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Arrivée

Number 126 Autumn 2014

the Long Distance Cyclists’ Association www.aukweb.net


Ron Lowe & Will Davenhill, on the Golden Road and Standing Stones 300k Photo: Ian Gilbert


EDITORIAL 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 or Ian Hobbs (New Members), 26 Naseby Road, Belper DE56 0ER. Email: ian.hobbs@Audax.uk.net

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.

Arrivée

Extra current Arrivée copies, where available, are £3 (UK), £4 (EEC), £5 (non-EEC). 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 read the contributors’ advice in the Handbook. Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the Club. Produced by AUK: editing, typesetting, layout, design by Peter Moir. Printed and distributed: Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH. Distribution data from AUK membership team.

TO ADVERTISE Advertising Manager: Tim Wainwright

4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL Email: twain@blueyonder.co.uk Rates per issue: 1/₁₂ page £25, pro-rata to £300 per full page. Payment in advance. Businesses must be recommended by a member. We rely on good faith and Arrivée cannot be held responsible for advertisers’ misrepresentations or failure to supply goods or services.

Members’ private sales, wants and events advertising: free. PUBLICATIONS MANAGERS February Editor: Sheila Simpson

33 Hawk Green Road, Marple SK6 7HR Tel: 0161 449 9309 Fax: 0709 237 4245 Email: sheila@aukadia.net May and August Editor: Tim Wainwright 4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL Tel: 020 8657 8179 Email: twain@blueyonder.co.uk November Editor: Peter Moir 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7YB Tel: 01993 704913 Email: peter@moir.co.uk To subscribe to the AUK e-mailing discussion list, send an Email to audax-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Our WWW site: www.aukweb.net AUK clothing can be purchased directly on-line at www.forcegb.cc

Copyright © 2014 Arrivée

Audax UK Long Distance Cyclists’ Association (Company Limited by Guarantee) Reg. Office: Timberly, South Street, Axminster, Devon EX13 5AD.

Autumn 2014 I hope this issue of Arrivée arrives as you sit and reflect on yet another successful Audax season; a season where you achieved all your goals, had fun, rode some events new to you; or maybe just felt good that you went twelve months without forgetting the combination of your cable lock. I'm sorry to have to remind you that you also probably forgot, yet again, to buy some winter gear over the summer while it was cheaper. Please remember we are always after articles and photographs for inclusion in the magazine. Anything from a single photograph to a multipage article is always greatly appreciated, and thanks to all who have taken the time to submit content for this issue. You have two options to get articles and pictures to the editors – by email or via the AUK MediaFire “cloud”. Generally the latter is appropriate for large numbers of higher resolution photographs but, as Tim mentioned in the last issue, please do try and rename your files to something descriptive to help us out. While on the subject of the publication of your articles and news, the editors for the new website are now in place and familiarising themselves with the backend content management system. It's expected that the website will be live by the time the next Arrivée is with you. We are still looking for another Arrivée editor to take on the duties of editing the Summer edition from Tim – see page 7. You'll also see on that same page that there are number of other vacant

positions, so if magazine publishing is not for you, then why not have a think about other ways you can help AUK by volunteering. As 2015 is a Paris– Brest–Paris year, a reminder that you can start riding your qualifying events from 1 January. The details of the qualifying periods for each required distance are at www.aukweb.net/events/pbp/ and in the last edition of Arrivée. Not all AUK events are “qualifying rides”; those that are, are marked as BRM [PBP] in the 2015 calendar – online and in the back pages of this magazine. All our Christmas present buying dilemmas are now solved with the launch of the new range of AUK jerseys, gilets and arm warmers. See page 9 for details. Finally, don't forget it's membership renewal time again. This time round, why not take out a five-year membership, save money, and feel nicely self-satisfied when you read this same paragraph when I type it next year? All the best for the 2015 AUK season! Peter Please send all contributions for the next issue of Arrivée to Sheila by 19 December

Contents 4 Official News 29 The Day I Became a Randonneur 8 Devon Delight 30 National 400 10 Round the Atlas Mountains 34 Momma Trumps Big Bertha 12 First Aid for Audaxers 35 Learning the 3Rs 14 San Antonio 100k 38 My Weekend in Wales 15 Cambrian 8A Permanent 39 The Two Towers 16 Míle Fáilte 40 RRtY to Super-Randonneur 17 How I Became an Audax Rider 44 Lutudarum 120k 20 Man of Kent 48 Flattest Possible 300 22 Mille Cymru 50 Escaping the Floods 24 Girls on Tour 53 Flatlands 600 26 Death Valley Double Century 56 AUK Calendar Tim Harrison

Ribble Blue

Peter Bond

David Matthews

David Matthews

Graeme Holdsworth

Dave Morrison

Luke Joy-Smith

Cristina Ruiz-Perez

Martin Lucas

Ribble Blue

Damon Peacock

Steve Whalley

Adrienne Coventry-Brown

Peter Bond

Alex Turner

Malcolm Dancy

Phil Hodgson

Chris Beynon

Ann Marshall

Stuart Blofeld

Tim Gathercole

Front cover: 2014 AAA points champions Martin Malins & MaryJane Watson. Photo by Louise Rigby

PLEASE MENTION ARRIVÉE WHEN REPLYING TO OUR ADVERTISERS

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OFFICIAL NEWS

Just a Second Paul Stewart Secretary, Audax UK

I

t’s been another eventful few months for the AUK Board with some controversial matters resolved and some new ones arising. In my last column, we were just about recovered from the EGM in May which approved the introduction of postal voting. Since then we have been through the process of publishing resolutions for review via the AUK forum prior to submission to AGM2014, and received nominations for election to the AUK Board of Directors. All of the resolutions submitted for AGM2014 came from the Board, the major proposal being a change to AUK Company Articles to establish a new Board ‘constitution’, as the last was rather swept away by the amendment to Article 9 last year. The new proposal establishes a regulatory framework by which the Board can define the roles it would see elected to/represented on the Board as Portfolio/Executive and NonPortfolio/Non-Executive Directors, enables extended/overlapping terms of office for continuity, and for Directors to be appointed by the Board where appropriate. For AGM2014, the Board would see Directors ‘elected to role’ as this reflects the AUK operational model, and Director posts were set for election on that basis. The shape of the Board has changed though, as beside introducing Non-Portfolio Director positions, the Publicity and Publications posts have merged and similarly Validations, Recorder and Brevet Card Production offices are now represented by an Events Support Director. So overall the Board will be somewhat smaller than hitherto, and mostly composed of executive/portfolio Directors with a direct (sic) role and interest in developing and delivering AUK strategy and services. This is discussed in greater detail on the AUK forum (see the AGM2014 Draft Resolutions board), in the minutes and officers reports from the last Board Meeting (published through the ‘Official’ section of the AUK website), and the Annual Report and Agenda for AUK2014 (more on that below). There are other changes to company Articles but they are mostly housekeeping, tidying up changes initiated at AGM 2013. Other resolutions relate to the AUK Regulations and Appendices, mostly to allow for the discontinuation of the AUK handbook. The major new proposal for AGM2014 is to allow Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) to be used on Brevet Populaire events. This was initiated following an approach by a disabled AUK who feared he would soon no longer be capable of taking part in AUK events without such assistance. This seemed a worthy request and in keeping with the BP ethos, as these events are intended to be ‘popular’ (accessible) rather than ‘audacious’. Aficionados’ of hilly BPs may disagree with that sentiment but the AAA secretary is content to support the resolution whilst keeping a weather eye on the use of EAPC bikes on hilly events. The amendment also clarifies the insurance position, ensuring that as official entrants, EAPC riders will be covered by the event insurance. To be clear, this amendment applies to BP events and awards only, i.e., not Brevet Randonneur. Another change arising is that the popular ‘Randonneur Round the Year’ scheme administered by Peak Audax has been formally adopted by AUK. The RRTY scheme will continue to be administered by Mike Wigley (AUK Membership Secretary) as now, the only immediate practical change being that only Randonneur events recognised by AUK, i.e., listed in riders ‘results’, will qualify. I’m sure you will all join the AUK Board in offering thanks and congratulations to Peak Audax and Mike for their work in developing this great award scheme. The most significant change to AUK regulations though is an amendment to AUK Regulation Appendix 7.1, which relates to ‘riding AUK events in conjunction with other organised events’, and now references ‘…other events eligible for AUK awards’. For many this is a major change, as the ACP/FFCT convention is that rides could not/should not count towards award schemes offered by different bodies. The amendment was proposed by the Regulations Committee earlier this year with a view to widening the range of rides and events which might count towards AUK (BP and BR) awards, and to clarify the 4

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position of such rides being registered as DIY Permanents, there being no satisfactory definition of what constitutes ‘an organised event’. It was intended this would progress to AGM2014 along with the other proposals from the Board but it was not formally adopted until after the submission deadline. Consequentially, it has been progressed as a temporary change pending ratification at AGM2015, which means the amendment will effectively run for a year as a trial. In hindsight this would seem a sensible approach for a change of this nature. To be clear, it is expected and required that all Brevets recognised by AUK conform to AUK standards and regulations, something which in turn has cast a spotlight on AUK standards and regulations, especially those regarding self-sufficiency and competition, as the amendment demands a simple and concise method of defining these concepts. As you might expect, this has been the subject of some lively discussion. For more information, see the Notice to Members in published in this edition of Arrivée and through the News & Notices sections of the AUK Website and the AUK Forum. Four immediate beneficiaries of this amendment were a group of riders who took part in this year’s edition of the Hamburg Berlin Koln Hamburg 1500km event organised by Audax Club Schleswig Holstein 2000 in Germany. Whilst the event is run to traditional Audax standards the event is not registered with the ACP/LRM and so in the normal way is ineligible for AUK awards. As previous editions of the event had been recognised by AUK, the riders asked for their rides to be similarly recognised, following the appeal process outlined in the AUK regulations. After due consideration the appeal was granted, as under different circumstances the enabling amendment might have been in place prior to the event. The Board offers their congratulations to the riders for their participation in one of the longer cycling events in the international calendar. As I write, planning for AGM2014 and the Annual Reunion Weekend are advancing. The full agenda for AGM2014 has been forwarded to Electoral Reform Services who are managing voting arrangements for the AGM so they can setup the voting website. The agenda document, or rather the Annual Report and Annual General Meeting Agenda for 2014 to give it it’s full name, includes the Directors Annual Reports, Accounts, Special Resolutions and Director Nominations. All good stuff. The document will be published through the AUK website and circulated to members by post and email along with ballot papers and signon details for the voting website as appropriate. The voting website is scheduled to be live by Oct 25 and postal voting will end on Wednesday Nov 12 at mid-day. Thereafter the results will be forwarded to the designated ‘Returning Officer’ who will hold the results in confidence until they are required. Having enabled members to vote in absentia, we hope member will attend the Reunion weekend. As always, members are encouraged to ride up. Yarnfield is in easy(ish) cycling distance for many but bring your bike anyway. As we are in Peak Audax country, Mike Wigley has organised a ‘club ride’ for Saturday morning, complete with Café stop. The only downside is that he will bring you back in time for the AGM! If you have not booked already there is time and the booking form is on the AUK website, but please let Judith Swallow who is handling bookings know your plans ASAP. Moving on, Linda Johnston, AUK treasurer is standing down this year, something which has weighed on the minds of the Board. Linda has provided a fine service over the last five years, and whilst some AUKs have expressed interest the reality is that the role of Treasurer/Finance Director will fall vacant at AGM2014. Whilst aspects of ‘book-keeping’ and organising the management accounts can be ‘outsourced’ we need somebody to manage these services on behalf of AUK, i.e., a Finance Director/Finance Delegate. This situation is increasingly urgent so if you know about money and would like to help AUK manage it’s coffers, we would be pleased to hear from you! On the events side, for the riders taking part the National 400 organised by VC167 was a great success. Alas there were not enough of them, and consequently the event suffered a loss of ~£1100. AUK have underwritten the event so VC167s costs will be met but this demonstrates www.aukweb.net


OFFICIAL NEWS the need to ensure that where such financial support is offered that all aspects of the event organisation are covered. Two other major events this year were the reboot of the Windsor Chester Windsor 600 and Mark Rigby’s Highlands, Glens & Western Isles 1300. Both proved very successful though the rider experience was very different. Whilst WCWers received TLC from the control teams organised Sue Gatehouse and Keith Harrison, the HGWI pushed rider self-sufficiency to new limits. One issue arising was that the nature of the route meant it was impossible for HGWI riders to stay within the controls time schedule, which was set using the regular min/max speed formula. It’s not widely appreciated but LRM regulations allow organisers to adjust the control timings where necessary, and greater attention will be given to this aspect of event planning in future. The last major area of discussion was regarding Publicity and Publications. The much anticipated new AUK Jerseys and Gilets are available through the ForceGB website from 1st October, the cost of a standard jersey being £50 inc. P&P, and Danial Webb (Publicity Secretary) will move on to look at new designs for Brevet Cards and Arrivee, along with a special Brevet Card for PBP qualifier events and an AUK jersey for the event itself. Danial is also working with Sheila and the newly recruited team of website editors to progress the magazine website (audax.uk), and the goal is for that to go live in January 2015. The Board has also been liaising with Invent Partners (who developed the LEL website) to develop a specification and quotation for the new AUK website. Reviewing the quotes submitted, the Board concluded the quotes were somewhat incomplete and that, given the cost and complexity of the project a more detailed and forward looking project brief which might be used as the basis of a general invitation to tender for the work was required. As the Board lacks the resources to develop this, it was decided to invite Invent Partners to submit a quote for this.

Correspondence Dear Editor I enjoy reading all the tales of rides in Arrivée but I am continually frustrated by the lack of DATE and EVENT TITLE that will enable me to enter the audax next time. Can this be included please?

Martin Tipping Martin As editors we do try and ensure that such information is included where provided and will, where time permits, often add extra information when we can. You are correct in that the publication of ride reports in the magazine is designed to promote interest in future events, so I will use this opportunity to encourage contributors to include such key information in their submissions. Peter

New Organiser Required Corwen Rides - Bala Parade 60km, Brenig Bach 100km, Barmouth Boulevard 200km David Matthews is taking over organisation of the Seamons CC Tour of the Berwyns from 2015 and, as a result, a new organiser is required for his Corwen Rides series from 2016 onwards. Rides are already in the calendar for Saturday July 18 2015 but the date could be moved to suit the new organiser as from 2016. David will be able to give full support and training (if needed) to the new organiser through 2015 to 2017. David can be contacted by email on dmanu@outlook.com For this year's event report on the Corwen rides, see page 49.

Notice to Members regarding a change to AUK Regulation Appendix 7.1 Pending ratification at AGM2015, effective September 24, 2014, Appendix 7.1 is amended to read:

An AUK event may not be ridden concurrently with any other event eligible for AUK awards. Background From time to time AUK receives enquiries from members wishing to take part in non-AUK/ACP/RM homologated events which nominally comply with AUK regulations and standards and to have their rides recognised by AUK and count towards AUK awards. Whilst the number of such requests is relatively small, they can be significant to the riders concerned. Similarly, the board recognises the need to clarify the regulatory status of such rides undertaken in conjunction with a DIY Permanent brevet. Brevet Applications This amendment allows such rides to be registered as an AUK Permanent event. Where the ride is validated by an organising body and such validation is deemed acceptable to AUK, such validation might be used as ‘Proof of Passage’ for the AUK Brevet, otherwise riders will collect such Proofs as allowed and required by AUK regulations, e.g., receipts, brevet card stamps or GPX track. Whilst such rides may be registered as regular or DIY Permanents, it is expected that most will be registered as DIY Permanents, so that each edition of the event and route will receive due scrutiny for compliance with AUK regulations. The event to be ridden in conjunction with the AUK brevet will be named on the application form and this will represent the rider’s statement and commitment that the event and the ride undertaken in conjunction with it complies with AUK regulations and standards. When submitting such applications, riders should allow reasonable time for AUK to research the event as might be required. This approach has been adopted because it allows and ensures such rides are progressed in accordance with AUK regulations and using established AUK event management processes and procedures. For the avoidance of doubt, the prohibition against riding two AUK recognised events concurrently is unaffected by this amendment, and it is expected and required that all parts of any ride validated by AUK under this amendment will be fully compliant with AUK regulations in terms of self-sufficiency, distance, timing, non-competitive and so on. Brevet Randonneur Calendar and Permanent events organised by other ACP affiliates AUK Regulation Appendix 7.1 previously read ‘An AUK event may not be ridden concurrently with any other organised event’. Other ACP affiliates generally include a similar regulation as a local implementation of the ACP regulation regarding the conduct of Brevet de Randonneur Mondiaux which has been translated in English as “A brevet… may not be counted as participation in another event held in conjunction with it”. Accordingly, unless advised to the contrary by a competent representative of the local ACP affiliate, riders should assume that Brevet de Randonneur Calendar and Permanent events falling under the jurisdiction of the local ACP affiliate will not be validated by the local ACP affiliate when ridden in conjunction with a brevet registered with AUK by way of this amendment. Similar restrictions may also apply to award schemes operated by other organisations, i.e., FFCT Diagonales de France. Governance The amendment has been progressed under the powers granted to the Board by AUK Regulation 1.4, ‘The Appendices to the Regulations may be changed by the board during the course of the year, subject to ratification at the next general meeting’. The amendment was agreed at the AUK Board Meeting on Sept 29, 2014. The next AGM to which this amendment can be submitted for ratification by way of a special resolution is AGM2015. In practice this will allow the amendment to run for a year as a trial. For further information see the ‘News and Notices’ sections of the AUK website and Forum.

Paul Stewart, Secretary, Audax UK September 30, 2014

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OFFICIAL NEWS

Agenda for the Audax UK Long Distance Cyclists’ Association AGM 2014 To be held at the Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre nr Stone, Staffordshire on November 15, 2014, commencing at 2:00pm The full Annual Report including the Directors annual reports, Annual Accounts and details of special resolutions together with the Agenda as shown below have been circulated to AUK members by email and by post as appropriate. The Annual Report and AGM Agenda can also be downloaded from the AUK website. 1. TO RECORD THE NAMES OF THOSE PRESENT AT THIS MEETING. 2. TO RECORD APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. 3. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM as a true record of that meeting. 4. (The minutes were published in Arrivée, Winter 2014 Edition123 and are on the AUK website.) 5. MATTERS ARISING from the last meeting. 6. TO CONSIDER DIRECTORS’ REPORTS. 7. TO CONSIDER THE ANNUAL ACCOUNTS AND TREASURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS. 8. TO CONSIDER SPECIAL RESOLUTIONS 1) Proposal - To amend Articles 1, 5, 9 & 14 of the AUK Articles. 2) Proposal - To amend Article 7.6 of the AUK Articles. 3) Proposal - Sundry amendments to AUK Articles 4) Proposal – To amend AUK Regulations & Appendices to allow EAPC on Brevet Populaire events 5) Proposal – To amend AUK Regulations & Appendices regarding Awards and Trophies 6) Proposal - Sundry amendments to AUK Regulations & Appendices 9. ELECTION OF DIRECTORS 10. DATE AND VENUE OF NEXT MEETING 11. CLOSE OF MEETING

Nominations For Director CHAIR

Chris Crossland AUK2964: Proposer, Danial Webb AUK5263; Seconder Dave Atkinson AUK2620 My life with AUK includes five PBP’s; two LEL’s; Ultra Randonneur; Brevet 25000, and organiser of many events (ROA 25000). My committee experience includes twenty years chairing trade union branches and being Chair/Secretary of Joint Trade Unions Committees within NHS organisations, and similar committee involvement with cycling (Chair / President /Secretary of two CTC member groups) and local football league organisations (twelve years as League Secretary). My objectives as Chair are to: make AUK more focussed, improve governance and widen participation in decision-making.

SECRETARY

Paul Stewart AUK4488: Proposer, Liam Fitzpatrick AUK7100; Seconder, Francis Cooke AUK915 I joined AUK in 2004 and began organising Calendar events in 2007 to repay my SFW, R10K and PBP badges. I joined the Board as Secretary in 2013 with the goal of improving communications between the AUK Board and Membership, and to help promote Audax as a popular and accessible form of cycle sport. This year I have overseen the introduction of the AUK forum and the review by members of resolutions prior to submission to AGM2014, which for the first time will feature postal voting. My professional background is in IT and Project Management.

CALENDAR EVENTS DIRECTOR

Tim Sollesse AUK6069: Proposer, Pat Hurt AUK6700, Seconder, Ian Hennessey AUK2294 AUK Member and PBP Ancien, AUK & ACP Brevet5000, mentored by Rocco Richardson, AC Hackney Team Fleche captain, CTC Miglia Milla champion and organizer of JOGLE rides. I am the organiser of the ‘Steamride’ AUK events which use manned controls, website and facebook to attract new AUK members, and am planning Raids & 1000km and London - Land’s End - London (Triple L). As Event Secretary I would implement AUK strategy and embrace Strava like county/region Award/Challenge tables. My professional background is in IT (Business Intelligence) systems with large companies. My goal is for more happy active members.

PERMANENT EVENTS DIRECTOR

John Ward AUK826: Proposer, Margaret Phillpotts AUK1070, Seconder, Tom Elkins AUK8230 SR and PBP Ancien, I have organised AUK events from 50km to 1,000km, including the New Forest Permanent and Calendar Events for 11 years. As Permanents Secretary since 2005 I have seen a steady increase in the number of Permanents, the introduction of DIY and ECE events, GPS DIYs and Virtual Brevets. Lots more still to do with the introduction of new AUK website and “back-office”. I am also a committee member of CTC Wessex Cycling and the organiser of the Lymington Tuesday Cycling. Outside cycling I am the Chair of the New Forest Association.

DIRECTOR AND MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY

Mike Wigley AUK6480: Proposer, Peter Lewis AUK7916; Seconder, Sheila Simpson AUK207 I have been an Audax member for 23 years and in that time I’ve ridden 663 events and achieved status as a Randonneur, a Super Randonneur, and a Randonneur Round the Year. I completed LEL in 2013 and my main focus is currently on my first (and last!) PBP in 2015. I have organised Calendar events at 50-600km as well as a series of popular Permanents. I’ve been Membership Secretary since 2010, and was previously an Enrolments Delegate 2003-2009.

EVENTS SERVICES DIRECTOR

Peter Lewis AUK7916: Proposer, Keith Harrison AUK263; Seconder, Matthew Chambers AUK7300 I have been an enthusiastic member of AUK since 2010, helping with events and completing RRTY(2), SR(3) and LEL. Elected AUK Recorder in 2013, I have gained insight into the complexities of AUK’s Events Validation and Recording system and relationship with ACP (I am bilingual with French as my other language). I hope to use this along with my professional skills and experience on international standards committees to serve AUK in the new & wider role of Event Services Director as we move into what I believe will be one of the busiest years in AUK’s history.

PUBLICITY AND PUBLICATIONS DIRECTOR

Danial Web AUK5263: Proposer, Denise Hughes AUK6710; Seconder, Sheila Simpson AUK207 I have been a member of Audax UK since 2005, and a board member on and off since 2008. I’ve organised countless hilly events, as well as London Edinburgh London in 2013. I have really enjoyed my year as publicity officer and I’m very keen to continue this work. I would like to build on the work I’ve done to smarten up our image, and apply this work to our new website. I plan to continue to build the team that will edit both the website as Arrivée, as well working with other members to publicise what we do.

Martin Foley AUK3207: Proposer, Alex Pattison AUK4344; Seconder, Martyn Peggie AUK8533 I rode my first AUK event in July 2003. Since then I have ridden 8 SR series as well as organising calendar events at BP, BR and BRM category and a number of Permanent rides. I am currently the DIY Perm organiser for Scotland. I have worked in the dental and bicycle trade and have many years experience of managing and running my own small business. If elected I would seek to provide support for organisers of all AUK calendar events and the development of AUK strategic planning.

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OFFICIAL NEWS

Wanted

Wanted

Ian Hobbs is standing down after doing a sterling job of welcoming new members to Audax UK, after having overseen an increase in membership to over 6000. We now need an Enrolments Delegate to send out our “welcome to Audax UK” letters, along with a copy of the current Arrivée magazine.

We are looking for an enthusiastic volunteer to provide this vital service as part of the Event Services team. You will need somewhere for a free standing digital photocopier and stocks of blank cards (all provided by AUK) and a broadband/email connection. A friendly local post office is a 'must' as there will be regular despatches to Organisers. Backup is in place for holiday cover.

Membership Team Delegate

Brevet Card Secretary

You will need access to Broadband, email, and a printer, together with the capability to receive and store stocks of Arrivée. A friendly local post office is going to be really useful. The role operates around the year, although the busiest time of the year is usually in the spring so shouldn’t encroach onto too much cycling time. Don’t worry though, we allow you to have the odd week or so off!

Please contact Peter Lewis, AUK Recorder, for further details

Wanted

Arrivée Editor for Summer Edition

For more information please contact Mike Wigley, membership@aukweb.net

Wanted

AUK Finance Director and Treasurer Linda Johnston, the AUK Treasurer is standing down at AGM2014 after 3 years in post and so we are looking for a new Finance Director and/or Treasurer designate to help develop new accounting and ecommerce processes and generally look after ‘the books’. For more information please contact Paul Stewart, secretary@ aukweb.net, or Chris Crossland, chair@aukweb.net

After many years, Tim Wainwright would like to hand the editorship of the summer Arrivée to a new editor. The position involves complete production from start to finish of the magazine, so good knowledge of desktop publishing using Adobe InDesign (or QuarkXPress) plus Photoshop would be essential, though help can be given to get you started. Software will be supplied by AUK Responsibilities of the post include • preparation and collation of articles and adverts for publishing • preparation of digital images from members • laying out the text and images into a page makeup program • uploading press ready files to our printer's website For more information please contact either Sheila Simpson, sheila@aukadia.net, or Tim Wainwright, twain@blueyonder. co.uk

The National 400, 2015 The National 400 for 2015 will be hosted by CTC Highland on Saturday 25 July, based from Dingwall Academy with a route taking in spectacular cycling country in the far north of Scotland. Remote sections, undulations & twists in the road follow the natural terrain and bring many new & spectacular views at the top of every rise & turn in the road. The route takes a circuit to Durness in the far north west of Scotland then follows the spectacular north coast road for about 80k before returning south back through the Flow Country of inland Sutherland. Most of the 400k are on remote single track roads not normally experienced by cyclists from ‘the south’ which takes to the extreme the AUK principle of self-reliance, there are not many bike shops on this route! All controls are in halls (where a bit of mechanical help & advice may be on hand) and all food will be included in the entry fee (that means you will be fed 8 times (as much as you can consume), eat your heart out El Supremo). There is plenty to do for the family too so make it a long weekend or longer perhaps and at the end of July it will be a great ride to keep the fitness going in preparation for PBP.

John Hamilton

map data ©Google 2014

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BREVET POPULAIRE

Terry Dolan and Brian Fisher leaving the start at Newton Abbot

Devon Delight Sunday 20 July

Ben Brodie near Starcross

Steve Main & Martyn Dean on tandem at Cockwood near Starcross

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Graham Brodie has been organising this event together with its sister, the 200k Torplex, since 1994. Being the 20th year of the event Graham was far from being disappointed with the entry as over 170 had signed up for the ride – more than twice that of last year. The usual talk at the start concerning potholes in various places along the route; sand, gravel and slippery surfaces to watch out for; but he omitted to mention the large holes in the road just as you leave the start – hopefully nobody punctured. Nine o’ clock saw the riders leave, all trying to get in front down a narrow cycle path to leave Newton Abbot and cross the River Teign to head towards the Haldon hills. A large group of what appeared to be sportive riders fresh from the recent Dartmoor Classic worked their way through the field to get up to the front and take the lead. But there’s a difference between Sportives and Audaxes, the latter do not arrow the route and it was interesting to see that they all followed the front group past the turn for Sandygate and head for the dual carriageway, instead of the lanes up to the top of Haldon. It was a case of ‘see you later alligator’ and later we did see them, but it took two or three miles for them to catch us all up. Over the top of the hill and a

steep descent down to Ashcombe Church for the first info control. I'm not sure how many more times Graham can use the telephone box in Ashcombe, as he must be running out of questions he can use from there. Always very pleasant to ride along the Dawlish Water valley with its picturesque cottages dotted on either side, and glimpses of the sea as the route works its way into Dawlish. The usual flurry of activity at the check point just before the Warren, with ‘goodies’ being handed out to keep us all going for the next 25k before we got to the Stoke Canon control. Through the Warren and alongside the River Exe to reach the Exeter bypass before decyphering the route sheet to get through all the new roads they keep building around Exeter – there’s some new ones every time you do this event. Free from all the new housing estates and along quiet lanes – where the only hold-ups are due to horse riders who are also out enjoying the fine weather – finds us going through Poltimore to get to Stoke Canon village hall for a well-earned sit down, cuppa and a cake. The next 10k along flat lanes through Thorverton and onto Crediton gave no indication as to what lay ahead. Up to now with the exception of climbing over the Haldon hills the route had been fairly flat, but as Ü

photographs by Graham Brodie www.aukweb.net


NEWS

The new Audax UK jerseys are now available to order We've produced two styles of jersey for you to choose from, a black jersey with coloured trim, and a plain colour jersey with black trim. Both jerseys are available in each of the seven Audax UK colours. In recognition of our kingdom of nations, you can also choose from one of four national flags (or no flag) to wear on your arm. We also have a gilet for sale, again available in the seven colours, plus armwarmers in either lycra or thermal roubaix fabric. The jerseys are just £49.99, and the gilets are £54.99. This includes free postage to the United Kingdom. For international orders, add £3 per item. The jerseys are made by ForceGB, who made the jerseys for London–Edinburgh– London. You can order directly from them at www.forcegb.cc Delivery time is around four weeks.

