ists’ ce cycl n a t s i d azine long– the mbers’ mag K U x Auda tion – me 2020 associainter/spring 147 • w
INSIDE ISSUE 147 Just a Sec04 AGM report
Tunnel vision06 AAA awards 2019 Rolls of Honour
You’re not going fast enough
Uphill battles of a biking bottler
That was great, let’s never do it again20 Front cover… Richard Thoday follows in the big wheel-tracks of George Pilkington Mills on his epic LEJoG record page 32
Why does it always rain on me?26 The Baking Biker – fig and honey biscuits30 Big wheel keep on turning
He’s got a ticket to ride
Persistently pursuing an irresistable urge
OCD cyclo climbing report 2019
Cold comforts – keeping warm on a winter ride46
Trepidation and warm hearts on the TCR 0750 Hot and hungry on the road to the mountains54 A farewell to Audax stalwarts, Dave and Liz
Calendar of events59 Contact details63
Welcome to the winter/spring 2020 issue of Arrivée Staring at a screen and going nowhere fast… Maybe it’s that television advertisement with a fit-looking guy on an exercise bike, saying: “OK Peloton… let’s do this!” that puts me off. Apparently the very latest in keep-fit is £2,000 worth of stationary bicycle in your spare bedroom… linked by computer screen to hundreds, maybe millions of similar souls in bedrooms across the world, sweatily pumping their pedals in unison. Dripping in perspiration, the participants pedal furiously but actually get nowhere fast. I’m told that in some gyms, machines are situated in front of gigantic video screens, projecting films of
beautiful alpine roads or desert tracks, or other awesome natural routes. I’ll bet they don’t have footage of Wolverhampton by twilight. One supposes that the advantage of riding like this is that you don’t get cold or wet (except for the sweat), and when you finish, you’re still safely in your own home or local gym… and not hanging around waiting for a train on some chilly railway platform. Perhaps one shouldn’t deride a person for trying to keep fit in a generally fat world. But I can’t help feeling that it’s all rather... pathetic. In this edition of Arrivée we feature dozens of fearless riders who actually brave the outside world on a regular basis.
I know… Mad, or what? Haven’t they got spare bedrooms of their own? Our contributors are certainly very fit, thanks to their cycling endeavours, but more than that, they’re experiencing the real outdoors. And usually their spare bedroom doesn’t smell like a weight-lifters’ locker room. The modern world, for all its technological marvels, seems intent on trapping us in little individual bubbles of our own, cut off from others, except through a computer screen, exposing us to absolutely no risks or dangers whatsoever… except sore eyes and the occasional heart attack, maybe; a world where we can pretend to climb mountains, pretend to fight monsters, pretend to
machine-gun bad guys, and pretend to cycle a lengthy distance. What often strikes me when reading the accounts of Audaxers, whether it’s a gruelling PBP, or a lonesome ride through the Welsh hills, is the sheer joy and delight experienced by those taking to the roads on a bicycle; the stunning scenery, the glorious sunsets and sunrises, the food, the camaraderie – and the sense of achievement when it’s all over. It’s true that fitness is important, and some people may not have the time to buy a real bike and take it out on real roads in all weathers… though I can’t think of many Audaxers who don’t struggle to fit in their riding with their own busy lives, jobs and families. But turning one’s back on
MEMBERSHIP MATTERS… with Caroline Fenton, AUK Membership Secretary The main news from the membership team this time is about our new system. Stage 2 of the AUK IT refresh project is to move all the membership functions (joining, renewing, updating details) from the old website to the new. Event management (entry, results and organiser functions) will still be handled by the old website until stage 3. Most of the membership software development is complete and testing is underway, so we can now share a couple of screen shots from the test system. What do I need to know? The main difference you will notice is that you will logon with your email address not your number. This means that everyone will need to have a unique email address recorded, so please do check that yours is correct and, if there are others in your household, that they also have a unique email if possible. For those that genuinely don’t have an email address we will set up your record with a dummy logon firstname.lastname@example.org where xxxxx is your membership number. Please note that your membership number will not change and will continue to be used in results and will be sent across for event entries. Passwords will in future need to have a minimum of 8 characters of which at least 1 must be a number or special character (@,#,£,,! etc). When we switch to the new system your password will be unchanged initially, but you will be prompted to update it if it does not meet the new requirements. You may find it easier to update your password in advance – you can set one with 8 characters on the existing system. We will give you good notice of when the changeover will occur – we will put a message on both old and new websites. We will lock the current membership system for around one day in advance to allow data to be extracted, processed and uploaded to the new system. You will still be able to logon to both audax.uk and aukweb.net to enter events and use other functionality (eg organisers) but not update your membership details (address, email, emergency contact etc). Also it won’t be possible to create any new memberships during that time.
reality in favour of a virtual experience seems, to me at least, a rather empty, sad and soulless occupation. You can be pretty certain that switching off your Peloton machine and dismounting after a long “ride” doesn’t bring the life-enhancing bliss of a real bike ride. One imagines an indoor Peloton rider’s main thought, after hours in the saddle, is: “Those skirting boards could probably do with a lick of paint…”
Tony Lennox former editor, Birmingham Post and Warwickshire Life, 45 years in regional newspapers
We will also publish some more information about using the new system on the website before changeover day. If you are lucky we might even manage a short video, although we hope it will all be fairly self explanatory. After the changeover, everyone will login to audax.uk and you will be routed to aukweb as necessary without needing to login again. What differences will I see? Hopefully not too many related to your details! However after the switchover please do logon and check your information as soon as possible and contact membership@ audax.uk if you think anything is wrong. A lot of changes will not be visible to members but will ease administration for the membership team – for example better integration with payment processes. Other new features will be for use by members – for example you will be able to add new household members directly and also to remove them before renewal time without needing to contact me. You will be able to set a preference to not receive Arrivée magazines – this could be useful if you are travelling for a period of time for example as you can choose when to switch off and back on again. There will be improved notifications about membership renewal, and we will have the ability to send individual notifications to members via the dashboard. The new system will allow us the flexibility to offer a greater range of membership packages (durations) and reduced fees for members who join later in the year. It will also have functionality to offer concessions and discounts which we may use for promotional purposes. What other changes might be coming in the future? Event participants will be able to register with us without joining so that their details can be saved and events can be added more easily to their ride history should they join later. We will be able to restrict access to areas of the website – for example we could have members only pages, organiser only pages, delegate only pages as well as the public pages.
2020 AUK MEMBER SURVEY In the next few weeks we will be sending out by email an invitation to all AUK members to take part in a member survey. It shouldn’t take too long to fill out on-line, and there will be a paper option if that is what you prefer. We’d be really grateful if when you receive the invitation you could take a few minutes to complete it. There are several topics that we’d like to hear from you about, and the survey has been designed to explore these. Our aims are to better understand the cycling interests and activities of our members, in order to improve our membership offer and increase diversity; to inform our approach to the use of technology; to improve communications; to inform and guide the development of our organisational and events strategy; and to speak to potential advertisers in Arrivée. We are also really interested to find out more about what motivates you to ride long distances; and we’ll be asking some specific questions of current and potential organisers and volunteers. To help us put all the information into context there will be some standard demographic questions. We hope you’ll find the survey interesting and not intrusive. It will be confidential (although there is the option of putting in your membership details if you want to) and we will share the results in a future issue of Arrivée. How can I take part? ● We hope most of you will fill in the survey online. Doing this makes it much easier for us to analyse the results afterwards. ● If you prefer to fill in a paper copy then we will put a downloadable file on the website and let you know who to return it to. ● If you can’t access the website and don’t have e-mail then please contact Caroline Fenton and she will send a paper copy. Write to her at 56 Lockesfield Place, London E14 3AJ, or text “survey” followed by your surname and either membership number or postcode (eg “survey jones 12345” or “survey jones AU1 2EK”) to 07543 502468 (note – this number will not be answered, it is only for incoming messages) Expecting to get an email and haven’t received one? Then maybe we don’t have your email recorded or not recorded correctly, so please first check your junk/spam mailbox and failing that email email@example.com.
GRAEME PROVAN, General secretary, Audax UK
Just a sec… The recent AGM marked the culmination of a fairly intense period of administrative activity for AUK’s directors and delegates. No sooner had the Events teams finished their end of season reporting than the membership team were immersed in the mammoth task of dealing with our membership renewals. Somewhere in amongst all this our delegates found the time to organise our Annual Reunion and deal with the AGM. It is a testament to the efforts of our volunteers that all this work is achieved in so short a time. However, I am sure we are all looking forward to a bit more time on our bikes and a bit less time at our computers as the weather improves.
The Annual Reunion was held in North Allerton in November. Some issues with booking the venue meant that the accommodation was spread across two hotels and it was reported that the access arrangements at one of the venues were far from ideal. Nevertheless, Paul Rainbow and Mark Gibson managed to lay on another enjoyable weekend with good attendance. Details of this year’s reunion will be published soon and the early indications are that it will be somewhere in the South East of England.
The AGM was held in Birmingham on 8 February. There is a report on page 5 opposite, so I will restrict myself to just a few observations. The most important outcome of the AGM was that the new format for our Regulations was approved by the members. The Regulations themselves have not changed but they have now been split into three sections: Administrative, Events and Awards. The new Events Regulations should make it easier to identify and understand the rules for each type of event. I was encouraged that almost 15 per cent of the members with valid email addresses took the time to vote on the online voting site. This may not seem like many but, according to our online provider, it compares extremely well to most organisations. Sadly, this level of engagement did not translate into nominations for the vacant director posts.
Having both been co-opted to the board during the year, Ian Hennessey was confirmed as our Calendar Events Secretary and Director and Martin Stefan was elected for a one-year term as Non-Executive Director. Meanwhile, John Sabine was re-elected as our second Non-Executive Director. John himself noted that he had been reluctant to stand again after a number of years in post but, in the absence of any other candidates, he was persuaded to continue. That leaves the board with a vacancy for the post of Events Services Director and with the continuing vacancy for an IT Director. The board are taking active steps to fill the Events Services post and hope to be able to make an announcement shortly. With all the various elections taking place, the board missed the fact that John Ward’s term as Permanent Events Secretary was due to end. Chairman Chris Crossland apologised to the members present at the AGM on behalf of the board and an emergency board meeting was convened immediately following the AGM. The board took the view that with no Events Services Director in post and a relatively recent appointment to Calendar Events Secretary, it was important to have some continuity. Accordingly, John Ward was re-appointed. His term will end at next year’s AGM when he will be up for re-election. Next year’s AGM will be held in Birmingham on 6 February and a formal notice will be circulated to members later this year. If any members are interested in joining the Board of AUK, they can contact me to discuss what is involved and how the election process works.
Our January board meeting took place on the 8 January. We were joined at the meeting by Kevin Lake who is managing Phase II of the IT Refresh Project. Kevin reported that the supplier for phase II had entered into administration due to problems in another division of its group. AUK had paid a deposit of 50 per cent of the projected costs of phase II and only a quarter to a third of the work had been carried out so far. The urgent issue was putting support for the new website in place and then finding a means of continuing phase II with the least disruption and cost.
By the time of the AGM Kevin was able to report that he was working directly with one of the original contractors as lead developer, had secured and stored all the intellectual property and passwords for the site and that work was proceeding at a good pace. Kevin, Dave Allison and Caroline Fenton have all been working well beyond what anyone would expect of them to support the project over the last few months and AUK owes them a huge debt of gratitude. In response to a question on the impact on the finances of AUK at the AGM the Finance Director, Nigel Armstrong, was able to reassure members that the issue with the supplier was not a major financial risk to AUK. Its balance sheet remains strong and the continued growth in income means that it should have the funding in place to fund the project going forwards. It was his view that the new arrangement with the contractor may ultimately save AUK some money when compared to the original budgeted cost. If there are further significant updates, they will be communicated via the AUK forum or by email.
VACANCY FOR MILEATER SECRETARY Due to a day job promotion, a vacancy has arisen for the role of Mileater Secretary. The role involves managing the day to day running of the annual Mileater Award and entails posting out diaries to entrants, maintaining a database of entrants’ details, handling entries and fees, answering queries from entrants and collating distances annually. The post holder also writes a report for inclusion in Arrivée each year as well as maintaining a stock of diaries and medals as appropriate. Scheme entrants are encouraged to record their daily mileages in a diary or using online ride tracking apps over each calendar year. The rider and the opposite sex rider who post the highest distances are awarded the Jan & Mick Latimer awards. Knowledge and/or experience of the Mileater scheme as a current participant would be useful for anybody considering taking on this post, but committed members without those qualifications should soon be able to learn. Any member interested in this opportunity should contact: Chris Crossland, Audax UK Chair. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ROB MCIVOR, Communications Director Audax UK, reports on the recent AGM
Annual General Meeting
Audax United Kingdom Long-distance Cyclists’ Association (“Audax uk”) Audax UK held its annual general meeting on February 8th, in Birmingham. The meeting began, as is customary, with a minute’s silence to respect those members who had passed away during the previous year, after which several of the directors provided updates to their reports in the Annual Report (available on the AUK web site). Membership continues to increase and is now approaching 9,000. However, this figure is thought to include 350-400 Life Members who are, in fact, no longer with us and who names are being removed from the database as part of a tidying-up exercise, so we shouldn’t expect to see a large increase in member numbers next year. Special mention was made of AUK Member, Tony Hull, who completed what is believed to be the longest ever DIY Permanent Event, covering 6,300km, from the north of Scotland to Trafalgar in Southern Spain. Overall, the trend towards more members riding longer events has continued, while there has been a decline in the numbers riding shorter events, calling into question the received wisdom that 100km and 200km events are gateways to riding longer distances. In total, members completed almost 22,000 rides during the year and, as a result, particular praise was noted for Cathy Brown, who scrutinised the majority of the resulting brevet cards. IT Manager, Kevin Lake, reported that key aspects of the IT upgrade project have now been brought back under our direct control, following the failure of our supplier’s parent company, which has been placed in administration. Our potential financial exposure is up to £40,000 but
this should be mitigated by savings we are able to make on other elements of the project. Finance Director, Nigel Armstrong, confirmed that the club remains in a good position and, as anticipated last year when they were increased, there is no requirement to make any changes to membership subscriptions or event fees and charges. All of the resolutions put to the meeting, principally enabling the simplification of AUK’s event regulations, were passed. Ian Hennessey and Martin Stefan, who had been co-opted to the Board during the year, were confirmed as Events Secretary and NonExecutive Director respectively and Graeme Provan was reappointed as General Secretary. No candidates had come forward to replace Peter Lewis as Event Services Director and this post remains vacant for the moment. The full minutes of the meeting will be published on the AUK web site. www.audax.uk
Many of Europe’s mountain roads resemble a labyrinth of tunnels – some short, some terrifyingly lengthy, especially for cyclists. Veteran Audaxer Francis Cooke explains why he, together with his partner Sheila Simpson, are so often drawn to ride these dark and forbidding mountain caverns
I love tunnels. A sketch of the Passo di San Boldo in the Dolomites (which was featured in Arrivée 146) hangs in my house. We always thought it looked like a fantastic place – so back in 1994 Sheila and I set off to see it for ourselves. We took the Bike Bus to Venice and then rode north into the Dolomites, aiming to take part in the Dolomite Marathon, a Marmotte-like sportif attracting thousands of riders, 220km over seven big mountain passes. Our
gateway into the Dolomites, after several hours of flattish cycling, was to be the Passo San Boldo (706m) – no great height but an abrupt climb from near-sea-level. It’s a narrow notch in the cliff, and every hairpin is contained inside a dark semi-circular tunnel, making a crazy-looking staircase up the cliff face. It’s a bit like the back way into Mordor, and any one of the tunnels could easily be Shelob’s lair. The route controlled by traffic lights, top, bottom and centre, to alternate the traffic flow. These lights were an
irrelevance to us. At our climbing pace, by the time we reached midway they had probably changed several times. And we had seen no traffic anyway, having deliberately timed our climb for lunchtime. And so we inched on up. The midway light turning to red as we passed it.
PICTURE: FRANCIS COOKE
THE PASSO DI SAN BOLDO
Like the back way to Mordor… Passo di San Boldo
Suddenly, the narrow gorge was filled with a raucous wailing. Now here’s a thing about cycling in Italy – many of the motorists are quite flamboyant in their driving style. They pass a bit close and fast, and cut in likewise. It takes a day or two to get used to it. Three small red cars had just launched out of the top tunnel and were barrelling down the hairpins toward us. Obviously lunchtime was over. The din as they careered through each tunnel was colossal, megaphone exhausts further amplified and then echoing across the cliffs and back. We could only pull over on a straight bit and be as visible as possible. It was noisy, but it didn’t last long. At the top we popped out through a final short tunnel straight into the welcoming village of San Boldo… panting a little.
Sheila’s back light recedes into the Livigno Tunnel
…Sheila and I crossed the ❝ Galibier on the same day as the
THE LIVIGNO TUNNEL
Marmotte – upwards of 4,000 cyclists in a hurry… going the opposite way
PICTURE: FRANCIS COOKE
A few years later, Sheila and I arrived at the entrance to the Livigno Tunnel. It is high in the Alps on the Swiss-Italian border – in fact the north portal is a Swiss border post. If you’re planning a similar trip, don’t forget that this was a while ago, and conditions change. A route which was passable then may not be passable now. I believe that cyclists must now use a transfer bus to get through this tunnel. The Livigno Tunnel is only one carriageway wide. It’s a dimly-lit road, stretching for almost 4km with a kink in the middle. It also climbs slightly from north to south (the way we were going), about 100 metres over its length. This ferret-hole takes heavy traffic, lots of coaches and ten-wheel wagons, and has traffic lights at each end so that the traffic piles up at the tunnel mouth until a load of downstream
R R E: F
PICTURE: FRANCIS COOKE
Who watches the watchers? Sheila and her tourists at the End Of The Road – Tunnel Mortier
traffic is disgorged, then the lights change and everyone charges in. We sat around and watched this for a while. From a cyclist’s point of view, it didn’t look good. I looked at a forbidding sign by the tunnel mouth which featured a bike and a stream of German text ending in an exclamation mark. The border guards didn’t seem bothered about us. There was nothing for it, we had two more high passes awaiting us on the other side, so we lit up and when the next convoy went in we were on their back wheel. The din receded, the red lights receded, flickered and went out; the air was
surprisingly fresh and so, all was peace. It really was a wonderful Zen ride through a tomb-like passage. Of course, there was an edge of anxiety as well. Was that a red light ahead? No? Yes? The red morphed and multiplied through orange and yellow to white, and we flattened ourselves against the tunnel wall and chaos and fury was upon us. Now we were clear to carry on, but this time with our ears pinned back to catch the next convoy coming up behind us. This peace-chaos-peace cycle repeated several more times before we emerged blinking into Italy, with my tunnel-lust cured for a day or two at least.
THE TUNNEL DU MORTIER
THE TUNNEL DU PARPAILLON
Sheila’s favourite tunnel is one with no motor traffic at all. This is the Tunnel du Mortier (1,389m) in a remote corner of the Vercors in France. It gets a mention on the website www. dangerousroads.org, but although it is an abandoned tunnel, its relatively recent construction means it’s quite safe and easy to ride through, provided you have a good front light. It just doesn’t go anywhere. At the far end there’s a small platform to dismount and park your bike – and then it’s a sheer drop down a huge vertical cliff face. Scenically, it’s wonderful. There used to be a road leading up into the Vercors from Grenoble. The tunnel was built to serve the Winter Olympics in 1968. The first of the landslips was three years later, and more soon followed. Ever since this grand, broad, cement-lined tunnel has stood unused but pristine. It’s just one of several atmospheric tunnels and “balcony” roads in this historic area, that fall comfortably into the “impossible engineering” category.
This tunnel (2,645m) is one of the highest and most remote in the Alps. Just getting there is a big, big climb – 1,950 metres from the valley bottom to the tunnel portal. Although it is quite far south in France, at this height you can expect to find some ice in here at any time of year. It was high summer when Sheila and I passed through, and the whole tunnel was waterlogged. We had to wade sometimes thigh-deep, and the floor under the water was still a sheet of ice. And it’s about 700m long. Just the ticket on a sweltering July day in Haute Provence.
PICTURE: SHEILA SIMPSON
A personal landmark was reached in Kashmir, where, at the ❝ age of 65, [Sheila] took her bike up the Khardung La – 5,359m – a record height that is very hard to beat ❞
The shrine near the Khardung La summit
If you have wondered what Sheila gets up to these days, after riding her seventh PBP in 2007 – since then she has concentrated on leading cycle tours in France, the Alps and India. This means she is on first-name terms with hoteliers the length and breadth of France, and, bizarrely, in India she is known as “Madame Sheila”. A personal landmark was reached in Kashmir, where, at an age of 65, she took her bike up the Khardung La (5,359m – La is Tibetan for Pass) – a record height that is very hard to beat.
THE COL DU GALIBIER TUNNEL
A more familiar sight to Alpine tourists is the summit tunnel on the Col du Galibier (2,647m). This tunnel, at 2,556
only cars, not lorries. We made a big thing of checking our lights and lining up by the tunnel portal, ready to jump on the tail of the last car in. The police, we could see, were in agreement that we were taking the least worst option. In we went, sprinting heads down as the last car pulled away in front of us. It was black! No tunnel lighting whatsoever. Our eyes had no time to adjust, and our small touring front lights were sucked up by the matt concrete pipe. I could feel my balance going, but just concentrated on staying in the middle so that our lights and silhouettes were unmissable if any traffic entered. It was horrible. We couldn’t afford to slow down, we had to sprint all the way, one of our shortest tunnel experiences, in and out in less than a minute – but one of my worst ever.
THE PAS DE MORGINS
Most tunnels are great fun to ride through, but there are some that are categorically forbidden to cyclists. I would never intentionally enter one, but I’ve been through a couple, failing to notice any signage to stop me. One time, Sheila was leading her group towards the Swiss-French border at the Pas de Morgins (1,369m). We came across an
unfamiliar new tunnel at the foot of the climb, leading up and away from the Swiss Rhone valley and signposted to France, and in we all went, all innocent-like. Our friend Eve’s main climbing weapons are determination and will-power – in other words, on any climb she soon gravitates to the back. My job was to ride shotgun. It was a modern, well-lit dual carriageway of a tunnel, and quite noisy with the traffic, and as it turned out, about 1.5km long. I find such places stimulating, but they aren’t to everybody’s taste. I was doing my best to keep Eve’s spirits up when suddenly the whole tunnel went into “emergency” mode, with flashing amber lights all along the roof as far as the eye could see. I thought, “uh-ho”. But I said “keep going”, but I reckoned we were probably not yet half way through. Sure enough, within a minute a police motorcyclist pulled alongside and kept pace, haranguing us about being someplace we shouldn’t. I decided to play for time since I figured that, once we were past halfway, the gendarme would have no sensible alternative but to allow us to continue through. I said something incomprehensible in atrocious
pidgin French/German/Italian, so that it took a while for us to negotiate a common lingo – French. Then I stoutly maintained our innocence, saying (in very bad French) that there were no signs to say “no cycling”, which was true. “Ou est les signs?” I repeated, trying a Gallic shrug while trying not to run into Eve, who was doing her bit by avoiding eye contact and pretending that her world wasn’t flashing amber. By now we were definitely more than halfway through, and I could tell that my Cunning Plan was working, though in general I don’t like to argue with a man with a gun. The gendarme (who turned out to be a very nice guy) was settling for riding shotgun to my shotgun, and so we eventually emerged from the pulsating drama into the daylight, which seemed rather dull by comparison. However, he wasn’t going to leave it there, and so I continued with my “Ou est les signs?” banter. He asked me to look back at the tunnel entrance, which was adorned with quite a lot of signage but nothing that I could see about bicycles. I said as much. Specifically then, he pointed to the sign which said “Minimum speed – 55kph”. Then he smiled and with the faintest of bows, wished us Bon Voyage.
