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th em em ber s’ m aga zine of A ud ax

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From zero to hero page 32

Audax UK

the long-distance cyclists’ association


INSIDE ISSUE 140

th em em ber s’ m aga zine of

• 140 UK

018 mer 2 g/sum prin •s

Au da x

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From zero to hpaegero 32

Just a Sec

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Slings & Arrows

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Arrowing experiences 08 Broken Arrows08 Gravity gets you down10

Gold rush16 Audax – the next generation18 Lantern rouge – and proud of it… The Peculier Old 20022

Audax UK

’ association the long-distance cyclists

Front cover Alaina Becall trains for her Trans America race Picture by Rod Barrar

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When LEL is not enough13

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Talk of the Devil… … and a pair of anoraks28 From Zero to Hero32 Joy ride40

32 Welcome to the spring/summer 2018 issue of Arrivée

FEEDBACK

It has been a delight and a privilege to edit it for you… As I write this editorial after what seems to have been an endless winter, the weather, at last, seems to be on the turn for the better.

● I read with interest Caroline Fenton’s article on the RRtY in Arrivée no 139.

I know many of you are undeterred by bad weather and have been out completing events for RRtY, other awards and Arrows or simply riding for pleasure. Nevertheless I am sure you’re looking forwards to some warm, sunny weather to enhance your riding experience.

Fifteen years ago, having just retired and with time on my hands, I looked for a cycling award that was a

We have a bumper issue for you this quarter. We feature Arrows; Veteran AUK Jim Hopper shares his Arrow experience of 35 years. Lucy MacTaggart reviews achievements in 2017 and 2018. Congratulations to Team Steel Roses for their 446k achievement in the 2018 Easter Arrow – a good result in any year but particularly so given the shocking weather conditions that many of you rode through. Some of you have shared your experiences of this year’s event: one team captain actually managed to get a York Arrow beer brewed for his team – that certainly takes planning and forethought! Elsewhere in this issue, a very young AUK, Toby Howard Jones, who rode a 100k event last year at the age of eight gives useful insights to young potential AUKs and their parents about getting started in distance cycling. Alaina Beacall writes about her ride from Nordkapp to Croatia, and her plans to ride the Trans America event. You’ll also find reports of rides in the UK and elsewhere – I hope they inspire you. The calendar gets busy from now on and I shall be fully engaged for the next few weeks with preparations for the Bryan Chapman 600k 2018. I will probably have seen quite a number of you on this and other events where I have volunteered to help. I wish you all a happy and safe cycling season – and of course the Arrivée team are looking forwards to hearing about your exploits. Safe cycling! Claire Oldfield

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challenge but achievable. That was a bit tricky in Audax terms because I do not like riding in the dark and most of the awards e.g. SR seemed to involve lots of riding in the dark. So RRtY looked a goer for me; at that time I think only about a couple of dozen folk had actually done it, so Caroline’s stats are tribute to the explosion of interest in the award, expertly marshalled over the intervening period by Mike Wigley. As is still the case today, there were very few 200km calendar rides in the winter months, so riding perms to keep the sequence going was de rigeur. The tiny number of riders in Caroline’s stats (four) who were able to complete RRtY by only riding calendar events confirms this. I seem to recall that at that time AUK published “standard” distances between control points, so you put these together to make up a ride; the nearest thing at that time to a DIY. Caroline’s stats do not differentiate between published perms and DIY


In the Hartside of the Pennines42

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Training for distance45

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Alphabeticalely sorted46 Wheels of life50 Life cycle52

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Building Treehouse56 Mind your head!59

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Awards60 AUK calendar of events62 Contacts and Delegates67

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perms, but a glance at the huge number of DIY perms processed by the DIY Regional Representatives suggests that DIY rides must be a key element of many RRtY attempts. The seven DIY Regional Representatives have to be counted amongst the unsung heroes of AUK, as the work they do goes way beyond the call of duty. In my case Andy Clarkson (Yorkshire and East) has been absolutely invaluable in terms of advice and support. Thanks to him I was able to complete a mandatory DIY using Ride with GPS following a delightful country route that avoided a horrid main road; the phone was in my back pocket throughout and I navigated using torn out 4 inch to the mile maps. 
I was very surprised at the 20% percent of riders who did ECEs. These had always seemed to me to be a bit of a niche ride, but obviously not. Also the high percentage of riders (80%) who included 300km plus rides in their portfolios; there is no way I would attempt a 300km ride, I am usually on my knees after 200km. Fifteen years since I first got the award I have one more event to go for my second RRtY, having been one of the small number of riders who according to Caroline’s report

started the sequence in the summer. This time last year doing a RRtY was not on my radar, but a friend told me he was doing it and I offered to join him. I slowed him down, but my navigational skills are better than his so it balanced out. He has now done his twelve; if I can get round next month the challenge for me will be whether to carry on and do a “pure” RRtY: January start, December finish. Thanks to Caroline for taking over the baton from Mike and to all the Organisers without whom this award would not be possible. For those looking for a challenge that involves a bit of planning as well as physical exertion I would thoroughly recommend RRtY, particularly if you do not like riding in the dark. Reid Anderson ● On the subject of helmets, in the previous issue a

writer stated that no-one had ever changed their mind on this issue. I can assure you that that’s not true. I used to always wear a lid, but after reading several articles by the likes of Chris Boardman and Carlton Reid

I have changed my practice. I still sometimes wear one, but it’s rare. Decisions like these should be based on evidence and not anecdotes. Such stories are imotive and unhelpful. The trigger for wearing a helmet should not be based on whether you’re cycling or not, but on the level of risk of a serious head injury. The risk of a serious head injury in cycling for an hour is about the same as driving (or being driven) in a car for an hour, so if you don’t feel compelled to wear a helmet for a car journey your decision to wear one cycling is not based on risk. The risk for being driven by a teenager is higher again, and the risk for toddlers falling and serious head injury is greater still! But there is no serious campaign to have compulsory helmets for car journeys nor for young children. Forget whether people are cycling or not, but consider the relative risk by studying evidence and ignoring anecdotes. Barry

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Graeme Provan, General secretary, Audax UK

Just a sec… After some “interesting” weather at the start of March, the season is now well underway with 200k rides giving way to 300k and upwards. The Beast from the East led to an unprecedented two weekends of total postponement of events following similarly unprecedented red weather warnings in some areas. Fortunately, our hard-working Events Secretary, Martin Foley, was on hand to support organisers and most of the events had been re-run in some form or other within a month of the original date. Looking forward, the Board is looking to introduce greater flexibility for organisers in the event of severe weather. Next year is a PBP year so the timings of BRM events become all the more critical to fit in with Audax Club Parisien’s qualification timetable. If you need any information on pre-qualification this year and qualification next year for PBP, the most up to information that we have is available on the website. You will find details of our most recent board appointments below. There are still some key board and delegate vacancies to be filled and these are advertised in this magazine and on the website.

AGM

The AGM was held in Birmingham on the 10th of February. Whilst a relatively small number of members attended the meeting itself, the proxy voting via the online site showed another year on year increase in line with

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the increase in membership. Those attending were able to participate in the debate about the resolutions put to the meeting and question the Board on a number of points. The minutes of the meeting are available on the website. We did have a contested election for the post of Membership Secretary and of the three excellent candidates nominated, it was Caroline Fenton that was duly elected. Next year’s AGM will be held in Birmingham on the 9th of February and a formal notice will be circulated to members later this year.

BOARD MEETING

Our latest board meeting took place on the 11th of April. One of the first points on the agenda was the appointment of our new Financial Director, Nigel Armstrong. Nigel has been AUK’s bookkeeper for some time so he is very familiar with the way we work and has some clear ideas about future budgeting requirements. We had advertised the vacancy for the

post prior to the AGM but the timings meant that it was not possible to deal with it at the AGM so Nigel’s appointment will be subject to election at the next AGM. We also looked at the effect that the new rules on data protection will have on AUK and the appropriate advice will be circulated to organisers and delegates prior to the new GDPR rules becoming law towards the end of May. Our new Membership Secretary, Caroline Fenton, was able to report a record number of members for the time of year and, on that basis, she expects another record number of members for the year as a whole. The number of validated DIY rides also continues to grow and it seems that these rides, with their flexibility as to timing, are one beneficiary of the unpredictable winter weather. Martin Foley presented his annual review of our policy on Children and Vulnerable Adults. We were joined by Miranda Smith, our website content manager. Miranda gave us a presentation showing how the front end of the new website will look and some of the associated functionality. The mammoth undertaking that is the website project is now well advanced and it was great to be able to see the some of the fruits of the immense labours of the IT team on screen. As ever, you can look at the board minutes and board reports in the Official section on the website.


WANTED New RRtY administrator delegate It’s an interesting job if you like corresponding with AUK members all over the world and are confident with excel spreadsheets and willing to learn how to do simple updates on the AUK website. You will receive members claims (generally by e-mail, very occasionally in the post) and will validate these and confirm successful completion (or otherwise!) of the series. There will also be some queries about the award to be answered. Successful claimants, then, need to be added or updated on the roll of honour on the website. It is not a very time critical activity – you don’t have to respond straight away, so going on holiday or on a long ride is not a problem. The only activity with a specific deadline is writing a report on RRtY for the spring Arrivée. Training and handover notes will be provided, plus support to get up and running. To find out more contact Caroline Fenton – rrty@audax.uk

Mines and Mineral Railways OFF-road and ON-road 1st July 2018 Every year at the end of June (this year is a slight exception) Audax Kernow run this popular Cornish randonnée. It offers off-roaders a rare chance to ride an Audax off-road event almost completely on trails and tracks, while those who shun the mud can take a tarmac route through similar countryside. Both trace the now scenic industrial landscape of the Copper & Tin Kingdom and the Great Flat Lode, returning to Carharrack Hall twice with the option of enjoying a pasty lunch and a cream tea halfway round. So popular is the event that 2018 will be the 24th edition, with riders coming from all over the country. You will pass many Wheals, (places of work literally), one of them appropriately named ‘Busy’. Outstanding views to the north coast from Carn Brea & to the south coast from Carn Marth will reward your gritty climbs if the weather is clear. Mineral tramways, most with well packed surfaces alternate with steep muddy climbs through woods. A watersplash entertains the hardy and the photographer. Mining history is evident throughout the ride. The Great Flat Lode you ride along was not quite flat at 10 degrees to the horizontal, yielding riches in copper and, deeper, tin. The King Edward Mine is owned by Camborne School of Mines and students from all over the world come here to experience working in a real mine. Tuckingmill is infamous for its banked incline that once collapsed under a traction engine’s weight. You will have to duck as you ride under a tramway tunnel on the way to climb to Carn Brea Castle and the Bassett monument that overlooks Camborne-Redruth. Twelveheads is where the racket of 12 stamps crushed ore day and night, now, thankfully, silenced.

Certainly you will have earned those pasties & scones See you on 1st July?

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Lucy McTaggart’s report of the exploits of the 2017 Arrow teams missed its target in the last issue of Arrivée, it’s traditional gold spot… Of course, since then, many of you have been involved in the Easter Arrow 2018, contending with atrocious weather conditions as well as the many challenges this event traditionally presents riders with. So, as compensation, here we present a bumper edition of reports and results of the 2017 Arrows as well as those that took place this Easter (these are subject to validation at the time of writing). We also include a report on the history of Arrows from Jim Hopper, a seasoned veteran of these events having ridden them for over 35 years. Several of you have also contributed reports of your team’s experiences – all of which demonstrate courage in the face of adversity, ingenuity and how well-laid plans can go adrift…

WORDS LUCY McTAGGART

Slings & Arrows Organiser, Lucy McTaggart reviews the overall Arrows scene, beginning with the 2017 season 2017 saw a record number of 33 teams taking part in the Easter York Arrows with all but a few making it safely there with some good adventures along the way. Many riders were taking part in this team event for the first time. There is no compulsory finish place for the Arrows but in recent years with riders understandably enjoying converging for some postArrow banter, Weatherspoon’s seems to have become the place to finish (though still of course optional) and after a few teething problems the Postern Gate worked very well for the large numbers in 2017 Another note is of Arabella Maude’s team from Suffolk, who covered 405km and included two generations; with Arabella’s son Danny successfully completing his first Easter Arrow aged just 20. Chapeau to him and here’s hoping he goes on to enjoy many more Audax events. Easter 2018 was altogether a different story…. It was excellent to have 28 teams taking part in the Easter Arrows but unlike last year 6

ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

arrows… where most teams were safely into York, this year the weather fairy was in a far more mischievous mood and conspired to make it a very hard paper round with strong winds and heavy rain especially through the night. Ten teams managed to successfully complete their Arrow but it has been very refreshing that many of those who didn’t make it still enjoyed their adventure enough to write up their story and send photos to go alongside. It will either inspire you to have a go or put you off forever! Don’t forget that the Summer Arrows in June offer a second chance and hopefully in warmer conditions plus if you find yourself unable to get a team together for the Summer version of the Arrows please consider the option of a Solo Dart (run over 14hrs/ minimum 200km) as our Membership Secretary, Mike Wigley, who has won the Summer Dart Trophy for the most mileage for the last few years has asked that someone make a bit more effort this year to take it from him… so there’s a challenge! Team registration forms plus a lot more information is

available on the AUK website from the calendar pages but please get in touch if you have any questions for me at: Pedaller1@sky.com

I look forward to reading all the tales of derring-do when the completed Brevet cards return after the event

Strongbow… Lucy McTaggart in action


2018 SUCCESSFUL ARROW TEAMS SUBJECT TO VALIDATION ◗ FCA SENIORS Hargreaves, Peters, King, King 371km ◗ BITTER GRAVITY DOCTORS Morrison, Rough, Camplin 375km ◗ TEAM NO NAME Ralphs, Davies, Gray, Staley 387km ◗ VC167 TO INFINITY AND BEYOND Clarkson, Newall, Young, Firth, Rawett 392km ◗ TEAM DROP BAR Bragg, Tavener, Broadbent 400km ◗ ACME CATAPAULT Turner, Swanwick, Fenton, Allison, Burns 403km ◗ EQUIPE STRAVAIGIN 3 Carson, Milton, MacGregor, Hamilton411km ◗ FLATLINERS II Clementson, Thompson, Barnett 421km ◗ LAKES VELO Revell, Thompson, Scott 429km ◗ STEEL ROSES Charlotte Thompson, Thomas Webb, Luke Allen 446km  EASTER ARROW CUP WINNERS

2017 SUCCESSFUL ARROW TEAMS ◗ AC PORTSMOUTH Paul Whitehead, Jon Spencer, Kevin Dennett, Jon Ellis 442km ◗ ACME ANVIL Graeme Provan, Carl Kirkbride, Andrew Corbyn, Raymond Cheung 374km ◗ ACME DYNAMITE FIXED (Tom Deakins, Nik Brunner, Andrew Preater, Tim Pickersgill 410km ◗ ACME DYNAMITE FUSION Andrew Turner, Jason Burns, Dave Allison, Caroline Fenton 417km ◗ ANNE’S GANG Anne Young, Steve Gee, Dean Clementson, Mick Fisher, Ian Newall 401km

◗ AUDAX CLUB BRISTOL Jon Banks, Jamie Andrews, Graham Steward, Oliver Isles, Richard Salisbury 401km ◗ AUDAX CLUB LINCOLNSHIRE TEAM 1 Richard Parker, Paul Bolton, Chris Bullock 401km TEAM 2 Bill Richardson, Mark Jacklin, Marcus Lancastle 416km ◗ EQUIPE MAILLOT DE RECHANGE (Ron Lowe, Niall Rodgers, Duncan Johnston, David Fawcett, Alex Pattison 402km ◗ EQUIPE STRAVAIGIN 2 Russell Carson, Duncan MacGregor, Michael Browne, John Straughan, Neil Milton400km ◗ FLECHE WELWYN Alex Peeke, Julian King, Martin Dossett, David Scott) 402km ◗ FROSTY FIVE ADVENTURE Les Bauchop, Lee Wren, Richard Barnett, GordonPanicca391km ◗ HIGHLAND HUILIES Andy Uttley, Keny Allison, Ian Milne 361km ◗ JONAH’S STAG PARTY Chris Breed, AnthonyPowis, Justin Jones, Omar Elafghan, James Skillen 402km ◗ KINGSTON WHEELERS B 390km Gavin Simmons, Chris Tillapaugh, Martin Simmons, Sarah Perkins, Peter Mastenko 390km ◗ KINGSTON WHEELERS A Richard Evans, Chris Campbell, Richard Leishman, Anna Kolka 380km ◗ LAKES VELO Paul Revell, Mike Thompson, Cathy Brown, Stephen Scott, Ashley Brown, Jack Crane 456km  EASTER ARROW CUP WINNERS ◗ LES FILS DE LA GUARDE BOU Jim Hopper, Nigel Calladine, Mark Gray, Tony Girn, Gordon Sephton 405km ◗ QUINTUPLE DRAGONS Jim Cope, William Lake, Tom Hatton, Robert Hanwell, Edward Holt 391km ◗ SOMEONE OLD, SOMEONE NEW, NOTHING BORROWED AND NEVER BLUE Andy Clarkson, Chris Asher, Bob Johnson, Alan Rawet 404km

◗ STOKERS WITHOUT TANDEMS Colin Bezant, Steve Ferry, Hugh Knudsen, Simon Ashby, Chris Moody 425km ◗ SUFFOLKING CONEY-CAL Arabella Maude, Danny Majidian, Andy Terry, John Tomlinson 405km ◗ THE BEEF (TOMATO) EATER’S Sam Crossley, Chris Hedley, Raymond Cox, John Sabine 366km ◗ THE CAMBRIDGE EXPRESS Nick Wilkinson, Alex Brown, Richard Smith, Nigel Deakin 402km ◗ THE PENITENTS Malcolm Wills, Julian Sharples, Benjamin Hunziker-Neville375km ◗ WAVENEY WANDERERS Ian Reid, Alan Stribling, Jonathon Greenway, Ritchie Dixon 369km ◗ WESSEX CTC David Smethurst, Mike Gordon, Peter Lewis, Chris Forrest, Robert Williams 402km

SUMMER ARROW RESULTS ◗ A YORKSHIRE MIXTURE Andy Clarkson, Nicholas Firth, Anne Young, Alan Rawett, Ian Newall 404km ◗ GEORDIE YORKSHIRE SUMMER ARROW Tania Tucker, Paul Roberts, Andy Berne 419km SUMMER ARROW TROPHY ◗ RANDONNEURS NIDS DE POULET Jim Hopper, Tony Girn, Ian Hill, Mark Gray 375km ◗ THE TEAM WITH NO NAME Les Bauchop, Gordon Panicca, John Meade, Denise Noha, Debs Goddard 405km

SUMMER DART RESULTS Mark Jarvis Mike Wigley

201km 221km SUMMER DART TROPHY

Arrowhead… Duncan McGregor takes the lead for team Equip Stravaigin 3

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SLINGS AND ARROWS

Jim Hopper is an eight times veteran of PBP has been an AUK for almost as long as AUKs have existed. Here he looks back at the history of AUK’s Arrows and recalls some high points, low points and truly wild points of his experience… Tim Hopper at the start of the PBP

The first Arrow I rode was at Easter 1983. It was a special event run into Brittany, and as we could use some roads over the imminent PBP, we decided to give it a try. The weather turned very, very bad; snow, wind and cold. AUK had quite a few teams in it and all agree that this was the worst weather we could ever experience. Most French teams went home. Many British riders abandoned, and some ended up in hospital. The health of a few was shot and many only rode short distance events ever again, whilst some not at all. Our team qualified, and we met up with survivors of other British teams and endured awful weather back to the port, where we did extreme damage to the smorgasbord on the ferry. My next effort was with some of the survivors of the above in 1985, when we entered a tricycle team; three solo trikes and two tandem trikes. This was the traditional route to Provence, and we had better weather. We ended up in Orange. We caused a stir at the meet on the Sunday. Luckily, some of us were known to French riders and so we were not handed over to the medical authorities. Later on the same year Mick Latimer organised one to

Arrowing Salisbury. A team of local riders entered and we had a good ride down there, but torrential rain for the ride home. ACP only recognise Arrows done at Easter, and so for many years AUK rides were only validated in Britain. In 1987 a 200k ride under Fleche rules was run to York. There was no limit upon numbers in the team and so I remember quite a large bunch, many new to randonnees, riding up from Burton. A few weeks later an Arrow was run to Colchester and our team had very hot weather during both day and night as well as on the return ride. I also remember the booked “digs” were in a “chocolate box” cottage. There had been much chat about having the Arrow finishing at a good centre, and we decided that the York Rally would be an ideal spot to finish. So, in 1988 the events began to finish there. Many wellremembered routes were done over the years to York. Some never to be done again, but many were adjusted and ridden in various formats over the years. I rode every year from 1989 – 2002, missed 2003, having been cleaned up by an errant driver, and restarted in 2004, again

The weather at Easter was atrocious and it is unsurprising that the cold, rain and wind had an effect on the Easter Arrow attempts. Here, three team captains Rob Baird, Andrew Clarkson and Ian Reid report on their endeavours…

Broken arrows ROB BAIRD Our team of carefully selected athletes consisted of our Captain, Jon Banks riding fixed and leading his third Audax Club Bristol Easter Arrow, Neil Veitch (also on fixed), Hard Denise, Doug Wilson and myself. In Fishponds at 8:15 we grabbed our ATM receipts, took a photo and made cheerful comments about the fortunate lack of rain and rolled north on our 24 hour 420km route to York. Our first control was Banjo’s Café, Upton upon Severn, where Captain Banks’s spectacle lens fell out of the rim, the tiny screw lost! After the initial flurry of jokes

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about eye patches etc. we realised the seriousness of the situation. Not only did Doug manage to find the tiny screw, he proceeded to walk Banksy down the road to an Antique shop that was open on Good Friday and had a jar full of tiny screw drivers and fixed Banksy’s specs. Shortly after Upton the rain began. We rolled into our third control at Atherstone, 168km into the ride all pretty wet and cold. I had uncontrollable shakes in the Costa, struggling to get the cup to my mouth without spilling the contents. With a heavy heart Neil decided to call it, he had already

riding every year until 2011. I’ve since ridden 2013, 2014 and 2017. I see from the list that I did a Dart as well in 2000. Easter Arrows had appeared on the scene by now, but I did not ride one for many years as other cycling booked over the Easter weekend, and anyway, the weather was grim on a few of them. Riding over Easter was brought in to allow AUK riders to qualify at ACP without going across to France. I was invited to ride in 2010, and so had my first Easter ride to York, I rode again in 2011 and 2017, making a total of 32 Arrows ridden. Lots of memories; but you only ever think about the very good and the very bad. The rest become “just another ride”. The very hot ride to Colchester… The awfully wet night sitting eating sandwiches in a bus shelter in Crowland. No all-night cafes in those days and no ATM’s for a check. Our control was “Hair by Fifi”, with the ‘phone number put down so the organiser could check…Having a night check at a very expensive hotel in Stratford, where the door bloke let us loose in the kitchen. My pockets were filled with Mint Imperials, enough to last the team around 300 miles! … Being

completed an Arrow and I hadn’t, so for me this was unfinished business. We headed out into the night and the rain with our next control Grantham 80km away firmly in our sights. The rain did not let up, and our route curved north-eastwards taking us directly into a headwind. The hills got tougher and the crashing waves from passing cars got big enough to surf! There was some shocking driving on display. We stopped briefly in Barrow to assess our increasingly sorry looking situation and it was here that Doug was washed overboard. Hard Denise, Captain Two Buns Banks (now minus a piece of tooth) and I set sail for Grantham hoping we could salvage the ride against the odds and maybe at least hit the 360k mark in 24 hours. The rain never let up and the headwind increased on the higher ground as we headed east. We had completely flooded roads, banks of stones washed across the lanes at the foot of climbs and temperatures not much above freezing.


RIC H I S TO V E M E N T S I H AC E ARROW ASTER 2006 an, E Batem er, Steve on Panicca, h s A s ri Ch ord rkson, G hnson Andy Cla Hedley, Bob Jo Aidan 564k 5 R 200 SUMME , Dave Lewis, a allow Hann George t and Judith Sw u o T ie Ritch 584k

experiences refused a stamp in a remote shop near Scunthorpe, even though the counter was full of stuff we were going to buy… Two riders snoozing on the verge, and the police thinking that we had been fetched off, near Ely… A rider almost being run down by a herd of deer in Woburn Park one night… We could not stop laughing. The endless times we tried to explain we were doing it for “fun”. A hard task as many riders will know. When asked where we have come from, I find it is easier to mention the last big place we passed through. When asked where we are going, I mention the next place on the route. We are looked upon as unusual because we are not using the ride to raise money as our motivation. I remember waking up the toll booth attendants at Dunham to get a check. They were so surprised; they gave us a weekly pass for the bridge! Night crossings of the big bridges and some where the mist was below the road... My head being frozen on arriving at Markham Moor because I was so cold that when my hat blew off, I never noticed it. In the early days we were often the only

people on the roads overnight. Oh, bliss! We had a constant battle with lights, and rode many quiet miles without any as it was easier to do so… (And riding all abreast across a long straight fen road, with the modern lights, to confuse a car coming towards us. They stopped, and we passed convulsed with laughter.) Crossing with other teams in the darkness with just a shout and a wave, and never knowing who they were… Forcing down big meals sometimes of the most unlikely combinations of food at ungodly hours… sometimes getting a free one as the staff were amazed at our effort! … Squelching across a flooded car park and then being told it was their newly sown lawn… Turning over sheep that were stuck on their backs and so having lanoline covered handlebars for ages… A grapple with drunks who thought it would be a good idea to ride home on our machines. The cycles were locked, and our 6’7” team member made them think again... Being offered lifts, as it was assumed that we were benighted and broke! When you stopped to check the route

at any time, it was always the village idiot who appeared from nowhere to give you instructions. Satnavs are unfair to village idiots! …Regrouping at a cafe on the outskirts of Lyon, and not noticing the red light above the door led to much hilarity on all sides… Fumbling with frozen fingers and cold pens to fill in a postcard check, somewhere in rural France, only to find a secret controlle just around the corner! Deciding that next year we can do a few more kilometre than the present ride. And…of course, always the final hour thrash to get the distance in. There must be many incidents that I cannot recall now, but in future conversations with team riders, they will emerge from the depths of the mind. Most I am glad to have ridden and of course there are some where I should have known better! At least present day riders have a benefit of our pioneering jaunts and now they have better feeding, lights, clothing, route finding, all night cafes, road signage, equipment and such, but you still have to ride and put up with the uncomfortable times too.

Captain Banks looked increasingly like a fixed wheel Captain Ahab. We eventually arrived at Grantham McDonald’s at midnight, well behind time and done in. Huddled round a table with an ever-increasing puddle beneath us, with 160k to go, no sign of the wind letting up and with a temperature of 2°C, we pronounced our Easter Arrow attempt dead.

(305k) one of us was rather cold and had to be wrapped in a space blanket. The Texaco Garage is a great night time stop which lets you in and has very friendly staff. The hot drinks machine at the Garage was broken, however we were invited to make a coffee in the staff kitchen for which there was no charge. So with some acts of random kindness we made it to York however, we were very slightly out of time which for me is a first. At the 24hr point we’d clocked 392k.

eventually found ourselves besides the sea. We had a spot of lunch at Wells-next-theSea. Bang on target and going well. The coast road and alternatives to Hunstanton and King’s Lynn were busy at times but we were ahead of schedule. Then the wind moved round, the temperature dropped and the rain began. Across the open spaces around The Wash the rain became torrential and we battled into the strong wind. In Boston with a grim forecast for the rest of the night, Andy and Jonathan abandoned. Kate, Ian and Ritchie pressed on towards Skegness. The roads were awash and avoiding potholes became near impossible. Eventually the lights of Skegness appeared. We were behind schedule by now and both Kate and Ian felt too cold and wet to continue, particularly given that the route along the coast offered little shelter until Grimsby. Ritchie felt able to carry on and headed off into the dark and cold, eventually making it all the way to York solo. Chapeau!