Û Crediton was left behind the lanes took on a more hilly form with a particular steep climb to get into Tedburn St Mary. I had been joined by a couple of CTC Devon riders for most of the route, but after the last climb their mood seemed to have changed from being chatty and all smiles to demanding to know if there were any more climbs before the finish and yes there is, some of the remaining miles are like a sting in the tail. Up a couple more steep

ones which saw riders taking to walking to get to the top but then a drop into the Teign valley eased their recovery and with the exception of the climb just past the quarry it was a case of just take it easy for the last few miles into the finish for a cream tea and drinks. Thanks Graham for a very enjoyable event, and look forward to next July for the 21st Devon Delight.

Ribble Blue

BLOWINGSTONE–WHITE HORSE AUDAX Sunday 17 May 2015 Uffington, Nr Wantage, Oxon 107 km

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

New name & revised route this year – omitting the off-road sections – and with a flat, fast final 15km

Mark your calendar! www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2014 No. 126

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Into the wild – heading west to Tazenakht

ON TOUR

Round the Atlas Mountains

A Moroccan Road Trip David Matthews

H

aving enjoyed several holidays riding in the Alps and Pyrenees after retirement from the world of work, in March 2014 the time eventually arrived to fulfill a long-held ambition to visit the Atlas mountains of Morocco. It is necessary to visit in early spring or the autumn to avoid the 45/50°C temperatures experienced during the summer. My ambition to visit the Atlas was first stirred during my mountaineering days in the 60s and 70s when it was apparent that a number of well known British hill walkers were moving out to Morocco to find pastures new, following their extensive exploits in the UK. Having walked and climbed in most parts of Britain by the mid-80s, I was looking to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers. Then cycling intervened and gave me a whole new set of geographically more conventional challenges until I finally revisited my "let’s go to the Atlas mountains" ideas in 2013. Rather than plan all the details of my first visit, it was decided to join one of KE’s sevenday, fully supported, road cycling trips – ‘The Tour of Toubkal’. This 700km, 6,500m ascent route departs from Marrakech to describe a southerly clockwise road route around Mt Toubkal, 4167m, the highest mountain in North Africa. The following notes give a flavour of the ride – which I would describe as a great new experience if not always a traditional holiday. Comprehensive details of the route and associated arrangements are available on the 10

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Café stop at Ait Saoun on the road to Agdz. A rare experience on this trip!

KE website. The first barrier to the circuit is the high pass of Tizi n'Tichka 2,260m following an initial motorised transfer out of Marrakech to Taddert hamlet at 1,670m. The reason for this transfer is twofold: firstly to escape the Marrakech traffic; and secondly to allow time to get to the first available overnight stop, 103km beyond Taddert at Quarazate. Throughout this ride there tends to be only one possible road and one possible location Mustapha preparing lunch for the overnight stop – especially beyond Zagora at the edge of the Sahara desert. Roads vary from occasionally smooth to very rough, although the Moroccan people are gradually improving the worst of them. Minimum 25 section tyres are recommended. You will have seen much of Quazarate at the movies for this is where ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and the Spaghetti Westerns were filmed in the surrounding rugged landscape. There are still some plastic forts up in the hills, left over from the scene sets. We stayed in a beautiful hotel at Quazarate, as we did Start of the Tizi n'Test – 2100m from this junction at 450m. A long climb! at Agdz (day 2) and at Zagora at the edge of the Sahara desert (day 3). Summit of Tizi n'Test All ten of us had our photos taken at the famous sign pointing across the desert indicating ‘Tombouctou 52 days’, which is the time it takes by dromedary. (There are no camels in Morocco!) We returned up the fertile Draa valley to Agdz in the support van, to enable timely connection to the road to the small town of Tazenakht 1,398m for our next overnight stay. Beyond Agdz the route gets into very remote www.aukweb.net


ON TOUR hill country and some very poor roads. Lunch was the usual tajine, bread, and salad prepared by our excellent, multilingual guide Mustapha at the back of the van. No cafés in these parts! Tazenakht is a transit town on the main inland highway, some 200k east of the large port at Agadir (a kind of downmarket M62 service area). The hotel here was a shocker – dirty and cold. We were kept awake all night by packs of dogs fighting in the street outside until dawn – at which time the Mullahs chimed in with their calls to prayer. All of us were tired next morning as we set off for 120k riding into a block headwind blowing straight in from the Atlantic at Agadir. We eventually arrived at Aoulouz feeling shattered, before one final short climb to a beautiful hotel. A lovely hotel but no hot water. Still, it was clean and the food cooked by Mustapha once again restored our spirits. The penultimate day’s ride took us over the Tizi n’Test summit 2100m, back in the direction

of Marrakech. This pass is well graded with a good road surface and cafés. A very long 1,650m ascent in beautiful scenery that had more of an Alpine air than the rest of the trip. To complement the Alpine atmosphere, after a long descent from the pass we stayed in a ‘gite’ at Ijoukak, a small village lost in the folds of Mt Toubkal. Here we followed our established routine of showering (often tricky due to dodgy plumbing), eating at 7:30pm, bed at 9:30 (no alcohol, no internet, no mobile phone signal, too tired to have a party!). Then up at 05:45, breakfast (bread, eggs and fruit) at 07:00 to be on the road at 08:00. The final day involved some lumpy roads including a 300m climb to the town of Asni which is used as the base for trips up Mt Tubkal. Following Asni, it is all downhill through a few towns to Marrakech. In one of these towns I came across the first roundabout of this trip. As I entered the roundabout a car passed me very close forcing me into the kerb, then indicated left just beyond, suddenly slammed his brakes on and turned right about 1m from my front wheel and stopped. There is no intent in these actions – it’s just that Moroccan drivers are not used to dealing with bikes.

The road up to Tiz n'Tichka

Back in Marrakech we had a hotel room for the afternoon to get changed and pack the bikes. A quick trip to the airport and we were back in Manchester by midnight. All in all a fascinating trip in observing a different culture and lifestyle from our own in the developed West. A great experience and well worthwhile. With especial thanks to Mustapha and his two helpers who looked after us so well during the whole of the trip.

The famous sign at Zagora

On the Tizi n'Test climb showing the Atlas mountains. This is a major hanglider sports area due to the excellent thermals rising from the valley

Pictorial mural showing most of our route

Typical Moroccan road scene---outside Quarzazate heading to Agdz

www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2014 No. 126

11


FIRST AID

First Aid – Just Another Part of Self-Sufficiency I haven’t completed an Easter Arrow; mainly I blame Chris Smith. He and Lindsay (of VC167) appeared to be bad-weather magnets in 2013, we abandoned in the snow at Durham Service station. I know it wasn’t my fault because that same year, Lindsay and Chris kept the rain to themselves while we enjoyed the driest (easiest?) Bryan Chapman Memorial ever. My next Easter Arrow, in 2014, we abandoned with only 75km under our belts; Chris whinged and moaned about breathing difficulties from Castle Howard to the top of Blakey Ridge, including the single 16km climb of 360m from Kirkbymoorside to the Lion Inn. When he collapsed due to his ‘cardiac event’ (after getting a round in) we no longer had the heart (sic) to continue. I never saw the BBC documentary episode where they filmed the Air Ambulance crew caring for Chris while Mark explained that we were Audaxers; experienced long distance cyclists enjoying an overnight ride… ‘Snow Roads?’ Ha. Come and have a go at an Arrow, Dougie Vipond—you’ll die laughing. I doubt Dean will ever lead an Arrow team again; at least not with me in. Unless memories fade quickly I doubt Steve and Mark

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will sign up for another one either. Chris is limited to flat routes under doctors’ orders. Anyway, this irreverent prelude opens a piece I asked St. John Ambulance to write especially for Arrivée after I explained what Audax was. Self-sufficiency is one hallmark of an audaxer; navigating our way across the country from control to control, no back-up, no rescue, no sag-wagon or team car. We carry what we need and often carry something to help others too. Chris had cycled 35km while experiencing his ‘cardiac event’ which none of us recognised, and which none of us was equipped to deal with. As cyclists we often ride in temporary alliances, or alone, all day and sometimes all night. While we can fix most mechanical issues; I for one wouldn’t know how to deal with a medical breakdown at all. I wrote to St John Ambulance to ask for specific advice for long distance cyclists. They have a couple of first aid “Apps” (computer programs for mobile phones); one of which is newly minted and targeted directly at cyclists. I’ve downloaded this in the hope that I’ll never need it. Opposite is the St John Ambulance guidance for Audaxers.

Graeme Holdsworth

www.aukweb.net


FIRST AID The nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance, wants to ensure that the UK’s cycling community is equipped with first aid knowledge so that more cyclists can help where circumstances might need them. Ashley Sweetland, National Cycle Response Unit Manager at St John Ambulance, has been on duty at events across the country this summer, including the Tour de France, and helped develop St John Ambulance’s new first aid mobile phone app specifically designed for cyclists. Here is Ashley’s advice on the essential first aid that endurance cyclists ought to know. Just as you’d always pack a puncture repair kit on a long ride, you also need to be prepared for a first aid emergency as well. Whether you’re cycling through a city or miles from the nearest house and whether it’s your ride partner who’s had the accident or you’ve come across an injured cyclist in the road, you can be prepared to make a difference to the situation. Make the scene safe

The first thing to do when treating an injured cyclist is to make the scene safe – including yourself. If you’re unable to ensure your own safety, don’t approach the casualty until expert help arrives. Even if it’s a quiet road, you need to be prepared for traffic. Ask any other people on the scene to help divert the traffic ensuring their safety at all times – this is where the high visibility clothing you may be wearing will come in useful. If you’re not with anyone else, try to divert traffic away from the casualty using your bikes as barriers and use bike lights to light the scene if it’s dark. Finally, wearing your cycling gloves, take care of any broken materials, such as bike lights or other sharp objects. What to remove and what to leave

When you’re helping an injured cyclist, you can consider removing a bicycle helmet but don’t remove gloves on injured fingers if they’re painful – as they may be supporting broken bones. You can remove a backpack or clothing from someone with an injured arm to make them more comfortable but start on the uninjured side first. If the casualty is unconscious

(and breathing), then you should focus on getting help and protecting the casualty’s airway. Place them in the recovery position until help arrives – ensure that any tight fitting straps from a helmet aren’t causing any obstructions. Minor injuries

For all minor injuries, first help the casualty away from any traffic. Even if it’s an isolated road, move them to the side – you never know when another road user may come round the corner. If there’s no first aid kit available, you can improvise to treat many minor injuries. Use an inner tube, belt or clothing as a sling, bandages (to apply pressure) can be made from bike jackets or any other items of clothing and clothing can be soaked in water from your drinking bottle if you don’t have a cold compress to hand. Head injuries

Around three quarters of cyclist fatalities are from major head injuries. For any head injury, call 999/112 to seek medical advice and request urgent assistance. If you haven’t got mobile phone signal, ask a passer-by to ride to where they can make a call with your exact location – if this isn’t someone you know, then ideally you will ask them to come back so you know the call has been made. Make the scene safe and keep the casualty still until they have been assessed by the ambulance crew. Monitor the casualty’s level of response (airway and breathing) regularly. Any cyclist with a head injury should not return to cycling until they’ve been assessed by an appropriate healthcare professional - even if the finish line is just over the hill and they now think they’re feeling fine, you should strongly advise that they don’t get back on their bike. Heart attacks

92,000 people in the UK suffer heart attacks each year, and a third of those die as a result. If you’re in an isolated location, it’s vital that you’re able to recognise four of the key symptoms so these can be acted on promptly. Spot the symptoms by remembering the ‘Four Ps’: Pain (in the chest or jaw) Pale skin Pulse (rapid and weak) Perspiration (or profuse sweating) If you notice some of these symptoms in the cyclist you’re treating, then they may be

suffering from a heart attack. Other heart attack symptoms can include breathlessness or gasping for air, abdominal discomfort, sudden collapse, feeling faint or dizzy, or a blue tinge to the lips. So what do you do next? Call for help – Call 999/112 for emergency help and tell ambulance control you suspect a heart attack. Again, if you haven’t got mobile phone signal, ask a companion to ride to where they can make the call. Sit them down – Sit them in the ‘W’ position so they’re sitting up at about 75° to the ground with knees bent. Give an aspirin – If available and not allergic, give them a 300mg aspirin tablet to chew slowly. If they have any medication for angina, such as tablets or a spray, help them to take it. Then constantly monitor and record breathing and pulse rate until help arrives. If the casualty falls unconscious, put them in the recovery position: Kneel beside the casualty. Straighten their legs. Place the arm nearest to you at a right angle to their body, with the elbow bent and palm facing upwards Take the casualty’s far arm and place it across their chest so the back of their hand is against their cheek nearest you. Grasp the casualty’s far leg just above their knee. Pull it up until their foot is flat on the floor Using the raised knee, roll the casualty towards you keeping their hand pressed against their cheek Adjust the casualty’s upper leg so that both hip and knee are at right angles Tilt the head back to keep airway open We know the cycling community looks out for each other, which is why we want to equip as many cyclists as possible with the first aid skills to help when the unexpected happens. The free First Aid for Cyclists app is available to download for Android and iPhones from Google Play and Apple’s App Store – just search “first aid for cyclists”. St John Ambulance’s free wider first aid app is also available for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone users and can be found by searching “St John Ambulance first aid”.

www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2014 No. 126

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BREVET POPULAIRE

San Antonio 100km

-Randonneuring in the US

Luke Joy-Smith

W

hilst on a family holiday in Orlando, doing the Disney thing with my two daughters, the second Saturday of our two-week holiday marked the ideal opportunity to fit in an audax whilst

away. When on holiday I always hire a bike and explore the local area for a day. However, when considering this before we left it was clear that to see Orlando itself by bike would not be worthwhile (as it’s full of 2–4 lane highways). So I looked on the RUSA website and sent a couple of US randonneurs emails to find out about suitable perms. My luck was in, there was the third running on the San Antonio 100km, which required a 70-mile drive to the start. Bizarrely, it’s still a local event for Florida, even the organiser Paul Rozelle came from the St Petersburgh area approx 50 miles away. I exchanged a few emails before I left the UK and printed off the route sheet. Paul guided me to a bike hire shop in downtown Orlando and I was sorted. As the day arrived, I was all set to leave Mickey Mouse behind for a day. An 8am prompt start meant it would be a sensible time to leave our apartment and as I drove towards San Antonio I could see why the route was starting there. Florida is an exceptionally flat state and was described by Paul as a state with a history marked by the invention of airconditioning. Yet this route would really cover traditional Florida. A number of things were similar to a UK- based audax, but some other things were unique, mainly because of the size of the state (nearly the size of England). Most riders were all meeting each other for the first time. Another interesting point to me, was that this was their end of season ride as they avoid the intense heat of the summer months. Therefore, after this ride, there wasn’t another until October time. Some UK-based riders may know Paul Rozelle, as he’s ridden PBP in '07 and '11. It was nice to exchange stories with him about PBP before the ride started. However, as 8am drew near, the 20 riders gathered for last minute instructions and then we were off. I don’t know if I was under prepared or whether other riders were over prepared, as one guy had a pepper spray in his back pocket! However, we quickly hit the quiet countryside and had a 30-mile first section to Lake Lindsay. As the heat started building I found myself at the front, riding and chatting to a local guy on his first ever audax. However, as the inclines (lumps) appeared, it became clear that my UK experience of hills shone through, in fact on the whole route I never came out of the big ring. Passing state troopers on one road with their speed camera, they looked well prepared for any trouble, some of these could be well placed back in the UK with certain drivers I’ve experienced on rides. Arriving comfortably at Lake Lindsay, it wasn't until I stopped, did I realise just how hot I was. Standing still made me start to drip with sweat, even whilst standing in the shade at 35°C. The second leg was fantastic. A 20-mile section, with 15 miles of it on a pan-flat cycle trail in Withlacoochee. This was similar to riding through the New Forest. It was along this trail that you could appreciate US nature;

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my first sight was a vulture cleaning out a tortoise shell, shortly followed by more wild tortoises and lizards. Also, instead of being hit by flies, here I would hit the odd dragonfly. Leaving the trail at Trilby (our last control), it left a rolling 15-mile section (similar to the road to Monmouth on BCM, without Llancloudy). By this point I had left my riding partners who seemed to be taking it easier in the increasing heat and decided to see if I could catch/pass the last two riders ahead. I hit the arrivée in just over 4 hours – first home (result, although not a race, of course). Paul was sat in the park, with a much appreciated cold box full of chilled drinks. I sat around and spoke some more with him and the next couple of riders to finish, then collected my USA Randonneur medal and headed back to Orlando to see the family, and prepare myself again for more Mickey Mouse stuff.

A RAMBLINGS FROM VERA SLOE The first audax I did was called the rolling rambling roads. I was warned at the time that audax was addictive. (Un)fortunately I paid no heed. Thus:

To her love: Shall I compare thee to some other ride? Th’art more scenic and do not climbs abjure Rough flint doth pave the rising road its side And faerie’s bite I all too oft endure. Sometimes too hot the eye of heav’n doth shine And down dry throat is my full bidon washed; Else soak’d wet through, I loudly curse and whine When clothes by passing cars are coldly splash’d. But such be-drenching rainstorm cannot last; So I again posess that sun-burnt form. Nor shall I tarry o’er wide landscape vast Throughout eternal rides in night and gloam. So long as auks can breathe or pedals turn; So long ride they, for audax points to earn. (With apologies to Bill Shakespeare and his sonnet 23) Now to eat some damsons - like sloes, only different.

Arabella

www.aukweb.net


PERMANENT

More Contours Than You Can Poke A Stick At Cambrian 8A Permanent Martin Lucas

L

ooking at the permanent lists for challenging rides, I was reminded of the Cambrian 8A brevet card that was lurking in the drawer waiting to be used. A late August weekend presented an opportunity, unfortunately potential ride partners were unavailable (washing their hair perhaps?) and there were no takers on YACF, so it was to be a solo ride. As far as I know only Toby Hopper has ridden the 8A, and he had kindly provided his tracklog with the actual 835km and Garminrecorded 15,900m of climbing, on which I planned my route (official contour counted climb figure is 13,500m). I also based myself at the Dol Llys campsite that Toby used, on outskirts of Llanidloes. The route is a figure-of-eight with 2 x 400-ish kilometre loops centred on Llanidloes. My plan was to ride the northern loop, rest at Llanidloes and decide during the southern loop whether to try and ride straight through or break the ride and get full value from the 60 hours available. So I set off just after 4am on the rollercoaster road to Staylittle heading to Dinas-Mawddwy for my first ascent of Bwlch-y-Groes from the most difficult side. It is reported to be the highest tarmacked pass in Wales, climbing 385m over 3.6km with extended sections of 1 in 4. With fresh legs and a 30 x 27 gear it proved to be a tough but manageable climb and I stopped at the top in early morning light to admire the view. Onwards and downwards to Bala. Then the route headed SE to Montgomery which was new territory for me after passing Lake Vyrnwy. A lovely section and a little help from the westerly wind that was picking up. After turning around it is NW to Corwen (206km) via the Berwin Hills for more new territory and, less welcome, the feel of a headwind that became a familiar feature during the ride. A series of Ferraris passed in the opposite direction enjoying the open road – vrooom. Remote countryside and lanes on the way to village of Llansannan where the PO and pub were closed so a letter was posted to organiser Colin Bezant in order to control. Heading towards the A470 as it follows the valley towards Betws-y-Coed, the direct line goes up and over on a hardcore twisting lane before joining the A5 and continuing to Capel Curig. Over Pen-y-Pas heading to Llanberis and arriving at Pete’s Eats at 5:30pm (288km) for my first proper sit-down meal of the day. A large plate of spaghetti bolognaise and two mugs of tea helped restore the energy levels. Up to this point I’d been pressing on with quick shop controls and no faffing or mechanicals to delay me. Setting off on the return up Pen-y-Pas I was looking for some help from the wind at last and it delivered for a while, but I needed to pedal

downhill to Beddgelert, before picking up some assistance each time the route headed slightly east on the run back to Machynlleth where I arrived just before 10pm. There remained the not so minor matter of the hors-categorie last leg from Mach’ to Llanidloes. I have a vivid memory of climbing in the dark with the wind howling and seeing a pair of lights appear high above me, my first thought was that it was a plane, but I then realised it was a car coming over the mountain road! Arriving at Llanidloes before midnight (415km) I quickly visited the cashpoint to control and then headed off to the campsite for food/shower/rest. I decided to set off at 7am the next day and see how things developed rather than having a firm destination. A bit damp on the way to Devil’s Bridge but drying on the run up the Elan Valley to Rhayader. I made a change to not head via the reservoirs but climb out the end of the valley and enjoy the descent into town. I remembered the spinning required whilst riding this section of the Elenith on fixed. Main roads now for some easy cycling to Builth Wells where there was a big show on but traffic was ok and I’d made good progress arriving at 10:30am (502km). Next up was a long westerly leg to Aberaeron on the coast via Devil’s Staircase and Tregaron – yup, the wind was still there and it was hard work all the way. I really could have done with a riding partner to share the effort. As it was I arrived in Tregaron and found a solitary audaxer in the square. It was a rider on the Tregaron Dragon calendar event taking a breather. We chatted whilst I downed a tin of spaghetti and pint of milk and stowed another tin in my seatpack for use later. Great views of the coast opened up as I approached Aberaeron, it looks a nice seaside town judging from my first brief visit. The next 105km via Llandeilo towards Aberdare was a real rollercoaster requiring much granny ring action… I reached

Glynneath around 8 pm after 90km (665km) feeling a bit frazzled and decided to try and find somewhere to stay for the night. I was directed to the Lamb & Flag pub which had a nice room available, would let me keep my bike in the room and, as I’d be leaving before breakfast time proper, agreed to prepare a packed lunch for the following day. A quick trip to the Indian takeaway up the road and a pint to go in my room and I was sorted for the night. A 4am start the next morning for the anticipated 170km to Llanidloes with 12 hours to complete looked to give a good safety margin. So after enjoying the packed “lunch” I let myself out of the pub back door. It was damp becoming wet on the way to Aberdare and involved some big climbs to get out of the Valleys. Then a lovely long run down to Brecon and Hay-on-Wye to arrive before 8 am (742km) for a warming pasty and coffee. Hay to Knighton was as lumpy as ever but the sun was breaking through by then. I really enjoyed the ride up the valley to Newtown but caught the A road to Llanidloes at a busy time – I used this as motivation to push on to the finish. It was great to roll into town feeling in decent shape around midday with a comfortable 4 hours in hand. So in summary I used most of the 60 hours available over 3 days of 415km, 250km and 170km. I had some mixed Welsh weather with the wind in particular adding to the challenge. But most of all it was an excellent adventure awheel! I also have the satisfaction of completing the Cambrian 6A, 8A and 10A over a three year period. Someone mentioned a 12A but it was just a wind up (I think). The Cambrian 8A is recommended if you wish to visit some of the less well travelled parts of Wales and enjoy poking a stick. Worth noting too that the 8A route combines the 4F and 4G routes and either of these would be a great long ride in their own right.

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RANDONNEES

Míle Fáilte 1200 Damon Peacock

H

aving filmed LEL in 2013, I was interested in another project for 2014. However I was concerned that I'd aggravated my sciatica in preparation for the LEL, mainly from the Pendle 600. It had also been a bit stressful sorting out equipment and logistics. But that equipment was now lying about the house in a mildly reproachful way. I had been asked by the organiser of the Irish 1200k ride, Míle Fáilte, if I'd like to film that. But I was still suffering from sciatica at the time. I gradually recovered from that, and bore the Míle Fáilte in mind, also bearing in mind that someone else might be interested in covering it, so expressing too much interest in something that might not come off, might cause problems. The information about the event was detailed, informative and amusing. Which was very encouraging. 2014 turned out to have good weather, I didn't throw myself into Audax. I'm not certain that a detached retina I'd had in 2012 wasn't related to untrained exertion. I did do a 600 though, to keep my hand in, and also to reassure myself about my own credentials. My legs and back felt good enough to consider motorcycling. So I renewed the MOT on my 30 year old BMW K100. While waiting for the test to be done, I indulged my pork pie habit at the local butchers. He was a motorbiker himself, and we fell into conversation. His parents were from County Clare, and he had a farm over there. Ireland was a great place to ride, he said, and when I told him about the Míle Fáilte, he said it sounded great, and asked if I was getting any younger. Having contacted John O'Sullivan, the organiser, I booked a ferry journey from Liverpool to Dublin. My friend Dave had filmed the LEL with me, but had now sold his motorbike. He was clearly interested in filming the event, but from a car. I could see the appeal, especially if it rained,

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but it's difficult to pass cyclists on minor roads. I juggled the logistics in my head, but couldn't get it to work, especially the journey from Dublin to Midleton near Cork, with two of us and all our gear. I also envisaged difficulty managing two differing sets of misery if the weather was typical. The ferry journey was interesting. Overnight, with a meal in the evening; a

shared cabin with a bloke who insisted in having his earphones on, until I pulled the lead out; breakfast, and a 5am arrival in Dublin. It was fine, but very cold, and I stopped at the first services on the motorway to thaw out. The first impression was that it was much like England, apart from the towers. There seemed to be lots of fortifications, especially in Cashel, when I diverted to get fuel. Where I live in Lancashire all that sort of thing got flattened during the Civil War in the 17th Century. I was interested in the survival of those buildings, but decided to steer clear of historical enquiry, as Irish history seems to be more of a living thing than at home. Midleton turned out to be the home of Irish Whiskey, with a tour of the distillery advertised as 'The Jameson Experience'. I filed that away with 'The Macbeth Experience' as a mixed blessing, but I did make a little foray down there with Julian, Gordon and Graeme. I'd seen a list of riders, and many were old friends. I also knew many of the volunteers from LEL and

from the Mersey Roads 24 Hour ride, which attracts a lot of interest from Ireland and indeed Scotland. Hospitality is a reciprocal duty in the Audax world and I had something in the bank from trips to supply LEL and long nights spent on roundabouts in Shropshire watching 24 hour riders go round and round. I wasn't prepared for the magnificence of the room I got in the Midleton Park Hotel. The double bed and a single seemed a bit of a waste. I hope the film conveys the organisation, and the nature of the ride, so I won't spoil any of that for you. The following morning it took two hours after the start for me to realise that coming alone had been an error. The weather was great, and forecast to continue that way, the scenery looked magnificent, and the riders looked somehow 'right' in the shots I was taking. I feared that I'd be overwhelmed by the job, and start working to a set formula. I'd go home, show the footage to Dave, and we'd both feel that we'd missed an opportunity. So I phoned him and asked if he'd like to get on a plane to Cork. He duly did that, ceding massive Brownie points to his wife Ann. We then had an amazing three and a half days, which I hope the film conveys. Others will doubtless be writing about the event, so I'll leave that aspect to the riders. Suffice to say that I'd go back tomorrow if it could be as near perfection as our experience.

