member of AUK since 1980 I have witnessed, over the years, a general decline of standards in many aspects of randonneuring; ie: quality of cycles used, the quality of riders’ abilities, codes of conduct, ethics et al. It’s almost a shame that cycling has become so popular, but be that as it may. This is at first glance an aside or a separate issue… or is it? Dom Ellis has unwittingly opened a Pandora’s box of issues and not only that of helmets. Interestingly he has

openly admitted to being incompetent on a bike. Perhaps he should take up a less risky and less skilled orientated sport or pastime; tiddly winks perhaps? Do you need a helmet for that? I quote: ‘I don’t have a problem with other riders deciding what they want to wear, or not what to wear; it’s entirely their choice…’ however, he does object to the editors’ choice of what should be published in picture format and wants helmeted riders ONLY! This is clearly the thin edge of the wedge and directly relating to his personal form of censorship; we have, I believe, seen historically where this leads to have we not? Would all historical photographs during the era where there were no helmets also come under this censorship? Would they all carry an ” Ellis disclaimer” proclaiming these pictures were pre-Ellis censorship? Why is it that the pro-helmet zealots are always so keen and enthusiastic to spread their opinions of helmet wearing? What actually gives them the right to do so? Well, their right is freedom of speech and the editorship of Arrivée and other publications take this into account and honour it accordingly. However, with this new form of censorship it will be crafted in such a way as will suit just him and others with the same opinions. I say a big thank you for freedom of speech. All across this country and many others, are memorials to the dead who carried this credo with them. Thank goodness letters or articles written by the Dom Ellis’ of this world are given an airing, otherwise we would all be as ill-informed as he. For the sake of free speech and common sense (not so common these days!) please, ignore his request and edit accordingly. He has opined his views and had his say, so now let me have mine!” Jim Churton

● “Dominic Ellis is entitled to express his opinion with regard to the wearing of helmets, but, he is not entitled to dictate what pictures appear on the front page or inside our magazine. The wearing of helmets is a personal issue and should be left to each individual to make up their own mind. I myself always wear a helmet but I wouldn’t dream of trying to dictate what others do – it should be a personal choice and we ought to leave it at that. There are currently rumbles in the press that the Government might bring in a law to make helmet wearing compulsory along with hi-viz clothing and I guess that will open up another can of worms!” John Scaife AUK 4005 ● “Aaaargh! Please don’t start a helmet debate in Arrivée. I’ve seen people arguing online about cycling helmets for almost 20 years now. The same arguments are repeated every time, and I’ve never seen anyone, on either side, change their mind. There are already lots of places where people can go and debate the subject to their heart’s content, and we really don’t need another one. I choose to wear a helmet when I’m riding an Audax, but I really like the fact that Arrivée is one of the dwindling number of cycling publications where you can still see pictures of people riding bikes without helmets. Long may that continue.” Ken Russell

More letters on page 4➜

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JUST A SEC… with Graeme Provan, General secretary, Audax UK

FEEDBACK ● “Loving the new look of Arrivée. Much more attractive, more colour, better impression to newbies like me. Regarding the helmet article in the latest copy. Like many others, I wear a helmet as (a) I would not have otherwise survived the crash that broke my back and neck; (b) I owe it to my loved ones to do the best I can to survive; (c) a lifetime in motorsport makes it second nature. Others may disagree, and that is their prerogative, as is the chance to be fed through a straw for the rest of their lives. However, I couldn’t believe the magazine had another helmetless rider front and centre on the cover. I think that’s a pretty crass move, given the article inside. On any Audax, a huge majority of riders wear helmets, many more than shown on the last two covers. I think some respect for the majority is called for here.” Martin ​Peake​ Martin, the cover was chosen for its excellence as a picture, not to make a statement. We edit – we do not censor – Arrivée is a membership magazine, the content is driven by members, written by members, about members and for members – ed. ● “I’ve just read the latest Arrivée and on the evidence of two editions in the new design I feel the quality of the product has taken a big step forward. Layout and presentation are more attractive, and it feels more of a modern edition designed for the whole range of readers rather than a format that sometimes could seem geared to a very niche market. This isn’t intended to be a slight on those who clearly worked industriously to produce the previous editions,it’s not an easy task, but times move on. Thanks to everyone involved.” Nigel Rees ● “Apart from very rare occasions I always wear a helmet on my bike, however I believe wearing a helmet should be a matter of personal choice. I certainly do not want Audax UK or Arrivée to feel compelled to censor content if it contains an image of a rider without a helmet. I am also perfectly happy with the club and its magazine having no policy either way on whether images of riders without helmets has a safety disclaimer. When 47% of serious head injuries are suffered by the occupants of motor vehicles it would make more sense for Audax UK to suggest it’s members wear a helmet while travelling to an event in their car! Please continue to select content for the magazine based solely on it being good quality, informative, of interest or of aesthetic value.” Nigel Rees ● “Just a quick word to offer my thanks and congratulations to you and the rest of the Arrivée team. It looks really great. All the best” Paul Stewart

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

Just a sec… By the time you read this, the 2016/17 AGM will have taken place in Birmingham. Encouragingly, we had three outstanding candidates for the position of Membership Secretary and I look forward to working with whoever is elected. There are a couple of key vacancies that still need to be filled on the board and you will find adverts for those either in this magazine or our website. The board of AUK works hard but it is a fulfilling endeavour so please consider what you can do for AUK. The board has produced an Annual Report as part of the AGM process. If you have not taken the opportunity to read this yet, do so as it is full of information about the continuing growth of AUK. With Ged Lennox’s professional assistance, it also looks great as well.

REUNION

The Reunion took place in Llandrindod Wells in November. Saturday afternoon saw a lively forum session where the topics under discussion included; the award structure, the proposed new Articles of Association, the new website (including a presentation on how it might look) and the proposed resolutions for the AGM. Dinner was preceded and followed by two different presentations by distance record holder Kasja Tylen who then, with the able assistance of our MC, Peter Lewis, presented the prizes as well for good measure. A list of the various award winners is available on the website. Special mention should also be made of the organisers, Paul Rainbow and Mark Gibson and the Trophy supremo, Mike Lane for the hard work they put in to make everything look so easy. As trailed in the last issue, the 2018 Reunion will take place over the weekend of the 16-18 November at the Stirling Court Hotel in Stirling. Booking details will appear on the website nearer the date.

BOARD MEETING

Our latest board meeting took place on the 10th of January. In addition to the usual packed agenda, we also had a series of presentations and discussions. First up was Danial Webb the organiser of LEL. Danial was able to provide us with an in depth debrief on the largest edition

so far of our blue ribbon event. It has been fascinating to follow the progress through from the briefing that Danial gave us a year or so before the event, through the event itself and up to this point. Despite some interesting weather for the southbound riders on the last couple of days, LEL was a huge success and this was backed up by the rider feedback forms. Danial did identify a couple of areas where he would like to see changes, most particularly with some of the outside catering arrangements but LEL is now firmly established as an internationally recognised event. Ged Lennox then joined us to discuss the future of this magazine. It cannot have escaped anyone’s notice just how much it has changed recently and the vast majority of the reaction has been extremely positive. As if to emphasise just how far it has come, Chris Crossland brought along some issues going right back to the very start of AUK. Ged and his team of editors have been working hard to bring about these improvements but Arrivee is but one example of how the scale of AUK is now starting to outgrow the capacity of a volunteer organisation. In fact, it is arguable that it has already outgrown that capacity. This is a challenge that is recognised by the board and it is taking active steps to ensure that AUK can continue to grow successfully. If further proof of this were needed, our last discussion was on the content management for the website. Richard Jennings and his team are now well into the process of creating the technical backbone of the new website but it needs the right content in the right context to work properly. This will be an ongoing process that will continue after the website is up and running. AUK will therefore be advertising within its membership for a website content manager. As ever, you can look at the board minutes and board reports in the Official section on the website.


Vacancy for Validation Secretary (or Secretaries) Keith Harrison and Sue Gatehouse will be stepping down at the end of this season after a marathon stint of 14 years. A volunteer (or volunteers) sought to take on this important and challenging role. More details of what’s involved on: http://www.aukweb.net/ official/notices/sitvac/ or contact Peter Lewis (Event Services Director services@ audax.uk) with any questions.

FIXED FOCUS ANOTHER COG This is a short update to the review of the 2017 season’s fixed riding in the last Arrivee (issue 138 page 44). Paul Mannasseh and James Ludlow have now claimed 84½ and 66 Fixed Wheel points respectively. Both members also achieved Super Fixed Wheeler (SR on Fixed) during the season. As far as L-E-L goes, there are a couple of improvements to the list: Garry King was not at the time of writing listed as a successful rider, but that has now been corrected. Hing Hung’s status, similarly, was given as a possible DNF, but he advises that although he completed the ride, he was out of time, hence no validation. Congratulations to both guys for completing the event and best wishes to everyone this year without the “benefit” of a freewheel. Richard Phipps Fixed Gear Challenges Organiser

Hungerford Hooray (140km) Hindon Hip Hip (170km) The Swanage Swan (175km) Saturday 30th June 2018 (please note change of date from the last Arrivee) Come and join us this summer for your choice from a variety of rides, each starting from Awbridge, near Romsey, Hampshire. ● The Hungerford Hooray explores the Test and Avon Valleys, Salisbury Plain, and the beautiful North Wessex Downs using lots of quiet lanes, and has a cafe stop at the popular Tutti Pole, well known to Audax cyclists. ● The Hindon Hip Hip rides again for 2018. This route heads out to Bruton in Somerset, via some very picturesque roads and has some enjoyable descents and one or two challenging climbs. The return is via the Cranborne Chase AONB and the New Forest National Park. There are lots of opportunities for rest and refreshment along the way.The Hungerford Hurrah takes a break for 2018 and in its place is a new ride, the Swanage Swan. This route heads for the seaside via quiet roads in and around the New Forest. Then it is on to the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, which provides some magnificent views. After a short chain ferry crossing, the return is via the Bournemouth Overcliff and some classic New Forest roads.After each ride, as usual there will be plenty of food and refreshments at the village hall, all included in the entry fee.Please see the calendar for more details. ● alanandemma@talktalk.net

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

Benedict Bate likes to climb and he has done a lot of it. “Honorable” status is awarded to those applied individuals, like Benedict, who aim high enough to achieve…

WORDS AND PICTURES BENEDICT BATE

500,000m up… after all these years OCDRULES

The col du Braus snakes up to 1,002 metres in ProvenceAlpes, Côte d-Azur

Some time ago I was intrigued to discover the Ordre des Cols Durs (OCD) and the UK adaptation of this French club – OCD UK or the Order of the Hard Cols which is now subsumed into Audax UK. The aims of the OCD are to encourage riding in mountains; and to offer a challenge to long-distance riders, particularly those who do not enjoy timed events but who do enjoy climbing and descending mountain passes on a bicycle. A further pleasure is to be able to log the results of each journey and accumulate the metric heights of each col or mountain top climbed. Each year, those wishing to have their climbing registered are invited to submit their claim to Rod Dalitz. The claimable figure is the actual height at each location, in metres above sea level – regardless of the height from which the climb started. 6

ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

For a number of years, during August, a few friends and I have been cycling in Europe, sometimes in the mountains and sometimes not. However, in the year 2000, things changed when we learned that Mario Labelle managed to cross all 71 of the 2,000-metre cols in a continuous journey. These cols were christened “Marios” and, not unlike the Munros in Scotland, they became collectors’ items – we became collectors! We set out to conquer them all, not in a continuous journey but rather a few each year. Climbing all the Marios does involve some out and back dog legs and as a consequence there are still a few I have not ascended. However, one of the group, Doug Allan, has achieve this feat. Therefore, subsequent Alpine trips have been about more of the same and

ORDRE DES COLS DURS – The French OCD was founded in 1960, to promote cyclo-climbing. OCD UK was formed as the English-language equivalent, and has members all over the world, including USA and New Zealand. THE AIMS OF THE OCD – To encourage riding in mountains. To offer a challenge to long-distance riders, and to those who don’t enjoy timed events but who enjoy cyclo-climbing and descending mountain passes. OCD CLAIMS ● Claims are simply an accumulation of the metric heights of each col or mountain top climbed with a bicycle or similar machine. The claimable figure is the actual height at each location, in metres above sea level – regardless of the height the climb started from ● A col (or pass) is defined as having higher ground to both sides, and drainage to a different river ahead and behind ● A mountain top must be a summit, like Mont Ventoux, not just a high point like Alpe d’Huez ● There is no minimum time for climbing any col ● It is permissible to carry the machine, for example over snow or boulder fields, but the machine must reach the col or summit ● The descent may retrace the ascent ● A col may be claimed only if there is at least 100m ascent since the previous col or starting point ● Cols under 300m are not normally claimed, though cols over 200m on islands are acceptable, climbed from sea level ● A member may claim any individual col (or summit) only once in one riding day ● A member may claim any individual col (or summit) no more than five times in a year ● Claims are on the honour system, with no evidence required ● Claims for col points should be submitted annually, before January 1st, and a list will be published in the next Arrivée.


returning to our favourite parts of the Alps. For 2016, Doug devised a lovely route starting and finishing at Nice airport taking in, among others, Col de Braus (1,002m) Col de la Couillole (1,678m) Col des Champs (2,080m) and the Col d’ Allos (2,250m) – not all in the same day I hasten to add! From Allos, we descended to Barcellonette with the intention of climbing Col de la Bonette (2,715m) and Col de la Moutiere (2,450m) the following day. Had we managed to do this, my OCD total would have reached 500,000 – a target I had my sights on for some time. However, while in Barcellonette, the good weather disappeared and the forecast rain duly arrived. In addition, the refuge on the descent from Col de la Moutiere in which we intended to stay overnight was closed for a family holiday! We stayed in Barcellonette for two nights and on day two my companions climbed Col du Tende (1,900m) in the rain, but as I did not fancy getting soaked, I stayed indoors still a good way off my 500,000-metre goal. As we had a return flight booked it wasn’t possible to stay longer to conquer those cols, instead we had to press on towards Nice. However, the following day I had one of my best cycling days with a ride over the 2,326m Col du Cayolle, 29km heading south from Barcelonnette (1,200m), down to Guillaumes and then over the Col de St Leger (1,070m) to Puget Thenier. The day after a rain storm in the Alps is often wonderful and this one was no exception; cool, sunny, low humidity and little wind – just the sort of

day for a quiet ride up to the summit with an average gradient of around 4% which I can easily manage without the need for my grannie gear! Doug, Mariano and I regrouped at the summit of Cayolle for the obligatory photo and then descended together – and what a descent it was! The first exhilarating 10km with some tight turns when the brakes were needed; and then freedom to descend the next 20km or so, using gravity and the occasional turn of the pedals, all the way down to Guillaumes where we stopped for a leisurely lunch in the shade of a large umbrella. After lunch with full bidons it was down the D2202 towards Entrevaux – this is an exquisite piece of road with twists, bends and tunnels galore as the road follows the river Le Var in a tight gorge until a small, narrow bridge across the river to a road marked in red, on the Michelin map, which means danger! This is where we turned off the D2201 on to the “red” road the first couple of kilometres of which were without tarmac – but no one was prepared to be the first to suggest turning back. Pressing on

we eventually came to a paved road and, of course, no traffic whatsoever. A beautiful climb to the Pont de St-Leger (1,070m) on a day which was still cool and windless, through a few habitations and then near the top, a village with a school and a few people! The road down to Puget Theniers was clearly the one used by the locals as it was busier – four vehicles on the entire descent! Bliss – and terrific views. On descents like these I often wonder why the road was built and how do they find the cash to maintain it so beautifully? Ben happily on the summit of Col de la Cayolle after one of his best cycling days

Ben on the Col des Champs and Doug, inset

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

“The Granites”, one of the few British cols to sport a relevant marker

The final couple of days we spent making our way back to Nice through the delightful and sparsely populated area south and west of the main road from Puget Theniers D6202 which follows the Valley of Le Var River to Nice. This had been a great trip, but it left me short of my goal of 500,000 metres – what could I do about that? Back in Edinburgh, I calculated how many more metres I needed and looking at the map to the south of Edinburgh reminded myself of the many hills with roads through them – ideal territory for bagging a few more cols. I mapped out a route from the city which would do the business and, as it was now September, waited for a decent day weather-wise to fully enjoy the ride. Some of my route will be familiar to those who know where the London8

ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

Edinburgh-London Audax wends its way into and out of Edinburgh. The first col, just south of Middleton where the B7007 cuts through the Moorfoots, is a watershed of sorts as rivers such as the Tyne and the North Esk flow north, reaching the sea between Edinburgh and Dunbar, while those over the col finish up in the Tweed. The col (410m) is known locally as “The Granites” and it is the only one that has any sort of marker post or sign. There is then a descent to around 300m before the next col (410m) which is unnamed and unmarked on the ground. From the low point, the water courses first run east as the Heriot Water, which then joins the south-running Gala Water, to eventually merge with the Tweed which reaches the sea at Berwick upon Tweed. My route followed the B709 to the

village of Innerleithen, once a thriving mill town, past Traquair House, whose Bear Gate was closed in 1746 and will not be opened again until there is a Stewart on the throne! South of Traquair is the next col, locally named as Paddy Slacks, 360m, then the descent follows the Mountbenger Burn which in turn flows into the Yarrow Water which, once beyond Selkirk, also joins the Tweed to the sea. The road drops down to the crossroads with the A708 Moffat Selkirk road where the Gordon Arms hotel offered coffee and soup. Suitably refreshed, I continued south, on a favourite piece of road in this area, where the B709 climbs up to the next col following a burn called Altrieve Lake to another unnamed col at 390m. The descent follows the Tushielaw Burn to the Yarrow Water which also joins the Tweed near Selkirk.


I followed the Ettrick Water, which in turn flows into the Yarrow, on the B7009 until Ettrickbridge where I turned north and climbed another delightful col called Witchie Knowe, (370m). On the way up, Kirkhope Tower is visible nestling in a corner of the valley. It was built in the early 16th century by the Scott family, but during the war between England and Scotland from 1543 to 1551, now often referred to as the Rough Wooing (Henry VIII wanted to marry his son Edward to Mary Queen of Scots!), it was captured and burned out. However it has since been restored. At the top is a dry stone wind break which has been dedicated to the local laird’s son, perhaps a descendant of the Scotts, but the col itself, once again, is

unacknowledged. Significantly, here, I had reached the magic 500,000-metre mark. The last col of the day followed and, although fairly inconspicuous on the ground, is important in that it is on Scotland’s watershed – the line that runs through Scotland to the east of which rivers reach the North Sea and to the west of which rivers reach the Atlantic Ocean. All of the rivers and burns I had been cycling alongside eventually end up in the North Sea, but beyond the Gordon Arms and Saint Mary’s Loch on the A708 lies the border between Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders Districts. The OS map has Birkhill written here but, again, there is nothing in acknowledgement of this significant watershed.

Cycle a little further towards Moffat and the road descends alongside the Moffat Water on its way to the River Annan, the Solway Firth and the Atlantic Ocean. In France and other European counties these significant geographical features would be celebrated with way markers but in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) there is merely a sign indicating the change of local council jurisdiction. This is a great pity as I am sure signs showing heights and naming cols would be of great interest and I feel is a tourist opportunity lost. Collecting the cols of Scotland, and indeed the rest of the UK, by bicycle could become as popular as Munro bagging, leading to commercial opportunities for accommodation and food providers in particular.

… I am sure signs showing ❝ heights, and naming cols would be of great interest and I feel is a tourist opportunity lost

Notching up some of the final ascents on the borders of Dumfries and Galloway. Sadly no marker for this significant watershed

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HIGH SPEED HIGHLAND FLING

WORDS AND PICTURES BY DAVE MORRISON

There are MANY well-organised pre-packaged LEJOG events but Dave Morrison considers himself an independent*, individualistic, intrepid, randonneuring type, so decided to choose his own route, time, daily distances, and stopovers– and do it in seven days – completing at least 200km per day. In other words, do it Audax style!

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*Terms and conditions apply when evaluating how ‘independent’, I actually was. Cycle responsibly, when the fun stops, don’t stop! Remember that roads can go up as well as down. May contain nuts…

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Travel light, go far… Dave does his high speed Highland fling

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Of course, Audax rides must be unsupported other than at controls so I hatched a cunning plan, I’d ask my wife and two daughters if they fancied doing it as a road trip, meeting me at a hotel en route each evening. This would be followed by a week touring (by car) in Scotland. To my surprise all three thought it would be fantastic and so I started planning. ‘Hold on’, I hear you say, ‘your family ferrying the luggage doesn’t sound very independent does it?’ My retort would be that the months of individual effort put in

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

to the planning exercise alone is justification enough to claim Scottish Trip Independence. ‘Operation Tartan’ started from Christmas 2016 when Father Christmas delivered no less than three books about planning a LEJOG route, presumably enhancing authors Nick Mitchell’s and Royston G Wood’s new year royalty cheques. I also asked a friend, Simon Wilcox, if I could have his GPX files from the Ride Across Britain organised event he’d done (in both directions).

Over the winter I studied the routes fusing any good bits with my own radical, evolutionary, revolutionary, groundbreaking, daring, controversial, anarchic, anti-establishment, disruptive parcours. Okay, I may have overdone the adjectives a bit there and, like Christopher Columbus, might have only discovered terrain that was already well known to the locals but, to me, it was MY route; On y va! I had democratically and considerately asked my family where they fancied visiting en route, but only the Eden Project


and Hay on Wye were earmarked while I was determined to have a Highland Fling around Loch Lomond and up the Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness. The route planning was arduous, trying to minimise climbing, traffic, towns and off-road tracks… and route planning software does seem to embrace off-road tracks all too easily for my liking – does ‘AI’ stand for ‘Artificial Intelligence’ or ‘Added Inconvenience’? Once divided up in to roughly 200km sections, suitable hotels needed to be identified and, once identified, the routes tweaked to accommodate them. Finally, GPX files of the route were submitted to Mark Hummerstone’s End To End Emporium via the Audax UK entry portal and ‘Operation Tartan’ was green lit. One additional constraint was that the only time all four of us could do it was the first week in September, but the weather would always be a gamble whatever dates we chose.

DAY ONE

It all seemed so lovely at Land’s End in the sunshine, four guys from Manchester were also departing. I bet they were expecting rain further north but it never crossed my mind to ask as we enjoyed Cornwall’s blue skies. My family waved us all off and gave us all a big cheer as they passed in the car just after the start. We rode together to Penzance before splitting up, the sun was wonderful and this was idealistic cycling, just as it should be. The route for day one was one I had actually devised back in 2016 for a charity ride and, controversially, runs north of established LEJOG routes, but I’d done it before and knew it worked. Travelling north of Dartmoor was designed to minimise climbing, but even with some success in that respect, we all know that the most climbing during LEJOG will be done in the West Country. Sea, agriculture and disused tin mines all contributed to some nice scenic riding on the lanes, occasionally

catching glimpses from afar of A-roads full of holiday makers in traffic jams, inducing smugness but also awareness that my family may be stuck in them too. I would commend the cycle path on the disused old A30 road at Goss Moor Nature Reserve, although I wonder if the road surface will be allowed to deteriorate over future years. This was wonderful and I arrived at our hotel near Tiverton in good time. Fantastic, so far, so good! Full of enthusiasm I joined Clan Morrison in the bar but diplomatically toned it down a bit when I heard how underwhelmed my family had been with the Eden Project, although a stop for a cream tea was, apparently, quite delightful. The traffic had not been too bad for them, which I was pleased to hear. My daughter, Amber, was sipping a wonderful local cider which she let me taste – impressed, I went to order one for myself, only to find she’d just bought the last bottle! Apart from that, a nice evening meal rounded off a good day.

DAY TWO

In contrast day two was a disaster, Tiverton to Hereford, monsoon style rain on slippery, twisty, muddy narrow lanes in Devon with steep slippery descents on wet rim brakes. I was slow up the hills and almost as slow down them, it was treacherous. As time slipped away and my bike got muddier I consoled myself that it would be flat along the Bristol Channel up to the Severn Bridge. Indeed it was, along a cycle route which involved going through loads of gates,

Cornwall, the only day of sunshine

housing estates, traffic lights, cinder tracks and avoiding wandering pedestrians in the rain. Skirting the docks at Avonmouth, I lost any chance of making up time when I got the inevitable puncture. The really strong easterly headwind was ridiculous and the very reason for going south to north is that you can usually expect a south-westerly tailwind. On top of that, the hotel breakfast on Sunday was only available from 9am, so a late start, and slow going was suggesting some riding after dark which I had planned on avoiding. But it’s always a risk, and I had brought some lights just in case, but only one set. Just to complete my day, my front light packed up completely, after nightfall, in some dingy lanes near Hereford. The opening line from the Temptations classic Papa Was A Rolling Stone had been repeating in my head as I crossed the old Severn suspension bridge and meandered up the Wye Valley in perpetual drizzle… ‘It was the third of September, that day I’ll always remember.’ Light failure now gave me the opportunity to add a personalised version of the second line… ‘cause, that was day my front lamp died’. Arriving quite late my food options were limited and I ended up with the sportsman’s choice of kebab, chips and Day two in Devon and the start of the Noah season!

At Land’s End with the guys from Manchester and my daughter Jasmin

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HIGH SPEED HIGHLAND FLING lager in my room that night – I’m sending Team Sky’s nutritionist the details as this could be a Grand Tour winning marginal gain breakthrough – hey, I completed LEJOG didn’t I? Feeling cold, soggy and sorry for myself I eventually did the diplomatic thing and asked about the family’s’ day, only to find that hours stuck in a traffic on the M5 had meant that by the time they got to Hay on Wye the shops were beginning to close. Nevertheless my daughter Jasmin had managed to acquire some nice, old, second-hand books which was the purpose of the visit, at least from her point of view. I dread to think how many she’d have bought if they’d got there earlier!

DAY THREE

The next morning, I cleaned my mudcaked bike in the car park, to mixed looks of admiration or indifference from other guests. Then, optimistically, I got day three underway. While it was fairly flat and unremarkable from Hereford to Wigan, it was good and fast to ride. The rain held off in the morning and Ludlow was the stand-out feature of the day. I made a note to myself to return for a visit one day as it looked worth coming ‘sur pieds’. Had my luck turned? Being a fairly flat day I had made this the longest distance at 246km but with the fast, flat terrain came a degree of complacency:

… a detour to find ❝ a bike shop in Hereford for a new light where I chatted far too long with the owner

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a stopping to clean my bike that morning at the hotel b a detour to find a bike shop in Hereford for a new light where I chatted far too long with the owners c unnecessary stops for chatting with other cyclists who wanted to know more about my LEJOG adventure d stopping too long for food. On top of complacency, another set of local cycle paths through Warrington’s suburbia were slow going due to the usual gates, pedestrians and anything else the well meaning local council planners throw in to curb speed. When I eventually emerged from the Battle of Warrington, I was absolutely delighted to pass a sign welcoming me to Wigan while still in daylight! Unfortunately, this was welcoming me to the Borough of Wigan at Lowton, rather than the town itself. As it happened I still had another 18km of riding to my hotel in Standish during which time it, inevitably, got dark. Unfortunately, the new light was not as bright as I would have liked, such that the final dark, rainy, miles involved a few bumps in the night… the most spectacular down a pitch-black alley which had unlighted steps that I failed to see until I took off over the handlebars! I doubt it would have been visible to anyone, so any comedic value would have been lost. There were no witnesses around anyway. Just like Warrington, I really should have used the main road! Arriving at the hotel later than I’d expected, again, but at least it wasn’t an all-night session, which is what I used to come to Wigan for in my younger days – a few memories of the heyday of Northern Soul brought on a warm nostalgic glow despite the weather. Sadly, a shopping centre now stands on the site of Northern Soul’s most iconic venue, and the mall was closed by the time I got there, so I couldn’t even visit the café whose theme is a tribute to it. Time Will Pass You By and Long After Tonight Is All Over, two records played at the end of every Wigan Casino AllNighter, came to mind as I cycled through town at night. It was a wet weekday night and the town was quiet, not buzzing with ‘soulies’ like I remember it! When I finally got to the hotel, put the bike away and had a shower, I was told that the restaurant had finished serving and I was left with the option of tapas at the bar or nowt… not what I’d planned on, but I did enjoy a few beers with the food. My family were still finishing their desserts in the restaurant as I sank the first


beers, but eventually they joined me. Amber is a student and Cider Drinking is integral to her current vocation, so a visit to the Bulmers Cider Museum in Hereford was compulsory. From there, they had motored up to Manchester. I had warned them of the complex motorway system in Manchester (I always seem to be in the wrong lane for where I want to go) and it was very satisfying to hear them say ‘you were right Dad’. Don’t we all just love an ‘I told you so’ moment?

