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Audax UK

the long-distance cyclists’ association

th em em ber s’ m aga zine of A ud ax

r 2019 n/winte utum •a

•1 UK 46

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INSIDE ISSUE 146 Just a Sec

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Membership renewal04 Notice of AGM

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Letters06

Front cover Poulton in Poulton… page 18 Picture by Steve Poulton

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Fixed Focus

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Mileater awards 2020

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Northern diamonds rule the road

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Carried on the winds12 Unconquerable soul18

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A mountain cyclist’s life has its up & downs22

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Dan’s Diary

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The Baking Biker – a meaty treat

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Take two 

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Paris-Brest-Paris reports

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One bike to rule them all

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Unforgiving giant52 We’re on the road to nowhere… 56

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Calendar of events58 Contact details63

Welcome to the autumn/winter 2019 issue of Arrivée

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Spare a thought for the uneasy riders

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Every time we wheel our bikes out of the shed and head for the highway, we cyclists accept that we’re taking a risk. It’s a well-known fact that bike riders are the most vulnerable group of road users, at greater risk even than pedestrians. But there’s another group, smaller than ours maybe, but equally exposed. I’m talking about horse riders. First, an admission. I’m not only a cyclist, but also someone who saddles up a horse every now and then, and goes for a clatter through the woods and fields on a hefty and volatile piece of horse flesh.

There are some similarities between riding a bike and riding a horse… but not many. Both involve saddles, I guess. Both give the rider a chance to enjoy a view of the world which cannot be experienced from any other form of transport… and both include the necessity of riding on the roads. But a bike doesn’t have a brain of its own, whatever you may think of your own, sometimes malicious machine. It’s true that a horse’s brain is barely the size of a walnut. It’s not a naturally clever creature. My chosen mount, for instance, was a 160 stone, bay mare – 17 hands of fidgety power, called Bramble. She was a lovely mare, but had a jittery, agitated nature. Many things triggered her instinct

for flight… including daffodils, which made riding in April something of an adventure. To Bramble, these innocent, floral harbingers of summer were nothing less than gangs of golden goblins, lying malevolently in wait, ready to spring out at her. Have you ever been on a horse when it abruptly leaps three yards – sideways? Now I’ve come off my bike many times – sometimes while sober. But nothing compares to the sight of the ground coming up to meet you than when you’re thrown from the back of a horse. I’ve always been lucky, ending up hitting nothing harder than a bank of nettles, or a nice soft bog… usually backside first. But it’s a long way to fall.

Imagine jogging along a quiet country lane on your nag on a crisp morning, hardly a care in the world, when you are suddenly aware of a low whirring noise behind you. Seconds later a blur of vivid primary colours fizzes by your stirrups like a flaming Exocet missile. Your surprise is nothing compared to the poor horse’s astonishment. The other main difference between bikes and horses is that bikes have brakes. When your horse decides to gallop off into the blue yonder, there’s nothing you can do about it… except to hang on for grim life until the stupid animal decides it’s safe to slow down a bit… or throw you into the undergrowth. I’ve always been perplexed by the fact that cyclists, who are so aware of the


MEMBERSHIP MATTERS…

Call for Volunteers from Audax Cyclists

Kings College Research Team with Nottingham University Audax cyclists previously volunteered so that the Guy’s Team could uncover a relationship between age,  exercise and health. As a result  of your volunteering ground breaking findings were  published in the scientific press and gained world-wide publicity.  Some cyclist even appeared on the main BBC news. Many  Audax  cyclists will also remember taking part in the initial study  in 2016, on lung function which, thanks to your participation,  was awarded a prize for research excellence by the British Thoracic Society  in 2017. The King’s Team in a joint research venture with Nottingham University are  asking  men aged 70 to 80 to please come forward to  take part in  a unique study  designed especially to suit cyclists. Selected participants will cycle while lying in a MRI scanner. This means that, for the first time, a fairly comprehensive look at total body physiology in action can be undertaken. If you are interested in learning more about how your body functions while cycling, this is for you.  The study will involve spending two days In Nottingham. Every scientist involved is an expert in human physiology. There is very  low  risk involved especially for healthy cyclists. Interested cyclists  should please get in touch with Rosemary at the email addresses given below,  where greater detail of what to expect during your visit to Nottingham will be given. In your reply please indicate whether you can and do cycle 100 km. Thank you. Professor Norman Lazarus – Veteran Champion in 2001 Email: rosemary.nicholas@nottingham.ac.uk or ppzstf@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk

dangers to themselves from other road users, and who rightly castigate unthinking motorists for their stupidity, frequently underestimate the real threat that they themselves can pose. Cyclists and horse riders are both increasingly vulnerable on the road and share the same risks. Although accidents with cyclist/horse collisions are rare the interaction with bike and beast can still be dangerous and stressful for everyone. The British Horse Society advises cyclists to give adequate, friendly warning of their approach, especially from behind. Slow down and give the horse as wide a berth as possible… even if you’re in a bit of a hurry. Nervous horses and uneasy riders will thank you.

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

FIRSTLY, A BIG WELCOME to the 500 new members who have joined us since September – both individual and household members. We now have more than 8550 members, mostly in the UK but also in Europe and 18 other countries around the world. RENEWALS FOR 2020 Please don’t throw away your Arrivée envelope, or at least retrieve it now from the recycling bin! As well as your address it has a personalised message to tell you whether you need to renew or not. Many thanks to all of you who have already renewed online or who have completed a direct debit mandate, and especially to those who have converted their standing order payment to direct debit. You should see a message telling you that you don’t need to take any action. If you haven’t renewed yet, then please do so before 31 December. This is essential if you want to retain your entitlement to a 2021 LEL place. You can still complete a direct debit mandate if you wish and, as long as you do so before 31/12/19, it will count for continuous membership even if we don’t take payment until after that date. As usual, please do request changes to household members (additions/removals/ substitutions) before you renew if possible. More information about renewals on page 3 or on our website. NEW MEMBERSHIP SYSTEM As you read this, the work on our new membership system is underway, with a target to go live in 2020 at a date when we are in relative steady state after renewals to minimise disruption, and after the winter/spring issue of Arrivée, so we can give you more information then. One thing to note is that you will now need to log in with your email address instead of your membership number (in line with many other organisations). So please ensure your email address is up to date, and also where possible that household members have their own distinct address. If you do not have an email address, there will be a solution for you, more details later. LIFE MEMBERSHIP Any Audax UK member who is over 65 on 1 January, and has 10 or more years of continuous membership, may become a life member. This is free, although if you wish to receive all four copies of Arrivée, not just the December issue, a subscription is payable. If, according to our records, you qualify for 2020 then you should have received a personalised email (if we have an email address) and/or a message on the envelope. If you think you qualify but haven’t been advised, then contact me, as sometimes people are missed by the automatic routine. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL LIFE MEMBERS In preparation for transferring data to our new membership system and also to ensure the ongoing quality and relevance of the records we hold, we would like life members to confirm their wish to remain a member of Audax UK this year, and periodically in the future. If you have subscribed to four copies of Arrivée for 2020 (including via a 5 year subscription), or have been an active organiser or delegate, or have participated in any events in the last 12 months then we take that as your confirmation. Otherwise as a life member you will have received an additional slip of paper with your magazine (please check inside your envelope if this might be you!). You can confirm your wish to remain a member in several ways (whichever is most convenient for you, and a family member or friend can confirm on your behalf as long as they have your membership details): ● By paying the supplement for all four Arrivée copies ● By emailing membership@audax.uk with your name and membership number or postal address ● By writing to me (address inside back cover) – you can write your name and number/address on the printed slip and send it back ● By sending a text message with your surname + membership number or postcode (eg JONES 3451 or JONES E20 6HY) to 07543 502468 (note – this number will not be answered, it is only for incoming messages) You are of course very welcome to remain a member of Audax UK free of charge. If you forget to respond to this request, you can contact us again at any time in the future as you will not lose your entitlement to life membership. Caroline Fenton Audax UK Membership Secretary membership@audax.uk

www.audax.uk

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GRAEME PROVAN, General secretary, Audax UK

Just a sec… Traditionally, the close season of any sporting association is the period when administrative tasks take place. With the number of AUK events running through the winter, I am not really certain that we have a close season any more but we certainly have plenty of admin to keep our volunteers busy. Caroline Fenton and her membership team have been gearing up for the annual renewals and this year they are able to offer direct debits for the first time. You will find details elsewhere in this issue. Meanwhile, our Recorder, Peter Lewis, has managed to input the interim results from PBP manually into our system in time for inclusion in last season’s totals. With the further input of John Ward and Cathy Brown, Russell Kesley,our Awards Secretary, has been able to compile a list of recipients for the various awards and trophies in time to order the personalised glassware for presentation at the Annual Reunion. Congratulations to all those who have either won or achieved awards this year. AGM You will see that the formal notice of AGM is included with this issue. We had a record number of votes cast for the last AGM and I hope that we can sustain that level of interest for this one. That level of interest has not so far translated into an increase in candidates for election to the Board. AUK’s executive directors are elected for three year terms, which fall vacant on a rolling basis. Its two non-executive directors are appointed annually. At this year’s AGM we have; two directors (General Secretary and Events Services Director) at the end of their respective terms and both have indicated that they would be willing to continue if required, one position (Calendar Events Secretary) up for ratification following a mid-term Board

appointment and the usual two vacancies for the nonexecutive positions – John Sabine has already stated that he will not stand again this year, having been on the Board for a number of years. The Board of AUK works extremely hard but it is rewarding to be part of the continuing growth and success of our association. If you are considering standing for any position this year, I would urge you to contact me in the first instance so that we can discuss what is involved. BOARD MEETING Our latest board meeting took place on the 9th of October. In amongst our usual deliberations, we had the pleasant task of considering the nominees for the annual trophies that are within the Board’s gift. These trophies recognise a range of outstanding endeavours in both cycling achievement and contribution to our sport. Kevin Lake, the Project Manager for Phase II of the IT Refresh Project, attended the meeting with an update on progress. He was confident that the Phase was on track and noted that a huge amount of work on the part of his volunteers had gone into the pre-commencement work to ensure that the Phase went as smoothly as possible. The cost of undertaking the IT Refresh Project has provided a considerable challenge for Nigel Armstrong, our Finance Director. At last year’s Reunion Nigel presented a budget forecast, based on the increased fees and charges that were introduced last season. He was able to report that the outturn had been within a very close range of the projections and that AUK’s financial position was therefore stable. As usual, you can find the minutes of the meeting and copies of the directors’ reports in the official section of Aukweb.

Does your membership expire on December 31st? To check, log on to www.audax.uk and click the “View/Update Membership” button. You should see the phrase “valid until 31st December 20xx”. At the same time please check/update your personal details.

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

HOW TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP Direct Debit: new this year. You will need an email address for this – see website for details.

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Online via Paypal: using a credit card, debit card or your PayPal account. Log on to www.audax.uk and click on “Renew Membership”. By Post: cheque payable to “Audax UK”, add your membership number and name on the back, then for: Surnames starting A-K, send to Findlay Watt, 22 South Dewar Street, Dunfermline, KY12 8AR Surnames starting L-Z, send to Peter Gawthorne, 7 Sunbury Drive, Ainsdale, Southport, PR8 3PU

Standing Order: If you still have a Standing Order, please check that it is for the correct amount as we cannot change this for you. Better still please switch to another payment method as above, but don’t forget to cancel your Standing Order. Life Membership is offered to those aged 65 or over on 1st January and who have been a continuous member of Audax UK for more than 10 years. Please see “Membership Matters” on page 2 for more information. Household Membership is available for anyone sharing an address with another member. Additional members are charged a small fee per year and have all the same rights as standard members, but only one copy of Arrivée is sent per household. To add, amend or delete Household members, please contact the Membership Secretary before you renew.

Membership renewals are due by 31 December to ensure continuous membership for LEL qualification. After a short grace period in January (when the next Arrivee mailing list is compiled) you will also be charged a £5 fee to cover the extra admin costs we incur. Contact the Membership Secretary Caroline Fenton by email: membership@audax.uk post: 56 Lockesfield Place, LONDON E14 3AJ. MEMBERSHIP RATES: One Year: £18 (until December 2020) Commuted (5 year): £72 (until December 2024) Life Members: free or £11 to receive all issues of Arrivée Overseas Members: add £9 postal surcharge (£45 for 5 years) to the above. Household: £6 (or £24 for 5 years)


AGM notice

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Audax United Kingdom Long-distance Cyclists’ Association (“audax uk”) Notice is given that the Annual General Meeting of Audax UK will be held on Saturday 8 February 2020, at 12.00pm at The George Stephenson Room, Ibis Birmingham New Street, 21 Ladywell Walk, Birmingham B5 4ST. Graeme Provan, General Secretary secretary@audax.uk Resolutions should be submitted by members acting as proposer and seconder by post or email to the General Secretary to arrive no later than the 13th December 2019. The resolution may include a statement of no more than 1000 words. The draft resolutions will then be available via www.aukweb.net on the AUK Forum for a period of not less than 21 days for review. During this period members may submit amendments to resolutions in the same manner as resolutions. Proposers of resolutions and/or amendments may similarly withdraw unamended resolutions and/or amendments, or otherwise combine, partition or otherwise redraft them so long as they continue to address the resolution’s original subject Elections for the following posts will take place at the AGM: ● Non-Executive Directors (2 posts) ● Director & Calendar Events Secretary (Note: the current holder was appointed by the board and the appointment needs to be ratified by the members) ● Director – Events Services Director ● Director – General Secretary Nominations with details of the members proposing and seconding the nomination and the consent of the nominated person to serve together with a statement of that person’s relevant abilities or experience of no more than 1000 words should be sent by post or email to the General Secretary to be received no later than the 10th January 2020. A detailed agenda including the final resolutions and nominations and annual

reports and accounts will be published on the website not later than the 17th January 2020. All members are very welcome to attend the meeting and tea and coffee will be provided. Alternatively, any member may appoint a proxy to attend, speak and vote in his or her place. Proxy voting will go live on the 17th January 2020. If you or your proxy wishes to attend the meeting, I would be grateful if you could let me know in good time so that I can ensure adequate space at the venue as well as adequate supplies of refreshments. It is important that all members ensure that their email details on www.aukweb.net are accurate. Details of proxy voting will be sent to all members with email addresses. For reasons of cost, the final agenda and annual report will be published via the website save in respect of any members who applied to the Registrar using the form below. Agenda for the Audax UK Long Distance Cyclists’ Association AGM 2018/19 To be held at The George Stephenson Room, Ibis Birmingham New Street, 21 Ladywell Walk, Birmingham B5 4ST on 8 February 2020 commencing at 12:00pm 1 To record the names of those present at the meeting 2 To record apologies for absence 3 To approve the minutes of the last AGM as a true record of that meeting 4 Matters arising from the last meeting (AGM 2017/18). 5 To approve the Annual Report 6 To approve the Annual Accounts and the Finance Director’s recommendations 7 To consider resolutions 8 Election of Directors ● Calendar Events Secretary ● General Secretary ● Events Services Director ● Non-Executive Director (2 posts) 9 Date and venue of next meeting 10 Close of meeting.

To : Mr L Hereward, Audax UK Registrar, ‘Polvellan’, School Hill, Mevagissey, Cornwall PL26 6TG I would like to register to receive the AGM papers and proxy form by post. Signed:

Date:

Name: AUK Membership No:

www.audax.uk

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MATTHEW PAGE

Chain mail

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Matthew Page, an AUK member and joint director of Carmarthenshire-based, A Cycling Ltd, (a cycling events company) responds to the opinions expressed on the use of a single chainring drivetrain outlined in the article “Chains that bind” (Arrivee 145 summer/autumn 2019).

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My intention in this response to the article published in Arrivée 145, is to challenge the myths surrounding the use of a single chainring drivetrain, and hopefully quash some preconceptions. There are a number of points with which I would take issue: The article states (in relation to the Aqua Blue team riders becoming disillusioned riding bikes fitted with a single 50t chainring): “to improve aerodynamics we are told, and a variable array of sprockets from 10t to 40t” There is no cassette that would have been used by professional or amateur rider that has that range. A Shimano cassette would be 11-40 or 11-42 and a SRAM cassette, which was the brand of choice for Aqua Blue, is 10-42, 11-36 or smaller. Using a 10-42 cassette, this equates to gear inches of 131.9 to 31.4 at the extremes of the range. Secondly, “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 combination would never be used. By far the most common ratios are 53/39 with Shimano- or SRAM-sponsored riders using an 11-28t cassette, or for some riders, 11-25t. Using the wider option, this gives a gear inch range of 127.1 to 36.7. Thirdly, “... but with only 11 possible gear combinations rather than a theoretical 22 on the double chainset…” It’s cearly the case that there are multiple duplicate ratios within a standard double chainset setup. There are approximately 14 unique gear combinations, not 22. I would make the following points: The loss of mechanical efficiency mentioned is, I believe, incorrect. Studies have shown that there is not a significant loss of efficiency using a single chainring, even when on the extremes of the cassette. I am not aware of any study that has shown the single chainring drivetrain increases the wear rate on a chain. Instead I would believe the opposite,

given the chain will always be matched to just one ring rather than two, both of which will be wearing at different rates. The correct use of “thick/thin” or “narrow/wide” chainrings with a clutch rear mech as used will reduce the chance of chain drop to almost nil. Given that nearly every rider in the pro peloton will use a chain catcher, and a rider stopping to put a chain back on is often seen, this is certainly not a negative and could even be a positive for a single chainring. The fact that both mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes use these single chainring drivetrains proves that “bumpy ground” is not a concern. Furthermore, the issues leading to the collapse of Aqua Blue were far more complex than the simple choice of a single chainring. The failure of the team to secure a UCI licence to race at the highest tier events, especially the three Grand Tours, was a bigger factor. Rider and team politics and ownership issues also had a greater part to play. Does this mean that a single drivetrain is a suitable choice for pro peloton riders? Given the equipment choices that the riders had at the time (2018), perhaps not. But this is not simply due to often quoted lack of gears or lack of range. It has more to do with the fact that mechanics were frequently changing chain rings, which also meant a different chain, due to the differing terrain demands within a multi-day event. These factors are not relevant to the average rider – something that would be evident to anyone who has ridden a single chainring bike that has been set up with a gear combination that suits the individual rider. I have been riding since I was very young and riding and racing longdistance cycling events in various forms since 2007. I have been fortunate to ride a wide range of bikes, including several single drivetrain bikes. I am also lucky to own several road bikes, some have a double chain ring and two have a single. Riding the Fred Whitton, which had a 48t

chainring with an 11-40t cassette, proved good enough to get me up Hardknott Pass. Ironically, a rider who was with me at the bottom, and who questioned my choice, had a harder gear using a pretty standard Campagnolo equipped double chainring bike. I am by no means an evangelical supporter however and happy to say it is not for everyone. This is partly due to the components currently available, although this is slowly changing with the recent release of SRAM AXS 12 speed drivetrain and Rotor with a 13 speed drivetrain, both have single chainring options. Audax UK could embrace the new technologies being developed rather than suggest riders use an archaic triple chainset, and look at alternative options that riders have, including a “subcompact” 48/32 chainset matched to a wider range cassette. [Editor’s note: Arrivée is driven by the passion of our members, many, if not most of whom are both widely experienced cyclists and on-point technically – they are all entitled to their opinion. Articles published in Arrivée, however, do not necessarily represent the opinions of AudaxUK. If you have a perspective on this or any other cycling issue, please feel free to share it for publication: gedlennox@me.com]


SIX KW AUDAX RIDES FOR 2020 We will run another Super Randonneur (SR) series of rides, consisting of 200, 300, 400 and 600 km events. Also a repeat of our popular late season 200. And most audaciously, a brand new 1,000 km event down to Land’s End and back! Riders completing either 200, plus the 300, 400 and 600 or 1,000 will gain the prestigious Audax* Super Randonneur award and also our highly collectible KWSR medal

Dauntsey Dawdle 400 km, Saturday 16th May A ride of two halves: lumpy and flat, in that order… apart from a final Chilternesque tilt of the road at 330km. You should be sheltered from prevailing winds on the way out through the Surrey Hills, South Downs and North Wessex Downs… then fly home across the plains with the wind on your back following fish & chips in Cirencester!

Gently Bentley 200 km, Sunday 15th March Tally-ho and chocks away! Based at Surbiton Rackets Club, this is an early season pootle on gently rolling Surrey and Hampshire lanes to Lasham and Bentley. Breakfast and dinner provided, with optional malt and hops-based recovery drinks for the needy.

Wander Wye 600 km, Saturday 13th June Visit 11 counties of England and Wales in one ride! Moderately hilly throughout. NB: X-rated this year – no overnight control at Chepstow – so book accommodation or take a bivi bag if you want a sleep stop. Severn View Travelodge is a popular option, or the Premier Inn at Alveston.

Amesbury Amble 300km, Saturday 18th April Our 300k+ rides are based at the 19th Wimbledon Scout Hall in Raynes Park. This is a moderately undulating course, mostly on quiet lanes. Enjoy a second brekky at Lasham Garden Centre, a cafe or bakery lunch in Amesbury, tea and cakes in Whitchurch, and supper on a garage forecourt in Ascot!

London – Land’s End – London (LLEL) 1,000 km, Wednesday 8th July After a pasta party at the Raynes Park scout hut you will set off at 10pm to ride through the first night and Thursday (Blackdowns and Dartmoor) to our recommended fist sleep stop at St Austell (420 km); Friday ride down to Land’s End and

back to Exeter (lumpy 300 km); return on Saturday (undulating 308 km) to a triumphant arrivée and a well-earned pint of the Park Brewery’s finest. X-rated and not for the faint-hearted – this is a ride for experienced randonneurs! Rowlands Ramble 200 km, September, date TBC Back to the racket club base camp for KWAC’s original, ever popular, evergreen and almost legendary event: a scenic ride out of the smoke and over the hills down to Rowlands Castle (near Portsmouth) and back, featuring classic climbs such as the Devil’s Punchbowl and Leith Hill as well as double helpings of the South Downs. Full TLC half-way control at Rowlands Castle; dinner and ale at the arrivée. * Audax UK is the long distance cyclists’ association. These 200 km+ rides are organised under Audax UK rules. Maximum and minimum speeds are usually 15-30 km/h (approx. 9-18 mph), so you don’t have to be a fast rider to complete an Audax event, but nor must you faff or dawdle – these average speeds include any time off the bike. You can find out more general information about Audax on the comprehensive Audax UK website together with a calendar of upcoming events all around the country. Kingston Wheelers Super Randonneurs roll call audax@kingstonwheelers.co.uk

www.audax.uk

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FIXED GEAR CHALLENGES ORGANISER, RICHARD PHIPPS, REVIEWS THE 2019 SEASON

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

As usual , many members of Audax UK participated in P-B-P, the doyen event in the Randonneurs Mondiaux calendar and several of these rode the event on fixed. Their names and the heights of the gears used are listed below.