Details of Damon's videos, including the Míle Fáilte 2014, are available on his website www.damonpeacock.com

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ON TOUR

How I Became an Audax Rider

Adrienne Coventry-Brown

A

fter Niel’s bike was lost by British Airways while on the global bike race, and my bike with everything I owned on it got stolen when I turned my back on it in Vietnam in 2012, we wanted to go somewhere ‘safe’. And I really wanted to cycle across a continent. Canada is the biggest country in the world behind the USSR continent. After spending a long time staring at maps and guide books, and following the blogs of other transcontinental Canadian cyclists, we decided the most scenic route and the ‘path of least resistance’ involved crossing into the USA at a few places. All previous transcontinental cyclists had started or finished in Halifax Nova Scotia, so that had to be incorporated into the plan. Canada is a British colony just like our home of New Zealand, so we could travel there without needing a visa, but we did need a visa for the USA, and one with multiple entries and exits as we would cross the border between the US and Canada three times. We knew the wind was predominately from the west, so our course started in Vancouver, British Columbia, and headed east to the province of Ontario, where we then headed south across the border into Minnesota, east through Wisconsin, Michigan and back into Ontario (which is a very I can safely say that Allison Pass is up there as one of the hardest passes that I have ever done. 1350 2 0 1 3 meters from sea level and it climbed for 60km with just one flat section in the middle. It was pouring with rain and only 5°C – cold enough to see your breath. I was doing really well, and no incline was too much to cope with, when I ‘hit the wall’, and as a consequence I got hypothermia. I was nauseous – my stomach was doing somersaults and gurgling, my judgment was impaired and I was starting to feel like I was going to faint. When we got to the ski village of Manning Park, I insisted on a motel room to recover, warm up and dry everything. On reflection though, I think doing that massive hill in the cold and wet, would’ve been easier than in the heat.

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Today was even colder than yesterday – if you can believe it – only 4°C. The rain was even heavier than yesterday and we were so cold 2013 that our hands and feet weren’t working properly. Then Niel remembered that he had packed overshoes and wooly gloves, so I wore the overshoes and Niel wore the gloves – it helped enormously. The road wasn’t downhill; it climbed back up to the height of Allison Pass three times before finally descending to Princeton. It was still lightly raining here, so we stopped at a café that advertised all day breakfasts and we had an enormous cooked breakfast. So warmed up, and with our bellies full, we carried on to Keremeos. As we got closer, we could see a patch of blue sky in that direction. It had stopped raining and the temperature had risen to 7°C, and we actually felt warm.

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large province). At the Niagara Falls we crossed back into the US and through the states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. We were supposed to ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia, but simple plans can go awry and we ended up crossing from Maine into Canada’s New Brunswick province before heading finally to Nova Scotia. Approximately 7,500km. After a day of sightseeing and buying supplies in Vancouver, we pointed our bikes east and said goodbye to the Pacific coast. Little did we realize it, but this was going to be a trip of big kilometers each day. It’s a long way between places in Canada, with not much in between. Our first day of 143km was a good achievement (especially with the load we were carrying), but it actually became our average daily distance, and became easy and nothing to crow about. Allison Pass on day two was supposed to be steep, unrelenting and a natural wandering area for black bears. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t worried about it. What follows is an account of the trip, taken from selected daily diary entries.

The campground manager here says that most cross country cyclists give up before Keremeos, because Allison Pass is so tough.

For the next few days we climbed enormous passes. First was Anarchist Mountain, then Bonanza Pass, and then a day of non- stop hills. This is British Columbia: wet, green, wild, and scenic; full of wild flowers, rivers, lakes, mountains, and bears. Back to rain again, but guess what? We saw a grizzly bear cub, only two to three meters from us. Amazing 2 0 1 3 – what a huge buzz. I didn’t see it until it burst out of the bushes on the side of the ride right beside us, and then it ran up a rocky bank. Niel saw it straight away and they stared at each other, and after it ran up the bank it stopped and stared at us. When we got to the next village, the café owner told us there is a mother grizzly bear with three cubs in the exact spot we told her of our sighting. God, I’m glad it wasn’t the protective mother bear we saw or we may not be here to tell the story.

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After a day of very remote roads with no human habitation – so no food or drink stops anywhere – we finally made it to Revelstoke and the gateway to the road across the Rocky Mountains. Apparently all the rain has produced terrible flooding in Calgary on the other side, and the powers that be have closed the road. After a day off, we found out the road from Revelstoke to Banff is now open, but the road onwards to Calgary will not be open until the weekend. We judged that by the time we cycled there it would be the weekend.

We made it into the Rockies and ‘Golden’. Rogers Pass is the easiest pass I have ever cycled. You follow 2 0 1 3 a railway line the whole way, so that is an indication of the gradient. However after the pass the railway line goes in a different direction and , after initially descending, the road climbs a lot steeper – we climbed back to the height of the pass again before finally descending. 15km out of Revelstoke we saw a bear and passed our 1000th kilometre. But the best sighting of all was as we exited an avalanche tunnel, and there was a black bear right at the exit. Niel pointed to it, and his action of pointing meant that four cars screeched to a halt and people started running towards the bear with cameras. What do the park rangers say? – “Never approach a bear!” We got a quick photo and were off – so was the bear, who didn’t look at all perturbed by the attention. So after a long 150km over very scenic roads, seeing amazing wildlife, and crossing from Pacific Time to Mountain Time, we made it to the city of Golden.

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Another just as long day with just as spectacular scenery took us to Lake Louise, and to an enormous and very full campground as it is Canada day this weekend

Adi and Niel Coventry-Brown - in the Rockies

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ON TOUR I got up early, as I knew it would be a long day, but not as long as this – 172km. While packing, Niel noticed his rear carrier was broken. So he 2013 did a patch up job of taping up the break with the brace of an Allen key tool to get him and his gear down to the town and to the bike shop we saw when we came into town last night. Needless-to-say, we didn’t get away until almost lunchtime. While Niel was putting on a new carrier, I went to the visitor’s center to find out about the road ahead – it had been flooded last week. Apparently the cycle track has been washed away and the bikes have to be put on to a shuttle bus to the next town, for which you have to pay. It was hot and we were on the motorway (as the other route was still impassable), this was downhill with a tailwind, so we made up time on our late start. We decided to act like ignorant foreigners if we were stopped for riding on the motorway, especially on the part where we were supposed to be on a shuttle bus. It was no problem and we weren’t the only cyclists to use the road as we saw wheel marks in the mud. Sure, the road showed signs of terrible flooding and there was debris everywhere, but why do the powers that be think that cyclists can’t ride on the road as well as a cycle track? After passing quickly through Banff (which I found too artificial and soulless), we finally made it to Seebe, our destination for the day, but there was nothing there, and I mean nothing – just a road sign. There was no option but to go on for an extra 52km to find human habitation. It was Indian Reservation land, so there were no shops and we were definitely running on empty when we pulled into the next town at 10pm. We had a quick and nice Chinese meal while the restaurant was still open, and then tried to find accommodation. It being Canada Day tomorrow meant every motel was fully booked. At 11pm, just as it was getting dark (thank god for the longest day), we finally found a camping ground, but it was closed for the night. We pitched our tent there anyway and, very dirty, very tired, and very sunburnt we finally got to sleep at midnight. ”If we can do this, we can do the Paris–Brest–Paris," I said as our heads hit the pillow.

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We were told before we left home that there was a big area of nothing we would need to cross. That "nothing" was the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba plains. Calling it "nothing" is insulting. Yes it is flat, and there are very few trees, but there are things of interest and the cycling was easy. For the first time in my life I was riding huge distances every day, and I couldn’t blame it entirely on favorable winds. I was finding I could ride all day and felt good the whole time. One day it would be 150km, the next 170, then 180 and then 150 again. I had never felt so competent. We were flying across the plains. After crossing into Manitoba and writing in the border visitors center what we were doing and issuing a challenge to all other cyclists to ‘catch us if you can’, we spent the next 4 days clocking up 800km to get just past Winnipeg, the supposed half way point across Canada. 18

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180km is my personal record in one day while touring. I found it easy and have never felt so fit. I feel like I can do anything. It rained for most 2013 of the day, which helped to keep things cool, but the highlight for the day was catching up with Jessie and Jackie. Jessie and Jackie are the people who initiated the web site for cyclists doing the Trans-Canada, So you can follow others in their blogs to find out how they are going. Jessie and Jackie have already been on the road for 100 days. They have cycled from San Diego in the SW of California, all the way up to Alaska, across the Rockies to Jasper, and then across Canada to Labrador. They are still cheerful and not the least bit sick of the journey – good on them.

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Manitoba turned on a beautiful day with lush forest, rocky outcrops, and scenic lakes everywhere. We passed 2 0 1 3 the border into Ontario province, and the scenery continued to be spectacular, particularly the town of Kenora, with views of the ‘Lake of the woods’, with forested islands and boats everywhere. It is a hot, sunny blue sky day and it is possibly the most scenic day of the trip. We left Jessie and Jackie after a lovely lunch together, as we wanted to go further than them today. We spent the night in a forest park campground big enough to be a tent city. And I feel asleep to the sound of wolves howling in the distance.

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The next day we crossed into the USA – Minnesota to be exact – at a place called International Falls. We were heading for the city of Duluth. Duluth being the western most edge of Lake Superior. It seemed that Duluth didn’t want to be found, as we were beset by delays; a bridge was out due to repairs, and we had to go in the opposite direction to find a road we could use; we missed an unseen fork in the road, and once again went 30km in the wrong direction before we realized it and managed to get back on track. Campgrounds did not exist but only after doing circles of 30km looking for them. It was very hot, and we had gale force headwinds to content with. We started to scan the horizon for the water towers and platforms that indicated a town coming up for food and drink stops. It is just as well that we are fit and used to doing long distance. We eventually made it to Duluth and the great lakes. The Michigan Cycle Trail

It was cool today, which makes cycling easier than in the heat. The road was all in the ‘Ottawa National Park’, so there were trees all day. 2013 However we were both a bit jaded and homesick. I’ve been through the roller coaster of emotions today. This morning I saw a father teaching his young son to shoot a rifle. That made me so angry. That boy is being taught that it’s okay to shoot to kill. His target was a human figure. Along with the homesickness, I wasn’t feeling very happy. We got our airline tickets out and started to talk about going home. Then a couple of things happened to snap me out of it: we realised that we only had thirty cycling days left until we reach Halifax in Nova Scotia; and then we met some people from Halifax at our lunch stop, which made us feel like we were on the home straight.

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‘It rained and rained and rained, the average drop was well maintained, and after a drought of half an hour, we had a most refreshing shower.’ This is part of a poem I’ve seen about the weather on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Michigan was very wet. But when we crossed the St Clair river (which is the border between the US and Canada) on the ferry, we were back into Ontario province again. We passed through several pretty ‘port’ towns. They were busy and thronging with people. We are not far from the most populated part of Canada – around Toronto. So many people throng to to beaches at the ‘ports’ on the weekends and this weekend had a public holiday as well. We are amazed to find out that Canada has a day off every month, even if there is no particular reason for a holiday. The road was like Cornwall in England, dropping down to ‘ports’ and then climbing really steeply 2 0 1 3 out of them. Pretty as it was, I got sick of it, and when a direct route presented itself, I decided to take it. The weather stayed nice, but with a strong crosswind. About 20km from Dunneville, a group of Harley riders gave us problems. They rudely overtook us and immediately turned right – right on top of us (remember we are riding on the right of the road). The leading rider almost took Niel out, and then the second rider was trying to turn in the 1 meter gap between Niel and me, almost taking me out. Swear words were exchanged. Then they all turned around and decided to harass us, by accelerating up to speed and cutting us really closely. Actually that is just a normal New Zealand driver, so it didn’t scare us. But no more than ten minutes later we saw them stopped getting petrol. We rode in amongst them and started pointing and memorizing their number plates to tell the police and suddenly they looked frightened and sped off. Then we found the camping ground and it was so full that it actually gave me shell shock. After seven weeks of quiet campgrounds we get this one, with boy racers and their loud stereos on one side, a loud drunk family behind

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ON TOUR us who couldn’t stop laughing, and on the other side a family with untold kids who thought our camping spot was their personal playground. Suffice to say after 3 hours of sort of sleep we left tired and irritable. We were no longer talking about doing the Paris–Brest–Paris, basically because we had stopped talking. The Atlantic at last

This demonstrates how important food, drink and adequate sleep are to being able to carry on. Yes we were fit, but physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. Even seeing the stupendous Niagara Falls couldn’t get us back to our old selves. It took many days of forcing ourselves to slow down enough to ‘smell the daisies’ before we were talking and smiling again. By now we were in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. We know we are going to make it now. When we tell people that we are heading for Halifax, not only do they know where it is, but they all say “oh you are almost there”. If only things had worked out as simply as that. I’ve had the worst thing that can happen to a cycle-tourist last year, when my bike (and everything I owned) 2 0 1 3 got stolen in Vietnam. However today would take a close second place when it comes to drama. I believe it’s how you cope with these dramas that define you as a true adventurer. After climbing a hill that went on for 15km, I finally summited and put the brakes on for the downhill, and ‘boom’ – my back tyre exploded. I’ve had a ‘donk, donk ‘ noise in my rear wheel when I put on the brake for 10 days now. Niel looked at the rim, didn’t see anything wrong and reckoned it was oil on the rim, but it obviously was something far more dramatic to make my rim rip apart. I started walking as Niel had sped off enjoying the downhill. A kind motorist stopped and asked if he could help. I asked if he could drive on until he saw a cyclist in white Lycra bike shorts just up ahead, and tell him to stop and wait for me. When I finally reached an impatient Niel, sitting on a railing, we realized my rim was unrepairable. We were in the middle of nowhere, there wasn’t even mobile phone coverage, and I had to put out my thumb try to get a ride to civilization. No one picked me up. After walking for a few kilometers, Niel was waiting for me outside a house where the people ‘looked friendly’. Initially we asked to use their phone to ring a bike shop in the next town 60km away, but by now the shop was closed for the day. These lovely people drove me and my bike 30km to the nearest habitation that had a motel. It is now 30km to the town with the bike shop, so Niel will ride there first thing in the morning, get a new wheel and cluster (as I only have 3 gears left that work), and a chain as well; ride back to me waiting at the motel, put it all back together, test ride it, and then ride back to the town together. Thank god we still have 2 emergency days up our sleeves. Then, this evening, we had WiFi at the motel, so we decided to check on some of the other TransCanada cyclists. One couple found their ferry to Newfoundland had been cancelled and they didn’t know what to do, so we decided to check ours as well. My god, that had been cancelled too. After frantically looking at maps and searching for a ferry that still existed, we found one from St John in New

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Brunswick (Canada), to Digby in Nova Scotia. But St John is an extra 300km off our original route. Do we have enough time to get there? Well we have decided to do even bigger distances for a few days to get there. Hopefully nothing else will go wrong. Everything seems to happen in threes and the third almost disaster happened today. Niel’s rear wheel was ‘not feeling 2 0 1 3 right’, and it was moving a lot from side to side. He reckoned the bearings were the problem. Even though we are pressed for time, we decided to stop in Bangor instead of going on. There is a bike shop here, where we can get parts, if we went on; his bike might fall apart in the middle of nowhere – like mine did. Unfortunately it is Sunday today and the shop isn’t open until tomorrow. So we got a motel for the night, so that Niel can take his hub out of the wheel, it was as wrecked as my rim had been. Luckily Niel kept the hub and spokes off my wrecked wheel and he built these into his good rim, so all he needed to buy was a cluster that fit that hub and a new chain. There goes our last emergency day. We will now have to take a shorter route to St Stephan’s tomorrow, as we don’t have enough time to go around the coast.

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Niel finished fixing his bike by 10 am and we didn’t muck around as we were trying to do 150km today. Not a hope in 2 0 1 3 hell. The road was non-stop sharp ups and downs with no shops except what I would call a ‘roadhouse’ – café / motel / RV Park. I ran out of energy at 7pm and called it quits at a rest area that had a private patch of grass hidden from the road, a public restroom and a river nearby. We had no dinner just what we had left over from lunch and we had to drink the black colored river water as the cooker was playing up. I hope I don’t get sick from it.

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Famous last words – the next day I got food poisoning, but that misery was counteracted by finally reaching the Atlantic coastline. Yes – we had made it at last – I can now call myself a transcontinental cyclist, and no one can take that away from me. We made it to Halifax in time to fly home. And I have realized that I am pretty good at riding long distance. This eye opening fact was to change me and what sort of riding I was to do in the future. The first thing Niel and I did when we got back to normal on arriving home was to join UK Audax. New Zealand doesn’t have a club, although there is now a Kiwi Randonneuring club. We needed to learn all about long distance riding and your Arrivée magazine is our bible on inspiration and learning.

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RANDONNEES

Man of Kent 200 Alex Turner

S

o this was the third organised Audax I was undertaking so far this year. Quite unintentionally each has been 50 miles further than the previous ride. Today was the the turn of the Man of Kent 200km. The ride set off from Golden Green near Tunbridge. Just a 40 minute drive from home

with the bike sitting pretty on top of the roof. The sun was shining, the sky was blue. No noticeable breeze. It was a bit chilly but only when waiting around. Things were looking promising. The forecast was sunshine and showers. A small village hall hosted the teas, coffees and biscuits and a place to collect, and at the end of the day to return, our brevet cards. I milled around chatting as we topped up on hot fluids and biscuits, checking whatever needed to be checked and taking the opportunity for any last minute ablutions. As the time came up to 8am riders ambled out to their bikes and the two organisers went through some advisory points. We were reminded that course changes had been made due to poor road conditions in a couple of places and that these had been indicated on the route sheet. I had the sheet printed out but usually I’m guided by the mapped route on my Garmin 200. The first group of 20 or so of us set of at 8am. People quickly found a brisk group tempo and the leaders’ pace was set. The section to the first control was through the back lanes to Faversham from Tunbridge. I pursued the leading group keeping them within reach but staying far enough back to avoid taking on more than I could chew. Although it was early days I was feeling very pleased with the tyres I had recently put on the bike – Compass Barlow Pass Extra Light (black sidewalls). Their rolling resistance is very low; and 38mm but 20

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just 325g a piece. They’re clinchers but to me look like fat tubulars. Very comfortable too. And they look good! I had been a devotee of Schwalbe Marathon Plus and Marathon Tour tyres for a number of years. Puncture resistance second to none. When, however, I compare the road comfort and rolling resistance of the Marathons to the Compass tyres it does make me think what have I been riding on all these years! I guess at least one answer to that will become clear when I get my first puncture. As we approached a set of lights all the riders in this lead group bunched up bar one who made the green. A couple of riders recognized each other from ride last year and once the light turned green they were both off at quite a speed. The first notable hill was upon us very shortly after the lights. Now I happened to think I was a half decent hill climber what with all the hills around Medway and north Kent. Not today it seemed. As the front group dug in, the distance between us slowly grew. The guy that had caught the lights was soon caught himself and as I followed up the rear I saw him slowly being chewed up and spat out by the speedsters in pursuit. It was not yet over though. I got my head down and ground up the hill. By the time I reached the brow I could see that the others had slackened off a bit on a straight flat ahead to recover their energy. I was either to catch them now or settle down and ride at a more modest pace. Realistically I was not going to keep this speed up for the whole 200km. It turned

out that my mentality of spend it while you have it transfers to cycling as well; I picked up my pace and cut the lead between me and those in front. At the next junction I caught them and together we cranked out the miles all the way to Faversham. I took the lead a few times to take my turn at the front and appreciated the opportunity to do some drafting when I could. As we arrived in Faversham we descended down the Mall heading towards the station on the way to the first control at a vicarage. Those at the front were not familiar with the area and took a wrong turn. It was one of those times when I could see the blunder but just followed anyway. They quickly realised and were turning back before any distance to correct themselves. I took advantage of an alleyway that I knew was a shortcut to get back on track. I headed that way but no one followed me. That was cool, though, as I was now about half a minute ahead of everyone and closing in on the first control. These events are not races. I am clear about that. This was completely not in keeping with the spirit of Audax events but I was feeling a certain satisfaction about being the first rider to reach that stage! I was following the breadcrumb trail of my GPS and just keeping an eye out for a vicarage. Did not bother looking at the cue sheet. Not sure what I was expecting a vicarage to look like but nothing I passed measured up to that. After riding out of Faversham I stopped and turned. I had clearly ridden straight past the control and missed it. I headed back in order to have my brevet card stamped. As I did I saw a group of four of the other riders who were leading the way riding their way out of Faversham. By the time I got to the vicinity of the vicarage a number of other riders Detour ahead...

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RANDONEES had passed me going the opposite way all helpfully pointing out the checkpoint was ‘back there’. My time at the front was over. Probably for the best really as the pace may well have killed me; if not on the day then for the week after. I rolled my bike round to the back garden. By now there was a small queue lining up for hot drinks and bacon rolls which were all included in the modest £8 entry. Many of these rides cost even less to enter. This was one of the more expensive I have done. I spent about ten minutes or so doing the necessary before wheeling the bike back out the garden against a stream of riders just arriving. Back in the saddle and forward to the next control at Wingham which was just another 31km away. I rode out alone but after about six or seven miles caught up with another pair of riders pedalling along at a reasonable pace. I hung on to their back wheels on and off for pretty much most of the way and every now and then taking my turn at the front. At one point I saw them go ahead whilst my Garmin told me to turn right. I called out to them that I was turning off and left them to decide whether to follow on or not. I followed the route up until arriving at a well and truly flooded road. This must have been one of the route changes the organiser mentioned was on the cue sheet. The same cue sheet I had safely stashed in my pocket and never looked at since leaving home that morning. All my faith was in the GPS trail I had on my Garmin. As it turned out the other two did turn and follow me and were soon like me scratching their heads and wondering whether to ride through the water or go round. It was not complicated. We just wheeled our bikes along the side of the field which the road passed by. Just a short stretch and nothing I’d have worried about mapping in a detour for. We arrived in Wingham together where perhaps another dozen or so riders were already sorting themselves out with food and drink and getting the obligatory stamp in the brevet cards. I was feeling pretty fit. I had no worries about making time limits and was relaxed about the pace I was keeping. I stopped for around half-an-hour before setting off again. Next stop 56km away in New Romney with one info control on the way. I set out from Wingham on my own again. The weather was holding out but the ground bore signs of the rain that had passed shortly before I did. There were ominous storm clouds rolling forward some distance ahead. I rode for at least 30km before seeing another rider ahead of me. That was at the info control where he called out the answer making it unnecessary for me to stop. Cheers for

that! I rode with him for a very short distance before putting a minute or so between us. Over the next 20km this distance varied until we approached New Romney. The last few miles before the town was very open and flat and for the first time on this ride the wind became noticeable. It wasn’t bad but it was enough to knock the average speed down a few clicks. I clearly took this as a signal to ease up on the effort a bit as the rider I saw back at the info control was now right on my back wheel again until we both rode into the control at New Romney station together. This is a great spot for a control. The station is on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch miniature railway line. Though I have visited before as a child and with my own children I still enjoy spending time around the station to see the little steam engines chuffing in, pulling their open wooden carriages. I should I have taken a picture here, I know. What can I say! I filled up in good style here. I polished off a Cornish pasty with a plate of chips and beans. I washed that down with a bottle of coke. Feeling pretty satiated on the food front I stepped out to get back on the road. On walking back to my bike I was pleased by the sight of several other riders eyeing up my tyres and making approving noises about their width and tread. None of them had heard of Compass tyres. Not really that surprised given that they are American imports and the Barlow Pass had only very recently been released. Looking for the way out I rolled my bike through a side gate and once again found myself riding off on my own. I was soon caught up though by the group of half dozen or so riders that I was speaking with about the tyres. They all rode more regular randonneur bikes than my mudguard-free fat-tyred crossbike. They certainly looked more the part in their cycling specific get up than I did in my three-quarter length trousers and Aldi soft shell. That all turned out to be inconsequential though as I maintained my pace with them for the next eight or nine miles before they all slowed down at a junction and I continued on ahead at the same pace. The stretch from New Romney to the next control at Headcorn was 36km. On the way the weather finally turned as it had been threatening to do since Wingham. A cold front swept in and before long hailstones were bouncing off the road and stinging my eyes and face. I was not dressed for this but carried on riding through it. I got fairly wet but nothing that was not dried

“the road closed signs I had carefully pedalled past 20km ago should have been my reminder to check the cue sheet”

The first control at Faversham vicarage.

by the time I arrived in Headcorn. It was cold though, and my hands and feet were feeling it more than I had experienced for a long time. A couple of the other riders had caught up with me shortly before getting to the control, a garage. A receipt was all the proof required of passing the point. Chocolate milk duly purchased and consumed and you guessed it off I go again leaving the others to catch up in their own time. It’s not that I am particularly antisocial but I do like to ride at my own pace and find the longer I stop the harder I find at this point to get going again. We had ridden 161km and there was still the final 47km to go. I rode the next 40km on my own. I was a bit surprised no one caught up with me. I figured there was not much at the garage that would incite anyone to prolong their stay there. It was not until I was within the final 10km riding happily along that I saw the group again but coming in from another direction. I then realised that the barriers and road closed signs I had carefully pedalled past about 20km ago should have, in fact, been my reminder to check the cue sheet. Another detour I missed by sticking to the original route. No wonder I never saw anyone! Still it was nice riding along with the others for the final few miles to the end. It was when we were on the road approaching Golden Green Village Hall that I discovered why perhaps it was called Golden Green. It was just coming up to 5pm and the sun was coming down. As it did the area was lit by the low cast of the sun and everything did indeed look golden. It was lovely. If you happened to view a property in the area at this time you’d have been sold. I know I would have been. I took the opportunity to make the most of the baked potato covered in cheese and beans that was on offer followed up by a couple of cups of coffee and a chat with a few other finishers. I have since found out that the riders I started out with finished at nearly an hour and a half before I did. I read that they hardly stopped at all. I am glad I did. I think it would have turned what was an enjoyable ride into a challenging ordeal. Time and a place for everything but for me, not today.

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RANDONNEES

The Mille Cymru

One Ride to Bind Them All

W

hat are you up to this weekend?” a friend asked. “We're doing the Mille Cymru”, I replied. “The Mill…?” Richard and I were getting used to explaining what the MC1K entailed. “It's a 1000 kilometre ride round Wales”, Richard explained, “with 16,000 metres of climbing – in three days”. You could almost hear the whirring cogs as they struggled to figure out the enormity of our adventure. “You're mad!” he assured us. We nodded in agreement. Since we'd done the LEL last year wed been affectionately referred to as the Mad Badgers by friends who viewed our AUK super-randonneuring as “a bit too far for me”. Training had not gone quite as planned. Our Easter Arrow team succumbed to injury and illness before the event. We'd managed a few century rides and a 200k early in the year but had to resort to a DIY 400k and a permanent 300k in the month before our Welsh grand depart. Were we fit enough for what would undoubtedly be the toughest event so far in our short AUK careers? It was with some trepidation that we set off from Upton Magna at 11am on a drizzly Friday morning with 93 fellow MC1K'ers. We had just 75 hours to complete the ride.

The Fellowship of the Wheel Upton Magna to Llanwtryd Wells 270km / 4250m Despite our best intentions, “Let's take it easy at the start, there's a long way to go”, we got caught up in the general excitement and averaged 27kph for the first 40k. Sense then prevailed and we made more steady progress, and were lucky that the forecast for torrential rain and thunder proved pessimistic. We crossed the Gospel Pass in a deluge but by the time we were cruising down the Wye Valley the sun was out. Despite the day's major pitstop being hosted by Kingstone Brewery we stuck to lasagne and coke. Darkness encroached as we rode up the Usk valley and we were cocooned by our dynamo lights as we climbed the Mynnydd Eppynt. On the way down we were suddenly confronted by a chap in camouflage gear, barring our way. “You can't go through just yet”, the army corporal explained, “there's an ambush about to take place, with lots of pyrotechnics”. Despite the late night chill we didn't argue – he was cradling a fearsome-looking 22

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assault rifle. Ten minutes later the sky erupted with flares and rockets and the rat-a-tat-tat of machine-gun fire sounded much too close for comfort. Having lost 20 minutes of our precious time schedule we plunged on down the hill. Near disaster struck just after midnight as my rear gear cable snapped. Fortunately no steep hills lay between us and our “overnight” stop just 7k away. We were greeted by cups of tea, wholesome food and a willing bike mechanic. “You get a few hours sleep and it'll be sorted when you wake up!”

The Two Coasts Llantwtryd Wells to Llanwtryd Wells 305km / 4200m Day two dawned and at 7am, a little later than we'd planned, we were off towards the seaside, behind most of the other riders. Today was to be a tour of the Pembrokeshire coast. No big hills but an abundance of short steep ones. We rode in bright sunshine down narrow lanes through pretty coastal towns and villages. Another major mechanical hit us just before the very steep descent down to Pendine. Richard's front brake and light suddenly parted company from the frame, and the dislodged nut was nowhere to be found. Emergency surgery with zip ties held the bits away from the wheel and he then rode the next 100km hoping that the obliging mechanic

at Llanwtryd Wells had a spare nut; assuming, in the meantime, that he didn't end up in a mangled heap at the bottom of a steep hill. It was my turn for misfortune next as, coasting down a dual carraigeway into a rain shower, I waved for us to slow down in order to put on waterproofs. I spotted an imminent layby, but not the small kerb edging it, and suddenly found myself diving towards the deck as the kerb whipped my wheels from under me. I shook myself down and was surprised to see little damage, to me or to the bike. We joined a couple of other riders as we time trialled up the A40 before climbing in the dark back to Llanwtryd Wells and welcome food and drink and a couple of hours' sleep. Yet again the mechanic was a star and when we departed at 5am we both had two fully functioning brakes; but, after only three hours sleep, only partlyfunctioning brains.