DAY FOUR

Looking out of my window the next morning I all but expected to see Gene Kelly dancing with an umbrella – it was a monsoon. Nevertheless, the scenery was generally better on day four, with the exception of Preston. I have yet to make an enjoyable visit to Preston and today was no different, as I rode through flash floods and got sprayed by cars. Once out of town I stopped at a nice village shop somewhere on the western edge of the Forest of Bowland. I’d never ridden the area before but it has some notoriety in cycling circles, notably the Trough of Bowland. I also noted that the shop sold a few souvenir Bowland pin-on badges for tourists. I asked the youngster serving in the shop if he could tell me of any local points of interest, to which he grunted and, just about, managed to say ‘dunno’! Good luck in your retail career mate. My next engagement with the natives was in Lancaster where, after waiting ages for a red light at a pedestrian crossing and after everyone had crossed, I moved off on the amber light a split second before it went green to the annoyance of some petty-minded individual standing nearby. Naturally, I returned a volley, mixed with expletives usually reserved for weather forecasters. Despite these two abrasive encounters, I must admit that I have real affection for the north-west and, were there a poll, I would vote the Lancashire accent as the best in the UK. So it was reassuring to finally interact positively and convivially with some locals. After the previous evening’s darkness on ‘The Road To Wigan Beer’ and the fact that the heavy rain meant I was consuming a lot of battery for my lights, I decided to stop at a small bike shop and buy extra lights as cover. The elderly couple who ran it were very helpful and it

was amusing to watch the woman’s eyes rolling as her husband tried to mimic a London accent. He told me lots of folklore tales of cycling, particularly LEJOG, that she was probably hearing for the 1,000th time! By the time I got to Shap Fell the rain had eased off and James MacDonald said ‘hi’ as he passed over the crest in the other direction whilst on his way to breaking the record for JOGLE-LEJOG (that’s both ways in a record time of 5 days 18 hours and 3 minutes!). I had been texting the London-Wales-London organiser, Liam Fitzpatrick, over the last few days as he was part of the team supporting Jasmijn Muller in her attempt to break the female LEJOG record. Liam had been teasing me all week about her passing me at Preston but she delayed the start to await more favourable weather and I wanted to keep abreast of her progress. Sadly, she abandoned through illness at some point before Preston, so I never got the chance to cheer her on. I cycled through Penrith with a lovely young couple from south-west London who had been touring the Lake District by bike, then dodged a few drunks in the road at Carlisle before crossing the border into the land of my ancestors. Gretna Green was familiar from the London-Edinburgh-London ride a few weeks before and just as then, I got there in daylight, YAY! However, the road through town was closed for roadworks, no problem for a cyclist – but it seems my family drove around in circles trying to reach the hotel. During their Gretna Criterium jaunt they had spotted the ‘Outlet Centre’ which

meant that most of the next day’s sightseeing would be replaced by clothes shopping… which didn’t strike me as embracing the culture but, hey-ho, welcome to Scotland! I don’t think they bought any ‘Super Dry’ attire, but it would have been ironic.

DAY FIVE

The ride from Gretna to the outskirts of Glasgow was the dullest part of the whole route, as I had been warned by Simon Wilcox, and it drizzled throughout. There were hardly any buildings or signs of civilisation (apart from the adjacent motorway) although I did catch up with another long distance cyclist, the only person I saw for many miles. I actually slowed down and rode with him for a while, chatting about cycling, but soon realised that I would have to speed up at some point to make up time. Mile upon mile of riding alongside a motorway eventually brought me to Glasgow’s satellite towns and human beings – a large number of whom had ginger hair, I noted. One of the first towns was Kirkmuirhill but, just before the town, the mapping software had allowed me to incorporate a rough path that was not really going to be very pleasant in this wet weather, and I suspected that the ‘puncture witch’ would have been lurking in there too. This meant descending back down a 2km hill climb I’d just endured to add to the day’s frustrations. While these towns weren’t ‘picture postcard scenic’, after so many miles of barren landscape they seemed a welcome change but, notwithstanding, if day five had been disappointing so far, everything was about to change. Originally I had planned a route missing out Glasgow but I kept going back to those books I had read, why did they choose to ride the towpath along the Clyde? In the end I changed my route and decided to go right through the centre of Glasgow along the Clyde… and I’m so glad I did. It was one cycle path that was actually a pleasure. When

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HIGH SPEED HIGHLAND FLING I joined it I wasn’t actually sure that it was the Clyde, it looked too narrow but a local assured me that it was. I suspect that it isn’t great for riding at weekends when people will be walking it with dogs and children, but midweek it was great. I had to shelter a few times from seriously heavy rain, but there are plenty of bridges and parks with big trees etc. Out of Glasgow and just before Dumbarton I started chatting to a local cyclist who went out of his way to take me the back way through town and then put me on a cycle path that followed the tributary river up to Loch Lomond… wow! It had stopped raining at this point and this cycle path came out right on the ‘bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’ avoiding the busy main road. To get to my hotel I then had to use a mix of main roads and loch-side lanes where I met another cyclist and we shared turns on the front until I got to my hotel… just as a coach load of tourists arrived and clogged up the car park, front entrance and reception.

DAY SIX

Everything north of Glasgow was stunning and I even think that the rain and mist added to the atmosphere. Glencoe was the highlight of the whole trip for me, absolutely awesome. My family passed me in the car just after Glencoe, for the second and last time en-route. What a sorry sight I probably looked in the rain but it cheered me up to see them. They had spent a little time on the shores of Loch Lomond, stopped at Glencoe and were on their way to admiring Ben Nevis at Fort William, without actually going up it. Unfortunately, just after Fort William, the cycle route became a quagmire in the rain and I had to turn back and join the main road for a while before rejoining my route on some nice lanes. I stopped at the impressive Commando Memorial statue and asked a couple to take my photo, classic mistake, got chatting about their son, a commando, and another lady then joined in who turned out to be a keen cyclist… more time lost! I was disappointed that using the Cycle Route to the south of Loch Ness meant I didn’t see much of the loch, but it was a cracking bit of road in its own right anyway, so I’ll accept it as it is. Arriving just before dusk on this occasion, I rang my family and was instructed to join them at a restaurant in Inverness town centre rather than go to our lodgings. I was not overjoyed at this suggestion but, apparently, our B&B had a landlady reminiscent of Ms Trunchbull

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… stopped at the ❝ Commando Memorial statue and asked a couple to take my photo, classic mistake, got chatting about their son, a commando, and another lady then joined in who turned out to be a keen cyclist… more time lost!

from Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ so nobody had wanted to wait there for me. In contrast, the kind and considerate restaurant owners let me bring my dirty wet bike into the restaurant, put my damp gloves etc on a radiator and eat my meal in damp lycra. Hotels in Inverness had looked expensive when I was planning the trip, and even our B&B was more than I’d expect to pay, especially of that standard and hosted by the “Loch Ness Monster”. Having previously heard other negatives about accommodation in Inverness I can’t imagine it scores highly on Trip Advisor.

DAY SEVEN

Not impressed, my family couldn’t leave quickly enough the next morning and a few days later we bumped in to another family from New Zealand who’d stayed at there on the same night as us… cue long conversation (over drinks) about how

awful it was! As amusing as it was to laugh about it afterwards, I might look for a country hotel elsewhere in the area next time. As I left Inverness I rode past the Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Stadium. As someone who has clocked up visits to a lot of football stadiums following QPR, this was going to be the most northerly, even if I wasn’t actually attending a match, so I stopped for photos, not realising that an hour later I’d be cycling past Ross County’s ground at Dingwall. Derby County and Notts County play in Derby and Nottingham respectively, how was I to know that Ross County played in Dingwall? Doh! There are, broadly, two choices of route from Inverness to John O’Groats, the ‘A’ road along the coast, which my family tell me was absolutely stunning and sunny all day long, or due north inland via Bonar Bridge until you hit the northern coast at Bettyhill from where you cycle eastwards along the coast road past Dounreay to John O’Groats. Naturally, my inland choice involved rain all day, some of it ‘biblical’ and the worst yet with Fats Domino’s It keeps rainin supplanting Rainy night in Georgia and Ann Peebles’ I can’t stand the rain at number one in the soundtrack running through my head. To be fair, it did dry up a few miles before John O’Groats just in time for the obligatory photo! The amazing view of the Orkneys was not something I’d anticipated and it should also be noted that John O’Groats is not actually the most northerly point on the British mainland. That honour goes to Dunnet Head, which is a few miles west of John O’Groats (good pub quiz question eh?). Of course, we visited Dunnet the following day just so we could say… wait for it… ”We’d Done-it.” Sorry, I’ll get my gillet. Most cyclists choose the inland route, it is fantastic with varying scenery to enjoy, rivers, lakes, moors and climbs (plus wind and rain of course). Evidencing its popularity, I caught up with two separate organised LEJOG groups, both doing it over 12 days with different organisers. Both groups were stopping short of John O’Groats that evening aiming to finish on the Saturday morning and most riders seemed a bit surprised that I was doing it in only seven days and was riding all the way to the finish at that time of the afternoon. What I thought was really nice though, was that one of their commercial organisers in a van offered me some food and gels despite knowing I was not in his party. Obviously I said “no” as Audaxing must be unsupported, but wasn’t that kind of him?


After finishing, getting my photo taken by a random stranger and checking in to the Hamnavoe B&B (with a brilliant, friendly host who more than made up for the previous night) we had dinner at the hotel along the road where a group of about 30 cyclists were in the restaurant being briefed before their 12-day JOGLE epic. Other tables appeared populated by smaller groups of cyclists doing self-supported independent rides. I reckon cyclists alone probably keep John O’Groats economically viable. I subsequently found out that only one of the four guys from Manchester made it all the way, and in fact arrived just one hour after me! It’s a shame we didn’t realise, I’d have loved to have had a picture of the two of us at the finish, having taken one at Land’s End seven days earlier! So, what about parallel journeys to Scotland? As they say in all the best children’s TV programmes; ‘We know a song about that, don’t we?’ Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road 
 And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye But me and my true love will never meet again On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond My family were often comfortably motoring along a nice fast flat ‘A’ road through a valley while I was toiling higher up a hill. They not only

L’arrivée at John O’Groats… made it!

Yet more rain in the Scottish Highlands

got to Scotland before me, they got everywhere before me but we did meet near Loch Lomond, although not quite on the banks. Over the days the accumulation of damp, used cycling kit stashed in my luggage got a bit funky… it was a huge relief to wash it after finishing… and well done for my family for putting up with the stench! I did notice that while my kit was adding to the car’s aroma each day, my family seemed to be adding lots of shopping bags each day, so I think they were having fun! We had a great time in Scotland over the subsequent days and, despite the rain, it is a truly beautiful country. We got a ferry over to the Outer Hebrides and saw dolphins, seals and deer (plus lots of sheep). Even Ross County’s football ground got superseded as my ‘most northerly football ground’ at the top of the Isle of Lewis by Ness FC (winners of the Lewis Cup 2017). Proper community grassroots football, worth a thousand Old Traffords in my opinion, although it did evoke comparisons with Barnstonworth Rovers from TV’s ‘Ripping Yarns’ and Neasden FC’s exploits in the North Circular Road Cup from Private Eye magazine. The Scottish Highlands and Islands are wonderful and we all agreed that it was a splendid holiday. Whatever I may have said about the weather during the ‘Six Days of Monsoon Morrison’, Britain is a great place to ride and End to End is a great challenge. Finally, I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to my nearest and dearest for making the whole trip possible, June, Jasmin, Amber, Velo-Toze and Gore-Tex, without any of whom it simply could not have happened.

I WISH I HAD THOUGHT… 1 Sunsets in September leave little time for unanticipated stoppages and hold ups, so take proper Audax lights not lightweight city commuter efforts! Take spare lights too. 2 Tourist hotels tend to serve breakfast later than business hotels and this can delay the day’s start and waste good daylight riding time. Sunday breakfast times can also be later. Check what time hotels stop serving dinner as a late arrival then a shower/bath etc could mean missing dinner! 3 Avoid cycle routes and cycle paths where possible as pedestrians, dogs and staggered barriers tend to slow you down. Roads are often quicker. 4 Disc brakes are probably better than rim brakes in Cornwall and Devon’s lanes when it’s wet! 5 Ignore weather forecasts, they’re rubbish. 6 Put talcum powder over velo-Toze overshoes overnight. 7 Avoid Preston. Traffic is one justification but it just seems to be bad luck whenever I visit. 8 Mentally prepare yourself for the ride alongside the motorway in southern Scotland… it’s dull but it’s still probably the best option. 9 Read Trip Advisor write ups before booking B&Bs with grumpy landladies. 10 Take something scented or some soap powder to stifle the smell of used sweaty socks etc in your hotel room (any unintended rhyming slang should be ignored).

THINGS I GOT RIGHT… 1 Get a seriously good rain jacket. The new Goretex material is brilliant, both Goretex and Castelli make rain jackets from this material. They’re not cheap though! 2 Velo-Toze overshoes are brilliant. OK they may be hard to put on (put talcum powder over them after use) and you would not want to take them off then put them on all day long, but for the serious rainfall I experienced they were immense. They fold up nicely in to your jersey pocket too. 3 Take the Clyde towpath through Glasgow, it’s fantastic. OK, some bits are slow but it saves miles so the lack of pace is offset by the miles saved. 4 Take the cycle path up the river from Dumbarton to Loch Lomond rather than the main road. I know it contradicts my general rule above, but this one is worth it. 5 Carry two bike computers… these things cannot be relied upon! 6 Study other people’s routes before plotting, ask locals (perhaps on social media etc) for advice about local roads and routes. 7 Plot the outline route, then find hotels near the daily starts and finishes and then deviate the route as necessary. Remember to check whether the hotel/B&B does evening meals and, if not, what may be available locally. 8 Check if the hotels are cyclist friendly, can you take bikes in rooms (may be difficult up stairs etc)? 9 Carry enough food/gels etc, some parts of Scotland are seriously remote and short of convenience stores and petrol stations. 10 Take a phone charger.

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DNF ON THE ESSEX RIVERS AND RESERVOIRS 200

Success is not final, ❝ failure is not fatal: it is the

courage to continue that counts… Winston Churchill

BY STEVE ROWLEY

IN PRAISE OF

didnotfinish

The above quotation should be tattooed on the back of every AUK’s hand. It is inspiration like this which drives a rider on when every atom of their being is screaming “Stop you fool, enough is enough, to carry on is madness…” but then, on the successful completion of their epic ride, writes at length of an adventure which saw them pluck victory from the jaws of misery while battling the elements and with climbs that only mountain goats would contemplate. We mere mortals marvel at such stories and at the same time feel proud to be a club-mate of such a hero, hoping that some of the reflected glory will rub off on us and that we too might be a hero one day. The account which follows is far from heroic… Churchill’s quote does not apply. The three Audax Club Mid Essex (ACME) members featured did not succeed, nor did they carry on, yet they don’t consider themselves failures – they are unrepentant. If you are inspired to follow their example you too can look forward to failure, but you might have some fun along the way! Let us first introduce our main protagonists – Keith Anderson, Mark Oakden and Steve Rowley – who have known each other for a number of years and don’t have the best of reputations. They do ride bikes and have a clutch of SRs to their names, but like toddlers they can be easily distracted, normally by pubs, and if there is trouble afoot at least one of them is the culprit. Another ACME member who deserves a mention is Grant Huggins, a fine fellow who is steadily gaining a reputation for organising superb Audaxes, it is Grant’s Essex Rivers and Reservoirs 200k event which is the epicentre of this story. His event had one fatal flaw – a flaw to which our three galant fellows were drawn like jam and cream to a scone – the

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penultimate control was The Compasses, Littley Green, the pub which ACME call their spiritual home. What’s more, on the weekend of the event, The Compasses was holding a beer festival. Mark had spent many hours the week before the ride “optimising” Grant’s carefully contrived route. Grant, bless him, had conscientiously routed his riders along the quietest lanes, affording the best views of the rivers and reservoirs which gave his idyllic ride its name. If that wasn’t enough Grant had even produced a last minute route modification to avoid some Essex Country Council resurfacing work which had covered a section of road with kitty litter. Mark’s optimisation paid scant regard to Grant’s hard work, straightening out the kinks in the route to make the shortest distance possible to The Compasses and its beer festival. Mark even included the lane covered in kitty litter just to save a few precious minutes. And so the day of the Essex Rivers and Reservoirs 200km dawned bright and

sunny. After a simple but wholesome breakfast provided by Grant and his helpers everyone set off. Our three friends immediately caused confusion by deviating from the official route after a few hundred metres. Shouts of “Oi, you three are going the wrong way!” were ignored; Keith, Mark and Steve belted out of Witham, hooned down the A12 cyclepath and onto the Boreham Road heading for the centre of Chelmsford and then to the first control at Stock. Their route wasn’t scenic, nor was it light on traffic, but it was efficient! The control after Stock was a Tesco Express at Burnham on Crouch. Route optimisation was going well, the dastardly team arrived at the control alongside the fastest riders, who had been following the official route, obviously the optimisers weren’t working as hard as the front

runners and were very smug. Fuel was taken on before mounting up again and heading for the info control at Tillingham, a small village hidden away on the Dengie Peninsula. Until here a tail wind had aided progress but as the field turned west it became a head wind, and our three champions had to exert some effort for the first time. They were familiar with the remainder of the route and realised that the leg from Sunbury to Great Bardfield was also westward, against the wind. Furthermore, the Sudbury to Great Bardfield leg was quite hilly – morale dipped. But no matter, after Latchingdon the route swung north, the wind was less of a problem and it had already been decided that luncheon would be taken at the Rose & Crown, Maldon. Even better the Rose & Crown was a Wetherspoons pub and the food

Our brave protagonists…


acceptable plus good value for money. There are few ACME members who don’t like a ‘spoons, and our heroes were soon enjoying themselves again. But there was an elephant in the room, or more precisely on the Rose & Crown’s patio – did Keith, Mark and Steve really want to finish the ride? Don’t forget the leg from Sudbury to Great Bardfield… suddenly the discussion turned serious. They really ought to finish the ride, wimping out was, well wimping out and not really in the spirit of Audaxing. Throwing in the sweaty cycling cap at the half way point might be seen as letting their mate Grant down and also ACME wouldn’t get any AUK points. Then for no apparent reason and without any warning, Keith let it be known that he had never visited The Cats, in nearby Woodham Walter. That settled it, ACME’s AUK points tally was but a distant memory and it was hard to imagine that loyalty to their organiser had ever been considered. Drinks were finished, loos visited, and with a resolute declaration of “Let’s do one!” our three ne’er-do-wells swung legs over cross bars and set off through Maldon. Mrs Wally, a charming woman in her 60s, ably assists Wally the landlord, aged approximately 392 years young, behind the bar of The Cats; a pub well deserving of its legendary status. Wally used to be deliciously grumpy, as all old school landlords ought to be, but the years have mellowed him. Should Wally or Mrs Wally be otherwise engaged, you’ll be served by one or more gentlemen of a certain age. Like Wally, they will sport brightly polished shoes, spotless slacks together with a crisply iron shirt finished off with a perfectly knotted tie. The Cats is of a time long forgotten… there is no music, no Sky Sports, just the hum of conversation and sometimes even in the summer months a roaring log burner. The Cats

doesn’t even have a till, preferring instead a few pint pots tucked under the counter. It’s always funny when a customer unfamiliar with Wally and his ways, asks to pay by card. Funnier still a customer, seduced by the 21st century, asking “Do you do contactless?”. If you are really lucky Wally will crank up his organ (his fairground organ) which lives in a large shed alongside the pub together with a matching traction engine. In what seemed like moments our cheery threesome arrived at The Cats. Steve caused some mild amusement when Fred, his rather weighty Surly Disc Trucker crashed through the hedge he’d lent it against. The afternoon was still warm so the team chatted amongst themselves and to some locals who were also enjoying the well-tended beer garden. Wally is a stickler for punctuality and the pub closed promptly at 3 o’clock – so where next? The direct route from Woodham Walter to Littley Green passes through Boreham and on a junction that would require a pause sits The Six Bells – decision made. The Six Bells also has a beer garden complete with children’s play area. Steve was dispatched to the bar and on his return found Keith and Mark enjoying the see-saw – for goodness sake! In a short time it was agreed that the next stop should be the White Hart, Little Waltham. Considerate to the last the ACME rebels had informed Grant that they had bailed. They had also informed Dave and Caroline, who were manning the control at Abberton Reservoir so word was spreading, as evidenced by the abuse now being heaped on Keith, Mark and Steve via social media – mind you they hadn’t helped themselves by posting photos of the see-saw escapade.

High spirits… Steve Rowley

You cannot be see-saw-rious…

After The White Hart, the final leg to The Compasses was begun and destination reached in 30 minutes or so. Mark and Steve’s wives were manning the control, close to the bar, having such a nice time that even the arrival of their men didn’t matter too much. Various other

EVENTBRIEF ESSEX RIVERS AND RESERVOIRS When… Saturday 5 August 2017 How far… 215km Starts from… The Labout Hall, Witham, Essex Organiser… Grant Huggins Website… northern-audax.org.uk

ACME members were disporting themselves round the pub and its gardens; all of these ACME members had actually bothered to ride the official route. And the rest of the afternoon and evening is something of a blur, largely thanks to the beer festival. Is there a moral to this tale? Well, perhaps it’s this – Audaxing is all about seeing how you match up against the challenges you set yourself – pitting yourself against distance, terrain and weather – treating those impostors, triumph and disaster, just the same. Consequently, we mostly succeed, sinking into that warm glow of satisfaction. But let’s not forget just because you start you don’t have to finish – never mind that warm glow of satisfaction from a challenge well met – sometimes the laughter of a mate, the warm glow of the summer sun enjoyed in a beer garden is all the praise you need.

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I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN

I get knocked down… but I get up again The fall and rise of an AUK organiser

While some of Alan Davies’ story is painfully familiar with many cyclists, he’s hopeful that his experience will provide a few tips and pointers for anyone unfortunate enough to be in the same position… WORDS BY ALAN DAVIES

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It’s 23 June 2017 and preparations are in hand for our annual series of Audax rides the next day. Food and drink have been purchased, cakes baked, cards ordered and delivered, labels printed, start sheets created, arrangements with cafés and helpers finalised and we have over 80 entries. It’s the fifth year we have run our Hungerford Hurrah and Hooray rides (200km and 140km), and the second year for a newer ride, the Hindon Hip Hip (170km). The 200km ride is a reincarnation of a previous event, the Winton 200, which was run by Sue Coles for many years. Taking the ride on from Sue was a good introduction to being an organiser, and I enjoyed running the events, with a lot of help from family and friends, particularly my son Toby, who our regular riders have seen grow up over the years. The weather is looking pretty favourable and I am on a short ride home after work, with a detour planned to pick up the key for the village hall and to check out a possible road closure. Zipping along Kimbridge Lane over the river Test, all is well with the world. Suddenly, things are not so well… I’m falling towards the road and as I fall a car passes extremely close to me. I impact heavily on to my right arm and shoulder. The cars behind stop, and people get out to help me.

BACKGROUND ALAN DAVIES I joined AUK in 2003 and have ridden a fair few Audaxes, mostly 100s and 200s. I have ridden a handful of longer ones but have yet to make it to the 600k, maybe one day! I enjoy riding those events where I can ride to and from home as this adds an extra dimension to the day. Best Audax moment a sublime day in the hills on the Cambrian 200 in 2005, sun all day and tailwind all the way home. Worst Audax moment DNFing my first 200 in 2001 with mild hypothermia. Favourite event Dorset Coast 200.

Suddenly, things are ❝ not so well. I’m falling towards the road and as I fall a car passes extremely close to me. I impact heavily on to my right arm and shoulder

My right hand is badly cut and my shoulder feels distinctly ‘twangy.’ I give it a few windmills to see if it will sort itself out. Helped by a lady, and four lads, from the two following cars, they ask if I knew what just happened – I don’t. “You were pulled off,” they say. It appears that a passenger in the car had an arm out of the car window and had grabbed and pulled my arm as he passed. One of the lads is medically trained. He checks me over and tells me I have broken a collarbone. I am in shock from hitting the road and feel nauseous. The lads are enjoying directing the traffic, they are brilliant and I end up laughing along with their antics. They are en route from Accrington to Bovington Tank Museum. Heaven only knows why they took the route they did, but I’m very thankful for it. Feeling better I call my wife Emma who drives out in our car. The four lads help to get my bike inside the car, and an ambulance arrives. In the forefront of this mêlée is the thought of the 80-odd riders descending on us in a matter of hours! Before I am carted off to hospital I give Emma directions on how to pick up the key for the hall. Without that we are a bit stuck. I am taken by ambulance to the hospital and checked up – the break will mend itself. I speak to the police and we finally get home late in the evening. Before bed, I phone a friend, Chris, who has entered the 200km ride and is happy to come to the hall a bit early and lend a hand setting up the tables and chairs. My ability to do that kind of thing is now severely

impaired! The next morning we all set off for Awbridge and open up the hall. No matter when we arrive, there are always a few early birds there before us and this year is just the same. Chris arrives to help set up the hall – he’s no longer doing the ride but has come anyway – what a star. We check in and set off the three groups of riders. My arm attracts a fair bit of comment but it doesn’t hurt too much, and during the day I do some limited washing up and catering duties. Usually I’d pedal off to Amesbury for the first control, but luckily this year I have sent stickers in advance – one less thing to worry about. The riders begin to trickle back in and seem to have enjoyed their rides. It’s always a great pleasure to see happy riders, particularly our ‘regulars’ who come back year after year. Toby (chief controller) is a great help with the checking in and he’s in his element, wielding stamps and stickers and having a great time, before he heads home for bed. Three year old Sophie (trainee controller) takes it all in her stride as usual. I find that writing with my left hand is quite tricky. A lot of the riders will think that a child has

Every year there is ❝ always one ‘full value’ rider, strangely never the same person… this year’s no different

completed their brevet cards. Jon, our Hungerford controller, is in touch to say that most riders are now through and by 8pm most are back at the hall and Chris kindly comes back out to help me pack up. Every year there is always one ‘full value’ rider, strangely never the same person… this year’s no different. It’s gone 10pm before he appears. He’s been in phone contact for some time and eventually www.aukweb.net

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I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN Chris drives out to guide him through the last kilometre back to the hall. His choice of full suspension mountain bike is perhaps not the best for a 200km Audax. Chris points to something strapped to the top tube. “What’s that?” It’s a riding crop which our rider has collected from the side of the road in the Valley of the Racehorse and taken home with him. It takes all sorts. We lock up the hall and Chris kindly drops me home. Phew! What a long day. I’m very pleased with how it has gone, and glad that we managed to put the events on as usual in the face of adversity. Over the next few days I take it easy. I’m quite worried about going from riding lots of miles at high summer down to nothing whatsoever, and my main concerns were a) how to stay fit, and b) would I be better in time for the only remaining big ride I had planned this year, from my home in Romsey down to Cornwall for our summer holiday. I’m usually a very hungry person, but strangely in the days following the incident I seem to lose all appetite for food. A lot of days are spent at home but I do manage some good long walks, given that the weather was so good. I’m particularly pleased to walk from home to Farley Mount (an obelisktopped local landmark) and back, a distance of some 15 miles, one fine day. I’m usually starving after such an exploit but once back at home again I have very little appetite and not at all tired. I have a check-up at the hospital a week or so later, to see how the break is healing. The doctor (a cyclist) takes one look at me and immediately makes an appointment to refer me to a colleague the following day. One end of the broken bone is protruding rather close to the skin. Being a skinny cyclist makes this even more of a problem. So on 5 July (my birthday) I have another visit to hospital to 20

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meet Mr Cox, and the outcome of that meeting is for me to have an operation to re-set the break. Mr Cox is confident that I will be back on the bike in two weeks, and that’s good enough for me. That afternoon my friend Barry comes round and sets up my turbo trainer for me, for my first serious exercise in a while. However, even with a fan, the turbo trainer is extremely unpleasant in the hot weather. It is good to make the legs ache again, though.