ANDREW CLARKSON Our Arrow was a bit of an adventure. One of our team had a broken seatpost at about 70k. Luckily we were near to a bike shop in Bentley (Doncaster) and able to get a replacement. A 27.2 seatpost for a Spa Titanium frame proved a challenge; however the owner happily pinched one from a brand new bike and charged us a mere £14.00. The weather was not great at all; with near zero temperatures, and a stiff wind that swung round through the ride to ensure we had a smack headwind throughout. As a result at Gainsborough

IAN REID From Lowestoft Ness, England’s most easterly point, Waveney Wanderers planned to follow the coast closely as far as Hull and then cut straight to York. Simple! Good Friday dawned bright and clear and the 5 of us (Andy, Jonathan, Ritchie, Ian and Kate) were in good spirits as we set off with the expectation of a SE wind blowing us in the right direction for most of the day. Avoiding the nasty A12 and A47 trunk roads through Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, we

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SLINGS AND ARROWS

Jim Hopper’s account relates the adventures on historic Arrows. The Bitter Gravity Doctors’ Team in the York Easter Arrows add to it here with adventures of their own. Captain Phil Whitehurst planned in detail – including arranging the brewing of a special York Arrow Ale for his team! It was sad then that he wasn’t able to sample it for himself as he and his team mate, Jack Camplin, explain...

At the bar… Gravity drs refreshed in Snaith

PHIL WHITEHURST: I had been keen to lead a team from Hertfordshire for the Easter Arrow 2018. So keen that I created an event bookmark on Facebook back in early 2017 to see if there was any interest. Later in the year I also posted in the Audax UK forum. In total that attracted 9 riders who were interested in forming Easter Arrow teams from Hertfordshire to York. The maximum number of bicycles for an Arrow is five. Since no one planned to ride a tandem that meant each team could have a maximum of five riders. I split us up into two teams, Richard Bragg stepped up to lead the other team. The teams were split based the distances they wanted to ride, and their start point. Richard’s team had a slightly longer route and a start in the west of Hertfordshire. I met Richard over a pie and a pint in a pub in Harpenden, Hertfordshire to discuss our plans. JACK CAMPLIN: Phil contributed to LEL clearly spent time researching our route to York. We got regular emails including valuable details to prepare us for the journey ahead. We started from Stevenage on the Thursday evening, which proved fortuitous in the end given the way the weather played out. PW: I love poring over a map, tracing out possible routes, joining those wonderful quiet lanes and ways together into a whole. An Easter Arrow has to be at least 360km as measured by Google Maps, using walking directions. Proof of passage is traditional, obtaining receipts at your chosen control points. 10

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Gravity gets you down…

I chose a flat route through the Fens, using a mix of new and old routes. There are some channels / rivers in the Fens that are only crossed by one or two roads. So any route you design has to get to those crossing points. There are no motorways in the area, so some of the A roads can be de facto motorways, and should be avoided, even at night. Ride with GPS said my route was just under 800m of climbing in 400km. It was flat, though I think the reality is nearer 1400m. Still, very flat. You can never anticipate what weather you will get at Easter. So I planned the overnight legs around 24-Hour McDonalds; so we could get inside and out of the weather if necessary. I also planned a pub breakfast; again to get indoors with some hot food. I planned our 22 hour stop at a brewery town, about 39km from York. I kept the route relatively short, with fewer controls than previous years, allowing us more time at controls, and giving us less pressure to get to York in the 24 hours. It is the team side of an Arrow that I particularly enjoy, maximising the distance did not interest me. The route I came up with got us past 400km without any extra fat. Being a first-time Team Captain, I had a number of exchanges with Lucy McTaggart clarifying the rules, and what paperwork she would require from me. For instance Google walking was routing down some Bridleways and A roads you would not want to go near. She said it was acceptable to drag it off those sections as long as I included notes on where I had changed it, and why. It seemed complicated, but in reality it was not.

Being a first-time team captain, ❝ I had a number of exchanges with Lucy McTaggart clarifying the rules, and what paperwork she would require from me

The winter had been cold wet, snowy, and not particularly inspiring. So I kept the team motivated and interested in the Arrow by providing regular updates, including route sections, pictures, aspects of team riding, and talk of a possible York Arrow ale. The last thing I wanted was drop outs as Easter got nearer. I opted for a Thursday night start as it had worked well the year before, and we would cover the night section whilst we were relatively fresh. I submitted the paperwork quite early in case I had made a mistake, but Lucy confirmed everything was in order. JC: I live in Norwich, so spent Thursday morning getting ready, before catching the train down and the journey went without a hitch. It’s always good when the pedalling starts, and following Phil’s advice, I rode nearly all the way to the start control using Stevenage’s system of dedicated cycle paths. It was at this point that I noticed my last minute attempt at a full length mudguard flap was woefully too flappy! I wasn’t convinced the material I’d cut from an old space hopper would offer much protection. Dan later commented that it wasn’t a complete waste of time (faint praise!) so I left it on.


I have to admit that it was a bit dispiriting when I arrived at the Glebe shopping precinct as it got dark, and the rain set in properly. I nevertheless enjoyed a steaming hot vegetable spring roll and chips whilst waiting for the others to arrive. PW: I planned the start to be nearest the highest point of town, as every minute might count on an Arrow! I provided a GPX track from the railway station to the start and well written directions. The start had a number of shops and takeaways, so the team members could get something hot before the start. There had been talk of snow at Easter but in the end it was wind and rain. The forecast winds looked favourable for a southerly start. The rain wasn’t favourable for anyone. The Heavens opened as I got my bike out. It started as it meant to go on, wet and windy. After a team photo, I grabbed an ATM receipt, and we were underway.

We all put on our best ❝ optimistic faces, as we headed off into the rain ❞ JC: We all put on our best optimistic faces, as we headed off into the rain. It was indeed good to roll out of the urban landscape and into the rural. We all got colder and wetter before we arrived at our first control; a small Tesco express. After the usual conclave in the corner, I decided I would put on my last remaining extra bit of clothing (glove liners). We still maintained good spirits; the forecast was for the weather to improve by the morning. PW: The first control was a Tesco Express in Great Shelford, south of Cambridge. Most of the team were complaining they were cold. I was reasonably warm (but far from dry) at that point, wrapped in my merino layers. I changed my sodden gloves. We stood inside the shop to eat our purchases. As we left, the rain eased off into drizzle. There was a side / cross wind and occasional head wind as we tacked east across to Suffolk. JC: At the next control (the McDonalds at Barton Mills) coffee and hot food set us up for the next stage. We spent some time learning to keep together as a team as we crossed the dark open fenland. There was officially a road closure, but we soldiered on as the road was peeled back layer after layer down to a short section of sand. It all felt vaguely surreal in the middle of the night.

PW: I had planned an A road north from Barton Mills, to Littleport, as it would by then be after midnight and the road would be quiet. It was however a bit too quiet and the road closed signs, at the side, explained why. Or rather they didn’t, they just said it was closed. You can get through most road closures on a bike, but I was still silently concerned we might have to reroute, adding night time km we did not need. JC: It was to prove significant that our route crossed a railway 6 times over the next 82km. Dan and I commented on a sign as we approached one of the level crossings ‘Cyclists Dismount’. The railway crosses the road at such an angle that you have to cross the full width of the road to come even close to crossing perpendicular to the rails. Sadly, Phil came a cropper as a wheel got caught. His recumbent seemed fine, so we continued on. Phil dropped back for a snack shortly after, but once he had been relocated, we were soon rolling into our second 24hr McDonalds control. PW: I fell on my right side. Because of the way you sit in a recumbent you do not get thrown from the bike like an upright. I was still sitting in my recumbent, but lying on my right. My right elbow, upper thigh, and knee took the impact. It hurt a lot, but nothing seemed to be broken, just bruising, and a few scratches, or so I thought, and the bike was fine. So I wheeled across the rest of the crossing, and started pedalling again. It was 3:20am. I found my heart rate was elevated for any given effort, and my energy levels were down. I put it down to just being that time of night. I fell off the back after Whittlesey; my energy levels crashing. I stopped to have a Scotch Egg. Light drizzle turned to heavy rain again. Drenched and chilled, but needed to take on food, I continued eating. I got going again just as the others came back to see what had happened to me. It was another 20 minutes to our control, a McDonalds, at Eye Green. JC: Everyone was suffering a bit from the cold, but it seemed to have hit Phil the hardest. And then there was the blood. It was all over the plastic chair. It wasn’t a nose bleed, and we discovered it was coming from Phil’s elbow. His crash had been worse than we realised. I have to give

It was Jack who pointed out ❝ the blood to me. How on earth I had not noticed for myself, or felt more pain I do not know

credit to the young McDonalds Night Manager at this point; he was calm, friendly, and capable with his First Aid kit. Nevertheless, after being sick, Phil decided to bow out, and catch the train home. PW: It was Jack who pointed out the blood to me. How on earth I had not noticed for myself, or felt more pain I do not know. I can only put it down to the cold and wet masking it. I must have been running on adrenaline, which would explain the elevated heart rate then crash in energy levels about 40 mins after my accident. I felt nothing as the Night Manager cleaned my elbow. God it was a mess! I thought I saw the pale white of some bone, but after tentatively poking it, decided it was not. But there was a lot of swelling. The elbow bandaged and with help, I ate my burger and had my milk shake. I began to shiver. In retrospect I think I was going into shock at the sight of so much of my blood and the mess my elbow was in. I must have been losing it all the way down the road as well. It was not just the cold and wet. I did not feel great. Not dizzy, my head had got nowhere near the road, and I had been conscious the full time, but not great. Dan got me a hot coffee. I don’t even like coffee, I am a tea drinker, but I drank it as it was helping with the shivers. I decided that continuing, especially into the coldest part of the night, and away from the nearest railway station, would be foolish. I still was not certain the elbow did not have chipped bone. It was still bleeding, more slowly. The temperature was hovering only a few degrees above freezing, and it was raining and windy. The others said I looked pale. It would be selfish to put the team in a difficult position out in those conditions. I bowed out. I gave the team my master schedule listing all the controls. Against each control I had a list of potential arrival times, then for each time, it gave different stop times and average speeds, to keep to schedule for York. Dan wrapped his silver blanket round me. After a few false starts, they were left the control without me. JC: It was a solemn moment when he handed me the detailed planning sheet designed to guide us through to York. Dan, Dave and I decided to continue. Naturally, the stop had been longer than intended, so we all felt we had time to make up. We pressed on and decided to forego the planned pub breakfast in Boston. Daylight returned and the convenience store was connected to a bakery which served rather good pastries, which was nice. www.aukweb.net

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SLINGS AND ARROWS Dan prompted a faster ride to take advantage of the tailwind. I couldn’t sustain it for too long, and went through a subsequent period of feeling fatigued. Dave persuaded me to accept his kind offer of a can of Redbull. I don’t drink much caffeine, so needless to say, this turned things around! PW: The First Aider checked on me regularly. He also arranged for the heating to be turned up, which helped. I stopped shivering. Shortly after 7am, with daylight and after a bacon roll and coke for extra energy to get home, I made my way to Peterborough station. I got home around 10am, my wife changed the dressing on my elbow. Once clean, we could see that it was just a flesh wound, with the swelling showing more clearly. I went to bed with a hot water bottle, with instructions not to bleed over the sheets!

ACME team. He later got ahead of us using local knowledge of Selby, as we suffered mud, potholes and rocks on some very poor cycle paths. This should not overshadow the good Sustrans way we took from Riccall all the way into York. Of course we rode to the finish control in fine fettle and collected our final receipt at the Postern Gate pub. I caught my train back to Norwich with 30 minutes to spare and was back home by

Big shout out to Kelly Wood at ❝ the Old Mill Brewery, Snaith ❞

JC: Bardney to Lincoln passed easily on a cycle path by the water’s edge. We passed through Lincoln with a combined navigational effort from my route sheet and Dave and Dan’s GPS. There was another decent section of cycle path leading out of town bringing us close to the next control in Skellingthorpe. As we approached our 22-hour control in Snaith we started to spot other Arrow riders. This felt like an added bonus, and different to other Audaxes. First a tandem, then we were passed by a group going much faster than us. It later turned out to be one of the ACME teams chasing a deadline. The Snaith control included a special treat organised by Phil at the Old Mill Brewery: a York Arrow bitter! We spent a very pleasant extended break here sampling the beer and taking a photo behind the bar. PW: When planning the 22 hour control I had come across Snaith, a suitable distance from York, and noted it had a small brewery. I had chosen the pub tied to the brewery as our control as it served a good range of food for the entire possible time window we could be there. It would also be another chance to warm up if the weather was poor. In my enthusiasm, I had written to the brewery asking if they could do us a York Arrow ale; explaining what the York Arrow was about, with a link to the Audax UK page. To my surprise they said yes. Big shout out to Kelly Wood at the Old Mill Brewery, Snaith! JC: Eventually we were on our way and met Carl who’d fallen off the back of the 12

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Arrow of desire… brewed specially for the occasion

midnight. Overall, I was pleased how the ride went given lack of training over winter / post-LEL. Massive thanks again to Phil, Dave and Dan. It was grand. PW: I was able to ride my Brompton back out on the road after five days. The elbow has scabbed over, the swelling is gone, and it is healing well. I was really pleased when I saw the team had been successful, after all the planning and organisation. It was a shame I could not be there, but I am already I planning a new route for Easter 2019. It does not include any level crossings.


Most of those who completed LEL last summer were probably content to return home to rest and yarn about the experience – but not so Adam Young! Five days after completing LEL he set off for Cornwall to ride LEJoG on an AUK permanent, choosing the seven 200km Randonneur option. On the way he discovered what a fantastic way it is to see the country … and just how big it is

WORDS & PICTURES BY ADAM YOUNG

When LEL is not enough… It’s 10:45 pm, five days after LEL and I’m at Paddington station fixing a puncture having had to pump up the tyre on the short ride from home. The Night Riviera sleeper departs for Penzance in an hour and what was meant to be a stress-free ride across London has not quite turned out as planned. I prayed this wasn’t an omen for my Land’s End to John o’ Groats ride. With a new tube fitted to the rear tyre I located where to leave the bike, found my carriage and fell asleep as the train rumbled down to Cornwall. I’ve done a fair amount of cycle touring having started off doing onenight trips across the Lake District over twenty years ago. I’ve always known about Land’s End to John o’ Groats and yet it was only when I was away touring for nine months in 2016 that I got attracted to riding LEJoG. Some people, when they realised we were from the UK, started asking us about LEJoG, or even recounting their experiences of riding it. I realised it was actually quite a big deal in cycle touring terms and I started pondering. I discovered AUK offer four different LEJoG permanents and realised I’d be able to fit one of these into my summer holidays after LEL. But which one? First, there’s the Brevet Populaire which gives 18 days to cover at least 1,300 km. I discounted this because I didn’t fancy taking that much time over the ride. The second option, the Brevet Randonneur (just under five days to do 1,400 km) would have been a more tempting proposition if I wasn’t starting less than a week after LEL. Then there’s Hummers Lumpy End to End, which gives eight days to climb as many hills as it’s possible to fit into a 1,900 km ride across Great Britain; …erm not today, thanks. Finally, and what I chose to do, was the 7 x 200km Randonneur option. This meant I had to

do seven 200+ km rides, with a possibility of three, nonconsecutive, rest days. I was free to plan a ride that would work for me because the 7 x 200km Randonneur has no prescribed route, although obviously each day must start from where the previous day finished. I spent a good few weeks thinking about the various options. My sister lives near Wigan and offered to host me, which meant I needed to have my third day ending at her house. The more tricky decision was how to tackle Scotland. I did not want to ride over Rannoch Moor because of the amount of traffic on that road, and island hopping up the west coast of Scotland would be more suitable when not trying to do 200+ km days. In the end I opted to use the Forth Road Bridge, but rather than paralleling the A9 from Perth to Pitlochry and beyond I went via Aberfeldy, which was unusual but worked really well. I sent Mark, the organiser, an Excel spreadsheet with my start and end point for each day; along with some intermediate controls to prove each day would be over 200km. As I was validating the ride using the gpx tracklog from my Garmin I had a lot more flexibility in locating these intermediate controls. One advantage of living in London is the decent rail connections. About 2½ months in advance I booked myself, and my bike, onto the sleeper services from London Paddington to Penzance and from Inverness to London Euston. To get to Inverness there are four direct trains per day from Wick, which is less than 30km south of John o’ Groats. I reserved a seat, again with a bike reservation, on the midday service from Wick which gave me 2½ hours in Inverness before the sleeper departed. Overall the trains cost me just over £100. I was all set to go.

Pole position… Adam poses at the traditional start line

WEDNESDAY 09 AUGUST THE HILLY DAY – PENZANCE TO WHITNAGE VIA LAND’S END 240KM AND 3,700M OF ASCENT I woke up somewhere in Cornwall. Looking out of the train window I saw, through the rain, towns that I’d be cycling through in a few hours time. Back in May riding LEJoG seemed like a good idea. A few days after LEL I was no longer convinced, but I knew once I was on the bike I’d be OK. By the time I got to Penzance it was no longer raining and I set off for Land’s End. Once there I got my photo taken by another cyclist before turning around and riding back to Penzance. The rest of my first day was hilly; I don’t remember one particular climb as the 3,500+ m of climbing all merged together. This was my first time riding in Cornwall and Devon and it was an unwelcome surprise to discover a lot of the views are hidden by hedges. Oh well, I was certainly on my way and almost in Somerset by the time I reached my fantastic B&B just beyond Tiverton.

THURSDAY 10 AUGUST THE TWO PART DAY – WHITNAGE TO WOOFFERTON 227KM AND 2,100M OF ASCENT

My second day started off with more lanes and hills as I avoided the A38. This was followed by the novelty of riding somewhere flat as I crossed the Somerset Levels, after which I slowly picked my way through Avonmouth on a variety of NCN www.aukweb.net

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WHEN LEL IS NOT ENOUGH Cheshire plains towards Warrington. Once over the Manchester Ship canal via the Warburton toll bridge, thereby avoiding the centre of Warrington, I had a gradual climb almost to the highest point of Merseyside through a surprising amount of countryside and onwards to my stay with my sister. After riding until 8 pm on day one and two it felt like a half day to be done by 3.30 pm.

SUNDAY 13 AUGUST THE HALFWAY POINT – BILLINGE TO HODDOM CASTLE 212KM AND 1,800M OF ASCENT

Familiar roads… across the Severn bridge and the beautiful Wye Valley

facilities. Crossing the Severn Bridge meant I had conquered south west England and suddenly the landscape changed. I was (just) in Wales, and was back on familiar roads. I followed the beautiful Wye Valley up to Monmouth and was amazed at how different things were compared to riding through Avonmouth. After stopping in Monmouth to catch up with Phil Chadwick I carried on through rural Herefordshire in the early evening sunshine, which was a brilliant way to end the day.

FRIDAY 11 AUGUST THROUGH THE WELSH MARCHES – WOOFFERTON TO BILLINGE 202KM AND 1,500M OF ASCENT

It was pretty cold when I set off at 6:30 am and I was glad of the long fingered gloves I had packed. Ludlow was still asleep when I passed through, which somehow made it seem more beautiful than I remember. As I headed north through the Marches I lost track whether I was in England or Wales, but after time I started heading across the

Day four was essentially paralleling the London to Glasgow motorway and rail line as I headed for the Scottish border. An early start meant I zipped through Preston and Lancaster before people started going about their Sunday business. Once into Cumbria I had a gradual climb over Shap in the sun and views of the Lake District. I bumped into some other cyclists as I rode the A6 (there aren’t many other choices of roads) and it felt like we were part of a gang heading towards John o’ Groats. I got the same feeling riding down the Pacific Coast in the USA and it was a surprise it’s possible to get this same feeling in the UK. Once over Shap Summit I was on home turf because I grew up in the northern Lakes and I now knew the towns I was riding approaching. Passing through Carlisle, the Border City, meant Scotland was very close. After passing the Devil’s Porridge Museum (yes, it’s a thing) I was nearly at the great Hoddom Castle campsite, where my parents were waiting with the tent.

Climbing through the Shap valley Forth road bridge

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AUK have four different permanent ❝ rides, so pick one that works for you and

MONDAY 14 AUGUST THE WET DAY – HODDOM CASTLE TO ABERFELDY 234KM AND 2,600M OF ASCENT

do a LEJoG. Or just cycle from one end of the island to another. It’s brilliant

I woke to rain hammering down on the tent. My motivation to get up and ride for ten plus hours was limited, as were my choices. I set off a little later than planned due to some subconscious faffing. Crossing the Devil’s Beef Tub was atmospheric in the cloud and on the descent the rain was replaced by grey cloud, giving pleasant cycling through the Scottish Borders. Skirting Edinburgh airport to cross the Forth Road Bridge worked well. Then there was lots of lovely cycling over loads of hills to finish up in Aberfeldy and curry with my parents who’d driven up to meet me there.

WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST THE PENULTIMATE DAY – ABERFELDY TO ALNESS 201KM AND 2,200M OF ASCENT

The first part of the penultimate day was stunning. When I was planning my route I’d discovered that part of General Wade’s Military Road climbed out of the Tay Valley, dropped into Loch Tummel, climbed from there over to Glen Errochty before one more climb to descend to the A9 in Glen Garry. These roads were tiny, quiet and the views of the surrounding hills in the morning sun were fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised by the A9 cycle route, until I got a pinch flat. This was offset by great coffee and cake at the Pottery Bunkhouse café just before Laggan. The Cairngorms were looking stunning as they were enveloped in a moody blanket of cloud. I swooshed down into Inverness, over the Kessock Bridge and across the Black Isle. The views of the oil rigs sitting unused in the Cromarty Firth on the approach to Alness were surreal. I was now just over 200 km from John o’ Groats.

Moral support… Adam climbs towards Trinafour with his Dad

THURSDAY 17 AUGUST THE TAILWIND DAY – ALNESS TO JOHN O’ GROATS 206KM AND 1,850M OF ASCENT

What a final day! I had sunshine, massive skies, mountains, blue lochs, rivers, empty roads and a stonking tailwind. I don’t have the words to describe the beauty of Sutherland. After 70km I stopped, as all cyclists should do, for coffee and scone at the Crask Inn and then got blown faster down the beautiful Strathnaver valley. I was overtaken by one car along that entire 35km section. I hit the northern coast at Bettyhill from where the road twisted, turned, climbed, and descended along the coast. The views were either of golden beaches or moorland. The ride officially ends at John o’ Groats, but

Finishing post

it seemed more fitting to ride the extra few kilometres to Duncansby Head lighthouse as that’s a little bit further from Land’s End. It was also a lot more tranquil, giving me time to reflect on the stunning places I had seen and the huge variety across our island.

EPILOGUE

After a night spent in John o’ Groats I had an easy ride down to Wick and then a good journey back to London. From Inverness my bike travelled with the lobsters that were also heading to London, although a different fate awaited them. I was surprised by the number of cyclists I saw doing their own LEJoG (or the reverse). I can now say this because I’ve ridden LEJoG and I think it should be on everyone’s list of rides because it’s a fantastic way to see the country and appreciate the scale. How can it take me three days to ride from Cornwall to “the north”, ie Wigan area, when it’s still four days to reach John o’ Groats? Is it really 1½ days of cycling from the Liverpool – Manchester sprawl to Edinburgh; what’s in between? Answer: a lot of beautiful countryside. AUK have four different permanent rides, so pick one that works for you and do a LEJoG. Or just cycle from one end of the island to another. It’s brilliant.

My GPX tracklogs can be found at: ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Day 1: ridewithgps.com/trips/16799291 Day 2: ridewithgps.com/trips/16799300 Day 3: ridewithgps.com/trips/16799304 Day 4: ridewithgps.com/trips/17000986 Day 5: ridewithgps.com/trips/16914184 Day 6: ridewithgps.com/trips/17001526 Day 7: ridewithgps.com/trips/17001528 www.aukweb.net

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Can an ordinary cyclist achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold Grimpeur badges inside 12 months? Tim Harrison took to the hills to find out…

WORDS AND PICTIRES TIM HARRISON

Gold rush Imagine a documentary programme for a little-known cable channel… The Pitch: Tim Harrison, fast approaching 60, and seven years into his Audax journey, an ordinary person considers his achievements so far and decides that it is now or never to face his fears and take on the hills… With 23 brevets to his name but just 3.5 AAA points, he commits to achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold Grimpeur badges within 12 months. There will be a three-pronged strategy, focussing on the bike, the body and the mind. There will be tears, tantrums, despair and much soul searching. Will this ordinary person achieve his challenge? The Detail: The Winchcombe Cycling Club’s Falling Leaves Audax (1.75 AAA, Bronze) and the Beacon Cycling Clubs, Clee to Heaven Audax (2 AAA, Silver) are both banked. This just leaves Gold to be achieved and the tension and sense of jeopardy to be ramped up high. The Wellington Wheelers have an event called Dustman Dave’s Demon Hilly (2.5 AAA). It’s Demon hills – as advertised!

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not too far from home and the timing is perfect, allowing three months to put the final plan into place.

PREPARING FOR SUCCESS

First, the bike. Where possible, everything is lightened and non-essential peripherals are removed. This will mean a heavy reliance on other riders in the event of a mechanical fault or puncture, as all spares and tools are included in the weight purge. The seatpost is shortened and the rear gear cluster is super-sized. Regrettably, the extra teeth add a little weight. Secondly, the body. A trip to Boots for body fat analysis reveals that I have 27.4% fat. The machine advises that an ‘Excellent’ body fat percentage would be 20.2%, giving me a weight reduction target of 8kg. I decide a more reasonable target would be 4kg, or just over half a stone. I have never been on a diet in my life. Controlling calories is a miserable experience which leaves me feeling down and lethargic. At the final weigh-in before the event, I have lost nothing. In fact, I have increased weight by one kilo. I convince myself that this is probably a conversion of fat to muscle brought about by my intense training programme. The only problem is that there has been no intense training programme and I have done less riding in the first quarter of the year than previous years. Thirdly, the mind. I remember the advice from seasoned Audaxers: ‘Whatever you have done, you can do double… Most people do not know what they are capable of!’ I decide that YES, I CAN DO THIS! To add motivation, I create a wooden display stand for my Grimpeur badges, leaving the last

hole ready to take the final Gold badge. My only worry now is that AUK will change the shape or size of the badge and my work will be in vain. I also create a photo collage of my brevet cards, putting my only 200km card at the top to represent my journey upwards. With this image on my phone and my semi-filled medal display acting as constant reminders, I reinforce positive messages into my brain. The day before the event, I undo all my thinking and decide that I will have fun whatever, and hopefully meet some interesting and quirky people. I revert to the tried-and-tested gearing, re-equip the bike with tools and tubes etc, and enjoy a few beers.

I convince myself that my weight ❝ gain is a conversion of fat to muscle brought about by my intense training programme. The only problem is that there has been no intense training programme

9 APRIL 2017 – THE RIDE

I become so excited by the thought of Gold that I spend the entire night awake – not the best preparation but something I have become used to since the first Christmas I can remember in 1962. The day looks almost perfect, totally blue skies, very light winds and temperatures set for around 20º Celsius. The field is in the region of 20 riders and there is some jolly banter at the beginning. Dustman Dave also runs a more benign 100km event (The Doddle) across the Somerset Levels. The Demon Hillers are hard people; the Doddlers probably have more sense. Any thoughts of making friends and enjoying quirky company are gone within the first 12km as I lose everyone and take


EVENTBRIEF DUSTMAN DAVE’S DEMON HILLY When… Sunday 9th April 2017 How far… Total climb 116km 2,450m (2.5 AAA) Starts from…

Truly unique… optimistic display stands ready

Bishop’s Lydeard, nr Taunton

Organiser… Philip Leavey, Wellington Wheelers All the gear…

up a solid position at the back. The first control is at 34km and closes at 10.46am, giving just over 2¼ hours to get there. This is plenty of time for anyone but then reality strikes: these are very steep hills indeed. I see my average speed drop and start to wonder, will I make it? I cannot even make up time on the descents as I like to ride cautiously. When the roads are good for some downhill speed, invariably there is a car coming towards me and again I have to slow down. At the first control, I am surprised to find riders relaxing and enjoying a break, but by the time I have replenished my water bottles, they are off and I am alone, wondering how much recovery time I can justify. In the end, a scant 15 minutes and I too am off. There is beautiful countryside and it’s a fantastically quiet route but there is no respite from the hills and the biggest one is yet to come. On paper, the route looks like it contains two major hills (it does) and a series of blips, mere undulations. Scale is everything; these are not blips but major hills in their own right. I stop to photograph a 1:3 sign – actually I had no choice about the stopping as my legs were exploding and the only way to the top of this one was to walk.

