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th em em ber s’ m aga zine of A ud ax

145 •

9 mn 201 er/autu mm su

• UK

Paris Brest Passion ‘ … She took my head gently, kissed both my cheeks, and stared into my eyes. “You have much courage inside,” she said.’

Tales of tenacity from France’s most punishing event Page 42

Audax UK

the long-distance cyclists’ association


th em em ber s’ m aga zine of

Aud ax U

INSIDE ISSUE 145

145 •

2019 tumn er/au mm su

K•

Paris Brest Passion

Tales of tenacity from France’s most punishing event Page 42

the long-distance cyclists’

04

Letters

05

Taking my breath away05

gently, ‘ … She took my head s, kissed both my cheek eyes. my into d and stare age “You have much cour inside,” she said.’

Audax UK

Just a Sec

Head East for extended exersions

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Top tips – chains that bind

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Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight

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Take two16

association

Front cover Ian McBride PBP finisher… Picture by Ivo Miesen

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50

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The Baking Biker18 Dutch master class20 Gently does it…

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Riding & sliding in a wild winter wonderland

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48hr Pure Peak Grit

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Cooking up a storm

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C’est magnifique

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Mileater report48 On the high road to Inverness 50

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Addicted to the Audax archive56 Calendar of events58 Contact details63

Welcome to the summer/autumn 2019 issue of Arrivée

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

A lot of ballyhoo but no solutions

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You may have seen a Channel 5 documentary earlier this summer – and read the subsequent, highly critical review of the programme in The Guardian newspaper. The documentary was entitled Cyclists:The Scourge of the Streets? Certainly an inflammatory title, along the lines of similar TV documentaries like “When Penguins Go Bad” (OK, I made that up, but you get the picture). The question mark at the end of the sentence was important, though. It was framing the whole subject as a debate. The

Guardian was of the opinion that the programme was “irresponsible nonsense” which, by representing the ignorant opinions of some drivers, would entrench prejudices and make cyclists more vulnerable than ever. Reading the review of the programme before actually watching the film, I feared the worst. But the documentary turned out to be relatively fair and balanced… even mildly entertaining. And in the end my sympathies were with the cyclists. I’m a driver and a bike rider, but mostly I’m a journalist. And journalists, just like drivers and cyclists, can be good, bad and indifferent. They also enjoy having a go at each other.

In his copy, the Guardian reporter actually wrote the sentence: “Now, to save you the bother of watching this, here’s why I believe the programme is so irresponsible.” Well thanks, but I’ll probably take it from here, and trust my own judgement. Sure, the programme included lots of footage of bike riders, mainly in London, behaving pretty atrociously, ignoring red lights, crashing into innocent pedestrians, riding three abreast, and giving drivers “the finger”. Let’s be honest… we’ve all seen stuff like this. But it also showed some appalling behaviour by those in charge of cars, lorries and buses… and the terrible dangers faced on a daily basis by those on two wheels.

It interviewed people on both sides of the debate. Some gave lowest common denominator remarks like “they fink they own the road”, while others were more balanced and thoughtful. The programme makers left it to the viewer to weigh up the evidence, which is what good journalism should do. Good journalism doesn’t say: “I’ve had a look at this problem to save you the trouble of using your brain… Just take my word for it.” What was Channel 5 supposed to do? Represent only the cyclists’ argument while painting all motorised road users as dangerous thugs and monsters intent of maiming and killing the innocent and law-abiding minority? I’m pretty sure most


PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGUS SUNG © (WWW.ANGUSSUNG.CO.UK) FOR THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RACE

Fiona’s killer instinct leads her to the top FIONA KOLBINGER is the ever-smiling, slightly-built, self-effacing, piano-playing heroine of European endurance cycling but, in the words of one awe-struck spectator of the 2019 Transcontinental Race: “There’s a killer beneath that amiable surface.” It was stamina, dogged perseverance, meticulous planning, and a well-honed killer instinct that guided Germany’s Kolbinger, an AUK member (and reader of Arrivee), across the line to become the first woman to win the gruelling trial in early August this year. From Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Burgas, to Brest on France’s Atlantic coast, Fiona defied all expectations by powering to the head of an impressive field, wearing the leader’s cap for much of the race, and finishing 10 hours ahead of her nearest rival, British rider, Ben Davies. Remarkably, it was her first “ultra” event. Wearing number 66, the 24 year old doctor from Heidelberg, who specialises in cancer research, took just over 10 days to cycle the 2,485 mile route, braving fierce storms, baking heat and bitter cold as she stayed ahead of a field of 265 riders – including 39 other women. “I am so surprised to win,” she told waiting news reporters after crossing the line in north-west France. “When I was coming into the race I thought that maybe

of us would have seen through that approach. And most of us are already aware that some cyclists are pretty cavalier with the rules of the road, and that London taxi drivers often possess colourful opinions on everything – and that those opinions are not necessarily the most balanced. The documentary, in all likelihood, added little to the knowledge we already possess. Neither did the newspaper’s review do anything more than cement certain well-practiced prejudices. Many self-appointed guardians of other people’s behaviour seem to believe that we, the great unwashed, are too thick to understand the intricacies of argument; that having watched this programme I will get behind the wheel of

I could go for the women’s podium, but I never thought I could win the whole race.” The Transcontinental event was launched in 2013 and is today recognised as one of the toughest self-supported bike races in the world. Former winners include Briton Josh Ibett, who took the crown in 2015. Fiona’s achievement lifted the event into the international headlines. She was even interviewed by Mishal Husain on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today Programme the day after the race. Fiona told the show: “I’ve been riding for two to three years. I rode the London-Edinburgh-London event, and that was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had. Asked what had been the hardest part of the race, she said: “It was all the preparation. It didn’t start ten days ago, it started half a year ago when the checkpoints were released and I started planning my routes.” A spokesman for AUK said: “Fiona has just blasted the competition against some of the best riders in the world. It’s a tremendous achievement. We’re all very proud of her.”

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS… WE ARE NOW back to more than 8,000 members. Because we have a fixed calendar year for membership, the numbers always drop down after 31 December and then build back up again throughout the year. We’ve reached this milestone earlier than last year, confirming the general upward trend. Welcome to all the “class of 2019” – I hope you are enjoying your Audaxing and will come back for more in 2020. New memberships – now valid to December 2020 From 1 September all new memberships will be valid for the remainder of 2019 plus all of 2020 (one year) or through to 2024 (five year) – so if you know anyone thinking about joining AUK, please tell them that now is a good time to do it. Also existing members can now add a household member for the rest of this calendar year free of charge. Household membership covers anyone at the same address – so you can sign up your partner, spouse, children, parents, siblings, flatmates and they get the full membership facilities except for a copy of Arriveé. Contact me via membership@audax.uk if you want to arrange this. Renewals for 2020 Renewals will open in October and we will send renewal notices by email to all members with a valid registered email address, so please check that your correct address is on your membership record. There will also be a notice in the next Arriveé to remind everyone and provide information for those without email access. If you do want to change your membership by adding or removing household members, or to combine your membership with another because you now share an address, then please contact me before renewal time as that is easier for you and us. Direct debits now available I am pleased to announce that we can now offer direct debit as a payment method. This will ensure your membership continuity (which may be important if you want to keep your guaranteed LEL place!) without you needing to remember to renew. We will send out more information about this with the renewal notices, and also put full details on the website. Standing order payers If you currently pay by standing order we would particularly like you to move to direct debit. Currently some standing orders are for the wrong amount, and some come through too late to ensure continuity of membership. If you have an email address registered with us then we will send you a personalised invitation to set up a direct debit mandate instead, so please check your inbox (and maybe also your spam filter as the mails sometimes drop in there unfortunately). If you don’t have an email address it is unlikely that you will be able to take the direct debit option, so please can you check in advance whether your SO payment is for the correct amount and also when it will be processed. Please aim to make payment no later than mid-December.

Tony Lennox former editor, Birmingham Post and Warwickshire Life, 45 years in regional newspapers

my killing machine and take out my primitive rage on all cyclists. The unhappy truth, as in all cases, is that nothing is ever quite black and white. There may be an answer to the battle on our roads, but none of this ballyhoo suggested a grown-up solution to a problem that most clearly still exists.

LEL guaranteed entry Several of you have e-mailed me to ask about your eligibility for this. There is a file listing eligible membership numbers on our website but there could be some omissions, so contact me if you think you should be on the list but aren’t. Please note that to stay on the list you will need to renew before Dec 31st if your membership expires this year. Stickers We send out bike and car stickers to new members, but any existing members wanting to get new supplies can do so for just the postage cost via the Audax shop (audaxmedals.southportcc. co.uk). The current stickers are dark blue, so if you don’t have those you can get an update! Caroline Fenton Audax UK Membership Secretary

www.audax.uk

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GRAEME PROVAN, General secretary, Audax UK

Just a sec… The end of the AUK season is the starting gun for a frantic few weeks for our Validation Secretary, Cathy Brown, our Recorder, Peter Lewis and our Awards Secretary, Russell Kesley as well as numerous other delegates as they sift through the year’s results to identify our trophy and award winners. They all deserve our particular gratitude in a PBP year with the resultant uptake in participation and the complications of integrating the still unofficial results from PBP. Early indications are that the AUK contingent acquitted itself well in France with a healthy percentage of successful rides. The AUK influence at PBP was also in evidence among the volunteers with our Chair, Chris Crossland helping out at registration and the finish and LEL Organiser, Danial Webb acting as a genial maitre d’ at the finishers’ meal. Danial and his team had a colourful and informative stand at PBP promoting LEL. No doubt this will have contributed to the massive worldwide interest in the first ballot.

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

AGM The AGM will take place in Birmingham on the 8th of February. The formal notice and instructions for those wishing a postal pack will be published in the next issue of Arrivee.

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New Directors At the last AGM we only had one candidate to fill our two nonexecutive director positions. The board felt that with its current workload it was vital that the other post was filled by appointment. Encouragingly, we had a high quality field of applicants with Martin Stefan being appointed. Hopefully, this will translate into greater interest in the forthcoming AGM elections where we will once again be looking to elect two non-executive directors. We also appointed Ian Hennessey as Calendar Events Secretary and Director. Ian brings a wealth of

experience to the role having served in a variety of offices for AUK over the years. Ian’s appointment will be subject to election by the members at the next AGM. Ian’s appointment came following the resignation of Martin Foley who needed to devote more time to his own work. Martin made a huge contribution to AUK during his time on the board and will continue to do so in his continuing roles. We welcome Martin and Ian to the board. Board meeting Our latest board meeting took place on the 10th of July. The meeting was preceded by an earlier teleconference during which the board resolved to proceed with Phase 2 of the IT Refresh Project. At the meeting itself it was reported that there had already been a record number of Super Randonneurs this year. This had coincided with a general increase in rides but also with a general increase in DNS and DNF returns. Meanwhile, membership numbers had increased by 5% compared to the same period last year. The meeting also spent some further time reviewing the strategy document as a follow up to the previous board meeting. Once again, the need to adapt AUK to cope with an increasing membership was identified as one of the major challenges ahead of us in the years to come. As usual, you can find the minutes of the meeting and copies of the directors’ reports in the official section of Aukweb. Reunion Paul Rainbow and Mark Gibson have been working hard in preparation for this year’s reunion which will take place in Northallerton on the weekend of the 15-17th November. Details have been emailed to members and a booking form is available on the website.

Healthy interest… Phil takes a deep breath for science


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

De-coding Da Vinci’s bone-shaker Dear Editor My wife and I have just spent a couple of weeks in France, and one of the places we visited was Amboise, a town on the Loire. Our original intention had been to visit the Chateau, but we got talking to the English owner of one of the local bars, who recommended a visit Leonardo da Vinci’s house instead. He told us the models of Leonardo’s inventions in the basement were fascinating, and had kept his kids interested for hours. King Francois I of France apparently held Leonardo in high esteem, and

made a residence, the Chateau du Clos Luce, available to him. He lived here for the last three years of his life. It a brilliant place to visit. The Chateau itself is beautiful, and is set in wonderful grounds. Among the other attractions, there is indeed a collection of 40 models produced by IBM. These have been built from his original drawings, using materials of the period. Several of these are of his war machines, but one of the models is of his bicycle, which has been made of wood. It really does appear to be 500 years ahead of its time!

On returning home, I was keen as ever to open my new edition of Arrivee and amused to read your editorial. Without meaning to criticise your lack of research in any way, his concept has indeed been translated into a working model! Chris Keeling-Roberts Ed’s note: Thanks for bringing this, and my shocking lack of research, to our attention, Chris. It’s a remarkable model, though I don’t like the look of the saddle… especially considering the state of 16th century cobblestoned streets.

Taking my breath away… Ever wondered how the body of a 50-something cyclist differs from the average, sedentary man of a similar age? Well, it seems an Audaxer of a certain age can be a useful guinea pig. Phil Whithurst agreed to submit himself to a series of strenuous and sometimes uncomfortable tests, to help push the bounds of medical research. As a regular Audaxer, it seems I am just the candidate to help medical science understand the relationship between the brain’s signal to breathe and breathlessness. That’s why I responded to a call for male cyclists over the age of 50 to take part in lung function research at Kings College, London, last summer. Dr Caroline Jolley, a specialist in respiratory muscle function is leading the research, and her findings are due to be published later this year. The first part of the day involved pulmonary lung tests. I had to wear a nose clip and a mouthpiece. After a period of normal breathing, I was asked to inhale as deeply as I could, then to exhale for as long as I could. The second test measured oxygen delivery, and the removal of waste gases from the blood. Samples were taken to measure my haemoglobin levels. I had to take as deep a breath as possible, hold it for eight seconds, and then exhale. The test result matched what is considered healthy. The third test involved sitting in a sealed glass box, the size of a telephone box. I had to take short, shallow breaths, followed by breathing in as much as possible then back out again. I had to repeat this test, but I passed the full lung MOT. We then moved on to the lung function study. An

anaesthetic was applied to the back of my throat in preparation for the sensor tubes. I was given water to sip, but had trouble swallowing with my numb throat, which set off a coughing fit. In between coughing I confirmed I was alright! The sensors were now producing clear signals. Some further wires and electrodes were attached to my chest. I watched the monitor showing real-time charts of my physiological functioning. I performed sniff, cough, and sneeze tests, as well as deep inhales and exhales The final tests of this section were to assess the speed and strength of the nerve signals from my brain to my diaphragm. The nerves for the diaphragm run down both sides of the neck, and two electro-magnets were applied against these nerves. During the exhale the magnets were switched on, and my arms involuntarily shot up by my sides. I can’t say I found this unpleasant. It amused me. The tests showed that my nerves were all alive and well. Finally I had to undertake a test on the exercise bike, the tube still running down inside me. The recumbent bike was adjusted for comfort, and we began. After three minutes sitting still I was asked to pedal at 60 rpm with no resistance. This felt low for me, but eventually I settled into keeping the cadence

steady in the green zone on the cycle ergometer. After a couple of minutes, the resistance was increased by 25 watts. Initially it was easy, but I knew I was starting to work harder when I took my cap off to let some heat out. Once I had passed a certain wattage, which increased every two minutes, my exertion and leg fatigue started to climb the scale. My breathing depth increased until I sounded like an out-of-condition steam engine. The fatigue in my legs built and sweat poured down my face. I’d reached 9/10 on the perceived exertion and fatigue scale. It was only a matter of time. Eventually, I no longer gave the thumbs up signal and it was time to stop. I really enjoyed taking part in the research study. I was made to feel as comfortable as you can with tubes down your throat, and the staff showed a lot of patience with the million and one questions I had. The human body is fascinating, especially when you’re seeing your own physiological parameters. The results showed that I had the lungs of a healthy 18-22 year old. Of course we don’t know what my numbers looked like when I was that age, but what we do know is that my lung function is 34 per cent better than predicted. The conclusion for me is to keep cycling, walking, and mountaineering as often as I can; it seems it’s been good for my lungs all this time. If you get a chance to take part in similar studies, I would recommend it, despite the mild discomfort. When a patient is being treated for breathing difficulties, you can be happy that you helped in the research and understanding of human pulmonary physiology.

www.audax.uk

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HEAD

EASTfor extended

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Extended Calendar Events organiser Martin Malins heads for gloriously flat East Anglia to take part in two events – and enjoy the history, architecture and the famous Sudbury cake sandwiches

ArrivĂŠesummer/autumn2019

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The Grand Tour de Stour peleton


exertions

… as my Garmin ❝ decided to take me on a 65km detour ❞ SINCE I SET UP Extended Calendar Events 10 years ago they have become immensely popular with cyclists, extending rides to many hundreds of kilometres. The most popular ECE distance however (and the only type I have ridden myself) is the simple 100 + 100 which ticks the RRTY box. This distance enables riders to either ride, get a lift or a train to the start, and then ride the required distance back. In recent years one region has become the ECE Mecca and that’s East Anglia. Several organisers run popular and relatively easy 100km rides from all

over the region, mostly through the winter and spring. Audax Club Mid Essex are leading the unofficial ECE championship by a long chalk this year! My ECEs have tended to be local until recently so I thought I’d join the crowd and have a go at a couple of the East Anglian 100s. The first was the Cambridge Spring Dash run by Nick Wilkinson. This event was run in conjunction with the 200km Cambridge Pork Pie. Sadly for me, the Pork Pie was going to involve finishing too late to get a train back to London for home, so I decided to use the

second half of the ECE to ride back. A convenient train up to Cambridge saw me among hundreds of other riders – but which of them was heading to the start? Fortunately I spotted a likely looking couple who guided me to the village hall, as my Garmin had decided to take me on a 65km detour! At the start I met Nick, picked up my brevet card and fuelled up on toast flapjacks and coffee. After a very nice tour of the rolling countryside with a couple of very welcome stops I was back at the finish for veggie chilli and

www.audax.uk

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HEAD EAST

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Leading out… Geoff Sharp, left and Martin Malins, right

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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… the icing on the cake ❝ was, literally, a three-storey cake cabinet full of sumptuous naughtiness from Ewa the hostess

crusty rolls. And the icing on the cake, literally, was a three-storey cake cabinet full of sumptuous naughtiness from Ewa the hostess. This is the point where soulsearching is often required for the ECE rider – having to leave the warm hall for another long leg back to either home or a convenient station. A period of riding with your own thoughts, chasing down those extra points, just time and distance between, while everyone else has already finished for the day. The second event was the Tour de Stour 100, run by Sudbury CC from Long Melford. There was another huge field for this event – with a wellappointed hall and excellent catering throughout. The first leg followed the Stour Valley to Dedham. Being a brevet


Mick Bates

John Thompson

populaire the event had a lot of club riders so I soon found myself near the back of the field, but the roads were quiet and the scenery gentle. This area is noted for its excellent medieval architecture especially its churches. Arriving back at headquarters after the first leg, the Sudbury cake sandwich and soup machine was in full swing. And this is where ECEs score over perm events – no queueing in Tesco for a cold savoury snack, but proper TLC. The event was a “figure-of-eight” and there was a second loop back to the hall so I didn’t hang around. After passing the superb Long Melford Church I was soon in the historic village of Clare, but where were the other riders? I checked my Garmin and it had decided to take me back to

Harlow for the ECE finish. A quick bout of re-routing took me back to the control where the other riders passed me the other way. After this I was not taking any chances so followed the other riders to the last info control. And soon back to HQ for more welcome ECE fuel. By now many of the 160km riders had returned from their first loop so I joined Nick again who was also extending his distance up to 200. All too soon we parted company as I headed towards Essex. I’d decided to revisit the Flitch Way having walked this 24km ex-railway line over 35 years ago. It started well on tarmac but eventually became the usual mud and gravel in places and I was very glad to finally leave it just outside Bishops Stortford for the final short leg down

to Harlow for a train home. I can definitely recommend extending 100km brevet populaire events to 200km for keeping an RRTY series going through the winter, or for bumping an event up to a longer distance for the annual SR badge, although unfortunately not for PBP qualification. There’s also a nice feeling of self-sufficiency, getting to and from an event using the legs and a bit of public transport and leaving the car at home.  East Anglia offers a rich series of events all year round, which are ideal for extending if you live in the area or can catch a train part-way –  or just ride a very long way to get there! There’s an up-to-date list of most events here: www.camaudax.uk/ events.

www.audax.uk

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Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

toptips

WORDS AND PICTURES DAVE MORRISON

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Dave Morrison gives some technical tips on a tricky subject…

Chains that bind THOSE OF US who follow cycle racing cannot have missed news of the very sudden demise of the Irish Pro team Aqua Blue in the summer. The team originally announced it was to fold at the end of the year, but following the announcement it then folded overnight leaving riders and support staff without a job. One of the reasons given for this sudden termination is that the riders had become disillusioned riding in the pro peloton on bikes fitted with a single 50t chain ring, to improve aerodynamics we are told, and a variable array of sprockets from 10t to 40t at the rear wheel. The bikes were not giving the riders the gear ratios they needed to be competitive. To shed some light on this situation we need to talk about “gear inches”, which is defined as the equivalent wheel diameter of a penny farthing compared to a certain gear set-up on a bicycle with chain drive. What this means in effect is that we have an absolute number to compare gear ratios across any number of bicycles, accounting for all differences in wheel, tyre, chain ring and sprocket size. These “gear inches” can be calculated individually – but mostly are taken from readily available tables. A pro-cyclist will generally, except for mega hilly or very flat days, use a 52/39t double chain set with an 11 speed block ranging from 11 to 26t. This gives gear inches of 124” (sprinting) to 40” (hills). The Aqua Blue team could obtain a similar range of gear inches but with only 11 possible gear combinations rather than a theoretical 22 on the double chain ring bikes, necessarily had larger steps between sprockets. This is a crucial disadvantage when racing. Furthermore, the single chain ring setup gives rise to a wide chain line variation

between front and rear and the need for a very long chain to accommodate a potential 50t front chain ring to 40t rear sprocket. This can lead to at least four problems: A slight loss of mechanical efficiency; more rapid chain wear; an increased tendency for the chain to fly off when changing gear; and the lack of a front derailleur, which acts as an effective chain guide and catcher over the chain rings, makes it more likely for the chain to fly off on bumpy ground. Unsurprisingly, the pro peloton continues to use double chain rings. But we are not super fit pro cyclists and our needs are different. A few of us are heavy! A general rule of thumb is that for normal riding, club cyclists would use a gear inch range of 110” to 32” (using 70” to 60” for riding the flat roads), which can be achieved nicely using a 52/39 chain set with a 13 to 32t range of sprockets at the rear. In this situation, double chain sets are perfectly adequate. However, and finally, we get to the point – what if we cycle in very hilly areas or are touring with heavy loads on the bike, or both? While 110 gear inches is fine for descending, we would benefit greatly from a much lower gear for the hills; maybe as low as 20”. For this we need an inner chain ring of 24t with a 32t rear sprocket. Further, to preserve sensible gearing ratios for the flat and downhill, and sensible steps between gears, this can only be realistically achieved using a triple chain set, such as 48/34/24 with a 12t to 32t at the rear of the bike. Using a triple chain set also allows for a good chain line and relatively short chain (given the range of gear inches provided) the advantages of which were outlined previously.