THE AFTERMATH

The following morning the hospital calls to request my presence that same day. So it was that on the evening of the 6 July I have an operation to pull my collarbone apart, put it back in the right position, and join it with a metal plate (I never do find out what kind of metal it was). I wake up even more dazed than usual, and apparently tell a nurse that I loved her. My fellow patients are a good bunch. Another cyclist with the same injury, and an ex-commando who used to run a bar at Alpe d’Huez! The only dampener on proceedings was the hospital physio who tells me that I will need to keep my arm in a sling for six weeks. Hang on; I thought I’d be cycling again within two! After a hospital pudding of apple crumble and custard, which is genuinely one of the nicest things I have ever eaten, home I go, emerging into the heat and blinking in the bright sun. Emma picks me up and, considerately, drives home very slowly – everything hurts quite a lot. My top recommendation from all of this is, if you are going to break your collarbone, do it at the start of July. I saw more of the Tour de France this year than I am ever likely to see again and learnt a lot about French châteaux. There were also further turbo training sessions. Luckily the hospital had sent me home with a variety of different

slings, as the TT was very sweaty work. I also had to take great care to keep my wound clean as an infection would have set me back a long way. This was when I hit the low point of the whole affair, as the operation had left me with a numb and only partlyfunctioning right hand. This was due to stretching of the nerves in my shoulder when pulling my broken collarbone apart. It was extremely debilitating and frustrating and it put me in a very bad place mentally for a while.

NOTHING’S GOING TO KEEP ME DOWN

On 19 July I had a follow-up meeting with my surgeon. “Coxy” seemed confident that my hand would go back to normal. This was also the last time I had my arm in a sling, and getting it moving again accelerated the recovery from the numbness no end. Six weeks in a sling? I don’t think so, thank you. He also gave his cautious blessing to getting back on the bike – well, the pros are back on their bikes in two weeks, aren’t they? I was fully confident that my hand would be OK, since I would be riding my disc brake-equipped hybrid. I had experimented holding the bars and pulling on the brakes and I could tightly grip the brakes full-on. On 20 July (exactly two weeks after the operation) I had my first ride on the road in almost a month and what a great ride that was, and as usual I got a bit carried away and ended up going up our local hill climb, Dean Hill (1:7). I had to ride the hills sitting down in the saddle, which was quite hard as I usually stand on the pedals. The next day I was back to work, and, after a further test ride and a week of commuting, I felt ready for a ‘proper’ ride. So it was that 24 days post-op I set off on one of my old favourites, a classic circuit up to the summit of Bulbarrow Hill in Dorset (a fantastic panorama). 103 miles and everything felt pretty good. I

just hoped that I was still on track for our holiday. There’s no easy way to get from Hampshire to Cornwall, but I did work out a flatter route I could take if the need arose. In the next couple of weeks I did two further long rides, one down to the Isle of Purbeck (to test a new Audax ride for 2018, the “Swanage Swan”), and another out to Shaftesbury to meet up with an old cycling friend. Everything was positive, physio sessions had gone well, and the feeling in my hand was almost completely back to normal. I was also tentatively back on my road bike. On 16 August I rode to Southampton General on my road bike via the steep hills around Midanbury, occasionally standing up on the pedals and feeling OK. Coxy proclaimed me well on the way to recovery, and said some further out of the saddle action would be acceptable. The following day I pointed my hybrid bike in a westerly direction and (after waiting for a torrential shower to pass) set off for Cornwall into a blustery headwind. My route took me across the New Forest down to the Isle of Purbeck, through very pleasant lanes to Dorchester, where more showery rain passed over. Then the sun came out and I merrily pedalled on through the beautiful Bride Valley to Bridport, and then a lumpy ride along the coast road. The first big hill came at Chideock, and proved no problem climbing in my regular style – I was very thankful, for the route climbed and descended incessantly along the extremely scenic and reasonably quiet coast road through Lyme Regis and on past Seaton and Sidmouth. I was making reasonable progress despite the headwind, but, after one final big climb up over Harpford Common, what a relief it was as the road gracefully fell away for mile after mile of effortless progress towards Exeter, with the hills of Dartmoor visible in


the distance. I found a route which mostly avoided the busy roads around the city and emerged on a very long, gradually steepening climb up over the Haldon ridge. What a climb that was. Lots of descending took me to Bovey Tracey at the foot of the moor, where I had a very pleasant stop sitting in the sunshine. Then it was the big one, a climb from Bovey all the way up to 400 metres up on top of Dartmoor. I will never tire of riding my bike up on the moor and today was no different – it was majestic up there. It wasn’t much further to Whiddon Down, where I met up with the rest of the family for an overnight stop, although as I hadn’t eaten enough I was all in by that point and arrived in a bit of a state, just managing to miss a torrential downpour. 150 miles and it felt pretty special having cycled from home to Dartmoor. My legs still worked the

next morning. It was just a short hop from Whiddon Down into Cornwall, but the westerly wind was still blowing. The day started with a long climb from Chagford up onto the moor, through Jurston. The lane was closed but was still passable, although I was very grateful to be climbing and not descending as there were some gaping holes to be avoided and I was certainly glad I had 32mm tyres. I enjoyed the traverse of the moor despite the headwind, and the drop into Tavistock was just sublime with the view stretching out in front of me on the long descent. The weather was still showery and the first deluge hit as I was dropping into the Tamar valley and into Cornwall. Two minutes of torrential rain then the sun came out again as I climbed up through Gunnislake. I took in some of the old Audax routes organised by Mike Hunting

and Linda Johnston which I have such fond memories of, the “Highs and Looes” and the Kit Hill Super Grimpeur, both classic routes and sadly missed. I climbed from Rilla Mill up to Minions and then on up to the summit of Caradon Hill, topped by an immense TV mast, which offered an amazing 360° view. Back in Minions I stopped at the village shop for a cheese and onion pasty and a caramel shortbread – they were both just amazing and hit the spot perfectly. I have, honestly, never tasted better – cycling does wonders for one’s culinary appreciation. Clipping Bodmin Moor, the second huge deluge hit, but again a few minutes later it had blown over and the rain jacket could come off for good. After Bodmin I hit upon NCN Route 3 which I followed all the way to St Austell, barely seeing any traffic of any description – absolutely beautiful and the

maze of lanes was well signposted. There are lots of wind turbines around St Austell and they were whizzing round like crazy today. So 43 days after the operation, I was back. I had done it – cycling from Hampshire to Cornwall in good style, and we had a fortnight’s holiday to look forward to. The ride back home afterwards was an epic but that’s another story.

INCIDENT UPDATE I was very lucky in that a combination of witnesses and dash cam footage provided enough details of the car for the police to identify it and trace the driver and passengers. The matter is still in progress and I am hopeful that there will be a positive outcome.

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One of the world’s highest roads, The Pamir Highway is breathtaking in more than one sense. Martin Philpot spent six weeks experiencing the road that has captured the imagination of many a long-distance cyclist

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PAMIR HIGHWAY I gave myself six weeks to complete what for me would be the biggest cycle challenge to date: The Pamir Highway, part of the ancient Silk Route in faraway Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. If there was a top 10 of most epic rides in the world this route would be up there near the top. In adventure cyclists’ parlance, this is holy grail stuff – numerous high altitude passes of over 4,000 metres, remote terrain where water and resources are scarce, roads skirting the Chinese and Afghan borders that are nothing more than mountain tracks, going through hostile regions where armed border guards warn of land mines and Taliban insurgents, and, well I think you get the picture!

WORDS AND PICTURES BY MARTIN PHILPOT

The rewards, however, are high… the snow-capped mountain peaks of over 7,000 metres soar all around to Himalayan proportions (the Himalayas are not so far away) making you twitch for your camera at every vista. And of course, the really open and friendly people, some of whom are living a nomadic lifestyle so alien from ours. I flew to Bishkek, assembled my bike and set off within two days along the busy western road towards Tashkent. You stand a chance of beating the heat, and on this particular stretch, the traffic, if you are on the road very early. Most days I was pedalling by 6.30am.

TAKING NO CHANCES

Day two I climbed up through the Kara-Balta Canyon and over the 3586m Tor-Ashuu Pass, one of the toughest of the whole trip (or was it tough because it was only the second day?). At the top was the infamous Tunnel where in 2001, four people died from carbonmonoxide poisoning. Apparently, a car broke down in the tunnel causing a jam and by the time lorry drivers had thought about turning their engines off four people had died. Taking no chances, I waited at the mouth

Above Dramatic mountain backdrop in the Suusamyr Basin, Kyrgyzstan Facing page Long, solitary roads stretch across vast expanses of arid desert near to Kara-Kul Lake, Tajikistan

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PAMIR HIGHWAY of the tunnel and very soon cadged a lift through the 2.8km fume-filled hell hole. The decent into the Suusamyr Valley was into a different world of lush pasture-land dotted with yurts, horses, yaks and goats. I stopped near a yurt with the intention of camping but was soon invited in for chi, food and a corner to sleep. Pamir tea is an acquired taste, (as are most culinary undertakings in this part of the world!) black tea, mare’s milk, butter and heaps of sugar. It stayed down after much insistence, as did the stew of horse gristle and dodgy dumplings. I avoided the yogurt balls, or Kymys, made from mare’s milk, compressed and shaped by the locals’ fair and grubby hands: they have a fizzy, fermenting consistency and are very popular with the Kyrgs.

RAIN, IT FALLS ON FIELD AND TREE

Day three was my baptism of fire, or more precisely baptism by torrential rain and hail on the 3330m Alabel Pass. I was caught out completely and only had lycra shorts, cycle top and thin rain top on. My waterproof gear and warm jacket was buried somewhere in the bottom of my panniers and I thought that I could speed down off the pass and out of trouble… wrong. Again, I took refuge in an isolated yurt and they sat me next to the cow-pat burning stove to thaw me out. I stayed and the storm passed. Only the poor old goat, slaughtered in my honour, was not pleased to see me and the smell of his singeing hair stayed long in the nostrils. More delicacies for my stomach to survive and I slept like a baby. In the morning, the head of the family wanted a go on my bike and I had a go on his donkey. I quietly slipped him 400 Soms (the equivalent of a £5) which he reluctantly accepted and after an awkward handshake which became a bear hug I departed. Travelling south, within a few days I was circling the 24

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Seasonal nomads on high pastures live a very basic existence, tending their herds of goats, yaks, cattle and horses. Staying with them is a fascinating glimpse into another world

beautiful Toktogul Reservoir/ lake, a sparkling turquoise gem with reflections of the stark rocky peaks shimmering in the heat. I ill-timed the next climb, 1448m Kok-Bel Ashuusu Pass, hitting it at 2pm in 42 degrees at the end of a long day. Schoolboy error. Exhausted, I was pleased to find a hotel of sorts in the next town of Kara-Kol. There was air conditioning and an en-suite, but the soviet-style plumbing meant, well, no water! There were about 20 two-litre bottles full of water in the bathroom so I worked it out from there. The road continued south following the Naryn river and then skirts the border with Uzbekistan including a frankly silly detour up and around Uzbek valley, but that’s the way it is. Jalal-Abad was a lively kind of place with a bustling bazaar

and a chance to top up on provisions. The road again took a wild detour over some beautiful rolling hills to Ozgon and then on to Osh and the end of my eighth day on the road and a much-earned rest day. After the town of Osh in Kyrgyzstan the traffic thinned out, as did the village, and the road gradually climbed towards the border with Tajikistan and the Pamirs. The 2402m Churchik Pass just before Gulcho again tested my legs and the 800m descent was a blast. A further pass, Taldik Ashuu at 3615, took me skywards before descending again to 3180m. My first view of the formidable Pamir mountain range was from Sari Tash and it looked like an impenetrable wall of rock, snow and ice glistening across the complete horizon, daring me to try and

find a way through. I was climbing rapidly on this route and was aware of other riders suffering serious issues with altitude sickness. Above 2000 metres, I stuck to the rule of not sleeping 500 metres higher than the night before. I may go higher during the day, cresting a high pass for instance, but then coming back down. I did get a mild headache one day but other than that I was fine. However, climbing the three passes Kizl-Art (4336m), Uy Buloq (4232m) and Ak Baital (4662m) was tough with the combination of factors like: 54% of normal oxygen, very steep gradients, rubble roads and a bike and panniers weighing in above 52 kilos, oh and a 62-year-old cardiovascular system that has shown signs of ageing! Let’s just say it hurt! Disappointingly,


Yurts are circular homes made of multilayered felt stretched around a collapsible wooden frame. The outer felt layer is coated in waterproof sheep fat, the inner most lined with woven glass matting. Long woollen strips secure the walls and poles

The Icy peaks of the Pamirs tower over No-Man’s-Land between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

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PAMIR HIGHWAY More than half of Tajikistan lies above 3000 metres. Yet even at this height the surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges soar much higher. Road surfaces are poor and a constant challenge

the highest pass, at 4662 metres, didn’t even have a sign at the top! Not even a photographer snapping the event and handing you a ‘collect’ card! The second big storm hit just as I pitched my tent in the 20 km strip of no-man’s land between the Kyrg and Tajik border posts. The wind came down the valley like an express train and torrential rain hammered down for most of the night… would my pegs hold? I had pitched near a small river… would the banks hold? The rocks on the ledge above were loose… would they hold? The storm was of biblical proportions and my fate was in the lap of the gods. There was nothing I could do to influence the outcome, so I said my prayers and went soundly to sleep. I was woken by gunfire at 5am. The storm had abated and it was light. Peering cautiously out of three inches of an unzipped flysheet I saw the culprit with a rifle… shooting marmots. 26

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As I made my way towards Kara Kul the road deteriorated and I was seeing maybe one car an hour or less. Even though I was at 3000 metres, jaggered snowy peaks still soared all around me. Kara Kul lake came into view adding a dynamic splash of vivid blue to the scene. The lake was formed by a meteor strike millions of years ago and is the highest navigable lake in the world at 3930 metres, even higher than Lake Titicaca in Peru. The locals believe a monster swims in its depths and won’t swim there, preferring nearby rivers and creeks. From my tent that night l stared for what seemed hours at the deep black unadulterated night sky: the Milky-Way smudged across the heavens and shooting stars snatching your attention with impressive frequency. What a night performance it was.

INTO THE VALLEY

I had been looking forward to Morghab for weeks, remote,

Fully loaded my bike and bags weighed 52 kilos


but a big dot on my map. One hotel dominates the town where travellers gravitate but it’s all just a bit run down and scruffy. I resisted feeling disappointed, reminding myself how remote a location I was at. Young backpacking travellers, constantly wedded to their mobiles, complained of no wi-fi. Electricity came on for three hours at dusk as the generators fired into life and there was clamber for sockets to charge their devices under the flickering light. I had decided to avoid social media, so as long as I could charge my Garmin from a combination of dynamo and battery pack, l was happy. There’s much debate over which route to take west from Alichur: stick to the Pamir Highway and its patchy tarmac, or forgo the tarmac completely and head for the more remote and infamous Wakhan Valley bordering Afghanistan? So, the Wakhan Valley it was. This was where the going again got

tough. The Khargush Pass (4344m) to the Khargush checkpoint was a boulderstrewn track, deplete of water. Once through the checkpoint, avoiding the corrupt scams of the guards by doggedly refusing their incessant demands for money for a worthless piece of paper and repeating the word ‘niet’, I faced further treacherous mountain tracks and wild camping on precipitous sites, before reaching the lush Shangri-laesque village of Langar. Orchards of apricot, pear and apple trees, heavy with ripe fruit were in abundance. A friendly local offered me a place in his home to sleep and I was grateful. He had a shower arrangement that Heath Robinson would have been proud of, my first for four days! Toilets and showers took on an artform all of their own. I could write chapter and verse but won’t, suffice to say a favourite of mine was the car tyre toilet… and the three-

Horsemanship is mastered at an early age – the equivalent of a kid learning to ride a bike!

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PAMIR HIGHWAY bucket shower! The Wakhan Valley follows the Panj River which is the border with Afghanistan. Across the river it is plain to see the very basic mud houses and poor roads. Exchanging waves with men on their donkeys is a pleasant distraction from the very poor road surface that rattles you and your bike to its limits. But of course, the main distraction is the stunningly beautiful snow-capped mountains all around with glimpses of Engles Peak at 7000 metres. I visited Bibi Fatima hot spring, and four days later Garmchashma, both worth the 7km climb up the mountains not least to freshen up as the very fast moving Panj River was too much of a challenge to swim in for me. There was a bridge at Ishkashim, one of only three crossing the river to Afghanistan, but officially it was shut. Passing it at 6.30am however I witnessed at least 10 booze-ladened men making their way back across to Afghanistan, fully loaded so-to-speak. The shared market

Wild camping was often the only option, ideally near a water source

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had to be abandoned two years ago because of Taliban insurgents exploiting the opportunity and escaping across the border. The only shared market now is near Khorog on Saturdays but I got there on a Wednesday and it didn’t really interest me enough to loiter for three days. The Pamir Lodge in Khorog is a very popular hostel although I wished the guy with the guitar had not assumed we all liked his hippy hollerings! Khorog itself was a vibrant place for a day off with a park and an idyllic tea-house overlooking the bridge and fast flowing river. I met an Austrian there who had been in Afghanistan for a month on a cultural project. What a fascinating man – I learnt so much about the Afghans and their current struggles and dilemmas. The rubble mountain road continued north then west along a progressively narrowing gorge. Incredibly, every hour or so an articulated lorry would crawl its way along

this track. Looking at a map you realise that this is the only route to Khorog from the capital but the sight of such a large lorry on such a track beggared belief. Of course, the inevitable happened right in front of my eyes. One such lorry jack-knifed and miraculously stopped just short of tumbling over the precipice, blocking the road and leaving it balanced, Italian Job-style over the edge. If I had been just 500 metres further along the track I would have been knocked over the edge. From Kala i Khumb the road improved and the last pass at Anjirob (2300m) was made less of an endurance due to tarmac. Two further tunnels of around 3km made me appreciate the reason I brought really good front and rear lights, but I don’t like tunnels at any time. Four days on I rolled into Dushanbe. A busy capital full of crazy drivers. I rode straight to the Green House Hostel and breathed deeply… I had completed the most amazing ride of my life and now all I wanted to do was eat and sleep.

Just the ram and me on top of the Kizil-Art Pass at 4280 metres


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OCD CYCLO CLIMBING 2017… with Rod Dalitz, the OCD old man

OCD cyclo climbing 2017 In 2017, OCD welcomes our youngest rider, Fraser Anderson aged 10, with a claim of 3406 metres. A great achievement, well done! In 2017, 44 riders claimed over a million metres of cols. Dave Joynson had a smaller claim after breaking his arm last year, but Fred Abbatt, Russell Carson, Terry Hailwood, Andy Smith, Bob Watts, and Robert and Helen Waterton all strongly increased their col riding for 2017. Harald Eichmeier of Baden-Baden in Germany doubled his claim, of course he has the serious advantage of living next door to the Alps, which most of us can only visit for a week or two. The endorphins which follow exercise are addictive; like any illegal drug, it takes more and more to achieve the same high. The great thing about exercise and endorphins is that it is completely legal, and difficult to overdose. The satisfaction of riding over high wild roads is hard to beat. Most claims were from the UK and from all over Europe, including |Greece, Poland, and Slovakia. Ben Bate claimed cols in Japan. Gary Hibbard and Terry Lister claimed from Tenerife, a wonderful high island with excellent cycling.

A few words from letters accompanying claims: ● I had a lovely cycling holiday to Lourdes this year and had the painful pleasure of riding the Tourmalet, Col Du Tentes and Hautcam in July. ● I am finding that temptations of the OCD points are affecting where I cycle, so loads of Dartmoor col crunching adventures have resulted. ● Looking pleasurably back at the summer records, I am very surprised at how often I was riding and how much cols dominated my choice of where to ride. The highlights for me were, first, the Col d’Aubisque with the wonderful traverse of a near vertical cliff face just after the Col de Soulor. There was sleet, rain and low clouds for much of time, but occasional breaks in the cloud revealed the most dramatic scenery of jagged skyline and deep, deep drops into the valley below. ● All my claims for 2017 are from the Transcontinental Race… my 2018 claim should be easier as I’m going back to the Dolomites (so named cols) to have a slower explore later this year, as it was my favourite part of the Transcontinental but didn’t have time to have a proper look round!

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OCD Claims for 2017 AUK No RANK, date Lifetime 2017 total 2016 2016 total 2015 ABBATT Fred 6086 Commander 14 419892 86488 333404 76964 256440 ACLAND Ken 5752 Officer 14 133139 7487 125652 ALDRED Mark 14956 Officer 05 189040 25304 163736 ALLAN Douglas 11101 Honorable 16 547053 32430 514623 22888 491735 ANDERSON Alan 6938 47993 3844 44149 3566 40583 ANDERSON Fraser 16690 3406 3406 ARCHER Chris 14940 16039 2483 13556 305 13251 BATE Ben 11108 Honrable 17 500716 34866 465850 33429 432421 BRABBIN Thomas 12364 46248 16301 29947 23291 6656 CARSON Russell 5296 Officer 17 109721 32981 76740 13008 63732 CLARKE Sue 11137 Venerable 05 1474720 24355 1450365 17614 1432751 CLARKE Tony 11138 Venerable 05 1559630 28028 1531602 25621 1506981 COLE Andrew 12476 2704 2704 CORBET George 5390 47289 1759 2126 COWAN Richard 14117 37799 37799 DALE Peter 6186 Officer 11 187297 20543 166754 7938 158816 DAMPER Bob 14064 Commander 15 263073 16914 246159 38776 205683 DONALDSON Bob 13904 16734 16734 EICHMEIER Harald 11156 Venerable 11 1608014 75110 1532904 32060 1500844 GLADWYN Mark 1397 Commander 13 310615 7605 303010 9432 293578 GOBERT Daniel 11170 Honourable 09 723264 38179 705085 32713 672372 HAILWOOD Terry 13033 48576 37522 11054 2382 8672 HARRISON Paul 11181 Venerable 09 1442094 72347 1369747 72294 1297453 HIBBARD Gary 1341 Member 18 55320 12704 42616 42616 HILBERS Martin 4820 Honourable 15 613784 16066 597718 16480 581238 HOOD Andrew 1842 Member 67386 1290 66096 1034 JOYNSON Dave 11203 Venerable 03 1269869 8549 1261320 18889 1242431 LISTER Terry 2526 Commander 15 261570 28929 232641 15135 217506 MATTHEWS Nikola 15263 5493 5493 MORRISON Dave 12405 Officer 16 130343 20368 109975 4813 105162 O’NEILL James 4130 Member 14 97667 97667 18280 79387 PARIS Jean-Francois 18352 1202 1202 PEACOCK Gavin 13235 46167 18928 27239 27239 PINTO Mark 5743 Member 16 88667 17803 70864 48469 22395 PRESLAND Kevin 740 Commander 13 437740 74265 363475 52815 310660 PRINGLE Laura 2451 13754 6630 3783 RAYNER Darryl 12209 18428 16476 SARRAMEGNA Serge 18136 12056 12056 SMITH Andy 6190 Commander 11 480460 60724 419736 50499 369237 THOMAS Huw 14477 Member 17 57302 57302 WADDINGTON Ivan 46 Commander 05 329434 1023 328411 29839 308572 WATERTON Robert 11283 Honorable 07 754003 36833 717170 10645 706525 WATERTON Helen 11282 Honorable 08 769991 36833 733158 11581 721577 WATTS Bob 1870 Honorable 16 600308 65680 534628 26290


TRAINING CADENCE BEN KEENAN e owns and runs Suffershir ike ttb Wa a , ling Indoor Cyc lising studio in Cheltenham. Uti rkout wo the Sufferfest training and -art the oftesta h videos together wit ers rid es giv he es, static bik red professional-level, structu for ct rfe workouts that are pe g hin wis s list endurance cyc ter win ain int to ma fitness

how fast should I be pedalling? It’s a huge debate, triathletes and cyclists all have different opinions, ironman athletes who cycle 112 miles before a marathon will think their optimum pedalling speed needs to be slower than their counterparts racing at a Sprint or Olympic Triathlon. Then you have endurance cyclists vs. racers. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, no one is actually wrong, people just have different opinions, mostly based on personal experiences, but then even the sports scientists can’t agree, and they have conducted studies on many athletes. One such study looked at groups of riders with cadences ranging from 60rpm all the way to 120rpm. The results demonstrated clearly that it’s cyclists in the mid range that performed better, which is the reason why it’s now commonly considered that 90rpm is the optimal cadence. By better I mean they used less oxygen to fuel their muscles than those riding at a high or low cadence. Another factor is the pendulum effect. As your leg is ‘swinging’ at the bottom of the pedal stroke you’re

using less effort to push the other leg over the top on the other side (remember what you do on the left impacts the right and vice versa). With a big gear the momentum is minimal, so you need to put in a lot more effort to push and pull the pedals at the top and bottom of each stroke. Typically, inexperienced riders will grind a big gear and then get used to riding this way. Normally it’s in the region of 70-80 rpm. They find that grinding the pedals gives them a good workout and they get tired legs. But an aerobic ride at a higher cadence creates a feeling of your chest tightening and nausea. This typically comes when you’re riding at a cadence higher than you’re used to and makes the ride uncomfortable. Consider how you’re feelng the day after a big ride. When you walk up stairs are you ever aware of how tired or sore? It’s unlikely, as your heart recovers much more rapidly than your leg muscles – suprisingly, it recovers within minutes, not days. So why not use your heart to its full potential, by increasing your cadence, which will, in turn, increases your heart rate and gives

your legs a break from the heavy pedalling? This is why people suggest spinning up a climb. You get to the top and your legs won’t be as tired as if you had ridden that climb at 60-70 rpm in a big gear. By training your body to ride at a higher cadence, you’ll become fitter and you’ll begin to see and feel your heart rate decreasing for the same speed around a local course. It will take some getting used to as your body adjusts, so expect the first ride, at a higher cadence, to be lung busting! After getting used to 85-95 rpm riding, move on to do some high cadence drills. This is as fast as you can pedal 4-8 times for 20 seconds during an easy ride. It’s not just for sprinters to do this drill, when your slow twitch or fast twitch muscles get tired, you’re reliant on the other fibres to get you home. Each muscle has two types of fibre, so why not use them both? In summary, if you’re already riding around 90 rpm on flat roads, stay as you are and incorporate some high cadence work. For everyone else, start getting used to a slightly lower gear and slighter higher cadence. Good luck.

