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Arrivée

Number 132 Spring 2016

the Long Distance Cyclists’ Association www.aukweb.net


Peter Henley on the Jack and Grace Cotton Memorial 100k Photo by beckirobinsonphotography.co.uk


editorial

Spring 2016 – forty years of AUK It was good to see so many new Randonneurs listed in the last magazine, 602 in fact plus 233 members joined the ranks of Super Randonneur. Well done and welcome to you all. I hope you all get something special out of AUK which you may not have done riding by yourself or with your local club/DA. I can still remember the huge satisfaction I felt when I gained my first SR, riding Windsor-Chester-Windsor 600 to complete the series in 1988. It had been a steep learning curve following a National 400 when one of the experienced finishers that day said to me 'You should go for a 600 now'. I had barely survived the 400 from a midday start, no sleep and no water for the last 50k. Lessons were learned that day, the SR beckoned and before I knew it I was into a long distance cycling career, travelling around the country at weekends looking for

Contents A trial by wind and rain..............................................................   4 Looking for a first ever 300k in 2016?.............................  6 Golden Road and Standing Stones .................................  8 2014 Tour de British Library .................................................  10 Brest endeavours...........................................................................  14 The decline and fall of MacNasty ...................................  18 El Supremo's Autumn Tints 100 .......................................   20 The National 400 2016 from Peak Audax..................  22 Finishing on a high......................................................................   24 PBP 2015 – from the outside looking in.....................   26 Windrush Winter Warm-up 100 ........................................ 32 Jack and Grace Cotton Memorial 100 .........................  33 Hebridean Island Hop 200k Part 2 ................................   36 Lumicycle Explorer Enduro lighting system review ............................................................................................... 44 Bi-focal action sports sunglasses review.................   45 Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance book review.......................................................................................   45 Cicerone Cycling Guides review.......................................  46 Drynamo base layer review.................................................  46 News and Correspondence..................................................   47 My blue bridge to PBP ............................................................  48 Kidderminster Killer ...................................................................  52 Oh to become a Randonneur Round the Year ....   54 Fairies 100k..........................................................................................  57 AUK Calendar...................................................................................   58 OCD claims for 2015.....................................................................  66 Front cover: Ian Milne, Rob Wood and Neil Scafe riding the Golden Road and Standing Stones 300, Stornoway. Photo by Dean Clementson. Next edition of Arrivée is in August. Please send your copy to David (address on right) by July 3rd

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new and exciting events to conquer. I met so many feisty characters and legends of AUK over the next few years (Sheila Simpson, Mick Potts, Rocco, Liz Creese, Sean Shaw, Nev Chanin, MacNasty, El Supremo, Steve Abraham plus the unforgettable Jack Eason to name a few). I discovered many areas of Britain completely unknown to me and then my wife got the audax bug and matched my rides, both chasing the elusive Wessex SR until it was finally achieved, followed by PBP and LEL as a matter of course. I found a map of the UK which clearly defined all the counties and I realised I had cycled in every mainland county – some of my favourites being Dorset, Shropshire, the Peak District and Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Scottish Highlands – superb cycling areas. AUK needs a regular supply of fresh blood to keep the club alive and vibrant with new ideas and new organisers, and I really hope our new members continue the traditions and lessons learned since the start of AUK 40 years ago. So newcomers, go forth, ride the kilometres, earn your medals, spread the randonnée word and record your experiences for the club magazine. ■ On a very sad note, I have to report the death of one of our members, Richard Ellis from Rayleigh in Essex, who died after a collision with a car on the Dorset Coast 200. Richard was a very experienced rider and I believe AUK's first fatality on an event in 40 years. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Keep your wheels turning.

Tim

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom – the long distance cyclists’ association which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in the UK. AUK membership is open to any cyclist, regardless of club or other affiliation, who is imbued with the spirit of long-distance cycling. Full details in the AUK Handbook. HOW TO CONTACT US Membership Enquiries: Mike Wigley (AUK Membership Secretary), Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX. Email: mike.wigley@Audax.uk.net Membership Application Form: www.aukweb.net/memform.phb Contact Membership Secretary (see above). Membership fees: Renewal: £14 or £56 for five years. New or lapsed members £19 (inc. £5 enrolment fee) or £61 for five years. Household members: £5 or £20 for five years. No enrolment fee for new household members. Life member’s Arrivée £9 or £45 for five years. ARRIVEE Extra current Arrivée copies, where available, are £3 (UK), £4 (Europe), £5 (rest of world). Contact Mike Wigley (address above). Mudguard stickers four for £1. AUK cloth badges £2 (includes UK post. EEC add £1. Non-EEC add £2. Contact Mike Wigley (above). Contributions – articles, info, cartoons, photos, all welcome. Please see www.aukweb. net/arrivee/contributing/ for useful uploading information Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the Club. Produced by AUK: editing, typesetting, layout, design by Tim Wainwright. Printed and distributed: Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH. Distribution data from AUK membership team. Copyright © 2016 Arrivée. TO ADVERTISE Advertising Manager: Tim Wainwright, 4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL. E-mail: twain@blueyonder.co.uk Rates per issue: Full page A4 £300. Half-page landscape or portrait £150. Quarter-page £75. One-sixth page £50. One-twelfth page £25. Payment in advance. Businesses must be recommended by a member. We rely on good faith and Arrivée cannot be held responsible for advertisers’ misrepresentations or failure to supply goods or services. Members’ private sales, wants and events ads: free. PUBLICATIONS MANAGERS February Editor: Sheila Simpson, 33 Hawk Green Road, Marple SK6 7HR Tel: 0161 449 9309 Fax: 0709 237 4245 E-mail: sheila@aukadia.net May Editor: Tim Wainwright, 4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL. Tel: 020 8657 8179 E-mail: twain@blueyonder.co.uk August Editor: David Kenning, Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ Tel: 07734 815133 or 01227 471448 E-mail: dave@widdersbel.co.uk October Editor: Peter Moir, 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7YB. Tel: 01993 704913 E-mail: peter@moir.co.uk margaret@lewismpd.plus.com Audax United Kingdom Long Distance Cyclists' Association Ltd Company Registration 05920055 (England and Wales) Reg Office: 25 Bluewater Drive, Elborough, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 8PF To subscribe to the AUK e-mailing discussion list, send an e-mail to: audax-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Note this group is not monitored by the AUK Board, who should be contacted directly with matters of concern. Our WWW site: www.aukweb.net AUK clothing can be purchased directly on-line from aukweb.net >Members> Clothing

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

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randonnee 200

A trial by wind and rain Laura Pugh's first audax – Straight on a Rosie’s 200km, 1190m ascent. Organised by Alfreton CTC

It was early morning on Saturday 6th February and we were chatting to a fellow cyclist whilst unloading the tandem. 'This is Laura’s first audax,' my boyfriend Stevie commented. The fellow cyclist proceeded to give me an appraising look whilst I tried to look confident. 'Most people start with a 100, you know…' he said. 'Oh well, at least it’s the weather for it!' I joked, knowing full well it wasn’t.

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ot only was I undertaking my first audax as a 200, but this was early February in between storms Henry and Imogen with heavy rain forecast for most of the day and direct headwinds gusting over 40mph all the way back. I’d definitely not made things easy for myself! I have always had a bike from childhood and have done my share of commuting on my trusty hybrid 'Denise', it has only been since last year that I’ve been taking things a bit more seriously. A friend talked me into participating 4

Arrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

in the Prudential Ride London to 'Save the Rhinos' and with the help of Stevie, who is an experienced cyclist and wellseasoned audaxer, I was plunged into a world of lycra, chamois cream and SPDS! I completed the Ride London in a respectable 6h13 but a summer of cycling in the Derbyshire countryside had definitely given me the bug. When the winter edition of Arrivée landed on our doormat we were soon flicking through it to find some audaxes. Due to shift patterns, Straight on at Rosie’s was the only reasonable option for early on in the year and before we knew it stamped addressed envelopes had been posted. Leading up to the event I was determined to increase my fitness and over the next few week clocking up around 500k and conquering some formidable heights like Rowsley Bar and Riber Wall, all on the trusty Denise! However, my old battered hybrid was not suitable for an audax and we were planning to ride it tandem. This would be my fifth time ever on a tandem! To add an extra challenge, Stevie’s

shifts had left him very little time to train and apart from commuting, this was only his second ride of the year and self admittedly his fitness was not at its peak. All this was challenge enough, but the week running up to the ride the weather forecast seemed to get progressively worse. Caught between two major storms (you know they are big when they get names!), the weather couldn’t have been much worse. 'Are you sure you want to do this?' Stevie asked a few days before the ride, 'it’s going to hurt. To really hurt. Especially with headwinds all way back.' I have never been one to let the weather put me off much, but I realised this was serious with my inexperience and Stevie’s relative lack of fitness. 'I want to try,' I said. And that was it, the next few days I spent trying to decipher route sheets, stock up on provisions and figure out a tandem/camper van transportation solution. We soon found ourselves in a dark, wet car park in Alfreton on Saturday morning. We checked in and were treated www.audax.uk.net


randonnee 200 to tea and biscuits by friendly organiser Tom. Everyone looked very well prepared compared to us and I looked at my first Brevet card and thought: all I have to do is fill in all the boxes! Easy huh?! Before I knew it we were on the road and I was soon getting used to the view of Stevie’s back and trying to remember not to steer! The first stretch was 60k out to Rosie’s and thanks to Stevie’s experience I knew to break the ride down in my head into sections. Hence we had a great ride to Rosie’s, with tailwinds and only heavy showers at the end. We dived into the warm café and promptly devoured bacon cobs, beans and eggs on toast and two cups of tea. Due to being slightly peckish I was eating with less decorum than normal and when a friendly man came to collect our plates it must have showed as he commented: 'Hungry boys?!' He probably couldn’t see my face from it being buried in my breakfast! We were soon ready to get back on the bikes and were lucky enough to catch a break in the showers as we set off. Just another 40k bike ride I told myself… The tailwind soon kicked in and we were soon speeding in the 20s alongside the river up to the Humber estuary and the Blacktoft sands bird reserve. We made it there in what seemed like no time and briefly admired the view across the marshlands. Two stickers down and all I need to do now is get back again I told myself… The next 24k were not so easy. Strong head and crosswinds left Stevie battling to keep the tandem in a straight line and out of traffic. We finally made it to the Tiny Teapot Café and I was rewarded with a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and we tucked into jacket potatoes. By this point the café was full of fellow randonneurs and there was a great friendly atmosphere. Everyone was feeling a bit battered by the wind but there was such a sense of determination, optimism and camaraderie I felt excited to be part of it all. We soon headed off in search of the name of a particular pub in Bawtry for our cards and although still present we were somewhat sheltered from the headwinds in the more built-up areas. I was tiring somewhat by this point and my arms were increasingly aching as I suspect my bars are a bit low. We made it though and after a brief pit stop we soldiered onto Shireoaks and our last info control. This was another 24k and I used the trick of breaking the ride down in sections again to motivate myself to keep going. It was dark by the time we reached Shireoaks but we were kitted out with lights and despite the nagging headwind I felt tired but confident and determined that I was going to make it round. Little did I know the worst was yet to come and

the last 31k would prove harder than the rest of the ride so far. As we left Shireoaks it became more rural and exposed and the winds picked up. A drizzle started and we lost a peg from our route sheet making navigation tricky, especially in the dark. The wind and rain picked up further to the point wheere I felt blasted by it on the back of the tandem and had the tricky choice of glasses on and reduced visibility or off and sleety rain and grit in my eyes! Stevie was bearing the brunt of this on the front and we had to pull over to figure out our next turn. As soon as we did the heavens opened in one of the heaviest rain showers I have experienced and we were instantly soaked – water poured down my neck under my jacket soaking my base layer. We were struggling to read road names through this when luckily another cyclist came flying past us – that must be the turn we thought, only another audaxer would be mad enough to be out in this!

Relentless rain and wind

As we continued to higher ground the rain and winds were relentless and we became more exposed. The county lanes narrowed as well and we had hit peak time for drivers speeding along to get to their takeaway dinners in front of the box. Poor visibility resulted in me almost landing in the hedge when we hit a pothole and we almost had a run in with a muck spreader we hadn’t realised was attached to the back of a rather aggressively driven tractor. The weather was making it hard to take on food and water as stopping for seconds meant getting colder and wetter and losing the clip on the route sheet meant Stevie was having to find increasingly novel ways to hold it and we resorted to memorising the next three directions and then stopping. Even with the lights on full it was impossible to read some of the signs in the rain and dark and as our energy levels were slowly sapped we knew a wrong turn at this point could be disastrous. These miles seemed to drag out forever but Stevie’s experience got us through. My heart sank though when we reached Hardwick Hall – I couldn’t believe we still had some distance to go. We met up with another rides at this point though and gained some encouragement and checked directions. Coming down through Hardwick Hall I tried not to dwell in how desperately hard this ride had become in the last 30k, just to get to the end and was reminded the last time I was here I had barely managed to limp to the pub on crutches following knee surgery. It had been humiliating to be so incapacitated and I felt proud I’d come so far since then and it gave me strength to go on. The ride got a bit more bumpy and it

‘Even with the lights on full it was impossible to read some of the signs in the rain and dark.’

was a struggle to keep turning the pedals to get us up the hills and to hold on with my now jelly-like arms descending. Every village we passed was a huge relief and I was delighted to see the last climb up to Alvaston. 'We could crawl back on our hands and knees from here,' I said! We finally rolled into the car park and stumbled into the final control which was and oasis of calm and warmth. Having seen my shaking hands I had to have help to complete my brevet card and Tom brought us the best cup of tea I have ever tasted. I couldn’t quite believe we’d done it, especially in such extreme conditions and felt relieved and dazed. Two more cups of tea and some dry clothes later we felt vaguely human and were able to venture out into the weather to load the tandem. Everyone organising had been so supportive and helpful and seemed impressed it was my first audax which made me feel very proud and we were reluctant to leave such a friendly group. It transpired only two-thirds of entries started, probably due to the forecast and we had come in with nine people behind us and an hour to spare, not dead last as I’d half expected. We were soon waiting to collect our celebratory curry when Stevie said he’d got something for me: A 200 audax medal! Maybe I should have grown out of such things but it meant a lot because I knew what had gone into earning it and I know it will always remind me of this first ride. So, after such a draining, extreme, painful and completely exhausting experience will I ever consider another audax again? Well the dates are on the calendar already and the days can only get better and the weather warmer … 300k can’t be that much further … it’s only another 50k to get to the turning point! N

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

5


randonnee 300

Looking for a first ever 300k in 2016? Look no further… Picking up a cold in the week before the 2015 Hard Boiled 300k was disappointing, but the perfect excuse to try out alternatives in PBP year. A quick email secured a late entry in the Wonderful Wessex 300km the following weekend; as a precaution I entered the Green and Yellow Fields 300k the week after that.

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tarting from Rowlands Castle just before daybreak, the Wonderful Wessex 311k route looks like a slice of brie; it follows a scenic but not overly hilly route, with more climbing in the first half than the second, and a chance to see and exit Bath via the newly opened Two Tunnels Greenway. The forecast rain appeared not long after the start and had set in by the first control after 57k at Whitchurch Tescos local. Not wanting to stop I grabbed a couple of bananas and a bargain bag of sweeties, and beetled off across the rolling Wessex Downs towards Malmesbury. Being unsure of my form, I expected to spend my day riding solo, and so it proved. With a gusty cross wind, the wet descent of Hackpen Hill was more interesting than I prefer, but I was soon in the Summer Café, marvelling at the speed of the service. Familiar roads are always a comfort, and even more so when they are dry. Having climbed gently up to Bannerdown, I was looking forward to the broad and fast descent into Batheaston. Oh oh – right turn into Steway Lane. Descending this little brute was a test of nerve, and required brakes full on at times just to keep speed at a level to allow a softish landing in case anything came the other way. (Paul had clearly recced this route in summer time, when no fresh stew had been spread across the bitumen.) Traffic queueing through Bath presented a different technical challenge, but after 10 minutes traffic jamming and a quick bottle top up at a garage en route, I exited town via the new Sustrans Two tunnels greenway. With cycle-activated coloured lights and music players in the tunnel walls, these offer a full-on sensory experience. As the tunnels avoided the climb over Coombe Down, my legs were relatively fresh for the grunt over Midford Hill. Upton Scudamore was well named, but the last hill before the long run down the

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Arrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

Wylye Valley. With 200k up, my legs were feeling the pace, but with a nice tailwind I surfed a jelly baby provided sugar wave all the way to Salisbury. With almost three hours’ daylight remaining the return of the rain mattered not. A leisurely coffee freshened my legs for the climb away from Salisbury, after which the roads rolled gently along valleys familiar from other rides. Each time I felt I was fading, someone came past to give me a wheel/tail-light to aim for. Before I knew it I was home and looked like I had been hosed down with dirty water. Service at the finish was provided in great style by the Whitehead family, with young Sam Whitehead the star of the show. If he can’t get a job as a chimney sweep, a career as a waiter, or postman beckons… Green and Yellow fields, a 305km event, starts and finishes at Manningtree station, near Colchester. It advertises an ‘Easy run using a mixture of lanes and quiet A roads to the Norfolk coast for breakfast. Manned finish control at Manningtree Station buffet’. Controls were at the 24 hour garage on the A11 at Barton Mills; an info at Burnham Deepdale on the A149 near the Norfolk coast; at Wymondham Waitrose and the excellent Alder Carr farm shop near Needham Market. Formerly run as a 400k, Green and Yellow fields now has a midnight start with the option of a pre-ride curry in Manningtree. I opted for the train due to arrive closest to start time, and found myself in a carriage full of bikers at Liverpool Street. No problem getting bikes on, but worth using the toilet facilities on the train, as there are none at the start. The usual large entry in PBP year completely filled the lanes we followed for the first few miles and demanded concentration, especially when a car appeared. With few steep hills and light traffic volumes, this ride is good for honing bike control and night riding skills in the large bunches you may encounter in LEL or sportives. Things settled after an hour or so as we headed west into a crosswind. As we neared the first control we turned slightly with the wind and the pace went up. Having initially ignored the boot going in, my brain reacted when the tail-lights were almost out of sight. Aargh, soon I might have to do my own navigation. Ten minutes ‘eyeballs out’ riding later, I

‘Descending this little brute was a test of nerve, and required brakes full on at times just to keep speed at a level to allow a softish landing in case anything came the other way.’

was back on, and soon at the A11 garage. Saving the pocket food I had brought with me for later, I headed off solo with my gps light on, so I wouldn’t miss the upcoming turn off the main road. Breckland roads are ideal for night riding, especially with a tailwind. Grimes Graves passed to my right, as did a potential McDo stop in Swaffham around 04:30. As a grey day broke, I found myself hanging onto a bunch of VC Norwich riders, but spirits rose as we darted down the not-very Deepdale of Preston to a sit down info control at the turn. Homemade lemon drizzle cake and squash, and a cheerful good morning went down well, but the warm cuppa I really wanted would have to wait. There was no traffic on the A149, though there were indications that our good progress overnight had been wind assisted. Passed a rider who had overshot our right turn, and cruising up on another struggling up the next rise helped my morale, but it was not to last. Ten minutes later my legs were feeling the effects of that rise and the breeze; when I looked over my shoulder I found I was sheltering a line of half a dozen riders. Keeping the pace steady at 23kph was not easy in the strengthening wind, but with Wymondham café control due at 220km, I had a bacon sandwich in mind. The forecast rain stayed off until we left Wymondham, but was not heavy enough for a coat. As always when you decide not to cape up, the weather gods take it as a challenge, and soon enough it was pelting down. Made a tactical blunder in putting the head down during the heavy rain, as the riders I dropped regrouped and flew past me at speed. With the clouds lifting I finally saw my first yellow field after 250k – looking great against the green and blue sky. By the last control the weather was nice again and I was almost dry. Finished early afternoon, feeling foolish, as I had booked a train home late afternoon. Manningtree station buffet was until recently listed in the National Inventory of Historic pub interiors and still serves real ale; my water bottle of Woodfordes Wherry tasted sweet on my rearranged train home. Both the Wonderful Wessex and Green and Yellow Fields 300km rides are within easy reach of public transport, ideal as a first ever 300km ride.  N www.audax.uk.net


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randonnee 300

Golden Road and Standing Stones

Why do we bother? The thought struck me while travelling up to Stornoway, where last July I rode the Golden Road and Standing Stones 300, organised by Ian Gilbert.

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ow, it seems obvious that anyone would want to ride their bike around the Western Isles. Quiet roads, endless views, and even a ferry journey. Ferries rank second on my all-time top ten favourite ways of travelling. But it’s such a bloody long way to get there. My journey started at 5am on a Thursday with a ride to the train station and a train to Newcastle to meet Rob Wood for the drive (well, I sat and let Rob drive) for seven-and-a-half hours, then a final hop on a ferry over to the isles, arriving at 7pm. I live in the north of England as well. Was it worth the effort? I suppose it depends on why you ride these distances in the first place. I was drawn into randonneuring by a chance encounter on a train (my fourth-favourite means 8

Arrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

Dean Clementson

of transportation, if anyone’s keeping count) with a cyclist who knew Nigel Hall, the organiser of the Border Raid 600, which started nearly from home, and went up to Scotland. This immediately caught my imagination, as a mate and I had ridden to Scotland after our exams in the mid-nineties with no money, no real plans and no clue at all. We rode straight up the main A68 road, slept in a hedge in Scotland, and blagged our way into a youth hostel somewhere in the Borders before heading slowly home. The idea of riding from home in Darlington to Scotland and back was immensely appealing.

Austere and bleak moors

None of the roads on the Border Raid reminded me of our adolescent tour, but one of the things that does draw me back to riding these distances is that sense of exploration, seeing new places, and there aren’t many landscapes in the UK like Lewis and Harris. I’ve been to Lewis before, and loved its bleak moors and austere, higgledy-piggledy settlements, www.audax.uk.net


randonnee 300 set back from the gorgeous beaches. You have to make a bit of an effort on Lewis to find the beaches and the sea, whereas Harris is all rocky coves and in-your-face perfect beaches. Yellow sand, blue seas and huge skies, all right there when you’re riding your bike on the Golden Road and the other bits of Harris. The contrast is quite sharp, as I commented to one of my fellow riders, Dan, who replied that it was one of the joys of Lewis, searching out the hidden beaches – he’d grown up there, and knew it fairly well. Rob, Neil and I ended up calling Dan 'Rapha Man', and as there were only 13 starters, we came up with nicknames for most of them. We didn’t see much of Rapha Man, Movistar Man or Triathlon Girl after the first climb over Scaladale from Lewis to Harris, as they were all riding strongly. I think Triathlon Girl had a hot date in Stornoway to get back for, which she did, as she was the first back by a few hours. We did keep running into Happy Smiley Man, the world’s happiest randonneur, who was touring around at the back of the field and never stopped smiling. I heard he was over from Shetland, so the extra land was probably the source of his delight, and he certainly contrasted with Robert Gray who was mooching about near the back, and who was a bit mumbly and miserable-looking, but it turned out he’d caught the 3am freight ferry over and completely failed to get any sleep, which explained his demeanour. He was excellent company on the drive over to Inverness the next day.

Ferries on strike

Travel had been a big issue, and it was the reason for the small field of 13. There had been 50 entrants, but a ferry strike on the Friday before the ride kiboshed most riders’ plans, and was a great shame for Ian. I did feel that there was a lot of sympathy for the strike amongst the islanders that I spoke to, as the strike was over concerns about the proposal to privatise CalMac, and the effect this could have upon the services which are literally a lifeline for the islanders. Selfishly, I enjoyed the intimacy of the small field, as Rob, Neil and I rode steadily, chatted to most of the riders, waved to the front riders when they passed us on the run back from the Butt to Barvas, we leapfrogged Michael Wann and Ian Milne who’d made the trip over from Dingwall, and we took in all of the stops. The Temple Café was strikingly middle-class and served seriously thick spicy broth; the tourist centre at Callanish (of the standing stones) was a great control where we mixed it with the proper tourists, and after the beans on toast at Ness, I almost felt as though I was being paid to ride my bike, as it came on top of the all-inclusive broth at the

Loch Erisort Inn and yet-even-more broth with beer at the finish. We were very well looked-after, though I’m not sure I could have made the last 60 km from the Butt of Lewis back over Barvas Moor without that beans on toast – it was straight into the wind over the blasted heath, and wonderfully bleak. It felt like an effort, the ride itself and the getting-to-the-ride, which only made it more satisfying. I’d love to go back – well, it’s great to go to new places and see new things, but when you see a place only once, you only see one side of it, one season and one type of weather. If you

‘Yellow sand, blue seas and huge skies on the Golden Road'

go back, you can see it anew, and in more depth. And of course, you see it all from the saddle of a bike, which is my favourite mode of transport, and the best view in the world. If I ever work out which youth hostel it was we ended up cleaning in the nineties, I’d love to go back there, but in the meantime, I’m hoping to go back to Lewis and Harris, to ride anew the Golden Road. 2016’s version takes place on Saturday 9th July, with an accompanying 100k. N

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

9


london to yorkshire tour

2014 Tour de British Library – Legal deposit by bicycle! George Hanna

With Le Tour de France starting with two stages in Yorkshire early in July 2014, there was only one place to be. However, with stage three on familiar roads between Cambridge and London, I was spoilt for choice. Initial plans to visit Yorkshire, then ride overnight to London were shelved when the British Library chose to mark Le Tour in style – with events and displays at both Library sites; the archiving of Tour-related websites which might otherwise be lost; a staff photo competition and a reverse Tour de France ride from London to Yorkshire in two days. How did the Library’s reverse Tour come about? As Matthew Shaw, co-organiser (and Curator of North American History), explained to the staff newsletter: 'Be careful when chatting with George Hanna over coffee; before you know it, your madcap scheme will be given a logistical makeover, and you will find yourself riding through the night to reach Grantham Travelodge before last orders.' Planned jointly by George, Matthew 10

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and Nicholas Wells, a Collection Auditor, 17 other keen cyclists from the Library’s two sites at St Pancras and Boston Spa (just off the A1 at Wetherby) signed up for the challenge. As did regular Library Reader and author, Douglas Cowie, who joined the ride to deliver a speciallywritten short story, Stoller’s Départ, for deposit at Boston Spa. While Matthew concentrated on curating, Nic sniffed out lunch stops, and route find/checking; and George concentrated on logistics, preparing google/gps tracks, and encouraging those who weren’t used to long distance cycling that they could do it! As the group size swelled, and to maximise PR opportunities at departure, initial plans to leave London early, straight up the Archway Road were blown out, in favour of traffic-light routes. Initially expecting a group of 4-6 in total for days one and two, we were pleasantly surprised to have colleagues adjust their meeting schedules to give eight riding London to Yorkshire; with eight more joining in Grantham for Day 2, and a further four,

Author George Hanna (centre without helmet) and his British Library colleagues.

including a tandem and a Brompton joining us at Selby for the ride in. Despite breaking my wrist falling off in a ford at Snitterby in Lincolnshire while route checking, I was able to post the route online a month before we set off. Had one sleepness night before emailing riders to warn them that, at 224.5km, Day I was to be rather further than expected, as we would follow cycle routes through Islington to exit town along the cycle paths in Lee Valley. Once back on roads at Rye House, our route to Grantham would be via B1383 and lanes to Barley, Newton; under the A14 at Fenstanton to St Ives; then parallel to the A1M and through Peterborough on cycle tracks; staying east of Stamford to join the B1176 and the final hill of the day at High Dyke 7k from the finish. Nic and I were happy we had the route with the least traffic, and had ironed out as many of the hills as we could avoid, and knew where we could get food without having to add distance. Day two was 171km, also on the flattest roads possible; with one potential offroad section to avoid the Trent crossing www.audax.uk.net


london to yorkshire tour on A631 and main roads west of Lincoln. As we hadn’t all ridden together, we circulated useful info on fuelling for long rides; links to group ride etiquette and, in case anyone got separated, a list of names/contact numbers and our planned coffee stops. One quick photo stop on the Library Piazza, and we were off. Regent's Canal bank may be roadtraffic free, but we needed to ride single file and carefully to avoid issues with kamikaze commuters. By 10:30 we hadn’t heard any sploshes and stopped for a comfort break/coffee at the Olympic white water centre by Pickett’s Lock. Tarmac felt lovely after the canal banks, and we pulled in all together at our lunch stop after 55k in Much Hadham garden centre. One or two turns over shot due to too much gassing, but quickly forgotten as we made steady progress on the hottest day of the year so far at our target 20kph. Testing more guilt-free cake in an ace café in Bourn, we planned ahead. As our average meant we would be riding for 11.5 hours, we bought lights at St Ives and checked restaurant/bar closing time at our hotel. A further refuelling stop an hour before dusk ensured we would we all finish together. We missed dinner due to our late finish, but with a full English to come the following morning – no worries. Bag drop worked, we had change for the vending machine plus the bar was open for 20 minutes – just long enough for some tall tales and grins all round. Stars of the show – Marja Kingma – Dutch Curator – on her seven-speed Dutch roadster. No carbon bling needed there! Matthew Shaw for reciting a John Clare poem as we passed his birthplace at Marholm. Day Two dawned sunny again, not as warm but with the same tailwind. Target was shorter breaks and a finish before the forecast rain came. Mike Glew – Library transport manager – had scooted down to collect bags and act as unofficial team car. Our eight Day Two riders had all been up at stupid o’clock to catch their southbound trains. To sidestep a Leeds train delay we jumped to the station to collect and exited Grantham on A607, then our beloved lanes. Our team of 16 riders really turned heads at the traffic lights in Grantham. Climbing to Hough on the Hill – the first and only serious hill of the day – an anguished cry from Lorraine Henderson. That doesn’t look good. Derailleur clamp has failed on an almost brand-new bike. Nothing for it but to break chain and ride single speed for a while. Twenty minutes later and we are together and plotting. Divert off route west to Newark on Trent, where be bike shops. Colleagues in the IT team come up trumps with info and negotiations – second shop called has parts we need and a mechanic on

standby for our arrival. An hour later and we are early lunching in the café next door to the bike shop, so repairs and café break are concurrent. Seeing us fretting over time/daylight ticking away, our mechanic offered us a lift up the road in his van, with space for two riders, if we want to head off and regroup. Big shout out to Dr Bike (Unit 8, Farndon, Newark NG24, 07897 331554) Now that is service! A quick consultation with Lorraine and Marja, before we accept. Losing two riders for a time was a wrench, but main group headed out at high speed on the A46, A1133 and we all still had a chance to finish in daylight. Smiles all round as we regrouped after an hour just before Newton on Trent; and an hour later we are back on route and making excellent time making the most of the Fen road tailwinds. Lost Marja for a few minutes at the left turn by traffic lights in Epworth; but no big drama – non-riding time is rest, and we were all soon awheel with purpose heading for Thorne Rugby Club. Here Mike lifted Marja and any stray luggage for a quick onward hop to Selby. That short break kept Marja fresh and ensured we would all finish together, and give her a fair chance of catching her train back to London. Rain had been forecast from 4pm but stayed away until 6, by when we were in God’s county, and cruising. In Selby – reached after 11 hours on the road around 1840 – group size hit 20 riders as Jerry Jenkins on his Brompton folder and mixed tandem couple Alastair Wylie and Lynne Clayford joined us. As we arrived, cycling across the pavement, Lynne was chatting up the local PC – a fellow cyclist. Which was handy as he knew the appropriately non-pc response when his control room instructed him to arrest a few pavement bikers, as an example to the others… Twenty minutes later the rain moved on. Off came capes, out came the gilets and grins. At Wighill Lane, Kevin Fullwood announced 'last hill' and I took off – in a supportive, non-competitive way. Modesty forbids me saying how many polka dot points I got at the top, as I was swept up by a bunch with better local knowledge and legs. Arrivée at Boston Spa at 2015 was memorable – bunting, Union flags, champers and huge cheers. Only the brass band was missing! Steve Morris, Chief Financial Officer – who made memorable gel-fuelled but doomed breakaway attempts each day – summed up the experience: ‘What an adventure, and what a privilege it was to ride with such a fabulous group of people. And what a great example of what people from the British Library can achieve when they pull together.’ Highlights for me – the canal bank – but only when it ended without a splash. Marja's stellar performance on

her roadster. Chapeau! Lorraine’s mojo recovery after the horrible ‘it’s over before it’s started’ moment; the gilets: 20 riders in the same yellow kit on Tour weekend turned heads many times. We got extra respect from vehicles at junctions; our lining up to speed crossings at A road junctions worked a treat, and was a joy to behold! The exemplary way the Day 1ers and Day 2ers came together, especially during the mechanical hiatus when the patience and good nature of all the riders was tested. Vive Le Tour de British Library! Thanks to riders not already namechecked above: Richard Chesser, Andy MacCalman, Alasdair Bruce, Andrew Siddall, Simon Moffatt, Paul Thompson, Guy Wicks, Julie Peers, Wieke Avis, Lorraine Henderson. N

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HEADING sn0w and hills roads INmills HERE 300 grimpeur 2016

Trevor Richards


photos photos by by tim HEADING martin wainwright INberry HERE

Right: Chris Beynon


paris-brest-paris 2015

Brest endeavours – the confessions (and conversations) of an inexperienced PBP cyclist

Two years ago I bought my first road bike and following the purchase of an inspirational book about audax 12 months ago in a charity shop, I found myself on the start line of PBP in August.

M

y cycling career has been brief but eventful culminating in the epic PBP event. I bought my first road bike two years ago at the age of 52 on the Cycle to Work Scheme with the intention of riding from my home in Dulwich to work in Central London (10km each way) and doing the occasional weekend trip by bike south into Kent.

Starting out

For the first year I did exactly as planned, although I found the riding position uncomfortable, and during occasional solo trips at the weekend I saw the ‘cyclists in blue’: members of Dulwich Paragon Cycling Club (DPCC). At the 14

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same time I bought a copy of The Long Distance Cyclists’ Handbook by Simon Doughty from a charity bookshop for £1, primarily because I thought it would allow me to understand gear ratios, etc. (assuming that was what cycle club members talked about). I found the entire book inspirational and the section on PBP made the event sound like an amazing adventure. In August 2014 I attended the monthly DPCC introductory ride and cycled 45km for the first time while learning many new techniques, such as pedalling whilst cycling downhill, pointing out potholes and stopping at a red light.

Joining the club

I joined DPCC and with access to the DPCC Forum I saw a post about PBP, immediately recalling Simon Doughty’s enthusiasm for the event in his book. I responded and appeared on the DPCC PBP spread sheet, although my longest distance cycled to date was only 45km, so in January last year I started my

Above: The spectacular Pont de I'lroise in Brest. Still a fair way to the control, via a long, draggy hill!

Adrian Wikeley

qualifying rides with the 200km Willy Warmer. I enjoyed the daylight sections but was out of my depth on navigation and after dark just chased after the DPCC peloton the best I could. The Tom Deakins ‘Flitch Bikes’ 300km and 400km events from Manningtree Station, Essex followed and I grew to enjoy the rides, the company and the cycling ‘immersion’. In June the 600km Windsor-ChesterWindsor (WCW) event arrived, a skilfully arranged audax organised by Danial Webb with fantastic catering at the controls, and on completion the decision as to whether to sign up for PBP or not. My reticence was based on my lack of cycling skills, I had cycled over 1,500km, however, I was still not very good at descending, climbing, drinking whilst on the bike and regularly had no idea which gear I was in. During WCW I had fallen off in a ford near Feckenham, damaging the bike and injuring my leg, and completed the final 100 miles with no access to the lower gears, naturally I assumed that this was ‘the spirit of audax’. www.audax.uk.net


paris-brest-paris 2015 At the start line

I knew that if I didn’t take up this opportunity I would need to wait another four years to participate, so naively I signed up to PBP and with my wife drove from Calais to Versailles on Saturday 15th August, and booked into a comfortable hotel. So on Sunday I was at the National Velodrome start line. Leaving the hotel my wife was asked how she was getting to Brest to support me, however sensibly she was meeting my daughter in Paris for three days. The DPCC PBP team was Adrian, Alistair, Chris, Liam, Richard, Sam and I: ‘the magnificent seven’ and we had agreed to ride individually as our aspirations varied substantially – my aspiration being simply to finish within the 90-hour time limit. I met several members of the team and suddenly at 6pm the countdown was happening – dix, neuf, huit, sept, six, cinq, quarter, trois, deux, un … and we were off. The atmosphere was somewhat different to a departure from Manningtree Station, with motorbike outriders and cheering crowds, it was euphoric and exciting. The roads were smooth and once away from the urban area you could only hear the clicking gears and a quiet babble of conversation. At dusk everyone changed into the compulsory super bright high visibility vest and at 4am I was at the first control in Villaines-la-Juhel, a bucket of black coffee and three croissants set me up for the first full day.