Here’s my outline suggestion for gear set-up involving widely differing situations: Normal riding ● double chain set 52/39 with 12 to 28 (or 32) at rear. Riding in North Wales on hilly Audax rides ● modified (from 50/39/30) triple Shimano Ultegra chain set 48/38/28 (using Zicral rings – fantastic quality) with 12 to 32 at rear. Supported mountain riding (eg Geneva to Nice over the Alps) ● as for North Wales hilly Audax. Loaded touring in Pyrenees ● Triple Stronglight chain set 46/34/24 (with Zicral rings) with 11 to 36t Deore 10 speed mountain bike block at rear. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but make sure that whatever you fit is safe and won’t lock up. Always check with an experienced bike mechanic in case of doubt. This is a wide-ranging subject. If you have questions, then please send them to the Editor.

www.audax.uk

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WORDS AND PICTURES DAN CAMPBELL DAN’S VITAL STATS Location: Stoke on Trent Bike: 2011 9-speed aluminium tank Age: 44 Weight: Wheel breaking (110kg) Fitness: broken and rebuilt Resting Heart Rate: 65 BMI: Obese WHR (waist/hip ratio): High Favourite food: See food! All Dan’s ride reports are here: https://dancampbell.co.uk/ audax-ride-list/

Seriously-solo rider, Dan Campbell, feeling slow and sluggish and more than a little overweight, decided he was in need of a challenge. So the Stoke-on-Trent based Audaxer set himself a series of testing DIY trials for the summer of 2019. Here’s Dan’s Diary so far…

Boy, you’re gonna

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

AT THE END of last year I decided that my primary target for 2019 would be to complete the Super Randonneur with AAA points. This was mainly due to my love of hill climbing… a love which is significantly hindered by my oversized belly. My secondary target was to achieve 20 AAA points and the brevet 2000 and 3000. I had a slow start, thanks to heavy work commitments running into July. However, this provided me with the opportunity to explore the DIY world of Audaxing which, to my surprise, is very simple: create a route; purchase a virtual brevet card; upload one’s GPS track of the route; do the route and; upload the route. The hardest thing I found was trying to identify the correct legal officer to assign the brevet card to.

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The Pea k Pu

nisher

THE PEAK PUNISHER (DIY, 100KM, 3AAA)

February when the My first DIY was back in ny day dragged me out promise of a warm sun sk. A DIY Peak District from behind the office de home in Stoke on Trent, route was planned from ly ng was cold, and I quick and paid for. The morni er lat ur ho e on en about had my first puncture. Th e glad that I took the tim I’m e. tur nc my second pu nk thi n’t do I e. tub first glue a repair patch on the one ride. At this point, on es tub o tw d use I’ve ever le home, which I did in a litt it was about making it the all t de me realise tha over nine hours. This ma nt I carry is worth it, me tools and spare equip or been a long walk home otherwise it would have e!) wif y (m m tea bike rescue a very cold wait for the . to pick me up ke me realise how However, this ride did ma ter period as I was win the much fitness is lost over ich speed and climb hills wh struggling to maintain e. iev ach ld comfortability during the summer I cou g, bin clim t the volume of On reflection, it was no bs of the climbs. Most clim ty eri sev rather it was the r cent. were greater than 10 pe e weight and get back on Note to self : lose som the turbo trainer!


carry that weight ASHBO

Ila m village ce ntre Staffordshire

URNE

LO

OP (DI At the s Y, 100K tar M)) Ashbou t of April I did m rne Loo y 1 0 0 km DIY p from S achieve toke 1.5 height g AAA points an . I’d planned to ained b d even w eing gre it still fe ater tha ith the overall ll short n when it AAA vali went th the 1500 metr da es rough t aware o tion software. he Aud Th fw It was su hen planning is is something ax routes w to be gg ith released ested that the v to the m alidatio AAA points. n embers future. T hip at so tool will be his me poin day and ride was exce t in llen Is which w topped in Ashb t as I had suns the hin orked w ourne fo e r breakfa e all of the c limbing ll as it was just st, befo . Th route, th e most c ere are three big re the start halleng of the M climbs o in anifold Valley to g being the clim n the Grindon b out I could d . efi training nitely tell the d ifferenc se et general ssions had ma de to m hat the turbo speed s y fitness ince Feb experien ruary. H and ce a lot owe of (headin g towar discomfort fro ver, I did m my k ds a kne from ex nee e replac pe ement) progres rience that this b u t I know ses. So, reduces I eas as swelling was loc ed back on the the season alised to e patella. the late ffort and the ral side of the

www.audax.uk

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Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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THE GOYT VALLEY (DIY, 100KM, 2.25AAA ) A week later I completed my DIY route over to the Goyt Valley. This time I was able to check the AAA points against the AAA validating software. The route was a straight-out-andback again, and took in a lot of the climbs from the 100km Peak Audax rid es from last year. The weather was amazing. I ha d clear blue skies all day and I spent way too mu ch time taking photographs and stopping at cafes along the way.

I made an amateur mista ke of not taking sun cream so when I arrived ho me I was as red as a beetroot. Again, this route demonstrated to me that my climbing ability ha d significantly reduced since last year. Ho wever, I really love the climb out of the Goyt Valley even though it felt much harder this yea r. I realised I still needed to lose the winter belly and do more work on the turbo trainer.

The Goy

t Val le

y

KFAST R BREA O F O UDN e L L A N D 0K M ) from th 0 3 perience route (DIY, x e d n a dge ed a r I plann y knowle Using m route to Cheste the Cheshire IY ss 200km D ld take me acro and on to u s o in w ounta . The which Welsh m st…well lunch e th , s fa k s a a plain w re no for b e plains Llandud gh the Cheshir ly flat with ve rou route th ward and relati re. From here it r o me I straightf Wem and Elles n where t a langolle L to ls y o to a tr r w n e v o e c all th jump o d t n r a o n h s e s ne t the rw was a A5 to Co udno. To be ho as a e th d e d lan ere w follow ed and L ven though th nday o C -y s e Betw e a Su t and ere quie c it felt more lik nd. roads w ffi ke a e tr e ow of day w e; steady fl an a bank holi ather nic e w e th th g d mornin as excellent an ere were I w s out. Th t This ride t but the sun wa ps which mean t o n to s e h p e o s I id ed. ads not to s and ro st any time I lik fe a c f o lots r a re d ll over fo ollen an de could pu between Llang e last time I ro th n o n the secti ed reflecting o ing for the -Co s train Betws-y hen I wa w n o ti c this se nd. End-to-E

Owa monu in Gl yndw me nt , Cor r we n


Till y’s Cafe in Bu nbur y

OPE ALLED H C E C A L AP e 0K M ) from Stok (DIY, 20 year was e th f o e ester. My 00km rid My first 2 lled Hope near Ch t a ide spot a c to a town s to stop at a rivers e w there re wa n I arrived ecided to e intention h W . h c r lun , so I d Chester fo at the cafe doors t s e u h street a e u ig large q n the h o tion a fe a in c b e m th co push on to extra distance in eling The e fe Bunbury. t of the day left m enjoyed a e h y. I really e rg e th n h e n wit o w lo d a goo d and dehydrate ll the controls were em tween th a s b a s route e e e this ride th th d ff o n , a rt apart ost pa m e th r b distance , fo d ut sant, and , I was tire were plea On arriving home up to my ds. g climb to n lo e main roa h T . g strong still feelin ctually enjoyable! sa house wa

STOKE TO THE SEA (DIY, 400KM, 5A AA

)

MThriving on my success from my pr evious DIY routes, I created a route which ran fro m Stoke all the way to the beac h at Aberystwyth before returning via the Ch eshire plains. Real ly this ride was an extension of John Hamilton’s Wrekin-tothe-sea route with a few tweaks. Before I started, I kn ew that it was 50\5 0 whether I would make it back and even less likely that I would make it back with in the Audax time limit. But you have to take risks if you are to challen ge yourself; a thought explored by Collin Bezant in the summer edition of Arrivee in which he talked of the “twin imposters of trium ph and disaster”. I cycled overnight, taking in the Long Mynd in Shropshire before arriving at Newtow n for breakfast. By far th e best part of the ro ute was the climb up through the Elan Valley – th e reflections of the dams and brid ges in the water we re fantastic and made the ride feel magical. I was feeling very strong and positive about the ride wh en I arrived at the beach (about 140miles). This co ntinued right up until I started th e long walk up Mac hynlleth mountain road. By the time I reached th e top the combination of th e sun and tiredness in the legs had taken its toll. Seven miles outside Newtown I came to a grinding stop. I simply coul d not get enough energy in to the blood strea m. This was a new experience fo r me. I took 10 min utes before continuing to cycle slowly onwards. Du ring this time, I decided to sta y the night in a Ne wtown hotel, or catch a tra in, whichever was the cheapest. Yes… I DN F’ed this one. In m y mind this also marked th e end of my quest for the Super Randonneur with AAA points.

am C oc h d Ca ba n t he from ce ntre visitor’s SO WHAT’S NEXT?

I have a 400km DIY route over Lincolnshire and the east coast planned which I am looking forward to riding. It feels like a consolation prize, but I will see how the summer goes. I also need to complete my 20 AAAs and few more 200km for my brevet 2000 and 3000.

www.audax.uk

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WORDS AND PICTURES DAVE MORRISON

taketwo

Outstanding ways to stand out from A couple of riders who choose to ride “unconventional” vehicles are the focus of this issue’s interview. Ian Perry, 56, whose wheels of choice is the velomobile, and Jim Newmark, 66, who usually takes to the roads in a recumbent bike. Peter Davis asks the questions: Where do you live, and how long have you been cycling? Ian Perry: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, but originally from Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire. I’ve been cycling for 32 years. Jim Newmark: Lutterworth, near Rugby. We’ve recently moved after 40 years in Yorkshire. I’ve been cycling regularly for around 25 years. How many bikes do you own? And which is your regular bike? Ian Perry: Four – but only my old mountain bike has two wheels… and both are flat! My regular machine is my DF Velomobile. Jim Newmark: “Bikes” have two wheels… hence the “bi” bit. I’ve got four Diamond Frames – one low-racer recumbent

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

Jim Newmark on his Trice

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bike and one trike. I really don’t have a regular one. The single speed is used for trips to the shops; I use the road bike most mornings; the Dawes Galaxy will be for touring; the low-racer Fujin is for edgy fun; and the Trice is for the regular 35 mile round trip to work twice weekly in Leicester. The one (DF) I use less often nowadays is the Thorne expedition bike. It is really heavy with massive tyres and waiting for the winter. Why do you choose to ride these bikes rather than something more conventional? Ian Perry: My Velomobile is comfortable and fast, with a large carrying capacity. It’s also versatile and can be used for shopping, commuting, Audaxing and racing. I originally “went over to the dark side” after suffering a neck injury, crashing down a Scottish mountainside. Jim Newmark: The spark was lit during the 800k Thorne-EdinburghThorne years ago when all the DFs were struggling into a headwind. I remember the recumbents effortlessly coming alongside, chatting for a while, then taking off when we were all dead in the saddle. Not being an extrovert, I really didn’t like the idea of standing out, and the cost put me off, too. Then came a fractured hip coming off a DF. I persuaded the orthopaedic consultant to say in front of my wife that “one of those lying down bikes would be a good idea”. Eventually I bought a second-hand Trice, which I basically wore out. Not only is riding it hugely enjoyable, it also feels safer, with better visibility, a different silhouette so other road vehicles seem to see it easier and generally give it a wider berth, and,

not as far to fall. The riding comfort is unmatchable. I cycled the towpath along the 126 miles of the LiverpoolLeeds canal last year in 18 hours with no problems at all. My reservations as to the reactions of others remained for a while as it is impossible not to be noticed, but these pretty much disappeared after I was chased down by four quad bikes in inner-city Bradford. They drew alongside and I feared the worst. But it was just “cool bike”, and they roared off. Being so obvious I am very careful to obey the rules and in my experience 99 per cent of comments are positive. I bought a Fujin low-racer about four years ago. It has a very different feel. I actually put an L-plate on the back for a month or so as initially I was all over the road. When cycling downhill, for both recumbents, and especially the Fujin, it is difficult to avoid overtaking the very best of club cyclists – acceleration to around 50mph is common. OK, they catch you very quickly when the climbing starts! The comfort of the Fujin means that it‘s a long-distance machine and has all the gadgets – GPS, lights, and Ipod, all charged with the Son dynamo. I really don’t understand why there are not more of us about. Do you maintain the bikes yourself? Ian Perry: Yes. Everything, including the specialist velomobile parts, such as suspension. Jim Newmark: Yes. I do pretty much all of that myself, but am aware that when I take them to the people that know, they always to do a better job. Tell us something about riding this type of machine that we might not know. Ian Perry: The key to riding a velomobile is momentum – steep or long hills are difficult due to the weight. Mine, in its current set up, weighs 32kg; and only being able to utilise muscles from the hips down. Building up speed before an incline and keeping the power on is the best way to keep up a good average speed. The speed range is also wider than an ordinary bike, with maximum speeds for a downhill being typically 50 per cent higher than a rider in a tucked


the crowd… position, but also at least 50 per cent slower on steep inclines. Going around corners requires movement of the body, so the centre of gravity moves to the inside wheel on a corner. Head or tail winds have very little effect, sometimes a head/cross wind can accelerate a velomobile due to the sailing effect. Jim Newmark: A recumbent trike has the LEJOG cycling record. Recumbents in general are banned from all major cycle races that run under UCI rules as they would embarrass the world’s best. I quietly snigger when I look at adverts for ridiculously expensive aerodynamic seat posts. And what comments have you heard from others about this style of vehicle? Ian Perry: Various… amazement, compliments, ridicule, down to accusations of cheating. A thick skin is sometimes required. Jim Newmark: Pretty much all positive. Actually, all positive apart from one or two in the early days when I occasionally jumped red lights. I suspect that this activity is less likely to be ignored when one is so visible, and look more like a car. How long have you been riding Audaxes, and what was your first event? Ian Perry: I started in 2013 after entering LEL and thinking that I’d better find out what Audaxing entailed. My first Audax was the lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll llantysiliogogogoch 400. Jim Newmark: More than 25 years. I can’t really remember my first event. What are your Audax/cycling ambitions? Ian Perry: I’ve just completed my qualifying SR for PBP, so PBP is this year’s main goal, though I may complete a double SR. I will also undertake the Lytham St Annes-Fort William 1000. Next year I’ll probably attempt an SR, but with all rides being AAA. I would also like to undertake more racin g with The British Human Power Club on my new (to me) Ice Vortex recumbent trike. Jim Newmark: Cycling will continue until I can’t do it anymore. Audax events have become less prominent over the last few years, but there has been no obvious reason for this. I suppose I’m involved with other aspects of life, and cycling is still a major part of daily activity, so I don’t feel the need to be part of an organised event.

Jan Perry and Velomobile

Longest ride ever? Ian Perry: My longest ever non-stop events have been 600km Audaxes, including the LEL, completed in 76 hours. My longest multi-day event was on an old steel bike with panniers and camping gear when I undertook LEJOG. Actually, because of the logistics, I rode to Lands End from Salisbury, then to John O’Groats, and back to Salisbury, which was 3,228km in 17 days. Jim Newmark: The 800km ThorneEdinburgh-Thorne. In respect of multi-day events, I’ve done a Dover-Cape Wrath and a LEJOG, as well as an Ireland End-to-End, and an unsupported Rawalpindi to Khunjerab Pass along the Karakorum Highway with my brother-in-law. The Dover-Cape Wrath was on the Trice, and the Ireland End-to-End on the Fujin, both being far more comfortable than on conventional DFs. Greatest cycling achievement? Ian Perry: I find that hard to answer. When compared to others, I’ve never been fast or tenacious, although I guess my LEJOG ride was special, doing it in three days (supported). Also, racing in my velomobile for an hour on a velodrome, averaging 54.6kpm. Jim Newmark: Both the KKH ride and the 800k live in my memory. Favourite place to ride? Ian Perry: Without doubt, the Yorkshire Dales.

Jim Newmark: It’s the distance and the physical effort/challenge that motivate me most. Anywhere will do, but heavy traffic makes me more nervous than I used to be. I really don’t have a favourite place. Which sports aside from cycling interest you? And are you an avid supporter? Ian Perry: Rugby Union, but mainly the internationals, rallying, road motor-cycle races like the Isle of Man TT, although I’m an armchair follower not an avid supporter. Jim Newmark: We’ve followed our sons from sports centre to sports centre to support their judo for many years. It was impossible not to be enthused. But I’m not a follower of any spectator sport. Other interests or hobbies? Ian Perry: I dabble in photography, and have a kit car that requires constant TLC. I also enjoy making odds and sods out of carbon fibre, but I haven’t the patience to create truly first rate artefacts. I’ve recently bought an old mini tractor which I intend to use to cultivate a patch of land I have when I retire next year. Jim Newmark: Oh dear. My brother and I have discussed before that we really don’t want to be typecast as cyclists alone, in terms of hobbies and interests. But actually, that’s the way it is. I’ve dabbled with slope soaring with remote controlled gliders. That’s quite fun.

www.audax.uk

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The

Baking Biker

Plain or spicy – that’s the choice offered by our baking bike rider, Sarah Freeman, who espouses the benefits to longdistance cyclists of the humble lentil in this issue’s tasty offering…

Lentil bakes for slow energy release

I made plain ones first but thought that they were a bit bland, however, on long rides a spicier snack may not be welcome. I wouldn’t recommend freezing them, so they’re best made the day before a ride.

PASTRY ● 30g chilled butter ● 15g porridge oats or oatmeal ● 25g self-raising flour ● 10g wholemeal flour ● 30g cream cheese PLAIN FILLING ● 25g dried red lentils ● 45ml of water ● Small chunk of celery, finely chopped ● Onion to taste, finely chopped ● 35g grated cheese (I used cheddar)

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

SPICY FILLING All the above less the cheese plus: ● ½ tsp chopped coriander ● ½ tsp chopped ginger ● ½ tsp chopped chilli ● 1 tsp tomato puree ● Splash of sweet chilli sauce ● 20g grated cheese ● 15g cream cheese ● Finely chopped onion and celery to taste ● Small pinch of turmeric

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METHOD Start by making the filling: Plain filling: Rinse the lentils and then leave to soak in the 45ml of water for about 30 minutes with the celery and onion. While the lentils are soaking, make the pastry. Spicy filling: Rinse the lentils and then leave to soak in the 45ml of water for about 30 minutes with the celery, onion, coriander, ginger and chilli, tomato puree and sweet chilli sauce and the turmeric, I use frozen herbs which saves chopping and waste. While the lentils are soaking, make the pastry. Pulse the porridge oats if you are using them in a food processor, then mix them with flour or just mix the oatmeal and flour together. You can just use 50g self-raising flour but the oats

and wholemeal gives a bit more slow release energy. Rub the flour mix with the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, then use the cream cheese to bind the mix together. Leave to rest. Once your lentils have soaked, boil them until they have absorbed all the liquid and have gone to a thick paste (this doesn’t take long, so keep an eye on them), mix in the cheese and leave to cool. Roll the pastry out so it’s about 24cm square, spread the lentil and cheese mixture evenly over, it shouldn’t be too thick. Roll the pastry up and then chop the sausage into even pieces (I made four). Place in a preheated oven at 200 and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Leave to cool.


SARAH FREEMAN is a keen baker and regular Audaxer. She’s completed an RRtY and SR series and is a member of Audax Club Lincolnshire. She’s also an active member of Lincoln WI… so she knows what she’s talking about – though she admits that her jam-making skills have a way to go yet.

www.audax.uk

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WORDS AND PICTURES JULIA FREEMAN

Julia Freeman experienced the agony of defeat in last year’s Race around the Netherlands – a gruelling 1,670km test of cycling endurance. In May this year she tried again. This is her tale of malevolent winds, crazy geese, machine gun fire, dodgy sheep and meandering tourists in a flat land of killer hills.