PHOTO © IVO MIESEN

Ben looks at cadence/rpm and gives some pointers on…

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THE MILLE PENNINES 1,000KM + LEL 2017 – SO NEAR, SO FAR

Robert Bialek takes on a 1,000km ride through some of Northern England’s most stunning but hilly countryside. Offering 12.75 AAA points for 13,000m of climbing, it’s not a ride for the faint-hearted. So on a chilly mid-summer morning we join Robert as he takes on the…

WORDS ROBERT BIALEK PICTURES DEAN CLEMETSON

Mille Pennines

my hardest ride… so far

FRIDAY: DAY 1

Finding the Community Centre in Blackpool with two hours to spare was a relief. The start was10.00am, the weather overcast, and I was apprehensive of what the undertaking would involve. I went hell for leather for 59km in a peloton of seven to Arnside in just two hours. Rain persisted all the way to The Lakes and through Ambleside to the Whinlatter Pass control. I got back for 23.30 and the seven-foot giant, Andreas, served me with a green pasta dish. I managed just six cups of tea. In the gym I had to wait for a lilo to become available. Cramp in my right hamstring woke me – I was ready for the off at 04.30. 32

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SATURDAY: DAY 2

It was freezing cold. My feet and fingers grew numb. I missed a turn, and had to retrace 13km to the road to Garsdale Head, turning a 27km leg into 40. I didn’t find the infamous Buttertubs a big problem. At Stanhope others were coming and going so I stopped at a bakery and had lots of pastries and cake. A mistake, as this left me parched, with lots of climbing to undertake right in the heat of the day. I found myself riding alongside Kelvin Amos, so we teamed up. Long uphill drags followed by seemingly short descents got us to the Kielder shop for 16.54 where I drank lots of juice. Taking the lead to Langholm, Stage

8; and then Stage 9 to Penrith, the rapid 25km in just one hour gave me sore knees and buttocks. A wrong roundabout exit into Carlisle delayed us but eventually we got back on the road to Penrith. It was 22.42 and we took a long time on the roads to the Shap area. After a slow climb we caught a bunch of five riders. After this our sevenman peloton just flew along to Tebay where four went left under the motorway and on to rough roads, but Rob, Kelvin and I continued going up, up and up on the main road eventually taking a left from where we took the long and windy lanes through woods and hedge-covered hairpins. I lost sight of the others for


EVENTBRIEF MILLE PENNINES When… Friday 7 July 2017 How far… 1,007km Starts from… Bispham, Lancashire Total climbing… 13,000m (12.75 AAA) Organiser… Andy Corless, Burnley CC Website… millepenninesaudax.com

most of the time, getting glimpses of red tail lights occasionally. Sedbergh for 01.35 … 359km with 24km extra in 21 hours. I had just fruit juice and was quickly to bed on a welcome lilo. Alas, no blankets were provided; I wore my cagoule and wrapped myself in towels for warmth.

SUNDAY: DAY 3

This would turn out to be a very gruelling day and night indeed! Kelvin and I were away at 05.00, doing the 97km to Yarm by 10.07, then on to Askrigg and Richmond. Here, on the short, very steep descent, I dropped too fast and nearly lost my front wheel on the second short bend at the bottom – I managed to control the

fierce wobble and pulled up straight but then punctured. The road to Robin Hood’s Bay had steep downs and long uphills in the heat of the day. Both of us needed a good meal. My favourite, of course, was fish and chips with plenty of tea. The very steep climb out of town was just a taster for several severe climbs today. Later on, a wrong turn took us back up a 20%, immediately after doing a 25% drop, a little disheartening. Back on the correct route to Grosmont at the top of a badly “broken-into-plates” road, we met our “Gang of Five” again! From here we stayed together, but I fell to the back on long and very steep climbs. The road to Rosedale Abbey and the climb

was a lot further than I expected, with no water available in the valley, I got up the 1:3, just! This middle section was definitely the hardest part. A short wait at the top for the others then a descent into Kirkby Moorside for a meal at a pub. It was 20.30 by the time we left; we’d spent an hour-and-a-half there! Through Thirsk, and a long and steady climb, where I struggled to keep up. At Sutton Bank, an extremely fast descent where I had to brake excessively, before a big bend and felt the wheel wobble again. We arrived at Ripon petrol station (stage 13) at 22.52 with only 83km to Sedbergh. Leaving at 23.15 we were a “Gang of Seven” again. Taking the A6108 to Masham and www.aukweb.net

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THE MILLE PENNINES 1,000KM + LEL 2017 – SO NEAR, SO FAR

… day two. It was freezing cold. ❝ My feet and fingers grew numb. I missed a turn, and at Cautley garage I was forced to retraced the 13km back to the road to Garsdale Head

Starting the second day of the Mille Pennines © Dean Clementson

West Tanfield I was finally dropped after half hour so I took my own pace, caught two slower riders and eventually crossed the bridge into Middleham where I couldn’t find my way out! Reaching a signpost for “Forbidden Corner”, I returned to find Ian Ryall and others had arrived and were all munching away, under the glow of street lights. I found the almosthidden Leyburn sign and diverted onto a tiny road out to Wensley. It was raining hard, but it had no chance of reviving me! Coasting down hills and on the flats I was very sleepy. I needed the hills to wake me up. With overgrown hedges and with no fence to prop my bike against, I just imagined a wall and stood and dozed in the road until a cyclist came past. Following his red tail light to Hawes jerked me awake and the long climb out woke me up properly. Really “flying” to Garsdale Head, Garsdale and Sedbergh – I made it back for 04.10 over an hour behind my six-man team. 339km in 23 hours.

MONDAY: DAY 4

Leaving at 07.08, I felt okay. I stopped at a friend’s house in Thurnham for refreshment. Ian Ryall rescued me again at Pilling Junction. I arrived at Bispham for 11.48, finishing inside 74 hours! Many thanks to Andy Corless for the lift to Walk Mill traffic lights, which saved me doing an extra 100km, leaving only 36km to get home, and easy, blissful sleep. 34

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The very steep climb out of ❝ town was just a taster for several very severe climbs… later on, a wrong turn took us back up a 20%, immediately after doing a 25% drop, a little disheartening.


HIGHLIGHTS Robert also entered the LEL which ran very soon after the Mille Pennine. Beset by bike troubles, punctures and the weather, it turned into a desperate race agaist the clock… Here’s his report

The seemingly ❝ unending, slow-motion moving up and over The Devil’s Beeftub was mind numbingly boring and very tiring. I found that the high speed pace to Eskdalemuir was invigorating. The really steep bits reared up and I was in slow-mo in the heat of the afternoon

LEL 2017 So near, so far… I opted for an early start time to avoid the queues, but in part due to a puncture near Spalding, I was going too slow to get to Pocklington at 10.00pm as I had in 2013, and arrived at 11.48. The weather looked to be declining so I decided to stay for sleep. A 5am start got me into Thirsk for 09.10. Here a mechanic fixed my jumpy gearing and rear brake. Through Barnard Castle and on to Alston and I was “flying along”. I met, and left, the Quartet of VC 167 Riders Ann, Deb, Rob, and Micky Fish. Then a guy from Spain jumped on to my back wheel and we motored along to Brampton. At Moffat I decided to go through the night to reach Edinburgh, make up time and get a short sleep. The seemingly unending, slow-motion moving up and over The Devil’s Beeftub was mindnumbingly boring and very tiring. It was nice when a guy drew up and we cycled along to near the Control. We had to negotiate cycle paths with speed bumps; going too fast I got my second puncture. Alone, with 7km to go I fixed the problem. Or so I thought! Unhappy with the narrow, bumpy and twig-laden route to the roundabout I eventually reached the Control for 04.05. I estimated I had lost an hour from the mechanical and route-finding problems. Leaving at 07.00 I got my next puncture shortly after. Catching up with others over moorlands and going well, I got yet another! Realising that a bulging tyre wall was causing these problems, I released some pressure and continued slowly avoiding rough road bits whenever I could. I spoke to the mechanic who installed a new tyre.

Later, and back on track, I caught up with other riders and found the high speed pace to Eskdalemuir was invigorating. Someone shouted “Big Vehicles!” I heard them but kept going; two Logging trucks, with trailers, forced me off the road on a right hand bend. At the Control I was only three minutes behind my cut-off time. Here were Mike Wigley and Pete Bond, but I just didn’t have the time to have a natter or eat as I wanted to pull back more time. Cross with myself for this turn of events I stormed off into the mid-day heat. I was tired. The really steep bits reared up and I was in slow-mo in the heat of the afternoon. The “dozies” were daunting and I decided to sleep at Brampton. I had pulled back another 1hour 10 minutes. I reasoned with a nap I might continue at a better pace. Sleeping on the gym floor I awoke with cramp and had to get up and walk it off. Feeling hungry, I took a trip to the canteen. Nearly 12 hours had elapsed since my arrival at 16.50 and, though still in need of “proper sleep”, I decided to leave. When I arrived it had been quiet but now there was a 20 rider queue. I left them clamouring for attention and caught up with Mel Kirkland. Leaving him in Alston, I slowly but surely caught and overtook The Masses leading up to Yad Moss Summit. There, unbelievably, was a refreshment van. How did they know we were coming? It had been windy and wet. Now it lifted and grew calmer. Reaching Barnard Castle at 09.24 on Wednesday I was less than 10 hours behind my cut-off time; 500km to go and 24 hours to do it in. I felt

fed up. If I rode through the night I would catch up; but sleep was the factor I knew would ruin any plans I made. It just didn’t seem fair. Try as I might, it was just too much for me now. Struggling along in semi-twilight between Pocklington and Louth, I tried unsuccessfully to get my computer to light up to see the distance done. A rider seeing my difficulty offered to navigate us to Louth. The rain was coming down hard before we reached the control at 23.31. This was my fourth sleep stop. Knowing I had about 270 km to go and 10 hours to do it in, I resigned myself to being a DNF. 06.30, a clear day, and a better forecast than expected, I teamed up with Mark Lison, and Agi Palanki, and we made steady progress to Spalding. From here, I went on alone. A strong wind to St Ives didn’t deter me and I got there inside three hours, overtaking everyone on the way. The 100-hour time limit had passed; all I was concerned with was finishing inside 116 hours. Pushing through rush-hour traffic in Cambridge I made Great Easton by 20.16. With the night drawing in and the light on my computer not working, I set off hoping to latch onto someone’s tail to the Finish. A couple came past and I tagged onto them and arrived at 23.54. Almost 14 hours behind my cut-off time, I was relieved to finish, with my Brevet book and medal to take home as reward of being a “just-so-ran”. Sadly DNFs get no verification, so when it comes to who rode The LEL, we will not be in the list of finishers, whereas in PBP, the list is there for all to see, DNF, out of time, or otherwise. www.aukweb.net

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A TALE OF THREE TOURS

A trip to Northern Italy gave Pete Walden an idea for a tour of the Italian Alps. That was in 2014, and he’s now just back from his third tour of the region. What keeps him going back?

WORDS AND PICTURES BY PETE WALDEN

A tale of three tours

In May of 2014 my wife, Suzie, and I spent some time in Verona before setting off by train to Brescia and changing trains for the little line up the east side of Lake Iseo to Pisogne on the northern tip of this lake. During the next three days, we spent a day criss-crossing the Lake for seven euros each on a day rover, visiting most of the idyllic villages, and travelled by train up Val Camonica to the terminus at Edolo, within striking distance of some of the major passes in the Italian Alps. Our hotel in Pisogne had a battered old mountain bike for hire, and in spite of a slow front wheel puncture, I was able to crawl up the amazing switchbacks above the village, with ever more startling views of Lake Iseo, the unsung gem of Italy’s great lakes. Back home, on discovering the nearness of Bergamo airport, bike tour planning instantly began, and sifting through the usual options, I decided not to hire a car, but to travel ultra light, and prebook an 11-day tour, staying two nights at only two places. This formed tour number one. In 2016, tour number two differed in being clockwise and going further north-east nearing the Italian/Austrian border at Vipiteno, returning via the northern tip of Lake Garda. Tour number three, just completed, went directly to Bormio, where I stayed for five nights, giving more opportunities for

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riding an unladen bike, and returned for two nights in Pisogne. This whole region has become, for me, one of which I don’t seem to tire, with endless nooks and crannies of discovery. The common factors of all three tours are: tough, but manageable long climbs – for example the passes of the Stelvio, Bernina, Croce Domine, Maniva, etc – and the consistently warm welcome by the Italians. “Complimenti!” is the usual reaction when you explain which passes you’ve crossed to arrive at the guest house, instead of the incomprehension which often surfaces in our own country. Maybe

my carbon Dedaccai frame built in Milan, or the pair of Pete Matthews’ Piani wheels, are also helpful. Also “Puo mettere la tua bicicletta in camera”, (you can put your bike in the bedroom) was not uncommon. The contrast of sunny lakeside roads and freezing descents presented a terrific variety of views, and the changes of weather made a selection of what to take in a small saddlebag, the Carradice Super C, crucial. Logistics abruptly failed at the beginning of tour number one, when I had planned to assemble the bike from its flight bag on the airport concourse, leaving the bag in left luggage until my return. Late July found the small Bergamo Seria Airport mobbed, so plan B was to do all this outside. However, a torrential storm (wettest July in 20 years!) led to plan C, and an expensive taxi ride for me and the bike bag to the unique “Due Sili” Guest House, about seven kilometres away. I rectified this situation on tours two and three by taking the bus into Bergamo


directly from the airport. €2.40 for me, and €2.40 for the bike in its bag saw me 20 minutes later outside any hotel in town, where I could assemble the bike at leisure, and leave the bike bag there after staying the night; collecting the bag after staying a further night at the end of the tour. Tours two and three were in early September, with more settled weather, and with the roads out of Bergamo noticeably quieter. My route choice was, on tour one, to get an overview of the area, and incorporate as many of the classic climbs as possible, on tour two, to explore more of the north-east area which, 100 years ago, was in Austria, and on tour three, to investigate some of the smaller valleys and villages around Bormio. This last idea was triggered by Giovanni, proprietor of the Meuble della Contea hotel in Bormio, after staying there for two nights in 2014 and one night in 2016, when he said, “Why not stay here for longer next year?” Giovanni is an Italian Mountain Guide who’s lived in

Bormio all his life, and remembers 1988, when Andy Hamsten won a Giro stage coming down the Gavia in the snow. “The best bit of cycling I’ve ever seen”, said Giovanni. The whole region seems equally attractive for roadies and mountain bikers, as I discovered at the Giordano Hotel in Breno in 2014. I had just arrived, dutifully removed my cycling shoes, and tiptoed up the marble stairs to the bike room on the first floor, carefully placing my bike in a corner. As I left the room, about 12 mud soaked mountain bikers click-clacked up the stairs, and began flinging their muddy bikes around the walls. I ran back and retrieved my bike. “We’re in a group you know”, said one of them. “Ah yes”, I agreed,

finding another neutral corner for my bike, and arranging chairs around it. The group must have found the only night life in little Breno, because much shouting and door slamming was heard at 2am. The weather in 2014 was, at best, variable, and having slogged up the Gavia Pass from Ponte di Legno on a dull morning, I rested in the Refugio atop and fortified with Cioccolato Caldo. The descent with its fabulous views went fine to Santa Caterina, so much so that I pressed on towards Bormio, and that night’s hotel. Within seconds stair rods of

The main road out to ❝ Bergamo turned out

You can find Lake Iseo, in Lombardy, northern Italy, between the larger and more famous Lake Garda and Lake Como

pleasantly traffic-free, with Lake Endine glistening, before a spectacular drop in the heat to Lovere on lake Iseo

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A TALE OF THREE TOURS

The Meuble Della Contea guest house

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freezing rain were falling, and visibility shrank. By San Antonio with its cobbles and narrow streets, I could see nothing and feel no hands, so took refuge in a tiny bar. Down in Bormio the sun was out and the roads dry. Giovanni knowingly said, “Il Passo di Gavia, si”. We both laughed. From Pisogne in 2014, I rode to Lovere, up to Clusone and followed the Seria valley to Valbondione, where, from the gelateria I studied the towering walls of the Alpi Orobie, reminding myself that the Aprica Pass was just the other side of these mountains. Was I up there only yesterday? My first day leaving Bergamo in 2016 saw busy traffic north to San Pellegrino, but much quieter conditions up the valley to scale the bleak 1985m San Marco Pass. From Morbegno the Valtelina east has a busy main road, so a continuous search for minor roads and bike paths is essential. I became hopelessly lost near Albosaggia searching for the Campelli Hotel. Asking the hotel’s whereabouts from two elderly folk in a parked car, I was told to follow them as they drove slowly there, which I did, through a maze of tiny roads. Outside the Hotel, they insisted on introducing me as Signore Walden who had arrived from over the San Marco Pass. “Complimenti!” said the proprietor. After Bormio and the ascent of the south side of the Stelvio, the way down Val Venosta and entry into Merano in a maze of cycle paths was similarly tricky. My three nights in Vipiteno included a ride up and down the beautiful Vizze valley close to the Austrian border, and a train trip to the quaint village of Brenero right on the Pass. The other most vivid memory from 2016 came on the day from Riva del Garda to Iseo town. I failed to find the back way for bikes out of Riva, and instead mistakenly entered the 3.4 kilometre long tunnel across to the road for Mezzolago and Lake Ledro. With my rear light defiantly flashing, and myself taking frequent refuge in the works’ lay-bys, this was a truly horrendous experience, mainly because of the noise of the heavy lorries. All this was counteracted by the ascent of the Passo di Maniva to gain the head of the Val di Trompia. I’d say that this pass would be my favourite, as in 2017 I climbed it from the other side. The contrast in weather systems, facing either east or west is startling. And so to this year. Thinks: “Yes, let’s get straight from Bergamo to Bormio. It’s only 160km, with the one major pass.” The S42 main road out to Bergamo turned out pleasantly traffic free, with Lake Endine glistening, before a spectacular drop in the heat to Lovere on lake Iseo. I negotiated the


gentle if long climb up to Edolo where I took a lunch break, before embarking on the start of the Tonale Pass, and soon took a sharp left turn for the “easy” side of the Mortirolo Pass. Mistake! A temperature of 30 degrees, a loaded bike and overgearing led to a crawl and four stops to reduce the pounding of my poor old heart. By the time I had made the tortuous descent into the valley and begun the slog to Bormio, the light was deteriorating. However, a 6.50 arrival was good enough. Giovanni at the

Dutch DNA cycling team

Meuble Della Contea hotel said “Il Passo di Mortirolo, si”. We both laughed. Two more highlights followed. The first was meeting and having lunch with the “DNA Team” of Dutch cyclists atop the staggering ”staircase of Fraele” hairpin road, in the restaurant at the start of the unmade road around the high level lakes. This team was due to ride the Stelvio two days later on a Dutch-organised event for a cancer charity called “Stelvio for Life.” Finally, from Pisogne, I rode up the St Zeno pass, with its horrible surface, then turned left and climbed up the Val di Trompia to the top of the Maniva Pass. A sign said, “Passo di Croce Domimi Aperto”. So there followed further climbing with unimaginable views, a section of unmade road, two fabulous

lakes and the beginning of a descent on smooth tarmac. All seemed well. There were still about 5km to the Croce Domini when the tarmac abruptly ran out, and, having gone well past the point of no return for the day, I had no choice but to continue on this appalling surface in spite of many motor bikes and 4x4s hurtling past in clouds of dust, until, thanking providence, I saw the café on Croce Domimi. I was very lucky that neither frame nor wheels were seriously damaged. Thanks, Pete Matthews, as the Piani wheels, now 11 years old, are still perfectly true. Next year? Well, all three ways up the Mortirolo need attention, (a cog or 4 more), and maybe a jaunt into St Moritz over the Bernina Pass. Last week I was changing the locks on our U.P.V.C. doors. I collected the new locks from the hardware store, and read on the packaging, “Made in Italy.” The brand name was “ISEO”. It’s a very small world!

… one of the highlights was meeting ❝ and having lunch with the DNA Team of Dutch cyclists atop the staggering Staircase of Fraele hairpin road

Looking down on the staggering Staircase of Fraele road

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Four

The return along the railway ❝ somehow showed the tree tunnels through which it runs to greater effect, which lifted my spirits a little. There should have been no reason to be down and I can only think that I really need to eat a bigger breakfast before I set off

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Lymm Railway


FOUR CANDALS

A ride inspired by a sketch

by The Two Ronnies

WORDS AND PICTURES BY PETER BOND

candals I still hanker after long-distance riding, even though I’ve adapted my vision pretty successfully to shorter horizons. I’ve spent many absorbing winter hours planning rides of 200 kilometres and more in the hope that I’d occasionally have good enough conditions on the tow-paths and trails to complete them in the daylight. Last year I completed one, using NCN route 66 to ride from Rochdale to Leeds and back. It had been a hot day, the hottest of the year in fact, which meant that the tracks were dry but also that I was, too. I’d managed to get home inside my target time of 14 hours, but the heat and a puncture conspired to make it a close-run thing. 2017 also saw a prolonged dry spell, though mercifully not as hot as last. But my planned course was harder, involving four canals (the Rochdale, Ashton, Bridgewater and Peak Forest) and two sections of railway trails (the Lymm Railway and the Middlewood Way). Last summer I had experimented with three rides of approximately 100 kilometres each, which between them covered the whole of my planned 200, so I knew the course was ridable. It was a question of whether or not I could get round in “Audax time”, which would be 14 hours and 20 minutes for the actual distance of 205 kilometres. I hadn’t bothered with an official do-it-yourself entry, so the time wasn’t really a crucial factor. But I didn’t want to be doing the return up the Rochdale canal in the dark. I have good enough lights but I’ve never been a fighter. Even at midsummer, 14 hours in the daylight means an early start and I hoped to get away for eight in the morning. To this end, I camped in the garden so that I wouldn’t wake the family getting out of the house. Plans were slightly thwarted by a wake going on at the neighbouring pub. Dearly-departed desolation, disco-style, kept me awake till one o’clock but I was astonished to find the next thing I knew was the alarm waking me at seven. I don’t think I’ve ever had six hours sleep before an Audax ride and I’d done about 150 before my smash changed the focus of my cycling. Things were looking good. And I was feeling good as I reached the Rochdale canal after about a mile and a

Ashton Packet Boat wharf

half of back roads and cycle paths. I was pleased to have got going so early, hoping to get a lot of the most popular towpaths done before dinner time. The excellent work of organisations such as Sustrans and Manchester councils has made the towpaths a magnet for people who want to get out in the fresh air in their lunchbreak. But I was a bit surprised, within the first half mile, to be hearing so soon a worrying level of boisterousness ahead somewhere. As I reached the lock by the Oldham Road in Rochdale, I had to weave through a group of unfortunates who were already unnervingly drunk at ten past eight in the morning. Luckily, there was already a bike-width gap between them because if I’d had to persuade them to move it might have ended badly. With this depressing spectacle behind me, I rolled steadily towards Manchester. Even in Rochdale itself, once you are past the defunct Rochdale branch, the route is very rural in feel. Hedges and mature trees line the canal – and the tree roots remind

As I reached the lock by the ❝ Oldham Road in Rochdale, I had to weave through a group of unfortunates who were already unnervingly drunk at ten past eight in the morning

you who has the greater claim on the path. I was steadily ticking off the mental signposts and reflecting on how well I’ve come to know the towpaths after my first forays a couple of years ago. I’m much more relaxed about the many obstructions to progress. I actually intended to count them on this ride but I gave up after a while. It is well over 40, including antimotorcycle gates, road crossings and pedestrian-only ramps and so on, at all of which you have to walk the bike through or over the obstruction. All this is before you add the locks. When I started riding the canal banks, this really used to get me down but now I just accept that canal bank riding is a different animal. I’m pleased with that. I still like to improve my abilities though and I’m pleased that I can actually negotiate several more of the tricky cobbled sections than I used to attempt. If the weather is wet, though, I still err on the side of caution, as I ride a touring bike with narrow tyres. After the first few kilometres, there is a level section, or pound, before the locks start again on the approach to Manchester, near Failsworth. Here I was riding through industrial dereliction but the herons and beautiful moorhens and grey wagtails care nought for this. Neither do the flotillas of mallards and Canada geese with their broods. In some cases the crèches were dozens strong and I was reminded of nothing so much as the pictures of reviews of the fleet off Spurn Head or in the Solent.

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FOUR CANDALS Now and then, I would also see a pair of geese with only one or two chicks left. First-time parents perhaps, yet to learn how to dodge foxes – and air-rifles? Pride of place goes to the occasional family of mute swans, their whiteness dazzling against the glassy black of inner city canal.