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Excel List As can be seen, almost all of the riders used gears in the 68” – 78” range, though Justin Jones pushed a massive 90” gear over the course gearing up from the 87.4 used on the previous occasion. A couple of other points: Paul Rainbow’s machine employed a belt drive but I have not seen a write-up of how it performed on the ride. There were two female riders: Eleanor Jaskowska, who is only the third ancienne (after Emily O’ Brien and Anne Learmonth) to have completed the event on fixed. Yvonne King, sadly, did not complete the event, having abandoned at Tinteniac to help her husband, Simon, who was suffering from knee problems. He qualified for the ride despite having suffered a slipped disc earlier in the season, but it was clearly not his year. We wish him a complete return to full health and hope his cycling mojo returns, too. Hopefully, Yvonne will return in 2023 for a successful ride and a place in the exclusive club mentioned above. After completing 445km Sean Smith also retired, due to illness. Our best wishes for a rapid recovery go to him. Nick Wilkinson was also unwell, causing him to lose time and he withdrew at Loudeac as being up against the time limits. He also intends to return in 2023.

An honourable mention goes to another Auk, Steve Abraham, who has held the annual fixed points record in the past, but was taking it relatively easy this time on a single freewheel gear Congratulations to all successful participants on this event, whatever transmission they used and commiserations to those who did not complete. We look forward to seeing all of them up the road next season.

Jon Banks Rob Bullyment Thomas Deakins  Jonathan Ellis  Sean Hargreaves  Eleanor Jaskowska  Telbert James  Justin Jones  Luke Joy-Smith  Marcus Mumford  Paul Rainbow   Jocelyn Ridley  Neil Veitch  Adam Watkins  DNF Yvonne King  Retired at Tinteniac to help husband with bad knees Sean Smith Retired at 445km due to illness Nick Wilkinson Retired at Loudeac following illness Also Steve Abraham  

68” 79” 72” 72” 70” 68” 70” 90” 78” 76” 73” (belt drive) 75” 69” / 73” 71” 68.3” 71” 79” / 75”

77” Single free

ELEANOR JASKOWSKA

Fixed Focus

Auk riders on fixed for Paris-Brest-Paris


2019 MILEATER ENTRY FORM

MILEATER ENTRY FEES Members will be aware of recent communications regarding the need to increase subscriptions and charges. Unfortunately, The Mileater Award does not escape this. However, I will honour all previous payments.

With immediate effect, entry into Mileater will cost as follows: Cheque PayPal Diary only entry £5.00 £6.95 Diary + medal £17.50 £19.86

How will you submit your final mileage?

Audax UK Membership Number: Cycling UK (CTC) Membership Number: Date of birth if under 18 years: SEE PARENTAL CONSENT BELOW

Forename:

I will send the diary back to you

I will submit via an online ride logging website PLEASE ENSURE THAT I CAN VIEW YOUR PROFILE

Enter the URL of your rider profile here: Surname:

Address: email: Tel:

,

Club/CTC member group:

mobile: Parental consent (required for entrants under 18 years of age) I am the Parent/Guardian of the Entrant and give my consent to this Entry:

I will use another way EMAILED SPREADSHEET, HARD COPY SPREADSHEET ETC

Enter submission method here: Do you want to receive a medal?

This will cost an extra £12.50 and is engraved with your name, year and distance recorded.

Yes, , , No

I understand that during the Mileater period I am responsible for my own conduct. Entry fees are not refundable or transferable. Signed (Entrant):

Signed (Parent/Guardian):

Date:

Date:

Send to the organiser:

Name (Parent/Guardian, please print):

1 completed form 2 cheque payable to AUDAX UK (£4.00 if you just want to enter and receive the diary, £17.50 if you want the medal as well) if you are not submitting payment by PayPal. 3 two C5 stamped addressed envelopes. Please ensure you include sufficient postage for a large letter weighing up to 100g – this covers the postage for 1 diary. Post your entry forms and payment to: Paul Worthington, 213 Greenhill Road, Liverpool, L18 9ST. Envelopes not required if paying by PayPal (PayPal fee already includes postage)

www.audax.uk

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WORDS AND PICTURES IAN NEWALL

Northern diamonds The A167 road covers the 70 miles, south to north, from Topcliffe in Yorkshire to Cowgate, Tyne and Wear, an iconic route which passes under the shadow of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North. It is also the adopted number for a remarkable collection of the North-East’s most dedicated cyclists – VC 167. Club member Ian Newall explains…

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Gordon Panicca and Graham Wanlass

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SOME YEARS AGO, as I was cycling along a Yorkshire lane, I came upon a cyclist wearing a striking blue jersey with a yellow diamond pattern. On closer examination, I noticed that each diamond was marked “VC 167”. “What does VC 167 stand for?” I asked. “Velo Club 167,” he replied. “Why 167?” I said. With typical northern wit, he replied: “It’s the total IQ of its members.” I joined the club not long afterwards, and found that the 167 came from the A167 which runs through Darlington where the club is based. The club was formed a quarter of a century ago by a group of idealist young men. Among the survivors from those early days were Graham Wanlass, the 1963 Cleveland Road Champion, and Gordon Panicca, who won the same championship 20 years later. Graham and Gordon’s partnership went on to be the driving force of the club. Not long after it was formed, the club began to focus on long-distance cycling, as evidenced by Graham’s AUK number of 60, and long-time club chairman, Keith Benton, who holds AUK number 73. Sadly, Graham passed away in 2016, and is commemorated in the brevet card of the Hartside 200, but Gordon continues, as active as ever. In fact, the club’s growth in members is largely due to Gordon’s tenacious recruitment style. This is best illustrated by an incident during the 2001 London-EdinburghLondon. Bob “Flat Earth” Johnson’s

freewheel broke and he went off to JD Whiskers in Goffs Oak for a repair. Andy Clarkson waited for him in a pub with Gordon. Whenever Andy went to the bar to buy another round, Gordon reminded him that it would cost the same to join VC 167. Andy recalls: “I joined, as everyone does, because it’s easier to pay up than to say no to Gordon Panicca”. Gordon has continued recruitment with the same energy that won him the Cleveland road champs. Today the club’s 140 odd members are not confined to the Darlington area though most are located in the north of England with the occasional member coming from as far

south as London. Gordon’s recruitment efforts continue unabated and I understand that he is currently in discussions with a fellow in Buenos Aires. The club can claim more achievements and awards than can possibly be listed on these pages, but here are a few notable ones. VC 167 has won the AUK club championship seven times. Members have chalked up 17 Ultra Randonneur awards (SR’s in at least 10 separate years) and attained the longest distance in Easter Arrows on nine occasions. Fifteen club members have completed three or more PBPs and nine have completed at least three LELs.


rule the road At the close of the 2019 the top six riders in VC 167 had accumulated over 1,000 points in the club competition. This is a record. A VC 167 junior, Shaun Gregory won the junior championship four years running and set a points record that has never been broken. Individual achievements by club members are wide, numerous and bizarre, ranging from Dean Clementson who, after a bad day at the office, got on his bike and cycled to India, to the Rev Graeme Holdsworth, the flying vicar, who recently turned up at a 10 mile time trial, unclipped his Carradice saddlebag and went on to win the event.

… After a bad day at the ❝ office, he got on his bike and cycled to India. ❞

… I suggested to Bob that ❝ we have a group hug too. “Nah”, said Bob, “It makes you soft. Better to stick a fork into your leg

Or take the legend that is Judith Swallow, the first woman to be awarded an International Super Randonneur Four Continents. Since 2005, Judith has completed 30 events of 1,000km or more, including Hamburg-Cologne-Berlin, Roscoff-Nice, Ouistreham-Perpignan, four PBPs and two LELs. If you rode the 2017 LEL or the 2015 PBP you may have seen Judith riding shotgun on a tandem tricycle named Rufus, piloted by Aiden Headley. If you think that a tandem trike is weird, it gets weirder. During the 2015 PBP, Aiden and Judith had a back wheel of the trike destroyed by a rider on an ElliptiGO. Picture that if you can! Happily, the wheel was repaired, and Judith, Aiden and Rufus completed the event. Then there is Anne Young who has won the AUK “Other Sex” championship for three years running. She also holds the record for the highest points in that category. It would be unfair to end without referring again to those two VC 167 stalwarts, Bob Johnson and Andy Clarkson. Bob, Andy and Gordon were part of a team that, in 2006, set an Easter Arrow record of 564 km, a record that stands to this day. Bob can list among his achievements two Ultra Randonneurs, six PBPs and five LELs. Bob’s attitude to long-distance cycling is best illustrated by an incident a few years ago when, on a blustery day during Straight on at Rosie’s, after being battered by a brutal headwind and lashing rain, a group of us staggered into the Tiny Teapot Café in Epworth. Shortly thereafter we were joined by a group of young men who promptly had a group hug. I suggested to Bob that we have a group hug too. “Nah”, said Bob, “It makes you soft. Better to stick a fork into your leg”.

… He dried the tube with his ❝ sandwich, successfully applied the patch, then ate the sandwich before heading out again into the storm.

Andy’s record is similar to Bob’s and also includes two Ultra Randonneurs, six PBPs and five LELs. Andy’s attitude is encapsulated in his oft-repeated phrase: “Audax should be audacious” and is best shown by an example. One dark and stormy day, on cresting the infamous Park Rash, Andy found he had punctured. He crawled into a barn to make the repair. Being out of spare tubes, he resorted to a patch but, because the tube was wet, the patch wouldn’t stick. Casting around for something with which to dry the tube, he realised that the only dry thing in his possession was a sandwich. He duly dried the tube with his sandwich, successfully applied the patch, then ate the sandwich before heading out again into the storm. With that spirit, VC 167 looks forward to the next 25 years. So next time you see a cyclist wearing Paul, left, with a club mate that distinctive blue jersey with the yellow climbing Ettrick Head, Scottish diamonds, say hello and have a borders,1978 chat. You may be talking to an Audax legend.

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WORDS AND PICTURES COLIN NORCUP

Carried on the Crazy, nuts, insane, bonkers, amazing, awesome, massive… just some of the words from Colin Norcup’s friends on a Facebook post registering the fact that the Darlington-based rider had just completed ten 200k rides every month for an entire year – an Ultra Randonneur Round the Year (RRtY) feat which easily justifies the above adjectives. Here’s his account of an astonishing 12 months in the saddle… I’D HEARD OF CYCLISTS riding multiple 200k rides. I thought they were crazy. Now here I am… on top of the crazy pile. So how did it happen? I guess it just did. My first 200k was Dean Clementson’s Peculiar Old 200. Incidentally, Dean is my brother-in-law. I join AUK in 2016 and was riding hilly 100k events for fun, and loving it. These made me physically fit, but I wasn’t prepared for how mentally tough the 200k could be. So I started riding more, in anticipation of the 2018/19 Audax season. October 2018 arrived, and I set off on my bike, a Norco Search 105. It’s a bit heavy, but comfortable to ride all day, and on hillier routes was good for

climbing. It would cause me problems later in the year, though. The weather in October was particularly troublesome. Lots of rain and headwind. Towards the end of the month I rode Dean’s Peculiar Old 200 from Darlington. The forecast was for cold rain. Wrong. Half an hour into the ride it started sleeting. Then I got my first puncture of the year. I repaired it, with cold and wet hands, and set off again, 20 minutes behind the group with whom I’d set off. By now it was snowing. Several riders were turning back for Darlington. I reached the café at Ferryhill, later to be dubbed the “quitters’ café”. Cold and wet riders were making a mess, with their sodden clothes, but the staff were friendly and took care of us. The rest of the group were going to scratch because of the conditions on the road, but as this was my only calendar event until January I had to continue. After a bacon bun and a bit of a warm-up, I rode on, reaching Middleton-in-Teesdale with only five minutes before the control closed. The next stop would be Masham, and by now the sun was shining and the roads dry, unlike my socks. I was catching up with other riders who had kept going through the sleet and snow. The cakes and quiche at the Danby Wiske control were wonderful. Then it was back to Darlington where Debbie, my Audax “widow” was waiting with a dry pair of socks for me. The Peculiar was as unpredictable as ever. Although the days were short, November’s weather was an improvement. But by the middle of the month, riding solo was beginning to take its toll on me. I was grateful for the company of other cyclists whenever possible. I joined social club rides as often as I could, for the laughs and the company. I enjoyed early starts, especially if there was a good sunrise. Roads were generally quiet and there was always time for a good lunch before topping off the day with a good sunset. I have to mention the Helperby Stores deli and café in Yorkshire. It was virtually my second home, and got me through the winter. I must have called in here at least once a week for the whole year. There was always a friendly welcome, and the £5 lunch special was top notch. By the end of the month the gremlins had started to niggle away at my bike. The rear Mavic Open Pro Disc Rim had split on the drive side of the wheel. This wasn’t the first or last time it would happen. This left me no choice but to swap to my Felt Z85, which is a lot lighter than the Norco but had significant mileage and was in need of some TLC. It had clip-on mudguards while my Norco bike had full mudguards, ready for any weather.

Essential service… time for a break at the Rusty Bike café near Ingleby Cross, North Yorkshire

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winds

of chance, cake and café culture

Norcup on Norco… all day comfort and useful on hills www.audax.uk

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Carried on the winds

At my club’s AGM Nick Firth pointed out that no one had ridden 10 RRTYs in the same year, I thought this feat was impossible and forgot about it. December started with my first few rides on the Felt bike which went ok, then I got Norco back with a nice new rim. It wasn’t long, though, before the bike started creaking and squeaking. So it was back to the Felt while I got the parts to repair my Norco. We had a festive club 200 in early​ December – to Naburn, near York. At this point I was already on 50 points. Christmas was just around the corner and

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RRtY at its hardest… when it gets to minus 7

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The Teesdale landscape on a changeable day

it was my eighth ride of the month. I remembered what Nick had said and started to wonder whether I should give it a go. The shortest day passed. It was going to get lighter from now on, I’d already done ten 200s for the month, so was a quarter of the way there. People warned me that February was going to be the toughest month. It certainly was! On a DIY to Thirsk to meet Roy Ashman, I wasn’t sure whether the road ahead was just wet, or black ice. After

… People warned me that ❝ February was going to be the toughest month. It certainly was ❞

coming off and taking the skin off my knee and hip, I had my answer. It was a hard-earned two points towards the goal. Riding in Northumberland is always enjoyable, and I jump at any chance to get there. Anne Young had organised a DIY from Ponteland to Newcastleton. We all had a great day. On the 21st I got my first 100 points, a few days later there was a club ride called “Anne’s no faffing 200k”, starting in Cockerton with some of the club’s faster riders. This was my ultra for the month. With this in the bag I felt on track for the year’s target. One ride I won’t forget in a hurry was on the day Storm Freya hit. Although I’m used to riding in wind, this was gale force. With this in mind I planned the flattest route, heading north to south to take advantage of a crosswind. Riding with a tailwind would have been better, but Darlington is too close to the coast. It was going to be tough, but I


maintained a steady pace. A lorry had blown over at the A1 roundabout at Bedale and the traffic had blocked the service road, but I made it to my first café stop at Thorp Perrow arboretum. As I headed north, the wind was doing its best to blow me over. I rode close to the hedgerows for some shelter, but it was hard. This was the windiest day I’d ever ridden, but I was determined not to be beaten by it. Next was my first night ride, the North Riding 300. It was a 9pm start, with a tailwind towards the coast as we all set off. After the first control it was time to cross the moorland to Whitby, and then on to Scarborough. My legs were starting to tire from working a long day. Richard Barnett, Dave Atkinson and Anna Young were setting a good pace and I managed to hang on. So with tired legs I made it to Scarborough where the ride took a turn for the worse – right into a headwind. Everyone on the ride would have it tough

for the next 200km. The headwind persisted and there was rain for good measure, but we continued. On the last leg of the ride we did get a tailwind and some sunshine. We met Dean, the ride organizer en route and finished at a pub. One too many later I was ready for a sleep. My first night time 300k experience was over and I’d enjoyed it. March was done, the days were getting longer and there were signs of summer approaching. Into April, work and cycling occupied all of my time and this continued for the next few months. One ride in April was Andy Berne’s Eden Valley 200, a good social ride but a bit hilly. At Easter I completed four in a row from Good Friday to Easter Monday. It was four days of sunny weather with a great club ride to the coast on Saturday for fish and chips, and on Monday, a club social 200k. I ended up with sunburn from the four days. But conditions got rough again, in the

form of Storm Hanna. On the Beyond the Dales We Know 300, the forecast was wet and windy but about 35 riders turned up for the 6am start. As we set off a group passed at well over 35kph. I tried to stay with them, thinking they’d never maintain this for the full 300. I got dropped but my competitive side and determination took over. I caught the four riders at a control run by my friends Lindsey and Chris. They had cake and coffee. It would have been rude to say no. That was the last time I saw the leading riders until the finish. I skipped the next stop, determined to catch them again. It seems they must have pulled in at another café stop, and I went past them. I got to the finish four hours earlier than last year. And ahead of the leading group. In May it was the Tour of Yorkshire. I’ve always ridden somewhere to watch the racing and this year wasn’t going to be any different, just that my ride would be 200k.

Another 200, another coffee stop… Peter Bell, Gordon Panicca and Colin on a DIY

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Colin keeps cool…

The Aidensfield 400 was my first 400. I’d not ridden through the night from a morning start before but it was fine. A couple of days later Debbie and I had a cycling trip to Scarborough – 200km there and 200km back, going around the moors and though Thixendale. We stopped both times at a delicious café in Malton. Then the Great North Road 400. It was half the elevation of last Saturday’s 400 so it was going to be faster. There was a good turnout for this ride – a lot of riders use it for PBP qualification so we all set off to Folly Top, the only real climb on the route. I’d set off in a large group which separated up the climb. On my local roads I picked up speed and started to catch up to the riders ahead. I had a quick coffee at Anita’s campervan control at Caldwell, and from there it was three cyclists giving 100 percent through Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. We saw a tornado as we rode back into Yorkshire. I enjoyed a delicious pasta and cake at the Skelton control and thought we could go faster and attempt to get back in under 16 hours, even with more than 1100km in my legs from the last week. So we went for it. I was feeling good after the pasta, and knowing the local roads back to Darlington, happily took the lead. We made it back in 15 hours and 55 minutes, a full 10 hours quicker than the 400 last weekend.

The last DIY 200 of the year

Summer arrived and there was plenty of calendar events and club socials to do but I still had lots of kilometres to ride solo. Riding to a café on the same roads, to another café and then back home on the same roads. Cafés were the highlight of solo rides now, in particular Helperby. Debbie was starting to get points from all the 200s she was doing with me. The next was a club social 300. This was Debbie’s first 300 and she was riding for charity. She raised £274! With these three points I was on 200 points, a target I’d only dreamed of at the start of season. July started with several encounters with road closures – five diversions on

one ride alone. But I got it all done, achieving the club record for Audax point. I love a hilly route and The Four Top is just that. Four long steady climbs. The Tour du Lakes was a shock to the system. I guess I’d been riding too many flat routes. Debbie and I started from Kendal on a fine day with a lot riders and clubs I’d not ridden with before. The first half of the route went over Shap to Penrith. The route turned to Cockermouth with a late breakfast stop at The Old Smithy. This turn out to be the easy part. Things were about to get tough. Shap was the highest point with lots of little climbs later in the ride – I just didn’t realise quite how many. We kept on going and finished back at Kendal cricket club later than expected, to learn that England had just won the cricket world cup. August was going to be the hottest month and all the rides would be DIYs as there were no calendar events locally because of PBP. There were some club rides, and the annual coast to coast ride, for which I rode to Hartside to meet the club and ride back to Darlington with them. Because of the heat, I was starting rides either very early, or very late. But there was no escaping the August rains. On one pre-PBP 200, we had to take shelter under a tree, which turned out to be as useful as an invisible umbrella, but still safer than being on the road in poor visibility. Later one we were caught by


another downpour, close to Helperby café, which was about to close. Duncan didn’t turn away a group of wet cyclists, and he served up some freshly baked apple and blackcurrant crumble with hot custard. Great hospitality. With so many club members in France for PBP, Debbie rode a couple of 200s with

me, including her first over the moors via Blakey Ridge to a great café in Kirkbymoorside. It was still hot at the end of August and Debbie and I were doing a DIY from Darlington with Richard and Gill Barnett. Richard was fresh back from PBP. I thought he’d be tired, but he turned up on his fastest bike, and dragged us around a 200km at full speed on a hot Bank Holiday. September – I didn’t want to fail so close to the end so I was careful. I did four steady 200s before The Middle Marches. It was a day before my 50th birthday and I was the fittest I’d ever been. I had a great day and we wore shower caps; mine was complete with 50-year-old stickers on it, even though I was only 49 – for one more day at least. No slacking now. I’d got the sixth done, now for the seventh. I thought I’d ride to Hallbankgate, a straight 100km from Darlington over Yad Moss and back for a DIY – but I didn’t check the weather forecast. It was calm but cold in the morning when I set off but by the time I’d started to ride up Yad Moss the wind had picked up. Half way up it was doing its best to blow me over. I was telling myself to stop but just kept on heading higher and higher, knowing it was going to be tougher in the afternoon when I would have to ride back over. I forced myself to stop and carefully descended with the wind doing it best to take me down. I

made it to Bowlees where I had a break then decided to head home to ride another day. This time the wind did beat me. The seventh was a club 200km. The eighth was the penultimate ride down to Helperby. The ninth was the last time I would be going to my favourite café. So I made it the final event. I just had to finish, and it was done. Andy Berne’s Annan and Alston alternative Audax. There were only a handful of riders, thanks to the weather. There was a dry half hour before it started to rain heavily. I chatted with a fellow rider, and was impressed by his description of a ride across Australia. It made me think how insignificant my challenge seemed in comparison. I didn’t want to get cold so pushed on, keeping warm in the heavy rain, which finally stopped before a lovely ride around the Solway Firth and on to a café stop at Dalston. I’d made it to the last control with only 25k to go. Other cyclists were coming and going as I had my coffee, cake and some sweets. It was just another hour’s riding and it was done. But it was taking forever to do that last 25k to the finish. Then there was three kilometres to go, then 800 metres. I thought to myself if anything happened now I would crawl to the end. At last, I got my brevet card checked and completed what I had thought impossible a year ago. The first time 10 x 200k Randonneur Round the Year in the same year had been done. I had only had two punctures in nearly 18,000 miles, broke one saddle rail, replaced too many tyres, chains and cassettes to count, and needed two new rear rims and a new set of wheels. I wore through three pairs of shorts and ripped a new pair of leggings coming off on the ice. I used over 500,000 calories. There were many highs throughout the year and some lows. People saw me at my best and some saw me at my worst – but I enjoyed the experience.