An embarrassing wardrobe malfunction

On day one we rolled on through villages and small towns, stopping occasionally to refuel with coffee at the road side stalls. The weather was fine and I was making good time, either cycling with Richard of DPCC or others who I got talking to. My opening line was either ‘Hi, have you cycled more than 600km before?’ or ‘Hi, so what’s your sleep strategy?’, the latter question asked because I didn’t have any strategy. I got talking to Mike (not his real name) from Darlington Cycling Club, and noticed that he had no ID number on his bike. He explained that he hadn’t completed the qualifying rides and was thus riding independently with no brevet card and no access to the controls. I was sympathetic regarding his failure to qualify and impressed by his determination to participate and could not imagine cycling 1200km without the satisfaction of a completed brevet card. However, after my initial admiration he started questioning why we were all doing ‘this stupid ride’, ‘why this distance?’ and ‘why this route?’, ‘why in 90 hours?’ and how he hated the event. Suddenly I had to escape as his negativity was infectious and I knew I must avoid such talk. Whilst I was cycling away he shouted at me saying that he could see ‘my arse

Right: Feeling apprehesive with my wife in St Quentin-enYvelines.

‘… with motorbike outriders and cheering crowds, it was euphoric and exciting.’

through the lycra of my bib shorts’ … ’Not a great look,’ he said, suggesting that I cover my arse in black polish to mitigate the effect … ’The 2,000 cyclists behind us will all see your butt’. Being new to the sport I had my complete cycling wardrobe with me … two pairs of bib shorts … so I stopped and changed into the newer pair. I arrived in Loudeac with Richard at 5pm on Monday and we both booked into the dormitory. I was shown into a huge sports hall filled with numbered camp beds each covered with a single white sheet, in a few cases there was a motionless body, generally either snoring or worse. I lay down and closed my eyes; my whole body seemed to be spinning around, like my pedals. At 9pm I set out into the dark, rural lanes towards Carhaix, following dozens of hi-viz vests and red rear lights through a series of valleys. I was with a group of the Seattle International Randonneurs who were great company. After a brief visit to the restroom (a hedge) I was on my own for a while in some very dark lanes and I saw a line of red flashing lights ahead which I assumed for at least 10 minutes were cyclists. It was only later I realised they were actually the lights on wind turbines, the flashing red lights being forbidden on audax bikes. The climb of Roc’h Trevezel seemed straightforward in the dark, and the descent very fast and hair-raising, in a sleep-deprived manner. There was the occasional patch of mist and at one point

I heard a man calling out ‘… café, café …’ from his front garden in the dark at 4am – I stopped for a cup of free, warming hot coffee and continued with new caffeine-enthused energy. The sense of joy, pride and passion for this ride from the residents along the entire route is astonishing.

Brest or bust

I arrived in Brest at 8am on Tuesday, meeting Tom Deakins on the Pont Albert Louppe with its view of the spectacular Pont de l’Iroise, all a far cry from the Norfolk flatlands. As Tom predicted, the Brest control was at the summit of another steep hill and remarkably I was given a private room in the dormitory for only three euros, however, the morning sun was streaming in through the window. I couldn’t sleep and the road was calling me, so I left for Carhaix. As I left Brest the arrows which signpost the route changed from pink signposting Brest, to blue signposting Paris, giving me an instant physiological boost. Great – Paris in only 616km! Climbing the hills out of Brest I got talking to a lady randonneur from the

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paris-brest-paris 2015

USA who told me that this 1,230km (765 miles) route with 33,000 feet of ascent and a 90-hour time limit was too short, and her group would be doing a further double century. I didn’t stop to discuss the full details (were they going to return towards Brest for a second time?) as just figuring out the maths was making me feel more exhausted. Shortly after this encounter I was dropping down into the lowest gear when I saw another USA randonneur ahead with a jersey

emblazoned with the slogan ‘If you can’t do it in the big ring, don’t bother at all’. I was growing to love the American audax confidence, however this was quite different to the UK ‘spirit of audax’.

Above: Control at Villaines-la-Juhel.

A more relaxed approach beyond Sizun I arrived in the beautiful town of Sizun and successfully persuaded the boulangerie staff to make me a baguette with cheese salad and no ham, and then bumped into Liam from DPCC and we

‘After sunrise I found I had enormous energy and I was climbing hills like I had never been able to in the fly-tipped lanes of Kent.’

L: Live music in St Martin-des-Pres. Typical roadside coffee stall. 16

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set off up Roc’h Trevezel in the sun. The summit was beautiful and I sat on the grass and admired the view eating my cheese salad baguette – well I was on holiday! The whole feel and pace after Brest was much more relaxed and there were lots of roadside stalls to enjoy, and the odd secret control too. In the tiny hilltop village St Martin-des-Pres, they had live music, a bar and delicious Breton food for example. I arrived in Loudeac again at 9pm on Tuesday and got four hours’ sleep in the dormitory again, leaving at 3am on Wednesday. After sunrise I found I had enormous energy and I was climbing hills like I had never been able to in the fly-tipped lanes of Kent – who ever heard of a 700km warm-up? However, in Tinteniac I had completely exhausted my supply of UK energy drinks and resorted to the French brand of Overstims Sports Nutrition, which really didn’t agree with me, note to self – take more supplies next time.

‘Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’

As I approached Fougeres at 12 noon everyone was shouting ‘bonne route’, ‘bon courage’, ‘allez, allez’ so I lifted both hands off the handlebars in victory, and got a round of applause from the waiting crowd! Inside the control I was immediately approached by two ladies of indeterminate age who perhaps mistook me for Mark Cavendish (unlikely really) and asked me to sign their padded signature book. I promptly signed – Adrian Wikeley, Dulwich Paragon Cycling Club, London – thinking that the club name added a bit of gravitas. They both looked at me delighted. By now I was dreaming of Danial Webb’s meals on WCW, perhaps buckwheat pancakes with a delicious vegetarian filling for lunch, and my dream was virtually answered in the enormous Fougeres control canteen! I threw in my vegetarian principles and www.audax.uk.net


paris-brest-paris 2015 had a huge plate of pasta with a creamy salmon sauce, followed by rice pudding and jam, washed down by a glass of vin rouge – note to Danial, we have never met, but could the latter be added to the WCW menu?

A medical emergency averted

The stage to Villaines-la-Juhel was full of unscheduled stops; firstly Paul Rogue’s famous stall in St Berthevin-la-Tanniere was drawing a crowd, no charge for coffee, just send a postcard from your home city! Then climbing a hill in the late afternoon heat to the village of Le Ribay I blew my nose with some vigour whilst cycling and caused a nosebleed. In the village the locals were directing traffic across the busy N12, operating food stalls and even a sleeping tent in the village square! I lay down on a small grass verge behind their food tent and closed my eyes for a minute with a blood soaked tissue in my hand. When I reopened my eyes there was a tight ring of panic stricken villagers standing over me, with one of them talking urgently on his mobile phone to the emergency services. I leapt up and explained that I wasn’t losing gallons of blood and I was just resting, they kindly gave me a drink and two packets of dried apricots, and I was on my way to the next control. At the Villaines-la-Juhel control there was a huge cycling festival underway and we were applauded as we left for Montagne-au-Peche, the latter like virtually all controls being at the top of a very steep hill. I left Montagne-au-Peche at midnight and commenced my most difficult stage. By now I had 12 hours to get to the final control, I was feeling very tired but I knew I must continue to Dreux. There were hundreds of cyclists on the road, however, there were interminable hills through dark, wooded sections, and the verges were littered with washed-up cyclists in space blankets. A pair of USA randonneurs said to me that sleeping by the road was the result of ‘bad planning’, however, I was more sympathetic. Whilst adjusting my lights I met a cyclist from Wales who I got taking to, thankfully the conversation regarding why we were on this ride woke me up and I found my lost energy and shortly after arrived in Dreux … virtually the only control at the bottom of a hill!

en-Yvelines. There were some serious climbs and it was pouring with rain. I was determined to get to the finish within the allotted 90 hours, however, the rain and rather suburban landscape made it a rather dispiriting ride. Despite the increasing number of traffic lights, I managed to avoid cycling through any red lights, as I was being a true Dulwich Paragon (of virtue), however, I was too tired to point out the potholes to fellow riders. The tree-planted boulevards of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines appeared and I turned the corner to see my wife and daughter cheering. I threw my bike down and ran towards the velodrome, seeing Richard from DPCC just leaving. The velodrome was full of hundreds of cyclists and I suddenly thought my arrival at 89:23 would not be recorded; however, eventually a smiling volunteer, who stamped my brevet card, greeted me. There was no goodie bag, but I was handed a small slip of paper saying ‘Bravo, congratulations from The Audax Club Parisien for achieving this challenge’. I felt like Willy Wonker winning the Golden Ticket … priceless. I collected my meal, picked the ham out of a plate of pasta and returned to our hotel to rest.

The Dreux control where I overslept. Velomobiles in Loudeac.

The home stretch

It was 5.30am and I bumped into Richard and Adrian of Team DPCC who were about to leave for the arrivée at SaintQuentin-en-Yvelines, but I desperately needed sleep. I lay on the floor of the control but overslept, finding myself with 3.5 hours to cover the final 63km. In my sleep-deprived state I hurriedly found my bike in the early morning drizzle and set off for Saint-Quentin-

From top downwards: Ray Kelly orders crêpes from Paul Rogue's stall at St Berthevin la Tanniere.

So how was PBP?

PBP is a different experience for each participant, but for everyone this ride is ‘epic’. It is hugely enjoyable and memorable, it tests you to the limit in terms of sleep deprivation, but ultimately

it is a fantastic celebration of French cycling and culture, and it is a privilege to participate. After the event I was told by the renowned recumbent rider Richard Evans that because my finish time was greater than 88:55 this makes me eligible to join The Société Adrian Hands which recognises those who believe that ‘every ride should be enjoyed to its fullest’. I believe I fulfilled that mission. I am really grateful to the members of Dulwich Paragon who made me welcome as a rather non-competitive rookie cyclist, and especially to the ‘magnificent seven’ and our road captain Sam Crossley who led from the front, completing PBP in exactly 69 hours! I set out thinking that this ride was some sort of Everest, but really the way I participated it is just an extra-long, highly enjoyable ride. N

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taking a ride with george berwick

The Decline and Fall of MacNasty

‘The Ninewell’s hospital cardiologist tells me that my irregular heartbeat is due to riding too many endurance events.’

East Sussex CA 24hr, 2011

It looks as if my time is in the balance on Phil’s fancy tandem. He’s always been hankering after a fastie rather than the braw slow lad frae the Kingdom of Fife. Phillip got his desserts by recruiting Dick McT from Gala. Phil gets annoyed when we share a room on our travels and the loo floor mysteriously becomes flooded. I was given an ultimatum: either sit on the throne like a lady or bring wellies for the captain. I don’t think my ex-partner was enamoured with all my bad habits.

I

’m just about falling apart as an audax rider: ageing fast, slowing and a bit du-lally. I’m not bothering now since gaining the trophy for completing 100,000 kilometres. On

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Below: Cake presented for riding 50 24-hr TTs. a lighter note Christine Minto recently presented me with the meritorious trophy for the 1974 Mersey 24hr. She discovered it when clearing the house of the late Les Lowe. Auld age brings on many problems, like how to wear out all the bikes and clothes. Most of my flash gear has been donated, such as shoes from Phil’s partner, socks from Reg, black tracksuit from the wee wife (a going away outfit from our wedding 35 years ago). Racing vests from big Ronnie and jackets from my china’s Peter and Phil. Gloves and hats are picked up from the road. Bikes from Al Sutton and Jean Harris. Al is 6ft and Jean 5ft. I’ve never bought a new bike in 65 years of cycling. Clothes used to come from the Army and Navy stores.

I would like to thank all the audax event organisers who let a 70-year-old shilpit nyarf slope off a few minutes early which keeps me in the body of the kirk. After 40 years audaxing I’m beginning to think my time is nigh. I’m now fantasising about my demise, dreams like struggling to stay ahead of the leading pack to the prime. Here I’m overtaken by 20 virgins who give me a wheel to the pearly gates. The high heid yin gives me a choice of receiving life membership to Audax UK, this must be hell on wheels or join the 20 virgins in paradise. Having just escaped from the clutches of Phil and his tandem, the 20 virgins sounds a lot of fun. Back to the living: in 2015 Phil and I took part in April in the 10th running of the Moffat Toffee 200k arranged as usual by the fair Lucy with help from friends and Dick. On arriving at the finish my captain gleefully proclaimed that he and Dick will be going for the Parry Brest. I looked on with interest during their qualifying rides. It was music to my ears on hearing about their many misfortunes. On ascending the Fife hills on the 200k their tandem broke down. The 300k brought punctures galore so the last 25 miles had to be done on a flat rear tyre. In the wee sma hours during the 600k the tandem was doomed near Moffat. A taxi was hired to take the duo to Gala then a bus back to the start at Ponteland.

Fierce weather forecast

On the only other 600k available I was due to be stoker and power house to Phil. I graciously gave my seat up to Dick on hearing about the fierce weather forecast. ‘Graeme Wyllie’ weather cancelled the 600k Kintyre event because of the impending storm. Our cosy couple wrestled with the elements to finish within the 40hrs. I heard that they suffered (not enough for my liking) in heavy rain and gale force winds on the trip to Cambelltown. I’m sure this triggered Phil’s illness a few weeks later while on a walking trip in the Alps. The Parry Brest was out as was our forthcoming Mersey 24hr. During late June I rode the Twilight 600k with a tailwind in both directions. The good will always receive their just rewards. On arriving home Margaret ran me a bath.

Daylight 600 in Sma Glen. Mick Potts on front followed by Rocco, Liz Creese and Dave Lewis.

www.audax.uk.net


taking a ride with george berwick She put in plenty of relieving luxury bath cream. I should have been on my guard for there were no rubber ducks for company. On trying to get out of the tub I fell backwards several times due to the very slippery surface and cracked a few ribs and my head. Maybe I should wear a helmet in the hoose. Later on I noticed my life insurance policy was open on her desk. I had to organise a train trip to Chester with the folding bike to ride the Mersey 24hr. A kind helper for Jane and Mark on the tandem trike gave me his super carbon fibre bike, complete with lights. The saddle pin was too big so he took it to a garage and a bit was sawn off with a wood saw. I enjoyed pedalling along on a modern machine but only managed a mileage which once I could do in a 12hr in my pomp. I got good value for my entry fee in the food tents. This was my 40th Mersey 24hr. The Ninewell’s hospital cardiologist tells me that my irregular heartbeat is due to riding too many endurance events. He informs me that I should wear it like a badge of honour. Gosh, I’m only a junior to those ultra-riders. The next weekend I started the National 400k run by Steve Carroll from Dingwall. Along the Sutherland hilly coast road my left foot took up a curious angle to the pedal. I finished up on the train from Tain. The following weeks I managed the 300k from Gala to Alston and returned in a different pair of shoes without trouble. The lovely, lovely Lucy let me have an early start. With the PBP out, Phil is sooking up to me for the 2016 season. I’m again thinking of stoking Phil’s tandem if only to spend many happy hours on a 600k and 24hr watching that sexy derrière. A bit of useless information I would like to divulge to the many men who are losing their hair. I was in that state in 1981 so decided not to cut or comb my hair anymore. I still have a happy mop. Also Mrs MacNasty awarded me a Brompton so that I didn’t travel too far away. Lovely. I’ll cycle 20 miles with the wind and jump on a bus for the return. I’ve taken the folder on the Golden Coach to Inverness. You are plied with two scones, Iron bru and sweeties. What a wonderful life with a bus pass. All is good and kind nearing the end apart from Phil’s saddle. I’m putting out a plea for a young damsel to pilot an auld manie who wants to go faster. I’ve made a will stating that my remains to be used as a base for a drumup fire. After toasting me with a creamola foam the gathered should put the blaze out in the Scottish tradition. N Photos by the author, Frank Minto, Zonc, Martin Berry, Tim Wainwright.

East Sussex CA 24hr, 2011

With Dave Pountney

Above: Mersey Roads 24hr 2003.

Below: Plaque to the last auk shot in Orkney.

Canadian 2000k

Mersey roads 24hr 2002 with Alex Pattison Snow Roads 300.

Mersey Roads 24hr 1976

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populaire

El Supremo’s Autumn Tints 100 John Thompson I know Dave ‘El Supremo’ Hudson – well, who doesn’t? – not so much from audax but from CTC tours. We were on a number of tours together organised by the late John Lumbers, the most memorable for me being the Norway fjords. We hit it off because we had something in common – our food consumption! I first rode his ‘Autumn Tints’ 100 – then called ‘The Winchelsea 100’ – in October 2014. It caught my eye in the Calendar because my own event, ‘The Silly Suffolk’ 160/200 is one week later. I decided a long weekend in Sussex, covering new ground and not involving too long a journey, in October would be nice. Also, yes, Dave can flatter himself that the fact he was the organiser played a part in my decision to enter.

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s we had not seen each other for a long time, I included a little note with my entry, which I started, ‘Hello, you old b-----.’ I explained I was travelling on the Friday, returning on the Monday and on the Saturday would have a ride in the area, as far as possible avoiding the route of the event. In response Dave kindly sent me the route sheets for two of his other 100’s – ‘The Hell Forest’ and the ‘For Those Who Don’t Do Hills.’ In 2014 I opted for ‘The Hell Forest.’ I infer Dave has so named it because it passes through Ashdown forest. I wouldn’t say the forest is hell but Kidds Hill just after the control at Wych Cross is! Hardly aptly named because I would think it would reduce children to tears! That said, if it is a reference to infant goats perhaps it is appropriate! Google indicates the gradient is nine per cent but it felt a lot steeper! Indeed there were a number of good hills on the route. Even though it was only a 100, it was in my legs when riding the event on the Sunday. Onto 2015 and again I travelled by rail on the Friday to Polegate, which involved riding across London between Liverpool Street and Victoria stations. I think, at least in that direction, I have now got my head round the route. I rode from Polegate to Hailsham using the Cuckoo Trail, which this time I had no difficulty finding having sorted it in 2014 – after much confusion. On that occasion I followed the sign indicating right at the T-junction just from the station but, as is the case for many off-road routes, the 20

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signs then stop. In 2014 I lost count of how many times I circled the busy A23 and A27 just outside Polegate trying to find a reasonably quiet route to Hailsham. After some hard studying of the map and some guesswork I found the road that leads to the B2104, which was hardly quiet at commuter time but tolerable. Leaving aside the off-road versus on-road debate, the Cuckoo Trail – the trackbed of the former Cuckoo rail line from Polegate to Eridge – is a pleasant and quiet ride and a lot of work has been put into making it attractive and interesting. It got the weekend off to a nice start. I used the same digs as before, the cheap and cheerful Corn Exchange pub and café in Hailsham town centre This time for my Saturday ride I opted to do the route of the ‘For Those Who Don’t Do Hills’. As the route starts in Polegate, I firstly retraced along the Cuckoo Trail to start the route, or attempt to as it was rather a disaster. I was only just over 1km into the route before I got confused by the instructions for some traffic lights and a roundabout. I turned left when I should have gone straight ahead to Pevensey. Hailsham is on the route but I found myself heading towards it far sooner than I should have been. I stopped at a T-junction with a lane and studied the route sheet hard to work out if taking the lane would get me back on route. As luck had it, three cyclists came along the lane. After one of them had also studied the route sheet he confirmed I had got ahead of myself and that the lane in the direction they had come was part of the route back from the info control at Normans Bay.

El Supremo with his assistant Sue.

The signpost had had an accident

The route was along nice rural Sussex lanes to the Pevensey roundabout to then follow the minor road that follows the sea – from a bit of a distance – to Normans Bay. As I wasn’t riding the actual event, I didn’t have an info question to answer so on getting to Normans Bay I did as the route sheet instructs and retraced to the Pevensey roundabout and had no difficulty following the route as it was the retrace of my outward wrong route taking me back to the t-junction with the B2104 and then to Hailsham. It was just after Hailsham that I got into difficulty again! After Upper Dicker the instruction read ‘right, signpost Laughton’. However, the signpost, which had suffered an accident and was laying on the grass verge only had one place

Winchelsea control bike park.

name on it and it wasn’t Laughton. I am pretty sure it was Chalvington. Of course, if I had bothered to carry the map with me it would have been easy to resolve but I didn’t expect to need it. Admittedly the road name, Lower Wick Street, coincided with what was on the route sheet but in the circumstances I didn’t want to risk it. As I was close to Arlington reservoir where it was indicated there was a café I resolved to accept an ‘early bath’ and make the most of it. Annoying and disappointing but after studying the map back at the digs I resolved to do the parts of the route I missed in a year’s time. As if I hadn’t had enough go wrong for one day, I had another problem in the evening. I went to the local Wetherspoons for a meal, only to be told that there was a breakdown in the kitchen that could not be sorted until they were able to get an engineer so there was no food for a while. So, it was a case of wandering through Hailsham looking for somewhere else. There was a group who had suffered the same fate so we kind of followed each other. We discovered one of the Prezzo Italian restaurant chain. The group were out of luck in that they were told that because of the number of them it would be a long wait, which they decided against. However, as I was ‘solo’ they could cope with me – no sarcastic remarks from those who know me, thank you. It turned out to be a classic case of a problem ultimately being for the best. I am far from saying there is anything wrong with Wetherspoons’ food, but I love Italian and we all know there is www.audax.uk.net


populaire nothing better than pasta the evening before a ride. I booked a place for Sunday evening! Sunday morning was bright and sunny, albeit a bit cool while standing around at the start in the car park for the Freedom Leisure Centre in Hailsham. One of those days when it is tricky to judge how much clobber to put on and as is usual for me I probably had more on than necessary as I soon got warm once riding. Dave, as per his reputation, had the kettles on. The ride starts following a slightly different route to the Pevensey roundabout to what I took on the Saturday, through the picturesque village of Hankham. From the roundabout it was again along the road to Normans Bay and then following the cycle path alongside the sea from Cooden for part of the way and then back on-road through Bexhill to Hastings. It is a flat ride following the coast apart from one little incline on the cycle route and the bright, sunny morning combined with the blue sea made it a joyous ride (apart from the flatness, it reminded me of parts of my Scottish tour. Taking it a bit further, the flatness combined with the sun and sea reminded me somewhat of riding along the Puglia coast in Italy). The flatness stops drastically at Hastings in an ironic way as the toughest hill on the route is a residential road in the town. To my frustration, I inadvertently disposed of my route sheet and cannot remember the road’s name. It takes you away from the A259 to the road through Fairlight, Cliff End and Winchelsea Beach to the control in Winchelsea village. I don’t know the gradient but it is certainly a tough one (I would think any cyclists living along there get pretty fit just on their work and utility rides) and once at the top it is not long before you are climbing again – albeit not quite as severe – out of the boundary of Hastings. However, there is then a long ‘soothing’ descent, great except it makes you feel lethargic for the bit of a climb before descending again to just before the village of Winchelsea Beach, for a stretch of flat alongside the sea to the A259. By this time the wind had got up, making it a slow stretch. On junctioning with the A259 it is left for a short stretch of the main road to shortly turn left into picturesque Winchelsea. It involves having to quickly go through your gears – in my case into the 34 ring – being suddenly faced with a steep brute of a hill. I am not clear about the reason for Dave’s nickname of ‘El Supremo’. I am not sure if it is because of his riding ability or his reputation for the food he provides for his events, or both. I am guessing so it might be because of things I am not aware of. Whatever, his events have a reputation for the amount of food

provided and he did not disappoint. Quite a feast and this was just a 100! Perfectly refuelled, I started the second half retracing through Winchelsea back to the A259. Getting in and out of Winchelsea involves passing under an attractive ancient archway. I paused to take a photo and two riders conveniently passed under it. At the A259 it is left for another very short stretch of main road before turning right to start the lanes, shortly passing Winchelsea station, to join the B2089 through Broad Oak to junction with the A21. There is then a short and busy stretch of the A21 to the Mountfield roundabout and then another short busy stretch along the A2100 before turning into a pleasant lane to Netherfield. At this point I was near another rider and we were both made apprehensive by a sign indicating the road was closed. It turned out to be work on a level crossing but on bikes it was passable. Nevertheless, the Network Rail workers made us wait a while. A train was due but even after it had passed we had to wait a little while as they made some checks. I guess there are safety rules they have to adhere to, particularly in view of the number of tragedies there have been at level crossings and of course officially the level crossing was closed to traffic. It was one of those waits that in the circumstances seem long but aren’t really – they were only doing their jobs. There is quite a testing hill into Netherfield, before joining the B2096, which really is a tester! Again to my frustration, having inadvertently binned my route sheet I can’t say what the correct distance is. However, Google indicates Netherfield to Heathfield as 7.3 miles, so the B2096 is probably just under seven miles. However, it seems a lot longer because it is a continual climb more or less all the way. You might guess that it is predominantly a long drag rather than steep but there are bits that are quite steep. When riding it for the first time in 2014, the nature of it made me feel as though I could have been on the Continent. On joining the A265 there is a ‘soothing’ descent into Heathfield. The A265 is followed for a little way to the village of Cross in Hand to take the B2102 to just before Blackboys for the info control. Going to Blackboys is poignant for me, as it brings back memories of my very early club cycling days. The hostel there was one of those used on my first ever tour in August 1966 – age 13 just – with my Lowestoft Wheelers’ club mate, having just started club cycling in June of that year. I am no longer a YHA member so correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I can make out from Google, the hostel has now closed although perhaps only relatively recently. From Blackboys it is along pretty but ‘lumpy’ lanes through

Underneath the arches at Winchelsea.

‘The flatness stops drastically at Hastings in an ironic way as the toughest hill on the route is a residential road in the town.’

the picturesque village of Waldron to Horham and then to the finish. Not particularly fast but I was happy with it and it did include stopping for photos and there was the delay at the level crossing. In the typical ‘El Supremo’ way, Dave’s finish stamp asked the question, ‘A testing ride?’ Yes it was, for a 100! Again, being an ‘El Supremo’ event there was plenty of food and a large teapot at the finish and everyone enjoyed chatting over mugs of tea and in between eating, reflecting on an enjoyable ride. Overall, we had been lucky with the weather, for the most part sunny, although it clouded over during the afternoon, but I think everyone avoided rain. Were there a few spits while in the car park at the finish? We were also lucky with the wind direction for most of it. In the evening before returning to the Prezzo, I took a stroll to the Cuckoo Trail, including along Station Road. Being a rail campaigner and buff – yes OK, anorak if you like! – I wanted to see if I could find the site of the former railway station and the building if it still stands. There was a large house called Station House that looked rather like one of those grandiose railway station buildings that were common in the earlier part of the 20th century. However, on looking on Google once home, it seems the site has gone the way of many other former railway station sites and is now a car park. On the Monday morning it was back along the Cuckoo Trail to Polegate for the train and I think I have now mastered the route from Victoria to Liverpool Street in the return direction too. If Dave continues the event, I expect to be returning for a year or two or more! I want to do the part of the route of ‘For Those Who Don’t Do Hills’ that I missed. I also want to do what Dave calls ‘The WCW 100’, a ride from Hailsham to the World of Water transport café and back, especially as Dave advises ‘you get large helpings of food.’ Also, I have yet to ride up Ditchling Beacon and Burgess Hill and doing the entire Cuckoo Trail would be good. All those would make nice rides for the Saturdays. N

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

21


national 400 2016

The National 400 from Peak Audax July 30th 2016

There’s a CTC tradition of Reliability Rides, set distances to be completed within a timelimit. A special challenge is 240 miles in 24 hours. Audax UK runs similar rides, a focal event being the National 400k, featuring a different area each year. The National provides an enhanced level of support and catering, including en-route sleeping facilities, to encourage riders to try the distance.

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he factors that go into making a successful 400 are pretty much the same as those which make up a successful event at any distance, short or long: a route which offers an uplifting journey through great and/or interesting terrain and which also considers the safety of the riders (especially in the case of a 400, where night-riding will be necessary for all but the most irritating riders) and good support in the form of opportunities to eat and rest. Most 400s don’t provide an official sleep stop but the National is different and this year’s event will again provide several opportunities for people to get their heads down without recourse to busshelters or cosy ditches. 2016’s ride is being organised by Peak Audax. They have an excellent pedigree of events run from Cheshire and the Peak District and last summer warmed up for longer, supported events by organising the Pair of Kirtons 600, which many of you used for a PBP qualifier. So, we 22

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know how to blow up an airbed. On the catering side, we will have the expertise of John Perrin’s family in addition to the legendary ‘Van of Delights’ which will provide all manner of comestibles in two locations on the first day. John is also famous as a deviser of routes, so, pausing only to mention that he has also sorted out the controls and accommodation at the start and en-route, I’ll get on and give a broad brush picture of where he’s sending you (brochure-speak coming up)! The odyssey starts at Biggin, a village near Hartington in the fabulous Peak District. Within yards, riders will be overwhelmed by peculiar craggy limestone landscape. Hopefully they won’t be too overwhelmed as they climb north-west up to Axe Edge, the source of many of the Peak District’s mercurial rivers. This is a good climb but there are no chevrons on it and it’s as early as can be. With this under your belt, you’ll turn east to skirt Buxton and join the Monsal Trail, early enough for it not to be too busy with walkers. It’s the trackbed of the Bakewell to Buxton line and very well surfaced. Your mind can recover from the Axe Edge crossing by admiring the lime kilns, old platforms and stations along the way. Your legs can recover because it’s ever so slightly downhill! Take care to look over the viaduct and gaze down at the beauty that is Monsal Dale. (Is that the breeze or is it John Ruskin turning in his grave…?) After Bakewell you work your way south. Elton is a fascinating village. It was home for many years to a member

Free parking and free overnight accommodation before the event (airbeds and 'basic' foods) will be available at Biggin Village Hall. We are unlikely to run out of parking space but sleeping spaces will have to be capped at 60ish so get your entry in early if you want one.

of John Hunt’s successful Everest expedition. Look out for buildings using both gritstone and limestone because the village is on a ridge where they meet. There is a fine old shop with an ancient petrol pump. There is a control at Carsington. It is odd to think that this huge reservoir is only 20 or so years old, so well does it seem to be part of the natural order. It has been very sympathetically developed as an outdoor centre and I hope you are lucky enough to see white sail on glistening blue water. As you trundle south, whistling a merry tune, you should notice the countryside changing significantly as you cross into the rich farming lands of north Staffordshire. Stone buildings give way to brick and there are some fine examples of timbered walls to be seen. The cycling really is rolling here and before long you’ll be crossing the river Dove, which you kissed lightly in the early morning as you approached Axe Edge. Tutbury bridge is very picturesque and Tutbury Castle was one of several which held Mary Queen of Scots. The Needwood Forest is associated, like so much of England(!) with Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. Avoiding the brewopolis of Burtonon-Trent, you now turn west to cross Cannock Chase, another ancestral forest. As you cross Rugeley, it might be difficult to imagine Ridge Lee in the Domesday Book – but that might be a better exercise than dwelling on the Rugeley Poisoner or the town’s murderous connections with Conan Doyle or Inspector Morse. www.audax.uk.net


national 400 2016 Next you will be riding across Shropshire. A highlight in this section is Ironbridge. The eponymous structure was the first in the world and is now the focus of a thriving industrial heritage industry. Ironbridge is also the birthplace of Billy Wright, one of England’s truly great footballers. Next is beautiful Coalbrookdale; it’s hard to imagine how hellishly this area seethed with smoke and flame at the birth of the Industrial Revolution. The ghost of Thomas Telford, who built 40 bridges in Shropshire alone, will ride with you all the way to Llangollen. But first you must break your journey at Upton Magna, near Shrewsbury. The control will be run by John Hamilton, who is a vastly experienced organiser and custodian of the magnificent Yr Elenydd 300. A short break will be best in order to reach the turn for home by dusk. Shrewsbury is an ancient town and central to the battle for power in the time of King Stephen. The impressive River Severn has its own ghosts, real and imaginary, being the resting place of many victims in the Brother Cadfael tales. You may have views of The Wrekin or like to recite a few lines of Housman’s On Wenlock Edge – or you might prefer to eat a banana. On you ride, north-east to Oswestry, birthplace of the great novelist Barbara Pym. As you cross the border (and the Dee) at Chirk, you may be able to make out the Berwyn hills on your left and Ruabon Mountain on your right on the way to the turn at Llangollen, on the mighty River Dee. Telford’s ghost may alight here to visit his house near the phenomenal Pontcyssylte Aqueduct, which carries the Llangollen canal high over the valley, or to wave to the spectral coaches labouring up his magnificent ‘Irish Mail’ road to Holyhead. Telford’s contributions to transport engineering are the 19th century equivalent of putting a man on the moon. I hope you aren’t too wrapped up in Rapha to reflect! The Llangollen control offers an opportunity to get your head down as well as eat and will be run by LEL supremo Danial Webb. There will also be towels and a chance to shower! Another pass through Chirk starts the overnight run back to Upton Magna. John has designed this part of the route for ease of navigation along roads that should be pretty quiet at late hours. Ellesmere is also associated with Telford, who built its canal, and takes its name from a fine lake which may glint in the moonlight! Hopefully, a good steady ride will bring you safely to the village hall at Upton where you might want to have a longer stay or sleep. Rested and victualled, you’ll head on into the dawn, steering north-east for home. The Shropshire market towns of Newport and Eccleshall should be

sleepy on Sunday morning, though you might catch the jingle of phantom harnesses as you pass an old coaching inn. Approaching the Peak District again, you’ll cross the ubiquitous Trent at Stone before reaching Alton and another chance to rest and eat before the final push. You’ll be well looked after by Denise and Tim Hughes, who have also run a control on LEL as well as organising the Newport 200. Yes, it’s the Alton of towers fame but that’s not all; in the 8th century it was the scene of a battle between the kings of Mercia and Wessex at a site now known as Slain Hollow. The final miles to the finish at Biggin include a section along the Tissington Trail from Ashbourne and with luck you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the engineering feats of the navvies who carved the cuttings and tunnels of these mineral lines. I’ve ridden these tracks many times and always conjure up the sounds and smells of the locomotives snorting up through the now somnolent pastures. This should be a great event. The details of entry are in the calendar and on the website. I think it is very reasonably priced for what is effectively a 27-hour guided tour with all found. And before you ask: Yes, you’ll be fine on 23s! I wish I was coming with you but hope to see most of you at one or other of the controls. N Free parking and free overnight accommodation before the event (airbeds and 'basic' foods) will be available at Biggin Village Hall. We are unlikely to run out of parking space but sleeping spaces will have to be capped at 60-ish so get your entry in early if you want one.