THE ASHTON

Half a mile or so of cycle lane brought me to the Ashton canal, which delivered me to the characterful asymmetric cobbled bridge in Jutland Street. It’s much steeper on the return and one side is cobbled partly with very small blocks, while the other is much coarser. The whole street is very uneven but I like having to do a bit of climbing after 15 miles of flats and short ramps. The descents, however, are more invigorating than enjoyable. The drop down the other side of Jutland Street fires you like a bar of soap on to Stone Street, a short taxi- and pigeoninfested tunnel to Piccadilly station. There is actually a cycle lane depicted on the tarmac but it’s fairly token. I wonder if in the dystopian future, cycle lanes will just be painted on the sides of cars, so that they will take up even less space than is allotted to them now. The road I take jinks across two tram tracks in front of the whitepainted Monroes B&B below the station. I’m only able to write this because on a previous occasion a tram driver was more vigilant than I at this point. About a kilometre further west, along Whitworth Street, the route takes me through a railway arch on the very short and incongruously named Rowandale Street. The maroon and cream ironwork of the

railway superstructure is a delight but I’ve come along here on days after the night before when the road has been covered, almost literally, in the noxious little canisters of so-called legal highs. I wonder what Roman ghosts make of this as I weave my way into their ancient citadel at Castlefield. This is a fascinating area and well worth an afternoon’s exploration. Various generations of the north-west’s railway network cross the waters of the Bridgewater and Rochdale canals. The skills of the early railway engineers are openly displayed in the jumble of bridges, some of which have found new life carrying the Metrolink tram system, while others still shoulder the long-distance traffic from Liverpool and the south. One of the Victorian structures has castellated turrets, apparently as a nod to the ancient ruins that were obliterated when the lines went in. We think fondly (justifiably, I think) of the energy and vision of the great railway entrepreneurs and the legacy they have left. But they were hard-nosed businessmen; if plastic had been available, they would have used it. The Castlefield Basin is a riot of colourful barges and narrow-boats giving a mercifully false picture of the heyday of canal commerce. A number of nowdisused “stubs” off the main waterway mean that there are four or five significant workouts up and down the bridges which take the main tow-path across them, before you eventually reach the level going on the way to Trafford Park, the world’s first industrial estate. Another bridge at Throstle’s Nest takes the tow-path to the

north side of the canal and past the Manchester United supporters’ club, with its contingent of worshipful smokers propping it up from outside. The Theatre of Dreams itself across the water is an astonishing sight, currently soaring above the capabilities of its players and management. A little further along I arrived at Waters Meeting, which sounds romantic but is simply the divergence of the two branches of the Bridgewater canal, the northern branch coming from Lord Bridgewater’s coal mines at Worsley, the raison d’être of the canal. Whichever direction you travel in, it’s necessary to walk the bike over yet another bridge. I was going west and now I had several miles of flat riding, past barges, rowing clubs, geese and dogs out into leafier Cheshire (irritatingly for the estate agents it’s still Greater Manchester for much of the way). A poignant sight is the wreckage of the once flourishing Linotype works, near Altrincham. Happily, the developers look as if they are going to incorporate the identifying gable end and the ornate chimney base into their plans for what looks as if it will be a housing estate. Not long after Linotype, my route left the canal at the now closed pub, the Bay Malton, which was supposedly named after a horse whose prowess had saved its owner from penury. A couple of hundred yards of country lane brought me to the start of the “Lymm Railway”. This is the re-dedicated track bed of the Stockport to Warrington line and gives seven or so miles of traffic-free cycling, though obviously not without anti-vehicle obstructions and a

… I wonder if, in the ❝ dystopian future, cycle lanes will just be painted on the sides of cars, so that they will take up even less space

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Middlewood Way


number of minor road crossings. This really is lovely riding, with the hedges scented with hawthorn blossom and wild roses and wild flowers at their skirts. Even in dry weather there is the occasional muddy patch and in autumn you need to have your mudguards as far from the tyre as you can manage, but today there was only a very occasional rasp of the brakes on the rims and the ghostly music of money tinkling down the drain. Just beyond Lymm, my computer indicated that I had reached the western end of my journey, about a quarter of the way “round”. The return along the railway somehow showed the tree tunnels through which it runs to greater effect, which lifted my spirits a little. There should have been no reason to be down and I can only think that I really need to eat a bigger breakfast before I set off on these longer rides. Certainly after a short stop for a sandwich I felt very much better. I sat on a trackside bench to eat it, soaking up the beauty of the sweeping green farmland which the knowledge of the proximity of invisible chemical plants and power stations does nothing to diminish. In what seemed no time at all, I had regained the Bridgewater canal and was soon across Manchester and heading east along the Ashton Canal once more. A lot of work has been done on the Ashton’s towpath and this includes the addition of cobbled speed bumps. These are every couple of hundred yards. They are a bit “overkill” in that they are unlikely to make any difference to a speeding mountain biker, or an errant scrambler bike scrote. They are an irritation to commuters (whom the improvements are presumably intended to encourage) and anyone riding an inappropriate bike. But moaning about what has been done is missing the point. If you want to ride your flimsy-wheeled racer at high speed to your place of hipster employment, take your chance on the roads, where you might expect traffic to move at an appropriate speed. If not, accept that these are the conditions on the towpath and get a bike that suits. It’s not a velodrome. That said, there is one pretty unnecessary kissing gate at Fairfield Basin – and a few steep and twisty cobbled lock rises to negotiate. But that’s the nature of canals. How sanguine I have become after a couple of years of adapting! A few miles after rejoining the Ashton canal and after passing the still working boatyard on the left bank, I was at Portland Basin, which is the heritage name for Dukinfield Junction. This spot must have seethed in the heyday of the waterways, being the meeting place of the Ashton,

Kennet at Slattocks

Peak Forest and Huddersfield Narrow canals. The magnificent warehouses have been converted into a fascinating visitor centre and excellent café (though I warn you to take care not to burn your mouth on the soup!). Today, however, I pressed on south along the Peak Forest, collecting my fourth canal of the day. Initially the surface is good but it soon deteriorates into a frequently muddy and always bumpy ride. By the time you reach the terminus at Bugsworth Basin, you know you have been in a scrap. Twelve miles of unsurfaced towpath requiring a lot of concentration and steady hands. There are some real stinkers of turnover bridges, which would test even Danny MacCaskill. At Woodley tunnel, which is getting on for

200 yards long, I put on my light so I could see the places where the wash from barges had flooded the towpath. But with the best light in the world I would probably still walk this stretch because the roof is so low and I feel I would get hypnotised into the waterside railings. A little further along I flew, almost literally, across the Marple aqueduct, which hoists the canal into space across the River Goyt. Above on the left is the even higher bridge which carries the railway from Manchester to Buxton. So there is much to interest the rider along this section and not a few hindrances to progress. But there are no locks – until Marple. But that should be “Until” with a capital letter, because at Marple Junction (where the Macclesfield

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FOUR CANDALS Canal strikes south) there are 16 locks within about a mile and the rising towpath is littered with stones and tree roots and the congealed curses of cyclists. I completed the locks ascent with an unexpected climb up a narrow tunnel under the road, punching the air as I emerged, to the cheers of a happy group of ramblers. By now, I was feeling a bit listless again, but decided, as I usually do, to keep plodding on to reach a certain spot (in this case the canal terminus at Bugsworth) before taking a break. This is nearly always the wrong thing to do because the feeling of listlessness is always down to hunger and is instantly remediable. The problem with eating on canal rides is that you (I) need to stop because it is almost impossible to negotiate the variable surface safely with only one hand on the bars while the other is getting a banana from a back pocket. Another thing that makes such a manoeuvre difficult is riding in casual shirt and trousers. Yet another is lack of bananas. My state of mind was not helped by the aromas from the sweet factory on the outskirts of New Mills. Slightly hollow, I pushed on. There was certainly a feast for the eyes, though, as there are a number of marinas along the southern stretch of the Peak Forest. There is a huge one at New Mills, where I was pleased to see the Daisy Anna, which I first saw (and helped to find a mooring) in Littleborough up on the Rochdale a couple of years ago. It sticks in my mind because it includes both the given and pet names of my daughter. A little further on at Furness Vale there are more moorings and the beautifully colourful displays of a canal boat painting and decorating business. And, of course, I was now firmly in the Peak District and able to risk frequent glances to the left in the direction of Kinder Scout and the lush, rolling terrain which is such a contrast to the palpable, if invisible, industrial wasteland I had earlier traversed. Taking the left fork for Bugsworth, I completed the last couple of miles of this stretch, to emerge (after another short section of paintwork-destroying chippings) at the Bugsworth Basin. In its heyday, this harbour was shipping tons of Peak District stone all over the country and beyond. Now it is an idyllic mooring for pleasure craft. It is also a huge credit to the band of enthusiasts who refused to let the basin be filled in and who worked so hard to make it the attraction it is today. I knew I could get good coffee at The Navigation and was enjoying it, while seriously contemplating cutting my expedition short and missing the last

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Castlefield, Manchester

outward leg to Macclesfield. But then I was distracted by the arrival of a group of riders on wonderful old machines. I’m used to people taking an interest in my 30-year-old Harry Hall but these were proper museum pieces. The riders were a group of enthusiasts out on a birthday ride and we had a good chat and wished each the best before I set off north again. Having just the coffee at Bugsworth, I stopped opposite New Mills marina and ate a couple more sandwiches. In a few miles I would have to make the decision whether or not to leave the canal and head south to Macclesfield or carry on north. But, as I set off again, I was astonished to find out how good I was now feeling and when I reached Romiley, there wasn’t the slightest hesitation in manhandling the bike down the 25 steps to the steep lane to Chadkirk Chapel. This is a lovely, peaceful spot and on a previous occasion I enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the old walled orchard. Today I pedalled on and after a short section of well-signed streets, joined the Middlewood Way.

… then I was distracted by the ❝ arrival of a group of riders on wonderful old machines. I’m used to people taking an interest in my thirty-year-old Harry Hall but these were proper museum pieces. The riders were a group of enthusiasts out on a birthday ride and we had a good chat and wished each the best before I set off north again

The Middlewood Way is a tremendous achievement. It is a combined cyclepath and bridleway laid on the trackbed of the old and generally unsuccessful Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple line. There’s a broad path and a parallel narrower one and there are few, if any, restrictions on progress. It is not tarmacked but the surface, at least in summer, is very ridable. I made the 10 miles from Rose Hill, Marple to Macclesfield in short order, but not without taking in the sights nature offered along the way. There are some fine swampy reed beds, with yellow flag irises and the usual but never less than lovely hedgerow plants. The only fly in the ointment on this section is close to the southern end, where there is a lot of bike-carrying up and down steps, to cross a major road. Still, it is quicker (at least for me) to carry than to ride the alternative hairpins. By the time I reached the “turn” I was again ready for a break – and a drink. One of the drawbacks of riding canal banks and railtracks is the difficulty of finding places to get water. But I made good with a visit to a supermarket just above the trail and had another cup of coffee while I was there. From Macclesfield, I had about 40 miles to ride north to the finish. I was tired now and had calculated that the complete ride would take me about an hour longer than I had anticipated. But I had a full bottle, another litre bottle now in my pannier and sandwiches to spare. I’d be late back but it should still be light on the last stretch up the Rochdale canal to home. If it wasn’t, the road option was familiar. I estimated that I would still be within the Audax “limits”, even if I had a puncture. But of course, the only way to test this was actually to have a


puncture, which I duly did a few miles up the Middlewood Way. It was a rear wheel one which took me about 20 minutes to sort out but I picked a lovely spot to do it, with a seat and a great view across the Cheshire plain. The first miles on the new tube were a little anxious but it passed the rigorous test of the bumpy descent of Marple locks, so I was encouraged. At Chadkirk Chapel I geared down to climb the very steep bend up to the canal access and stamped hard on the pedals – and immediately stopped dead. I hadn’t tightened the skewer enough and had pulled the wheel out of the dropouts, to jam solid against the chainstay. It was easy enough to put right but there was no chance of re-starting the climb and so I pushed the 60 or so yards up the bank to the foot of the steps. Shouldering the bike up the 25 steps to the canal was hard work. I could have removed the pannier, but didn’t, which meant that the weight was in the wrong place, really. But I made it okay and renewed my acquaintance with the muddier northern reach of the Peak Forest. It was a lovely evening as I ticked off the landmarks, including another walk through Woodley tunnel and then dismounts for the awkward turnover bridges. But these hindrances were balanced by the beautiful soft scented air and the wild flowers and hedges. At Portland Basin, the bucolic nature of the surroundings changed, as did the nature of the company. The inevitable dogwalkers were now joined by sporadic groups of young men as the creatures of the night emerged. Dealers and dealt parted civilly enough to let me through as I completed the passage of the Ashton canal. Towards the end of this section there is a fine cobbled climb over an old bridge. This takes the towpath over the now defunct and infilled Stockport branch. Just before this I had seen a colourful narrowboat being worked through a lock against a backdrop of the huge chemical installation that used to be Clayton Aniline, of folk song legend. Finished with the Ashton, I pushed the bike cautiously through the gaps in the traffic on Alan Turing Way. Whenever I am in this spot I think of the great mathematician and saver of countless lives who was driven to suicide by a callous establishment. It’s some sort of justice that he will be remembered for his genius and it reviled for its cruelty. A short stretch of dedicated cyclepath alongside this dual carriageway brought me back to the final leg of my journey, along the Rochdale canal to home. It looked as if I was going to get home inside

the target but I had to keep working because, perverse as it may seem, it was all uphill to the finish. Rochdale is about 500 feet higher than Manchester and the level towpaths along the “pounds” of the canal are connected by short, jabby climbs – and the occasional walk. More denizens of the dusk were about. As I reached the fabulous old brick bridge at Fallowfield, I saw a grey group of hoodies disappearing into its murky interior. This is a place where I was “greeted” on a previous jaunt, so I found a sneaky way over the top to avoid any possibility on this occasion. A little smugness was in order, I felt. Shortly afterwards, the towpath disappears and the route (NCN 66) is borne by footbridge across the M60 Manchester ring road, still chocker at gone nine at night. I was weary now, but not too spent to appreciate the beauty of the scene that unfolds between Oldham and Castleton. On the horizon, the blue remembered hills were bathed in the golden glow of the low sun and families of geese sailed serenely towards the sunset. Although I had my lamps on as a precaution by now, it was still light as I reached home and hauled the bike up the last cruel steps to the back garden. I was too tired to be euphoric but I was very pleased with my day’s exertions. I had wanted to see if this route of 205 kilometres could be ridden within the time limits stipulated by Audax UK. I managed that with half an hour to spare, which would have been nearly an hour but for the puncture. But it was very tight, really, as I’d been determined to enjoy it just as a ride, rather than get round as fast as I

could. Perhaps eating more regularly would actually improve things but I don’t think there is a lot to come off this time. If taking nearly fourteen hours to ride 125 miles seems a bit weak, then in my defence I offer the 40-odd anti-motorbike installations, 61 locks requiring cobbled ascents, turnovers or straightforward walking – and all to be done twice. A mixture of surfaces, all of which grab at the tyres, with the exception of the short road stretches, which probably amount to no more than four miles out of the total. Even the long flat section of the Bridgewater canal has a few nasty yards of cobbles and slow-you-down ridges and the surface, while nicely firm, is covered in a sort of pea gravel which is very noisy and tugs at the tyres. That said, it is a beautiful waterway in its western, Tory reaches. Then there are the pigeons – millions of them, usually under the bridges. They never fly out of the way until after you’ve slowed down to avoid them. Against them, I balance the pair of bullfinches I saw on the Middlewood Way. At least, I think they were bullfinches, I only caught a glimpse of startling white rumps. And there were more herons than you could stab a beak at. Oh, and I’m now 71. I’ve reached an age where I think it probably becomes a bit more significant. But I think, with the right weather, I can probably get another couple of years out of this ride, so I am well satisfied with my adventure! ● As an aside – I could have diverted off the Middlewood Way and on to the Macclesfield canal. But that would have made it Five Canals – and spoiled the joke!

Heatley and Warburton Station

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OH TO BE RANDONNEUR ROUND THE YEAR PART THREE

In the second instalment (Arrivée 135 Winter 2017), Bob Donaldson had entered his second Audax season, and battled through some ferocious winter winds and floods in an effort to become a RRtY. Pushing the pressure a little bit higher by nudging past a 300 and, for the first time, succeeded (with the help of four team-mates and a generous tailwind) to achieve a 400 Easter Arrow. We catch up with him as spring gives way to the heat of summer and find out whether he achieved Randonneur Around the Year

WORDS AND PICTURES BY BOB DONALDSON

Are we RRtY yet…? It opened up to become a hot day in the merry month of May when Steve (Stephen Rogers) and I drove up to Shenstone for Roy Bishop’s Castleton Classic ride across the Derbyshire Peak District. 2.5 AAA points were on offer and we quickly understood why as we clambered up and down the dales and wound our way past sheep stupefied with the heat. At Ipstones, after a stiff climb preceded by a fine piece of traffic avoidance, the village hall was serving sumptuous sandwiches, proper slabs of handmade cake and good strong northern tea. Just fine for washing the grit from the back of our parched throats. The roads were fine, rolling, technical and grippy, and by the time we had reached the control at the tiny hamlet of Wyaston we were fit to drop. Once again an army of kitchenhardened volunteers had produced an eye-watering display of refreshments that would have lifted the mettle of the Light Brigade at Balaclava had they had but such scones, such cakes and proper beefed-up beverages. And so into the valley of Dove we wended our way back into the 46

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Midlands and the Arrivée. I was too shaken by the heat to eat anything at the end, which was a pity, because another fine spread was on offer. Two weeks later and I was in the proper north and set off once again from Kirtley Cycles for that fine Aidan Hedley ride, the Mosstrooper. It was significantly cooler than the previous year’s edition and significantly windier – particularly on the long climb up to Hartside Pass where I posed for a brief photo before getting as quickly down to Penrith as I could (once a flock of sheep had been led up the main road and a cool downpour had nicely chilled to the marrow on the brisk descent). I upset the delicate balance and tasteful décor of a fine twee café as I slumped dripping into a welcome seat next to two highly animated old ladies who cast disapproving looks as I demolished a bowl of soup and various other dishes before my waterproof had had a chance to fully drip-dry. Revitalised, I literally shot off in a northerly direction blown along by a generous and drying tail wind and was

Bob in front of the Ribblehead Viaduct during the Dales Grimpeur

soon privileged to be in the company of a throng of VC-167s – those hardened road warriors of the northern lands are renowned for being as hard as nails and it was a very pleasant hour I spent in their company before getting a puncture after crossing the A69 – my spirits seemed to deflate too. The next stretch, to Newcastleton, is a long remote stretch of rambling moorland and wide northern skies. Ahead of me I briefly caught sight of Rob Hinds from Blaydon but couldn’t quite catch him before he joined forces with two others by the remote church and information control. The café at Newcastleton was as fine as I remembered it from the previous year. There were still plenty of riders around and I soon got chatting to a few guys over the afternoon stop before setting out into the moor-scape again. I chatted briefly to Judith Swallow, also of VC-167 (I was in hallowed company), admiring her specially made Moulton (which is of interest to me because I possess a 1964 MK I which I bought as a restoration project several years ago and


Malham Cove on the Dales Grimpeur

never brought myself around to fettling. “How fashinating”, I hear you say as your eyes swivel wildly around in their sockets) before she started to edge ahead and I found myself riding solo once again. We briefly met again at Bellingham (where a fine Co-op made a useful control). Next up was Elsdon (it’s a stiff climb out of Bellingham past the site of the old wooden hostel that used to be on the left-hand side of the road at the edge of town) where a friendly couple stamped cards and exchanged encouraging words while pointing out cycling legends that adorn the walls in their cosy tearoom. The final stretch took me past the old gibbet that stands ominously atop the significant ramp of a climb that led into the darkening moors and the greying northern skyscape before the dull, phosphorescent glow of the Tyneside conurbation gradually moved closer and closer into a bright welcoming glow. After a few quiet and darkened lanes the farm yard re-emerged. Inside, Lynn offered a welcome plate of beans on toast and cup of tea. Shortly after setting off in the car I passed Aidan and the young Daniel Holmes who was clearly gunning for home – chapeau to one and all!

featured 4.5 AAA points (which for a 215km ride seemed rather ambitious) and wasted no time at all in setting us off to gather them as we were sent up a vertiginous lane conveniently hollowed into the fellside without so much as a by-your-leave. It wasn’t long before we were gasping over cattle grids, rasping at windswept sheep with knowing grins, and gawping at the stunning valley views far, far below – this was truly God’s Own Country. Having already cracked my May

ride in the Peak District, I decided to take this one nice and steady and make the most of the sumptuous views as hill after hill was crested – among them Park Rash and Fleet Moss. As I drifted to the back of the field I fell in line with two old soldiers, Nigel Laws and Martin Smith, and together we firmly made up the back of the field for the rest of the day. Although originally from the north, this was new territory to me and my previous knowledge of the area was limited to having watched All Creatures Great and Small avidly as a lad. And so you can imagine my delight at seeing the Ribblehead Viaduct, Malham Cove and the home of Old Peculiar all in one bike ride. Just off the pleasant, meandering river valley of the Dee was a right hand turn into a brutally steep lane that led past, of all things, a railway station – apparently Dent is the highest station in England at

The highest station in England, Dent, taken during the Dales Grimpeur

AAA UP

It would be been deeply remiss if, having already been in the north of England, I neglected to show up at the Dales Grimpeur, one week after the Mosstrooper. About 20 riders had gathered at the scout hut at Pateley Bridge – among them Ashley and Cathy Brown on their tandem. The ride www.aukweb.net

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OH TO BE RANDONNEUR ROUND THE YEAR PART THREE

I was surprised to find a generous slab of cheese ❝ on my cake when stopping at a café control. It transpired that this was normal culinary behaviour and was actually just the energy food I needed before scrambling over Buttertubs Pass

350m. I wasn’t sure whether to be shocked at the steepness of the climb or the engineering brilliance of the men who brought the railway to this desolate location. When we arrived at Hawes, home of Wensleydale, I was surprised to find a generous slab of cheese on my cake when stopping at a café control. It transpired that this was normal culinary behaviour and was actually just the energy food I needed before scrambling over Buttertubs Pass. Outside of Reeth’s Copper Kettle tearoom we briefly caught up with some of the other cyclists fettling a puncture. They were, of course, long gone by the time we emerged refreshed and replenished on wholesome Yorkshire grub and tea strong 48

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enough to stand a spoon in. The return leg took us on such quiet and remote roads that you could almost hear the white noise of vast moorland, were it not for our laboured breathing. It had been a glorious day and the evening air was fine when we descended back into the Valley of the Nidd and our Arrivée. We had been lucky, we were informed, when we finally made it back to the scout hut (the car park long since empty), as on a previous edition the weather had not been so kind and there had been cases of hypothermia. With this sobering thought I collected my gold grimpeur medal, thanked the organiser Paul Roberts, and bid my farewells to my companions for the day.

EXIT STRATEGY?

June arrived and with it the expectation of finally completing my first RRtY. The event was the 200km Ditchling Devil from London’s Richmond Park and down to the South Downs. A staggering collection of about 400 riders had assembled. In many ways this felt more like a sportive than an Audax as I queued to collect my brevet card. However, although fairly fast by my standards, this was definitely not a gel-fuelled furious sprint to the finish as riders gathered into clusters and chattered away as the miles ticked by. At the top of Ditchling Beacon the views over Brighton and to the sea were truly breathtaking. In a dusty carpark I found an ice-cream van and bought a


We invite you to our 2018 Super Randonneur Series: GENTLY BENTLEY 200 Sunday 18th March Tally-ho and chocs away! The first ride of the inaugural Kingston Wheelers Super Randonneur series. An early season pootle on gentle Surrey and Hampshire lanes to Bentley. Breakfast and dinner provided, ale optional.

Randoneurs enjoy a summer garden party during the Ditching Devil – Upper Breeding control

… but, as someone once ❝ asked upon completing my fourth

View from the top of Buttertubs pass with the appropriate wobbly legs sign

cooling cone while resting and admiring the views. Further marvellous expansive views followed when we ascended to the Devil’s Dyke pub atop the South Downs. It was here also that we finally said goodbye to the members of Dunwich Paragon who had formed a tight-knit peloton; my partner (for the day) and I slackened off the pace and watched them disappear up the road. At Upper Breeding we even basked (for it was a gloriously hot day) in someone’s back garden – goodness knows what the neighbours thought as hundreds of cyclists descended on their quiet street – but the offer of fine food and drink was most welcome. And then it was London-bound and

Audax back in April 2016, “Had I worked out an exit strategy?…” a month later and I was on the ferry to Dublin en route to The Celtic Knot 1000, but that’s yet another story…

back via Chiddingfold. Here we found the well-stocked control overlooking sports fields and being run by some very cheerful ladies who served some delicious food. This kept us going until the final control in a welcoming pub on the edge of Wimbledon Common. A refreshing pint helped to clear the dust from the throat and toast the end of 12 successive months of rides not less than 200km each – I could now finally call myself A Randonneur Around the Year. But, as someone once asked upon completing my fourth Audax back in April 2016, “Had I worked out an exit strategy?” A month later and I was on the ferry to Dublin en route to The Celtic Knot 1000, but that’s yet another story…

AMESBURY AMBLE 300 Saturday 14th April An easy-going, gently rolling course, mostly on quiet lanes – an ideal first 300. Enjoy a second brekky at Lasham Airfield; a cafe or bakery lunch in Amesbury; tea and cakes or beer and scratchings in Whitchurch; and a late supper on a garage forecourt in Bracknell! What more could a randonneur possibly ask for? DAUNTSEY DAWDLE 400 Saturday 19th May A ride of two halves: hilly and flat, in that order...apart from the last climb at 330km! You should be sheltered from prevailing winds on the way out through the Surrey Hills, South Downs and North Wessex Downs... then fly home with the wind on your back following slap-up pub dinner in Cirencester! WANDER WYE 600 Saturday 16th June Visit 11 counties of England and Wales in one ride! Moderately hilly throughout. Bag drop service to our overnight control at Chepstow, so pack your sleeping bag, mat, toothbrush and Sunday best! Start and arrivée at scout hall. Friday night accommodation available. Entry fee includes brekky at the start, dinner & brekky at Chepstow, and BBQ at the arrivée. ROWLANDS RAAAMBLE 200 Sunday 16th September Starting with a classic Wheeler’s breakfast you are soon out of town and riding over the Downs and along country lanes. This scenic Grimpeurs du Sud route with climbs such as the Devil’s Punchbowl and Leith Hill and a double crossing of the South Downs makes it a great Audax day out. Although not the easiest 200 in the southeast the three cafe controls en-route will keep you going, and you will thoroughly earn your hot supper and beer at the arrivée! kingstonwheelers.co.uk/ride/audax audax@kingstonwheelers.co.uk

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49


BACK STORY

WORDS AND PICTURE BY LAURA PUGH

In Arrivée 132 Laura Pugh told the story of her first Audax – a rain-soaked February 200k. Was it enough to put her off for good? Well, not quite…

Back story should I stay or should I go… solo CYCLELOG TANDEM RIDES 2016 Straight on at Roses  200 Everybody rides to Skeggy  300 The Brian Chapman Memorial Ride  600 Moors and Wolds  400 2017 Yr Elenydd  300 The Brian Chapman Warm Up  400 SOLO RIDES 2016 Staff’s Peak Grimpeur 100 Beyond Shropshire 200 2017 Roses to Wrags  200 Everybody rides to Skeggy  300 The Old 240 400 The 3 Coasts 600 And now our greatest achievement to date is completing the psychotic Mille Peninnes on tandem, riding up every climb in the saddles! 1,007

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

I last wrote an article for Arrivée 132, about my first Audax, where I experienced some of the worst weather I ever have encountered – neither before nor since. This failed to deter me and I have continued to ride – now considering myself completely “hooked”. Back in 2016, I went on to complete my SR series, stoking our tandem around the requisite rides including the Brian Chapman Memorial as our 600. Audax riders give few compliments but the little that was said lead me to believe this was a reasonable achievement (and potentially there are easier 600s to do as your first on a bicycle that doesn’t like hills…). However, since then the “she’s just got her feet up on the back” comments have started to grate a bit. Sometimes it’s from the pub-goers on a Saturday night, sometimes it’s from well meaning family and friends who quite genuinely think I’m “being taken for a ride” and sometimes I wonder if even fellow riders think I’ve “got it easy on the back”.