www.audax.uk

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WORDS AND PICTURES STEVE POULTON

Said to be one of the toughest challenges an Audax rider can face, the Randonneur Round the Year (RRtY) entails completing a Brevet Randonneur (BR) or Brevet de Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM) event in each of 12 successive calendar months. Veteran Audaxer Stephen Poulton, 72, has just completed 30 RRtYs in 16 years. This is his tale of broken bones, broken bikes, and an …

unconquerable

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IN 1977 I restored a Morris Minor Traveller. Being reluctant to use the thing for my regular 11 mile commute, I looked for another form of transport – and that’s when the bicycle began to take over my life. This year I completed 30 RRtY rides. But having succumbed to various bone-crushing injuries in that time, I sometimes wonder how I managed 30 and can only dream of reaching 40. My early RRtY days were faster than they are now. I’d recently retired and was still developing my permanent routes. Checking the routes became a sound way of enjoying the region around me - the Cotswolds, Marches, south Midlands, South Wales, and Wiltshire. They all make for great cycling

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routes, so I developed routes in all directions from my home in Cheltenham. While not deliberately going for a big total of RRtYs, I was second rider to achieve 10 (in December 2009) and first to achieve 20 (in August 2014). From there it was seeing who else was in the RRtY market – and planning to stay ahead. To avoid burn-out, I settled on two or three qualifying rides a month and tried to ensure each 200km-plus ride contributed to an RRtY series. The Super Randonneur series have continued to challenge with a continuous RRtY run of 16 years (20032018). Regrettably, I will miss out in 2019, as I care for a poorly wife. I must recognise that my perm routes have certainly helped along the way. I can start most routes within minutes of leaving home. One favourite is a 10km ride away and another

January 2011 across the Gospel Pass on an MTB

involves just a 14 mile drive. My best year was 2009, when I targeted the Trike Trophy and Record, which Stue Lee had raised to 102 points in 2007. I was riding four routes a month, starting my campaign in November, with five in June. On 31 October I rode a final 200 to claim 109 points. Then the fun began. When I rode LEL 2009 I started on Trike but had a cassette malfunction. I switched to Solo for the Scottish loop and nursed the Trike back south with tiewraps binding my cassette. I’d covered more than 600km on Trike so claimed six points within my total; but the committee declared the six points non-attributable for record purposes as I had changed steed. I chose not to dispute as they assigned the 14 LEL points as Solo. How grateful I was for my 31 October ride to claim the new record at 103 points. Those 14 points plus a couple MTB rides to complete a MTB RRtY gave me 127 points to win the Veterans Trophy against a certain Chris Crossland. While going for AAA points I completed an effective RRtY on my Perm Cotswolds and Mendips Grimpeur 200 worth 2.75AAA and an all-year route and an AAA-RRtY. Another AAA RRtY special came in 2011 when I completed a Baker’s Dozen over the Gospel Pass. During the winter I used Trike and Mountain Bike (with chunky tyres) to overcome snow and ice over the summit. My 600 that year was the Offa’s Dyke 600, also riding either my Gospel Pass 200 Perm or Calendar route every month. In December 2012, when 50km from the end of a 200 Perm, I came a cropper on a muddy road when I steered left and lost it. My left leg and hip struck the deck – OUCH! I made it back to Cheltenham riding on my right leg with the other leg lifeless on the


e soul Out of the night that covers me Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbow’d. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. Invictus – William Ernest Henley 2009 Another Severn Bridge crossing www.audax.uk

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unconquerable soul

pedal. After finishing I fell over, unable to remount. I called my wife Shirley who took me straight to A&E. I’d broken my left femur, already fitted with an artificial hip in 2000. I faced a dilemma. Should I continue RRtY, knowing my left leg was out of action for several weeks? I ordered a freewheel left crank for the Trike and

… I called my wife Shirley who ❝ took me straight to A&E. I’d broken my left femur, already fitted with an artificial hip in 2000.

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trained my right leg on the turbo. Five weeks later, Mike Lane shepherded me round a new DIY 200km with minimal climbing to achieve the Jan 2013 RRtY ride. As a tribute to medical science I can say that all my rides since January 2000 have been done after a left leg total hip replacement. That DIY was quickly converted into a Perm (Olde Folks 200). I ride it regularly if I want an easy and quick ride. Accidents have featured a few times and cost me points. The LEL in 2013 was scuppered when I hit a badger at night on day one; that resulted in a fractured scapula and a stay in Lincoln County Hospital. I hit a car turning left in Marlborough, 100km into the 200 and Shirley had to collect me from the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. The forks and wheel were bent to accompany a shoulder fracture. In March 2014 I came off my road bike and almost broke my neck. I did the April qualifier wearing a neck brace using my Olde Folks 200. I was thrown by a Pothole on LEL in 2017 descending Yad Moss, causing road rash, which led me to pack at Louth control, five hours behind. Not only a broken body but also many broken bikes! On a Poor Student 200 in 2006 my Handlebar snapped in the Cotswolds. Luckily I could get home to Cheltenham on the A40, change bikes and continue to finish in Oxford. During LEL 2009 on the Trike, my rear cassette came loose. A tie-wrap repair took me to the finish. I’ve had a couple chain issues where the chain tool and spare links have enabled the ride to continue. Pre-RRtY, in PBP 1995 I crashed through a fence on the Trike (fell asleep, Officer!) resulting in a cracked downtube. With a temporary strapping, I still managed to finish in time but the frame was a write-off. Many might suggest that it must be boring to continually repeat routes. And so

it can be. But the familiarity also means familiar cafes and stores for foods. I can also find variations to suit the time of year, and other distractions, such as National Trust and English Heritage sites. Riding mainly perms, and being retired, I can usually select decent weather and day of week – particularly useful when contending with the winter season. Developing a 300 which linked Hungerford to Trowbridge, I noted that the route crossed the Thames and Avon Canal several times. Doing the 300 in summer I elected to follow the towpath; I had already lost some time sorting spares. Then a jersey fell from my rack-bag, which involved cycling back along the towpath… the jersey would be needed for the chilly night phase. I was pushing the end-time, so jumped back to the road. Just another way to vary the route! If I pass through Bristol on a favourite 200, I can visit the Royal Photographic Society HQ to see the latest exhibition. I applaud Trevor Wale, who leads the consecutive RRtY tables and is a couple of RRtYs behind my total. Trevor has ridden several of my routes but is committed to other folks’ Perms and Calendar rides, rather than having his own. Having reached 30 RRtY at my eponymous Poulton village sign, I wonder if I can qualify for the other Poulton road sign depicting 40? Just another challenge as I cycle through my seventies?

… On the Poor ❝ Student 200 in 2006 my Handlebar snapped in the Cotswolds

2007 PBP UK 4 Triketeres… from left, Stue Lee, Steve Poulton, Dan Howard and Jim Hopper


STEVE’S CANCER CHALLENGE Steve Poulton’s family life was turned upside down this year when his wife Shirley was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This devastating news followed Steve’s own experience with cancer. Last year he was found to have cancer of the bladder, which was treated by surgery. “The tests suggest I am clear,” says Steve. “But these exposures to cancer have raised my awareness of this nasty disease. It has also made me value the research that has helped so many people to live with, and survive cancer.” That’s why Steve pledged to help raise money for Cancer Research by appealing for sponsorship to ride 300 miles in September, a task made more difficult as he had to fit in his rides with caring for Shirley. He has raised £1,198 to date.

STEVE’S RECORD TO DATE… In a 38 year Audax career Steve has several notable Audax achievements: ● 5 x PBPs ● 2 x LEL ● 100,000km Club ● Trike Points Record 2009 ● Trike & Veteran’s Champion 2009

Shirley is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Cheltenham General Hospital. You can contribute toward Steve’s challenge by visiting his CRUK Donations account at https://fundraise. cancerresearchuk.org/ page/stephens-cycle-300fundraising-page-108

● 22 SRs (including a run of 18 within RRtY). ● Further cycling adventures include Raid Pyrénéen 1989 ● Trans USA in 1995 and Trafalgar-Trafalgar in 2001 ● He also held the Three National Peaks by Bike Record for 37 years (41h 51m in July 1980) ● Completed all the Scottish Munros (1969-1986) ● Member 36 in the Bob Graham 24hr Club (1975) ● At 72 years of age, he has now achieved another challenging cycling milestone in the RRtY league. Steve with his CR jersey www.audax.uk

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WORDS PAUL HARRISON PICTURES BY PAUL HARRISON AND JOHN HAIGH

Corsica-based rider Paul Harrison recalls his many decades in the saddle, the pre-digital world of magazines, and his love of finding, climbing and descending arduous mountain passes. Here’s his cycle ride down memory lane…

A mountain cyclist’s life has its

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ups & downs

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THE ORDRE DES COLS DURS club (OCD) was created in France in 1960 to encourage the riding of bicycles up and down mountains. And in 1974 I joined the official OCD UK members club. The club’s magazine was called OCD Cyclo-climbing. It was produced on a duplicator. Articles were typewritten, and pictures were hand-drawn sketches. The technology didn’t allow easy reproduction of photographs or text, which is so taken for granted these days. There was no internet and no email – so all communication was through the post. John Haigh, the magazine editor, was also

claims secretary and touring secretary. In this latter role he received postcards from members on tour. Extracts from the cards were published in the magazine. Even as late as 1989, John would go to the trouble of hand-copying an image from a postcard so that it could be shown in the magazine. Between 1971 and 1975 I was seriously into time-trialling. I wasn’t particularly fast, but acquired medals in crafty ways, like beating the club 30 mile record – in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 50 seconds. I use the word “crafty” because people had lost interest in the 30 mile distance, so the

record was quite old. Those of you with a mathematical bent might realise that I was exceeding 25 mph (just) and that’s pretty fast, compared to, say, Audax speeds. Well, many of my club-mates were speedier than that, and it was nothing special. These days, I can briefly reach that speed if the gradient and wind are favourable. I had my first big cycling adventure in 1974. John Haigh organised a tour from Grenoble (reached by various train and ferry journeys). To be invited on the tour you just had to be fit enough, young enough – and daft enough. Oh, yes, and keen to do lots and lots of passes to get a


big OCD claim. The tour lasted a month, which caused some excitement at work when I put in my leave application. We rode through France to Corsica (something which I have done several times since) and then down to Sardinia, returning to Grenoble through Italy. One of the highlights was the pass Col de Parpaillon (2637m) bordering the Alpes de Haute Provence/Hautes Alpes, with its scary tunnel which is now under threat of closure. A tour like this may not seem such a big deal nowadays, but in 1974 it was quite exotic. Most of my friends didn’t

Paul, left, with a club mate climbing Ettrick Head, Scottish borders,1978

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ups & downs Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

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Climbing an unknown pass, Corsica 1974

even know where Corsica was. Those who had heard of it thought it was a dangerous place infested by bandits. The truth is that the last “professional” bandit had died in the 1960s. Now that I live in Corsica I can confirm that the people are very welcoming, though there is the slightly worrying fact that an average of one person a month gets fatally shot. The cost of the tour was about £70 for two weeks in France and another £40 for a week and a half in Italy, plus £2.25 for one month’s CTC insurance. Looking at my 1974 OCD claim, I see that I was designating routes as either “unclassified”, “Roman road/rough-stuff” or “footpath”. British claims were all in feet and inches, taken from the one inch to the mile Ordnance Survey maps, the total being finally converted to metres. In 1978 my club, the South Lancashire Road Club (now defunct) did a roughstuff tour of the Scottish Borders and then in 1983 the famous Lairig Ghru (835m) in the Cairngorms, thus getting in some rare passes for OCD claims. There was snow in the Cairngorms and we were wearing shorts and cycling shoes on a path more suited for mountaineering gear. It would be considered foolhardy now, but lots of club cyclists were doing similar things at the time and I don’t remember anybody coming to grief. The big advantage of the Lairig Ghru is that it is a true col and you can’t get lost provided that you always stick to the lowest ground. Carrying the bikes over the boulder field was a bit tricky though. OCD Cyclo-climbing published a cartoon of a rock climber on an overhang carrying a bike attached to a

Corsica … a ❝ dangerous place infested by bandits. The truth is that the last “professional” bandit had died in the 1960s

… I was designating ❝ routes as either “unclassified”, “Roman road/rough-stuff” or “footpath”.

Parpaillon, Corsica

dangling rope; a joke, perhaps, but a reflection of the prevalent attitude that you could go anywhere with a bike. A 1979 magazine carried a humorous sketch of two cyclists on a mountain. One is climbing, looking a bit hot and evidently feeling challenged by what lies before him. The second cyclist is gleefully zooming down, hair streaming, nose practically on the front wheel, and bum in the air. New members were encouraged to submit a poem in praise of the joys of cycloclimbing. I can’t imagine much take-up of this idea these days. Some of the poems made humorous references to the hardships which sometimes have to be endured on the bike. Resilience in the

Paul riding the Sheffield Phoenix 25, 1975

face of hardship is something that hasn’t changed in all these years. In 1985 I met Janet who was not a cyclist, but keen to give it a try. We lived in the Stockport area, so our first outing, on my tandem, involved a train ride to Macclesfield to avoid the urban sprawl. It was no trouble putting the tandem on the train as it had a guard’s van. What was a bit of bother though was that on arrival at Macclesfield the back tyre was flat. Getting a puncture on a train is a rare event and not an auspicious start to our relationship. This ride was followed by an expedition to Leicester, during which Janet discovered the joys of breaking in a new Brooks saddle. All this tandem riding gave me the opportunity to


train Janet up as a “proper” cyclist while in a protected environment - sitting behind me. She soon got used to the idea that you don’t stop pedalling as soon as the bike is going fast enough not to wobble over. She also learned to use drop handlebars and toe clips and to keep the pedal revs high. As she was not experienced, she wasn’t aware of the risks I took (yes, I was relatively young and foolish then) and she thought it normal to go round corners with one’s ears practically touching the ground. Later, when she started riding solo and came to realise these things, the tandem gradually got used less and less. We lived together for 19 years before getting married in 2004 and I can only say how happy I am to have Janet as my constant friend and cycling companion. She’s fitter than me now, so tends to keep me on my toes as I approach my senility. By winter 2005 the magazine had reached its 103rd edition and was quite modern. Our own Rod Dalitz was the membership secretary. John Haigh had relinquished his other roles, but was still the person to receive postcards. The secretary is listed as Mario Labelle, in Toulouse and the French correspondent was Philippe Meyer

in Leognan. The front cover in August 2005 had a colour photograph of Nev Chanin at the summit of the Col du Somport (1640m) in the Pyrenees. Five years later, this remarkable cyclist died, aged 74. He had been a regular contributor to OCD Cyclo-climbing, a tireless voice for cycling in the local media, as well as “Cycling Plus” and other national cycling publications. He rode more than a million kilometres in over 40 countries including such faraway places as Venezuela. So moving on to February 2014, and the Arrivée magazine. Its editor at the time, Sheila Simpson, wrote: “A big welcome to OCD members! We hope you’ll soon feel at home in AUK. This edition wasn’t designed especially for you (we just publish what members send) but might well have been.” To me, the transfer of the OCD to Audax UK was the best thing. The old UK club was on its last legs; I hadn’t received a magazine or been asked for subs for years. I was still keeping a record of my cols, but hadn’t submitted them. This gave Rod Dalitz not much joy when I submitted my claims for 2001 to 2013 all in one go. There was only one person who expressed dissatisfaction at the new arrangements and a rather grumpy letter was received complaining about what had happened. Rod’s very reasoned reply pointed out that most of the responses he’d received had been positive. It was at this point that I noticed that the rules for claiming cols were different from what I had always used. Previously, if riding between cols, at least half the height of the second col had to be climbed between the two for both to be claimed. This is more onerous than the current guidance for climbing to a second col, where only 100m extra climb is required. In the olden days, John Haigh had told us the rules and we just accepted what he said, as there was no internet or any other easy way to check such things. So in 2014, I revamped my claim which had come to 39,906m when using the earlier rules to one using the new rules. It came out at 46,077m. I almost felt as if I was cheating. I’ve searched the internet but can’t find any rules like this on French websites, so am left wondering where they

come from. Mind, I’m not complaining as it is good psychology seeing big totals at the end of each year’s claim – and if everybody is using the same rules, so be it. Rod recently commented to me that I have an unfair advantage living in Corsica. This is true, and the main privilege I find is spending the winter here with the cool sunny weather and traffic free roads which are ideal for cycling. I’ve discovered that the cols are generally quite easy when taken at a leisurely pace, away from the intense summer heat. Corsica, being the most mountainous Mediterranean island, is not as tough as its reputation suggests. I recently told a British cycling friend that there are even some flat roads in Corsica, and that Janet and I know both of them. I am eternally grateful to John Haigh for introducing me to Corsica in 1974, to Rod for “rescuing” the OCD, and to Janet for facilitating our move here with her fluent French. When not cycling, I amuse myself walking, playing Scrabble with the ladies of the village (I’m the only male in the club) and singing in a choir. Another preoccupation is improving my spoken French. Trouble is, my Corsican friends don’t encourage this too much as they say they like my English accent! I hope you have found this tale of yore interesting, and that at least some of you will have experienced some resonance with your own cycling exploits. Compiling this article certainly tickled my old memory buds; my next research project is to gather the evidence required to join the 300,000 mile club. Passo di San Boldo sketch

Paul on the Lairig Ghru 1983 www.audax.uk

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WORDS AND PICTURES DAN CAMPBELL

Solitary biker Dan Campbell continues his 2019 diary of DIY trials, heading north, south, east and west from his home base in Staffordshire. This is how he and his bike spent the rainy summer months…

Bulls, blustery breezes and blessed bus WHAT A SUMMER! Toss a coin for rain or sun…it’s usually been rain. But I’ve enjoyed spending the summer absorbed in all things cycling, and sharing my love of bike-riding with the students I teach, in the hope it will inspire some of them to ride their bikes. You may recall that my primary target for 2019 was to complete the Super Randonneur with AAA points, due mainly to my love of hill-climbing, and the need to lose some weight. My continued exploration of the world of DIY Audaxing involved some old favourites and some challenging new routes…

ASHBOURNE & TH E MERMAID INN (DIY, 100KM, 2A AA)

The weather forecas t suggested some sk inburning temperatu res so I made an ea rly start, hoping to be home for a late breakfast. The course is a variatio n of my other Ashb ourne route but this one pr ovides vistas over th e Roaches towards M anchester, which ar e amazing. The bigge st achievement of th e ride was making it up th e cat-3 climb through the Elkstone valley without getting off and walki ng.

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Looking back to Ilam from the top of the climb

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The star t cl imb ou of the t of the Ma nifold Val le y


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/

shelters

73 OF 17 ARTY P A E NT OSTO efore, T H E B 0K M ) 0 e Fens b h t h g u (DIY, 4 t thro the eas cycled ome to his side of gh I’ve h u o m h o r lt A nf re t the er ridde o explo I’ve nev was excited t ide at 7pm in or I r f e o s h , t m e ho e rted coast try. I sta uld mean I’d b e to have a n u o c the wo gm the allowin g as this evenin ing evening, day. This was r w o Satu Twitter the foll leep on ted a ride on s ’s t h full nig I’d documen ts. e momen et first tim s full of funny top I m a ation s t s e y ic and it w v m r t one se ies who used isco. d mple, a d For exa r inebriated la impromptu n e a h t s n a a ts ga dI two r ing ligh I was headin cycling h s a fl ’s e bike wher t I was ked me hough One as oston”. They t helter which rs “B a bus s y pape replied I found t and the dail nd read. . A S U to the fy sea stop a d a com rs-by to provide nch for passe be on the ilised. iv c y Ver

Up-mar ket bus sh in Boston wit h el ter al l the com forts of hom e, incl uding the da il y pa pers

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Bulls, blustery breezes and blessed bus shelters

NS F KIRTO A PAIR O 00KM) 6 ) led to ( P E R M, ffordshire ta (S e n to rs for rt at Hilde re turning A 4am sta to Cheshire, befo h g in es… whic a lovely le d over the Pennin ep e an uld not k Stockport ild heatstroke. I co to my m ue resulted in is problem a lot d on th g e in v cool. I ha ent the night feed k. In il p s m I t t! full-fa belly fa ater and w to take , d ls e e p g p y ve sto energ a h rs ld u o h t, I s ple of hou hindsigh had a cou bus d n a r te a wa on more t to bed in nally wen had 30 minutes fi I . p e le s of and out 5am shelter ab of rest. e ached th t until I re at Colsterworth o n s a w It er -style din olid American t I finally took on s a th a ) he ro d (497km d eggs). T n a s st n a e ast to we food (b es from e ery rs e v a tr h whic tually v 006) is ac , (B676, A6 time here u I made p d e n a th k in ic qu route very busy 0miles but it’s a e1 th y Finall the daytime. ome was h to r te e x o e tt from U ction of th ardest se uphill all second h e I cycled k li lt fe It . 0 miles. ride ose last 1 th in y a w the

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Stockport hydro project

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Il a m Stone Cross a n Br i d g d e

ner i u m Di e A 15 1 A1 Stad er wort h on t h t at Cols

INN RMAID E M E H ) TER & T ROCES , DIY, 2.5AAA bourne X A f the Ash twice. I o n o (AUD ti ia ther var ne valley climb at te is ano u sto lk ro E o I left is e h T r time, s es in th e k n ta in d d n r e fo e. The loop a ack hom ad plenty of tim ting about b e b to had at I h in star g ensure th w winds with ra eriencin 3am to lo fore exp r e b fo r s u a o w h forecast de 25km in an ms. rainstor ma n I o . o m s a n 1 1 mo h debris ods, wit of many o t s fl r h fi s e a fl th he climb rous d nume into the road. T Marten e s u a c g The rain being washed 52 alon to the A llent view of re lo B from exce vided an hire Lane pro lley and Derbys f signs a V er o the Ilam excessive numb s in the e h re bull plains. T there we rry me. I t a th g o n indicati lds began to w the road if fie t wn n o e d c d ja e ad just chas g in e b bull, he d e e th in d g e a s im I pas seemed ped. As es, and a y c e s e e s y o n a h th t me wit looked a y: “Idiot.” had sa t the rain e u to simply b , th g stren g out th d grew in climbin and on The win the time I was returned e By d . a d h e p in p e ra sto ping th Valley, th y as whip y into m Manifold ads the wind w it directl ro g n in e iv p r o d the p and ink. water u fun – I th g in surface v a h ut , I was ore abo face. Yes e was m it was about id r e th f o n d nd half rain tha The seco h the wind and w Road) the win to it lo in e w k d g a la n deali the ro top (B s e s th ro c g a n Alo me cycling. g and pushing de it home for n a ti m s I u , g y s wa nywa r lane. A e th o e th . 11:45am


THE MOUN T OF SNOWD AIN PASSES ONIA (AUDAX, D IY, 200KM, 3.5AAA)

I’d intended to do some st ar-gazing at Stwian (nea Llyn r Ffestiniog) b u t when I arriv at the start (B ed ala) it was ra ining. I consi having a cou dered ple of hours sleep before off, but I knew setting that I would sleep right th so I just head ough ed off into th e rain. By Penygroes it had stopp ed raining a clouds were nd the slowly lifting , making it a pleasant. I ch lit tle atted to a co uple of comm more who overtoo uters k me as I clim bed over Na which was n ntlle Pass, ice. There wa s very little tr making the affic, climb to the top of enjoyable. I th ink most holid Pen-y-Pass aymakers dec have a late b reakfast due ided to to the rain. I Pete’s Eats in stopped at Llanberis for beans on toa of tea. The ro st and a cup adside carpa rk was full bu very few peo t there were ple about. The climb ove r to Bethesda was nice as th had lifted an e clouds d I could see most of the m reaching into ountains the sea. The traffic was st the climb ove ill light so r Ogwen pass to Capel Curi pleasant. I st g was opped at the petrol statio out of Betwsn on the way y-Coed and discovered w holidaymake here all the rs were! The next 15 mile generally up s were hill, a time I reached nd very steep in places. By the th Tryweryn roa e Ffestiniog to Bala road via the d, I’d started to wish for a or a gun! I fe flat route… lt a wave of re lief as I reach ed the top! This was a g reat ride and if I do it again quality cam , I’ll take a era as there are some am opportunitie azing photo s all the way around.