PICTURE: FRANCIS COOKE
metres altitude and only about 400m long, is actually quite old, and was derelict for most of the last century, but more recently was re-lined with a concrete pipe and re-opened for use by motorists. It’s even narrower than the Livigno Tunnel and likewise controlled by lights – generally cyclists shouldn’t use it. Instead we cross over the top of this magnificent pass on a shabby little road that would be gone by now if it were not for the annual ritual of the Tour de France. A few years ago Sheila and I crossed the Galibier on the same day as the Marmotte – upwards of 4,000 cyclists in a hurry… going the opposite way. We weren’t entirely taken by surprise so had set off early to try to get at least to the top before meeting the marauding horde or worse, getting stopped by marshals. Having previously ridden in the event ourselves, we had a decent idea of their schedule. But I’m not as nippy up the big climbs as I used to be, and we were still well short of the summit when the leaders, descending very fast and no doubt expecting a clear road, were upon us. We did what we could to stay out of their way as a trickle became a torrent and eventually we reached the sanctuary of the old hostelry that marks one end of the tunnel, where we had room to stop and enjoy the spectacle. Clearly it seemed, it would be madness to wind our way over the top as ever more cyclists poured over the narrow summit. And this would go on for hours. The tunnel, however, did not look very appealing, and in any case, was probably verboten. There was no shortage of gendarmes standing around with their beady eyes on us. It was going to be Livigno all over again but at least this was only 400m, you could see the other end, even before going in, and the traffic was
Sheila enters the Tunnel du Parpaillon www.audax.uk
AUDAX HONOURS – BY IVAN CORNELL
Audax Altitude Award 2019 Rolls of Honour Congratulations to the 2019 AAA Champions Alan Steele and Maryjane Watson, and to everyone else who has qualified one (or more) of the awards listed here. I struggle to pick people out for special mentions as there are so many achievements, but I would like
to congratulate my namesake, Ivan Waddington who has claimed his second AAA after a 21 year gap! AAA Round the Year continues to be popular with eight new entries in 2019 and others chipping away year after year. You only need to ride a
hilly enough 50km ride each month so worth considering if you are looking to a different challenge and another badge to add to your collection. These Rolls of Honour only include members who qualified in this last season, the full list is available at audax.uk. Anyone
else that has acquired AAA points and believe they are eligible for any of these awards should contact me at aaa@ audax.uk to claim them. Ivan Cornell
The original AAA, Triple AAA and 3x3 AAA For obtaining 20, 60 and 180 AAA points over any period of time Name Ken Acland Reid Anderson Nigel Armstrong Jon Banks Robert Bialek Leiv Boyum James Bradbury Chris Breed David Briggs Dave Brothers Steven Butterworth Garga Chamberlain Matt Chambers Raymond Cheung Roy Clarke Paolo Coppo Ivan Cornell Andy Cox Martin Croxford Tony Davis Paul Dytham Robert Fargo Russell Filby Nick Firth Chris Forrest Mike Green Barbara Hackworthy Shaun Hargreaves David Haydon Mike Henley Rob Herridge Jeremy Honeywill Toby Hopper
6 2 13 4 2 13 4 52 17 13 4 9 3 11 3 2 3 1 7 2 2 5 1 3 1 11 3 2 8 2 9 3 16 5 19 6 10 3 2 1 5 1 4 1 7 2 10 3 28 9 3 1 5 1 2 1 18 6
3x3 AAA 1 1 5 1 1 1
1 1 2 1
Peter Horne Mark Hudson Rob Hyde Richard Iddon Oliver Iles Eleanor Jaskowska Theresa Jennings Sheni Jiwa Pete Johnson Jeremy Jones Justin Jones Chris Keeling-Roberts Lee Killestein Sian Lambert Martin Laverick Martin Malins Paul Manasseh David Mason Steven Medlock James Metcalfe Liam Morris Geoffrey Mowatt Robert Norris Joe North James O’Neill Leonard O’Rourke Gavin Peacock Alex Peeke Richard Phipps Tim Pickersgill Andrew Preater Andrew Preston Paul Rainbow Dave Randerson
8 2 5 1 1 4 1 23 7 3 1 5 1 3 1 8 2 4 1 29 9 49 16 15 5 3 1 6 2 46 15 12 4 6 2 3 1 3 1 5 1 5 1 9 3 4 1 3 1 4 1 2 1 19 6 5 1 4 1 23 7 12 4 42 14
3 5 1
2 1 4
Paul Renshaw Iain Robert Peter Rogan Jeff Rowell Ian Ryall Jonathan Saville Stephen Scott Graham Spiller Alan Steele Jamie Swann Kevin Talbot Tim Taylor Phil Thomas Chris Tillapaugh Philip Toni Kate Treviss Peter Treviss Andrew Turner Neil Veitch Richard Venes Ivan Waddington Niall Wallace Mark Walsh Mary-Jane Watson John Wilkie Johnatan Williams Julian Williams Toby Willis John Wilton Simon Woodward Robert Wragge-Morley Oliver Wright
10 3 5 1 5 1 5 1 43 14 17 5 5 1 3 1 19 6 1 8 2 5 1 1 8 2 10 3 1 1 9 3 11 3 9 3 2 1 14 4 26 8 9 3 3 1 21 7 4 1 8 2 2 6 2 18 6
1 1 1
1 2 1 2
AAASR For completing an SR series of AAA events in one season Name SR
Jon Banks Robert Bialek Chris Breed Andy Cox Ben Cox Martin Croxford Robert Fargo David Forbes Shaun Hargreaves
5 16 6 6 1 8 1 1 12
Rob Herridge Mike Hughes Rob Hyde Justin Jones Lee Killestein Phil Millar Geoffrey Mowatt Tim Pickersgill Andrew Preston Paul Rainbow
1 2 1 17 8 1 2 2 10 8
Ian Ryall Stephen Scott Catrin Smith Kevin Talbot Andrew Turner Johnatan Williams Julian Williams Iain Wilson Simon Woodward Robert Wragge-Morley
6 3 3 13 2 1 4 6 10
Eric Richardson Iain Robert Ian Ryall Alan Steele Philip Toni Andrew Turner Richard Venes Mary-Jane Watson John Wilkie
22 2 1 5 4 1 10 1 1 49
AAARTY For completing an AAA event in any 12 consecutive months Name RtY Leiv Boyum James Bradbury Dave Brothers Garga Chamberlain Roy Clarke Martin Croxford Mark Fossard Mike Green
7 2 1 1 3 1 1 4
Barbara Hackworthy Andrew Jackson Theresa Jennings Chris Keeling-Roberts Lee Killestein Richard Painter Richard Phipps Andrew Preston Dave Randerson
2 1 2 1 3 1 5 9 4
AAA Century For obtaining 25, 50, 100 or 200 AAA points in one season Name Ken Acland Robert Bialek Roy Clarke Paolo Coppo Ivan Cornell Martin Croxford Mike Green Shaun Hargreaves Oliver Iles Theresa Jennings
Quart Half Century Double 1 1 10 10 6 3 1 3 7 1 4 1 4 4 2 5 4 1 3
Chris Keeling-Roberts 9 8 6 Lee Killestein 3 3 2 James O’Neill 1 Tim Pickersgill 2 Andrew Preston 8 6 Dave Randerson 9 7 3 Paul Renshaw 5 1 Jeff Rowell 2 Ian Ryall 7 7 5 Jonathan Saville 10 Alan Steele 2 2 2
Jamie Swann Philip Toni Andrew Turner Richard Venes Mark Walsh Mary-Jane Watson John Wilkie Julian Williams Simon Woodward
1 2 2 1 3 2 5 1 6 1 6 5 2 5 1 9 1 1 1
12 Points Roll of Honour For obtaining 12+ points in the 2017-18 season Name Points Alan Steele 243.75 Ian Ryall 142.5 Chris Keeling-Roberts 109 Lee Killestein 106.25 Martin Laverick 79 Shaun Hargreaves 75.5 Robert Bialek 74.5 Mary-Jane Watson 74.25 Philip Toni 68 Catrin Smith 64.25 Ben Cox 64 Andrew Turner 63.5 David Randerson 63 Martin Croxford 62.75 Graham Steward 57 Simon Woodward 56.5 Andrew Jackson 52.5 Ken Acland 50.75 Andrew Preston 49.25 Andy Cox 48.75 Nick Gardiner 47.75 James Rees 44.25 Geoffrey Mowatt 43.5 Oliver Iles 42.5 Jeff Rowell 42.5 Andrew Phillips 41.75 Michael Warren 41.75 Julian Williams 41.5 David Bellini 39.5 John Wilkie 39.25 Dave Brothers 38.5 Ivor Peachey 37.75 Paul Anders Johnson 37.25 Stephen Scott 37 Mike Hughes 35.5 Kevin Reed 35.25 Robert Wragge-Morley 35.25 Paul King 34.5 Stephen Taylor 34.5 John Barkman 34.25 Christopher Breed 33.5 Mark Green 33.25 Richard Clements 32.75 Mark Walsh 32.75 Robert Norris 31.75 Mike Green 31.5 Phil Thomas 31.5 Dov O’Neil 30.75 Richard Venes 30.75 Mike Pain 30.25 John Williams 30.25 David Clegg 29.75 Mark Harding 29.25 Robyn Thomas 29
David Harris Wim Van Der Spek Jonathan Waugh Geoff Crowther Vilas Silverton George Hanna Chris Watts Paul Renshaw Steven Abraham Simon Ashby James O’Neill David Sleigh Jason Clark Tim Pickersgill Richard Barnett Simon Healey Jamie Swann Roy Clarke Blair Hafford Adrian Lagan Paul Whitehead Chris Forrest Julian Pring Ian Fairweather Theresa Jennings Paolo Coppo Ivan Cornell David Lane Jonathan Saville Richard Iddon Philip Millar Paul Rainbow Justin Jones Karl Somers Graeme Walsh Leiv Boyum Kevin Dennett Martin Malins John Rye Brendan Vaughan Jon Banks Robert Fargo Rob Herridge Peter Simon Leslie Stephens Ian Hennessey Alex Hill Sean Quigly Cecil Ilsley Sheni Jiwa Oliver Liney Kevin Talbot Chris Apperley Aidan Hedley James Craven
28.75 28.75 28.75 28.5 28.5 28.25 28 27.75 27.5 27.5 26.75 26.75 26.5 26.5 26.25 26.25 26 25.75 25.75 25.75 25.75 25.5 25.5 25.25 25.25 25 25 25 25 24.75 24.75 24.75 24.5 24.5 24.5 24.25 24.25 24.25 24.25 24 23.75 23.75 23.75 23.75 23.75 23.25 23.25 23 22.75 22.75 22.75 22.5 22.25 22.25 22
John Gallagher Ian Henry Colin Norcup Simon Bennett Richard Lake Allan Lawson Richard O’Sullivan Ben Taylor Gill Barnett Kate Treviss Jack Tyler Chris Colcutt Peter Treviss Michael Browne Fraser Ellison Leonard O’Rourke Mike Sheldrake Paul Cre Anthony Haslam Rob Hyde Iain Robert Colin Mew Aidan Allcock Ian Hill James Lawrence Peter Summers James Bradbury Raymond Cox Mark Kowalski Graham Spiller Andrew Wrightson Stephen Broatch Graham Fereday Telbert James Mike Kear Adam Sherlock Amy Sherlock John O’Rourke Peter Rogan Grzegorz Rogoz Richard Salisbury Stuart Underwood Neil Veitch Tim Williams Phil Beed Wayne Lloyd Nigel Winter Toby Hopper Iain Wilson John Wilton Daniel Campbell Graham Dore Hugo Allen-Stevens Garga Chamberlain Andre Dekerf
22 22 22 21.75 21.5 21.5 21.5 21.5 21 21 21 20.75 20.75 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.5 20.25 20.25 20.25 20.25 20 19.75 19.75 19.75 19.75 19.5 19.5 19.5 19.5 19.5 19.25 19.25 19.25 19.25 19.25 19.25 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 18.75 18.75 18.75 18.5 18.5 18.5 18.25 18.25 18 18 17.75
Ian Llewelyn Phil Richards Mark Sterling Mike Stoaling Matt Swaine John Holden Laurent Methivier Anna Orenz Moritz Schick Kevin Speight Niall Wallace Adrian Beare Jeremy Honeywill Chris Prynn Paul Wheatcroft Brandon Edgeley Heather Perry Richard Phipps Paul Revell Dean Robson Chris Crookes David Forbes Paul Manasseh Kris Poole Ian Walker Daniel Fisher Paul Johnson Charlotte Thompson Richard Thompson Ian Bird Miles Griffiths Peter Horne Matthew Larkins Gerard McUgh Michael Miskelly Simon Westlake Johnatan Williams Steve Wykes Simon Cullen Peter David Michal Durec David Harmer Christopher Knox John Talbot Richard Coomer David Deakins Jon Heslop Magnus Wills Dave Dodwell Colin James Adrian Thomas David Barber Paul Colman Andrew Packer Piotr Tyrala
17.75 17.75 17.75 17.75 17.75 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.25 17.25 17.25 17.25 17 17 17 17 17 16.75 16.75 16.75 16.75 16.75 16.5 16.5 16.5 16.5 16.25 16.25 16.25 16.25 16.25 16.25 16.25 16.25 16.25 16 16 16 16 15.75 15.75 15.5 15.5 15.5 15.5 15.25 15.25 15.25 15 15 15 15
Russell Filby Barbara Hackworthy Robert Kirk Katherine Kirton Alex Turner Derek Ahern Luke Allen Julian Brown Raymond Cheung Arron Hodder Peter Johnson Bruce Taylor Oscar Walsh David Brown Laura Collett Andrew Hill Paul Jackman Paul Dytham Ian Eccleshall David Holmes Mark Hudson Richard Sanderson Paul Coleman James Cross Paul Mosier Marcus Mumford Mark Rutter Rob Shaw David Smethurst James Andrews Mark Gibson Sean King Suzannah Minns Simon Proven Jon Sharp Duncan White Mike Wigley Alexander Bend Terry Bolland Simon Bottomley Gavin Dorsett Richard Goucher Joe Hawksworth Tim Rusbridge Alice Thomson Andrew Wheat Chris Asher Samuel Burton Andy Clarkson Richard Evans Jimmy Froggatt Eleanor Jaskowska Hugh MacAy Ian Milne Alex Napier
14.75 14.75 14.75 14.75 14.75 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.25 14.25 14.25 14.25 14 14 14 14 14 13.75 13.75 13.75 13.75 13.75 13.75 13.75 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.25 13.25 13.25 13.25 13.25 13.25 13.25 13.25 13.25 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13
Tony Oakley Zlatimira Petrova Alan Rawet Anne Smith David Atkinson Graham Davison Richard Etches Ben Hyett Peter Lockey Guy Marks Paul Pritchard Chris Pugh Jacqueline Rees Mike Thompson Gary Adams John Duggan Simon James David Killean John Lee Samuel Thompson Alan Barnard Thomas Brabbin Graham Brodie Philip Cripps John Jackson Gareth Jones Andy Martin Jordan Matthews Robert McIllan Kevin Payton Susan Payton Ian Scales Jonathan Warner Claude Binchet Bob Donaldson Peter Foldvari Sean O’Shah Michael Stanford Jan Swanwick Ritchie Tout
13 13 13 13 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.75 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12.25 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
WORDS GREG MELIA
BACKGROUND What? The Mersey Roads 24 hour time trial Where? The course is in Shropshire, based around Prees Heath When? Annually, on the penultimate weekend in July How? You can enter at www.ctt.org.uk, up to four weeks before the event Anything else I should know? This is a CTT time trial and not an Audax, so you need to be part of a CTT-affiliated club to enter, and the event is run by CTT rules – you can see these on their website. Not sure you could do that? Why not volunteer to marshal the event? They can always use helpers, and you’ll get to learn your tactics first-hand for your next year’s attempt. Search “Mersey roads 24 hour” on Facebook, or find the organiser’s email at https://www. cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-details/20237
An Audax grandee was recently heard to describe the Mersey Roads 24 hour Time Trial as “the easiest four points in the calendar”, thanks to its relatively flat Shropshire-based course, and the regular café opportunities. Audaxer Greg Melia would beg to differ. Here’s his account of a truly testing speed ride.
you`re not going fast enough 12
BEFORE AUDAX UK was created, there was only one way to qualify for ParisBrest-Paris in the UK – ride 600km in a 24 hour time trial. Audaxing and the 24 hour TT have a long history together. There is now only one regular 24 in the country, the Mersey Roads event, but numerous Audaxers have won it, from John Warnock to Jasmijn Muller to Stuart Birnie. Even if you don’t win, you can still get Audax points for riding – one per 100 km. Coming here to just plug round it would be a waste though. You really want to race it to get the full experience. And there’s a prize, the Dave Lewis trophy for the Audaxer with the longest distance each year.
The 2019 field was said to be the strongest ever. Up to five national records were predicted to fall between Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July. There was also the usual Audax contingent: Steve Abraham was making up the Arctic Aircon team, George Berwick was doing his sixtieth event, on the back of a tandem with Philip Jurczyk, and a good couple of dozen other AUK names graced the start-sheet. Included in those, and back after a break of several years, there was me. I was sick to the stomach. My first attempt in 2011 had been a happy-golucky affair where I’d made all the mistakes. My 2013 return saw me grab the low-hanging fruit and harvest the
If everything seems under control…
Focus… concentration is essential to racing a 24. Greg Melia in action
easy gains, and my resulting PB of 442 miles would be seriously hard to beat. This year would be my third attempt. This would be the big one. But did I really want to put myself through all this just to fail? I’d thrown the kitchen sink at it this time, and invested enough resources that a slow ride wasn’t an option, but it hung over me like Damocles’ sharpened chainring, ready to puncture my ego with a reminder of advancing age that no new go-faster kit could hide. The Mersey Roads runs on a series of road loops in Shropshire, each around 20 miles long. You start at lunchtime and ride down to Prees Heath where you’re put on a quiet lanes evening circuit to sit out the rush hour. Night sees you riding
It sounds obvious, ❝ but to ride fast you also need to train fast. A surprising number of people don’t realise this, but long slow rides just make you good at riding long and slow
Photo: Steve Airey
Christina Murray, the women’s winner with 478 miles
fast main roads, before it’s back on to the lanes in the morning, then north to the finish on the second day. If you’re going to do well at the Mersey, it pays to write a schedule: how fast you’re going to go, what you’re going to eat and how much you’re going to stop (answer – as little as possible). If you ride unsupported, the event team will distribute your supplies to a couple of tents round the course for you. Most of the faster 24 hour riders bring supporters though, to hand them food on the go and to bully them back on the bike when they try to give up. You think I’m kidding? I’m not. I’d probably have quit before the start if I hadn’t already ruined both my friends’ weekends. These were the AUK
combo of Dean Clementson and Byron Buck, the latter a veteran of the event with two previous rides to his name. It sounds obvious, but to ride fast you also need to train fast. A surprising number of people don’t realise this, but long slow rides just make you good at riding long and slow. Unfortunately I was doing this hot on the heels of a year-long world tour, so I was a world expert at going long and slow. I’d tried to train for speed since I got back but I still had no real top end, so there was nothing for it. Patience was a virtue here. I scheduled for a starting speed slower than most, combined it with a fairly flat decline – a mile an hour every hundred miles – and then bided my time in the early stages of
the race, keeping a lid on it and watching others fly past me, not chasing them or losing my cool, riding the long game. I’d supported a rider here in 2017, when some nasty cold rain had cut through the field in the late afternoon and evening; the weather hadn’t been too bad later on, but many riders never recovered, either quitting altogether or staggering to reduced totals in a chilled daze. This year, the weather was much better. You can’t carry much bad weather kit in a time trial, so to win you have to take risks. The Mersey is a national championship, which means you get to see how the experts do it close-up, and learn valuable lessons you can take back
If everything seems under control… you’re not going fast enough Arrivéewinter/spring2020
Photo: Steve Airey
George Berwick and Philip Jurczyk (312 miles)
to your everyday riding. Not that you should be stopping to watch if you’re racing – there’s no time for that! As day fades into night, the event takes on a life of its own. All of its circuits pass through Prees Heath, where the truck-stop and transport cafe turn into a crazy neon-lit party scene. Supporters wait in costumes ranging from Banana Man to Pikachu – anything to give their riders a lift. I decided to just get a gel and a coffee – this is an event that requires deep thought about nutrition, and you need to work out how much food and water you’ll need, how that can be packaged to make it easy to hand up on the move, and where to place your support crew round
the course to do this. I ate 60/40 gels to bars this year, plus the odd sandwich, a bowl of rice pudding and lots of Pro Plus. There’s no stopping for midnight tea and cake in a 24 hour time trial. Damon Peacock had advised me to “go hard at night”, on the start-line in 2013. “That’s where the real gains are made”. He was right, but this time, as I passed halfway I began to take more and more time off the bike. It was only a few minutes here and there, but it all began to add up. If you’re going to do well in an event like this, stopping is an absolute anathema. You can bust your gut to ride faster, then lose it all during a two minute nature break. There’s one basic rule in these things – three minutes is a mile.
Every three minutes you stop is a mile you could have ridden. You faff, you lose. I needed to stop though. A year on a touring bike had conformed me to its curves, and though I’d ridden the TT bike as much as I could since I got back, it wasn’t enough. The helmet got ditched in the early morning, which helped, but I was off again a few laps later, asking Byron to massage my lower back. Fortunately I improved as the day grew brighter and the end grew nearer. The tailwind back to the finishing circuit helped, and then it was round and round the nine mile lap until our time ran out. Marshals and supporters were more visible here and I spotted Rob Bullyment’s family. I thought, good, that means he’s
Rob Bullyment on his way to 484 miles and 11th place
THE FIRST TIMER Paul Wainwright I’ve enjoyed Audaxes over the past few years with some pretty fast 400s, 600s and longer; including LEL 2017. While at 6+6 Sicily this year, I heard other riders enthuse about the Mersey Roads 24 hour time trial. They spoke so highly about the event, its atmosphere and personal challenge that I had to sign up. I was confident I could ride for 24 hours but unsure what pace I would be able to sustain. Preparation proved to be key, particularly researching nutrition and enlisting a support crew, both of which were very different to how I would prepare for a multi-day event. It only took a few adaptations to my Audax set up to remain comfortable for the 24 hours while still being able to prioritise performance. I learned a fantastic amount and will definitely be back for a second go.