The Race around the Netherlands is a relatively new, self-supporting bike-packing event which traces a circle around the whole country. Though Holland is famed for its flatness, the route deliberately includes the country’s few hills, including the iconic Keutenberg, which has a maximum gradient of 16 per cent. The route also follows the line of the beautiful, but constantly windswept northern coast, before winding its way through historic towns and spectacular national parks.

Second time plucky for a

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

Dutch master

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IN MAY 2018 I sat on a bench and cried. I cried because of the physical pain, and I cried because I had to email Race Control to tell them that the only solo woman in the race was scratching after just 320 km. I’d lasted just 36 hours. But I’d learnt a lot. In my email I vowed to return next year. Back then, I’d lined up alongside 22 men to take part in the first edition of the Race around the Netherlands (RatN). It was my first go at an “ultra” race. I managed just over 20 per cent of the course before scratching due to neck pain and saddle sores. My race lasted less than 36 hours. It was a baptism of fire. One year later, wiser, fitter, and 10kg lighter, I’m on the start line again. Only this time I’m not the only woman. In total there are 11 women riding. It is a massive weight off my shoulders. The clock strikes eight… and we ride. It’s a relatively calm start, as we head out of the square in front of Café De Proloog in Amerongen. As we ride, the field starts to space out. Everyone passes me. At least that’s how it feels. That’s fine, I’m used to that. I’ve been “lantern rouge” in every calendar event I’ve done bar one. Within 5km, we’re all spread out, and I can’t even see who’s in front of me. Last year I rode the first 100km or so in horrible cold rain. This year it is cool, but sunny, with a wind that doesn’t seem to know which direction it wants to blow, other than it being the opposite direction to which I’m cycling. My first day is much the same as last year, aiming for a hotel in Enschede, 260km away. In the course of the first 160km I almost fall off the bike three times: once after a goose tries to dissuade me from cycling; then as a local cyclist weaves across the fietspad (cycle path), even after I ring my bell and yell

“Pas op”; and the third time due to heavy weapons fire... The route goes past an army firing range. The sound of machine gun fire while one’s cycling is rather startling, to say the least. I reach the hotel 90 minutes faster than last year. On day two I cycle past the bench where I scratched last year, breaking my pedalling just long enough to take a photo. I’m feeling good, I’ve got all the climbing done from now until the Kopje van Bloemendaal in 700km time. I stop at Ommen for a celebratory slice of cake. A few kilometres up the road I notice another female rider in the distance. The gap doesn’t seem to shorten and eventually I lose sight of her. It’s Aukje Kuipers. I eventually catch up with her at an ambiguous junction. We both make the same navigation error, ride along the wrong side of a road, find we can’t cross, and go back. We ride side-by- side, exchanging news for a couple of kilometres, but I can’t match her pace. A mantra goes over and over in my head: “Ride your own ride, race your own race”. I wish her good luck, as she disappears up the road.

A mantra goes over and over in ❝ my head: “Ride your own ride, race your own race”. ❞ As the sun starts to set I notice on my tracker that Mieke Sweethorst has stopped just before the fort. I assume she’s bedding down for the night. I also notice I’ve passed Aukje Kuipers, and Wendy van Lubek. I’ve not seen them on

The hail stings my face and ❝ makes plinking noises as it bounces off my helmet ❞

the road, so I’m guessing I passed them when they stopped for food or sleep. I’m confused. When I entered the race, I expected to come last. Yet somehow I am passing riders. I get back on the bike, aiming for a hotel I’ve booked in Groningen. A few kilometres down the road I pass Susanne van Aardenne. She appears to be sleeping in the bushes. I don’t understand it. I’m third. It can’t last. It’s artificial. They’ll all overtake me when I sleep… surely? By the time I leave the hotel the following morning, I’m back into fourth. Susanne has overtaken me. But Mieke, Aukje, and Wendy haven’t. I’m confused again , but also worried. I hope they are OK. A quick check of the tracker confirms that Jasmijn Muller is right up at the pointy end. I’m in awe of how she’s riding. I have a tail wind, and I make good speed. But soon I’m going to have to turn into the wind, and it’s like turning into a wall. It’s coming from due west, right into my face. I stop to put on warmer socks, then get back on the bike, fall on to the aero bars, and start the slog. I’m in the province of Groningen, on a stretch of land reclaimed from the Wadensee. It’s flat, it’s open, and there is nothing to protect you from the wind. I’m struggling to maintain 13kph, and to make things worse, the wind is bringing in squalls of rain. Each one lasts only a couple of minutes, not long enough to make it worth stopping to put on a waterproof, but long enough to make you


class thoroughly miserable. I aim for a restaurant in Lauwersoog 200km away, hoping to get there before it stops serving. I’m cutting it fine. Only 10km away a squall blows in, bringing horizontal hail. It stings my face and makes plinking noises as it bounces off my helmet. I can see a pump house up ahead, I put my head down, and try to get to the leeward shelter as fast as I can. Screeching to a halt, I jump a small fence, and hunker down close to the wall of the building. After about three minutes it’s blown over and I make it to Lauwersoog with 20 minutes left until the restaurant stops serving. I order a Schnitzl and slowly warm up by the radiator. The bar has closed but the staff take pity on me, letting me sit by the radiator while they clean up around me. They kindly let me have some tin foil to wrap my feet. The wind chill has been brutal, and my feet have been very cold. I take extra tin foil just in case. I ride into the night. I ride into the wind. The next part of the route goes along the landward side of the big dyke that keeps the Wadensee from flooding the land. This dyke is covered in sheep. Lots of sheep. Every few hundred metres there’s a gate and a cattle grid. Stop, open gate, push bike through, cycle around sheep, repeat… for 50km. One rider had to scratch after hitting a sheep. The wind is still in my face, the squalls keep blowing in. Progress is pitiful. Eventually I have to stop. I’m too exhausted. I’ve managed just 146km. I try to bed down in the lee of a pump house. I crawl into my sleeping bag, wrap myself in a space blanket and try to sleep. After 90 minutes I wake, shivering badly. I’ve got hypothermia, and I can’t stay here. My sleeping bag clearly isn’t enough for the 2C temperature. This is going to have a big

The sound of rapid machine ❝ gun fire while one’s cycling is rather startling, to say the least ❞ www.audax.uk

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Dutch master class Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

The wind is coming from the direction I’m heading. It’s right in my face. I’m ❝ on the aerobars, grinding away, struggling to keep my speed above 13kph ❞

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impact on my race. I’d planned to bivouac two nights in every three. But if it’s this cold, I’m going to need hotels, and because of the timing, I’m going to need hotels with a 24 hour check-in. These are few and far between… and expensive. I arrive in Harlingen as a hotel is opening for breakfast. Overnight the wind has changed to be more from the northwest. In theory I should have a tail wind now. At least until I get to the end of Flevopolder. And in theory I do. I have to shelter a couple of times as squalls blow in bringing epic cloud bursts that would soak you in seconds. But the wind is erratic and I don’t get as much of a tailwind boost as I’d like. After stopping for lunch in Lemmer, I join the cycle path along the edge of the Ijsselmeer. I finally get a tail wind, and the 26km to Flevopolder goes by in what feels like the blink of an eye. It’s the fastest I’ll ride all race. I cross Flevopolder with a wind that is trying to be more cross wind, than tail wind, but it’s not in my face, and I try to make the most of it. I’ve had 90 minutes of poor quality sleep, and I’ve not eaten more than a couple of cheese toasties since 10pm the night before. I stop for a snack in Lelystad, and check the tracker. Suzanne has taken the bus across the Afsluitdijk. It’s shorter by 220km, but she gets a 24 hour penalty for it. Just Jasmijn and Sheila, ahead of me

on the long route. Aujke and Wendy seem to be making slow progress. Mieke has scratched. I’m in third, and I’m still confused. I’ve booked a hotel 40km up the coast in Hoorn. The racer in me wants to get four hours sleep and get moving; the realist in me knows I need to get a bit longer to make up for last night. I set the alarm for seven hours. The next morning I wake to news that Jasmijn has scratched. I’m worried. All I can see is the cross through her dot on the tracker. I check twitter, but there’s nothing there. I hope she’s OK. I hope she hasn’t been hit by a car or anything. This means just Sheila is ahead of me. It means I’m in second place. I don’t understand how this is possible. In Enkhuizen, I’m navigating the tourists (like sheep, but less sense of direction), when I hear my name. I’ve got my headphones on, listening to a podcast, I’m concentrating on not killing tourists. I hear my name again. A cyclist pulls alongside me. He says hello. It takes me a couple of seconds then it dawns on me. He’s a “dot-watcher” (someone who digitally follows the progress of a race). I’ve heard talk of dot-watchers going out to cheer on riders, but I’d never experienced it. We ride side-by-side, and he asks me how I’m doing. After a kilometre he turns back and I’m on my

own again. Just me and the wind. The next 70km to Den Helder I’ll experience the strongest wind of the race…gusts of up to 50kph. The wind is coming from the direction I’m heading. It’s right in my face. I’m on the aerobars, grinding away, struggling to keep my speed above 13kph. I know that if I can just get to Den Helder, the wind will then be behind me and I can zoom down the coast. In the time I’ve stopped to eat, the wind has gone from a north westerly, to a westerly. The promised tail wind down the coast has not come. I have a cross wind, and 100km to get to my hotel. Just before the ferry across the Noordsee Kanal, the route goes through some construction works. There are metal plates on the ground but they aren’t positioned well, and I drop between two. The front wheel strikes the plate, and boom… pinch flat. I swear loudly before pushing the bike past the construction work, and swapping the tube. It doesn’t take me long, but it’s cold, and my body is cooling. I’ve put my gloves in my jersey to keep them warm while I work, a trick I picked up from a winter of RRtY rides. I get the tube swapped, and am on my way again. I make a point of using alcohol gel on my hands. Another rider has scratched due to getting an infection from fixing a flat in Friesland, after riding through the sheep poo. I don’t

… I head down the coast, ❝ the wind is behind me. But it’s dropped to next to nothing. No tail wind, but it’s not a headwind so I make the most of it. I’ve ridden through Zeeland before…


want to risk it, so have upped my hand hygiene. As the ferry comes in, I notice a small electric vehicle, like an overgrown mobility scooter driving off. The driver opens the window and says hello. Another dot-watcher. I wake after five hours sleep and hit the road. While I slept the wind has moved again. It’s dropped down to be more westerly. Another headwind, at least as far as Hoek van Holland. In Schreveningen I stop for a snack, and as I do Aukje rides past, I shout her name, and she stops. She’s also picked up a dotwatcher. We catch up on race news. Wendy isn’t doing too well, and Gus has hit a sheep. We get back on the bikes, but again Aujke is moving faster than me and she disappears up the road. Crossing the Erasmus Bridge, I turn right, and back into the wind. It’s a full on westerly now. For another 40km I grind into the wind. I can see from the weather forecast it’s supposed to move to be a northerly soon and drop in strength. I just need to get to the where the route turns south again. Turning left I head down the coast, the wind is behind me. But it’s dropped to next to nothing. No tail wind, but it’s not a headwind so I make the most of it. I’ve ridden through Zeeland before. On a 200km Audax last November I ground

The Keutenberg is especially ❝ brutal – a 22 per cent gradient comes with a cloud burst so heavy that the road becomes a stream

into a 30kph headwind for 110km. Riding the same route now without that wind, I get to admire the beauty of the place. I eventually make it to my hotel, the only hotel in Vlissingen with 24 hour check-in. It’s expensive, but I don’t have any other choice. From arriving at the hotel, to being in bed, takes under 30 minutes, including washing my shorts, and lubing my chain. My hotel includes breakfast, and I’m actually there when they serve it, so I take the opportunity to eat a couple of bacon sandwiches before hitting the road. I wheel the bike out the hotel, get on to pedal, and realise something isn’t right. My rear tyre is flat. I take out the spare tube, fit it, and when I go to inflate it, discover the valve is too short. Argh. How have I made such a rookie mistake? I check Google for a bike shop – 450 metres away. I buy two tubes, install one, and use their compressor to put air in the tyres. It’s designed for Dutch city bikes and doesn’t go as high as I’d like, but it’ll do. Twenty kilometres down the road I

find another bike shop and use their track pump to get the pressure up. I battle the cross winds out of Zeeland into the relative shelter of the mainland. I’ve made a late start, but I want to get to Limburg tonight. I book a hotel 280km down the road, and push on. I ride through the night. As the sun starts to rise, I’m battling exhaustion, and the rain showers that have begun. The hotel is only a few kilometres away. Two kilometres from the hotel a bridge is being replaced and I have to follow a diversion. I’m not impressed. I eventually get to the hotel, after 287km. It’s taken me 22 hours. I collapse into bed, hoping this is my last night, so I don’t even bother to wash a pair of shorts, I’ve got a clean pair for when I wake in three hours’ time. I plug my devices in to charge, and am in bed within 15 minutes of arriving. Waking up, I pick up my Wahoo, turn it on – nothing happens. I curse. Adapt! The backup is my phone with OSMand, bungeed to the handlebars. I realise after

My knees are shot, and I have no ❝ choice but to get off and push the bike up the hills. I’m overtaken by the postman cycling up one hill

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Dutch master class Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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a couple of kilometres that this isn’t going to work. The first bike shop I find doesn’t sell Wahoo, or Garmin. They suggest I try a shop up the road. There I ask if they have a Wahoo Elemnt computer. No, but they suggest I try Jos, in Klein Haasdal. I do a quick Google, then call him. He has a Bolt. I say I’ll be there in an hour. The Netherlands is a predominantly flat country, except for Limburg. The next 20km involved short, sharp, punchy climbs of 11 per cent. My knees are shot, and I have no choice but to get off and push the bike up the hills. I’m overtaken by the postman cycling up one hill. The route gives us a greatest hits of Limberg’s climbs. The Keutenberg is especially brutal – a 22 per cent gradient comes with a cloud burst so heavy that the road becomes a stream. I shelter under a tree until the worst blows over. I walk my bike up every single hill. I’m utterly soaked. I’m wearing all my clothes. My waterproof jacket isn’t big enough to go over my fleece jacket, so I’m wearing it under the fleece. It’s keeping the worst out, but enough gets through to make me thoroughly miserable. The end of the Camerig marks the highest point of the route. I’ve had three hours sleep since 9am the previous day. I’m soaked and cold, and I have about 24 hours and 230km left to finish the race. I make the decision to get a hotel in

I’ve ridden in wind, rain, hail, ❝ and for a brief period, sunshine. I’ve experienced temperatures down to 1C, have frost injuries to toes and had hypothermia. But I’d done it

Heerlen to get some sleep, dry out, as best I can, then push on for the finish. The hotel room has a radiator. I spread the fleece across it, and whack the valve up to maximum, grab all the towels from the bathroom, wrap my fully clothed self in them, set the alarm for three hours, and fall into bed. Amazingly I wake to find myself mostly dry. Everything apart from my bra. And my shoes. I check out and hit the road again. As the sun rises, I find a cafe. I order a toastie, lean my head against the wall, and sleep. Nine minutes later I am woken by the waiter bringing me my breakfast. I eat it in what feels like seconds. I down the last of the Coke, and get moving again. I was asleep for only minutes, but it’s made all the difference. In the warmth of the early morning, with a light breeze at my back, I start to make good speed. In Broekhuizen I see a velomobile coming towards me, I go past, and notice them slow, then turn. They pull alongside. My final dot-watcher. On a bridge over the Meuse, I stop and take off my leg warmers. For the first time all race, I ride in shorts. It’s a good feeling. The silicone grip strip of the leg warmers has made a mess of the skin on my thighs, big open wounds, struggling to scab over. Just before Mook, and the final climb of the race. My rear wheel goes flat. I

curse. I’m really running up against the time limit. I don’t have time for mechanicals. I do a rapid tube swap, I find the tiny flint that’s gone through the tyre. I walk the bike up the final hill, and then it’s the mad dash. I’m running on fumes. I have a quick meal in a snack bar in Nijmegen, and get pedalling. My knees are agony, but they are nothing compared to my left Achilles tendon. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever had on a bike. I try experimenting with different positions on the pedal, trying to find the least painful position. I cross the Waal, still battling the pain in my knees and Achilles. Mercifully the wind is at my back, and staying there. I run the maths in my head. If I can finish before 4pm, I’ll finish in under 200 hours. And as long as I finish, I’m second. I just have to finish. With 10km to go, I cross the Nederrijn. I’m on the home straight. It’s just gone 3.25pm. It’s rush hour and the route is full of Muggles. My bell does nothing. I’m giving it everything – muscles burning with lactate, knees on fire. I give up on the bell and take to shouting. They scatter as I approach. The final kilometre to the finish has a slight incline; it’s only two per cent but it feels like 20. I’m hunting for reserves I didn’t know I had. It’s only a couple of hundred metres now. I fly round the corner, full tilt, round the corner into the market square… on market day. I hammer the brakes, call out a warning, and plough through, up to the door of Cafe de Prologue. The finish. I dismount from the bike, wheel her in, lean her against the bar. And collapse in a heap. Everything hurts, but my left Achilles hurts most of all. I dread to think what damage I’ve done. I pull off my shoes and socks, and ask for ice. After a few minutes my heart rate starts to drop, some of the pains dissipate, and I’m left with my Achilles, screaming in agony. I get some ice and sit with my foot raised. I’ve done it. 1,897km, 199 hours, 50 minutes. I’ve ridden in wind, rain, hail, and for a brief period, sunshine. I’ve experienced temperatures down to 1C, have frost injuries to toes and had hypothermia. But I’d done it. Sitting drinking a beer. I chat to Sheila. She made it to the finish over 13 hours ahead of me. She’s the first solo woman to complete the Race around the Netherlands. In total three of the seven solo women who started, finished. Reflecting on what I did, I still can’t quite believe it.


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WORDS AND PICTURES PHIL BARELLA

Gently does it…

The War Memorial at Bradfield

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

It may be just a stone’s throw from London, but the mellow country byways that form the route of the 208km Gently Bentley ride seem a million miles away from Britain’s sprawling capital city. Phil Barella of Kingstone Wheelers, experiences an event which has been described as “an early season pootle on Surrey and Hampshire lanes”.

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THE GENTLY BENTLEY is an essentially flat ride. The only hills are out of Henleyon-Thames, and near the Golden Pot – and even they are just drags, though there are one or two bergs which require the little ring. Basically, there isn’t much on this ride that’s troubling, though the fatigue certainly accumulates. So it is, on Sunday 17 March this year I’m up at 6am and kitting myself out for this gently rolling Audax. The forecast suggests slightly gusty conditions with occasional rain and maybe some hail. Average temperatures will be as low as 5C, so I add some layers. I set off for the tennis club and sign in. Number 9 – nice. After a coffee and a chat about the previous day’s Six Nations rugby, we’re off, and everyone’s in good spirits. The conditions dictated that I get across to a decent group and share the work where I can, and get round steadily. The ride isn’t a race or a time trial, it’s more about pacing and keeping everything relatively steady and riding within yourself as well as eating and drinking sensibly.

It’s about pacing, and keeping ❝ everything relatively steady, and riding within yourself ❞

We made steady progress through Kingston, when a few small pelotons formed. Riders were riding in small and not so small groups! I got into a group which was quite large, but all were riding at a sensible speed, so I thought I’d get involved. The first of three points of interest were recorded near Ascot, and then we had to get across to Henley, via Waltham – a fast route, though the headwind slowed our group up a fair bit. Once we arrived at Henley we all made our way to places for a bit of food, but because of the delays at the café, I decided to eat a Soreen bar, wash it down with some water, and then joined a group that was pretty solid in terms of pace, heading for the next section, the rolling hills from Henley to Pangbourne. The initial rise was Gravel Hill, a steady climb that gets you up to near Peppard Common, and then the road goes up and down towards Goring, Whitchurch and Pangbourne. It’s scenic and unspoilt, and this part of the course flows well. The group was ebbing and flowing and we were catching and passing a few riders, and when the group partially splintered and others had stopped to wait for one of their colleagues, I went on ahead knowing that one of the climbs was a bit steep and they’d catch me. I

worked with a few others that were going at a similar pace, including one rider who kept getting the turns wrong! We then came upon the second point of interest, the War Memorial at Bradfield. This was a welcome break for a few minutes and the bigger group reconvened. We then headed towards Lasham garden centre via the Golden Pot The group splintered a little to the point there were five of us, but we kept each other in good spirits, until we got to Lasham. At the café area we ate a fair bit - jacket potato and beans for me with a sideserving of tuna mayo sandwiches and two cokes. The roads from Lasham to Bentley are again gently rolling, so we did our usual thing of riding uphill at our own pace and catching up on the descents, which were becoming more plentiful. This part was where there was a bit of rain and hail for a few minutes, before we got to familiar terrain around Dockenfield. We went past some recognisable farmland. I recalled the music festivals I used to enjoy there. It’s called the Hangout and happens every September. They’re a


good bunch, though the field they play in does get a bit pungent with the amount of herbal ciggies being smoked. We were all going at a decent rate of knots, and we got to the final fuel stop at Brookwood Premier, and again stocked up. There’s a wonderful climb near the B3000/ A31, going towards Normandy. That was fun, and once it was done, and the fast descent down to Normandy, we headed towards Pirbright and the fast roads and tailwind helping us along at a very good speed. We then headed back to our regular roads around Ripley, Esher, and home to Surbiton, along a traditional route that gets you back into Kingston pretty well. It seems some folk went down to the bottom of Plough Lane, which was flooded just before Cobham, whereas if

one did the proper route along Downside you’d miss that. The last few rises by Esher went by very quickly, and then we got into Surbiton just as it was getting dark. I think we got the ride done and dusted in a decent time, and we all had fun – which is the main thing. In terms of a route, it had everything you wanted, especially for those just starting, as it’s not too challenging, and the food at the end (vegetarian pasta), was very welcome. It’s an ideal starter 200 because the course isn’t too demanding and is relatively stress free – and you always find a group to work with, or you could happily do it by yourself and take in all the views. Speaking to others during the ride, the overwhelming view was that it was a great day, and the route kept everyone on their toes. I’ll be back next year, and speaking to others on the ride, they will as well.