Biggin’s at 40 (also July 30th 2016)

To mark Audax UK’s 40th birthday, Mike Wigley is running a companion 100k event (also listed in calendar and website). This goes south-east from Biggin, through Parwich to Carsington, where it picks up the 400 route as far as Anslow, just beyond Tutbury, before swinging north-west to join the last section of the 400 at Alton. The first section rolls along beautiful but narrow country lanes – keep your wits about you! At about 43k, you reach the excellent Salt Box, a legendary transport café. Should you need a break, I can vouch for the all-day veggie breakfast! A few minutes after Tutbury (where you will make the first of four crossings of the glorious River Dove), you will pass within a mile of the site of the biggest non-nuclear explosion of World War II. This was the eruption of the RAF munitions store near Hanbury. The huge crater is now a nature reserve. Next, you will ride through the timewarp that is Sudbury, a magnificent, warm red-brick village with a fine pub, the Vernon Arms. On the way out, gawp at the astonishing Sudbury Hall. A little further along is the curiously-named Uttoxeter. This town is forever associated with sketches in the Fry and Laurie television series for me but I was pleased to see, when route-checking with Mike, that the part we include is picturesque and Mike›s route cunningly delivers you to the other side of town with very little urban riding. Five or six miles later, you join the 400 route for home. I went round the whole of this route with Mike in February, when the verges were sprinkled with snowdrops. It is a lovely 100k and in late summer should be resplendent with purple and golden vetch and willowherb, and possibly even some late foxgloves. Roll up!

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

23


ocd in corsica

Finishing on a high It’s 30th December. 2015 has practically bitten the dust. Some days earlier, Janet and I had abandoned an attempt on the Ascu gorges. The top, Haut-Asco, at about 1,500m is quite an exciting place to cycle to, but not being a col or summit is not an OCD claim. In the spring and autumn, the shady depths of the Ascu can be a cool retreat; in the height of summer everywhere is too hot in Corsica. In December you’d be lucky to get many miles up the route beyond Ascu village before you hit frosty conditions.

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e’d judged discretion to be the better part of valour and turned round at the first sign of ice, thus avoiding a dangerous descent later. At least, I did. Janet had forged ahead, not noticing the slippery road until my frantic text message recalled her. With this background, we decided that our next

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excursion would be to the Scala di Santa Regina gorge as it is more open to the winter sunshine and might be frostfree. Beyond the gorge, there’s the Col de Vergio, at 1,477m the highest col in Corsica. So, having agreed to see how far we’d get before retreating due to ice, we put the bikes in the back of the car and drive to Francardu, just south of Ponte Leccia. The car thermometer shows 3°C and bleeps an ice warning in the carpark at Francardu railway station. Janet questions the wisdom of our venture, but we go anyway. To call the train stop at Francardu a ‘station’ makes it sound grander than it is, however, what is grand are the wild, looping descents the line makes as it comes down to the station from the mountains near Corte. George Stephenson eat your heart out. The steady climb to Ponte de Castirla and into the Scala warms us up and we are encouraged by the occasional glimpses of sun as the way twists and

Paul Harrison turns gently upwards. Once at Calacuccia the valley broadens, the gorge left behind, and we’re able to enjoy a coffee sitting outside in the warm winter sunlight. We discuss les changements climatiques with the café proprietess and she says c’est pas normal, Il faut en profiter (It’s not normal, you must make the most of it). So we do, and it’s onward and upward with mounting excitement as the miles pass and still no ice. After La Maison Forestière, and round a hairpin, suddenly the air is decidedly colder. Soon there are patches of snow at the side of the road, generally an indicator of frozen tarmac. But there’s gravel on the road and it seems safe, so we go on. We’re now so close to the col that Janet swears she’ll get there even if she has to crawl. Luckily this oath is not tested as the summit looms into view. It’s lovely at the top, out of season, no tourists and silent. We can’t believe our luck at having made it and are in high spirits. The sky is a beautiful blue with

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HEADING ocd in corsica IN HERE

Above: 1. Janet about to unload the big saddlebag. 2. Superfluous ice warning. 3. Target practice. All photos by the author

white clouds around the highest peaks accentuating the perfection. There is a statue which I had always presumed to be of the Virgin Mary as it’s the Col de Vergio. In fact it’s ‘Christ Roi’ and has been there since 1984. The modern style makes the slightly angular hair reminiscent of Napoleon’s iconic bicorn hat: is this deliberate, or just my imagination? I look at my mileometer and find that we have been climbing, more or less constantly, for 29 miles. This is a bit scary, as it means there’s 29 miles of downhill to do with the increasing risk of ice as the sun sinks. Instead of lunch, we have a quick snack on the grounds that descending doesn’t demand too many calories and that it would be wiser to reach the sunnier open valley near Calacuccia before having our picnic. Now comes the justification for having lugged our large saddlebags up the hill – they contain extra clothes and we dress up looking like Michelin men for the freezing descent: ‘The Full Monty’. (Though those of you that have seen the film of that name will realise it was the exact opposite!) Despite a sense of urgency to get to lower levels, I can’t resist stopping to photograph some trees against the sky. Corsican pines retain their magnificence at all seasons, but the birches lose their leaves to form a delicate tracery framing the white clouds and bare rock behind. Another photography stop is for the road signs which have been used for target practice. This always seems to have been considered a quite legitimate activity in Corsica and is not necessarily an indication of rising separatism. Though we have spent many hours on Corsican roads at various times of day and in different seasons, we have never witnessed the shooting actually happening. In the sunshine after lunch, we decide to do a detour around Le lac de Calacuccia and its barrage, providing an unusual view for Corsica, looking more like the English Lake District across the water. The Scala is now very chilly, but still ice free, and the run down to Ponte de Castirla seems endless and leaves us feeling cold despite the layers. We creep back into the car and drive back to Lama with the heater on full and feeling rather pleased with our day out. Jean-Marie is an 82-year-old cyclist who lives in the village. He’s recently had an accident and hasn’t ridden since. Before we meet him, Janet and I debate whether to tell him of our adventure. Will it depress him in his incapacity, or will it spur him on to get back on the bike? We decide to take the risk, but his reaction seems neutral. However, he does comment il n’ya jamais de givre au Col de Vergio (there’s never any frost on the Vergio). Hmm … is he right? We look forward to testing his statement next year. N

Above: 1. Col de Vergio summit statue. 2. View from the barrage. 3. View from summit. 4. Janet on the road.

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

25


riding to sizun to meet pbp

PBP 2015 – from the outside looking in

Richard Thomas I had every intention of riding PBP 2015, following on from a successful LEL in 2013, ridden with Rob Bullyment, and having completed PBP in 2011 in 79hrs 4 mins., again riding with Rob. My previous PBP rides (all from the 90hr start) had all been completed with time to spare. In 1999, 76hrs 24mins, 2003 79hrs 36mins and 2007, the wet one, in 87hrs 6mins (things did go a bit wrong that year!). All these rides had been unsupported and also, in the case of PBP, this included riding to and from the event (qv Noel Simpson’s comments in Arrivée 130 p.6).

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ob and I had planned to ride together with plenty of rest, similar to our LEL 2013 strategy. However, following my ride in the AUK National 400 in 2014 (my 25th National 400), riding again with Rob, and in this instance also Roger Cortis, I realised how tired I felt despite getting some sleep and finishing in a leisurely time of just over 24 hrs. It was then that I decided, at the tender age of 69, that perhaps my long distance Audax rides should be a thing of the past. Rob was surprised at my decision, which came a bit out of the blue. My body was beginning to suffer, in particular the tendons in my wrists, which cause my hands to go numb. In fact, even now my right thumb and forefinger are still numb from LEL in 2013, and I often lose feeling in my right hand even on short rides. I was also given some wise advice by Sheila Simpson last year when I rode with her on the CTC Tours ‘Manche to Med’ that the reason why she gave up the longer distances was that she did not

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want to wreck her body to such an extent that she would be unable to ride at all. I was at this point with my wrists. So, what to do for 2015. I had already booked the CTC tour of the Istria Peninsular for September, and after a week in France in June in the Dieppe area and taking in the Dieppe Raid, would be off the bike for most of July. So a trip to France in August, to see the event from the outside and give some encouragement and support to AUKs, would be an ideal preparation for Istria. It also meant that I would not be sitting at home tracking the riders and wishing I was there. My good friend and riding companion on many an audax, Chris Tracey, was also not riding PBP (he had also ridden the same ‘set’ of PBP's as me), so the die was cast. Chris planned a route from Dieppe to Lasavisiau, just north of Carhaix. We would be staying in prebooked accommodation comprising a mix of gîtes and hotels along our route, at locations such that the maximum daily distance, in principle, would not exceed 140km as we were loaded up with panniers. As it turned out we did do a few days of approaching 160km, and riding with panniers, along a route with climbing in excess of 1,000m per 100km made the going hard at times. We were also wondering how much more effort is needed to propel a bike carrying an extra 8 to 10kg of luggage, increasing the dead weight by around 70 per cent from a base of 12kg (we are talking steel-framed bikes with mudguards and rear carriers here, ie a typical traditional audax bike) to approximately 20k. PhD students of Physics please respond ! On Thursday 13th August our

Above, Richard and below, Chris Tracey.

adventure began with me riding from my home in Eastbourne to meet Chris at his Seaford residence, and both of us then setting off to catch the 9am ferry from Newhaven which would get us to Dieppe at 2pm. Several PBP riders had gone across on the midnight sailing and were heading for Vernon that evening. Our destination was the Campanile in Honfleur, some 120km distant from Dieppe. On board we met a few PBP riders, namely Tony Green, who was optimistic about his chances, and Peter Turnbull, with his two mates. They had car trouble, with the car being restricted in its maximum speed, to such an extent that a seeing-to by a garage mechanic would be required. We last saw them at the side of the road within the Dieppe port, just by the exit gate. They must have got it fixed as all three started the event. Tony Green was hoping to succeed this time, having failed in 2011 due to mechanical failure when his chain got jammed between the chainwheel rings. His Brighton Excelsior mate Bob Harber was also riding and they hoped to meet

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riding to sizun HEADING to meet IN HERE pbp up in Paris so as to ride together, even if it was in a sort of ‘loose collective’. Tony was staying the night in Gourney en Bray, some 70km away. The sea was a bit choppy and the weather threatening rain as we crossed to France, but in true Gallic fashion, the sun was shining in Dieppe as we disembarked. I was using my new Garmin 1000 for the first time, and had loaded Chris's routes into it. The first hour was a bit fraught as we lost the road that ‘Map my Ride’ had chosen, and spent a good 20 minutes riding up and down this suburban road, and through a roundabout a few times, much to the amusement of three Frenchmen seated there. ‘Je n'ai pas perdu!’, dit Richard, lying through his teeth! After getting back on the route, the first day was going OK until we reached the Seine and a very rutted track, which we rode along for about 6km before we were back onto tarmac and the crossing of the Pont de Normandie. I got eaten by mosquitoes whilst fitting a front light before crossing the bridge, which was a spectacular journey, rather spoilt by the fact that at the Honfleur end there were no directions as to how to get off the thing, and we spent some time before finding a way out, which was not the ‘official’ way. We arrived at our hotel 10 minutes after 10pm, the closing time for the restaurant, so no food. I had ridden 140.39km at a moving average of 18.5km/hr.

Friday 14th (Day 2) Honfleur to Mortaine 156.06km at 18.2km/hr average riding speed

At breakfast we made up for missing our dinner the previous evening by having a good feed as we had another long day to Mortaine, and the rain from Falaise made the following 76km to our resting place even tougher. Before the rain started we did get the chance of a midday meal, for which we were very grateful. We arrived at Mortaine at 9pm, very wet and cold so were not too keen on sitting in a restaurant in such a state. In any case, everything in the town was closed. The digs were B&B only for that night, so again no evening meal. A trend seemed to be developing! However, we did at least get served with a warm drink and some biscuits.

Saturday 15th (Day 3) Mortaine to Quedillac 113.18km at 19.6km/hr ave.

A slightly easier day today, with us reaching our destination in late afternoon. For those in the know, Quedillac is on the PBP route. The posters were already in place close to the route. We had passed through Tinteniac on our way today and the memories of past PBPs were invoked. During our PBPs we have arrived there in daylight on the way

out, either to stop for some food or to ‘bounce’ or in the dark on the way back, to stop for a sleep. Our accommodation for the night, Les Lierrus Chambre d'hôte, run by Yvonne Morris and Dave Chatel, former residents of Jersey, was just out of town. Yvonne welcomed us and served us a pot of tea in the garden, and very welcome it was too. We walked down to the town for a meal at a restaurant right on the corner by the church, bang on the PBP route. They were to be very busy in the forthcoming few days.

Sunday 16th (Day 4) Quedillac to Glomel 123.72km at 17.3km/hr ave.

Today PBP 2015 started, and by the time we reached our digs for the night most riders (save for the 84 hour group) were already on their way. There was no need to rush so we even had time to stop to watch a local road race near Corlay. Being a Sunday and in the light of our track record of missing meals, we were prepared not to find anywhere for lunch and so it turned out. However, on arriving in Glomel at 6:30pm we were fortunate to be passing a pizzeria restaurant just as it was opening, so we booked a table for 8pm. We then rode just out of town to our imposing digs near the Nantes-Brest canal. At the western end, the canal finishes at Guily Glas, just beyond the town of Chateaulin. Brest is still nearly 40km away. We were to ride along part of the cycle way the next day.

Monday 17th (Day 5) Glomel to Lasavisiau 79.76km, ave 18.7km/hr.

This morning we planned to ride to the control at Carhaix to see the faster Vedettes (80 hour group) arriving. We had already begun to track several riders via the PBP website. We got there at 10:30am, 18:30 after the first Vedettes left Paris. The lead riders had already gone through, including AUK's John Barkman, doing a ‘ride’. He was to finish in around 48 hours, setting a new fastest time for a member of AUK. However, as John is American, Howard Waller was the fastest Brit in around 50 hours. We had a quick word with Rob Gray, who was to finish in 59 hours (24:30 to Brest) It was rather embarrassing for us as the photographers assumed we were on the ride (with panniers and in the Vedettes, I don’t think so!) so we had to emphasise that ‘Nous ne participons pas’. We had a look at the bikes to see how they compared with our ‘Audax’ bikes. Most of the bikes were stripped down and carrying not a lot of luggage. They more closely resembled ‘racing’ bikes. We decided to ride to Huelgoat, on the PBP route, for lunch. The Vedettes were still coming through there on their

‘Today was the fulfilment of our journey, to meet and greet as many AUKs at Sizun as was possible.’

way to Brest, as it was only 22 hours since their 4pm start and the 90 hour and 84 hour groups were yet to arrive. After lunch we rode part of the PBP route from Huelgoat to the Roc’h Trevezel, stopping there to offer encouragement to the riders, before turning off the route to head for our hotel in Lasavisiau. We were surprised at how little of the route we recognised, but that is not surprising given the nature of the ride. One is usually quite tired by then, and just concentrating on getting to Brest. In 2011, Richard, riding with Rob Bullyment, did this section partly in the dark then in the mist of dawn. In 2007 Richard was shattered by the weather up to that point and riding alone so would have to go back to 2003 to recall much of that part of the ride (done with Miles Hubbard). In 1999 Richard recalls an early morning ride on wet roads, having missed the rain (an unusual occurrence for him!).

Tuesday 18th (Day 6) Lasavisiau to Glomal 84.81km at 20.6km/hr ave.

Today was the fulfilment of our journey, to meet and greet as many AUKs at Sizun as was possible. We had agreed with Rob Bullyment to meet him there at around 8.30am. We were half an hour late and Rob was just about to leave when he saw us, so he stayed a bit longer for a coffee and a chat. He was going well, to a finish in just under 72 hours, but regretting a fixed gear of 79in. when climbing out of Brest. Despite starting in the 90 hour group he caught and passed many Vedettes between Sizun and Paris. We stayed in Sizun most of the morning, greeting and chatting to many UK riders. There was Alistair Fitzpatrick ‘The Pie Eater’ (Dulwich Paragon) who was on his first PBP, and Bob Watts and Tim Decker (both San Fairy Ann). Andy Wills arrived with several other VC167 riders, including Dean Clementson and Dave Atkinson. Also arriving during the morning were Chris Smith and Lindsay Clayton on their tandem and Jack Williams, who is now

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riding to sizun to meet pbp

resident in France, close to Huelgoat. We had a long chat to Adrian O’Sullivan, who had finished fifth in the Trans-America race, which comprised 21 days, 4,500 miles and he did it unsupported. He also mentioned Ciaran O’Hara, his friend who was also riding and who wrote about his and Adrian’s (pictured in the report) ride on this year’s Asparagus and Strawberries 400 in Arrivée 129 p.38. Aidan Hedley and Judith Swallow arrived on their tandem trike. They had tales of misfortune, as on the first night, at around 70km into the ride, one of the rear wheels was damaged. Rob Bullyment passed them on the first night and saw the trike in a ditch. The story goes that they were running next to an Elliptigo rider and there was some mix up and he rode into one of their back wheels taking out something like nine spokes. Aidan was carrying eight spokes and managed to get the wheel straight. The Elliptigos were supported and had a mechanic at the controls. The story goes that the Elliptigo rider was so embarrassed that he volunteered their mechanic to fix it. Whether it was this mechanic or someone else, the wheel was repaired at Fougeres sufficient to enable them to continue and finish. Just after 1pm we decided to ride along the PBP route to the Roc, stopping there to encourage the riders, before continuing to Huelgoat for some refreshment. Along the way we had a chat to John Kilby, West Kent CTC. Later, as we rode along we encountered the two Italians on their ancient bikes (see Arrivée 130 p.36). We decided to retrace the outward route of the ‘loop’ so that we could get back to Huelgoat and not interfere too 28

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much with the riders. At the corner where the two routes part we saw Mark Brooking and Jane Swain on their tandem trike outward bound. As we approached the Carhaix control we caught up with Steve Abraham and had a chat. I asked how he was feeling and he replied ‘better now after a sleep’. Carhaix was very busy and we saw several AUKs including Tony Pember and Jim Roberson, as well as Rob McIver from Kent. We had arranged to meet Sabine Williams (Jack's wife) there, and she was busy preparing for Jack's arrival. At the control were several of Sabine and Jack's friends and neighbours, there helping out at the control and ready to give Jack encouragement on his arrival. Prior to the event Jack had been interviewed by the local media so was quite a hero. As time was pressing we left Sabine before Jack arrived and rode to our digs in the centre of Glomel. We had also met the ever-cheerful Gary Broad, who was doing a bounce and carrying on; we rode with him until our routes diverged. We did not stay at the same place (down by the canal) as on our way out but at a B&B (Webbs of Glomel) in the town, run by an engaging Englishman, Clifford Webb, and his wife Mary Ellen. As we had enjoyed our meal at the local pizza restaurant on our way out we returned there that evening for a good feed. A thoroughly enjoyable day, and I hope we lifted the spirits of some of those riders that we spoke at Sizun and along the way.

Wednesday 19th (Day 7) Glomel to Quedillac 150.05 km at 19.9 km/hr ave.

We left Glomel with the intention of riding part of the PBP route on the way to Quedillac.

Linday Clayton, Chris Smith and ex-pat Jack Williams, now living in Huelgoat, Britanny.

We picked up the route and along the way passed a few riders who were evidently out of time but still going. We caught up with a Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Bacon, No.S267, who appeared to be suffering. We rode with him and chatted. He knew he was out of time but his car was in Paris and he intended to ride all the way there to collect it. After a few miles we rode on and left him to his own devices. We assumed that we would not see him again (but read on!). In all our PBP rides Chris and I have never had the opportunity to obtain one of the route direction arrows. However, we came to a junction and there were two of them still in place. As all the riders who were to finish within the time limits had all gone through some time ago, we felt that it would be of no detriment to take home a souvenir. We continued our ride that day and were nearing Quedillac when my GPS ran out of power (and I did not have a supplementary power source; I have now!). The consequence was that we got lost (another schoolboy error, leaving the paper maps at home!). Eventually we found our way and rode into Quedillac along the PBP route. Just as we were entering the square by the church who should we see but our good friend, Jean-Pierre. We called out to him and he came over to us. We asked what he intended to do as nightfall was approaching, and we said that we could probably get him a bed at our Gîte (the same one we stayed at on our way out). He was insistent that he wanted to ride on through the night. We said, well let us at least treat you to a meal to see you on your way, and we persuaded him to accompany us to the Logis Hotel, which had the only restaurant that was still open. The restaurant opposite the church, which we had used on the way out, had probably been open for the duration of PBP passing through and was, understandably, now closed. Chris rode up to our gîte to inform Yvonne, our host for the night, that we had arrived, to explain our current situation and that we would be arriving for the night once we had finished our dinner. By this time I was in the restaurant and Jean-Pierre had gone to the washroom for a bit of a wash and brush up. We had a pleasant meal and then bid our farewell to Jean-Pierre, who rode off bravely into the dark night just as rain was forecast, but not before we had one last go to try and persuade him to stay in a dry bed that night. He had no extra clothing and just said he would sleep somewhere. What a day! Our host Yvonne had had a busy week, hosting some Italian riders on Tuesday and also a group of Germans doing bag drops/helping their riders. www.audax.uk.net


riding to sizun HEADING to meet IN HERE pbp Thursday 20th (Day 8) Quedillac to Mortaine 113.30km at 20.4km/hr ave.

After a fulfilling breakfast we said our goodbyes and drifted off down the hill to the centre of town. Chris was riding behind me and noticed that my back wheel was seriously buckled. I had fallen off the previous evening at the point where my GPS ran out of power (the two incidents were not connected) and this must have caused the buckle due to the lack of lateral strength of the rim. Chris was concerned that, with the weight of all my luggage being in the panniers at the back, the wheel would not survive the rest of the journey home. I was not so pessimistic, and had a fiddle with the spoke key for a bit to improve the gait of the wheel. So off we went, along the D220 enjoying the views along the way. We stopped for lunch in Combourg. We then rode on to Antrain, where we had lunched on the way down, then St Hilaire-du-Harcouet and finally to our destination, Mortain. We missed any rain.

Friday 21st (Day 9) Mortaine to Honfleur 158.92km at 19.9 km/hr ave.

A long day in the saddle on a sunny day, a total contrast to the same leg on the way down. Around lunchtime we were passing through a small village of Le Mesnil Villement when we noticed a sign outside a bar, offering a three-course meal. With no hesitation we were in there, and had an enjoyable hour or so in the sunshine enjoying our meal. Continuing on, our afternoon took us back to Falaise, looking fine in the sunshine. The rest of the afternoon went well and passed into evening. We managed to get to our hotel just in time for a meal, which was a bit rushed, as their 10pm closing time was approaching.

Top: Aidan Hedley and Judith Swallow on their tandem-trike. Below: Andy Wills with Chris Tracey.

‘The consequence was that we got lost (another schoolboy error, leaving the paper maps at home!)’

Saturday 22nd (Day 10) Honfleur to Dieppe 140km at 20.4km/hr ave.

Richard was keen to visit Beuzeville, just south of Honfleur, as his club, Eastbourne Rovers, were linked with VC Beuzeville from the mid-1980s to early 1990s. He wished to see whether the town had changed in the intervening period. Richard rode several Paris-Honfleur 200km randonnées with them in that period, as well as various sportive events in the Alps and in the vicinity of Paris. We located the Bar du Commerce (now renamed Le Commerce) in the town square, which used to be owned by the then social secretary of the club, Jacques Barreau, and had a coffee there. The town looked better than it did all those years ago. It was a hot day and even by 10:30am the temperature was 29°C. We then returned to the Seine and followed a route closeby until a spot of lunch beckoned. Zut Alors. Tout fermeture! We found one small shop

open on the way to Caudebec so made the best of what they had on offer. We rode on, crossing the Seine via the Pont de Brotonne but by this time, 3pm, it was too late for any lunch. Taking the minor roads we stopped in Yvetot for a cool drink but still nowhere to eat. We resigned ourselves to ‘running on empty’ (I always have this song by Jackson Browne (1977) running through my mind when hungry on the bike) until Dieppe. So we eventually arrived in Dieppe via various cycle routes (eg Veloroute du Lin, Hautot sur Mer/ Fecamp), some built along the line of now defunct railway tracks. We were taking the midnight ferry so rode down the quayside to find somewhere to eat. We stopped at a bar where Sam Crossley, Dulwich Paragon

(see back page photo in Arrivée Autumn 2015) was enjoying a beer. We had a good chat about his ride, done in 69 hours. The quayside was very busy but we finally found a restaurant and had something to eat, oh bliss! Whilst queuing for the ferry we were joined by Jon Stainsby and Stephen Butcher of the Hastings & St Leonards CC, both of whom had successfully completed their first PBP. Arriving in Newhaven around dawn we rode to Chris's house for breakfast, then I rode on home. I had ridden 1,285km door to door A thoroughly enjoyable tour, and a great way to soak up the atmosphere of PBP without having to go through the ‘challenges’, albeit soon forgotten in hindsight, of the prestigious Paris-Brest-Paris Randonnée.

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winter windrush populaire


photos by HEADING graham IN brodie HERE

Photographer Graham Brodie on his fat bike


winter populaires

Windrush Winter Warm-up 100 31st January  Ribble Blue

It’s always exciting to go on a ride in a different area from normal and immerse yourself in the sights and sensations of the countryside. And so it was that we had an early start (5:30 am) from Newton Abbot, heading up the M5 to Bristol and then along the M4 to junction 17, where we turned in the direction of Cirencester. The journey was straight forward at that time of the morning and we arrived with plenty of time in hand at Ashton Keynes for the start of the Windrush Winter Warm-up.

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here was a good crowd of entrants for the two events; there being about 200 on the 110km ride and we were on the look out for others from Devon. We had spotted Drew Buck setting off on the 150km event and as 9am approached we noticed that fellow CTC Torbay members Graham Brodie and Kate Hattersley had also journeyed up for the day. Actually, we could hardly miss them because Graham, equipped with camera gear as usual, was riding some kind of all-terrain beast of a bike, apparently for medical reasons. It was dry, but a bit chilly as we set off down the lanes towards Down Ampney, the birthplace of composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was immediately apparent that the route sheet was clear, accurate and easy to follow, which added to the enjoyment of the day. Another bonus was that the outward route as far as the first control at Stanton Harcourt was as flat as can be, weaving in and out of the beautiful Cotswold villages of Fairford, Eastleach, Filkins, Alvescot, Black Bourton, the other Bampton, Aston and Yelford. It was almost as if we had entered a private members club in which it was obligatory to have villages of golden coloured Cotswold stone, historical stately homes and gardens surrounded by rolling hills, criss-crossed with dry stone walls. And complimentary 32

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to all visitors at this time of year, were the delicate clumps of snowdrops nestling in the verges, showing that spring is on its way. By the time we reached Stanton Harcourt we were soaking wet but we had made good time as the going was easy. Once we had devoured the customary cakes and tea, we returned to our bikes to find that the rain was easing off ready for our foray into David Cameron’s constituency and in search of the picturesque Windrush Valley. On the outskirts of Witney we had our first brush with serious traffic before we had the lanes to ourselves again, following the signs to the wonderfully atmospheric Minster Lovell. From then, the route took us along cycle route 57 through glorious countryside from one delightful village to the next. As we passed between the noteworthy white gates and bollards which heralded our entrance to the village of Asthall, we were suddenly amongst the willows and water meadows bordering the Windrush and we could see Asthall Manor, where the Mitford girls once ran riot. Upon closer inspection we discovered that the manor now hosted a sculpture park with eye-catching stone sculptures by Anthony Turner adorning the gate-posts. More splendour was heaped upon splendour as we approached Burford with its broad main street lined with dignified old houses and ancient cottages, all at precarious angles. Amongst the half-timbered buildings we spotted the Tolsey museum and it was severely tempting to pull over and

explore the town with its myriad of pubs, tea-rooms and antique shops for the rest of the day! However, the cycle route along the Windrush Valley beckoned and we followed its beautiful course on to reach distinctive Little Barrington with its stone-roofed houses and on further still to Sherborne. The village hall was a welcome sight and the smell of cooked bacon was welcome too. After clocking in at the control, downing a bacon roll and having a quick exchange with the locals, we embarked on the final stage of the ride from Sherborne back to Ashton Keynes. After an impromptu stop at the intriguing Donkeywell Forge to admire the blacksmith’s quirky artistic creations, we nearly turned at the wrong crossroads. But we knew that the route sheet couldn’t possibly be wrong and aided by the helpful advice of a fellow cyclist who was referring to her GPS, we continued to the correct crossroads signposted Poulton. After passing through the Saxon parish of Cerney Wick, we entered the environs of the Cotswold Water Park once again. This is not a fun water park as its name might suggest, but the largest marl lake system in the UK, created over the last 50 years by the extraction of glacial, Jurassic limestone gravel. It provides a significant area for wildlife and the wintering and breeding of birds. In fact we hadn’t really noticed much birdlife throughout the day, but Kate and Graham had been excited to see a couple of red kites circling in the sky. It was an easy pedal to retrace our morning route in reverse to the Finish Control at Bradstone Pavillion and we ended the Audax feeling quite invigorated for a change. We had been cycling into the wind on the return leg, but the plus side of that was ending up totally dry. To close, I would like to express my appreciation to Peter Holden and his team for putting together an excellent route through some of the most picturesque parts of the south Cotswolds and for designing a route sheet which at first had me slightly confused by the hieroglyphics he was using, but turned out to be deadly accurate and easy to follow (I particularly enjoyed ‘oo’ for double mini roundabout!). I look forward to the 2017 event. N

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winter populaires

Jack & Grace Cotton Memorial 100 23rd January  Ribble Blue It’s just on 100 miles up from Torbay to the start at Aztec West in north Bristol, but I make the trek each January to be on the line at nine and hope for a dry, ice-free ride going up towards Gloucester and back.

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ast year’s event suffered from icy roads in the first 25k to Berkeley and resulted in several riders going down, but this year things are different. Forecast was for a dry day with some sun but clouding over in the afternoon, but there’s a rumour that temperatures may get up into double figures, not bad for January. A large entry of close on 200 so two start times and by choosing to join the nine o’clock group gave me time to renew my acquaintance with David Johnston, one of the helpers who used to ride with us down in Devon in the nineties. Along the A38 going under and over the M5 I’m soon turning into the lanes going through Tockington and Olveston heading for the info control at Littleton on Severn. Lanes rather wet with surface water on most bends but it was pleasing to see snowdrops giving a splash of colour to the verges, spring is on it’s way. Flat roads all the way to the second control at Berkeley so I’m making good time before the hills come in during the second half. Joined a group of about a dozen coming out of Berkeley and thought it a good Idea to tag along at the back but then all suddenly turned right in Wanswell which was not the turning to take and I never saw them again but hoped they got back on route later on. Now cycling on my own around the Slimbridge area to join the A38 again along the main road for 5k before turning for Frampton on Severn and the control at Epney alongside the river. Covered the first part of the ride in just on two hours which I thought was quite impressive and stayed ahead of some far younger cyclists. Found some room in the pub to enjoy a cuppa and cheese roll before getting on the bike again for the return leg. The second part of the ride seems to involve going round endless roundabouts to get through Hardwick and Brookfield and then another series to get around Stonehouse. It’s all 1st exit, 2nd exit stuff which makes you think which roundabout is this and what should I do here. Joined at this point by a young lady who appeared lost or had lost her route sheet, well you can’t leave

a young lady cyclist beside the road on an audax can you! So we teamed up for the next 10k when the climbs started to get to Stintchcombe. My companion left me there as she joined up with a group coming by and I then met up with the past organiser of this event for many years, Jane Chapman. After spending some minutes talking about things in general and cycling in particular it’s climbing up a couple of hills to get to Stinchcombe village and up the nasty little climb which always catches me out as you come around a corner and suddenly you’re faced with a 1-in-5 climb, but managed to get all the correct gears in time to ride all the way up. Descend and another climb finds you facing the event photographer Becki Robinson, so smarten yourself up and keep pedalling to the top, got to look good for whichever magazine the picture may appear in. Second control at 88k near Leyhill and there’s cakes on offer at this place, can’t pass that up, so with a cuppa as well, it’s a sit down for 15 or 20 minutes. Just 17k to go now and I team up with Drew Buck and his friend Alan to ride at an easy pace through the lanes to Tytherington and up a gentle climb to the finish at the Swan Inn on the A38, a mile or two from the start car park. Thanks Paul and your crew for another very enjoyable event, the only criticism I could make is that the typeface on the route sheet appears to have dropped a point or two or is it that my eyesight is a year older now from last year's event. N

Top right: the author, Ribble Blue Right: Jane Chapman Photos by Becki Robinson

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JACK And grace cotton memorial populaire Centre: Paul Rainbow, organiser

Dave Baxandall

L: Jon Banks, R: Denise Booth


photos by Becki Robinson http://beckirobinsonphotography.co.uk David Cooper

Andy Curran, Irmgard Tischner


randonnee

Hebridean Island Hop 200km Part 2 – continued from p.43 Arrivée 131

John Thompson

It was a road I had ridden before in 1992 when I did the east–west myself. On that day I rode from Fort William to Point of Ardnamurchan, then retraced along the peninsula road to Salen and Mallaig, a total of 153 miles. I know it was a long time ago but I really don’t remember the peninsula road feeling as hard as that. On that day, although Fort William is not a great distance from the peninsula road it was considerably further than the six miles I had ridden this morning and the days leading up to it had been considerably tougher. I went through my usual excuses of having lost a lot of fitness and I was carrying more this time. At Salen (I mean the one on the mainland where the peninsula road junctions with the A861 – more potential confusion with same place names) I stopped at a nice café for a sandwich and salad lunch and a slice of cake.

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he hard truth is that even though today I had a good tailwind from Salen, I don’t remember the whole of my 1992 ride from Point of Ardnamurchan to Mallaig feeling as tough. However, the A861 is a scenic road, particularly where it follows the coast overlooking Glenuig Bay and Loch Allort. Just before Lochallort village, I observed a steam-hauled train on the Mallaig to Fort William line. At Lochallort it was left onto the A830 for the final 19 miles to Mallaig. A little way along I again made use of a lay-by for a short breather and an energy bar. One memory of my ‘east – west’ ride was of a 1 in 7 about three miles before Mallaig, for which I had been psyching myself up all day, but it didn’t happen. There was a bit of a climb at around that distance, but there was no gradient sign and it didn’t feel like 1 in 7. Does anyone know if the road has been upgraded around that point? There was a sign indicating what I interpreted as an alternative route following the coast more closely. I am wondering if that is the old road. On arrival in Mallaig, I had a little difficulty finding my hotel. When leaving the town centre, I decided to retrace and ask directions if necessary and discovered I had completely missed a large sign directing to the hotel – it really must have been a tough day! And guess how ‘Murphy’s Law’ came in … the sign instructed ‘up hill’. It made it feel like hostelling! The good news on arrival at the hotel was the plaque on the wall by the entrance indicating it had beers from the Skye brewery. The hotel was nice, including good food and beer making a nice finish to a testing but good day. On a little aside, when I was first thinking about visiting Mull my intention had been to use the Kilchoan ferry to visit Point of Ardnamurchan to take notes for updating the information I provide for my permanent, as a lot has changed there since I went in 1992, something told me to was not going to be today!