Return of the Dragon Llantwtryd Wells to Betws y Coed 300km / 5550m The initial gentle ride north up a meandering valley did little to prepare us for the steepest hill of the whole ride. We'd heard that the Devil's Staircase was steep but had shrugged it off with a nonchalant “we've ridden Hardknott” arrogance. When finally confronted by the ribbon of tarmac arching above us like a rearing cobra we admitted our error. One of the riders had told us that his strategy was to walk the steep bits and save his legs. We didn't take much persuading to copy his style on the first of the three “stairs”. Other riders bravely rode past us. “Their legs will be trashed at the top” we assured ourselves. (You can be assured that we'll be back there soon to ride the staircase in the manner it deserves – on our lightest bikes.) We rode the next two stairs and enjoyed the swoop down to Devil's Bridge, but not the gratuitous descent down a track to the next checkpoint. The hospitality was exceptional but the climb back up to the road was tortuous. The day became a bit of a blur as we cycled up the beautiful Elan Valley in the company of a couple of day riders; rode the steeply undulating lanes of central Wales with brief stops at Co-ops or Spars to refuel on sugary drinks and pastries; and relished the oh-so-brief respite from hills as

“the rat-a-tat-tat of machinegun fire sounded much too close for comfort”

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RANDONNEES we cruised down the valley and along the coast to Barmouth and Harlech. The hills returned in Snowdonia as we meandered through Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu. It was after midnight when we reached Llanberis in the company of an Elliptigo rider (chapeau!). With clear skies the temperature had plummeted. The climb up Pen-y-Pass warmed us up but soon after starting our descent we passed through the invisible wall of cold air caused by the temperature inversion. It felt like plunging into a deep freeze and, despite the deployment of all available layers, the wind chill was fierce. It seemed a long, long way to our next stop at Betws-y-Coed. By the time we reached the village outskirts our knees were knocking together on our bikes. As we shivered our way into the checkpoint, blankets were thrown over us and we wolfed down hot food and tea. Whereas the sleeping arrangements at Llanwtryd Wells had been meticulously regimented at this, our last stop, it was sleeping chaos. The smaller dimensions of the hall required optimum use of space. Fully clothed bodies on mattresses were randomly crammed into every nook and cranny. As one rider was getting up to depart another collapsed onto the vacated mattress to grab a brief nap. We joined the melee and at 4.40am, after one and a half hours fitful sleep and a quick breakfast of corned beef hash, we ventured out into the dawn halfan-hour later than planned.

Home to the Shire Betws y coed to Upton Magna 140km / 2000m We were again behind most riders but soon started gaining ground as we worked hard to combat the persistent cold. A sunny day was in prospect as we cycled the narrow lanes over the Cwm Hafodyredwydd and across the moors to Bala. Richard was struggling to eat or drink but there was no prospect of a cafe stop in Bala as time was getting tight. We ghosted through the early morning mist off Lake Bala before starting the steep climb over Bwlch y Groes. By now Richard was away with the fairies and our pace had dropped to a point where the 75 hour deadline was looking tight. “Come on, get some food down you”, I chided, “here's some dextrosol. We need to dig in, come on, it's all in the head.” As the sun was behind us I saw the shadow of the clandestine V-sign aimed at me from behind my back. Fortunately revival kicked in before the col and our pace picked up again. The road plunged down to the stunning Lake Vyrnwy and, back on schedule, we enjoyed a relatively leisurely cooked breakfast at the final checkpoint. On down the Tanat valley and, as happens on many long rides, our pace quickened as the 20km to go point was reached. The head rules the body and, in time trial mode, we raced the final twisting lanes to the finish back at Upton Magna. What a great feeling as you finish such

“confronted by the ribbon of tarmac arching above us like a rearing cobra”

an adventure. We crossed the line comfortably under the time limit. As we devoured a meal the adrenaline wore off and we suddenly realised just how tired we were and felt the excrutiating aches and pains which had gone unnoticed only half an hour previously. This was far outweighed by the elation of finishing the legendary MC1K. What an epic route. It linked together a number of revered long Welsh AUK rides and, it would appear, aimed to do so by the hilliest route possible and to include many of the classic steep climbs in Wales. The 16,000 metres of climbing and the 75 hour deadline introduced an insidious time pressure which allowed little respite. A big thank you to John Hamilton, the organiser, and his merry band of helpers for their superb organisation and for looking after us. As the lager advert opines this is “probably the toughest cycle event in the UK”. Both of us have completed numerous running and cycling ultra-endurance events, but this was certainly the toughest physical challenge either of us has ever undertaken…to date. What's next Richard???

The Mad Badgers Phil Hodgson & Richard Leonard

The Moselle Cycle Route Author: Mike Wells Published by Cicerone www.Cicerone.co.uk Softback 115mm x 170mm ISBN 978-1-85284-721-0 Price £14.95 If you fancy a three-country tour (France, Luxembourg and Germany) which promises to be downhill all the way, this is the book for you. Starting in the Vosge mountains in eastern France, you descend over 650m to the Rhine at Koblenz, 512k away. Following well-surfaced French and German national cycle trails, the route follows cycle tracks, river banks and canal paths with short sections of quiet country roads. There is a high standard of waymarking along the route. For wine and beer lovers, the German Moselle gorge is a major wine producing area while the French region of Lorraine produces a wide variety of beers along with their renowned quiche. The author, Mike Wells, has researched this route thoroughly and the book contains maps for all the stages and plenty of historical and cultural notes and photographs to illustrate the towns you travel through. The contents include very useful sections on Getting There and Back, Accommodation and Food and Drink. A list of tourist offices, youth hostels en route and a short language glossary are useful info and can save you time with your research. The book is a very handy size to stash in your luggage for reference along the way. If you have used Cicerone’s guides before now, you will appreciate how much information they include and how well they are produced. Mike Wells has produced yet another excellent cycling guide to partner his Rhine Cycle Route.

Tim Wainwright

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ON TOUR

Girls on Tour - in Peak Condition! Ann Marshall

B

ack in January Louise Rigby and I decided we'd plan a week's summer cycling together, and considered it our duty to liberate MaryJane Watson from the Isle of Man where she's been going round and round, to prevent her from getting giddy! Neither Louise nor I had met MaryJane, but we'd been in email contact for 2-3 years. We could tell that all three of us had a penchant for hills so we thought we'd get along fine! We chose The Peaks; planning was meticulous with Louise in charge of dates and accommodation and me in charge of rides. We timed our visit to coincide with Mike Wigley's White Peak Grimpeur calendar, part of the Marple Midweek Grimpeurs which take place on consecutive Wednesdays through the Summer. Word got out about Girls on Tour and we were besieged by requests from others to join! We accepted many (including men) as long as they were happy to be Honorary Girls and happy to camp! Finally Monday 11th August arrived and we converged in Marple in the wake of Hurricane Bertha. We had feared MJ wouldn't be able to make her SeaCat crossing from IoM but make it she did. On first sight it was much more like a reunion than meeting for the first time! We felt like old friends, which of course through Audax we are – in particular thanks to Steve Snook and his AAA targets without which the world would be a sadder place! You'd laugh if you'd seen our bikes, they couldn't have been more different! There's me with my relatively normal little Specialized, bit

heavier than usual but with a welcome triple and mudguards! Louise brought her (by now) familiar Airnimal and MJ was on a combination of her most lightweight bike but specially fitted with triple… what I should add is that her bike was also fully equipped with racks and panniers (which of course she could detatch) but the pièce de résistance is the stand! I swear it weighs as much as the rest of the bike. We laughed and chatted as we stowed our steeds in the garage of the B&B. On Tuesday morning we set off on Chris Keeling-Roberts' Dark Peak perm with our only surviving Honorary Girl Martin Malins; first stop Holme Moss, riding where winning wheels had recently been! In the South Pennines they hadn't quite got the hang of painting encouragement on the tarmac like they do on the Continent but it did the job! Louise and I realised we were in hallowed company, with MJ the (almost) Opposite Sex AAA Champion and Martin the (almost) Overall AAA Champion – not only did they ride like champions, they looked like champions too! Next day we pitched up in the Marple car park for Mike Wigley's Midweek White Peak Grimpeur… Where was everybody? They were all in Costa (where else)! We had a lovely day, Mike on good form and generous as ever. It's strange, even though the South of England has (somewhat surprisingly) provided the AAA Champions for the last few years, those hills in the Peaks just seem different! Hard! On the other hand MJ just breezed up, home from home…

Martin Malins and MaryJane Watson resplendent. Photo: Louise Rigby

MaryJane Watson and Ann Marshall. Photo: Martin Malins

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ON TOUR On Thursday we left our salubrious accommodation at Oakfield Lodge, Marple (with excellent breakfast, particularly Spencer's poached eggs) and carted our clobber over to Castleton YHA, a tasty 50k DIY created by native Louise which took us over Snake Pass (perfectly timed half-way heavy shower at Snake Pass Inn) and Stanedge then dropped down to Ladybower Reservoir (where they practiced the bouncing bomb) – just beautiful! Friday we did Oliver Wright's Grindleford perm, personally my favourite! It's just so beautiful, the scenery ever-changing. You never know what you're going to see next on Grindleford! Includes a welcome stop at the cheese shop in Hartington – I can recommend the Hartington Bomber! For Saturday we squeezed in Dark Peak backwards, which I think I prefer to forwards! It's every bit as beautiful and has just as many surprises up its sleeve, but I think worth every penny crawling our way up Holme Moss from the (brutal 15%) Tour side, not least because of the relentless 50mph headwind! Not always a headwind mind you – sometimes it got you from the side too. I've never known anything quite as hard/aggressive/exhilarating! A fitting finish to our fantastic Girls on Tour week in the Peaks! What more can I say…

MaryJane Watson and Louise Rigby. Photo: Martin Malins

Girls on Tour – Holme Moss

Into 2015 with Peak Audax Mike Wigley Remembering Don Black

We lost our colleague Don Black in 2014, so it seems entirely appropriate that we have a ride in his memory. The Black Magic 100 takes place on Easter Sunday April 5th 2015 and takes in some of the more scenic parts of the Peak

Don Black with Chris Crookes

District, using roads that Don will have known very well indeed. We start at Wetherspoons in Stalybridge, where they serve breakfasts from 8am so there's plenty of time for a full English before the 10am start. Well, OK, perhaps a full English might be a bit too much, as there's a lot of climbing in front of us. However, climbing isn't the main theme of the day, but just an

unfortunate necessity to get to see some spectacular scenery. Take your time to savour views of Glossop from Monks Road, of the Cheshire Plains from Ludworth Moor, and of Kinder Scout from various points along the way. We stop at the National Trust café in Edale and at the Coffee Tavern in Pott Shrigley so you'll be able to grab a brew and something to eat along the way. The finish is at Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar, a fine Victorian refreshment room, now fully restored and offering a selection of real ales as well as pies and sandwiches. It's a place Don had an occasional pint, and it deserves to be much better known, as you will be able to testify for yourself.

2015 Calendar

The Black Magic 100 is just one of the Calendar of rides from Peak Audax. PBP qualifiers play a big part in our plans throughout 2015, though hopefully we've got something for everyone, whether Paris-bound or not.

We've got our usual winter events so you can get in some valuable training miles and tick off the 200 PBP qualifier. You can pick up the rest of your qualifiers with Peak Audax: the Plains 300 with its 11pm start is good practise for a late evening start; the Llanfair 400 is a fairly straight forward trip over to Anglesey from Poynton (near Stockport); while the Pair of Kirtons 600 is our version of PBP (but in our case it stands for Poynton–Boston–Poynton). It's not all about that French ride, and we have some challenging Peak District rides, starting with the Hopey New Year 100, and including the Monyash 100 from Marple. John Perrin also offers up some interesting rides from Macclesfield visiting North Wales and the Peak District. See www.PeakAudax.co.uk for full details of all our Peak Audax 2015 rides.

Llanfair 200 Perms

If 400km sounds a long way for one ride, the Llanfair 400 is also available as a ride of two halves, or at least as a pair of 200km Perms. You could ride the Poynton-Holyhead 200 Perm on the Saturday, have a night's sleep at the Youth Hostel, the Travelodge or a B&B, and return on the Sunday on the Holyhead-Poynton 200 Perm. It won't count towards an SR but you'll still get 4 AUK points. See www.tinyurl.com/ Poynton-Holyhead200 and www.tinyurl.com/ Holyhead-Poynton200 for details or get in touch with Mike Wigley to explore this option further.

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OVERSEAS RANDONNEE

Death Valley Fall Double-Century Tim Gathercole

The Death Valley double-century comes in two flavours – Spring and Fall. Both rides start from the small community of Furnace Creek, with the Spring version going toward Badwater salt flats and the Fall, or Autumn to us non-colonials, goes the other way out to the Nevada border. The Fall version is 197 miles with 10,000 ft of climbing (that's 317km and 3000 meters in new money). There is some degree of support provided by the organisers as it is required through this kind of environment, I for one couldn't carry the gallons of water we'd drink during the day. This is an expanded telling of last time I did the ride, a couple of years ago.

I

had been doing double centuries in California for several years when I started volunteering at the VA (Veterans Affairs) facility in Palo Alto, mainly doing some work as a tandem captain in their blind rehab program. As I expect many of you know, the VA run the hospitals, care facilities and services for returning and retired American military personnel and their families. It represents the closest America has to our NHS. I'd been captaining a tandem for Liz during the blind rehab rides for a while when we started doing longer rides together and finally progressed to doing double centuries. After having a good time on the Los Angeles Grand Tour and the Solvang Double we decided to finish the season with a trip to Death Valley for

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the Fall double century. I should point out that although visually impaired, Liz was no slouch on the bike and with one of her other captains had finished PBP in 2007 (more than I've done). To read her thoughts on how stokers should be treated by their captains, see the notes Liz and her buddy Lisa wrote on captain training at: http:// www.bikeaholics.org/CaptainTraining.html Liz is also the only person I know who owns more than one titanium tandem. For this ride we selected the newer bike, a Santana Team Ti. We (well, she did most of the work) had just uprated its back gearing to 11–36 to cope with some of the steep hills of the Bay area and Liz wanted to properly test how well the rear 10 speed would work over longer distance, with the Campagnolo shifters that she loves – once she'd dialled it in, it worked flawlessly, naturally. My first tip for you today is, if you can, date a lady who is a qualified bike mechanic. We decided to camp rather than pay the none-too-cheap prices of the hotels in the area and to be fair the Death Valley National Park's camp ground's facilities, while not the best, aren't too bad. We got there two days before the ride, so we could explore the area more and generally relax. While I had done the ride several times in the past, Liz had never before visited the area, even though she is a California girl. If you've never visited a desert area, there is a strange beauty to be found there and as long as

“if you look at a map, the Devil seems to own quite a bit of property in Death Valley”

one doesn't do anything stupid like going for a long walk into the dunes at mid-day, without any water. There's a lot to see and experience. The ride goes out in waves – there is a limit of 300 riders with approximately 200 of those being century riders and the other 100 were double riders like us. Since Liz had a buddy who was riding a single century, we thought we'd go out with the first wave and pull her for the largely flat first 50 miles. However, weather and fate took a hand. When we woke up that morning, just before 6am, there was a light rain falling. Yes, it rains in Death Valley and at certain times there can even be flash floods! Muttering to ourselves we added another layer of clothing and I started to make breakfast. Liz offered to get the tandem off the car and found her way over to it. Here's my second tip, don't let the visuallyimpaired lady get the bike off the car. The next thing I heard was a loud bang, she wasn't used to my Sidewinder rack and the rain had made the bike slip out of her hands giving me a nice new dent in my car door. Not for nothing are tandems known as divorce machines. Fortunately Liz and I were tandeming in sin, so we shrugged it off; although if you listened carefully you might have been able to hear the sound of my teeth grinding for the next half an hour. The mishap put us behind and after we'd checked the tandem over and got ourselves together, then ridden the three miles to the start, we found ourselves in the last group to leave Furnace Creek – the waves go out in ten minute intervals. We wouldn't do more than glimpse Liz's friend, Deb, again until the control before the final climb. The group of fifty-or-so riders waiting for the off were the usual bunch of keen and eager sorts you'll see at the start of any ride, with the added bonus that, since the ride tends to occur around Halloween, a percentage of them were in some form of costume. Indeed, one of the three other tandem teams were dressed as pirates. It is one of the last big rides of the season, so people like to have fun on it. On the other hand, after having done the ride several times before I knew wearing extra stuff, even little bits around your head or legs, can be something you might regret later in the day when the temperatures start to remind you that, yes, this really is Death Valley. The morning air after the rain was cool and the road was in relatively good shape, bearing in mind the cooking and freezing it gets on a regular basis. However, we now had to work our way through about two hundred other riders, even two strong riders on a tandem have no chance of catching the fastest twenty or so – they'll be Cat Ones, Pros and all sorts of other elite athletes, mixed in with the rest of us out there. The first section, to the Stovepipe Wells www.aukweb.net


OVERSEAS RANDONNEE control, is through a typical desert scrubland, full of gnarly bushes sticking out of the gritty grey brown sand. There is a constant bump, bump as you go over the “road snake” of expansion cracks in the highways. Sometimes it's more pronounced, sometimes less so, but it's a fact of life that you have get used to in that area. We weren't pushing too hard, but taking our time going through the other riders, saying hello and admiring the costumes on the more festive of the Halloween types – after all Halloween is much bigger in the States and some people really go overboard with all sorts of house decorations, so a few bits of tinsel and extra lights hardly raised an eyebrow. As we progressed we picked up a few

“Klingons” and by the time we pulled into Stovepipe Wells at mile 25, we had a train of about eight singles and one of the other tandems behind us. Stovepipe Wells is less of a town, or even village, and more a collection of a few buildings. Obviously the control is more for the Century riders and being so close to the start it was pretty busy, therefore I simply topped up our water bottles while Liz held the bike and we were on our way, going back the way we had come and eventually turning left back onto Highway 190. The ride continues on the flats and the wind hadn't yet started to make its presence felt, however the temperature was starting to climb and while we were off the bike we had both removed our extra layers of morning clothing and stored them in the tandem's trunk – they wouldn't be needed again. After the turn there is a quick water stop at a park rest area, one we would revisit in the evening as the stop before the final climb, but since it is barely ten miles on from the last control, again it was merely a

case of ensuring our bottles were topped up. There are a couple of SAG cars driving the course, looking for people in trouble, but it's foolish to court problems by running low on water, especially when you know you'll have to face a climb through a canyon before the third control. Just as we were leaving the Pirate tandem pulled in, already looking a little worse for wear. I knew that false beard was a bad idea! The next section on 190 goes past your first sight of real, honest to goodness, sand dunes that you normally only encounter in Hollywood movies. They are dwarfed by the mountains that are behind them in the far distance, but the yellow-gold of those shifting, ephemeral hills is quite impressive. As a ride went on Liz and I tended to become more silent, but at the beginning of a ride we would chat and I would describe the features around us that she had difficulty perceiving. After passing the dunes we then headed into the Devils Cornfield, more scrubland, this time filled with strangely shaped bushes that look somewhat like ears of corn. They are clumped together in numbers for several miles and presumably make good cover for the local wildlife. It's worth noting that, if you look at a map and judge by the names, the Devil seems to own quite a bit of property in Death Valley. Talking of wildlife, while we had temporarily dropped all of the singles from our back wheel – we were trying to hit the first climb before the sun got too hot and so were pushing a bit harder – that didn't mean we were totally without company. As will sometimes happen with bikes out there, we found we had a companion racing alongside us in the form of a roadrunner. Unlike the cartoons, they are actually more of a brown, grey and black colour and only about a foot or so high. Also I've never heard one make a beep, beep noise; although to be fair I've never heard one make any noise, so for all I know that is the sound they do make! Our competitor stuck with us for twenty or thirty feet before either tiring of us or finding something better to do and ran off into the bushes.

“there are stories of 100% DNF rates on some rides”

We entered the long shallow climb of just under 3,000ft (900m) up to Scotty's Castle, which is both control three and control five on the ride. As I recall, the rather grandiose, at least for its setting, castle was constructed by “Scotty” to try and fool people into thinking he was richer than he was and one has to suspect, get them to invest in some scheme or other of his. I can't remember how it ended for him, but I expect there were tears before bedtime. I do know the area we were climbing is known as Grapevine Canyon and I don't think there are many grapevines there! One of the pictures shows us at this point; while my expression doesn't look too happy, we were feeling pretty good, but the temperature was starting to get around 100 degrees (38 Celsius in new money), but remember this is the desert and the dry heat isn't as sapping to the strength, at least I never found it so. You might also note the white things on Liz's arms in the picture, they are Arm Coolers not warmers, she claimed did help. Once again we replenished our water bottles and this time had a snack and queued for the rest rooms too. The good news was the temperature wouldn't get much higher than 100 Fahrenheit for the whole ride, the bad news is that it wouldn't get a lot cooler than that, even after nightfall. It can get quite cold in the desert at night, but this wasn't going to be one of those days. The next section of the ride, out through the Nevada boarder on Bonnie Claire Flat to the crossroads of 267 and Highway 95 is the boring bit of the ride. Some years I've been able to ride in a group, but the long shallow hill climb had bogged us down and while we pulled a few singles for a bit, there weren't many riders out there for us to ride with. The flat scrubland starts to repeat itself and is more reminiscent of the Mojave desert that eventually it will transition into; perhaps there are a few reading this who have done the Furnace Creek 508 and will know what I mean. At least there weren't any of the turbine windmills that cover Mojave's landscape, as you ride into LA. After the thousandth twiggy bush in flat, gravel desert soil you stop noticing them. The 30 miles to the crossroads went pretty fast as it is flat or slightly downhill and we had a tail wind, by the time we reached the control we had outstripped the three singles we had briefly picked up and chatted with, even though I had warned them to stick on our wheel. They didn't really need us going out, but coming back against that desert headwind would be a different story. After the usual snack and water stop we climbed back on board the tandem and headed out. I've known the wind on that stretch to be worse and there are stories of 100% DNF rates on some Death Valley rides due to the winds – 50mph isn't unknown – but we still had trouble getting our

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OVERSEAS RANDONNEE Only glimpsed from the road during the ride, Liz and I went to visit Zabriskie Point and hiked through its canyons, the day after

hit us at different times. When Liz was having a low I would take the strain a bit more while she sat up a little and ate, and when it was my turn to flag she'd encourage me and feed me Cliff blocks and power bars. However, today we hit our lows at the same time, I could tell this by Liz's repeated speed above 15mph along the Bonnie Claire Flat asking of the question, “How much further to section, before finally entering the canyon and the control?”, and I think she realised I was in arriving back at Scotty's Castle. the same place when I started to reply, “About This time we both grabbed a sandwich and a quarter of a mile less than the last time you settled down in a bit of shade for a well-earned asked me”. lunch. Liz and I chatted with some of the riders We were both very glad to get to the control, and even noticed her friend Deb just pulling out which we did just as the last of the sun's rays of the car park. At this point we were in pretty were disappearing over the horizon. Normally good shape, although not doing as well as the I'd wax lyrical about desert sunsets, but to be coyote I noticed prowling around the periphery honest I was so low on energy I didn't notice it. of the car park looking for scraps. They are On the bright side we did finally catch up with usually pretty scrawny things – think an ugly Deb at this point and while Liz and she had a fox – but this one looked like he had just been combed and might even be developing a weight chat I got us a couple of nice cups of soup. I think problem! Obviously he had a good patch. it was a minestrone, but Feeling a bit more refreshed – if more then I'm not sure, however it a little sweaty – we applied an extra coating was obviously what we of sunscreen and headed down the Canyon at both needed as after a refreshing speed. I'm a notoriously cautious going back for seconds and having a twenty descender and Liz often complained I was the minute rest we both felt a lot better and headed slowest descender of all the captains she had for the last climb of the day, up to Hell's Gate. ridden with, although I would get my own back This is another long steady climb up Mud later for that comment of hers. It's a relatively Canyon, but it does have a few kicks in it that short trip to the next control at the rim of can get the attention of tired legs, nothing Ubehebe Crater, but you have to ride though a that is too bad, but still 6% for 6.5 miles, giving rock environment that amplifies the heat all the 2,000ft of elevation gain and the heat and way to the Crater rim. In years past the road to previous effort are taking their toll at this point. the rim has been more pothole than road, but I had set up the bike's this year we were in luck, lights before we left the road had just been the control, but since resurfaced and it was we weren't setting any probably the nicest bit speed records in our of tarmac on the whole climbing I only had the route. Nevertheless, after front light on minimum the few hundred feet of power. As we went up climbing to the rim we the mountain Liz and I were glad to get to the started to play pedalling control. This control is games, to relieve stress just a water stop, but it's on our legs and keep forty miles to the next our minds active. Her control and more lumps favourite is pushing and bumps climbing for hard with one leg every the tandem. We always fourth stroke and then preferred the steeper repeating it with the climbs that you could The tandem back on the car and ready to leave. These Yakima work at and get over the Sidewinder tandem racks make it really easy for one person to load the other leg. Some people like it, others not, but top of, or true rollers you bike onto the car. when a climb goes on can use gravity on – you for a while it can help to keep things fresh. can't get any rhythm on that kind of terrain. Before we got to the control at the summit We rode back down from the rim and then I warned Liz about it, basically it can be a trap, climbed back to the main road and headed many people get off the bike and lose a lot of toward the romantically named Death Valley time drinking and eating, before heading off National Park Rest Area 32 which is control again. However, Furnace Creek is only twenty number seven. That was a long forty miles. miles away and a third of that is downhill, so we usually on a long ride everyone will have a bit quickly filled our water bottles one last time and of a low point at sometime, but usually it would 28

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then set the lights to maximum, startling a few people standing in front of us. I use a Dinotte XML-3 and Light and Motion Seca Endurance light, together they provide quite a bit of illumination. We climbed the short distance to the turn and went into the first few switch-backs of the descent. At this point, for the first and only time in the thousands of miles we have ridden together, I heard Liz complain I was going too fast on a descent. To be fair, she couldn't see how well the road was illuminated for me and I also knew this road pretty well – it quickly becomes a straight shot down the mountain. Interestingly, Liz controlled the Santana's drum brake and I felt her feathering it a couple of times on the descent, presumably to keep me in check. About halfway down the mountain we came across Debs for a second time; she had left the control about ten minutes ahead of us with the group she had been riding with. I lit her up with my headlight so Liz could see her, being careful not to shine it in her eyes and slowed down so we could say hi. We rode with the pack for a short while until the gradient dipped a little more and then picked up speed, leaving the singles behind us. On a tandem gravity either loves you or hates you! Even with the slowdowns, Liz and I would hold Strava's

KOM for the descent from Hells Gate until quite recently, if I'd known we were going to do that I'd have tried harder – we barely exceed 50mph. On reaching the turn for home at the end of the descent, I reduced the lights' brightness to more normal levels and started the final leg. Now it was full dark the stars were coming out, providing one of the most beautiful sights you'll see in Death Valley, its night sky. By the time we would be riding back to camp the Milky Way would be fully visible as a silver stream across the sky, something I can only remember seeing once or twice as a small child growing up in South-East England, and never here as an adult. The last twelve miles or so are largely flat apart from a few undulations, so we started to put in a bit more effort in our keenness to get home. We passed a number of singles, but I guess the efforts of the day were wearing on them as none took the invitation to hop on our back wheel for more than a mile or so. The Lights in front of the Furnace Creek ranch came up faster than I expected, in fact we had only just overtaken another bunch of singles when they appeared, I wouldn't have bothered if I knew how close to home we were. We got off the tandem, grabbed a drink and a couple of slices of pizza, then settled onto the grass for a leisurely dinner and to relax, before heading back to the camp to clean up. Debs arrived with her group about 15 minutes later. Recently all sporting events in American National Parks have been under threat to some degree, either due to federal budget cuts and/ or bureaucracy, but if you ever get the chance to do this ride, you'll find it a special experience.