It’s an ideal starter 200 because ❝ the course isn’t too demanding and is relatively stress free ❞ www.audax.uk

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Riding & sliding

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

in a wild winter wonderland

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BEN KLIBRECK IS A MASSIVE, sprawling and isolated mountain which dominates the vast empty moorlands in the heart of Sutherland at Scotland’s northern tip. Walkers describe it as a “giant whale of a Munro”. It’s probably the wildest, loneliest place in the British Isles. My cycling companion Robbie Fargo and I have both been tempted by this Permanent for a while. I’ve been to the area a couple of times and any excuse to get back up there is good for me. Robbie hadn’t strayed so far north into the barren wastes of Sutherland before. After successfully riding the Kingdom Come 400 Perm in a mild early December we decided to try for early February as part of an SR of Perms idea we had. Andy Uttley organised the ride. The distance was 207km with controls at Tain, Helmsdale, the Garvault Hotel, and Crask Inn. The organiser’s recommendation was to ride the route anti-clockwise. Weather reports showed there had been some wind and a bit of snow in the previous days and that the lowest temperature could be around -8C, which

Britain’s last area of wilderness is an unforgiving place at the best of times – but in a bitterly cold and snowy February, the lonely and exposed roads of Sutherland present a special challenge. Niall Wallace reports on a 207km lungbusting ride around bleak Ben Klibreck earlier this year…

would almost certainly mean preparing to encounter ice. We considered our options – defer the Perm and find a clean route around Inverness for a DIY, or go for it, accepting that we might have to turn back or make use of the Far North Line, the Highlands’ own railway, which we would be following as far as Kinbrace and then pick up again at Lairg, the long section between the two being the area of most concern. Thankfully we had studded winter tyres, though I had never ridden studs on the road before. I’d ridden MTB races on spikes so had some experience of their performance, and Robbie has ridden cyclo-cross, so adverse condition riding was no stranger to him either. Our journey started with a snowy drive up the A90 after work to collect Robbie from Aberdeen and then along the A96 to the youth hostel in Inverness where we were booked for the night. We’d yet to fit the studded tyres so we spent an hour outside the hostel’s front door fitting the tyres and running

through our stock of spare tubes in the process, due to some faulty tubes and a valve rip. We didn’t arrive in Tain, our first control, until mid-morning and discovered that both of Robbie’s tyres had deflated overnight. Thankfully his two spares held air and mine were ok but with only two spare tubes between us we were starting to feel under-prepared despite being kitted-out for riding in winter and carrying extra thermal layers in case of a prolonged stop. I knew of a bike shop in Ardgay which was on the route, and wasn’t too far from Tain. We obtained receipts at Tesco just after 10am, hopeful of maintaining a good speed on the flat sections and gentle climbs. But by the time we reached the roundabout at the end of the Dornoch Bridge our expectations of early speed had been shattered by the extra effort required to get the heavy tyres up to speed and maintain it. Although slower than we hoped, our speed along the south side of the Dornoch Firth was still reasonable, if noisy, with the carbide


Robbie Fargo Niall Wallace

Thankfully we had ❝ studded winter tyres, though I had never ridden studs on the road before

spikes clattering against the clear tarmac so we were not ready to throw in the towel yet. As we clattered into Ardgay I spotted the building where the bike shop used to be. It appeared now to be some sort of tartan shop. Luckily, a local spotted us looking forlorn and told us that “Heaven Bikes” had moved to the Post Office in Bonar Bridge, just across the Kyles of

Sutherland. We thanked her and carried on, crossing the boundary between Gaelic and Norse Scotland as our entry to Sutherland (The Jarl of Orkney’s “South Land”) was announced by road signs. We topped up our supply of spare tubes from Chris in the bike shop but noticed that our average was down to 17kmh. The road from here is a long drag up to Lairg, a town dominated by a hydro

scheme. We passed the last railway station before Kinbrace and dived into the desolation of central Sutherland. The road climbed steadily until we reached the junction with the road to Scourie where it became a single track. The ploughed snow was piled high at the roadside, and fold-down signs advised us “Road Ahead Closed - Snow Drifts” but the road closure signs had been folded away at the side showing that the road was open. Strath Tirry is a shallower climb and, as the landscape got whiter, the spikes occasionally went quiet, or the back wheel gave a squirm in a patch of snow, but in the most part it was possible to maintain progress as the ploughed road weaved through the snow-covered bog and bridged frozen rivers. I wanted to stop for a photo that I couldn’t capture on the go but chose to miss it in favour of maintaining momentum. Eventually I spotted the small patch of trees in which the Crask Inn is situated. There was no sign up, and the cars outside were submerged in snow, but a

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RIDING & SLIDING Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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tentative knock on the door revealed that the bar was tended, the fire was roaring, the vegetable soup on offer was both hot and delicious, and the cakes excellent. As we prepared to tear ourselves away from the warmth of the bar, the proprietor advised us that conditions at Altnaharra might be “different” due to it being in a dip. She said her husband had been snowed in only the previous day while she had been snowed out. From the Inn it was only a short climb to the start of the descent to Altnaharra and when we crested the summit, we realized conditions were indeed going to different, rough snow and ice slowed our descent to the village and now we were only averaging 15kmh. When we got to Altnaharra the road turned to sheet ice on the approach to the bridge. I held my breath but the spikes gripped and I crested the bridge without worry. Just out of the village we found the turn for Syre – this was our next point of concern as we were leaving the primary gritting routes.

No-one home… Garvault Hotel control

If this road proved to be impassable then it was game over – the Garvault control would be out of reach, and our only options would be to ride to the north coast at Tongue or turn back. The junction was snowy and icy, and the rest of the road was dusted with snow. We chose to press on into the vast

emptiness and see how it went after lowering our tyre pressures to get some more grip. In the shade the road was snowy, on the edges it was icy but, in areas exposed to sun and despite the chill in the air a clear path had been cleared through sun melt, so now we could ride faster. We maintained a 16kmh average along the way to Syre


despite having to deal with “bomb holes” and drop offs on the road. At the Garvault junction again, things looked sketchy. The driver of a pick-up truck with winter tyres told us that the road wasn’t great, but it was passable. The initial climb was covered in a shallow coating of snow just deep enough to overcome the limited tread of our tyres, the spikes having no value where there is no ice to grip. We resorted to walking when needed. At times the road camber sucked us down on to the verges, small ridges of frozen snow kicked our wheels to the side and occasionally cleared tracks sent us wiggling across the road to keep the clean line, but progress was slow. Eventually the Garvault Hotel control loomed into view, its white walls camouflaging it against the white hillside of Ben Griam Mór. We already knew no-one was in. Photographic evidence had been requested by Andy of the sign by the road as a substitute. We posed just long enough to get the pictures. The temperature was -8C. We entered an area of estate houses where workers had cleared a route between the various buildings but had only left tyre tracks after the last barn. In the distance the lights of Kinbrace station

lit the night sky, but it was now too late to catch a train south, should we wish to pack the ride now. The descent down Strath Ullie towards Helmsdale was a mix of fast, clean road and an icy mess. I caught the central ridge of snow with my back tyre and got a bit of a fright, just maintaining control. It was a relief when we rolled into town, although at the shop where we warmed up and ate, it was still -8C outside. But when we rode out to the A9 on the coast the temperature rose significantly to -3C, though by now our bottles contained isotonic slush puppies rather than easily consumable energy drinks. We had over nine and a half hours on the clock and hadn’t yet reached the 100 mile mark, but from Helmsdale the route rises and falls, first along the coast passing through Brora and Golspie on the A9 which although much quieter here than south of Tore still receives 24hr treatment so we knew the surface would be good for a bit of speed. The route sheet takes you out to Dornoch village on local roads, but the A9 cuts over a hill. The route via the town

is a nice idea on a good day but at this time on a cold winter’s night with the road otherwise deserted we stuck with the A9 climb to Poles where our final descent showed us the lights of Tain getting closer. At Tain we took a precautionary photo at the Burgh sign in case the ATMs were out of paper, which they were. Robbie spotted one of the hotels had a quiet bar which was clearly still open despite the hour, so we staggered in for a celebratory drink during which we agreed to purchase another card someday and have another ride in warmer conditions. In winter this was a cracking route – the bleak desolation of central Sutherland enhanced by the snowy wilderness, but we had to be wellprepared in terms of equipment and mentally ready to turn back if conditions proved too much. In the shoulder seasons when the roads are still quiet before the summer influx this would make a great day ride in either direction.

… In winter this was a cracking ❝ route – the bleak desolation of central Sutherland enhanced by the snowy wilderness

… the Garvault Hotel ❝ control loomed into view, its white walls camouflaging it against the white hillside of Ben Griam Mór. We already knew no-one was in. Photographic evidence had been requested by Andy of the sign by the road as a substitute

❞ Now find a bar… glowing at the finish control

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Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

Ten female cyclists lined up to challenge themselves against 42 strength-sapping Peak District climbs this July – the brainchild of Sheffield-based rider Dr Alaina Beacall. The inaugural Pure Peak Grit event traced a punishing, never-before attempted, 610km looped path through the national park and taking on every known hill, the hard way. Alaina takes up the story…

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Alone, alone, all, all alone… Alaina is dwarfed by the majesty of Winnats Pass


WORDS ALAINA BEACALL PICTURES RICHARD MARSHALL

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Leader of the pack… Jasmijn Muller cruises up Jackson Bridge

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An 8pm Friday ❝ start from Buxton, ensured the majority would be starting in a fatigued state after a full day’s work, and some long journeys

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The inaugural Pure Peak Grit ride had the dual aim of showcasing the endurance prowess of female cyclists, and raising funds to help the Friends of the Peak District charity conserve the national park. There were ten female sign-ups, crazy enough to knowingly thrust their bodies to the limits, and be the first riders of this new route. An 8pm Friday start from Buxton, ensured the majority would be starting in a fatigued state after a full day’s work, and some long journeys. A local endurance-cycling couple generously opened their home to us to gather together, consume some home-cooked plant-based lasagne, and line up at the starting control point of Buxton train station. Here we took the first of many time and location-stamped photographs for social media and the website: ensuring proof of arrival at controls, and allowing the public to follow the event. The small, competitive, allfemale field was soon scattered; a handful charging ahead with the unrelenting focus and fervour they apply to their endurance racing.

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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THE VISION was to link together every “tough” hill by road in the Peak District National Park, including many of the hills described in Simon Warren’s book, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. The climbs are taken the hardest way up and combined into one beastly, ultra-distance loop. And all to be completed in a 48-hour time limit. So, the Pure Peak Grit challenge was created – a long distance, self-supported ride involving steep hills and sleep deprivation, to be completed over the weekend of 12-14 July summer 2019. The route is 610km long, and climbs at least 42 categorised ascents, giving a total ascent height of 13,600m. I had intended to run it under AUK rules as a DIY mandatory route Super Randonee; a type of mountainous 600km Audax that requires at least 10,000m ascent. But it turned out that SRs can’t be DIYs, and the route’s controls were too close together to form a perm event. So we ran as an independent endurance event instead.

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I declined Alaina’s initial invitation to join the inaugural 48-Hour Pure Peak Grit because I had two other super-hilly long-distance challenges lined up for July. I am Dutch, a flatlander. I am scared of hills and have done my best to avoid them. Since I started cycling in 2011, I may have made one or two exceptions, the Porkers 400km, is one such memorable exception, but the flatlands are my comfort zone – I’d choose a headwind over a climb, any day. Yet, after a few years of playing to my strengths and achieving some success in long-distance time trialling, 2019 was to be the year of working on my weaknesses. Doing the 500km Ride the Trafalgar Way (from Falmouth back to London) at the beginning of July and a DIY of the 330km Tour du Mont Blanc

(with 8,000m of climbing!) later in the month, was a daunting enough prospect. Nonchalantly squeezing in a monster ride of over 600km in length and a whopping 12,000m+ of climbing, within 48 hours would be madness, surely? Plus quite a number of the Peak District climbs are pretty steep, not the long, gradual slopes a timetrialist might prefer – mountain goat terrain – that’s not me... I had my excuses ready. Then, as time passed, I was hit with a serious bout of FOMO (fear of missing out). What a shame it would be to miss out on such a beautiful ride, on the opportunity to participate in an inaugural event and on meeting 10 long-distance kick-ass women I admired? So, I changed my mind and told Alaina I would join the fun after all. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made this year.


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Part one pulled riders over the mid-west Peaks area; a corner of quiet, thin, silvery roads weaving through the contours of green hillsides. Two of us climbed to the gritty outcrop of Windgather rocks as the sun painted the evening sky a rich blood-orange. By nightfall, you could convince yourself from Disley towards the Stockport signs that you were returning to metropolitan lands, but this path then took an acute turn, having us climb through a murky forest to find the purpose of this diversion – Blaze Hill. For me, this steep grinder was accompanied by bass note beats pounding through the air from an adjacent rave tent. All I could do was joyfully fist-pump my way up, and laugh at that reminder of the contrasting life I could be living on a Friday night. What we were doing was way more fun. Finally the road wound through the last urbanised stretch for a while, skirting the Macclesfield back-streets to slide us on to the Cat and Fiddle. As ascent was smoothly but rapidly gained up the dark, and exposed A-road, the height and wind combined to make me regret my shorts and T-shirt summer attire. Control point one allowed riders to collect supplies at an unsociable hour before entering more remote patches through the night. The event photographer, Rich Marshall, and my good friend Steve Pawley caught the girls here making some desperately quick turnarounds: gobs

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… the height and wind combined to make me regret my shorts and T-shirt summer attire

shovelled with petrol-station provisions, and bikes reweighted with water, while half cycling away again. Part two explored the wilder moorlands south of Buxton, ascending Axe Edge and looping around three back lane sticklers to the village of Flash, the UK’s highest settlement. A short descent took another turn back uphill, in order to incorporate Hollinsclough Rake. This road warmed my slightly fatigued morale as it allowed me to be witness to the dawn skies revealing a row of obscure ancient reef knoll hills, Chrome and Parkhouse. A final skirt through dense, ghostly fog clinging to the hills above Leek, led to an exhilarating drop through the sleeping town and on to the second control point. Time stamp photo taken, crew and fellow riders updated, then only a few more lumps until a deep drop among limestone walls to start the gravelly Larkstone Lane. Here a ferocious group of cows forced me to activate my agility advantage, and carefully lift my heavily-laden Vaaru MPA over the barbed-wire fence into the adjacent field. I learned later that my companions didn’t need to exercise such superhuman powers… as they weren’t afraid of cows. I was soon alerted to the news of fellow riders calling it a day for various respectable reasons, which disheartened me quite a bit. Before long, another fruitful descent flowed into

the gorgeous village of Ilam, which marks the base of the popular Dovedale National Nature Reserve, but there was no time for country strolling as the Ilam Moor Lane climb carried me back into the hills and towards the town of Ashbourne. At 7am, I couldn’t have been happier; knowing that the Subway was about to open and provide not only coffee, but the new vegan sub. After an early morning sleepdeprived lull, this brief stop supplied me with the buzz I needed, and it didn’t leave me until the finish. I shared some time with fellow rider and “Everesting” record holder Alice Thompson into and beyond the next control point of Bakewell; the poor girl got battered by my incessant yapping up and over this ridiculously tough corner of the Peaks. Rowsley Bar probably took the crown of toughest hill for me on this route, as it had my clearly unconditioned back screaming while I struggled to keep my pedalling momentum up with that of my mouth! Another diversion linked a further three back lane sticklers before returning past Rowsley to the steady stinger of “Hells Bank” out of Beeley. This gorgeous lane rises out of forest up to a patch of purplish moorland, which sprayed a mist of the only rain of the weekend on to us; a refreshing gust before the fast downhill to Curbar. Refuelling at one of those chic roadside saviours of all cyclists (a petrol station) hyped us for the perky hairpin of Curbar Gap. We were sucked

I was a bit of a last minute addition to this challenge. Working full time in Bristol it was a logistical nightmare but there was no question about whether it was worth it. I love the Peak District, a good challenge and meeting some inspirational women was too good to miss. The weather looked perfect. I’m a hilllover, but was still a bit intimidated. We split up quite quickly, and after chasing Jasmijn Muller’s wheel for a while I gave up and went solo before joining up with Ede Harrison and Lulu Drinkwater. The nature of the Peak District meant that there were many more climbs than the 42 advertised. A few climbs into the ride and I thought I must have ticked off some hills, before GPS told me I was approaching hill number one. This was a recurring theme, but with good legs I ticked them off, rolled through checkpoint one and deeper into the night. By 4am I was struggling. Starting after a full work week had been a stretch. The riding on Saturday was knackering. At a low point, Alaina caught up with me. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone with such boundless energy. Even so, I wasn’t making fast enough progress to make it round in time to get back to work for Monday. By Castleton (360km, 8,000m) I was low in the fun department and feeling the sleep deprivation and lack of proper food. I called my partner, Joe and opted to cycle to his mum’s house for the night, cutting out 100km of the route, and resuming the next morning.   On Sunday I was rested and refuelled. The route around the north Peaks was stunning, and the roads were quiet, though the climbs were just as savage. I caught a glimpse of a flying Jasmijn again, and reunited with Alaina at the top of Holme Moss to finish the route with her. Pure Peak Grit was a great idea, and a real test. I’ll be back for the missing 100kms, and there’s talk of 2020 already…

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up to a bend which nears the gritty edge popular with rock climbers. Official halfway point of 300km. I’m sure all the remaining girls asked the question: “It must be all downhill from here, right?” Curbar also marked the sad exit from two more Peak Gritters; there were now only five of us remaining. With an awareness of the time ticking before I would be able to get a bit of sleep, we hit the next segment of winding roads, devouring a wide valley vista in the late afternoon light at Longstone Edge. Next up was Monsal Head, which drew us out of its beautiful dale, to the popular viewpoint; we were then kindly offered ice cream by an onlooker, once her question: “Are you cycling far?” was answered in earnest. Knowing there was no “hill” for at least 25km caused Alice and me to experience an expectation-reality gap. The whole flipping thing was hills, whether they were a “hill” in the route description or not. Whose bright idea was this anyway? Eventually our expectations were surpassed with the stiff Beast of Bradwell, which we enjoyed knowing our proximity to Castleton down below. It was here that Alice made her decision: she had been unsure she’d be able to complete the ride with how she felt, and doing it in a reasonable time considering work and travel constraints. Her plan was to sleep a good night, and simply cut the next

Pure Peak Grit, encompassed everything I love about cycling – the challenge, meeting new people and mostly… hills. I’m not hugely experienced in long-distance cycling, but I love to take on new challenges and adventures, and I just wanted to give it my best shot. This ride was an amazing opportunity to try taking on an untried route which no-one knew was even possible. Although I was not able to finish it, I learned loads and just loved being a part of it!

100km so she could appreciate the final parts in full. I trooped onwards out of Castleton and up the magnificent limestone gorge of Winnats Pass; its 20 per cent stretch nothing but a repetitive brief pause in pedal motion for me now. I became acquainted with my own affinity for masochism upon entering a nasty triangle incorporating Peaslows east from Chapel en le Frith, and then the “no hills” (hilarious) stretch to next control town Glossop. Being aware of the one place open in Glossop which would definitely calm my high desperation for cake in that moment, drew me to wasting a vital 30 minutes ensuring I got it. A group of lairy lads at the bar were joking, about what little ride this young-looking girl donned in pink was up to at 9pm on a Saturday night: they were promptly silenced at my response. A wonderful lady left me some lentil stew and food for the morning as I treated myself to a bed in her Airbnb home for an entire three hours 45 minutes. At 3am the “last little push” euphoria had me ravaging the Snake Pass, content to have loaded my bike with food for most of the day and two litres of water. A nasty doubleedged sword when hurtling towards some of the area’s most infamous gradients. My back soon reminded me of this during the struggle of a misty Mam Tor, and the sustained Sir William. Via control six of Hathersage, the Dale offered a steady winding grind to a top out over the spectacular edges of Stanage, Higgar Tor and Burbage. I also found that Jasmijn Muller, our international 24 hour TT champion of 2017, was having a more chilled approach that day, only being an hour ahead. Now into home territory (at one point within two miles of my front door), the gorgeous

Friends in adversity… Alaina and Alice enjoy the wellearned descent of Holme Moss

lanes fringing this border of the Peak District and Sheffield smoothly turned my wheels. I arrived into the Bradfield loop, which I knew, would be brutal. A consolation was the warming blue skies opening up, and the knowledge that the local post office would soon be doing the same. Up to Higher Bradfield via a lovely 18.4 per cent kicker, some awe-inspiring panoramas were offered via the swooping diversion loops to take me up the Bradfield Beast. Perfectly returning for 9am, I could fill my water bottles, sun-cream it up, and scoff some vegan brownies from this little Lower Bradfield haven. Up and over the infamous Strines Moors, towards the feared hairpin of Deliverance, I suddenly became soaked with joy: this absolutely incredible ride, comprised of some of the


… content to have loaded my ❝ bike with food for most of the day

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and two litres of water. A nasty double-edged sword when hurtling towards some of the area’s most infamous gradients

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ride this epic route with an awesome group of women despite it being quite soon after the Trans Alba, a 1,075 mile ultra race around Scotland. With six days between the two rides I wasn’t fully recovered in time to tackle the PPG full on. I completed just over a third of the route, which accounted for 215km and 4,500m ascent. My highlights? The first few climbs with Alaina accompanied by a beautiful sunset as we rode into the night, and a late night solo ascent of the Cat and Fiddle with clear skies and the bright moon above. An epic challenge that I will return and complete!