Photo: Byron Buck
NOTE: Rob’s 484 miles – an average of over 20 mph – netted him the Dave Lewis trophy this year. It is also, as far as anyone can tell, the furthest distance ever ridden on a fixed wheel. Paul Wainwright on his way to 421 miles Steve Abraham, on his way to 292 miles
Photo: Steve Airey
still riding. He’d started three minutes in front of me but I’d hardly seen him the whole time. Had he quit, or had he been riding just a fraction faster than me, for the whole day? As it turned out, that was exactly what he’d done. I passed Dean and Byron with ten minutes to go and raced for the final timekeeper. At least, I hoped it was final. “One minute to go!” Oh no – I’d been bargaining with myself in my head, how many seconds were few enough to stop short? I’d decided on ten, but a minute? That simply had to be ridden – and that meant going all the way to next timekeeper. Three miles later this definitively-final timekeeper arrived and I needed no bidding. I heaved on the
Photo: Duff Fawcett
THE SEASONED CAMPAIGNER Rob Bullyment I’d followed the 24 hour in the cycling press for 30 years. As a long time Audaxer I knew I could ride the miles but building speed was the issue. I returned to time trialing in 2013, the year of my 40th birthday and made steady progress. My results were 410 in 2014, 461 in 2016 and then a DNF in 2017. For 2019 I was targeting a 480 mile ride and had completed nearly 7,000 miles of training with PBP qualification and lots of shorter, harder efforts. The plan was to ride straight through, picking up feed bags every four hours and eating on the move. The first long leg went smoothly and I met the team at four hours 30 minutes for a brief stop. The evening lanes circuit ran fast and I enjoyed the technical nature before moving on to the night section. At 12 hours I had 255 miles on the GPS, but was feeling a bit queasy. Completing the night circuit and back on to the lanes, my average speed was dropping but this was expected. With five hours to go I picked up two bottles, threw out the solid food and switched to gels and jelly babies. The finishing circuit was fast with only one uphill drag and I ran out of time at just over 484 miles. I’ve ticked a load of boxes in time trialing now, so I’m moving on to other things for a few years.
Photo: Byron Buck
If everything seems under control… you’re not going fast enough Arrivéewinter/spring2020
Steady… Byron Buck prepares to do a hand-up
brakes, Byron ran over with a chair and suddenly it was all over. You’re probably wondering, should you do a 24? In case you hadn’t guessed my opinion – of course you should! It will teach you how to pace yourself, how to push yourself and how to really look after your body when it’s operating at its limit, all of which are useful far beyond the confines of time trialling. At the same time, your existing endurance skills will stand you in good stead: Audaxers usually finish, whatever speed they go. You’ll also be doing one of the most sociable rides of the year, where you get to see most riders at every roundabout and gauge everyone’s progress as the day rolls past. Going through Prees, every rider’s team will be cheering you on and lifting your spirits, until you start to think you might actually finish this crazy race. I first did a 24 in 2011 and I went a bit native: the last eight years have seen me bashing up and down dual carriageways trying to eke out the seconds at every distance. I’m unlikely to return though, as I’ve hoovered up all the easy gains and most of the moderate ones too. Any improvements left will be bought with serious effort, and a nice 200km jaunt round the Dales is looking more and more attractive by comparison. Then again, you should never say “never again”. Oh, and by the way, I did 468.52 miles.
RESULTS Audax UK Members Rob Bullyment Christopher Hall Greg Melia Mark Nicholson Simon Cullen Samuel Crossley Russell Kesley Adam Watkins Chris Hopkinson John Forbes Paul Wainwright Dave Greenwood Hector Kidds Steve Ralphs Ede Harrison Jed Friskney Paul Revell Philip Richards Andrew Rowe Jon Fairclough Lawrence Webster Jocelyn Chappell Georgina Cleere Benjamin Mccreath Steven Abraham Philip Jurczyk George Berwick
484.21 470.40 468.52 453.30 451.79 437.30 428.98 428.28 428.26 424.34 421.55 420.99 416.92 414.98 414.55 409.03 402.66 398.24 391.07 385.83 374.20 374.09 353.74 344.53 292.77 312.28 tandem 312.28 tandem
Winners: Graham Kemp Christina Murray
THE SUPPORTER Byron Buck As a helper you are constantly trying to read the mind of your rider, thinking what it is they may need next time round, especially in the second half when the suffering really sets in, but it’s the surprise requests that really catch you out. Shortly after I did an early morning trip to the garage shop to browse the selection of pain killers and tinned food on offer to give some relief from the back ache and the monotony of energy bars, Dean and I were greeted by the sight of Greg refusing a bottle hand up and instead stopping and lying face down in the grass. As you can guess, this didn’t fill us with optimism. Our job was to keep him moving and this little stop seemed to work, as his condition rapidly improved and he went on to an inspiring performance. As a supporter, like a proud parent, you are willing your rider on and, while you want everyone to do well, you want your own rider to do that little bit better so seeing him pick his pace back up and fighting through the pain for the last few hours was quite a sight. Despite having ridden the event, it was seeing it from the other side that made it really hit home how hard it is, and the effect it has on those competing. Perhaps this is only possible when you see it in others, rather than when you are the one suffering. Whatever it is, if you enjoy long distance cycling, you are missing out if you never get involved in this in some way or another.
WORDS AND PICTURES TIM HARRISON
When the going gets tough, Tim Harrison gets going… usually home. This year, the self-confessed fatalist and “full value rider”, was determined to set his sights higher and shake off that bottler’s badge of shame, as he headed for the hilly Cotswolds in search of an Audax Altitude Award
e l tt
o Up es h i l a tt l l b
Badges of honour… Tim likes to collect them and wears them with pride – and why not?
bik i n g b o
LET’S BE HONEST. I do not possess a In the following years I managed to grim determination. And when I read ride and complete a handful of AAA Arrivée magazine, I am frequently in awe events, including silver and gold of the resolve and fortitude displayed by Grimpeur rides. There were a few failures so many of my fellow riders. In terms of along the way. I was just too slow. Hills, I Audax exploits, I am very much at the discovered, are hard and painful. In many lower end. of these rides I would inevitably be But I love riding my bike. Being part of among the last to finish, and I can’t say the Audax world has inspired me to take any were particularly enjoyable, even in small steps towards realising some of the hindsight. The blurred memories were untapped potential that I must surely just as painful. possess. I also love collecting badges. But if I wanted the award, the only I’ve been on the trail of the Audax way was up, so this year I entered the Altitude Award since 2015. I started with Falling Leaves Audax for the sixth time to a local event, the Winchcombe Falling try to nudge my points tally to within Leaves, run by the Winchcombe Cycling striking distance of the ultimate – the Club. It was classed as a bronze medal Audax Altitude Award. Audax with 1.75 AAA points attributed to My training went a little awry as I’d it. I found it really tough but it started me booked a holiday that would see me on the path towards return to the UK a target of 20 AAA only the day before The Audax world has inspired me the ride. Plus, to points and a new badge for my to take small steps towards realising avoid spoiling my collection. holiday with any some of the untapped potential that I random injuries, I Thankfully there is no time limit on stopped riding a must surely possess. collecting the points. week before I went
In many of these rides I would ❝ inevitably be among the last to finish, and I can’t say any were particularly enjoyable, even in hindsight.
The warm Scout building maintains expected standards for the Cotswolds
The first view of the Cotswolds
puncture. I carry patches but couldn’t find of the ride the Scout building provided the puncture hole, so gave him one of my literally gallons of delicious home-made two spare tubes. I was distracted by soups, baguettes and even more homethoughts of what would happen if he had made cake. Lots of effort from the another puncture? Would I give him my organisers which, for me, makes a big last spare tube? What happens if I then difference to my level of enjoyment. have a puncture? The route had also would a good been tweaked, …I’m a bottler, trying to blame What person do? To avoid missing out some of others while thinking of ways I can this situation I needed the more touristy to leave him but I Cotswold hotspots, so ditch my companion so I can indeed couldn’t because he less swerving to avoid bottle it had no route selfie stick-toting knowledge. I had to tourists. continue the ride with these niggling We were briefed at the start that some moral dilemmas. of the roads might be a little tricky and the At the 60k control I explained that we organiser again said a few words which were slow because my companion had stayed with me: “If you bottle it make sure suffered multiple punctures. But the you call me and let me know”. I do give up Winchcombe Cycling Club had me on things easily and have often been a pegged. “Sounds like you’re playing a DNF, but somehow I didn’t want to be blame game,” they said. What’s happened classed as a bottler this time. to me? I’m a bottler, trying to blame others The ride itself is tough – the first climb while thinking of ways I can ditch my of the day is within 500 metres of the start. companion so I can indeed bottle it. It was at this point that I started to think Fortunately our luck held, no more that driving to the start wasn’t such a good punctures and we even managed to catch idea – a 10k ride would have warmed me up to a German husband and wife team up nicely. Now, following three weeks of who had come over from Stuttgart to ride luxury and relaxation, my heart was the Audax. His wife was celebrating her beating at 181bpm and I felt like I was birthday. This was her reward – Cotswold about to explode. climbing. I asked her how she was The jolly banter at the start was over enjoying her birthday and she replied: “I’ve within seconds and I found myself making known better”. a natural migration to the back of the field. The weather stayed dry, the route and Three kilometres in and I was on my own scenery were excellent, the captured – not ideal as I enjoy company to take my company was great and the event was mind off things. However, I knew I had to extremely well executed. If you want to try continue. I could not bottle it. earning AAA points then this a good place There are some shockingly bad to give it a go, very friendly, lots of food surfaces and heavy rain had left mud, and drink and beautiful scenery. And I stones and debris everywhere. It was a didn’t bottle it. challenge to stay on the bike in places and, predictably I started to pass small groups of riders fixing punctures. At 15 kilometres I passed a lone rider trying to change a tube. I asked if he needed any help, expecting the usual “no thanks” so I could continue on my way and stay within time, but he said yes, he would like help. His pump was useless and one of his two spare tubes had no valve. I did what I could and then discovered he had no route sheet or GPS so I effectively “captured” a companion for the rest of the ride. Hills, hills and more hills, and then my companion had another
away. Three weeks of no cycling with relaxation, excessive food and drink resulted in a feeling of mellow lethargy and some extra kilos weight. Not ideal preparation. The weather forecast was also not great for the event with wind and rain being predicted. I was all set to pretend I’d got the dates mixed up and give it a miss when the organiser sent out an email containing these words: Don’t bottle because of the weather – we expect you all to make it! I persuaded my wife to drive me the 10 kilometres to the start so I could have an extra twenty minutes in bed. Now you see why I describe myself as being at the lower end of the Audax scale – this is not aspirational mentality. The Falling Leaves Audax has always been well-organised, and each year it gets better. This year there was a warm Scout building (not a hut – we are, after all, in the Cotswolds), a good selection of refreshments, and toilets. In addition, a village hall had been hired for a control at the 35 kilometre mark. This had a generous supply of home-made cakes, bananas, tea and coffee – and toilets. To round things off at the end
Good to know… even the doormats are reassuring www.audax.uk
WORDS AND PICTURES KAT YOUNG Bournemouth Promenade in the moonlight
Kat Young and her pals Barbara Wyatt and Liz Bruton, from the Oxford-based Cowley Road Condors, headed west for a gruelling but exhilarating Moonrakers & Sunseekers 300 under a full moon from Bristol to the south coast and back, across the Dorset hills and the Mendips… in chilly winter. Here’s Kat’s story…
That was great… let’s never do it again
The Moonrakers & Sunseekers is an Audax 306km loop from Bristol to the south coast at Poole, taking in the hills of Somerset and Dorset, and ridden under a full moon… clouds permitting. Competitors ride through the night from the Easton, Bristol, start line, through Bath to Devizes, passing The Crammer – a village pond where, in the 18th century, it is alleged that a group of Wiltshire smugglers had hidden some illicit brandy barrels. They were discovered by excise men, but explained that they were just trying to “rake the moon” from the pond. The excise men, thinking they were dealing with yokels, left them alone. The route continues down the Avon Valley to Salisbury, fringing the New Forest, then on to Poole Harbour. The return includes the picturesque village of Milton Abbas, Glastonbury Tor and the Strawberry Line railway path through the Mendip Hills before returning to Bristol.
The rain stopped, the clouds fractured ❝ and a bright full moon made an appearance.
Kat Young on the Strawberry line track
I THINK THE START of an Audax is my favourite part; surrounded by a throng of fellow cyclists, and the thought of the unknown road ahead. But in the cold November drizzle, at ten o’clock at night, with 300km ahead of me, I was rather contemplating not starting at all. More than 100 riders had apparently decided that riding the Moonrakers & Sunseekers 300 in winter sounded like a fun way to spend a night…and day. The brainchild of Will Pomeroy from Audax Club Bristol, the 2019 event was in only its second running but drew an impressive entry given the time of year and weather conditions. There were rumours that the number of women taking part might even be in double figures. After the faff and stress of getting bikes on trains from Oxford to Bristol, and then finding our way to the industrial estate where the départ cafe was sited, Barbara and I met up with Liz. They’re both fellow Condors, and much more experienced Audaxers than me and I was glad to have their company on what we all knew would be a demanding ride. We set off in the drizzle, and I got separated from Liz and Barbara by some traffic lights so pootled along by myself for a while. It’s pretty lumpy between Bristol and Bath so I checked my pace, careful to not get swept up at someone else’s pace as they whizzed past, rear lights blinking. On the descent through Newbridge we were rewarded with views
over a flood-lit Bath in the valley below. I managed to catch up with Barbara and Liz and we rolled through the centre of Bath at around 11pm on a Friday night. It was slightly surreal to see others heading for a night out in clubs and bars while we were planning to ride through the night. Bathford hill is a category four climb, and the night usually hides its size, but the Audaxers were still bunched together so I had a string of rear lights rising up to the sky. I sat in my lowest gear and span slowly up.
We were riding through villages and towns familiar to me – this was where I grew up – skirting Corsham and Melksham. If you told me then what I would be doing now I’m not sure I would have believed you. The first control was at the Moonrakers pub in Devizes. There was some confusion over exactly which pub it was, so for a brief moment Devizes was host to a swarm of circling neon and high-viz cyclists, searching for their respite. Cheerful volunteers stamped our
We left just before 1am. ❝ Normally when I leave a pub at 1am it is to stumble home, not to ride 250km further
Liz and Barbara rolling over the early morning hills
That awas great… let’s never do ti again From Podimore we resumed our ❝ beeline north, riding through the middle of Glastonbury with a nice view of the Tor on the approach
brevet cards and we ordered coffees to go with the biscuits and flapjacks provided. I removed my second pair of socks as they were making my shoes too tight, and my feet were plenty warm enough with merino socks and my waterproof overshoes. We left just before 1am. Normally when I leave a pub at 1am it is to stumble home, not to ride 250km further. Devizes to Amesbury was mostly on large A-roads which at this time of night were delightfully quiet and fast. It rained on and off and the roads were very wet, but we had a beautiful tailwind as we headed south. Barbara and I settled into a steady rhythm with another rider, while Liz would bound ahead for a while then drop back to wait for us. It was only 30km to the next control: the McDonalds at Amesbury services. I haven’t been to a McDonalds in years but at 2am chicken nuggets and chips went down rather well. It was hot food. For a service station at the edge of town at 2am
there were a surprising number of drunk and boisterous men around. How had they got here? Were they about to get into cars on the same roads we were on? We stayed on similarly large but empty A-roads through Salisbury, Fordingbridge (where we’d stopped on the 3Down in April), and Ringwood. The rain varied from light drizzle to heavy showers. My jacket was doing a great job at keeping me dry and it was only really my face that was exposed to the elements. The A-roads in the dark weren’t particularly exciting but we ate up the miles. I find that type of riding, when you settle into a rhythm, to be quite meditative. At some point, the rain stopped, the clouds fractured and a bright full moon made an appearance. We had all misread the information control question on the brevet card, and were searching for a prehistoric “creature”, not a prehistoric “feature” on road signs. We were cycling south at 5am trying, and
failing, to make animals we saw fit the description. “Is that the sea?” Barbara called out. We could hear the waves on the shore as we turned on to the coastal frontage. We’d ridden through the night to meet the sea. The route went along the promenade and we’d been warned that it was quite sandy. There was a lot of sand in some places so we took it steady. I apologised to my bike for all the sand that was getting into the drivetrain. A job for another day. As I reached the end of the promenade I stopped to look back at the lights of Bournemouth. There was the slightest start of a sunrise in the sky. I stood for a moment to take it in, then sped after the others to Lilliput Sea Scout hut in Poole. We were very well looked after by the volunteers who’d been there for hours and supplied us with hot drinks and cooked breakfasts. My face tingled from being out of the wind. Card stamped and
The long approach to Glastonbury Tor
155km done. Fresh contact lenses. We headed out into the chilly sunrise. Our route turned northwest into the next block of hills. It was sunnier than forecast which was welcome; it felt more like a new ride rather than halfway through a 300. But there was no escaping that we had missed a night’s sleep. This was a long stretch between controls and straight into a brisk headwind. We pulled into a little corner shop near Hazlebury Barn and had a cup of tea on a picnic bench in the sun, then we rode through some gorgeous villages and autumnal countryside. The Abbey near Milton Abbas was beautiful in the morning sun. The gradient of the hills gradually became less vertical and more manageable to climb in a steady rhythm. I started to feel surprisingly good and pulled ahead from the others for a while. There were some delightful descents and I found I still had some power up the hills. Was this what they called a second wind?
Liz cutting through the Mendips
Riding through the night felt like a long time ago. We regrouped at the next control; lunch at Podimore services. From Podimore we resumed our beeline north, riding through the middle of Glastonbury with a nice view of the Tor on the approach. Out the other side it was across the levels with a stiff headwind that Liz valiantly towed us through. We were all fading somewhat and paused a couple of times at the side of the road to eat and wake up body parts. I find Audaxes are an exercise in endurance eating as much as riding your bike. The Mendips loomed rather alarmingly and we were relieved to remember that we would join the Strawberry Line old railway path which climbed gently through a gorge rather than up and over the hills. I gather some riders didn’t enjoy the off-road section too much but I thought it was great; it was nice to be away from vehicles and it was a pretty smooth
surface most of the time. Yes it was muddy but it’s November; that’s what mudguards are for! We reached the final control, the cafe at Yatton station, at 3.30pm. A final coffee and cake. There were still riders around our pace and we knew some were behind us too, which made a change from being the lanternes rouges. Tauntingly, there was a train due to leave from Yatton to Didcot Parkway, and I’m proud and a little surprised that none of us seriously suggested that we get on that instead of getting back on our bikes. I really wanted to sleep. Instead I had another coffee. The temperature was going to fall sharply as the sun set so I swapped my gloves back for my thicker pair before we started on the final 28km to Bristol. My gloves were the only clothes I changed during the whole ride as the temperature sat between two and six degrees throughout the night and day. Some more quiet lanes, another off-road tarmacked route, and I could tell
That awas great… let’s never do ti again
the fatigue was hitting hard as I watched my heart rate struggle to get above 130bpm on climbs. My limbs were sore and my saddle was getting less and less comfortable. It was a fun sweeping descent through Long Ashton as it got dark. The stretch by the River Avon was a bit hectic with big roads and lots of traffic so it was a relief to get back to the bike path that we had started yesterday. We pulled into the finish cafe with 45 minutes to spare. We’d been out for 20 hours; 15 in the saddle and five off. Will had made some delicious dahl for the riders so we tucked in and toasted to ourselves with mugs of tea. Liz summed up our mixed feelings as we parted ways back in Oxford: “I had a great time. Let’s never do it again!”
… had a cup of tea on a picnic ❝ bench in the sun, then we rode through some gorgeous villages and autumnal countryside. The Abbey near Milton Abbas was beautiful in the morning sun
CORSICA-BASED RIDER, PAUL HARRISON, TAKES A LOOK AT A NEW SET OF WHEELS
REVIEW – KSYRIUM WHEELS
Rolling along, light and strong
Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels are reckoned to be among the best quality wheels available at a modest price. However, they cost up to £500 so the affordability factor may be judged as subjective. They are light, strong and it feels as if all your pedalling effort is going into forward motion. With regard to their strength, I sometimes weigh 83 Kg (13stone) and (more rarely) am quite fit; however, the heavy weight and fitness do not seem to occur at the same time! One of the main advantages, in my opinion, is that the internal bead width is 17mm, which allows for the use of a decent size tyre. The ideal tyre size to bead width ratio is about 1.8., which in the case of the 17mm Mavic rims works out at 1.8 X 17 = 30.6mm. I use 28mm tyres which are a good compromise on the Corsican roads which can sometimes be lumpy. If you look into some of the potholes at the road edge, you can see daylight at the bottom, which is scary. You would need at least a fat bike to survive these. I would use 32mm if my frame had enough clearance. Most shops sell the wheels with 25mm tyres fitted, but using a tyre that is too small for a given rim width results in it being stretched flat between the rim beads and giving a harsh ride. Conversely, using a tyre that is too big results in ‘mushrooming’ and a spongy ride. Larger tyres need not be heavy – I find Panaracer Pasela folding tyres lively and comfortable, though they are not 100 per cent bomb-proof. All tyres are a compromise between performance and reliability and it’s up to the individual to choose where they want to be on the spectrum. Another thing I like about the rims is that they have a smooth metal bottom for the inner tube to sit on, thus eliminating the need for rim tapes which can deteriorate or can get pushed out of place when mending punctures. I’ve heard people say that this arrangement transfers more rim heat into the inner tube when overheating occurs on big descents. This is theoretically true as the rim tape provides some insulation between the rim and the inner tube. Living in Corsica, which can get quite warm at times and is rather hilly, I can say that I have never encountered this problem.