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RANDONNEE

The day I became a Randonneur Tim Harrison

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hen I first found out about Audax five years ago I never believed it possible that one day I would actually cycle 200 kilometres – I found driving that far tiring enough. The furthest I had ever cycled prior to this event was on a carefully selected homemade 100 mile course earlier this year. It involved being dropped off at Broadway Tower (elevation 312 metres) to arrive home (elevation 60 metres) with a few lumps in between totalling 841 metres. Not bad for someone living next door to the hilly Cotswolds. As an achievement it never felt quite right as effectively 15% of the distance was a gift and each morning as I shaved I couldn't bear to look into the mirror – I was no genuine century cyclist! I have been riding with the Evesham Wheelers “Antique Road Show” on occasional Wednesday mornings and gradually built things up to where 100k became a nonstop, morning ride with nothing more than water to sustain me. I was told early on by a seasoned Audax rider that the rule of thumb was whatever distance you have actually ridden you can easily double – I'm not entirely convinced there is much logic to this but it stuck in my mind and has become a fact which I continue to spread around. The Four Leaf Clover is one of four events that the Evesham Wheelers organise on the same day (there is a 50k, a 100k and another 200k the “Neville Chanin Memorial – Over the Severn”, which involves much more hill work). The Four Leaf is basically three loops with the start and finish at Wickhamford Village Hall, which also doubles as the control point at the end of loops one and two. Psychologically this can be quite tough as there is a temptation to retire each time the control point is reached and a comfortable car is spotted gently grazing in the field opposite. There were twenty one starters (the majority of riders going for the other events) and I was first off, setting a pace which everyone seemed happy to fall in with. In the first few miles I met Dave riding a Moulton, I soon figured out he was a serious Audaxer as he revealed multiple PBP and LEL achievements. However, he dropped back as today was more of a “social ride”, as he had a friend visiting from Australia who was a little further back. All went well until a few miles in, when the long climb to Snowshill began and I was overtaken by pretty much everyone. I figured that the social aspect of my ride was over and that the next 190k were going to be lonely, souldestroying and character building. I knew that I had to conquer this ride, I wanted the badge, had built up the expectations of those around

me and I couldn't face having to plan another 200k, i.e. clearing my diary for recovery time! In addition it was an almost ideal day: not too hot; no rain forecast; and a decent breeze that hopefully would reward me at some point. Behind in the distance I could see a light and a yellow jacket; the gap didn't change so I slowed my pace down and hoped that it might be a late starter on the same event who could provide me with some company and a little shelter from the breeze – in turns, of course.

end was in sight and I was determined to quash my demons and be able to look in the mirror again – besides which my face was sore with too many shaving cuts. I picked up a couple of catchphrases and some good tips during the day: Pete – “are we having fun yet?”; Judith –“time is miles”; and Dave – “most people never go through the pain barrier so don't learn what they are capable of, once through it, things get easier”. I will enjoy using these wise words on future rides. Martin, 19 years my senior, just got on with job with no complaints even when I tried to sweep him into my world of discontent. We both acknowledged that we were being aided around this 200k by a particularly powerful, generous rider and team. The Evesham Wheeler helpers kept huge quantities of superb, highly calorific food and drink going all day and really helped keep my spirits up. I was glad of the 10 minute break. After all, time is miles. During loop three (Worcestershire) I finally could not keep the pace going and dropped off the back. I figured I had had a great run for my money and would slog out the last 25k on my own. I was so pleased and surprised when I found the whole group waiting for me on a bench at the next information point. They kindly offered me dried apricots and to slow the pace down and shield me from the wind for the next leg. I felt guilty as they owed me nothing. I hadn't been in their plan and I certainly hadn't done much leading the way and any sociability I once had was gone – I was now just a silent passenger with nothing to offer. So I declined and wished them well with the last few kilometres. As they set off I changed my mind jumped back on the bike and raced to get in their wind shadow. I lasted with them until Pershore when I finally did give up and wave them on their way. I rested, walked a little and pushed my bike up the last few hills, finally arriving back at the control some 11 hours after setting out and well within the time limit. I found Dave, Judith, Pete and Martin in the village hall claiming they had only arrived 10 minutes before me – but I know they were just being kind. It does feel good to achieve and I know that the next few car journeys I will bore all my passengers as I tell them how far we have driven and how I have ridden x miles further than that. It was great to meet new, interesting and kind people. And as ever I admire the organisers who spend time planning and preparing a seamlessly good event and have a village hall full of helpers for over 14 hours. 202 kilometres and total climbing of 2189 metres, I would never have believed I could get this far, now I don't know how far I will go! map data ©Google 2014

Three Counties - Four Leaf Clover 200km, 3 August 2014

It turned out to be a small wheel trio on Moultons and I was reintroduced to Dave; then his friend Pete from Australia; Judith, Dave's partner, on “Casper”; and solo rider Martin also looking to complete his first 200k but on big wheels. I quickly gathered just how hardcore Dave and his group were and decided to try to learn whatever tips and tricks they might have. Did I mention Dave and Judith had completed a 200k event the day before? I was only surprised that they hadn't ridden down in the morning from London! The first loop (Gloucestershire) ended up a dream, a much faster pace than I would have considered on my own, jolly banter and a great tail wind. I ride in this area a lot and use Strava to track my rides, when I arrived home and checked my times I was amazed that during the first loop I had set personal records for practically every segment – yet I felt good and wasn't even remotely tempted to retire at the village hall control. The second loop (Warwickshire) became a little tougher and I was interested to understand how a seasoned Audaxer eats and drinks during the day. Left to my own devices I would have opted for a decent lunch time stop but the Budgens car park in Moreton in the Marsh witnessed us eating sandwiches and soft drinks during a 15 minute break – standing up of course. By the end of loop number two any jolly banter that I had was gone but somehow the

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THE NATIONAL 400

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26 & 27 July 2014

his was a beautifully planned ride, organised by VC167 on behalf of Audax UK and taking in a huge swathe of the North of England between the east and west coasts. Starting just south of Stockton-on-Tees, it took us almost to the Solway Firth before returning via roads used in such classics as The Old 240 and London–Edinburgh–London. I've ridden the former and helped on the latter. I've lived near Rochdale a long time but I was born in Stockton, and at the western extremity of the route I would be only a few miles from a town I had worked in for a couple of years. In between lies a huge chunk of paradise, spanning the historic counties of Yorkshire, Westmorland, Cumberland, Northumberland and Durham. Another huge incentive was that I was certain to meet so many friends, because VC167 may be based in the north-east but its tentacles slither all over the North and I know many of their riders, who would be running the controls. I also expected to meet quite a few riders from around the country, as I imagined a large turnout for such a flagship event. So, all in all, it was with great anticipation that I went with Brother Trev to the All Saints Academy base in Ingleby Barwick the evening before the ride, to encounter the only disappointment of the whole experience: there were only about sixty riders slated to start. No doubt others will hold an inquest, but I can tell you now that those who missed it missed a real Blue Riband event. It's always nice to meet friends at the start but it was especially good to see Chris Smith with a huge smile on his face, after his recent heart scare. (He had passed out in a remote Yorkshire inn after being told the price of a pint.) Nigel Hall and Andy Clarkson, who had done so much to stage the event, were on hand to greet people and sort out the arrangements for those staying overnight. There soon accrued a great mixture

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Peter Bond of machines, including a Moulton, a Pashley, a recumbent and a tandem trike. After a couple of hours chat, Trev and I went to his house for the night. The morning brought baking sunshine and more acquaintances, before we rolled out along the shady cycle path, which hid the town of Ingleby Barwick from view. I'd ridden from here last year on one of Graeme Holdsworth's excellent rides, when I'd been shocked by the expansion. When I was a boy, Ingleby had been

Garsdale

about four houses right out in the wilds. Now it rivals Milton Keynes in both size and soul. Nevertheless, in just over a mile the cycle path delivered us abruptly into the countryside and I felt the ride-proper begin. This part of North Yorkshire is littered with classic villages with the greens, beer and warm nurses of John Major's Merrie Englande. Hutton Rudby is a good example; East Rounton, too. With

a 10am start, the day was already cooking up nicely as we rode past field after field of golden geometry, huge rolls of straw for winter fodder. The verges were wonderful and full of flowering hogweed and thistle, blue geranium and ragwort. I've never heard so many yellowhammers. It took me a while to work my way to the back of the field and I still hadn't quite managed it by the time I reached Northallerton, which is a town that speaks to me of the great days of coach travel – even stage coach travel – with its wide high street and many inns. Before long, Nigel

Laws came up to me; he'd been having some trouble with his computer and had stopped to correct it. We chatted briefly before he powered up the road. We were to meet again later. South of Northallerton, we took the hallowed A167, which has the rare distinction of being named after a cycling club. This is a fast but, at the weekend, lightly-trafficked road, sandwiched as it is between the A1(M) and the A19. There are some unexpected sights on it, such as The Crab and Lobster, festooned in creels and nets and about as far from the sea as you can imagine. Beyond Sandhutton at the crossroads with the A61, the old inn known as The Busby Stoop is now an Indian restaurant. I'm all in favour of this kind of rescue of defunct businesses but I wish they could have kept the name because of its attendant legend and the fact that the crossroads is actually designated as Busby Stoop on the maps. I won't go into the legend here as I've so many other irrelevances to wedge in. After a little dog-leg to Cundall, presumably to make up distance, we arrived at the first control in Ripon. This is an ancient place, where they still blow a curfew horn every evening. The cathedral is almost bigger than the rest of the town put together and yet the lumpy, narrow nature of the streets means that you catch a glimpse of it then it disappears. Our rendezvous was the Spa Gardens where there is a grand old Victorian www.aukweb.net


RANDONNEE swimming baths. Outside the café, riders were sprawled across the lawn and Keith and Ann Benton stamped cards and offered cakes and rolls. I'm sure the priority for all of us was filling our bottles. Even after twenty-or-so minutes rest and chat, I was still well up on my schedule. My computer won't run to 24 hours so I was relying on my watch. I only use a computer to help with distances between turns but there is always the tendency to check everything else while you're at it. Not having one was incredibly liberating. It had been a flat, fast 70 kilometres but things were to change gradually on leaving Ripon. Having thus far flirted with the Tees and skirted the Swale, we would now follow the Ure for many miles. Essentially, what we did was ride the main road from Ripon to Sedbergh, which is on the west of the Pennines. The first section, to Leyburn, took us north-west past so many landmarks that it could be a heritage trail on its own. First we passed through North Stainley, where there is an old lock-up with a conical roof. Then came West Tanfield, with its famous Marmion Tower, sadly not connected to Scott's poem of the same name. The view from the Ure Bridge is one of the most English I've ever come across and Rich and Paul passed me here as I took a picture. Next was Masham with its warring breweries united for the Tour de France. On a bend on the road in Ellington there is a classic soldier's return cottage with roses round the window. Soon after, the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey appear on the right-hand side. In Middleham, once the seat of the Norman Neville family and in particular of Warwick the King-maker, there is a pub named after its most famous resident. The Richard III had the inevitable bike hoisted on its ivied front and I found myself saying, “A bike, a bike, my kingdom for a bike!”. It's ironic that such a keen cyclist should have been buried under a car-park – in Leicester. If he'd stayed where he was, Richard would have had no trouble getting hold of a horse as Middleham has been training racehorses since before Jervaulx was dissolved. In fact, it's thought the monks started it, so no surprises there. Turning west, and bypassing Leyburn, I came to Aysgarth. Our route missed the wonderful falls but not the quaint AA box on the outskirts. Passing through Bainbridge, another town where they blow a horn, it was noticeable that the wind was increasing, though nothing like the howler

that frequently whips through Wensleydale. The heat continued to rise and I fought my impatience as I waited ten minutes to be served with water in the Spar in Hawes. People were queueing around two aisles – it is always like that and has been for about twenty years. Ditch the alcohol and put another till in! Stocked up, I continued west, finally leaving the Ure at Garsdale Head, where the river turns north at The Moorcock to accompany the Settle–Carlisle line and the Mallerstang Common road to Kirkby Stephen. After a quick fix of railway architecture, I was on the last few miles to Sedbergh, ready for a break but thoroughly enjoying the isolation of Garsdale, where the road roller-coasts alongside the beck, passing only the odd barn, a lonely church and a council road-mending yard – for use in leap-years only. Close by to the right loomed the huge pyramids of Baugh Fell and the Howgills. I saw my first harebells just as I came up to Andy Cox of Cardiff Byways on the Moulton. His huge chainwheel (oo-er, missus) had me musing on the driving wheels of passenger engines as opposed to freight engines. I'll leave that one with you as I pull into Sedbergh. The control in Sedbergh (153k) was through the town and I missed it. I was halfway up the hill on Howgill Lane before some kind people put me right and I rolled back to find the inestimable Lindsay Clayton and Kat Chandler girling the control. Lindsay is the Sultana of Smile and Kat the Countess of Cake, and there was also soup and a great risotto. Steve Bateman was presiding and his guide dog had a whale of a time licking the salt off everyone's legs as they collected food. Lindsay's children were also delightful and worked their passage. It's as well I was still feeling good or I could easily have settled in for a cosy evening and got the train back! Fortified (actually, I'm a bit older than that), I hauled myself back up the hill. As I passed the garden where the kind people sat, they waved, laughing as I called out “Howgill Lane, so nice I climbed it twice!” It was good to be alive. And it was to get gooder (Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul – all stand, please). There are no boring bits on this ride at all – not one. But this section to Penrith was my favourite, or goodest. I've never cycled this road before, which always adds attraction. It was a hilly, narrow and laney route north to Penrith, passing through the Shakespearean town of Tebay (“Tebay, or not

“…the Sultana of Smile and the Countess of Cake…”

Hawes

Tebay”) and Shap. It is a geographer's delight: when you are on the tops you can see the M6 and the West Coast main line far below you and at one stage I could make out Red Screes above the Kirkstone Pass. Early in this passage, Mike Thompson came up on fixed. Normally, he would have been miles ahead by now but as he said later, “I've paid me £30, I'm going to enjoy it!”. He's a great bike-handler and to see him descending at speed whilst adjusting his saddlebag was impressive. Soon I was on my own again. Those of you who travel up the M6 will have noticed the section south of Penrith where the carriageways split; for a short space we rode between them, which was quirky. Joining the A6, I rode into Shap. This town featured frequently in news reports of years ago when the snow stranded motorists most winters. It was very benign this evening in the sunshine as I did calculations about food. There were more controls to come where I could get a meal but further supplies would be difficult overnight. I called in at the Co-op in Shap and raided the banana supply. I wasn't long underway when two riders from Alnwick passed. They were riding two-abreast on a very wide road when a chav passed and blared his horn at them. There was nothing coming the other way and loads of room to overtake. After passing, the driver stuck his arm out of the

Aysgarth AA Box

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Aysgarth

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Spa Gardens and Keith and Ann Benton

window to gesture, presumably steering with his knees as I'm pretty sure what he was doing with the other hand. This was the only example of poor driving I saw on the whole ride, perhaps an indication that we were approaching the scallyalley of Penrith. Penrith is an odd town with an ancient history but modern problems. Locals call it brown town, after the marijuana, rather than the red sandstone used in many of the old buildings. This material looks magnificent if it is clean and maintained but in the run-down streets covered in grime it can be really quite depressing. It's a shame, because there is some fine architecture, where it hasn't succumbed to the slaughter of the road-builders. I missed my way in the confusion but a fleeing teenager answered my enquiry on the run and was spot on. If I hadn't gone wrong, I wouldn't have seen the old castle ruin but I was still pleased to get out of town. It was a bit like leaving Dodge City, though I'm sure that's unfair to people whose home it is.

in the worsening light. I had dry clothes with me but if this were to continue, without an effective waterproof, I was going to suffer badly on the descent of Yad Moss. It helped that Nigel came up at this point and we rode on together, both of us skidding on the 1-in-6 up from the River Caldew. Further along this river is Caldbeck, of John Peel fame. Like a couple of shotup bombers, we limped to the safety of Rosley Village Hall (237k). Well, you'd think we had swum the Atlantic judging from the reception we got from Rob, Denise, Graeme, Conrad and others. A three-course meal and a set of dry clothes later, I was ready for leaving. Not so Rich and Paul, who were going to wait out the rain. However, it had slackened appreciably and my non-waterproof had dried out in the warmth of the welcome, so I wanted to chance it and left in a group that included Nigel, Bob Johnson, Tracy and Gordon from VC167, Chris from Bradford and old friend Ian Ryall. It was almost 11pm. We soon lost Ian as he went the right way and we missed a turn. Nigel successfully predicted a correction and we had a good blast through the dark and drizzle towards Brampton, where we briefly saw Ian again. We had also collected Mark along the way. My mood was rising all the time: we were making good speed and as we turned to follow the South Tyne, near Brampton, we were finally facing the right way, approaching the great crossing of County Durham and the astonishing descent of Teesdale. In what seemed no time at all and after seeing “lampers” up on the hillside near Knarsdale, we reached the Slaggyford stop (290k). Here was more hot food, light and heat and excellent companionship. Julian, Graeme McCulloch, Damon and Heather were ministering to us along with Mike Wigley, Chris Boulton and several others. Another excellent control. I was definitely considering having a sleep here, in spite of it being against my plan. I could have seen whether or not I would find it easy to get going after a couple of hours off, so it would still have been good experience. However, in the end, I was too nervous about getting round in time so decided to push on. In some ways, I wish I had stopped because I would then have seen Yad Moss in the daylight, though it wouldn't have been as spectacular as it could have been

because of the clouds. For a brief time there were tantalising views of stars and planets as we left Slaggyford and the temperature had dropped, or had seemed to after our cosy stop. However, I soon warmed up on the few miles to Alston, which is a fascinating place. Vaunted as the highest market town in England it has many interesting buildings, including a gothic sort of town hall. Its population has dwindled to about 1200 from the 6000 who lived there in its heyday as a centre of lead-mining. But for cyclists the most significant thing about Alston is the steep cobbled main street. On the bend halfway up is a market cross of the enclosure type, such as is found in Kirkby Lonsdale and Barnard Castle. The current one is a replacement for one destroyed by a lorry in the 1980s. That in its turn was a replacement for the original which was also destroyed by a lorry a year or two earlier. These demolitions give an idea of the respect demanded by this short section of pavé. As it turned out, athough the rain had made things greasy, we made a successful assault and

“These demolitions give an idea of the respect demanded by this short section of pavé”

Lock-up, North Stainley

It was an eerie experience as I turned off the A6 towards west Cumberland. I was now on a road I had last travelled 40 years ago on my way to teach in Wigton. As soon as you make the turn there is a sign warning of a steep descent and subsequent climb ten miles ahead. Such an early warning must strike fear into many but I was well aware of this, having only just made it on several occasions on an old motor-bike and side-car. More concerning was the arrival of the rain. This had been forecast but only as showers. What we got was a downpour which went straight through my “waterproof” to the skin. My mood plummeted as I ploughed along the glassy road 32

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Sedbergh control

settled in to cross the fabled Yad Moss. This seemed longer than I remembered, then I realised that whenever I've done it before I've come in to Alston off Hartside to the west, when the town is at the end of a tremendous descent. This time we'd really started the ascent back near Brampton, which, as Bob Johnson had pointed out encouragingly, is pretty much at sea-level. From the north, Yad Moss isn't an unbroken climb and there is at least one lovely sweeping descent with a sharp bend in it. I kept waiting for the steep rise that marked the completion of the ascent but it never really happened. I think this may have been due to the effect of bunch riding and also the fact that I'd had several good meals en route, in addition to my “something every hour” routine. a field of golden geometry…

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RANDONNEE

Barnard Castle

Jervaulx Abbey

For those who don't know Yad Moss, the road reaches very nearly 2000 feet and there are snow poles to remind you that in a hard winter this is an extremely inhospitable place. However, we had a warm, overcast crossing and after an abortive attempt to get a group photo at the Prince Bishops sign on the County Durham border we hurled ourselves off the top, over the cattle grid, which was greasy and nearly did for me. Even in the dark, this is magnificent country. As the cloud fought the dawn, the ghostly white farmhouses and newly shaved fields gradually re-modelled the landscape from the dark cardboard cutout that we had climbed through. Gordon was dropping like a stone and we were strung out like a skein of red beads down the hillside. On we flew, through Forest in Teesdale. The picturesque hamlet of Langdon Beck, with its church and inn, gave us a rare opportunity for cornering. Not long after this, the swoosh of our tyres was swallowed up by the roar of High Force, the fifty foot high waterfall where the Tees drops over an exposed section of the Whin Sill bassalt. Unfortunately we had no moon to reveal the river glinting below us through the trees. A few minutes later we were in Middleton-in-Teesdale, another town which owes its expansion to the philanthropy of the London Lead Company, a

Quaker enterprise. In the whole crossing we saw one car. I remember wondering who would be crazy enough to be out on this road in the middle of the night (answers in the audax results table). At Gordon's suggestion, we took the easterly route to Barnard Castle, so we kept straight on down the main street, where I was to make a happy discovery. Middleton has what I call a Convenience of Power – a 24-hour public toilet which absorbs heat on a warm day and dispenses it free of charge during the night to needy cyclists. It hadn't been a cold night but the long descent had chilled my fingers so it was a happy man who discovered the electric hand drier. I also discovered a Slaggyford cheese sandwich in my pocket, thus avoiding yet another banana. Our alternative route to Barnard Castle was straight and true but not without its hills. (Sages of past LELs talk about it being downhill all the way to Barnard Castle but they are not sage, neither know they their onions.) But the road was grand and deserted as we rode the switchback into the ancient town, where we took five minutes break while Chris had an instant sleep, an ability I wish I had. There were low mutterings from Nigel about the cobbles up to the Buttermarket Cross. I don't know what he was worrying about: we'd all got up at Alston and

“a Convenience of Power – absorbs heat on a warm day and dispenses it during the night to needy cyclists”

Spa Gardens

Nigel in particular had pulverised the cobbles into volcanic ash. He needn't have worried because Gordon took us along a back route which missed them altogether. I now realise that it missed the castle, too! I, at least, have seen that massive, atmospheric ruin many times. We were soon leaving the town past the Bowes Museum, a huge edifice in the style of a French chateau. Built in the 19th century to house an art collection, it is in Barnard Castle by accident – it had been intended by John Bowes and his wife to be built in Calais, but France was too volatile at the time. Then it was back out into the countryside for the remaining few miles to the final checkpoint at Aldbrough St John. On the way, we crossed the beautiful Tees by the iron suspension bridge at Whorlton – magical spot. Climbing away from the noble river, our route was now along quiet lanes through fields in which the contractors were already at work so soon after dawn. The heat was coming back to the air and I was feeling great. A bike is a weapon of mass satisfaction and long-distance cycling is its perfect theatre of operation. As we pulled into the Aldbrough village hall (371k), it was apparent that we hadn't been the only people winging through the night. Steve, Lindsay and Kat and the rest of the team who had served us so well at Sedbergh were dishing up breakfast at Aldbrough, too. After some excellent meals at the earlier controls, I opted for traditional beans on toast, which was ready almost before I had sat down. This level of catering and support isn't possible on most long rides but I can't over-emphasise how it enabled me to soak up the atmosphere of the event and keep my concentration. On some other long events, I've lost so much time to poor thinking because of being light-headed, or from the sheer effort of collecting and forcing down unappetising bars of this and that. While I was enjoying my breakfast and chatting to the volunteers and other riders, including Rich and Paul, who'd been leap-frogging me since the start, Chris had taken another nap. It seemed a shame to wake him but it felt right for us to ride together to the finish, after being together since Rosley. I'd had my doubts that we could do the last 35 kilometres in an hour and a half but Gordon's prediction was spot-on. In fact, riding the last half of the route in a group may have saved me a couple of hours. I'm used to riding on my own

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RANDONNEE and don't mind it at all, but the night's riding had been great fun. We never ran a pace line or chain-gang because there was no real need to take turns into the wind, as it was behind us. We were just an amorphous group, chatting now to this one, now to that. Apart from a niggle with Nigel's map-holder towards the end, we didn't have a single problem with the bikes. The last few miles felt like a lap of honour. True, there was the little matter of the chevron climb up Leven Bank but I was prepared for that. This was another hill I'd struggled up on a motorbike aeons ago, but the authorities have softened it by putting a decent surface on it. It did string us out a bit but we re-grouped at the top by The Fox Covert before rolling into Ingleby Barwick with plenty of time to spare. At the arriveé, as at Aldbrough, there were volunteers putting in a second shift. We'd last seen Denise Noha at Rosley Village Hall, where she was very kind to drowned rats and here she was stamping our cards, along with Andy and Dean. Rich and Paul had finished before us and over the next hour or so we sat around with drinks and reminisced. All of us were full of admiration for the work that goes into making such an event, from the route-planning, through organising the halls and volunteers, to the cooking and serving. There were several people working in kitchens I didn't get to see and they did a wonderful job. We riders may have been up all night and covered 250 miles of rugged territory but we definitely had the easier time of it. I was doubly fortunate in that I had ridden across country I know and love and I was looked after by people I know and love and with whom I have often ridden. I hope riders who were “off-comers” enjoyed their experience as much as I did. With a level of support that is unusual in the general run of audaxes, the National is a special event. As such, people have said that it is ideal for first-timers at the distance. Whilst this is undoubtedly true, I don't think I saw this mentioned in the publicity – or did I just miss it? A bigger emphasis on this aspect might have boosted the numbers but there are so many factors to consider that it probably just comes down to chance in the end. On a personal level the ride went very well for me. Apart from a gloomy spell in the rain, when I had visions of wind-chill on descents forcing me out as had happened once before, everything went according to plan. My determination to eat something every hour (in addition to the superb cooked meals) meant that I never felt the slightest bit under-powered or hungry. These snacks were either fruit biscuit-type things or bananas – apologies to anyone who tried to buy bananas after I'd been through Shap! I definitely need Lindsay's recipe for cheese scones. I'd had two schedules roughed out on my routesheet, and I finished exactly between the two. I'd have been slower without the group riding but faster without the extended control stops. But then, maybe I wouldn't – perhaps the breaks are important for staying strong? I don't suppose you ever stop learning. I'm so impressed by this route that I'm thinking of turning it into a DIY. The trick will be to persuade those lovely VC167 people to run the controls again!

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Momma Trumps Big Bertha David Matthews – but as at Corwen recently the 200k riders are made of stern stuff and most turned up in spite of the weather forecast. One rider slid off on high quality Welsh cow sh*t outside a farm early in the ride and returned to Old Ma’s (with just a grazed arm to show for it) – otherwise everyone finished a memorable ride. In spite of the weather in the morning everyone seemed to have a good time and we got lots of good feedback as to the quality of the routes and scenery at the finish. Rides to be on Sunday August 9 in 2015. Let’s hope for better weather next time.

T

he weather forecast for the “Momma” rides was truly horrendous yet again this year, as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha swept in from the Atlantic. The weather during the early hours was truly horrible with pouring rain and strong west winds. One could only feel for the stalwarts riding Windsor-Chester-Windsor 600k who returned from the Chester control during the night in dreadful conditions (and thanks to the people from C&NW CTC who stayed at the control until 03:00 helping to feed and reenergise the riders). The car park at Old Ma’s cafe was open from 07:15, ably staffed by Glennys Hammond who endured a 3 hour soaking ensuring that riders’ cars were tidily parked behind the barn. The one redeeming feature of the weather forecast was that it predicted clearance from the west during the day. So the riders on the 200k and 130k headed out into a big headwind and big rain to Chirk where their easterly heading coincided with better weather from the west. So after Chirk, where the climbing starts, the conditions relaxed to reasonable. Once riders turned for home at Llanarmon-yn-lal, following the hilly centre sections of the rides, they were rewarded with dry weather and a tremendous tailwind. We use the pub at Llanfynydd as an important last control and feeding station, prior to the ascent of Hope Mountain and the last 30k home. Unfortunately, and without informing your organiser, the pub was shut at the last minute due to an electrical fault. This is not much of a problem on the 130k as the riders are well fuelled after the control at the Ponderosa cafe. However it is important for the 200k riders who last ate at Bala. It is a tribute to the riders that they were all very understanding and managed to find some food stops in Hope (geographically and metaphorically), following their descent from the mountain. We had a number of DNS riders due to the forecast conditions on the 130k and 50k rides

50km group photo

The 100km group

and the 200km…

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AUDAXING

Learning the 3Rs

Reading, Riding and Repairing Dave Morrison's first year Audax school report.

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he education system has its critics and, perhaps, education has helped make itself an easy target by embracing a flagship slogan entitled ‘the 3Rs’ which it turns out, inappropriately, stands for ‘Reading, Writing and Arithmetic’. In my short career as a teacher some years back, I subscribed to the view that learning is, indeed, all about the 3Rs, although I prescribed - ‘Repetition, Repetition and Repetition’. In fact repetition with the Rs is in my blood having repeatedly invested in QPR season tickets for most of my life. In West London it's common to hear cries of ‘You Rs’ when QPR fans greet one another, but never mind ‘You Rs’, 2014 was all about ‘new Rs’ for me. Yes, I discovered Audax in 2014, well actually it was the end of 2013, and soon found myself studying Audax's fundamental 3Rs: ‘Reading, Riding and Repairing’. As adult education courses go, this involved a learning curve steep enough to warrant an AAA medal if you ask me!