The next control is at 90km ❝ and I need to be there by 14.30. It ‘s now 14.25 ❞ heated – no microwaves here. The next control is at 90km and I need to be there by 14.30. It is now 14.25. I push on but now I’m walking more than cycling and realise that Gold has slipped my grasp. I call it a day at Dulverston, 80km in, and text the organiser to let him know that his route has proven too much for me. Three months of planning comes to nothing and I decide that Gold is just not for me. Having bored family and friends with my ambition, I will now quietly drop it and rethink my goals. My wooden display will soon be for the fire and I won’t be back! Or will I? The programme was never aired…

HITTING THE HEIGHTS

I climb the highest hill of my Audax career and stop at the top to contemplate life. Time is running out, I’m hungry and ahead of me are just more hills. At Hawkridge, 70km, a poor choice of sustenance delays me while it is gently

Inspirational… a mountain of brevet cards www.aukweb.net

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

Last year, Arrivée featured Toby Howard-Jones’ completion of the Knights Templars and Crosses 105km event in February. An outstanding achievement when you consider Toby was just eight years old at the time. Here at Arrivée we know many of you have younger family members and may have wondered how to get them involved in Audax. We asked Toby and his family what it takes

Audax... the next Claire: When did you start riding Toby, and what was it like riding 100km? Toby: I started on a balance bike before I can remember and then I tried a bike with pedals and I really, really loved it. Riding a 100k was nerve-racking for sure but also a little exciting. When I get tired or fed up or cold, I just think of the satisfaction when you

finish a ride and try and transfer that. Claire: Do you ever feel like stopping? Toby: At points, especially going up mountain road in the dark on the Knights Templar Crosses and Compasses ride, at that point I felt like quitting and also at the last control. I just wanted to sit down. But what made me keep going was that I was determined

Toby with his Luath 24 Islabike

because I wanted to get to the end. Determination helped me along the way. Claire: Do any of your friends ride, which other events have you ridden and who do you ride with? Toby: All my friends ride but not like me. Some of them ride to school and some of them just go out on short rides but none ride Audax. I have ridden a few 50kms and one long 50km, which was actually 67k. They are all Audaxes. Not sportives as they don’t let me ride them because apparently I am too young. I sometimes ride with my uncle Paul who did my 100km with me but it is mostly my Dad. He is amazing. Claire: Do you ride your bike a lot to get fit? Toby: Not really. I mostly do it for the enjoyment. I get fit by doing athletics, football, tennis, rugby, swimming and cricket.

I really love ❝ the colour ❞

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Claire: What are your plans for events in 2018? Toby: I want to do a couple of 100km rides and certainly some 50s. I would like to re-visit some I have ridden before. Claire: What sort of kit do you use? I ride a cyan drop handlebar Luath 24 Islabike. I really love the colour. I wear bib shorts and cycling tops. And they are really, really good quality. The cycling bibshorts are made by Polaris and they are good because the leg grippers are really comfortable. Secondly, I have a few cycling tops that I use. The main one is a blue Alé top and the others


generation My favourite food when ❝ riding a bike is curry bites. My Dad makes them and they’re chicken curry squeezed together by rice and it is so tasty

Toby loads carbs ready for the road

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AUDAX – THE NEXT GENERATION

In trainers your ❝ shoes could slip off the pedals and they could hit your shins. Before I used proper shoes, my Dad once advised me to wear shinpads on the bike!

are yellow jersey, a Mont Ventoux top I bought when I cycled up the last 1km of the mountain, and a polka dot one as well. I use proper cycling shoes by Northwave as they are much easier to cycle in. In trainers your shoes could slip off the pedals and they could hit your shins. Before I used proper shoes, my Dad once advised me to wear shinpads on the bike!

water. Keeping hydrated is crucial for a good Audax. Then make sure you take some extra pairs of clothing especially coats. Wind proof coats are the best because they keep the wind off when you are going up hills and trust me it is hard going up hills with the wind flapping your coat all over the place. It distracts you immensely. Finally I would like to say that the main thing is to enjoy it

Claire: What is your favourite food when you’re riding? Toby: My favourite food when riding a bike is curry bites. My Dad makes them and they’re chicken curry squeezed together by rice and it is so tasty.

Obviously, Toby has a pretty effective back up team to support him on his Audax rides. We asked his parents for their hints and tips for other parents with children who want to start Audax.

Claire: If other children wanted to ride AUK events, what would you tell them about it? Toby: There is absolutely nothing to worry about. Everyone is so helpful and supportive. I just enjoy it Claire: Have you any tips for a good Audax? First of all you definitely need to bring 20

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Elliot, Toby’s Dad said: “The Audax events are really friendly and everyone is extremely supportive and that makes is much easier. For me, it is great to spend time with Toby on the bike. We just concentrate on the ride and so both of us are relaxed and Toby chats away as we can cycle next to each other on quiet lanes. Most of the routes are great and away from main roads and parents should not be worried that they’ll be cycling on main


roads – that really helps a huge amount as traffic is not an issue. A well-stocked bag is important for changing weather. I rode will full panniers of stuff, just in case, on the first couple of rides but I’ve cut the kit down a bit from then. However, most importantly, you must have lots of snacks! I would contact the organiser the first time. Grant Huggins from ACME (Audax Club Mid-Essex) who organised the 100k was brilliant and helped out with alternative GPX routes back to the start if we didn’t make it round. There was no chance Toby was taking them on the day, though! We were sitting in the pub at 50km or so and all the adults were discussing when we had to make the decision on the road to go for the full route when Toby just stood up and said we’d better go otherwise we’d run out of time – we had to abandon our

food and go! So, I would say that Toby was much more aware of the whole thing than we’d given him credit for. ACME also came out at the end to welcome him in and do a presentation. Grant and ACME were brilliant before and on the day.

I see my little boy pedalling furiously while cars go quite close by, but generally the roads are quiet and he’s a very good, sensible rider who can handle his bike. I enjoy following them on their travels, tracing their route and trying to spot them. It’s fun and I love their excitement when they get to the end.

Many parents worry about their child riding a bike on the road. Toby’s Mum, Larraine turns out to support Toby and his Dad on events. Grant Huggins and She said: “I do worry, as ACME were brilliant sometimes

ACME came out at the end to welcome him in and do a presentation

At the final ❝ control, I just wanted to sit down! ❞

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

This 200 is the first of Dean Clementson’s roster of rides based in the north-east of England. He now has a 100 and a 150 (both including substantial off-road sections), this 200, and a 300 that crosses the Pennines into the Yorkshire Dales. His growing reputation resulted in an entry of more than 100 for this, the second running of the Peculier. The route, which Dean designed to take in roads his late father used to ride, is roughly an upended triangle: the top crosses Durham from east to west, then the way goes south-east Masham – home of Old Peculier beer – then back to the finish in Darlington

EVENTBRIEF THE PECULIER OLD 200 When… Saturday 28 October 2017 How far… Total climb 200km 2,200m Starts from… Morton Park , Darlington

Organiser… Dean Clementson email… dean.clementson@yahoo. com website… audaxdarleaux.wordpress. com/2016/07/12/ peculier-old22

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WORDS PETER BOND PICTURES DEAN CLEMENTSON AND DALE RAMAGE

Lanterne rouge – and proud of it… The Peculier Old 200


I was expecting this ride to be an emotional occasion. If I got around, it would be my first official Audax completion for nearly three years, after a bad smash in 2015. In addition, I had attempted the inaugural ride with my brother, for whom it was a first 200, but one he (and therefore I) failed to complete, when he came off and knocked himself out after about 90k. Thankfully, Trevor is back riding again now, but not yet up to the distance – I wondered if I would be! Ever solicitous, he silently placed his I-pad open at the weather forecast, by my elbow at the breakfast table. By mid-morning the westerly wind was expected to reach 50kph. I knew from last year that I would be riding straight into it for about three hours. When we arrived at the start in Darlington, it became apparent that some riders had heeded the forecast and stayed away. But there were still more than 80 of us, many of whom I knew, which made for a cheerful rendezvous. Perhaps I spent too long

chatting though, because when I got the bike out of the car, I had a real fight to get the mudguard to stop jamming with the start imminent. I was also a bit apprehensive – last year, my wife had commented that there seemed to be a few odd occurrences conspiring against my finishing the ride. On this occasion, I’d had an appalling train journey, compounded by a passenger who refused to allow me to take up my bike reservation. In the evening in Trevor’s garage, I was doing last minute adjustments when I noticed the front tyre wall was frayed and slightly bulging. I had a folder with me, but I didn’t know how reliable it would be. Fortunately, Trev had a spare, but I resented the wasted beer time. Then there was the business with the mudguard. Swallowing my anxiety, I set off with the bunch and gradually worked my way to the back of it. I was like a cow let out to grass after a long winter indoors and was thrilled by the

freedom of the road. Trev, waving at us from a junction, was a boost too. Sedgefield (where my dad died) was soon behind me and a memorial winding wheel beckoned me into the old mining village of Fishburn after 50 minutes. It was good to see Lynn Hedley, who was stamping cards. After only 22 kilometres I was already 10 minutes up on last year’s time. Then we turned west. Steadily the road rose, as we clawed our way through an area steeped in history and personal connection. More pit villages, like Phoenix Row, Etherley, cradle of the infant Stockton and Darlington railway, Escomb, where the Saxon church is possibly the oldest of its kind in the country, and Witton Park, in whose ironworks my greatgrandfather received the injury which would lead to his death and where my Grandma was born. Irritatingly, I didn’t know any of this family history until twenty years after I had moved to Lancashire. But I didn’t actually divert to any of these places, though some www.aukweb.net

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THE PECULIER OLD 200 a pantaloon was cavorting about in the road, taking photographs. It was Dale, desperately grasping any opportunity to get out of Sunderland. The smile he coaxed from me was genuine enough, in spite of my travails. He had ridden the entire route a couple of days before, broken his bike but still came out on a fixed wheel to get shots of the main event. He is a buffoon of the highest order and an excellent rider, to boot. Not long after this, I was dropping into the valley, actually laughing at having overcome the wind, although I was still by no Andy Berne, Rob Wood and means sure certain of my plan. Mick Fisher at Whorlton hairpin The magnificent Tees wasn’t quite so magical as last year because of the dull conditions, but I was beginning to enjoy my recovery from the moorland were only hundreds of yards away. crossing. We were climbing away from There were riders outside the Co-op in populated areas and the whole tone of my Middleton when I arrived. I’d got a proof of ride became primitive. I was shocked at passage here with brother Trev last year, how difficult I was finding it, especially but after today’s struggle across the moor, after flying to Fishburn. I didn’t feel ill or I wanted something a little less bleak than out of sorts, just couldn’t seem to get the a bottle of water from a supermarket. A bike to go forward. Twice I was blown onto couple of departing riders recommended the grass verge. Suddenly, I was very a café up the street where I enjoyed a hungry and pulled across to the Edge Inn, generous serving of beans on toast in cosy at Woodland. In truth, I was also just surroundings – and a nice chat with Ben looking for a break from the horrendous Taylor, up from Newark for the ride. A wind. The pub was not yet open, but there bonus was the huge café stamp for our was a bench and I sat for five minutes and brevet cards; so much better than a till ate a couple of chocolate bars and receipt. considered my options, in a discouraged So strong had been the wind that, in frame of mind. I was so disappointed to be spite of arriving in having such a hard time. If it carried on like Fishburn ten this, I would probably finish out of time. But the easiest way back would be from the next control in Middleton in Teesdale, so I might as well battle on. Almost immediately after re-mounting, I joined the main road, for the last few kilometres of rolling moorland and, although it was still into the same steamroller wind, I knew it wasn’t so far to the drop into glorious Teesdale. Keeping my head down, I saw a bike abandoned on the leached grass at the roadside. A little further on was a rucksack. These seemed to me the signs of someone who had finally cracked and lost his mind. Sure enough, a little way up the road 24

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minutes earlier than last year, I had arrived in Middleton twenty minutes later. I’d lost half an hour in fifty kilometres and, in fact, when I left Middleton, I was actually out of time. But the stop and refreshments had done the trick, as they so often do – my mood was lifting – I was over a third of the way round, and although there would be a few chevrons on the next stage, the sustained climbing was behind me – and I was turning south, out of the wind. I would finish. At the start, Dean had confided to me that I had every chance of lifting the lanterne rouge and I was beginning to be happy enough about this; I haven’t done a road ride for three years and, in any case, why shouldn’t everyone else be faster than I am?! But unexpectedly, what is this I see beside me? It is obviously my grate frend Bob Bialek (see Down With Skool by Willans & Searle). Normally he would have been a long way ahead, but he had some trouble with punctures, chiz. It was good to have a talk with Bob for a few

At the start, Dean had confided to ❝ me that I had every chance of lifting the lanterne rouge and I was beginning to be happy enough about this

kilometres, before he powered off into the distance – he’s a special rider. Not long after Bob left, I reached the spot where Trevor had suffered his horrendous, unexplained accident. I rode on towards Barnard Castle, the family honour now resting on my shoulders alone. Under the lowering walls of the castle my experience of several rides through Barny enabled me to negotiate, even power my way through the traffic lights, over the bridge and up to buttermarket cross, where the route turns sharp right to reach, after a few kilometres, my favourite cycling location. The fabulous old suspension

Crossing the Whorlton suspension bridge


bridge over the Tees at Whorlton deserves, and probably has, a place in the photo archives of every cyclist who passes over it, as thousands have done on LondonEdinburgh-London, or the Old 240. My favourite passage was in moonlight. Today’s atmosphere was less spectacular but definitely brighter than earlier in the day. I am an exiled Tees-sider and so you might expect me to be partisan, but a cursory look at the OS map for this part of the ride reveals so much history in just a few kilometres. Charles Dickens stayed in Barnard Castle while writing or researching Nicholas Nickleby, the school in which is reputed to have been modelled on one in Bowes, a few miles to the west on the River Greta. The Greta joins the Tees at Rokeby, which has its own claim to fame in the beautiful form of the Rokeby Venus, by Velasquez. And finally, for the moment, the rattling bridge at Whorlton is a stone’s throw from the hamlet of Wycliffe, home of the great Angela Walker and Steve Harrop religious reformer. As Dean’s dad and his clubmates knew, it is also wheely good cycling country and the lanes from the Tees to the Swale at Richmond are a delight. I was trying to manifest as I recall the tune to the ancient song The Lass headed towards Of Richmond Hill (yes it’s about “our” Masham. The ominous Richmond, not the southern one) when I bangs off to the side of the road began to feel hungry again. As I’ve said, were bad enough but when I passed the I’m really out of practice and had nothing beautiful, but lifeless, corpses of two hen with me by now to eat on the go. I’m pheasants within feet of each other in the always attracted by Victorian railway verge, I was sickened – such gentle, architecture and when, on the outskirts, harmless creatures. It also made me Richmond station appeared, I needed no wonder about the chances my relatives persuading to heave to and explore. The site has been developed into an arts centre with a couple of small cinemas and …when I passed the beautiful, a central café area, of the kind that serves but lifeless, corpses of two hen soup-on-a-slate. It has all been very well done and I appreciated the surroundings pheasants within feet of each other in while I had a scone and coffee. the verge, I was sickened – such gentle, South of Richmond the route becomes utilitarian, crossing the huge army base of harmless creatures Catterick, with museum-piece military hardware dotted here and there by the roadside. For a while I had an earworm of “Tanks for the memory”. But by the time you reach Scotton, you are back in excellent riding country. Obviously, excellent country means landed gentry and a quick look at the map shows the tell-tale signs of halls with ornamental parks. I prefer to associate the “glorious twelfth” with my daughter’s birthday, but the usual connotation was soon The Brown’s tandem team

would have trying to bring a prosecution against the “sportsman” had I been hit on the head and killed by a falling bird. None, I should think. As I closed in on Masham, I realised that I hadn’t noticed the chevron climbs I must have done, so I was obviously in some sort of shape. Just before the town, I caught an old friend, Paul, and we rode across the broad Ure, on its expansive way from Mallerstang Common to meet the Swale near Boroughbridge. So far, we had crossed three mighty rivers from the bottom of the alphabet – Swale, Tees and Ure. After an unnecessary kilometre up the Leyburn road, we eventually found the control at the White Bear. As always, it was a real pleasure to see the Reverend Graeme Holdsworth, the Holy Controller, again. He was outside the pub, having cycled up from his parish near Hull. He’s a strong cyclist, and not your stereotypical idea of a vicar! With his usual enthusiasm, Graeme told me that I was the last rider and I www.aukweb.net

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THE PECULIER OLD 200 confused him with my response – I was sure there was another behind me – not because I was disappointed to be so far back but because I didn’t want Graeme to close the control prematurely. After checking his lists and possibly a higher authority, Graeme was adamant and prepared to join those earlier arrivals who were still in the pub.

…no longer at the back, I ❝ decided against letting their tyres down and set off to the Co-op to buy some sandwiches

No longer at the back, I decided against letting their tyres down and set off to the Co-op to buy some sandwiches, expecting that the pub would take too long. I was wrong about that, and queued for some time in the shop, so that I only took a bite of a sandwich before saddling up and moving on, Rawhide. Retracing my route over the Ure, to head towards Northallerton, I soon arrived at the most perfect example of an “Audax hotel” that I have ever seen on an Audax. This bus-stop was well up the verge, away from the road, was sheltered on three sides from the cooling breeze and had a sturdy bench. I couldn’t resist. I’d have to eat the rest of the sandwiches. Not long after I checked in, the pub crew rolled up, enquiring after my welfare. They knew that it was my first ride back and were very solicitous. I was able to send them on their way with a merry quip or two, thereby ensuring that I

Give us a wave… Lee Wren

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got all the sandwiches to myself. Now, I really was last – the Lanterne was mine for the taking; I just had to finish. I was pretty relaxed about this because I had made up at least an hour on the leg to Masham. Better still, I was heading into that fabulous time of day, sunset. More accurately, I was heading away from it, but as I forged north towards the final control at Appleton Wiske, I spent much time looking over my left shoulder. The sky was so scarlet it was practically bleeding. There is so much about this ride that I will remember, but the sunset is right at the top of the list. It was still light as I used the cycle lanes to cross the A1(M), north of Bedale. The Cleveland Hills came into view with the Matterhorn-like Roseberry Topping clearly identifiable and, at one stage, the small but distinctive Whorlton Round, bringing back memories of Lyke Wake Walks and runs with my many brothers. Dusk came calling as I re-crossed the Swale, near Great Langton. The River Wiske rises near the Cleveland Tontine, an old coaching inn on the A19 and another site of family folklore. I now had rivers S, T, U, and W, but, try as I may, I can’t find a V in the area. I was now genuinely night-riding, which I love – just me, the bike and a pool of light. The dark also meant that I missed the site of the Battle of The Standard in 1138. I’ve been there before, in daylight, now just rolling fields – but such carnage deserves reflection, or as Thomas Gray had it, “implores the passing tribute of a sigh”. Appleton Wiske brought a lovely surprise, or rather two, in the shapes of Lindsay Clayton and Chris Smith. I haven’t seen them for ages but have never forgotten Lindsay’s cheese scones which fortified me royally on the National 400 a few years back. They were on the menu again along with great homemade cakes. Chris kept the tea coming and it was a thoroughly enjoyable interlude. It was all the more relaxing as there were only twenty kilometres to go to receive my trophy. In the final section there are two lovely churches at Girsby and Low Dinsdale and the Tees snakes around the Sockburn peninsula. Sockburn has connections with Wordsworth and legends about serpents and a “falchion” or mystical weapon. At least, have seen these gems in the light. After the drop back down to the river at Neasham had been negotiated, the final kilometres could be dedicated to the anticipation of my trophy, which duly arrived in the form of a pint from Dean – but not before I had been warmly

welcomed home by such riders as were still in the pub. It was great that these included Dean’s sister Anita and Debs, whom I’d first met on a chilly night in Eskdalemuir on LEL this summer. However, I have to be fair and say that my welcome may have been less to do with my animal magnestism (which is considerable) and more with my appearance. I felt tired but otherwise fine, but brother Trev has since told me that I looked shattered. It had been a fascinating day – yes, I was last, but so what? In the end, I had plenty of time to spare. I can still do it. In truth, it was only the weather that made me doubt. A day or two later, Mark Lison, with whom I’d ridden earlier in the ride, drew attention to a weather summary which had the westerly wind at an average of 35 miles an hour and gusts of 45. The latter is force 8 or 9 – so, all in all, not a bad day’s work. The ride and the excellent support on the route certainly merited the high turnout. Dean’s getting the hang of this organising thing and has a superb club of friends to help make the experience so good for the riders. Thank you all. Trevor came to collect me and those who knew his story were pleased to see that he has made a full recovery. After a morning in which it could have gone either way, I am thrilled with how it turned out and to have laid the ghost of Trevor’s terrible smash. But fortunately, not that of Dean’s dad, who lives on in this ride.

…Dean’s getting the hang of this ❝ organising thing and has a superb club of friends to help make the experience so good for the riders. Thank you all

❞ The author in action… Peter Bond crosses Great Dun Fell


The Waterproof Phone and Valuables Wallet – Safely carry all of your essentials together, in style – totally protected from whatever adventure brings

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27


500,000M DARTMOOR UPDEVIL – AFTER 100ALL THESE YEARS

Compared with some AUK events, riding 100k in October may not seem to challenging. But when the 100k is part of the infamous Dartmoor Devil, that 100k can seem a long, long way. Phil Beed rode it for a second time in October 2017 – here is his account of that day…

WORDS AND PICTURES PHIL BEED

Talk of the Devil…

On the last weekend of October 2017, seven Portsmouth riders headed down to Devon to participate in the 25th Edition of this classic 100Km Audax run by Devon CTC. As it takes place on the Sunday after the clocks change we had an extra hour in bed, which was much appreciated as we’d chosen the earlier 08:00hrs start time. Dartmoor is of course renowned for choosing its own weather regardless of what the forecast says so it was reassuring to arrive in Bovey

Tracey to dry and reasonably warm weather. After signing in we just had time to grab a quick coffee before we set off. The Devil is a notoriously hilly ride and within 500 metres of the start 80 riders were grinding their way up a steep and narrow street. Those unprepared and in the wrong gear were in trouble straight away. Knowing what to expect I was spinning a big cog right at the start and making sure I had plenty of room to manoeuvre as other riders weaved across the gradient or

came to a dead stop. I’d also arranged with my fellow riders that we would meet up further along the road when the field had spread out a bit. For the first part of the ride we followed the Southern edge of the Moor heading towards Ashburton then Buckfastleigh. The many steep climbs and descents were interspersed with occasional sections of more level road, this was my first time out on my geared bike in several weeks and I was using all the ratios available to me. The

EVENTBRIEF DARTMOOR DEVIL When… Sunday 28 October Organiser… David Twigger Body… CTC Devon Speed… 12.5-25kph AAA… 2.5 Total Climb… 2500m Category… BP Website… www.dartmoordevil.co.uk or see the AUK calendar

… it was reassuring ❝ to arrive in Bovey Tracey to dry and reasonably warm weather

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same could not be said for one of our other Portsmouth riders, Ade Bird, who found his chain coming off every time he tried to get into bottom gear. At 10km he decided to call it a day and head back. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking quickly enough as after he’d gone I realised some on the road adjustments would probably have solved the problem and left him enough gears to get round. From Buckfastleigh we headed a little further West before turning North to ride up and over the Moor, continually climbing and descending; did I mention that this was a hilly ride? There was a spectacular section alongside the Dart and its tributary the Webburn where we watched kayakers enjoying the rapids, and then a testing climb out of Ponsworthy that finally took us onto the open moorland. Here the scenery was spectacular, nature at its best; free roaming animals on the roads, granite Tors towering above us and amazing views.

My fillings rattled as I crossed a cattle grid at speed as we dropped into Chagford, then we were at the Globe Inn where we were plied with hot soup and rolls. Suitably refreshed Pete Stott and myself went to collect our bikes and set off towards Princetown when who should we roll into but Ade “I’m going back” Bird! Evidently after a couple of miles riding back towards the start he had decided maybe his gear problem was fixable. We were amazed and delighted to see him and after a quick chat it was decided we would press on leaving Ade to get some food and team up with Jeff, another Portsmouth rider who was still at The Globe. We agreed to meet up at the Plume of Feathers in Princetown. After making our way out of Chagford there was more climbing over open moorland followed by a fast descent to Postbridge. Part way down I hit a pothole, cursed and felt no more of it until we started back up the hill and felt my front tyre going soft. When I removed the wheel I discovered a big dent in the rim. Fortunately I was able to continue the ride once I’d

Having started the ride together then split up, it was great to complete the final leg together

DIDYOUKNOW? The Dartmoor Devil is a classic gold Grimpeur ride. Cycling Weekly recently included it in its list of top ten Audaxes. Although it’s a tough ride, the atmosphere is relaxed and Halloween-related fancy dress is welcome. Don’t leave it to the last minute to enter though – the event is popular and entries close when it’s full

fitted a new tube, although braking was far from smooth. I later learnt that at least four other riders had hit the same hole and sustained damage, one of whom had to abandon the ride. At the Plume of Feathers Pete bought beer and crisps for us and we waited for our companions. When they hadn’t shown up after what we considered a reasonable time we decided to press on. We were somewhat surprised to catch up with them a few Kilometres down the road. It transpired that the plan to meet in the Plume of Feathers wasn’t specific enough; while Pete and I were sitting in the beer garden wondering where they were, Ade and Jeff had been in the public bar contemplating the same question. Having started the ride together then split up, it was great to complete the final leg together, especially as we opted to take the classic route up past Haytor, stopping for an ice cream on the way before the final climb to the finish at the Kestor Inn. With our Brevet cards stamped we proceeded to the pub’s carvery to replace some of the calories we’d burnt climbing 2500metres on our

❝…

we opted to take the classic route up past Haytor, stopping for an ice cream on the way before the final climb to the finish at the Kestor Inn

100km ride. Hummers, who had opted for the later 9am start, arrived while we were eating, shortly followed by Marcia and Laura, who were just out of time but hopefully will give it another go next year now they know the terrain. The ride wasn’t quite over as our cars had been left in Bovey Tracey. Being downhill nearly all the way it was an easy 8km ride in the twilight and a fantastic way to finish the day. This was my second Dartmoor Devil. I’ve enjoyed them both and plan to be back next year.

Hummers … arrived while we were eating, followed by Marcia and Laura, who were just out of time but hopefully will give it another go next year

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ANORAK’S DELIGHT 200

The cold, hail and short day length in December didn’t deter Phil Beed and his companion Auz from completing the Anorak’s Delight 200K Permanent during which Auz completed his RRtY. After paying a quick visit to the shop in Swanmore to get receipts to prove their start time, they made an early start on their day…

WORDS AND PICTURES PHIL BEED

…and a pair of anoraks With temperatures hovering around 4-5°C, wheelman Auz and I set off early from Swanmore with 200Km of riding ahead of us. Last time I completed the same ride in sub-zero temperatures, so cold I couldn’t speak coherently during the first twenty miles. Today felt balmy in comparison, even so we were both wearing plenty of layers. Our first stop was a filling station on the outskirts of Romsey where we warmed ourselves up with coffee and sausage rolls from Greggs. Keen to get some miles behind us we kept the stop brief and headed on our way. Exposed roads over Salisbury Plain made the headwind noticeable and we took turns on the front Must be balmy… much warmer that last year says Phil to give each other a rest while still maintaining a reasonable pace. The route took us which point we stopped to don Friar Tuck Cafe. This was our through Porton. I’m always our waterproofs. It would of main stop so we needed to fuel fascinated by the Hotel here course been foolish to take up well with another 130Km still which looks so out of place. It photos right next to the MOD to ride. must have been a fairly upper signs saying photography With a decent meal inside us class establishment in its day. prohibited, but of course we and back on our bikes we rode While I’m sure Porton is a nice did. Well if you’re going to go barely 100 metres to a set of enough place I can’t think why out riding in a hail storm you traffic lights that took so long to anyone would stay in a hotel need to have record of it. change we were nearly there. Fortunately we weren’t shivering with cold by the time After Porton we crossed arrested. they turned green. This leg was Boscombe Down at which Less than five minutes after the longest of the ride, with point it started raining. With putting on our waterproofs the 60Km before our next planned only a short distance to our hail stopped and the sun came stop at Tadley. We headed next stop at Amesbury we out, isn’t it always the way? No though Tidworth and around initially thought we would matter, ten minutes later we the top of Andover, all on tough it out. Then the rain got were in Amesbury and ordering reasonably quiet roads. We heavier and turned to hail, at two monster breakfasts in the made a brief stop at a village

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shop mid route then pressed on to Tadley where we stopped at a cafe for coffee and cake. Although it wasn’t properly dark it was still late enough for us to need our lights when we left Tadley. Riding past the walls of the Roman Fortress at Silchester we descended a section of road covered in mud and debris. Part way down my back wheel hit a rock & the tyre deflated. I was glad it was still light as the only place to do my repair was a leaf covered verge and I had to be very careful where I put things to make sure nothing got lost.