BOOKREVIEW Bob Damper takes a nostalgic trip to his carefree youth with The Hub of the Universe: A Century and More of Sturmey-Archer, by Tony Hadland and Alan Clarke
Recalling the golden days of cycling IT’S CERTAINLY UNUSUAL these days to see riders using Sturmey-Archer hub gears on Audaxes. I don’t think I spotted more than a handful on last year’s Paris-BrestParis, and I imagine not all of this small number were S-A products in any case. There is little doubt, however, that many AUK members of more mature years will, in their formative cycling days, have cut their teeth (no pun intended) on Sturmey-Archer hub gears, simply because they were so widely fitted as standard equipment on a range of cycles. Certainly, all my early club riding and cycle touring was done with a SturmeyArcher 3-speed AW hub, which I later converted to 6-speed by the addition of a Benelux 2-speed derailleur. It seemed in those golden days of my youth that Raleigh (who had an extremely close relationship with Sturmey-Archer for more than seven decades) ruled the world of British cycling. In fact, for a period the Raleigh works in Nottingham was the largest manufacturing facility of any kind in the world. So successful was the design of the original S-A 3-speed that it has remained in production, with only minor changes, from 1902 until the present day. It is surely one of British cycling’s most long-lived and iconic products, along with the Brooks B17 leather saddle. In 1987, well-known author, broadcaster and cycling historian Tony Hadland published The Sturmey-Archer Story, a comprehensive history of the company and its products up to that time.
This book quickly became a classic, rightly so in view of Tony’s gift for explaining technical matters in understandable fashion and for writing about them in a way that is a joy to read. Over the years, the book fell out of print and became a collector’s item, sometimes fetching extraordinary prices on online auction and used-book sites. Meanwhile, SturmeyArcher underwent changes of ownership from TI/Raleigh, first of all becoming part of Derby International, until acquired by Sun-Race of Taiwan in 2000. In this post-1987 period, the company continued to bring out new products, including 7-speed and 8-speed hubs, a 3-watt dynohub and the SX3 3-speed fixed hub, a modern resurrection of the legendary ASC hub of 1946. So by 2019, the time was ripe for a new history of Sturmey-Archer, bringing the story up to date in a new publication that people could actually buy. And at last, this is that book. Tony Hadland has joined forces with SturmeyArcher’s Alan Clarke, manager of S-A Europe and curator of the company’s Heritage Site, to produce The Hub of the Universe, a thoroughly revised and updated rewrite of Tony’s 1987 classic. Starting with the earliest ideas of epicyclic gearing for cycles in 1868, Tony and Alan trace development of hub gears via the landmark founding of the company in Nottingham in 1902 (originally as the Three Speed Gear Syndicate) right through to the present day. As you would expect of such a comprehensive and authoritative book of 368 pages, full details are given of all the company’s hub gears, but other products (such as dynohubs and lighting systems) are not neglected. Lavishly illustrated and produced to the highest standard, this is a book of which to be proud. It is published by the Pinkerton Press, part of the Veteran-Cycle Club, and is available either as a “collectors” deluxe edition (in a Sturmey-Archer
facsimile box with an owner’s certificate signed by the authors) at £48 or the unboxed edition at £42. This book should appeal greatly to those who, like me, harbour deep nostalgia for carefree days of youth spent pedalling Sturmey-Archer equipped machines, as well as younger cyclists with a keen interest in the technical development of variable gearing that has made such an impact on the sport and pastime. However much or little you know about the workings of epicyclic gears, I guarantee that you will know a great deal more after reading The Hub of the Universe, as well as gaining a deeper appreciation of how cycle gearing technology has reached its current state of sophistication. As a bonus, you will also learn about the characters and personalities, like William Riley, Henry Sturmey, Frank Bowden, James Archer and Israel Cohen, who shaped the company and its products in its early years, laying the foundations for “A Century and More of Sturmey-Archer”. You will also get bang up to date with the current offerings of Sun-Race Sturmey Archer. It has to be admitted that the book is not especially cheap, but it is a quality publication and well worth the price. Tony Hadland has pointed out to me that the 1987 book cost £18, equating to £50 at today’s prices, which puts things nicely in perspective.
WORDS AND PICTURES DAN CAMPBELL
Water – lots of it – was the main feature of (almost) solo-rider Dan Campbell’s quest to complete a DIY Super Randonneur with AAA points. In the latest extract of his diary of road trips, the Stoke-on-Trentbased Audaxer describes his encounters with waterfalls, potholes, sludge, mud and mire, plus an amorous bull, a team of Morris dancers, and a worse-for-wear hen party…
Why does it always rain on me? ROCESTER AND THE MERM AID INN (AUDAX DIY, 100KM, 2.5 AA A) For the second time in the yea r I tackled this Peak District route, and happily the rain held off until the last six miles from home. I took shelter, not for the first time this summer, in a shop doorway as the monsoon flooded by. I’d left home a little later than normal (4.30am) but was still able to watch the sunrise over the White Pea ks – lovely. Although the rain had been kind to me, this time the wind was just as strong. I stopped at Milldale, and as the re was no-one about, I listened to the water slow ly cascading over the rocks, which was very peaceful. I was hoping that I’d be able to grab a brew at Wetton Tea Room, but it was still closed when I went through.
As I left Wetton I stopped to wat ch a big brown bull pushing the farmer’s land cruiser sideways along the field while trying to reach the lady cows who were heading off for milking. This was amusing, but also a little scary. In the end the farmer got out of his land cruiser and admonished the bull while rub bing the creature’s head. This worked a treat. I spe nt a pleasant 15 minutes chatting with the farm er about life in general before moving on.
the Ba ck grou nd is ll, sty Pi at ll fa wa ter Rhaead r
I was feeling tired, but was ma king good time compared to my previous atte mpt at this route. Not having the rain helped a lot, and the roads in the Peaks were still very quiet. A car did try to overtake me on the steep and fast descent, but, at 42mph, the driver couldn’t kee p up. I was up the next hill and turned off for Elkstone Valley before the car caught up. I was able to ride up this valley climb both times wit hout stopping which was an excellent result. As I approached Ipstones I had to slow down as there were cars abandoned eve rywhere – the Ipstones Fete! I stopped at the corner shop as normal and had a small bottle of blue milk – yummy. As I stood there, a gro up of Morris dancers playing instruments led the parade across the main road and out of sight.
A stic ky encou nter with a gr ou p of Morr is Da nc ers at the Ipst one Fete
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/
It was a rare occasion as I was riding with another Audaxer
R, BALA AND PISTYLL RHAEAD IY, 100KM, 2.5 AAA) D VYRNWY (AUDAX l e waterfalls at Pistyl I’ve only ever seen th ng lki e, during a wa Rhaeadr from abov en I was a e Berwyn range wh th ss expedition acro saw the it about time that I teenager. I thought e rare m. This is one of thos falls from the botto xer. We with another Auda occasions that I rode e two th rtunity to undertake also took the oppo lch Bw d angynog Climb an mountain roads (Ll e. tim la at the same Long) to and from Ba en we h misty morning wh It was a typical Wels d to be an l ld near Welshpoo started from Guilsfie y time er ev as lly lost the mist honest, we never rea a d ha e W o the cloud. we climbed it was int sharp l Rhaeadr with a few tyl Pis pleasant ride to g y, but we were lookin climbs along the wa terfall wa e Th . op sh the tea forward to a brew at you if tacular photograph can make for a spec to ing the other tourists try can airbrush out all in y er pp t rocks can be sli get a picture. The we take care. so your cycling shoes, g to adr it didn’t take lon Leaving Pistyll Rhae la Ba ntain road over to reach the first mou ual Cat ad gr lly it was a long (B4391) but thankfu e top th off t en and fast desc 2 climb with a wide le litt a t ge es do d Kites). It (watch out for the Re at t ou p po u yo t bottom, bu twisty towards the
fé on fast sprint to the ca Bala Lake and it’s a ng alo es Kit d saw four Re the high street. We e th to se clo ry o were ve this section and tw road. Bala d our route back to After lunch we trace rting to sta re fo be h its lengt Lake and traversed ch mountain road (Bwl climb back over the h uc m t fel ad ro is . Th Long) to Lake Vyrnwy as er itely becomes steep steeper and it defin d ha uld say that we you near the top. I wo of only had a few feet we t amazing views, bu s. -up glasse visibility and misted ’s wy is fast, and there The descent to Vyrn ke ta so s, el and pothole plenty of loose grav a ’s ere th ke Vyrnwy care. As you reach La n by bridge, almost hidde ch ar ne wonderful sto unction. ride over it at the T-j the trees, but you’ll ces lake is fast and in pla The road along the uld ich line the road wo some of the trees wh r he at photo, but the we make a spectacular for photos. was not on our side s some to Guilsfield provide The final push back art ap d bing of the day an of the steepest clim ast co e th d rds Llanerfyl an from one vista towa ds ar zz bu e th to see, except there was not much e ut ro is th do I If raph poles. sitting on the teleg ect a flatter and more dir ke ta I’ll again, I think field. route back to Guils
Why does it always rain on me? Arrivéewinter/spring2020
FOUR COUNTIES AND TW O COUNTRIES (CHESTER VIA DINKYS DINAHS – AUDAX DIY, 200 KM). It was monsoon season as I ope ned the front door. Serious thought was given to clos ing the door and climbing back into bed. I knew it was going to be one of those rides. By the time I made it to the top of the hill, about 2km, I could feel the rain running down my skin on the way to my already cold feet. I realised that I’d left my heart rate monitor at home, but knew that if I went back to get it, I’d call it a day. Just started, and I was not a hap py bunny. By the time I reached Stone (5km), I was also very cold – so much for my winter kit keepin g me warm and dry. At this point I would have settled for warm and wet. I still had hope, as I could see a break in the clouds where the first light of the sun was breaking through, so I told myself to kee p going. Pushing on in my misery, I realise d that only a few years ago I’d have enjoyed the challenge of the rain. Now I’m just a feeble rider, a wan nabe Audaxer. Approaching Hodnet (40km) the rain started to break, and the morning sun beg an to warm me; the world was a much nicer place. Although the rain had stopped, the roads were bad ly flooded. To be honest I never really warmed up all day, but my speed did increase mid-mornin g just in time for another monsoon downpour. I made it to Ford
Once a road… the not Merr y Lane in Clive
egg g my breakfast (fried (72kms) and sat eatin lised na rso p of tea) in my pe sandwiches and a cu water. and private puddle of bly more ester were considera The next 70km to Ch e ut ro in. However, my pleasant – it didn’t ra ich wh , ck wn a tarmac tra planning sent me do into a ed rn tu ich section, wh gave way to a gravel oa int y all fin d section, an wheel-gripping mud the at ed riv ar y all tu ich even swamp-like path wh cle d I’d just needed to cy tarmac road. I realise and I her half a kilometre along the road anot swamps. d knee-deep mud an would have avoided nning. pla e me and my rout However, this was on where I ief to arrive at Chester It was a welcome rel couldn’t I . rty ndatory hen pa was greeted by the ma s just wa it if or en at it all night work out if they’d be out g kin loo dy ey were alrea an early start. If so, th of sorts! r realised ury, and to my horro I pushed on to Bunb e ladies th t Bu . when I arrived the cafe was closing da an ke ca of d me a slice were kind, and serve th wi d se es pr im s I’m alway warming cup of tea. s ay alw ff sta e th fé where the service at Tilly’s Ca sit to t and muddy cyclist seem happy for a we to ck ba km 40 al fin e inside to get warm. Th sun fairly quickly but the d sse pa nt Tre on Stoke t ge I just wanted to was leaving me now. . th home for a hot ba is lik e a You r room loca ls e som … y pigst , pton Wood m a H ear n El lesmere
My Audax UK – a new mobile App from Andy Rich It’s almost Spring and many of us are planning which Audax rides they want to sign up for. This could be just a modest few choice events or something more complex like RRtY. But for me, this season is more focused than my usual scattering of rides as I’m aiming for my first Super Randonneur award. Pulling this together was the motivation for me to write a simple mobile app – My Audax UK My plan was to design
something simple to use and dedicated to helping with just the selection of events. It needed to have an easy, one-finger interface and to be very accessible. As well as that it had to be a mobile App, not an internet resource, as I didn’t want to make a version for the website. So, I produced a prototype and tentatively asked for some feedback from the community of Audax riders on Facebook. Lots of thoughts and ideas on how to improve the design and function of the App were suggested. Of course, like other member-developed Apps, this App is not officially authorised by AUK and, as with any App, you should ensure that you take sensible precautions around inputting personal information including any logon names and passwords. The finished App was released soon after and is now available. Since October 2019, there’s been a steady stream of downloads with
more than 100 users already using it. There are two main screens: Search for rides and View rides you have entered. The screen I use most is the search facility. You simply select the distance and a list showing rides in date order is displayed. Thanks to a suggestion from the Facebook group I’ve also added a distance from your current position to the start of the ride. Clicking
on the ride links you straight to the AUK website where you can then see more information or enter the ride. You can view the Audax rides you have entered by clicking the bicycle icon. This will display the rides you have entered in date order. The App is currently only available for Android mobiles. It doesn’t store any information, has no adverts and is free to download! Find it on the Google Play store and type “my audax UK”.
Getting fed up with the ubiquitous flapjack on your long rides? Our baking biker, Sarah Freeman, has come up with an interesting alternative to the usual oaty snackâ€Ś
SARAH FREEMAN Our baking biker is not only a keen cook and cyclist, she’s also an active member of her local Womens Institute in Lincoln. Her delicious and nutritious snacks are certain to be a life-saver on many a long-distance slog.
INGREDIENTS ● 125g butter ● 125g sugar ● 3 tbsp honey ● 50g dried milk (I used skimmed) ● 50g oats ● 1 egg ● 300g flour ● Handful of chopped figs (to taste)
PEANUT AND BANANA VEGAN OPTION ● 50g peanut butter ● 125g sugar ● 3 tbsp golden syrup ● 50g desiccated coconut ● 1 banana ● 50ml sunflower oil ● 50g oats ● 200g flour ● Sunflower seeds for decoration ● Optional jam for mini bites
Fig and Honey Breakfast Biscuits I was inspired to come up with the recipe after noticing some left-over Belvita breakfast biscuits on my boss’s desk. It occurred to me that something similar could be a good cycling food, and something a bit different from flapjacks. METHOD Cream the butter and sugar, add the honey, add the egg and then the dried milk and oats. Add the flour in batches to make it easier to be absorbed. Once you have a thick dough roll out to about the thickness of a pound coin and stamp out. Bake at 180c for about 10 mins in a preheated oven. This does make a huge amount of biscuits, so you can freeze the dough and use it for other rides. To make life easier roll it all out, stamp out all your biscuits and freeze them so all you need to do is defrost and bake.
WORDS AND PICTURES RICHARD THODAY
In 1886 George Pilkington Mills rode a penny farthing bicycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in five days, one hour and 45 minutes – a record that remained unbroken until July 2019 when Richard Thoday, of Matlock, Derbyshire, beat it. Here’s Richard’s account of a peculiar obsession with the high-wheeler contraption of yesteryear… and his respect for a gallant Victorian whose record stood for 133 years.
COCA COLA SOLD its first bottle in 1886. At the same time, a patent was issued for the internal combustion engine. It was also the coming-of-age year for one George Pilkington Mills, who would become one of the greatest long-distance cyclists in history. G P Mills helped shape modern bicycle racing. In an era when the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) didn’t exist and so couldn’t ban anything that allowed the British to beat the rest of the world, the penny farthing was the fastest thing on the road bar a galloping horse. A few years before, Eugen Meyer, beavering away in his workshop in France, had broken free of the limits that wooden spoked wheels imposed on Dandy Horses and had given the world wire spoked wheels. The modern cycling era could begin. Bike wheels got bigger and bigger and speeds went through the roof. The UCI would have been horrified by the lightest and fastest penny farthings that were turned
out for racing as they were lighter than the current UCI minimum weight restriction. They really were state-of-the-art. In that era of rapid development in bicycles, the 19 year old G P Mills set a record for riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a penny farthing, completing the ride in five days, one hour and 45 minutes. This was only one of six LEJOG records that he held alongside many other incredible cycling records and race victories, but it stands out to me as the record that was never beaten. Some over the years have even called it the unbreakable record. So why would I be inspired to try to beat it? I love riding bikes. I’ll give anything with two wheels a go. After many years of time-trialling to keep fit I fancied a change, something new. I chanced upon a race that happens in Knutsford only once every ten years – The Great Race as it is billed. It’s a three hour penny farthing criterium race. I entered – and then looked for a
penny farthing to borrow. I could barely ride when I entered the race but it inspired ten years of building, riding and racing penny farthings. A few years before my first penny farthing experience I’d heard about the G P Mills’ record by chance when helping to organise the support crew for a friend (Chris Hopkinson) who was having a crack at the modern LEJOG record. These different experiences set a time bomb ticking in the back of my mind. It exploded in 2018. I knew I had to find out what racing the entire length of the UK on a penny farthing was like. How much has changed in 133 years since GP made that ride. Using the same basic penny farthing machine, which is a big, direct drive front wheel (no gears) with steel frame and small back wheel, solid tyres and one brake, how would I fair given all the other advances since 1886? I could gain with tarmac road surfaces, electric
lighting, digital navigation, sports clothing, sports nutrition, support crew in motorhomes, sports psychology – the list goes on and on. There are some disadvantages, of course. GP was only 19 and I was 56 at this point. GP had open roads – I had massive traffic problems to deal with. GP had pace riders, refreshed on route, and I would have to ride solo. To make a record attempt a realistic proposition I knew that I would need to ride at least 170 miles a day for five days. GP Mills completed his entire ride on just six hours sleep, the entire ride. GP Mills was a super cycling hero of his era; I on the other hand am a 56 year old average club cyclist so I was clearly not going to be able to emulate his riding schedule. Roger Davis who holds the End-to-End unicycle record in six and a half days came to my aid to help me write a realistic schedule which, after batting it around and doing some testing, ended up along the lines of 16
keep on turning… Richard takes an old-fangled journey into the record books
Big wheel keep on turning…
The UCI would have been ❝ horrified by the lightest and fastest penny farthings that were turned out for racing as they were lighter than the current UCI minimum weight restriction
Day one, Land’s End to Bristol 196 miles, 10,800ft to climb It’s odd how time seems to accelerate; one moment there are months to plan and train and then all of a sudden you’re standing on the start line. So there I was at Land’s End at six o’clock on a very dark morning on 20 July, about to find out whether it is possible or not. We were off. I still genuinely had no idea how things would pan out, I just knew that I already felt very tired. The months of planning and training had been a very controlled process, I was in control. The number of people involved in helping me with this attempt had grown over the months and I felt a huge weight of responsibility to them all. I wanted to feel at the end that I’d given it my best. That meant it was going to hurt if things went wrong. The pressure had become quite intense and setting off on the bike was such a release of tension that after a mile I found myself crying uncontrollably. The major feature of the first day was the A30 through Cornwall and Devon. This is quite a scary place to be on a penny farthing, with traffic hurtling past at 70 miles per hour on a dual carriage way. I was a little nervous about the possibility of being stopped by the police, a previous attempt in 1999 had problems with police trying to stop the rider, as did Mel Simms who recently smashed the female hand-cranked trike LEJOG record on the route that I was using. The wind direction was good though so I made great progress and by the end of the first day was 25 miles up on schedule, had the dreaded A30 behind me and was in Bristol. I was very relieved to have that day ticked off.
Day two, Bristol to Standish 175 miles, 6,030ft to climb
hours riding a day, sticking as close to my normal sleep patterns as possible. This was a schedule intended to work in neutral wind conditions. And so ten months of training began. Thinking about the average speed that I’d need to aim for (around 14 mph) and the fact that I would need to be able to navigate roads that I’d never seen before from the saddle without stopping, it occurred to me that riding some Audax events would fit the bill perfectly. Not all branches of the world of cycle sport are welcoming to a penny farthing but I have to say that AUK is, so I’d like to say a big thank you to the organisers and riders who made me feel very welcome in the spring of 2019. I really enjoyed the 200k and 300k events that I rode and they played a big part in my training. Training involved the same routine every week, regardless of anything else. Saturday and Sunday plus two evenings a week were set aside for training on the bike, two evenings of pilates and one evening left for
planning and preparation. Over the 10 months of preparation my wife Dawn took on the role of crew chief. This meant that every conversation over a meal, in the car, while shopping or going to sleep was all about End-to-End. By the time I set off from Land’s End we had left no stone unturned in the planning. There was only going to be one go at this and I didn’t want it to fail. Support crew was critical for the attempt and I was lucky enough to be looked after by some great friends. To keep the crew running well over long, long days we split the day in half using two small motor homes, one for the morning shift and the other for the afternoon and evening shift giving them both some rest time. We also had a two person crew in the car collecting evidence for Guinness. By Easter we were ready for a test run and spent two days on the road running part of the schedule and testing everything we’d planned. Amazingly everything worked.
I can remember very clearly rolling through the deserted streets of Bristol on that Sunday morning. I could almost feel the presence of the many amazing riders from GP onwards who had ridden these roads on the same mission. Quite often during the ride I pondered on which features of the landscape GP would have seen and would recognise and what he would make of the massive changes along most of the route. I was nervous for the first few miles, wondering how my legs would be after the first day’s riding but to my great surprise all seemed to be working well. The second day took me through Gloucester and up into the West Midlands as far as Wigan. We planned a start on Saturday so that the second day would be a Sunday so the traffic was relatively light on this section. We had also done a crew test run on a lot of this section so things looked familiar. This was also the day that took me closest to home so there were a lot of familiar faces at the side of the road, a great boost but also a great excuse to stop and say hello. I struggled to ride past without stopping briefly to say thank you many times that day. Day two ticked off and I was in good shape with the ride on schedule.
Day three, Standish to Carnwath 177 miles, 7,890ft to climb On the third day I was still on familiar roads up through Lancaster and on to Shap. The crew test run earlier in the year had finished at the top of Shap so I knew what was
coming but on the test run it had been on the first day of riding. The climb up to Shap is a beast at the best of times on a bike but on a penny farthing after two and a half days of riding in rain and extremely blustery wind, this was a big ask. I was quite elated to get to the top still upright and still pedalling. I thought the second half of the day would be easy after Shap but things got much harder. The afternoon’s ride took me into Scotland and the road got quieter, and lonelier, with very poor road surface. The relentless B7076 just seems to go on for ever with no navigation, settlements or distraction of any sort. At this point I was starting to get quite bad saddle sores and beginning to feel quite sorry for myself. On a penny farthing you cannot ride out of the saddle for relief so I had to just put up with it. Music is a great help and a well-planned playlist got me through that afternoon without giving up. By 10pm I was up in the hills at Carnwath – over halfway there, and climbing into the camper van. In theory I was going to get a good night’s sleep before dropping down to Edinburgh. In reality, I lay in bed aching from head to toe. Everything apart from my shoulders ached. Feet, legs, back, neck, head, bum… everything.
Day four, Carnwath to Inverness 174 miles, 6,506ft to climb I guess I got some sleep but all too soon it was 6am and I was on the bike again, racing down to Edinburgh and into the rush hour chaos. With so much training on the penny farthing I can cut through the traffic like a courier cyclist, quite a blast, even when you’re tired. Crossing the Forth Road Bridge was a wonderful feeling, a real landmark. I was heading into new territory, roads I had never ridden on before. The dull, slightly wet weather from day one and two was clearing and this was about to be a day like no other.