Road at Tu nstall look ing The Cloud acclesfield towards M

Pen-y-Bwlc towards Beth look ing hesda

E D STOK HIRE AN S E H C , EAKS AA) WHITE P DIY, 200KM, 3A asses , X ountain P M (AUDA ) A A A km (3.5 AAA) from nd y my 200 200km (3 a d one a Inspired b te a re l rides into onia, I c ra d e w v o e s n S d f o erge this more effect, I m ave given h home. In ld u o h s ht, I in hindsig -passed t. h thoug me as I by the to d in k were ely as and rain e was lov rly at rn u o b h s The wind A ed too ea The leg to me. I arriv till closed, so I Elkstone. rm a w to sen ere s sun had ri nd all the shops w bbles Cafe on a e e Co Ashbourn nor and th st. On the way I g n o L to n a y pushed o et for beans on to g a hill. B s climbin stre a h w ig e I h s th e a th th ture giving bir take a pic n saw a cow s close enough to go in rn t tu wa ok the firs the time I to I c wall at . a rn rm o b ta een 0% calf had b nor to avoid the 2 not as ong ere leaving L e views w gh but th u lo c s in ll Ho t lar. the A54 a spectacu y turn off ll a rm o n n t was soo en why I I’d forgott to Rabbit Bank bu idden, narrow n o thole-r Allgreave ttle close, ds are po a ro e h T came a li e. The . d rs e a d c l in ra m e re tim ; sev tion next d corners e this sec tacular as with blin v o m re ll e. I’ pec even for m ow Cop were as s ve a 360-degree M ha m u o o fr y r day views way. on a clea d ever this n a re a s, y u o y if alwa r u re rth a deto at but the vista: wo s mostly fl r food so a w e m o h ro ection to any wate me. I was The last s s to grab e t ti c x la e p n n w fe to were very route into Hasling n Keele bank (at this a PR o I’ll divert ve a Strav rly three minutes. ie h c a to e ea surprised king off n wife messaging m ) by knoc y m to e y u 115miles nd s (m eesy puff have bee bag of ch This may a d a h e t sh to say tha aiting for me! )w s te ri u favo www.audax.uk

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The

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Baking Biker

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FOR THE PASTRY ● 100g of wholemeal flour ● 100g plain or bread flour ● 40g of self-raising flour ● One egg ● 50g butter ● 60g lard (If you don’t fancy using the lard you can omit this and use 110g of butter in total). ● Pinch of salt ● Up to 4 tablespoons of water. FOR THE FILLING: ● One small cooking apple (Bramley) ● 175g of sausage meat ● Black pudding to taste.

Our biking cook, Sarah Freeman, presents a recipe of traditional flavour – a good old-fashioned British favourite, guaranteed to cheer up any gruelling winter ride, and give you a solid, tasty and protein-rich injection of power to your pedals…

Black pudding and apple pork pies – for a really meaty treat This recipe was inspired by a trip to the Lake District and subsequently fuelled me round Dave’s Dales Tour Plus, a lovely jaunt around the Yorkshire Dales with a couple of AAA points thrown in. It makes four or five pies, depending on the size of your pie moulds. METHOD Make the pastry by mixing the flour and salt, melt the butter and lard and add it to the flour and mix through. Add the egg and mix well, adding enough water to bind the pastry. This may be less than stated depending on the size of your egg. Don’t over-work the pastry because it might make it tough. Leave the pastry to rest for about 10 minutes.

Peel and chop your apple and put it in a saucepan and add some water (and some lemon juice to prevent it from going yellow) and simmer until it’s soft. Then roll out to about the thickness of a 50p piece. Stamp out circles big enough to fill your pie mould, this could be ramekins, pie moulds or muffin tins depending on what you have

at hand. Reserve some pastry for the lids, I usually make the lids and cases together so I know I have enough pastry. Depending on what your black pudding is like, either slice it or mash it up and spoon it in, and put a layer of black pudding at the bottom of the pie, then divide up your sausage meat and put this on top. Squash your sausage down and then finally put a


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.

spoonful of apple on the top. Leave a gap at the top to stop the filling expanding and oozing out. Then wet the lip of the pie and the pastry lid and put them together. Use a fork to secure the lid and the bottom, and prick the lid with a fork to let out any steam. Place in a preheated oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for about 40 minutes.

Proper pork pies have jelly in, but I’ve omitted it for this recipe as it’s a bit of a faff and the apple should keep the meat moist. The pies will freeze, but are better eaten shortly after baking. Plenty of protein and iron and fat in these mighty meaty pies to keep you going. Use a good quality sausage meat (I used Lincolnshire) and black pudding. I like to use my local

butcher, although not everyone is lucky enough to have one. If you can’t get hold of sausage meat, just use sausages and squeeze the meat out the skins, although this can be a bit fiddly. Any leftover ingredients can be frozen separately and as long as you thoroughly defrost before cooking they should keep fine.

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Alice and Eleanor Les femmes fantastique

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ELEANOR CEINDEG JASKOWSKA Age 28 Home territory Bristol, but I will always consider Wales to be home. Making a living by Community manager for a route planning app. Other passions Cats, plants and trying to grow my own vegetables. Serious cyclist for Three years. Bikes Temple fixed gear, custom steel all road, Specialized Epic full suspension mountain bike, plastic (carbon) Bianchi, 50% of a Rensch/Paris tandem. Bike for PBP Temple Cycles Fixed Gear running 46x18 on 25mm tyres. Average mileage Around 10,000km, aiming for 15,000 this year. You wouldn’t think it to look at me but… I once tutored Alice at University


Our featured duo in this edition are two ultra-distance Bristolbased Audax riders and friends, Alice Thomson and Eleanor Jaskowska, who pitted themselves against Paris-BrestParis in August this year. For Alice, who’d never ridden this distance before, it was an emotional experience, while Eleanor made life more difficult for herself by electing to ride the course on a fixed-wheel bike. They joined Arrivee’s managing editor, Ged Lennox, for breakfast in his Cotswold kitchen to chat about PBP, camaraderie and cake…

ALICE THOMSON Age 25 Home territory Bristol. I’m a big fan of jaunts into Wales. Making a living by Veterinary student. Other passions Baking, the environment, and things with four legs. Serious cyclist for Just over two years. Bikes Canyon Ultimate CF SL (Connie, Road/Race bike), Dolan Dual (Dora, Audax/Winter bike), Specialised Crux (Big Suz, Off Road/CX bike) and an around-town ridgeback! Bike for PBP Dora, with some ultra-distance adjustments – gel padding under the bar tape, a dynamo front wheel and light, and USB port. Tyres were 28mm for extra comfort. Average mileage So far this year, 10,500km. I managed 9,000 in 2018, and much less in 2017. You wouldn’t think it to look at me but I’m really good at… Word games.

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taketwo

What/who switched you on to cycling? Alice: My partner Joe – he persuaded me to buy a road bike in 2017 and with his encouragement I haven’t looked back. He’s responsible for the monster that considers three hill climbs in two days to be a good weekend. Starting out, cycling was the perfect antidote to my desk based job, and I still love weekend escapes with as many miles, hills and cake stops as possible. Eleanor: My Mum. She encouraged us to ride because it was great for independence, especially growing up in rural Wales. At university I was the only one of my peers who could change a puncture. A knee injury forced me to give up playing rugby…but a friend sold me a bike and I never looked back. Within six months I’d applied to race the Transcontinental.

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What makes the Paris-Brest-Paris such a big thing for you? Alice: The history, prestige and international nature of the event really appealed, but in the run up to the ride itself I struggled to really feel excited about it. I loved the qualifying rides but

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Eleanor and I ❝ would ride over to Bath after work, race, and then ride back

was concerned about what it would be like to be on the road with 6,000 other riders. I felt like I should have been more excited. It felt like a much bigger achievement when I’d done it, though. I wasn’t expecting to have to dig so deep, and am really proud I completed it. Eleanor: It’s the oldest event in the long distance cycling calendar. It brings the international community together every four years. Jon Banks also told me that the Paris-Brest buns were pretty good, too. I’ll do anything for cake. I love randonneuring. And I love the challenge and the camaraderie of the road. Riding a fixed wheel pushed it firmly into the sweet spot of not being quite sure whether I could complete it or not. What extra training did you undertake, and was it enough? Alice: Before 2019, 300km was the furthest I’d ever ridden, but I knew that one’s body can cope with a great deal, and that it’s often the mental barriers which present the greatest challenge. In preparation I started with a “Festive 500” over Christmas, and rode up to Sheffield from Bristol, following this with a week

with the Adventure Syndicate in the Sierra Nevada in Spain. Once I’d signed up for the super randonneur events as qualifying rides, I had no issues with training motivation. They were fantastic, and great training for PBP. My favourite was the Bryan Chapman. The route was amazing, the food at each control was great, and I even had a bed and a shower at the Youth Hostel near Dolgellau. A week later I took part in the inaugural All Points North ultra-distance event, riding a total of 900km. I had no idea, going into it, if I could do it. I’d never ridden through the night before and was nervous about bivvying by myself. Despite some of the most characterbuilding bank holiday weather, I finished and was one of only about a third of the field to make it round. Although it’s shorter than PBP, All Points North was much hillier. It gave me confidence for the first time that I could complete PBP. After all this excitement, I was left with little motivation for my usual local routes. I managed to keep training by racing some local circuits at Odd Down in Bath. Eleanor and I would ride over to Bath after work, race, and then ride back. These saw me through to Pure Peak Grit, a super hilly 600km. The training paid off, and I felt really strong for PBP. Eleanor: I didn’t train enough! I think I let myself get complacent, thinking there was no way PBP could be as hard as Mille Cymru because everyone said France was flat. I did my qualifying SR but signed up for AAA Welsh 400 and 600s and then started to panic about not qualifying, so ended up doing those rides on a geared bike. After the 600 at the end of May I realised that I needed to work on my fixed gear fitness, and only allowed myself to ride that bike, regardless of the elevation profile of my ride. That helped, but my leg speed held me back on the descents. Alice, you used a carbon road bike for PBP. Did that work for you, or would you choose a kinder mount next time? Alice: I loved my bike. We built her with PBP in mind. I might have opted for a titanium frame if I’d had the budget, but knowing I’d be using the bike for future hilly events, I wanted to keep the weight to a minimum. Despite being a carbon road bike, she’s got a relatively relaxed geometry and clearance for wider tyres. I used 28s for PBP but might opt for something even wider in future, or if I was taking on an event with a less lovely road surface.


again just for that! The camaraderie on the road was better than I anticipated as well. This was partly because I was a woman riding a fixed wheel, something that these riders hadn’t seen before, so I became known as “crazy fixie lady” and gathered a small fan club. The Austrian dads were my favourite. One of them was so excited that he announced it was the year of the strong woman. First Fiona Kolbinger… and then me!

The last time I saw El was in the ❝ changing room at Dreux. She was just waking after less than an hour’s sleep. She must have been absolutely exhausted, but she was still laughing El, you chose to do PBP on a fully fixed wheel. Was there a specific reason, or just masochism? Eleanor: It was a combination of masochism and peer pressure. At the end of my first 600km, the Bryan Chapman in 2016, I was chatting to Judith Swallow. She told me I was a “rouler” (a cyclist who goes well on flat and rolling terrains), and might have a fixed PBP in me. Fast forward, and Audax Club Bristol was catching fixie fever, and I thought that if Paul, Jon, Telbert, Sean, Adam and Neil were aspiring to ride PBP on a fixie, then I could too. How did you find the road surface in France? Alice: Fantastic. Lots of smooth surfaces, and very few potholes. The roads were also remarkably quiet. Another delight was that not once in 1,200km was I shouted at or beeped by a driver. Shortly afterwards, when riding a 200km back in the UK, I’d only done 16km before a van driver decided to swear at me. Eleanor: It was all pretty good, apart from on the approach to Dreux where I winced constantly. Was there a particular highlight? Alice: I had highs and lows throughout PBP, but you don’t appreciate the highs without the lows. My highlights were

generally linked to the wonderful people, whether they were riding buddies (new and old), friendly control volunteers, or cheering locals. One highlight was riding from St Nicolas au Pelem through to Quedillac with a pair of riders, Chris and Jenny, who I met on the road. It turned out I’d met Chris on a previous audax back in the UK, and he’d met Jenny on PBP - she was from Germany and absolutely flying. Riding into the night we kept each other awake. The temperature had plummeted, and we could see our breath on the air. Alone, I’m not sure I would have braved the gap from Loudeac to the next control. The fatigue was getting to me. But riding together was one of my highlights. The finish itself was also a highlight. Setting off for the final push it was cold, I was hungry, my legs were empty and my bum wanted to hand in its notice. I couldn’t find any pace and the slight inclines were sapping. It felt like the longest 44kms I’ve ever ridden. But it hit me that I was actually going to finish, and had worked so hard to reach this point. Rounding the corner into the park at the finish I had tears in my eyes, I couldn’t wait to get off the bike and see Joe who was waiting for me. Eleanor: The roadside support was simply brilliant. I would probably ride it

Did you ever come close to scratching? Alice: Yes, but I’m really glad I didn’t. I got too attached to the timings and pace in my head, and felt like I’d been going too slowly on the run in to Loudeac (445km). I hopped in with a faster group, and clung on. The pace was high, the headwind still strong, and the riding chaotic. The sensible part of me should have known it was a bad plan. I was running on empty. I got dropped, and limped to the control feeling dizzy. It got worse and I felt sick and couldn’t stand up. Even after eating something I doubted I’d feel good enough to continue to Carhaix that evening, which was my plan. I started to question what I was doing, and realised I wasn’t really enjoying myself at all. I found riding in big groups stressful, and I was losing time at controls. I witnessed one ACB rider enter the control point and faint – at least it wasn’t just me. After some quality beige food and TLC from ACB I recovered. El arrived, cheered me up and persuaded me to join her, Kelly and Ian and push on to Carhaix. We did it, and I managed to catch a flying Joe on his return from Brest at the control Eleanor: Strangely enough, I didn’t come close to scratching. Even though at points I got down to 30 minutes in hand, I never broke down under the pressure. Either my mind was strong, or my body. And I managed to avoid having a wobble. I’m really not sure how I got around on a fixed wheel. There were times, in a state of exhaustion, I was in awe at how my legs kept going. I’d woefully underestimated the difficulty. Even now I’m not really sure how I managed it. I had to dig a lot deeper than I anticipated. Any interesting rest stops/sleep arrangements? Did you get any sleep? Alice: I slept, but not nearly as much as I

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taketwo

I loved the French bakeries, and ❝ adapted my strategy to stock up with vegetarian baguettes at every opportunity. I also loved the pop-up food in the villages, and filled my snack pods with crepes, which were absolutely divine.

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thought I was going to. I rode through the first night without sleeping. Then I tended to get three house sleep per night at controls. I’d top up with a 20 minute nap when the snoozies hit. My nap spot of choice was a quiet field with nice grass. My worst sleep was at Quedillac, on a concrete floor next to the showers. It was cold, hard, and I was occasionally trodden on. Eleanor: The 40 minute lie-down on a bench in the shower room at Dreux stands out. I was really glad I packed a silk liner, eye mask and ear plugs. I was, however, woken by a man who had wandered into the ladies’ changing room in the hope of jumping the queue for the gents. In total I had less than five hours overall kip – not something I want to repeat in a hurry.

Food stops. Any good? Did they cater for vegetarians and vegans? Alice: They were a mixed bag. If I were to ride PBP again I think I’d avoid eating in the controls. Setting off in one of the last waves meant experiencing enough queues to last a lifetime. As a vegetarian, the food options were limited – the “fast” options were generally baguettes containing meat, or pastries. I ate 24 pastries in total – a personal record. I had a three-pastry breakfast at Tinteniac on the return. I ended up taking it for the road, wrapped in a napkin. I ate it 24 hours later. It was cold, having sat on my bike all night, but I couldn’t face another food queue. I ate the whole thing, napkin included, and to its credit it still tasted great. I think it’s the first time I’ve eaten a napkin..

On a positive note, I loved the French bakeries, and adapted my strategy to stock up with vegetarian baguettes at every opportunity. I also loved the pop-up food in the villages, and filled my snack pods with crepes, which were absolutely divine. I balanced this diet of carbs with the occasional cucumber. They don’t pack any calories, but are hydrating and a good contrast when you’ve had too many pastries. Eleanor: There wasn’t a huge amount of choice, especially if you didn’t fancy jambon beurre. I’m relieved that I’m not veggie because it would have been really difficult. Even being an omnivore, I got bored with the beige food at the controls. How did your bodies react? Any injuries? Alice: I think my body coped remarkably well. My weak points were my hands, feet and bum, which disintegrated to the extent that I had four blister plasters covering the worst of it by Tinteniac on the return leg. For anyone wondering – the plasters work a treat! Eleanor: My derriere was completely shredded by the finish. All that spinning downhill destroyed my poor bottom. Other than that and a bit of toe numbness, I was fine – no knee pain, no nerve pain in my hands, no shoulder pain. I can confidently say that riding fixed is the future. You two hooked up regularly on the ride. Was it difficult staying together? Alice: We first met up outside Fougeres on the outward leg. I’d left the control in search of a vegetarian lunch when I saw a Bristol South jersey fly up the road. I threw my baguette into my pocket and chased. I was so pleased to see El. I thought I was way behind her as her tracker had pinged at the Fougeres control a good hour before. However, she’d stopped for food and a nap. We rode together and caught up. It was lovely. We hadn’t made plans to ride together, so split up when I stopped for a nap. The last time I saw El was in the changing room at Dreux. She was just waking after less than an hour’s sleep. She must have been absolutely exhausted, but she was still laughing. Eleanor: Yes, it was difficult because I was speed limited on the descents. It was so hard to ride with any road pals because riding fixed commands its own antisocial pace. I’d meet some lovely people, have a chat, and then just lose them when the gradient changed.


Did you meet your target times, or were you on the edge? Alice: I was never up against it with my control cut-off times. This wasn’t so much my planning, more the initial chase to try to make up three hours and catch up with friends from Audax Club Bristol who’d set off in earlier waves, and then riding with these friends, and new friends, who had earlier cut-off times to make. Eleanor: I was on the edge. I managed to stay within my target times and arrive with time in hand. At one point I was down to 20 or 30 minutes in hand, and that wasn’t a nice place to be! Did you hang around in Paris for some R&R and a bit of sight-seeing? Alice: No I didn’t. I would have loved to, but was a bit limited by my annual leave allowance! We had a nice day in the area after I finished but returned to the UK the following day. Eleanor: We had a night of proper sleep, and then it was time to load the Audax Club Bristol coach and head back. Are you planning to do the LEL in 2021? Alice: I’m on the fence about it. I’m certainly tempted, and once seeds like

these are sown, the ideas tend to grow on me. However, there were things I didn’t enjoy about PBP which may be the same with LEL, and with limited budget and time for distance adventures, I may opt to do something more self-supported and racy. That said, some of my friends are planning to do LEL, and doing it as a team really appeals. We’ll see. Eleanor: Immediately after PBP I though “no…why on earth would I want to do that?” But now the memories of PBP are fading I’m romanticising just the best bits. So I’m coming around to the idea. There are so many people who have found Audax this year, and been inspired by PBP to enter the LEL ballot, so I think it could be a really special event. What’s happening next season? Looking forward to anything big? Alice: I’m really not sure, and don’t have firm plans at the moment. I’m tempted by lots of things, and limited by my term times now that I’m studying again. Part of me thinks it would be good to have a consolidation year, and try to keep things at a similar level, as last year was a big step up. Another part of me wants to do something ridiculous. I suppose I’ll have to see which one wins.

… the Paris-Brest ❝ buns were pretty good, too. I’ll do anything for cake

Eleanor: I want to do more off-road riding, mostly for the fun, but I enjoy learning some skills, and it’s nice to get away from traffic. To continue my badge hunt, I want to do an Easter Arrow and keep going with my SRs. I’m really sad I’ve got a work commitment that clashes with the Highland Fling, but something like that would be great fun.