Enrolment

It all started in December 2013 when I decided I'd go and find out what this Audax lark was all about. To be honest, I liked sportives because the navigation was easy, Audax did not appeal to me at all. Getting a Brevet Card completed seemed a bit of a faff, I'd only ever done it once before, for the Cingles du Mont Ventoux (all 3 ascents in one day) which involved a pâtissière in Sault keeping me waiting whilst they hunted down their rubber stamp. Riding in the dark during winter didn't exactly have the allure of a holiday brochure either. But there was an Audax starting in Hillingdon, nearly on my doorstep, so I tried it out. I splashed out on nice front and rear lights, turned up and rode. The first few miles were easy, I just followed everyone else, the route was in my bike computer and somewhere in my back pocket was a route sheet of odd looking instructions. Starting in the dark on main roads in the morning was fine, but I made a pig's ear of spotting info controls and had to track back or ask other riders. I soon discovered that asking Sunday morning churchgoers wasn't very productive as I was directed all over the place in search of non-existent war memorials, benches and post boxes. Perhaps they were punishing me for using my Sundays for non-religious purposes? Although some might argue that Audax is, perhaps, a religion? Notwithstanding, I absolutely hated the narrow hilly lanes in the dark near the end. My front light dazzled oncoming traffic but the beam wasn't wide enough to properly light the road, or should I say potholes. I hated the last few miles with a

passion and, on returning home, confidently informed my wife, in no uncertain terms, that this was the first and last Audax I'd ever do, interspersed with some language usually reserved for bad refereeing decisions. Being a man of principle, of course I did another Audax in January. To be fair, the logic was that I was doing the Tour of Flanders sportive in early April so was looking for some hilly rides to train on and Hailsham had a couple of AAA friendly (or should that be unfriendly?) Audaxes in January and February which looked ideal. On top of that there was another Audax in March starting in Ruislip, where I live, so in character with my football allegiance I felt duty bound to support the locals. So that was three Audaxes already entered since my pledge to boycott them.

of the Mortirolo. Unfortunately, what should have been a straightforward downhill saunter ended up with me riding a few unnecessary ascents, finding myself in a long unlit disused tunnel without lights and carrying my bike over rocks where the old road had been demolished to stop traffic using it. If you've been there, you'll wonder how this mistake could possibly be made, but I took one turn too early and the error got compounded. It all seemed so simple when I did the valley again two days later in the Gran Fondo. After this fiasco there were the proper climbs, Lance Armstrong described the Mortirolo as the hardest climb he'd ever done. Unlike some other claims he may have made, here I think he may have a case. Several feet of snow and a dodgy unfenced road made the Gavia quite interesting too! Overall though, my routesheet reading improved and Permanents, without other riders to consult or follow, certainly helped force the learning. Inevitably things went wrong, but the glitch that frustrated me the most was the shop whose till had the wrong time setting at the end of my first Perm. Only when I got home did I read the till receipt and notice that, according

“SOX” sounded like a baseball team to me

R1 Reading

One of my first challenges was learning to read routesheets. Initially I thought that routesheets would baffle even the most talented of WW2 codebreakers from Bletchley Park but after a few rides I finally began to be able to decipher these coded messages, well some of the time at least. ‘SOX’, sounded like a baseball team to me; ‘L$’ seemed like it was denoting the currency of a toll road; ‘R@Tri’ made me wonder if I needed to run and swim part of the course; and ‘1E(SA)RBT’ must be an internet password surely? Was ‘3rdR’, perhaps ‘arithmetic’; and ‘rhs’ is the Royal Horticultural Society, right? ‘IMM’ sounded like a financial organisation; MRAB are probably the letters its members put after their names; and ‘stgd X’ was something I'd expect to see at the end of a text or an email telling me to ‘stay good’. As for ‘EFF SO’, that would probably be my response to someone offering me tickets for a Chelsea match. FYI, TBH I wasn't finding it EZ. My early rides were littered with navigational errors, although how painful they were usually correlated to whether or not GPS swiftly alerted me that I'd gone off route. The one that hurt most was a (GPS free) Permanent in Italy. I had gone to Bormio to ride the Gran Fondo Stelvio and noticed that there was a Permanent Ride incorporating the traditional Mortirolo ascent and the Gavia. As the Gran Fondo went up the new (steeper) Mortirolo ascent used in the 2012 Giro d'Italia I could compare the two if I did this Audax. The simple bit of the instructions was to follow the valley from Bormio down to the foot

Mont Ventoux

to what was printed, I'd exceeded the time limit! Thank goodness for my GPS record, which proved otherwise. Lesson to be learned: read the receipts whilst still in the shop! Oh yeah, and buy something you might actually need, rather than £1.99 nail clippers from a chemist (which remain unused), should have gone for some Deep Heat or some other kind of performance enhancing potion – what was I thinking? The trouble is, I only partially learned these particular lessons, thereafter I looked at the first and final receipts to check the time limit, but actually, some of the intermediate ones have been wrong too. If only I could covert these to Strava segments, 20km in 5 minutes would be hard to beat! I also have a load of uneaten chocolate bars in my fridge that somehow seem to return home with me from Permanents

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AUDAXING

AAA Milne Perm comfort Stop

despite the plan to munch them en route. Perhaps I could claim that the nail clippers were a confectionery wrapper opening tool and combine them as a gift set for Christmas?

R2 Riding

Being a keen sportive rider, a decent time was part of the challenge. I've never been particularly fast, but slowing down to read road signs and decipher the routesheet was counter intuitive. I had to accept that navigation, buying stuff I didn't need solely in order to obtain receipts, plus the inevitable errors and back tracking required a change of mentality. During sportives I only ever stopped to fill water bottles, and on some never even stopped at all. Sitting down at a cafe was totally alien to me. But I A Bad Hand - No Cycling!

finally accepted this on my first 400, the Severn Across. I had, inevitably, taken a wrong turn and on returning to the route found myself riding alongside Andy Terry, who seemed to have a lot of good advice to impart and I thank him immensely as my most influential tutor to date. I learned that I needed a dynamo and a different light, I learned to stop and refuel properly and was in awe of his planning, map reading and night riding....especially when my GPS conked out! He taught me the value of cutting the routesheet into segments and laminating it. He also taught me the value of looking at the route prior to the event. Naturally, this backfired on me when I looked at the internet the night before another event only to find out that one of the controls had, apparently, closed down. I mentioned this to the organiser who informed everyone at the start. Of course, everyone arrived to find the cafe control open for business much to my embarrassment. It turned out that the site had two businesses operating on it and only part had closed down which, to be fair, was not obvious from the website which implied that it had all moved elsewhere! Thanks for your forgiveness Sue and Keith! In contrast to the generally slower speeds, I found myself on the back of a fast group for the Fairies Flattest 300. As we sped down a single track pothole and gravel mudfest, I managed to take a high speed tumble in to Sussex's muddiest puddle and had to visit A&E the next day with a swollen wrist/hand bigger than one of those foam PMU hands you see spectators waving at the roadside of the Tour de France. It took weeks to heal, and my shiny new Carradice bag has never looked as nice since. As much as I like the idea of being likened to Chris Froome, replicating his injury a week earlier in the Tour de France was not really a clever way of going about it. I'm not sure I learned much, but I probably should have been paying more attention at the back, something my teachers used to repeatedly say to me. Once again though, it lead to one of those ‘community’ moments, as one of my fellow riders stopped to see if I was hurt, or possibly just marvel at my mud splattered appearance which was worthy of one of those climaxes to a ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ episode where they all roll down a hill and land somewhere muddy. As we rode on together I was presented with a rare opportunity to offer someone else some advice, as the gentleman had a problem with his sack swinging too much. Naturally, I suggested a Carradice Bagman support might help keep things steady.

R3 Repairing (Vorsprung durch defective)

Unfortunately there were no tools in my box to repair my hand, but reparations do feature heavily in my Audax rites of passage. Advancement through failure - vorsprung durch defective - learning from mistakes. I recall reading an article in the Financial Times back in the 1980s about German built products. It showed data that, despite the public perception of German engineering being good 36

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New wheels for audaxing!

quality, German products were in fact amongst the least reliable in the market place. To equip my bike for this Audax campaign I'd purchased some German mudguards which lasted a matter of weeks, so I bought another set which lasted about the same time. Luckily, being a plucky ‘Brit’ with resolve, I managed to ‘make do and mend’ them with a bodge and a bolt. I also bought a German routesheet holder which had been badly constructed and kept falling apart during rides, a bit of surgery was required get that up to an acceptable British (pothole-proof) standard. All this would have had Dad's Army's Captain Mainwaring, chest puffed out, looking rather smug, so don't tell him (Pike) that my Son front dynamo and Busch and Muller lights are excellent products, and the German company that supplied them were very efficient too. However, the problem that plagued me most in 2014 was the loose rivet nuts on my sportive bike which meant my water bottles, and their cages, kept coming off. My ‘quick fix’ solution was to buy an inexpensive, bottom of the range, replacement frame and hastily rebuild a bike, which I did, and, unsurprisingly, this resulted in a heavier bike. No sooner had I done this than I discovered that I could get a rivet nut tool for a ‘tenner’ and so I drilled out the loose rivet nuts on my old frame and put new ones in. My sportive bike was recommissioned and the nicer components stuck back on it. I then foraged around for old components and put them on the new cheap frame, built a set of wheels and, hey presto, I had surreptitiously acquired a new (heavier) Audax bike.....and the extra weight gives me a great excuse for the slow times. How splendid is that? Unfortunately, when building my new heavyweight Audax bike, I may not have tightened the crank arm quite enough. Well it seemed fine for a few weeks but, naturally, when it did finally decide to come loose I was flying along the A4 at 1am in the morning between Newbury and Reading. I was struggling to fix it back on in the dark with no pavements, and it www.aukweb.net


AUDAXING came off twice more (dangling from my cleat, still attached), before finally a lit stretch of pavement on a bridge allowed me to sort it out properly. I will be forever grateful to Andy Terry who stopped on all three occasions. My role was reversed during my first 600, the excellent Windsor–Chester–Windsor (WCW). Again, I found myself with an experienced rider. I shadowed Roger Cortis like I was his apprentice and readily took his guidance on sleep patterns etc. Later in the ride, not one, but both his shifter levers snapped off (what are the odds on that?) which left him riding a single speed (on the small rings).....through the hilly bits of the Cotswolds and Chilterns. Going from Campagnolo to Campag-no-go was a game changer. I waited at the top of each hill and tempered my speed on the flat in case he needed any further assistance and/or moral support. At the last control, John Sabine came up with a cunning plan to put Roger in a more friendly fixed gear, and I marvelled at the experienced man's toolbox and ingenuity. There's a lot to be learned from these seasoned Audax chaps! It all added hours to my time, but I was losing that sportive mentality – at last! Roger thanked me publicly on YACF, but really I owe him thanks. Thanks Roger, you were great company too! My GPS had conked out during the nightriding (again), so I had followed Roger's bright red rear light for quite a few miles, especially as the battery on my headtorch was dying too, making the routesheet hard to follow, sorry, harder to follow. This was a harsh lesson and led to more internet research / shopping for better power and headtorch solutions. WCW was great, although it didn't bode well early on. After having ordered a new set of tyres and paid for express delivery a week before

Gavia Summit

the event, they didn't show up in time and I got a puncture in one of my old, worn, tyres on stage 2. Although the retailers had accepted their error, the £1.99 postage refund they promised, somehow seemed incommensurate as I wondered if I had packed enough spare inner tubes for the weekend. Luckily, I just got the one puncture and went on to benefit from some more Audax tutoring along the route, this time from Andrew Deaner. We had previously been e-introduced by a mutual friend but had never actually met, so it was something of a surprise to meet him unexpectedly at one of the controls… it's a small world after all!

“Is PBP the international baccalaureate?”

Coursework marks

Calendar events are a bit like classwork, your Brevet is collected at the end of the session, the marks are recorded and it gets returned at some point. A Permanent Brevet Card is more like homework - you complete it alone and need to hand it in on time. Your achievements will appear on the Audax UK website but I seem to have been cursed by ‘Glitched Computer Syndrome Errors’ (GCSEs) and had several occasions to request that my points were corrected. Sorting out the glitches served to reinforce what I already suspected, that if MI5

ever needs to recruit codebreakers, it should look no further than the Audax community. My thanks go to Peter Lewis for patiently sorting out my points total on no less than 3 separate occasions. I was delighted to achieve 3As (Grimpeur Award for 20 AAA points) at about the same time of year that many A level students were disappointed to discover that they'd achieved less than 3As. Martin Malins was extra efficient at recognising my Grimpeur du Sud award, whilst Werner Wiethege amused me with his emails from Bavaria when claiming my 25th ‘Quarter Century’ AAA point. Humour from Germany and efficiency in Britain, don't you just love it? However, it was completing my SR that most made me feel like I'd graduated.

End of Term Report

I couldn't end the article without mentioning fellow ‘First Year Audax Student’ Mark Bryan whom I occasionally see at events. He amassed far more points than me, and therefore gets West London's first year school prize. Well done mate! Whilst there have been far too many offroute u-turns for my liking, that initial u-turn of entering Audaxes after swearing never to do so again was a good decision. I've met some fantastic people whilst riding and, moreover, have learned loads from them. I have learned from the small setbacks, it feels like progress despite the slower average speeds I achieve compared to sportives. Why didn't I enrol for Audax school earlier in life? It has been worth (nearly) every minute and I really would like to thank everyone I've met and all of those brilliant organisers and volunteers who make it all possible. ‘Three cheers’ to you guys! I’ll continue trying to master the 3Rs and am targeting 3 AAAs next. Is PBP the international baccalaureate?

The ‘Full Value Squad’ on the Venetian Nights 200km, 27 September. L to R: Andy Tolley, Steve Dawson, Becky Burns, Jamie Macleod Photo: Peter Bond

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BREVET POPULAIRE

My Weekend in Wales Cristina Ruiz-Perez

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fter leaving work on Friday night, I had a long drive during the night to get to the campsite in Wales, so a lay-in on Saturday morning was a pleasure. Eirlys and I were to spend the weekend in Abergavenny, South East Wales. There was a 100km hilly audax to do on Sunday (the Monmouthshire Meander) and we also planned to ride on Saturday in search of two more answers to our CTC British Cycling Quest (BCQ), or that was the plan anyway. The forecast for the whole weekend was terrible, heavy rain and very windy (but it was Wales!). Luckily we still decided to go, as it turned out to be a lovely, sunny summer weekend, with only a few showers during the night. We weren’t up too early on Saturday morning and started our ride around 11am. Our first

At the arrivée, Abergavenny

destination was Llanthony, resting in the Vale of Ewyas, within the Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons National Park. We were on the quest of this small location, and in particular of St. David’s church. But what a surprise to find, by the small church, the amazing ruins of Llanthony’s Priory. It was an Augustinian Eirlys by St. John the Evangelist's church, Tretower

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priory and dates back to around the year 1100. It became one of the great medieval buildings in Wales; it was magnificent. We had one of our ride stops here as this wonderful hiding place was worth the time. We headed back by the same route, a small undulated road between the mountains with a river to one side of us. I have never been in this part of Wales before and I was very impressed by the beauty of its countryside. Eventually we followed another road in search of our second BCQ of the day, Tretower. Before we got there we went through Crickhowell, a small lively town full of walkers and outdoors tourists. We decided to have a beer here on the way back after our second question was completed and found a lovely pub. It was only around 40 miles on Saturday but we had the long day to do on Sunday. The Monmouthsire Meander Audax started only a few miles from where we were staying so a pleasant ride to the start was a nice beginning to the day. At least until we were there, in the carpark, and nobody else around. We got the wrong carpark! Panic. Phone call. New directions. And eventually we got there, just when all of the riders were ready to go, at 9 am. We waited and got our brevets, so there we go, 10 minutes late but looking forward to the ride and the new places we were going to see. When you leave Abergavenny, you go up, and up and up this hill (amazing views!) but I remember thinking, “if this is like this all the way...”, eventually we had some downhill too. We were heading to Usk, 20km South East where we had the first checkpoint. We were still the last ones in the bunch when we got to Usk but we still had few minutes to spare and a few other cyclists were around. We didn’t want to stop so we carried on as soon as the brevets were stamped to get a bit more time for later on. Our next checkpoint was Monmouth, with a very quick stop, and Garway, a control 32km from

Usk. Just after Monmouth we had the company of two other fellow cyclists. Apparently they had been following two cyclists and were 5 miles off the route before they realised those cyclists

weren’t doing the audax, so they turned round and managed to get back on route. This time, they decided to try their luck with us. We got to Garway where we stopped for a little bit, had some lovely chocolate cupcakes and rolls and sat on the grass and stretched our legs. Once again, the views were fantastic. We thanked the wonderful organiser and off we went again. Crickhowell

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BREVET POPULAIRE Not long afterwards we were joined again by the two lost cyclists. After a few miles they were forced to stop and fix a puncture. Other groups were behind us, so they would soon find company again. So again it is Eirlys and me, now in Herefordshire for around 20km to our next info control, and then back into Wales once more. We have got another 32km to the arrivée and we started to feel the stress of the hills in our legs. The sun is still shining and the lush green scenery of Wales makes this a day to remember – lovely valleys and rivers, steep mountains and smooth roads. What a wonderful ride! The last part of the ride was through the same lanes we cycled the day before. The ride always feels easier when you know the way. At about this time we kept meeting up with a larger group, including the two guys we rode with earlier, so we all pretty much cycled together to the end. We got to the arrivée before 15:30 with a big smile on our faces. It has been a fantastic day. What a wonderful weekend in Wales! Until the next one.

Llanthony Priory

Two Towers 100k Audax Sunday 10th August

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t was raining heavily when I left home in Torbay at 7am to go up to North Petherton to start one of the Audaxes being held that day. The forecast was for heavy showers during the morning and clearing by the afternoon. The Met Office had been correct about the first bit but it was a case of wait and see how the afternoon turned out as Hurricane Bertha was due to come across the Atlantic and likely to cause all sorts of mayhem with possible flooding, high winds and fallen trees! A large number of the entries had obviously taken notice of the forecast and failed to turn up, while I always take the view of give it a go, things can only get better! With less than half the entry turning up there was a lot more cake for us at the controls – their loss, my gain. I'd switched from the 120k Three Towers event to the easier 100k Two Towers ride which cuts out the hills around the Alfreds Tower area plus I'd come up with a friend, Liz, who is new to this form of cycling so thought this was not a day to introduce her to a series of steep climbs. A small group of us left the start at 9am and by that time it had stopped raining. Although looking at the skies ahead, no-one was prepared to predict what the next hour or so might bring. An easy pace took us through the lanes running beside the rivers and canals of the Somerset Levels to arrive at Langport before heading to Somerton. Given an option by the organisers as to where to take the morning stop, Liz and I chose a small cafe in Somerton while the rest of the group moved on to Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford. With the weather having taken a turn for the better – no more rain, dry roads and the sun attempting to make an appearance – I now

think a large number of cyclists wished they had not stayed at home but turned up at the start. We continued past the Motor Museum and turned on to the B3152 for Castle Cary while the 120k riders continued their ride on up to Alfreds Tower and round to Bruton, before both rides joined up at the control in Ditcheat. Castle Cary – A delightful old Wessex market town, where I had not been before. Usually only seen by passing through on the train on the way to London or the west country and of course by those who get off there for the Glastonbury Music Festival. Continuing on along quiet lanes to the control at Ditcheat and joined by a number of riders who had come through Bruton where we encounted the only rain shower of the whole day. We thought it best to hang on and have a second cup of tea rather than get wet, the shower only lasted about 10 minutes anyway, the sun came out and made it a perfect summer's day. Enjoying the lanes going past Street where the Sunday afternoon traffic was coming out of the Clarkes Shoes shopping centre to join the A361, we returned to the Somerset Levels area at Burrowbridge, one of the villages that made the news earlier in the year with all the flooding in that area. After about 8 miles on this road and we turned into the village to retrace the route back to the finish in North Petherton. Thanks must go to Alan Windridge and his team for organising a very picturesque ride, but a shame that the number of non-starters missed a very enjoyable days cycling

Somerton

Castle Cary

Castle Cary

Ribble Blue

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RRtY to Super Randonneur Steve Whalley

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ike all good ideas and many a ride account, the idea of my first RRtY as an achievable challenge began after several pints in a local hostelry with a couple of fellow riders from my local cycling group, the Forth Bay Wheelers, that rides out of Dalgety Bay, Fife, on most Sunday mornings. An RRtY would be a step up from my usual Sunday morning cycle with the Wheelers and requires me to complete a 200k in each of 12 consecutive months. So how did the completion of my first RRtY turn into my 1st Super Randonneur? I enjoy the 200k format that allows the audax rider to leave at a reasonable time in the early hours of the day and be home for teatime, whilst enjoying café stops along the way, a good deal of banter with others and yet is still a reasonable test of endurance and stamina. Since the finishing of my first audax in September 2010 it has been a slow start for me with the completion of a handful of events in each of the subsequent years with my 2013 highlights being the Port Navigation 200k out of Ballachulish and the Snow Roads 300k out of Kirriemuir. All events have been enjoyable days out but I was looking for an achievable challenge into 2014 that wouldn't overtake the rest of my life and the completion of an RRtY appealed to me.

DIY to the rescue

DIY September 2013: The Mercian at Tayport (Photo by Steve Whalley)

Straight after deciding to do an RRtY I then promptly failed to find a free weekend in the first month of the challenge, August 2013, and I also couldn't do the planned extended calendar event that the other Wheelers had scheduled for the following month in September. However, a DIY entry came to my rescue and I successfully completed my first solo circularroute around Fife and Perthshire in September 2013 experiencing dry and sunny but windy conditions and completing in 10.5 hours. My RRtY was now up and running. The selected DIY route was devised by my

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fellow Wheelers, Gavster and Dave_C, which was refined to start in Dalgety Bay and keep to a clockwise route around Fife taking in Perth & Kinross. Using the Dunfermline–Alloa cycle path, a section of the former Dunfermline to Alloa railway, made for an easy start for the first 27k before heading north through Dollar and up through Glendevon to a second breakfast in Auchterarder at 70k. Then heading east into Newburgh at 100k, through Tayport and into St. Andrews at 140k for a good feed before heading west to Falkland, Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath and returning to Dalgety Bay. Clockwise became the heading of choice for the route as the wind direction continued to be consistently coming from the West. This ensured a tailwind on the longest section that headed east between Auchterarder and Tayport. The route gave me a total riding length of 215k to achieve the minimum required distance of 200k. It was the last 15k that was always the most difficult to complete both physically and mentally! The second riding of my DIY route saw me tie up with Gavster and Dave_C again to successfully complete month no.2 of the RRtY in dry and sunny weather. So far so good! The following month in November marked the start of the difficult winter riding for me. Keeping an eye out on the deteriorating weather forecast as the month progressed and attempting to tie up with my fellow Wheelers meant that we settled on riding on the last day of the month. Darkness began to fall after the 160k point beyond Falkland I struggled to barely turn the pedals on even the most benign of hills, eventually managing to finish and awakening the following morning with a serious dose of “manflu” – those most serious of ailments detrimental to cycling I'm sure you'll agree! As we moved into December the weather worsened and it was left to Dave_C and me to again head out on the 30th day, which turned out to be the wettest and windiest day of the month. I prepared for a day of rain and set out

into a dreich morning fully prepared, including wearing my heavyweight commuter rainjacket and overtrousers. I don't think I've ever had the need to wear overtrousers on the bike before, but on this day I wore them all day and was glad of them! My outstanding memories were pushing a big gear to Newburgh whilst being tracked by a trio of deer running alongside in a neighbouring field and later pushing a granny gear slowly up the minor road between the West and East Lomond hills that rises to almost 500m above Falkland in the pitch black through the trees with just the beam of my front light and bats for company. Achieving the top marked the end of the hill-climbing for the day. As somebody once said, “it's all downhill from here except for the uphill bits”. It rained and was windy for 10 hours and then just windy for 2 hours. Although the weather conditions were atrocious I experienced a strong day on the bike and actually enjoyed the challenge.

New Year optimism

My January 2014 ride was completed without company in substantially less rain than the previous month and I started to actually enjoy the route. Obviously with the coming of the New Year comes a period of optimism. As I ride through Glendevon and pass Castlehill Reservoir near the bottom of the climb, which supplies Fife with its water supply, I leave the villages of Perthshire behind and start thinking about my second breakfast in Auchterarder that consisted of the usual full Scottish fry-up. I don't believe much in energy gels and snacks, the body needs fortification from a decent meal on a long ride. Luckily, it was the middle of the afternoon when I came across a stark reminder of Scotland's dark period in history when people were persecuted for withcraft and sorcery. Just outside Dunning on the B8062 I stopped for a breather by the roadside at a tall cross, which looks out of place in the quiet countryside of Perthshire, and has some large words scrawled in white on the supporting cairn that reads: Maggie Wall, burnt here, 1657, as a Witch. I found out that this is a monument to Maggie Wall, who was perhaps one of the 1500 women who were executed as witches in Scotland for over a century until 1722. Whist stopping to pay my respect I was glad that the sun was still making an appearance to enlighten the barren countryside. My early optimism dimmed with the onset of darkness and the switching on of lights as soon as I left the warm café in St. Andrews after my mid-afternoon feed consisting of meatballs and pasta. I head west down the long straight and monotonous road that is the B939 to Ceres heading for Falkland to suffer from the same headwind that I earlier benefited from whilst travelling east and it soon leaves me feeling tired and thinking that this ride is at least 70k too long. I arrived in Falkland in yet more persistent rain and went to view my www.aukweb.net


SUPER RANDONNEUR have finished your ride before dark, especially following a 7am morning start. In February I have the company of Gavster again on the coldest ride so far. It takes a long time to warm up after the first café stop in Auchterarder necessitating an extra café stop in Newburgh where we bump into the cycling legends that are George Berwick and Phil Jurczyk. We swap stories – some of them probably true – drink tea, eat cake and head off again before going our separate ways into the cold air. We stop briefly on the outskirts of Falkland village for a snack and ignore the many interesting old buildings that the village has to offer and crack on with our route. We complete in what was to be my longest time taken for a 200k to date – just over 13 hours, less than 30 minutes before the lime limit, which we put down to the very cold conditions.

Winter miles count as double DIY January 2014 – Maggie Wall monument (Photo by Steve Whalley)

Garmin only to hear a slight fizz followed by a blank screen. No panic though as the problem was solved by replacing the batteries with a dry set and the Garmin was working again. I avoided the climb over the top of the Lomonds and although this is the shortest route from Falkland I followed the tried and tested Sanny Road that skirted Strathmiglo and remained consistently, although longer, the most leg friendly return from Falkland. The Sanny Road gets its name from the soil that runs off the surrounding fields that coat the road with a fine silt or sand and hence the colloquial "sanny" road. There always seems to be a headwind to successfully sap your strength that whips around the Lomond hills running alongside the road. The constant hum of the wind turbine positioned close to the top of the sanny road is an audible beacon, which slowly draws you to it. Eventually arriving at home I reflected on the real challenge of the RRtY that was to keep going long after your body clock tells you that you should

DIY February 2014 – The author in Glendevon (Photo by Gavster)

March marked the completion of my last DIY ride before taking advantage of the planned Scottish calendar events through the warmer months. At the beginning of April I started the second running of Russell Carson's 200k event, “More Passes than Mastermind” starting in Symington, Borders, which is badged as a dramatic ride through the Crawick, Mennock, and Dalveen passes, and a visit to Scotland's highest village, before heading north past the Devil's Beef Tub. It was good to catch up with some of the Audax Ecosse guys and gauging their different levels of fitness depending on whether they'd kept their riding going through the winter months. Although for some, lack of time on the bike didn't seem to slow them down, (thinking of you, Neil Fraser!). I'm sure that the views are grand but we experienced mostly cloudy, wet and windy conditions. A strong climb up the Devils Beeftub along the A701 outside Moffat ensured I completed in 10.5 hours. Perhaps winter miles do indeed count as double as I finished in good shape. The month of May had me entered in the “Deeside Loop” 200k starting from Forfar and I rode it with Gavster. This is when I experienced my first “mechanical”. Having had an easy ride from the start I approached the half way mark with a slow puncture in good weather. I stopped in a convenient lay-by and instructed Gavster to continue down the road whilst I fixed my puncture with the intention of catching him up before the next control in Braemar about 20km away. I removed my rear tyre and found a bald patch that I'd failed to notice the last time I checked the tyre. No worries, I made a tyre boot out of the old innertube that I'd just removed and placed the tyre on the rim, complete with newly fashioned boot, ready to take the new tube. Meanwhile, I'd happily waved past the last of the several back markers that had shouted at me to check that I was ok. At this point I attempted to inflate my tyre with no success. After scratching my head whilst staring at my pump for a few minutes I removed the new tube to have a closer inspection and noticed that the valve was hanging on by a small piece of rubber. This was my last tube so I began to botch up the valve with patch on patch from my repair kit wondering whether I was going to make it

to the next control. It then started raining and I was thinking whether to attempt to phone a taxi to collect me and return me to Braemar anticipating a DNF. At this point, Gavster returned having turned back after enquiring with the back markers who had confirmed that they'd seen me attending to my tyre at the side of the road. Gavster had come to my rescue and produced a spare tube that I fitted, complete with boot, and we were on our way after about an hour's delay. I picked up another puncture at 192k, which I repaired in the pouring rain in less than 10 minutes using Gavster's remaining spare tube before completing in 13 hours. My lesson was learned on packing at least 3 spare tubes for my next audax! My entry into Alex Patterson's “Snow Roads” 300k starting from Kirriemuir in June had been made several months previously prior to the closing of entries due to the high level of demand for definitely one of the best audaxes in Scotland, if not the UK. I had completed this event last year without too much incident experiencing mainly excellent weather and knew that it was unlikely that the weather gods would be kind to me for two years in a row.