Braving the storm… Auz enjoying the seasonal delights

The original Anoraks Delight route skirted Basingstoke completely. Someone then decided to build a housing estate right across it. Having a GPS track is almost essential for this short section of the ride as it allowed us enter the estate, thread our way through the streets, roundabouts and sections of cycle track and out the other side onto Pyotts Hill. I know others have tackled this with written route sheets and ending up riding in circles trying to find their way out. Now riding in the dark and very reliant on our lights we made our way to Odiham, where a service station provided us with food and more receipts to prove we’d stuck to the route. We ate our snacks on the garage forecourt then set off again before we had a chance to get too cold. We were now headed towards Alresford, and I found this the least enjoyable section of the ride. It was dark so there was little scenery to enjoy, and despite the fact that I am reasonably experienced at long distance and night riding I felt very on edge. I knew these were irrational feelings, but even so I felt happier when we reached and passed through Alresford and were back on what I would regard as home turf. We had a brief roadside

stop by Corhampton Golf Club. Auz had felt his energy levels dropping so we shared out the last of my flapjack and chocolate before carrying on for the final mostly downhill run into Swanmore. Arriving back at our start point just over 11 hours after we set out meant we were well inside the time limit. This was the twelfth consecutive month Auz had ridden a 200Km or longer, Audax event and marked his completion of the coveted Randonneur Round the Year award. For me it was my 5th consecutive event, so just another 7 to go, but I should finish in the summer which is always easier. To celebrate completing the ride and Auz’s success we made for the Hunters Inn, where we enjoyed a pint of beer and some food in front of a blazing log fire which warmed us up nicely before the short ride home to Gosport.

FACTFILE ANORAK’S DELIGHT When… The Anorak’s Delight is a 200k permanent and can be enjoyed year round Organiser… Mark Beauchamp Website… mjebeauchamp@yahoo. co.uk www.aukweb.net

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

Alaina Beacall started cyclecommuting only three years ago, and upped her mileage just 18 months later. As a newly-qualified doctor, she was undecided on which medical speciality to go for. So she has taken some time out for adventure… LEJOG, then a selfplanned 5,137 mile ride from Nordkapp to Croatia in Spring 2017, fundraising for Syrian refugees and some “interesting” experiences as a solo woman rider along the way, Alaina is now about to embark on the Trans American Bike Race. This is her story…

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WORDS ALAINA BEACALL PICTURES ROD BARRAR

ZeroHero

From

to


The bicycle is a means of transportation in its most basic form, and this is how it started for me during my first two years of work. I got my ‘kicks’ through rock climbing and running, where my preference has always been in pushing myself – loving that sense of achievement through overcoming a physical challenge.

AUTUMN 2016 SOWING THE SEED

This was the beginning of my first flexible year of working, but what should I do? My dad, a fellow commuter and impulsive adventure-lover, suggested we should attempt Land’s End to John O’Groats by bicycle. He unfortunately had to pull out, but with some encouragement from friends I planned to do it anyway, on my hybrid. LEJOG was spectacular. The combination of being outside, immersed in incredible scenery all day, and having a challenging objective, had sown the seed of an addiction. My awesome crazy best friend, Sonia Barrar and I, had made a plan for the following summer to ride the Danube river cycleway: flat, passing through wonderful places, and hopefully lacking any navigational challenges. However upon returning from LEJOG, I craved more. I poured over maps of Europe, getting overwhelmingly inspired by the idea of crossing multiple countries by pedalpower alone. By Christmas, the new challenge was set… From Nordkapp, the exciting and symbolic ‘most northern point’ of Europe, I would cycle the 3500 miles south to meet my friend in Nuremberg, Germany, and continue along the Danube. Once we reached Budapest, it would only feel right to complete my journey by hitting another coastline, which was to be at Croatia. Finally, it wasn’t merely enough to go the distance, I wanted a daily goal: could I achieve a 100 mile per day average? Carrying camping and cooking gear over Norwegian mountain passes may be enough of a challenge, but I was going to try.

SPRING 2017 ARCTIC TO THE MED

I purchased my first road bike, a reliable steel Genesis Equilibrium 20, and from finishing a full-time cardiology job, I had six weeks for intense planning and training. This included my first two Audaxes – The Eureka Excursion, and the lovely, hilly Tour of the Berwyns. The day soon came when I was en-route to Norway, filled to the brim with nervous anticipation, yet proud I had hopefully mastered this complex logistical monster in minimal time. My selfassurance was shattered when I was held back from a flight changeover due to a ‘luggage issue’. Yes, the airline had misplaced both my bike and my baggage! Waiting to be reunited with my belongings I was temporarily stationed in the northern Norwegian town of Alta. My anxiety was slowly rising with the uncertainty of my expedition start time, as every day had been scheduled to enable a rendezvous with friends in cities and eventually my best friend. Thankfully, less than 24 hours later I was on the 6 hour bus journey to the top of Europe! Contented by the clear blue skies and arid white beauty, the bus driver knocked me down a few pegs, “You know the weather here can change in an instant: blizzards come from nowhere and instantly build metres of impassable snow! This road was closed last week for the worst snow in a century for May.” I carefully rebuilt my boxed bike at the Nordkapp visitor centre, and sank a little as the view was acutely obscured by a fierce white flurry.

LEJOG was spectacular… Alaina sets out on her first adventure

I got ❝ my ‘kicks’ through rock climbing

PERSONAL PROFILE

● Alaina is based on the Wirral. ● She has been vegan for 15 years. ● She trained as a Doctor in Birmingham and has worked in Liverpool and Wrexham ● She’s taking time out from her medical training for adventure and starts training to be a GP in August 2018 ● Hobbies – Running, Rock Climbing, spending time with friends and singing with a range of bands. Reading autobiographies of climbers or triathletes – recent reads she recommends include: Julia Buhring’s The Road I Ride, and Mike Carter’s One Man and His Bike ● Bikes – A Genesis Equilibrium 20 steel road bike – but now training on bespoke titanium ‘MPA’ by Vaaru cycles ● Club – Phoenix Cycle Club ● Favourite rides – The mountains of North Wales: Snowdon passes, Penmachno, Hope Mountain, Bwlch Penberras and Moel Famau – well, anywhere with mountains really! www.aukweb.net

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FROM ZERO TO HERO

Knowing my starting campsite was only 16 miles away, “it’s now or never!” I thought, as I swiftly pulled the balaclava over my face, to the horror of a group of arriving Dutch tourists. Probably the most magical moment of my life ensued. The floating notes of snow soon hushed away, opening up an incomprehensible vista – a wet black line of tarmac cutting through endless white rolling velvet, host to herds of grazing reindeer, all beneath a pink and purple streaked midnight sun sky. I treated my ears to the first song of the trip, Madonna’s ‘Frozen’; it was so atmospheric!

TUNNELS, REMOTENESS AND A VEGAN NO MORE…

Day one was 70 miles to the village of Olderfjord, via the first of many

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Norwegian tunnels. The infamous Nordkapp tunnel is 4.3 miles long, and treats one to a 9% descent to 212m below sea-level, followed by the same ascent back out. It was a very strange sensory play on my emotions, to be hurtling downhill in freezing and damp semidarkness, just to be slowly slogging myself uphill moments later. I heavily regretted my 40kg of extra weight, and I felt like I was wrapped in wet plastic bags. Aware of the area’s remoteness, I was shocked and excited around halfway to find a sign signifying a café! Do I go off route to find it? A few miles of sharp icy headwind later, and I reached it, laughing out loud after seeing the ‘closed – out of season’ sign. I was fully stocked with rations and backup food, but any opportunity to save eating into this was to

be welcomed. Appeasing myself by the knowledge of a shop at my destination, I continued. Upon my arrival, the Olderfjord campsite assistant kindly informed me that the shop had closed early. The following dialogue ensued… Me: “Why is the shop closed?!” Man: “Because it is out of season” Me: “Well, when does the season start?” Man: “Today” Me: “So, why is the shop closed?” Man: “Because it is still early in the season” Adding to the potential challenges I may face on this large expedition, was my diet. I have been vegan for over half of my life. With my target of averaging of 100 miles per day and travelling via remote areas, I had pre-decided that I


On top of the world… Alaina contemplates the Norwegian fjords

would not compromise protein or calorie intake, prioritising this over my vegan diet. Conscious to consume as many accessible calories as possible, I chomped on the only food the campsite had: snickers bars. A failure on day one I thought!

MECHANICALS

I had not punctured in 5,137 miles of cycling (thanks to Schwalbe marathon green guard tyres!) Unsurprisingly there were many other issues, including a broken spoke, lost bolts, loose hub ball bearings, broken panniers, and 3 snapped gear cables within the shifter (Shimano 105, 5800). The circumstances surrounding the snapped gear cables became hilariously more fortunate over time. The first was pre-ascent of the Gaualarfjellet mountain

pass in Norway in a thunderstorm, resulting in a desperate bid of pushing, riding, and falling off my now too highly-geared steed for 15 miles in search of a bus stop. The second incident occurred in view of a bicycle shop! But that interesting hour involved not only another frustrating and inexplicable break within my shifter, but a painful bee sting into my bottom lip, a fall across loose gravel, and a farewell from the bike mechanic of, “safe journey – don’t get raped!”. Despite replacing the shifter, a third instance occurred only 10 miles from my destination and next to a train station; I had reached 107 miles that day, I no longer cared! I should add that I carried spare cables, however the breakages occurred deep within the shifter, extremely difficult

to pick out on the road and in terrible weather.

THE PEOPLE

In line with other cycle tourers’ experiences, I can confirm that the people you meet make the trip. The seemingly altruistic nature of complete strangers is unbelievable, and remarkably heartwarming. I had thumbs up and beeps throughout Norway, and everything from offerings of biscuits through car windows, to warm tea at the top of mountain passes. I was beckoned into a home in a terrifying lightning storm, handed DIY materials by an elderly German lady who was perturbed watching me tape a broken pannier, and was invited to a huge lunch by a Croatian family when I was seeking water.

www.aukweb.net

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FROM ZERO TO HERO COMPLETION

In August, after pedalling 5,137 miles through snow, innumerable lightning storms, and the ‘Lucifer’ heatwave, I reached the Croatian coast, not only achieving my goal of 100 miles per day average, but also raising over £5,500 for “Hand in Hand for Syria”, who provide aid on the ground in conflict areas.

I can confirm that ❝ the people you meet make the trip ❞

Going up again… in the flat lands of Germany

A friend indeed… with Sonia at last

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2018 THE TRANS AMERICAN BIKE RACE

The desire to challenge one’s physical and mental boundaries, pushing them to new levels through beautiful ever-changing landscapes, is absolutely insatiable. Some question the ‘enjoyment’ of passing through places so quickly, which can compromise aspects of the local experience. But, the alternative is being a participant on a journey of personal ambition and achievement, through a faster changing and hence greater variety of spectacular environments day and night. It is incredibly liberating. I had planned to spend time working in New Zealand, before returning to NHS training in August 2018. But this taste of the endurance riding game influenced me to decide against New Zealand: I could spend another year working flexibly, and have time for another cycle adventure; what an opportunity! Self-supported ultra-distance events have rapidly grown in popularity – participants must carry their gear and source their own food, water and accommodation. The Transcontinental is one such race through Europe, of approximately 2400 miles. I was transfixed with the enormity of the daily mileage, the clear mental fortitude these incredible riders were showing (some doing up to 300 miles straight). It seemed that there were no limits. Another spark ignited. Instantly Sonia started pecking away at me, “Alaina, you HAVE to do this. You have another year, you need to do a massive ultra-distance race. I know you can do it!” Transcontinental was a no-go; it clashes with the start of my GP training. Sonia: “Right, well you’ll just have to do the longer one then won’t you, the one across America.” For me this would be a massive step up – a much higher daily mileage, over a restricted timeframe, with no rest days. This is not only an insane physical challenge, but even more a challenge of the mind. These races involve day after day of being alone in your own head, thousands of miles and roads of solitude, riding through whatever conditions are thrown at you. The TransAm Bike Race is a 4,300 mile self-supported race coast-to-coast across the USA. It begins on 2nd June on the west coast of Oregon and ends on the Virginia coast and traverses north west into the Rockies, through both Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, before heading southwards, then continuing east into Kansas and over the Appalachian

mountains to the finish. This is a predefined and popular cycle route (easier to plan, compared to my last beast of a trip!). I aim to take no more than 30 days, making it a minimum of 144 miles every day although the current record is 17 days (247 miles per day). I had better get training!

TRAINING AND PREPARATION

each), including Audaxes. To kick off the increasing mileage and to have some nice winter riding with my club and friends, I enjoyed the Newport 200km and the new Manley Mere Audaxes. Before leaving mid-April I have the hilly 300km Audax of Yr Elenydd, and will be doing the Brian Chapman Memorial route with my strong female cycling pals Rach and Ali.

As a buffer in case of problems, I’m aiming THANK YOU for around 170 miles per day. I will carry Apart from the rocks of my family and much less weight, and be more Sonia, I have received great support from aerodynamic to aid this. This will mean and wish to thank the following people: purely eating what I can on the road, not ● Adapt Outdoors Liverpool ● Vaaru carrying cooking gear, and minimal Cycles ● Assos of Switzerland ● James sleeping arrangements: potentially Roberts Coaching ● my great bivy-ing for ultimate flexibility. photography friends Rod and Ian Barrar I’ve worked many hours in a temporary for the featured shots in this article job, this time paediatrics, to save up funds. www.cargocollective/ I finished this in January, hoping to train ianbarrar and plan for a few months, before heading to the States in April. Aware that I may not New bike… test riding the Vaaru properly ‘see’ the country I will be racing through, I hope to combine some distance training with sight-seeing on rest days, up and around the west coast. Climbing in Yosemite has also always been a dream. As you can see, prioritising one thing has never been my forte! The training and preparation for this feels much more time and energy taxing than a full time job! I have lost all meaning of the word ‘rest’, and the weeks are racing away. My biggest training concern is speed: covering a large distance is possible slowly, but if I am slow, the combined time of cycling and resupplying or other ‘faff breaks’ can easily be 18+ hours; leaving little left for off-bike errands and actually sleeping! Unsustainable over This is not only an insane a month. physical challenge, but even more a Unfortunately I have limited time, so in challenge of the mind. These races my panic and desire involve day after day of being for guidance and structure, I employed alone in your own head, my lovely coach James thousands of miles and Roberts of Warrington. I am doing intervals for the roads of solitude… first time, gym-work, and combining that with two long rides a week (just under 300km

www.aukweb.net

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FROM ZERO TO HERO

There are many women members of AUK, who ride or have ridden distances similar to those Alaina is tackling. However, it is the case that we hear little of their exploits and still less of the challenges they face as women in a predominantly male sport. Arrivée invited Alaina to give us an insight into her experiences as she rides prodigious distances, frequently by herself. What she told us was thought provoking, and at times shocking…

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS… a woman’s perspective INTIMIDATION In my experience, being a female rider has both pros and cons. In terms of choosing cycling as a hobby, especially club-riding or participating in events, I feel intimidation is a major deterrent for many women. Stereo-typically, women underestimate their ability, or lack confidence more often than men, which explains their difficulty in making the jump when the classic image of a club cyclist is still a group of fast, lycra-clad men. When I wanted to join a club in 2016, I had this fear (especially as I was a beginner riding a hybrid). After contacting a few clubs, I received this response in relation to joining a local ‘steady’ and short ride, “I wouldn’t advise coming Alaina, our average speed is 18mph”. Although this reply was in fact, from a woman! What an impenetrable initial barrier the club-riding scene seemed to have! It was the Merseyside Cycling UK group (then, the CTC) who offered an encouraging welcome. With mentions of speeds of 12mph, and a ‘no drop’ policy, I felt comfortable and excited to give them a go. Whilst 70 miles can seem out-of-reach for a first ‘big ride’, their accommodating members and nice chatter ensured the miles breezed by, and it did not matter to me that there were only two women within a group of older gentlemen. I realised that cycling brings together people from all walks of life, and in fact, I felt I received even more support due to being a new, young, female cyclist (rightly or wrongly). I have met some great people, and those that encouraged me to do my first century, and first Audax. After this stepping stone and doing LEJOG, I purchased a road bike, and in preparation for my Arctic-to-Med trip I gave local Liverpool club Phoenix CC Aintree a try. I can happily say Phoenix do an incredible job of promoting female cycling, particularly in time-trial racing. And they have benefitted from this immensely with a powerful team of strong successful women. After the initial break into this scene, the female rider has the occasional undertones of patronising put-downs and can experience what is now known as ‘mansplaining’. PATRONISATION Recently on a long ride with a couple of fast guys, I had warned them of my much lower average speed, but was assured it was just about ‘getting the miles in’. Going into the red into a headwind whilst attempting to catch them up, for hours, eventually my lead-like legs screamed ‘no more’. Catapulting hard downhill on the way home at speeds of 35mph for 5+ miles, one of the chaps said to me as I caught up, “What’s wrong, are you cycling with your brakes on or something?” But the worst I had, was in an event a week before my Arcticto-Med trip. The organiser of a hilly event seemingly singled me out all day. He began with “you do realise this is a lot tougher than other events you’ve done Alaina, we’ll see how you do”. At checkpoints, he would ask how tough I was finding the climbs. Luckily I was extremely hill-fit at this point, so it was my male friends who were more angered and astonished at the organiser, as they struggled to keep up and continue my conversations during the steepest metres of the 3000m ascent ride. They stood up for me to this chap, who responded at the

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finish with, “I’ve heard about your big trip, of course, you have to actually do it now”. I don’t want to assume these comments and attitudes have been in response to my seemingly ignorant, young, and inexperienced female nature. But I cannot help but feel it is a factor. ‘Mansplaining’ is the condescending manner in which a man explains something to a woman. As I have now completed many thousands of miles independently on a bicycle, not to mention every logistical aspect of these big trips, I have realised that I know more than many who ‘mansplain’ things to me, although I stay quiet, to not be rude. Maybe they’re just trying to be helpful, but if they wouldn’t talk that way to a male with the same credentials as me, then it is plainly patronising, arrogant and definitely sexist. SAFETY Inherently, a young woman riding independently is more vulnerable than a man. It’s just how it is. Luckily (or not, as the case may be) I seem to have a skewed risk perception – probably the reason I do the things I do without any apprehension. However, there are a few instances where I have felt my safety compromised. Whilst quiet dedicated cycle paths are safer in terms of vehicle protection, they unfortunately offer a more vulnerable situation for a lone female rider. I would therefore advise against women travelling via these means at quieter times of the day or night. I have actually avoided a potential abduction whilst cycling. I rented a bike on a holiday in Sorrento, Italy, and used routes recommended by a local bike shop. One ride took me on a quiet, pot-holed mountain track, winding through a forest, up to 1000m. I was followed by two men in a Land Rover, who tried to bait me with a puppy – dropping it in ditches along the roadside, leaving it to moan and whine, hoping to lure me off my bicycle. I thankfully failed to fall for this disgusting trick, and managed to escape them. I wouldn’t say this has affected my choice to ride solo or go to new places independently, after all, if eliminating risk meant to never do the things I love, what kind of life would I be living? It has, however, reminded me that to cycle alone, means to be aware of avoiding vulnerable situations as much as is possible. This is why I chose not to wild-camp across Norway – any opportunity for crazy people to spot that you are a lone female, must be avoided. AND THE POSITIVES! After all of that negative spew, and as I eluded to earlier, a woman can receive a disproportionate amount of encouragement and praise purely for being determined and confident enough to participate in this brilliant sport. I personally feel I wouldn’t have received half of the support I’ve had for what I’ve done, or am about to attempt, if I were male – positive discrimination, I guess! There is also a special bond between women who cycle. Often many of our friends are not sports enthusiasts or cyclists, so the opportunity to do something you love with a fellow woman is special.


TRANSAM UPDATE Alaina planned to ride the TransAm Bike Race in June 2018. She has been working long hours as a doctor to save funds and training hard riding AUK events such as the Newport 200k and the Manley Mere Audax events. While taking on the DIY Bryan Chapman Memorial in late April she felt some knee pain that turned out to be a severe tear to her lateral meniscus (most probably the result of interval training on a turbo bike) so her participation in the TransAm was in the balance. She continued with her plan and went to the USA trying out some TransAm sections to test her recovery. Incredibly, we heard from Alaina at the end of May and she is on the starting line for the race on 2 June. You can follow her progress on: https://transambikerace.com/

Once again, Alaina is using her ride to raise money for refugees. Her chosen charity is Asylum Link Merseyside: http://www.asylumlink.org.uk/about/ You can make a donation at: www.justgiving.com/alainastransam Follow her journey at: www.alaina.co.uk /www.alaina.org.uk Instagram and twitter: alainastransam Facebook: Alaina Beacall www.aukweb.net

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WORDS AND PICTIRES RICHARD CHEW

After his LondonEdinburgh-London ride, Richard Chew revisited the leafy lanes around Cambridge to find out how and where he’d exhausted his joy for cycling – the Cambridge Autumnal 100 was ideal

Joy ride EVENTBRIEF

My LEL experience only unravelled a little during the penultimate stage through Cambridge and into the endless darkness to reach the control at Great Easton. The frustration of getting lost in a city I thought I knew, the bizarre sensation of riding in a waking dream with the mesmerising white lines whizzing by, the confusing small and gritty lanes, the feeling that it could all just slip away due to the difficulty in reading the route-sheet in the dark, damp conditions – it all left me feeling that there was a score that needed settling. I was taken by the idea to visit this area again under different, more enjoyable conditions and to take in the full splendour of the historic centre of Cambridge during daylight. It would also be a kind of post mortem into how we went astray on our last ride through the centre in the small hours that August morning. Finally, my friend Matt from Burwell needed, in my opinion, a gentle introduction to the delights of Audax riding. The Cambridge Autumnal 100km

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seemed like an ideal first venture. However, Hurricane Brian was making difficult and dangerous conditions in the west of the UK, so we expected some strong headwinds and maybe unsettled conditions to boot. Great Northern don’t permit nonfolding bikes on their trains until after 7pm

Great Northern don’t permit ❝ non-folding bikes on their trains until after 7pm out of Kings Cross ❞

out of Kings Cross and as I wanted to pass a pleasant evening with my old friend I decided to go earlier with Brompton in hand. I felt sure a 100km ride in the flattish lands of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex would not be too challenging on the folder. The trains were packed, and I was glad to have the Brompton, remembering some of the fun I had coming into Manchester on a packed

THE CAMBRIDGE AUTUMNAL 100 When… Saturday 21 October 2017 How far… 100km Starts from… Girton , Cambridge

Organiser… Nick Wilkinson Monday morning commuter train with the big bike in July. I enjoyed myself far too much on


Friday evening at my hosts’ house in Burwell and should have had an early night, but I was still up early, if not bright eyed and bushy tailed, to load the car and head over to Girton. From the pavilion in Girton (disappointingly nothing like the Brighton Pavilion) we nipped through the centre of Cambridge and out on busy roads past the airport. There followed a steady climb to Six Mile Bottom along some very straight roads and through a barrage of gunshots that seemed alarmingly close. The first control came at 30km where we found Alex in the bus stop shelter. I began to get low on juice in my bottle and there didn’t appear to be much civilisation before the next control. I regretted passing a shop in Steeple Bumpstead. Thaxted was a welcome break, though we almost passed through it, mistakenly looking for a control which actually was only a ‘free’ receipt control. We U-turned and had a coffee with a growing gaggle of riders opposite the historic guildhall. Matt, picking up the cake-culture rather well, bought us some millionaire’s shortbread. There was quite a fight against a strengthening wind before the next control in Saffron Walden at the splendid Bicicletta café, where I made a new friend whilst mutually drooling over the Colnago on display by the counter. We were heading north-westerly now towards home but there were still some vigorous side winds on the way. Even the downhill to Fulbourn didn’t feel like the relaxed freewheel I was expecting, but we were nearly back. Matt knew the way from here, through the central, most tourist-visited part of

I felt sure a 100km ❝ ride in the flattish lands of

Cambridge, and I was glad, practically elated, as I found myself at the lights outside my brother’s old college, Emmanuel, and paused for a photo outside St John’s where I’d come for an interview in 1990. We really took care amongst the throngs of people – it’s amazing that cycling is permitted. I think it’s in Canterbury, by comparison, where you have to dismount and push even though the route is much wider. I was pleased to be out

Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex would not be too challenging on the folder

and climbing Castle Hill, jostling with local bikes and racing an electric motorised cruiser. Back on the cycle track to Girton for a traditional welcome at the control – more cake as well as a good thick soup. We’d only had one light shower all day and, despite the wind, enjoyed all delights of the autumnal colour and scattering of leaves in good company. The Brompton had performed well and I had even got down onto the dropped P-bars against the wind. Matt, though complaining of tired legs and knee pain, had enjoyed the ambience and the ride, going home for a well-deserved bath. I boarded the empty train at the under-used Cambridge North station which was then overwhelmed by a hoard at the main Cambridge station. I felt jolly pleased I was on the Brompton and not standing in the entrance with my big bike. Trains in Kent were on a go -slow due to the wind but I was homeward bound at last, having chased away my LEL demons and finally found some pleasure in my cycling again.

www.aukweb.net

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

WORDS & PICTURES PAUL HARRISON

The Hartside 200 is a wellestablished AUK event that passes through the spectacular scenery of the Pennines. Paul Harrison and his wife Janet took a ride over a 54 mile section of the route last May. His account is all the more poignant because during the recent snow this winter the Hartside Café, a landmark on their ride, and a well-known stopping place for cyclists, suffered a catastrophic fire

In the Hartside of the Pennines 42

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Paul Harrison

EVENTBRIEF HARTSIDE 200 When… Saturday 30 June 2018 How far… Total climb 200km 2,752m (AAA3) Starts from…

Aldbrough St John , Nr Richmond

Organiser… David Atkinson email… David.atkinson577@talktalk.net website… VC167.org.uk


Leaving home, we emerge from the rough track in the enclave of the forest and enter the open space of the Eden valley. As we hit smooth tarmac, the North Pennines present themselves, fading like green and silver ghosts into the milky sky of this fine early summer morning – a paranormal panorama. I am thinking that the joy of riding a bicycle along an English country lane cannot be over-rated. Lyricism departs as I plummet down to Armathwaite and over the wobbly level crossing on the Carlisle – Settle railway line. The graceful bridge over the Eden at Armathwaite, despite its elegance, has survived the two major floods which have devastated Carlisle in the last ten years, and many earlier floods, though the bridge is not as old as the flood records which go back to 1700. Coombs Wood is the first climb of the day, a “pipe opener” climbing 300ft in the first ¾ mile (90m in 1.2km for the metrically minded) and then, just when you think thank goodness

that’s done, it goes up and down a few more times for good measure. Then it’s on to another steep little climb after Staffield and on past a farm called ‘Blunderfield’ – not a name to excite any estate agent trying to sell the property. The Pennines are growing ever larger and soon we’re passing through Renwick and onto some more steady climbing. The buildings of Hartside summit café appear impossibly high and distant up above on the horizon. I am concentrating on the tarmac snake unwinding before me when eventually the call of nature becomes too strong for me to ignore any more. I stop and lean my bike against the fence. With my back to the road, I can see the Lake District fells and across to Scotland over the Solway Firth. Wherever I look, I’m greeted by magnificent views of barren, windswept fells and big skies, as well as rolling green fields dotted with trees and hedges – toytown farmsteads

spread below me. Soon we join the main road. With its steep gradient and notorious bends, the A686 provides a zigzagging journey to the heart of the North Pennines from the Eden valley. It’s a favourite haunt of motorcyclists, so it’s best avoided at weekends and on Bank Holidays. At Hartside summit (580m), there are plaques on the café wall in memory of those that ‘overcooked’ it. Down near Renwick, I have seen rows of dead moles hanging on a barbed wire fence, but their surviving companions still inhabit the fields behind, undeterred. As we begin the descent to Alston, I see a sign for the tourists…”The Hills of the North” it proclaims. Beneath it, some wag has added “have eyes”. I presume this is a reference to the horror film ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ (a 2006 remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 film of the same name, so Wikipedia informs me). I prefer to see it more as a biblical reference – “Have eyes, but cannot see” because you don’t need a tourist sign

Janet on the Eden Valley road

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THE HARTSIDE 200

The event is organised in memory of its first organiser, Graham Wanless (1942 – 2015) a founding member of VC 167

To think that I ❝ should be cut down like this in the springtime of my senility!