Armadale to Breakish, with small detour to Harrepool – approx. 21 miles At the Mallaig ferry terminal on Monday morning I was ‘reunited’ with the five Yorkshire chaps. They were also going to Skye to do a thorough exploration of it. That I had done in 2014 so this year I was going purely to get the ferry from Sconser to the island of Raasay, which I did not have time for then. For the sake of a 30-mile round ride rather than book two nights in the expensive Sconser hotel, I booked into the bed and breakfast at Breakish, that I had used in 2014. In 2014 I had two nights there after exploring Skye by three nights at Uig. I used it to do the lovely circuit ride, using the small summer-only ferry from Kylerhea to the mainland near the village of Bernera, and then through the Ratagan forest – including a testing long climb comparable to much I have done abroad – to Shiel Bridge then to Kyle of Lochalsh and over the bridge back to Breakish – five miles from the bridge. Back to today, although it was a very short ride it worked out nicely as a stretch of the A853 from Armadale was one of the few bits of Skye I still had not seen and it is scenic and quiet enough. The A853 junctions with the A87 near Harrepool, where I decided on a slight detour to hopefully find an eatery. I was in luck. I had another sandwich lunch and sticky toffee pudding 36

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for dessert again. Honest, I am not a ‘chocoholic’. While I was in the café it started raining. As I had only three miles to ride I lingered to see if it would ease or stop. When the proprietor walked past and said, ‘Are you all right?’ and I explained I was waiting to see if the rain stopped, she looked dubiously out of the window saying, ‘Good luck with that.’ While waiting in hope, it was nice observing a dear little girl spending part of the school holiday helping mum with serving customers. She had obviously been taught well. The proprietor was proved right about the rain. It was obviously not going to stop soon so I decided it made more sense to get to the digs so it was on with the waterproof for three miles. Tours are primarily about visiting places for the first time but doing so can involve revisiting some places again and it can be nice to do so if they are memorable for good reasons. In the case of Breakish, it was a particularly nice B&B, with a good restaurant in the village. I was also wondering if the friendly and pretty young waitress in the restaurant would still be there! I arrived at the B&B – ‘Ruisgarry in Lower Breakish, with a lovely view of Broadford Bay’ – around 3pm. John, the proprietor’s husband, phoned the restaurant to book me in and I amused myself until dinner time by making use of the Teasmaid, reading my paperback and watching the rain tipping down! It was a wet walk to the restaurant, but I knew from 2014 that the food should be good and that combined hopefully with seeing the young waitress again compensated! The Red Skye restaurant was still being run by the same couple as in 2014, the lady seemingly looking after the general running and the husband the head chef. Alas, there was no sign of ‘my’ waitress. Nothing that could be done about it and that is not to say the young ladies now working there were not nice, but it was a disappointment. Anyway, the food was good as was the beer from The Skye brewery, albeit only bottled available. When I went to pay the bill the lady recognised me from my 2014 visit so I asked what had become of the waitress. We established I was referring to Sophie – well now I knew her name! Apparently she is teaching in Fort William – ‘doing well.’ I am pleased about that!

Breakish–Sconser/circuit of Raasay/Sconser–Breakish – approx. 45 miles

In the morning it had stopped raining but chatting to John over breakfast he commented that he had never known rain like it on Skye. Pointing outside to his shed he said. ‘I’ve never seen a puddle as big as that there yesterday.’ Yes, some will be laughing that it figures as I was there! Anyway, once on the bike the sun was making an effort. When it did break through from time to time, after the weather of the day before it was really pleasant to feel it on you. The 15 miles along the A87 to Sconser was a ride I had done in 2014 in the opposite direction. It is quite busy but it is also scenic. There is also a good climb and descent just before Sconser The ferry crossing to Raasay only takes 20 minutes but by the time we got there the sun was out and the sky was blue, which added to the ‘wow’ factor, which for me Raasay has – terrific sea views. It is basically an out and back ride from the southern tip to where the surfaced road and public right of way ends in the north at Arnish, a round trip of about 14 miles, although there is another short out and back to the eastern shore at North Fearns. For the last little stretch from Brochel to www.audax.uk.net


randonnee Arnish it is known as Calum’s Road. Richard Barrett explains the history of it in Cycling In The Hebrides. It is named after the person who built it, Malcolm (Calum) Macleod (1911 – 1988) who was a crofter, part-time postman and assistant keeper of Rona lighthouse. After the inhabitants of the northern end of Raasay had unsuccessfully campaigned for a proper road that would alleviate some of the hardship of living there, Calum decided to take matters into his own hands and build the road himself. It is tempting to go on as it is an interesting story but I refrain. I will say it is one of the few bits of new road building I approve of! It is testing however, with a lot of short steep – probably about 1 in 4 – hills, one after the other. The road may only be about seven miles long but I found myself wondering how much longer it went on for and on the return I conceded to walking one of them. Initially just after leaving the ferry, near Inverarish, I started going wrong heading – I think! – toward North Fearns. I was prompted to check the map when I saw a signpost. Even after checking the map I could not be completely confident, but it seemed most likely that I needed the road signposted – wait for it! – ’North Pole.’ It also seemed to make sense that ‘North Pole’ meant the north tip of the island. It appears I was thinking right. It struck me bizarre that on such a small island with so few roads it should be so easy to get confused. Is it me? I concluded it wasn’t – yes, I know I would wouldn’t I – and that ironically the problem was the smallness of the place. While I consider the Nicholson maps good, 1 inch to 4 miles is quite small scale. For places like that, I guess you ideally need large scale localised maps such as the Ordnance Survey Landranger series, but on this tour it would have been so many. While waiting for the return ferry, the weather started deteriorating, not raining but starting to look like it would and the wind getting up. However, it was a tail wind back to Breakish. There were now some roadworks on the climb, with temporary traffic lights. I was stopped at them for a little while and once they turned green because of the length of the roadworks the lights for the other direction turned green just before I got to the end so I had to quickly pull over to the side until the oncoming traffic had passed. Not an uncommon problem for cyclists at temporary traffic lights. At the Red Skye in the evening, there was further confirmation of my weather effect. The male half of the proprietors said he had never seen water so deep in their backyard.

Breakish–Lochcarron – approx. 30 miles

Again, this was a ride I had done on my 2014 visit, although I did vary it slightly this time with a little detour.. Previously, I had been riding from Breakish to Loch Maree, which is a fair ride so I didn’t visit Plockton, instead heading straight from Durinish to Strome Ferry. This year, as it was only a short ride I went to Plockton. It would have been silly not to as it is one of the ‘classic’ places to visit in Scotland and justifiably so as it is picturesque as are the villages on the way. Once over the bridge and into Kyle of Lochalsh it is along pretty lanes through the picturesque villages of Badicaul, Erbsaig, Drumbie and Durinish, which is particularly nice. The tame highland cattle allowed to graze on the green add to its charm. It didn’t surprise me that Plockton was quite full of tourists but I wouldn’t say it spoilt it. I ‘joined them’ in taking photo’s. Plockton was used in the opening scenes of The Wicker Man but I don’t think I will get into that – I did see the film! As the road ends at Plockton it was a short retrace to turn left and shortly retrace my 2014 route through Achmore and Strome Ferry – lovely wooded lanes overlooking Loch Carron – from where there is a short hill to junction to join the A890, which has a few good hills, despite running alongside the rail line for a good part, through Attadale to Strathcarron. There are fine views of Loch Carron and between Attadale and Strathcarron I could look across and see my destination. At Strathcarron the road swings west (left) by the head of the loch, and at the t-junction it is again left onto the A896 for the final two miles or so to Lochcarron. I arrived nicely at lunchtime to use the café in the golf club. A friendly proprietor asked where I had come from, what my plans were etc. I was amused though when he said, ‘I think you’ve been lucky with the weather today, it hasn’t rained.’ Well yes, as far as that goes! It had been looking as though it would but it didn’t, but it wasn’t a great day. I was going to say it is my observation the Scottish are hardened to the rain and take it as a matter of course, but it was obvious from the chap’s accent he did not originate from Scotland. Perhaps the same happens when you have lived there for a while and weather wise everything is relative. One thing I found striking was that when cycling in the rain in Scotland you don’t get the gasps, head shaking and comments like, ‘Are you really going out in this? I wonder if it makes the point! I told the chap I was doing the Applecross

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Peninsula the next day. Obviously they are used to cyclists coming there for it because he didn’t gasp! I explained I had been told it is probably easier north to south and he agreed. Although I still had reservations about advice from non-cyclists I had more or less resolved I would do it north to south. Again, I arrived at my digs, the Lochcarron hotel, ridiculously early, a bit before 2pm. However, it gave me a chance to wander to the village store to buy my sister’s postcard. and then write and post it The year before, I had used the village stores for lunch provisions, which I sat and ate on a seat overlooking the loch. The store proprietors offered me a complimentary free cup of tea or coffee. My interpretation of it was that it was something they offer tourists using the store in that way. From what I could gather, it had changed ownership so I don’t know if the idea is ongoing as I could hardly expect it just for buying a postcard! However, at the time it was most welcome! Watching the BBC news in my hotel room, there was more evidence of the JT weather effect. There was a feature on the problems of the relentless rain and it was commented it was the worst weather in Scotland for 30 years!

The Applecross peninsula circuit (Lochcarron–Lochcarron) – approx. 60 miles

In the morning I had definitely decided I was doing it north–south! Today was the day of one of my main objectives of the tour, having decided it over a year ago when I last came to Lochcarron. Realising I did not have time for the peninsula that day, on arrival at Lochcarron, seeing there was a hotel and what a beautiful place it is and considering its proximity to the peninsula, I realised it would be the perfect and logical place to stay. I had been looking forward to this day for over a year but come the time, with the climbing in mind, I admit to some nerves. However, it did not stop me having a good breakfast! Weather-wise it was another instance of following a drab day, the sun today was making an effort. I remembered from before that there is a slight climb out of Lochcarron on the A896 and it is an ‘up and down’ ride, but nothing particularly testing, to the point just before Sheldaig where you turn left onto the peninsula road and the real climbing begins!

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randonnee It does, however, level off around the hamlet – if you can even call it that – of Arrisa and what a stupendously scenic ride following the sea, particularly as the sun was making an effort. However, once riding direct north to south after the hamlet of Fearnmore I had a stiff headwind. I didn’t attempt heroics, just took my own time. I arrived in Applecross nicely at lunchtime. There was a food trailer and the lady was offering fish and chips – bliss! Me having fish and chips twice is saying something! Nice as Applecross is, I didn’t linger there too long deciding it was best to get on with the climbing rather than thinking about it and, no, I didn’t do the short out and back bit to the end of the peninsula road at Toscaig. The climbing starts immediately on leaving Applecross and well … er yeah! It is tricky to judge how long it is and my map is not helpful in that respect. It is one of those that just seems to go on and on. I was impressed by the patience of the drivers, pulling over and waiting for me, often sooner than they really needed to, and which often included words of encouragement like ‘You’re doing well,’ and the ‘traditional’ ‘Allez, allez.’ I guess they are used to cyclists but at the same time I have a feeling it is a lot to do with the easy going, tolerant and friendly Scottish temperament. Relating to their apparent better attitude to cyclists, I often joke I can understand why many of them want to be ‘separated’ from the English. Perhaps that is enough on that issue! Back to the point, I cursed myself for listening to the bad advice of non-cyclists, having concluded that the theory it was easier north to south was a load @!@! – whatever your preferred adjective is! When I did reach the top, however, and started the descent, I realised I had done them an injustice. I admit I am not a great descender, probably deploying far more brake use than necessary. (A pity because with my sort of physique, if I relaxed a bit I could probably descend fast! Possibly it has something to do with it.) Nevertheless, it is one of those steep descents (if anyone knows the gradient please advise, but I would think much of it is 1 in 4) on a twisty, narrow road where you could easily come to grief if you ‘let it go’ just a bit too much and it is as though the brakes are straining. The A896 is rejoined at Tornapress for the last few miles back to Lochcarron. As I came into the village of Snachan I considered whether it was worth stopping at the stores for a quick drink with just around four miles to go. I decided it was – what the heck, it’s not an audax, you’re on tour. Back at the hotel making use of the Teasmaid I reflected on another objective realised. A little later it was back the theme of good food and beer giving the finishing touches to a perfect day’s riding. If you have not done the Applecross peninsula put it on the ‘to do’ list, it’s a humdinger. Unless you are one of those who feels they have not done something properly if it is not done the toughest way, I recommend doing it north–south, even if you get a headwind alongside the sea. Apart from anything else, while Applecross does get a lot of tourists it is a good place for lunch. I did not use the pub, but it does food and looks mighty fine. Bearing in mind the climb after leaving, however, I suggest a non-alcoholic drink is advisable! That said, considering the gradient of the climb if doing it south– north, I guess for some it could still be lunchtime by the time of reaching Applecross and the really tough climbing is done. That might be another way of considering it!

Lochcarron – Invergarry – approx 52 miles

Weather wise it was an indifferent day, no rain but not sunny either, but at least there was little wind. Although today’s ride was a main road bash, it nevertheless went

through some great scenery, which helps makes the point that although lanes are in short supply in some parts of Scotland many of the main roads are very scenic and are not uncomfortably busy. My ride started by retracing along the A896 to join the A890 back through Strathcarron to tackle the steep hills in the opposite direction to two days before, to the junction near Strome Ferry. Two days earlier there had been roadworks traffic lights at the start of one of the descents. Today obviously it was a climb so I had concern I might again get into the predicament I experienced on Skye. However, although the workmen were there, seemingly doing various things, the lights were not in place. After passing the junction with the lane to Strome Ferry, it was a nice descent to the A87, where I turned eastward to Shiel Bridge. This stretch of the A87 was a retrace of part of my 2014 circuit starting and finishing at Breakish, using the Kylerhea ferry. (I even stopped for a quick drink at the same garage store as a year before.) It is quite busy, but at least for me, not uncomfortably so, and it is reasonably scenic running alongside Loch Duich. You also pass Eilean Donan castle, where I stopped for photos. While it was welcome, I cannot see any logical reason why the traffic suddenly considerably reduced once out of Shiel Bridge. There are no major road junctions there, just for the lane to the ferry I used the previous year, which also takes you to the villages along those lanes. From my experience of that route the year before, it cannot all be going along there. Perhaps those of you who might ride in the area regularly will say I happened to hit it lucky. Whatever, the decrease in traffic added to the enjoyment of the rest of the A87 because it is east of Shiel Bridge that the scenery is stupendous, with both the hills and the lochs, Cluaine, Loyne and Garry. Hills-wise, I don’t remember anything particularly steep but a lot of long drags did seem to take their toll as while riding alongside Loch Cluaine, I realised I would be in trouble if I did not eat soon. I was not worried as I had my energy bars but I like to regard them as a last resort. However, the nature of the area and a check of the map indicated it was unlikely any village stores or café would be forthcoming so it looked likely the last resort would be necessary. Nevertheless, I kept going for a bit further and I came to the Cluaine Inn. I stopped there for a little while looking hard at it pondering whether to use it. It was tempting but it looked busy. As it was now only about 14 miles to Invergarry and service would likely be slow, I judged it would be better to have the energy bar and get to Invergarry to get settled in earlier and then have something more substantial to hold me over until dinner time. A few miles before Invergarry there is a quite long drag of a climb taking you alongside Loch Garry, with an idyllic view just before the top, followed by a nice descent to Invergarry. The Invergarry Hotel is on the western edge of the village, conveniently – for me – close to the junction with the A87. It is a nice old-world building, the proprietor informing me it is not allowed a lift as there is a preservation order on it. However, there was only one upper floor so not too taxing after a testing ride! The slight ‘problem’ was that my room had a low slanting roof, particularly the bathroom, which meant that … well … both types of toilet visit involved sitting down! The dining area serves as a café during the day so I had the light bite I intended – forget what it was. As I had judged, it kept me going until dinner, which was again back to the theme of good food and beer at the end of the day putting the finishing touches to a good day’s ride.

Invergarry–Oban – approx. 72 miles

It was not raining first thing but it looked imminent. Possibly making a slight contribution to ‘shaking off’ a stomping breakfast, there is a short climb away from Invergarry followed by a nice descent to then follow the shore of Loch Lochy. It was on the descent that the rain started so reluctantly I stopped to don waterproof. Again, it is a case of despite it being a main road – A82 still – the scenery is good and it is not particularly busy. It is also flat and gentle for the most part. That said, while usually I am not one for bothering about weather, I admit to feeling disappointment on this occasion because the scene would have been so much more stunning in sunshine. The road eventually swings slightly east away from the loch to Spean Bridge and then to Fort William. It was there that the ride deteriorated for a while. Fort William is a nice town but it was busy. The fact it was Saturday was perhaps a contributing factor. Also, it was from there that the A82 was very busy. I am a hardened cyclist so it was not that I was nervous, but it was just tedious and unpleasant, particularly as it was also narrow. I also don’t remember it being particularly scenic despite the fact it follows Loch Linnhe. Indeed, I don’t particularly remember many views of the loch. Perhaps, I was feeling too 38

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randonnee eager to get off the road as soon as possible. I will say again however, that in fairness the drivers were patient. I know it is no more than what they should do, but it is refreshing to experience that amount of patience! Despite how busy it was I passed about four – possibly more cyclists going the other way. My guess is that they live in Fort William and have no option but to use the road for a few miles to get to wherever they are going and back. As I came into North Ballaculish I spotted a café with a sign advertising hot bacon rolls. It was tempting but as it was only 11.45 I quickly resolved to resist deciding the priority was getting off this road as soon as possible, all the more so because I was nearly at the point where I would. At Ballaculish main village there is a twisty ride off the A82 and over a bridge – to give credit to the designers, a nice looking structure – onto the A828. The bridge is more or less at the point where lochs Linnhe and Leven merge. The A828 was quiet and what a relief! The A828 was also another part of the Argyll and Bute coastal route for me. It was now lunchtime and, luck was on my side in that I was not far along before I came to a golf club entrance with a board advertising a café, so I made a quick left turn. Scrambled egg on toast went down nicely. Things had picked up in more ways than one when I came onto the A828 as, ironically, it was around then that the weather picked up. That was continuing and on leaving the café it was sunny but as my direction was south, yet again there was a niggling headwind. However, time was not an issue so I took it easy. I would not describe the ride along the A828 as one of the more spectacular parts of the tour scenery wise, but it was nice enough, following the coast in the forms of lochs Linnhe and Ceran and also Ardmuchnish Bay. Terrain wise it was a pretty level road but with a few short sharp surprises. That said, I don’t think they were that sharp really, rather I was suffering the knock-on effect of a few days of continuous up and down – it really must be an age thing – and the headwind wasn’t helping. Once over the bridge at Connel it was onto the A85 for the final five miles to Oban. I was starting to feel empty again and pondered whether it was really necessary to stop to eat my last energy bar with such a short distance to go. I decided it was and stopped at a nice spot with a sea view. Well, finishing the energy bars did mean a bit less weight in the panniers! The A85 was busy around Connel, but for the most part I didn’t find it so. It was also pleasant enough following the coast for a little way and then passing through pleasant woodland. With around four miles to go there is a sting in the tail with a long drag. To get it right, it is really not so long. On a short ride and feeling fresh it probably would not be noticed much, but it is enough to be a bit of a sting if the signs are showing, which they were! Anyway, once at the top it was not long before a nice descent into Oban to finish and back to the Royal hotel. When I arrived in Oban it really was rather warm. Everyone was walking around in shorts and light clothes. I noticed one chap with an ice cream, which struck me as a good idea. After checking-in to the hotel I strolled to the quay where a Mr Softee van was parked and treated myself to a cornet. A final thought; perhaps the deterioration in the ride from Fort William might have been compensated for somewhat if I had spotted Sophie; sadly not!

Ferry to Barra

Today was a strange Sunday for a cyclist as there wasn’t any cycling. Well, ‘technically’ there was in that I rode from the Royal hotel to the ferry terminal, which is just round the corner and later from Castlebay ferry terminal to the hotel, which was also just round the corner, albeit a ‘splash’ further than at Oban. As the ferry departure wasn’t until 3.40 pm, you might wonder what I did with myself all that time. There was a short ride I considered, but as I was vacating the hotel and would have had to carry the panniers I judged that I might as well do it at the end of the tour when I was doing two nights at Oban – more on that to come. As I didn’t need to be up early I had a late and lazy breakfast. As the sunshine was continuing and Oban is an attractive place I spent some time taking photos. I decided I might as well buy my ferry ticket early and clarified a few things about other ferries I wanted to use later. Then, as it was a nice day I sat with my paperback. I used the cafeteria on the rail station for a bite of lunch, then back to the novel before going to the terminal. One way and the other the time passed nicely I was joined by two other cyclists at the ferry queue, a couple from King’s Lynn, which is kind of my ‘neck of the woods.’ The ferry journey to Barra from Oban is four hours 50 minutes so for a lot of the time it was back to my paperback. However, there was also some

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www.madgettscycles.com dolphin spotting, which made me curse for not having my camera to hand. When I booked the hotel, I was told they advise people to eat on the ferry because it is likely you will arrive after the kitchen has closed so I also spent some time making sure I did that! I checked into the Craigard hotel just after 9pm. The lady asked if I had eaten on the ferry as the kitchen had just closed. Whether that means she would have arranged something for me if I hadn’t I don’t know because it didn’t matter. After a stomping breakfast and a decent meal on the ferry on a lazy day it didn’t matter. That said, I had a packet of crisps in the bar, which apart from myself and a few other hotel residents was full with locals.

Circuit of Barra including Vatersay – approx. 35 miles (guestimate)

Alas, the weather had deteriorated and although it wasn’t raining when I set off, it looked as though it would not be long. I started by heading north-east along the A888 and wasn’t far out of Castlebay before there was a short but fairly steep hill, but nothing horrendous. How do I most accurately describe the charm of Barra? I guess it is the peacefulness of roads. I had a real sense of being away from it all and almost as though I was in a different world. One of the most striking features of Barra is the beautiful white sandy beaches (as it is for some of the other islands I will be coming to), including the airport landing strip. I wanted to see this, particularly as the cyclists I had met at the ferry queue explained that it was one of only two airports in the world that have landing strips on beaches. I believe they said the other one is somewhere in the Caribbean (I tried Google to get it precise but it looked like it would take a long time to find, if it can be). However, those beaches made it all the more the pity it wasn’t the day Sunday was. Not that I would have had a swim. I didn’t bring a costume and I don’t indulge in that sort of behaviour! It is just that, as when I was riding alongside Loch Lochy, the scene would have been that more stunning with sun and blue sky. Anyway, I followed the A888 swinging westerly passing through a particularly charming little village with a small quay, I think it was Bogach, but I expect there will be some who can correct me if I am wrong – I must start taking a notebook with me! I continued to the junction with the road to Barra airport and the north tip of the island, which I then took . Part of this road forms part of the Hebridean Way cycle route. It comes off this road at the right turn for the terminal for Eriksay ferries. It is a flat road and while all roads on Barra are by the sea,, the combination along with the weather made it windswept. Yes, Barra airport was interesting, tempting a number of photos including the sign advising to keep off the beach when the wind sock is flying and the airport is active. I continued to the island’s north tip and a mile or so before reaching it, a cycling family came out of a b and b riding the opposite way. (On all the small islands I saw a number of parents with young children. Obviously the short distances lend themselves to it and some of them are not so hilly and, in any case, if the distances are very short they are probably avoided. While it will be a few years before they become AUK members, it was pleasing to see and perhaps one day!)

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randonnee I retraced past the airport to the junction with the A888, where I turned right to cover what I had not yet done. I continued along the A888 – amused to be passed by a police car – to the right turn to Vatersay to be ‘confronted’ with a sign saying 12.5 per cent. After tackling it well – I think I did! – I was soon on the charming little causeway onto Vatersay ( the causeway opened in 1991 as a result of campaigning by local people due to a bull drowning). A little further along and I saw the couple from King’s Lynn coming the other way. We stopped for a brief chat and they told me that a bit further along I would come to a memorial sign to the nine crew members of a Catalina aircraft on a training exercise at the spot where it crashed on the 12th May 1944 – three were killed, six survived. In addition to the sign, the wreckage is still there, I guess as a sign of respect and to make it more poignant. I spent a few minutes at the point and took photos. I then continued through the village of Bhatersaigh to the tip of Vatersay. Although there is no sign to indicate, I interpret the spot as the southern tip of the Hebridean Cycleway. If so, I have to say it is an anti-climax, the road abruptly ending at someone’s back yard. The Hebridean Cycleway sometimes gets called ‘the outer Hebrides end–end.’ The north tip is the Butt of Lewis, ie, the north tip of the Isle of Lewis. As I had been there and to the southern tip of Harris and then to Berneray, through the Uists and Benbecula to the ferry terminal at Eriksay and now circuited Barra to the southern tip of Vatersay, it was silly I had not bothered to do the little bit to the ferry terminal on Barra, as I could then say I had done the outer Hebrides end-end, albeit not in one go. Of course, I could easily have then done it but I have to admit I didn’t feel it mattered much I agree with Richard Barrett’s description that while ‘it is a relatively modest ride of just less than 150 miles it is undoubtedly one of the great cycling journeys in the world, packed with antiquities and taking you past dazzling white beaches, alongside turquoise seas and through dramatic hills.’ I retraced and considered the Vatersay Community Hall café, which looked quaint and interesting, but in my wisdom I decided to continue. If I had realised just how close I was to Castlebay I would probably have stopped. Never mind, the café at Castlebay was nice enough, with cycling families for company. A cheese and ham toastie was adequate after such a short ride and another good Scottish breakfast. Another early finish but it gave me time to take some photos of Castlebay – and read some more of my paperback!

Ferry to Oban and short ride Oban to Ganavan and return

Tuesday morning was beautiful; hardly a cloud in the sky. I was of course pleased about that but felt some annoyance that it had deteriorated just for the one day I was on Barra – never mind! After checking-out of the hotel I went to the ferry terminal and was joined by the King’s Lynn couple. We told each other about our days on Barra. The male of the two explained that initially they had difficulty finding a camping spot – ‘We went to Bhatershaigh and there’s a sign saying no “overnight camping in our township.” It’s barely a hamlet.’ My judgement had been that it was big enough to be a village but I understood him. I commented that perhaps on a little and very rural place like this in relative terms it is a township. He didn’t seem convinced! Apparently they wild camped somewhere just off the road. He agreed with me that the southern tip of the ‘end–end’ was an anti-climax and rather a tip – no pun intended. The ferry arrived in Oban at 2.30pm. It wasn’t the ride I had considered for Sunday but while lingering in Oban I decided that on embarking the ferry on Tuesday, I would take a look along the short road – probably less than two miles – which forms part of NCR78 to Ganavan. I had considered checking-in at the Royal hotel first to leave the panniers but decided about three miles with them was neither here nor there! It is a pleasant enough road following the coast and passing Dunollie castle. There are signs advising drivers that as cyclists and walkers use the road they should drive appropriately and there is a 20 mph speed limit into Ganavan, both of which I approve. Ganavan is a place of expensive properties, rather typical of a nice place just out of town but close enough for convenience for those who can afford such homes. The road ends at the beach, which was busy. Presumably people were jumping at the opportunity of making the most of the good weather while it lasted. Hypothetically, if I was to ride an audax based at Oban, wanting a lazy day afterwards, if the weather was good that is probably where I would go.

Circuit of Lismore – approx. 18 miles (guestimate)

Lismore is a small island, just under 15 square miles and I admit when 40

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planning the tour I nearly overlooked it. I was looking at the area around Oban on the map and suddenly noticed it. I am pleased I did because to have not gone there would have done it an injustice and I would have missed something. There is a saying ‘small is beautiful’ and it certainly applies to Lismore, with great views on the east side to the hills of the mainland. On the west side is lovely Port Ramsay. The name makes it sound like a big place but it is just a few houses – mainly a row of the white slate terraced variety – by the sea and one of those white beaches ,with the backdrop of the hills of the Kingairloch area of the mainland, While waiting for the ferry I got into conversation with a chap who had just finished a night shift at a care home. He explained that he likes going to Lismore for short walks and unwinding. A mountain biker also arrived and joined in the conversation. On the ferry I also chatted to a friendly American couple. It was to be the start of a friendly day. The terminal on Lismore for Oban ferries is at Achnacroish. There is a bit of a pull up from the ferry terminal to the T-junction but after that the B8045 is gentile for its entire seven miles between the south and north tips of the island; just the odd little rises. (I jokingly refer to the B8045 as the Lismore ‘main highway.’ Despite its classification, it is a narrow country lane, in parts with grass in the middle.) This means that you have lovely sea views with the backdrop of hills, with the ‘bonus’ of easy riding. I opted to turn right at the T-junction and go to the north tip first. It is at the little harbour there that a small private ferry operates to and from Port Appin on the mainland. I watched one of them arrive and some cyclists get off. It looked as though it was mum and dad with their daughter and two adult friends or relatives. I took some photos before retracing south along the B8045. I caught up with the family and friends group who were a little split up and some were stopping to wait for others. As I came alongside the little girl she started going faster, her little legs doing a lot of revs. ‘Are you trying to race me?’ I joked, and a sheepish smile appeared. I actually saw a significant number of cyclists on the island. Not of our ilk but what are probably best described as casual tourers, all part of the current leisure cycling ‘renaissance.’ Back to the ride and after a little way I turned right toward the west side and the village – or should I say hamlet – of Port Ramsay (a point of clarification in that if it is a port I think it is because where the ferry arrives and departs at the north tip is regarded as part of Port Ramsay). After some more photos I again retraced continuing south, passing the junction with the road to the ferry terminal to the south tip. On the way I passed the Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre. I looked hard to see if it incorporated a café but it did not seem to. I continued through Kilchoran to the south tip and felt pleased to have completed the seven-mile ‘Lismore end–end!’ A few photos and I retraced. As I came past the heritage centre I again looked hard to see if there was a café. I figured that it might have been closed when I came past before. On such a small place it seemed likely it may not open until late. As I came by the entrance someone waved to me. It was ‘matey’ – the night-shift worker – and I thought I could see all the others I had chatted to on the ferry sitting at a table together. It was amusing to see so many – mostly mountain – bikes parked at the entrance so it seemed there was a café there. I proceeded up the slope to the building. It was nice enough to sit outside, at least initially. I ordered a toastie and pot of tea and joined my acquaintances. ‘Matey’ seemed knowledgeable about Lismore. I mentioned I had not noticed a pub and he confirmed there wasn’t one on the island ( having ‘double-checked’ via Google, I am as certain as I can be there is no hotel on the island, ie, there is no place that might have a bar. It leads me to conclude that AUK members would not want to stay overnight on the island! The accommodation available appears to amount to two bed and breakfasts and some self-catering apartments). After a while the wind started gusting and quick action was required when it blew over the sun shade. As Lismore is so small and the ferry did not leave until 3pm. I intended seeing every possible ‘nook and cranny.’ I had partly done so by detouring to Port Ramsay main village. I now just needed to do the little out and back detour along the road to Achinduin in the south-west corner. This road does involve a steep hill – and not so short – followed by a descent to sea level and vice versa coming back. Achinduin is interesting in that the village – bigger than a hamlet I think! – sign is letters on a block of wood attached to a wooden gate, which has to be opened to get into the village properly. My interpretation was that the idea of the gate is to tell non-residents something so I did not open it. The gusting wind while at the café had been the start of the weather deterioration and it started raining while waiting at the ferry terminal, www.audax.uk.net


randonnee necessitating use of the very basic shelter. Eventually, matey, the American couple and the mountain biker all arrived. We chatted in the shelter and on the ferry about life in general, such as me saying how much I was enjoying retirement, and putting the world to rights, which with an American couple brought Barack Obama into the conversation. In conclusion, it seems ironic that I regard such a short day miles wise as one of the high points of the tour. If you really do feel just doing the island is not enough distance wise, there is a ‘leg buckling’ 35 miles, or so, circuit you can do based on Oban. Take the ferry to Achnacroish and do the ‘Lismore end–end,’ plus, I suggest the two little detours, take the private ferry from the north tip to Port Appin and then ride back to Oban.

Circuit of Colonsay – approx. 18 miles (‘guestimate’)

The ferry terminal is at Scalsaig on east of the island, more or less at the north – south midpoint. The island is circuited by starting on one of the two roads that head north from Scalsaig and returning via the other. However, at the junction – sort of! – of the two roads near the north tip it is important to detour to beautiful Kiloran Bay, regarded as the ‘classic’ spot to see on Colonsay This caused me the same confusion as I had on Raasay, with the map scale being a bit too small to properly show all the roads on such a small place. On arrival at Scalsaig, I asked a Caledonian MacBrayne employee if she could direct me to the Colonsay hotel. My thinking was to leave the panniers at the hotel to circuit the island without being laden. The lady pointed to a white building just a few hundred yards along the road straight ahead. They were happy for me to leave my panniers and after doing so a ‘double-check’ of the map confirmed to me that I just needed to continue along that road. In itself that was correct, but because of the way it is shown on the map in relation to the position of the ferry terminal – that’s my excuse and I am sticking to ‘blaming my tools’ – I interpreted that I was on the road (B8087) that initially runs alongside the east shore before turning slightly inland, rather than the road (B8086) that cuts across to the east side, which I was on. It caused me confusion at the point where the two roads meet. At that point the B8086 actually ceases although it appears to go straight-on round a left-hand bend. The B8087 on the right is the road that has to give way as a T-junction. As I had the two roads confused I was puzzled to see a road on the right but guessed it must be a short dead-end road to the sea that the map did not show. As I knew I had at some point to swing south my interpretation was that I would after the left-hand bend. It made sense in relation to the road I thought I was on. As I reached the junction a lady walker called out asking if I knew the way to Kiloran bay. I stopped and opened the map and I was at least pleased she could not make any more sense of it than me! I was baffled and had doubts as to whether I was correct about the road I needed. I told the lady that as far as I could make out she needed the road to the right. When she replied that she knew it wasn’t as she had been down there, I could only apologise profusely for not being able to help and suggested there ought to be a local person or someone who knew the way soon. I then continued straight ahead and round the left-hand bend feeling dubious as to whether I was on the right road. My doubts increased when the road became a very narrow lane with grass in the middle and in places rough-surfaced. While Colonsay is small, it is not Lismore, and as the road up to the junction had been … well … relatively wide and well surfaced, it seemed odd that the island’s other main road would be like this. Incidentally, it involved a number of very short but steep – probably about 1 in 4 – hills. Eventually I came to a spot overlooking a bay with one of those white beaches. I decided it merited a photo but first I looked at the map to see if I could now make sense of it. After a little while I did and can you guess? If you can’t, it was Kiloran Bay! It is a lovely spot and I spent a few minutes absorbing it, as two people on the beach seemed to be also. It is one of those spots where the beauty and peacefulness with just the sound of the waves gently crashing really helps you feel away from it all so you can switch off from the pressures of life. Although I had managed to figure it out, this road was not properly indicated on my map. Out of curiosity I decided to follow it further. Straight away from the bay there is another short steep hill and after a little way you come to a hamlet consisting mainly of those ‘island traditional’ white cottages – yes, definitely small enough to be classed as a hamlet! As far as I could make out it was Bainsard. At the end of the hamlet the way then becomes rough stuff so I decided to retrace to the junction of the B8086 and B8087 (I did not use it, but just north-west of the junction on the road

to Kiloran bay are the Colonsay Gardens and estate, which has a café open Wednesdays and Fridays 12 to 5 pm. At the junction I turned onto the B8087 and was soon tackling the ‘col de Colonsay.’ Of course that is humorous exaggeration but it is a fair climb, and a long drag – in as much as a west–east road on an island two miles wide can be long – rather than steep.. The isolated nature of the road, the gradient and the countryside and the great view at the top do give it a col feel. Colonsay is another of the islands that attracts cycling families, but it is pretty certain they do not tackle that bit! A quick photo and it was down the glorious descent to follow the east shore for a little way back to Scalsaig, the island covered in a couple of hours or so I admit to thinking, good lord, all done already! (Strictly speaking, not entirely correct as there was a corner still to see that I had planned for the next day) I had a lot of time in hand so decided to ‘explore’ a road without a signpost. It turned out to be just a short cul de sac but it had been a good idea to check it out because there was a café at the end – The Pantry – and it was lunchtime. The Colonsay Hotel was very nice run by Italians who were also very nice. They all spoke English as though it was their natural language so I didn’t bother to show off being able to speak their native language! As I like Italian food I appreciated that while the food was predominantly English, there was an Italian touch, particularly the desserts. I still regard Raasay as the island with the biggest wow factor, but along with Lismore I regard Colonsay as a close second. What also has the wow factor is the beer from the island brewery! I can recommend the ‘sixty shilling’ but there is also an IPA. I chatted to a local person in the hotel bar who confirmed it was the only bar on the island. I commented on the irony of a real ale brewery somewhere that has no pubs. He explained that a lot of residents have ‘set ups’ in their sheds and that I might have noticed barrels in people’s gardens. I hadn’t noticed but made a point to look out for them in the morning.