England was apparently suffering a full-on heatwave but in the Cairngorms the weather felt like the South of France. Blue skies and 28 degrees with a gentle breeze. Seeing the Cairngorms for the first time like this was stunning. It made up for the extreme saddle sores and creeping exhaustion. The crew was working well and keeping my spirits up as well as my energy levels with the right food when I needed it. The day was hot and hard but we made it through. One surprise of the afternoon was Chris Hopkinson appearing at the side of the road to cheer me on. He’d ridden the Mersey 24 the previous weekend and then driven 200 miles to spend a few hours following me through the Cairngorms shouting support. The target for the end of day four was Inverness, which we made in the daylight – a nice feeling for me and the crew. We actually managed a brief bit of social time while Bruce massaged my painful legs. I didn’t realise how painful they were until he started massaging them but I’m sure it helped. Going to bed that night I realised that the following morning would be the last early get-up-and-ride after 10 months of so many early starts.
Day five, Inverness to John O’Groats 117 miles, 7,890ft to climb The crew suggested I took a waterproof with me so I knew something was changing. An hour into the ride as I got to the Cromarty Firth the heavens opened. As I rode over the Firth’s long causeway bridge, thunder and lightning crashed around me. Terrified and thrilled at the same time I raced on through huge standing water on the road. Potholes can be lethal to penny farthing, potentially felling the rider in a split second. With so much water on the road I would never see a pothole and had to ride way out from the gutter in the middle of the
At this stage in the ride I ❝ hadn’t had to walk with the bike at all so the final big climbs of Helmsdale and Berredale became a very personal challenge
road to try to stay safe. Apparently the local radio station was putting out messages asking for someone to help “the poor bloke on the penny farthing” riding in the storm by giving him a lift! Eventually the rain subsided and the sun came out revealing the fantastic views up the east coast, heading for John O’Groats. All was on schedule but my energy levels we’re dropping fast. I was finding it harder and harder to get on and off the bike and was quite worried that my back was going to give out. Mounting and dismounting a penny farthing is a physical challenge in itself and I was concerned that I might not be able to get on the bike if too exhausted. At this stage in the ride I hadn’t had to walk with the bike at all so the final big climbs of Helmsdale and Berredale became a very personal challenge. In the planning of this attempt I fully expected to walk up them but when I got to them on the bike there is no way that they were going to defeat me. Navigation on the last day is not a challenge, I thought, so once I running up the A9 coast road I turned the navigation assistance off. Unfortunately my brain was getting tired. As I approached Helmsdale I knew it would be a tough climb. With my brain switched off I saw a tough climb following a junction so headed up it completely failing to see that it was the wrong road and a dead end. I was powering up it in a daze when one of the support crew vehicles came tearing up the hill to ask me what I was up to. A quick U-turn and I was soon on Helmsdale climb, which turned out to be easier than the diversion I had just taken. Berredale was the last big barrier in my mind. I was determined that it was not going to stop me but half way up the steepest stretch was a temporary road works. A quick thinking follower raced past me up the road to the road worker with a stop-go sign and told him it had to stay on “go” for me. If I’d stopped on the hill I’d not have got going again on that gradient and really didn’t want to walk now. This was the first point in the ride I actually started to think about arriving at John O’Groats. But contemplating the end before you get there on the penny farthing is a dangerous game. I had to stay focused to the end as even the smallest error could cause a big accident. From Berredale to John O’Groats I rode into a solid headwind which really sapped my strength. By the time I rolled down the hill to John O’Groats I was seeing double. It was a good job the crew placed themselves to guide me to the end as I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. Four days, 11 hours and 52 minutes after setting out from Lands End I touched the signpost at John O’Groats with over half a day taken off GP Mills’ original record. At this point you would think that I would be elated, holding my hands high or punching the air in celebration but I wasn’t. I was so exhausted that there was very little emotion at all. It was lovely to have all the crew there with my wife and daughter included, to share the moment with lots of onlookers crowded around, and we did pop a cork but all I really wanted to do was lie down and stare at the sky. Early on in the process of training, a radio interviewer asked me how I expected to feel at this moment and was puzzled when I told him that if I broke
Big wheel keep on turning…
G P Mills’ record I would feel sad. I had to explain that if I broke it then the amazing 133 year old record would no longer exist. I don’t claim to be a better athlete than G P Mills as I’m sure without a doubt I’m not. I wanted to bring his ride back into focus and remind people what a hero he was. If you are bored sometime then please google him and read more of his amazing exploits. It already seems like a distant memory so I’m very glad we had a film crew with us to record it. The human mind distorts things and a lot of the tough moments I’ve forgotten already but won’t forget the great times on the road with my friends, wife and daughter in the crew and the many people, both friends and total strangers, waiting hours at the side of the road to cheer me on. This was the toughest challenge I’ve ever taken on and I’ve learned a lot by doing it. People keep asking me what’s next. I would love to have a crack at the 24 hour time trial on the penny farthing that GP was so familiar with, having ridden so many of them, but at the present time that doesn’t seem to be possible. A big part of the challenge was raising money for BBC Children in Need. So far we have raised over £10,000, which makes the saddle sores worthwhile. If you want to
This was the toughest ❝ challenge I’ve ever taken on and I’ve learned a lot by doing it. People keep asking me what’s next. I would love to have a crack at the 24 hour time trial on the penny farthing that GP was so familiar with, having ridden so many of them, but at the present time that doesn’t seem to be possible
see something of the ride there is a short video of the challenge on the internet (search for Riding High; a Penny farthing Story). If you watch it and you think it was worthwhile, please give another pound sometime to Children in Need. Thank you. G P MILLS George Pilkington Mills, born in Paddington in 1867, was the epitome of the Victorian gentleman amateur. Apart from his cycling exploits (he held numerous records, and was the winner of the inaugural Bordeaux-Paris cycle race), he also won fame as a racing driver and a motor cycle competitor. He served as a major on the Western Front in WW1, and in the Home Guard in WW2. He spent the majority of his career in bicycle manufacturing, but also in the motor industry. He died in 1945 aged 78. It is said that while training on his bike, he would carry a revolver “to ward off savage dogs”. Apparently he shot five of them.
FIXED GEAR CHALLENGES ORGANISER, RICHARD PHIPPS, REVIEWS THE 2019 SEASON
FIXED WHEEL CHALLENGE
Getting into gear It’s been a successful 2019 season for fixed gear riders, with interest and achievement both at the levels of previous years. AS FAR AS statistics are concerned, 38 FWC Brevet cards were issued and there were 12 validations for successful members, many of which took more than one season to complete the challenge. On the sister SFW challenge, 22 cards were issued and there were 10 validations. Twenty one members submitted claims (which are listed below) and may be seen on the website. In addition, the members who completed Paris-Brest-Paris on fixed gears have also been included, as qualification was a SR Series. Although this series may have been ridden on gears, doing so would have been beyond brave. As ever, the fixed points table is in descending number order and list of SFW achievers in alphabetical order are below. Just the usual note of explanation: a SFW is essentially a SR Series (200, 300, 400 and 600km rides within a season) on fixed, but may, rarely, be gained by achieving a number of AAA points on fixed within a season. A Hyper-Randonneur is 4 x 600km, minimum, events, though not officially recognised.
As there has been some bewilderment on a couple of forums about the calculation of gear ratios, it may be helpful to explain with a historical perspective. There seem to be two ways of doing things in this country – the best way, or the way we’ve always done it, and gear sizes belong to the latter category. Back in the days of the “ordinary bicycle” (normally called a Penny-Farthing now), machines were categorised by the diameter of the driving wheel. The reason at the time was nothing to do with ease or difficulty of pedalling, but rather to match the size of the rider who was perched atop the driving wheel. Clearly a six foot tall man could pedal a larger wheel than his five foot cousin. When such machines were superseded by safety bicycles, with smaller wheels and chain driven transmissions, the measurement became the equivalent size of wheel. This is calculated by the nominal diameter of the wheel, say 26” or 27”, multiplied by the number of teeth on the chainwheel and divided by those on the rear cog. So, as an example, a medium gear might be 27” x 46 ÷ 18 which is
MALE Name Shaun Hargreaves
Jon Banks Tim Pickersgill Jocelyn Ridley Les Bauchop Justin Jones Thomas Deakins Marcus Mumford Ivan Cornell Andrew Preater Andrew Turner Adam Watkins Dave Trotter Ed D’Oyle Mike Greer Richard Phipps Mick Bates Gavin Clark Ian Hennessey
Total 2019 225.25 112.75 91.50 75.75 66.00 64.50 63.00 59.75 57.00 46.00 44.00 31.00
Jon Banks Les Bauchop Ivan Cornell Thomas Deakins Ed D'Oyle Shaun Hargreaves Justin Jones Marcus Mumford Tim Pickersgill Andrew Preater
Jocelyn Ridley Dave Trotter Andrew Turner Adam Watkins
26.25 25.50 25.00 21.00 16.00 8.00 2.00
FEMALE Name Denise Noha
SUPER FIXED WHEELERS
Total 2019 80 50
69”. The range is normally from a low of 30” to a height of just over 100”. This only for descending hills at high speed. Arguably a better system is used in France known as the développement and measures the distance travelled with one crank revolution. This is obtained by taking the circumference of the wheel in question multiplied by the number of teeth on the chainwheel and divided by those on the rear cog. And being French, it is, of course expressed in metres. A similar example might be 2.100m x 46 ÷ 18 which is 5.37m. The figures
PBP RIDERS Rob Bullyment Jonathan Ellis Eleanor Jaskowska Telbert James Luke Joy-Smith Paul Rainbow Sean Smith Neil Veitch Nick Wilkinson
for a similar range of gears are about 2.4m – 8.4m. It probably makes little difference which system you use, and the main reason for opting for either one is familiarity with the range of figures. Hopefully these details will be helpful to all AUKs, not just the fixers, to understand about the heights of gears under discussion and to encourage them in the current season and beyond. Best wishes to all members refusing to freewheel with hopes for a succesful and, above all, safe year ahead.
FOR SALE Bob Jackson Audax Club Frame 20½”. Usual specification, made 2012, little used. A very pretty frame finished in Verdi Aqua. £250. Can be collected in Shropshire or delivered (with a little notice) anywhere between Shropshire and Hampshire. Contact: Ken Knight 01694 751 270
WORDS AND PICTURES BRANDON EDGELEY
Merseyside’s urban fringe in dreary November may not sound like the ideal location for a cycling challenge. But, as Brandon Edgeley discovered, the area is drenched in history, both ancient and recent. Here’s his report on a fascinating and eventful 200km Day Tripper DIY from Nantwich to the heart of Liverpool and back
Heading to Duddon under the GJR railway viaduct towering 60ft above the valley
THE IDEA BEHIND this British Cycling Quest DIY ride was to devise a route into Liverpool from Nantwich, avoiding traffic by following cycle paths as far as possible. I was also keen to attend the famous Dover Cycling Fellowship meeting in Sefton, north Liverpool. Our mission was to reach the checkpoint at Liverpool’s Liver Building. A route was planned, and invitations sent out to some Crewe Clarion Wheelers members who might wish to join me. Ian Wilson took up my offer, unable to resist the tantalising sightseeing tour that I described. We met up in Nantwich at 6am for our departure. He was on his 25mm tyred Ribble, despite me recommending a tourer. More than 30km of the route would be off-road. I was on my Surly tourer. It was dark as we headed out for Winsford where we picked up the Whitegate Way, a good off-road bike path. We re-joined tarmac until we got nearer to the River Weaver at Crowton were we went back to off-roading.
At Duddon locks a former floating hotel gently rots
The path was very muddy in places and we both did well to stay upright. We even manged to circumvent a horse who decided to stand right in our way. We crossed the river at Duddon Locks and I stopped for a few photos including a picture of a boat slowly rotting away which Ian said used to be a floating hotel. Over Acton Bridge and we shared a mile of the A49 with the morning’s commuters who were not going any faster than us. We stopped at the site of Lewis Carrol’s birthplace in Daresbury. We pushed on as it was now raining and I was getting a bit peckish. As we neared our first planned stop at Walton Hall Café it dawned on me that we would in fact get there for 8.30am, half an hour before the café opened. We decided that rather than wait 30 minutes we would push on and see what we would come across. A couple of miles later we diverted off course to a petrol station. We had a sandwich and drink which we consumed in the shop which was about five degrees warmer than outside. Back on track we picked up the Trans Pennine Trail. We passed a cyclist and asked where he was heading. “Lydiate for the Dover Cycling Fellowship meeting,” he said. We waved him goodbye and said we’d meet him there… eventually. We passed through a couple of really pleasant green spaces, one of which was a former colliery site. Eventually we got to St Helens where a slight detour took us to Ravenhead Windmill, an 18th century windmill that was later converted into a glassworks, St Helens being a famous glass producing area.
Great Crosby windmill
The rest of the journey to the Dover Cycling Fellowship meeting in Lydiate was quite uneventful. We passed a cyclist also heading to the DCF meeting and stopped for a photo of Lydiate Windmill that has been converted into a residence and stopped at a convenience store to pick up some lunch 500m from Lydiate Parish Hall. I’d heard of the Dover Cycling Fellowship about three years before as some members of the Rough-Stuff Fellowship led a ride there every Tuesday. Cyclists from various local clubs meet up from 11am, pay £1 for all the tea you can drink, eat packed lunches together while catching up on all the local cycling gossip. At 12.30pm a meeting takes place with various reports and notices read out
before a quiz (this week’s winner won a whole pack of wine gums). The members were extremely friendly and impressed with our endeavours; we were even mentioned by the chairman in his report. A thoroughly smashing institution, long may it continue. I might even make it an annual pilgrimage. We set off about 15 minutes late and I
was concerned about us finishing in time. It was a full 200km. Although it wasn’t hilly there were lots of slow sections and navigational issues. We’d been at the DCF for about one and a half hours. So far we’d had the wind on our nose, now we were heading south we should have a bit of a help. Out through the lanes and off-road bike path until we finally had to retrace and do a detour to get past a couple of sections, adding extra time to an already tight schedule. We stopped at Great Crosby windmill, a quite impressive six-storey mill. From here we pressed on to the sea at Crosby beach and stopped for some photos of the Anthony Gormley statues. No time to linger, so it was back to pedalling along a sandy coastal path that tested our bike-handling skills at times, before picking up the Leeds-Liverpool canal. This would deliver us right into the heart of Liverpool. Once in the city I took Ian to St George’s Hall, an imposing building with a wonderful statue of Queen Victoria on horseback. Next to the Matthew Street area for the Eleanor Rigby, Cilla Black and John Lennon statues as well as the Cavern club. Moving on to the waterfront we
Ian stands by a statue exceedingly bare – part of the Another Place installation on Crosby beach www.audax.uk
He’s got a ticket to ride…
Cilla invites you to step inside the Cavern
Queen Victoria’s statue outside St. Georges Hall
passed the Titanic Monument, the Royal Liver Building (for the BCQ question), the Beatles’ statue and the Royal Albert Dock. Heading out of town we visited the Chinatown Gate, the bombed-out St Luke’s church (with a statue to the WW1 Christmas day truce), Rodney Street (Liverpool’s equivalent to Harley Street), The Anglican Cathedral (unimpressive apart from the sheer bulk of the thing), and on into Toxteth, the scene of serious rioting in the 1980s, and rode through a stunning autumnal Sefton Park. The next part of the tour was all about the Beatles: Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and John Lennon’s family home before a dodgy quagmire shortcut of about 500m to get us over to McCartney’s family home. It was now getting dark and the schedule was looking tight so we pushed on, stopping to take a photo of the Jeremiah Horrocks Memorial (a English astronomer, born in Toxteth, who identified the moon as having an elliptical orbit). Then came the delightful passage past the airport at Speke. It was Bonfire Night and there were several fires already burning out as kids had already set them
off. Every couple of hundred metres there was a mound of unwanted household items – mattresse, sofas, doors and other detritus, all dumped in piles. Ian was quite happy to pass through quickly, having been bricked several years ago by a gang of kids, the oldest of whom was about eight. A slight detour for a picture of the Childe of Hale statute, dedicated to the “giant” John Middleton (1578-1623) who was reportedly 9’3” tall. The life-size statue was impressive, even in the dark. We picked up the Trans Pennine Trail and were quite surprised when we had to lift our bike up about 100 steps. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with a fully loaded tourer! Eventually we reached Runcorn. Kids were everywhere, setting off fireworks and having their own bonfires. It was worse than Speke. We crossed the bridge that is currently closed to cars due to maintenance work and found a Co-op for a much-needed feed, including a 25-minute stop… the schedule was looking quite unlikely now. We might as well die trying though. There were 42km left to complete. Getting out of Runcorn took forever. It was all uphill and included a few traffic-free sections and an unplanned detour. We needed to ride the last 28km in an hour – a possibility if I hadn’t already ridden over 100 miles on a heavy tourer, but we
Brandon lives in a dream with Eleanor Rigby
pressed on, riding as hard as we could. Eventually I was at the end of my driveway bidding farewell to my companion. Even if our ride isn’t validated, it was still a top day out, a real feeling of a tour, with DCF and BCQ boxes ticked. A massive thank you to Ian for his company for the day.
The fab four stroll forever across the Liverpool waterfront
THE BRITISH CYCLE QUEST The British Cycle Quest is a Cycling UK project aimed at persuading cyclists to get out and find as many points of interest across the whole of Britain as possible. Checkpoints are scattered across the UK. Riders need to find a checkpoint, and answer a question in order to prove they’ve been there. Certificates are given after the first 10 sites. If a rider completes all 402 sites, a medal is awarded. For more information, visit: www.cyclinguk.org/british-cycle-quest.
THE ROUGH STUFF FELLOWSHIP ARCHIVE There are few plus points to managing Arrivée magazine, so when a copy of The Rough Stuff Fellowship Archive turned up in the post at Lennox Towers it became one of the highlights of my winter… Mark Hudson, the recently appointed RSF archivist has put together this truly magnificent treasure trove of pictures and captions from the heyday of off-road cycling, well before mtbs or suspension was imagined. Starting from the inception of the RSF in 1955, this extensive and beautifully produced volume of illustrations, maps and photographs will take pride of place on any coffee table or
cycling library. It brings to life vivid images of the indomitable drive for adventure, from a time when it was purely for its own sake, not self-promotion… With nothing but a bobble hat between head and rock these stout men and women demonstrated the true joy of smoking (literally) across unspoilt countryside in little more than a pair of cotton shorts and a t-shirt, frequently carrying their seriously sturdy mounts across river, mud and mountain. As it says in the preface: “This book celebrates their style and their spirit. It is a document not only of the history of cycling off the beaten track, but of British outdoor culture.” In a large-format, soft-bound, the title runs to 208 pages with an introduction from Mark, and comes highly recommended. Ged Lennox Available from îsolar press, isbn: 978-0-99-54886-5-6, a snip at £28.00 https://tinyurl.com/uldxa4x
WORDS AND PICTURES ELEANOR JASKOWSKA
Persistently pursuing an irresistible urge Bristol-based Eleanor Jaskowska has conquered Paris-Brest-Paris on a fixed wheel bike, so she knows a thing or two about endurance cycling. Here she chats to fellow riders about the fascination of the Randonneur Round the Year cycling challenge
THE RANDONNEUR Round the Year (RRtY) award is one of the tougher cycling challenges on offer. It requires a ride of 200km or more for 12 successive calendar months, and it entails consistent big rides in all seasons, a strong mind and a proactive approach to diary logistics. For the committed there are also awards for five and ten times RRtYs.
Not everyone can ride a 1,000km, so 200km is much more accessible. Persistence and perseverance trump strength and speed. For this reason riders come at this award from a number of different angles. For some it seems like a challenge that strikes the right balance between being potentially out of reach and possibly doable. Some accidentally realise that they have many
A long distance ❝ challenge that requires you to persevere for a minimum of 12 months is a whole new way to test your sticking power
months of back-to-back rides so why not? For others, like myself, it is a challenge to keep riding longer distances consistently throughout the year. We have different motivations. Sometimes the motivator is simply: “Can I?” All long distance rides are a challenge of endurance. A long distance challenge that requires you to persevere for a minimum of 12 months is a whole new way to test your sticking power. Rides can go wrong, injuries happen or calendars get hijacked and a month can go past and that elusive 200km slips from our fingers. There is a pretty high likelihood of failure and having to start the 12 month streak from scratch. Every long ride has its stories so I decided to question a selection of AUK members who all came at the award for different reasons. No-one is born a Randonneur Round the Year, are they? Well, there’s Laura Collett who jumped right in. Laura is a data nerd from Bristol and purveyor of fine rainbow cycling caps. She is our newbie and rode her first UK event 13 months ago. She didn’t waste much time cracking on with her RRtY. Most of our riders took a while to find the world of point-to-point Brevet riding and built up to the RRtY. Judith Swallow was headhunted into AUK buy the then chairman, the late Rocco Richardson. Judith has now ridden more miles than almost anyone else alive; she has 25 grande brevets to her name and is well on her way to the 300,000 mile club. Rocco took her out on the Paragon Potter in March 1997. Judith recalls: “He seemed to think that this was a good idea. As it was ‘only’ 120km, Rocco decided that we’d also ride the 50km to the start and again back. Things went from there”. About 10 years ago a young and naive Johnatan Williams was chatting to a local Bristol cyclist about the
epic Wiggle Dragon ride he was training for. He says: “She raised an eyebrow and said it sounded ‘nice’. She then chatted to me a little bit more about rides and I found myself walking into the wonderful world of Randonneuring.” Our Northern lass Sian Lambert saw a poster for one of Andy Corless’ hilly 200s and thought it was insane but she was thinking of applying for the Fred Whitton so a year later found herself on the Last Chance Dales Dance. Grace Lambert-Smith and I probably represent a new demographic of riders who found Randonneuring through preparing for ultra-distance race, the Transcontinental. Judith Swallow points out that the popularity of the RRtY is a fairly recent occurrence. She says: “In the dark ages of AUK where I come from, the longest rides in winter were 100km brevets. It’s only in the last 10 years or so that there have been many winter calendar 200s, so riding an RRtY isn’t automatic.” I asked her when first decided to do an RRtY? “My RRtY started when foolishly I was persuaded with a non-riding friend to attempt the 2013 LEL,” she says. “I’d done a few 100km events but nothing over 200km until the preceding summer when I tried and completed two back to back 250km rides.” Along with LEL, PBP qualifications are another motivator. Grace Lambert-Smith decided to work towards her first RRtY at the start of 2019 when she was qualifying for PBP. She says: “I had motivation for the first seven months, given I had a 1200km goal to work towards which left only five months of self-motivation.” Wise lady. And so what motivated her? “I wanted to do it mainly because there’s a badge at the end of it,” she says. “But also because it forced me to do a big ride at least once a month. It means I keep my hand in and never lose touch with the skillset.” Liz Bruton’s first was supposed to be a celebratory challenge of being back in the saddle after a bad crash left her with a badly broken ankle in 2018. She says: “Being off my bike for nearly three months reignited my longstanding love of cycling and I was looking forward to getting back to cycle touring that summer and getting some longer bicycle rides in.” Despite a broken spoke she finished the Barbury Bash and it became the start of her RRtY. “I was utterly, utterly exhausted by the time I got to Chris and some very welcome grub at the Arrivée,” she says. “I thought it would be an end point, marking my complete physical recovery but rather it was a beginning.” Fiona Ridley didn’t mean to do an RRtY, She discovered cycling in her late 40s and thought the entire world of long distance cycling was not for her: “I have poor eyesight so night riding is challenging, especially if the weather is bad and I’m also nurturing an 11-year-old full knee replacement,” she says. “I didn’t think it was wise for me to be do longer distances and risk compromising my knee.” And it wasn’t a walk in the park but she picked a good tactic of starting to leave her comfort zone on her terms in a familiar area at short notice because the weather looked favourable. She adds: “On a whim I entered GWR Chalke and Cheese in mid-January days before because the weather
All long distance rides are ❝ a challenge of endurance. A long-distance challenge that requires you to persevere for a minimum of 12 months is a whole new way to test your sticking power
forecast was good and the night riding was known and I would be close to home if I had to call the broom wagon. I got round, just surviving 80km of near gale headwinds and an ethereal ascent of Cheddar Gorge at night. I was lanterne rouge.” For those of you reading this who are new to the world of randonneuring, it’s highly addictive. Olaf Storbeck says the only thing harder than completing an RRtY is escaping the treadmill. “It took me several years, and a nasty crash,” he says. Desperate measures. No long distance ride is ever the same. Even the same route will have a different personality in different weather. My longest ride of the RRtY was the Mille Cymru and I went from overheating to hypothermia. Do any other rides stand out? Judith Swallow wins the unusual bike category, with trike and tandem trike rides.