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most stunning riding in the UK linked together, was actually happening, and it was being shared by others – though it was tinged with a sadness that it was nearly all over. A glide downhill towards Stocksbridge took me past two guys, who promptly stood out of their saddles to surge past me on a slight uphill. I don’t normally condone this “ego game”, but what felt like their urge to overtake me led me to proceed at a reasonable pace myself, with all my food bags, and continue onwards and far past them. I wish I could have told them what mile I was on when they tried to muscle past me! Climb 38 now, and the latest national hill climbing time trial spot: Pea Royd Lane. Yes, those 20 per cent bends still felt a bit harsh. The undulating farmland of this northern quarter offered a so-called “hill free” 26km until

the next challenge – Jackson Bridge. This steep and bending backroad brought me towards the final control point and marker of the last epic climb, Holmfirth. The tears were definitely building, and the energy and enjoyment overflowing as I started the gradual ascent up the beautiful Tour de France-featured Holme Moss. It was here that I caught my earlier ride buddy Alice. We decided to roll along the final 50km together. A contrasting and less fanatical ending through towns and traffic nearing Buxton, eventually led us to the nominally determined 7.5km Long Hill where we were greeted by our HQ hostess Rachel Batt. Climbing the official last hill, I could see in the distance the A-road hugging the brown-domed bluff of Axe Edge. Could you believe that’s

A group of lairy lads at ❝ the bar were joking, about what little ride this younglooking girl donned in pink was up to at 9pm on a Saturday night: they were promptly silenced at my response

I agreed to take part in PPG as I love climbing hills on my bike and am partial to a crazy challenge but mostly it was for the opportunity to meet and ride with a group of truly inspirational women. Unfortunately family commitments intervened and I was only able to complete half of the distance but make no mistake that 300km was the hardest ride of my life! The biggest challenges, other than the obvious unrelenting hills, were starting on an evening after a day at work, a four hour drive to the start in Buxton and the lack of opportunities for refuelling (I love my grub!) The scenery was spectacular and the money raised by the challenge will go a small way towards maintaining this beautiful environment. I even have plans to go back and finish the other half…

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Pure Peak torture… the snaking route is available via www.purepeakgrit.cc – with a wall of fame listing for anyone able to complete it

where this all started, in a haze of passionate adventure just 44 hours earlier? We approached the finish line to the applause of a group of brilliant individuals: many of the girls who started this ride, and the people who helped make it happen. Jasmijn and I completed PPG within the 48 hours, Alice Thomson completed 500km within good time, and Ede Harrison and Lulu Drinkwater (enjoying a few more flapjacks and café stops) did the route in 64 hours. All-in-all, we raised £1,200 for Friends of the Peak District

to aid them with the valuable work they do in protecting this amazing playground, and the communities and wildlife it sustains. My dream to link the best of the Peak District’s road cycling challenges together became a reality, thanks to the collective ambition and enthusiasm of my fellow female riders, and the work of the whole team. I cannot wait to open it up as an official event next year for all, but perhaps with a bit of tweaking to hopefully get a higher proportion of finishers. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks go to: Rapha, JE James Cycles of Sheffield, Rich bike-fitter at Pedal Precision, RawVelo bars, Victoria Gray website designer, Richard Marshall photographer, Steven Pawley emergency back up and vehicle/moral support, Rachel Batt and James Stewart for HQ hosting and culinary delights, Neaha Patel for the promotion graphic, and Rod Barrar for promotion photographs. And, of course, the riders: Alice Thomson, Angela Walker, Debs Goddard, Ede Harrison, Jamijn Muller, Lucy Roebuck, Lulu Drinkwater, Nicky Shaw, Sian Lambert.

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Power of two… Lulu Drinkwater, left, and Ede Harrison make climbing Ilam Moor Lane look easy

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Please consider donating to support the cause by visiting www.purepeakgrit.cc for the route, donation link, and future information about PPG 2020.

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WORDS AND PICTURES PAOLO COPPO

As the long, hot summer of 2018 broke, and rain finally lashed Wales, Paolo Coppo donned his chef’s apron to dish up the grub for riders in the 2018 Mille Cymru at the Llanwrtyd Wells night control point. It was hard work – but preferable to actually taking part!

Cooking up a storm LLANWRTYD WELL’S CLAIM to fame is that it’s the smallest town in Britain and host to the World Alterative Games, where you can compete in disciplines such as “worm charming” against the best of the best. It was a glamorous place back in Victorian times: an information display at the main crossroads tells of fashionable crowds coming from London to bathe in

It was a ❝ glamorous place back in Victorian times

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Alternative town… Llanwrtyd Wells under a threatening sky

the spa waters, which goes a long way to explain the abundance of tastefully decorated three storey guest houses. Llanwrtyd was also the night control of the Mille Cymru, where I spent 48 hours during a hot, then wet and then blustery late July. MC1K was an event I wanted to get involved with, but I figured I had seen enough of Wales over the previous 12

THE LLANWRTYD NIGHT CONTROL MENU Day one Pea and mint soup (vegetarian, gluten-free) Vegetable chilli with rice (v, gf) Pasta with chicken, bacon and leek Fruit crumble (v) Day two Lentil soup (v, gf) Vegetable tagine with cous (v) Beef cawl (gf) Trifle (gf)

months, courtesy of the Bryan Chapman Memorial and a good number of calendar events. The reality might be somewhat different and more along the lines of being too scared to even consider riding a selection of a thousand of the hilliest kilometres in Wales over 75 hours. Either way, volunteering at the event is a viable option – a slice of the action at a fraction of the sweat. And the centre of the action


Veggie filler… Tagine for day two

was going to be Llanwrtyd. There are many jobs to do at a night control and everyone seems to fit into a role that suits – I feel at ease in a kitchen. Being the only meat eater in the control group, meant I was put in charge of “all things meat”, which I enjoyed very much. In my reckless youth I spent a whole summer slogging 80 hours a week in the kitchen of a three star hotel in Courmayeur and it was nice to be back cooking for crowds 25 years later. The organisation was faultless throughout and the relatively small number of riders in the event meant there was time to prepare well in advance. In fact, by 7pm we were pretty much ready to welcome them. By 9pm nobody had shown up and we began to wonder whether anyone would actually make the overnight control at all. The afternoon had been swelteringly hot, hardly the ideal weather to go up the barren slopes of the Gospel Pass. Finally, the first rider rolled in at 9.45pm, soon followed by a slow trickle of lean, strong riders, covered in salt from copious sweating. It is fair to say, randonneurs are not the hardest customers to please and nothing was sent back to the kitchen, to my knowledge. Nobody commented on the fact that the chicken, leek and bacon penne was well

overcooked after sitting on a heated surface for an hour or more – in fact some even came back for seconds. Randonneurs don’t eat much either, certainly not at the Mille Cymru, one of those few events in the calendar where the average BMI is within the recommended guidelines. I was basing my estimates on my own portions, which clearly must be oversize, given I was eating leftover beef stew at every meal more than a week after I left Llanwrtyd. One would think that 200 hilly miles a day would be enough to build up a healthy appetite, but very few managed to eat their way through all three courses, although many took advantage of the trifle. The custard

jug needed to be constantly topped up. Time flies when you’re “in control”, and it was soon time to pack up and move on, as riders left, heading to North Wales for the final stage of their epic saga. As I left, all hell broke loose and rain came down in buckets. While riders were getting soaked in Snowdonia, I had time to reflect on the experience. The highs? Seeing the rain, after nearly two months of absence; “wine o’clock” just before gathering for dinner; the excellent company of awesome volunteers; finding a mobile phone signal to send a text to my wife (it’s in the middle of the bridge, by the way). The lows? Having left the bike at home; having left the rain jacket at home; and the warm ale!

Randonneurs are not the ❝ hardest customers to please, and nothing was sent back to the kitchen

Lunch o’clock… taking a break for refreshement

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A total of 6,673 riders drew up at the starting line for the infamously gruelling Paris-Brest-Paris randonnee in August this year – the 19th version of the event. A kaleidescope of lyrca streamed through the farmland, forests and towns of northern France – 178 of them – in a rainbow phalanx of differing ages and abilities, delivering yet again a magnificent and passionate advertisement for long-distance cycling. This year’s event saw a few changes to the route to improve safety, and the ironing out of one or two killer inclines on the final stretch. More than 2,500 volunteers were involved in making sure that this year’s event was as spectacular as ever. In this edition we capture the impressions of a number of British competitors, some of whom were tackling the celebrated Gallic trial of strength and endurance for the first time.

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I MUST TELL YOU my most touching personal experience. It was in a village after Fougeres on the return leg. Deep, dark night, and I was solo…again. In a little village square a tabac stood open. There was nobody else in sight. I was having a bad time, so stopped. I ordered two espressos and a Red Bull. And made my weary way to the toilets. Returning to the bar, I discovered there was no Red Bull, so I downed the espressos in one. I really didn’t want to go back out. I struggled into damp gloves and reapplied chamois cream. This was a terrible low point for me. Then the little old French lady behind the bar came outside to where I was looking forlornly at my bike, thinking: “Oh God! There’s still such a long way to go…” She came really close to me, reached up and took my head gently, kissed both my cheeks, and, from inches away, stared into my eyes. She spoke softly, in English with a strong French accent: “You have much courage inside.” Then she nodded her head, and walked back inside. I was blown away. I climbed back on the machine, and rode out into the misty dark.

ALICE THOMSON

More than 500 British-based cyclists joined an international throng of thousands of riders in this summer’s 1,200km Paris-Brest-Paris event. The first tales of grim determination, tears, comradeship and triumph over the unrelenting course are filtering through. Here’s a taste of this year’s experiences from a few of those who took part…

IAN MCBRIDE

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ONE OF MY FAVOURITE MOMENTS of the ride was on the return to Paris, coming in to the control point at Villaines-la-Juhel. It was at this point I understood why people return every four years for this event. Riding into the control makes you feel like a Tour-deFrance hero, with locals lining the street cheering, music playing and banners everywhere. No amount of sleep deprivation can stop you smiling when local children rush out offering high-fives. As a female rider, you get that little extra enthusiasm. One parent even pulled me over for a picture with her daughters. The downside to this was that with around 200kms still to ride, I felt I’d finished. My brevet card said otherwise, and I had a final night of pedalling with my fellow randonneurs, rolling into Rambouillet at 9.15am on Thursday morning and in desperate need of a shower and a sleep. So I completed my first Paris-Brest-Paris. I’m still recovering, and figuring out what to make of the experience – the things I loved, and the things that really tested me. I was delighted to complete the ride in 84 and a half hours. It was a tale of two halves, a struggle to Brest but a much more enjoyable return.


RORY MCCARRON

gnifique! PREPARATION FOR PBP was far from ideal in terms of cycling legs but perfect for family life. I finished the Flatlands 600 and we had our first child three days later. So, no cycling for nearly two months and only one month until PBP with many sleepless nights. To say I was apprehensive was an understatement. With a month to go my wife told me I should do it – “Just don’t kill yourself trying to be up the front. Treat it as a holiday, a break from parenting,” she said. So, I set myself a target of 60 hours, 2.5 days and a Eurostar back home on 75 hours. The registration was mind-blowing with so many people from all over the world, with many types of bikes, body compositions and age. Bumping into new and old friends or just people you knew from social media. It was a real celebration of cycling.  I started at the back of wave C and was going well, working through the Bs and then all of a sudden I became violently ill at Fougeres getting my card stamped. The doctor wouldn’t let me leave so I laid down in the hall and texted my wife to say I was done and coming home. I woke a couple of hourse later feeling much better and thought I’d see how I’d go. Take it easy and just get to Brest.  I rode for 800km on my own, but I was never alone. People were jumping on my wheel then disappearing again. The best part was all the people cheering on the side of the roads; families having picnics old folk outside their homes. Most of the towns were decorated for the event and lit up at night.  I eventually bumped into a friend, Darren Franks, and we rode the last bit together. It was nice to finish with a friend and share the experience with someone. Somehow I managed to finish in 53 hours and 26 minutes despite having over five hours trying to sleep and 11 hours in total off the bike. So all in all I was very pleased with my time and sad to leave this magical place. But it’s a story I can tell my daughter in years to come. My only criticism was being passed a cup of water at the end and not a beer!

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Desperately try to spot small signs in the dark. Stop. Join a group. Many eyes are better than two. Villaines-la-Juhel for a snooze. The gift of a breathtaking sunrise, powering those tired legs up and down those rolling hills. Last control. What a relief. Depart only to get that deflated feeling. Typical. On the move again. Singing my nonsensical songs along tree-lined avenues to the chateau. Sprint for the line – where did that come from? Crikey. That’s it done. What an experience. A gift to be able to take part, lucky enough to complete. Chapeau to all PBP 2019.

I KNEW I COULD RIDE A 600 600 without sleep so the plan was to ride to Brest using a selection of control-provided refreshments, on-the-bike snacks and drinks and the brilliant roadside impromptu cafes provided by locals. What a great memory of the whole ride that provided. Turned at Brest in 33 hours and decided to take a half hour’s snooze at Tinteniac at 52 hours and 860k. I started to realise I might get under 80 hours, so pushed on. After Villaines-la-Juhel I developed what appeared to be Shermer’s neck, made worse by wearing prescription vari-focal cycling glasses. That meant I couldn’t see the road ahead properly, and with the remaining 200 being into the fourth night, doubts started to set in. A combination of determination, following red lights and white lines and frequent stops to double check the distance. I finally crossed the the line in an unofficial 78 hours and 49 minutes. I was delighted…and relieved.

RICHARD SANDERSON

MY FIRST PBP A race into the twilight. Battle the headwind. Splinter into small groups. Layer up and spin through the dark hours. Up and down the rolling hills. Stamp. Wolf down another plate of pasta. Brace the cold graveyard shift. Small sharp climbs keep coming as energy ebbs and flows. Brest. Huzzah! Sleep (briefly) and repeat. The cold, mist, and fatigue bite. They bite hard. Plug away. More new faces, all weary, all friendly.

DOUGLAS KIRKHAM

C’est magnifique!

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FINALLY, AT THE THIRD TIME of asking, I managed to complete PBP. I have to thank Audax member Andrew Preston, whose successful completion of the Perth-Albany-Perth 1200 Australian brevet was featured in a recent edition of Arrivée, for his help in the early hours of the morning on the return to Dreux. Haunted by hallucinations after having only three hours sleep in total, he assured me that the dawn dew on the road wasn’t ice and the road was safe. Mine was the 20-inch wheel mini recumbent with Duck mascot, by the way!

RUPERT MARTIN-CLARK

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It was mentally very challenging, physically demanding, much hillier than expected, colourful, very cold at night, and just an amazing and memorable first time experience.


France isn’t flat, regardless of what Paul Rainbow might tell you. Support in the form of the orange jerseys of Audax Club Bristol was never far away. They towed me for as long as I could keep up. I thought that Mille Cymru had set the low bar for sleep on a ride but PBP required me to test new limits. Two big night shifts on the return leg were required to stay in the game. Where naps failed to refresh me some brilliant encounters on the road fuelled my resilience. I was surprised to finish in time, and even more surprised to learn after my ride that I was only the third woman to compete PBP on a fixed gear. Proof, if ever we needed it, that women are more sensible than men!

MY FIRST PBP – what an amazing experience. There were so many highlights. The sunrise, around 900km in, towards the end of a long overnight slog between Loudeac and Fougeres, was unforgettable. Another was the extraordinary support in the towns we passed through – I took photos, but it was impossible to do justice to these events. The reception at Villaines-la-Juhel in particular was most memorable - rolling over the hill and in to a town in full party mode. But all along the route, and at all times of the day and night, the degree of support was astonishing. My ride went well despite having a mad dash in the early hours of the last morning to hit the intermediate control time at Dreux after I overslept by a couple of hours at Mortagne.

Sam Crossley and Mark Goldstein at the Grand Depart

THE LARGEST EVER DPCC TEAM set out from our hotel, the Ibis in Rambouillet, with great expectations, and of course this year’s PBP lived up to its reputation as a truly epic event. The nine strong DPCC team consisted of: Adrian Wikeley, Claire Francis, Magnus Wills, Mark Goldstein, Ray Cox, Richard Ireland, Russell Kesley, Sam Crossley and Simon Bottomley. Strong head and cross winds, combined with the relentlessly hilly course from the start meant we had to work hard because the wind diminished the advantage of the big peloton waves. Add to this the fact that daytime temperatures rose to around 32C and dropped to 5C or less at night, and you can imagine how challenging it was. Sadly neither Sam nor Simon reached the arrivée, however our other seven riders successfully returned to Rambouillet on two wheels, within their respective time limits. A new Dulwich Paragon record was achieved by Magnus Wills with a stunning time of 54:35. So congratulations to Magnus, and roll on 2023 with a new sub-50 hour PBP record for DPCC.

MARTIN STEFAN

By the time I got to Brest I had 30 minutes in hand. I became more focussed on making better progress in the second 600km. Sometimes I’d fly up an incline and wonder why anyone ever wanted gears; other times I’d descend slowly with my legs cramping, and wishing for a freewheel.

DULWICH PARAGON CYCLING CLUB

ELEANOR JASKOWSKA THE ROADS BETWEEN PARIS AND BREST are characterised by rolling terrain. My ride was also a series of emotional ups and downs. I quickly realised that I’d underestimated how difficult riding PBP fixed would be. Unable to keep up on the descents I couldn’t take advantage of the international wheel-sucking Olympics, possibly no bad thing but that headwind was tough!

As a flatlander I found the climbing tough, but was able to enjoy the sights and sounds nevertheless. And I thought Rambouillet was a fantastic starting point – truly randonneur central at the weekend, with riders from all over the world and a large, friendly AUK presence. A brilliant, unique event. I feel privileged to have been able to take part.

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I CAME TO ENGLAND FROM BRAZIL in 2005. We knew about PBP in Brazil. Indeed my friends and I created the first Club Audax Brasil, our target being to facilitate a Brazilian riding in and completing the event for the first time ever. We succeeded in that aim, but in 2005, while doing a 400km Audax, our dear friend Alexandre Luz was killed after being struck by a bus. It was such a devastating event that we decided to wind up the organisation and stop doing brevets. I moved to the UK to try to forget those sad memories. But I love cycling and Cambridge is a very bike-friendly city so I was soon doing 10 mile commutes. In 2017, after hearing about LEL and LEJOG, I decided to take up Audaxing again, try to overcome my fears and complete something that my friends and I had dreamed of many years ago. I really felt I had to honour my late friend’s memory.

DEAN ROBSON

CHRIS DELF

Alan Silva still wearing his 16-year-old jersey in memory of Alexandre Luz

And so I did, even if our Club Audax Brasil jersey was dirty, ragged, with holes and broken zipper, plus 16 years of wear and tear. Rest in peace dear Alex. I knew you were there with me.

THIS WAS MY THIRD PBP, but I was feeling that age was catching up with me, so my preparation was more rigorous than before. I was determined to enjoy this one, not endure it. The headwind on the section from Fougeres to Loudeac sapped the mental and physical strength of several riders, who abandoned even though they had time in hand.

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Leaving Carhaix in the middle of the night, the temperature in the wooded valleys near Huelgoat was in single figures, almost hypothermic when wearing summer cycling kit. Yet, climbing the Roc, the temperature inversion made it warmer on the hills than in the valleys.

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Return from Brest was fuelled by coffee, pastries and a huge dose of euphoria. I enjoyed the rolling hills and wide roads – and hitting 40 mph on the descent to Landernau. It was a beautiful day for cycling, but passed in a blur until we reached Tinteniac after midnight. Here, my companion and I opted to sleep for a few hours. We waited 30 minutes for a bed then got a single occupancy room each. Luxury! Two hours uninterrupted sleep, with no snoring. The next day was so hot that by the time we reached Mamers, I was almost dehydrated. There was a refreshment tent in the town square – an oasis. After 750 ml of water and a bowl of soup followed by three cans of Coke at three separate roadside stop I managed to recover by the time I reached Mortagne. There was a slow and hungry ride to the finish, in daylight at Rambouillet. It was my slowest time – 84 hours – but more importantly, I enjoyed PBP 2019.

THE WONDERFUL THING about cycling is that there are endless ways to enjoy it. Just when you think that you might have explored every corner of the pedal-powered universe, a new dimension appears. Actually, two new dimensions appeared for me over the last year; Audax and recumbent riding. It turns out that the two go hand in hand. Every rider who tackles PBP will have their own idea of what they want from the experience. Unashamedly, I sought the full “holiday brochure” experience and it didn’t disappoint: starting as a minor act in the circus that was Group F; following the concatenation of red lights into the cold night, and back out of it again into the even colder sunrise; the chaos of the bulge contrasted with the eerie solitude of temporarily departing planet PBP to ride to my accommodation; the roadside support; the camaraderie. I even got interviewed at the top of the Roc when I stopped to borrow a pump. My PBP was an unforgettable experience shared with 6,500 other like-minded souls at this unique celebration of cycling. Any regrets? I finished with ten hours to spare!

ALAN SILVA

C’est magnifique!

MAIN PICTURES IVO MIESEN


Shortly before the first control I began decanting items from my frame bag into the cargo pockets on my bib shorts. My brevet card was slipped into the left pocket, arm warmers pulled on. A gilet was stuffed into a jersey pocket. I moved to the front. We were funnelled into a closed street, an amphitheatre, lined with bike racks at street level and, above us, crowds of spectators watched the action. A terrified marshal stood in the middle of the road, signalling left and right as the peloton sped towards him. I racked my bike as the two riders ahead of me sprinted up the steps. I gave chase through the crowd towards the buildings.