Further exploration of Colonsay – approx 10 miles (guestimate)

It was raining while I had breakfast – another good one! – but it cleared nicely in time, which somewhat belied the ‘drama’ to come. There were just a couple of ‘nooks and crannies’ I wanted to see today and as the ferry did not leave until 5.30 I would have a lot of time to kill or so I thought – as I said, the drama to come! I headed north along the B8086 with two aims, firstly, to follow the road to the island airport On turning left onto the airport road I discovered that after a few yards it becomes rough stuff – yes, the road to the airport! Not being a big rough stuff enthusiast, I retraced along the B8086 to the junction with the B8085, which I turned right onto for my second aim of the day to follow the road to its end, which is the southern most part of the island accessible by road, and from where it is possible to sometimes get a ferry to Oronsay, or is sometimes accessible an hour or two either side of low tide.. I passed what was presumably mum with her young son and a little further along at the top of a slight hill it was presumably dad stopped waiting for them. At the end I spent a few minutes again absorbing a tranquil and beautiful scene and taking photos. I arrived back at the hotel around 11.30. As it was nice I was happy to sit at a table on the lawn enjoying the sun with my paperback. Around midday I bought a soft drink from the bar and took it outside. It was so lucky I had

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randonnee decided to sit on the hotel lawn as a number of others were and I overhead one lady’s mobile phone conversation. I understood her to be saying the plane had been cancelled but I thought I better check with her that it wasn’t the ferry. It was the ferry! You can imagine it was not a nice moment. Not being able to get back to Oban until the next day was going to completely throw my itinerary. It would almost certainly have meant cancelling going to the islands of Coll and Tiree and cost me a lot of money. Also depending on how full the Royal Hotel was there could be an accommodation problem in Oban. The lady who had been on her mobile advised that the proprietor of The Pantry had contact with someone who had a private rib that comes out in those situations. I quickly went to The Pantry and to cut a long story short he sorted it for me. Indeed he was helpful in trying to find me the cheapest way, including phoning the plane operator to ask if they could take a bike, which they claimed they couldn’t. I did shudder when he told me the price – £425 – but I ‘gritted my teeth’ deciding I had to accept it. I went to the ferry office and explained it and the chap said he would phone and explain it to the head office. When I returned he said they had confirmed any expenses incurred due to a technical cancellation are refunded. It was reassuring but I still entertained some apprehension as it seemed an exceptional amount. Remember I said earlier that little did I know I would be paying an unexpected return to Easdale? Well, this was it, the rib operates to and from there, It arrived and I got on board with help! The company was Seafari Adventures, as far as I could gather, a small family concern that offers trips to see whales, porpoises and sea birds. (As I have made a note to see the Slate islands more thoroughly some time, the boat trip to see the bird life will be a nice ‘time off’ thing to do.) I was ‘psyched up’ to ride the 16 miles from Easdale to Oban, but was told their person at base had arranged for the 4.30 bus to wait for me – you will of course understand I would have felt uncomfortable telling them I didn’t need it! I wasn’t sure what to make of the bus service. It was just about 4.30 when we docked so I only delayed the bus a couple of minutes. The driver was happy about the bike coming on board, but then I was the only passenger and it didn’t stop all the way to Oban. The driver nicely dropped me off near the ferry terminal so I could get my ticket for the morning. I queried whether there were problems with an other services and was told there were not. My total claim was for £435.15, consisting of the £425.00 charge for the rib, £3.00 bus fare and £7.15, being half the return ferry fare, I can report that after submitting the claim, Caledonian MacBrayne soon paid it, with no questions.

Circuiting Coll – approx. 21 miles

Saturday morning was an early call, 5.30 am for the 7.30 ferry. However, most of the help-yourself Continental breakfast was available and the night shift receptionist brought a generous amount of toast. On the ferry I decided that having a full Scottish would just be making a pig of myself! I chatted to some more casual leisure cyclists at the terminal, including a mother with her young son and adult friend – lady that is! The islands of Coll and Tiree apparently have the most recorded sunshine anywhere in the British Isles. When we docked at Arinagour it was pretty good. Arinagour is a delightful place, albeit quite busy and not just with tourists. Being the main place on the island it is the hub for residents It is amusing because once out of the village boundaries it is so quiet! Riding up the slight hill from the ferry terminal, I was amused to see a sign saying, ‘Public roads on this island are unsuitable for exceptionally heavy vehicles’ I intend posting it on my own club’s Facebook page and in the newsletter. No doubt my clubmates will question how I managed to get around Coll! The Coll hotel is conveniently very close to the ferry terminal. Again, I asked if I could leave my bags there, which they were happy about. There was a couple there who had the same idea. Coll’s road network totals three, with a number of short, sharp hills, although nothing daunting Firstly I followed the B8071 westwards to the junction with the B8072, which I followed to the north-east tip of the island at Sorisdale. On the way on one of the short sharp hills I encountered an amusing short one way system – I think that’s the best way of describing it – of a green triangle with a sign indicating one direction only and vice versa in the other direction. It was amusing on such a narrow and quiet road. I took a photo and if it is used you will see what I mean. After a few photos at the end of the road, I retraced to the junction with the B8071, passing mum and son and friend going the other way and gave them an indication of how far it was. At the junction I continued straight 42

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ahead onto the continuation of the B8071 to Ballyhaugh on the eastside, probably just a little south of the midpoint of the island. At the end of the road is the Hebridean Centre, a trust that encourages volunteering work by young people. I then retraced to Arinapour for lunch at the island’s only café – simply called Island Café. The other couple were there and we discovered we had the same plan of going to Tiree the next day and were staying in the same hotel. The afternoon ride was along the B8070, past the island’s medical centre and Breachaha castle in the distance to the end of the road on the south-east side just south of Arileod. On retracing, again passing mother and son and friend going in the opposite direction, the weather did deteriorate somewhat, giving me a Hebridean headwind and there were some spits of rain, but it didn’t come to anything. Indeed when back at the hotel, the sun had got out again and I sat on a seat on the hotel lawn with my paperback – perhaps there is something in it being the sunniest part of the UK! The wind on Coll and Tiree is apparently the price paid for the sunshine. I mentioned earlier that I understood Islay had a reputation for its winds but maybe its Coll and Tiree who are equal first. They attract sand-yachters and all types of surfers. In the evening in the hotel bar I chatted to a couple of surfers and the barman – who had also served me dinner – who was from Liverpool. We discussed living on a place like Coll after what one is used to. He loved being away from it all and I responded that lovely as it is I felt I would have difficulty adjusting to somewhere that small, especially from a cycling perspective. He explained that the one policeman for Coll was shared with Tiree where he was based and that a dentist from the mainland visits every six months and sees everyone. He explained that high school children go to Oban where they ‘boarder’ during the week, coming home Friday afternoon and returning to Oban on Sunday afternoon. There is a high school on Tiree but because of the ferry timings it is easier for them to go to Oban. It was his opinion that the school on Tiree was likely to close soon. That might sound like ‘anorak’ information, but I was interested to know how such things worked on the small islands. The beauty of Coll is in sea views and what I can best describe as its sheer rurality, combined with being quite green, despite being supposed treeless, although I feel sure I remember riding through a few just out of Arinapour on the B8070. I should be honest and say that I could have made more of my visit if I had been prepared to walk or rough stuff a little a couple of times, at Sorisdale in the north east corner and particularly in the southern corner if I had wandered to Crosspool Bay.

Circuit of Tiree – approx. 29 miles (guestimate)

Once off the ferry at Scarinish, there was more confirmation of it being the sunniest part of the British Isles. I am sure it would have been good anyway, but it helped my introduction to Tiree in that despite it’s flatness I found it one of the prettiest islands of the tour. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and it stayed that way. That made it good that it was my last island of the tour thus contributing to a good finale. To best describe Tiree’s beauty, it is back to the theme of white beaches, pretty white cottages and what I can best describe as a rustic rurality. It is like Coll in as much as it is green www.audax.uk.net


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and treeless – in this case I don’t remember seeing any. It is also the most fertile of the islands. Tiree means ‘land of the corn’ in Gaelic – again, despite being green. All the islands have things about them that give them their own specific character and beauty, but I think Tiree perhaps most of all and ironically I would say part of it is its flatness. Although a bit more than just along the road from the ferry terminal than the hotels on Coll and Colonsay, the Tiree Lodge hotel was pretty easy to find thanks to the combination of directions from the Coll hotel barman and spotting a building in the distance that looked like a hotel. It is in a lovely setting, opposite the white beach of Gott Bay. Again, I was able to leave the panniers in my room before circuiting the island, as again also did the couple who had been at the Coll hotel with me. First I headed west back through Scarinish, first along the B8069 from the hotel, then the B8065 and then the B8068, my destination being Hynish in the island’s south-west corner. It was just before Hynish that I had an amusing incident. Having had a flat ride and under the impression their were no drastic climbs on Tiree, suddenly, to my surprise, I saw a severe climb in front of me past an observatory. I quickly got into the 34 ring in preparation. However, just a ‘splash’ further along I discovered that my road swung right and actually descended slightly down to the sea – did I laugh! The information I have been able to get from Google is that it is an ocean observatory and the old signalling station – not sure what that means. After a pause at the road end at Hynish and a photo of another white beach, I retraced to ride to the next white beach at Balephull, which involved a lovely lane providing a cut through from the B8068 to the B8067. After photos at Balephull, I had a few choices of roads to get to the north shore of the island. I decided the most scenic option was almost certainly to take the longest route that follows the coast along lanes by the west shore for a way via Barrepool and Sandaig. I was well pleased with my choice. It was a lovely ride with great blue sea views in the almost cloudless sky and more white beaches . It was on swinging east to follow the north shore and then south, past the airport, back to the south shore, that I had the headwind and it was a strong one! It was in the evening that I had an uncomfortable few moments. I went outside to lock the bike parked at the back of the hotel. Two locals were getting into a car while I did so and one of them said, ‘Hey mate, that’s a waste of time. Nobody’s going to pinch a bicycle on Tiree.’ I know that is basically true and that the lack of crime is a source of pride for the islanders. For that reason I did think is it really worth bothering? However, it would be Murphy’s Law to take a lock on tour, not use it and the bike gets pinched. Not everybody on the islands are residents. I understood why he said it, so what could I say to him other than, ‘I know,’ with a shrug of the shoulders. He didn’t say anything more and I wasn’t sure how to interpret his smile as they drove off. He didn’t exactly look offended but it was as though he couldn’t really understand why I seemingly didn’t want to take his word and unlock it. Although he clearly couldn’t understand it from my point of view I could understand his feelings. One of those unfortunate situations that the less than decent people in this world create.

Scarinish – Salum/Caolas, with slight detour to Ruaig – approx. 10 miles (guestimate) On Monday morning before my final ferry ride of the tour, I visited the eastern tip of the island at the hamlets of Salum, Caolas and Ruaig – yes, more white beaches!

Circuit of Lock Awe (Oban–Oban) – approx. 86 miles

This was the big one, the ‘grand finale,’ an 86-mile ride and a testing one. Yes, I hear you, about time too after so many ridiculously short mileage and boozing days. Okay, I admit, enjoyable as it had been it did feel good to now

be doing a decently long ride that was a bit of a test. Ironically, initially my thinking had been to return home from Oban the day after Tiree, but while browsing the map in the planning of the tour the ride caught my attention. I am pleased it did as it would have been tragic to have missed such a beautiful ride. The ride started following part of NCN route 78, which is a lovely lanes route, enabling avoiding the A85, through Glen Lonan to Taynuilt. I passed a few cyclists going the other way, probably relatively local. I also had to put my foot on the ground to squeeze past a stationary car not able to get past a ‘stubborn’ sheep ‘refusing’ to move. At Taynuilt it was a short stretch along the A85 to then take the B845, which follows the west shore of the loch from just south of Annat, and passing through Inverinan forest. A lovely road but, my goodness, the hills. In the village of Dalavich I stopped at the store for a quick bottle of orange juice. The store incorporates a café but I resisted – how’s that for discipline! The head of the loch is at the village of Ford, where I turned north-east onto the B840 to follow the eastern shore. It was a nice respite being pretty flat, with just the occasional little rise, that is until right at the end where there is a little brute up to the t-junction with the A819, which I followed for the nine miles to the A85, just west of Dalmally, to follow back to Oban, following and sometimes alongside the rail route I would be travelling on in the other direction the next morning – with a stop for food at the store in Lochawe village. Once on the A819 it is predominantly a gradual descent causing me to be surprised how quickly I got to Lochawe. It did, however, cause feelings of lethargy whenever there was an ascent, including the ‘sting in the tail’ about four miles before Oban that I mentioned in the account of my ride from Invergarry. I admit to whimping out of retracing the hilly NCR route 78. However, the A85 was not especially busy and running alongside what at that point becomes the river Awe and then Loch Etive it really is not a bad ride and it was a stretch I had not done before – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. A great ride with the combination of what often makes a good audax: testing but through superb scenery. The fact it was the last day made it the ‘icing on the cake’ – the perfect end to a great tour giving that great feeling of satisfaction. Now, however, I come to the confession. In my account of the day I took the ferry to Barra, I mentioned there was a short ride I could do but decided to add it on to the final day’s ride so it would be without panniers. At the time I had forgotten how long the Loch Awe circuit is. Okay, I get it, it should not be for an audax rider, but on getting back I admit I whimped out. For those who know the Oban locality, it was the little ride to Gallanach and return. I guess that makes me seem even more of a whimp – well, I don’t care, so there!

Homeward bound and reflections

I sat on the train from Oban, enjoying my final views of the western Highlands – for the time being that is – and looking at the A85 – which seemed even quieter than when I was on it the previous afternoon – reflecting on yesterday’s ride and a great tour. What did I consider were the main high points – metaphorically speaking – of the tour? Well, the ride on Islay, the islands of Raasay and Lismore, definitely the Applecross peninsula and the final day. Rather a lot but makes the point really. The train journey home involved an extra change at York but everything went smoothly.

Looking to the future

My plan for 2016 is to ride Dick McTaggart's ‘150 classic’ based at Galashiels in June and combine it with a tour including the Firth of Clyde islands and seeing Jura properly. Also one of these days I must return to the 'far north' to get to Cape Wrath to join the Fellowship. Perhaps I will combine that with another ambition to do the 'south–north' from Lizard Point in Cornwall to Dunnet Head and visiting Orkney and Shetland. That said, Dave Husband's Forfar events are tempting. If they run in 2017 as Forfar is only 50 miles from Aberdeen I could get the ferry from there afterwards. It looks like I wont be suffering the rigmarole of putting the bike on a plane for some time. No doubt the 'itch' to go abroad will return but I think it can wait until using my credit card for UK tours helps me amass enough NatWest Your Points for a free flight – makes sense doesn't it? Finally, to those who consider me a whimp for doing 'Applecross' the easier way, again I don't care!

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

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reviews

Lumicycle Explorer Enduro lighting system

Lumicycle, the Hampshire-based British manufacturer, has revamped its headlights for 2016. New Panasonic lithium-ion batteries move from 2.6Ah to 3.1Ah, increasing runtime up to a claimed 30 per cent over the 2014 models. There is a complete internal redesign, housing the latest CREE LEDs, leading to improved cooling for better performance at low speeds. Each headlight contains three LEDs which can output up to 3,500 lumens for a three-minute boost or 7.7 hours at permanent boost, giving an output of 7,000 lumens. One of the numerous 2016 refinements is in the circuitry which detects if a lamp is running too hot – which can damage the LEDs – and automatically reduces power until the bike starts moving again. This condition could arise if the bike is stationary and the lamp is on high power, The set I am currently testing is the Explorer Extender Pro Pack, which runs two headlamps simultaneously from a 6.2Ah Extender battery. One headlight is designated as the Master with the other as Slave, so just one toggle switch controls boths lights in whichever of the six brightness modes you select. If you wish only to run one light, for example in flashing mode in daylight hours, just toggle either lamp off. I run one lamp permanently like this in daylight and I know that motorists spot me far quicker than without it. I don't feel quite so vulnerable as I approach a car waiting to turn at a junction now and when the road narrows to single track, I am very often given the right of way by approaching motorists. Lumens Runtime hrs. (1 lamp) Runtime hrs. (2 lamps)

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I have been used to riding with only one headlamp and always felt it did an adequate job lighting the near-side verge and road ahead, but with two headlamps the difference is amazing. The whole road, from side to side and covering both verges, is lit up like daylight, far into the distance. It gives confidence for spotting obstacles like potholes, bumps and broken surfaces and as for descending at speed – well, these lights just rewrote the rulebook. The lamps come with strong and reliable quick-release handlebar clamps – once adjusted to the correct diameter, mounting and releasing takes only seconds. To fit oversize bars insert the supplied extenders. The lamps stayed in position facing straight ahead but with slight hand pressure can swivel left or right to suit conditions. With twin lamps I never felt the need for this as the verges and road ahead was just flooded with white light. Construction looks bulletproof and although I haven't ridden them in extreme conditions, Lumicycle's website shows a powered-up lamp being boiled in a kettle, frozen in a block of ice then struck with a hammer, and the extreme test – an ice hockey team striking the lamp at full power into the sidewall and still surviving. Price for this hi-tech twin-light, extender-battery set-up is £514.95. If that stretches your budget too far Lumicycle offer multiple options such as a single light/battery pack, single light/extender battery, or lower lumen output lamps. View the complete range, including helmet lights and taillights at www. lumicycle.com.

Review and photos by Tim Wainwright

Flash Low Mid High Boost Smart Boost 150.0 400.0 1100.0 2200.0 3000.0 3500.0 102.0 40.0 15.4 7.0 4.1 3 mins 51.7 19.8 7.7 3.5 2.0 3 mins

Arrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

Lumicycle have taken a lead from Sony and Apple packaging and supply the lights in a smart silver hinged-lid tin with sponge rubber cutouts for the lights and accessories. Very classy. I should have made a video of the unboxing!

www.audax.uk.net


HEADINGreviews IN HERE

Bi-focal action sports sunglasses from BZ Optics I'm sure many readers will be in a similar situation to me: as you age and your eyesight slowly deteriorates, you find you need reading glasses to see the small text of newspapers and magazines, computer screens, etc. This is not a great problem until you get on your bike and want to either read a routesheet, map, GPS or computer. You can't ride in reading glasses as everything is out of focus so you have to switch your sunglasses for your reading glasses when you want to consult a routesheet or map. Two Australian sportsmen who had similar problems have come up with the solution – action sports sunglasses with bifocals. I don't use bifocals normally, so I was a bit sceptical when I saw these at the London Cycle Show at Excel. However, once I tried on a pair they transformed my thinking. The pair I chose were the PHO Graphite frame +2 bi-focals with photochromic lenses, priced at £80. There are two other magnifications: +1.50 and +2.50. They are lightweight and a perfect fit first time, no slipping down my nose and very comfortable on an all-day ride.

I liked the fact that they were clear to start with, meaning that if the sun wasn't shining it didn't look like a gloomy day through dark glasses and I could wear them in very low light conditions. Once the sun came out the photochromic darkening soon kicked in. On the bike I quickly became accustomed to the bi-focal part – just glance my eyes downwards and I could read text or computer without problems. Glance up again and normal vision takes over. Just what I needed. No swapping glasses over to fix a puncture or make any mechanical adjustments to the bike. Great for reading café menus or just sitting in the sun and reading as well. Over my cycling career I've bought many items which have had limited use or were just plain useless (think mini-pumps, 'waterproof' gloves and overshoes which aren't, fall-to-bits clothing, etc) but these glasses have been one of my best-ever purchases and I can highly recommend them. They come with a nice slim zipped neoprene case and cleaning cloth – much more useful than the large hardcase which fills a jersey pocket that some glasses come with. BZ-Optics www.bzoptics.com just has appointed Ison Distribution (www.ison-distribution.com) as their British suppliers so the glasses will be available through your local bike shop, though you might have to prompt them to start stocking them. Tim Wainwright

Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance Author: Leonard Zinn Published by Velo Press, Boulder, Colorado 468pp 216mm x 280mm ISBN -13: 978-1937715373 Paperback Price: £19.99 Available direct from Cordee Ltd, Leicestershire www.cordee.co.uk or booksellers This is the fifth edition of this book, bringing it thoroughly upto-date with the latest trends in new bicycles while still covering vintage components as well. A new layout and a new, modern typeface differentiates this edition from previous ones. The book is full of step-by-step guides with hundreds of hand-drawn illustrations and exploded part diagrams explaining the tools you need and the sequences for repairs and maintenance. Zinn has an easy-going writing style that doesn't blind you with science and theory. If you've never attempted bike maintenance before, Zinn, with his expert knowledge as a bike technician and tech writer for Velo magazine [USA publication] will guide you through simple tasks like applying new 'bar tape to fitting and troubleshooting the latest 11-speed electronic shifter systems from Campagnolo, Shimano and the new kid on the block, the highly rated SRAM e-tap cableless 'paddle' shifters as found in F1 cars. If electronic shifting is not your thing, Zinn covers all shifting systems from DT levers, bar-end shifters and manual STI/Ergo levers. Mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes and through axle forks and cyclocross are also covered in new chapters. Is your seatpost stuck or has your stem rusted itself in? Zinn guides you through workshop techniques to free them. Each time I pick up the book I learn something new. For example, before SPD pedals arrived I occasionally stripped my pedals and regreased them. I always thought my SPDs were a sealed unit till this book showed me the way to dismantle them. Most other pedals are covered too. The Emergency Repairs chapter is invaluable to us independent riders, often miles from the nearest bike shop or public transport, so Zinn's get-you-home tips could be worth their weight in gold if you get stranded in the Highlands on a dark and cold night. Tim Wainwright www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

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reviews

Two newly-published (2016) cycling guides plus two more revised guides in popular cycling terrains Cycling in the Hebrides (£14.95) by Richard Barrett covers 37 day rides and 22 linking routes in the Hebrides and islands of the Firth of Clyde. Suitable for weekend rides there is also a challenging 600-miles tour of the seven areas of the Hebrides, taking in the Cuillin mountains on Skye, Colonsay, Islay and Jura and the white shells sands on Tiree and Harris, Barra and the Uists and palm trees on Bute. The Danube Cycleway Vol.2 (£16.95) is the companion guide to Vol.1 published in 2015 and covers the lower part of the Danube from Budapest through Croatia, Serbia and Romania to the river's delta on the Black Sea. The author, Mike Wells, is an experienced long-distance cyclist and hiker, including riding a circumnavigation of Iceland and a ride across Cuba. Border Country (£12), by John Brewer, covers 40 circular routes from 24 to over 65 kilometres through leafy lanes and quiet villages, including some off-road sections, from the Scottish Borders to Northumberland. If you've ever ridden London-Edinburgh-London you will recognise a lot of the areas covered – Alston, Carlisle, the Cheviots, north Pennines and the Northumberland National Park – all superb cycling territory. Cycle Touring in Spain (£14.95), by Harry Dowdell, was first published in 2003 but has been reprinted and updated in 2013. Offering some of the best cycling in Europe, Spain is an ideal destination for the cycle tourist with an agreeable climate, friendly people and a long history stretching back many centuries. The guide has eight detailed routes, including Andalucia (Malaga and Ronda areas), central Spain (Avila, Segovia, Madrid) and the Basque country from the Bay of Biscay to Girona on the Med. Each of these four guides continues the high standard of information covering routes, accommodation, getting there, local climates and terrain, etc, which publishers Cicerone specialise in with their cycling and hiking range. Each guide is conveniently sized to slip into your saddlebag to refer to on route, and pages vary from 160pp to 304pp. Tim Wainwright

Available from good booksellers or direct from Cicerone, 2 Police Square, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7PY. Email: info@cicerone.co.uk Web: www.cicerone.co.uk

Drynamo base layer

Review by Colin Gray

I recently discovered this brand new base layer when I purchased one from my golf club shop. Drynamo is an innovative technical fibre composition developed by Megmeister and produced using specialised machinery in Italy. The yarns used to manufacture the garment do not absorb water and quickly transmit damp and perspiration to the outside of the material (see http://megmeister.com/ pages/fabric-technologies.) Consequently my wife and I have both found the drynamo base layer to be warmer and more comfortable than a Helly Hansen or merino wool base layer. This is particularly noticeable at a café stop, or more usefully when dealing with a ‘mechanical’; after a brisk ride perspiration makes other base layers feel significantly colder. Might be even better for sleeping in a bus shelter, but that’s something I avoid at all costs. The material is also non-allergic and will not trap bacteria or mould so it stays odour free even after strenuous activity. The Drynamo base layer is extremely comfortable. It is ergonomically designed with four-way stretch and a completely seamless finish. There is ample stretch to provide a comfortable fit for either sex (despite the fact that the Megmeister website shows only male models). It fits snugly around the neck and pulls down comfortably over or inside of your shorts so that the small of the back is always fully covered. At six ounces it’s marginally heavier than a Helly Hansen (5.7 ounces) but at least as warm as a merino wool garment at 10 ounces. It’s perfect for all cycling activities, especially audax and touring. It washes easily, cool wash, and dries quickly. For cycling, the long-sleeved top is probably the most useful of Megmeister’s range; short-sleeved tops, shorts and long tights are also available. Because they are very warm, light (4.6 ounces), fold up small and dry quickly the long tights would be ideal for night riding or for sleeping in.

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Currently there are limited retail stockists but it is available from: http:// megmeister.com/collections/cycling. The long sleeved top is £49.99 post free. Pros: Warm, light, comfortable. Cons: Limited range of colours.

www.audax.uk.net


news and correspondence HEADING IN HERE

Other long distance cycling organisations Jim Hopper

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any older members will remember the late Nev Chanin doing a write-up of members’ distances in the 300,000 mile club. This is a cycling organisation for riders who can verify that they have covered 300,000 miles awheel. The miles can be done on any cycle, solo or tandem, with any number of wheels. As most AUK members keep a check on their milages, there must be many riders out there who can qualify. All that is needed is proof that you have done the distance, through diaries or similar recording systems, and you can apply to the Secretary. There is no joining fee I seem to remember, so that should be an incentive to get out your old recordings. The Secretary, Wilf Lawson, can be reached at sjudal@ hotmail.co.uk, or should you want to chat to me about it, please call 01543 472349. Evenings are the best. Also in AUK there is an interest in making records, so how about an attempt at a road record? Most members have heard about various attempts upon the End to End record, but there are lots of other records around the country to be attempted. The Road Records Association administers a series of national records that date from the early days of cycling along the classic routes that the mail coaches took out of London and other major cities, as well as over the standard British cycling distances. There are also regional record associations who administer local records in their areas. The whole of Great Britain is covered by these organisations. To attack lots of these records riders do not need speed only, but stamina and determination, of which AUK members are not short of. Record breaking is an interesting side of cycling and to take a record, your name will be entered into the lists and be there for ever. The records that I have held, and still hold, give me great satisfaction. I still smile at the thought of taking the Cardiff to Birmingham record on my trike, in a time faster than the bike time. The Road Records Association have a website that also has links to the regional associations www.rra. org.uk Or again you can call me for an informal chat about records.

Dear Editor In part 1 of my article on my Scottish tour in winter Arrivée 131, I make a lot of the Isle of Islay reputedly being the wettest part of Scotland and indeed the UK. By chance I was watching the BBC news when there was a feature on a village in North Wales heading for the Guinness Book of Records for the most recorded days of continuous rainfall in the UK, having had 81 days of it. However, it still had a few days to go to beat the record of 89 days held by … guess where! It is a question of whether Islay has its reputation because of a freak one-off, which seems unfair, or it really is the wettest part of the UK. Googling does not provide definitive information. It seemed appropriate to follow up my article with this bit of information.

John Thompson

Corrections

Alex Turner’s name was omitted from the list of new Super Randonneurs on p.46 of Arrivée 131. Apologies to Alex. In Arrivée 131 on p.23, the rider in front is not Drew Buck, but rather Alberto Boschi from Italy. His pal Simone Lamacchi, behind, is also from Italy and not from Taiwan.

Mallorca Moonpig A new 144km 3AAA perm

A classic ride over the spectacular Tramuntana mountain range of the island; start from Porto Pollenca, Soller or Bunyola (closest to Palma). All climbs less than six per cent with stunning views of the whole island including the lunar landscape and Puig Major. More information at http://www. aukweb.net/perms/detail/MM03/ Or from Martin Malins, 4 North Common, Weybridge, Surrey T13 9DN. malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk

Obituary – Lars Ericsson 1965-2016 It is with great sadness that we have to report the unexpected death of Lars Ericsson on 2nd February 2016. He was laid to rest on 23nd March in his hometown of Högsby. Lars started his audaxing career in 2009 after moving from Bristol to Cambridge to work for ARM (a leading computer chip designer) as a design validation engineer. With several patents to his name, there is a good chance that your smartphone is more stable thanks to his efforts. In seven years he racked up a total of 425 points over 166 Audax events, more than many achieve in a lifetime. This included 115 points in 2014, getting him the coveted Randonneur 10000 award and coming 4th overall in the points championship. He also rode an estimated 15 SRs, including both the Essex and Wessex series. Unfortunately a slight knee problem deteriorated on the day before the start of PBP last year whilst Lars was hanging around at registration, and he was forced to abandon the ride partway as the pain worsened. Sadly, due to this lack of fitness we had seen less of him on rides recently. Originally from Sweden, he joined us at Audax Club Hackney in 2013 and quickly earned the epithet ‘The Viking’, becoming our top points scorer two years in a row. He was a regular attendee at our monthly drinks around London, often travelling down from Cambridge for the night, and a big fan of ale with his seemingly annual pilgrimage the Great British Beer Festival in Olympia. Lars had a great sense of humour and an infectious smile. He was someone you were always happy to bump into on a ride and despite a reserved manner was very sociable, leaving behind a great number of friends who will continue to fondly recall the time spent on and off the road with him. Ivan Cornell, Audax Club Hackney

For sale Two pairs of FSA K-Force Compact Road Handlebars, 420mm width (centre to centre). Continuous unidirectional carbon fibre reinforced with kevlar composite construction. Extra-wide 110mm centre section. Double-width cable groove. Reinforced and textured clamp areas (stem/brake levers). 1.8mm clamp diameter. 25mm drop, 80mm reach. Carbon fibre 3K weave gloss finish. Very little wear and tear if any, ie, no scuffs on the stem clamp finish or on the brake/gear lever finish. Photographs are available if required. I am selling the bars because I have recently bought the same bars in 440mm. Collect for £65.00 (per pair) or posted for £70.00 (per pair) within the UK. Location Greater Manchester. Please contact Michael on: 0794 1142 260.

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

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paris-brest-paris 2015

My blue bridge to PBP

John Wilkie

Ride the Chester Millennium Greenway, towards Wales, from my home it’s 6km to ‘my blue bridge’ It was my target and challenge to get there, on my new mountain bike, on my first ride; as I changed to the lowest of gears, sweating, puffing and straining on the gradient to climb its summit, flashes of vehicles below on the A494 Welsh Road, all oblivious to my pain and euphoria. As I hung over the handlebars, taking gulps of air, getting a polite nod from a passing cyclist, I realised, it was only halfway, I had to get back! About 12 months later, I was in Brest, France, thinking just the same!

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ive years earlier I had been in a car crash. I had been active and fit, not to previous and younger Army levels but enough to walk the hills, play rugby or hold my own in the gym with friends or with my teenagers. The shoulder and back injuries over this time had taken away my physical ability and stature. I couldn’t walk more than a short distance, worse, leaving me with mental disabilities, as I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). So with the challenge and journey to get home on my bike it was the voice in my head, ‘Go-Go-Go’ not the stern, aggressive fighting voice of old, from the Army but the squeals of delight from my granddaughter learning to walk. ‘Another’ voice shouted ‘taxi’, but the giggles won and have done ever since. After a day’s rest and recuperation, I rode to the blue bridge and back, again and then again, a day on and a day off, going further, getting stronger and even faster. I knew I was eating better, sleeping more and actually happy. The physical and health benefits are measured and recorded, the mental benefits not so easily, although combat stress do try. I know the peace, relaxation, space and environment my head gets when cycling helps, sometimes only pure exertion, pain and exhaustion works to quell the anger and turmoil in my head. Better times are with those quiet country lanes, wildlife and scenery, where time is lost and peace is found, even if only for while. It could be called mad to thank a bicycle, I do talk to my bikes! giving a big thank you, every time I clean and oil them after my ride. Although now a cliché, cycling has saved my life, fellow cyclists have fulfilled it. It is the people, called cyclists, who have helped change my life, I just rode along. From the manager, Chris and his ‘crew’ at Halfords, Chester, who as I progressed,

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supplied and serviced three bikes, replacing under warranty, worn and broken parts, ‘above and beyond’ plus encouraged and supported me as much as my first club, Chester and North Wales CTC. Its groups varied, all enthusiastic, each took me in, accepted me as a cyclist and person. I still remember thinking, as I drove with my bike in the car to meet at the Eureka café for the first time, how am I going to do 50-60k at 15-20kph? Cyclist, like Glennis, Brian(s), John F. to name a few, say ‘we never leave anyone behind’ which was akin to my Army philosophy, ‘and we stop for lunch’, a benefit I would cherish. The continuous outpouring of stories, adventures, touring holidays with crucial cycling information, patiently repeated and led by example, has kept me safe, educated, encouraged and motivated, to be not only a better cyclist, but to aspire to be a better person, helping me live with PTSD, enjoying cycling. Great human beings, like Harry Watson (the legend) – every ride with him teaches something new about cycling and amazes you about the person. He was pulling up to a junction, chatting about one of his epic tours of Scotland. I changed down the cogs on the rear sprocket on my new Boardman road bike. Casually, mid-sentence his advice ‘just change the front chain ring John, it saves time and wear, plus gets you away safe’. As always, I accepted his advice and knowledge. It wasn’t until later, I read in a cycling magazine that 70 per cent of all accidents happen at junctions, did I realise how important just that one of many casually passed tips was to my cycling, to my safety. Discuss safety, organisation and real-world cyclists, you must think of and thank, Lowri Evans, our dedicated and hard working CTC secretary, who had enough faith in me to allow me to be trained as a ride leader, as a member of the group she leads – the Wrexham Reivers and Café Hoppers who are an exceptional and large mix of cyclists. They split into comfortable, relaxed, easygoing groups, headed by an exceptional individual, who I am so fortunate to know and ride with, groups that make each ride a pleasure and adventure. Depending on which group, there is a surprising and/ or testing pace, from some who are 10 or 20 years plus my age, especially up those Welsh hills. The size of the turnout, diversity of people and cycles in the split of groups, is testimony to its organisation

‘So I got serious, professional even, I used and reused every bit of information I had been taught.’

any other club would envy. I continued to seek out what I wanted from cycling, my competitive streak always prominent, yet I knew I would never compete, too late, unfit and old now for serious competition. So it always became a race and challenge against me. Riding to be the best I could be, doing the best I could, so I rode to ride meetings and rode the long way home. One of the many tips, from my guru or go-to-guy, who used to compete, was cadence, heart rate and speed. These are the primary displays on my Garmin, always in view, measuring, my aim to go faster with a lower heart rate, maintaining a steady cadence. This was the main reason for my improvement and the enjoyment of cycling, due to developing, I now am able to average 80-90 rpm at 120-130 bpm and I do 25+ kph all day and all night. As speed and distance increased with CTC groups, my own training rides and Audax events, I met through Harry his Tuesday super group of riders, who amazed and inspired me to a new level, as several had heart attacks and still cycled! It put my injuries and speeding recovery into perspective. An offshoot was meeting and joining Chester Easy Riders, although they split the rides into two groups, they are one group of wonderful people and cyclists, whose founder Bryan Wade, had a vision of a CTC affiliated club and it really works, from nine meeting points in and around Chester, to an excellent blog and gpx file posted, from every ride, be that the brisk or moderate group. My first rides were a test, ‘boys will be boys’ – how I hung on to Ivan, Clive, Colin, Tom and Ray I don’t know. The pace was a test and distance a challenge, if they weren’t such great blokes, I might not of cared and never returned, which would have been as much a loss to my cycling abilities, as to my new rekindled social skills, as before I went cycling, due to PTSD, I used to go out rarely and only on occasion with family to a café or pub. I don’t know when or who first mentioned Audax. I do remember it sounded nuts and extreme, but maybe? Then I learned of AAA, long distance and big hills, ouch! My first Audax was David Matthews’ (who I now call a friend) 50k Momma’s Leafy Lanes 10/08/14. On the day, five people showed due to the effects of hurricanes to the weather forecast. Glennis was one of the special ‘volunteers’ who make these rides www.audax.uk.net


paris-brest-paris 2015 possible. I was so nervous, I rode the route the week before. Each day I rode, I had the next ride to look forward to, to prepare for, each week a plethora of statistics to analyse and criticise, articles in magazines and on the web, to discuss and question with my experienced riders. Starting from scratch, physically as well as mentally, learning and improving day by day from all my cycling buddies’ input. Yet I was always aware of those who had or were doing more, I needed to have my own targets and dreams. Doing Audaxes was my test, my measurement of improvement, always pushing my breaking point. Rider and organiser, Mike Wigley, mentioned RTY BR where each month for 12 months you do a 200k+ ride (BR) and RTY AAA 12 months of hills – my weakness – I needed to practice and improve, it seemed logical. Then one day he said ‘are you doing the PBP qualifiers?’ I never believed I was actually going to do it, never mind finish it, even after entering the qualifiers. Doing the qualifiers only confirmed one thing, I wasn’t up to it, each distance such a mental challenge, as physical, so I never thought I’d do the event. Unfortunately people talk – cyclists more than most, so every ride was ‘how’s the training for PBP going?’ I needed to know the answer. So with words from an Army training instructor in my head, ‘If it is easy anyone can do it, so if it’s hard, push harder, if it’s tough, be tougher. Go, Go, Go!’ With a few expletives! So I got serious, professional even, I used and reused every bit of information I had been taught. I studied food, drink and equipment. I know from experience how to push myself, the resting was harder, but important as my preparations. Drinking 500ml of fluids before a ride, one bottle every one to two hours maximum, energy gels, bars and protein bars, spread out between meals, protein with whey milk shakes after rides, leaving my leggings on for compression for at least an hour after a ride. ‘Minimal gains’, said the guy who designed my bikes, so my Garmin, not only to save time on route, reducing stress, also to measure my performance, striving to find my rhythm and pace, as I once had when I ran and canoed competitively in the Army. I used set routes each month as templates, one from Blacon down the millennium, to Mickle Trafford via Frodsham, up through Hatchmere and Delemere, right on the A556 to A51 and right again on Wicker lane, to return via Mickle Trafford and the millennium. The first time for the 30 miles and 1,200ft climbs, was a difficult three hours plus, now it is comfortably, inside two hours. I was checking out the PBP website, reading the ins and outs. A qualifying page of rides came up, so I filled it in, then a list of available slots came up, I pressed the button, I paid the fee. I’d

entered the PBP, 17:30 start. It was official, yet I still didn’t believe I was going to go but the stress was immense. I needed a plan.