A few of our riders also ventured overseas, Judith putting in 1200s as far afield as Australia, Israel and the USA. As residents of the UK there’s a good chance that rain may have coloured a few rides. The weather stood out for those who rode the 2019 Rough Diamond. I, for instance, don’t want to revisit a 45mph headwind on a fixed gear any time soon. That ride certainly reminded me that I’m capable of more than I think. Riding up the long climb to Chepstow when I was certain that my legs had given everything they could, is probably not how I’d advise doing your first fixed 300km. David Squance (aka Squancey), our token Cornish rider, completed his first RRtY in October 2019, powered by jersey pocket pasties, sea shanties and Betty Stogs Ale. It sounds like the weather stood out for most of Squancey’s rides. He says: “The year kicked off with a
Persistently pursuing an irresistible urge Arrivéewinter/spring2020
soggy 300km from Newquay back to Bristol. The interesting weather set the theme for the rest of the year, with the final ride of the RRtY, the Ride the Trafalgar Way, from Falmouth to London, never have sea shanties been more apt.” So what about injuries? Ironically for a chiropractor, Johnatan Williams has had a few RRtY attempts thwarted by injury, and Squancey picked up an injury in June as a result of changing his cycling shoes, forcing a DNS. Few of us will comprehend the mental and physical strength shown by Sian Lambert in 2017. She says: “By the time I rode the Delightful Dales in early April 2017 I was pretty stressed; I was behind on my training for LEL and was having tests for some unexplained abdominal pain. But keeping my RRtY attempt on track gave me something to focus on and the tiredness after the event gave me a couple of days respite from the extreme anxiety I was feeling. “Then I found out that I needed a hysterectomy and had surgery scheduled for late May. ”That would have put an end to her riding for a few months surely? “According to my doctor, there was no way I’d be able to undertake something like LEL nine weeks after surgery,” she says. “I didn’t ask him about riding a 200km five weeks after the op.” She finished LEL in case you were wondering! Keeping a run of 12 months doesn’t sound easy – because it isn’t. Johnatan Williams had tried a couple of previous times to do the series but a combination of bad health and crashes ended those attempts. “The biggest struggle for me is riding through summer as I have two young kids and don’t want to miss the school holidays with them,” he says. “But the use of days off in the week allowed me to do it.” The flip side is that the lure of the RRtY cloth patch can actually help us weather long, dark British winter as Laura Collett recalls: “The night I finished my first 200, a damp and windy January evening, I was tired, happy and content with what I had accomplished, with an added realisation that long-distance cycling might just save me from my yearly struggle with seasonal affective sadness. “Finally a reason to get out of bed before dawn, and this monthly delight of riding my bike all day, come rain or wind, through darkness and light, held me close and I felt its beacon of promise guiding me through to spring. As it happens, it guided me through the entirety of 2019.” Companionship is a common theme. My initial assumption was that to keep going with minimum 200km for 12 months I’d have to complete a lot of solo DIYs from October-March. But in the end only one of my rides was completed solo. A huge advantage of the growing popularity of randonneuring is that you can fire off a message to a WhatApp group on a Wednesday and have six cyclists ride to Brecon and back on Saturday. Bristol is famed for its density of AUK members but other regions are quickly gaining critical mass. “I’ve really enjoyed hanging around with the Peak Brevettes,” says Grace Lambert-Smith. “We ended up doing some DIYs together because a few of us were chasing the award.” These rides are also an opportunity to learn the craft of long distance riding from more experienced friends. Johnatan Williams says: “I rode many RRtY rides with Neil Veitch who is as experienced as it gets, and David
Lane, who was doing his first RRtY and SR. The shared experience was the highlight of the year. I’ll remember the RRtY as a right laugh in great company.” David Lane nearly had a disastrous end to his first RRtY. After a mechanical nearly forced him on to a train from Yeovil he was then stung by a bee that flew down his jersey. ”To say I was in pain is an understatement,” he says. “After ten minutes of crying at the side of the road I managed to get going again although my pal was struggling from laughing so much.” Fiona Ridley completed her RRtY in December 2019 on the new “GWR Airmail” which brought her journey full circle because she finished with Laura whom she had met on Chalke and Cheese in January. They kept on bumping into each other before realising they were both on the same mission. “Without the support of Laura, Blair and Club Bristol I doubt I would have made it,” says Fiona. “Also, my social media cycling pals gave plenty of online encouragement, and lastly my husband Steve for ferrying me to stupidly early departs when the ride to and from was beyond me.” For some the standard RRtY isn’t enough. Robbie Fargo, an American living in Aberdeen, achieved three RRtY in his first few seasons, and was inspired to commit to multiple rides every month to do RRtY. He says: “After some foolish discussions about how no one has ridden the 4.75AAA Snow Roads 300 in the winter, I have undertaken to do this perm 12 months in a row. “I started in December and, riding with Niall Wallace, managed to finish with 30 minutes to spare after a few mechanicals and a spill on black ice.” You may think that bonkers, but what about Andy Curran? He completed a Super Randonneur Round the Year – a 200, 300, 400 and 600km ride every month for 12 consecutive months! I don’t want to leave you with a feeling that if you’re not doing an RRtY then you’re missing out. It isn’t for
The best part of ❝ completing it is sometimes the sheer bizarre experience of getting out there midwinter, seeing the sun rise and set on the same ride
everyone. Graham Steward is an accomplished rider, with five Super Randonneurs and three Hyper Randonneurs to his name. It took him a mere 52 hours to finish PBP last year. He clearly has a good head and nothing wrong with his legs but no RRtY. Why? “Sometimes I’ve ridden at least a 200km for 11 consecutive months but then missed the twelfth,” he says. “It’s often due to family commitments or simply not realising it until after the final month slipped by. It’s just never happened. I’ve never actively sought out the RRtY though which is probably why I’ve continued to miss out on it. Perhaps it’s for that reason I just don’t deserve it. Some things have to be worked for to be earned after all!” Will they all keep going? Judith Swallow has completed seven RRtYs. “If my vasculitis lets me remain properly a-wheel, reaching 10 RRtYs would be kind of nice,” she says. Richard Parker is into consecutive year eight and feeling optimistic. “I’m chugging along, feeling fit even in the winter months, knowing the spring is not too far away, and upping the distance is not going to be a terribly painful experience,” he says. “The best part of completing it is sometimes the sheer bizarre experience of getting out there mid-winter, seeing the sun rise and set on the same ride. And there’s a genuine feeling of pride in doing something many other riders would never do. All too often life can intervene to stop you doing it.” “The beauty of the RRtY it is that it can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. You can ride it as a 600 every month if you want, ride every weekend or just once in a month; ride alone or always with others, plan your rides to work around childcare, shifts, whatever you need. You just have to find the time, energy and determination to get out for at least one decent-length ride every month. How difficult can that be?” Tempted? You should be!
Report from OCD for 2019, from Rod Dalitz, the OCD Man
OCD cyclo climbing 2019 OCD CLAIMS SUMMARY FOR 2019 2019 was perhaps overshadowed by politics, but dispite this many members went out into Name AUK No RANK, date Lifetime 2019 total 2018 2018 total 2017 the mountains and enjoyed some fine cols. ABBATT Fred 6086 Honourable 19 533784 8590 524994 105102 419892 Some were at home in the UK, many went to France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Majorca and ACLAND Ken 5752 Officer 14 167053 2472 164581 31442 the Canaries. More unusually, two cycled in ALDRED Mark 14956 Officer 05 235078 10071 225007 35967 189040 Greece, and one headed to Portugal. Some ALLAN Douglas 11101 Honorable 16 568573 21520 547053 riders have an advantage, Harald Eichmeier ANDERSON Alan 6938 Member 19 51603 318 51285 1216 49069 lives in southern Germany and can hardly leave his house without claiming a col. Paul Harrison ANDERSON Fraser 16690 4936 318 4618 1216 3406 BAKER Peter 6594 Commander 19 157743 118509 spends much of his time in Corsica, an area BATE Ben 11108 Honourable 19 572209 27030 545179 44463 500716 some members know well – Raid Corsica is recommended. Peter Baker racked up a massive BRABBIN Thomas 12364 120152 36169 83983 37735 46248 claim spending more than four months touring DALE Peter 6186 Commander 19 219271 20292 198979 11682 187297 the Alps, including Mont Ventoux three times. DAMPER Bob 14064 Commander 15 293632 13251 280381 15379 265002 Jeff Rowell started slowly with a few British cols DONALDSON Bob 13904 48011 15639 32372 32372 years ago, like some of our current members, EICHMEIER Harald 11156 Venerable 11 1788517 91959 1696558 98544 1608014 but after he retired, he took on a new lease of FOX Tom 1066 Commander 19 120423 11209 109214 life, claiming many hard cols like the Col GRACE Steve 13959 Officer 19 144770 19937 124833 62541 62292 d’Izoard… I have not the space to do him HARRISON Paul 11181 Venerable 09 1567645 61499 1506146 64052 1442094 justice. The total col height claimed this year is HICKS Nigel 15978 18343 9305 9038 9038 more than a hundred times the elevation of the HODGES Chris 18478 12717 2495 10222 10222 South Col of Everest (7,906m) and I can assure HOOD Andrew 1842 Member 1289373 10605 67386 you no-one has ever even thought of taking a JOYNSON Dave 11203 Venerable 03 1295886 6513 1289373 10605 1278768 bike over it. LAVERICK Martin 2411 Officer 19 142216 142216 On the other hand, some long-term LISTER Terry 2526 Commander 15 296052 13044 283808 22238 261570 members have, sadly, suffered illness and MORRISON Dave 12405 Officer 16 140610 4492 136118 5775 130343 injury, and had to cut back on cycling. I wish them well, and look forward to their claims for NEILSON David 15714 5158 1133 2020. NELSON Martin 16781 24367 24367 In 2019, 12 members achieved a new rank. PINTO Mark 5743 Commander 19 122495 24439 98056 9389 88667 Certificates will be posted out shortly. PRESLAND Kevin 740 Commander 13 573384 55489 517895 80155 437740 2019 brought a new challenge – how to handle e-bikes? AUK voted to accept riders with PRINGLE Laura 2451 41550 16082 25468 11714 13754 ROWELL Jeff 16975 Officer 19 140543 48113 92430 20802 71628 e-bikes on calendar events, and the website SMITH Andy 6190 Honourable 19 594415 69350 525065 44605 480460 FAQ says “Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) may be ridden in Brevet Populaire (BP) SMITH Mike 15387 3266 835 2431 events, but they are not eligible for validation.” I VENES Richard 1118 Commander 19 201081 28395 172805 28571 144234 encourage all riders to enjoy the mountains, but WADDINGTON Ivan 46 Commander 05 359639 8057 351582 22148 329434 OCD claims (like AUK points) are really a reward WATERTON Robert 11283 Honorable 07 791223 3524 787699 33696 754003 for effort. Perhaps there should be a separate WATERTON Helen 11282 Honorable 08 809382 5705 803687 33696 769991 category, to encourage e-bike riders to go WATTS Bob 1870 Honorable 16 713355 18405 694950 55773 639177 further and higher. A few riders have mentioned the book Cols think that he is working on his own definition of I would not recommend it as a source for and Passes of the British Isles by Graham Robb. a col or a pas, which does not quite match the identifying OCD cols. Although I respect this as a fine work by a OCD or Cent Cols Club definition. I came to the Finally, please note that the cutoff for dedicated man, I should point out that Graham conclusion that this book is really no help to OCD publication in Arrivée is 20 January 2021. It is an acclaimed historian and biographer, and a cyclists – cols need to be organised as blocks would help if you could make one claim for each Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. between the major valleys, rather than by county year, and to send it around the end of December, Although I recognise that he is a cyclist, I feel he or country. Robbs book is fun, and interesting, but or first week in January. is writing more from the literary viewpoint. I www.audax.uk
WORDS AND PICTURES JULIA FREEMAN
We recently featured Julia Freeman’s gruelling Race around the Netherlands, where she suffered frost injuries and hypothermia. Here, the accomplished endurance rider gives us the benefit of her experience on how best to cope with the season’s worst…
Cold comforts 10 tips to keep you warm on a winter’s ride
WHEN THE CLOCKS GO BACK, most cyclists put the bike in the shed, hang up the helmet, and spend the winter pursuing warmer indoor activities. Slogging away in the cold and wet isn’t exactly fun, but winter cycling can bring some of the most rewarding and beautiful rides – from a clear starlit night, filled with constellations you don’t normally see, to riding through the dawn as the mists rise upon the fields around you. Some of my fondest cycling memories are from the depths of winter. With rewarding challenges like the Randonneur Round the Year and Strava’s Festive 500 to encourage you to venture out into the cold, shorter days and colder temperatures don’t need to stop you enjoying cycling throughout the year To help you with your first steps into winter cycling adventures, here are my ten tips for enjoying cold weather riding:
1 STAY DRY
This may sound obvious, but I’m not just talking about keeping the rain out. When we exercise we sweat, the sweat collects in our clothes, then when we stop this moisture cools us down, making it harder to get warm again. Water conducts heat 25 times better than air. Keeping dry is the first step to keeping warm. The first instinct for many is to wrap up nice and warm, keeping the cold at bay, but the ideal is to dress just warm enough to not be sweating too much. This may mean that for the first 10 to 15 minutes of your ride you feel rather chilly, but as you get going you warm up just nicely. This can also mean not getting into your cycling clothing until the last moment, so you don’t start the ride with some sweat already in your clothes – this is especially true if you’re wearing very thick socks. Prep your bike, then get dressed in your cycle gear and get out the door. Carrying a spare base layer to change into at a control midway can also dramatically improve comfort, and they don’t take up much space in your bag.
2 EXTREMITIES SOLUTIONS
As the body cools, it diverts blood flow from the extremities to the core to maintain body temperature. This can make it hard to keep hands, feet, and your face warm. Having proper gloves that are warm enough, but not so warm your hands are sweating, as well as socks and overshoes can be the difference between enjoying a ride, and it feeling like torture. In really cold temperatures the thick gloves needed to
keep the hands warm can be cumbersome if you have to do anything involving fine motor control, like fixing a flat or other mechanical. I like to carry some very thin wool liner gloves, these allow me to take the big gloves off for short periods when I need fine motor control. No matter how hard you try to keep your hands from sweating, you will get some moisture in your gloves, for this reason whenever you take them off, don’t put them down, put them inside your jersey; here your body heat will keep them warm and it’ll be a lot more comfortable when you put them back on again. I like to carry extra socks, so that I can change into warm dry socks about halfway into a ride, happy feet make for happy riding. In really cold conditions I wear a Cold Avenger Face mask; this keeps my face warm, as well as pre-warming, and moistening the air I breathe. This reduces the stress the cold air puts on the lungs. Looks weird, but worth it for the improved breathing. Just take it off before you go into the post office...
The Cold Avenger… ❝ Just take it off before going into the post office ❞
3 DRINK MORE WATER
Dehydration is something we associate with riding in hot weather, not when there is frost on the ground. When you can see your breath, what you’re seeing is your body losing moisture. So don’t forget to drink. But be careful with drinking water that is near to freezing; squirting cold water into your body requires your body to put energy into heating it up. It can be worth considering insulated water bottles for the winter months. As well as drinking, don’t forget to eat, but consider that the foods you may enjoy in warmer weather may be harder to eat when it’s floating around freezing out. A Mars Bar quickly becomes an inedible brick when left in your food bag for a couple of hours in the cold. You can warm some foods up by sticking them inside your jersey for a few minutes before eating. Just don’t do this with a Mars Bar and forget about it for 50km – that’s just messy.
4 TYRED SOLUTIONS
The lovely, fast, slick tyres you’ve been running all summer start to show some
weaknesses in the winter. Wet conditions will increase the chances of punctures, and the cold temperatures will make the rubber stiffer and less grippy. Many tyre manufacturers make bike tyres especially for cold weather conditions. I have four sets of tyres I use depending on conditions. From Continental GP5000s in the summer, through to Continental GP Four Seasons in the cold, damp conditions of autumn/ spring. When it’s really cold, but not too icy, I have continental top contact winters. Finally when there is ice and snow, and I want a real challenge, I break out the Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tyres. These have hundreds of tungsten carbide studs that grip the ice, as well as a tread suitable for light snow. It’s great fun cycling with confidence past everyone slipping and sliding on normal tyres. Just be aware that when using studded tyres they need to be run in for about 40km of non-icy conditions first, and you may find your tyres are fine for cycling across that patch of black ice, but if you stop and put your foot down, your foot isn’t. I have some mini crampons (Kahtoola nanospikes) that I wear over my shoes so that I can get grip on the ice. Just remember to take the spikes off before you walk on that nice hardwood floor. You can even get studded tyres for the Brompton, though they tend to scratch the paintwork when folded so some protection for the frame is required. Swapping tyres around for each ride to match the conditions is a right faff, so I like to have a spare set of wheels with the studded tyres on, and then one of the other sets on the bike. When the snow begins to fall I can then just swap wheels in a couple of minutes. In the UK winter, the freeze/thaw nature of the weather can make ruts form in the ice/snow that can lead to tramlining (when the wheel sticks in the rut and you can’t steer it). Practice in these conditions when you get the chance so you know how to handle yourself when you come across them.
5 PLAN YOUR RIDE, AND RIDE YOU PLAN
Most local councils will publish maps of which roads are gritted and ploughed in bad weather. Use these to help plot ice-free and clear routes; just bear in mind that they tend to be main roads, the nice, quiet country lanes tend not to attract the ice-clearing operations, not a problem with the right tyres. Once you have a plan for your ride, let
to go, listed as “easterly 200”, “westerly 200” for instance, so I can pick which way to ride the route to take advantage of a good wind.
7 HOW ILLUMINATING
Even if you think you can do your ride entirely in day light, don’t forget lights. You may be slower than expected, or a mechanical may hold you up. Always take lights with you. Under UK law when cycling in poor visibility (night and fog), your bike should have a front white light, a red rear light, a rear red reflector, and reflectors on the pedals. That is the minimum you need on your bike to be legal. The decision on whether to carry additional lights or wear additional reflective material is left to each individual. Note that if cycling abroad, other jurisdictions may have other requirements, though in theory you just need to meet the requirements of the Vienna Convention if you’re a tourist. It is worth carrying a small headtorch to use if you need to fix a mechanical.
someone know where you are going, and when you intend to be back. If you have lost it on an icy corner in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal, it increases the chance someone can find you. I carry an iridium tracker on my bike for this purpose. If I have an accident, people know where to start looking.
All the batteries in your lights, your GPS, even your phone, perform less well when the temperature drops. That GPS that lasts all day in summer, may need a top up to survive the same length of time when the mercury drops. Furthermore when they are cold, they don’t charge as well. Warming your GPS up for a couple of minutes in your jersey before you put it on charge can improve things a bit. For lights that take individual cells, non-rechargeable lithium batteries have the best performance in low temperatures. I use these in my batterypowered rear lights. There’s not much you can do about this one, other than knowing it may happen, making sure you have an extra battery pack and the ability to recharge your devices at controls/stops.
6 CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST
… It’s great fun ❝ cycling with confidence past everyone slipping and sliding on normal tyres
Check what the weather is going to do. It may be beautiful blue skies, if a bit chilly now, but in a few hours’ time rain falling on those cold roads will turn to ice. I had this happen on an Audax in Belgium last year. I had to take bigger ice-free main roads as the back roads the Audax followed were just too dangerous. If you are doing DIY rides, consider planning multiple rides in different directions, then choosing closer to the time once the wind direction is clearer. I have a few 200km routes planned ready
The low mess, super-efficient dry lubes you’ve been using all summer won’t last the first of the autumn rains. It’s worth splashing out on a quality wet lube designed for cold conditions. Re-applied after every wet ride, this should keep your drive train running smoothly. Don’t forget to check the lubrication of other parts of the bike; riding through deep water can easily wash the grease out of bearings. In really cold conditions the grease used in most bike parts starts to gel and
…when cycling in ❝ poor visibility (night and fog), your bike should have a front white light, a red rear light, a rear red reflector, and reflectors on the pedals. That is the minimum you need on your bike to be legal
stop lubricating. The lube used by Shimano, Son, and SP gels at around minus 20C. It will become more viscous as it approaches this temperature. The only manufacturer that has openly declared that their grease works to lower temperatures is Hope, who use a grease rated to minus 50C. If you’re cycling at temperatures where grease gelling is likely to be a problem, you probably are riding beyond the scope of this article. When washing your bike, be careful where the water goes. A couple of winters ago, I cycled to work to find my colleagues that normally cycle had had to walk. Turns out they had a bit of water (from rain), in their brake cables, and their brakes were frozen.
10 DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If the weather conditions really are bad, consider if it’s a better idea to shelve your plans and do the ride another day. Risking it and breaking your arm on ice in January can ruin the rest of the cycling year. Winter cycling can be amazing, but there’s no reason to take needless risk. If you do opt to forgo a ride, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy winter cycling vicariously. Books such as Dare to Do by Sarah Outen, A Siberian Winter’s Tale by Helen Lloyd, and What Goes Around by Emily Chappell, are great reads curled up next to a warm fire.