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to tell you it’s the hills of the north, you just need to look east at the sweeping brown and grey arena that is the north Pennines. The road was built by John McAdam. The word tarmac comes from tar McAdam and he is credited with designing the first modern roads. In the 1820s, the Alston Turnpike Trust asked McAdam to build Hartside Pass to provide an efficient means of transport for mining products. Efficient it certainly is; the descent is engineered to have a constant gradient all the way down with a minimum of bends. There are practically no side turnings to threaten you with encroaching traffic, so of course it’s a magical place to let the bike go. The 53-11 Norwich cycling club would love it, as presumably they don’t get much chance to use that particular gear ratio back home – though they may argue, as do the Dutch, that their hills are the wind. At the bottom, when my eyes have stopped streaming, I look at my milometer and see a maximum speed of 41mph. I suspect it’s hasn’t gone much below this all the way down. We remain on the A686 past Alston and then slot left on a delightful lane to Slaggyford. At least, it’s delightful if you have the gears for the wheel-raising climbs as it clings to the hillside above the River South Tyne. It’s here that I have a fright – an oncoming car heading straight for me with its off-side front wheel pointing straight for me. An expletive goes through my head. To think that I should be cut down like this in the springtime of my senility! Then the car stops and the young man driving it jumps out to see how his wheels are getting on. It’s then that I see the front nearside wheel is pointing in the opposite direction, so he wasn’t specifically heading for me after all, but generally skittering over the road at the whim of his broken steering. He explains he’s driving to the scrapyard in Alston as he can’t afford to have the car towed there – I doubt he’ll make it, but say nothing, not wanting to add the comments of a pessimist to his predicament. I’m glad to be still in one piece and hoping for his sake he doesn’t crash or meet a policeman on the way. We re-join the main road and so go home having rounded the northern end of the North Pennines, just above where they peter out into the Tyne Valley before rising again as the Cheviots. This circuit is only 54 miles but feels a lot further with all those hills and all that scenery. Once committed to it, there are no shortcuts as there are no other roads across the wilderness of hills in this austere and beautiful area.


BEN KEENAN ns ow and runs Suffershire Indoor Cycling, a Wattbike ilising studio in Cheltenham. Ut rkout wo d an the Sufferfest training -art the oftesta videos together with ers rid es static bikes, he giv ed professional-level, structur for ct rfe pe workouts that are endurance cyclists wishing to maintain winter fitness

Ben gives us tips on how to build stamina for the extra-long ride…

training for distance The focus here is how to train and, more importantly, adapt to increasing your Audax distance. The good news is that recovery is as important as the training itself. Sadly that does involve eating healthily, so put those snacks down!

SPEED, DISTANCE, TIME

It is important, initially, to focus on time and not distance. So, rather that always considering training distances per week and length of rides, what realy matters is how long you train for. You should have an idea of your pacing for a century ride, so from this you can calculate how long greater distances should take. Take care to include in your estimate the weather conditions, terrain and fatigue. You need to aim at riding up to 75 per cent of your target event’s duration. Going too far initially will mean longer time to recover and results in less time to get the rides in. Too many hard events in one month has the same impact, so always aim for one easy week each month.

QUALITY AND QUANTITY

Make sure to put in one harder ride each week. You need to adapt your muscles, especially your heart, to cope with longer duration rides. This means deliberately going way out of your comfort zone

for just three minutes before taking a full recovery and gently spinning. Ensure you pace it to do three lots of three minutes effort within an hour ride.

WHEN TO WIND DOWN BEFORE THE EVENT

It does depend on how far you’re looking to go. For a century ride, start to take the riding duration down from two weeks before the event. You may need three weeks to ‘taper’ before a double century as you should have ridden 75 per cent of the duration in training, this will take longer to recover from, so bear in mind how your body feels three weeks before an event. Keep doing the interval-based rides right up to the week before the event. An hour’s riding, although hard, will be quicker to recover from.

EAT, EAT, EAT

During training, try all kinds of foods, use whatever you feel comfortable on. Some people (including me) can eat fruit and nut based bars all day, others have to get savoury carbs to not get bored. Avoid eating sweets and high sugar hits as your energy will fluctuate and give you big highs followed by even bigger lows. If you’ve heard about low GI foods, these will be your friend to maintain a constant energy source as they take longer to

provide you with slow release energy. Don’t wait until you feel hungry to eat, sometimes you feel hungry when your body is close to empty, and once you ‘hit the wall’ it’s had to come back. Aim to eat something every 30 minutes with drinking as your thirst demands. Drinking too much water effects your mineral levels so can have an opposite effect.

SITTING PRETTY

Invest in a bike fit session. Make sure you ask what is covered as you’re looking for a bike shop to tell you they will look at everything including your bike shoes. Not all fitters will do this, so make sure you get them checked. Incredibly, a lot of pain can be avoided by simply adjusting the angle your toes are pointing. They should point the same way on the bike as they do if you sit on a kitchen worktop and hang you legs.

THE NICE PART

Allowing time for recovery is key. During your training sessions you will be ripping muscles and putting stress on your joints, so you need to plan in sufficient time between rides to ensure you hit the next ride feeling fresh. You probably won’t feel 100 per cent recovered as it might take up to a week, but you can expect recovery to

accelerate as you get closer to the event. After a long ride, take on fluid, carbohydrate and proteins. Carbohydrates to aid energy recovery, protein to repair the muscles and fluid to rehydrate. Typically you will use more fluid and energy than you can consume, but just make sure you avoid alcohol or overly fatty foods, these will do nothing to help you hit your upcoming 8 hour ride. Try to fit in some gentle stretching. This doesn’t have to be rolling out a yoga mat and putting on loose fitting clothing. For example, while the kettle is boiling, hold a stretch for 10 seconds, take a deep breath and exhale while pushing the stretch slightly further. If you’re short on time, just stretch whatever feels tight.

WORK BACKWARDS

Put the event date in the calendar, work back two to three weeks and plan in a training ride for a weekend that will take 75 per cent of your assessed target for the event. Now add in some interval sessions during the week. Write it all down and commit to it. Then plan some incentives – as you can mark off the rides, reward yourself with something, buy something cool for the bike or take a friend for dinner etc. Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy the ride! www.aukweb.net

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WORDS IAN MILNE PICTURES IVO MIESEN

In an AUK career of nearly quarter of a century, Ian Milne has managed to tick off many of the classic challenges available to the discerning randonneur, including Super Randonneur, PBP, Audax Altitude Award, RRtY and an Easter Arrow. During 2016, he realised London-Edinburgh-London was waiting – this is an A-Z account of how he rose to that challenge…

My long-time riding pal Andy Uttley laments the passing of the “good old days”, when LEL consisted of a hundred or fewer riders ploughing a potentially lonely path (crikey, you might not see another rider for days, if ever!), eagerly looking forward to the next control, which might mean huddling round a caravan at the top of a hill. I, however, had never had any inclination to participate in such behaviour, which to my mind seemed rather too many a pedal stroke too far. But I had no control over the seed that germinated in my mind sometime in 2016, and the growing compulsion that LEL had to be done. And nowadays, with some 1500 entrants, bag drops, and top-notch controls, LEL is made about as easy as anything that hard can be. And so, at 11:15 on a Sunday morning, Andy and I set off with the other T-wave starters. What follows, with apologies to Peter Marshal for unashamed plagiarism (Arrivée no. 134), is an A to Z of what ensued…

A

IS FOR THE ARRIVÉE. Elation, relief, an overwhelming need to sleep – washed through me as I rolled into the finish in the early hours of the Friday morning; plus intense joy at the realisation that I could now do that for as long as I liked and no one was going to wake me up and tell me it was time to get back on my bike. A is also, of course, for Andy with whom I’ve ridden a fair few thousand kilometres over the past 20 years, and who shared this event with me.

B

IS FOR THE BUSWAY linking St Ives and Cambridge. This transport curiosity, a sunken, concrete track, allows specially adapted buses to zoom between these two towns unimpeded by other traffic. Alongside it runs what must be up there amongst Britain’s best cycle paths. Ten miles of ultra-smooth tarmac, un-blighted by potholes, debris, encroaching bushes, or any of the other more usual features of the Great British Cycle Path. It was easily wide enough to ride three abreast, which is exactly what we did. It was certainly a welcome change from the heads-down battling into the ferocious headwind that had been the over-riding feature of the previous 300 kilometres.

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C D

IS FOR CONGRATULATIONS to all the riders who finished the ride in such tough conditions, and sincere commiserations to all those who didn’t. IS FOR DEPRIVATION in the sleep department. Plans fell apart on the first night when, having booked in for four hours kip, we were woken after two and three quarter hours because the wake-up monitor got the wrong beds!

E

IS FOR THE EFFICIENCY of the controls. With a mid-morning start time we were definitely in ‘the bulge’, but despite the hordes, controls were generally impressively efficient.

F G

IS FOR THE EXCELLENT ARRAY OF FOOD on offer at those controls. Top marks to all the chefs.

IS FOR GPS. It is easy to underestimate how this technological marvel has revolutionised navigation for the randonneur. For LEL I used a Garmin eTrex , which seems to be the randonneur’s choice, and for good reason; it scores well on battery life and reliability, which is more than can be said for many of the bikespecific Garmins, judging by the number of riders I came across with major issues. It runs on a couple of AAs. For LEL I went for lithium cells for longer life, and minimised battery drain by switching off track logging and turning the back light right down. The first set lasted until Brampton on the return leg, the device conveniently giving a low-battery beep a couple of kilometres before the control. Accounting for a couple of sleep stops when I switched it off, I reckon that’s around 52 hours continuous run time.

H

IS FOR THE HOWARDIAN HILLS I like to think I have a reasonable knowledge of the geography of our land but I had never heard of this topographical feature. Although not very far off the bottom of the list of significant mountain ranges of Britain, they are extremely scenic, with big trees, big views, and prominently placed stone arches and towers, giving an almost French feel. They were enjoyable heading north, but gruelling heading south. H could also be for the Humber Bridge, which felt like a significant landmark on the route.


I

IS FOR THE IMPRESSIVE array of international riders. I was amazed to learn that 53 of them had come from India to ride; two of them told me they struggled with the conditions having never experienced a temperature as low as ten degrees before!

J

IS FOR THE JOIE DE VIVRE that suffused my being in the early stages of the event, eventually replaced by a brief, final burst of jubilation.

K L

IS FOR KIT. I just carried what I would normally take on any Audax over 200km, which fits into a rack pack. It turned out to be just right. IS FOR THE LOCUST-LIKE SWARMS of ravenous randonneurs that could occasionally be spotted descending on an ill-prepared shop. The most impressive of which was at the filling station at Alston. I heard that a small shop on Broughton was stripped bare.

M

IS FOR THE MONSOON-like rain shortly after leaving Edinburgh. As the heavens opened I joined other riders under a convenient stand of roadside trees, reckoning that it doesn’t often rain this hard for long. it eased off just enough to convince us that the worst was over and lull us into setting off, before the taps turned on again with proper stair rod stuff and I was soon on a treacherous descent with the tarmac completely invisible under a flowing torrent. The shoes were a long time drying after that one!

N

IS FOR NIGEL and his cross-barmounted mini boom-box speaker. I had briefly been in a loose group with and enjoyed the fine reggae he was broadcasting, and Chris, Tim and I swept him up on the south-bound run into

Spalding. Now the boom box was blasting out up-beat 80’s hits – A perfect pedalling tempo.

O

IS FOR THE OLFACTORY ONSLAUGHT of several hundred wet cycling shoes lining the corridor at Brampton on the way south, three days in.

S

IS FOR THE SCENIC VARIETY of the LEL route. From the flat fenlands to bleak Pennine moors, wooded hills and lovely Scottish southern uplands, pretty villages and historic Cambridge, there surely can’t be many other events that sample such a range of the diversity that Britain has to offer.

P

IS FOR PREPARATION. Clearly, a ride like LEL needs a bit of this. As well as ideally getting a few long rides in, the sensible rider gives their steed some attention (though accounts from control mechanics indicate a surprising number don’t appear to.) There was no question which bike I would ride – the 1998 Reynolds 653 Mercian Audax was the only one delivering the kind of comfort needed for such a venture. I gave it a thorough going over, checking everything that moved, replacing the tyres, and also all the cables. The subsequent ease of shifting was a revelation! As this necessitated bar tape removal, I decided to go for the double tape option. The tape I procured turned out to be quite thick, so a double layer looked a bit oddly bulky. But, oh the comfort! My main issue on long rides has been a niggling pain deep in the shoulders, typically developing by 200km or so. Not a hint of this affliction appeared on LEL – I am definitely a convert.

Q R

IS FOR QUEUEING, or more precisely the general lack of it thanks to the generally well organised controls.

IS FOR ROUGH ROADS. Goodness, we had a few of these to contend with, as is the lot of the cyclist in Britain today, but the one that stands out as absolutely atrocious was a long section of the A107 on the run into Edinburgh. www.aukweb.net

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ALPHABETICALELY SORTED

T

IS FOR TIM (I never found out his second name). I rode with him, and his riding partner Tom, on the run south into Thirsk, where I had a bag drop and was stopping for a shower and change of clothes, Tim and Tom were pressing on so we said our farewells. I ran into them again the next day at Louth, from where we set off together, picking up Chris Forrest on the road. At Spalding, Tom was in need of rest, but Tim was anxious to keep going, so there were the three of us; Tim, Chris and myself. We gelled nicely, and rode together really well to the finish, covering some 250km together. Spalding to St Ives was the toughest section into the now ferocious, gusting wind. At one point, a vicious side gust had all three of us teetering for a heart-stopping moment on the very edge of the tarmac, at the top of a steep embankment. The difficult conditions required about as much concentration as my increasingly befuddled mind could muster. It would have been hell solo. Chris/Tim – if you are reading this, thanks again for your company.

U V

IS FOR THE UMPTEEN CUPS of tea consumed. The event tally must be into the tens of thousands.

IS FOR ALL THE FANTASTIC VOLUNTEERS who make LEL possible. So many friendly, helpful people, Words cannot do justice to their contribution. Many thanks to all of you. I heard a tale of a disgruntled rider throwing a plate of food at a control volunteer. I hope it is not true but if it is, shame on that rider. My personal award for service above and beyond the call of duty goes to one of the reception team at Eskdalemuir which had a strict shoes-off policy to protect floors from the ravages of cleats. This heroic fellow sat each incoming rider down, held out a bag for them to put their shoes in and insisted on applying a pair of plastic foot covers himself. Bearing in mind this was to feet that had been in those shoes for the best part of three days, with many having been wet for many hours, I think that is well deserving of a special mention.

Humber Bridge we had the first signs of what was to come, and I was glad to be on the eastern side where the cycle path was sheltered by the higher main deck. By Louth things were definitely bothersome. The Louth control had the forecast for the remaining controls. It was not happy reading. In particular, the 25+ mph, gusting to 40, shown for St Ives at just about the time I was likely to arrive was somewhat disconcerting. But, I survived to tell the tale and finish, thanks in part to the excellent company of Chris and Tim. For the 44% of riders who didn’t make it back on time, or at all, I suspect the wind was a significant factor.

X Y

IS FOR X-RATED EXPLETIVES directed out loud at that rough A107.

IS FOR YAD MOSS, a dizzying 598m. I hadn’t realised these Pennine roads were quite so high (a popular search engine informs me it’s the highest B-road in Britain and the ninth highest pass). From the south there is no particularly challenging gradient, and as I rounded one corner the gradually rising line of the road was revealed by a scattering of rear lights stretching way into the distance. Nearing the summit I passed a few riders and exchanged greetings; one rider immediately launched into conversation. He seemed extremely keen to chat so I eased off a bit and rode with him. It transpired that this was his first ever Audax, and that he had done one ride of 200km in preparation. Truly audacious! At this particular point he was going through a bad patch and later revealed that he had been about to throw in the towel there and then and that I had undoubtedly saved his ride, if not his life! I was glad to have been of help. I hope he made it to the finish. Some considerable time later I was back for my return traverse, this time in daylight. A couple of viciously steep lower sections had me briefly worried but it eased off into the long, long drag I remembered. Part way up, in a lonely layby, I came across Drew Buck and his

camper van, with a folding table, a couple of chairs, pot of tea and box of flapjacks. This must be what it was like in the good old days. I expect Andy was reminiscing as he passed by here. Last time I saw Drew was PBP 1999, when he was riding a Pedersen dressed as a French onion seller, complete with string of onions, if memory serves me correctly. I stopped for a quick chat and relieved him of a piece of flapjack and a much needed squirt of lube for the chain. Soon after, I finally reached the summit for the magnificent views of … mist, with glimpses of bleak moor. Then it started raining. Oh well, I’m sure it is magnificent on a good day And finally…

Z

is for the zzz of a hundred and fifty snoring randonneurs in the dormitory at the finish. It sounded quite restful but I was glad I had my earplugs! Everyone’s experience of LEL will have been different, encompassing between them the entire range of human emotions. For me, while there were some inevitable low points, these were few and far between, and looking back on the event a few weeks later I can honestly say, I really enjoyed it. Would I do it again? Definitely!

W

IS FOR WIND. Danial Webb (LEL organiser) pre-event email reminded riders to come suitably prepared for the forecast wet and windy weather. Going north there was certainly some welcome wind assistance, in particular the descent off the Devil’s Beeftub seemed to go on for ever as the tailwind was such that it was hard to tell when the flat came. Returning over the

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London to Edinburgh altitude profile – can you spot Yad Moss?


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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

WORDS AND PICTURES CLIVE WILLIAMSON

As one of the early AUK members, Clive Williamson has spent decades riding and is still going strong at 86. Here he delves into his extensive memory and recalls times from his cycling life – a journey he has now committed to paper in his new book Life Cycle – a sample chapter of which can be read at the end of his piece The foundation of AUK more or less coincided with my return to cycling after a gap of 15 years. I lived abroad for some years, got married and started a family, all inhibiting factors for regular cycling activity, as many AUK members and active cyclists generally will have experienced. A friend from my old cycling club, North Bucks Road Club, rang me and told me a club member was getting married and selling off all his bikes, and the best one, a Condor, had been reserved for me if I wanted it. This was 1976, AUK’s foundation year. I didn’t enquire the reason why marriage should prompt such action, but simply paid my £75 and changed my life – at the present count – for 42 years. After intensive use as my only mount for many years, the Condor frame was saved from the scrap heap by a friend

… I didn’t enquire the reason ❝ why marriage should prompt such action, but simply paid my £75 and changed my life – at the present count – for 42 years

who is very much into ‘retro’ bikes, and is in the final stages of full restoration. I had no contacts in the local cycling world in the Weybridge area where I lived and it took me some months to connect with the Weybridge Wheelers (WW). In any event after so many years 50

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Wheels Clive as a younger man…

off the bike, I needed time to get fit enough to consider joining. Two members of the WW, Dave Wey and his son Alan, were already AUK members and hence prompted my introduction to the organisation. Dave is still living nearby and I have had the chance to chat to him about those times. This reminiscence is effectively jointly of Dave and myself. AUK, as most members will know, is an offshoot of Audax Club Parisienne (ACP), founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Henri Desgrange, of Tour de France fame. The catalyst for forming AUK seems to have been the Paris Brest Paris (PBP), which a number of British cyclists wished to enter but were unable to do so because

of the stringent qualifying conditions. The 1975 PBP required authorised events to be completed under ACP rules by ACP members, all of which were held in France. This made it difficult for most Brits to achieve. John Nicholson, the founder of AUK, contacted ACP and arranged that members of the 24 Hour Fellowship in the UK would be able to enter future PBP events provided they covered at least 375 miles in a 24 hour time trial event in the year of the PBP. Subsequently arrangements were made for Randonnee events to be held in the UK, but since there was no authorising body in the UK, brevet cards had to be sent to ACP for verification.


was originally made by an Ashford cyclist, Bob Stark, who passed on his findings to a small local group, including Dave Bruce, Neil Eason, Bob Harris and Chris Davies, some of whom were members of WW, and quickly developed into a kind of cycling club twinning. Dave Wey became close friends with Alain Cordier, the President of Audax Club Boulogne (ACB), and his family. Alain was a mover and shaker who built his club to be one of the most prominent of the ACP, and furthered the ‘entente cordiale’ in the most entertaining way possible for a cyclist. At its peak some 900 Brits attended the Boulogne weekend. I first went to Boulogne in 1978 when a small party of some 15 riders, including 11 WW members, ventured across the Channel. I was accompanied by my then nine-year-old son, Stephen. I had started cycling with Stephen a year earlier – short rides in our locality. He immediately took to the sport, and we rode many AUK events together over the years until he left for University. In Boulogne, three events were organised over different distances, the shortest being around 75km in length. The terrain in the Boulogne hinterland is

of life

There was a prize for the ❝ youngest rider to complete the route which I was expecting Stephen to win, but … a four-year-old had completed the ride on the back of a tandem … that night the ‘entente cordiale’ wobbled alarmingly in the Williamson household! … and in his maturity

This cumbersome system could ❝ not continue, so, in 1976, AUK was formed as an affiliate of ACP ❞ This cumbersome system could not continue, so, in 1976, AUK was formed as an affiliate of ACP with structures and regulations in conformance with those of ACP. By the time of the next PBP in 1979, AUK was fully operational and there were a number of entries from UK. Jock Wadley, a renowned cycling journalist of the time, wrote a best seller, ‘Sporting Cyclist’, which encouraged much interest in long distance cycling. The scene was set! Being a member of the 24 Hour

Fellowship, Dave was fully aware of what was taking place, and was an early member of AUK. I Joined WW in 1977 and was quickly into AUK activities together with other members of the club, but I have no recollection of my first Randonnee. The WW had for years organised an annual early season 100-mile so-called reliability ride, which, I suppose, was effectively a precursor of the Randonnees, albeit a gentle introduction to the more demanding AUK events. Round about that time the WW formed a loose association with the Audax Club Boulogne, who were running a week-end of Audax events each September, and which are my strongest memories of early AUK events. Contact

extremely hilly, with several severe climbs on the route we were given. Stephen completed the route without assistance, and returned to base tired and happy at his achievement. There was a prize for the youngest rider to complete the route which I was expecting Stephen to win, but of course there is always someone younger. A four-year-old had completed the ride on the back of a tandem that had an independent pedalling system, that he could pedal if and when he wished. That night the ‘entente cordiale’ wobbled alarmingly in the Williamson household! The WW/ACB relationship deepened when some WW members participated in a major biennial long distance event organised by ACB in conjunction with the twinning activities between Boulogne and their German twinning counterpart, Zweibrucken. A 600km Randonnee was run by ACB in the years that it was the www.aukweb.net

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WHEELS OF LIFE turn of Boulogne to visit Zweibrucken, this being the distance between the two towns. It was a one stage ride through the night, with a police escort for part of the way because of anticipated potential danger to riders. Both Dave and Alan rode several times bringing back many stories to share at winter pub meets. I rode only once, a few years later when the event had been broken up into three stages – 250km, 250km, and 100km. One night we stayed at a monastery, sleeping in former monk’s cells, the snores of exhausted cyclists replacing the chanting of the liturgy! In Zweibrucken we were billeted with local families, in twinning fashion,

and enjoyed the carnival organised to welcome the Boulogne guests. The other major AUK event I remember strongly is the so-called ‘Dorset Coast’ 200km Randonnee., one of the toughest in the calendar at the time. I’m not sure which year it started but I first rode it, again with Stephen, in 1982 when Stephen was 13 years old. In those days the event started by boarding the Sandbanks Ferry after cycling around Poole Harbour. There was a gale force wind blowing across the bay which blew Stephen completely off his bike as we rode to the ferry. He was a late developer physically, and was still quite a small lad at the time. No harm

VIENTIANE

LAOS – SOUTH – NOVEMBER 1998 SOLO TOUR

The author comes across as a ❝ congenial companion as he cycles through so many countries over so many decades. His well-informed observations are recorded with shrewdness, imagination and humour. Few cyclists remain faithful to two wheels for eighty years – a circumstance which enables Clive Williamson to comment on our fast-changing world from a peculiarly valuable perspective

Dervla Murphy 52

ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

THE VIETNAM WAR AND ITS CONSEQUENCES My previous trip to Laos earlier in the year had introduced me to the continuing tragedies resulting from the Vietnam War. During the war, the US dropped more ordnance on Laos than the Allies dropped on Western Europe during the whole of the Second World War. The war in Laos was designated a ‘Secret War’, and all references to Laos were eliminated from war correspondence and reports. US combatants, of which there were many thousands in Laos, were given ‘civilian’ appointments so that they could participate in the war without breaching the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention did not seem to be an issue for the US in the Vietnam War! Daily victims of the scatter bombs which remained after the cessation of hostilities, were dependent on the help provided by the Prosthetic Centre in Vientiane. Some went to extraordinary lengths to travel from remote areas of the country to get to the Centre. Originally founded as a treatment centre, it had developed a training function to send technicians into vulnerable areas to treat patients locally and more quickly. This background prompted me to organise a charity bike ride to raise money for the Centre. POWER This meant finding a relevant charity through which to direct the funds raised. By a roundabout route I found the UK based charity called POWER which was supporting victims of war, principally in Laos and Mozambique. In Laos, POWER was in partnership with a locally funded organisation called COPE, and there was also a connection to Princess Diana’s work in landmine clearance. POWER were keen to help set up the project and I was put in touch with Thomas, an American who was running

done we rode the whole route taking 11 hours in the process. No prizes for youngest rider alas! We continued riding the event every year until Stephen left for university. That same year we rode two 300km events – the first started in Christchurch near Bournemouth at 2am and went northwest as far as Malmesbury, returning through the New Forest. Stephen had difficulty keeping awake until we reached the first coffee stop, but afterwards we got into our stride until a puncture slowed our progress. I can’t remember the time we took but I know it was pretty good for a 13-year-old. the Centre in Laos. There was a lot to plan before I could undertake such a task, the first priority being to decide on the route, and that meant another visit to the country to work out something suitable. Route 13 with its good road surface and reasonable accommodation possibilities seemed a good bet. But Route 13 started in Luang Prabang in the north and continued all the way to the Cambodian frontier in the south. Since I had already travelled along the northern section, I decided that I would travel directly to the south of the country from Bangkok and cycle northwards to Vientiane where I would meet up with Thomas at the Centre. BANGKOK Not relishing the prospect of dodging through queues of traffic as I cycled on the main highway into the city, I took a local train close to the airport. Nobody seemed to bother with tickets as I crossed the rails and climbed aboard. The carriage was full of commuters cooking their breakfast on little stoves, and I had many offers of delicious titbits washed down with tea. The train itself was equally relaxed – it was not reliant on commuter traffic to set its stop-start locomotion. A few hundred metres were enough excuse to take a rest. Not a problem for me since I was taking the overnight train to Ubon Ratchathani, near the border with Laos, which only departed from Bangkok in the evening. NIGHT TRAIN TO UBON RATCHATHANI After loitering without intent in the city for a few hours I joined my cabin for the trip. I was hopeful of some peace to catch up on sleep, and having a cabin to myself the prospects were good. Unfortunately, the train had a further purpose apart from transportation. Men often took girls, prostitutes presumably, on the overnight service to have close encounters of the erotic kind. Cheaper and more private than a hotel, I suppose, but not conducive to the restful repose of neighbours. With squeaks and grunts of delight still ringing in my ears, I stepped out on to the platform at Ubon Ratchathani to find that the monsoon had kindly awaited my arrival with open skies! I had planned the timing of my trip to coincide with the end of the monsoon, but a large depression over the whole region had delayed its normal departure time. JOURNEY TO PAKSE In pouring rain, I set off on the 80 km ride to Chong Mek on the Lao border. It was a relatively easy ride, flat for most of the way, until some low hills appeared near the border. But everything changed at the frontier. The road surface had been good so far, but in Laos the surface was unmetalled and had turned into a quagmire. A metalled surface was


The second 300km started in Waltham Forest, North London, again at 2am. It was a period of hot weather with a strong easterly wind blowing through the day, but which, at 2am, had completely died. We had a relatively easy ride to reach Clacton-on-Sea for breakfast. As the day warmed up the east wind got stronger and stronger and we flew back to HQ in around 11 hours for 300km. Stephen now maintains, only half jokingly, that I should have been reported to the NSPCC, but I plead he was always keen to participate, and relished his athletic achievements. Also, it formed a good base for his ride, with a friend,

cycle-camping around the coast of Britain at the age of 16, and two years later, across America with me. There seemed to be a tendency for me to support certain events regularly on an annual basis, particularly if within reasonable distance of home. The Reading 200km was one such, and the Stonehenge and back organised by the West Surrey CTC another. The routes worked out by the organisers who have local knowledge, was the perfect way to become familiar with the beautiful countryside of Southern England. Also I used Audax events to train either for a long distance time trial or,

more likely, for an overseas tour. The last intensive use of these events was in 2004 when at the age of 73 I entered L’Etape du Tour, which that year was being held in the Massif Central region of France. In recent years I have strayed from the Audax path but certainly not from riding my bike. A lifetime of a wide variety of cycling was hugely enhanced by the many encounters and introductions to lesser known and more intimate parts of this beautiful island, while riding AUK events. Best seen from the saddle of a bicycle – man’s greatest invention. Now at the age of 86 I am casting my eyes in the direction of ebikes! narrow gauge railway was built to transport the goods the length of the islands, some 5 km, for reloading on to fresh boats to continue their journey. Sections of the rails can still be seen on the old track, but most have been used by local residents for incorporating into their homes. The rapids themselves are a magnificent sight, water streaming widely over rocks in a demonstration of the sheer power water can create. A walk around the island took us to a point opposite the Cambodian border, where a small boat was hired to take us to a possible viewing of Irrawaddy dolphins. Unfortunately, it was the wrong time of year, and all we saw was the occasional fin. These dolphins are under threat of extinction, principally because of fishing methods, particularly from neighbouring Cambodia, where explosives are in use.