I used a recommended website, yacf. co.uk, to get an overview and insight, then to ask specific questions, finally checking with my trusted cycling guru

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paris-brest-paris 2015 and buddies. It was the thought of having to come back and say, ‘I didn’t finish’ that was so scary, it would be like letting them down, breaking a trust or belief. PTSD means I am stressed, it’s just a matter of how much. So with a list of lists, I started. The bike, Boardman Pro Carbon, upgraded wheels and seat, serviced and checked by the lads at Halfords, complemented by all cycling magazines. SPD pedals and shoes, easier to walk in with distance to cover at controls. Lights with power packs and spares with batteries. Front bar bag, with gels, snacks, glasses, basic first aid plus tablets for, drinks, Imodium, Rennies, Paracetamol and eye wash, 50+ sun cream and chamois cream, all used and needed. Top bar bag, with more supplies for washing/cleaning but mainly power pack and batteries. Rear bag, with change of clothes and two extra layers, one for rain, one for cold nights. Plastic wheelie bin liner and thermal blanket, for sleeping. Bike multi-tools and Leatherman tool, plus spares, including cable for brakes/gears, ties, tape, tubes, repair kit and oil, not all used but most. Two drinks bottles and pockets with money/cards, scarf, hat and spare gloves, along with the kit I wore and my new sunglasses from a French Decathlon.

Ferry and camping

I couldn’t risk being with or relying on other organised groups. I couldn’t take on the responsibility of looking out for others’ safety. So I decided to drive myself, go by ferry and camp. I drove the whole way, never above 60mph, staying calm enjoying the journey. When I arrived in torrential rain, I found a quiet and basic hotel. What a result that was. Two riders turned up, French and Belgian, they spoke a little English. I don’t speak French, we went for a meal together in town, cyclist together, what a wonderful memory. One had done five events, the other two, ‘go off slowly and build up’ and ‘exercise your neck regularly, eat, drink and rest at all controls’ again, great advice from fellow cyclists. Now a whole week off my bike, then officialdom with check in at the velodrome, bike checked, numbered and tagged, along with my own leg tag! Then the next day. Nothing prepared me for the huge numbers of cyclists, the masses of groups, the variety of language and countries represented. Closed roads, only because no vehicle could move, for the supporters and family, only outnumbered by spectators, everywhere you looked, with hundreds of cyclists, in each segment from A-Z, set off in timed spaces, adding up to thousands, a human cycling army, meandering and flowing like a river towards Brest, all being cheered enthusiastically, watch Youtube. The French are awesome and love cyclists. The overwhelming memories 50

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from the whole event are of the French people, 24 hours a day, everywhere, supporting, cheering and encouraging. Including the drivers of vehicles! Early hours of the first morning, I thought I must be hallucinating, I heard children’s voices, ‘Allez! Allez! Allez! I couldn’t see anything it was so dark in the countryside, then I saw three children hanging out of the bedroom window of a remote farm; it gave me a refill of energy and power, plus a massive surge of emotion. The next farm had a big hand-written sign next to a table, with water and cakes left for passing cyclists, something I got to see and use, time after time, as so many families had done this all along the route, all for free! Barbeques, parties and gatherings, any excuse it seemed to stand or park to support the riders of the PBP. The controls, along with The Secret Control, were all the same but different, hoards of cyclists coming and going, all different but again the same, after one or ten of the 2,500 volunteers, point you in the right direction, no matter the language or state of mind of the individual, you park your bike in the racks, fill your water bottles at the taps or barrels, then ‘beep-beep’ as you walk or shuffle past the sensors, happy smiling faces on both sides behind tables, welcoming gesticulation, to stamp and sign your brevet card, always with a kind word. Then you look and see food, everywhere, so another queue, volunteers all over, feeding cleaning and answering questions, in a thousand tongues. Sit down and share a smile, all comrades, all fellow cyclists, shoes off, food in, the first faces I recognise are not people I know from Audax UK, who I do see and ride with later, no, I see the French and Belgian cyclist from the hotel, like long lost family, it is so good to see them; the clock ticks faster at controls and time flashes by, an hour gone, equal to 25k further down the route, but remember, listen, learn and finish, it’s the first control and you’ve still got 86 from a total of 90 hours to use. Outside is even more congested, more people, more cyclists, more spectators, more noise, it’s good and relaxing to turn the pedals again, heart rate, cadence and speed, check, now enjoy the spectacle, the views, being part of this magnificent event. Still can’t believe I’m here! From time to time, a group or rider is caught, or you are passed, to join or not to join? It is difficult, so many are organised, clubs and groups together, from every country on the planet. Alone, but a cyclist amongst a world migration, to a French coast. In front and to the rear, every bike and piece of equipment, a mass of a magnitude to tilt the country so it goes downhill? No chance, no one told me about the hills, over 6,000 metres climbed ‘down’ to the coast, some are so long, some so steep, just watch the valve

PBP apron featuring PBP cake.

‘ I feel pretty good, eating and drinking, but “café legs” has a whole new meaning as I start back to Paris.’

come around, just head for the next post or tree, don’t look too far ahead, it hurts your eyes, turns legs and brain to mush. When someone points out the coast, I realise I haven’t slept, 30 hours have passed, 615k covered. I actually feel smug for a second, then reality hits home. I have to get back but at least I’m ahead of schedule. Queued for an hour for a bed, wrong one, got a token for a shower and directions to the right queue, much longer;eventually I get directed to a room, four hours I say to the man with a clock and plan of beds and rooms. Then 40 minutes later I’m woken, alerted and shocked, a door being opened, lights ablaze, noise I don’t understand. Every sense in confusion, fear and anger start to take hold, then I realise where I am! After my roommate settles, I try but fail to relax, so go for my shower, change into clean and fresh clothes. I feel pretty good, eating and drinking, but ‘café legs’ has a whole new meaning as I start back to Paris. It’s better in the dark, the cool. I don’t like the blistering heat of the day, so sleep 12 till 1, hiding in the shade; I rest at all controls, eat and drink. Is it adrenalin, fear of failure, or plain stubbornness that rotates the pedals, maybe all together, anything to turn the pedals to the next control? Sometimes it hurts, really hurts. I’d stopped to sleep, it was so hot, I took shelter under a tree: it was damp. I had my black plastic bin bag and thermal blanket. I awoke thinking I was on fire, realising it was the sun that had moved into my shelter. I got up watching bikes pass, mine had fallen from the fence. I picked it up and packed my gear, had a drink and started to ride. It was only a small gradient up to the main road and route back, yet I struggled to get going. I was in a low gear, I pushed harder and for the first time had really negative thoughts; it was so hard to turn the pedals, had I hit ‘the wall’? Had I reached www.audax.uk.net


paris-brest-paris 2015 my limit? ‘Bonked’ in cycling terms! I pushed and pulled each pedal, strained and struggled like never before, after an hour or so I had done only ten kilometres. Just ahead was a family and a table of drinks, cakes and goodies, many happy smiling faces. Refreshed and refuelled I moved my bike ready to ride on, but the rear wheel skidded, the brakes locked on, on inspection the calliper was bent, the wheels black from rubber. Fixed, cleaned and released, the pedals turned with such ease and the pain disappeared and I laughed out loud! It must have been when the bike fell earlier, tired and sleep deprived, that I could deal with, until the next control. They were all Italians that surrounded me as we left the control. The club colours, flag and language obvious, so I asked could I join on the back. Yes was the answer: the pace crisp and serious but easy enough for me to take turns in front, 30 kilometres plus, hour after hour, until a hiss, a puncture, a crash as I hit the edge of the road with a rider hitting me. Once they helped their rider and all were OK, they left. From the Citroën van with flashing lights parked behind me in the road, a nod from a Frenchman, as I took off the front wheel and checked the bike, he started to chat in English and removed the tyre, no levers! Asked for the spare tube and handed it back, ready for a blast from my CO2 and it was done. I was ready to go and thanked him, a fellow cyclist but driving that late night. I realised the lever to the front chainrings was damaged and had to stop at the bottom of several hills to change by hand, then climb and change back again, until the second control, as the first was an hour’s wait for first aid and an hour for a mechanic who could not help. The two gentlemen of senior years at the next control took a while but fixed the lever; the time wasted over that evening and morning was a negative and disappointing. Yet I was able to continue, me and my bike still worked. I met a few different riders, from senior regulars, to lightweight, stripped down time-chasers, with helpers in mobile homes, massage chairs and food at the ready, after they had jogged through the controls and passed the queues. One rider explained, that if we rode at a pace, helping each other we may be able to finish in three days, it sounded insane, so I thought that’s for me! It actually worked, as a small peloton of eight to ten riders kept together for the last two controls and we all helped like the United Nations but with one aim. I had no idea why the pace kept climbing, until an English rider told me how close we were to finishing. All of the cyclists that helped me from day one, they all rode with me in spirit, when I rode the Paris-Brest-Paris, 1230 kilometres and 11000+ meters of

‘… as I took off the front wheel and checked the bike, he started to chat in English and removed the tyre, no levers!'

climbing. All of their knowledge, tips, encouragement and goodwill pushed me, none more than my ‘go to’ guy Martin Brooks, supported by his lovely lady Sarah. How many times I have totally relied on him I cannot count, from sitting behind his skilled, easy style, hiding and resting from the wind on an Audax, sitting in his garage-cum-bikeshop, being taught how to use my Garmin and BaseCamp software, or reading his blog describing in detail his and Sarah’s awesome rides. As he rides with all C and NW groups, does many Audax and rides with Chester RC, I do get to see him, always supported by Sarah. I always ask his advice and opinion, always getting an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and honest reply. Once on the PBP, listening to a rider at a control, discussing all the reasons why he was packing in, negatives looking for a place to settle in my brain, I looked at my route sheet, Martin’s voice popped in my head. ‘It’s only 80k to the next control, you can do 80k can’t you? Just one control at a time’. So I put my shoes back on, got dressed and headed out alone, into the cold and dark for my bike, smiling, all the way to the finish. I remember standing there, stunned, I took a photo, looked around, yes I’d done it. Into the velodrome, brevet card stamped, happy but desperately tired cyclists, the great French people organising and encouraging, the shower and into clean civvies, then sleep in the back of my MPV in a underground car park too tired to move. Sitting in a café, rain pouring outside, riders still finishing as I started another meal and another hot drink, alone but surrounded by cyclists who were predominately English, the emotion flooded into my head, heart and eyes, the poppy on my bike outside, a reminder, I thought of all my friends of past who could not be here, those that had got me here, it was just too much, so I went to the gents, washed my face and came out proud. I have now done 30 plus Audax, including RTY (12 x 200k), RTY AAA (12 x AAA), the PBP (first Audax 10/08/14) totalling 17,000+ kilometres in my first year cycling. Due to a lot of motivation, encouragement and support, from many special people, who fashioned yet another cyclist, grateful and humbled by their efforts, I hope my efforts show my respect and gratitude to all. N

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kidderminster killer 2015

Kidderminster Killer The name of the ride says it all, it is a challenging and hard 215km audax with 3.75AAA points, it is not going to be easy. None of the climbs are straight forward either. Starting from Belbroughton near Kidderminster, it is an easy start which fools riders into a sense of security. That all unravels by the time riders reach Wenlock Edge the Stretton Hills. The iconic Burway is included in the 100 Greatest Climbs in the UK, a great little book by the way. It is classified as a 9/10 for difficulty. It is 290m over 3km with an average gradient of 10 per cent, the steepest part of which is a 20 per cent gradient. Riders are rewarded by stunning views from the Long Mynd before a rapid descent only to hit yet another sharp 20 per cent gradient onto Stiperstones. By Montgomery, riders fall into that awful sense of security again. After all, it is now half way and they are lunching in this tranquil former county town. Energy regained, legs are soon sapped by the drag onto the Kerry Ridgeway. Now comes the real killer where you can almost see the lactic acid oozing from the rider’s legs, The Fiddler’s Elbow rises out of Clun, first through dark and damp forestry then onto the large hills that border The Marches. Ludlow provides a sense of yet more premature relief. Beyond Ludlow, the 2016 event will use a new route home via a set of quiet lanes clinging to the sides of Titterstone Clee Hill and Clowes Top, with an emphasis on the ‘Top’. After which, the route makes a long descent towards Stourport and riders are nearly home. For riders seeking something shorter, the KK’s little sister is From Clee to Heaven which is a 120km jaunt around the Clee Hills – not easy either with 2AAA. The year's event is on 23rd. website: www.beaconrcc.org.uk/audax/index.html

Duncan Carson

Rikki Goode, Mike Stoaling

Philip Whiteman, Organiser

Beacon CC riders

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photos by ian taylor

Anne Nicholson

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Roy Bishop

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randonneur round the year

Oh to become a Randonneur Round the Year – Part 1

The year, my first as an audax-riding cyclist, began rather abruptly with the Poor Student. Being local I cycled to the start. I was amazed to see that so many had turned out in the cold, wet and dark morning so early in the year. ‘Are you doing PBP?’ I was asked several times. Uncertain whether the enquirer was referring to drugs or some obscure event I answered that I was still thinking about it.

I

n the bleak midwinter I cycled in the penetrating drizzle with two experienced audaxers up from London, first through the Cotswold lanes to Chipping Camden (where we rung out our gloves and socks before entering the Bantam Tea Rooms) to allow the aforementioned garments to steam by a crackling fire, and then, after re-entering the Scotch mist to rise up and over the Cotswolds and down to Malmesbury. Here we found refuge in a building that looked like it may have been a town hall and appeared to be

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by longflaps

open late to accommodate the needs of a wedding reception. Rob, Alistair and I flopped rather dejectedly into our café seats and refuelled until our spirits were sufficiently lifted to begin the last leg of our triangular odyssey. I had stumbled across yacf while eagerly preparing myself to become an audaxer and had found some very helpful advice suggesting bringing spare gloves for winter rides. I stuffed my saturated (and frankly cheap and hopeless cycling gloves) into my saddlebag together with my helmet and removed my dry and warm gloves and hat. The boost to my morale was instantaneous. So much so, that I briskly surged to assume a leading position and swiftly led my cycling companions onto the wrong road – we were heading in more or less the correct direction – due east and Swindonbound. To my surprise the experienced audaxing-Londoners agreed to pursue this course and I learnt a valuable lesson – everyone has the capacity to make bad decisions during an audax ride. I remember when I was young and

Above: The author standing at the top of Hartside Pass on The Mosstrooper, May 2015.

daft and a student in London doing crazy things like cycling along very busy dual-carriageways, but since then I had refrained from such hair-raising escapades until the evening we ventured into the heart of Swindon (if Swindon even has such a thing – maybe it is buried beneath the magic roundabouts). It took several attempts before we found an escape portal known as the A420 – by now danger was our friend and whatever caution we had ever known was cast aside as we edged ever closer to our Oxonian destination. We rejoined the route proper at Shrivenham. No sooner had we done so than a group of cyclists emerged from the direction of Highfield and, buoyed by greater numbers we pressed on along fine quiet lanes until someone shouted behind me that there was a mechanical. A poor chap, Will, had a broken chain. No one had a tool to fix it, other than I. Swiftly taking out my toolkit (I generally carry a few extra tools for good measure and added weight) I produced a chain-extractor. Soon the www.audax.uk.net


randonneur round the year chain was mended and we were on our way again. I felt uplifted that I had been able to help out a fellow cyclist on a such a night, particularly as by now the night was closing in and a frost was starting to glisten beneath clear skies. I was thankful for my Russian-style hat as I dug deep for the final miles, the descent into Oxford and the last stretch back to the car park we had left over 12 hours 209km earlier. After partaking of some snacks from the services we said our farewells and I cycled home exhausted and perhaps a little apprehensive about the task that I had set myself for 2015 – to become a Randonneur Around the Year. One month later I was back for more. This time it was a splendid Mark Rigby ride under the wacky name of Sam Weller’s Day Trip to Wochma. I must say that I never found Wochma on the route sheet. It was a frosty morning and not long before I missed a turn. I pressed on and was soon joined by another chap who had good navigation and a route all planned out in his head. I tagged along and together we reached the garage via Hereford using main roads. We heard some dreadful tales of icy tumbles down the country lanes and I was glad not to have taken that route. The air had now warmed up as we travelled along the undulating road to Monmouth before taking the delicious road past Tintern and down to Chepstow. I noticed that some chaps snacking at a Co-Op store on the outskirts of town, but I pressed on to the official stop at a very busy garden centre. This probably cost me at least half-an-hour, but as some might argue, I certainly got my money’s worth! It was quite a moving moment to be recrossing the Severn Bridge on two wheels again (the previous and only other time has been while cycling LEJOG the previous autumn). Some lovely lanes between the bridge and Malmesbury where I rode alone and hit a real low point just before the sharp ascent leading up to the Somerset Monument. I hadn’t been drinking enough and now I was paying the price. After the control in the Summer Café I began to pick up again and it was quite a magical experience to travel along the north-bound lanes in the cool evening air catching the occasional sight of a fellow cyclist’s rear light like a beacon of hope in the intense darkness of a winter night. After clambering over Birdlip Hill I felt as though I would complete within time. I met another chap navigating around the outskirts of Gloucester and we joined forces and rode the last stretch up the A38 and back into Tewkesbury over 13 hours after I’d set out with 203km in the legs. It had been a tough day in the saddle but I believed that having weathered two winter rides the worst was now behind me.

Mr Pickwick’s March Madness also sets out from Tewkesbury into the Malvern Hills – relatively new territory to me. It turned out to be another excellent day in the saddle exploring another Rigby route. A tough ride out against a challenging headwind but had company first meeting Neil (on something that looked far too carbon and lightweight) and then a heroic chap who had cycled LEJOG and then JOGLE (back-to-back and with a broken wrist) riding something beautiful and titanium. At Bromyard I met up again with Brawleyburst who I barely recognized without the facial injury sustained during A Day Trip to Wochma. After a generous slab of chocolate cake and custard it was back into the wind and over the hills to the Heritage Centre in the Forest of Dean. Here it was a treat to discover none other than Pie Week was in full swing and the steak and kidney number had one of the thickest crusts I’ve seen since my old grandmother was alive. My rear wheel was pretty badly buckled (and the tyres were on their last legs too) so I took the descent into Chepstow nice and steady. After making my way to the town centre I had a ‘moment’ where I asked perplexed bystanders where I could find Stables Café. Then the penny dropped as I checked the route sheet again and caught sight of a couple of our clan riding up the A48. I managed to hang on to their tails long enough to make it to the bridge and then allowed myself to drop back to a more sedate pace (some were riding at a fast pace and there was a strong wind on the bridge). The lanes that followed reminded me of the Somerset Levels for some reason and the tailwind was welcome indeed as twilight descended. The Stables Café was long since closed for the day when I arrived and I (again) caught sight of a few distinctly audaxy tail-lights heading back towards the A38 (I’d had more than enough canal towpath the week before sliding from Tring to Southall so had no plans to repeat the experience in the dark). Should I catch up to the other chaps or … just then a chippy appeared on the other side of the main road. The large portion of chips and worth-thewait mega haddock set me back my last pennies, but I secured a receipt (amended because the till clock was out by the best part of an hour) and a carrier bag with which to resume my fishy feast and continue the journey along the A38 to the nether regions of Gloucester’s darkened peripheries. Starting to lose the plot again I followed several cycleroute signs into the city centre where gangs of drunken youths staggered about the thoroughfares – ‘ha! ha! look, he’s got a map hee! hee!’ the pre-printed Googlemaps were no use in this urban terrain. I looked up sighting a

‘I decided to push the bound­ aries a little and went for a 300k ride across Northumberland and Cumbria in the form of The Mosstrooper.’

sign ‘Northgate’ and followed it until I encountered a priest scrubbing the pavement outside his enormous church. I guessed he was clearing up some vomit to freshen the path for his sheep to follow upon the morn. But I was lost and was in need of a shepherd to guide me ‘just left, right and straight passed the rugby club and you’re on your way to Tewkesbury’. ‘Thank you Father’. True to his word and I was on the A38 again and, in what seemed a shorter time that I recalled at the end of A Day Trip to Wochma I was back at the RHP. The first person I met at arrivée (after 207km) was Neil who I didn’t recognise as he’d sustained a facial injury by dismounting into the bushes on the very last metre of his March Madness. Back just before the bell again (over 12 hours on the road) and there was Brawleyburst secured in his nook opposite Mark and it was just like the end of A Day Trip to Wochma all over again but without the injuries. Met a charming tandeming couple from way up north who had come way down south especially for the pleasure of a Blacksheep adventure. Spring is in the air. Let the madness continue. With April came the showers and for the first two hours of the Two Battles the rain did indeed fall until we reached the Wistow control. The rain let off for the rest of the ride but there was a pretty stiff NW wind. I got seriously lost before Upper Stowe control but did discover the last resting place of Princess Diana as I skirted around Althorp Park’s walled acres – and for that I was very thankful. At Stowe I met up with an old-timer who was enjoying his tea. He took his time and we ended up leaving together and completed the rest of the ride in his company at a very slow but steady pace. It was a delight to reach the pub at last with only about 10 minutes to spare after completing (officially) 209km. Sadly the special offer roast meals had long since gone and I was left scratching around a packet of nuts before the long drive back home. Another ride in the bag – but only just. For May I decided to push the boundaries a little and went for a 300k ride across Northumberland and Cumbria in the form of The Mosstrooper which had captured my imagination when I first heard about it earlier in the year. The start is actually quite close to where my parents now live and where I grew up, so to journey to Newcastle from Oxford was not as radical as it might have seemed to Aidan Hedley, the organiser. A swift start had us over the Tyne and into the moors before you could sign a verse of The Bladon Races. Breakfasted before clambering up and up onto the backbone of the country to the giddy heights of Hartside Pass where bikers and cyclists gather respectively to admire petrol-

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randonneur round the year powered porn and the stunning views that stretch around in all directions. The descent was sweeping and exhilarating and a welcome break for the legs after the hard northern ascent. Down into Penrith for some fine grub and a chance to gather breath. It was a fine, sunny day and the wind was negligible. I cycled on up some quiet lanes with Matt to the outskirts of Carlisle before crossing the A69 and a road that led up and onward to remote moorland and a gem of a café stop at Newcastleton. It was here that I learnt that overeating on a long ride is not a good idea. For while the generous family-sized bowl of pasta and accompanying basket of chips was rapidly demolished it sat in my guts like molten lead for the next couple of hours and seemed to sap every ounce of energy from my body. I slowed to a crawl and saw Matt disappear into the last rays of daylight as the shores of Keilder Water came into view. At Bellingham I tried a remedy that I’d read about on yacf and managed to download the contents of a chocolate milk drink in the hope that it would somehow dissolve the fatburg lodged in my digestive tract. It seemed to do the trick and I gradually picked up speed as the final control finally appeared (in a friendly couples’ front room). I felt a little guilty not getting anything to eat or drink but my digestive system had gone into lockdown and reconnecting with Matt and completing the final leg was my only thought. Gibbet Hill marked the final main ascent of over 11,000 feet that day, and from then on it was a fine run in towards the dusty orange glow of Tyneside and the farm from where the adventure began over 17 hours earlier. My next event was also in the north – Knockerdown 200k in the Derbyshire Peak District. I’d read about it in Arrivée and also knew some of the roads well as I’d taken part in the first L’Eroica Brittania the year before. I arrived at the start a few minutes late and then was delayed still further by a non-participating friend I’d arranged to meet at the start. So I set off 20 minutes late and the rest of the day was spent playing catch-up as I opened and closed countless farm gates and suffered clambering over the 3,750 metres of climbing. I ended up joining forces with a fairly easy-going chap called Jim which made the gate-opening significantly easier. The organisers were great guys who had prepared meals for the participants which they served from the back of a campervan. Jim also had a Garmin which was able to predict our estimated end time – it was looking tight even before we crashed either side of a small coffee table outside an Italian café soaking up some of the last of the sun’s rays (we really should have called control at this point to let them know we were still on our way, but instead we lost the time we’d worked so hard to recoup). 56

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From Bakewell it was a frantic scramble down old railway paths and lanes with hidden signs to the now desolate arrivée. We were just seven minutes too late and when I finally emailed the organisers on the Monday after, I was told that all paperwork had been completed and posted off to Paris and that we were irreversibly timed-out. I was so gutted that it took me weeks to recover from the shock. Being at the end of June and with no time left to complete another ride my first RRTY attempt was now back to square one. Among many other things I’d learnt that a 200 can sometimes be harder than a 300. It was now too late to stay over at my friends so I set off driving down the road back home. After a brief stop at a service station to grab a bite to eat I had to crash out in a remote layby where I woke to find a strange lorry-driver peering in at me at some godforsaken hour. Even the birds hadn’t begun to tweet when I finally placed my head on my home pillow. So, what better way to start my RRTY all over again with a refreshingly lumpy Clee and Herefordshire Hills 200k event organised by Roy Bishop? Despite the hills I managed to get around in something under 11 hours which was my fastest event to date. The small number of adventurers rode mainly as a group which probably added significantly to the shorter time and increased pleasure. For my next ride I decided to use my 1994 Dawes Galaxy – a beautiful machine with 10 fine gears at my disposal, and slightly lighter than the Claud Butler – but only fractionally so, being also made of Reynolds 531 steel tubing. The event selected was Mark Rigby’s Benjamin Allen’s Spring Tonic 200k from Tewkesbury. It was a gloriously hot day and the route as sumptuous as ever passing through Leominster, Hay-on-Wye, Soudley and back. Very well attended with several people heading out to Paris the following weekend to do PBP, including a chap called Dan [Howard] riding a tricycle. I completed in an even better time than my previous event. It was now time to add another 300k to my bow and the University Challenge Steam Ride seemed like just the ticket. In the early morning I failed to notice a chap I had ridden LEJOG with the previous September. We set off at a goodly pace and got to Cambridge far faster than I’d anticipated. After a Wetherspoon lunch we shot out of Cambridge as quickly as we’d arrived. Near Gamlingay I passed a fellow Zappi travelling in the opposite direction – part of a vast horde who were taking part in the London to Cambridge BHF charity bike ride – a ride I’ve taken part in more times than I can remember. My companion was on a titanium bike and was clearly having an easier time of it than I was on my heavy old CB

Tourer. Just a few miles out of Sandy I lowered my pace and allowed him to disappear with some other faster riders. I immediately felt relieved but had already paid the price of riding at too high a pace and for most of the rest of the ride I was sluggishly following the route on my tod. At Oxford Services I was just four miles from home and it was tough forcing myself in the opposite direction and making my way steadily back to the arrivée at Ruislip Lido. The A40 can be a very long road when you’ve spent the day in the saddle and the small section between the M40 and Ruislip is not recommended for those valuing their lives. I was surprised to discover that several more riders were behind me as I tucked into a late supper of dubious pub grub and chatted to the organiser, a fine fellow called Tim Solesse. N

Pictures below from Dale Ramage (dale_ ftw) on Strava Festive 500 DIY by GPS routes around the Derwent valley between County Durham and Northumberland. The rider is Peter Baggily of Sunderland Clarion.

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randonnee and news

Fairies* 100k

Audax/C&NW CTC rides from Corwen, North Wales – Saturday July 16

Ron Lee Not content with running a 200k audax in March and the Fairies Five in June, our hardworking audax organiser David Winslade was the driving force behind the new 100k and 200k rides in September. Trevor Oliver took on the role of event organiser, a new experience that hopefully he will repeat in the future.

The Barmouth Boulevard 204km and 3650m climbing. A beautiful and challenging ride with glorious scenery and lots of interesting hills. Route includes the Trawsfynydd mountain road, Bwlch-Y Groes and the Northern Hirnant pass from Lake Vyrnwy. The Brenig Bach 107km and 1,920m climbing. This classic ride visits some remote and beautiful areas of North Wales. Stunning scenery throughout, excellent café stops. Last 20k is all downhill. A wonderful and stimulating day out enjoying one of the best 100k rides in Britain. The Bala Parade 60k and 1,000m climbing. A lovely ride around Lake Bala which provides an excellent introduction to Audax riding. Pub/café stop at the south end of the lake to complement a pleasant day out. Full details of these excellent value rides and entry arrangements (Paypal or postal) at www.audax.uk.net.

O

ur five June rides are as flat as possible and are intended to attract new riders who want to try an audax before progressing to the more usual hillier ones, whilst the 300k is a gentle step up from the popular 200k rides. The Man of Kent 200k in March is a more typical audax – an interesting route that does not deliberately seek or avoid hills and these new ones are similar. Since discovering the world of audax in 1991 I have enjoyed events at distances up to 600k. Six years ago a combination of age and health problems put a stop to rides over 100k as even the minimum overall speed of 15kph did not allow enough time to climb hills slowly and stop at cafés. More recently I’ve only ridden our Flat 100k informally with no time pressure. So why did I enter the new 100k? Answer – because I looked at the outward route from Bethersden to Herne Bay but didn’t study the return! Subsequent closer examination of the route sheet led to preparing a schedule based on an overall speed of exactly 15kph and thinking that it would be enough to get round no matter how slowly and how much out of time. It was in this frame of mind that I made sure that I was the backmarker when we set off at 9.30 on a sunny morning with a rising easterley wind. Several other club riders were in the group and the first half mile confirmed my thought that this would be a solo ride at my own speed. The first climb was up to Pluckley and the next, after some lovely quiet and mostly unfamiliar lanes, was Hart Hill. Payback for this was nine mostly downhill miles to the A2 at Faversham. Another couple of miles to the café control at the Freewheel Cyclist Inn at Graveney, where I was right on my 15kph schedule and expected to see the other riders about to leave. However, there were no audax

Ron Lee Photo: Lise Taylor-Vebel riders there at all, a reminder of my slow progress. A quick coffee and teacake then along the coast to Whitstable where the sunny Sunday traffic was snarled up all through the town, completely writing off any possible flat road gain on schedule. More flat roads through Herne Bay to Beltinge – apart from Beacon Hill out of Herne Bay – for an information control and a tailwind final leg. About 20 minutes up on schedule. Some minor ups and downs to Fordwich then 15 miles of varying degrees of uphillness over Wye Downs. The 22 chainring and 28 sprocket were the essential survival kit in getting me to the Devils Kneading Trough café and the 30+ mph descent into Wye. Passing the village shop in Wye I heard a shout and realised it was some club members. They caught me soon after and I managed to stay with them for a few miles. Apparently they had not stopped at Graveney and by Wye needed proper food, like sandwiches. The last few miles after crossing the A20 at Potters Corner were very familiar lanes and not having dared look at my schedule for some time I was surprised to finish the actual 109k about half an hour up. My longest ride for several years and, according to plotaroute, with just over 4,000 feet of climbing certainly the hilliest. Somehow the 4,000 feet of descending didn’t register in the same way! N * San Fairy Ann CC

Routesheet/map holder This new, not-yet-on-the-market routesheet holder looks to be ideal for our style of riding. It's a Kickstarter project, so production depends on raising enough funds. More details here on this great touring website: www.cyclingabout.com/ life-ultralight-19g-bike-map-holder/

A traditional shop with well equipped workshop and experienced staff.