I also started riding my own solo Audaxes last year, starting with the Staff’s Peak Grimpeur, and this year have completed my solo SR including the Old 240 as my 400km (I really should start to make things easier for myself…). This is partly to show that I can actually do more than turn the pedals, but also because I love to ride both tandem and solo and there are pros and cons to both. I’ve ridden bicycles since I was little and frankly my first tandem ride was terrifying – not able to see the road in front, no steering, no brakes and no choice over cadence and speed. However, I have learned to trust my captain. I’ve taken responsibility for reading the route sheet and fuelling with


PHOTO JOHN HARRISON

my own “nose bag”, and it is very much a team effort. Double-checking the route sheet definitely reduces mistakes! A friend of ours recently bought a tandem nicknamed “The Divorcer”, but as yet we are of the opinion couples that ride tandem together stay together! And we are very much joined by the frame. It makes talking easy and there’s little chance of me getting left behind. However, that is one of the greatest disadvantages as well, comfort is simply not as good as solos. Due to my lack of steering I end up in a rather fixed upper body position and Stevie suffers from similar problems, being unable to get out of the saddle for a break as easily. Other minor issues are the restricted view for the stoker (mine’s mostly taken up by Ste’s back) and the high level of baked bean consumption on rides, for which my positioning is particularly unfortunate. The other inconvenience is having to agree when to stop, which if our hydration is out of sync can result in double the time lost on “visits to the bushes”. I also can’t decide to stop on a whim and have been sped past many an ice cream parlour against my will! The real benefit of being joined by the frame, for us, is the descents. There is no way I would descend at the speeds Stevie does and on the tandem I have the option to close my eyes and hope he’s going to ask me to pull the drum brake soon! And

Climbing the Devil’s Staircase on the Elenydd

he doesn’t need to wait around at the bottom. Going uphill is a different matter, however. If you’ve been on a ride with a tandem, you may well have experienced the “tandem yo-yo effect”. At the start of the BCM 2016 we repeatedly overtook the same set of solo bikes on the down only to

At the top of the Hardnott pass on the Mille

I’ve been sped past many an ice ❝ cream parlour against my will!… down, down, chain ring, down ❞

Mille training in Mallorca www.aukweb.net

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BACK STORY

I’ve taken responsibility for ❝ reading the route sheet and fuelling with my own nose bag

Our trusty steed and my captain eating second breakfast in Swaledale on the Mille Pennine

Getting left behind on our way to York Rally

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

grind to a near halt and greet the same riders on the next climb. The rolling bumps on the BCM warm up 2017 (Brevet Cymru) was one of the toughest stages I’ve ridden on an Audax, not due to steepness, just the relentless ups and downs. However, tandems do go uphill and we were proud to power-winch our way up the Devil’s Staircase on this year’s Elenydd. We’ve witnessed the super smooth action of Mr and Mrs Brown honking their tandem up the climbs, but our good old reliable Dawes Galaxy Twin starts to make alarming noises from the adjustable stem when we power out of the saddle for too long. So we’ve resigned ourselves to riding 30%-plus gradients firmly seated. We also need to synchronise taking the weight off the pedals, especially changing down which results in even more of a loss of momentum and a string of “down, down, chain ring, down” from Stevie on hitting a sharp incline. He also occasionally forgets and does this when we’re riding solo… This is a big contrast to me riding solo as being rather diminutive I would rather be riding uphill than a long straight flat. Rides such as The Old 240 and Staff’s Peak Grimpeur were ideal for me, and I’ve ridden Occasionally Hilly and Mid Peak Grimpeur as unofficial perms just for fun – the hillier the better! The long straights where the tandem zooms along can pose problems for me and I’m a pretty rubbish wind block for Stevie when I take a turn on the front. I am also not used to following a wheel. Most of my solo rides are either with Stevie or by myself and the start of the 3 Coasts this year phased me, suddenly being in a pack of 20 riders. Equally when I started the Mere 200, early in the year, I had underestimated my lack of experience in night riding – being on a tandem has definite advantages


there! I struggled to focus on the beam and felt completely disorientated having had a great ride up to that point. My speed dropped, we made a wrong turn and came back late and over distance to the closed Arrivée control. Certainly a ride to learn from, and since then I’ve been gaining confidence and invested in better lighting! The Old 240 tested this to the limits, not only with the dark windy roads but also a steep climb and descent enshrouded in fog and battered by high winds. I bailed when I more or less got blown off the barely visible white line on the way up and we both walked the most treacherous bit on the way down. I had always hoped it would be easier to stay awake on a solo having to read the road than on the back of a tandem but I suffered severely with the dozies on that ride and the weather prevented a 10-minute cat nap. Every ride provides its own different challenges and certainly riding tandem or solos can make a big difference but both Stevie and I agree we would never choose to ride one way or the other and enjoy a bit of both. As long as we’re a-wheel we’re happy! I would like to thank all the organisers and volunteers who make riding Audax such a pleasure.

Conquering Mont Ventoux

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53


RRtY AWARDS 2017

2017 Randonneur Round the Year awards Welcome to another year of “Randonneur Round the Year”, the award for riding at least one 200km (or longer) Audax ride at BR/BRM pace per month for 12 consecutive calendar months. It can be started at any time, and riders can have more than one RRtY series running concurrently (starting in the same or different calendar months). 2017 has been another record year for RRtY claims. Since Arrivee Feb 2017 we have 128 new names (members claiming their first, and in some cases, up to fourth series)

and 100 who have completed one or more additional series. (NOTE – these figures include series from previous years, and also a few Jan 2018 claims). This brings the total number of award holders to 726. For the full roll of honour see http://www.aukweb.net/ results/other/rrtyroll/ The award is not calculated automatically, you have to submit a claim and it is manually checked. The process is detailed at http:// www.aukweb.net/results/other/ rrtyclaim/#claim. The validation is based on

New Randonneurs Round the Year (since Arrivee Feb 2017): 128 Michael Adu Dave Antrobus Derek Armshaw Troy Backhouse Stuart Bailey Jason Bellerby David Bennett Sarah Britton Andrew Broadbent Alex Brown  (2) Matt Brown Ludwig Brunagel Chris Bullock Stephen Butcher Garga Chamberlain Glen Charman Mat Cheslin Dene Clark Jim Cope Paul Cosford Sebastien Cosnefroy Andy Cox (Peterborough) Neil Crocker  (2) Phil Cunningham Howard Dalton Michael Daly Nigel Deakin William Dean Stephen Dee  (2) Terry Dickerson Frauke Diehl David Eastwood Andy Edwards David Edwards Guy Evans Ian Fairweather Adrian Fitch Jo Flint Nathan Follows Alex Frost Steve Gee (2) Clement Geiger Debs Goddard 54

Martin Godwin Tony Gore Stephen Graham Adam Grassby Austin Gray Miles Griffiths John Haile Stephen Haines David Hammond Len Hampson Robert Hanwell Peter Harper Shaun Harris Haiko Hebig Jason Hemingway Michael Hill Caroline Hobbs Edric Hobbs Richard Holland Paul Howe Rob Hydon Dmitry Ilchenko Andrew Jackson Chris James Nia James Chris Jones Elfyn Jones Jeremy Jones Mike Kear Sarah Kelman Mike Kilburn Carl Kirkbride Sian Lambert Guy Lawton  John Lilley Derek MacKenzie Alex Mason David Mason Darryl Mastropietro Robert McMillan  James Metcalfe Bob Millar Dick Nuttall

ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

(3)

(2)

Brad Owen  Graham Parks Ivor Peachey Carl Pegnam Emyr Peregrine Sarah Perkins  Sarah Peters John Prout Ian Reid  Paul Renshaw Richard Revis Andrew Roocroft Richard Salisbury  Paul Salmons  Andrew Shippin James Skillen Davd Sleigh Gill Smith Ian Smith Graham Spiller Christopher Squires James Summers Martin Tallontire Finlay Thom Chris Tillapaugh  Neil Veitch Chris Virgo Will Vousden Robert Wade Angela Walker Martin Walsh Glyn Watkins Martyn Wheeler Adrian Wikeley Craig Wilkie Mark Williams Doug Wilson Carlos Wong-Fupuy Simon Woodthorpe Robert Wragge-Morley Andy Yates Anne Young 

(2)

(2) (6)

(2) (2)

(3)

(4)

individual rider results lists, although “special adjustments” are permitted. For example, by default a ride spanning more than one month is taken as belonging to the start date month, but can be claimed by request for the finish month as long as at least 200km at BR pace has been completed in that month. This year LEL triggered this – 21 members asked for LEL to be counted for August and this was granted (I sympathise with anyone not wanting to ride again for a month after that achievement).

Another 100 riders have added one or more series to their record since the February 2017 list, with Derek Heine and Steve Ralphs achieving the coveted x10 Ultra RRtY award: Stephen Agnew  (7) Martyn Aldis  (2) Graham Allen  (3) David Allison  (3) Simon Ashby  (3) Dave Atkinson  (4) Rob Baird  (8) Jon Banks  (5) Alan Barnard  (3) Paul BeeBee  (3) Denise Booth  (4) Stephen Britt  (2) Nik Brunner  (3) Jason Burns  (2) Jack Camplin  (2) Russell Carson  (5) Raymond Cheung  (8) Lisa Chichester  (5) James Clarke  (2) John Clemens  (7) Paul Conyers  (2) Paul Cre  (2) Martin Croxford  (3) Sefi Dakar  (2) Martin Davey  (4) Ivor Davies  (4) Peter Davis  (2) Simon Daws  (3) Kevin Dennett  (2) William Dickey  (2) Dave Ellis  (3) Richard Evans  (2) Malcolm Everest  (3) Caroline Fenton  (3) Nicholas Firth  (5) Steve Ginty  (7) Ricki Goode  (4) Jonathan Greenway  (12) Mark Hagger  (2) Robert Hampson  (2)

Shaun Hargreaves  (7) Derek Heine  (10) Graeme Holdsworth  (2) Francois Hugo  (14) Oliver Iles  (5) Tom Jackson  (6) Mark Jarvis  (2) Paul Johnson  (3) Joe Jord  (6) Chris Keeling-Roberts  (2) Lee Killestein  (2) Marcus Lancastle  (2) Rebecca Leece  (2) Martin Malins  (13) Brian Mann  (7) Archie Marshall  (8) Paul Martin  (3) Ivo Miesen  (2) Suzannah Minns  (2) Liam Morris  (2) Dave Morrison  (5) Phil Nelson  (3) Robert Norris  (2) Steve Ogden  (2) Steve Orchard  (2) Gordon Panicca  (3) Richard Parker  (5) Tim Pickersgill  (4) Steve Poulton  (25) Andrew Preater  (2) Andrew Preston  (6) Steve Ralphs  (10) David Randerson  (8) Eric Richardson  (2) Stephen Riley  (2) Iain Robert  (2) Tim Rusbridge  (4) Ian Ryall  (9) Neil Shand  (2) Shawn Shaw  (4)

Mike Sheldrake  (2) Gavin Simmons  (3) David Sleigh  (2) Steven Smith  (2) Daniel Staley  (4) John Staughan  (4) Olaf Storbeck  (3) Paul Summers  (3) Pete Summers  (3) David Tobin  (2) Christopher Tracey  (5) Peter Tredget  (5) Andrew Turner  (2) Jack Tyler  (3) Trevor Wale  (23) Peter Walton  (4) Richard Warner  (9) John Wilkie  (2) Julian Williams  (7) John Wilton  (5)


As of Feb 2018 there were 222 claimed RRtY series which finished during 2017, compared to 213 series finishing in 2016. I expect the 2017 number to increase further as some riders don’t claim until a few months after completion. I have done a few quick analyses and now can offer some year on year trends for your delight! These also now include 2016 series processed during 2017 – so they won’t be the same as the numbers published last year. With the full year’s worth of data, it’s now obvious that December was the most popular completion month in 2016, and may well turn out that way for 2017 too. Spring and early summer starts are not popular.

Any validated ride of 200km attracting AUK points or more can be counted for RRtY – so that includes calendar events, perms, DIYs and shorter rides with ECEs. Generally most people use a mix of types. The chart below shows the percentages of completed series using calendar rides only, perms/DIYs only and including one or more ECEs for the last two years. Only 4 riders counted purely calendar events – probably the most difficult way to continue through the winter months. 21% of series only consisted of 200km rides – so the other 79% had at least one longer ride. ECEs seem to have become ever more popular (the ACME 100km winter series and similar rides may have had some influence on this). The number of riders completing only one ride per month, and those riding solely 200km are up for 2017. This suggests that more members who don’t have enough time to ride a lot are now targeting the RRtY award in their plans.

Neil Crocker for a neat bit of planning with a series starting with one Warmer and finishing with another (Willy to South of Bucks!) Sebastien Cosnefroy – who had a full series using rides starting only in Cambridge Andrew Jackson who repeated the same ride the most times - Dorset Coast perm x11 Mark Williams who completed his RRtY in his first year of membership and had a special RRtY cake baked for him.

And he wasn’t the only one – this was Caroline and Edric’s Hobbs way of celebrating their tandem RRtY

As in 2016 most members only ride one series at a time, but RRtY rules allow for more than one series to be claimed. 18 riders completed multiple series in 2017 (from x2 up to x5). In four cases these were completely concurrent, others involved various degrees of overlap. There are many special and unusual achievements amongst the long list of members completing series this year – but particular mentions for the following that I am aware of:

So until next year, keep riding, keep claiming and keep eating cake. Caroline Fenton

Three generations of the Summers family – James, Paul and Peter. Surely this must be a first, special congratulations to you all. I think James is also our youngest ever RRtYer at 17 years old. Above is the split between female and male riders claims (as last year, based purely on first names, no official information was available). Not much change in this, and no surprises, but interesting to see that again the proportion of women claiming their first series is much higher than men.

Robert-Wragge Morley for the longest ride included in a series (2000km) Heiko Hebig, Ivo Miesen and William Dickie – all with a full sweep of overseas rides

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AUK CALENDAR

KEY

1826m Total elevation AAA Audax Altitude Award points A(1) Free/cheap accommodation (1 night) B Very basic – no halls/beds, et c BD Bag drop R  Refreshments at start and/or finish S Showers Z Sleeping facilities on route 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/NM Mudguards required/not required X  Some very basic controls (eg service stations) G GPS files provided by the organiser 175 Entries close at 175 riders 14/4 Entries close 14th April 15-30kph Minimum-maximum speeds

SUNDAY 11 MARCH 2018 100 Seaham – Seaham Sircular BP 100km 09:00 • 1700m • AAA1.75 • £5.00 • F L P R T • 15-30kph Dave Sharpe, 3 Elizabeth Street, Seaham, County Durham SR7 7TP • cycle349@gmail.com 200 Winsford, Cheshire – Scouting Mam Tor BR 207km 08:00 • 2570m AAA2.25 [2150m] • £8.00 • P R T • 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC – Phil Scott, 59 Hawkshead Way, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 2SY • pjbscott@sky.com 160 Winsford, Cheshire – Edale Run BP 167km 08:30 • 2370m AAA2.25 [2150m] • £8.00 • P R T • 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC – Phil Scott, 59 Hawkshead Way, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 2SY • pjbscott@sky.com

100 Alford, Lincs – The Wold and Fen BP 100km 09:00 • £6.50 • L P F T • 12-25kph Alford Whs – 01507 443 000 – Alan Hockham (ROA 4000) 11 Trustthorpe Road, Sutton on Sea, Lincs LN12 2LX • alan.hockham@hotmail.com 100 Birdwell Community Centre – Birdwell-Snaith-Birdwell BP 109km 09:00 • £6.00 • F L P R T • 15-30kph Birdwell Whs – 01226 726 754 – Steve Myatt, 11 Spring Lane Carlton, Barnsley S71 3EX • stevemyatt1@yahoo.co.uk

SATURDAY 10 MARCH 2018 100 Alfreton – Three Fields BP 104km 09:00 • 1170m •1270m • £5.00 • L P R T • 100 • 12-30kph Alfreton CTC – Tom Fox (ROA 10000) 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP • tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk 200 Cardiff Gate, NE Cardiff – Making Hay BR 203km 07:30 • 2450m • £5.50 • YH P R T • 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC – 02920 341768 – Richard Evans (ROA 5000) 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW • evansrichardd@googlemail.com 200 Churchend, Dunmow, Essex – The Horsepower 200km BR 200km 07:30 • 777m • £10.00 • X A[1] C L P R T G M • 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA • tom.deakins@btinternet.com 100 Churchend, Dunmow, Essex – The Horsepower 100km BP 102km 09:00 • 540m • £10.00 • X A[1] C L P R T G M • 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA • tom.deakins@btinternet.com 200 Grazeley, S of Reading – The Kennet Valley Run BRM 207km 07:30 • 1763m • £8.50 • F G L P R T • 15-30kph Reading CTC – Mick Simmons, 84 Kidmore Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7NA • mes84uk@gmail.com 100 Grazeley, S of Reading – The Kennet Valley 100 BP 100km 09:00 • BP • 895m • £6.00 • L P R T • 12-30kph Reading CTC – Mick Simmons, 84 Kidmore Road, Caversham Reading RG4 7NA • mes84uk@gmail.com 200 Whitchuch, Bristol, Wells, Mells & a little broader! BRM 203km 07:00 • [2750m] • £7.50 • YH G NM P R T • 100 • (7/3) • 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol – Will Pomeroy, 5 Chaplin Rd, Bristol BS5 0JT • will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk 100 Whitchuch, Bristol Wells, Mells & an Old Rail Trail BP 103km 09:00 [1600m] • AAA1.5 • £6.50 YH G NM P R T • (100) • (7/3) • 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol – Will Pomeroy, 5 Chaplin Rd, Bristol BS5 0JT • will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk

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SATURDAY 17 MARCH 2018 200 Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington – Yorkshire Gallop BR 200km 08:00 • 1480m • £5.00 • X P R T • 14.3-30kph VC 167 – 01325 374 112 – Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft, Aldbrough St John, Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD • nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk 100 Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington – Ripon Canter BP 100km 10:00 • 572m • £5.00 • X L P R T • 12-25kph VC 167 – 01325 374 112 – Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft, Aldbrough St John, Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD • nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk 200 Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham – Cheltenham New Flyer BRM 200km 08:00 • £6.00 • G L P R T • 15-30kph Cheltenham CTC – Stephen Poulton (ROA 10000) Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 0LA • stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 150 17 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Cider with Rosie BP 150km 08:30 • 152km • £5.00 • GPRT • 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC – Stephen Poulton (ROA 10000) Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 0LA • stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 100 Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham – Character Coln BP 100km 09:00 • £5.00 • G P R T • 15-30kph Cheltenham CTC – Stephen Poulton (ROA 10000) Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 0LA • stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 100 Bamford, Derbyshire – Occasionally Hilly BP 109km 09:00 • 1940m AAA2 • £8.00 • P R T G F • 12.5-30kph Common Lane Occasionals – 07805100988 – Oliver Wright (ROA 2000) Townhead Farm, 345 Baslow Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S17 4AD • owright@mac.com 200 Carlton le Moorland – Bomber County BRM 208km 07:00 • £6.50 • C G T • 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire – Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton le Moorland, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN5 9HT • lincsaudax@gmail.com 100 Copdock, Nr. Ipswich – The Copdock Circuit – Spring in South Suffolk BP 100km 09:00 • £6.50 • L P R T M • 12-30kph Suffolk CTC – Dennis Kell, 9 Pheasant Rise, Copdock, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3LF • the.kells@talk21.com 300 Oxford, Peartree Services – The Dean BRM 307km 06:00 • 3500m AAA2.5 [2500m] • £6.00 X G P • 15-30kph Audax Club Hackney – Justin Jones, ACH HQ incorporating The Stag’s Head, 39 Harringay Road, London N15 3JB • justinjones1969@gmail.com 200 Girton, Cambridge – The Cambridge Pork Pie BR 214km 08:00 • 1700m • £7.50 • YH A C G L P R T S • 15-30kph Cambridge Audax – Nick Wilkinson, 42 Dodford Lane Girton Cambridge CB3 0QE • nick@camaudax.uk 110 Girton, Cambridge – The Cambridge Spring Dash BP 111km 09:00 • 850m • £7.50 • YH A C G L P R T S • 12.5-30kph Cambridge Audax – Nick Wilkinson, 42 Dodford Lane Girton Cambridge CB3 0QE • nick@camaudax.uk 300 Oxford, Peartree Services – The Dean BRM 307km 06:00 • 3450m • AAA2.25 • 2200m • £6.00 • X G P •15-30kph Audax Club Hackney – Justin Jones, Audax Club Hackney is Cool, 39 Harringay Road, London N15 3JB • justinjones1969@gmail.com

ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

SUNDAY 18 MARCH 2018

100 Bynea, Llanelli – Carmarthenshire Stopper BP 102km 08:30 • 1720m • AAA1.75 • £4.50 • C L F P R T (50) • 12-25kph Swansea DA – 01792391492 – John Bastiani, The Brambles Reynoldston, Swansea SA3 1AA • jb@reynoldston.com 200 Dalmeny – Forth and Tay BRM 208km 08:00 • 2200m • £10.00 • F G L P R T (100) • 15-30kph Change of Date – Audax Ecosse – Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU • martinfoley@ btinternet.com 200 Exeter – Mad March, A river too far BR 200km 08:00 • 2800m • AAA2.75 • £7.00 • YH F P R T X • 14.3-30kph Updated – Exeter Whs – Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane Cranbrook EX5 7AP • shbritton@outlook.com 100 Exeter – Mad March Exeter Excursion BP 100km 09:00 • £6.00 • YH F P R T • 12-25kph Exeter Whs – Sarah Britton,17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook, EX5 7AP • shbritton@outlook.com 200 Golden Green,Tonbridge – Man of Kent 200 BRM 203km 08:00 • 1350m • £8.00 • F L P R T (120) • 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC – David Winslade, 3 Albany Close, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 2EY • manofkentaudax@gmail.com 200 Surbiton – Gently Bentley BR 208km 08:00 • 1650m • £9.50 • G L P R T (120) (11/3) • 15-30kph Updated – Kingston Wheelers – Sarah Perkins, 1 Summer Gardens, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9LT

SATURDAY 24 MARCH 2018 100 Forfar, DD8 3TG – Scone 100 BP 100km 10:00 • 750m • £3.00 • G P T S • 15-30kph Angus CC – 01307 466123 – David Husband (ROA 5000) 78 Old Halkerton Road, Forfar DD8 1JP • dchusband@icloud.com 300 Poole – hard boiled 300 BRM 300km 02:00 • 4400m AAA4.5 • £10.00 • L M • 50 • (10/3) • 15-30kph Wessex CTC – Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Longfleet, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT 200 Selkirk – Scottish Borders Randonnee BRM 204km 08:00 • 2168m • £10.00 • F G P R T • 15-30kph Audax Ecosse – 01750 20838 – Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace, Selkirk TD7 4BB 100 Trowell, Nottingham – Charnwood in the Spring BP 103km 08:30 • 950m • £6.00 • L P R T •150 • 11.5-30kph Nottinghamshire CTC – Terry Scott, 22 Kinglake Place, Nottingham NG2 1NT • terrydpscott@hotmail.com 200 Waters Edge (Rear), Ruislip, HA4 7YP – Steam Ride: London-Oxford-London (LOL) The Ghan BRM 200km 08:15 • 1550m • £8.50 • L P R T YH • 15-30kph Updated – Audax Club Hackney – Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG • timsollesse@gmail.com 110 Waters Edge (Rear), Ruislip, HA4 7YP – Steam Ride: Quainton Express BP 110km 08:30 • 117km • 1050m • £7.00 • L P R T YH • 12.5-25kph Updated – Audax Club Hackney – Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG • timsollesse@gmail.com

SUNDAY 25 MARCH 2018 200 Clitheroe, Lancashire – Delightful Dales 200 BRM 205km 08:00 • 3300m AAA3.25 • [3600m] • £6.00 L P R T X • 15-30kph Burnley CC – Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT • burnleysportiv@yahoo.com 200 Long Ashton, Bristol – Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster BR 215km 08:00 • 2168m [2000m] • £7.00 F L P R T G NM • 200 • 15-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport – Marcus Mumford, Upper Haselor Farm, Haselor Lane, Hinton-on-the-green, Evesham Worcestershire WR11 2QZ • audax@lvis.org.uk 110 Long Ashton, Bristol – Barry’s Bristol Blast BP 116km 10:30 • 1270m [1096m] • £7.00 • F L P R T G NM • 200 • 12.5-30kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport – Marcus Mumford, Upper Haselor Farm, Haselor Lane, Hinton-on-the-green, Evesham Worcestershire WR11 2QZ • audax@lvis.org.uk 110 Long Ashton, Bristol – Barry’s Bristol Bash BP 116km 09:30 • 1219m [1100m] • £7.00 • F L P R T G NM • 275 • 12.530kph Las Vegas Inst of Sport – Marcus Mumford, Upper Haselor Farm, Haselor Lane, Hinton-on-the-green, Evesham Worcestershire WR11 2QZ • audax@lvis.org.uk


100 North Petherton, S of Bridgwater – Dunkery Dash BP 102km 09:00 • 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 100 Otford, Sevenoaks – Kent Invicta Grimpeur 100 BP 100km 09:30 • 1890m AAA2 • £8.00 • F L NM P R T • 12-25kph West Kent CTC – Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT • pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 50 Otford, Sevenoaks – Kent Invicta Hilly 50 BP 50km 10:00 • 945m • AAA1 • £7.00 • F L P R T NM • 12-25kph West Kent CTC – Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT • pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 200 Poynton, S of Stockport – Chirk BR 200km 08:00 • £6.00 • F P • 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC – Darryl Nolan, 5 Grasmere Road, Royton Oldham OL2 6SR • darrylnolan12@gmail.com 200 Wareham – Dorset Coast BRM 207km 07:45 • 2850m • AAA2.75 • £12.00 • C L F R P T M • 1/4 • 15-30kph CC Weymouth – Andrew Preston, 24 Monmouth Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2DG • dorsetcoast200@gmail.com 100 Wareham – Coastlet BP 107km 09:00 • 1300m • £7.00 • C L F R P T M • 1/4 • 12-25kph CC Weymouth – Andrew Preston, 24 Monmouth Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2DG • dorsetcoast200@gmail.com

FRIDAY 30 MARCH 2018 400 Anywhere, to York – Easter Fleches to York BRM 400km £15.00 • 15-30kph Audax UK – Lucy Mctaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • pedaller1@sky.com 200 Anywhere, to York – Easter Trail BP 201km £12.00 per team • 15-30kph Audax UK – Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU • martinfoley@btinternet.com

SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018 200 Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QX – Chiltern Fosseless 200 BR 207km 08:00 • 568m [1744m] • £10.00 • A G P X R T (100) • 15-30kph Change of Date – Aylesbury CC – 07941 404613 – Jocelyn Chappell, 112 Walton Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 7JR • htjoshua55@gmail.com 200 Huntingdon – Double Dutch BR 200km CTC West Surrey – Martin Malins, Room 2L22 Lab Block, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W12 8RF • malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk 100 Wigginton – Wiggy Spring 100 BP 100km 10:00 • £3.00 • A(1) Y H L P R T • 14-28kph CTC North Yorks – 01904 769 378 – Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive, Wigginton, York YO32 2DB • keith@dkb123.plus.com

MONDAY 02 APRIL 2018 200 Greenwich – The Shark BR 202km 07:30 • 3200m • AAA3.25 • £8.00 • F G R (31/03) • 14.3-28kph Audax Club Hackney – Ivan Cornell, 13 Maidenstone Hill, London SE10 8SY • ivan.cornell@gmail.com 200 Swaffham Assembly Rooms, Norfolk – Swaffham Georgian BR 208km 08:00 •1370m • £7.00 • G L M P R T • 15-30kph CC Breckland – Jonathan Reed, Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham PE37 7RD • iceniaudax@gmail.com 100 Swaffham Assembly Rooms, Norfolk – Swaffham Scorpion BP 106km 10:00 • 730m • £7.00 • G L M P R T • 15-30kph CC Breckland – Jonathan Reed, Braemar, Houghton Lane, North Pickenham, Swaffham PE37 8LF • iceniaudax@gmail.com 54 Swaffham Assembly Rooms, Norfolk – Swaffham Xenon BP 54km 09:30 • 402m • £7.00 • G L M P R T • 10-30kph CC Breckland – Jonathan Reed, Braemar, Houghton Lane, North Pickenham, Swaffham PE37 8LF • iceniaudax@gmail.com

WEDNESDAY 04 APRIL 2018 100 Marple, near Stockport – An Icecream Wensdae BP 109km 10:00 • 800m • £6.50 • P R T • 30 • 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC • Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple Cheshire SK6 7DL • chris.keelingroberts@ntlworld.com 100 Marple, near Stockport – Monyash Peak BP 105km 10:00 • 2400m • AAA2.5 • £6.50 • P R T • 30 •12.5-30kph Peak Audax CTC – Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7DL • chris.keelingroberts@ntlworld.com