“More Passes than Mastermind” April 2014: Riders just before the off (Photo by Russell Carson)

I was not wrong! I travelled up on the Friday night to make use of the offer of village hall floor accommodation and banter ready for a good night's sleep to be up bright and early for the 6am start the following morning. We duly set off from the Northmuir Hall after only grabbing a few hours sleep in a rather too hot hall but we made excellent progress over the Cairn o' Mount arriving at control 2 and the café in Oyne having cycled with Russell Carson in record time averaging over 25kph for 110k. Gavster was taking it easier and he arrived at the café just as we were finishing so that made up my mind to have extra cake and coffee and let Russell push on whilst I waited for Gavster. Suitably sustained we made steady progress to Dufftown at 150k and another café stop but made our first mistake of not taking the short detour into Tomintoul at around 180k to replenish our supplies of water and food. Let's push on over the Lecht I shouted as I was certain that there was another café or shop on route close by, but I wasn't exactly sure where it was. So, we ignored the Tomintoul detour and made the turn west to immediately experience headwind and our moving speed dramatically dropped! The day began to get

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SUPER RANDONNEUR serious as we both ran out of water by the top of the Lecht after the 20% climbs into the headwind and when we finally arrived at the tea stop at the other side of the Lecht it had closed half an hour before our arrival. We then made our second mistake and decided not to stop at a hotel that we passed shortly afterwards but instead pushed on. Then Gavster began to struggle over the not insubstantial climbs during the 50k or so that we still had to complete before our next control in Braemar. In fact, he was looking for opportunities to pack to avoid the second significant unnamed hill that we were about to ascend after the Lecht when I shoved a half pack of jelly babies into his hands to be gratefully consumed and he continued on. It was only when we arrived in Braemar at 240k to be greeted by an excellent reception from the volunteers from the Angus Bike Chain that we realised just how hard the last section from Dufftown had been. However, after a good rest, consumption of cheesy beans on toast and with the donning of extra cold weather gear our spirits were up as we left the control to head out into the increasingly worsening weather to climb the Cairnwell. We climbed in steady rain up to the Glenshee Ski Centre, rested briefly under its cover and sped down the other side in poor visibility with darkening skies. I don't remember much but struggling to hold Gavster's wheel as we sped along for the last two hours of the route in the rain before we arrived at the arrivée just before midnight and an end to our 18 hour day. On reflection we'd completed a truly classic Scottish route with superb scenery in epic conditions.

RRtY 2 SR

It was only at this point of my RRtY with 9 x 200k's behind me, a 300k (AAA 4.75) and two months to go that I realised that a Super Randonneur was achievable. Following all that, much of it completed in darkness and in poor weather, I'd felt that I'd broken the back

of the RRtY challenge and now felt confident that I could step up to an SR. I wanted to take advantage of my hard won fitness from the winter miles as I moved into the summer months. On looking at the audax calendar there were two Scottish events out of Galashiels run by Lucy McTaggart that I decided would fit my agenda nicely. I duly entered the “Borderlands Roc Trevezal” 600k event for July that was badged as a tour of both sides of the Scottish Borders, an event with reasonable challenge but shouldn't have you pushing the time limit. So it was basically flat then? Wrong! This would also mean the doubling of distance for me over what I'd ever before completed on an audax bike. However, my confidence was brimming after lasting 18 hours completing the “hilly” Snow Roads the previous month with many of my other rides completed in the cold, dark and rain. Surely, the long events in the summer months will not feel as hard, can they? I was about to find out. I had about an hour and a quarter's drive to the start of the Borderlands Roc event starting point. I set off in the morning of the event, this time without any Wheeler companions, in my trusty Citroen Berlingo prepared with the back seats removed with mat and sleeping bag laid out ready for sleeping on return to Galashiels at 420k if I needed it. I decided to keep my sleeping plan flexible as I had no idea what condition I would be in or when I would need to sleep. I knew from Lucy's advice that the control at Johnstonebridge services would be a good opportunity for a sleep stop as they had the option of taking advantage of the restaurant chairs or there is a hotel for those riders wishing to secure a little more luxury. My plan was to see how I felt and to go with the flow depending on who I happened to be cycling with and what my fellow riders were doing at the time. The rolling border hills made for good steady riding and I kept my eating strategy

“Over the Hill and Back” August 2014 – Peleton entering England (Photo by Russell Carson)

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restricted to snacks in the morning, sandwich by the roadside at lunch and my main café meal being at 200k at around 4.30pm in Barnard Castle. This marked the completion of the long southern section before turning north and heading back over Yad Moss for the return leg to Galashiels. The climb over Yad Moss was done in good weather and I caught up with the main group at Alston at 250k for another roadside stop. My hydration strategy meant that I drank a pint of milk at each stop and I felt as though this gave me an advantage over the usual water, fizzy or sports drinks. I completed the next 90k being pulled along by the peleton, eyeballs out, and was glad of the tow as we made it to Johnstonebridge services in 3.5 hours arriving before midnight as the rain started falling. I didn't really fancy sleeping here because the restaurant chairs didn't look that appealing, I was feeling good and my fully prepared Berlingo was waiting for me just 80k away in Galashiels. Along with two other riders we decided to have a bite to eat and head out into the rain once again to make for Galashiels. It was fast riding in moonlight and occasional showers when we came to an abrupt halt when two eyes lit by our front lights stared back at us. It was a badger in the middle of the road that didn't expect to see three cyclists riding around in the middle of the night. It quickly came to its senses and scuttled off under a hedge and we were quickly on our way again finally arriving back to the Berlingo in the approaching daylight at 4.30am after 420k to settle down for a 3 hour sleep. With hindsight I think if I did this route again I would take the hotel option to assure longer, better quality sleep and a change of kit, and blow the one-off hotel cost. After breakfast and the usual faffing I was away again at 10am for the remaining 190k which looked like a flattish route to Berwick and back. However, it certainly wasn't flat but was made up of a lot of ups and downs that didn't look much on the profile but was felt very much by

“Over the Hill and Back” August 2014. Up the cobbles from Alston (Photo by Russell Carson)

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SUPER RANDONNEUR tired legs. In fact, I took my time completing this route along with two other riders who were in no mood to rush. We even had time for a pint or two in Morebattle at 570k. It was then a continuation of the ups and downs which finished us off by the arrivee at Galashiels in a total time of 37.5 hours.

Epic!

“Just a 400k to complete and then I have my SR”, I thought – simple then? I'd entered the ”Over the Hill and Back” 400k event from Galashiels that retraced much of the route from the previous month's 600k and was an out and back to Barnard Castle. I would be riding with my fellow Wheeler, Gavster. Lucy, the organiser informed us that the start time had been moved forward to 7am to ensure that all riders would pass through before the road closures into Galashiels planned later the following morning. Luckily, Russell Carson very kindly offered us accommodation in his house the night before the event. An offer that was too good to refuse to save us the 1.5 hour car journey before the event. Suffice to say that we kept the alcohol consumption down to a reasonable level but I rose in the morning having felt that I could have done with more sleep and less red wine the night before. Indeed, we were a few minutes late arriving at the start and the 20 or so riders departed to leave me and Gavster playing catch-up until the first control at Samye Ling's when we caught up with Russell and the others. The first time I visited Samye Ling's I thought that it was odd to find a Tibetan monastery located in the Scottish Borders. It makes for a great commercial control in the remote Eskdalemuir. I found out that the original building became the Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre after it was purchased by a visionary Tibetan, Akong Rinpoche, in 1967. It was established as the first Buddhist monastery in Europe, frequented in the early years by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen during the hippie era. As well as a spiritual centre, it is now a tourist destination, a place of education and healing and a fundraising centre for humanitarian projects worldwide. We finished our coffee and pastries and continued as a group of six riders heading for the next control at Alston at 150k. We were zipping along nicely as we headed into England and Russell felt relaxed enough to take photo's from the back of our peleton under blue skies and warm weather. All was well until about 20k before Alston and Gavster's front wheel went ping as a spoke failed. After a bit of deliberation and some thought he trued it up as best he could and we continued to Alston with the hope of finding a bike shop after a tip off that there was a bike shop not too far from our route. We all agreed that the wheel would need a repair from somebody who knew what they were doing if Gavster was going to successfully complete the full ride. Alston is a nice place to stop with several cafés to choose from but we opted for a snack at the side of the road and I grabbed food and the now customary pint of milk before googling for bike shops to find out whether such a thing existed in these parts. Google confirmed that North Pennine

Cycles was located 2 miles away in Nenthead and a quick phone call found that the owner was happy to help. We made our way off route over to the small village of Nenthead and found that it is England's highest village at 1500 feet, which was not really the detour we needed on a 400k ride! The bike shop is well located as it's on England's most popular long distance cycle route, the C2C, which passes through the village. After 45 minutes we said our goodbyes and following inspection of my paper map pages that I carry as a back-up in case my GPS dies, we headed straight up the 25% hill out of the village, that is England's second highest road, before descending to meet the lower slopes of Yad Moss. Although I rely on GPS navigation from a Garmin Etrex I also have a spiral bound A5 map book of Scotland that allows me to easily tear out the relevant map pages and mark up routes in pencil noting the controls to carry as a back-up. These pages are then re-used for future events making sure that I erase the old route before marking the new route. I've found that this allows me to better understand the route, comes to my aid should I need to go off route and gives me something to read should I be eating by myself in a café somewhere. We were now on catch-up mode and made our way to the half-way point at Barnard Castle arriving after 5pm just as all the cafes were closing and before the pubs were serving food. A quick fish and chips was consumed before heading back over Yad Moss in good weather. We made it back to Alston without incident but on the road to Johnstonebridge at around midnight Gavster's front wheel made a familiar ping as another spoke failed. Using headtorches we spotted the offending spoke that was fortunately different to the spoke that had been replaced 120k earlier, but which still left us with the same problem. We made a fix and rolled 20k to the control at Johnstonebridge services for 2am as the rain was falling. It was obvious that it was unwise for Gavster to attempt to continue with a weakened wheel in deteriorating weather along what we knew would be rougher surfaced roads in the dark. 340k marked the end of Gavster's ride as he booked the last remaining room in the adjoining hotel at Johnstonebridge services. I had an all too brief rest before continuing with Russell and three other riders who had waited for me whilst the rain, which had deluged for the last hour, slackened its downpour. It was lightly raining when we finally headed away at 3.30am and the next 3.5 hours to the arrivee was beset by heavy downpours to arrive in Galashiels at 7am. I decided that it was best to collect a receipt for this final control before closing my eyes for 45 minutes in the Berlingo parked in Tesco's car park to recharge my batteries before the drive home. If I had any energy left I could have reflected on having achieved my first RRtY and my first Super Randonneur series. But for now it was quickly home for another longer sleep.

ride in all weather conditions that allows straightforward completion as RRtY is challenging enough without adding complexity; •• Flexibility on dates to complete the monthly rides is essential to success as timing is critical by planning a ride early in the month to allow the possibility of completing a later ride if required; •• Assume that most, if not all, of the DIY rides would be completed without company as it proves increasingly difficult to synchronise the diaries of fellow riders as the months go on; •• Don't underestimate the power of jelly babies •• Don't tell “normal” people too many details about what you're doing because they just won't understand; •• Take advantage of available formal accommodation such as hotels to maximise the chance of a decent night's sleep and blow the cost; •• Eat real food, often and early, and don't rush around too much. Generally, I found my RRtY a lot harder to achieve than my SR. My RRtY required good planning and a willingness to venture into the outdoors in all weathers knowing that much of the winter rides would be done in deteriorating weather and failing light. The SR “just” required three longer rides in the summer, which were all calendar events meaning that there was valuable support of other riders and a good base fitness following the RRtY miles. Next season my objective will be another SR as I target an Ultra Super Randonneur!

DIY February 2014 – Looking up Glendevon (Photo by Steve Whalley)

Reflections

On reflection, there were several learnings from my experiences: •• The DIY route should provide a reliable

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BREVET POPULAIRE

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his is one of John Perrin's fine portfolio of rides – the Broken Cross Audaxes – named after John's home “village” near Macclesfield. The name is a Latin reference to the lead mining which went on here in Roman times. Lutudarum is the odd-one-out: being the middle section of the Knockerdown 200, with which it runs concurrently, it starts at Hulme End on the River Manifold. Having done the inaugural 200, I have opted for the shorter ride on the last two occasions. The Knockerdown is a great ride but the Lutudarum gives me the opportunity to help John with the controlling and refreshments on both rides

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Peter Bond

and still have a ride to boot. My intention each time was to get round reasonably quickly so that I could help John at the finish, which was just a few kilometres further down the Manifold Trail. This would also be a control for the longer route, so I wanted to get back as quickly as was compatible with taking pictures, age and, above all, having fun! The Peak District is what it says and our way would be rather like riding along a river bed at the bottom of a sinuous ravine, as we passed from riverside trail to converted railway tracks, breaking out from time to time for a moorland crossing with views of some of the oddest shaped hills you will see anywhere. And everywhere we would see the reminders of the phenomenal human energy that has wrought this landscape, for rock, road and railway. It's a wonderfully well thought out route and fiftyfive of the one hundred and twenty kilometres would be on well-surfaced trails. Having seen the Knockerdown riders off from Broken Cross, Mike Roberts and I loaded our bikes onto the famous red camper van and John drove us down to Hulme End, where we found thirty or so riders waiting to collect their accreditation. Among them was Ian Ryall, taking a rare short ride before the rigours of the 1000k Mille Cymru a couple of weeks later. Also there were Andrew Lees and his son Isaac from Sheffield. I suspect some riders might have looked a little askance at Isaac, who is probably only about eight years old. I had no such misgivings, having last seen him climbing the killer 1-in-5s on one of Chris Crossland's rides, with one hand off the bars pointing at a wrecked car in the ravine below. Duty done, Mike and I set off about five minutes after the pack and bowled along

the Manifold Trail. This is a ride full of landmarks and immediately I looked for the gaping mouth of Thor's Cave, a reputedly neolithic dwelling high up on the right of the ravine. Two years ago, we'd had bad weather (for months) and the trail was wet and strewn with branches. The last two editions have been beautiful, with hardly a whisper of wind. Taking in the lush fields with brown beasts lazing on blankets of buttercups and clover it was a little odd to be thinking how foreign was this quintessentially English scenery. I could imagine I was on the Rhine and the Lorelei were singing down from the cave. In fact, the Manifold Trail follows the line of one of the Peak District's newest railways, the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway. This was a narrowgauge line built to carry milk from farms to

Swainsley Tunnel

market as well as passengers. It only lasted from about 1900 until the 1930s but we certainly reap the benefit today. It was laid by an engineer who had built lines in India, which seems appropriate for the gorges we were riding through. Swainsley Tunnel, the first of the day (this ride could easily be called Tracks and Tunnels) is a pretty modest affair, though I don't suppose it felt like that to the navvies. For thirteen www.aukweb.net


BREVET POPULAIRE kilometres I rolled along the traffic-free trail, crossing dry creeks that two years ago had been toffee-coloured torrents with the butterbur leaves floating like lily pads on the surface. Half a mile on the A-road to Ashbourne brought us to a left turn onto a side road and our first stiff climb. We caught the main group at a short level bit where I'm sure I heard someone exclaim, “What – up there?” I should point out that it's to John's great credit that he has devised a 120k route that collects 1.75 AAA points, without encountering a single chevron against, though there are several “with the flow”. The climb levels out just before Throwley Hall Farm – where I neglected to take a picture of the derelict old hall – before plunging down the exhilerating descent to Musden Grange, which is by a very sharp left-hand bend. I'd been looking forward to seeing the spectacular red chestnut flowers but they had gone over. Instead, there were the first of scores of Duke Of Edinburgh's Award Scheme hikers we were to encounter on the way round. I'd been working quite hard, on my mission, so it was sobering to catch Andrew and Isaac on this stretch: 17 kilometres to catch an 8 year-old for five minutes…. In Ilam, there is the fine recently restored monument. Turning left for Thorpe, I soon passed the entrance to beautiful Dove Dale and Thorpe Cloud loomed like a sentinel on my left as I got stuck into the climb over the grassy rise to the village itself. Just beyond Thorpe the route joins the Tissington trail for another couple of kilometres of dappled shade. This short section ends near the excellent snack-bar and there were many cyclists taking a break there, including a beaming Ian Ryall. I didn't need a stop this early but I can recommend the hot vegetarian pasties from previous experience. A little further on is a ford, which in the wet year had been so deep that people were fishing in it. This time, the cobbles were clearly visible below the surface but I took no chances and used the footbridge. A gentle climb to Bradbourne, followed by a more determined one past Netherton Hall brought me to the Ashbourne to Matlock road, with the Knockerdown pub just down the hill to the left. A little wiggle right and left put me on the descent to the Carsington Water reservoir. This is, as far as I can work out, a storage reservoir, rather than a catchment one, as most of the water in it is pumped from miles away. It is a glorious sight and was very busy on this sunny summer Saturday. It is a real tourist trap and a very large chunk of the bait is the excellent pedestrian and cycle path which circumnavigates the lake. This trail is not completely flat but any rises are gentle and the surface was very good, thanks in part to the dry spell, and for ten kilometres I meandered through copses of trees and fields of wildflowers, weaving my way through the many walkers and cyclists who were taking advantage of this wonderful facility. In the obviously rich and well-kept village of Hopton, the route returns to road opposite an idyllic scene with a beautiful garden by a house with a curious rounded gable end. Hopton Hall itself was built for the Gell family who have been gentry there since the 12th century. It is this family which gives a prosaic explanation

for the track known as the Via Gellia. It's easy to imagine it is Roman in origin but in fact it was built by the Gells to serve their industrial interests. Even more prosaic is the trade name Viyella which developed from it! We don't actually reach the hall on this route but take a sharp right turn just before to enter a magical woodland, where the road is hewn out of the rocky slope and the climb is not so steep that you can't appreciate the dappled shade before you break out onto the moor above. Leaving the wood, I enjoyed the drop to the crossroads, where we took to the tracks again, this time on the High Peak Trail, an old mineral line between Cromford and Buxton. Turning left off the newly made connecting track, riders are immediately faced with the infamous Hopton Incline, down which laden trucks would occasionally plummet to disaster. On the longer Knockerdown ride, you have just climbed the gruelling mile out of Cromford to reach the trail and are then almost immediately onto the incline, which can seem a bit gratuitous. However, after only forty-odd kilometres (and no Cromford) it didn't seem like anything much. In its heyday it was the steepest railway gradient in the British Isles. Although at this visit we are only on the trail for four or five kilometres, there is plenty to catch the eye. The remains of a windmill stand defiantly in Carsington Pasture to the left of the trail, though this year the view has been spoilt by the construction of three (so far) windturbines; they may be a traditional use of the space but they have ruined the atmosphere. There are modern day works to left and right and Harboro Rocks on the right are a magnet for picnickers and walkers. In the north you are never far from evidence of industry and I always pay silent tribute to the ghosts whose lives of toil enabled me to glide (relatively) effortlessly through the scenes of their endeavour. I left the trail at Longcliffe picnic area, which has some interesting artwork based on the history of the line. After negotiating a very narrow gap in a wall I was back on the road and heading north towards Elton. This is a very pretty village and has its own special interest:one of the cottages was the home of Alfred Gregory, photographer on the expedition to Everest in 1953. It rather put

Hopton Incline

the day's puny climbing efforts into perspective, though of course, we were managing without sherpas or oxygen. Alfred himself was a renowned climber and carried supplies to 28,000 feet to establish a camp for the summit attempt. He saw out his days in Australia, where he died at the age of 98. Sir John Hunt, who led the expedition, was one of the prime movers in setting up the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme whose aspirants were such a feature of the ride, so it is all of a piece. Appropriate, too, that the next climb should be of the lovely Cliff Lane. I like this climb; it's pretty short but has a right-angle bend in it to add to the interest and today it had a magnificant bunch of blue geraniums marking the turn. Three or four miles of fast main road brought me to Bakewell, where I was caught by the first riders on the 200. Bakewell is a very popular Lime kilns on the Monsal Trail

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BREVET POPULAIRE

Hopton

place and today was no exception. As I wormed my way through, a young woman beckoned from the window of her car and naturally I acceded to her demands. She wondered, having seen my well-worn Harry Hall bike, if I knew where the base for the Eroica Britannia event was. This is an English version of the classic Italian ride for classic road bikes, which must fulfill certain age-criteria. I regretted that I could not help. I also suspected that it was not the sight of my machine but its ancient rider, that made me a target of the enquiry. I shrugged it off and climbed up to the next off-road section. The Monsal Trail has only been open in its present form for a couple of years. The many tunnels, which had been blocked off since the railway (from Bakewell to Buxton) closed, were reopened in 2011. These help to provide a wonderfully atmospheric ride, as well as some blissfully cool air on a hot day. Fourteen kilometres of very well surfaced trail (the tunnels are tarmaced) also take you across viaducts which soar over the dales beneath. In one instance, at Monsal Head, I think, there are always parties of abseilers taking the direct route. Some of the old platforms and station buildings are still to be seen along the trail and some have their own peculiar history. Hassop Station, which has a café that was doing great business with walkers and cyclists, was built by one stuck-up aristocrat because he didn't want to share a station with the stuck-up aristocrat next door. At Millers Dale viaduct (so good they built it twice), we rode over the older bridge while the newer one rusted picturesquely

under its counterpane of wildflowers. It was here that I stopped to tighten the rear wheel skewer, having finally remembered what Harboro Rocks the clunking that had annoyed me for the last dozen kilometres had meant last time! The Georgian-style mill at Cressbrook is quite a surprising sight so far below and Litton Tunnel recalls the notorious Litton Mill, which was the scene of such abuse and childslavery that it hastened reforms in working conditions. It seems perverse to think of these things in such beautiful surroundings but our memories may be the only acknowledgement some of the victims will ever have. It has to be said, too, that there is a hideous, though fascinating construction on the trail which wouldn't look out of place in a town centre car park or a communistera Moscow apartment block. Apparently it is a lime kiln, but whether or not the concrete buttresses are later additions to prevent it falling into the track I don't know. Fascinating all the same. Just after Rusher Cutting tunnel, the route leaves the trail, though walkers can continue along the old line. After an extremely circumspect off-road descent of thirty yards or so, I found the answer to an information question at Blackwell Cycle Hire, which, like everywhere else on this glorious day, was doing a roaring trade. I rode on along the trail by the river Wye, which was still and low, in marked contrast to the first year when it had threatened to flood the path. The river was a motionless slab of glass and alongside the huge butterbur leaves covered the bank with green leathery scales. After such a country idyll, it's almost a shock to be presented with a spell on the A6 but I was actually relishing the steady climb and the opportunity to get out of the saddle. The ride up Topley Pike is not particularly demanding but it was nice to stand and have a different riding position for a few turns. A cautious turn off the busy road towards Chelmorton brings more

“The river was a motionless slab of glass… butterbur leaves covered the bank with green leathery scales”

Organiser John Perrin with AN Other and Chris Crookes

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climbing and also a view over to the right of what I think may be the older part of the Topley Pike quarries. A left turn took me to Chelmorton itself, which looks like another fairly wealthy village built pretty much as a strip along a kilometre or so of road. On the way out I snapped the perfect summer scene of beasts browsing in a field of buttercups. I was still pinching myself to believe that such a lovely spell of weather was actually happening. A quick right and left across the Ashbourne road and I was plunging down the stony track to join the High Peak Trail again. It had recently been re-charged with large chippings and I just survived the descent. The High Peak Trail is much less gothic than the Monsal Trail and has the feel of a forest track rather than a thoroughfare. It is also much narrower, which lends it a particular enchantment. The first few kilometres of this section had a riot of wildflowers in the verge, especially bird's foot trefoil and clover. Every now and then the trail passes through a cutting with walls of limestone looming on either side. Last year on this section, I came up to a group who had an interesting mixture of bikes, including one which had a sort of bogie on the front, by which means a man was able to pedal his disabled wife along the trail. We chatted about our different types of cycling for a couple of hundred yards. It was a marvellous day for seeing so many cyclists and walkers out enjoying a fabulous area. I've been along this track in both directions several times now, so it had been a surprise to come across a new, though ancient-looking building as I approached the Parsley Hay visitor centre. A stone round-house with a conical roof, it is apparently a gift from the people of Croatia on their joining the European Union. I'm not quite sure what I think about it in that particular spot, which is rich in its own heritage, but it is certainly a singular structure. I filled up my bottles at the tap outside the café and rode on to where the trail splits; the right fork takes you down the Tissington Trail, through an impressive, gloomy cutting, but our way was to the left, where the track got even narrower. After Cathy and Ashley Brown

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BREVET POPULAIRE another five kilometres, making a total of thirteen or so for this section, I reached the car park at Minninglow. Minninglow itself is an ancient burial mound. I'm not sure whether I saw it from the car park or earlier on the ride from another angle but it is very striking with a stand of tall trees surrounded by a fringe of lower-growing trees or shrubs. Leaving the car park in the direction of Parwich, I soon noticed a rather fine but dilapidated pair of farm buildings on a down on the right of the road. I don't know if they are all that remains of a farm, or if they were outbuildings but they have very striking stonework and are crying out to be restored. Not long after this I turned right down what the route-sheet describes as a “mucky lane”. It was good to have the warning because although the surface is tarmaced it is covered in loose stones, manure, soil and twigs. However, it was also great fun to descend to the village of Parwich. This has one of those impressive churches that make you wonder why on earth they are there. I imagine that when people were more tied to the land before agricultural crises and the industrial revolution depopulated the countryside, then such a church might be justified, although the one at Parwich looks a little later to me than that and possibly belongs to the great Victorian church building era (look it up, Bond, look it up!). Whatever, it is a fine building in a fine setting. I turned right in Parwich and rode on through

Alsop en le Dale, so-called because it isn't in a dale, although almost every depression between two lumps is called a dale in this part of the world. The village may have been named by a medieval estate agent. Another crossing of the Ashbourne road brought me to Milldale which is at the northern end of Dovedale. In fact, the route took a sharp right hand turn in the village, where to go straight on would have been to enter the fabled Dove Dale itself. A little further on there is a left turn outside the Watts Russell Arms. The pub is very picturesque, with ivy covered walls and a fine sign. Watts Russell himself was the man who pretty much demolished Ilam in order to re-build it like somewhere he'd seen in Switzerland. The left turn delivers the last series of undulations of the day and a fine view of what I think is Soles Hill, one of the many characteristically-shaped hills of the unique Peak District. Before long I was through Wetton with only a mile or so to the finish, and wondering whether or not I was early enough to be of much use to John at the arrivée. But there were still sights to come on the left of the road. Last year there had been a magnificent scene of haymaking which had a sort of green geometry about it. Then there was a view of Thor's cave looming over the thickly wooded valley in which John would be waiting with the “Van of Delights™”. The final descent to the finish at Wetton Mill is fast and twisty and overhung with trees, but I

managed to avoid the two large pot-holes I'd hit last year before pulling up at John's van, where he appeared to be surrounded by huge bales of some kind of material. These turned out to be the enormous rucksacks on a group of diminutive girls who had got lost on their Duke of Edinburgh hike. While John added to their confusion, I sorted out a cup of tea and some delightful comestible or other from the V of D and prepared to help register and feed the subsequent finishers. There were also the riders on the 200k to refresh as our finish was a control on their way back to Broken Cross. Over the next two or three hours, I had a fascinating time helping with the admin and the refreshments and generally chatting to riders. Most were accounted for by the time we set off back to Broken Cross to help John's wife, Elaine, catering for the long ride finishers. As it turned out, most had already gone by the time we arrived and Elaine had done a marvellous job holding the fort on her own. I'm sure all will have been impressed by the wonderful hospitality. I was particularly pleased for John when some of the Lutudarum riders, who'd obviously found it a tough day out, praised him for his route and his refreshments. I hope they'll try some of his other rides. This particular one is a gem: a perfect summer's day out, one that will live long in the memory.