DARREN FRANKS

PBP CONTROLS ARE NOT A refuge but a danger. The pace through them is set by the fastest supported riders. Any unsupported rider must be ruthlessly efficient to avoid being left behind.

I handed my open brevet card to be stamped but there was confusion. Time slowed down as the pages were flipped, a stamp given and the time is carefully written. Every second felt like a minute. “Merci”, I said, as I pocketed the card and turned for the door. A cacophony reminded me that controls are one-way affairs and I regretted not filling my bottle on the way in as I’m ushered off in the wrong direction.

Ian, left, with Drew at the finish

TO BREAK ONE’S ANKLE walking to the pub, rather than merrily from it, is especially irritating. To do so five weeks before Paris-BrestParis is more than annoying. I found a physio within hobbling distance of home, who turned out to have genius thumbs. A poke here and a manipulation there and I was right enough to ride over 400k for an Easter Arrow. The rest of the qualifiers went reasonably well. So I was, feeling confident, when I twisted (as I thought) my ankle. A nurse confirmed I’d broken it, and issued me with a big boot and crutches. Some days later the consultant at the fracture clinic decided it was so minor a fracture that I could walk on it, and maybe even do a little gentle cycling. Back to the Physio. With a couple of weeks to go, I could cycle 30k without an unbearable amount of pain, so I decided to travel to Rambouillet, and see how far I’d get. A gentle two-day ride across Normandy went without incident. How far I could get? Not much more than 400k in fact – to Loudeac. Back at Rambouillet, Richard Salisbury had also packed. He had donated a kidney to his son at the beginning of the year, which left not a huge amount of time for recovery. We had a beer together. Drew Buck was at the finish, he hadn’t managed to get round either, so I was in good company. There were tales of accidents and DNFs circulating, but Judith Swallow rode a steady pace and finished comfortably despite health issues of her own. Did I mention the new bike? It performed faultlessly – shame about the rider.

DAMON PEACOCK

IAN HENNESSEY

I sprinted back across to the water taps and then down the steps to my waiting bike. The group had scattered. Was I at the front? The middle? The back? As I set off after the four riders in the distance I noticed the “paused time” on my computer read three minutes and 44 seconds.

Kelly Murphy and Ian Hendry from ACB

IT’S 20 YEARS SINCE I first went to Paris Brest Paris. I finished in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. This year I travelled by car to film at well-known points. At the start in Rambouillet a rider from Germany, in the colours of the VC167 club, said he felt that PBP was “Gesamtkunstwerk” - a total work of art. I realised we were a part of a loose association chronicling PBP 2019. It’s much too large a subject for any single group to record more than a fragment. Riders at PBP are the subject of intense scrutiny, with film crews, photographers and the general public displaying interest. The field surfs a wave of shouted encouragement and applause for over 1200km and up to 90 hours. Our role was to add that wave at key points. The lack of focus on individuals is very much the Audax ethos. This shifts the focus on to the entirety of PBP, which is why the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk resonated with me. At Loudeac, I’d filmed the arrival of the leading group of three riders, including Mark Baloh, who I’d met at LEL. There was no special treatment for them; they were told to shift their bikes when they parked them too close to the control, and they attracted little attention. There was no attempt to glamorise or glorify the leaders. It struck me as essentially democratic. I’ve now got to do something with more than 15 hours of video footage – or do I? I’ve already served a function in observing, and therefore encouraging completion. I shall have to see how the muse takes me.

www.audax.uk

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Mileater Report – 2018, by Paul Worthing

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

Chomping through a year

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The 2018 Mileater year was memorable for the extended period of fine weather that many of us had the pleasure to experience: it is not often that we get such a continued spell of great conditions in the UK and this made for some idyllic days in the saddle. Once again, Mileater entrants have shown themselves to embody the spirit of our sport and have been out there, riding the miles in not only the dog days of summer but throughout the whole year, often plugging away through grim winters and stinging frosts. A total of 48 entrants began the year and a full quarter of these submitted their distances through Strava or other activity-logging websites. In total, entrants rode more than 250,000 miles over the year, and there were 11 riders who rode over 10,000 miles. The average mileage was 7,178.6 miles which was slightly down on last year’s total. As we move into a PBP year, what effect will this have on the distances ridden in 2019? The 2018 winner of the Mick Latimer Trophy is, once again, Peter Baker who rode 20,211 miles marking his eighth consecutive victory. The women’s winner is Judith Swallow who rode 17,676.76 miles. Here’s a selection of entries from the Mileater Diaries, plus some notable images from the year. Congratulations to all riders who completed a full Mileater year: “At last, a little longer run before cheese on toast.” – Robbie Calder. “Saturday Gang Xmas Ride Out Lunch. From Gargrave to Bolton-by-Bowland, freezing cold and wet day. Black ice on the way back.” – Barry Peace. “Chequers: Big gathering, warm night, deer, hedgehog, loads of cats for some reason.” – Tom Deakins. “Warm but very misty, could only just see the base of the cliffs at Freshwater from Compton Bay” – Hilary Ann Searle. “Went on a trip to Yorkshire to see family. Came home with a tandem bought from a nice man on eBay.” – Michael Kennedy. “Clumber to Humber 200km – This

was a hot day! With temps of 27/28 degrees for most of the day. I drank seven litres of water... just a short spell of cramp... an enjoyable route!” – Mike Smith. “Home-work, work-home. Homework, work-home.” – Stuart Day. “Ran over a rabbit. Swerved to avoid the deer. Wildlife out to get me tonight.” – James Woricker. “This was the year of my new Flying Gate, built in Shropshire by Lis Beaumont. Sadly I bent the frame later in the year but is now re-straightened and ready for 2019.” – Bob Donaldson. “Scratch the surface of any ageing cyclist and you will find evidence of Peter Pan; the boy who wants to play for evermore and takes no notice of the tick-tock from the Crocodile of Time. I have noticed that tick-tock increasing in volume in the last couple of years and yet I carry on.” – Graeme Bartlett.


of memorable miles Name

Grand total in miles

Al High

10,488.60

Andie Darlington

1,957.40

Barry Peace

5,611.30

Blair Hafford

17,199.10

Bob Donaldson 

10,212.20

Chris Hodges 

6,633.81

Darren Webb 

1,054.62

David Littlejohn 

974.90

David Matthews 

6,334.54

David Stark 

Severn bridge

Emad Sidhom 

5,009.50

Francois Hugo 

5,655.14

Graeme Bartlett 

3,238.51

Hilary Searle 

10,539.00

James Woricker 

15,602.00

Janine Day 

17,676.76

Julia Freeman 

6,946.98 10,683.20

Mark Darling 

354.70

Michael Shaw 

2,362.00

Michael Browne 

10,009.20

Michael Kennedy 

6,418.86

Mike Smith 

6,161.10

Nigel Brown 

3,883.00

Oliver Iles  Paul Coulthread 

11,978.59 380.00

Peter Baker

20,211.00

Richard Iddon

12,099.00

Richard Penny

5,903.00

Richard Ronan

8,502.00

Robbie Calder

2,308.00

Sara McLoughlin Shap hill, Cumbria

4,329.15

Judith Swallow  Lee Tooey

Plains 300

15,480.00

10,682.50

Stuart Day

4,787.50

Tom Deakins

9,585.00

www.audax.uk

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Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

on the high road toInverness

WORDS AND PICTURES RICHARD CHEW

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Monsters and mental struggles

on the high road to The Inverness 1200 is an event which follows a strenuous route from the Lancashire coast at Lytham St Annes 1,206km to Britain’s most northerly city. Rich Chew found the going tough, both physically and mentally – to the point where he found himself seeing imaginary monsters. Or were they imaginary? Here he describes the emotional battles sometimes faced by long-distance cyclists.

PEOPLE ASK ME why I’m not interested in doing the Paris-Brest-Paris. My response is that there’s still so much of this country I’ve yet to explore by bike. I’ve also enjoyed the rides that Andy Corless has organised in the past couple of years and was ready for another challenge ride. I’m a fan of there-and-back-again rides too, which lends a certain purpose in coming back to where you began, whether in a loop or straight line. The Inverness 1200 proved to be a combination of both formats. There was the usual flap, getting away from work at the end of the day, and on to the train in time. All went well until I reached Euston, where I hung about near my anticipated platform, waiting for departure information of my delayed train. Finally I returned to the departure board to look for an update and saw to my horror that it was about to depart

from the other end of the station. No announcement of course. I dashed across the concourse and along the length of the train where I then had to wait for the guard who nonchalantly strolled up to allow me to load my bike. My reserved seat had been taken so I plumped down next to a dapper chap who had a spare seat next to him and got talking. He turned out to be a professional puppeteer, none other than the owner of a famous TV dog called Hacker. We spent a very pleasant journey – and Hacker came out of his hold-all for photos. A trouble-free connection to St Anne’s followed and an overnight stop in a quiet Travelodge. The ride began next morning from a nearby scout hut. We ambled along pleasant lanes with views over to Heysham nuclear power station. I recalled at about this point that the reason my puncture repair kit had seemed so empty when I looked in it before the ride was that the tyre levers were missing. Probably. I couldn’t be sure. I could go the whole ride thinking I had no tyre levers and then find at the end that I actually had them all along. It became a gnawing paranoia. I later tested my luck by passing at least two bike shops without stopping to buy any. I placed my fate in the hands of the gods of improvisation. Before departing I’d discussed the ride with some colleagues in Preston and confidently told them I didn’t imagine I’d see many hills between Blackpool and Glasgow, as we were avoiding the Lake District on this occasion. Perhaps my collection of OS maps doesn’t cover Shap Fell, so I had a bit of an awakening as we began to head north from Kendal. A long but impressive haul, but still no need to resort to the granny gear just yet. The sequence of the towns en-route still eludes me, even which are in Scotland and which in England. I always remember Gretna though. The sense of frontier and change lies on it; the style of houses and other less tangible attributes seem to occur quite suddenly as you ride through.


Inverness

… He turned out to be a ❝ professional puppeteer, none other than the owner of a famous TV dog called Hacker. We spent a very pleasant journey – and Hacker came out of his hold-all for photos

www.audax.uk

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on the high road toInverness Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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… I did 90 per cent of the ride ❝ alone and that must have added to the psychological demand of keeping positive

In some quiet town, perhaps Lesmahagow, on the main road a football bounced out in front of me and I paused to hoof it back to the boys who were playing on the parallel residential street. Memories of home can suddenly take over your immediate thoughts and the overwhelming desire to be back in familiar surroundings again can take hold, either reinforcing your desire to finish or to abandon entirely, depending on your state of mind. These two states of mind were in constant conflict in my head for much of the ride. The approach to Paisley seemed to be a stop-start race between the traffic lights, very wearing after a long day. Having finally found the control successfully in the dark it was time to refuel and get my head down. Feeling fresh the next morning, I set out alone around the airport’s perimeter and headed for Loch Lomond via the Erskine Bridge. A

lovely tranquil morning to be heading off to the Highlands. The views over Loch Lomond were delightful and I passed a hotel I stayed at many years ago on the way to the Isle of Skye. A tunnel passes under the main road to reach the loch side chalets, a really delightful spot. I paused briefly and was attacked by the famous midges, the only time on the ride that they really mithered me but had the positive effect of urging me to get back on the bike and continue, through Glencoe to the aptly-named viewpoint at Rest and Be Thankful. I probably did 90 per cent of the ride alone and that must have added to the psychological demand of keeping positive. With a relatively small field, the opportunities to join groups over the course of the ride diminished, and we were soon well spread out. The fact that there were two ride options also meant that some folk were turning round for home at Fort William and others

going on to Inverness. Although I had begun the ride with a clubmate we unfortunately split, due to differing choices of rest points and pace up the hills. It can’t always be helped, and while a chain gang can make a huge difference on flat roads into the wind, with lumpy terrain it doesn’t matter so much from the point of view of physical exertion. However, from a psychological resilience perspective, having someone to chat with can have a great impact. Inveraray lies on Loch Fyne like a glittering jewel and the approach, over a graceful bridge, adds to its charm. You can keep your fancy oyster restaurants on the shores; for me, a bacon sandwich, freshly cooked in the Londis just topped it all. A friendly window cleaner put me on the right road out to Oban – the steep one. A couple of pallets next to the Dunbeg petrol station’s bin store provided a most satisfactory lunchtime restaurant at the next


control, and much easier than getting up off the ground. From here, a little backtracking before going over the Connel Bridge and along the Argyll Coastal Road to Fort William. I thought several times along the way about a questionnaire I’d recently completed for Sustrans on the National Cycle Network and factors to encourage its use. There was a mixed bag of cycle routes available on this ride to use if you desired and were quick enough to hop on to them before you missed them. There were also some good verges and hard shoulders, some marked as cycle paths, some not, and sometimes possessing a better surface than the road itself. At one point on the way to Fort William, a passing motorist strongly advised me to use the cycle path on the other side of the road by hooting and gesturing vigorously; impossible to get to safely and with no drop kerb I wondered if he had ever used a bike. Immediately we ran into a standing queue of traffic and I took his advice, carefully crossing the road on foot, to join the path from where I breezed

past the long line of cars. A car accident further along meant the flow of traffic was being controlled by the police. They advised me to watch the spilt oil, then I carried on riding. I then got abuse from someone in the other lane who said I was holding up the traffic behind me, the standing queue meant no one could get by. When I did pull over to let them past, there was such a backlog that it was hard then for me re-join and carry on. All this kerfuffle on the road made me eager to crack on and get clear of all the trouble, so reaching Fort William, I hastened on to Inverness. A string of beautiful lochs followed but the view became monotonous and I began a regime of awarding myself with a jelly baby every 10km. This worked for a while and the game of guess the colour of the next one amused the mind, but all that sugar in place of a good meal began to take ill effect. What were those strange murky flats upon the waters of Loch Ness? What was the dull sloshing against the shore? Could it be that Nessie was no more than the figment

of confectionery hallucination? Meeting riders on the road on their way back from Inverness already was disheartening. I wondered where they were heading for that evening. Perhaps heading back to Fort William before the late darkness descended. About 30km from Inverness I put a stop to all this nonsense and paused to eat all my remaining rations. Proper solid starchy and fatty rations, in the shape of a sausage roll. Here was my “taxi home, sir?” moment, when I would have leapt at the chance, had that limo pulled alongside me with a change of clothes and beer fridge inside. I felt pretty rough when I at last arrived in Inverness, having negotiated a business park to find the Travelodge; my Achilles tendon had begun to hurt again. I arrived chilled and disconsolate that there was nowhere within walking distance (in cleats) to find food. I had no desire to get back on the bike, ever. Taking a bath I began to nod off; time to get out before I began doing Nessie impersonations I thought. I was still cold, and in the absence of a

… A string of ❝ beautiful lochs followed but the view became monotonous and I began a regime of awarding myself with a jelly baby every 10km

www.audax.uk

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on the high road toInverness Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

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blanket I piled pillows on myself and was a text message away from packing it in, but decided to sleep on it - for seven blissful hours! The following morning I didn’t feel like continuing, but I didn’t feel like staying in bed either. The absence of a decent breakfast was mortally depressing. This had been one of my most expensive Travelodge bookings of all time; appropriate feedback has been sent. Suddenly noticing the advertising reminder that I could get a breakfast box to go, I hobbled to reception and splashed out on this luxury item. No, not cheap but the effect was miraculous; chilled milk on a small bowl of cornflakes, cold orange juice and a zesty muffin washed down with a coffee had life-affirming effects and I decided to try to continue. I knew there’d be a station in Fort William 100km away if I needed one. Moreover, I reviewed the route sheets and realised today was actually

the shortest day, and after the first slog, there would be two scenic sections to look forward to. The traffic was light on the A82 and I made faster progress on the return leg. My next carrot was the prospect of seeing the spectacular Glencoe pass and I was feeling buoyant by then. After a drizzly start it brightened into a glorious day. The monster was banished back to the loch. The pass of Glencoe was beyond expectations, on a grander scale than the Lake District’s passes, with bigger roads and more traffic, easier on the climbing legs, with one landscape unfolding after another. The craggy heights giving way to the grandeur of Rannoch Moor with its twinkling chain of connected lochans. On the return leg the tea time control was at Crianlarich. It lacked the charms of Inveraray but I found a good level bench on a steep street for a pause before heading back to

Glasgow. I was expecting a quiet evening meander alongside Loch Lomond, but it was still busy with returning day trippers on Sunday afternoon. The 70mph limited dual carriageway on the approach to the Erskine Bridge was horrendous, unexpectedly manic compared to the tranquillity of the previous crossing early on Saturday morning. In all a great day, and I was back with plenty of time to tinker with my front derailleur in good daylight in Paisley, thanks to a kind daily distance under 300km. The benefits and effects of that adjustment paid dividends the following day and helped my mood no end.  I passed a slightly warmer night but my air-bed had begun to go flat. Not much sleep and up early in anticipation of a long last day. A cold draught blew into the breakfast room and I put on some layers. “I can’t decide whether to put my long legs on,” I remarked.


… The pass of Glencoe was ❝ beyond expectations, on a grander scale than the Lake District’s passes, with bigger roads and more traffic, easier on the climbing legs, with one landscape unfolding after another. The craggy heights giving way to the grandeur of Rannoch Moor with its twinkling chain of connected lochans

“Never start a ride cold,” said someone wisely and I went along with that. I was already looking forward to the warm controls and planning my menu. Eating aside, there can be few pleasures greater than washing your hands at a control. Tired by numbness due to cold or hours in the same posture, the feeling of rubbing warm soapy water into them is heavenly. If the soap is particularly pleasant smelling, and not that frothy foam, then my ecstasy is complete. It’s well worth the hassle of removing your fingerless gloves to do it, not to mention reasons of hygiene. I took several pairs of gloves some of which dug in between the fingers, so it was good to have a change every day. When cold I even used my thin liner gloves with an extra pair on top, it really was chilly leaving Paisley at dawn and it was a long time before I removed those layers at Abington despite climbing out of Glasgow.

A wise sage recently reminded me that there are three parts to a ride. There’s the bit where you talk with anticipation about the ride you are planning, then secondly comes the ride itself, and finally there’s the third part afterwards where you reminisce about the completed ride and bask in the glory of finishing. Often parts one and three are the most enjoyable. This held true for the endless roller coaster to Penrith which felt so close to home and yet due to the almost complete absence of distance signs, felt eternal. Alternative routes are available. Carnforth services came at last and the overflowing bins told the story of others passing through. The last leg, and with enough daylight remaining to see quite clearly, I watched enchanted as barn owls hunted over the stubbly fields alongside the road.  Maybe I was enjoying the wildlife too much as, not for the first time in my life, I found myself becoming a

little lost at Out Rawcliffe. Reverting to Google maps I ploughed on and found the friendly tolled river crossing at Cartford then pushed on into Blackpool and then confidently got on to the right B-road to take me to the arrivee. I found the control in the darkness and quickly tendered my receipts over a cuppa before racing off to St Anne’s on Sea station for the last train to Preston. It was the last thing my legs needed but at least the train was on time. At the Travelodge in Preston the receptionist asked if I’d stayed in a Travelodge before. Three in the last five days, as it happened. This one offered a proper breakfast buffet too, which I launched into with great gusto on Tuesday morning. I was both thrilled and finally satiated.  Home and back to normality, straight from the station to the school to do the afternoon pickup, but it was exactly what I wanted.

www.audax.uk

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Addicted

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

Long-distance cyclist Damon Peacock spends much of his time combining his bike-related hobbies with the creation of videos about all things Audax. Here he describes his compulsion to collect data, record events and document activities…

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I’ve built up a fair amount of data over the years I’ve been involved with longdistance cycling. I’ve got five big drives attached to my Mac – and I occasionally think about properly cataloguing all that information. That means trawling through a bewildering array of downloaded files and subsequent treatments of that information. That can then lead to reviewing films I’ve uploaded to You Tube and Vimeo, and looking at DVDs and Blu-Rays I’ve produced. So it’s a bit of black hole – I get dragged into the pit, only to emerge hours later. It’s a process that’s complicated by collaboration with my partner Heather Swift, and with my good friend David Robinson over the years. Occasionally I’ll come across a file that I didn’t consider significant at the time. The accompanying picture of a page from the newspaper Le Perche from 22 August 2007, during Paris-Brest-Paris, is a good example. It gave me pause for thought. Audax is about documentation. It originates from efforts to sell popular newspapers in a slack time during the summer. The page from Le Perche shows that the traditions of local papers selling to those who like to see their name in the papers is alive and well. But the subject is anything but parochial. The riders at PBP come from over 60 countries. Audax is a bemusing blend of the local and the worldwide. The internet has enabled us to access that international community online, but

to the Audax there’s so much data, and so much “churn”, that having hard copy in your hand is still a powerful form of validation - and Audax is very much about validation. The problem with attempting to curate my own archive is knowing where the boundaries are. I look at the “Le Perche” photos, and I know that number 6773 was John Barkman, so I can go to the PBP results and find his 2007 time. I also know that he was the fastest AUK rider in 2015, and that I’ve got a number

of interviews with him, and footage of him riding in various events. There’s a lot of additional information available. One of the staples of local papers are births, marriages and deaths, and it’s inevitable that I compile the occasional tribute piece. That’s a strange feeling, as if there are ghosts in my machinery. One example was the Japanese rider “Mickey” Ina. I came across a still picture of him recently, celebrating with a “Sumo” display at the finish of a 1,200 km Audax in


… Audax is about documentation. ❝ It originates from efforts to sell popular newspapers in a slack time during the summer ❞

archive Ireland. I used a video of him doing that at the time, and forgot I had the still. I really should tidy up my archive, and I should start with the more personal stuff. A typical example is this picture of a group which formed at the campsite at PBP 2007. The bloke with the beard in the middle at the back was an Italian chancer called Riccardo. He scrounged a tent off us, then a back wheel – which he somehow managed to ruin. It was his birthday the other day, so I posted the picture on his Facebook page.