SATURDAY 07 APRIL 2018 100 Catherington, near Portsmouth – Le Bois Ocaud de Printemps 100 BP 105km 09:00 • 1500m • AAA1.5 • £5.00 • L P R T • 15-30kph Hantspol CC – Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road, Waterlooville, Hampshire PO8 0HS • jondse@ntlworld.com 300 Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury – Yr Elenydd BRM 307km 06:00 • 4450m • AAA4.5 [4950m] • £10.00 • C F G L P R T (120) • 15-25kph CTC Shropshire – John Hamilton (ROA 10000) 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF • undulates@hotmail.co.uk

SUNDAY 08 APRIL 2018 110 Droitwich Spa – Saracen Spring Century BP 114km 09:00 • 775m • £10.00 • F G P R T • 15-30kph Saracen Road Club – Sean Barker, 48 Trident Close, Erdington, Birmingham B23 5TB • saracenroadclub@gmail.com 100 Falmouth – A Cornish 100 BP 107km 09:00 • 1400m • £6.50 • F G L P R T • 12-25kph Falmouth Whs. – Philip Conroy, 5 Fairfield Road, Falmouth TR11 2DN • philconroy@talktalk.net 50 Falmouth – A Bunny Hop BP 50km 10:00 • 750m • £6.50 • F G L P R T • 10-25kph Falmouth Whs. – Philip Conroy, 5 Fairfield Road, Falmouth TR11 2DN • philconroy@talktalk.net 100 Merthyr Tydfil – David Jones Memorial Rhondda Traverse BP 109km 09:00 2100m • AAA2 • £5.00 • P R T • 12-30kph Merthyr CC – 07766187351 – Adrian Mcdonald (ROA 3000) 2 Brunswick Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8SB • adrianmcd2010@talktalk.net 110 Mytholmroyd – Spring into the Dales BP 115km 09:00 • 2350m • AAA2.25 • £5.00 • L P R T YH • 12-24kph Calderdale CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 57 Mytholmroyd – Leap into the Aire BP 57km 10:00 • 1325m AAA1.25 • £4.50 • L P R T YH • 8-20kph Calderdale CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 110 Uffington – The Harlequin Hack BP 110km 09:30 • 600m • £6.00 • C F G L P R T • 15-30kph Corallian CC – 07752 957363 – John Talbot 33 Barretts Way, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon OX14 4DD • audax@talbot.gb.net

SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2018 300 Alfreton – Everybody Rides to Skeggy! BR 302km 06:00 • 1141m • £7.00 • L R P T X •100 • 15-30kph Alfreton CTC – Tom Fox (ROA 10000) 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP • tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk 100 Churchend, Dunmow, Essex – The Woodman BP 100km 10:00 • 583m • £9.00 • C G L M P R T • 12.5-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA • tom.deakins@btinternet.com 50 Churchend, Dunmow, Essex – The Woodman’s Daughter BP 50km 09:00 • 208m • £9.00 • C G L M P R T • 8.3-20kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA • tom.deakins@btinternet.com

200 Galashiels – Moffat Toffee BRM 204km 08:00 • 2500m [2300m] • £10.00 • L P R T S G • 15-30kph Audax Ecosse – Lucy Mctaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • pedaller1@sky.com 100 Galashiels – Springtime Ride of the Valkyries BP 106km 10:00 • 1200m [1517m] • £9.00 • L P R T S G • 12-30kph Audax Ecosse – Lucy Mctaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • pedaller1@sky.com 200 Huntly, Aberdeenshire – Room to Ride BR 200km 08:00 • 1723m • £10.00 • F G P R T • 15-30kph CTC Highland – 01466799416 – Donald Boyd, 2 Albert Terrace, Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 8BL • donald.boyd@huntly.net 50 Huntly, Aberdeenshire – Room to Ride BP 50km 09:30 • 385m • £3.00 • F G P R T • 10-30kph CTC Highland – 01466799416 – Donald Boyd, 2 Albert Terrace, Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 8BL • donald.boyd@huntly.net 160 Huntly, Aberdeenshire – Room to Ride BP 160km 08:30 • 1522m • £7.00 • F G P R T • 15-30kph CTC Highland – 01466799416 – Donald Boyd, 2 Albert Terrace, Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 8BL • donald.boyd@huntly.net 100 Huntly, Aberdeenshire – Room to Ride BP 100km 09:00 • 1035m • £5.00 • F G P R T • 12-30kph Huntly Development Trust – Donald Boyd, 2 Albert Terrace, Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 8BL • donald.boyd@huntly.net 100 Market Bosworth, Sports Club – 1485 Tri Club Audax BP 100km 09:00 • £8.00 • T S R NM P C G175 • 15-30kph 1485 Tri Club – Steven Robinson, 7 Tudor Close, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire CV13 0NA 300 Raynes Park – Amesbury Amble BR 311km 06:00 • 2600m [2200m] • £10.00 • A(2) C G L P R T S • 15-30kph Kingston Wheelers – Richard Evans, 29 Somerset Avenue, Raynes Park, London SW20 0BJ • laidbackaroundtheworld@gmail.com 200 Tewkesbury – Benjamin Allen’s Spring Tonic BR 206km 08:00 • 2050m • £6.00 • 15-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com

SUNDAY 15 APRIL 2018

110 Bishops Lydeard, NW of Taunton – Dustman Dave’s Demon Hilly BP 116km 08:30 • 2450m • AAA2.5 • £5.00 • L R P T • 15-30kph Wellington Whs. – Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF • p_leavey@yahoo.co.uk 110 Bishops Lydeard, NW of Taunton – Dustman Dave’s Doddle BP 110km 09:00 • £5.00 • L P R T • 10-30kph Wellington Whs. – Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF • p_leavey@yahoo.co.uk 70 Bishops Lydeard, NW of Taunton Dustman Dave’s Diddy Doddle BP 70km 09:30 • £4.00 • L P R T • 10-30kph Wellington Whs. – Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF • p_leavey@yahoo.co.uk 200 Congleton, Cheshire – Ironbridge 207 BR 207km 08:00 • 2130m • £6.00 • P R T • 15-30kph Congleton CC – Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 3HB • Congletonccaudax@gmail.com 130 Congleton, Cheshire – Hawkstone 133 BP 133km 08:30 • £5.00 • P R T • 15-30kph Congleton CC – Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 3HB • Congletonccaudax@gmail.com 110 Earlswood, Nr Solihull – Midlander 100 BP 110km 09:00 • £6.00 • G P R T • 15-30kph Midland C & AC – Jim Lee-Pevenhull, 107 Shustoke Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 2QR 100 Galashiels – Broughton and Back BP 100km 10:00 • 1380m • £9.00 • L P R T S G • 12-30kph Audax Ecosse – Lucy Mctaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • pedaller1@sky.com www.aukweb.net

57


AUK CALENDAR 200 Halifax – The Red Rose Ride BR 200km 08:00 • 2600m • AAA1.5 • [1500m] • £6.00 • L P R T • 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC – Dave Dodwell, 32 Parkside Avenue, Queensbury, Bradford BD13 2HQ • dmdodwell@gmail.com 160 Honiton – Combwich Century BP 169km 08:30 • 2470m • AAA2.5 • £7.00 • G L P R T • 14-30kph Exeter Whs. – Ian Hennessey (ROA 25000) 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU • ian@ukcyclist.co.uk 100 Polegate, E Sussex – Hell of the Sussex Coastal Hills  BP 105km 09:00 • 1600m • AAA1.75 • [1893m] • £7.00 • P F T (50) • 13-25kph Christopher Tracey, 20 Salisbury Road, Seaford, East Sussex BN25 2DD • Christrauk@yahoo.co.uk 100 Polegate, E Sussex – For Those Who Don’t Do Hills 100 BP 104km 09:00 • 650m • £7.00 • F P T (50) • 15-30kph Christopher Tracey, 20 Salisbury Road, Seaford, East Sussex BN25 2DD • Christrauk@yahoo.co.uk

SATURDAY 21 APRIL 2018

300 Cirencester – Heart of England 300 BRM 307km 06:00 • 2900m • £7.00 • A(2) • L P R T • 100 • 15-30kph Corinium CC – 01285 659 515 – Peter Holden (ROA 5000) 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester Glos GL7 1RL • peter@quernsgate.co.uk 200 Eureka Cafe, Wirral – Eureka Excursion BR 215km 08:00 • £6.50 • R L P T • 70 • 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC – David Matthews (ROA 10000) Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG • dmanu@outlook.com 130 Eureka Cafe, Wirral – Tea in Prospect BP 135km 08:30 • 500m • £6.50 • L P R T • 70 • 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CTC – David Matthews (ROA 10000) Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG • dmanu@outlook.com 68 Eureka Cafe, Wirral – Two Mills Twirl BP 68km 09:00 • £6.50 • R L P T • 50 • 10-25kph Chester & North Wales CTC – David Matthews (ROA 10000) Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG • dmanu@outlook.com 200 Haynes Road, Leicester – Another Slice of Rutland BR 200km 08:00 • £5.00 • L P R T G • 15-30kph Leicester Forest CC – Steve Orchard, 28 Hidcote Road, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5PE 200 Leominster – The Cambrian BR 210km 07:00 • 3750m • AAA3.75 • £6.00 • L P R T • 14.3-30kph Hereford & Dist. Whs. – Daryl Hayter, Weir View, Breinton Common, Breinton, Hereford, Herefordshire HR4 7PR • cambrianaudax@gmail.com 140 Leominster – The Cambrian - Minor BP 148km 08:00 • 2250m • AAA2.25 • £6.00 • L P R T • 12.5-30kph Hereford & Dist. Whs. – Daryl Hayter, Weir View, Breinton Common, Breinton, Hereford, Herefordshire HR4 7PR • cambrianaudax@gmail.com 84 Leominster – The Cambrian - Welsh Marches BP 84km 09:00 • 920m • £6.00 • L P R T • 10-22.5kph Hereford & Dist. Whs. – Daryl Hayter, Weir View, Breinton Common, Breinton, Hereford, Herefordshire HR4 7PR • cambrianaudax@gmail.com 300 Meopham – Oasts and Coasts 300 BRM 300km 06:00 • 3300m AAA1.75 [1650m] • £9.00 • L P T R • 15-30kph Tom Jackson – 01474 815 213 – (ROA 5000) 19 Denesway, Meopham, Kent DA13 0EA • tom56jackson@gmail.com 300 Poynton, S of Stockport – Plains BR 310km 23:00 • 1600m • £5.00 • P X • 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC – Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue, Heald Green, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire SK8 3NZ • hamhort84@talktalk.net 110 Reepham, nr Lincoln – Lincoln Imp BP 112km 09:30 • 200m • £5.00 • G L P R T • 12-30kph Cycling UK Lincolnshire – Andrew Townhill, 10 Larkin Avenue, Cherry Willingham, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN3 4AY • andy. town@ntlworld.com

SUNDAY 22 APRIL 2018

100 Minehead – Exmoor Spring BP 100km 09:30 • £5.00 • L P R T 100 • 12.5-25kph Minehead CC – Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

57 Minehead – Exmoor Spring 50 BP 50km 10:00 • £5.00 • YH L P R T • 10-20kph Minehead CC – Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX

SATURDAY 28 APRIL 2018

400 Burnley, Lancashire – Aidensfield 400 BRM 400km 06:00 • 4000m • [5100m] • £8.50 • L P R T • 15-30kph Burnley CC – Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT • burnleysportiv@yahoo.com 400 Coryton, NW Cardiff – Buckingham Blinder BRM 400km 5:00 • £10.00 • X • 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC – Robyn Thomas, 44 Cosmeston Street, Cardiff CF24 4LR 200 Honiton – Valley of the Rocks 200 BRM 205km 08:00 • 3900m • AAA4 • £7.00 • GL P R T 40 • 15-30kph Exeter Whs. – Ian Hennessey (ROA 25000) 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU • ian@ukcyclist.co.uk 300 Musselburgh – Merse and Moors BRM 300km 06:00 • 4200m • AAA4.25 • £10.00 • X P L R (50) • 15-30kph Audax Ecosse – Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU • martinfoley@btinternet.com 300 Newby Wiske, nr Thirsk – Beyond the Dales We Know BRM 300km 06:00 • 3500m AAA3 [2950m] • £10.00 • C G L NM R T S 15-30kph VC 167 – Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER • dean.clementson@yahoo.com 150 Newby Wiske, nr Thirsk – Moor Gravel ForeverBP 150km 08:00 • 2765m AAA2.75 • £7.00 • C F G L NM R T S • 10-25kph VC 167 – Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER • dean.clementson@yahoo.com 100 Newby Wiske, nr Thirsk – Don’t Keep to the Road BP 100km 09:00 • 1875m AAA2 • £5.00 • C F G L NM R T S • 10-25kph VC 167 – Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER • dean.clementson@yahoo.com 200 Wadsley, North Sheffield – Paris and Moscow in the Spring BR 205km 08:00 • 2800m • AAA2.75 • £5.00 • L P R T (27/04) • 14.3-30kph Sheffield District CTC – Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1SF • bigT.ridinghigh@gmail.com 100 Wadsley, North Sheffield – Paris in the SpringBR 106km 09:00 • 1600m • AAA1.5 • £5.00 • L P R T (70) (27/04) • 12-25kph Sheffield District CTC – Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1SF • bigT.ridinghigh@gmail.com

SUNDAY 29 APRIL 2018

100 High Ham, SW of Street – The Merry Monk @ 8.30am BP 105km 08:30 • £7.00 • F L P R T (130) • 12.5-25kph Mark Lilly – 01823 690038 – Applehayes, Main Road, Middlezoy, Bridgwater TA7 0PB • lillymark@btinternet.com 100 High Ham, SW of Street – The Merry Monk @ 9.30am BP 105km 09:30 • £7.00 • F L P R T (130) • 12.5-25kph Mark Lilly – 01823 690038 – Applehayes, Main Road, Middlezoy, Bridgwater TA7 0PB • lillymark@btinternet.com 200 Shenstone, Staffs – Castleton Classic BR 214km 08:00 • 2700m • AAA2.5 • [2400m] • £6.00 • G L P R T • 15-30kph CTC North Birmingham – 0121 357 2570 – Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com 160 Shenstone, Staffs – Derbyshire Dales BP 160km 9:00 • 1680m • £6.00 • G L P R T • 12.5-30kph CTC North Birmingham – 0121 357 2570 – Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com 100 Shenstone, Staffs – Staffordshire Lanes BP 102km 08:30 • 1000m • £5.00 • G L P R T • 12.5-25kph CTC North Birmingham – 0121 357 2570 – Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com 54 Shenstone, Staffs – Rosliston Roller  BP 54km 09:15 • £5.00 • G L P R T • 10-25kph CTC North Birmingham – 0121 357 2570 – Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com

100 Winnington Park Rugby Club, CW8 3AA – Ron Sant Memorial Ride BP 106km 9:00 • £5.00 • P R T S • 15-30kph Weaver Valley – Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive, Hartford, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 1SJ 100 Wray, NE of Lancaster – Bowland Forest Populaire BP 100km 09:00 • 1800m • AAA1.75 • £5.00 • P R T 75 • 12.5-20kph CTC Lancaster & South Lakes – 01524 36061 Mike Hutchinson (ROA 5000) Heatherdene, 9 Whinfell Drive, Lancaster LA1 4NY • mikehutchinson@fastmail.fm

WEDNESDAY 02 MAY 2018

100 Hurst, East of Reading – Dinton 100 BP 103km 10:00 • £3.00 • P R T G 60 • 15-30kph Reading CTC – Mike Hardiman, 7 Somerset Close, Woosehill, Wokingham RG41 3AJ • emaich7@gmail.com

SATURDAY 05 MAY 2018

400 Chalfont St Peter, Bucks – London Wales London BRM 407km 06:00 • 3500m • £23.00 • F G L NM P R T • 150 • 15-30kph Willesden CC – 07881 841 3 – Liam FitzPatrick, (paypal entries only please) • lfitzpatrick01@gmail.com 400 Chepstow – Brevet Cymru BRM 401km 06:00 • 5000m AAA3.5 [3450m] • £10.00 C F L P R T NM Z • 100 • 15-30kph Change of Date – BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 110 Ellon, Aberdeenshire – The Lumpy Python BP 112km 09:30 • £6.00 • G NM P R T (50) • 14-25kph Ythan CC – Paul Gordon, 4 Edmondside, Pitmedden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7GP 200 Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland – Chevy Chase BRM 201km 08:00 •2465m AAA3 [3000m] • £12.00 • C F G L P R T • (120) • 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds – Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close, Lanchester, Durham DH7 0PX • aidan@northern-audax.org.uk 300 Manningtree – Green & Yellow Fields BRM 305km 00:01 • 1500m • £5.00 • X P C G •15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF • grant@huggys.co.uk 300 Newark Northgate Station – Do Not Forget Your Dividend Card BRM 300km 06:30 • £6.00 • X G P • 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire – Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton le Moorland, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN5 9HT • lincsaudax@gmail.com

SUNDAY 06 MAY 2018 200 Devoran, S of Truro – Lizard and the Camel BR 210km 08:00 • 2500m • £7.50 • C L P R T • 14.4-30kph Audax Kernow – Trevor Stephens, Crewenna, Troubridge Road, Helston TR13 8DQ • crewenna@btinternet.com 56 Devoran, S of Truro – Peter’s Point BP 56km 10:00 • £6.00 • C L P R T • 12-28kph Audax Kernow – Trevor Stephens, Crewenna, Troubridge Road, Helston TR13 8DQ • crewenna@btinternet.com 110 Devoran, S of Truro – Red River Blue Sea BP 110km 09:00 • 1300m • £7.00 • C L P R T • 12-28kph Audax Kernow – Trevor Stephens, Crewenna, Troubridge Road, Helston TR13 8DQ • crewenna@btinternet.com 400 Poole – Porkers 400 BRM 400km 14:00 • 5900m • AAA6 • £10.00 • L M (50) • (22/4) • 15-30kph Wessex CTC – Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Longfleet, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT

MONDAY 07 MAY 2018

200 High Easter, nr Chelmsford – ECCA Festival 200k BR 200km 08:00 • £7.00 • L P R T • 15-30kph ECCA – Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST 100 High Easter, Nr Chelmsford – The Counties Festival 100 BP 104km 10:00 • £5.00 • L P R T (70) • 15-30kph ECCA – Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST 53 High Easter, Nr Chelmsford – The Counties Festival 50 BP 53km 11:00 • £5.00 • L P R T (70) • 12-25kph ECCA – Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST


200 Ruislip, London – A Ride Called Quest BR 217km 08:00 • 1700m • £9.00 • F G P T • 15-30kph Change of Date – Westerley CC – Dave Morrison, 145 Cornwall Road, Ruislip, Middx HA4 6AH 100 Ruislip, London – Spoke On The Water BP 108km 08:30 • 900m • £9.00 • F G P T • 15-30kph Westerley CC – Dave Morrison, 145 Cornwall Road, Ruislip, Middx HA4 6AH

SATURDAY 12 MAY 2018 100 Alveston, N Bristol – South Glos 100 BP 106km 09:30 • £6.00 • P R T (150) • 12.5-25kph Bristol CTC – Alex Rendu, Whitethorn, Cock Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 9SJ 200 Dore, Nr Sheffield – Plain, Peaks and TroughsBR 205km 08:00 • 2900m • AAA3 • £5.00 • L P R T • 14.3-30kph Sheffield District CTC – 0114 258 8932 – John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield, S11 9AW • cripps@uwclub.net 100 Dore, Sheffield – Peaks and Troughs BP 103km 9:00 • 2100m • AAA2 • £5.00 • F L P T • 12-30kph Sheffield District CTC – 0114 258 8932 – John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield, S11 9AW • cripps@uwclub.net 62 Dore, Sheffield – Fewer Peaks and Troughs BP 62km 09:30 • 1150m • AAA1.25 • £5.00 • F L P T • 10-22kph Sheffield District CTC – 0114 258 8932 – John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield, S11 9AW • cripps@uwclub.net 150 Forfar – Pitlochry 150 BP 150km 09:15 • 1650m • £3.00 • G P T S • 15-30kph Angus CC – 01307 466123 – David Husband (ROA 5000) 78 Old Halkerton Road, Forfar DD8 1JP • dchusband@icloud.com 400 Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire – The Old 240 BRM 407km 05:30 • 6400m AAA6.5 • £8.00 • A(2) L P R T S YH • 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 400 Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire – Not Quite The Spurn Head 400 BRM 403km 05:30 • 2450m • £8.00 • A(2) L P R T S YH • 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 300 Wigginton, York – Wigginton 300 BRM 302km 05:00 • 2132m £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph CTC North Yorks – 01904 769 378 – Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive, Wigginton, York YO32 2DB • keith@dkb123.plus.com 100 Wigginton, York – Wiggy 100 BP 100km 10:00 • £3.00 • A(1) YH L P R T • 12-24kph CTC North Yorks – 01904 769 378 – Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive, Wigginton, York YO32 2DB • keith@dkb123.plus.com

SUNDAY 13 MAY 2018

200 Meopham, nr Gravesend – Hop Garden 200km BR 200km 08:00 • [1800m] • £8.00 • F L P R T NM 7/5 • 15-30kph Gravesend CTC – Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT • pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 160 Meopham, nr Gravesend – Hop Garden Century Ride BP 160km 08:30 • [1550m] • £8.00 • F L P R T NM 7/5 • 15-30kph Gravesend CTC – Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT • pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 100 Meopham, nr Gravesend – Hop Garden 100km BP 100km 09:00 • 975m • £8.00 • F L P R T NM 7/5 • 10-30kph Gravesend CTC – Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT • pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 53 Uffington, near Wantage – Blowingstone-Boomerang BP 53km 10:30 • 424m • £5.00 • P T R • 15-30kph CTC Wantage – Nick Dunton, 44a High Street, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4AP 100 Uffington, near Wantage – Blowingstone-White Horse BP 103km 09:30 • 1330m [1346m] • £6.00 • P T R • 15-30kph Oxfordshire CTC – Nick Dunton, 44a High Street, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4AP

100 Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire – Between the Parks PB 100km 09:00 • 500m • £6.00 • G L P R T • 75 • 10/5 • 15-30kph Southampton & Romsey CTC – Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO53 2AB • rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk 200 Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire – Grand National Park2Park BR 200km 08:00 • 2400m • £8.50 • F G L P R T • 75 • 10/5 • 15-30kph Southampton CTC – Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO53 2AB • rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk

SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018 400 Alfreton – Moors and Wolds 400 BRM 406km 10:30 • 2425m • £9.00 • P R T X • 15-30kph Updated – Alfreton CTC – Stephen Ogden, The Firs, 170 Nuncargate Road, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 9EA • oggy.dude@gmail.com 600 Chepstow – Bryan Chapman Memorial – Welsh End to End BRM 600km 06:00 • 7500m AAA7.5 • £42.00 • BD C F L P R S T Z •15-30kph CTC Cymru – Ritchie Tout Sunnyside Cottage, Mynyddbach, Monmouthshire NP16 6RT • oldfield.tout@btinternet.com 160 Meriden, Warwickshire – Cotswold Challenge BP 160km 08:00 • 1200m • £8.00 • C G P R T NM • 15-30kph Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner, Springhill Gardens, Webheath, Redditch, Worcs. B97 5SY • audax2018@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk 100 Meriden, Warwickshire – Warwickshire Wanderer BP 105km 09:00 • 700m • £8.00 • C G P R T NM • 15-30kph Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner, Springhill Gardens, Webheath, Redditch, Worcs. B97 5SY • audax2018@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk 50 Meriden, Warwickshire – Meriden Meander BP 50km 10:00 • 540m [546m] • £8.00 • A C G NM P R T • 15-30kph Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner, Springhill Gardens, Webheath, Redditch, Worcs. B97 5SY • audax2018@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk 400 Raynes Park – Dauntsey Dawdle BR 404km 06:00 • 3300m • £12.00 • A(2) C G L P R T S (100) • 15-30kph Updated – Kingston Wheelers – Gavin Simmons 10 Chesham Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT1 3AQ 300 Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria – The Westmorland Spartans BRM 300km 07:00 • 4000m AAA4 • £8.00 • YH A(2) L P R T S • 15-30kph Lakes Velo – Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8QL • paul@revells.com 200 Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria – The Cumbrian 200 BRM 203km 08:00 • 3900m AAA4 • £7.00 • YH A(2) L P R T S • 15-30kph Lakes Velo – Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8QL • paul@revells.com 200 Willington Hall, E of Chester – Tour of the Berwyns BR 210km 08:00 • 3100m • AAA3 • £6.00 • L P R T 75 • 7/05 • 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC – David Matthews (ROA 10000) Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG • dmanu@outlook.com 130 Willington Hall, nr Chester – Panorama Prospect BP 136km 08:30 • 1150m [500m] • £6.00 • L P R T • 75 • 17/05 • 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CT – David Matthews (ROA 10000) Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG • dmanu@outlook.com

SUNDAY 20 MAY 2018 200 Lound, nr Lowestoft – The Norfolk Special BR 200km 08:00 • £6.00 • F R T P • 15-30kph VC Baracchi – John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT • johntommo6@btinternet.com 160 Lound, nr Lowestoft – The Norfolk Special BP 160km 09:00 • £6.00 • F R T P • 12.5-25kph VC Baracchi – John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT • johntommo6@btinternet.com

SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018 300 Honiton – Old Roads 300 BRM 300km 06:00 • 3400m • £8.00 • G L P R T •15-30kph Exeter Whs – 01404 46993 – Ian Hennessey (ROA 25000) 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU • ian@ukcyclist.co.uk 300 Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland – The Mosstrooper BRM 300km 06:00 • 3900m • AAA3.5 • [3600m] • £10.00 • C F G L P R T • 60 • 15-30kph VC 167 – Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close, Lanchester, Durham DH7 0PX • aidan@northern-audax.org.uk 600 Poole – Brimstone 600 BRM 600km 06:00 • 7600m • AAA7.5 • £10.00 • L M • 50 • 12/5 • 15-30kph Wessex CTC – Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Longfleet, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT 200 Village Hall, Long Melford CO10 9JQ – Grand Tour de Stour BR 212km 08:00 • £7.00 • C G L NM R T(60)(14/05) • 15-30kph CC Sudbury – Andrew Hoppit, 15 Middleton Rd, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2DB • andrew.hoppit@gmail.com 100 Village Hall, Long Melford CO10 9JQ – Tour de Stour BP 106km 09:00 • £6.00 • C G L NM P R T(60)(14/05) • 15-30kph CC Sudbury – Andrew Hoppit, 15 Middleton Rd, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2DB • andrew.hoppit@gmail.com

SUNDAY 27 MAY 2018 200 Higham, near Gravesend, Kent – Medway Marvellous 200 BR 206km 08:00 • 1976m • [1425m] • £8.00 • P R T G L • 15-30kph Change of Date – San Fairy Ann CC – Tim Decker 3 Hillside Ave, Strood, Rochester, Kent ME2 3DB • medway.marvellous@gmail.com 100 Higham, near Gravesend, Kent – Medway Marvellous 100 BP 103km 09:00 • 1048m • [1425m] • £8.00 • P R T G L • 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC – Tim Decker, 3 Hillside Ave, Strood, Rochester, Kent ME2 3DB • medway.marvellous@gmail.com 200 Huddersfield – Huddersfield Star Wheelers Humber Bridge BR 230km 08:00 • 1300m • £3.00 • X G T • 15-30kph Huddersfield Star – Nephi Alty, Heath House View, Ridings Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD7 4PZ • nephialty@gmail.com