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An international field of 6,673 riders gathered in the shadow of Rambouillet’s castle on the edge of Paris in August this summer to pit themselves against one of the toughest long-distance challenges in world cycling – the Randonnée Paris-Brest-Paris. Riding against the clock, competitors attempted to cover more than 750 miles from the suburbs of the French capital to Brittany’s Atlantic coast and back, sweeping through 178 towns, being cheered all the way by enthusiastic crowds. Over the following page s we focus on three British Audaxers whose experience of the ride graphically describes the passion, pain and emotional intensity of this most iconic event.

Andy Walsh at the check-in

Going through hell on wheels The agony and ecstasy of Paris-Brest-Paris can leave vivid memories, both physical and mental. Ipswich-based rider, Andy Walsh describes his own baptism of PBP fire when he joined more than 6,500 other riders, to experience the event’s high and lows. THE TWELVE MONTHS leading up to my first attempt at Paris-Brest-Paris involved training, qualifiers and maintenance work. I found it relatively easy to accommodate this workload into my busy work and family schedule. And as August approached I kept the kilometres going – but there was enough time between the final qualifier and the start of PBP for me to falsely ease off and feel that all the work was already done. As I drove over to France I was feeling relaxed. I settled into my pre-race accommodation and met up for a chat with other riders, people I knew, veteran Audaxers and first-timers. There were lots of Audax people here, and there was a real anticipatory vibe. The rain had started on Friday night and the grounds at the Sheepfold were absolutely sodden as the riders queued for bike checks at the start. We were all getting very wet. It was pitch black as I made my way up towards the start area. I heard no English voices, only Austrian, German, Dutch and American. I was nervy, but looking forward to starting. Then it was onwards to line up behind the Départ banner. Several anxious people, lots of very light carbon bikes, some people fixing punctures already and lots of headlights and tail lights.

At 5am on Monday, 19th August, I rolled over the start line, heard the beeps of the timers, and so it began. Austrian and German peloton’s formed and I just rode along nice and easy. There was plenty of bunching up as we negotiated junctions and tight turns through some of the early villages, but once out on the open road among the vast fields the pelotons picked up pace and I decided that I wouldn’t fight to stay with them. I just rode at a pace I knew was sensible for what lay ahead. There was already a headwind which was a persistent force that had to be fought against. It made me push a little harder than I wanted to and I was seeking out smaller groups to ride with, but there weren’t that many. There were either big pelotons or the odd one or two riders. In any case I was riding fine and fell in with some American riders. The weather was a little cloudy to begin with, but the sun slowly came through. I saw the aftermath of a nasty incident, the result of which was a female rider with a blooded face, a reminder that group riding has its dangers. After around four and a half hours I reached the first official feed stop at Mortagne-Au-Perche. I necked a pastry and then kept some for ride food until the next control. There was another 100km to go until the first control at Villaines La Juhel. The riding was pretty tough with a lot of climbs – not very steep but there were so many of them. I was riding conservatively but was starting to feel the kilometres in the legs and was looking forward to a sit


Damp expectations… the riders gather at the start

down and some hot food. After nine hours and 217km, I arrived at Villaines-La-Juhel, the first control. It was great to get another stamp in the Brevet card and to get some hot food. The wind was still blowing in my face as I left the control, I was on my own and was happy to press on without company. You have to be prepared to ride these events solo. If there happens to be some favourable company to ride with, then great, but I was ready for a solo slog to Fougeres. I reached Fougeres at 18.15 and 306km, took on food and drink, filled water bottles and added some layers of clothing for the evening stint. I met a rider I knew, Anton Blackie, who was on his fourth PBP. He was riding with another guy call Phil Wareham. We stuck together throughout the control. I was enjoying their company and it was helpful for motivation, passing the time and progress. This was the evening stretch, another 50-60km to go until the next control at Tinténiac, the shortest

Villaines-La-Juhel, the first control

distance so far between controls. restful of places. I’d left my earplugs in my We saw the aftermath of another bag on the bike, so the snoring needed to accident, this time a rider lying still on the be blocked out mentally. Eventually I got ground with an ambulance crew about to off to sleep, but in what seemed like about slide him on to a stretcher. We assumed it 10 minutes rest time I was awake and was a road accident. I’d set up a WhatsApp shivering. I couldn’t believe how cold I was. group of friends and family before starting, I had a sleeping bag liner and a blanket as to keep them informed of my progress. I well, but that was not enough to keep me checked the messages at each control, and warm. Phil had elected a slightly later the notes I was receiving were brilliant – it wake up time – he wasn’t keen to set out was comforting to be sharing the ride with in the pre-dawn darkness. I just wanted to my friends and family. It felt like I wasn’t get warm, so was actually happy to get riding alone. moving. I left the control in the darkness Now we were off into the night for and on my own. I expected Anton and Phil another 90km to the next control. I rolled to catch me up on the road. The morning out with Phil and Anton, and it was more of was cold and the roads felt like they were the same – just in the dark. More hills, not constantly uphill. much flat riding at all and with the I joined up with Anton and Phil again. temperature dropping it was pretty cold. Phil had slept about as well as I had during I’m not really explaining the difficulty the night. The most memorable thing of the ride so far. It was tough. The hills, the about the Carhaix-Plougeur control is it headwind and the elevated pace of the was here that I had my one and only earlier part of the day were all accumulating Paris-Brest pastry. in my legs, feet, hands, arms, neck and Sizun was pretty, hot and chock full of backside, and I was looking forward to having some time off the bike at the next control at Loudéac. The Loudéac control is used by many riders as a sleep stop, and it can be very crowded with outbound and inbound riders. Phil and I headed off to see if we could get beds in the dormitory. We were in luck. There were a few spaces available, so we chose slots and wake up times (the volunteers will come and shake you awake at your stipulated time), and then we were off into a cavernous gymnasium packed with fold-out beds and blankets. There were dozens of snoring and faffing riders in all sorts of states of dress and disarray. You could feel the exhaustion in the place, and you could see it on the faces of the riders. Café au lait and a Twix in Ménéac The dormitory was not the most

outbound and inbound cyclists. There was a really nice atmosphere here, and we stopped for a snack. We were almost halfway – just 35km until Brest and we knew that we would make it well in advance of the control closing time. The run into Brest was busy. I crossed the infamous Plougastel Bridge where almost every cyclist stops to get a picture of the Atlantic Ocean. Anton and Phil pressed on to the control, but I had to get the picture. It’s always good to make it to the halfway point. After 613 hilly kilometres in 34 hours I was feeling the effects. The soles of my feet were painful, as were my hands, legs and backside. I was desperate to take my shoes off and enjoy some foot freedom. I met up with Anton and Phil again. I was pleased to see them. Anton was keen to get moving as he was meeting his family back at Carhaix-Plougeur and wanted to see his kids before they went to bed, so he pressed on. Leaving Brest felt good, we were on

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Phil and I enjoy rice pudding in Sizun

the way back! Phil and I had been catching 90 hour riders from a long way before Brest. We thought some would be in trouble against the time limits. Now we were on our way back, we were seeing some of the riders that we had passed earlier again, still on their way to Brest. I felt bad for them, knowing they had more to go in front of them than we had. We arrived at the Carhaix-Plougeur control just before 20.00 after 697km and 39.5 hours. We ate yet another meal of pasta. Phil saw a rider he knew – and she was in a bad way. She’d arrived at the control a few minutes before us, but had started the night before. We knew from her frame plate number that she was really up against it, time wise. She’d had no sleep at all in 48 hours and her knee had practically locked up. She began to cry, but there wasn’t really much more to say, other than that we could see her pain, and felt for her. She ended up packing at Loudéac. Another 90km in the darkness to the next control at Loudéac was ahead of us and re-mounting the bike, the aches and pains were amplified. It often feels difficult to get riding again after such a distance, and the first ten minutes or so when you

Control food… no frills but practical

are colder and your legs are reminded of what you are asking them to do is uncomfortable. Our pace had slowed, the road had become lumpy again and the cumulative effort was impacting. We could hear Abba music coming from behind us. Suddenly we were engulfed by five riders from Brazil who were in party mode. They had a speaker on one of the bikes and were blasting out pop classics for motivation. They were funny and full of beans, riding at a pace just a tiny bit higher than ours, but one that Phil and I didn’t want to stick with. Tiredness and the potential for poor group riding were not worth any advantage in speed. We were happy as a duo for now, and enjoyed the night silence, punctuated by the odd piece of Abba! Finally, arriving in Loudéac around 03:30 after 786km and 46.5 hours, we parked the bikes up and Phil went straight off to see if he could get a massage on his left knee. It had started to swell up and was causing him some discomfort. A drunken old man appeared to be trying to gain entry to the control and was shouting at the volunteer stewards. One of the volunteers eventually ejected him from the control. It was a bizarre scene. Phil

returned, and was pleased with his massage. Then we were led to our allotted sleep areas. Lots of snoring and rustling, but we were familiar with this by now. Lying down was bliss, as was drifting off into sleep. But again, I was awoken by the cold an hour and a half later, so the last 30 minutes of rest were spent trying to arrange covers to make myself warm, mostly without success. Phil and I got up and made our way to the restaurant. I’d been sending updates to the WhatsApp group, and the update I sent read: “Eating pasta for breakfast”. It was a beautiful morning, chilly but with the promise of sunshine. We’d been fortunate with the lack of rain, but the headwind that we’d battled on the way out had somehow turned around with us. We got to the Tinténiac control at 11.10 after 873km and almost 53.5 hours. There was a folk band playing and people dancing. The controls are places of entertainment for everyone. France can feel deserted at times, and I imagine PBP is a big deal for everyone along the route. We reached the Fougéres control after 928km and 58.5 hours. The Brevet card was almost full now, we only had four more stamps to get. It felt like we’d broken the back of the ride. We were within touching distance – but we still had 300km to ride. Phil and I were still riding together, all going well, aside from the persistent aches and pains. For Phil it was his knee, which was very swollen now. Every time we stopped he went to get some massage to it. For me it was my hands and feet. Long distance riding will find your weaknesses, and these can turn into problems. Relentless forward motion – that’s what I had to keep remembering. However, it becomes very difficult as the distance and discomforts increase. The desire to have time off the bike grows with distance. At Lassay-les-Châteaux, there was an open pharmacy where Phil could get some treatment for his knee. I took some time sitting down with my shoes off, which was so nice but my concern was growing as the balls and toes of my feet were now very sore. Phil was happy with the application of some cream to his knee, whether it was placebo or really actually doing some good. I’d noticed that Phil’s rear wheel had been rubbing towards his right chain stay. We messed around with it, but a few kilometres later it was clear that the wheel had picked up a buckle. We’d have to get it looked at by a mechanic at the next control. At the Villaines-La-Juhel control

Phil found a mechanic, but the wheel had to be replaced. We met John Gallagher from Crewe Clarion. He’d been riding the whole time with another club member, Caroline Wrench, who had had to pack due to injury. We set off together into the final night. It was 23.00. Thirty minutes after leaving the control, it was clear that John was struggling. He was seeing double and his mind was telling him there were crevasses in the road. He clearly needed to stop. We sat him down against a wall and told him to get 20 minutes sleep. John agreed and Phil and I carried on, leaving John on his own. Some may have felt a twinge of guilt about leaving John, but we didn’t. PBP is your own ride that you have worked bloody hard for. You need to be selfish so that you can finish. Experienced people like John totally understand that. An hour later, 35km after leaving the control near Rouessé-Fontaine, I had to stop on top of a plateau and rest my head. My neck had become sore and weak and I wasn’t able to lift my head and cycle normally. Losing the power of your neck muscles is a common occurrence on PBP and other such long distance rides. I had heard of it before, but had never experienced it. The only thing I could do was to rest regularly, and cycle while supporting my head with my fist under my chin. This was difficult to do, as the condition of my hands made it painful to ride with just one hand on the handlebars, while the other was propping my head up. I would swap hands frequently, but found that I couldn’t maintain the chin support for very long periods. When it got really bad, I had to stop and plant my head on to my handlebar bag, just to rest the neck. This was making the night bloody hard and the overall progress slow. My legs were actually feeling strong, but the desire to rest was increasing. I had to stop and have a 20 minute sleep, Phil was keen to do the same. We slept on the ground outside the church door. These were hard, hard kilometres. It felt like the longest 85km I’d ever ridden to the next control, and it certainly took us a while to get to Mortagne-au-Perche. At 04.42, after 1102km and 71 hours and 41 minutes we arrived at Mortagne-au-Perche control. Another stamp gained, and Phil urgently wanted to sleep. I would have slept absolutely anywhere, but sensibly we looked for the couchage, and Phil sorted out two slots for us. There were quite a few slots available, but we were taken to a cluster of


Restaurant area, Villaines-La-Juhel

sleeping riders. Phil was placed next to the loudest snorer in the room, and he went on a micro rant about it. I had to laugh. I could hear the snorer too, but had earplugs. Checking the tracking app we saw that John (who we’d left asleep at the roadside) had entered the Mortagne-au-Perche control just 15 minutes behind us. I later learned that he had bounced the control, grabbed a snack, felt a ton better, then pressed on to finish in 88hrs 39mins. He was up against the time limit with a hair’s breadth of margin, and that was the motivation he needed to push through – fantastic courage. The sun was up and we were feeling better for getting through the night. Leaving Mortagne-Au-Perche control, Phil and I both knew that we would make it to the finish within the time limit. We had 125km to ride and we had just under ten hours until the cut off. My legs were feeling good, the problem areas remained my neck, hands and feet. I could have cut my feet off and been in more comfort. The effort to maintain my head in an upright position was

increasingly difficult. If you can imagine someone with clasped hands pulling your head and neck down towards the floor, then you try to fight that by lifting your head up as hard as you possibly can, then you are somewhere near the effort I felt trying to keep my head lifted enough so I could see enough of the road not to be dangerous. We arrived at the Dreux control around 12.00 after 1179km and 78 hours 27 minutes. After gaining our last stamps, Phil tried to find a massage for his knee, while I looked for a neck brace. No luck. It was really hot leaving Dreux control, and there were just 35km to go. The route

had been changed at short notice as there were roadworks on the planned route. We knew we would make it within the time limit, and our pace picked up. My neck was still hell, as were my hands and feet, but it’s amazing what you can convince your body to keep doing when you have a goal to achieve. Before we knew it, we were cycling into the cobbled section in Rambouillet. We had to ride through casual walkers to weave our way to the finish. We passed under the banner, but from there we had to continue to the finish line where we would pass over the sensors for the trackers. Annoyingly the

Phil enjoys support from locals in Villaines-La-Juhel

On the road to Rambouillet

organisers had routed us through some ridiculous cobbles ahead of hitting the sensors, and Phil was furious about it. We just wanted to stop. Finally, it was done. We could stop – after 81 hours and 15 minutes. We were exhausted and elated. We got our final Brevet card stamp and ate our finishers’ meal. Thankfully it wasn’t pasta. Phil wanted to get back to London that night so we swapped numbers and reflected briefly on our achievements. I was very pleased to have had Phil’s company throughout most of the ride. He’s a solid guy, with patience, humour and strength. I got myself changed and headed to the hotel. It was luxury to have a shower and a shave, then fall asleep on a nice bed. In the aftermath I had a cold for a week, my hands and feet remained sore for some time, and the general fatigue was hard to shift…not surprising given what I had just put myself through. Would I do PBP again? Probably, but I don’t need to make a decision for ages on that. Did I enjoy it? Yes, definitely. Not quite the finish line

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Holding back the tears… and failing

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Five years ago, a skiing accident left Colin Fisher with a broken back. He was lucky, his surgeons said, not to have lost the use of his legs. A year later, he took up road cycling… and in August the 59 year old Islington CC member found himself on the start line of Paris-BrestParis. No wonder he was overcome by tears before he even started. Here’s his account of a very emotional journey…

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TWO MONTHS before PBP I tested my strategy of “no sleep until Brest” with a 600km ride followed by a night at home, then 200km, another night at home then another 200km. A total of 1,000km in 69 hours – solo. This gave me the confidence that my plan could work. My preparation went beyond the required series of rides to become a Super Randonneur. Having completed the 200km and 300km in the UK and the 400km and 600km in Italy I was well prepared for heat, rain, cold and wind. I completed an additional 300km ride with 5,000m of climbing to add some strength to the legs for good measure. I had my bike fully serviced a month before. New cables, new grease, new brake pads, new tyres and inner tubes. My final preparations included a 31km ride to the start at Rambouillet from my hotel the day before the ride to have my bike checked and collect my gilet, jersey, number and tracking tag. On the way it started to rain. It didn’t stop. I was soaked by the time I got there. When the day of reckoning arrived it was raining, but the weather forecast was looking better. Good news – it would be dry. Bad news – headwinds all the way to Brest.

“I wouldn’t feed this to my chickens”. This was the verdict of a Brazilian rider about the pasta meal we were provided. My tip is to take your own pre-ride meal or find a bistro in Rambouillet. I met up with Salvatore Pepe, an Italian who had helped me get through my 600km qualifier in the rain in Milan. Being a proud member of two clubs, I wore my  Islington Cycling Club  jersey and  La Centinarolese  cap on the way to Brest, with a plan to ride back from Brest in my Centinarolese jersey and ICC cap.

…It was time for ❝ my group, and we were underway ❞

The time came to move to the start. We were organised in groups of 300 by letters of the alphabet and released every 15 minutes. It was time for my group, and we were underway. As I crossed the starting timer it hit me. A wave of emotion. Five years ago I broke my back skiing. The surgeon said I was unbelievably lucky not to have damaged my spinal column. I am grateful every day that my legs still work. I started cycling on the road in 2015. Now I was starting the legendary PBP. I was prepared for this emotional wave to happen at the finish, but not at the start. I felt this pressure in my chest and I started to cry. I could not control it. It happens from time to time. I just have to deal with it. It’s part of my life now. It will probably always be there. The emotion lasted a few hundred metres then went away. I hope no one noticed. If this is how I felt at the start what would hit me at the finish? I would find out in three to four days’ time. The start behind the control car made us feels like professionals. The initial pace was smoky. Incredibly, after an hour I was 30km in, the upper limit for Audaxing. It couldn’t, and didn’t, last but I was feeling good. At 60km in I started to hear a “squeak, squeak, squeak”. Was that noise from my bike or another’s? The chain started to skip cogs. It was mine. I had a problem. My plan was to ride straight through the feed stop at Mortagne-auPerche (118km) and on to the first control at Villaines-la-Juhel (217km) but the mouse hiding somewhere in my cassette put paid to that. At the feed stop I headed straight for the mechanic. A charming young French lady, a volunteer translator, explained I had to wait for 30 minutes to be seen. I headed for the gents, re-filled my water bottle then headed back to the mechanic’s tent to wait. They were sorting it out. Nothing serious, the cassette lock ring had come undone. “Combien monsieur?” I enquired, “Rien” he replied. “Merci beaucoup monsieur et mademoiselle. Au revoir”. I was on my way. Here’s a tip: Learn some French. I was amazed how much school boy French I remembered. Many of the volunteers spoke English but I preferred to speak French whenever I could.  It’s just a mark of respect. How much help do you give? On the next stage to Villaines-la-Juhel (217km) a German lady pulled up alongside at a junction and said “Thank you”. I have no idea why she said thank you but maybe

she had been drafting me. It was dark by now. We chatted for a while. I used nearly all my German to explain that I had been in Bremehaven in 1974 for gymnastics. Bearta replied “I was born in Bremehaven in 1974”. I can assure you that’s where the connection ended. I was not her long lost father! She tucked behind me for some protection from the wind. She was a little slower than me but I thought it would do me good to slow my pace a little after the fast start. At the control we shared a bowl of coffee and flan, my treat. After the control I pulled away as she remained in a larger group. I was happy to help for a while but I had my own pace to maintain. The support from the French people, and the Bretons in particular is the best part of PBP. It’s truly uplifting. Entering a village or town one is bombarded with “Bon route”, “Bon courage” or “Allez allez”. Occasionally when on my own I heard “Baroudeur” meaning warrior (or stupid!). I would wave at every well-wisher and reply “Merci”. In one village I saw the parents and grandparents sitting on chairs outside their home and the children hanging out their bedroom window cheering on the riders. It was four o’clock in the morning! Heading for Fougères (306km) I started alone but ended up in a group of about eight riders as the dawn broke on Monday morning. Descending at some speed two PBP officials stepped into the road and blew their whistles. I thought it was one of the secret controls. They pulled our group over as two riders had turned their lights off too soon. I was running a dynamo so mine were on, no need to conserve batteries. I have a dynamo that conforms to German traffic regulations – the dynamo stays on for 10 minutes after stopping (to allow for traffic lights etc.) so I was allowed to continue. We arrived at Fougères (306km) for breakfast. I was now “half way to half way”. I left the control at about 08:00, two hours ahead of my plan, heading for Tinténiac (360km). The terrain was constant rolling hills. Up, down, up, down, up down like a children’s rollercoaster. A rollercoaster into the wind. We were now well into Brittany. A Brit said something to me that was to change my plan much later in the ride. He observed that while the countryside was nice, it’s wasn’t that spectacular, a bit samey. The villages and towns of Brittany were very pretty. Many were twinned with places in the UK that I’d never heard of. I


wondered if some dodgy salesman had a job lot of UK town names he had to shift. After Tinténiac (360km) along a long straight road into the wind I had a front wheel puncture. While repairing it an old man came out from his house to ask if he could help. I thanked him in French then had to answer his next question with “Je regrette, je ne parle pas Français”. Many of the volunteers said I had a very good French accent. That confuses people, when you explain near fluently, that you can’t speak their language. I replaced the inner tube but couldn’t get the CO2 from the canister into the tyre. I tried a second canister, same result. I had to resort to the pump. Enough to keep me going to the feed stop at Quedillac (387km) to pump it up to full pressure. From Quedillac (387km) through Loudéac (445km), Saint-Nicolas-du-Pelem (489km) on to Carhaix (522km) I continued alone or in a small groups for short periods. This was the drive to the half way point. My speed was dropping as the driving headwind took its toll. I left Carhaix (522km) an hour and 20 minutes ahead of plan for the biggest climb of the ride, over the Roc’h Trédudon at 345m. The descent into Brest was fast. I began to think how hard it was going to be to climb back up in the morning. This began to pre-occupy my mind as the fatigue set in. I started to allow more time in my plan to climb back up. On arrival at Brest (611km) I headed straight for the dormitories. There was a queue. After a few minutes they asked if any riders wanted to just sleep and not shower. The entire queue nearly disappeared to the basement for the mattresses strewn across the room. I was

allocated a two person room and headed to bed, requesting a wake-up call at 04:30. I set my alarm for 04:35 just in case. I hit the pillow at 00:30 Tuesday morning. I was awoken by a volunteer. I started to get ready and realised it was 03:30. I got three hours sleep. They had got me confused with the guy in the next bed. We decided to wake him. He was a Brit who was grateful to be woken close to his requested time.