Mountain scene near Kiou

under construction from Pakse but was still far from reaching Chong Mek. There was no possibility of cycling through the untreated section, quite apart from the fact that I could not have made Pakse before nightfall. I crossed the border to the visa office, where a number of lorries were parked. I had made up my mind to return to a nearby town to stay overnight, when I was offered a lift by one of the drivers. Thankfully, I loaded the bike on the back and joined the driver and his assistant in the cabin. The driver was taking a chance but thought the weight of his vehicle would get us through. The driver was skilled and needed to be. Fortunately, most of the unmetalled section of the road was downhill so we slipped and slithered our way down until we hit the solid surface. Finally, we reached the Mekong River and faced the prospect of a ferry crossing on the swollen and fast flowing river. A half completed bridge lay uselessly nearby – half completed for several years apparently, with funds to complete the task having slipped beneath the surface! The ferry was only large enough to accommodate our vehicle, and we each chose our respective gods to direct our prayers to as we slowly made our way through the strong current. A trinity of deities was up to the task and, with sighs of relief, we made the opposite bank at Pakse. My offer of payment was rejected – I suspect they thought of me as a kind of talisman to help them survive the journey. THE FOUR THOUSAND ISLANDS I had pre-booked a hotel in Pakse for one night, planning to take the boat down the Mekong through Champasak Province to the area known as Si Phan Don – Four Thousand

Islands. The next morning, leaving my bike at the hotel, I boarded the local ferry that would take me to Don Khong, the largest of those islands, calling on the way at the town of Champasak, the seat of one branch of the Lao Royal Family. The Mekong at this season of the year, is wider deeper and faster flowing than my previous experience of the river in the north of the country. A very pleasant and relaxing interlude after the excitement of the day before. Luckily the rain had ceased, because I intended staying in the area for a couple of days. There was much to see. I found a good B&B in Muang Khong, the largest town on the island, and quickly linked up with a group of backpackers who were good fun and with whom I was to occasionally hang out. The description ‘backpacker’ usually connotes gap-year youngsters seeing the world before they settle down to real life. But they also include a much wider spectrum of more mature travellers, who had the chance to take off from their regular lives to see the world in a nonpackage way. I considered myself such a traveller, albeit with a bike to take my load. The next day I teamed up with a group of Israelis to rent a boat taking us to the twin islands of Don Khon and Don Det. These islands have an interesting history, at one time operating the only railway in Laos. The two islands are connected by a bridge over which the railway ran, and are surrounded by rapids and waterfalls which provide the reason for building the railway. Boats bringing merchandise from Vietnam and Cambodia, destined for the northern cities of Laos and Thailand, could not pass through the rapids, so during the French occupation a

DON KHONG ISLAND On day two of my stay on the island I decided to get back on the bike. I had befriended a Chinese tourist from Singapore, and with bikes readily available for hire, we set off to ride around the island. ‘Chao’, a widower, was taking a break from his job as an accountant and was a regular cyclist at home. A leisurely pace was ordained by the sunny weather and we spent a very pleasant day on traffic-free roads, stopping occasionally for a drink and for lunch. Chao spoke good English and had picked up some Lao from previous visits, so we were able to chat and pass the time of day with locals we encountered. Another storm that night turned everything to mud again, especially the slipway to the ferry. I was returning to Pakse by bus which meant a short ferry ride to the mainland from Muang Khong. The bus was based on the island and had toured the island to pick up passengers before boarding the ferry. However, all the passengers had to dismount before the bus attempted a difficult manoeuver to embark on the ferry. We were able to witness one of the most skilful displays of driving I have ever seen. Dropping down a steep, muddy incline, the driver put the bus into a skid which turned the vehicle to the right at exactly the moment to slide on to the gangplank. Jeremy Clarkson would have been proud to accomplish such a manoeuver – if he had, we would now be watching non-stop repeats! We were back on Route 13 again, but with no traffic. Although the road had been surfaced all the way to the Cambodian border, the border had not yet been reopened. I returned to the hotel in Pakse in time for dinner with a French group I had met on the island. A lively gap-year bunch I was to run in to several times during my journey north. www.aukweb.net www.aukweb.net

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WHEELS OF LIFE

The highlight of ❝ my stay at the resort was a two hour elephant ride through the forest

TAD LO RESORT I also met a couple of English cyclists that evening who were riding in the same direction as me the next morning and we arranged to start out together. They were heading for the Bolaven Plateau, which is the principal coffee growing area in Laos. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst areas for malaria in the country. I intended to avoid it. Laos was, at the time of my visit, badly beset by malaria. Precautions were vital. I risked taking the anti-malarial drug Lariam, which can have severe mental side effects for some people. Technicolour dreams were the only effect I noticed, but criticisms have been raised for issuing the drug to military personnel in battle conditions, when mental strain is at a peak. I was heading away from the Mekong and towards the mountains to spend a couple of days at the Tad Lo Resort. My route diverged from the others at Ban Huayhe and I turned northwards towards Salavan. The resort lay a few kilometres along a forest track, quite remote, but happily turned out to be an attractive well-appointed resort with, for me, comfortable chalet accommodation. Built close to the Taat Lo waterfall, the setting was perfect, with a row of chalets descending an incline to the main building. There were a couple of guest houses in the neighbouring village and the place was swirling with backpackers from every corner of the globe, with Brits in predominance. The main restaurant-sitting area of the resort was the focus for everyone staying in the area, and the meals were a good quality mixture of local and European cuisine. A number of older male backpackers were clearly regular visitors who relished the opportunity of mixing with young female travellers in a convivial and, perhaps, opportunistic environment. I did manage to meet up with some locals down in the village, with painful but modestly successful communication. LAOS BY ELEPHANT The highlight of my stay at the resort was a two hour elephant ride through the forest. Laos used to be known as The Land of a Million Elephants. On my previous two visits to the country I had seen one! With poverty widespread in many areas, wildlife became a major source of food and not only elephants but all forms of animal and bird life were vulnerable. I was once sitting in a café when a young man came in with his hunting rifle, triumphantly flourishing aloft a beautifully plumed tropical bird he had just shot in the forest. The bird was destined for the cooking pot, its only interest for the young man. 54

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My elephant was very much alive however, pulling up small trees and bushes by their roots as we lumbered through the forest, stuffing them in his mouth. A million elephants would rapidly deforest the country, so I suppose you take your choice – elephants or forest! But I have to say an elephant ride is the perfect way to see the forest. SAVANNAKHET I set off for Salavan the next morning to catch a bus which would take me back to the Mekong at Savannakhet (Savan). I intended riding from Savan to Viantiane to see if it would suit the charity ride. Here the river forms the border with Thailand and has a customs entry point where I was able to extend my visa. Checking in at the Mekong Hotel alongside the river, I had time to wander around this once important French colonial commercial centre. Evidence of their occupation, if somewhat faded, still survives in the old quarter. ROUTE 13 – THA KHAEK After a day spent relaxing, wandering around the area visiting Lao villages and following the Mekong riverside for a few kilometres, I set off the next morning on the trek northwards, once again following the ubiquitous Route 13. I had allowed some four days to cover the 500 km to Vientiane with Tha Khaek as my first overnight target. If you’re sufficiently tired, normal rules of hygiene and comfort can be discarded. At Tha Khaek I was sufficiently tired – and needed to be! The resting place, for that was all it was, offered small windowless cubicles, with the darkness

fortunately hiding the filthy state of the mattresses. The surrounding area was strewn with used contraceptives, which indicated a more regular use. A wash basin had to suffice for ablutions and the toilet – I think we’ll just pass on by! A small restaurant next door provided a simple meal in time for the inevitable power cut. Power for two hours per night was the norm and everyone had got used to working within that time limit. I sat in the dark, talking to the husband of the lady of the restaurant. He was an engineer and had been working on a construction project in the mountains near Vietnam. It was a Chinese-run project, with pay for the local workers almost at subsistence levels for a seven day working week. Ex-pat workers earned rather more! He had decided it was not worth being separated from his family for such low pay. Eating my breakfast the next morning in my ‘accommodation’, I was visited by a little girl, curious about this giant stranger who had arrived the night before. I offered her a biscuit which she refused, but she stayed around while I was packing up for the day’s ride. The only word she uttered during this time was ‘lo tip’, which is the Lao for bicycle. When I came to leave, the little girl, with two of her friends were lined up arm in arm at the roadside in a sweet farewell gesture. A lovely but heartrending sight. The chances of all of them surviving into adulthood were slim. Malaria was an ever present menace and these little striplings were undernourished with little resistance to fight any ailment that came their way. ROUTE 13 – PAKSAN A long hot 160 km ride was in prospect. The road was slightly undulating but not difficult for cycling and a low range of karst hills to the east gave an attractive backdrop as I rode through the heat. Fortunately, there were sufficient roadside drinking kiosks to meet my needs and to top up with bottled water. Nearly always at these places other services were on offer; Route 13 seemed to be one extended knocking shop! Always delicately done and I have to say some of the girls were stunners. The Lowland Lao girls are some of the most attractive I have come across in all my travels. Was I tempted? Of course not! Paksan accommodation was a few notches up from the previous night – there was even a shower available. The star system for classifying hotels is insufficient because it seems only to have positive designations. Negative categories from one to five ‘black holes’ in descending order should be established, so travellers would at least know what they are in for. Not many Tourist Boards would take up that suggestion I fear.

The Taat Lo waterfalls


BAN SOMSAWATH My next day’s target was another resort set this time on the banks of the Nam Ngum River, a tributary of the Mekong. The day’s ride was more modest and I was not under pressure to cover long distances, so I decided to stop for lunch at the village of Ban Somsawath before embarking on the boat trip up river to the resort, its only access. The restaurant was family run and had a small farm attached, and was not offering extracurricular services! The large lady, Vatsana, sitting in the corner was clearly the owner with her children running the restaurant and farm. Laos is a matriarchal society whereby inheritance is passed down the female line, and Vatsana was the beneficiary of this custom. Western influences almost certainly mean that more male dominated attitudes now prevail. A friend of the family was visiting at the time and he spoke some English, so communication was possible. I called him ‘uncle’ since that seemed to be his role within the family, which had a complement of two sons and two daughters, ranging from mid-teens to mid-twenties. Unusually he was the proud owner of a Ford car of ancient, but well cared for, vintage. We became quite friendly over lunch and I was invited to visit the following Sunday, when they offered to kill the fatted duck for me. I readily accepted. I felt it was a privilege to get to know a Lao family in that way. NAM NGUM RESORT I continued a short way to the junction of the Route 13 with a small lane which led to the River Nam Ngum, where I picked up a small boat taking me to the riverside resort about 5 km upstream. Since there was no secure storage at the embarkation point, I took my bike with me, precariously strapped over the prow of the boat. The resort comprised wooden built structures with a couple of sleeping blocks and a main restaurant set on the bank of the river. A peaceful little hideaway. The proximity of water meant that extra precautions had to be taken against mosquitoes. The area south of Vientiane is one of the countries malaria hotspots. Fish from the river fed the half a dozen or so tourists who were visiting that evening, washed down with Beer Lao. The Nam Ngum is about 100 metres wide at this point, close to its conjunction with the Mekong, and flows originally from the Annamite Mountains, forming the principal feed to the Ang Nam Ngum Reservoir, the main source of water for the region. I was tempted to try and hire a boat to take me on a ride further up river, but time constraints directed me back in the opposite direction to complete my journey to Vientiane. VIENTIANE I had much to discuss with Thomas at the Centre. It was clear that the route I had just travelled from the south was not suitable for the Charity ride. Offering ‘black hole’ accommodation was not likely to attract participants, and in any event distances were too great for enjoyable cycling. So Luang Prabang to Vientiane was the agreed route. Since my previous trip a Lao Army base had been established near Kasi to control banditry, so there would be little danger to the group. Thomas kindly offered to provide a back-up vehicle to carry luggage, food and particularly water. He also provided a copy of a film the Centre had made to attract donations, plus publicity and photographs which the charity group could use to raise sponsorship. What was now clear was that I would have to return to organise the details like accommodation and flights. For me, it was just starting! DUCK A LA LAO I rented a motorbike to take me out to the restaurant at Ban Somsawath for the duck ceremony. It was quite an eye

COPE had only ❝ been founded a few months before … a firm commitment by the Lao Government to seriously address the still growing problem of land mine injuries was having an immediate impact

Prosthetic cyclist

opener, if not stomach churner! ‘Uncle’ was assisted in the preparation by Nang, the younger of the daughters. Nang was about eighteen at the time and had clearly been versed in the intricacies of duck preparation. Firstly, while Nang held the bird in a bowl, ‘Uncle’ knifed its breast, cutting a vein and causing steady bleeding to drip into the bowl. They both started plucking the feathers while the bird was still alive, but getting weaker. Eventually, when the creature died and was fully de-feathered, they dissected the carcass ready for cooking. Nang was joined by her mother to do the cooking and everything went into the pot, including the webbed feet. Nothing was wasted. Many different dishes were prepared from a multitude of ingredients. The only part of this operation I was expected to be involved in was the eating, but having watched the whole process my appetite had gone, in fact I felt slightly sick. Very embarrassing! They had gone to all the trouble for nothing. The food would be eaten, of course, it was a restaurant after all. But we were still friends, and I would visit them on future trips to Laos.

charities were already on board, and the seeds of a nationwide service were already planted. A look at the current web site of the Centre shows impressive development from those early beginnings, with 130 staff working in four major centres in different parts of the country. I was convinced that there was no better way our charity group could help this country than by raising money for COPE.

● Clive’s book is available from Waterstones, Amazon or direct from the publisher: BHE Books – www.bhebooks.co.uk

VIENTIANE PROSTHETIC CENTRE Before leaving for home I was shown around the Centre to get a full appreciation of the service provided by, and the needs of, the Centre. COPE had only been founded a few months before my visit and although there had been a basic operation before that, a firm commitment by the Lao Government to seriously address the still growing problem of land mine injuries was having an immediate impact. A modest staffing level was already involved in training new technicians to go out into the field and treat victims close to home wherever possible. Thomas, fully trained in the technology in the USA, was guiding limited resources in the most effective direction. International agencies and www.aukweb.net

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500,000M UP – AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

Cycling long distances with a close riding buddy forges strong bonds that can enable us to take on the most enormous personal challenges. Such was the case for Tom Hatton after his friend was left profoundly disabled after an accident. Tom admits looking after himself on the road isn’t one of his strongest personal attributes. Nevertheless, faced with a need to fund-raise for a life enhancing project where his friend now lives, he embarked on a ride from Greenwich to Portugal that would test his skills (or lack thereof ) in ways he never dreamed possible …

WORDS AND PICTURES TOM HATTON

Building Treehouse It started, as many things do in life, with my father. Like many of the early years’ events which shape us, I don’t actually remember my old man telling me that bicycles taste of ice cream and cars taste of dog poo – it’s just family folk lore. It does seem to have had a strong subconscious impact though, as whilst as a teenager I was busy rebelling against everything else my vicar father stood for, I never had the urge to get a drivers’ license – getting about by bike is just the way I have always done things. Then, in the latter part of my 20s my friendship with M developed. An Audaxer by heart, if not by membership he slowly encouraged me into a series of increasingly extreme rides – London to Brighton was the starting point, moving to the Etape De Tour for my 30th birthday, the Fred Whitton challenge, as well as bike packing expeditions on the South Downs and in Northumberland. Before the accident that occurred whilst he cycled home one night, M and I agreed to complete

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LEL on the eve of his 40th birthday. The accident left M profoundly disabled and so LEL 2017 was completed in his honour by me, M’s cousin and some good mutual friends of ours – raising £18,000 in the process for the complimentary therapies that are helping M to recover some of the verbal and cognitive capacity that was taken so painfully from him after the accident. We are not done though, not by a long shot, in terms of our determination to support M in his road to recovery and improve the quality of life he has at the Holy Cross Hospital where he now lives. Holy Cross is an amazing place with some absolutely brilliant staff. It is set in some lovely woodland that is not yet wheelchair accessible. Access to outside space is something we believe will really help M and other patients at the hospital engage with some of the best experiences still available to them, aiding recovery and improving quality of life. From this belief stemmed the Treehouse Project, a collective of friends and family seeking to build a raised platform going into the

FACTFILE

● The Treehouse Project aims to build a 15m wheelchair accessible walkway to a 4m platform in the woods around the hospital to improve the quality of life for patients their friends and family by providing access to the outdoors and nature. ● The fundraising target is £20,000 ● https://gogetfunding.com/ the-treehouse-project/ ● Holy Cross Hospital Haslemere is owned by the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross. ● Registered Charity No. 1068661. Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England. Registered Company No. 3492921. ● Founded in1917 as a sanatorium for the treatment of TB, it now provides specialist services for patients who are severely disabled.


forest that will be easily accessible by wheelchair. We will provide a space in the woodland where patients can be with their families, enjoying nature time in nature together again. Further details of the project can be found in the factfile Such a project requires funding, and as a result I found myself back on a bike again – this time from my home in Greenwich to the family home of my girlfriend in Agueda, Northern Portugal. This time I was riding my dad’s bike, a 37 year old EG Bates tourer, that he put together just before I was born. This was a particular challenge for me, as although I had shown my capacity for distance cycling in LEL, my capacity to actually look after myself on the road remains at an almost childlike level. It took me three years to learn how to change a bike tyre despite much coaching from both M and my father. My constant stream of poor decisions and absent-mindedness are legendary amongst my friendship group and doing anything independently like this was a stretch to put it mildly.

… my capacity to actually look ❝ after myself on the road remains at an almost childlike level. It took me three years to learn how to change a bike tyre

GREENWICH – NEWHAVEN

I finished work early, got my meagre possessions together and headed off to little fanfare. London to Brighton was a ride M and I had done repeatedly together as I had moved to the smoke whilst he stayed with his family down by the sea. So I was filled with memories as I cut down through Downe and onto the North Downs. Typically for this ride, the heavens opened and the wind was against me. Luckily a good friend of M’s and mine, Iain of the amazing Brighton community bicycle repair shop Cranks, had agreed to put me up for the night and joined me for the last 30k or so, his rueful grin as the rain poured down seemed to make things better. Several beers and a plate of pasta later things were definitely better. A touring cyclist of great experience Iain patiently provided me with all the essential items that my poor planning hadn’t taken into consideration – cable ties, water bottles and a pair of flip-flops. I was ridden out of Brighton to Newhaven by Iain and others from the great and good of the burgeoning Brighton Audax scene – Stuart Wilson

from Rayment Cycles and Helen Kellar. The kindness I have been shown by other riders since starting to complete Audax rides never fails to amaze me and their enthusiasm for the ride I was undertaking put me in the best possible frame of mind. But from there on in, I was on my own.

me! A swiftly barked ‘Monsieur’ managed to convince him that I was, in fact human and I cycled off to peals of Gallic laughter – hilarious I’m sure!

FRANCE

After a week of hard work, the landscape began to change and a view of the Pyrenees began to rise over the horizon, quickening my pulse and raising my mood. France was about to end. The bike felt a bit funny though – it was a lot slower and I noticed the gears were moving from side to side. I decided to pause for a night in Oloron, take a cheap hotel and seek advice. Various mechanic friends were consulted about what might be wrong and a couple of solutions tried to no avail. I decided to wait another day until the

I arrived in France and immediately noticed the wind was against me – I had been warned the prevailing wind comes from the West and this proved to be horribly accurate over the next two weeks. About 10k in and I was attempting my first roadside repair – the frame bag bought two weeks before had split open at the zip, spilling my possessions over the road leaving me with a broken phone. Some para-cord wrapped around the thing made for an ungainly but just about workable arrangement and on I went for my first night under canvas. Mornings were a depressing time for me during this part of the ride. I would invariably wake to rain and facing the consequences of whatever oversight or bad decision I had made the day before – stopping without food or water, for instance, or camping on top of a thorn branch that pierced both my tent and my sleeping mat. France is a beautiful country with thousands of miles of quiet roads perfect for riding – but in March 2018 it was also depressingly wet and windy, with very few shops or restaurants open in the smaller villages. I made pitifully slow progress. At night, however, the wind would drop and my mood would improve – often helped by the coffee, cheroot and a nip of brandy combination that I would indulge in whenever I was actually able to find an open restaurant. My Son dynamo would kick out a kaleidoscopic beam of light across the darkened hedgerows and completely silent villages of the French countryside, whilst the spirit of longdistance riding rose within me carrying me towards half-decent distances for the day – and while various possessions dropped off the back of my bike without me noticing, my back light for example and my pump. My route planning often led me onto farm tracks that ended in unrideable mud or even a river at one point. Once I ended up behind a French boar hunt, with 20 men armed with shotguns stalking a wood in complete silence. Not wanting to disturb things I pedalled as quietly as I could behind them – only to have one of the hunters clearly clock a large moving beast out of the corner of his eye, spin sharply on his heel and raise his gun to

BASE OF THE PYRNEES AND A MECHANICAL TO END ALL MECHANICALS

Can you fix it…?

Oui… bien sûr!

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BUILDING TREEHOUSE local mechanic was open (the very kind Igoussel Pascal in Oloron) – his jaw literally dropped when he saw it. Somehow I had managed to cycle for 20k (and repeatedly examined the affected area) without noticing that my bottom tube was entirely torn apart. Igoussel indicated to me that my ride was over – however, in broken French I managed to convey the reason for my ride to him. Next second, he dropped everything put on his coat and took me to the local blacksmith – who did an amazing job of getting me on the road again. To reduce stress on the bike I sent half my clothes and my tent back home – it was bivvying from here on in.

SPAIN

My welcome to Spain consisted of wine, tortilla, fags and brandy secured at a truck stop at 11:30pm well after the barman should have closed. Now this was what I called civilisation. It was a pattern of hospitality and kindness that persisted through most of my trip through Spain. Headwinds persisted, but breakfast access to beer and far more regular sunshine meant that my mood remained sustainably bright. The mountain views and green plains of Spain amazed me – it just wasn’t what I had associated with the country having had pretty limited ‘stag-do’ experience previously. About 200k from the Portuguese border the wind intensified. My PYRENEES experiences on the Fens during LEL 2017 I had ridden the Pyrenees before, but at a taught me to try and relax into the very different time of year. I was warned physical grind of it – just drop the gear, get off the top by a couple of motorists on the my hands on the drops and try not to way up, though an old cyclist assured me think too much. This zoning out into it would be fine though I would have to physical exertion caused me to miss a walk a bit. His advice proved to be correct. disaster – my sleeping bag dropping off The photos I took made it look ridiculously the back. By the time I realised, I could difficult, and the snows did come in – but have been cycling for 30 kilometres into a at least when you’re on a mountain road 40kph headwind – I couldn’t bring myself you have a pretty good idea it will end up to do that again. I decided to rely on hotels somewhere that goes down eventually – or whatever God had in store for me – for and the chances of you getting the rest of the trip. completely stuck are pretty remote. It was This turned out to be the end of bloody cold though. Spanish hospitality – the only hotel in the only village I was able to find for miles was full and they weren’t …I was warned off the top by a having me sleeping on the floor for money. I was sent out into the couple of motorists on the way up, night. Temperatures were about though an old cyclist assured me it would 1°C at night, not freezing but still enough for my teeth to chatter as be fine soon as I lay down. I built a twig fire in a wood, which was enough to keep me from catching hypothermia – as long as I got up every hour to rebuild the bloody thing.

PORTUGAL

The next day I crossed into Portugal for the final stage of my trip. I was instantly struck that my girlfriend might be the human embodiment of her country – beautiful, of course, but very, very tough. Driving rains came in with seemingly no warning, forcing me into a hotel for only the second time on the trip. Mountains were frequent, steep and severe – but the views were amazing and the people unfailingly decent. About 20k from the finish I found myself on the last serious climb – the ascent into the village of Caramulo. Although it was steep 58

ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

(20% I reckon) I was filled with confidence: “Give me more!”, I literally cried out to the mountain. I can ride anything! The mountain responded to my hubris with alacrity – immediately the heavens open and hail, bloody hail, filled the Portuguese road – rendering it unrideable in about five minutes. Shivering, I limped about 10k to the summit and down again – unable to alert my girlfriend of my lateness as I had run out of battery on my phone and needed the dynamo for light. My girlfriend eventually sick of waiting drove out to meet me – giving me safe escort home down the difficult descents on which I could well have come a cropper given my state. So a trip to boost my independence on the road ended with some supervision but I had crossed four countries under my own steam and coped with a fair few challenges on the way. The copious amounts of wine her dad plied me with at the finish tasted pretty damn good. I was happy with the achievement even if the speed was far, far below Audax standards – 240k a day independently is a feat of organisation that will take a few more years of training for me to achieve.

THE TREEHOUSE PROJECT

I aimed to raise funds and awareness of the Treehouse Project and achieve some of what we need to make our vision a reality. We have created a great team including tree surgeons from Colin White Tree Surgery, architectural support from the Nash Partnership and engineering from Super Structures Associates, all working on a pro bono basis that is much appreciated. However, we still have a long way to go in terms of raising the funds necessary to buy the building materials for the Treehouse Project. To that end, we are organising 130k ride from Brighton to Chapel and back on Saturday June 30th – I know sponsored riding is somewhat against the ‘because it’s there’ spirit of Audax, but we will give you guys a brilliant (and almost free) day if you start a support campaign for the Treehouse Project and raise some sponsorship for our cause. Details on how to do this are available from me on tomhattonsw@googlemail.com or on the website. Unfortunately we didn’t meet the deadline for these rides to be an Audax, but will make sure everything is covered by insurance and give you a comparable experience, whilst you pedal with a purpose, make a difference to some people that deserve it, then relax with some free beers with us afterwards. What more could you ask?


Mind your head! Brian Matkins takes us through a truncated history of an octogenarian cyclist, punctuated by three crashes involving…

1 CAR DOOR

1952 mid September on an almost deserted suburban street in South East London with a couple of cars parked at the roadside (there were significantly fewer cars in those days and nobody except track racers like Reg Harris wore a helmet). Then aged 17, I was cycling to evening classes which started at 6.30pm. A driver’s door was flung open as I drew alongside a stationary car. I woke more than an hour later in a hospital bed. I had a few minor cuts and bruises, but the doctors kept me in bed for three days under observation in case of after-effects from concussion. In one way I was lucky. Most car doors then hinged at the rear, so that if you hit one it tended to close the door and you bounced off. A few weeks later my workmate Graham, same age as me, was not so fortunate in a similar car door incident. In his case the door was hinged at the front, as most modern vehicles are, and the cyclist gets trapped between the door and bodywork, consequently causing more serious injuries. Among other things, Graham suffered cracked ribs, a fractured collar bone and a broken jaw.