…It’s a bit of black hole – I get dragged ❝ into the pit, only to emerge hours later ❞

From left, Martin Newstead, Riccardo Gravina, Mike Thompson, Heather Swift and Damon Peacock. PBP campsite after the event 2007

www.audax.uk

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AUK CALENDAR

KEY

1826m Total elevation AAA Audax Altitude Award points A(1) Free/cheap accommodation (1 night) B Very basic – no halls/beds, et c BD Bag drop R  Refreshments at start and/or finish S Showers Z Sleeping facilities on route YH Youth hostel at/near start C Camping at or near the start F Some free food and/or drink on ride L Left luggage facilities at start P Free or cheap motor parking at start T Toilets at start M/NM Mudguards required/not required X  Some very basic controls (eg service stations) G GPS files provided by the organiser 175 Entries close at 175 riders 14/4 Entries close 14th April 15-30kph Minimum-maximum speeds

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

100

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08 Sep Budleigh Salterton, Devon Utterly Butterleigh 09:00 Sun BP 104km 1500m AAA1.5 £6.00 A C G L NM R T (75) 15-30kph CS Dynamo Steven Medlock, 11 Marpool Hill, Exmouth Devon EX8 2LJ 55 08 Sep Budleigh Salterton, Devon East Devon Escape 10:00 Sun BP 550m £6.00 C G L NM P R T 12.5-30kph CS Dynamo Steven Medlock, 11 Marpool Hill, Exmouth Devon EX8 2LJ 100 08 Sep Cleve RFC,The Hayfields, Bristol Chalfield Challenge 09:00 Sun BP 1200m £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 200 08 Sep Heeley, Sheffield The Amber Weaver 08:00 Sun BR 206km 3100m AAA3 [3850m] £6.00 L P R T G 14.3-30kph Updated Sheffield District CTC Andy Smith, 1 Durvale Court, Dore, Sheffield S17 3PT 100 08 Sep Heeley, Sheffield An Amber Gambol 09:00 Sun BP 105km 1420m AAA1.5 [1750m] £6.00 L P R T G 12-25kph Updated Sheffield District CTC Andy Smith, 1 Durvale Court, Dore, Sheffield S17 3PT 200 08 Sep Ponteland The Middle Marches 08:00 Sun BR 205km 2132m £12.00 FGPRT 14.3-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Andy Berne, 5 Oakham Avenue, Whickham, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear NE16 5YU 140 08 Sep Ponteland Coquetdale Circuit 09:00 Sun BP 1520m [1278m] £10.00 FGPRT 13.5-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Andy Berne, 5 Oakham Avenue, Whickham, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear NE16 5YU 100 14 Sep Aztec West Bristol Skirting the Cotswolds 09:00 Sat BP 940m [930m] £6.50 P R T 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol peter@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Entry on line only 600 14 Sep Chalfont St Peter BBC London 06:00 Sat BR 613km 5350m AAA3 [3000m] £12.00 GPRTX 15-30kph Updated Audax Club DuBois paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN

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14 Sep Galashiels Alston and Back Take 2 – The Twilight Zone 06:00 Sat BR 305km 2700m £5.00 G P R T X 15-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 14 Sep Harringay, London Straight Outta Hackney 08:00 Sat BR £15.55 CFLPRT 15-30kph Audax Club Hackney 07932672561 justinjones1969@gmail.com Justin Jones, ACH HQ Incorporating The Stags Head 39 Harringay Road, Harringay, London N15 3JB 200 14 Sep Kelmscott, nr Oxford The Morris Major 08:00 Sat BR 2000m [650m] £13.50 F P T (25) 15-30kph Peter Davis, 47 Main Street, Sedgeberrow, Evesham WR11 7UE 100 14 Sep Kelmscott, nr Oxford The Morris Minor 09:00 Sat BP 1000m [950m] £9.50 F P T (25) 12.5-30kph Peter Davis, 47 Main Street, Sedgeberrow, Evesham WR11 7UE 100 14 Sep Tongwynlais, Cardiff Trefil Travail 09:00 Sat BP 105km 2150m AAA2.25 £8.00 YH L P R T 50 12-24kph Hugh Mackay Hugh.Mackay@open.ac.uk 131 Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 3LL 100 15 Sep Corse, Gloucestershire Chartists to the Marches 09:00 Sun BP 104km 1427m [1647m] £6.00 G P T R (100) 12.5-30kph Leadon Vale Cycling Club lvcc_audax@outlook.com Michael Sutton, 72 Bank Crescent, Ledbury HR8 1AF 100 15 Sep Legbourne, Nr Louth The Wold Traverse 19 09:30 Sun BP 654m £8.00 F G NM R T 15-30kph Cycling UK Louth 01507 443 000 alan.hockham@hotmail.com ROA 4000 Alan Hockham, 11 Trustthorpe Road, Sutton on Sea, Lincs LN12 2LX 200 15 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire Pistyll Packing Momma 08:00 Sun BR 203km 3500m AAA3.5 [3400m] £7.50 BD R L P T 10/09 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft, Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG 130 15 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma’s Mountain Views 08:30 Sun BP 131km 1750m AAA1.75 [2000m] £7.50 BD R L P T 10/09 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG 60 15 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma’s Leafy Lanes 09:00 Sun BP 500m £7.50 BD R L P T 10/09 10-25kph Change of Date Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 10000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG 600 20 Sep Bispham, Lancashire Glasgow 600 22:00 Fri BR 602km 3600m £21.00 F L P R T Z 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 21 Sep Balsall Common BRUM 200: the X-Rated Loop 08:00 Sat BR 211km 2000m £2.00 X P 14.4-30kph West Midland Randonneurs pcoppo@gmail.com Paolo Coppo For postal entries contact me via e-mail 200 21 Sep Carbrooke, near Watton, Norfolk Suffolk coast and back 07:30 Sat BR £6.00 G L N M P R T 15-30kph CC Breckland johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT

100

21 Sep Carbrooke, near Watton, Norfolk South Norfolk Loop 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 G L NM P R T 10-30kph CC Breckland johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 9NT 400 21 Sep Hallbankgate Border Nights 15:00 Sat BR 402km 3362m £5.00 X G P R T (50) 14.3-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com 160 21 Sep Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 160 08:00 Sat BP 1561m AAA1.5 [1675m] £8.00 LPRT 15-30kph Welland Valley CC 07787402306 ROA 5000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage, Grange Lane, East Langton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7TF 110 21 Sep Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 116 08:30 Sat BP 116km 1133m AAA1 [1350m] £8.00 L P R T 12-24kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 ROA 5000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage, Grange Lane, East Langton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7TF 53 21 Sep Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 53 09:00 Sat BP 600m £8.00 L P R T 12-24kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 ROA 5000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage, Grange Lane, East Langton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7TF 100 21 Sep Plan2Ride, Tongwynlais, Cardiff The witches hat 10:00 Sat BP 109km 1245m AAA1 £7.50 YH P R F S (50) (6/10) 15-30kph Change of Date Motorlegs, Cardiff David Hann, 8 Kymin Terrace, Penarth CF64 1AP 200 21 Sep Stevenage, Hertfordshire The Four Minute Mile 07:30 Sat BR 215km 2000m £6.00 X G P R T 15-30kph Change of Date Hertfordshire Audax auk@hertsaudax.uk Phil Whitehurst, 506 Archer Road, Stevenage SG1 5QL 110 21 Sep Stevenage, Hertfordshire Hertfordshire Greenways 08:00 Sat BP 111km 1000m £6.00 X G P R T 10-20kph Change of Date Hertfordshire Audax auk@hertsaudax.uk Phil Whitehurst, 506 Archer Road, Stevenage SG1 5QL 50 21 Sep Stevenage, Hertfordshire Hertfordshire Greenways Lite 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 G X P R T 8.3-20kph Hertfordshire Audax auk@hertsaudax.uk Phil Whitehurst, 506 Archer Road, Stevenage SG1 5QL 200 21 Sep Usk, Monmouthshire Epynt Epic 07:30 Sat BR 208km 3350m AAA3.25 £8.00 G NM P R T (8/9) 15-30kph Monmouthshire Wheelers bob@littlebrookcottage.co.uk Bob Millar, Little Brook Cottage, Earlswood, Chepstow NP16 6RH 200 21 Sep Warmley, Bristol Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles 07:00 Sat BR 209km 1900m £7.50 YH G P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 100 22 Sep Cragg Vale The Cragg Challenge Grimpeur 09:00 Sun BP 2370m AAA2.25 £10.00 F G P T 12.5-30kph Rochdale CTC 01457 870 421 PeakAudax@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm, Millcroft Lane, Delph, Saddleworth OL3 5UX 200 22 Sep Denmead, Nr Portsmouth Wylye and Ebble Valley 07:30 Sun BR £7.00 F L P T (18/9) 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7XR


200

22 Sep Hallbankgate, nr Brampton Eden and Tees 08:30 Sun BR 202km 2500m AAA1.75 [1870m] £8.00 G P R T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 150 22 Sep Hallbankgate, Brampton Askham Again 09:00 Sun BP 153km 1658m £8.00 G P R T 13.5-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 110 22 Sep Hallbankgate, nr Brampton Dalston and Alston 10:00 Sun BP 115km 1147m [1135m] £8.00 G P R T 13.5-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 110 28 Sep Blaxhall, Suffolk The Suffolk Byways 09:00 Sat BP 117km 800m £6.50 YH G L P R T (120) 15-30kph Suffolk CTC coupeaudax@gmail.com David Coupe, 30 Wells Way, Debenham, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 6SL 100 28 Sep Bolsover Beast of Bolsover 09:00 Sat BP 103km 1900m AAA2 £5.00 G L P R T (100) 12.5-25kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 matt.connley@talktalk.net ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL 200 28 Sep Chepstow Castle Car Park Border Castles 200km Randonnee 07:30 Sat BR 3000m AAA3 £4.00 X GMT 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol Jennifer Goslin, 46 Bridge Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire NP16 5EY 200 28 Sep Coryton, NW Cardiff Ferryside Fish Foray 07:00 Sat BR 225km £10.00 YH L R P T 50 15-30kph Cardiff Ajax CC Bernard Brown, 20 Heol Don, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 2AU 500 28 Sep Falmouth, Pendennis Castle Ride the Trafalgar Way 06:00 Sat BR 5m £25.00 F G NM P T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol paul@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road, Horfield, Bristol, Avon BS7 9PJ 300 28 Sep Greenwich Greenwich Mean Climb 06:00 Sat BR 310km 4430m AAA4.5 [4500m] £15.00 F G R (80) 15-28kph Audax Club Hackney ivan.cornell@gmail.com Ivan Cornell, 13 Maidenstone Hill, London SE10 8SY 200 28 Sep Gunco Lane, Macclesfield Venetian Nights 08:00 Sat BR 210km 2700m AAA2.5 £10.00 F G L P R T 14.3-25kph Four Corners Audax shaun87356@gmail.com Shaun Hargreaves, 6 Langton Court,Werrington, Stoke-on-trent, Staffordshire ST9 0NF 110 28 Sep Gunco Lane, Macclesfield Bunbury 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 G L P R T 12-25kph Four Corners Audax shaun87356@gmail.com Shaun Hargreaves, 6 Langton Court, Werrington, Stoke-on-trent, Staffordshire ST9 0NF 200 28 Sep Oadby Youth centre 42 Wigston road, LE2 5QB Leicester Triangle 08:00 Sat BR 2030m £6.00 G L P R T 15-30kph Leicester Forest CC Robert Jones, 20 Lavender Road, Leicester LE3 1AL 100 28 Sep Sonning Common, near Reading Henley Hilly Hundred 09:00 Sat BP 102km 1472m [1450m] £7.00 F L P R T 12-30kph Updated Reading CTC mes84uk@gmail.com Mick Simmons, 84 Kidmore Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7NA

200

28 Sep Waddington, Lincoln Witham and Blues 08:00 Sat BR 1350m £7.00 G L NM P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire Paul Bolton, 11 Belton Park Drive, North Hykeham, Lincs LN6 9XW 110 28 Sep Waddington, Lincoln Witham and Blues 9:00 Sat BP 450m £6.00 G L NM P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire Paul Bolton, 11 Belton Park Drive, North Hykeham, Lincs LN6 9XW 60 28 Sep Waddington, Lincoln Witham and Blues 10:00 Sat BP 20m [200m] £5.00 G L NM P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire Paul Bolton, 11 Belton Park Drive, North Hykeham, Lincs LN6 9XW 200 29 Sep Clitheroe, Lancashire Last Chance Dales Dance 200 08:00 Sun BRM 3300m AAA3.25 [3000m] £6.60 L P R T X 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 29 Sep Surbiton, Greater London Rowlands Ramble 07:30 Sun BR 213km 2700m [2550m] £9.50 F G L P R T (120) (9/9) 14.3-30kph Updated Kingston Whs campbell.x.chris@gmail.com Chris Campbell, 27 Park View, New Malden KT3 4AY 100 29 Sep Wall, Nr. Carnhell Green Celtic Coastal 09:30 Sun BP 1283m £6.00 C L P R T 15-30kph Audax Kernow Chris Rayne, 1 Reawla Lane, Hayle TR27 5HQ 60 29 Sep Wall, Nr. Carnhell Green The Celtic Canter 10:00 Sun BP 800m £6.00 C L P R T 12.5-30kph Audax Kernow Chris Rayne, 1 Reawla Lane, Hayle TR27 5HQ 200 05 Oct Belbroughton, Worcestershire Autumn South Salopian 08:00 Sat BR 207km 2336m [1750m] £9.00 G L P R T S F Cake 15-30kph Beacon RCC 07969 079242 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace, Drayton, Belbroughton, Stourbridge DY9 0BW 100 05 Oct Bristol, The Lamplighters Tasty Cheddar 09:00 Sat BP 101km 1225m £4.00 YH G NM P R T (250) 12.5-30kph Audax Club Bristol joe.prosser@blueyonder.co.uk ROA 4000 Joe Prosser, 4 Cottonwick Close, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9FR 200 05 Oct Churchend,Dunmow, Essex Richard Ellis Memorial 200 07:30 Sat BR 1600m £10.00 A[1] M G R P T L C F 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 100 05 Oct Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Richard Ellis Memorial 100 09:00 Sat BP 103km 950m £9.00 A[1] M G R P T L C 12.5-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 200 05 Oct Coryton, NW Cardiff Gower Getter 07:30 Sat BR 202km 2200m £8.50 YH L P R T 15-30kph motorlegs cardiff David Hann, 8 Kymin Terrace, Penarth CF64 1AP 100 05 Oct Dore, Sheffield Ring of Steel (City) 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1900m AAA2 £5.00 G L P R T 12-25kph Sheffield District CTC cripps@uwclub.net John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW 200 05 Oct Dore, Sheffield On to the Big Ring 08:00 Sat BR 205km 2148m [2045m] £5.00 G L P R T 15-30kph Sheffield District CTC cripps@uwclub.net John Cripps, White Gates, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW

61

05 Oct Dore, Sheffield The Little Ring 09:30 Sat BP 1044m AAA1 £5.00 G L P R T 10-25kph Sheffield District CTC cripps@uwclub.net John Cripps, White Gates, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW 110 05 Oct Leadenham, Lincs From Ridge to Vale 09:30 Sat BP 1000m £5.00 P R T 15-30kph Lincolnshire CTC Peter Jones, 41 Long Leys Road, Lincoln LN1 1DP 200 05 Oct Witherslack Tour of Rheged 08:00 Sat BR 207km 3000m AAA3 [2800m] £8.00 P R T 15-30kph Lakes Velo paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8QL 100 06 Oct Uffington Corallian Crusade 09:30 Sun BP 105km 477m £6.00 C G L P R T 15-30kph Corallian CC jochta@gmail.com John Talbot, 33 Barretts Way, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon OX14 4DD 200 06 Oct Ulcombe, Kent The Fairies Crown and Anchor 08:00 Sun BR 210km 2150m £7.00 G L P R T (50) 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC bobwatts999@gmail.com Bob Watts, 13 The Grove, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB 100 06 Oct Ulcombe, Kent The Fairies Half Crown 09:00 Sun BP 106km 1150m £6.00 G L P R T (50) 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC bobwatts999@gmail.com Bob Watts, 13 The Grove Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4JB 100 06 Oct Winchcombe, Glos Winchcombe Falling Leaves 104 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1750m AAA1.75 £8.00 T F R NM G 12.5-25kph Winchcombe Cycling Club happysarah37@aol.com Sarah Davies, 22 Binyon Road, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5QY 200 12 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Clwydian 08:00 Sat BR 212km 3150m AAA3.25 £6.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Chester & N Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH 130 12 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Clwyd Gate 08:30 Sat BP 138km 2200m AAA2.25 £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH 60 12 Oct Corwen, N. Wales ‘The Bala Mini-Bash’ 09:00 Sat BP 650m £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH 200 12 Oct Galashiels Etal-u-Can 08:00 Sat BR 204km 2379m £10.00 P R T S L G 15-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 100 12 Oct Galashiels Ride of the Valkyries 10:00 Sat BP 106km 1200m [1517m] £10.00 P L R T S G 12-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 12 Oct Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s Autumnal Outing 07:30 Sat BR 206km 2200m £7.00 C L P R T NM 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE

www.audax.uk

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AUK CALENDAR

Arrivéesummer/autumn2019

100

60

12 Oct Tewkesbury ‘Mint’ Stalwart’s Mania 09:00 Sat BP 105km 975m £6.50 C G T NM P 100 12-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 150 12 Oct Trowell, West of Nottingham An Autumn day out 08:30 Sat BP 155km 1000m £7.00 L P R T(80) 15-30kph Updated Nottinghamshire CTC Caroline Smith, 6 Coniston Road Beeston, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG9 3AD 100 13 Oct Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft The Silly Suffolk 10:00 Sun BP £6.00 G N M P R T 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 200 13 Oct Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk The Silly Suffolk 08:00 Sun BR 1050m £6.00 F R T P 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 160 13 Oct Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk The Silly Suffolk 09:00 Sun BP 850m £6.00 F R T P 12.5-25kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 100 13 Oct Earlswood, nr Solihull Midlander 100 09:00 Sun BP 109km £6.00 G P R T 15-30kph Midland C & AC Jim Lee-Pevenhull, 107 Shustoke Road Solihull, West Midlands B91 2QR 100 13 Oct Minehead Ken’s Autumn Colours 09:30 Sun BP 105km 1750m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH L P R T 12.5-25kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX 60 13 Oct Minehead Ken’s Autumn Colours 10:00 Sun BP 1250m AAA1.25 £5.00 YH L P R T 10-20kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX 100 13 Oct Mytholmroyd Season of Mists 09:00 Sun BP 105km 2350m AAA2.25 £5.00 L P R T YH 12-24kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF 55 13 Oct Mytholmroyd Mellow Fruitfulness 10:00 Sun BP 1050m AAA1 £4.50 L P R T YH 8-20kph Calderdale CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF 100 19 Oct Chailey, East Sussex Mid Sussex Hillier 08:30 Sat BP 108km 2012m AAA2 £5.50 F L P R T 40 (12/10) 12.5-25kph San Fairy Ann CC malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk Martin Malins, Room 2l22 Laboratory Block, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF 100 19 Oct Chailey, East Sussex Mid Sussex Hilly 08:30 Sat BP 108km 1600m AAA1.5 [2000m] £5.50 F L P R T 40 12.5-25kph Grimpeurs du Sud malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk Martin Malins, Room 2l22 Laboratory Block, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF 200 19 Oct Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Autumnal 200 08:00 Sat BR 1400m £10.00 G L P R T S YH 15-30kph Cambridge Audax nick@camaudax.uk Nick Wilkinson, 1 Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP

100

19 Oct Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Autumnal 100 09:00 Sat BP 800m £10.00 G L P R T S YH 12.5-30kph Cambridge Audax nick@camaudax.uk Nick Wilkinson, 1 Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP 100 20 Oct Bynea, Llanelli Wesley May Memorial Super Grimpeur 09:00 Sun BP 107km 2350m AAA2.25 £5.00 G F L P R T 30 (17/10) 10-25kph Swansea DA Guto Evans, Maes Yr Helyg, Heol Nant Y Ci, Saron, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire SA18 3TP 100 20 Oct Bynea, Llanelli Around The Gwendraeth 9.:00 Sun BP 1000m £7.00 G F L P R T 30 (17/10) 12-30kph Swansea DA Guto Evans, Maes Yr Helyg, Heol Nant Y Ci, Saron, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire SA18 3TP 100 20 Oct Wigginton, N of York The Three Abbeys Wigginton Autumn Brevet 10:00 Sun BP 101km 850m £5.50 L P R T 12-25kph CTC North Yorks Nick Folkard, 208 Prince Rupert Drive, York, North Yorkshire YO26 7PU 100 26 Oct Bolsover Colourful Clumber 09:00 Sat BP 109km £5.00 G L P R T (100) 13-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 matt.connley@talktalk.net ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL 200 26 Oct Cleve RFC, The Hayfields, Bristol The North Wessex Downs 07:00 Sat BR 2050m £5.50 G P T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol Jon.Banks62@gmail.com Jon Banks, 4 Balaclava Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3LJ 200 27 Oct Bispham, Lancashire Ride The Lancashire Lights 200 07:30 Sun BRM 206km 1800m £6.60 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 50 27 Oct Hampers Green Community C, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth End of Summer Time 50 09:30 Sun BP 730m [1200m] £5.00 F G P T R (40) 10-30kph ABAUDAX abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT 200 27 Oct Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth End of Summer Time 200 07:30 Sun BR 204km 2006m £8.00 F G P T R (80) 15-30kph ABAUDAX abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT 100 27 Oct Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth End of Summer Time 100 08:00 Sun BP 103km 1350m £10.00 F GP T R (100) 15-30kph ABAUDAX abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT 200 02 Nov Cholsey, E of Didcot Upper Thames 07:30 Sat BR 209km 1750m £6.00 L P R T M G 15-30kph Phil Dyson 01491 651 284 phil@thamesvalleyaudax.co.uk Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way, Cholsey, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 9LL 100 02 Nov Denby National Arboretum 09:00 Sat BP 107km £5.00 P R T 12.5-30kph Alfreton CTC Nigel Cater, 31 Lark Hill, Swanwick, Derbyshire DE55 1DD 200 02 Nov Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of an Audax Soul 08:00 Sat BR 2000m £10.00 G T P R S L 15-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