A shower, change of kit and breakfast then back on the road. I left Brest (611km) at 05:00. Exactly one hour ahead of plan. I lost some of that advantage when I stopped for a quick coffee by the roadside. An old lady from across the road joined us in her dressing gown. Before the climb I lost even more time with a second front puncture. On both occasions I removed the tyre completely to check for the culprit but saw no problems. This time I could get some CO2 into the tyre but still I needed to top up with the pump. The climb back up wasn’t as bad as I feared. I realised that the gradient wasn’t that steep. It’s just that I managed such good speed on the descent that it, and the fatigue, obscured my judgement the night before. Over the top of Roc’h Trédudon again was a great feeling. The two biggest climbs of the entire ride were now behind me. On to Carhaix (694km) to use the track pump and buy a couple of inner tubes. From Carhaix I pressed on through the day via Saint-Nicolas-du-Pelem (740km) and Loudéac (784km) where I had my photo taken to show my change of kit to my Centinarolese  jersey and  ICC  cap: During this time the comment from the Brit about the landscape began to play on my mind. My original plan was to get to

Fougères (924km), sleep for a good few hours then complete PBP by Wednesday evening, maximising the daylight hours to appreciate the countryside. The competitor in me took over. After lots of mental arithmetic I reckoned if I rode through the night I could complete PBP in less than 72 hours - three days. Then I thought, if I could do it in less than 72 hours, why couldn’t I do it in less than 70? This became my new target.

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PARIS-BREST-PARIS 2019

Motivated by this new objective I left Fougères (924km) before 23:00, nine hours ahead of the original plan. During the night I traded places with various riders. One of them came alongside and I said “good speed”, he replied in a Russian accent “Do you have power pack?” His power pack had stopped working in the cold and his front light had only 20 minutes left. I suggested we stop at the next village under a street light. I shook hands with Sergey and handed over my power pack. “Thank you, you saved my life” he said. Hardly, but delighted to help. It turned out that Russian-speaking Sergey was from Belarus. We decided to sleep for an hour at Villaines-la-Juhel (1,013 km) -

enough time for his light to charge before we headed off for the final 200km. Dawn broke on our way to Mortagne-au-Perche (1,098km). At a roadside coffee stop we met Ian, a five time veteran of PBP. We chatted together on our way to the final control at Dreux (1,175km). My right foot had started to feel sore so off came the shoes for some respite. We left Dreux (1,175km) at 13:15 for the final stage to the finish. The route had been changed due to road works. I didn’t have the final stage on my Wahoo so the final 45 km were computer free. I just enjoyed the ride and company. As we approached Rambouillet I began to think

about the wave of emotion that might engulf me when we crossed the finish line. I needed to keep it together. We crossed the line together. I stopped the clock at 69 hours, five minutes and four seconds - way faster than I ever dreamed of. Not bad for a 59 year old first timer. I hope I did my two clubs proud. The emotion? It was a struggle but I managed to keep control of the wave that I could feel building up inside me. Park the bike, then the final control. I called my wife Jan. As soon as I heard her voice I completely lost it. I couldn’t hold back the wave anymore. I sobbed like a baby. Embarrassing.

I composed myself to buy Sergey a beer. We were no longer PBP virgins. Will I do it again? Probably. The issue for me is will I take easy and take nearly 90 hours to relish the ride and take all the photos I didn’t stop for this time, or maybe I’ll enter the 80 hour event and try to beat my time, even though I will be four years older? What do you think? The highlight for me was the support from the locals. At least 6,000 people volunteer to help the event – one for every rider. They and the number of people at the side of the road applauding and shouting encouragement is enough to draw me back again. Merci sincèrement. Vous étiez magnifique.

COLIN’S ESSENTIAL PBP KIT LIST:

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

Meticulous preparation for PBP included an essential kit list. Here’s Colin’s final selection with some of his top tips:

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Cockpit bag: Power bank, cables, café stop lock and key. Cash: Take about €150-€180 in €5 and €10 notes to speed up paying, id, EHIC, Euro credit card and Brevet card all ended up in the PBP lanyard around my neck. If it’s comfortable around your neck, use the lanyard for your Brevet card, money, credit cards. That way, all you need carry to the controls is your water bottle (and your computer if you prefer not to risk leaving it on the bike). Top tube bag: Fuel for the first night, antibacterial wipes, wet lube, sun cream, toothpaste & brush, and

hydration tablets. I used High 5 Mojito flavour, tastes like you are boozing but no alcohol. I also used the berry with caffeine for night riding. Seat post bag: Inflatable mattress, silk liner, emergency blanket, change of clothes (base layer, jersey, bib shorts, socks, gloves and cap), additional clothes (arm warmers, tights), sports towel, toilet roll, plastic bag. On the bike:  Wahoo computer, multi-tool, tyre levers, cable ties, CO2 canisters (x3) and inner tubes (x3), puncture repair kit, water bottle.

Wore: Heart monitor, base layer, bib shorts, jersey, gloves, socks, shoes, cap, helmet (with head light), and prescription sunglasses. Carried in jersey pockets:  Phone, rain jacket, PBP reflective gilet, neck buff. How successful was this selection? Not bad. I didn’t regret not carrying anything I left behind but, interestingly, I didn’t use the inflatable mattress, silk liner, sports towel, loo roll or the emergency blanket.


Brave Laura beats the giant bunnies Sickness, hallucinatory lions, worms and monster rabbits did their best to knock Derby veterinary surgeon, Laura Pugh, from her painful PBP course, but she made it – late, exhausted and nauseous – thanks to loyal support from husband Stevie, and her own stubborn determination. Here’s her story… THERE WAS A POINT towards the end of our Paris-Brest-Paris adventure where I was utterly disheartened and exhausted. We were going to be late, if we finished at all. My husband Stevie had ridden a PBP before, and was more than capable of finishing in time. To his absolute credit, he stayed with me, and pulled me round, which would have been hard for him. The longer the ride takes, the harder it is. I do not know to this day how he suppressed the urge to sprint off and leave me to plod on alone. But he didn’t. Long before the ride, Stevie had warned me that I’d hate PBP – too many people, massive groups, long queues. As it turned out, the experience of a rider at the front is very different to a rider at the back. Stevie is now one of the few riders who has experienced both. I didn’t go for the obvious choice of 90 hours, thanks to my lack of confidence. But I opted for a 21.00 hour start. Stevie had his reservations, but I was adamant I liked to start at the back and work my way forward.

There were a few hiccups in the qualifiers and training. My ambition to start running resulting in two weeks in an ankle splint. In March one shandy too many resulting in a damaged coccyx for Stevie a month later. A recurring knee niggle also resulted in trips to the physio. Despite these setbacks by the time I came to ride the 600s I was feeling confident and strong. But PBP was twice the distance I’d ever ridden solo. August seemed to arrive very quickly, and before we knew it we were on the Dover to Calais ferry. Suddenly started to feel real. We’d booked a campervan space at Rambouillet, and on arrival were directed to a quiet patch of grass on the side of a small road. “Perfect.” said Stevie. “Nice and tucked out of the way”. Little did we know! The next day we awoke to torrential rain just in time for bike check. The queue was long but there was a sense of excitement and we saw several fellow AUKs. Having breezed through bike check we checked out the rather pleasant beer tent. We were aiming for an early night but

Stevie talked me into a pre-ride pizza a few miles up the road in a restaurant packed with carbo-loading riders. We slept as much as possible on Sunday morning and intended to get more sleep in the afternoon. This was slightly foiled by the fact our “nice, quiet spot” turned out to be pretty much at the start line! It made for great spectating but as the excitement built our inclination to sleep lessened. Stevie’s impressive beard had also attracted a following. I started to wonder how we would carry his swelling head around! The start time came up surprisingly quickly and we joined our queue. A smooth roll out on time filled me with confidence and I plunged headlong into the first night. It seemed a long slog to Mortagne au Perche, slightly disheartening as well not to have a stamp on the Brevet by this point too. We peddled on through sleeping, neon-lit villages, accompanied as much by owls as fellow riders. We rode on to Villaines-la-Juhel to finally brandish our Brevets and were relieved to see the sun come up. As the

morning light illuminated our fellow riders I realised how many different nationalities were accompanying us. It really hit home that this is a truly international event. I felt a deep respect for those who’d travelled from all corners of the globe, overcoming jet-lag, cultural differences, and unusual food to take part in such an audacious ride. The daylight brought the headwind. I am rubbish in a headwind. My thighs felt drained very quickly but I battered on through the “rolling” countryside. The ups were not balanced by the downs, thanks to the relentless gusts. Fougieres was finally reached, and although our initial intention was to sleep there, we decided to push on through the shortest stage to Tinteniac. For those who’ve ridden PBP, the fact that we’d had no sleep in 360km will mean nothing. But those who haven’t might think it takes a certain type of insanity to do these rides. Onwards to Loudeac! The second night was tough, and the dozies set in for me big time, and icy cold mist made it hard to stop. Eventually we came to one of those fabulous road side set-ups with a fire pit. I bundled myself up in all my clothes and slept. Dawn gave me an extra boost and soon after Carhaix we started to climb. I was suddenly in my element. I like to climb! For the first time it felt like I started passing other riders, picking off the “carrots” was a good motivator. “Where’s the Roc?” I said to Stevie. “It’s a long steady climb later on down the road,” he said. Ten minutes later, I remarked: “Er… this feels like a long steady climb.” His excuse was it was 12 years since his PBP, but yes, we were on the infamous Roc! A right turn and suddenly riders were flying past us, coming out of Brest. This inspired me more and I felt the turn was in sight. I was worried about the control cut off times (which we later were to find out were not as relevant as the Brevet made out) and pushed myself harder and harder. Flying into Brest at 15.00hrs I was feeling exhilarated but the ride through the busy city pushed our timings back again and in contrast to all the wonderful support on the way, the people of Brest seemed at best indifferent, if not inconvenienced, by our presence. Brest was baking in the heat and I promptly ate a vast amount of food washed down with a small beer and we passed out on the grass for 30 minutes. I got up and checked in on my phone. Someone had left a message on Facebook: There’s headwinds on the way back too.” Stevie laughed at this… until he checked the weather. The

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PARIS-BREST-PARIS 2019 Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

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wind has turned. Up to this point we had been planning on 45:45 hour splits based on the struggle against on the way out and I had been desperately trying to ignore the Brevet card threats of missing control times which gave us 42 hour out and 48 hour back. This was completely demoralizing. The impending doom of being out of time with no hope of catching up dented my confidence severely. The sun started to set again as we worked our way back up the Roc, which didn’t seem as bad as it looked on the way down. However, my guts started to roll with the gorging I’d done at Brest. I felt thirsty and tried to drink but as the miles went on my nausea grew. Eventually I made an emergency stop and my indulgence got the better of me. My heart sank as I lost the fluids I dearly needed. I could feel my head start to throb with dehydration. Chewing minty gum I soldiered on to Carhaix for the second time. Stevie had pasta and chicken (again) and I made friends with the toilet bowl. I’d hoped that an hour’s nap on the floor outside the canteen would sort me out but I was left weak and shivering, unable to even sip water.

“You’ll never forgive yourself if you stop here,” he said. “You’ve worked too hard, and if you just pass out here for six hours you’ll regret it.” On the ride I sipped and rode slowly. “We’re out if time unless you go faster soon,” Stevie said. I knew this, but it was all I could do to keep turning the pedals. The secret control was a muchneeded respite and I risked a small bowl of cereal. I also had a cup of coffee to keep me awake and promptly fell asleep with my face on the edge if the table for 10 minutes. Stevie roused me and I was determined to batter on, confident I could get water down and rehydrate Stevie had a plan of how we could still make the 90 hours. “You’ll just need to do your best night ride yet,” he said. We pushed hard to Loudeac and I started to feel more positive. This was soon quashed by arriving to a volunteer tapping his watch and the barriers being dismantled around us. We’re out of time already? A conversation in my rudimentary French suggested not, so I ate very little and rode on. Tinteniac was the same, and a lovely English volunteer again reassured me the cut-offs were irrelevant, and to keep on riding. At this point we knew we needed to ride through controls at speed

with no time for faffing about. The last night suddenly loomed and I was resolved to stay awake, alert and blast through to the Arrivée. Then the sun set. My eyes dropped, my brain became leaden and the road disappeared in a fog. We stopped for 30-minutes on the side of the road, consuming a concoction of caffeine bars, caffeine gum, pro plus and Rowntree sours. I babbled mindlessly at Stevie about how determined I was, how I was going to finish, the upcoming controls, our plan ongoing, that bush on the side of the road… anything to make me focus. Within an hour or so we were in trouble again. The white lines rose from the middle of the road in towers, the road pattern transformed into worms poking their head from dark asphalt dens, the rabbits, lions and dogs in the green bushes crept on to the road and Stevie rode an Indian carpet of asphalt hallucinations. We descended one slope and both realised we could barely see the road. “Right, get off and walk to sharpen up,” he said. As I tried to place one foot in front of the other it became clear I was not capable of going any further despite being only five kilometres off the next control. As I write this now it sounds ridiculous, but all I know is I could not see the ground in front of me and the last thing I wanted was to injure my bike, someone else or myself. We bedded down in a town square and I passed out almost immediately, despite the horrifying knowledge that any hope of the 90 hours was gone. I awoke to a kerfuffle. I was being bundled into a space blanket by concerned fellow riders with a disconcerted husband trying to convince them I was ok. After a few moments of “where the hell am I?” I realised we needed to get going as soon as possible. The lovely people who had stopped to help were less convinced of my ability to ride. I was very shivery. There was a debate as to what was best to do with me. It transpired I was wearing my space blanket inside out. I didn’t know this was possible! This was removed to invert it and all my precious cosiness evaporated. That was it for me. With my warmth gone I was off and on the bike and we made it to Villianes without encountering any more giant rabbits. We rolled into another desolate control. “You won’t get a stamp,” another AUK said.” We just had to fight to get our cards stamped and that was 15mins ago.” Confused, despondent and desperate for rest I stumbled down to the bike park. It was over. Not even a stamp on our

Brevet. The lights of a restaurant beckoned. We parked up and to our surprise a friendly volunteer collared us and stamped our Brevets. Feeling somewhat consoled we bedded down for two hours of rest we knew would put us well outside 90hours. I knew I had no choice, and I’m still happy with this decision as I was just not capable of coping with the sleep deprivation. Other people will be better at this than me, I know, but for an amateur sports-person I don’t want to risk serious injury if I can avoid it. Two hours later I felt a full night’s sleep better. I knew our time was gone, but I was still determined to finish. It never occurred to me to quit. A well placed boulangerie and a fantastic road side coffee with orange juice and coke had us flying through the mostly closed Mortagne, but we still got stamped. Knowing the clock had beaten us and the controls were mostly closed, we stopped for lunch and resolved ride on through to the end. Dreux. The final control. The Arrivée was tangible. “Rambouillet closes at


5.30pm,” said an Australian rider who rolled in with us. It was 2.30pm, 90 hours is 3pm and we were hoping for 6.30pm latest. This is the last thing I want to hear. I questioned the volunteers with my dubious French and they confirmed the time, pointing on watches to make sure I understood. I told Stevie that we might have nothing awaiting us at Rambouillet, something we could easily believe, having the controls dismantled around us. I was heartbroken to be out if time and to feel like we were so late we didn’t deserve a reception at the controls. The transponder readers had been taken down so friends and family following us suddenly saw our track end. Not so much of an issue when it’s two of us together, but my heart goes out to those who battled on for longer than us to control closures and no encouragement or support. I genuinely feel there’s an issue with removing tracking so soon for lone riders who may have concerned friends and family dot-watching. I appreciate there is a time limit, but this event is designed to push the limits of endurance so there must have been an expectation some would finish late. The last 20km was hell. The wind still blew in our face, every element became magnified tenfold. I had given all I had and was still out of time. I felt immensely guilty that after finishing in the dead of night in 2007 to no fanfare, Stevie would do the same again due to my incompetence. We drifted into Rambouillet in a state of disillusion. We rolled onwards with no real purpose to be directed on to the cobbles and grit of the final lap of the Sheepfold. This was the last thing I needed. I unclipped in case of an undignified departure from my saddle. We were confused and astonished to find a controller willing to give us a stamp – a full card of 93-something hours! I was even more shocked when she insisted on keeping the cards for validation. Then she said: “Here’s your medal.” “Mais nous sommes plus tard,” I said, thinking there was a mix up. “No, you have a medal because you finish.” And suddenly, I knew I had arrivée’d.

…Then she said: ❝ “Here’s your medal.” “Mais nous sommes plus tard,” I said, thinking there was a mix up. “No, you have a medal because you finish.” And suddenly, I knew I had arrivée’d.

QUALIFIERS – HOW LAURA AND STEVIE GOT THERE: ● Newport 200km ● Straight on at Rosie’s 200km ● Everybody Rides to Skeggy 300km ● Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 400km ● Moors and Wolds 400km ● A Pair of Kirtons 600km ● The Three Coasts 600km.

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WORDS AND PICTURES ED BARTLETT

In his quest to find the perfect bike, Ed Bartlett drew up a stringent tick list. Could he find an Audax bike that matched his exacting prerequisites? Here are his findings…

One bike to AS A DEDICATED mountain biker I came relatively late to road bikes, preferring knobbly tyres and baggy shorts to slicks and Lycra. It was during a trip to race the six-day Trans Savoie in 2015 that I had my first proper tarmac experience - a tipsy bet that resulted in me hauling myself gracelessly up the legendary turns of Alpe D’Huez. Perhaps unsurprisingly the experience had quite an impact, and after some comedy haggling in my pigeon French I brought the hire bike home and set about discovering the fantastic network of roads around Bristol. My debut Audax (and first 100km ride) was the ever-popular LVIS “Barry’s Blast” in 2016, but it took another year for me to finally join AUK and start riding regular long distances. As I progressed to BR-level rides, I found myself limited not by legs or lungs, but by wrist and neck issues, and despite major changes to the set-up of my ex-hire Trek Domane, Super Randonneur seemed an impossible goal. Around the time of completing my first Randonneur Round the Year (RRtY) I began thinking

about the ideal Audax bike – something I imagine every reader has done or will do at some point. Comfort was my priority, and with the Domane limited to 28mm tyres, I wondered if fat rubber could be the key. The full shortlist looked something like this: ● High-volume tubeless tyres. ● Hydraulic disc brakes to help with hand fatigue. ● Electronic shifting or 1x drivetrain to minimise wrist strain. ● Flared handlebars for a more natural hand position. ● As light as possible to aid climbing. ● Potential for gravel rides/bikepacking. My first thoughts were to go the custom titanium route, but having only ever ridden a carbon frame my first demo of metal didn’t exactly set my world on fire. A couple of bike shows passed fruitlessly and I drove myself (and close riding friends) slightly crazy. I’d looked at the do-it-all 3T Exploro already, but despite ticking all of my boxes, the small car price point put it firmly out of reach. That was until a

…I began thinking ❝ about the ideal Audax bike – something I imagine every reader has done or will do at some point

Ed eases up Hardknott on his new 3T Expo sporting its 1.75 Gravel Kings

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rule them all

… I’d looked at the ❝ do-it-all 3T Exploro already, but despite ticking all of my boxes, the small car price point put it firmly out of reach

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One bike to rule them all Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

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… It seems that you really ❝ can have one bike to do it all, without making compromises ❞

fateful email arrived one morning from a certain online bike retailer, complete with the kind of discount that made my pulse quicken. A few YouTube reviews and a first-hand opinion from a trusted source later and I placed my order the next day, content from studying the geometry chart that the fit would be good. My first impression upon unboxing was that the chunky “squaero” frame with its trademark dropped chain stay looked a lot better in the flesh, followed quickly by a sharp intake of breath at the size of the 47mm gravel tyres supplied. The Exploro is designed to accept both 700c and 650b wheelsets, and with my bike being supplied with the latter I planned to fully test the theories behind supersized road tyres. Some see the current buzz around 650b as a bit of a marketing gimmick, but in fact it was historically a popular choice for mid-20th century French randonneurs, who certainly knew a thing or two about long distance cycling! I decided to fit something slightly smaller and lighter initially, settling on slick tubeless Gravel King’s in 27.5x1.75” guise, which come in well under 400g per tyre and just about squeeze beneath XL Raceblade mudguards. Even so, the 44mm width and 40mm depth looks almost comedic. Had I made an expensive error of judgement? It wouldn’t be long

until I’d have an answer, with the infamous Fred Whitton ride in the Lake District planned the following weekend. Aside from tyre choice, the other big change was in the cockpit. I’d spoken to several fellow AUK riders who maintained that flared drops helped to relieve some wrist pressure, and so I swapped in a Whisky Parts no.7 bar, with its 24 degree flare and very shallow drop, doublewrapped with the fantastic FWE “Vex” gel bar tape. I also ordered a custom frame bag from Alpkit, necessary due to the very restrictive triangle on the Exploro. Fast-forward seven days, and after a short set-up ride to tweak the bike fit and get comfortable with the new brakes and gears, I rolled out of Ambleside with over 180km and 3,500m of climbing ahead. Featuring some of the UK’s toughest and most varied roads, it’s hard to imagine a better all-round test of both bike and rider. Gliding initially over the smooth and fast “tourist trail” tarmac skirting Lake Windermere, the large air volume, low pressures (40psi) and lack of inner tubes combined to create an intoxicating audible “whirrrrrrr” of rubber on road. It’s a unique and dare I say comforting sound - picked up on immediately by my riding partner for the event - and I’m now convinced it will help me psychologically

in the darker moments of long rides. More importantly, swerving for potholes and road imperfections is a thing of the past, making for a much less mentally taxing (and physically jarring) ride. I’d go as far as to say that for typical UK routes and road conditions, it’s not only a more comfortable set-up than my Domane, but also faster. Recent Strava segments back up that claim, however the real victory is the almost complete lack of post-ride impact fatigue. Any concerns I had over gear ratios as a result of moving to a 1x drivetrain were also put to bed pretty quickly. With a 44T chainring and 11-42T cassette I found myself able to ride comfortably in a fast group at just over 50kph but still spin up climbs like Wrynose and Hardknott Pass without stopping. I’m honestly yet to feel like I’m “in between” ratios either, although that could well differ for others depending upon your style and cadence. Personally I would struggle to give up the near-silent running and one-finger shifting it offers, although the chain seems to need lubricating more often than with a traditional 2x set-up. As for the bars, they do indeed offer a more natural, less fatiguing ride position, however I can’t help but wonder if the 12 degree flare would be a better choice for road use.