…the freeze/thaw ❝ nature of the weather can make ruts form in the ice/snow that can lead to tramlining
WORDS AND PICTURES SEAN KING
Sean King, a member of the Audax Club Bristol, knew he was in for a lonely ordeal when he entered the 2019 Transcontinental Race, but he was unprepared for the incredible highs – and terrible lows – when pitting himself against this notoriously tough bike ride…
The Dolomites, Italy – One of the highlights of TCR – crazy climbing and superb switchbacks
Trepidation and warm hearts on the TCR 07
AFTER A DAY’S hard riding, as night began to fall, I found myself lost and alone in the remote and unforgiving Swiss hills – exhausted, cold and unable to find a bed for the night because my phone was kaput. It was most definitely the lowest point in my attempt to tackle the Transcontinental. At this point an elderly local couple arrived, feeling forlorn and despondent, I turned to them for help. I asked for directions, and they just said: “Follow us”. They took me into their home, fed me, washed my clothes, gave me a beer and put me to bed. In the morning they left the house early, but gave me their house keys and told me to finish my breakfast… and just post the keys through the letter box. This is just one of the priceless memories of kindness and trust I experienced on what turned out to be a very hard but hugely rewarding cycling challenge. A few years ago, I began to fill in the application form for the Transcontinental, but even the form was difficult. Then I fractured my ribs in a cycling accident, which combined to put me off the whole thing. But late last year I decided it was time to try again. I needed a challenge. I thought, why not? If I don’t get in, no problem. If I do, then I don’t have to do it. Subsequently, in January 2019, an email arrived. I was in. This is when fear and trepidation set in. I was excited… and nervous. Could someone like me actually do this? Luckily I
They took me into their ❝ home, fed me, washed my clothes, gave me a beer and put me to bed
Slovenia… after torrential rain and thunderstorms – at last some respite
had the support of my family and friends, and before long I had a rough training schedule in place. What is the Transcontinental Race?
Burgas, Bulgaria… checking documents and bikes
According to the website, it’s “the definitive self-supported bicycle race across Europe – a beautifully hard bicycle race, simple in design but complex in execution. Selfreliance, logistics, navigation and judgement burden racers’ minds as well as their physiques.” Did I mention it covers 4000km across the wilds of Europe? In July 2019 I found myself in Burgas, Bulgaria. Suddenly everything was very real. A 6am start in a heatwave – and 220km to the first control point, which turned out to be the Monument House of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Cycling through Bulgaria was a test. It was also a joy. I met so many friendly people. They were clearly wondering what was going on… all these crazy cyclists. But I knew I had to be on the ball, especially regarding hydration, eating what you could when you could and avoiding sunstroke. I continued to ride late into the night, arriving at the control at around 12.45am. I couldn’t find the checkpoint to stamp my brevet card, so had to camp nearby. It was pretty damn cold, but the stars were magical. I discovered, waking early in the morning, that there were wild horses all
Trepidation and warm hearts on the TCR 07
… sometimes crying ❝ with sheer joy at what I saw, or felt as my breath was taken away by the most stunning mountains or weather
Austria… more climbing but more sublime switchbacks – just having descended from mountains behind!
around me! But I’d reached the first checkpoint in time, and with the brevet card stamped, I set off again. Daily life on the ride quickly settled into a rhythm of riding, eating, meeting people (locals and other racers) and having my mind blown by the most amazing scenery imaginable. Sometimes it would be very lonely and then, out of nowhere, another rider would pass and I’d shout, nod or do something, and then they’d be gone. Most of the time the riding was an incredibly meditative. I’d been worried about the hours by myself but thank goodness, I enjoyed it – at least most of the time, sometimes crying with sheer joy at what I saw, or felt as my breath was taken away by the most stunning mountains or weather. There were so many physical highs and so much climbing involved, but it’s amazing how one’s body adapts, and day after day you can cycle pretty long distances. I finally made it across Bulgaria and reached the Serbian border. That was a
definite highlight. The feeling of crossing a whole country made me realise that this might be possible and I could finish the race. I carried on towards the next checkpoint in Serbia. Then Slovenia, Italy and Austria. The Italian Dolomites were something else. I’ve never experienced anything like it – the ascents, and then the switchbacks, taking one or two hours to descend. Another stretch which was burned into my mind and body was ascending the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Pass (2509m) with approximately 30 hairpin bends; difficult with fresh legs, maybe impossible after days of cycling. The sense of achievement after reaching and descending and then having to cycle through the night to check-point three was immense. However, this ascent will stay in my memory as one of the scariest points of my Transcontinental. The weather suddenly changed – dramatically. Mist and constant rain made the climb to the summit incredibly difficult. I was tired and
a bit scared, but had to keep going. There was no other option. Remaining as calm as possible, and staying “in the moment” helped me get to the top. I changed most of my clothes at the top tunnel, and was, by then, nearly hypothermic. I decided to get off the mountain as quickly as possible, not bothering with the usual Instagramfriendly photos. My phone had died anyway. I took that as a sign to keep moving. Having a tracker meant that people were “dot watching” me. On a couple of occasions this led to brief encounters which helped boost my day. During a torrential downpour in Slovenia I passed a bar, and someone called out my name. It was a group of Slovenians who were following the race. And before entering Austria, two cyclists called my name and rode the 40km with me to the border. The sense of camaraderie and generous spirit on the road was something that really helped me keep going when times were tough.
Though we’d started in a Bulgarian heatwave, the subsequent weather was mixed, to say the least. We endured heavy rain, electrical storms, headwinds and sometimes sun. Did I finish? Well, no I didn’t. After 16 days of riding I decided to scratch in Lausanne, Switzerland. After nearly 3000km and a huge amount of climbing, and the fact that my phone was dead, I found the prospect of the rest of the journey rather daunting. Plus, a looming deadline meant it was going to be tight to reach Brest in north-west France in time. Also, I hadn’t been eating enough the last few days, so was getting progressively slower and more exhausted. I didn’t finish but I did apply – and I did start, which was an achievement in itself. I was happy to have got as far as I did. Now, many weeks afterwards, the memories and thoughts that will stay with me forever seem like a priceless gift. The people I met in different countries, the roads travelled and my fellow riders made for a very special experience. I learned a good deal about myself. Indeed, people say the Transcontinental is life-changing. I’d agree. Hats off to all the riders who took part – and the Transcontinental family of dot watchers,
Sean dedicated his ride to the charity, Young Minds, for whom he was aiming to raise funds. Young Minds raises awareness about the vital importance of children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. It’s not too late to donate if you’ve been impressed by his endeavour. Go to www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/sean-king8. You can view his Instagram at: _.seanking
Fairlight strael 2… bike checked and fully loaded ready to start – nervous!
and of course, the organisation itself. Would I do again? Yes, definitely! The training took up a lot of time, and being away from home for over 16 days was hard.
Then there were the hallucinations due to sleep deprivation. I’ve never been so cold, scared, happy or lonely… or felt so alive.
Kit Grid done… all bike gear ready – next, pack up and box up bike ready for flight to Bulgaria
WORDS AND PICTURES DAVID MATTHEWS
The majesty of the mighty Millau “viaduct in the clouds” was a highlight of David Matthews’ marathon ride from St Malo to the foothills of the Pyrenees – but searing heat, and lack of food were the main things on his mind during a blisteringly hot 1,330km solo ride through France in July
Hot and hungry on the road to the mountains
FRANCE WAS HOT in July this year. Very hot. The prediction of temperatures of 40c made me rethink my original plan to fly to Geneva and cycle across the Massif Central at the height of summer, to visit friends in Montmaurin, south-west France. It would have been impossible to acclimatise to the heat. So my carefully-laid plans were scrapped. I would, instead, sail to St Malo in Brittany, where the temperatures were predicted to be a balmy 25c, rising to 30c by the time I reached the Loire a few days later. These more reasonable temperatures would allow me to acclimatise before I reached hotter climes further south. The mid-point of the ride would be the famous “viaduct in the clouds” at Millau. I wanted to see this marvel of modern construction myself, even though I knew cyclists weren’t allowed to cross it. I left Chester by train for Portsmouth on 8 July and took the ferry to St Malo, ready to undertake my sixth solo, unsupported long ride through France.
ST MALO TO EGUZONE-CHANTOME – SIX DAYS, 518KM, 2,100M ASCENT
This straightforward route, swinging south-east, served as an excellent hors d’oeuvre, with steady riding over rolling countryside. As ever in rural France I had difficulty getting enough to eat due to the sparsity of cafes and shops, but survived on what I had surreptitiously taken from breakfast and a few muesli bars brought over from England. Eventually I arrived in Eguzone-Chantome during the evening of Bastille Day celebrations, and enjoyed a meal outside on the hotel patio in the midst of it all.
There is a chilling ❝ reminder of WW2 along this road where a monument and plaque commemorate the killing of 31 young people by the Nazis in 1944, just after D-day.
AUBUSSON – 100KM, 950M ASCENT:
The start of the lumpy stuff! My route initially led 50km due south to Aulon. From here I picked up the D10 leading east through delightful countryside towards Aubusson. There is a chilling reminder of WW2 along this road where a monument and plaque commemorate the killing of 31 young people by the Nazis in 1944, just after D-day. The D10 led me to Pontarion, 18km from Aubusson on the D941 main road. I was getting hot, thirsty and very hungry by this time, 82km into the ride, without finding a single open shop or café to supplement my meagre supplies since leaving the hotel that morning. After finishing my last energy bar and water in a small lay-by some 10km from Aubusson, I gritted my teeth to survive the hot and tiring ride into town. Amazingly, as I rounded the bend just beyond my meagre tea stop, I found a shop selling all manner of goodies – and it was open on a Monday! The final 10km to Aubusson passed much more pleasantly after my refuelling stop. As I checked into yet another foreign hotel, the owner remarked: “I remember you.” I’d stayed there five years before when riding Manche-Med so I must have made some sort of impression. It made a pleasant change to be recognised and welcomed in this way when on an essentially solo odyssey.
EGLETONS – 88KM, 1,200M ASCENT
This is the start of proper hilly stuff. When I phoned my wife the night before, I told her that I’d just done the
hardest day of the ride. How naïve can you get? It was probably the easiest day between Eguzone-Chantome and Montmaurin! The Manche-Med route from Aubusson follows the boring main road across a plateau some 60km to Ussel. There is an alternative yellow route to Meymac which I’d contemplated using in 2014, but decided against it as there appeared to be no possibility of obtaining any food or drink along this much hillier, remote route. However, emboldened by five years’ experience of these trips, I decided I was now physically and mentally equipped to explore this upland region. The obvious route from Aubusson to the first stop at Felletin after 10km of climbing follows the main D982, but I was advised by the hotel to take the scenic D23 instead. A wise choice which took me through a beautiful woodland area up to Felletin. About 10km beyond Felletin, I launched steeply uphill on the D992 through very empty country, eventually arriving at the source of the Creuze river. Here I ate a minimal lunch under the shade of some huge trees before descending to Meymac for more substantial supplies after riding 60km since breakfast. Yet again I endured the fate of the hungry cyclist in remote France as Meymac turned out to be a dormitory village with no visible shops. I still had 20km further to travel to Egletons and just a few crumbs left to eat. I shook these out of my pockets as I sat in a derelict barn at the side of the main road and then continued, riding on fumes through Soudeilles to my overnight stop in Egletons. Once in the town, I sat down outside a shop to sort out the
location of my hotel. A young guy came bounding out of the shop and, rather than complaining that my bike was blocking his shop front, was most helpful giving directions to my hotel.
ARPAJON-SUR-CERE – 109KM, 1,100M ASCENT:
The morning was spent enjoying a long descent to the Dordogne river at Argentat. Joy of joys, I found a large supermarket here where I could replenish my travelling stock of muesli bars and purchase enough normal food to enjoy a large lunch while relaxing in the town square. The next 45km to Aurillac on the D120 can only be described as an unpleasant transfer stage. Lots of traffic, lots of climbs, lots of heat and glad to get it over with! Once in Aurillac I got completely lost in major road works which prevented an easy passage to Arpajon, on the south-east side of the conurbation. Eventually the suburb was discovered, following an extensive Franglais and gestures exhibition worthy of “Allo, Allo” in a garage shop.
– 86km, 1,000m ascent No route-finding problems this morning as it was straight out of the hotel and on to the D920 heading for the Lot Gorges. Climbing was constant for 29km to Montsalvy where I enjoyed an alfresco lunch break in the grounds of a converted castle. Beyond Montsalvy the road descends for 13km to the start of the Lot Gorges at Entraygues. These gorges are a massive hydro project which have a pleasant road www.audax.uk
Hot and hungry on the road to the mountains
… As ever in rural ❝ France I had difficulty getting enough to eat due to the sparsity of cafes and shops
alongside for many kilometres. Eventually I arrived, rather tired and hungry, at St Come d’Olt where I managed to find a shop selling huge ice creams, one of which fortified me for the long climb to follow. Mandailles is a hamlet overlooking the Lot Gorges some 10km and many metres of climbing above St Come d’Olt. It is well worth the climb, allowing spectacular views over the Gorges and the surrounding hills. In spite of its remoteness, my accommodation in a boutique apartment next to the Auberge, was excellent. It also provided an excellent evening meal. And the staff spoke good English! Idyllic! There is always one place I remember with great fondness after my long trips. This year there are two – Mandailles and Saint-Rome-de-Tarn.
SAINT-ROME-DE-TARN – 122KM, 1,300M ASCENT:
There were two days on this trip that pushed me right up against my personal limits due to a combination of heat, climbing, distance, route-finding in a foreign language, weight of baggage and accumulated fatigue. This is the first. As I prepared to leave Mandailles next morning, having manually hauled my laden bike up the 30 per cent gradient main street, I was relieved to note that the first few kilometres would be all downhill to St Geniez. Wrong again, as I climbed up a further three kilometres to the D19 before the 7km descent. I followed a hilly and complicated route to Severac d’Aveyron which I remembered from a previous trip once I got there. The cycle routes around here are difficult to find, not least as the motorway network to Millau has disrupted many of the minor roads, complicated further as Michelin maps do not always pay much attention to the actual routing of white roads. The temperature was rising to the mid 30s as I left Severac somewhat cautiously, until I was sure I had found the correct route to Le Massegros to the west of the Tarn
Gorges. Here I turned south over barren moors on the D32, where I’d got lost years before. It was very remote, so I felt comforted by having inadvertently visited the area previously. Once over the moors there is a long, rapid descent to Millau, alongside the Tarn Gorges, towards my first sighting of the distant viaduct. By the time I arrived in town, the temperature had climbed into the upper 30s. My water supplies had almost vanished so I was delighted to make my best ever supermarket purchase – one litre of bottled water for 25 cents. What price a life saver? The viaduct is not open to cycles. You have to travel under it, which actually resulted in a brutal climb up a dead straight, bulldozed road in the heat of the burning sun for me. By the time I had reached the viaduct and admired its stunning construction, I was feeling very hot and extremely tired. St-Rome-de Tarn lay just 15km distant. What I didn’t realise was that half of this is climbing, still under a blazing sun. Suffice to say that I arrived at my hotel completely shattered at seven in the evening. At least 100 people were sitting at trestle tables outside the hotel when I arrived. It was a village fete. The very busy waitress greeted me in perfect English and following a meal I joined in with the fete and enjoyed the excellent rock band playing well into the night. A great experience, helped by the knowledge that torrential rains were forecast for the next morning, so I could sleep in for once.
– 69km, 1,000m ascent Next morning dawned cooler with torrential rain as promised. Once the rain had subsided at 10.30am I embarked on the 12km climb up to St Victor above the Lower Tarn Gorges. This climb took 1.5 hours so I was glad to stop for a well-earned coffee in the village. My route continued to Broquies where I could get some lunch – except that due to my late start, the sole
shop was shut. Once again I was back to living on fumes until I reached Trebas in the late afternoon where, to my intense relief, I found a mini supermarket that had remained open. Prior to Trebas there is a 450m long, narrow tunnel straddling the road, with no way to avoid it. The tunnel has traffic lights for cars and, uniquely in my experience, an extra set of lights to warn motorists when cyclists are in the tunnel. As soon as the tunnel is entered, it curves and immediately shuts out the light. At this point I dismounted as I had no front light, and hugged the side wall to find my way through the tunnel, illuminated by my rear light playing on to the white side walls. Several convoys of cars passed as I made my way through, safe enough thanks to my rear light, without which I would have been forced to retrace my steps several kilometres and make a lengthy detour. There is one more, shorter tunnel down this road, which was avoided by a steep footpath climbing up and around it. Hard work with my loaded bike. Beyond Trebas, I crossed the Tarn at Villeneuve and commenced the long, hard 11km climb to my overnight stop in Alban. This climb took another 1.5 hours of graft to get into Alban, by which time it was 7.30pm due to my late start and much climbing during the day. I had some difficulty locating the hotel in Alban and after 15 minutes of fruitless searching and referencing booking.com on my phone, could not locate it anywhere in the town. I then suddenly realised to my horror, a moment in time that will probably haunt me forever, that my hotel was actually 11km back down the hill in Villeneuve sur Tarn. This was not at all obvious on the website and there was no way I was going back down the hill – especially as I would have to climb out again next morning. Even the thought of paying twice for a hotel would not move me back down that hill! I fortunately found a Logis in Alban itself, where I eventually arrived at 8.00pm. They had a spare room, booked me in and I then had time to recover from a hard day and the shock of not finding my original hotel.
– 112km, 400m ascent An easy start today as I left the Massif Central with a 30km descent to Realmont. Beyond here is the start of the pre-Pyrenees, so not much relief from the constant climbing. One interesting feature of the villages on today’s route is that their names are displayed in French and Catalan, harking back to the days when Catalonia spread well north of the Pyrenees. My route south avoided the busy D612 and the town of Castres by cutting east through Lautrec and Semalens to Revel. Here I was well looked after by a very obliging barman who served me iced Coca Cola and iced water for my bottles. Just as well, as the temperature was now rising into the upper 30s. The extreme heat was making me rather uncomfortable on the bike and I was concerned about getting heat stroke during the next couple of days. So I decided to forgo my much anticipated ride through the Mas d’Azil to St Lizier and ride direct to Montmaurin the next day, the hypotenuse of a big triangle. The final 30km of today’s ride took me through rolling hills and many miles of sunflower fields to my stay at Aire de Port Lauragais near Avignonet, south-west of
Toulouse. There is a large hotel here with several outdoor activities and a marina, all based on the adjacent Canal du Midi. The hotel is very cyclist-friendly, to the extent that they allowed me to have free drinks with dinner due to a mix-up in the voucher system.
– 126km, 1,100m ascent This, jointly with the ride to Saint-Rome-de-Tarn, was up there with my hardest ever days on a bike due to the extreme heat, distance, luggage and constant climbing as I rode west across the foothills of the Pyrenees. The day started well enough following a 7am start as I rode a very pleasant 10km towards Toulouse on the excellent, shaded cycle path alongside the Canal du Midi. The route then turned west at Gardouche to cover a lumpy 40km to St Sulpice, followed by the first big climb of the day for 10km to reach the wide river Garonne at Marquefave. The sun was blazing down on me by this time so I was fortunate to find plenty of shade and a shop 5km further on at Carbonne. The next 20km were straightforward, though increasingly hot, as I followed the course of the Garonne south-west on the D10 to Martres-Tolosane. Aurignac was full of road works which diverted traffic round and up some really steep hills in the town. I found a shop on the far side of town where a geriatric lady hesitantly supplied me with cold drinks and water. I must have looked a bit wild to her, sweating profusely in her cosy shop. The final 27km to Montmaurin contains three big climbs and a final minor climb into the village itself. My friend Dick offered to come and collect me in his car from
… The mid-point of the ride would be ❝ the famous “viaduct in the clouds” at Millau. I wanted to see this marvel of modern construction myself, even though I knew cyclists weren’t allowed to cross it
Aurignac, and I was sorely tempted. But I wanted to finish this phase of my cycling career in style. So eventually, 13 hours after starting that morning, I arrived at my friends’ house – totally shattered. I unhooked the panniers, grabbed a quick shower and sat down to eat with them at 8.30pm. Soon it was off to sleep for 11 hours
and a slow recovery during the next few days. My bike remained untouched on the porch for two days until I had the energy to pack it up and fly home to Chester. Two weeks riding, two hours on the plane and four weeks recovery from minor heat stroke and exhaustion – but an unforgettable experience!
… Prior to Trebas ❝ there is a 450m long, narrow tunnel straddling the road, with no way to avoid it
OBITUARIES A farewell to Audax stalwarts, Dave and Liz
Two legends of the Audax world passed away in December last year – Dave Pountney of Kidderminster, and Liz Creese of Willesden. Their impact on the sport can be gauged by the many glowing tributes from fellow riders, left on the various websites registering their passing.