THURSDAY 31 MAY 2018 1000 Haymarket Railway Station, Edinburgh – The West Highlands BRM 1000km 20:00 • £17.50 • X YH G T • 13.3-22.5kph Edinburgh RC – Graeme Wyllie, 16 Corstorphine House Avenue, Edinburgh EH12 7AD • graemewyllie05@gmail.com

SATURDAY 02 JUNE 2018 100 Cromford, Derbyshire– Tramway 100 BP 104km 09:00 • 1480m • AAA1.5 • £6.00 • P R T • 150 • 11-30kph Alfreton CTC – ROA 10000 – Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP • tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk 400 Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland – The Hot Trod BRM 400km 09:00 • 3711m • [4020m] • £15.00 • C F G L P R T Z • (60) • 15-30kph VC 167 – Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX • aidan@northern-audax.org.uk 600 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 600B BR 606km 05:00 • 10834m AAA10.75 [10261m] • £12.00 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 400 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 400 A (Populaire) BP 406km 06:00 • 7587m AAA7.5 [8103m] • £9.75 • X C F G NM P •100 • 15/5 • 10-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com

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AUK CALENDAR 400 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 400A BR 406km 06:00 • 7587m AAA7.5 [8103m] • £9.75 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 300 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 300 A (Populaire)  BP 314km 05:45 • 5780m AAA5.75 [6127m] £8.50 X C F G NM P 100 (15/5) 8.3-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 300 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 300A BR 314km 05:45 • 5780m AAA5.75 [6127m] • £8.50 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 300 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 300 B BR 313km 06:00 • 5521m AAA5.5 [6217m] • £8.50 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 200 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 200 A BR 210km 08:00 • 3734m AAA3.75 [3918m] • £7.25 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 200 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 200 B BR 209km 08:00 • 4192m AAA4.25 • £7.25 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 110 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 100 A BP 110km 09:00 • 2189m AAA2.25 [2386m] • £6.00 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 8.3-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 400 Manningtree – Asparagus & Strawberries BRM 414km 09:00 • 2600m • £5.00 • X P C G • 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF • grant@huggys.co.uk 400 Newark Northgate Station, Nottinghamshire – Lincolnshire Poacher BRM 400km 06:00 • £6.00 • X A1 L P R • 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire – Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton le Moorland, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN5 9HT • lincsaudax@gmail.com 200 Pateley Bridge – Dales Grimpeur 200 BR 215km 08:00 • 4596m • AAA4.5 • £6.00 • L P R S T • 15-30kph Hambleton RC – Paul Roberts, 37 The Close, Romanby, Northallerton DL7 8BL • paul.roberts901@tiscali.co.uk

SUNDAY 03 JUNE 2018 200 Elstead, Surrey – The Nearly Stonehenge 200 BR 208km 08:00 2210m • £6.00 • F L P R T • 15-30kph CTC West Surrey – 01428 642013 – Nicholas Davison, The Bield, Mill Copse Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 3DN • nickandmarion.davison@hotmail.co.uk 150 Elstead, Surrey, The Danebury 150 BP 156km 08:30 • £6.00 • F L P R T • 13-30kph CTC West Surrey – 01428 642013 – Nicholas Davison, The Bield, Mill Copse Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 3DN • nickandmarion.davison@hotmail.co.uk 110 Elstead, Surrey – The Elstead 100 BP 112km 09:00 • £6.00 • F L P R T • 12-30kph CTC West Surrey – 01428 642013 – Nicholas Davison, The Bield, Mill Copse Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 3DN • nickandmarion.davison@hotmail.co.uk

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018

200 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 200 E BR 208km 08:00 • 3418m AAA3.5 [3426m] • £7.25 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 200 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 200 C BR 206km 08:00 • 3879m AAA4 [3911m] • £7.25 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 14.4-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 110 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 100 C BP 111km 09:00 • 1896m AAA2 [2092m] £6.00 X C F G NM P 100 (15/5) 8.3-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 110 Llandrindod – This is not a tour 100 B BP 110km 09:00 • 2125m AAA2.25 [2280m] • £6.00 • X C F G NM P • 100 • 15/5 • 10-30kph BlackSheep CC – Mark Rigby (ROA 25000) c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 110 Maidenhead – 10 Thames Bridges BP 110km 09:00 • £4.00 • P R T • 15-30kph Willesden CC – Anne Mograby, 5 Castle Farm, Leigh Square, Windsor, Berks SL4 4PT • anemograby@hotmail.com 64 Maidenhead – Kaf to Kaf BP 64km 10:00 • £4.00 • P R T • 12-25kph Willesden CC – Anne Mograby, 5 Castle Farm, Leigh Square, Windsor, Berks SL4 4PT • anemograby@hotmail.com 200 Wimbledon Common – The London Ditchling Devil BR 205km 08:00 • 2400m [2700m] • £16.00 • F P R T • 15-30kph Audax Club DuBois – Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN • paudax@gmail.com

SATURDAY 09 JUNE 2018 400 Exeter – Back to the Smoke 400 BRM 400km 12:00 • 4500m [3400m] • £6.00 • G X • 15-30kph Change of Date – Exeter Whs – 01404 46993 – Ian Hennessey (ROA 25000) 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU • ian@ukcyclist.co.uk 200 Forfar – Rannoch 210 BR 210km 08:00 • £8.00 • G L P R T • 15-30kph Angus CC – 01307 466123 – David Husband (ROA 5000) 78 Old Halkerton Road, Forfar, DD8 1JP • dchusband@icloud.com 400 Musselburgh – The Southern Uplands BRM 400km 06:00 • 5000m AAA5 • £10.00 • X P C R G L • 15-30kph Audax Ecosse – Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU • martinfoley@btinternet.com 200 Norton, nr Gloucester – Gospel Pass 200 BR 200km 08:00 • 3075m • AAA3 • £12.00 • C P R T L • 14.3-30kph Cheltenham CTC – ROA 10000 – Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 0LA • stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 160 Norton, nr Gloucester – YatMon 160 (Imperial 100mile) BP 162km 09:00 • 2230m • AAA2.25 • £9.00 • C P R T L 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC – ROA 10000 – Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 0LA • stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 100 Norton, nr Gloucester – Hoarwithy 100 (2Severn2Wye) BP 100km 09:30 • £5.00 • C P R T L • 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC – ROA 10000 – Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 0LA • stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 400 Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury – The Irish Mail BRM 400km 07:00 • 5300m • AAA5.25 • £10.00 • C F G L P R T Z • 15-25kph CTC Shropshire – ROA 10000 – John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF • undulates@hotmail.co.uk

300 Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury – Snowdon & Lakes BRM 312km 07:00 • 4450m AAA4.5 [4842m] • £10.00 • C F G L P R T • 15-25kph CTC Shropshire – ROA 10000 – John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF • undulates@hotmail.co.uk 100 Usk, Monmouthshire – Gwent Gambol BP 101km 08:00 • 1200m • £6.00 • C G P R T • 12.5-25kph Cardiff Byways – ROA 5000 – Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW • evansrichardd@googlemail.com 200 Warmley, Bristol – Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles BR 209km 07:00 • 1900m • £7.50 • YH G P R T • (100) • (06/6) • 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol – Will Pomeroy, 5 Chaplin Rd, Bristol BS5 0JT • will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk

SATURDAY 10 JUNE 2018 100 Birdwell Barnsley, Birdwell Community Centre – Cote de Holme Moss BP 107km 09:00 • 2200m • AAA2.25 • £6.00 • L P R T • (120) • 12-30kph Birdwell Whs – John Woodhouse, 10 Ashurst Close, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 4XZ • woodyauk@btinternet.com 200 Claughton, N of Preston – Fleet Moss 212 BR 212km 07:30 • 3290m • AAA3.25 • £7.50 • P R T G • 15-30kph Southport CC – Allan Taylor, 23 Osborne Road, Ainsdale, Southport PR8 2RJ • allan.taylor@southportcc.co.uk 160 Claughton, N of Preston – Lunesdale Populaire BP 162km 08:30 • 2280m • AAA2.25 • £7.50 • P R T 100 • 13-30kph Southport CC – Allan Taylor, 23 Osborne Road, Ainsdale, Southport PR8 2RJ • allan.taylor@southportcc.co.uk 110 Claughton, N of Preston – Pilgrim’s Way BP 112km 09:00 • 1540m • £6.50 • P R T G • 10-25kph Southport CC – Allan Taylor, 23 Osborne Road, Ainsdale, Southport PR8 2RJ • allan.taylor@southportcc.co.uk 200 Honeybourne, E of Evesham – Neville Chanin Memorial - Over The Severn BR 219km 08:00 • 3134m • AAA3.25 • £7.00 • F P R T • 15-30kph Evesham & Dist Whs – Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD • neilrob3@gmail.com 110 Honeybourne, E of Evesham – The Rollright Rumble BP 110km 09:00 • 1206m • £4.00 • F P R T • 15-30kph Evesham & Dist Whs – Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD • neilrob3@gmail.com 300 Penzance – Many Rivers to Cross BR 306km 06:30 • 4940m • AAA5 • £3.00 • B X YH C • 14.3-30kph Audax Kernow – Martyn Aldis, Sundown, 25a Kersey Road, Flushing, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5TR • martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk 200 Penzance – Four Hundreds 200  BR 207km 08:00 • 3760m • AAA3.75 • £3.00 • B X YH C 15-30kph Audax Kernow – Martyn Aldis Sundown, 25a Kersey Road, Flushing, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5TR • martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk 200 Ware – Herts High Five BR 209km 08:00 • 1634m • [1509m] • £10.00 • G L P R S T • 15-30kph Hertfordshire Wheelers – Valdis Belinis, 2 Little Horse Lane, Milton Road, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 0QB 100 Ware – Two Counties 100 BP 108km 10:30 • £7.00 • G L P R S T • 15-30kph Hertfordshire Wheelers – Valdis Belinis, 2 Little Horse Lane, Milton Road, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 0QB

SATURDAY 16 JUNE 2018 300 Beech Hill, S of Reading – Rural South BR 300km 06:00 • 3500m • £7.50• L P R T • 15-30kph Reading CTC – Ian Doyle, 21 Woodford Close, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7HN • offroad@readingctc.co.uk 200 Beech Hill, S of Reading – Alan Furley’s Up the Downs BR 204km 08:00 • 2100m • £7.00 • G L P R T • 15-30kph Updated – Reading CTC – Nick Clark, 19 Chilmark Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 9DD • nickclark2020@gmail.com


100 Beech Hill, S of Reading – Alan Furley’s Down the Ups BP 107km 09:00 • 1000m • £6.50 • G L P R T • 15-30kph Updated – Reading CTC – Nick Clark, 19 Chilmark Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 9DD • nickclark2020@gmail.com 600 Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax – The 3 Coasts 600 BRM 607km 06:00 • 5611m • AAA1.75 • [1631m] • £10.00 • A(3) L P R S T Z YH • 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 600 Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax – The East & West Coasts 600 BRM 605km 06:00 • 4380m • [5380m] • £10.00 • A(3) L P R S T Z YH • 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 600 Raynes Park – Wander Wye BRM 610km 06:00 • 5700m • [6000m] • £19.00 • A(1) C F G L P R T S Z • 15-30kph Kingston Whs – Richard Evans, 29 Somerset Avenue, Raynes Park, London SW20 0BJ • laidbackaroundtheworld@gmail.com

SUNDAY 17 JUNE 2018 200 Lichfield, The Acorn Inn – Vale of Belvoir III BR 200km 08:00 • 1498m • £5.00 • G R P T • 15-30kph Roy Bishop – 0121 357 2570 – 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com 120 Lichfield, The Acorn Inn – Charnwood ForestBP 124km 09:00 • 1055m • £5.00 • G R P T • 12.5-30kph Roy Bishop – 0121 357 2570 – 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com 53 Lichfield, The Acorn Inn – Moira Furnace FiftyBP 53km 09:30 • 470m • £4.00 • G R P T • 10-25kph Roy Bishop – 0121 357 2570 – 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 1EB • bikeway@virginmedia.com 200 Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax – The Good Companions BRM 200km 08:30 • 2697m AAA1.75 • [1631m] • £5.00 • A(2) L P R T S YH • 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC – Chris Crossland (ROA 25000) 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF • chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE 2018 100 Witney Rugby Club, Hailey – Midweek Tour of the Cotswolds BP 106km 10:00 • 1047m • [1346m] • £6.00 • P T R G NM • 13-25kph Updated – Oxfordshire CTC – Andy Ellis, 8 Burgess Close, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3JT • Andy.Ellis_ATE@BTInternet.com

FRIDAY 22 JUNE 2018 400 Anywhere, to York – Summer Arrow to York BR 400km 06:00 • £15.00 • 15-30kph Audax UK – Lucy Mctaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • pedaller1@sky.com 200 Anywhere, to York – Summer Dart to York BR 210km £5.00 • 15-30kph Audax UK – Lucy Mctaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • pedaller1@sky.com 400 Clayhidon, near Taunton – Avalon Sunrise 400 BRM 407km 22:30 • 4350m • £19.00 • F L P R T C • 15-30kph Exeter Whs – Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge, Ashill Road, Uffculme, Devon EX15 3DP

SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2018 200 Bynea, Llanelli – Carmarthenshire Snapper BR 202km 08:00 • 2200m • £8.00 • C L F P R T (50) • 15-30kph Updated – Swansea & W Wales CTC – Peter Simon, 7 Wauneos, Pwll, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA15 4EA • potatobike@gmail.com

100 Combe Down Rugby Club, Bath – Mendip Transmitter BP 100km 08:30 • 1650m AAA1.75 • £7.00 • P R T X F • 15-30kph Bath CC – Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road, Bath BA2 2AX • robertmcmillan@sky.com 300 Galashiels – Alston and Back BRM 300km 06:00 • 2700m • £6.00 • P R T X • 15-30kph Audax Ecosse – 01896 758 181 – Lucy McTaggart (ROA 25000) 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL • p edaller1@sky.com 200 Hulme End, nr Hartington –Knockerdown BR 209km 08:00 • 3750m • AAA3.75 • £8.00 • F L P R T • 14.3-25kph Peak Audax CTC – John Perrin, 20 Princes Way, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8UB • perrin_john@sky.com 120 Hulme End, nr Hartington – Lutudarum BP 120km 09:30 • 1800m • AAA1.75 • £8.00 • C F P T • 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC – John Perrin, 20 Princes Way, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8UB • perrin_john@sky.com 100 Knavesmire, York – Rally 100 BP 100km 09:00 • BP • £7.50 • A(1) C F P R T S • 15-25kph CTC North Yorks – Gerald Boswell, 5 Invicta Court, Foxwood Lane, Acomb, York YO24 3NL • gerry.boswell@hotmail.co.uk 200 23 Jun St. Peters Square, Hammersmith W6 9AB – A Catholic Education BR 207km 08:00 • [650m] • £10.00 • F P T • (50) • 15-30kph Orbital CC – 07798 604444 – Peter Kelsey, 25 Flanchford Road, London W12 9ND

SUNDAY 24 JUNE 2018 100 59 Broad St, Bristol BS1, Full Court Press – The Randonnée, Bristol BP 109km 9:00 • 1320m • £7.50 • G P R • 150 • 20/5 • 12-30kph Audax Club Bristol – Isabel Rennie, 20 Bowden Road, St George, Bristol BS5 7AU 200 Chelmer CC Club hut, Meteor Way, Chelmsford – Windmill Ride (200) BRM 201km 08:30 • 1772m • £8.50 • F G L P R T • 15-30kph Essex CTC – Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS1 2LQ • s.eichenseher@googlemail.com 110 Chelmer CC Club hut, Meteor Way, Chelmsford – Windmill Ride (110) BP 110km 10:00 • BP • 923m • £8.50 • F G L P R T • 12-25kph Essex CTC – Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS1 2LQ • s.eichenseher@googlemail.com

WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE 2018 100 Hampton Hill, W London – London Midweek Sightseer BP 105km 09:30 • £6.00 • L P T • 10-20kph Hounslow & Dist. Whs – 020 82873244 – Bill Carnaby, 225 High Street, Hampton Hill, Middlesex TW12 1NP • billcarnaby@outlook.com

THURSDAY 28 JUNE 2018 1000 Witham, Essex – The ACME Grand BRM 1000km 11:00 • 7551m [8033m] • £4.00 • X M C G 21/06 • 13.3-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex – Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA • tom.deakins@btinternet.com

SATURDAY 30 JUNE 2018 200 Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond – Hartside 200 BR 203km 08:00 • 2752m • AAA3 [3000m] • £6.00 • F L P R T • 14.4-30kph VC 167 – David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL • David.atkinson577@talktalk.net 100 Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond – Northern Dales Summer Outing BP 100km 09:00 • 1475m [3000m] • £5.00 • F L P R T • 10-27kph VC 167 – David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL • David.atkinson577@talktalk.net 170 Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire – The Swanage Swan BP 175km 08:00 • 1675m [1625m] • £7.00 • L P R T 50 • 15-30kph Change of Date – Winchester CTC – Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close, Romsey,Hampshire SO51 5EG • alanandemma@talktalk.net

170 Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire – Hindon Hip Hip BP 170km 08:00 • 1750m • £7.00 • L P R T • 50 • 15-30kph Change of Date – Winchester CTC – Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close, Romsey,Hampshire SO51 5EG • alanandemma@talktalk.net 140 Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire – Hungerford Hooray BP 140km 08:00 • 1450m • £7.00 • L P R T • 50 • 15-30kph Change of Date – Winchester CTC – Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close, Romsey,Hampshire SO51 5EG • alanandemma@talktalk.net 130 Cleve RFC The Hayfields,Mangotsfield, Bristol – The Avon Cycleway 130 BP 130km 09:00 • 1100m • £7.50 • T R P F • 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol – Robert Baird, 37 Thingwall Park, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2AJ • rob@audaxclubbristol.co.uk 100 Cromford Wharf, Derbyshire – Lead Miners Trail BP 101km 9:30 • 2060m AAA2 • £6.00 • G P R T • 12.5-25kph Alfreton CTC – David Catlow, 31 Cavendish Way, Mickleover, Derby DE3 9BL • davidcatlow1947@gmail.com 300 Kirriemuir, Angus – The Snow Roads BP 300km 06:00 • 4800m • AAA4.75 • £15.00 • A F L P R T S Z • (100) • 15-30kph Angus Bike Chain – Alex Pattison, 1 Angle Park Crescent, Kirriemuir, Angus DD8 4TJ • alexabccc@gmail.com

SUNDAY 01 JULY 2018 150 Abergavenny – Monmouthshire Monster BP150km 08:00 • 2500m • AAA2.5 • £6.00 • YH F P L T • 15-25kph Abergavenny RC – Jonathan Saville, 9 Trehonddu, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8DG • waville@yahoo.com 100 Abergavenny – Monmouthshire Meander BP 100km 09:00 • 1500m • AAA1.5 • £6.00 • YH F P L T • 15-25kph Abergavenny RC – Jonathan Saville, 9 Trehonddu, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8DG • waville@yahoo.com 300 Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent – Fairies Flattest Possible 300 BR 311km 02:00 • £9.00 • C F L P R T • 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC – David Winslade, 3 Albany Close, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 2EY • manofkentaudax@gmail.com 200 Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent – Fairies Half-Flat 200 BR 201km 08:00 • [1000m] • £8.00 • F G L P R T • 15-30kph Change of Date – San Fairy Ann CC – 07718 812 453 – Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB • bobwatts999@gmail.com 150 Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent – Fairies Fairly Flat 150 BP 150km 08:30 • £7.00 • F G L P R T • 15-30kph Change of Date – San Fairy Ann CC – 07718 812 453 – Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB • bobwatts999@gmail.com 100 Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent – Fairies Flat 100 BP 100km 09:00 • £6.00 • F G L P R T • 15-30kph Change of Date – San Fairy Ann CC – 07718 812 453 – Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB • bobwatts999@gmail.com 50 Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent – Fairies Easy Peasy 50 BP 50km 10:00 • £5.00 • F G L P R T • 15-30kph Change of Date – San Fairy Ann CC – 07718 812 453 – Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB • bobwatts999@gmail.com 67 Carharrack, Cornwall– Mines and Mineral Railways (ON-road) BP 67km 10:00 • 820m • £5.00 • C L P R T • 8-28kph Change of Date – Audax Kernow – Simon Jones, The Cottage, Pulla Cross, Truro, Cornwall TR4 8SA • brindisijones@tiscali.co.uk 66 Carharrack, Cornwall – Mines and Mineral Railways (OFF-road) BP 66km 10:00 • 1257m [773m] • £5.00 • C L P R T • 8-28kph Change of Date – Audax Kernow – Simon Jones, The Cottage, Pulla Cross, Truro, Cornwall TR4 8SA • brindisijones@tiscali.co.uk www.aukweb.net

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AUK CALENDAR 110 Congleton, Cheshire – Just the Plains of Cheshire BP 118km 09:00 • 724m • £5.00 • G P R T • 15-30kph Congleton CC – Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 3HB • Congletonccaudax@gmail.com 110 Congleton, Cheshire – Just the Hills of Cheshire BP 110km 08:30 • 1700m • AAA1.75 • £5.00 • G P R T • 12.5-25kph Congleton CC – Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 3HB • Congletonccaudax@gmail.com 200 Congleton, Cheshire – The Hills & Plains of Cheshire BR 210km 08:00 • 2285m • AAA1.5 [1500m] • £6.00 • G P R T • 15-30kph Congleton CC – Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 3HB • Congletonccaudax@gmail.com 200 Maidenhead – Riverside Gardens BP 200km 08:00 • 2063m [2388m] • £6.00 • P R T • 15-30kph Willesden CC –Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue, London W3 6QJ • ianaudax@gmail.com

FRIDAY 06 JULY 2018 1000 Bispham, Lancashire – Mille Pennines BRM 1000km 11:00 • 13000m AAA12.75 [10000m] • £55.00 • BD F L P R S T Z 120 • 13.3-30kph Burnley CC – Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT • burnleysportiv@yahoo.com

SATURDAY 07 JULY 2018 100 Barcombe near Lewes – AAA Milne BP100km 10:00 • 1700m • AAA1.75 • £3.00 • F P • 12.5-25kph Change of Date – Grimpeurs du Sud – Martin Malins, Room 2l22 Laboratory Block, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF • malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk 200 Bolsover – Clumber to Humber (John Kerr Memorial Ride) BR 214km 08:00 • £5.00 • L P R T G • (100) • 15-30kph Bolsover & District CC – 01246 825 351 – ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL • matt.connley@talktalk.net 300 Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury – A Rough Diamond BR 301km 06:00 • 2500m • [3450m] • £7.50 • C F L P R T NM • 15-25kph BlackSheep CC – ROA 25000 – Mark Rigby, c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 100 Bushley, Nr.Tewkesbury – Teddy Bears’ Picnic BP 101km 9:00 • 975m [900m] • £6.00 • C G T NM P • 100 • 10-30kph BlackSheep CC – ROA 25000 – Mark Rigby, c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester, Worcestershire WR1 2JD • blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 600 Exeter – The Exe-Buzzard BRM 600km 06:00 • 5600m • £5 • X • 15-30kph Exeter Whs – 01404 46993 – ROA 25000 – Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU • ian@ukcyclist.co.uk 600 Leighton Buzzard – The Buzzard  BRM 600km 07:00 • 5600m • £5.00 • X • 15-30kph Exeter Whs – 01404 46993 – ROA 25000 – Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU • ian@ukcyclist.co.uk

SUNDAY 08 JULY 2018 200 Denshaw, Saddleworth – Bowland BR 200km 08:00 • 3500m AAA3.5 [4400m] • £6.00 • P R T G • 15-30kph Saddleworth Clarion – Nephi Alty, Heath House View, Ridings Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD7 4PZ • nephialty@gmail.com 110 Denshaw, Saddleworth – Up ‘N’ Down T ‘West Ridin’ BP 110km 09:00 • 2100m • AAA2 • £6.00 • P R T G • 10-25kph Saddleworth Clarion – Nephi Alty, Heath House View, Ridings Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD7 4PZ • nephialty@gmail.com 200 Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland – The Four Tops BR 208km 8:00 • 2850m • AAA2.75 [2800m] • £7.00 • G P R T • (100) 24/6/18 • 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds – 07875224229 – Please enter online andy@dixonberne.plus.com

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ArrivéeWinter/Spring2018


CONTACTS

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 person, regardless of club or other affiliation, who is imbued with the spirit of long-distance cycling. Details in the Handbook. MEMBERSHIP Enquiries: Caroline Fenton (AUK Membership Secretary), Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX membership@audax.uk Application Form: www.aukweb.net/memform.php

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ARRIVÉE Extra Arrivée copies, if available, £3(UK), £4(EEC), £5(non-EEC) from Caroline Fenton (address above) CONTRIBUTIONS Articles, info, cartoons, photos, all welcome.

Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the Club. Produced by AUK. Printed by: Severn, Gloucester Distribution data from: Caroline Fenton and the AUK Membership Team.

SPRING/SUMMER EDITION CONTRIBUTIONS:

To the issue editor – Claire Oldfield by 15th April 2018

Our web site: www.aukweb.net To subscribe to an AUK email discussion list, send an email to: audax-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Note: this group is not monitored by the AUK Board, who should be contacted directly with matters of concern. Audax UK Long Distance Cyclists’ Association (Company No. 05920055 (England & Wales) Reg Office: Whitelands, Terling Road, Hatfield Peverel, Essex CM3 2AG © Arrivée 2018

Board and delegates CHAIR Chris Crossland 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX6 1EF Tel 01422 832 853

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BADGE AND MEDAL SHOP SECRETARY Allan Taylor

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SYSTEMS MANAGERS (www. aukweb.net) Website Delegate: Francis Cooke Systems administrator: Terry Kay Assistants: Pete Coates, Matt Haigh

Assistant Nigel Armstrong (Accounts)

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IT MANAGER (website development) Richard Jennings Richard has the following assistants Miranda Smith, Otto Reinders, Helen Kellar, Matthew Larkins, Nick Wilkinson, John Burgato, Ivan Cornell, Dan Smith MILEATER SECRETARY Paul Worthington, 213 Greenhill Road, Liverpool L18 9ST FWC (Fixed Wheel Challenge) AND SUPER FIXED WHEEL Richard Phipps, 77 West Farm Avenue, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2JZ GENERAL SECRETARY Graeme Provan Whitelands, Terling Road, Hatfield Peverel, Essex CM3 2AG Graeme has the following assistants Registrar – Les Hereward, 20 Webster Close, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0SF ANNUAL REUNION ORGANISER Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road, Horfield, Bristol, Avon BS7 9PJ

DIRECTOR AND MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY Caroline Fenton Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX Caroline has the following Assistants Peter Davis (Enrolments) Peter Gawthorne (Renewals) Richard Jennings (Enrolments) Howard Knight (Enrolments) Allan Taylor (Renewals) Findlay Watt (Renewals) LRM/ACP CORRESPONDENT Chris Crossland 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX6 1EF Tel 01422 832 853 COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Ged Lennox Walnut Farm, Bagpath, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL6 8YQ PUBLICATIONS MANAGERS Managing editor: Ged Lennox Winter/Spring Arrivée Editor: TBA Spring/Summer Arrivée Editor: TBA Summer/Autumn Arrivée Editor: Claire Oldfield Autumn/Winter Arrivée Editor: Peter Moir 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 7YB Tel 01993 704913

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A fine day on the Mille Pennines‌ pictured, from left, Aidan Hedley, Cathy and Ashley Brown with Martin Lucas bringing up the rear. Picture by Dean Clemetson

Profile for Audax UK

Arrivée 139 Winter 2017-18  

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