110

02 Nov Galashiels Home in time for Teatime 10:00 Sat BP 116km £10.00 P L R T S G 12-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 02 Nov Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s Cymraeg Cyrch 07:30 Sat BR 209km 2200m £7.00 C P R T NM 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 110 02 Nov Tewkesbury Theo Nelson 09:00 Sat BP 111km 1300m £6.00 C P R T NM 100 12-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 100 02 Nov Witham Essex 3 R’s 10:00 Sat BP 107km 750m £4.50 X M T G 12-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF 110 03 Nov Bovey Tracey The Dartmoor Devil @ 9 09:00 Sun BP 2500m AAA2.5 £10.00 F G P R T 125 (22/10) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 364416 dartmoordevil@gmail.com David Twigger, Ulborough, 3 Old Totnes Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1LR 110 03 Nov Bovey Tracey The Dartmoor Devil @ 8 08:00 Sun BP 2500m AAA2.5 £10.00 F G P R T 125 (22/10) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 364416 dartmoordevil@gmail.com David Twigger, Ulborough, 3 Old Totnes Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1LR 200 09 Nov Gabalfa, NW Cardiff Monmouthshire Meander 200 07:30 Sat BR 202km 2000m £8.00 YH G P R T 15-30kph Change of Date VeloAdventures Cardiff veloadventurescardiff@gmail.com Nic Pow, 17 Y Groes, Cardiff CF14 6DX 200 10 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Eureka! 08:00 Sun BR 210km 1250m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue, Heald Green, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire SK8 3NZ 160 10 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Cheshire Safari 08:30 Sun BP 570m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue, Heald Green, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire SK8 3NZ 300 15 Nov Easton, Bristol Moonrakers & Sunseekers 22:00 Fri BR 304km 2300m £14.00 YH F G L R T 150 10/11 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 100 23 Nov Cranbrook, Exeter Breakfast in Bampton 09:00 Sat BP 1200m £5.00 T NM 12-30kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook, Devon EX5 7AP 100 24 Nov Carlton Colville, nr Lowestoft, Suffolk The Waveney Wander 09:00 Sun BP 550m £6.00 L P R T 12.5-25kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 110 01 Dec Bristol The Welsh Castles Populaire 09:00 Sun BP 111km 1404m [1496m] £7.50 G P R 150 20/5 12-30kph Audax Club Bristol Isabel Rennie, 8 Cambridge Street, Redfield, Bristol, Somerset BS5 9QH


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01 Dec Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline The Braco Way 10:00 Sun BP 102km £6.00 G P R T (50) (16/11) 14.3-30kph Dunfermline CC email maryclodge@hotmail.com for address details 200 07 Dec Alfreton Alfreton Figure of Eight 08:00 Sat BR 211km 1650m £7.00 L P R T 15-30kph Alfreton CTC 01773 833 593 tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP 200 07 Dec Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2SE The South of Bucks Winter Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 208km 1550m £5.00 YH A1 G L P T S X (100) 15-30kph Terry Lister lister4cycling@btinternet.com Terry Lister, 4 Abbey Walk, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0AY 100 07 Dec Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP9 2SE Xtra 100 09:00 Sat BP 104km 930m £5.00 YH A1 G L P T S X (100) 15-30kph Terry Lister lister4cycling@btinternet.com Terry Lister, 4 Abbey Walk, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0AY 200 07 Dec Frenchay, Bristol Air Mail 07:00 Sat BR 202km 1720m £7.50 YH G P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 110 07 Dec Frenchay, Bristol Thames Tickler 08:00 Sat BP 116km 900m £6.50 YH G P R T 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 200 07 Dec Tewkesbury Kings, Castles, Priests & Churches 07:30 Sat BR 202km 1600m AAA1.5 [2300m] £7.50 F L P R T NM 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 110 07 Dec Tewkesbury Once more unto… Agincourt 09:00 Sat BP 1150m £6.50 C P T NM 100 12-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 100 07 Dec Witham, Essex The Stansted Airport Express 10:00 Sat BP 650m £4.00 X M T 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 200 22 Dec Bredbury, Stockport Winter Solstice 08:30 Sun BR 202km 700m £5.00 G P R T (100) 15-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 200 22 Dec Great Bromley, nr Colchester Santa Special 08:00 Sun BR 204km 1200m £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph CTC Suffolk 07922772001 Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EW 500 28 Dec Easton, Bristol Full Fat Festive 500 06:00 Sat BR 511km 3450m £9.50 YH X G L P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 200 04 Jan Oxford The Poor Student 08:00 Sat BR 205km 1800m £6.00 (200) YH P X 15-30kph Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road, Lambourn RG17 7LL 200 04 Jan Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s January Sale 07:00 Sat BR 201km 2300m £1.00 C G NM P T (100) 15-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE

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11 Jan Warmley, Bristol Chalke and Cheese 07:00 Sat BR 209km 2450m £7.50 YH G P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 100 12 Jan Kings Worthy, Winchester Watership Down 09:30 Sun BP 105km 1250m £7.00 L F P R T M 150 14-28kph Winchester CTC coles.sue@gmail.com ROA 5000 Sue Coles, 7 Ruffield Close, Winchester SO22 5JL 200 18 Jan Chalfont St Peter The Willy Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 209km £9.00 L P R T 175 G 15-30kph Willesden CC paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN 200 18 Jan Cockerton, Darlington Yad Moss/St Moritz 08:00 Sat BR £10.00 G L P R T 15-30kph VC 167 dean.clementson@yahoo.com Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER 100 18 Jan Kelvedon, Essex The Kelvedon Oyster 10:00 Sat BP 104km £5.00 X M T G F 12-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex provanaudax@btinternet.com Graeme Provan, 1 Firs Road West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8JS 100 25 Jan Aztec West, Bristol Jack and Grace Cotton Memorial 100km 09:00 Sat BP 104km 750m £7.00 P R T 12.5-30kph Audax Club Bristol paul@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road, Horfield, Bristol, Avon BS7 9PJ 200 26 Jan Cheadle, Stockport Newport 08:00 Sun BR 201km 1200m £7.00 P, R, T 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC Terry Hodges, 28 Higher Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, Lancashire M45 7FY 150 26 Jan Cheadle, Stockport Radway 08:30 Sun BP 153km 780m £6.50 P, R, T 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC Terry Hodges, 28 Higher Lane, Whitefield, Manchester Lancashire M45 7FY 200 01 Feb Alfreton Straight on at Rosie’s 08:00 Sat BR 204km 1120m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP 200 01 Feb Tewkesbury Benjamin Allen’s Spring Tonic 07:30 Sat BR 206km 2050m £6.00 C G P NM P R T 15-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 110 01 Feb Tewkesbury Bill’s Theocsbury Ramble 09:00 Sat BP 650m £6.00 C P R T NM 100 12-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 100 01 Feb Witham Knights Templar Compasses 10:00 Sat BP 105km 800m £4.50 X G T P 12-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF 150 02 Feb Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm Down 150 08:00 Sun BP 155km 1450m £2.50 L F P R T 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 10000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester GL7 1RL 100 02 Feb Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm-up 100 09:00 Sun BP 108km 700m £2.50 L F P R T 14-25kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 10000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester GL7 1RL

200

23 Feb Cranbrook, Devon Up and down like a yo-yo 08:00 Sun BR 3100m AAA3 £7.00 G T P R 15-30kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook, Devon EX5 7AP 200 29 Feb Ponteland Newcastleton and back 07:30 Sat BR 1974m £8.50 G P R T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 100 29 Feb Ponteland Winter’s Gibbet 08:30 Sat BP 1050m £8.50 G P R T 12.5-25kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 200 07 Mar Alfreton Roses to Wrags 08:00 Sat BR 212km 1400m £6.00 F P R T 150 14.3-30kph Alfreton CTC oggy.dude@gmail.com Stephen Ogden, 12 Primula Grove, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 8SD 200 07 Mar Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s March Madness 07:30 Sat BR 209km 2600m AAA2 [1700m] £7.00 C G NM P R T 15-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 200 07 Mar Whitchuch, Bristol Wells, Mells & Broader! 07:00 Sat BR 203km 2800m AAA2.75 [2750m] £7.50 YH G NM P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 100 07 Mar Whitchuch, Bristol Wells, Mells & Old Rail Trail 09:00 Sat BP 103km 1600m AAA1.5 £6.50 YH G NM P R T 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 100 14 Mar Bamford, Derbyshire Occasionally Hilly 09:30 Sat BP 109km 2100m AAA2 £7.00 P R T G F 12.5-30kph Common Lane Occasionals 07805100988 owright@mac.com ROA 3000 Oliver Wright, Townhead Farm, 345 Baslow Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S17 4AD 200 14 Mar Churchend,Dunmow, Essex The Horsepower 200 07:00 Sat BRM 1450m £10.00 X A[1] C L P R T G M 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 100 14 Mar Churchend, Dunmow, Essex The Horsepower 100km 09:00 Sat BP 102km 900m £10.00 X A[1] C L P R T G M 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 300 14 Mar Oxford, Peartree Services The Dean 06:00 Sat BR 3450m AAA2.25 [2200m] £7.50 X G P 15-30kph Updated Audax Club Hackney timsollesse@gmail.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG 200 15 Mar Exeter Mad March, A river too far 08:00 Sun BR 2800m AAA2.75 £7.00 YH F P R T X 14.3-30kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook EX5 7AP 100 15 Mar Exeter Mad March, Up and Blackdown 09:00 Sun BP 1150m £6.00 YH F P R T 12-25kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook EX5 7AP

www.audax.uk

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28 Mar Waters Edge (Rear),Ruislip, HA4 7YP Steam Ride: Quainton Express 08:30 Sat BP 117km 1050m £7.50 L P R T YH 12.5-25kph AC Hackney timsollesse@gmail.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG 200 29 Mar Clitheroe, Lancashire Delightful Dales 200 08:00 Sun BRM 205km 3150m AAA3.25 [3600m] £7.70 L P R T X 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 04 Apr Cockerton, Darlington Durham & Northumberland redux 08:00 Sat BR 3320m AAA3.25 £8.00 G L P R T 14.3-30kph VC 167 dean.clementson@yahoo.com Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER 200 11 Apr Huntingdon Nederlandse Dubbele 08:00 Sat BR 218km £3.50 X 15-30kph CTC West Surrey malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk Martin Malins, Room 2L22 Lab Block, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road London W12 8RF 300 11 Apr Ponteland Longtown Way Round 07:00 Sat BR 315km 2900m £8.50 G P R T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 160 11 Apr Ponteland Up on the Roof 08:00 Sat BP 161km 2040m AAA1.75 [1800m] £8.50 F G P R T 13.5-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 300 18 Apr Burnley, Lancashire Knock Ventoux 300 06:00 Sat BRM 302km 5547m AAA5.5 [4600m] £9.70 L P R T X 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 18 Apr Churchend, Dunmow, Essex The Woodman 10:00 Sat BP 850m £9.00 C G L M P R T 12.5-25kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 50 18 Apr Churchend, Dunmow, Essex The Woodman’s Daughter 09:00 Sat BP 300m £9.00 C G L M P R T 8.3-20kph Audax Club Mid-Essex tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 300 18 Apr Cirencester Heart of England 300 06:00 Sat BRM 307km 2900m £7.00 A(2) L P R T 100 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 10000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester, Glos GL7 1RL 300 18 Apr Poynton, S of Stockport Plains 23:00 Sat BR 310km 1600m £5.00 P X 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue, Heald Green, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire SK8 3NZ 200 19 Apr Burnley, Lancashire Tan Hill 200 08:30 Sun BRM 201km 4000m AAA4 £8.00 A (1) L P R T X 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 300 25 Apr Alfreton Everybody Rides to Skeggy! 06:00 Sat BR 302km 1600m £7.00 L R P T X 100 15-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP

300

25 Apr Easton, Bristol Bill’s Easton Connection 06:00 Sat BR 305km 4950m AAA5 £12.00 YH G L P R T (24/3) 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 160 25 Apr Easton, Bristol Missed Connection 08:00 Sat BP 165km 2200m AAA2 [2040m] £10.00 YH G L P R T 12.5-25kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 110 25 Apr Reepham, nr Lincoln Lincoln Imp 09:30 Sat BP 112km 800m £5.00 G L P R T 15-30kph Cycling UK Lincolnshire andy.town@ntlworld.com Andrew Townhill, 10 Larkin Avenue, Cherry Willingham, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN3 4AY 200 25 Apr Riverside, Cardiff Bath or bust 08:30 Sat BR 212km 1408m £8.50 G L NM P R T 15-30kph motorlegs 07530956181 David Hann, 20 Tudor Lane, Riverside CF116AZ 200 26 Apr Hallbankgate, nr Brampton Eden Valley 200 08:30 Sun BR 204km 1943m £8.00 G P R T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 160 26 Apr Hallbankgate, nr Brampton Eden Valley 160 09:00 Sun BP 162km 1492m £8.00 G P R T 13.5-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 100 26 Apr Hallbankgate, nr Brampton Eden Valley 100 10:00 Sun BP 103km 905m £8.00 G P R T 12.5-25kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 400 02 May Alfreton Moors and Wolds 400 10:30 Sat BR 406km 2996m [2425m] £5.00 P R T X G 14.3-30kph Alfreton CTC oggy.dude@gmail.com Stephen Ogden, 12 Primula Grove, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 8SD 400 02 May Chalfont St Peter, Bucks London Wales London 06:00 Sat BR 407km 3750m £27.00 F G L NM P R T 150 15-30kph Updated Willesden CC paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN 300 02 May Manningtree Green & Yellow Fields 00:01 Sat BRM 301km 1800m £5.50 X P G 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF

1000 07 May Harrowgate Hill, Darlington Highland Fling 13:00 Thu BRM 10610m AAA7.25 [7180m] £60.00 F G L R T Z (100) 13.3-25kph VC 167 dean.clementson@yahoo.com Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER 400 08 May Chepstow Brevet Cymru 06:00 Fri BRM 401km 5050m AAA2.75 [2750m] £11.00 C F L P R T NM Z 100 15-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 400 09 May Bristol The Exe Barnstaple Branch 06:00 Sat BR 406km 6750m AAA6.75 £15.00 YH X F G L 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 200 09 May Bristol The Down & Black 07:00 Sat BR 206km 2840m AAA2 [2090m] £11.50 YH X F G L 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 600 16 May Chepstow Bryan Chapman Memorial – Welsh End to End 06:00 Sat BRM 8459m AAA8.5 [8400m] £45.00 BD C F L P R S T Z 15-30kph CTC Cymru oldfield.tout@btinternet.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage, Mynyddbach, Monmouthshire NP16 6RT 150 17 May Ponteland The Full Nelson 07:30 Sun BP 153km 1392m £8.50 G P R T 14.3-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 100 17 May Ponteland The Half Nelson 08:00 Sun BP 106km 970m £8.50 G P R T 12.5-25kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online

National Cycle Museum There is now a display of Audax trophies within the Museum and they wished us to know as an organisation. They are actively looking for Audax members to support the charity www.cyclemuseum.org.uk/ Support-Us.aspx where you can donate directly and are also looking for riders to nominate them as a charity if they are riding an organised ride. Anyone who can help please email Freda – curator@cyclemuseum.org.uk


CONTACTS

Arrivée is the magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association which represents Les 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. MEMBERSHIP Enquiries: Caroline Fenton (AUK Membership Secretary), 56 Lockesfield Place, London E14 3AJ membership@audax.uk One and five year membership available – for full details and fees see https://audax.uk/join-us/ ARRIVÉE Extra Arrivée copies, if available,

£3(UK), £4(EEC), £5(non-EEC) from Caroline Fenton (address above)

ISSUE 146 AUTUMN/WINTER EDITION CONTRIBUTIONS

TO ADVERTISE Rates per issue: ¼ page £75, pro rata to £300 per page. Payment in advance. 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. Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the Club. Designed and produced for AUK by: gedesign, Bagpath, Gloucestershire. Printed by: Gemini, Bristol Distribution data from: Caroline Fenton and the AUK Membership Team.

Please send directly to the managing editor by 25 October 2019 gedlennox@me.com

NOTES TO CONTRIBUTORS ● Send your text in a word-processed format and your pictures as separate files (i.e. not embedded in the word document). ● Pictures must be as big as possible, anything below 1Mb jpeg is not useable ● It is essential that your photographs are captioned, preferably in a separate document, cross referenced to your images. ● INCLUDE YOUR FULL CONTACT DETAILS – including your AUK number – we cannot publish your story otherwise ● Package your entire content into a single compressed .zip file. ● If it is too large (i.e. more than 10Mb) please use WeTransfer or MailBigFile. ● Please do not use the Mediafire gateway as it is no longer functional

Our web site: www.audax.uk 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 Individual email addresses are listed for Board members and delegates, where relevant. For general enquiries or if you are not sure who to contact, please use secretary@ audax.uk. Please bear in mind that all Board members and delegates are volunteers and so may not always be able to respond immediately. Chair and LRM/ACP representative Chris Crossland 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX6 1EF chair@audax.uk 01422 832 853 Systems managers www.aukweb.net Website Delegate: Francis Cooke Systems administrator: Terry Kay www.audax.uk Web content manager Dave Allison webcontent@audax.uk IT refresh manager Kevin Lake it@audax.uk IT refresh project board co-opted members Dan Campbell Neil Goldsmith Otto Reinders Dan Smith Mileater secretary Paul Worthington, 213 Greenhill Road, Liverpool L18 9ST paulworthington53@hotmail.com FWC (Fixed Wheel Challenge) and Super Fixed Wheel Richard Phipps, 77 West Farm Avenue, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2JZ. richard@richardphipps.co.uk

General secretary Graeme Provan Whitelands, Terling Road, Hatfield Peverel, Essex CM3 2AG secretary@audax.uk Registrar Les Hereward, 20 Webster Close, Oxshott, Surrey, KT22 0SF Annual reunion organiser Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road, Horfield, Bristol, Avon BS7 9PJ paul@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Annual awards secretary Russell Kelsey russellkesley@hotmail.co.uk Finance director Nigel Armstrong 13 Upper Bank End Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 1ES 01484 687587 fd@audax.uk Directors without portfolio John Sabine 107 Victoria Way, London SE7 7NU john@sabine.org.uk Martin Stefan mdstefan@me.com Director and membership secretary Caroline Fenton 56 Lockesfield Place, London E14 3AJ membership@audax.uk Membership admininistration Mike Wigley (Admin) Enrolments Peter Davis Howard Knight Renewals Peter Gawthorne Findlay Watt

Communications director Rob McIvor communications@audax.uk Arrivée managing editor Ged Lennox gedlennox@me.com Badge and medal shop secretary Allan Taylor www.audaxmedals.southportcc. co.uk Director and calendar events secretary Ian Hennessey 10 High Street, Honiton, EX14 1PU events@audax.uk Regional events delegates Scotland & Northern England: Andy Uttley Midlands & Eastern England: Lucy McTaggart South East England: Pat Hurt South West England & Wales: Vacant, temporarily covered by Ian Hennessey pending appointment AUK forum administrator Martin Foley Assistants: Peter Lewis, Les Hereward (Moderators) UAF delegate Dave Minter Director and permanents secretary John Ward 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ permanents@audax.uk 01590 671205 DIY regional representatives North-East: Joe Applegarth Yorkshire & East: Andy Clarkson North-West: Julian Dyson Scotland: Martin Foley

South-West England and South Wales: Tony Hull Midlands, North and Mid-Wales: Mike Kelly South-East: Paul Stewart ECE delegate Martin Malins Malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk OCD delegate Rod Dalitz 136 Muir Wood Road, Edinburgh EH14 5HF rod.dalitz@me.com Event services director & recorder Peter Lewis 82 Pine Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh SO53 1JT services@audax.uk 07592 018947 Validation secretary Cathy Brown 76 Victoria St, Kirkwall KW15 1DQ validations@audax.uk RRTY award secretary Grant Huggins 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF rrty@audax.uk AAA secretary Ivan Cornell aaa@audax.uk Brevet card production secretary Oliver Iles 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG brevetcards@audax.uk Production of permanent cards is handled by: John Ward 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ permanents@audax.uk

www.audax.uk

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ArrivĂŠesummer/autumn2019

Profile for Audax UK

Arrivée 145 Summer 2019  

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