INTERLUDE

Within 12 months I was conscripted for two years National Service in the army, so I sold the bike. Didn’t ride again except during a four months spell of unemployment at the end of 1966, when I bought a bike for use as my principal means of transport while I looked for a new job. Found one in the New Year, got a company car and sold the bike. Fast forward to 1998. Needing some exercise after taking early retirement, I

bought a touring cycle and a helmet, joined the CTC for local club rides and discovered the joys of a 100km BP. I was hooked, forthwith became a member of AUK and rode two more BPs in the same year. In 1999 I upped that to 15 BPs and my first five 200km BRs.

2 BLACK ICE

2004 late January on a straight, level country lane in Kent devoid of traffic. It was about 11am on a Sunday morning club ride. The chap in front of me skidded on black ice, wobbled and fell, bringing me down too. The first part of my body to hit the road was my right hip, fracturing the thigh bone close to the hip joint. The last part to hit the tarmac was my head, encased in a helmet. 24 hours later I had a new metal hip joint and an old helmet pretty well flattened on the right side, but no head injury!

3 HIT-AND-RUN

2009 mid May, on the A26 entering a roundabout on the outskirts of Lewes (Sussex). I was some six hours into the Invicta 400 which departed near Tonbridge (Kent) at 12noon, and 300 metres short of a control. An overtaking motorist hit me on the side and steered the bike straight toward the solid concrete wall of a tunnel exit. I still vividly remember being catapulted over the handlebars head first into the wall. Instinctively I tensed my muscles ready for the crash, put my head down and hoped the helmet would soften the force of the impact. It worked! A few seconds later I found myself lying on my back across my own front wheel with my feet somewhere near the saddle, gazing at a clear blue sky and wriggling my fingers and toes to make sure they still functioned.

An ambulance arrived in minutes and the paramedic’s first words were “Thank goodness you were wearing a helmet”. As he checked for injuries (none apart from a minor cut to the tip of the middle finger on my left hand), he explained. He had attended several cyclists’ crashes and most casualties had sustained cuts and bruises and a few had broken bones. Where the rider had been wearing a helmet it was extremely rare to find any major head damage (beyond perhaps a split ear or maybe a broken jaw), In contrast, those who had ridden without a helmet often sustained head injuries, occasionally with bleeding from the ear or eye socket signifying a fractured skull and the possibility of brain damage. And more than one had died. In general, when he arrived on the scene of a cyclist accident and saw the rider was wearing a helmet, he was hopeful. When the rider was bare headed, he was apprehensive. My grandson’s fiancée is also a paramedic, currently based in Maidstone, having previously served in Chichester and South East London. She and her colleagues paint a similar picture: relatively good outcome where the rider wore a helmet, relatively poor otherwise. Thanks to my trusty helmet, I was discharged from the hospital before 9pm on the same day with only a sticking plaster on my finger to show for my experience, plus a helmet broken in three places and totally written off. I soon bought a new one.

CONCLUSION

I know that many cyclists think they are not going to fall off, or if they do it will be a low speed affair and they won’t bang their head. I do not agree. I believe that in 1952 a helmet might possibly have prevented concussion. Having one in 2004 probably avoided serious injury when my head hit the ground. And in the violent head first impact in 2009 the helmet almost certainly stopped me getting a fractured skull and quite possibly saved my life. Make up your own mind about helmet wearing. You might dismiss me as an accident-prone old fool. But at least take heed of what the paramedics see and what they say. And take care to mind your head! www.aukweb.net www.aukweb.net

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AWARDS

Audax Altitude Award 2017 Rolls of Honour

60

The original AAA, Triple AAA and 3x3 AAA Awarded for achieving 20, 60 and 180 AAA points over any period

AAARTY Awarded for completing an AAA event in any 12 consecutive months

Name AAA 3x AAA 3x3 AAA Nephi Alty 6 2 Jon Banks 9 3 1 Robert Bialek 42 14 4 Leiv Boyum 7 2 James Bradbury 6 2 Sarah Britton 1 Ludwig Brunagel 3 1 Jack Camplin 1 Brian Childs 21 7 2 Charlie Chute 1 John Clemens 26 8 2 Michael Daly 4 1 William Dean 1 Martin Dossett 1 Tom Forbes 1 Mike Green 3 1 Barbara Hackworthy 8 2 Shaun Hargreaves 12 4 1 Richad Iddon 1 Oliver Iles 18 6 2 Justin Jones 25 8 2 Chris Keeling-Roberts 38 12 4 John Lilley 1 Mark Lison 1 James Ludlow 1 Alex Mason 1 Dave Mason 1 James Metcalfe 1 Dave Morrison 0 0 1 Joe North 3 1 Brad Owen 1 Gavin Peacock 1 Paul Penshaw 7 2 Sarah Peters 1 1 Tim Pickersgill 3 1 Hugo Pile 6 2 Andrew Preston 18 6 2 Dave Randerson 36 12 4 Simon Roberts 25 8 2 Peter Rogan 3 1 Ian Ryall 29 9 3 Jonathan Saville 0 2 1 Neil Shand 5 1 Steve Snook 21 7 2 Graham Spiller 1 Martin Tallontire 1 Martin Tillin 3 1 Richard Venes 6 2 Joss Wallace 3 1 Richard Warner 9 3 1 Tom Willard 4 1 Toby Willis 2 Dave Wright 1 Oliver Wright 15 5 1 Adam Young 3 1

Name Awards Year Name Quarter Half Century Double Year Leiv Boyum 3 2016 Dave Abtrobus 1 2016 James Bradbury 1 2017 Nephi Alty 4 2017 Brian Childs 5 2017 Jon Banks 3 1 2017 Roy Clarke 2 2016 Robert Bialek 4 3 5 2017 John Clemens 7 2017 Leiv Boyum 1 2016 Mike Green 1 2017 James Bradbury 3 2017 Barbara Hackworthy 4 2017 Ludwig Brunagel 1 2017 Shaun Hargreaves 3 2017 Brian Childs 1 1 3 2017 Oliver Iles 2 2017 John Clemens 1 3 2 2016 Theresa Jennings 2 2016 Michael Daly 1 1 2017 Chris Keeling-Roberts 11 2017 Mike Green 2 2017 Dave Morrison 2 2017 Barbara Hackworthy 5 1 2017 Sarah Peters 1 2017 Shaun Hargreaves 1 2 1 2017 Hugo Pile 1 2017 Oliver Iles 1 2 1 2017 Andrew Preston 4 2017 Justin Jones 5 4 1 2017 Dave Randerson 4 2017 Chris Keeling-Roberts 4 2 4 2017 Paul Renshaw 1 2017 James Ludlow 1 2017 Simon Roberts 4 2016 Dave Mason 2 2017 Jonathan Saville 5 2017 Dave Morrison 2 2 2017 Richard Venes 3 2017 Joe North 1 2017 Will Vousden 1 2017 Martin Peacock 1 2017 Dave Wright 1 2017 Sarah Peters 1 1 2017 Oliver Wright 1 2017 Hugo Pile 1 1 2017 Andrew Preston 1 5 2017 AAARSR Dave Randerson 3 3 3 2017 Awarded for completing an SR event in Paul Renshaw 3 1 2017 one season Simon Roberts 2 2 2 1 2016 Peter Rogan 1 2017 Name Awards Year Ian Ryall 2 2 3 2017 Jon Banks 3 2017 John Saville 1 2017 Robert Bialek 8 2017 Richard Venes 2 1 2017 Stuart Birnie 1 2016 Richard Warner 4 2016 Ludwig Brunagel 1 2017 Tom Willard 1 2017 Jack Camplin 1 2017 Toby Willis 1 2017 Raymond Cheung 2 2017 Oliver Wright 5 1 2017 Shaun Hargreaves 2 2017 Adam Young 1 2017 Oliver Iles 5 2017 Justin Jones 15 2017 AAA Allrounder John Lilley 1 2017 Unofficial award for achieving points in BRMs in a Joe North 1 2017 single season. The top five riders in 2017 were: Brad Owen 1 2017 Name AAA BRM points AAA Distance points Sarah Peters 1 2017 Ian Ryall 165.50 167.5 166 Andrew Preston 7 2017 Cathy Brown 103.75 111.5 112 Peter Rogan 1 2014 Ashley Brown 103.75 111.5 112 Ian Ryall 13 2017 Robert Bialek 101.75 121.75 77 Martin Tallontire 1 2017 David Randerson 87.00 120.75 72 Martin Tillin 1 2017 Tom Willard 2 2017 Toby Willis 2 2017 listed opposite who have claimed an award Adam Young 2 2017

ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

Year 2017 2017 2017 2016 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2016 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2016 2017 2017 2017 2017 2012 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 AAA Champion Ian Ryall 167.5 points and the opposite sex champion Cathy Brown 111.5 points. Cathy Brown has now won the AAA Opposite sex championship three years in succession, each year riding tandem with her husband Ashley. Congratulations also to the members

AAA Century Awarded for achieving 25, 50, 100 or 200 points in one season

since the start of the 2017 season. The figures show the awards obtained since each one started for new claims in the year only. More details can be found on the Audax website http://www.aukweb.net/results/aaa/ Please make a claim to have you name added to the Rolls of Honour if your current claims are out of date as shown on the Audax website. The AAA man can be contacted at AAA@Audax.uk. Best wishes for the 2107 season.  The AAA man


12 point Roll of Honour 12+ points in the 2017 season Ken Acland Paul Alderson Aidan Allcock Luke Allen Nick Allen Nephi Alty  Reid Anderson Stephen Anderson Javier Arias Gonzalez Simon Ashby David Atkinson Gaetan Baillieul Jon Banks John Barkman Alan Barnard Richard Barnett Dave Bartlett Paul Beebee Phil Beed Alex Bend Alexander Berry Jeff Berry Robert Bialek Darren Billings Adrian Bird Ian Bird Stuart Birnie James Blair Terry Bolland Denise Booth Leiv Boyum James Bradbury Dave Bradshaw Christopher Breed Stephen Britt Sarah Britton Graham Brodie Dave Brothers Ashley Brown Bernard Brown Cathy Brown Michael Browne Andy Bruce Ludwig Brunagel Stephen Butcher Robert Cade-Hirons Nigel Calladine Jack Camplin Allan Caple Jocelyn Chappell Raymond Cheung Richard Chew Lisa Chichester Brian Childs James Clarke Roy Clarke  David Clegg John Clemens Richard Clements Dean Clementson Paul Coleman Richard Coomer Ivan Cornell Richard Cowan

12 22.25 12.75 15.25 24.5 14.5 17 12 12 24.75 28.25 13.75 38 57.75 24 19.75 13.75 24.25 18.75 15 19.75 113.75 121.75 16 22.25 23.75 14.25 13.75 18.75 13.25 53 29.5 16.25 35.5 18.25 15.75 16.25 15.25 111.5 12 111.5 25.5 18.25 30 12.25 12 13.25 19.5 26.25 12 20.5 26.25 12 104.75 18.25 13 20.25 37 31.5 12.25 17 21 24.75 21

Russell Crofts Jason Crowl Martin Croxford Chris Cullen Simon Cullen Philip Cunningham Andy Curran Jamie Dainton Sefi Dakar Michael Daly Robert Damper Tony Davis Jill Day Kevin Dennett Graham Dore Adrian Downie Bruce Dunbar Omar Elafghani Jeff Ellingham David Trevor Ellis Fraser Ellison Guto Evans Guy Evans Richard Evans Ian Fairweather Hugh Falkner Steven Ferry Kevin Firth Nick Firth Daniel Fisher Michael Fisher Theo Flack Tom Forbes Chris Forrest Richard French Alex Frost Nikolaus Gardiner Peter Gawthorne Clement Geiger James Gillies Debs Goddard  Peter Goodings Andy Goodman Richard Goucher Phil Gradwell Stephen Graham Arthur Green Mike Green Tom Green Haydn Griffiths Barbara Hackworthy John Haile George Hanna Robert Hanwell Richard Harding Shaun Hargreaves David Harris Miles Haslam Daryl Hayter Aidan Hedley Derek Heine Jason Hemingway Martin Hendy Neil Henn

12.25 17.5 44.25 18.25 23.5 13.5 12 13.75 17.5 52 17.5 17 17.5 31 44 18.5 22 23.5 27.75 21.75 22.25 25 13.5 19.5 25.5 17.5 28.75 15.75 12.5 15.25 25 22.25 16.5 12.5 21.25 33.25 26.75 12.25 15.75 19.5 18.5 18 14.5 13.75 13.25 30.75 19.25 32.25 21.75 15.5 30 14.75 35.5 16.75 14.75 88 42.75 15.25 26.75 12.25 44.25 12 13.5 18

Ian Hennessey Chris Herbert David Hirons Ben Holder Toby Hopper Peter Horne Dan Howard Mark Hudson Fraser Hughes Mike Hughes Julian Humphrey Richard Hurley Richard Iddon Oliver Iles Cecil Ilsley Caroline Item Paul Jackman Andrew Jackson Nick Jackson Tom Jackson Arnoldas Jakstas Telbert James Sheni Jiwa Rob John Paul Johnson Paul Anders Johnson Chris Jones Elfyn Jones Jeremy Jones Justin Jones Nigel Jones Robert Jones Mike Kear Chris Keeling-Roberts Helen Kellar Ian Kellar Nigel Kelly Nic Ketley Lee Killestein Simon King Yvonne King Adam Kinsey Carl Kirkbride Mel Kirkland Katherine Kirton Hugh Knudsen Adrian Lagan Sian Lambert Grace Lambert-Smith Marcus Lancastle Mike Lane Nigel Laws John Lee Richard Leonard Peter Lewis John Lilley Oliver Liney Mark Lison Troy Little Ron Lowe  Martin Lucas James Ludlow Duncan Macaulay Hugh Mackay

20.75 14.75 26.75 15.75 15 18 14.75 15.25 13.75 34 20.25 22.5 24.5 71.25 82.75 18.25 20.25 26.5 13 12 14.5 15.75 15.75 17.75 23 14.5 14 18.25 19.25 32.75 13.5 19 13 138 14 19 22.75 14 77.25 13.75 13.75 22.25 12.25 12 22 15.5 17.5 22.75 13.25 13.75 41.25 19.25 12.75 13.25 13.75 24 21.25 13.75 23.25 14.75 29.25 32.75 14 19.25

Martin Malins Paul Manasseh Andrew Marshall Alex Mason David Mason Geoff Mason Steven Massey Bret Matthews Ken Mcbride Jim Mcgill Gerard Mchugh Chris Mcknight Robert Mcmillan Noel Mcnamara Paul Mellon James Metcalfe Michael Metcalfe Colin Mew Neil Milton Suzannah Minns Gary Mitchell Charles Monchatre Chris Moody Michael Morgan Liam Morris Dave Morrison Christopher Murkin Alex Mylles Simon Neen Phil Nelson Antonia Netherton Ian Newall Robert Norris Joseph Albert North Allen O’leary Kieran O’malley Leonard O’rourke Sean O’shah Stephen Ogden Steve Orchard Brad Owen Agi Palanki Alan Parkinson Graham Parks Kevin Payton Ivor Peachey Carl Pegnam Sarah Perkins John Perrin Heather Perry Sarah Peters Eduardo Petrilli Richard Phipps Tim Pickersgill Hugo Pile Will Pomeroy Nic Pow Anthony Powis Martyn Poynor Kevin Presland Andrew Preston Simon Proven Chris Prynn Laura Pugh

30 29.5 12.25 17.75 28.75 22.5 30.25 15.25 18.75 17.5 13.5 23.5 20.25 13 24.25 18.25 15.5 14 15.5 15 18.25 16 21.25 12.5 25.75 31 13.5 19 26.75 28.75 13 12.75 57.75 50.25 17.75 23.5 18 24.25 12.5 24 19.5 25.75 35.25 12.5 14.25 70.75 23.25 68.75 16.25 13.75 75 14 17.25 17.25 102 45.5 16.25 23.75 13.5 15 53.75 15 25 30.25

Chris Radcliffe 22.5 Matthew Radford 13 Jess Railton 12.5 Steve Ralphs 12 David Randerson 120.75 Liz Read 12.5 Jonathan Reed  13.5 James Rees  19.25 Paul Renshaw  78.75 Paul Revell  36.5 Eric Richardson 14.75 Ben Rickaby  14.5 Adrian Roberts  14 Sarah Roberts  19.25 Ray Robinson 18.75 Stephen Robinson 27 Peter Rogan 25.25 Stephen Rogers  34.75 Andrew Roocroft 18 Steve Rosewarne 17.5 Dan Rough  21.75 Jeff Rowell  24.25 Isla Rowntree 12.5 Tim Rusbridge 23.75 Mark Rutter  63 Ian Ryall  167.25 Daniel Ryder  20.25 John Rye 44.5 Richard Salisbury 32.75 Neil Sautereau 12.75 Jonathan Saville 27.25 Neil Shand 12.5 Mike Sheldrake 33 John Sherlock 27.75 Vilas Silverton 31.25 Gavin Simmons 18.5 Peter Simon  24.5 Hattie Simpole-Clarke  22.25 Graham Simpson  15.25 James Skillen  26 David Sleigh  27.5 Alison Smedley  16 Paul Smedley 49 David Smethurst 44 Cliff Smith  13.75 Jason Smith  23.5 Mark Smith  13.25 Kevin Speight  15.25 Graham Spiller  13.75 Mark Spruce  15.75 Trevor Stephens 14.25 Graham Steward  46 Mike Stoaling 28.25 Nick Stokell  26.25 Pete Stott  29.25 Paul Summers  29.5 Peter Summers  22.25 Judith Swallow  13.75 Kevin Talbot  29 Martin Tallontire 17.25 Mike Tattersall 15.25 Jon Tetley  27.75 Robyn Thomas  23 Mike Thompson 25

Richard Thompson 19.25 Samuel Thompson 27.75 Simon Till 23 Chris Tillapaugh 78 Martin Tillin  14.5 Richard Tofts  13 Andrew Tongue  24.5 Philip Toni  20.25 Matthew Tupman  25.25 Richard Turley  12.5 Andrew Turner  35 Neil Turner  13 Ian Tyas  12.5 Jack Tyler  31 Thomas Usherwood 15.75 Simon Vannerley 12 Neil Veitch 13.75 Richard Venes  53.5 Dave Vine  23 Will Vousden 47 Ian Walker  15.75 Joss Wallace  14 Martin Walsh  13.75 Richard Warner  27.5 Adam Watkins  26.25 Glyn Watkins  19.25 Mary-Jane Watson 20.5 Mike Watson  17.5 Chris Watts  40.75 Colin Weaver  61.5 Thomas Webb  14.75 Simon Westlake 14.5 Martyn Wheeler  12.75 Paul Whitehead 26.75 Philip Whiteman 24.25 Mike Wigley 17.25 Adrian Wikeley 26 John Wilkie 41.75 Tom Willard 71.5 Johnatan Williams 12.25 Luke Williams 14 Toby Willis  30.5 Magnus Wills 22 Doug Wilson  16.5 Iain Wilson  19.75 John Wilton  27.75 Steve Windass  16.75 Desmond Winterbone 21.75 Tim Woodier 17.25 Trevor Woodmore 23.5 Paul Worthington 16.25 Robert Wragge-Morley 44.5 David Wright  16.25 Oliver Wright  27.75 Jason Wring  34.25 James Wyatt  29 Gareth Yanulevitch 20.75 Peter Yarranton 22.75 Andy Yates  36 Kieron Yates  13.25 Adam Young  22.75 Anne Young  18.5

www.aukweb.net

61


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

400 09 Jun Exeter

Back to the Smoke 400

12:00 Sat BRM 4500m [3400m] £6.00 G X 15-30kph Change of Date Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist. co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU 200 09 Jun Forfar

Rannoch 210

08:00 Sat BR 210km 2200m £8.00 GLPRT 15-30kph Angus CC 01307 466123 dchusband@icloud.com ROA 5000 David Husband, 78 Old Halkerton Road, Forfar DD8 1JP 400 09 Jun Musselburgh

The Southern Uplands

06:00 Sat BRM 5000m AAA5 £10.00 X P C R G L 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU 200 09 Jun Norton, nr Gloucester

Gospel Pass 200

08:00 Sat BR 3075m AAA3 £12.00 CPRTL 14.3-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA

160 09 Jun Norton, nr Gloucester  YatMon 160 (Imperial 100mile)

09:00 Sat BP 162km 2230m AAA2.25 £9.00 CPRTL 12.530kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA

100 09 Jun Norton, nr Gloucester  Hoarwithy 100 (2Severn2Wye)

09:30 Sat BP £5.00 CPRTL 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA

400 09 Jun Upton Magna, E of ShrewsburyThe Irish Mail

07:00 Sat BRM 5050m AAA5 [4900m] £10.00 C F G L P R T Z 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF

300 09 Jun Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury  Snowdon & Lakes

07:00 Sat BRM 312km 4300m AAA4.25 £10.00 C F G L P R T 15-24kph Updated CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF

62

ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

200 09 Jun Warmley, Bristol  Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles

100 16 Jun Beech Hill, S of Reading  Alan Furley’s Down the Ups

100 10 Jun Birdwell Barnsley, Birdwell Community Centre

160 16 Jun Comrie Croft, Comrie

Breadalbane 160

300 16 Jun Coryton, NW Cardiff

Peacocks and Kites

07:00 Sat BR 209km 1900m £7.50 YH G P R T (100) (06/6) 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 5 Chaplin Rd, Bristol BS5 0JT

Cote de Holme Moss

09:00 Sun BP 107km 2200m AAA2.25 £6.00 LPRT(120) 12-30kph Birdwell Whs woodyauk@btinternet.com John Woodhouse, 10 Ashurst Close, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 4XZ 200 10 Jun Claughton, N of Preston Fleet Moss 212

Event CANCELLED

160 10 Jun Claughton, N of Preston Lunesdale Populaire

Event CANCELLED

110 10 Jun Claughton, N of Preston Pilgrim’s Way

Event CANCELLED

200 10 Jun Honeybourne, E of Evesham  Neville Chanin Memorial – Over The Severn

08:00 Sun BR 219km 3134m AAA3.25 £7.00 F P R T 15-30kph Evesham & Dist Whs neilrob3@gmail.com Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD

110 10 Jun Honeybourne, E of Evesham  The Rollright Rumble

09:00 Sun BP 1150m £4.00 F P R T 15-30kph Evesham & Dist Whs neilrob3@gmail.com Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD 300 10 Jun Penzance

Many Rivers to Cross

06:30 Sun BR 306km 4940m AAA5 £3.00 BXYHC 14.3-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk Martyn Aldis, Sundown, 25a Kersey Road, Flushing, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5TR 200 10 Jun Penzance

Four Hundreds 200

08:00 Sun BR 207km 3760m AAA3.75 £3.00 BXYHC 15-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk Martyn Aldis, Sundown, 25a Kersey Road, Flushing, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5TR 200 10 Jun Ware

Herts High Five

08:00 Sun BR 209km 1634m [1509m] £10.00 GLPRST 15-30kph Hertfordshire Wheelers, Valdis Belinis, 2 Little Horse Lane, Milton Road, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 0QB 100 10 Jun Ware

Two Counties 100

10:30 Sun BP 108km £7.00 GLPRST 15-30kph Hertfordshire Wheelers, Valdis Belinis, 2 Little Horse Lane, Milton Road, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 0QB 300 16 Jun Beech Hill, S of Reading

06:00 Sat BR 3500m £7.50 L P R T 15-30kph Reading CTC offroad@readingctc.co.uk Ian Doyle, 21 Woodford Close, Caversham, Reading Berkshire RG4 7HN

Rural South

200 16 Jun Beech Hill, S of Reading  Alan Furley’s Up the Downs

08:00 Sat BR 204km 2100m £7.00 G L P R T 15-30kph Updated Reading CTC nickclark2020@gmail.com Nick Clark, 19 Chilmark Road, Trowbridge Wiltshire BA14 9DD

09:00 Sat BP 107km 1000m £6.50 G L P R T 15-30kph Updated Reading CTC nickclark2020@gmail.com Nick Clark, 19 Chilmark Road, Trowbridge Wiltshire BA14 9DD

09:00 Sat BP 2200m AAA2 [1950m] £15.00 G C L P R T S (175)(11/6) 15-30kph Strathearn Mountain Biking Emily Greaves, Rowan Cottage, Drummond Street, Comrie, Perthshire PH6 2DS

05:00 Sat BR 301km 3900m AAA3 [3000m] £10.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Ajax, Robyn Thomas, 44 Cosmeston Street Cardiff CF24 4LR

600 16 Jun Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The 3 Coasts 600

06:00 Sat BRM 607km 5611m AAA1.75 [1631m] £10.00 A(3) L P R S T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

600 16 Jun Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax  The East & West Coasts 600

06:00 Sat BRM 605km 4380m [5380m] £10.00 A(3) L P R S T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF 600 16 Jun Raynes Park

Wander Wye

06:00 Sat BRM 610km 5700m [6000m] £19.00 A(1) C F G L P R T S Z 75 15-30kph Kingston Wheelers laidbackaroundtheworld@gmail.com Richard Evans, 29 Somerset Avenue, Raynes Park London SW20 0BJ 200 17 Jun Lichfield, The Acorn Inn

Vale of Belvoir III

120 17 Jun Lichfield, The Acorn Inn

Charnwood Forest

08:00 Sun BR 1498m £5.00 G R P T 15-30kph Roy Bishop 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB

09:00 Sun BP 124km 1055m £5.00 G R P T 12.5-30kph Roy Bishop 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB 53

17 Jun Lichfield, The Acorn Inn Moira Furnace Fifty

09:30 Sun BP 470m £4.00 G R P T 10-25kph Roy Bishop 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road, Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB

200 17 Jun Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax  The Good Companions

08:30 Sun BRM 2697m AAA1.75 [1631m] £5.00 A(2) L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

100 20 Jun Witney Rugby Club, Hailey  Midweek Tour of the Cotswolds

10:00 Wed BP 106km 1047m [1346m] £6.00 P T R G NM 13-25kph Updated Oxfordshire CTC Andy.Ellis_ATE@BTInternet.com Andy Ellis, 8 Burgess Close, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3JT 400 22 Jun Anywhere, to York

Summer Arrow to York

06:00 Fri BR £15.00 15-30kph Audax UK pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL


200 22 Jun Anywhere, to York

Summer Dart to York

Fri BR 210km £5.00 15-30kph Audax UK pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

400 22 Jun Clayhidon, near Taunton Avalon Sunrise 400

22:30 Fri BRM 407km 4650m £19.00 flprtc 15-30kph Exeter Whs Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge, Ashill Road Uffculme, Devon EX15 3DP 200 23 Jun Bynea, Llanelli

Carmarthenshire Snapper

08:00 Sat BR 202km 2200m £8.00 C L F P R T 50 15-30kph Updated Swansea & W Wales CTC potatobike@gmail.com Peter Simon, 7 Wauneos, Pwll, Llanelli Carmarthenshire SA15 4EA 100 23 Jun Combe Down RUGBY CLUB, Bath  Mendip Transmitter

08:30 Sat BP 1650m AAA1.75 £7.00 .P.R.T.X.F 15-30kph Bath CC robertmcmillan@sky.com Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road, Bath BA2 2AX 300 23 Jun Galashiels

Alston and Back

06:00 Sat BRM 3050m £6.00 PRTX 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 23 Jun Hulme End, nr Hartington

Knockerdown

08:00 Sat BR 209km 3750m AAA3.75 £8.00 F L P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8UB 120 23 Jun Hulme End, nr Hartington

Lutudarum

09:30 Sat BP 1800m AAA1.75 £8.00 C F P T 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8UB 100 23 Jun Knavesmire, York

Rally 100

09:00 Sat BP £7.50 A(1) C F P R T S 15-25kph 15-25kph CTC North Yorks gerry.boswell@hotmail.co.uk Gerald Boswell, 5 Invicta Court, Foxwood Lane, Acomb, York YO24 3NL