For ALL your cycling needs. 8 Shelfhanger Road, Diss, Norfolk IP22 4EH

01379 650419

www.madgettscycles.com

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auk calendar

Calendar key

A(1) free/cheap accommodation 1 night B very basic – no halls/beds, etc BD baggage drop DIY own route and controls, cards by post R free or cheap refreshments at start and/or finish S showers Z sleeping facilities on route 175 entries close at 175 riders 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 mudguards required X some very basic controls (eg service stations) (14/4) entries close 14th April

400 01 May Poole Porkers 400 14:00 Sun BRM 5900m AAA6 £10.00 L P R T M (50) (17/4) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT 100 01 May Winnington Park Rugby Club, CW8 3AA Ron Sant Memorial Ride 9:00 Sun BP 106km £5.00 P R T S 15-30kph Weaver Valley Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive Hartford Northwich Cheshire CW8 1SJ 110 02 May High Easter, Nr Chelmsford The Counties Festival 100 10:00 Mon BP £5.00 L P R T (70) 15-30kph Updated ECCA 53 02 May High Easter, Nr Chelmsford The Counties Festival 50 11:00 Mon BP £5.00 L P R T (70) 12-25kph Updated ECCA Chris Regan, 58 Bramwoods Road Chelmsford Essex CM2 7LT 100 02 May Kilburn, N.of Derby National Arboretum 09:00 Mon BP 103km £5.00 P R T 12-30kph Alfreton CTC 01773 833 593 tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 5000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP 100 04 May Hurst, East of Reading Dinton 100 10:00 Wed BP 103km £3.00 L P R T G 60 15-30kph Reading CTC emaich7@gmail.com Mike Hardiman, 7 Somerset Close Woosehill Wokingham RG41 3AJ 100 07 May Alveston, N Bristol South Glos 100 09:30 Sat BP 106km £6.00 P R T 150 12.5-25kph Bristol CTC 01179 672893 Alex Rendu, Whitethorn Cock Road Kingswood Bristol BS15 9SJ 150 07 May Bolsover Dovedale and Beyond 08:30 Sat BP 152km 3010m AAA2.25 [2030m] £5.00 L P R T 12.5-25kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 100 07 May Bolsover Beast of Bolsover 09:00 Sat BP 104km 2030m AAA2 £5.00 L P R T 12.5-25kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close Bolsover Chesterfield S44 6RL 200 07 May Bynea, Llanelli Carmarthenshire Snapper 07:00 Sat BR 202km 2200m £8.00 C L F P R T 50 15-30kph Swansea & W Wales CTC jb@reynoldston.com John Bastiani, The Brambles Reynoldston Swansea West Glamorgan SA3 1AA 300 07 May Honiton Old Roads 300 06:00 Sat BRM 3400m £8.00 LPRT 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 10000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU 110 07 May Parkend, Forest of Dean The Lumpy Scrumpy 100 10:00 Sat BP 1850m AAA1.75 £6.00 YH C P T 75 G 12-25kph Royal Dean Forest CC 54 07 May Parkend, Forest of Dean Dean Bluebell Doddle 10:30 Sat BP 1200m AAA1.25 £5.00 YH C P T 75 G 12-25kph Royal Dean Forest CC Adam Taylor, 68 Sneyd Wood Road Cinderford Glos GL14 3GD 400 07 May Preston, Lancashire Heartbeat 400 06:00 Sat BRM 409km 5160m AAA5 [4000m] £7.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 07 May Wem, Shropshire Four Rivers Ride 07:30 Sat BR 215km 3150m AAA3.25 £7.00 F L P R T 40 15-30kph CTC Shropshire sandehargraves@gmail.com 170 07 May Wem, Shropshire Three Rivers Ride 08:30 Sat BP 2200m AAA1.75 [1800m] £7.00 F L P R T 50 15-30kph CTC Shropshire sandehargraves@gmail.com 130 07 May Wem, Shropshire Two Rivers Ride 09:00 Sat BP £7.00 L F P R T 50 12-24kph CTC Shropshire sandehargraves@gmail.com Edwin Hargraves, 22 Trentham Road Wem North Shropshire SY4 5HN 300 07 May Wigginton, York Wigginton 300 05:00 Sat BR 302km 2132m £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 dk.benton@virgin.net 100 07 May Wigginton, York Wiggy 100 10:00 Sat BP £3.00 A(1) YH L P R T 12-24kph CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 dk.benton@virgin.net Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive Wigginton York YO32 2DB 58

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51 08 May Coppice House, Crewe Foundation Ride 09:30 Sun BP 189m £14.00 L P R T NM (100) 10-25kph Up & Under Cycling Club admin@upandundergroup.com 100 08 May Coppice House, Crewe Three Counties 08:30 Sun BP 101km 828m £14.00 L P R T NM (100) 12-30kph Up & Under Cycling Club admin@upandundergroup.com 53 08 May Coppice House, Crewe Feisty Fifty 09:00 Sun BP 621m AAA0.75 £14.00 L P R T NM (100) 12-25kph Up & Under Cycling Club admin@upandundergroup.com Andy Fewtrell, Up and Under Foundation Coppice House Quakers Coppice Crewe CW1 6FA 200 08 May Dalmeny The Crow Road 08:00 Sun BR 208km 2000m £12.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse neil.fraser@blueyonder.co.uk Neil Fraser, 14 Maryfield Drive Bo'ness West Lothian EH51 9DG 200 08 May Lymington New Forest Excursion 08:00 Sun BR 204km £7.00 C L P R T 100 (8/5) 15-30kph Cycling New Forest cyclingnewforest@gmail.comJ 160 08 May Lymington New Forest Century 08:00 Sun BP £7.00 C L P R T 100 (8/5) 15-30kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 cyclingnewforest@gmail.com 100 08 May Lymington New Forest Day Out 10:00 Sun BP 104km [2m] £7.00 C L P R T 100 10-20kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 cyclingnewforest@gmail.com ROA 10000 John Ward, 34 Avenue Road Lymington Hants SO41 9GJ 200 08 May Meopham, nr Gravesend Hop Garden 200km 08:00 Sun BR [1800m] £8.00 F L P R T NM 15-30kph Gravesend CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.ukT 160 08 May Meopham, nr Gravesend Hop Garden Century Ride 08:30 Sun BP [1550m] £8.00 F L P R T NM 15-30kph Gravesend CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 100 08 May Meopham, nr Gravesend Hop Garden 100km 09:00 Sun BP 975m £8.00 F L P R T NM 10-30kph Gravesend CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road Northfleet Kent DA11 8AT 100 08 May Minehead Exmoor Spring 09:30 Sun BP £5.00 L P R T 100 12.5-25kph Minehead CC 57 08 May Minehead Exmoor Spring 50 10:00 Sun BP £5.00 YH L P R T 10-20kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park Minehead Somerset TA24 8AX 200 08 May Shenstone, Staffs Castleton Classic 08:00 Sun BR 214km 2700m AAA2.5 [2400m] £6.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Updated CTC North Birmingham 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com 160 08 May Shenstone, Staffs Derbyshire Dales 9:00 Sun BP 1680m £6.00 F L P R T 12.5-30kph Updated CTC North Birmingham 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com 100 08 May Shenstone, Staffs Staffordshire Lanes 08:30 Sun BP 102km 1000m £5.50 L P R T 12.5-25kph Updated CTC North Birmingham 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com 54 08 May Shenstone, Staffs Rosliston Roller 09:30 Sun BP £5.00 F,P,R,T 10-25kph Updated CTC North Birmingham 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB 100 08 May Uffington, near Wantage Blowingstone-White Horse 09:30 Sun BP 107km 1162m [1346m] £6.00 P T R 15-30kph Oxfordshire CTC Nick Dunton, 44a High Street Sutton Courtenay Abingdon Oxon OX14 4AP 600 14 May Chepstow Bryan Chapman Memorial (Classic) 06:00 Sat BRM 7500m AAA7.5 £32.00 BD C F L P R S T Z (4/5) 15-30kph CTC Cymru ritchie.tout@mazars.co.uk Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach Monmouthshire NP16 6RT 150 14 May Forfar Pitlochry 150 09:15 Sat BP 1465m £3.00 G P T S 15-30kph Angus CC 01307 466123 dchusband@icloud.com ROA 4000 David Husband , 78 Old Halkerton Road Forfar DD8 1JP 200 14 May Lodge Moor, Sheffield The Sheffrec Full Monty 08:00 Sat BR 206km 4000m AAA4 £5.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Sheffrec CC henry@henryfoxhall.co.uk 100 14 May Lodge Moor, Sheffield The Sheffrec Mini Monty 09:00 Sat BP 109km 2100m AAA2 £5.00 L P R T 10-25kph Sheffrec CC henry@henryfoxhall.co.uk Henry Foxhall, West View Grindlow Great Hucklow Buxton Derbyshire SK17 8RJ 50 14 May Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon Tour de SnowSwindonia 10:30 Sat BP £5.00 P 12.5-25kph Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL 300 14 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Westmorland Spartans 07:00 Sat BR 4000m AAA4 £6.00 A(2) P YH L R T S (60) 15-30kph Lakes Velo paul@revells.comL www.audax.uk.net


auk calendar 200 14 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Cumbrian 200 08:00 Sat BR 203km 3320m AAA4 [3900m] £6.00 YH L P R T S A(2) (60) 15-30kph Lakes Velo paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands Brow Edge Backbarrow Cumbria LA12 8QL 200 15 May Devoran, S of Truro Lizard and the Camel 08:00 Sun BR 211km 2500m £6.00 C L P R T 14.4-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk 110 15 May Devoran, S of Truro Cove and Cliff 09:00 Sun BP 1520m £5.00 C L P R T 12-28kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk 59 15 May Devoran, S of Truro Peter's Point 10:00 Sun BP £5.00 C L P R T 12-28kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk Martyn Aldis, Sundown 25a Kersey Road Flushing Falmouth Cornwall TR11 5TR 200 15 May Look Mum No Hands! 49 Old St, London EC1V 9HX The Great Escape 08:00 Sun BR 2000m £7.00 YH F T NM R (400) 15-30kph Islington CC 07918 147548 secretary@islington.cc Islington Cycling Club, 20 Castle Road Finchley LONDON N12 9ED 200 15 May Lound, nr Lowestoft The Norfolk Special 08:00 Sun BR £5.00 FRTP 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com 160 15 May Lound, nr Lowestoft The Norfolk Special 09:00 Sun BP £5.00 FRTP 12.5-25kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road Oulton Broad Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 9NT 110 15 May Maidenhead 10 Thames Bridges 09:00 Sun BP £4.00 P R T 15-30kph Change of Date Willesden CC anemograby@hotmail.com 64 15 May Maidenhead Kaf to Kaf 10:00 Sun BP £4.00 P R T 12-25kph Change of Date Willesden CC anemograby@hotmail.com Anne Mograby, 5 Castle Farm Leigh Square Windsor Berks SL4 4PT 200 21 May Dore, Nr Sheffield Plain, Peaks and Troughs 08:30 Sat BR 205km 2900m AAA3 £5.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Sheffield District CTC 0114 258 8932 cripps@uwclub.net 100 21 May Dore, Sheffield Peaks and Troughs 9:00 Sat BP 103km 2100m AAA2 £5.00 F L P T 12-30kph Sheffield District CTC 0114 258 8932 cripps@uwclub.net 62 21 May Dore, Sheffield Fewer Peaks and Troughs 09:30 Sat BP 1150m AAA1.25 £5.00 F L P T 10-22kph Sheffield District CTC 0114 258 8932 cripps@uwclub.net John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent Sheffield S11 9AW 300 21 May Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland The Mosstrooper 06:00 Sat BRM 3900m AAA3.5 [3600m] £10.00 F P T A(1) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX 160 21 May Meriden, Warwickshire Cotswold Challenge 08:00 Sat BP 1200m £8.00 C L P R T NM 100 15-30kph Jon Porteous audax2016@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk 100 21 May Meriden, Warwickshire Warwickshire Wanderer 09:00 Sat BP 105km 700m £8.00 C L P R T NM 100 12-25kph Jon Porteous audax2016@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk 50 21 May Meriden, Warwickshire Meriden Meander 10:00 Sat BP 540m [546m] £8.00 C G L P R T NM 100 12-30kph Jon Porteous audax2016@heartofenglandcyclingclub.org.uk Jon Porteous, Tumnus Corner Springhill Gardens Webheath Redditch Worcs B97 5SY 400 21 May Ruislip Lido Café, London HA4 7TY Steam Ride : London Circuit Event CANCELLED 100 21 May Uckfield, East Sussex D2DR 10:00 Sat BP 103km 1750m AAA1.75 £3.00 FPR 12.5-25kph CTC West Surrey malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk Martin Malins, 4 North Common Weybridge Surrey KT13 9DN 200 21 May Willington Hall, E of Chester Tour of the Berwyns 08:00 Sat BR 205km 2190m AAA3 [3100m] £6.00 L P R T 75 (17/05) 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com 130 21 May Willington Hall, nr Chester Panorama Prospect 08:30 Sat BP 131km 1150m [500m] £6.00 L P R T 75 (17/05) 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 160 22 May Carron, Nr Aberlour Dalmunach Dash 09:00 Sun BP 163km 1900m £5.00 G, L, P 12-25kph Oliver Giles Oliver Giles, The Spinney Carron Aberlour Aberdeenshire AB38 7QP 100 22 May Carron, Nr Aberlour Dalmunach Dander 09:00 Sun BP 1264m £5.00 G, L, P 12-25kph Oliver Giles 100 22 May Falmer Sports Centre, Brighton Brighton Rock 2016 – Pinkie Brown Returns 9:15 Sun BP 109km £7.50 F L P R T S NM(100) 15-30kph Brighton & Hove CTC brightonandhovectc@gmail.com Brighton and Hove CTC , 85 Hangleton Road Hove East Sussex BN3 7GH

100 22 May Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire Between the Parks 09:00 Sun BP 500m £6.00 G L P R T (75) (10/5) 15-30kph Southampton & Romsey CTC rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk 200 22 May Woodley, Romsey, Hampshire Grand National Park2Park 08:00 Sun BR 1660m £8.50 F G L P R T (150) (10/5) 15-30kph Southampton CTC rid@ecs.soton.ac.uk Robert Damper, 12 Julius Close Chandler's Ford Eastleigh Hampshire SO53 2AB 600 28 May Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield Three Steps to Severn 06:00 Sat BR 612km 6400m £10.00 F L P T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB 400 28 May Bushley, Nr,Tewkesbury. Dros Fynyddoedd ac Anialwch Niwlog 05:30 Sat BRM 401km 6000m AAA6 £9.00 c f l p r t nm z 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 600 28 May Exeter Kernow and Southwest 600 06:00 Sat BRM 8200m AAA8.25 £17.00 YH L F R Z 60 15-25kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 10000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU 200 28 May Long Melford, nr Sudbury Grand Tour de Stour 08:00 Sat BR 212km £6.00 CGLNMRT(60)(14/05) 15-30kph CC Sudbury andrew.hoppit@gmail.com 100 28 May Long Melford, nr Sudbury Tour de Stour 09:00 Sat BP 106km £6.00 CGLNMPRT(60)(14/05) 15-30kph Andrew Hoppit 07528 498036 andrew.hoppit@gmail.com Andrew Hoppit, 15 Middleton Rd Sudbury Suffolk CO10 2DB 400 28 May Musselburgh The Southern Uplands 06:00 Sat BR 5000m AAA5 £3.00 X P T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 200 28 May Pateley Bridge Dales Grimpeur 200 08:00 Sat BR 215km 4596m AAA4.5 £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Hambleton RC paul.roberts901@tiscali.co.uk Paul Roberts, 37 The Close Romanby Northallerton DL7 8BL 600 28 May Poole Brimstone 600 06:00 Sat BRM 7600m AAA7.5 £10.00 L P M (50) (24/5) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT 600 04 June Alfreton Nine Counties 600k 06:00 Sat BR £10.00 X,F,L,T,P 15-30kph Alfreton CTC 01773 833 593 tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP 200 04 June Bitteswell, Leicestershire Heart of the Shires 08:00 Sat BR 210km £6.00 L F P T 15-30kph Leics & Rutland CTC 100 04 June Bitteswell, Leicestershire Heart of the Shires 09:00 Sat BP £5.50 L F P T 12-30kph Leics & Rutland CTC Tony Davis, 2 The Courtyard Claybrooke Magna Lutterworth Leicestershire LE17 5FH 300 04 June Coryton, NW Cardiff Peacocks and Kites 05:00 Sat BR 301km 3900m AAA3 [3000m] £8.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Ajax glharper1973@gmail.com Georgina Harper, 68 Hazelhurst Road Llandaf North Cardiff Wales CF14 2FX 400 04 June Kirkley, Ponteland The Hot Trod 10:00 Sat BR 4020m £8.00 LTPZFG 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX 400 04 June Manningtree, Colchester Asparagus & Strawberries 09:00 Sat BRM 414km 2600m £4.00 XCTM 15-25kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 400 04 June Newark Northgate Station, Nottinghamshire Lincolnshire Poacher 06:00 Sat BR £5.00 X A1, L, P, R, 15-30kph Lincoln Whs richard.parker05@gmail.com Richard Parker, 28 High Street Carlton Le Moorland Lincoln Lincolnshire LN5 9HT 300 04 June Padiham, Lancashire Knock Ventoux 300 06:00 Sat BRM 4000m AAA4 [4600m] £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Updated Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 04 June Tewkesbury Over the Hills and Far Away 09:15 Sat BP 102km 800m £5.00 C G NM P R T 150 10-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 200 05 June Clitheroe, Lancashire Dales Delight 200 08:00 Sun BRM 203km 3600m AAA3.5 [4100m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Updated Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

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auk calendar 200 05 June Elstead, Surrey The Nearly Stonehenge 200 08:00 Sun BR 209km 2210m £6.00 F L P R T 15-30kph CTC West Surrey  01428 642013 nickandmarion.davison@hotmail.co.uk 150 05 June Elstead, Surrey The Danebury 150 08:30 Sun BP 152km £6.00 F L P R T 13-30kph CTC West Surrey  01428 642013 nickandmarion.davison@hotmail.co.uk 110 05 June Elstead, Surrey The Elstead 100 09:00 Sun BP 113km £6.00 F L P R T 12-30kph CTC West Surrey  01428 642013 nickandmarion.davison@hotmail.co.uk Nicholas Davison, The Bield Mill Copse Road Haslemere Surrey GU27 3DN 100 05 June Hook, Goole Beverley 100 09:00 Sun BP 108km 327m [270m] £3.50 P R T 30 15-30kph Goole Vermuyden CC 01405 761 790 harvey.tripp@btinternet.com Harvey Tripp, 40 Carter Street Goole DN14 6SN 300 05 June Penzance Many Rivers to Cross 06:30 Sun BR 307km 4940m AAA5 £3.00 BXYHC 14.3-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk 200 05 June Penzance Four Hundreds 200 08:00 Sun BR 207km 3760m AAA3.75 £3.00 BYHXC 15-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk Martyn Aldis, Sundown 25a Kersey Road Flushing Falmouth Cornwall TR11 5TR 200 05 June Ware Herts High Five 08:00 Sun BR 209km 1634m [1509m] £10.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Hertfordshire Wheelers 07969 080175 audax@herts-wheelers.org.uk 100 05 June Ware Two Counties 100 10:30 Sun BP 108km £7.00 L P R S T 12-25kph Hertfordshire Wheelers 07969 080175 audax@herts-wheelers.org.uk c/o Valdis Belinis, 2 Little Horse Lane Milton Road Ware Herts SG12 0QB 200 05 June Wimbledon Common The London Ditchling Devil 08:00 Sun BR 205km 2400m [2700m] £15.00 F P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens Chiswick London W4 3TN 600 11 June Bushley, Nr,Tewkesbury Mae Mr Pickwick yn mynd i chwilio am ddreigiau a chwedlau (clasurol). 05:00 Sat BRM 601km 9500m AAA9.5 £17.50 C F L P R T S Z NM 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 150 11 June Forfar Amulree 150 09:15 Sat BP 1552m £5.00 C P T S 15-30kph Angus CC 01307 466123 dchusband@icloud.com ROA 4000 David Husband , 78 Old Halkerton Road Forfar DD8 1JP 600 11 June Padiham, Lancashire Tan Hill 600 06:00 Sat BRM 603km 7800m AAA7.75 £10.00 BD F L P R S T Z 15-30kph Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 12 June Abergavenny Monmouthshire Meander 09:00 Sun BP 1500m AAA1.5 £5.00 YH F P L T 15-25kph Abergavenny RC waville@yahoo.com Jonathan Saville, 9 Trehonddu Llanvihangel Crucorney Abergavenny Monmouthshire NP7 8DG 100 12 June Evegate, Ashford Mick Andrews Memorial 100K 10:30 Sun BP £5.00 P T 100 (30/5) 15-30kph Sugar Loaf Animal Snctry Roger Burchett, 'Haytor' Stone Street Lympne Hythe Kent CT21 4JY 100 12 June Finsbury Park, London, N4 2NQ The Italian Job 08:30 Sun BP £6.00 F, G, NM, P, R, (400) 15-30kph Islington CC 07918 147548 secretary@islington.cc Islington Cycling Club, 20 Castle Road Finchley London N12 9ED 200 12 June Forfar Deeside Loop 08:00 Sun BR 2450m AAA2 [2025m] £10.00 L C P R T 15-30kph Angus CC dchusband@icloud.com ROA 4000 David Husband, 78 Old Halkerton Road Forfar Angus DD8 1JP 200 12 June Padiham, Lancashire Tan Hill 200 08:30 Sun BRM 206km 4500m AAA4.5 £5.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 12 June Sheffield, Wharncliffeside Comunity Cote de Holme Moss 09:00 Sun BP 108km 2200m AAA2.25 £6.00 LPRT(120) 12-30kph Birdwell Whs woodyauk@btinternet.com John Woodhouse, 9 Brightholmlee Lane Wharncliffeside Sheffield Yorks S35 0DD 84 12 June Stevenage (Marriotts), SG2 8UT Bike Week – Stevenage Circular Cycle 10:00 Sun BP 747m £6.00 L P R T 12-28kph Stevenage & N Herts CTC luke.peters@live.com Luke Peters, 86 Skipton Close Stevenage Hertfordshire SG2 8TW 400 17 June Anywhere, to York Summer Arrow to York 06:00 Fri BR £12.00 DIY Also on 18/06 15-30kph Audax UK pedaller1@sky.com 350 17 June Anywhere, to York Summer Dart to York ::: Fri BR 360km £5.00 DIY Also on 18/06 14.3-30kph Audax UK pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 60

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400 17 June Clayhidon, near Taunton Avalon Sunrise 400 22:30 Fri BRM 407km 3300m £15.00 flprtc 15-30kph Exeter Whs Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge Ashill Road Uffculme Devon EX15 3DP 200 18 June Apperley, Nr Cheltenham Gospel Pass 200 08:00 Sat BR 3075m AAA3 £12.00 A(1)CPRTL 14.3-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 150 18 June Apperley, Nr Cheltenham YatMon 150 09:00 Sat BP 2230m AAA2.25 £9.00 A(1)CPRTL 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com 100 18 June Apperley, Nr Cheltenham Hoarwithy 100 (2Severn2Wye) 09:30 Sat BP £5 A(1)CPRTL 12.5-30kph Cheltenham CTC stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 5000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham Glos GL53 0LA 140 18 June Bovey Tracey, Devon Dartmoor Ghost 22:30 Sat BP 145km 2150m AAA2.25 [2300m] £12.00 FGLRT(11th June) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 833 749 kevin.hindstreet@btinternet.com ROA 4000 Kevin Presland, Hind Street House Hind Street Bovey Tracey Devon TQ13 9HT 100 18 June Knavesmire, York Rally 100 09:00 Sat BP £7.50 A(1) C F P R T S 15-25kph 15-25kph CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 dk.benton@virgin.net Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive Wigginton York YO32 2DB 300 18 June Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy Cestyll Cymru 300 6.:00 Sat BR 305km 3550m £13.00 A(2) G L NM P R T S 15-30kph Rhos-on-Sea CC 07462690318 cbwilby@gmail.com 200 18 June Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy Cestyll Cymru 08:00 Sat BR 203km 2600m AAA2.25 [2200m] £12.00 A L P R T 15-30kph Rhos-on-Sea CC 07462690318 cbwilby@gmail.com 130 18 Jun Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy The Legend of Gelert 09:00 Sat BP 135km 1400m £10.00 A L P R T 12.5-25kph Rhos-on-Sea CC cbwilby@gmail.com 50 18 June Rhos-On-Sea, Conwy Glan-y-Mor 9:30 Sat BP 750m £5.00 A L P R T 10-20kph Rhos-on-Sea CC cbwilby@gmail.com Chris Wilby, Gwenallt Henryd Road Gyffin Conwy LL32 8HN 300 19 June Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Flattest Possible 300 02:00 Sun BR 311km £7.00 C F L P R T 15-30kph Updated San Fairy Ann CC manofkentaudax@gmail.com David Winslade, 3 Albany Close Tonbridge Kent TN9 2EY 200 19 June Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Half-Flat 200 08:00 Sun BR 201km 1000m £6.00 C,F,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Updated San Fairy Ann CC tonyh.flat5@gmail.com 150 19 June Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Fairly Flat 150k 08:30 Sun BP £6.00 C,F,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Updated San Fairy Ann CC tonyh.flat5@gmail.com 100 19 June Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Flat 100k 09:00 Sun BP £6.00 C,F,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Updated San Fairy Ann CC tonyh.flat5@gmail.com Tony Huntington, 17 Castle Street Upper Upnor Rochester ME2 4XR 50 19 June Bethersden, nr Ashford, Kent Fairies Easy Peasy 50k 10:00 Sun BP £5.00 C,F,L,P,R,T 15-30kph Updated San Fairy Ann CC tonyh.flat5@gmail.com Tony Huntington, 17 Castle Street Upper Upnor Rochester ME2 4XR 200 19 June Claughton, N of Preston Fleet Moss 212 07:30 Sun BR 212km 3290m AAA3.25 £6.50 P R T 15-30kph Southport CC allan.taylor@southportcc.co.uk 150 19 June Claughton, N of Preston Lunesdale Populaire 08:30 Sun BP 158km 2280m AAA2.25 £6.50 P R T 100 13-30kph Southport CC allan.taylor@southportcc.co.uk 110 19 June Claughton, N of Preston Pilgrim's Way 09:00 Sun BP 112km 1540m £6.50 P R T 10-25kph Southport CC allan.taylor@southportcc.co.uk Allan Taylor, 23 Osborne Road Ainsdale Southport PR8 2RJ 150 19 June Galashiels Dick McTs 150 Classic 09:00 Sun BP 1576m [1600m] £8.00 PRTG 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 100 19 June Maidenhead Boulters Bash 09:30 Sun BP 1000m £4.00 P R T 15-30kph Updated Willesden CC ianoli2010-audax@yahoo.co.uk 50 19 June Maidenhead, Jenners Cafe Locked and Boulted 10:00 Sun BP 447m £4.00 P R T 10-25kph Willesden CC ianoli2010-audax@yahoo.co.uk Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue London W3 6QJ 400 25 June Aldbrough St John, Nr Darlington The Lincoln 06:00 Sat BR 411km 1457m £5.00 X L P R T 15-30kph VC 167 01325 374 112 nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft Aldbrough St John Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD 400 25 June Alfreton Moors and Wolds 400 10:30 Sat BR 406km 2425m £8.00 P R T X 15-30kph Alfreton CTC nigel.randell8664@gmail.com

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auk calendar 54 25 June Alfreton Victorian Post Boxes 50 10:30 Sat BP 669m £4.00 FLPT 10-25kph Alfreton CTC nigel.randell8664@gmail.com Nigel Randell, 15 Hammer Leys South Normanton Derbyshire DE55 3AX 300 25 June Beech Hill, S of Reading Rural South 06:00 Sat BR £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Reading CTC offroad@readingctc.co.uk Ian Doyle, 21 Woodford Close Caversham Reading Berkshire RG4 7HN 200 25 June Beech Hill, S of Reading Alan Furley's Up the Downs 08:00 Sat BR 202km 2100m £7.00 F L P R T 100 15-30kph Reading CTC 01491 651284 audaxphil@btinternet.com 100 25 June Beech Hill, S of Reading Alan Furley's Down the Ups 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1000m £6.50 F L P R T 12.5-30kph Reading CTC 01491 651284 audaxphil@btinternet.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL 600 25 June Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Offa's Dyke 06:00 Sat BRM 610km 8300m AAA8.25 £15.00 C F G L P R T Z (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk 300 25 June Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Offa's Double Century 06:00 Sat BR 330km 5100m AAA5 £8.00 C F G L P R T (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF 100 25 June Usk, Monmouthshire Gwent Gambol 09:00 Sat BP 109km 1200m £5.00 C G P R T 14-30kph Cardiff Byways evansrichardd@googlemail.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW 67 26 June Carharrack, Cornwall Mines and Mineral Railways (ON-road) 10:00 Sun BP 820m £5.00 C L P R T 8-28kph Audax Kernow brindisijones@tiscali.co.uk 66 26 June Carharrack, Cornwall Mines and Mineral Railways (OFF-road) 10:00 Sun BP 1257m [773m] £5.00 C L P R T 8-28kph Audax Kernow brindisijones@tiscali.co.uk Simon Jones, The Cottage Pulla Cross Truro Cornwall TR4 8SA 100 26 June Caton, 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 La 01524 36061 mikehutchinson@fastmail.fm ROA 5000 Mike Hutchinson, Heatherdene 9 Whinfell Drive Lancaster LA1 4NY 200 26 June Chelmer CC, Meteor Way, Chelmsford Windmill Ride (210) 08:30 Sun BR 210km £7.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Updated Essex CTC 120 26 June Chelmer CC, Meteor Way, Chelmsford Windmill Ride (120) 10:00 Sun BP £7.00 F L P R T 12-25kph Updated Essex CTC Stefan Eichenseher, 42a Whitegate Road Southend-on-sea Essex SS1 2LQ 200 26 June Old Sils Rugby Club, Junction 5 M42 A Cotswold Adventure & BBQ 08:00 Sun BR 207km £10.00 U FPRTS NM 15-30kph Roger Cliffe, 11 Warren Drive Dorridge Solihull B93 8JY 150 26 June Old Sils Rugby Club , Junction 5 M42 Solihull CC mini Randonnée & BBQ 08:30 Sun BP 156km £9.00 RFPT 15-30kph 100 26 June Old Sils Rugby Club , Junction 5 M42 A Warwickshire Wander & BBQ 09:00 Sun BP £8.00 F P R T 15-30kph Solihull CC chat2rog@gmail.com Roger Cliffe, 11 Warren Drive Dorridge Solihull B93 8JY 200 26 June Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Clwydian Horseshoe 07:30 Sun BR 225km 2750m AAA2.5 [2425m] £6.00 C G L P R T (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF 200 26 June Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Cotswold Expedition 08:00 Sun BR 212km £9.00 C L P R S T 100 15-30kph Change of Date Beacon RCC pete@cotswoldaudax.com 160 26 June Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Cotswold Journey 08:30 Sun BP £9.00 C L P R S T 100 15-30kph Change of Date Beacon RCC pete@cotswoldaudax.comL 100 26 June Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Anticlockwise Cotswold Outing 09:30 Sun BP 108km £9.00 C L P R S T 80 12-25kph Change of Date Beacon RCC pete@cotswoldaudax.com 100 26 June Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Clockwise Cotswold Outing 09:00 Sun BP 108km £9.00 C L P R S T 80 12-25kph Change of Date Beacon RCC pete@cotswoldaudax.com Pete Marshall, 45 Butler Road Solihull West Midlands B92 7QL 100 29 June Hampton Hill, W London London Midweek Sightseer 09:30 Wed BP £5.00 C L P T 10-20kph Hounslow & Dist. Whs 020 82873244 billcarnaby@outlook.com Bill Carnaby, 225 High Street Hampton Hill Middlesex TW12 1NP 1000 01 July Bispham, Lancashire Mille Pennines 10:00 Fri BRM 1002km 11750m AAA10 [10000m] £55.00 BD C F L P R S T Z (120) 13.3-30kph Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

110 02 July Alfreton In Memory of Tommy 09:00 Sat BP 115km 1050m £5.00 L P R T 12-30kph Alfreton CTC Amanda Reeve, 82 Rutland Rd Westwood Nottingham NG16 5NQ 200 02 July Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire Hungerford Hurrah 08:00 Sat BR 2200m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net 170 02 July Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire Hindon Hip Hip 08:30 Sat BP 1750m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Winchester CTC 01794 514124 alanandemma@talktalk.net 140 02 July Awbridge, Nr. Romsey, Hampshire Hungerford Hooray 09:00 Sat BP 1450m £7.00 L P R T 50 15-30kph Winchester CTC alanandemma@talktalk.net Alan Davies, 7 Queens Close Romsey Hampshire SO51 5EG 400 02 July Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Kingdom of the East Saxons 11:00 Sat BR £15.00 A(1) C L P R F T Z M (75) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 600 02 July Galashiels Borderlands Roc Trevezal 07:00 Sat BRM 4900m £6.00 PRTXBG 15-25kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 03 July Lichfield Vale of Belvoir III 08:00 Sun BR 1498m [1329m] £5.00 G R P T 15-30kph CTC North Birmingham 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB 110 03 July Lichfield, The Acorn Inn Charnwood Forest 09:00 Sun BP 119km 1055m £5.00 G R P T 12.5-30kph CTC North Birmingham 0121 357 2570 bikeway@virginmedia.com 53 03 July Lichfield, The Acorn Inn Moira Furnace Fifty 08:30 Sun BP 470m £5.00 G R P T 10-25kph CTC North Birmingham 01213572570 bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB 200 03 July Smallworth, Garboldisham, Diss Garboldisham Groveller 08:00 Sun BR £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Diss CTC elkinste@outlook.com 100 03 July Smallworth, Garboldisham, nr Diss Garboldisham Grafter 09:00 Sun BP £6.50 P R T F L 15-30kph Diss CTC elkinste@outlook.com Tom Elkins, 6 Marston Lane Norwich NR4 6LZ 100 03 July Tockwith, York Tockwith Audax 10:00 Sun BP 470m £5.00 L P R T 12-25kph CTC North Yorks 01423358264 60 03 July Tockwith, York Tockwith Audax 10:30 Sun BP [470m] £5.00 L P R T 10-30kph CTC North Yorks Nick Folkard, 208 Prince Rupert Drive Tockwith North Yorkshire YO26 7PU 200 09 July Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond Hartside 200 08:00 Sat BR 203km 2752m AAA3 [3000m] £6.00 FLPRT 14.3-30kph VC 167 07887628513 david.atkinson577@virgin.net 100 09 July Aldbrough St John, Nr Richmond Northern Dales Summer Outing 09:00 Sat BP 1475m [3000m] £4.50 FLPRT 10-30kph VC 167 07887618913 david.atkinson577@virgin.net David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue Northallerton North Yorkshire DL6 1AL 300 09 July Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury A Rough Diamond 06:00 Sat BRM 301km 2500m [3450m] £7.00 c f l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 100 09 July Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury The Teddy Bears' Picnic. 09:00 Sat BP 103km 975m [900m] £5.00 C,G,L,NM,P,R,T (100) 10-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 600 09 July Exeter The Exe-Buzzard 06:00 Sat BRM 5600m £5 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk 600 09 July Leighton Buzzard The Buzzard 07:00 Sat BRM 5600m £5 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 10000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU 300 09 July Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Golden Road and Standing Stones 06:00 Sat BR 3102m [3200m] £11.00 50 L R T F C A(2) 15-25kph Hebridean CC ian_d_gilbert@yahoo.co.uk 110 09 July Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Hebridean Hundred 10:00 Sat BP 113km 1015m [1068m] £5.00 50 L R T F C A(2) 12.5-30kph Hebridean CC ian_d_gilbert@yahoo.co.uk Ian Gilbert, 19 Churchill Drive Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2NP 200 09 July Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Brix 'n Water 08:00 Sat BR 216km 2300m £7.00 P R T 50 15-30kph