This summer I’ve ridden everything from the South Downs Way to Will Pomeroy’s “Summit ‘bout Titterstone Clee” 300, and even crested the Col de Tourmalet, with nothing but a slight tweak of tyre pressures in between. It seems that you really can have one bike to do it all, without making compromises. I feel completely happy with my decisions, and other than a plan for a second set of dedicated gravel wheels/tyres and fitting some more exotic Compass rubber next spring to really max out the ride quality, there’s nothing more to do than simply enjoy the journey. Be sure to say hello if you see me along the way. If you ask nicely I might even let you have a go! Bristol-based Ed Bartlett is an art curator, producer and creative industries entrepreneur, and the award-winning author of books including Lonely Planet Street Art and The Vanlife Companion. His cycling background is hardcore mountain-biking, having ridden regularly in the Alps as well as a number of endurance events including the Savoie and Trans Provence. He says: “I quickly fell in love with Audax after starting to ride on roads. There’s a very active cycling community here in Bristol. I’m a big fan of hills, and managed to complete the Audax Altitude Award in my first season.”

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WORDS AND PICTURES JOE GRAYSTONE

Before you set out on a night ride, check your lights. That’s a piece of advice Joe Graystone of Oxford’s Cowley Road Condors CC wishes he’d remembered – before being plunged into terrifying darkness in the middle of nowhere, travelling downhill at 40kph. Here’s his account of a hot and sultry journey on the infamously hilly Giant’s Tooth Audax…

Caught in the teeth of an

unforgiving

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

The statue of St Carrantoc keeps guard on the beaches of Llangrannog and Cilborth. Legend has it that Carreg Bica is the tooth of the giant Bica who lived in the Ceredigion area, and was forced to spit his tooth onto the beach following a bad toothache.

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HAVE YOU EVER had a bat fly under your elbow and through your handlebars? It’s pretty disconcerting, believe me. This was just one of the things I experienced on an eventful ride through Wales in August on the 538km Giant’s Tooth Audax. The ride starts in Bristol and takes you deep into the Welsh valleys and up remote mountains, to the coast at Llangrannog where, legend has it, a giant named Bica lost a tooth, a big, solitary rock, on the beach while trying to eat berries from the cliff top. We started out at nine o’clock in the evening and headed out of Bristol on city roads busy with the usual Friday night traffic. I was happy to set an easy pace but then a fast group came past me and I jumped on their wheels. They were pushing hard on the short hills. It was quite flat otherwise so it was worth staying with them for the tow. I was feeling really strong then and I was happy to hold back a bit on longer hills and catch them up afterwards. After crossing the Severn Bridge we hit the first big hill at Chepstow. I was putting out 350W and the group


giant were riding away from me – there was no way I could sustain that! I settled into an easy pace and crested the hill. They were gone for now but I’d see them all again. It was very muggy and warm all night, I only needed shorts and a t-shirt. Once over the climb from Chepstow the road descended, there were some small rolling hills and it wasn’t long before I arrived at the first control at Abergavenny, a 24 hour McDonalds where we had to get a receipt. Everyone from the fast group was there and I didn’t really want to linger for too long. There seemed to be a lot of faffing going on so I ordered a small bag of chips, refilled my bidons, then left. I was the first to leave the control. I was now on the Usk valley climb, a 40km uphill drag into a headwind. It was difficult but I was able to keep a steady pace up and I was really enjoying this late night riding. The roads were almost deserted. Finally I arrived in Trecastle where the official route tuned south up a climb over the moorland at Glasfynydd. The climb wasn’t too bad but the steep descent following it was along a narrow, windy, gravelly road and I didn’t like

the look of it in pre-ride planning so I had plotted a five kilometre detour along the main A40 road to Llandovery. The road to Llandovery was all downhill and very fast. This is when one of the most terrifying things on the ride happened to me. There wasn’t room on my bars to mount both my lights pointing at the ground. I was riding along at 40kph when my primary light, which was almost out of charge, switched off and everything went black – nothing, just the sound of my freewheel and the wind in my ears. I came to a very quick stop and got my backup light on! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to charge my light with the battery pack at the next control in Carmarthen. I really should have checked that before the event – that was Techfail number one. Techfail two came when I realised I’d forgotten to pack a charging plug and I couldn’t charge up my dead light at all. I’d have to buy a new charging plug or a new light from a bike shop later and hope that my remaining light would last the night. It was 4am so would soon be getting lighter. I had a coffee and then loads of riders from the fast group stared coming in. It seems my detour had been a lot faster.

I didn’t want to hang about, the wind was picking up. It was forecast to hit 25mph in the morning at Fishguard. If I got there in time I’d get that as a tailwind. The next stretch from Carmarthen to Fishguard was the toughest yet, very strong headwinds and very steep hills, lots of them, one after another. Every single hill seemed to be 15-20 per cent minimum. As it began to get lighter I started seeing bats, loads of them. My headlight was attracting moths which in turn attracted the bats. This was where one flew under my right arm and right up through my handlebars. Amazing! The dawn light allowed me to see what was coming up - a huge range of hills on the horizon, the tops of which were in the clouds. I felt the first spots of rain. Finally made it to Fishguard and descended into the town and control point three. I just needed a receipt from somewhere so I went to the local Co-op and restocked my supplies just as the rain began to get heavy. I thought I should just get moving so chucked on my waterproofs and set off. The bike shop I needed was in Cardigan and I wanted

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unforgiving giant

to get there for a big breakfast. I figured I could get there quickly with this tailwind. Again, I avoided the official route along the coast and stuck to the main road. It was less pleasant, but a little bit faster. I arrived in Newport quite quickly but the climbing after Nevern was very challenging. The main hill out of the town was at least 20 per cent and almost 200m elevation. The hills were tough now but my main memory from this time was of rain. I was soaked to the skin and starting to get very cold. I looked for shelter anywhere, a bus stop, a porch in a church, anything, but there was nothing – I just had to press on. The descents were terrifying – 20 per cent downhill, the rain hitting my face so hard it was stinging my eyeballs. If I put on sunglasses I couldn’t see a thing, and my fingers were numb. Eventually I made it to Cardigan and a much-needed rest. I was in a bit of a state. I should have gone looking for lights and chargers, but I was starving. I went straight to the café and got breakfast – American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, toast, coffee, orange juice. Then I just sat feeling sorry for myself for a while. The sun came out and I knew I’d feel better once I got going again. I pulled on my damp clothes, put on my soggy socks and shoes and squelched my way out of the café to go and look for lights. The lights in the shop weren’t great but I found a charging plug in a local phone shop. I wanted to head off

now. That meant I’d need to stop later to charge my lights. I was making slow progress and I knew I was going to be late getting in to Bristol. I would need both lights fully charged to finish this. The route now went along the coast to the control at Llangrannog, home of the legendary tooth of the Giant Bica. This was some very tough, hilly cycling but at least the sun had shown its face and I was starting to dry out. The steep descents are what kill your average speed on this ride. On one I was reminded why you need to take them slowly when I almost hit a van head on. I locked up the wheels and slid off on to gravel at the verge. I was lucky to keep it upright, to be honest. In Llagrannog I stopped to take the first photos of the ride and had a coffee. Two Audaxers I’d seen earlier in the fast group arrived. This was the first I’d seen of other riders since Carmarthen seven hours earlier. We set off together but they quickly pulled ahead on the very steep big hill out of Llangrannog. Near the top I realised I’d forgotten to refill my bidons. I wasn’t going back so I skipped the official route along small lanes and took a slightly longer route back to the main road where I found a shop to restock. As I turned inland at the Synod Inn the hills started to get much higher. They were coming thick and fast. Finally I came to a flattish section, the first since before Fishguard, where the road followed the valley to Llangeitho. I’d again plotted a detour from the official route to go

… headed ❝ off up the Devils Staircase. This was impossible to climb. Sections of it averaged 25 per cent, with even steeper inclines in the middle. Once my cadence dropped below 30 I had to get off and walk. Carrying on would risk injury

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along a newer, smoother section of road on the opposite side of the valley. At points on some climbs I’d noticed that I sometimes veered sideways suddenly. I assumed it was fatigue, and ate something, and felt ok for a while. Now, on the steady climb to Tregaron, I was noticing it more and more. Then it happened twice in rapid succession and I realised what was happening. These were micro-sleeps. My brain was going to sleep and waking up suddenly when I started to lose balance, a potentially dangerous situation on a bike. I wasn’t thinking clearly, and I just wanted to get to the control at Tregaron, stop, eat and charge my lights. I couldn’t stop now because if I overslept until it was dark I’d be stranded. When I got to Tregaron I was disappointed that none of the pubs were open. There were no cafes, only a Spar and the two faster Audaxers, sitting on a bench in the square tucking into their sandwiches. With nowhere to stop and re-charge I would have make this a fast stop then have a long stop at the Sennybridge control. I ate a sandwich and headed off up the Devils Staircase. This was impossible to climb. Sections of it averaged 25 per cent, with even steeper inclines in the middle. Once my cadence dropped below 30 I had to get off and walk. Carrying on would risk injury. I could feel my legs beginning to cramp, and my knees were complaining. Once at the top there’s an equally sharp descent followed by another ridiculous climb, then another, and another. I was no longer in my happy place. After the “rolling” summit came the hardest descent I’ve ever done - steep, narrow and windy so you can’t get any speed up, then a short, sharp uphill section to sap any remaining strength. It was brutal. On the one stage I was able to get some speed up, I was almost taken out by a flock of suicidal sheep. That certainly woke me up. That was too much. I finally made it to Llanwrtyd Wells where the route went back up over the Sennybridge ranges where the Army were conducting exercises. We’d been advised that riders might get held up because of the manoeuvres so, if we wanted, we could take a detour along the main road, and that’s exactly what I did - longer but flatter. I finally got some slight downhill, and for the first time in maybe 12 hours I was able to use my aerobars. I descended to Llandovery at 6.30pm. I had 135km to go and my average speed was 20kph. It was going to take me at least six hours to get back to Bristol. The time cut off was 8.50 on Sunday morning. I needed lights to carry on. My lights would last five hours on one charge, if I was lucky. They would take around two hours each to charge fully; I might as well get some sleep in. I had plenty of time. So after eating a big meal (scampi, chips and peas with a pint of lemonade) at the control pub, the Abercamlais Arms, I rode back along the route and checked in to a B&B, plugged everything in to charge, had a shower, and got to bed. I was asleep very quickly. I’d set the alarm for midnight, thinking to get up and leave before 1am, but I never got it. I woke suddenly at 5am and knew immediately that I’d overslept and now had no chance of completing the ride in time. I was very disappointed.


… The route now ❝ went along the coast to the control at Llangrannog, home of the legendary tooth of the Giant Bica. This was some very tough, hilly cycling but at least the sun had shown its face and I was starting to dry out

Techfail three! In my delirious state I must have turned off the alarm for some reason when I went to sleep. So, I had a lie in and took my time to eat a big breakfast and ride the rest of the route. I considered taking the quick way back to Bristol but I’d rather go ahead and complete the route. At least I’ll get to enjoy the scenery and ride over the Severn Bridge in daylight. The Devil’s Elbow didn’t seem so tough and my legs felt surprisingly good. I rode over the top and had a much more enjoyable descent to Hirwaun, stopped at the off-licence control for resupply and headed on to Merthyr Tydfyl.

The big hills beyond Merthyr were hard, and the short, sharp hills just kept on coming. I think I was starting to enjoy the ride again and could even power up some of the climbs. Eventually I joined a dual carriageway and descended to Newport and followed the main road back to Chepstow, with a strong tailwind all the way, which was bliss. Rode over the Severn Bridge for the first time in daylight, enjoying the views, and back into Bristol. I finished at 2.30pm, five and a half hours outside the time cut. I’d overslept by five hours. I think I could’ve finished the ride in time if I’d got that alarm. I still felt ok arriving in Bristol. Not sure if Aerobars

are worth it for this ride. You don’t spend enough time on them, and with the front bar bag loaded heavy, the bike is prone to speed wobble. The wobble went away when I moved some stuff out of my handlebar bag and lightened the front end. I enjoyed the ride, but there were moments where I was not in a good place. I need to get a better lighting set-up for these longer rides, and need to get my tech sorted beforehand. That’s probably where I came a cropper. I also need to come up with a better sleeping strategy. All things to think about for next time. I’ll probably be back. Maybe. JOE’S RIDE VITAL STATISTICS Total distance:  538km Total climbing:  7,736m Time: 41 hours 29 minutes  DNF Moving time: 24 hours 13 minutes Times almost taken out by suicidal sheep:  2 Squirrels who out ran me up the Devil’s elbow:  1 Squirrels I outran on the descent:  2 Volume of Haribo eaten:  1kg Number of swear words shouted at hills:  200 plus

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WORDS AND PICTURES ROB HYDE

We’re on the road to nowhere… A 328km circumlocution of Britain’s capital city may not be everyone’s idea of an enticing bike ride – but at least it avoids the M25, the country’s most hated road. Rob Hyde, Audax secretary of Brixton CC, describes a five-man foray through London’s urban fringe.

Arrivéeautumn/winter2019/2020

FINDING CRACKPOT METHODS of circumnavigating London isn’t difficult. You could drive the M25. We chose a route with slightly nicer scenery and Strava kudos potential – come on, it’s a massive circle around London! One Saturday in early

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September a small band of five Brixton CC riders found themselves on the 5am train to Gravesend for the start of the London Orbital, a 300km plus Audax ride

… it involved a frightening, ❝ fast slip road around a blind bend, five riders throwing their bikes over a fence and navigating 100 metres of fly-tipped debris, and some very swift re-routing.

Rob Hyde started riding Audax about four years ago after enjoying touring and multi-day rides for the previous 15 years. He rides with Brixton CC, south London and as the club Audax secretary he does his best to encourage other club riders to take the plunge into the wonderful world of long-distance cycling.

with a circumference lying far beyond even that of the M25. The ride kicked off with a sprint across Gravesend to catch an early morning voyage on the Gravesend Foot Passenger Ferry. A few years ago the Gravesend ferry was what you might call a proper boat. For whatever reason it’s now been scaled back to a floating Transit van. It’s a slightly nerve-wracking crossing but atmospheric, and the views eastward take in an existential wasteland as the sun rises.  Docking in Tilbury and we were on our bikes quickly – until a cool 10 minutes in, where the route ended abruptly with a massive roadblock. A large hole in the ground and a security guard saying there’s absolutely no way we’re riding any further. A quick about-face and some on-the-fly navigation and we were gunning it up a fairly hefty dual carriageway, which wasn’t ideal. However, this being London’s weird


Edgelands it seemed that all roads led to the dreaded A13. Let’s not dwell for too long on what happened next. Let’s just say it involved a frightening, fast slip road around a blind bend, five riders throwing their bikes over a fence and navigating 100 metres of fly-tipped debris, and some very swift re-routing. We finally reconnected with the route, and the scenery and morale improved as we picked up the pace through some picturesque late summer Essex lanes. It was fairly easy to gauge our progress on a circular route and before long we were seeing signs for Harlow and Hatfield, meaning we were already a quarter of the way in. Skirting the edge of the Chilterns and the first lumpy bits of the route, via a lovely bit of disused railway line that’s been covered in smooth tarmac near St Albans, the scenery began to feel a little more leafy and “West London”. We took a halfway lunch stop at the glamorous Maidenhead Co-Op Garage.  Despite being a stone’s throw from a picturesque Thames-side river setting (it’s not brown here, like it is downriver in Gravesend!), the group ate lunch on the garage forecourt in true Audax style. Powered up, we set off for the second 150km, a TT style, chin-to-the-stem sprint along fast roads. The West London drivers weren’t getting any friendlier so it was good to put this quarter of the ride behind us. 

Nudging towards the bottom of the route the lanes started to look vaguely familiar from Brixton CC home club runs, and we rolled in to Horsham in Surrey somewhere around 230km, a little road-weary by this point. With 100km to go the ride revealed a sting in the tail - the Surrey Hills. The lumpiest stretch felt all the more challenging with 250km in the legs. It called for an ice cream stop outside the actual Pooh Corner in Hartfield, though after 250kms and 10 hours continuous riding, no consumable amount of sugar or caffeine seems capable of improving performance. We needed grit and determination from here on in. We threw ourselves at the North Downs. By now the lanes were an inky black, peppered with potholes and fly-tipped debris. We found ourselves at the bottom of Exedown Hill, scene of the crime for the BCC Hill Climb the week before. We skirted round it, only to climb something equally horrible about 500m to the west, in the dark. Thankfully, after a final push, the orange lights of the Medway loomed up ahead and we were back in Gravesend.  A symbolic touch of the wheels against the ferry terminal completed the full loop, and in … A few years ago the true Gravesend style the Gravesend ferry was a proper boat. ferry terminal had been turned into a massive For whatever reason it’s now been scaled disco. We made haste back to a floating Transit van for the nearest place selling recovery beers and the train home to south-east London.

RIDE STATS: ● Total kilometres: 328 ● Shell garages visited: at least four ● Minutes of faff time: Just over an hour – for Brixton CC, this may be a new record.  ● Toblerone ice creams consumed (they’re a thing): One  Paul, left, with a club mate ● Angry White Range Roverclimbing passes: 10+ Ettrick Head, Scottish borders,1978

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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

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01 Dec Bristol The Welsh Castles Populaire 9:00 Sun BP 111km 1404m [1496m] £7.50 G P R 150 20/5 1230kph Audax Club Bristol, Isabel Rennie, 8 Cambridge Street, Redfield, Bristol, Somerset BS5 9QH 100 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

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09 Dec Shortwood, Bristol Moon Night Sonata #1 19:00 Mon BP 105km £4.50 X G 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 200 22 Dec Bredbury, Stockport Winter Solstice 08:30 Sun BR 202km 700m £5.00 G P R T (100) 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC PeakAudax@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane Delph OL3 5UX 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 100 04 Jan Bradwell, nr Hope, Peak District Hopey New Year 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1850m AAA1.75 £6.00 YH C P R T 100 10-30kph David Darricott 01433 621 531 ddarricott@aol.com David Darricott, 9 Gore Lane, Bradwell, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 9HT 200 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 200 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 25 Jan Cardiff Gate Dr. Foster’s Winter Warmer 07:00 Sat BR 1800m £6.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC evansrichardd@gmail.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW 100 25 Jan Hailsham Hills and Mills 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1900m AAA2 £10.00 R F P 85 14-25kph Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 3XB

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 £7.50 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 100 08 Feb Dial Post, RH13 8NS Worthing Winter Warmer 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1130m [1050m] £5.00 FPRT 15-30kph Worthing Excelsior Joan Lennon, 17 Highland Croft, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3RF 100 09 Feb Chippenham Flapjack 09:00 Sun BP 104km 818m £8.50 F G M P R T S (150) 15-24kph Chip. & Dist. Whs. audax@chippenhamwheelers.org (please enter online) 100 09 Feb Leicester Rutland and Beyond 08:30 Sun BP 102km 1290m £6.50 F L P R S T (125) 12-30kph Updated Leic. Forest CC Robert Jones, 20 Lavender Road, Leicester LE3 1AL 200 09 Feb The Wonder Cafe, Uxbridge The Winter Boat Ride 08:00 Sun BR 210km 1900m £6.00 XG 15-30kph Audax Club DuBois 07974 670931 paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN 200 15 Feb Rochdale North-West Passage 08:00 Sat BR 2200m £9.00 R T 15-30kph West Pennine RC ROA 5000 Noel Healey, 95 Shore Mount, Littleborough, Lancs OL15 8EW 120 15 Feb Rochdale mini-North-West Passage 09:00 Sat BP 1450m £9.00 r t 15-30kph West Pennine RC ROA 5000 Noel Healey, 95 Shore Mount, Littleborough, Lancs OL15 8EW 100 16 Feb Henham, S of Saffron Walden Victoria CC – Brazier’s Run 09:00 Sun BP 104km 700m £10.00 A(1) L P R S T 15-30kph Victoria CC kieronyates@mac.com ROA 3000 Kieron Yates, 25 Grasdene Road, London SE18 2AS


50

16 Feb Henham, S of Saffron Walden Victoria CC – Brazier’s Run (50) 09:00 Sun BP 450m £9.00 A(1) L P R S T 10-25kph Victoria CC kieronyates@mac.com ROA 3000 Kieron Yates, 25 Grasdene Road, London SE18 2AS 100 16 Feb Old Town Hall, Musselburgh Musselburgh RCC Tour of East Lothian 09:30 Sun BP 106km 1350m £10.00 L P R T NM G 12.5-30kph Musselburgh RCC 07956973196 Douglas Kirkham, 40 Seton Court, Port Seton, Port Seton, East Lothian EH32 0TU 200 22 Feb Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 7QX Chiltern Grit 200 08:00 Sat BR 214km 1650m £10.00 A G P X R T (100) 15-30kph Aylesbury CC 07763 249 776 htjoshua55@gmail.com (please enter online) 110 22 Feb Aylesbury HP21 7QX Chiltern Grit 100 09:00 Sat BP 113km 754m £10.00 A G P X R T (100) 15-30kph Aylesbury CC 07763 249 776 htjoshua55@gmail.com (please enter online) 120 22 Feb Hailsham Mad Jack’s – John Seviour Memorial 09:00 Sat BP 125km 2250m AAA2.25 £10.00 R F P 85 14-25kph Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 3XB 200 23 Feb Cranbrook, Devon Up and down like a yo-yo 8:00 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 23 Feb Lower Whitley, Nr Warrington NEW Mere Two Hundred 08:00 Sun BR 205km 1450m £7.50 P R T 100 15-30kph North Cheshire Clarion neilshand67@gmail.com Neil Shand, 12 Chapel Close, Comberbach, Northwich CW9 6BA 160 23 Feb Lower Whitley, Nr Warrington NEW Mere Century 08:30 Sun BP 1100m £7.50 P R T 60 15-30kph North Cheshire Clarion neilshand67@gmail.com Neil Shand, 12 Chapel Close, Comberbach, Northwich CW9 6BA 200 29 Feb Ponteland Newcastleton and back 07:30 Sat BR 1974m £8.50 GPRT 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 120 29 Feb Whitlenge, Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Sunrise Express 08:30 Sat BP 121km 1050m £8.50 P R T F 130 15-30kph Beacon Roads Cycling Club Phil Richards, Forge House Farm, Cooksey Green, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B61 9EP 120 29 Feb Whitlenge, Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Snowdrop Express 09:00 Sat BP 1050m £8.50 P R T F 130 15-30kph Beacon Roads Cycling Club Phil Richards, Forge House Farm, Cooksey Green, Elmbridge, Worcestershire B61 9EP 200 01 Mar Aberystwyth Taith Mynydd Canolbarth Cymru 07:00 Sun BR 212km 2900m AAA3 [2950m] £7.00 G L P T S 15-30kph Ystwyth CC 07771 812900 andy.andsl@gmail.com Andy Cox, Aberdauddwr Aberffrwd, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3ND 100 01 Mar Corscombe, near Beaminster The Primrose Path 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1850m AAA1.75 £10.00 F L P R T 55 12.5-25kph Arthur Vince arthur.vince@btinternet.com Arthur Vince, 3 Back Lane, East Coker, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 9JN