200 23 Jun St. Peters Square, Hammersmith W6 9AB  A Catholic Education

08:00 Sat BR 207km [650m] £10.00 F P T (50) 15-30kph Orbital CC 07798 604444 Peter Kelsey, 25 Flanchford Road, London W12 9ND

100 24 Jun 59 Broad St, Bristol BS1, Full Court Press  The Randonnée, Bristol

9:00 Sun BP 109km 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 24 Jun Chelmer CC Club hut, Meteor Way, Chelmsford Windmill Ride 200

08:30 Sun BRM 201km 1772m £8.50 F G L P R T 15-30kph Essex CTC s.eichenseher@googlemail.com Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS1 2LQ

110 24 Jun Chelmer CC Club hut, Meteor Way, Chelmsford Windmill Ride 110

10:00 Sun BP 923m £8.50 F G L P R T 12-25kph Essex CTC s.eichenseher@googlemail.com Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS1 2LQ

100 27 Jun Hampton Hill, W London  London Midweek Sightseer

09:30 Wed BP 105km £6.00 L P T 10-20kph Hounslow & Dist. Whs 020 82873244 billcarnaby@outlook.com Bill Carnaby, 225 High Street, Hampton Hill Middlesex TW12 1NP

1000 28 Jun Witham, Essex

The ACME Grand

11:00 Thu BRM 11000m AAA9.25 [9150m] £4.00 X M C G 21/06 13.3-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA

200 30 Jun Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond  Hartside 200

08:00 Sat BR 203km 2752m AAA3 [3000m] £6.00 F L P R T 14.4-30kph VC 167 David.atkinson577@talktalk.net David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL

100 30 Jun Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond  Northern Dales Summer Outing

09:00 Sat BP 1475m [3000m] £5.00 F L P R T 10-27kph David.atkinson577@talktalk.net David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL

170 30 Jun Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire  The Swanage Swan

08:00 Sat BP 175km 1675m [1625m] £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Change of date Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 5EG

170 30 Jun Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire  Hindon Hip Hip

08:00 Sat BP 1750m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Change of date Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 5EG

140 30 Jun Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire  Hungerford Hooray

08:00 Sat BP 1450m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Change of date Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 5EG

130 30 Jun Cleve RFC The Hayfields,Mangotsfield, Bristol The Avon Cycleway 130

09:00 Sat BP 1100m £7.50 T R P F 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol rob@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Robert Baird, 37 Thingwall Park, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2AJ

100 30 Jun Cromford Wharf, Derbyshire  Lead Miners Trail

9:30 Sat BP 101km 2060m AAA2 £6.00 G P R T 12.525kph Alfreton CTC davidcatlow1947@gmail.com David Catlow, 31 Cavendish Way, Mickleover, Derby DE3 9BL 300 30 Jun Kirriemuir, Angus

The Snow Roads

06:00 Sat BR 4800m AAA4.75 £15.00 A F L P R T S Z (100) 15-30kph Angus Bike Chain alexabccc@gmail.com Alex Pattison, 1 Angle Park Crescent Kirriemuir Angus DD8 4TJ 150 01 Jul Abergavenny

Monmouthshire Monster

08:00 Sun BP 2500m AAA2.5 £6.00 YH F P L T 15-25kph Abergavenny RC waville@yahoo.com Jonathan Saville, 9 Trehonddu, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8DG 100 01 Jul Abergavenny

Monmouthshire Meander

09:00 Sun BP 1500m AAA1.5 £6.00 YH F P L T 15-25kph Abergavenny RC waville@yahoo.com Jonathan Saville, 9 Trehonddu, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8DG

300 01 Jul Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent  Fairies Flattest Possible 300

02:00 Sun BR 311km 1250m £9.00 C F L P R T 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC manofkentaudax@gmail.com David Winslade, 3 Albany Close, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 2EY

200 01 Jul Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent  Fairies Half-Flat 200

08:00 Sun BR 201km [1000m] £8.00 F,G,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Change of date San Fairy Ann CC 07718 812 453 bobwatts999@gmail.com Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB

150 01 Jul Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent  Fairies Fairly Flat 150

08:30 Sun BP £7.00 F,G,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Change of date San Fairy Ann CC 07718 812 453 bobwatts999@gmail.com Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB

100 01 Jul Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Flat 100

09:00 Sun BP £6.00 F,G,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Change of date San Fairy Ann CC 07718 812 453 bobwatts999@gmail.com Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB 50

01 Jul Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent  Fairies Easy Peasy 50

10:00 Sun BP £5.00 F,G,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Change of date San Fairy Ann CC 07718 812 453 bobwatts999@gmail.com Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB 67

01 Jul Carharrack, Cornwall  Mines and Mineral Railways (ON-road)

10:00 Sun BP 820m £5.00 C L P R T 8-28kph Change of date Audax Kernow brindisijones@tiscali.co.uk Simon Jones, The Cottage, Pulla Cross, Truro, Cornwall TR4 8SA 66

01 Jul Carharrack, Cornwall  Mines and Mineral Railways (OFF-road)

10:00 Sun BP 1257m [773m] £5.00 C L P R T 8-28kph Change of date Audax Kernow brindisijones@tiscali.co.uk Simon Jones, The Cottage, Pulla Cross, Truro, Cornwall TR4 8SA

110 01 Jul Congleton, Cheshire  Just the Plains of Cheshire

09:00 Sun BP 118km 724m £5.00 G P R T 15-30kph Congleton CC Congletonccaudax@gmail.com Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road, Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 3HB

110 01 Jul Congleton, Cheshire Just the Hills of Cheshire

08:30 Sun BP 1700m AAA1.75 £5.00 G P R T 12.5-25kph Congleton CC Congletonccaudax@gmail.com Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road, Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 3HB

200 01 Jul Congleton, Cheshire  The Hills & Plains of Cheshire

08:00 Sun BR 210km 2285m AAA1.5 [1500m] £6.00 G P R T 15-30kph Congleton CC Congletonccaudax@gmail.com Stephen Dawson, 131 Abbey Road, Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 3HB

200 01 Jul Maidenhead, Riverside Gardens  The Jack Eason Struggle

08:00 Sun BR 2063m [2388m] £6.00 P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC ianaudax@gmail.com Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue, London W3 6QJ

100 01 Jul Maidenhead, Riverside Gardens  Boulters Bash

09:30 Sun BP 1000m £5.00 P R T 14.3-30kph Willesden CC ianaudax@gmail.com Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue, London W3 6QJ 50

01 Jul Maidenhead, Riverside Gardens  Locked and Boulted

10:00 Sun BP 447m £5.00 P R T 12.5-25kph Willesden CC ianaudax@gmail.com Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue, London W3 6QJ

www.aukweb.net

63


AUK CALENDAR 100 01 Jul Tockwith, York

Tockwith Audax

10:00 Sun BP 470m £5.00 L P R T 12-25kph CTC North Yorks 01423358264 Nick Folkard, 208 Prince Rupert Drive, Tockwith, North Yorkshire YO26 7PU 60

01 Jul Tockwith, York

Tockwith Audax

10:30 Sun BP [470m] £5.00 L P R T 10-30kph CTC North Yorks 01423358264 Nick Folkard, 208 Prince Rupert Drive, Tockwith, North Yorkshire YO26 7PU 200 01 Jul Tockwith Sports Hall, Sports hall

Tocky 200

08:30 Sun BP £15.00 LPRT 15-30kph CTC North Yorks 01423358264 Nick Folkard, 208 Prince Rupert Drive, Tockwith, North Yorkshire YO26 7PU 1000 06 Jul Bispham, Lancashire

Mille Pennines

11:00 Fri BRM 13000m AAA12.75 [10000m] £57.40 BD F L P R S T Z 120 13.3-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 07 Jul Barcombe near Lewes

AAA Milne

10:00 Sat BP 1700m AAA1.75 £3.00 F P 12.5-25kph Change of date Grimpeurs du Sud malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk Martin Malins, Room 2l22, Laboratory Block, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF

200 07 Jul Bolsover  Clumber to Humber (John Kerr Memorial Ride)

08:00 Sat BR 214km £5.00 L P R T G (100) 15-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 matt.connley@talktalk.net ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL

300 07 Jul Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury A Rough Diamond

06:00 Sat BR 301km 2500m [3450m] £7.50 c f l p r t nm 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester WR1 2JD

100 07 Jul Bushley, Nr.Tewkesbury Teddy Bears’ Picnic

The Three Valleys

09:00 Sun BP 117km 1500m £7.00 G P R T (100) 24/6/18 15-30kph Updated Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online

300 13 Jul Churchend,Dunmow, Essex  Hereward the Wake

21:00 Fri BRM 301km 1107m £10.00 X M G R T P L C 1530kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 200 14 Jul Corwen

Barmouth Boulevard

100 14 Jul Corwen

The Brenig Bach

08:00 Sat BR 204km 3650m AAA3.75 £6.00 P R T 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH 08:30 Sat BP 107km 1930m AAA2 [1920m] £6.00 P R T 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH 60

14 Jul Corwen

The Bala Parade

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

600 14 Jul Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland  The New Border Raid

06:00 Sat BRM 5850m £18.00 C F G L P R T Z(60) 15-30kph VC 167 aidan@northern-audax.org.uk Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close, Lanchester, Durham DH7 0PX

300 14 Jul Rowlands Castle, nr Portsmouth  Wonderfully Wessex

05:30 Sat BRM £8.50 f l p t (2/7)(60) 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7XR

9::00 Sat BP 101km 975m [900m] £6.00 C,G,T,NM,P,100 10-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcester WR1 2JD

100 14 Jul Usk, Monmouthshire

600 07 Jul Exeter

The Exe-Buzzard

200 14 Jul Warmley, Bristol

Chalke & hAAArd Cheese

The Buzzard

100 14 Jul Warmley, Bristol

hAAArd Cheese

06:00 Sat BRM 6200m AAA1.5 [1550m] £5 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU 600 07 Jul Leighton Buzzard

07:00 Sat BRM 6200m AAA1.5 [1550m] £5.00 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU 200 08 Jul Denshaw, Saddleworth

Bowland

08:00 Sun BR 3850m AAA3.75 £6.00 P R T G 15-30kph Saddleworth Clarion nephialty@gmail.com Nephi Alty, Heath House View, Ridings Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD7 4PZ

110 08 Jul Denshaw, Saddleworth  Up \’N\’ Down T\’ West Ridin\’

09:00 Sun BP 2150m AAA2.25 £6.00 P R T G 10-25kph Saddleworth Clarion nephialty@gmail.com Nephi Alty, Heath House View, Ridings Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD7 4PZ 200 08 Jul Merton Hall, Ponteland The Four Tops

08:00 Sun BR 206km 3000m AAA3 £7.00 G P R T (100) 24/6/18 15-30kph Updated Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 64

110 08 Jul Merton Hall, Ponteland

ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

Gwent Gambol

08:00 Sat BP 101km 1200m £6.00 C G P R T 12.5-25kph Change of date Cardiff Byways evansrichardd@googlemail.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW 07:00 Sat BR 204km 2900m AAA3 £7.50 YH G P R T (100) (11/7) 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 5 Chaplin Rd, Bristol BS5 0JT 08:30 Sat BP 104km 1550m AAA1.5 £6.50 YH G P R T (100) (11/7) 12.5-25kph Updated Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 5 Chaplin Rd, Bristol BS5 0JT 54

15 Jul Dalkeith

East Lothian Rough Stuff

09:00 Sun BP 415m £5.00 G L P R (50) 10-25kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU

160 15 Jul Milton Methodist Hall, Abingdon  Barbury Bash 160

08:30 Sun BP £7.50 F G L P R T 15-30kph Didcot Phoenix christianvirgo8@gmail.com Christian Virgo, 60 Fleet Way, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 8DA

110 15 Jul Milton Methodist Hall, Abingdon  Barbury Bash 110

09:00 Sun BP 970m £7.00 R T P L 15-30kph Didcot Phoenix christianvirgo8@gmail.com Christian Virgo, 60 Fleet Way, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 8DA

200 15 Jul Milton, Methodist Hall, Abingdon  Barbury Bash 210

08:00 Sun BR 210km 2300m £8.00 F G L P R T 15-30kph Didcot Phoenix christianvirgo8@gmail.com Christian Virgo, 60 Fleet Way, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 8DA 200 15 Jul Newton Abbot, Devon

Shore to Moor 200

100 15 Jul Newton Abbot, Devon

Devon Delight

08:00 Sun BR 2900m AAA3 £8.50 F G L P R T 15-30kph Devon CTC brodie@bikerider.com ROA 5000 Graham Brodie, Homelands, 10 Courtenay Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1HP 09:00 Sun BP 107km £8.50 F G L P R T 10-25kph Devon CTC brodie@bikerider.com ROA 5000 Graham Brodie, Homelands, 10 Courtenay Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1HP

200 15 Jul The Steyning Centre, Steyning, W Sussex  The Devils Punchbowl 200

07:30 Sun BR 205km 2248m £7.00 F P T (80) 15-30kph ABAudax abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT

110 15 Jul The Steyning Centre, Steyning, W Sussex  The Devils Punchbowl 100

09:30 Sun BP 1200m £7.00 F G P T (80) 15-30kph Updated ABAudax abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT 600 21 Jul Battle, E. Sussex

Are EWE Abbey yet?

06:00 Sat BR [650m] £20.00 F P T (50) 15-30kph Pat Hurt iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road, Lambourn RG17 7LL

200 21 Jul Belbroughton, N Worcestershire  The Kidderminster Killer

08:00 Sat BR 214km 3750m AAA3.75 £9.00 F L P R S T (90) (8/8) 14.6-30kph Beacon RCC 01562731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace, Drayton, Belbroughton, Stourbridge DY9 0BW 120 21 Jul Belbroughton, N Worcestershire  From Clee to Heaven

09:00 Sat BP 125km 1950m AAA2 £9.00 F L P R S T (70) 13.5-25kph Beacon RCC 01562731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace, Drayton, Belbroughton, Stourbridge DY9 0BW 160 21 Jul Bildeston, Suffolk 100 miles of Suffolk Lanes

08:45 Sat BP 168km 1050m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph CC Sudbury 01449 741048 pamandrobinw@gmail.com Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street, Bildeston, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 7EP 100 21 Jul Bildeston, Suffolk

Bildeston Lanes

09:30 Sat BP 104km 620m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph CC Sudbury 01449 741048 pamandrobinw@gmail.com Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street, Bildeston, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 7EP

200 21 Jul Bildeston, Suffolk  Suffolk Lanes Extravaganza

08:30 Sat BR 209km 1300m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph CC Sudbury 01449 741048 pamandrobinw@gmail.com Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street, Bildeston, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 7EP


400 21 Jul Galashiels

Nae Bother to Us

06:00 Sat BRM 3400m £6.00 PRT 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

1000 25 Jul Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury  Mille Cymru GT (Grand Tour 4x200km+)

08:00 Wed BR 1019km 15600m AAA15.5 £10.00 C G L P R T X 14.3-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 25000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF

1000 26 Jul Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury  Mille Cymru 3

08:00 Thu BRM 1020km 15600m AAA15.5 [16000m] £60.00 BD C F G L P R T S Z 13.3-16.7kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 25000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF 200 28 Jul Bath

Raglan Castle

08:00 Sat BR 203km 2500m £7.00 x p t 15-30kph Bath CC robertmcmillan@sky.com Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road, Bath BA2 2AX 150 28 Jul Bovey Tracey, Devon

Dartmoor Ghost

200 05 Aug Burnley, Lancashire

Tan Hill 200

08:30 Sun BRM 4500m AAA4.5 £7.50 A (1) L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT

100 05 Aug Honeyborne, nr Evesham Barnt Green Bash

09:00 Sun BP 103km 1016m £4.00 F P R T 12-30kph Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 neilrob3@gmail.com Neil Robinson, Flat 7 Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD

200 05 Aug Honeybourne, nr Evesham  Tramping The Two Loop

08:00 Sun BR 207km 2173m £7.00 F P R T 15-30kph Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 neilrob3@gmail.com Neil Robinson, Flat 7 Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD 55

05 Aug Honeybourne, E of Evesham  The Honeybourne 50

09:30 Sun BP 306m £2.00 F P R T 10-25kph Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 neilrob3@gmail.com Neil Robinson, Flat 7 Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD

22:30 Sat BP 154km 2150m AAA2.25 [2300m] £13.50 FGLRT (21st July) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 833 749 ROA 5000 Kevin Presland, Hind Street House, Hind Street Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9HT

200 08 Aug Galashiels

150 28 Jul Merton Hall, Ponteland

100 08 Aug Marple, Memorial Park, SK6  Mid Peak Grimpeur

Across the Ranges

08:00 Sat BP 151km 1730m £9.00 GPRT (100) 15-30kph Updated Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Andy Berne, 5 Oakham Avenue, Whickham, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear NE16 5YU 600 28 Jul Resolis, nr Dingwall

Red Kite 600

06:00 Sat BR 610km 5000m £5.00 A(2) C F G L M P R T Z 15-25kph CTC Highland uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 100 01 Aug Marple

Dark Peak Grimpeur

10:00 Wed BP 106km 2290m AAA2.25 £6.50 P R T 60 (25/7) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive, Hartford, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 1SJ 300 04 Aug Burnley, Lancashire

Knock Ventoux 300

06:00 Sat BRM 4300m AAA4.25 [4600m] £8.00 A (1) L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT

200 04 Aug Cardiff Gate, Cardiff  Dr. Foster’s Summer Saunter

07:00 Sat BR 201km £3.00 C P R T 50 15-25kph CTC Cymru oldfield.tout@btinternet.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage, Mynyddbach, Monmouthshire NP16 6RT 200 04 Aug Witham, Essex

Essex R&R

08:00 Sat BR 215km 1450m £8.00 G L P R T X (200) 14.3-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF 100 04 Aug Witham, Essex

A little Essex R&R

09:00 Sat BP 107km 750m £8.00 G L P R T X (125) 12-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF

No Work for us Today

08:00 Wed BR 2300m £5.00 PRTX 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

10:00 Wed BP 109km 2400m AAA2.5 £6.50 L P R T 40 (31/7) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC chris.keelingroberts@ntlworld.com Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7DL

600 11 Aug Broken Cross., nr Macclesfield  Three Steps to Severn

06:00 Sat BR 612km 4360m £15.00 FLPRTZ 14.3-25kph Change of date Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8UB

100 11 Aug Bushley, nr Tewkesbury A Weaver’s Wander

09:00 Sat BP 101km 887m £6.00 c p r t nm 100 12-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcestershire WR1 2JD 300 11 Aug Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury  Helfa Cymraeg Benjamin Allen ar

05:30 Sat BR 308km 3500m AAA1.75 [1800m] £8.00 100, C,F,L,P,R,T,S,NM. 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, c/o Maggs Day Centre, Deansway, Worcestershire WR1 2JD

300 11 Aug Chalfont St Peter The London Orbital Audax

06:00 Sat BR 310km £23.50 NM YH X Z 15-30kph Audax Club DuBois 07974 670931 paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN 110 15 Aug Maidenhead

Riverside to Riverside

10:00 Wed BP 118km £4.00 P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC anemograby@hotmail.com Anne Mograby, 5 Castle Farm, Leigh Square, Windsor, Berks SL4 4PT

100 15 Aug Marple Memorial Park White Peak Grimpeur

10:00 Wed BP 103km 2310m AAA2.25 £6.50 P R T 60 (8/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC 01457 870421 PeakAudax@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX

200 18 Aug Alfreton

Roses to Wrags

08:00 Sat BR 212km 1400m £6.00 F P R T 150 15-30kph Change of date Alfreton CTC oggy.dude@gmail.com Stephen Ogden, The Firs, 170 Nuncargate Road, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 9EA

600 18 Aug GalashielsBorderlands Late Season Explorer

07:00 Sat BRM 5500m £6.00 PRTXG 15-25kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 18 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

200 18 Aug Sparsholt, Nr Wantage  Old Roads and Drove Roads

07:30 Sat BR £5.00 P R T NM 15-30kph Change of date Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road, Lambourn RG17 7LL

100 19 Aug Cleve RFC,The Hayfields, Bristol  Chalfield Challenge

09:00 Sun BP 1050m £5.50 G NM P R 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol Jon.Banks62@gmail.com Jon Banks, 4 Balaclava Road, Fishponds Bristol BS16 3LJ

110 19 Aug Shere Village Hall, Guildford Tour of the Hills

09:40 Sun BP 115km 2300m AAA2.25 £8.00 F L P R T 225 15-30kph CTC West Surrey markw48@gmail.com ROA 5000 Mark Waters, 4 Quarry Hil, Godalming GU7 2NW 100 22 Aug Marple

West Peak Grimpeur

10:00 Wed BP 103km 2400m AAA2.5 £6.50 P R T 60 (20/08) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC davidcatlow1947@gmail.com David Catlow, 31 Cavendish Way, Mickleover, Derby DE3 9BL

300 25 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Festival  Festival Roving 300

05:00 Sat BR 303km 1600m £6.50 CPT (16/08) 15-30kph Updated Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EW

200 25 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Festival  Festival Randonnee 200

08:00 Sat BR 203km 1064m [1096m] £6.50 CPTS (16/8) 15-30kph Updated Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EW

160 25 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Festival  Festival Century 160

08:30 Sat BP 163km 955m [980m] £6.50 CPTS (16/8) 12.5-25kph Updated Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EW

100 25 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Festival  Festival Brevet 100

09:00 Sat BP 104km £6.50 GLPT (25/8) 12.5-25kph Updated Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EW 52

25 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Festival  Festival Brief Brevet 50

09:30 Sat BP 300m [251m] £3.50 GLPT (25/8) 10-25kph Updated Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EWManningtree Essex CO11 1EW 200 25 Aug Newtonmore

Rothes Reccie

08:00 Sat BR 202km £2.00 C YH L P R T 15-30kph CTC Highland biker_carroll@hotmail.com ROA 10000 Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach, Rockfield, Tain, Ross-shire IV20 1RF

www.aukweb.net

65


AUK CALENDAR 100 25 Aug Newtonmore

Grantown Gallop

10:00 Sat BP 104km £0.00 XCLPRT 10-25kph CTC Highland biker_carroll@hotmail.com ROA 10000 Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach, Rockfield, Tain, Ross-shire IV20 1RF

100 29 Aug Marple Library Car Park, SK6 6BA  Staffs Peak Super-Grimpeur

10:00 Wed BP 108km 2650m AAA2.75 [2800m] £6.50 P R T 60 (8/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC fireblade4rich@aol.com Richard Cowan, 20 Dairylands Road, Church Lawton, Stoke On Trent, Cheshire ST7 3EU

200 01 Sep Figgate Park, nr Portobello Edinburgh  Lumpy Bannocks tae Spott

07:00 Sat BR 208km 2478m £8.00 f g l p t 14.4-30kph Musselburgh RCC 07852105204 Alistair Mackintosh, 5 Durham Road South, Edinburgh EH15 3PD

200 01 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden  Shaftesbury CC – Early Autumn (200) Randonee

08:00 Sat BR 216km £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP

170 01 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden  Shaftesbury CC – Early Autumn (170) Randonee

09:00 Sat BP £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP

110 01 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden  Shaftesbury CC – Early Autumn (110) Randonee

10:00 Sat BP £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP

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ArrivéeSpring/Summer2018

200 01 Sep Herne Common, Kent  Thanet Platinum 200

08:00 Sat BRM 2066m [2m] £9.00 C G L NM P R T 100 (24/8) 15-30kph Thanet RC dave@widdersbel.co.uk David Kenning, Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ

160 01 Sep Herne Common, Kent  Thanet Platinum Century

08:30 Sat BP 1747m £9.00 C G L NM P R T 50 (24/8) 14-28kph Thanet RC dave@widdersbel.co.uk David Kenning, Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ

110 01 Sep Herne Common, Kent  Thanet Platinum 110

09:30 Sat BP 113km 1066m £9.00 C G L NM P R T 50 (24/8) 12-25kph Thanet RC dave@widdersbel.co.uk David Kenning, Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ

200 01 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire  Pistyll Packing Momma

08:00 Sat BR 209km 3400m AAA3.5 £6.00 BD R L P T 29/08 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG

130 01 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire  Momma’s Mountain Views

08:30 Sat BP 137km 2000m AAA2 £6.00 BD R L P T 29/08 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG Further listings can be viewed on the AUK website: http://www.aukweb.net/

Invites you to our final ride of the season, the now almost legendary ROWLANDS RAAAMBLE 200 Sunday 16th September


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.

New/lapsed members: £19 (inc £5 enrolment fee) or £61 for 5 years (price of 4) Household member: £5 or £20 for 5 years – no enrolment fee for new household members. Life member’s: £9 or £45 for 5 years.

MEMBERSHIP Enquiries: Caroline Fenton (AUK Membership Secretary),

Application Form: www.aukweb.net/memform.php

CONTRIBUTIONS Please send your articles and photos to gedlennox@me.com. It would be very much appreciated if you could package the entire content into a .zip file AND INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS. It is essential that the photographs are captioned.

FEES Renewal: £14 or £56 for 5 years (price of 4)

If your piece is too big i.e. more than 10mB please use WeTransfer or MailBigFile.

56 Lockesfield Place, London E14 3AJ

membership@audax.uk

ARRIVÉE Extra Arrivée copies, if available, £3(UK), £4(EEC), £5(non-EEC) from Caroline Fenton (address above)

TO ADVERTISE Rates per issue: ¼ page £75, pro rata to £300 per page. Payment in advance. Businesses must be recommended by a member. We rely on good faith and Arrivée cannot be held responsible for advertisers’ misrepresentations or failure to supply goods or services. Members’ Private Sales, Wants, Event Adverts: free.

SUMMER/AUTUMN EDITION CONTRIBUTIONS:

Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the Club.

Note: this group is not monitored by the AUK Board, who should be contacted directly with matters of concern.

Produced by AUK. Printed by: Severn, Gloucester Distribution data from: Caroline Fenton and the AUK Membership Team.

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

Our web site: www.aukweb.net To subscribe to an AUK email discussion list, send an email to: audax-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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

ANNUAL AWARDS SECRETARY Mike Lane, 8 Ford Lane, Emersons Green, Bristol BS16 7DD

BADGE AND MEDAL SHOP SECRETARY Allan Taylor

FINANCE DIRECTOR: Vacant

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

Assistant Nigel Armstrong (Accounts)

DIRECTOR AND CALENDAR EVENTS SECRETARY Martin Foley 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU

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 56 Lockesfield Place, London E14 3AJ 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: Claire Oldfield Summer/Autumn Arrivée Editor: Claire Oldfield Autumn/Winter Arrivée Editor: Peter Moir 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 7YB Tel 01993 704913

REGIONAL EVENTS DELEGATES Nigel Hall (Scotland & Northern England) Geoffrey Cleaver (Midlands & Eastern England) Pat Hurt (South East England) Ian Hennessey (South West England & Wales) DIRECTOR AND PERMANENTS SECRETARY John Ward 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ Tel 01590 671205 DIY REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES Joe Applegarth (North-East) Andy Clarkson (Yorkshire & East) Julian Dyson (North-West) Martin Foley (Scotland) Tony Hull (South-West England and South Wales) Chris Smith (Midlands, North and Mid-Wales) Paul Stewart (South-East)

BREVET CARD PRODUCTION SECRETARY Oliver Iles 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG Production of Permanent cards is handled by: John Ward 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ VALIDATION SECRETARIES: Sue Gatehouse and Keith Harrison 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU RRTY AWARD SECRETARY Caroline Fenton AAA SECRETARY Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG aaa@audax.uk AUK FORUM ADMINISTRATOR Martin Foley Assistants: Peter Lewis, Les Hereward (Moderators) DIRECTORS WITHOUT PORTFOLIO John Sabine 107 Victoria Way, London SE7 7NU

OCD DELEGATE Rod Dalitz 136 Muir Wood Road, Edinburgh EH14 5HF EVENT SERVICES DIRECTOR & RECORDER Peter Lewis 82 Pine Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh SO53 1JT Tel 07592 018947

www.aukweb.net

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Sign of weakness‌ Not for John Sherlock, as he cruises over the Whorlton suspension bridge on the Peculier Old 200 – page 22 Picture by Dean Clementson

Profile for Audax UK

Arrivée 140 Spring 2018  

68 page members' magazine of Audax UK. long distance cycling association

Arrivée 140 Spring 2018  

68 page members' magazine of Audax UK. long distance cycling association

Profile for audax-uk
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