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auk calendar 160 09 July Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Brix 'n Bouquet 09:00 Sat BP 1400m [2300m] £7.00 P R T 50 14.4-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com 110 09 July Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Double Bouquet 09:30 Sat BP 912m [2300m] £7.00 P R T 50 14.4-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com ROA 10000 Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY 100 10 July Combe Down, Bath Mendip Transmitter 08:30 Sun BP 1650m AAA1.75 £7.00 N.P.R.T 15-30kph Bath CC robertmcmillan@sky.com Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road Bath BA2 2AX 200 10 July Denshaw, Saddleworth Bowland 08:00 Sun BR 3500m AAA3.5 [4400m] £5.00 P R T 14.3-30kph Saddleworth Clarion 07850 208 977 nephialty@gmail.com 100 10 July Denshaw, Saddleworth Widdop 09:00 Sun BP 2100m AAA2 £5.00 P R T 10-25kph Saddleworth Clarion 07850 208 977 nephialty@gmail.com Nephi Alty, Heath House View Ridings Lane Golcar Huddersfield West Yorkshire HD7 4PZ 100 10 July East Finchley, N2 9ED Suburban Breakout 09:30 Sun BP 103km 1085m [755m] £5.00 PRT 15-30kph Central London CTC nick@centrallondonctc.org.uk Nick Bloom, 32 Fortis Green Avenue Fortis Green London N2 9NA 300 15 July Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Hereward the Wake 21:00 Fri BRM 301km £9.00 X C R L P T M (08/07) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 200 16 July Corwen Barmouth Boulevard 08:00 Sat BR 204km 3650m AAA3.75 £6.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CT vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn Penyffordd Holywell Flintshire CH8 9HH 100 16 July Corwen The Brenig Bach 08:30 Sat BP 107km 1920m AAA2 £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CT vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn Penyffordd Holywell Flintshire CH8 9HH 60 16 July Corwen The Bala Parade 09:00 Sat BP 700m [1000m] £6.00 P R T 50 10-25kph Chester & North Wales CT vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn Penyffordd Holywell Flintshire CH8 9HH 600 16 July Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland The Border Raid 06:00 Sat BR 5500m £10.00 A(2) F L P T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX 300 16 July Rowlands Castle, nr Portsmouth Wonderful Wessex 05:30 Sat BRM £8.00 f l p r 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road Emsworth Hampshire PO10 7XR 200 16 July Whaley Thorns, N of Mansfield Clumber to Humber (John Kerr Memorial Ride) 08:00 Sat BR 202km £5.00 L P R T 100 15-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 50 16 July Whaley Thorns, N of Mansfield Robin Hood (Rough Stuff) 50 10:00 Sat BP £5.00 L P R T 10-20kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close Bolsover Chesterfield S44 6RL 200 17 July Milton, Abingdon Barbury Bash (210) 08:00 Sun BR 210km £6.00 R T P L 4/7 15-30kph Updated Didcot PhoenixJ 160 17 July Milton, Abingdon Barbury Bash (160) 08:30 Sun BP £6.00 R T P L 10/7 15-30kph Updated Didcot PhoenixJ 110 17 July Milton, Abingdon Barbury Bash (110) 09:00 Sun BP £6.00 R T P L 10/7 15-30kph Updated Didcot Phoenix Victoria Lawson, 77 High Street Milton Abingdon Oxon OX14 4EJ 200 17 July Newton Abbot, Devon Torplex Two Hundred 08:00 Sun BR 210km 2900m AAA3 £8.00 F L P R S T 15-30kph CTC Devon brodie@bikerider.com 100 17 July Newton Abbot, Devon Devon Delight 09:00 Sun BP 107km £8.00 F L P R S T 10-25kph CTC Devon brodie@bikerider.com ROA 5000 Graham Brodie, Homelands 10 Courtenay Road Newton Abbot Devon TQ12 1HP 200 17 July Otley, West Yorkshire Yorkshire Mixture 08:00 Sun BR 203km 2400m AAA1.75 [1750m] £5.00 L R T S 15-30kph Otley CC chris.boulton@lineone.net 100 17 July Otley, West Yorkshire Over Jordan 09:00 Sun BP 101km 1800m AAA1.75 £4.50 L R T S 12-30kph Otley CC chris.boulton@lineone.net Chris Boulton, 15 Adel Towers Close Leeds LS16 8ES 200 17 July The Steyning Centre, Steyning, W Sussex The Devils Punchbowl 200 08:00 Sun BR 205km 2248m £8.00 F P T 15-30kph Updated ABAudax anton.brown@btconnect.com

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100 17 July The Steyning Centre, Steyning, W Sussex The Devils Punchbowl 100 09:00 Sun BP 108km 1200m £8.00 F P T 15-30kph Updated ABAudax anton.brown@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 3RT 200 23 July Bath Raglan Castle 08:00 Sat BR 203km 2500m £7.00 Xtrpc 15-30kph Bath CC robertmcmillan@sky.com Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road Bath BA2 2AX 200 23 July Belbroughton, N Worcestershire The Kidderminster Killer 08:00 Sat BR 214km 3750m AAA3.75 £7.85 F L P R S T (90) (8/8) 14.3-30kph Beacon RCC 01562731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk 120 23 July Belbroughton, N Worcestershire From Clee to Heaven 09:00 Sat BP 123km 1950m AAA2 £7.85 F L P R S T (70) 13-25kph Beacon RCC 01562 731606 p.whiteman@bham.ac.uk Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW 160 23 July Bildeston, Suffolk 100 miles of Suffolk Lanes 08:45 Sat BP 168km £5.00 L P R T S 15-30kph Change of Date CC Sudbury pamandrobinw@gmail.com 100 23 July Bildeston, Suffolk Bildeston Lanes 09:30 Sat BP 104km £5.00 L P R T S 15-30kph CC Sudbury pamandrobinw@gmail.com 200 23 July Bildeston, Suffolk Suffolk Lanes Extravaganza 08:30 Sat BR 209km £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph CC Sudbury 01449 741048 pamandrobinw@gmail.com Robin Weaver, 14 Chapel Street Bildeston Ipswich Suffolk IP7 7EP 200 23 July Harringay, London Straight Outta Hackney 08:00 Sat BR £13.00 CFLPRT 15-30kph Change of Date Audax Club Hackney 07932672561 justinjones1969@gmail.com Justin Jones, ACH HQ incorporating The Stag's Head 39 Harringay Road London N15 3JB 600 23 July Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The Three Coasts 600 06:00 Sat BRM 607km 5611m AAA1.75 [1631m] £10.00 A(3) L P R S T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 600 23 July Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The East and West Coasts 600 06:00 Sat BRM 605km 4380m [5380m] £10.00 A(3) L P R S T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF 54 24 July Dalkeith East Lothian Rough Stuff 09:00 Sun BP 415m £5.00 G L P R (50) 10-25kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 200 24 July Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The Good Companions 08:30 Sun BRM 2697m AAA1.75 [1631m] £5.00 A(2) L P R S T YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF 1200 25 July Craignure The Highlands, West Coast and Glens 08:10 Mon BRM 1205km 15885m AAA16 [2200m] £25.00 A C F G S T NM P YH X 2Z 13-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 1200 26 July Craignure The Highlands, Glens and West Coast 08:40 Tue BRM 1205km 15885m AAA16 [2200m] £25.00 A C F G S T NM P YH X 2Z 13-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 400 30 July Biggin, nr Hartington National 400km 07:00 Sat BRM 405km 3900m £39.00 YH A(1) C F G L P R Z 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com 100 30 July Biggin, nr Hartington AUK life Biggins at Forty 10:00 Sat BP 107km 1050m AAA1 £8.00 YH A(1) C F G L P R Z 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX 100 03 Aug Marple Dark Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 106km 2290m AAA2.25 £5.00 P R T 60 (257) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive Hartford Northwich Cheshire CW8 1SJ 200 06 Aug Cardiff Gate, Cardiff Dr. Foster's Summer Saunter 08:00 Sat BR 201km £6.00 C P R T 50 15-25kph Cardiff Byways CC tonypember@gmail.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 200 06 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Elan and Ystwyth 08:00 Sat BR 208km 3750m AAA3.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 14.3-25kph Up Hill Down Ale rossjeal@gladestry.com 100 06 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Radnor Roundabout 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1826m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 12.5-25kph CTC Cymru rossjeal@gladestry.com 53 06 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Gladestry Trot 10:00 Sat BP £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 10-20kph CTC Cymru rossjeal@gladestry.com Ross Jeal, Monymusk Meadow Vale Gladestry Kington Powys HR5 3PR 200 06 Aug Richmond-upon-Thames Cogidubnus CC (Cheese and cake double century) 08:00 Sat BR 208km 2250m [650m] £6.00 X G T 15-30kph Updated Marcus JB marcusjbaudax@gmail.comB

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auk calendar 110 06 Aug Richmond-upon-Thames Cheesy Peas 110km 09:00 Sat BP 1100m [1050m] £6.00 X G T 10-30kph Marcus JB marcusjbaudax@gmail.com Marcus Jackson-Baker, 30 Red Lion Street Suite 179 Richmond-upon-Thames TW9 1RB 200 06 Aug Tewkesbury Benjamin Allen's Spring Tonic 08:00 Sat BR 206km 2050m £6.00 P T C NM (100) 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com 100 06 Aug Tewkesbury 'Mint' Stalwart's Mania 09:00 Sat BP 105km £5.00 10-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 200 06 Aug Witham, Essex Essex R&R 07:30 Sat BR 209km [650m] £7.50 F G P T X (100) 14.3-30kph Witham Cycling grant@huggys.co.uk 100 06 Aug Witham, Essex A little Essex R&R 09:00 Sat BP 103km £7.50 F G P T X (75) 14.3-30kph Witham Cycling grant@huggys.co.uk Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close Witham Essex CM8 2XF 200 07 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Tregaron Dragon 08:00 Sun BR 209km 4800m AAA4.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 14.3-25kph CTC Cymru rossjeal@gladestry.com 160 07 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Llandovery Discovery 08:30 Sun BP 3250m AAA3.25 £5.00 YH C L P R T 150 8/16 12.5-25kph CTC Cymru rossjeal@gladestry.com 100 07 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Gladestry Gallop 09:00 Sun BP 107km 1625m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 12.5-25kph CTC Cymru rossjeal@gladestry.com Ross Jeal, Monymusk Meadow Vale Gladestry Kington Powys HR5 3PR 200 07 Aug Wickhamford, SE of Evesham Three Counties –- Four Leaf Clover 08:00 Sun BR 202km 1930m £6.00 F P R T 15-30kph Updated Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 110 07 Aug Wickhamford, SE of Evesham Three Counties – Two Leaf Clover 09:00 Sun BP 111km 1057m £4.00 F P R T 15-30kph Updated Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 50 07 Aug Wickhamford, SE of Evesham Three Counties – Clover Leaf 09:30 Sun BP 448m [609m] £2.00 F P R T 10-25kph Updated Evesham & Dist Whs Neil Robinson, Flat 7 Swans Reach 45 Swan Lane Evesham Worcs WR11 4PD 100 09 Aug Alfreton Prison for Dinner 09:00 Tue BP 103km £5.00 G L P R T 12-25kph Alfreton CTC bandj.smith@sky.com Brian Smith, 10 The Crescent Clay Cross Chesterfield S45 9EH 100 10 Aug Marple, Memorial Park, SK6 Mid Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 109km 2400m AAA2.5 £5.00 L P R T 40 (31/7) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC chris.keelingroberts@ntlworld.com Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road Marple Cheshire SK6 7DL 400 13 Aug Galashiels Nae Bother to Us 06:30 Sat BRM 3400m £5.00 PRT 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 400 13 Aug Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Pengwern Pedal 07:00 Sat BRM 405km 6300m AAA6.25 £10.00 C F G L P R T (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF 300 13 Aug Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Pengwern Pedal 07:00 Sat BRM 302km 5500m AAA5.5 £8.00 C F G L P R T (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF 200 14 Aug Swaffham Assembly Rooms Swaffham Georgian 200 08:00 Sun BR 204km £6.50 15-30kph Jonathan Reed iceniaudax@gmail.com Jonathan Reed, Swaffham Community Centre The Campingland Swaffham PE37 7RD 110 17 Aug Maidenhead Riverside to Riverside 10:00 Wed BP 118km £4.00 P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC anemograby@hotmail.com Anne Mograby, 5 Castle Farm Leigh Square Windsor Berks SL4 4PT 110 17 Aug Marple, Memorial Park, SK6 Staffs Peak Super-Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 2650m AAA2.75 [2800m] £5.00 P R T (22/8) 60 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC audax@idnet.com Peter Coates, Holy Bank Pant Oswestry Shropshire SY10 8LB 200 20 Aug Sparsholt, Nr Wantage Old Roads and Drove Roads 07:30 Sat BR £5.00 P R T NM 15-30kph Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL

100 21 Aug Merthyr Tydfil Brecon Reservoirs 09:00 Sun BP 104km 1650m AAA1.75 £5.00 P R T 12-30kph Merthyr CC 01685 373 758 adrianmcd2010@talktalk.net ROA 2000 Adrian McDonald, 2 Brunswick St Merthyr Tydfil Mid Glam CF47 8SB 110 21 Aug Shere Village Hall, Guildford Tour of the Hills 09:40 Sun BP 115km 2300m AAA2.25 £8.00 F L P R T 225 15-30kph CTC West Surrey 01483 810028 dggray7@hotmail.com Don Gray, Greenleas Beech Lane Normandy Surrey GU3 2JH 100 24 Aug Marple West Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 103km 2400m AAA2.5 £5.00 P R T 60 (16/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC davidcatlow1947@gmail.com David Catlow, 31cavendish Way Mickleover Derby DE3 9BL 400 27 Aug Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire The Old 240 05:30 Sat BRM 407km 6400m AAA6.5 £8.00 A L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 400 27 Aug Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire Not Quite The Spurn Head 400 05:30 Sat BRM 403km 2450m £8.00 A(2) L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF 200 27 Aug Newtonmore Rothes Reccie 08:00 Sat BR 202km £2.00 C YH L P R T 15-30kph CTC Highland biker_carroll@hotmail.com 100 27 Aug Newtonmore Grantown Gallop 10:00 Sat BP 104km £2.00 C YH L P R T 12-25kph CTC Highland biker_carroll@hotmail.com ROA 10000 Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach Rockfield Tain Ross-shire IV20 1RF 100 31 Aug Marple Memorial Park White Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 103km 2310m AAA2.25 £5.00 P R T 60 (8/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax 01457 870421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Farm Millcroft Lane Delph OL3 5UX 110 03 Sept Ludford, NE of Lincoln Lincolnshire Wolds 09:30 Sat BP 867m £5.00 F P R T 15-30kph CTC Lincolnshire timnewbery@hotmail.com ROA 2000 Tim Newbery, 7a Linden Walk Louth LN11 9HT 200 03 Sept Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Pistyll Packing Momma 08:00 Sat BR 209km 3400m AAA3.5 £6.00 P R 50 T L 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com 130 03 Sept Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Mountain Views 08:30 Sat BP 137km 2000m AAA2 £6.00 P R 50 T L 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com 50 03 Sept Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Leafy Lanes 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 P R 50 T L 10-20kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 200 03 Sept Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick goes to Hay in a day 08:00 Sat BR 209km 1900m £6.00 c f l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 200 03 Sept The Water's Edge, Ruislip Lido, London Steam Ride: London-Oxford-London (LOL) The Ghan reversed 08:15 Sat BR 2078m [2128m] £8.00 L P R T YH F 14.3-30kph AC Hackney timsollesse@gmail.com 110 03 Sept The Water's Edge, Ruislip Lido, London Steam Ride: Chinnor Scenic 08:30 Sat BP 117km £6.00 T YH R NM L 12.5-30kph Audax Club Hackney timsollesse@gmail.com Tim Sollesse Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Road Ealing W5 1JG 300 03 Sept Uffculme, Devon Marlborough with Lights 08:00 Sat BR 307km 3060m [3400m] £13.00 FGPTLRT 15-30kph Exeter Whs Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge Ashill Road Uffculme Devon EX15 3DP 100 04 Sept Budleigh Salterton, Devon Utterly Butterleigh 09:00 Sun BP 106km 1300m £6.00 C G L NM P R T 15-30kph CS Dynamo 07779020426 55 04 Sept Budleigh Salterton, Devon East Devon Escape 09:30 Sun BP 300m £6.00 G L NM P R T (23/8) 15-30kph CS Dynamo 07779020426 Steven Medlock, 11 Marpool Hill Exmouth Devon EX8 2LJ 100 04 Sept Hampton Hill, SW London London Sightseer 08:30 Sun BP £5.00 C L P T NM 10-20kph Hounslow & Dist. Whs 020 8287 3244 billcarnaby@outlook.com Bill Carnaby, 225 High Street Hampton Hill Middlesex TW12 1NP 200 04 Sept Lymington New Forest On and Off Shore 07:15 Sun BR 202km 2150m £19.00 L P R T 100 (2/9) Ferry 15-30kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 cyclingnewforest@gmail.com 160 04 Sept Lymington New Forest and Isle of Wight Century 07:15 Sun BP £19.00 L P R T 100 (2/9) Ferry 15-30kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 cyclingnewforest@gmail.com 100 04 Sept Lymington New Forest and Coast 10:00 Sun BP 105km £7.00 C L P R T 100 10-20kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 cyclingnewforest@gmail.com ROA 10000 John Ward, 34 Avenue Road Lymington Hants SO41 9GJ

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auk calendar 200 04 Sept Moira, W of Ashby-de-la-Zouch East Midlands Forests 200k 08:00 Sun BR 207km £5.50 C P T R YH (40) (01/9) 15-30kph CTC East Midlands 01283 223 581 hilly@hillyswad.co.uk 100 04 Sept Moira, W of Ashby-de-la-Zouch Bosworth Battlefield Sightseer 09:30 Sun BP 107km £4.70 P R T C YH (80) (01/09) 12-24kph CTC Derby & Burton 01283 223 581 hilly@hillyswad.co.uk Ian Hill, 33 Wren Close Swadlincote Derbyshire DE11 7QP 200 04 Sept Musselburgh The Erit Lass 08:00 Sun BR 3000m AAA3 £10.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 600 10 Sept Churchend, Dunmow, Essex The Flatlands 06:00 Sat BRM 606km £6.00 X A(1)C L P R T M (03/09) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 100 10 Sept Coryton, NW Cardiff Trefil Travail 9:00 Sat BP 105km 2270m AAA2.25 £8.00 YH L P R T 50 12-24kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920633970 A.H.Mackay@open.ac.uk Hugh Mackay, 131 Stanwell Road Penarth CF64 3LL 160 10 Sept Dore, Sheffield Amber and Green 08:15 Sat BP 2850m AAA2.75 £5.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Change of Date Sheffield District CTC 0114 255 0907 bigT.ridinghigh@gmail.com 100 10 Sept Dore, Sheffield An Amber Gambol 09:00 Sat BP 1550m AAA1.5 £5.00 L P R T 12-25kph Change of Date Sheffield District CTC 0114 255 0907 bigT.ridinghigh@gmail.com Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue Sheffield S7 1SF 300 10 Sept Galashiels Alston and Back 06:30 Sat BRM 2700m £5.00 PRT 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 100 11 Sept Rodborough, Stroud Budding 100 10:00 Sun BP 106km 1770m AAA1.75 [1650m] £5.00 L P R S T (60) 12.5-25kph Change of Date Dursley RC 01453 762235 james.reynolds@lein-ad.com 100 11 Sept Rodborough, Stroud Pedersen 100 10:15 Sun BP 106km 2150m AAA2.25 £5.00 L P R S T (60) 12.5-25kph Change of Date Dursley RC 01453 762235 james.reynolds@lein-ad.com 61 11 Sept Rodborough, Stroud Awdry 60 11:00 Sun BP 1000m AAA1 £5.00 LPRST(60) 10-25kph Change of Date Dursley RC 01453 762235 james.reynolds@lein-ad.com James Reynolds, Ambleside The Butts Rodborough Stroud GL5 3UG 200 11 Sept Surbiton, Greater London Rowlands RAAAmble 07:30 Sun BR 215km 2700m AAA2.5 [2550m] £5.00 F G L P R T (100) (4/9) 14.3-30kph Updated Kingston Whs richard.m.evans@talktalk.net Richard Evans, 29 Somerset Avenue Raynes Park London SW20 0BJ 300 17 Sept Greenwich, London Greenwich Mean Climb 06:00 Sat BR 302km 4500m AAA4.5 £14.00 F G R T (5/9) (80) 14.6-28kph Audax Club Hackney justinjones1969@gmail.com Justin Jones, ACH HQ incorporating The Stag's Head 39 Harringay Road London N15 3JB 200 17 Sept Richmond, N Yorks Dales Dales Tour Plus 08:00 Sat BR 3150m AAA3.25 £6.00 C F L P R T 14.4-30kph VC 167 07887628513 david.atkinson577@virgin.net 150 17 Sept Richmond, N Yorks Dave's Dales Tour 160km 08:30 Sat BP 2500m AAA2.5 £5.50 C F L P R T 12-30kph VC 167 07887628513 david.atkinson577@virgin.net 100 17 Sept Richmond, N Yorks Lucia's Vale of York Meander 100km 10:00 Sat BP £5.50 C F L P R T 10-20kph VC 167 078887628513 david.atkinson577@virgin.netL 100 17 Sept Richmond, N Yorks Dave's Mini Dales Tour 100km 09:30 Sat BP 1900m AAA2 £5.50 C F L P R T 10-20kph VC 167 07887628513 david.atkinson577@virgin.net David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue Northallerton North Yorkshire DL6 1AL 200 17 Sept Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Wem, we get there 08:00 Sat BR 208km 1400m £7.00 X P R 50 (31/8) 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com 110 17 Sept Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Charnwood Challenge 09:00 Sat BP 111km 1094m £7.00 P R T 50 (31/8) 12.5-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com 51 17 Sept Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH National Forest 50 09:30 Sat BP 400m £6.00 P R T 50 (31/8) 10-20kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com ROA 10000 Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth Staffordshire B78 1BY 200 17 Sept Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Beyond Shropshire 08:15 Sat BR 207km 3110m AAA3 [2970m] £8.00 C F G L P R T 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF

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200 24 Sept Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield Venetian Nights 08:00 Sat BR 210km 2750m AAA2.25 [2333m] £8.00 F L P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB 200 24 Sept Chepstow Castle Border Castles Randonnée 07:30 Sat BR 3000m AAA3 £3.00 YHXPRT(14/9) 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol ROA 5000 Nik Peregrine, 46 Bridge Street Chepstow NP16 5EY 200 24 Sept Coryton, NW Cardiff Ferryside Fish Foray 07:00 Sat BR 225km £8.00 YH L R P T 50 15-30kph Updated Cardiff Byways CC Bernard Brown, 20 Heol Don Whitchurch Cardiff CF14 2AU 300 24 Sept Hungerford, Berks Cheddar Gorge(ous) 06:00 Sat BR 2600m AAA1.5 [1500m] £6.00 F T (50) 15-30kph New Event Pat Hurt iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL 160 24 Sept Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 160 08:00 Sat BP 1675m £6.00 LPRT 15-30kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 110 24 Sept Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 110 08:30 Sat BP 116km 1350m £6.00 LPRT 12-24kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 53 24 Sept Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 50 09:00 Sat BP 525m £6.00 LPRT 12-24kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 ROA 3000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage Grange Lane East Langton Market Harborough Leicestershire LE16 7TF 200 24 Sept Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland Copshaw Holm 200 08:00 Sat BR 205km 2163m [1916m] £5.00 P G 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds Rob Wood, 43 Holly Avenue Jesmond Newcastle Upon Tyne Tyne & Wear NE2 2PX 100 24 Sept Sonning Common, near Reading Henley Hilly Hundred 09:00 Sat BP 102km 1660m AAA1.75 £6.00 FLPRT 12-30kph Reading CTC brianperry_3@hotmail.co.uk Brian Perry, 16 Rowland Close Wallingford Oxon OX10 8LA 200 25 Sept Clitheroe, Lancashire Last Chance Dales Dance 200 07:30 Sun BRM 202km 3300m AAA3.25 [3000m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Updated Burnley Cycling Club burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 25 Sept Denmead, Nr Portsmouth Wylye and Ebble Valley 07:30 Sun BR £6.00 L P R T M 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road Emsworth Hampshire PO10 7XR 100 01 Oct Bristol, The Lamplighters, Shirehampton Tasty Cheddar 09:00 Sat BP 101km 1225m £4.00 YH G NM P R T (250) 12.5-30kph Updated Bristol CTC joe.prosser@blueyonder.co.uk ROA 4000 Joe Prosser, No postal entries accepted 200 01 Oct Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Flitchbikes 200 08:30 Sat BRM 201km £8.00 C L P R T M (24/09) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com 100 01 Oct Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Flitchbikes 100 09:30 Sat BP 103km £8.00 C L P R T M (24/09) 12.5-25kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 100 08 Oct Dore, Sheffield Ring of Steel (City) 09:00 Sat BP 101km 1693m AAA1.75 £5.00 GLPRT 12-25kph Sheffield District CTC cripps@uwclub.net John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent Sheffield S11 9AW 200 08 Oct St Herbert's, Windermere Brant and Slape 08:00 Sat BR 203km 3500m AAA3.75 £7.00 A(1) P L YH P R T S 15-30kph Lakes Velo paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands Brow Edge Backbarrow Cumbria LA12 8QL 120 09 Oct Birdwell Community Centre, S70 5TQ Rarnd Tarn 09:00 Sun BP 125km 1929m £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Birdwell Whs bob@bobwaterhouse.wanadoo.co.uk Robert Waterhouse, 46 Racecourse Road Swinton Mexborough S64 8DP 100 09 Oct Hailsham, E Sussex The Autumn Tints 100 09:00 Sun BP 103km 1200m [1100m] £7.00 F P 15-30kph Updated David Hudson Christrauk@yahoo.co.uk Christopher Tracey, 20 Salisbury Road Seaford East Sussex BN25 2DD 100 09 Oct Mytholmroyd Season of Mists 09:00 Sun BP 105km 2555m AAA2.5 £4.50 L P R T YH 12-24kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk 55 09 Oct Mytholmroyd Mellow Fruitfulness 10:00 Sun BP 1200m AAA1.25 £4.00 L P R T YH 8-20kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St. West Sowerby Bridge W. Yorks HX6 1EF 200 15 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Clwydian 08:00 Sat BR 212km 3200m AAA3.25 [3488m] £6.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Chester & N Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.com

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auk calendar 130 15 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Clwyd Gate 08:30 Sat BP 138km 2250m AAA2.25 £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC vickypayne8@hotmail.comH 60 15 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Bala Mini- Bash 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC 01745 560892 vickypayne8@hotmail.com Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn Penyffordd Holywell Flintshire CH8 9HH 200 15 Oct Galashiels Etal-u-Can 08:00 Sat BR 204km 2379m £8.00 PRTG 15-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 15 Oct Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's Autumnal Outing 07:30 Sat BR 206km 2350m £5.00 c l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 150 15 Oct Trowell, West of Nottingham An Autumn Day Out 08:30 Sat BP 153km 1135m £7.00 L P R T(80) 15-30kph Nottinghamshire CTC terrydpscott@hotmail.com Terry Scott, 22 Kinglake Place Nottingham NG2 1NT 200 16 Oct Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk The Silly Suffolk 08:00 Sun BR £5.00 FRTP 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com 160 16 Oct Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk The Silly Suffolk 09:00 Sun BP £5.00 FRTP 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road Oulton Broad Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 9NT 200 16 Oct Congleton Rugby Club Horseshoe Pass 08:00 Sun BR 210km 1650m £5.00 P R (60) 15-30kph Congleton CC dhurst085@aol.com 170 16 Oct Congleton Rugby Club Chirk Aqueduct 08:30 Sun BP 175km 1197m £5.00 P R (60) 15-30kph Congleton CC dhurst085@aol.com Denise Hurst, 10 Firwood Road Biddulph Staffordshire ST8 7ED 100 16 Oct Galashiels Ride of the Valkyries 10:00 Sun BP 106km 1200m [1517m] £8.00 PRTG 12-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 100 22 Oct Bolsover Colourful Clumber (1) 09:00 Sat BP 106km £5.00 L P R T (100) 12.5-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close Bolsover Chesterfield S44 6RL 100 23 Oct Wigginton, N of York Wigginton Autumn Brevet 10:00 Sun BP 101km 942m £3.50 L P R T 12-25kph CTC North Yorks chris.boulton@lineone.net Chris Boulton, 15 Adel Towers Close Leeds LS16 8ES 100 29 Oct Bolsover Colourful Clumber (2) 09:00 Sat BP 106km £5.00 L P R T (100) 12.5-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close Bolsover Chesterfield S44 6RL 200 30 Oct Bispham, Lancashire Ride The Lancashire Lights 200 07:30 Sun BR 204km 1800m £5.00 C L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 30 Oct Bovey Tracey The Dartmoor Devil @ 8 08:00 Sun BP 106km 2500m AAA2.5 £9.00 F G P R T 125 (23/10) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 833 749 kevin.hindstreet@btinternet.com 100 30 Oct Bovey Tracey The Dartmoor Devil @ 9 09:00 Sun BP 106km 2500m AAA2.5 £9.00 F G P R T 125 (23/10) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 833 749 kevin.hindstreet@btinternet.com ROA 4000 Kevin Presland, Hind Street House Hind Street Bovey Tracey Devon TQ13 9HT 100 05 Nov Alfreton To the Races 09:00 Sat BP 108km £5.00 L P R T M 100 12-28kph Updated Alfreton CTC bandj.smith@sky.com Brian Smith, 10 The Crescent Clay Cross Chesterfield S45 9EH 200 05 Nov Cholsey, E of Didcot Upper Thames 07:30 Sat BR 212km 1900m [1943m] £6.00 L P R T M 15-30kph Thames Valley Audax 01491 651 284 audaxphil@btinternet.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL 200 05 Nov Coryton, NW Cardiff Transporter 200 07:00 Sat BR 202km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 evansrichardd@googlemail.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW 200 05 Nov Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul 08:00 Sat BR 2000m £8.00 G, P,R,T 15-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 200 05 Nov Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's Cymraeg Cyrch 07:30 Sat BR 209km 2200m £4.00 c p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 200 06 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Eureka! 08:00 Sun BR 210km 800m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net

160 06 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Cheshire Safari 08:30 Sun BP 570m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Ave Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ 100 06 Nov Merthyr Tydfil Dic Penderyn 09:00 Sun BP 1900m AAA2 £5.00 P R T 12-30kph Merthyr CC 01685 373 758 adrianmcd2010@talktalk.net ROA 2000 Adrian McDonald, 2 Brunswick St Merthyr Tydfil Mid Glam CF47 8SB 200 06 Nov Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth 200 08:00 Sun BR 210km 2006m £8.50 F P T 15-30kph ABAudax anton.brown@btconnect.com 100 06 Nov Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth 100 09:00 Sun BP 103km 1350m £8.50 F P T 15-30kph ABAudax anton.brown@btconnect.com Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 3RT 100 26 Nov Cranbrook, Exeter Breakfast in Bampton 09:00 Sat BP £5.00 T NM 12-20kph Exeter Whs shbritton@outlook.com Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane Cranbrook Devon EX5 7AP 100 27 Nov Carlton Colville, nr Lowestoft, Suffolk The Waveney Wander 09:00 Sun BP £5.00 LPRT 15-30kph VC Baracchi johntommo6@btinternet.com John Thompson, 136 Dell Road Oulton Broad Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 9NT

Hills and Mills Grimpeur – riding fixed

www.audax.uk.netArrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

65


ordre des cols durs

OCD claims for 2015

2015 was a fantastic year for OCD claims with a seven-fold increase over 2014 in the number of riders claiming cols. Many OCD members have been revitalised, and there has been keen interest from AUK members who have recognised a new dimension to their riding. One member has submitted detailed claims for every year since 1960, while another has used col climbing as a way of maintaining fitness while undergoing chemotherapy – he is now back at work. Cols have been ridden worldwide from Yorkshire to Kyrgyzstan. The table shows the summary for 2015 claims, with a few from 2014 which were late in arriving. Due to computer failure earlier in the year, I may have missed your claim. If I have, please let me know. Remember, if your given totals differ from what is printed, I have just have checked your arithmetic, or perhaps you have missed a rule …

The rules suggest that you should not claim cols under 300m. That is a matter for your conscience. If you feel compelled to claim cols like Col du Petit-Mont near Bordeaux at 26m, well, it will not count much toward the rank of Commander at 200km. Remember, OCD is about riding over cols, and claiming the height above sea level. OCD does not require proof of a climb, relying on members’ honesty, and is a non-competitive personal achievement. Nonetheless, the triple ascent of Mont Ventoux is hard to beat, but a small few (none AUK) have managed this remarkable achievement twice in one day. Although it is a personal achievement, we do award certificates for those who have achieved significant milestones. To remind yourselves of OCD regulations, see www.aukweb.net/ocd/ I would remind Audax organisers, if your ride goes over valid OCD cols, it would be good to list these on your calendar page or in your route-sheet. For example, the Moffat Toffee 200 claims five cols, total 1619m. This would simplify the task for riders (and me!) and might encourage more riders to enter your event. Rod Dalitz

RANK (TBA) Current total 2015 Total '14 2014 2013 2012 ABBATT Fred Commander 14 228723 6476 222247 64272 34495 46900 ACLAND Ken Officer 14 123402 549 122853 2459 32074 ALLAN Douglas Commander 07 491735 45033 446702 34451 37715 32390 ANDERSON Alan 40583 2505 2486 ARCHER Chris 13251 12727 524 524 BATE Ben Commander 09 432421 40452 391973 33430 27465 35530 BLAIR James Officer 13 116822 17265 99587 48679 BRABBIN Thomas 6656 5750 906 906 CARSON Russell 22974 17008 5966 4052 1914 CHARD Ronald Ancien 10 2402K 129061 119613 32026 CLARKE Sue Venerable 05 1404100 1404100 24078 30324 CLARKE Tony Venerable 05 1469562 1469562 24078 30324 DALE Peter officer 11 158816 21387 137449 14350 2649 14214 DALITZ Rod Commander 09 293638 5748 282843 5048 21633 7319 DAMPER Bob Commander 15 205683 37909 167774 10622 0 14563 DONALDSON Bob 15638 15638 EGRY Carlos Officer 14 61379 6410 54969 10017 31556 EICHMEIER Harald Venerable 11 1500844 28784 1471960 144140 141267 156155 ELLIS Richard Officer 13 150985 10298 140687 30137 27530 24040 ENGLAND Peter Ancien 15 2000K 23614 16412 GLADWYN Mark Commander 13 293578 11732 281846 35242 118,893 40652 GOBERT Daniel Honourable 09 645550 645550 30527 27281 25207 GOSDEN Jeff 2066 2066 HAILWOOD Paul 5676 5676 5676 HAILWOOD Terry 8672 1828 6844 6844 HARRISON Paul Venerable 09 1297453 45785 1251668 46077 37654 37094 HILBERS Martin Commander 09 581238 1269 19176 32036 HOLLIN Dave 8738 8738 HORSWILL Linda Member 05 83045 2280 80765 6676 2575 4128 HORSWILL Brian Member 05 93707 2280 91427 6994 2575 4128 JOYNSON Dave Venerable 03 1239685 24512 1215173 23517 28246 18455 LISTER Terry Officer 13 217506 35745 181761 57245 70598 19512 MALINS Martin 35169 3884 31285 5965 8249 MILLAR Bob 11733 11733 MORRISON Dave Member 13 92103 3784 88319 22688 38515 19947 NEILSON David 4025 1859 2166 2166 PINTO Mark 22395 21812 583 583 PRESLAND Kevin Commander 13 256431 29648 225563 25053 20453 12761 RATTRAY Julie Ancienne 11 2200K 85624 119613 32026 RICH David Member 14 98866 43509 55357 55357 ROBERTS Daphne Venerable 04 1212K 21215 15507 SMITH Andy Commander 11 369237 57452 311785 14196 44702 13605 TALBOT John 11830 11830 THOMAS Huw 5706 5706 WADDINGTON Ivan Commander 05 308572 19176 289396 11202 4742 2899 WATERTON Robert Honorable 07 706525 23693 682832 24756 23041 19513 WATERTON Helen Honorable 08 721577 23693 24756 22683 19513 WATTS Bob Commander 10 294884 9694 25946 10664 23612 WEBB Alan Commander 09 481727 111633 370094 28688 49812 38070 66

Arrivée Spring 2016 No. 132

www.audax.uk.net


Hills and Mills Grimpeur, East Sussex Photo by Tim Wainwright


George Berwick riding his 50th 24hr TT Photo by Tim Wainwright

Arrivee 132 - Spring 2016  
Arrivee 132 - Spring 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

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