DAVE POUNTNEY – the ‘cyclist’s cyclist’ Dave Pountney had been a Kidderminster CTC committee member since 1965 and was a mainstay of the club, having held at various times the positions of secretary, treasurer and magazine editor. His other achievements included riding Paris-Brest-Paris in 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1991. He was also the first rider to complete an AAA card, back in the 1980s. But to his friends and fellow riders, Dave was much more than just another rider. Dan Howard, chair of Cycling UK, said: “Dave supported and influenced so many of us, and he’ll be really missed.” Philip Whiteman of Beacon RCC added: “Dave was instrumental in the creation of the Kidderminster Killer and Elenith Audaxes. He was a stalwart of Kidderminster CTC, and an accomplished ‘mile-eater’. Over the years many hundreds of cyclists participated in his Audaxes and will remember his great humour, and the care and attention he gave to riders.” Towards the end of his cycling career, Dave was awarded a Certificate of Merit by his club in recognition of his lifelong work. The citation reads: “He joined the Kidderminster club in 1959 but didn’t start cycling until 8am on 10 March, 1965. We know this because as well as being an avid cyclist, he was also a meticulous diary keeper, having logged all of his miles.” The citation added: “There are many members today, still cycling through Dave’s encouragement and guidance. The sense of achievement he has helped young riders accomplish should not be underestimated.” After his death was announced, many riders flocked to comment on the Yet Another Cycling Forum (YACF) website: “He was a cyclist’s cyclist. I had the privilege of being severely tested on some of his events.” “Thanks for reviving me with beans on toast at Kidderminster on my first ever 660.” “Thanks for all the Eleniths, Dave… and the jelly babies.” “A really nice man who always had time to stop and chat whenever we met on the road.” “It was Dave who inspired me to take up cycling, thanks to his inspirational writings in Cycling magazine.” “He was such a cheery chap – such a great guy, such an inspiration, such a loss.” Ultra-cyclist, Steve Abraham, who knew Dave, added a personal tribute: “Riding through the night on my way back from Chester on my first 600, the Windsor-ChesterWindsor, was a struggle. It wasn’t easy staying awake, but I knew I’d soon be back at that control at the scout hut in Kidderminster. “It was run by a man who somehow knew exactly what everyone needed on a ride like this. This was Dave Pountney. He’d done this type of thing himself and had lots
of experience. It made a very big difference. “The following year I entered an event called the Elenith. At the time I didn’t know much about Dave, but soon realised that the man running the start and finish from that scout hut was the same guy who’d organised the Kidderminster control on WCW. “Meeting Dave became a part of my Audax riding experience – and the more I rode and met other riders, the more I learned how much Dave had done as a rider. No wonder he knew how to look after us all so well. He was more than just a rider. He was part of the architecture of cycling.” Dave’s wife Charlotte said: “It’s great to know that Dave was so widely respected and will be missed by so many. He loved organising the Elenith and the Killer, and was really happy to introduce so many to his favourite cycling area, Mid Wales.” Dave was also an accomplished amateur photographer. His Flickr page had nearly three million views. His motto was: “If it moves, photograph it. If it doesn’t move… photograph it.” The last picture he posted was a portrait of himself and his bike, with typical humour he added the words: “Signing off for a time…as I am cashing in quite a few of my lifetime’s ‘donations’ to the NHS.” Dave Pountney died on 12 November, 2019, after a lengthy period of bladder cancer. He passed away peacefully in hospital, with his wife Charlotte and sister Claire by his side. LIZ CREESE – the Marmite Queen I first heard the name Liz Creese many years ago when I learned she was riding a 200km permanent – just to get to the start of another 200km event, writes Steve Abraham. This was one of Liz’s rides during the year she achieved her Audax points record. Her 222 points might not sound exceptional nowadays, but back then, it was different: No DIYs, and no permanents were allowed to be repeated – and there were fewer of them. There was no GPS for easy navigation – we all relied on written instructions. There were fewer events, too. The Audax season didn’t really start until March, and ended pretty much in September. Riding a 200 in mid-winter was exceptional and was almost never done. Riding a 600 off-season was pretty much unheard of, too. This means that Liz amassed her 222 points in about half the time that the points chasers of today do. During her points chasing in 1995, she became a popular talking point on events – how quickly she was accumulating points. She made good use of Pete Coulson’s permanents between Lincoln and Winchester. It was a cunning ploy. An out-and-back route that could be ridden numerous times and count as not being the same route within Audax rules, if you started or finished at different control points to other rides. Liz rode it so much that he dubbed it “The Creese in the Road.” Liz also liked to ride fast and was usually among the fastest finishers. I remember Pete Coulson commenting that she’d ridden one of his routes from Northampton to Lincoln and back – 300km in 11 hours. That included stops. During her points-chasing year, I joined the Easter Arrow team focused on getting Liz her four points. I still
remember the ride. It was an ambitious weekend for me because at 3am on the day before I rode Dave Hudson’s 300 from Worthing. Unsurprisingly, Liz did too. Just another week of points-chasing for her. I remember her saying that her favourite distance was a 400. She could get up, drive to the event that usually started around 10am, rattle off about 300km, get some sleep, then ride 100km to the finish before driving back home in good time. She knew the benefit of getting good sleep on rides and that’s how she did it. Ride fast, get as much good sleep as possible so she could ride fast the next day. It also helped that she was excellent at following a route sheet and often led bunches through complex networks of lanes. She often seemed miffed that people wondered at her skills. She memorised several lines of route sheet at a time while others read a line, took a turn then had to find the next line on the route sheet. It also might have helped that she’d probably ridden the event several times before. Although she knew the wisdom of sleep, night riding was inevitable. She was fond of getting a group together for a night time sing-song. That was her way of getting through a night. She was never keen on the hilly rides and didn’t mind admitting it. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t do them. I remember her riding an Elenith, and you couldn’t gain as many points in a season as she did back then without riding the Bryan Chapman. Fuelled by the Marmite sandwiches that gave her the nickname, “The Marmite Queen,” she was one of the all-time top points chasers of AUK. It’s not just her 1995 season. She became the first AUK to gain the 100,000km award. It was all done in eight years at a time when 100 points in a season was about as common as someone getting over 200 now. She stopped riding Audax not long after her 100,000 award. Elizabeth Ann Creese, known to all as “Liz”, died on 5 December, 2019, aged 77, ten months after learning that she had stage four cancer. Liz, a long-standing member of Willesden CC, was responsible for creating the Rocco’s Rocket memorial ride in 2013, a year after the death of her partner, Rocco Richardson, also an accomplished cyclist.
Steve Abraham is currently planning a 600 event in August as a tribute to Liz Creese. His idea is to use a modified version of the now obsolete “Creese in the Road”, as devised by Pete Coulson. Starting in Milton Keynes, it will join the original route at Thame, then through Berkshire down to Winchester and back to Milton Keynes at the halfway point before the northern loop, skirting Northampton, into Leicestershire and Rutland, up to Lincoln then back to Milton Keynes. More information will be announced on the Audax rides Facebook page.
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 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 email@example.com Arthur Vince, 3 Back Lane, East Coker, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 9JN 200 01 Mar Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth Cambrian Reservoirs 200 07:00 Sun BR 208km 3680m AAA3.75 £6.00 G L P T S 14.3-25kph Audax Cymru 07771 812900 firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Cox, Aberdauddwr Aberffrwd Aberystwyth Ceredigion SY23 3ND 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 email@example.com Stephen Ogden, 12 Primula Grove, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 8SD 150 07 Mar Chepstow Castle Car park The Gospel Pass 7:30 Sat BP AAA2.25 £6.00 X P GMTR 15-30kph Chepstow Cycling Club 01291 626836 Jennifer Goslin, 46 Bridge Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire NP16 5EY 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Patrick Mcmaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT 100 09 Mar Spike Island, Bristol Moon Night Sonata #2 19:00 Mon BP 103km £4.50 X G 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol firstname.lastname@example.org Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 200 14 Mar Aztec West Business Park, BS32 4TD Efengyl (Gospel) 200 07:30 Sat BR 204km 2300m AAA2 £6.00 x g p 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol email@example.com Entry on line only 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 C L P R T G M 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex email@example.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 C L P R T G M 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 100 14 Mar Forfar, DD8 3TG Scone 100 10:00 Sat BP 750m £3.00 GPTS 15-30kph Angus CC 01307 466123 email@example.com ROA 5000 David Husband, 78 Old Halkerton Road, Forfar DD8 1JP 300 14 Mar Oxford, Peartree Services Park & Ride The Dean 06:00 Sat BR 3390m £7.50 X G P 14.3-30kph New Event Audax Club Hackney firstname.lastname@example.org 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] £7.00 F G L R T P 12.5-30kph Change of Date Audax Cymru 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd Bishopston Bristol BS7 9DG
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 Cymru 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd Bishopston Bristol BS7 9DG 100 15 Mar Bynea, Llanelli Carmarthenshire Stopper 08:30 Sun BP 102km 1500m AAA1.5 £5.50 C L F P R T 50 12-25kph Swansea DA Guto Evans, Maes Yr Helyg Heol Nant Y Ci Saron Ammanford Carmarthenshire SA18 3TP 200 15 Mar Cranbrook 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 email@example.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook, Devon EX5 7AP 100 15 Mar Cranbrook Mad March – Up and Blackdown 09:00 Sun BP 1150m £6.00 YH F P R T 12-25kph Exeter Whs 07443 471140 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton Le Moorland, Lincolnshire LN5 9HT 200 21 Mar Cycle Training Wales, Cardiff Making Hay 07:30 Sat BR 210km 2000m [2500m] £9.00 YH FG L P R T 15-30kph Updated Audax Cymru 02920 341768 email@example.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 L P R T S G 12-30kph Audax Ecosse email@example.com ROA 25000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St., Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 21 Mar Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Pork Pie 08:00 Sat BR 214km 1700m £10.00 YH A C G L P R T S 15-30kph Cambridge Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Nick Wilkinson, 1 Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP 110 21 Mar Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Spring Dash 09:00 Sat BP 111km 850m £10.00 YH A C G L P R T S 12.5-30kph Cambridge Audax email@example.com Nick Wilkinson, 1 Church Path, Saffron Walden CB10 1JP 100 22 Mar Birdwell Community Centre Birdwell-Snaith-Birdwell 09:00 Sun BP 109km 800m £6.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Birdwell Whs 01226 726 754 firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Myatt, 11 Spring Lane, Carlton, Barnsley S71 3EX 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 300 27 Mar Morton Park, Darlington Second Class Return to Scarborough 21:00 Fri BR 2275m £5.00 X 14.3-30kph VC 167 email@example.com Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER 100 28 Mar Copdock, nr Ipswich The Copdock Circuit – Spring in South Suffolk 09:00 Sat BP 750m £6.50 LPRTM 12-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, 70 Queensway, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1EW 300 28 Mar Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth Meirionnydd & More 06:00 Sat BR 311km 4200m AAA4.25 £6.00 G L P T S X 14.3-30kph Audax Cymru 01970630202 firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Cox, Aberdauddwr Aberffrwd Aberystwyth Ceredigion SY23 3ND 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 email@example.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG www.audax.uk
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG 200 28 Mar Wigston Rd, Oadby, Leicester Another Slice of Rutland 08:00 Sat BR 2100m £6.00 L P R T G 70 15-30kph Leicester Forest CC Steve Orchard, 28 Hidcote Road, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5PE 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org David Winslade, 3 Albany Close, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 2EY 100 29 Mar Minehead Exmoor Spring 09:30 Sun BP 1750m AAA1.75 £7.00 L P R T 100 12.5-25kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX 57 29 Mar Minehead Exmoor Spring 50 10:00 Sun BP 1150m AAA1.25 £7.00 YH L P R T 10-20kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX 100 29 Mar North Petherton, S of Bridgwater Dunkery Dash 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1700m AAA1.75 £8.00 F L P R T 15-30kph New Event Bridgwater CC Simon Richards, 11 Old Oaks Close, Wembdon, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3UR 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Darryl Nolan, 5 Grasmere Road, Royton, Oldham OL2 6SR 200 29 Mar Stevenage Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 08:15 Sun BR 202km 1240m £8.00 P R T G 15-30kph Herts Audax firstname.lastname@example.org Phil Whitehurst, 506 Archer Road, Stevenage SG1 5QL
04 Apr Bushley Emily Wardle’s Spring Excursion 09:00 Sat BP 102km 994m [950m] £6.50 C G L NM P R T 12-30kph BlackSheep CC email@example.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 300 04 Apr Chalfont St Peter, SL9 9QX 3Down London – New Forest 06:00 Sat BRM 309km 2715m [3100m] £21.00 YHA(1)FGLNMPRT 15-30kph Willesden CC email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 160 04 Apr Warmley, Bristol Mendip Flip Flop – Century Ride 08:00 Sat BP 2250m AAA2.25 £8.00 F G L R T P 15-30kph BlackSheep CC 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG 150 04 Apr Warmley, Bristol Goats Head Soup Century Ride 08:00 Sat BP 159km 1520m £8.00 F G L R T P 15-30kph New Event BlackSheep CC 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 BlackSheep CC 07503541573 Oliveriles@gmx.com Oliver Iles, 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG 100 04 Apr Wigginton, York Wiggy Spring 100 10:00 Sat BP 639m £5.00 L P R T F 12-30kph York Wednesday Wheelers 01904 796325 Bryan Stanton, 6 Dikelands Close, Upper Poppleton, York, North Yorkshire YO26 6HY 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 email@example.com Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF 110 05 Apr Bishops Lydeard, Nr Taunton Dustman Dave’s Doddle 09:00 Sun BP 950m £6.00 L P R T 10-30kph Wellington Whs firstname.lastname@example.org Philip Leavey, The Spinney, Chitterwell, Wellington, Somerset TA21 0HF0HF
Bishops Lydeard, Nr Taunton Dustman Dave’s Diddy Doddle Sun BP £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Wellington Whs 07899927978 email@example.com 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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Preston, 24 Monmouth Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2DG 05 Apr Wareham Coastlet Sun BP 107km 1200m £12.00 15-30kph CC Weymouth email@example.com Andrew Preston, 24 Monmouth Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2DG 06 Apr Shortwood, Bristol Moon Night Sonata #3 Mon BP 102km £4.50 X G 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol firstname.lastname@example.org Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 10 Apr Anywhere, to York Easter Fleches to York Fri BRM £15.00 X 15-30kph Audax UK email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 West Sussex CTC email@example.com 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 11 Apr Leominster The Cambrian Sat BR 210km 3500m AAA3.5 £6.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Hereford & Dist. Whs firstname.lastname@example.org Daryl Hayter, Weir View, Breinton Common, Breinton, Hereford Herefordshire HR4 7PR 11 Apr Leominster The Cambrian – Minor Sat BP 148km 2035m AAA2 [2250m] £6.00 L P R T 12.5-30kph Hereford & Dist. Whs email@example.com Daryl Hayter, Weir View, Breinton Common, Breinton, Hereford Herefordshire HR4 7PR 11 Apr Leominster The Cambrian – Welsh Marches Sat BP 950m £6.00 L P R T 10-22.5kph Hereford & Dist. Whs firstname.lastname@example.org Daryl Hayter, Weir View, Breinton Common, Breinton, Hereford Herefordshire HR4 7PR 11 Apr Ponteland Longtown Way Round Sat BR 315km 2900m £8.50 G P R T 1530kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 email@example.com Please enter online 11 Apr Ponteland Up on the Roof Sat BP 161km 2040m AAA1.75 [1800m] £8.50 F G P R T 13.5-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 firstname.lastname@example.org Please enter online 12 Apr Mountnessing CM15 0TJ I-M-O-L-D Sun BP 115km £9.00 F G L P R T 15-30kph Essex CTC email@example.com Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS1 2LQ 15 Apr Marple, near Stockport An Icecream Wensdae Wed BP 109km 800m £7.00 P R T 30 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7DL
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com ROA 10000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester, Glos GL7 1RL 400 18 Apr Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth Mountains, Castles & Golden Arches 06:00 Sat BR 407km 5040m AAA5 [5020m] £6.00 G L P T S X 14.3-25kph Audax Cymru 07771812900 firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Cox, Aberdauddwr Aberffrwd Aberystwyth SY23 3ND 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE
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 100 18 Apr Usk, Monmouthshire Gwent Gambol 08:00 Sat BP 101km 1200m £7.00 C F G P R T L 13-30kph Cardiff Byways firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW 110 18 Apr Wadebridge The Social Coastal 09:00 Sat BP 112km 1600m £6.00 G NM P R T 12.5-25kph Wadebridge Coasters CC email@example.com please enter online 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 19 Apr Greenwich The Shark 07:00 Sun BR 205km 3110m AAA3 £8.00 F G R (17/04) 14.3-28kph Audax Club Hackney email@example.com Ivan Cornell, 13 Maidenstone Hill, London SE10 8SY 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com ROA 25000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PU 100 19 Apr Winnington Park Rugby Club, CW8 3AA Ron Sant Memorial Ride 9:30 Sun BP 106km 650m £5.00 P R T S 15-30kph Weaver Valley Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive, Hartford, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 1SJ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP 300 25 Apr Bushley Yr Elenydd… in memory of Dave Pountney 06:00 Sat BR 315km 4570m AAA4.5 £11.00 C G L NM P R T (10/4) 15-25kph BlackSheep CC email@example.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, The Dwellings, Woodhall Farm Barns, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YE 400 25 Apr Coryton, NW Cardiff Buckingham Blinder 5:00 Sat BR £15.00 X 15-30kph Cardiff Ajax Robyn Thomas, 44 Cosmeston Street, Cardiff CF24 4LR
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 200 25 Apr Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Essex Lanes (200) Randonee 08:00 Sat BR 210km 1700m £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP 150 25 Apr Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Essex lanes (150) Randonee 09:00 Sat BP 1400m £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminste, Essex RM14 1DP 100 25 Apr Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Essex Lanes (110) Randonee 10:00 Sat BP 102km 850m £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Updated Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminste, Essex RM14 1DP 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com ROA 5000 Tom Jackson, 19 Denesway, Meopham, Kent DA13 0EA 200 25 Apr Reading, Berks A Tribute to Alan Turing 07:30 Sat BR 208km 2000m [650m] £10.00 F G NM P R T 15-30kph Updated Cycling UK Reading Edwin Raj, 312 Henley Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 6LS 100 25 Apr Reading, Berks A Tribute to Robert Boyle 09:00 Sat BP 108km 700m £10.00 F G NM P R T 15-30kph Updated Cycling UK Reading Edwin Raj, 312 Henley Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 6LS 55 25 Apr Reading, Berks A Tribute to Johnson & Matthey 09:45 Sat BP 540m £10.00 F G NM P R T 10-30kph Updated Cycling UK Reading Edwin Raj, 312 Henley Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 6LS 110 25 Apr Reepham, nr Lincoln Lincoln Imp 09:30 Sat BP 112km 800m £5.00 G L P R T 1530kph Cycling UK Lincolnshire firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Townhill, 10 Larkin Avenue, Cherry, Willingham, Lincolnshire LN3 4AY
25 Apr Riverside, Cardiff Bath or bust 8:30 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace, Selkirk TD7 4BB 200 25 Apr Wadsley, North Sheffield Paris and Moscow in the Spring 08:00 Sat BR 209km 3050m AAA3 £5.00 G L P R T (50) (24/04) 14.3-30kph Sheffield District CTC bigT.email@example.com Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1SF 100 25 Apr Wadsley, North Sheffield Paris in the Spring 09:00 Sat BP 106km 1800m AAA1.75 £5.00 G L P R T (60) (24/04) 12.5-25kph Sheffield District CTC bigT.firstname.lastname@example.org Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1SF 52 25 Apr Wadsley, North Sheffield ‘So We Never Got To Paris’ 09:30 Sat BP 850m £5.00 G L P R T (50) (24/04) 10-20kph Sheffield District CTC bigT.email@example.com Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1SF 200 26 Apr Hallbankgate, nr Brampton Eden Valley 200 08:30 Sun BR 204km 1943m £8.00 G P R T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds 07875224229 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF
26 Apr Uffington The Harlequin Hack 09:30 Sun BP 750m £6.00 C F G L P R T 1530kph Corallian CC 07752 957363 jochta@ gmail.com John Talbot, 33 Barretts Way, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, OX14 4DD 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen Ogden, 12 Primula Grove, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 8SD 100 02 May Alveston, N Bristol South Glos 100 09:30 Sat BP 106km £6.00 PRT 150 12.5-25kph Bristol CTC email@example.com Alex Rendu, Whitethorn Cock Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 9SJ 200 02 May Bolsover Clumber to Humber (John Kerr Memorial Ride) 08:00 Sat BR 214km 1450m £6.00 L P R T G (100) 15-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 firstname.lastname@example.org ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL 110 02 May Bolsover An NCN Audax 09:00 Sat BP 117km 1036m £6.00 G L P R T (50) 10-20kph Audax Club Bolsover 01246 825 351 email@example.com ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN 200 02 May Cycle Training Wales, Cardiff Transporter 200 07:00 Sat BR 1950m AAA2 [2150m] £9.00 YH C F G L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 email@example.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW 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 200 02 May Hampton, Evesham Neville Chanin Memorial – Over The Severn 08:00 Sat BR 203km 2850m AAA2.75 [2750m] £8.00 F R T 15-25kph Evesham & Dist Whs firstname.lastname@example.org Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD
02 May Lytchett Minster Porkers 400 14:00 Sat BRM 5930m AAA6 £10.00 L M (50) (18/4) 15-30kph Updated Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road, Denmark Gardens, Poole, Dorset BH15 2LT 300 02 May Manningtree Green & Yellow Fields 00:01 Sat BRM 301km 1800m £5.50 X P G 15-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Uttley, Suil Na Mara, Wester Cullicudden, Balblair, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV7 8LL 200 02 May Walbottle Campus, Newcastle Chevy Chase 08:00 Sat BR 201km 2800m AAA2.75 [2750m] £12.00 F G L P R T S (120)(24-4) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close, Lanchester, Durham DH7 0PX 200 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 email@example.com ROA 5000 Mike Hutchinson, 18 Lawnswood Avenue, Lancaster LA1 4NZ 100 04 May Almondsbury, Bristol Moon Night Sonata #4 19:00 Mon BP 103km £4.50 X G 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol firstname.lastname@example.org Will Pomeroy, 19 Berwick Road, Bristol BS5 6NG 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 email@example.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 (103) 13.3-25kph VC 167 firstname.lastname@example.org Dean Clementson, 10 Redmire Close, Darlington DL1 2ER
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook EX5 7AP 200 09 May Dore, Sheffield Beyond the Roaches 08:00 Sat BR 205km 3100m AAA3 £5.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Sheffield District CTC 0114 258 8932 email@example.com John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW 100 09 May Dore, Sheffield To the Roaches 09:00 Sat BP 103km 2050m AAA2 £5.00 F L P T 12-30kph Sheffield District CTC 0114 258 8932 firstname.lastname@example.org John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW 62 09 May Dore, Sheffield Not as far as the Roaches 09:30 Sat BP 1150m AAA1.25 £5.00 F L P T 10-22kph Sheffield District CTC 0114 258 8932 email@example.com John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Parker, 28 High Street, Carlton Le Moorland, 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 email@example.com Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Road, Ealing W5 1JG
09 May Wigginton, YORK WWW 100 Sat BP £3.00 G L P R T 15-30kph CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 firstname.lastname@example.org Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive, Wigginton, York YO32 2DB 10 May Hauxton, Nr Cambridge There and Back Again Sun BR 203km 1577m £8.00 F G L P R T 15-25kph Cambridge CC email@example.com Terry Dickerson, 6 Ley Grove Cottages, Whittlesford Road, Little Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5EX 10 May Lound village hall, Nr Lowestoft, Suffolk The Broadsman Sun BP £6.00 G,L,NM,P,R,T 15-30kph VC Baracchi firstname.lastname@example.org John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 10 May Lound, Nr Lowestoft The Norfolk Special Sun BR 1250m £6.00 FRTP 15-30kph VC Baracchi email@example.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 10 May Lound, Nr Lowestoft The Norfolk Special Sun BP 1250m £6.00 FRTP 12.5-25kph VC Baracchi firstname.lastname@example.org John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT 10 May Meopham, nr Gravesend Hop Garden 200km Sun BR 1850m £8.00 F L P R T NM 7/5 15-30kph Gravesend CTC email@example.com Patrick Mcmaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT 10 May Meopham, Nr Gravesend Hop Garden Century Ride Sun BP 1700m £8.00 F L P R T NM 7/5 15-30kph Gravesend CTC firstname.lastname@example.org Patrick Mcmaster, 207 Colyer Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 8AT 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 & Romsey CTC email@example.com Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO53 2AB
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