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] £7.50 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 110 07 Mar Tewkesbury Benjamin Allen’s March Madness 09:00 Sat BP £6.50 C P R T NM 100 10-30kph 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 08 Mar Otford, Sevenoaks Kent Invicta Grimpeur 100 09:30 Sun BP 1890m AAA2 £8.00 F L NM P R T 12-25kph West Kent CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT 50 08 Mar Otford, Sevenoaks Kent Invicta Hilly 50 10:00 Sun BP 900m AAA1 £7.00 F L P R T NM 12-25kph West Kent CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT 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 3390m £7.50 X G P 14.3-30kph Updated Audax Club Hackney tsaudax@gmail.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG 100 15 Mar Alveston, Bristol No Time to Yat 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1530m AAA1.5 [1800m] £6.50 F G L R T P 12.5-30kph Change of Date Audax Club Bristol 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG 52 15 Mar Alveston, Bristol Fishing Expedition 10:00 Sun BP 800m AAA0.75 £6.50 F G L R T P 12.5-30kph Change of Date Audax Club Bristol 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG

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 07443 471140 shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook, Devon EX5 7AP 200 15 Mar Surbiton Gently Bentley 08:00 Sun BR 1650m £9.50 G L P R T (100) (1/3) 15-30kph Updated Kingston Wheelers dave_bradshaw@talk21.com Dave Bradshaw, 14 Sutton Grove, Sutton, Surrey SM1 4LT 200 21 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Cheltenham New Flyer 08:00 Sat BRM £6.00 GLPRT 15-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA 150 21 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Cider with Rosie 150 08:30 Sat BP 151km £6.00 GPRT 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA 100 21 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Character Coln 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 GPRT 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge, 23 Moorend Park Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA 100 21 Mar Bolsover Bolsover Jester 09:30 Sat BP 760m £7.50 G L P R T (100) (14/03) 15-30kph Audax Club Bolsover audaxbolsover@castlecycles.co.uk Malcolm Smith, 14 Highfield Road Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S44 6TY 200 21 Mar Carlton le Moorland Bomber County 07:00 Sat BR 211km 950m £8.50 C,G, T 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire lincsaudax@gmail.com Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton Le Moorland, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN5 9HT 200 21 Mar Galashiels The Snow Hare 08:00 Sat BR £10.00 P L R T S G 15-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 110 21 Mar Galashiels Springtime Ride of the Valkyries 09:00 Sat BP 114km 1500m £10.00 LPRTSG 12-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 25000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 22 Mar Chelmsford Chelmer CC 200k 08:00 Sun BR £10.00 F L P T 15-30kph Chelmer CC Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST 200 22 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading The Kennet Valley Run 08:00 Sun BR 207km 1700m £8.75 F G L P R T 15-30kph Reading CTC 07951 463831 Titus Halliwell, 9 Epping Close, Reading RG1 7YD 100 22 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading The Kennet Valley 100 09:00 Sun BP 900m £8.75 L P R T 12-30kph Change of Date Reading CTC 07951 463831 Titus Halliwell, 9 Epping Close, Reading, Berkshire RG1 7YD 200 28 Mar Waters Edge (Rear), Ruislip HA4 7YP Steam Ride: London-Oxford-London (LOL) 08:15 Sat BR 1550m £9.50 L P R T YH 15-30kph Audax Club Hackney tsaudax@gmail.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing London W5 1JG

www.audax.uk

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AUK CALENDAR

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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 tsaudax@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 29 Mar Golden Green,Tonbridge Man of Kent 08:00 Sun BRM 203km 1505m [1425m] £9.00 F L P R T (120) 15-30kph Man of Kent Audax manofkentaudax@gmail.com David Winslade, 3 Albany Close, Tonbridge Kent TN9 2EY 200 29 Mar Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth Start of Summer Time 200 08:30 Sun BR 208km 2006m £9.00 F G P T R 15-30kph Updated Anton Brown abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT 110 29 Mar Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth Start of Summer Time 100 08:30 Sun BP 111km 1350m £11.00 F G P T R (100) 15-30kph Updated Anton Brown abaudax@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT 200 29 Mar Poynton, S of Stockport Chirk 08:00 Sun BR £6.00 F P 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC darrylnolan12@gmail.com Darryl Nolan, 5 Grasmere Road, Royton, Oldham OL2 6SR 300 04 Apr Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury Helfa Cymraeg Benjamin Allen ar 05:30 Sat BR 308km 3500m £8.50 100, C,F,L,P,R,T,S,NM. 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 300 04 Apr Chalfont St Peter, SL9 9QX 3 Down London – New Forest 06:00 Sat BRM 309km 2715m [3100m] £21.00 YHA(1)FGLNMPRT 15-30kph Willesden CC ianaudax@gmail.com Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue, London W3 6QJ 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 300 04 Apr Poole hard boiled 300 02:00 Sat BRM 4350m AAA4.25 [4400m] £10.00 L M (50)(21/3) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Denmark Gardens, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT 150 04 Apr Warmley, Bristol Goats Head Soup 08:00 Sat BP 158km 1520m £8.00 F G L R T P 15-30kph New Event Audax Club Bristol 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG 54 04 Apr Warmley, Bristol Mind the Gap 09:30 Sat BP 710m £6.50 F G L R T P 10-30kph New Event Audax Club Bristol 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG 110 05 Apr Bishops Lydeard, Nr Taunton Dustman Dave’s Demon Hilly 08:30 Sun BP 116km 2550m AAA2.5 £6.00 L R P T 15-30kph Wellington Whs p_leavey@yahoo.co.uk Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF 110 05 Apr Bishops Lydeard, NW of Taunton Dustman Dave’s Doddle 09:00 Sun BP 950m £6.00 L P R T 10-30kph Wellington Whs p_leavey@yahoo.co.uk Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF

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05 Apr Bishops Lydeard, NW of Taunton Dustman Dave’s Diddy Doddle Sun BP £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Wellington Whs p_leavey@yahoo.co.uk Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF 05 Apr Falmouth A Cornish 100 Sun BP 107km 1400m £6.50 F G L P R T 12-25kph Falmouth Whs. philconroy@talktalk.net Philip Conroy, 5 Fairfield Road, Falmouth TR11 2DN 05 Apr Falmouth A Bunny Hop Sun BP 750m £6.50 F G L P R T 10-25kph Falmouth Whs philconroy@talktalk.net Philip Conroy, 5 Fairfield Road, Falmouth TR11 2DN 05 Apr Nairn, Nr Inverness Eilean Dubh Sun BR 208km 1730m £8.00 X C G L NM P R T S 15-30kph CTC Highland uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 05 Apr Nairn, Nr Inverness The Wolf Sun BP 1010m £8.00 X C G L NM P R T S 12-30kph CTC Highland uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 05 Apr Wareham Dorset Coast Sun BRM 207km 2850m AAA2.75 £15.00 G C L F R P T S M 15-30kph CC Weymouth dorsetcoast200@gmail.com Andrew Preston, 24 Monmouth Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2DG 05 Apr Wareham Coastlet Sun BP 107km 1200m £12.00 15-30kph CC Weymouth dorsetcoast200@gmail.com Andrew Preston, 24 Monmouth Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2DG 10 Apr Anywhere, to York Easter Fleches to York Fri BRM £15.00 X 15-30kph CTC Highland uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 10 Apr Anywhere, to York Easter Trail Fri BRM 201km £12.00 X 15-30kph Audax UK uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 11 Apr Huntingdon Nederlandse Dubbele 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 11 Apr Huntly, Aberdeenshire Room to Ride 200km Sat BR 2150m £15.00 G P R T 15-30kph Huntly Development Trust Stuart Masson, Brander Building, The Square, Huntly AB54 8BR 11 Apr Huntly, Aberdeenshire Room to Ride 50km Sat BP 400m £12.00 G P R T 10-30kph Huntly Development Trust Stuart Masson, Brander Building, The Square, Huntly AB54 8BR 11 Apr Huntly, Aberdeenshire Room to Ride 160km Sat BP 1700m £15.00 G P R T 15-30kph Huntly Development Trust Stuart Masson, Brander Building, The Square, Huntly AB54 8BR 11 Apr Huntly, Aberdeenshire Room to Ride 100km Sat BP 1150m £15.00 G P R T 12-30kph Huntly Development Trust Stuart Masson, Brander Building, The Square, Huntly AB54 8BR

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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 110 12 Apr Mountnessing CM15 0TJ I-M-O-L-D 09:00 Sun BP 115km £9.00 F G L P R T 15-30kph Essex CTC s.eichenseher@googlemail.com Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS1 2LQ 100 15 Apr Marple, near Stockport An Icecream Wensdae 10:00 Wed BP 109km 800m £7.00 P R T 30 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC chris.keelingroberts@ntlworld.com Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7DL 100 15 Apr Marple, near Stockport Monyash Peak 10:00 Wed BP 105km 2150m AAA2.25 £7.00 P R T 30 12.5-30kph Peak Audax CTC chris.keelingroberts@ntlworld.com Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7DL 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 GL7 1RL 200 18 Apr Peterculter, Nr Aberdeen Dee Lechtable 08:00 Sat BR 208km 2550m AAA2.25 [2310m] £7.50 G F P T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse rfargo@gmail.com Robert Fargo, 20 Gordon St, Flat H, Aberdeen AB11 6EW 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 300 18 Apr Raynes Park Amesbury Amble 06:00 Sat BR 312km 2200m £10.00 A(2) G L P R T S 15-30kph Updated Kingston Wheelers Sarah Perkins, 1 Summer Gardens, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9LT 200 18 Apr Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s Spring Clean 08:00 Sat BR 208km 1790m £7.50 C F 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


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18 Apr Trowell, Nottingham Charnwood in the Spring 08:30 Sat BP 103km 750m £7.00 L P R T 150 11.5-30kph Updated Nottinghamshire CTC Keith Barton, 13 Normanton Lane, Keyworth, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG12 5HB 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 200 19 Apr Halifax The Red Rose Ride 08:00 Sun BR 2550m AAA1.5 [1500m] £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Calderdale CTC dmdodwell@gmail.com Dave Dodwell, 32 Parkside Avenue, Queensbury, Bradford BD13 2HQ 160 19 Apr Honiton Combwich Century 08:30 Sun BP 169km 2550m AAA2.5 £9.00 G L P R T 14-30kph Exeter Whs ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU 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 Bushley Yr Elenydd 06:00 Sat BR 315km £11.00 C G L NM P R T (10/4) 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 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 200 25 Apr Honiton Valley of the Rocks 200 08:00 Sat BRM 205km 3800m AAA3.75 £9.00 G L P R T 40 15-30kph Exeter Whs ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU 300 25 Apr Meopham Oasts and Coasts 300Km 06:00 Sat BRM 2776m [3000m] £9.00 L P T R 15-30kph Tom Jackson 07703 431827 tom56jackson@gmail.com ROA 5000 Tom Jackson, 19 Denesway, Meopham, Kent DA13 0EA 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 25 Apr Selkirk Scottish Borders Randonnee 08:00 Sat BR 204km 2168m £10.00 F G P R T 15-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur 01750 20838 russellacarson@gmail.com Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace, Selkirk TD7 4BB 140 25 Apr Selkirk Scottish Borders Populaire 09:00 Sat BP 145km £10.00 F G P R T 12-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur 01750 20838 russellacarson@gmail.com Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace, Selkirk, TD7 4BB

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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 110 26 Apr Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire Spring into the Dales 09:00 Sun BP 115km 2350m AAA2.25 £5.00 L P R T YH 12-24kph Calderdale CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF 58 26 Apr Mytholmroyd Leap into the Aire 10:00 Sun BP 1250m AAA1.25 £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 110 29 Apr Alnwick Harry’s Wednesday Potter 09:00 Wed BP 113km 1680m AAA1.75 [1670m] £4.00 G P R T 13.3-30kph 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 110 02 May Ellon, Aberdeenshire The Lumpy Python 09:30 Sat BP 112km 1100m £6.00 G NM P R T (50) 14-25kph Ythan CC Paul Gordon, 4 Edmondside, Pitmedden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7GP 61 02 May Ellon, Aberdeenshire The Wee Python 09:45 Sat BP 513m £5.00 G NM P R T (50) 12-25kph Ythan CC Paul Gordon, 4 Edmondside, Pitmedden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7GP 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 300 02 May Nairn, Nr Inverness The Turra Coo 06:00 Sat BRM 310km 2890m £10.00 C X G L P R T S 15-30kph CTC Highland uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 400 02 May Poole Porkers 400 14:00 Sat BRM 5900m AAA6 £10.00 L M (50)(18/4) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Denmark Gardens, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT 200 02 May Walbottle Campus, Newcastle Chevy Chase 08:00 Sat BR 201km 2800m AAA2.75 [2750m] £8.00 C F G L P R T (120) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close, Lanchester, Durham DH7 0PX

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03 May High Easter, nr Chelmsford ECCA 200k 08:00 Sun BR £7.00 L P R T 15-30kph ECCA Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST 100 03 May High Easter, Nr Chelmsford ECCA 100k 10:00 Sun BP 104km 650m £5.00 L P R T (70) 15-30kph ECCA Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST 53 03 May High Easter, Nr Chelmsford ECCA 50k 11:00 Sun BP 350m £5.00 L P R T (70) 12-25kph ECCA Chris Regan, 18 Walnut Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2ST 100 03 May Wray, NE of Lancaster Bowland Forest Populaire 09:00 Sun BP 1800m AAA1.75 £5.00 P R T 75 12.5-20kph CTC Lancaster & South Lakes 01524 36061 mikehutchinson@fastmail.fm ROA 5000 Mike Hutchinson, 18 Lawnswood Avenue, Lancaster LA1 4NZ 100 06 May Hurst, East of Reading Dinton 100 10:00 Wed BP 103km 850m £4.00 P R T G 65 15-30kph Cycling UK Reading emaich7@gmail.com Mike Hardiman, 7 Somerset Close, Woosehill, Wokingham RG41 3AJ 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 2900m AAA3 £11.50 YH X F G L 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol will@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 300 09 May Cranbrook Old Roads 300 06:00 Sat BRM 3900m AAA3 [2900m] £10.00 G P R T 15-30kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook EX5 7AP 200 09 May Duffus Hall, Duffus Elgin Monster Munch 08:00 Sat BR 1700m £10.00 C X G L P R T S 15-30kph Elgin CC Mark Houliston, Invererne, 3 Gordonstoun Road, Duffus, Moray IV30 5WE 300 09 May Newark Northgate Station Do Not Forget Your Dividend Card 06:30 Sat BR 1650m £7.00 X,G,P 15-30kph Audax Club Lincolnshire lincsaudax@gmail.com Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton Le Moorland, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN5 9HT 400 09 May Waters Edge, Ruislip Lido London Circuit 400 08:30 Sat BR [3500m] £13.00 T YH R NM G F 14.3-30kph Updated Audax Club Hackney tsaudax@gmail.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Road, Ealing W5 1JG 100 10 May Lound village hall, nr Lowestoft, Suffolk The Broadsman 10:00 Sun BP £6.00 G,L,NM,P,R,T 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 200 10 May Lound, nr Lowestoft The Norfolk Special 08:00 Sun BR 1250m £6.00 FRTP 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT

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10 May Lound, nr Lowestoft The Norfolk Special Sun BP 1250m £6.00 FRTP 12.5-25kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 10 May Meopham, nr Gravesend Hop Garden 100km Sun BP 975m £8.00 F L P R T NM 10/5 10-30kph Gravesend CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT 10 May Uffington, near Wantage Blowingstone-White Horse Sun BP 103km 1300m £7.00 P T R 15-30kph Oxfordshire CTC Nick Dunton, 44a High Street, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4AP 10 May Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire Between the Parks Sun BP 500m £6.75 G L P R T (60) (30/4) 15-30kph Southampton & Romsey CTC rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO53 2AB 10 May Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire Grand National Park2Park Sun BR 2400m £9.25 F G L P R T (60) (30/4) 15-30kph Southampton CTC rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO53 2AB 16 May Chepstow Bryan Chapman Memorial – Welsh End to End 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 16 May Meriden, Warwickshire Cotswold Challenge Sat BP 1200m £8.00 C F G P R T NM 100 15-30kph Jon Porteous audax2020@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk Jon Porteous, 57 Sedgley Close, Abbeydale, Redditch Worcs B98 8JR 16 May Meriden, Warwickshire Warwickshire Wanderer Sat BP 105km 700m £8.00 C F G P R T NM 100 12-25kph Jon Porteous audax2020@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk Jon Porteous, 57 Sedgley Close, Abbeydale, Redditch Worcs B98 8JR 16 May Raynes Park, London SW20 Dauntsey Dawdle Sat BR 3550m £12.00 A(2) G L P R T S (120) 15-30kph Kingston Wheelers Sarah Perkins, 1 Summer Gardens, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9LT 16 May Selkirk Reiver Fever Sat BR £6.00 X 15-30kph Scottish Borders Randonneur 01750 20838 russellacarson@gmail.com Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace, Selkirk TD7 4BB 16 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Westmorland Spartans Sat BR 4000m AAA4 £8.00 YH A(2) L P R T S 15-30kph Lakes Velo the.revells@btinternet.com Paul Revell, Kirklands Brow Edge, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8QL 16 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Cumbrian 200 Sat BR 203km 3900m AAA4 £8.00 YH A(2) L P R T S 15-30kph Lakes Velo the.revells@btinternet.com Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8QL 16 May Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent Dambusters Sat BR 212km 3370m AAA3.25 £10.00 G L P R T 14.3-30kph Four Corners Audax shaun87356@gmail.com Shaun Hargreaves, 6 Langton Court, Werrington, Stoke-on-trent, Staffordshire ST9 0NF

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16 May Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent Dales and Abbots 09:00 Sat BP 105km £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 100 20 May Allenheads Allenheads Wednesday 09:30 Wed BP 103km 1560m AAA1.5 £4.00 G P R T 14.3-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 600 23 May Bushley Benjamin Allen’s Summer Outing 05:00 Sat BRM 605km 6850m AAA5.75 [5750m] £18.00 C F G L NM P R T Z 250 15-30kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 400 23 May Dingwall Hellfire Corner 05:00 Sat BRM 406km 4700m AAA4.25 [4150m] £17.00 A(1) C F G L NM P R T Z 15-25kph CTC Highland uttley@uttley596.plus.com Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 600 23 May Poole Brimstone 600 06:00 Sat BRM 7450m AAA7.5 £10.00 L M (50)(09/5) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Denmark Gardens, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT 400 23 May Poynton, S of Stockport Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll llantysiliogogogoch 400 09:00 Sat BR 2600m £10.00 GPRT 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC 01457 870 421 PeakAudax@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm, Millcroft Lane, Delph, Saddleworth OL3 5UX 150 24 May Ponteland The Full Nelson 07:30 Sun BP 153km 1392m £8.50 G P R T 14.3-30kph Change of Date Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 100 24 May Ponteland The Half Nelson 08:00 Sun BP 106km 970m £8.50 G P R T 12.5-25kph Change of Date Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 200 30 May Balsall Common, West Midlands BRUM 200 another loop of Birmingham 08:00 Sat BR 204km 2000m [1530m] £9.00 R P L G (80) 14.3-30kph West Midland Randonneurs pcoppo@gmail.com Paolo Coppo, For postal entries contact me via e-mail 100 30 May Cromford, Derbyshire Tramway 100 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1480m AAA1.5 £6.00 P R T 150 12.5-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP

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30 May Manningtree Asparagus & Strawberries 09:00 Sat BRM 414km 2700m £5.50 X P G 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF 600 30 May Ponteland Tour of the Borders and Galloway 07:00 Sat BRM 611km 5723m [5730m] £18.00 F G P R T (80) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 200 30 May St Ninians Church Hall, Gourock Argyll Alps 200km 07:15 Sat BR 3165m AAA3.25 £15.00 F G L P R T A(1) (70) 1530kph Audax Ecosse robert.mccready11@gmail.com Robert Mccready, 4 Mccallum Crescent, Gourock PA19 1PY 400 30 May Tenby, Pembrokeshire Velos Tenby-Tywyn 05:00 Sat BRM 422km 6100m AAA6 £10.00 YH C G NM P R T 15-30kph Updated Pembrokeshire Velo oldfield.tout@btinternet.com Ritchie Tout, c/o Richard Coomer Robeston Wathen Narberth Pembrokeshire SA67 8EY 600 30 May Water’s Edge, Ruislip Lido University Challenge 06:00 Sat BR 5650m £13.00 A(1) C F G L R T YHA 15-30kph Audax Club Hackney tsaudax@gmail.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Road, Ealing, London W5 1JG 100 31 May Ponteland Round the Reservoir 09:00 Sun BP 101km 1340m [1741m] £8.00 G P R T 12-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 andy@dixonberne.plus.com Please enter online 200 05 Jun Tewkesbury Sam Weller’s day trip to Wochma 07:30 Fri BR 203km 2300m £7.50 c p r nm t 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE

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 147 WINTER/SPRING 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 20 January 2020 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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ArrivĂŠeautumn/winter2019/2020

Profile for Audax UK

Arrivée 146 Autumn 2019  

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

Arrivée 146 Autumn 2019  

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

Profile for audax-uk
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