Golden Road and Standing Stones 300km (photos Ian Gilbert)

Paul Manasseh

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RANDONNEE

Flattest Possible 300 Malcolm Dancy

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did the San Fairy Ann CC Flattest Possible 300 on Sunday 13 July 2014, an event that is part of the so-called Fairies Flat Five. Before I rolled up I knew nothing about the San Fairy Ann Cycling Club, other than the neat multi-lingual pun in its title and the alliterative marketing brilliance of the audax events it organises. Being a relative newcomer to audax, I arrived as I usually do, with very little in the way of expectation and an open mind. In the comfort of my own home, sitting in front of the computer, the idea of starting an event at stupid o'clock in the morning and riding 100 km before breakfast and then completing a further 200 km was really quite compelling. The evening before, as my wife was getting ready to go to bed, the idea of willingly going out into the night and forsaking much-needed hours of rest was very much less appealing. To be brutally honest I didn't want to turn up at all. To make things worse, I was in danger of falling asleep whilst driving along the near empty motorway towards Ashford for the start. The only reason I didn't pull out – aside from the shame of posting a DNS – was that I desperately needed the miles (I mean kilometres) in my legs. In a moment of madness some months previously I had committed myself to 1300km of riding in the Scottish Highlands at the end of July. Once the satnav had delivered me to the right postcode, a friendly volunteer waving a bicycle light showed me where the HQ was. The car park was already filling up and another volunteer guided me to my spot. Reassuring organisation in the darkness. I removed the bike from the bike rack, and transformed myself from motorist to cyclist, which mostly entailed a change of footwear. I went inside to sign in and then make a beeline for the tea and Jaffa cakes. There were about 30 of us riding the 300k event, and we set off in one group. I seem to turn up to audax events unprepared; this time I hadn't ridden more than 50 km since early March and I was feeling a definite need to preserve my energies. I therefore wanted to ride at a sensible pace. On the other hand, sitting on the back of a bunch of fast boys was a good way of eating up the miles (sorry, I do mean kilometres) without too much pain. I adopted the rather selfish policy of staying near the front of the group, but not near enough there was any danger of me actually being there to do my share of the work. To my fellow riders, I apologise. Good organisation went well beyond management of car park and the ample provision of tea and Jaffa cakes. The route had us riding in the early hours of the morning along wide main roads with excellent surfaces while they were free of traffic. The same roads you would avoid like the plague during the day as they would be terrorised by fast cars and polluted by their exhaust. 48

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For most of these hours I had no real idea where I was or in what direction I was headed, but there were plenty of fellow riders who had ridden the routes before, and each junction was accompanied by a round of little beeps from GPS units. There were signposts for Hastings, I remember. We stopped by a Martello Tower at around 50 km for the first control, at which point I noticed there were only a dozen of us present from the 30 who had started. I quickly realised that although tea was on offer, if I chose to drink it some of my fellow riders would be gone before I finished. From here we rode along the coast road beside the sea wall. A while later there was an information stop, so more knowledgeable riders than myself informed me, and I made a mental note of the maximum height of a vehicle that could pass under a particular bridge. An hour or so later when we approached the town of Rye, and for a few minutes I knew where I was. None of us remembered to check the information stop here but we latterly picked up the idea that 2.2 m was relevant.

Derek Jarman's house on Dungeness

My policy of staying near the front now had to me with the first six riders in the event. Uncharted territory for me. But I was feeling quite surprisingly strong, and went to the front finally to do my share. Things were going well. Breakfast was bacon butties and croissants. I don't eat bacon so I made up for it with the croissants. The breakfast stop at 100 km was back at the original headquarters so I could leave my longsleeved jersey and my leggings behind. And my lights. Setting off, I was full of optimism. I'd done the first hundred in less than four hours, and at this rate would be finished by 4 o'clock in the

afternoon. Audax is not about winning, but if it were, I was at the front. I felt fantastic. the sense of my own raw power rushed through my bloodstream. Unfortunately, once I was back in the saddle after breakfast, I found I wasn't quite in the same groove. The same fast riders I had been cycling with were still fast and I no longer was. I normally climb better than most people because I'm skeletally thin, but these guys were dropping me going uphill. Ah, yes. Uphill. I was quickly gaining an appreciation of the very subtle difference between Flattest Possible and Flat. While there was a minimum level of climbing in the event, climbing there was. Kent is known for being rolling, rather than hilly, but rolling is not flat. The rolling downs imply the rolling ups. Soon I found myself in a group of one, moving at my own pace. A pace that was very much slower. And quieter. The first thing to do in such a situation is stay calm and not get lost. I didn't panic, but neither did I fail to get myself lost. I stopped for a few minutes to get my bearings (Google Maps) and dig the route sheet out of my back pocket. And off again. For the daylight hours, the route was much more scenic, with narrow grass-strewn lanes working their way across the very much rolling countryside. I enjoyed the next 50 km at a more leisurely pace, taking in my surroundings. I reached the halfway checkpoint (150 km) just as my former co-riders were leaving, and I knew better than to roll on and stay with them. Now that I was in a place with tea and cake I would wait for the next riders on the road. And wait I did, through several cups of very welcome tea and possibly more cake than was strictly necessary. I met lots of people who were doing the 150k ride for whom this was their first checkpoint. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. Finally I had three or four companions, and we set off together in the warm spring sunshine. We were heading towards Romney Marsh and Dungeness. My companions were local to the area and knew the roads, and they were grumbling about the road ahead of us. The wind, and the worst road surface in England. I had never been to Dungeness but I had read about it in a colour supplement and was looking forward to it. Romney Marsh is 100 square miles of flat, low-lying wetland sheltered from the sea by the low head land of Dungeness. It is almost uninhabited, which makes it an ideal sanctuary for birds and an ideal site for a nuclear power station. Being flat, and next to the sea, the wind was merciless and we had to grind away along the lonely road towards Dungeness. I had expected the wind, and preferring fat tyres on my bikes I never worry about rough roads. Except… there is something special www.aukweb.net


GOLDEN ROAD AND STANDING STONES - PHOTOS BY IAN GILBERT about the road to Dungeness, which is made of concrete, without significant numbers of potholes, but has ridges going across the road which seem to be designed to create the most irritating vibrations possible. Quite memorably unpleasant. But Dungeness is an amazing place, especially in bright sunshine under a blue sky. We were heading for the lighthouse and the power station which were prominent on the horizon, and to reach them we passed the scattering of

wooden shacks that make up the village, the most impressive of which is film director Derek Jarman's, with its famous garden. The control was at the railway station cafe, the railway in question being the 13 mile narrow gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. Fabulous. After an extended cafe stop, there were thankfully some kilometres of wind-assisted flat riding. Unfortunately, to return to the start/finish it was necessary to tackle some of the sharp

gradients of the Weald. Again the difference between flat, and flattest possible, a difference made more striking by fatigue. Soon enough however, we had negotiated our way around the narrow lanes and attractive countryside to the event HQ where I made a serious effort to replace lost calories. A final event: I drove home with the windows open and the radio very loud to avoid sleepiness, reflecting on a day very well spent.

Once More Into the Breach, Dear Riders Corwen Audax rides, July 2014 David Matthews

T

he first thing to say is that there was an appalling weather forecast for the whole day of these rides: drenching rain in abundance. The effect on the ratio of entrants to starters is very interesting. The hard men on the 200k mostly turned up as did the geriatrics on the 60k. The field for the classic and popular 100k Brenig Bach was heavily reduced with only one third of entrants turning up.

Barmouth Boulevard 204km; 3650m ascent 13 from 19 entries turned up and set off bravely into the rain. As you can see from the comments posted on YACF, copied below, the riders had a great day out. 11 finishers as one rider packed and another suffered a broken derailleur. “Had I been on my own I probably wouldn't have started as I hate setting off in the rain and the forecast was dreadful. But I had gone with a friend (his first 200 audax) so I didn't bottle it. Bounced the first control as it was still raining and had a good run to Harlech, which is a place I love, chatting

with jamesb on the run in. The waterproofs came off shortly after and stayed off, contrary to the forecast. This ride is full of beautiful valleys and the scenery is stunning, even in poor weather. And the hills just keep giving and giving! It was very humid as I got to Bwlch y Groes and the sweat was streaming off my face but the sun came out shortly after and it was a lovely evening. Good to have a chat with other finishers at the pub. Many many thanks to Dave M for putting on this ride, there were 13 starters and it deserves a lot more, a great combination of lanes, scenery, sea views and hills." “Agree, this was a wonderful day out and a great day out. I might not have started without the encouragement from James at about 7am, but was really pleased I did. Shame about the small numbers, but this was obviously a very select group. Enjoyed the company of Andy, Ian and Mark on the road, and most of the others at the cafe stops. Everyone helped me get round. I really love this part of Wales, having spent nearly six months working near Barmouth between school and university (summer of 69 - 45 years ago!!) Much of it hasn't really changed. Thanks again, David, for organising it. See you again soon.”

The Brenig Bach 107km; 1920m ascent As stated previously there was a good entry of 40 riders for this event. However in the face of the early morning deluge only 15 riders took the start. There was a crash involving 3 riders on a downhill section near Bala, fortunately without injury, but causing them to pack. 2 other riders packed at Pentrefoelas. Congratulations to the 10 riders who successfully completed this hilly ride.

The Bala Parade 60km; 700m ascent A low entry of 10 for this ride. 6 riders of pensionable age and beyond started and all finished. The rain stopped by 11:30, we had dried out by lunch time at the Llanuwchllyn control south of Lake Bala. All enjoyed a short day out in glorious, if damp, Welsh scenery. All 3 rides back on next year on Saturday July 18. Start times return to original schedule of 08:00; 08:30 and 09:00. Let’s hope for some good weather to enhance riders’ enjoyment of glorious North Wales.

Golden Road and Standing Stones 300km (photo Ian Gilbert)

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OVERSEAS

View down from the Coll de Jou to Sant Lloerenç de Morunys.

Escaping theFloods

E

arly 2014. Rain, rain, rain. Water, water everywhere. Even roads at the top of hills were flooded… It seemed a good time to escape for a weekend to Spain. So very early one Friday morning I met Andy Seviour at Gatwick to check in for a flight to Barcelona. Our return flight was late Sunday, with a planned route heading north towards the Pyrenees. So we had three days of sun to look forward to – hopefully! After checking in our bags and bikes we settled into the BA Lounge for breakfast. No, we weren't travelling business class – in fact we had got quite cheap tickets – but this was one perk of me having spent far too many hours recently in BA's fleet of 747s and 777s – and the other perk was that both our bikes travelled free of charge.

Friday – Barcelona to Cardona

Chris Beynon headed south east, and we were overtaken at speed by an empty box, blown along by the strong wind. The third thing was that it was a bit cloudy, with the threat of some rain later. The route, plotted into the Garmin, initially took us on the minor BV-2411 to Vilafranca del Penedès, but first we stopped in Gavà at a garage for lunch (part 1), eaten standing outside in true AUK fashion. The road climbed gently but steadily, but the strong headwind meant that at

Despite landing a bit early, by the time the bikes appeared, and we'd reassembled them, and then found the left luggage office to drop off the bike packing, it was around midday. But as seasoned AUKs, and with only 132km to go, what was Andy riding through Rocafort. there to worry about? times we were down to 10kph. This was going to Well, the first thing to worry about was that be a long day… the road leaving the terminal had “No Bicycles” However, after a while the road levelled out, signs. I'd spent some time with Google Maps and trees gave protection from the wind. Some trying to find a way out of Terminal 1 other than way ahead we could see a local roadie, and using the dual carriageway, without success – it we gradually closed the gap. On catching him, was the only road. It was only a few hundred he didn't look very local, and turned out to be metres to escape to the various service roads a Brit who had attended a big mobile phone north of the terminal, so we ignored the signs and pressed on. The second thing was that those conference in Barcelona, and had taken his bike with him to get some miles in before his flight few hundred metres heading north-west were home that evening. We rode with him to the hard work. The reason was very obvious when N-340 junction, where he turned back, but we several minutes later the service road briefly

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had barely started our day. At Vilafranca we stopped in a bar-cumrestaurant for lunch part 2 – a chicken something or other picked slightly at random off the menu (did I mention, neither of us speaks any usable Spanish – or more relevant here, any Catalan – at all). Several kilometres north of Vilafranca we hit our next problem – the minor C-244 on my 10 year old map had been upgraded to the C-15. It was still a two lane road (i.e. not dual-carriageway), and wasn't especially busy, but a familiar sign said “No Bicycles”. Andy spotted a “cycle route” sign on a parallel minor road to the next village, but on arriving at that village it appeared to be a choice of the C-15 or the C-15. There wasn't a “No Bicycles” sign though, so we carried on to the next junction – where the no cycling signs were back, but a farm road appeared to be heading the right way so we took that. However after about 1km it finished in a field, so we followed a well-worn track that led to a gap in the roadside fence, and continued on the C-15. At the next junction we could escape the C-15 and still get to our next destination, Igualada, but that added several extra kilometres and a significant gratuitous climb in the process. (After studying Google satellite images on our return there do seem to be minor roads we could have used to avoid the C15, but they were not in OpenStreetMap on my Garmin, and are not in Google Maps.) At least it was now sunny, and the wind had dropped a bit. A gentle drag into Òdena left Andy well behind – the chicken whatever-it-was had clearly run out. While he was catching up, I scouted around the village and thankfully found a small shop open, and we got some more food. www.aukweb.net


OVERSEAS We also took stock of the situation – we clearly weren't going to get to the hotel by 7pm as I had told them, so I emailed them to say we were on our way and would be there around 9pm. Suitably refreshed, we continued on the old C-241 to Manresa – helpfully left intact after the new C-37 had been built. This was a great road, with almost no traffic. At one point the surface was damp, so clearly we had escaped a shower (the only hint of rain all weekend – hooray!). Not long after we stopped to watch a strong red sunset, and then continued in the dark. The traffic returned in the large town of Manresa, where we headed onto the C-55 to our destination for the night, Cardona. This was the only road that was unpleasantly busy all weekend – a mix of late rush-hour traffic and lots of locals with skis on the roof, heading up to the mountains for the weekend. It was also relentlessly uphill, and progress was slow, but we finally got to the hotel around 9.30pm. Being Spain, that was perfect timing for dinner! In the end we did 139km, with 1800m of climb, and combined with a very early start in the UK, and a late night, it meant that there was little enthusiasm Saturday morning for my planned 150km or 163km options for the day. Instead over breakfast we picked a route to the 1480m Coll de Jou that we estimated would be around 100km. We would be staying in the same excellent little hotel (La Premsa) again the second night, so we could leave most of our kit behind and travel light.

Andy riding to the Coll de Jou

roads where I live!). So it was a great relief when we dropped down to the dam and there was a public road across it – which continued up the other side of the valley on a steady climb to the C-55. By the time we got back to Cardona we'd done 106km with 1900m climb. It had been an excellent day's riding.

It was sunny but cold as we started off on the C-55 again – thankfully now almost deserted of traffic. Before turning off onto the minor LV-4241 towards the col we stopped for two rounds of coffee and cakes in a nice café in Solsona. Sun and climbing soon had us down to shorts (a first for the year!). An hour or so later a false summit led to a short fast descent, followed by continued climbing up to the col, with patches of snow at the side of the road. The obligatory photos were taken at the col sign, and just after that there was snow all around, it was cold,

and we quickly put all our layers on for the fast descent to Sant Lloerenç de Morunys for a latish lunch. We sat down at an empty table in the first restaurant we found, only to be told 5 minutes later that the table was reserved, and they had no space. Ummm. Anyway we found a bar serving food, and had a large plate of chicken, chips and salad each. It hit the spot perfectly, helping thaw us after the descent. After Sant Lloerenç we headed back south on the C-462 which went round the Llosa del Cavall reservoir. There were several short tunnels, then a longer one that popped out at the dam, which we spent some time peering over – it was a long way down! It was straight into another tunnel as we left the dam, which descended quickly to the river valley below the dam. A bit later we got to the C-26 and then a minor unclassified road back to the C-55 via the dam over the Sant Ponç reservoir. However at the turn off the C-26 the only signage was for a long distance footpath, and the road soon got very narrow and potholed. I began to doubt that it was a through road, especially as the roads so far had near perfect tarmac (although, while potholed, this road would still attract admiring glances from anyone used to the South Bucks

Tunnel en-route to the Llosa del Cavall reservoir

Chris at the Coll de Jou

Late lunch at Sant Lloerenç de Morunys

Saturday – To the Coll de Jou

Sunday – Return to Barcelona

On Sunday we had a 132km route planned which dropped into Barcelona before returning to the airport. With a 19:55 flight we needed to be at the airport by 5pm at the latest to have time to pack the bikes, so with plenty of hills scheduled we went for an early(ish) start. It was another sunny but cold morning and with the empty C-55 being mainly downhill, we kept several layers on for a while. We stopped in Manresa for a coffee and to photograph the old bridge, before climbing steeply out of the town and onto the BV-1125 and then BV-1124. This road was quite narrow, and climbed steadily through woodland to the old village of Rocafort, which we left on a steep single track descent. A bit later, and with the sun now strong, we stripped off excess layers as we climbed up through Mura to the BV-1221.

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OVERSEAS This road had excellent scenery, going through the Parc Natural de Sant Llorenç del Munt, with a steady climb to the 870m summit at the Coll d'Estenalles. On the final part of the climb I couldn't resist overtaking a local roadie – on my touring bike, with panniers. Sorry. It was then a big descent down to Terrassa where we stopped for lunch. The GPS then came into its own, allowing us to take a quiet route through the built-up area between the Terrassa and Rubi, before escaping back into the woods for the final climb up the BP-1417 which left us with a panoramic view over Barcelona. A fast plummet into the city was followed by more GPS aided navigation to Gaudi's Sagrada Família basilica, which not surprisingly was swarming with tourists. The final section of riding took as through the quiet (on a Sunday afternoon) Zona Franca and into the airport. Getting close to the inevitable “No Bicycles” dual carriageway back to Terminal 1, I spotted a cycle route sign. There was no clue as to where it went to, but it was in the right direction, so we followed it alongside and then under the dual carriageway, popping out from an unlabeled underpass into the back of one of the long term car parks. There wasn't a sign in sight on the airport side! It was around 4:30pm, we'd ridden 132km as planned, with 1610m climb, and we'd had another excellent

Andy in the Parc Natural de Sant Llorenç del Munt.

day in the saddle. After sorting the bikes and checking in we headed to the lounge. I was looking forward to a shower, but was disappointed to be told that rental of a towel was 15 euros. Even allowing for inflation, that's around 20 times more than I once paid for a hotel – although admittedly that single room dungeon in Himachal Pradesh didn't come with a towel, or a shower, or for

that matter any running water apart from the mucky stream (= open sewer?) that you had to remember to jump over as you left the room. Despite being a rip-off, the shower was good, and I probably made up for the cost of the shower in food and drinks consumed! Some time later we landed at Gatwick in torrential driving rain. Home sweet home…

Golden Road and Standing Stones 300km (photos Ian Gilbert)

Ian Anderson

52

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Ricky Wells

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RANDONNEE

Flatlands 600km ElliptiGO ride

M

13 September 2014

yself and fellow ElliptiGOers Idai, Alan and Carl were taking on the Audax Flatlands 600, from Great Dunmow in Essex to Goole in Lincolnshire (possibly Yorkshire!) and back. It was so far North I didn’t even know where we were heading. And with so little planning and preparation for this ride (the others included) it literally was a case of turn up at the start, point ourselves in the right direction and GO! And that’s pretty much what happened. We all stayed near the start location at St Mary’s Church the previous night for the 6am start. Breakfast was served at 5am which consisted of pain au chocolate, grain bars, flapjack, muffins and bananas so not very Paleo! I think I may have ODed on pain au chocolate! At 6am on the dot, Alan and I were on the start line but there was no sign of Idai or Carl! One hundred quite or so cyclists had set off and there was Alan and me left waiting there! They were still fuelling up but this allowed me time to set up my Garmin Etrex with the maps for the rides. That didn’t go well! It seemed the GPX map files I had got from one of the other riders exchanged online weren’t compatible with my Garmin. Damn. This was a bit of a blow as it now meant we had to resort to navigating 600km of English country roads following a turn-by-turn route description. Not the best start to the ride but you deal with these things and just get on with it. There were 9 stages - the longest stage being 90km and shortest 49km. But to be honest the stage distances were pretty irrelevant as the controls were all unmanned so we just had to pass through the relevant town and get evidence as proof of passage such as an ATM or shop receipt. Carl and Idai finally emerged, stomachs full, at 6:15am. We took the opportunity for a start line photo before we set off into the morning mist and the start of our adventure! The plan was to stay together as a group for the entire ride so the first section (61km) to Red Lodge for second breakfast was all about finding a sustainable pace that suited everyone. We had no plan regarding who would lead out so we just took it in turns in these early stages to establish who was most comfortable at the front and didn’t kill those behind with an unsustainable pace. Idai voiced some concern that we were going too fast and I guess I may have still been in Thruxton mode! However, slowly but surely we got into our groove and before long we had arrived at Control 1 - Red Lodge for

‘proper’ breakfast. Fry-ups all round for the crew and we were fuelled and ready for the day ahead and the real work to begin. I think because we all spent so little time

At the start

thinking, preparing or planning for this ride this actually helped in that we were all very relaxed and just GOing with the flow. The route north would cut right through the Fens crossing the Rivers Cam, Ouse and Nene. It was unbelievably flat but because of this there was also the inevitable wind factor. So on the one hand you benefitted but when there was no shelter from the elements it

Red Lodge Control for second breakfast

could get pretty tough. For me the ‘real’ work started earlier than the others and came as a bit of a shock. Of course I wasn’t sure how much the Thruxton 100 had taken out of me but I soon found out. Between 50 and 100 miles I was really out of sorts and finding it rough. It wasn’t the pace or wind or any

Stuart Blofeld other external factor that caused this but the simple fact that I was spent and already felt like I was ‘running on empty’. And we hadn’t even reached 100 miles of a near as damn it 400 mile ride!! The thought that I felt like this already and had the best part of 300 miles still to ride was not one that filled me with glee. We pulled into a garage where I told the others that my legs felt trashed already. Idai was genuinely concerned but at the same time there was nothing that anyone or I could do about it. This was a continuous point to point and back ride with no Plan B or escape route We were all here for the long-haul no matter what happened and I just had to suck it up, quit feeling sorry for myself and get on with it. Stopping for just 20 minutes can make all the difference to mind and body. And there was only one answer - ice cream! It worked a treat on Mille Cymru when I was at my lowest ebb and it worked here too. We chilled out in the garage forecourt ate, drank and reset for the next section. And that’s exactly how we would roll through this ride for the next day and a half. It was simple really. We rode from stop to stop refuelling and recharging ourselves like we were on a conveyor belt that would stop until we reached the end. And even the landscape and the long flat straight roads resembled exactly this. There was no getting off, checking out or throwing in the towel. The others didn’t appear to be unduly affected by the distance and soon I was back in the groove too, as if my earlier melt down had never happened. Isn’t it strange that the body can feel like that... Like it couldn’t GO on for another mile let alone 300 and now I’m ‘normal’. We arrived at Control 2 (130km) in Whittlesey in time for lunch. We found a nice pub and a place to park the ElliptiGOs. Once again time off your feet makes all the difference. We gorged ourselves on pub grub (burgers and chips) and I even had a cheeky pint of ale. Why not I thought to myself and it really helps to break up the enormity of the challenge by doing ‘normal’ things like enjoying a pint. Stomachs once again full and we were headed for Boston which was a shorter 57km stage. We rode through the afternoon sunshine with the winds still battling against us. At times the whole group would just ride in comfortable silence as we went about our business and at other times we would chat, laugh and bond with our shared goal to reach the end. As far as our pacing was concerned this was now taking care of itself

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RANDONNEE with whoever felt like leading the bunch taking up the front spot and pushing on as we carved a path through the endless Fens. By Boston (Control 3 - 187km) there was just one thing on our minds - coffee! But it was getting on for 5:30pm and the town centre seemed to be closing for business. We bumped into two other cyclists who had spent the last 3hrs at the bike shop get a broken gear shifter replaced. Ouch! They joined us for coffee at a nearby Cafe Nero (Result!!) and it was once again feet up, relax, and refuel. I’m sure you are getting the picture by now on the routine. And this is how we rolled deep into the night and through to the next day. The night section was tough. And I can’t overstate just how much so. Clearly fatigue is starting to set in by now and tiredness is inevitable. As a group we hadn’t really discussed the subject of sleep. We didn’t have anywhere booked so if we did have time to sleep it would be outside or in a late-night services. I think we all knew in reality that we wouldn’t be sleeping but no one was really

Gainsborough for pain au chocolat

prepared to say it. It was 1am when we rolled into the delightful Scarborough and saw the Golden Arches in the distance. This was the only thing open at this hour but it presented the opportunity to take an extended period of time to rest and eat. I’m not fussy when it comes to fuelling on long rides and I polished off a McTasty meal. The others weren’t so thrilled with the food on offer but it’s calories that count and at 800+ it’s a no-brainer with a long night of riding ahead. As we all sat in the restaurant we were definitely all at our lowest ebb. This was crunch time. We were all tired but with a complete lack of real alternatives we faced only two options. Carry on through the night or waste time here (which we didn’t have). We agreed we’d spend 1 hour here and then head on to Goole (327km) and the turn around point. The stage to the half way Control at Goole was the toughest in the whole ride. It wasn’t tough physically (the legs were still working 54

Arrivée Autumn 2014 No. 126

well) .... this was purely mental and it was changing my perspective on the ride. The three others would pull away and I would try to catch them but mentally didn’t have the motivation to try, which resulted in a gap that grew and grew. I could always see them but the red tail lights grew smaller and fainter, and as the roads wound through the countryside I lost sight of them. I expected them to slow and allow me to catch and perhaps they did but I wasn’t pushing by this point. The gap was only a minute in reality but because of the general fatigue and my mental awareness dipping it may as well have been an hour. Outside of Goole the guys stopped and I caught up. Apparently we had come into Goole on a different route which I was completely unaware of. Audax rules require you to visit each of the official Controls (and collect evidence such as an ATM or till receipt as proof of passage) but the route you take in between is somewhat flexible. We had no plan to go off route but it seems that our desire to visit McDs in Scarborough brought us into Goole from a different direction. We didn’t stay long (gratefully!) and we would have been even quicker if it wasn’t for the interest being shown in the ElliptiGOs by the local late night (early morning!) revellers. We left Goole after 3am and headed back South. It felt great to be heading home and despite only being half way into the ride it felt like we had reached a real turning point. I was once again feeling a lot more positive about things. Alan lead out and we filed in formation and pushed on through to dawn. We were now thinking about the next fuel stop and breakfast! For me this is where all the remaining towns, garage forecourts, causeways and scenery is a bit of a blur. I was in the moment but clearly after having ridden for over 24 hours you don’t tend to hang onto every memory. For the reader this probably comes as a relief! The memories I do have of the second day is one of a very enjoyable day riding with friends, interspersed with some hellish sections with wicked head winds. But we were getting nearer and nearer to our destination so it felt ok under the circumstances. There was just the small challenge of navigating our way in and out of Cambridge. The highlight of Cambridge was getting on to the Guided Bus Way which had a dedicated eight mile footpath and cycle way that carved out a traffic-free path. Once in Cambridge, however, we still had to negotiate the ring road and get off that and take the correct road south. No Garmin assistance, and the route notes were very vague. We eventually got out but it did feel like a very long time and far more than we had anticipated. By this point we were all doing the maths on our required pace to finish under the 40 hour cutoff. In fact we had been doing the maths most of the night and into the day. There was never a moment where I didn’t think we would complete it in under the 40 hour cut-off, but I had hoped we’d be a good few hours under it. As we exited Cambridge however this didn’t

look like being the case. We pressed on and reached the final Control at Chatteris (525km covered). From here we had 80km to go and 6 hours to do it. Judging by our pace it looked like we would in fact push into the final hour and finish after 9pm. The final section was the hilliest section of the entire ride. I’m not complaining, and the change in terrain kept it interesting but it also slowed us down further. The worst part however was in the final few hours riding in

A nice cuppa at Chatteris Control

the dark along a twisty country road where we witnessed some insane driving. Why drivers take such extreme and dangerous risks when overtaking defies belief. I was pacing at this point when a car came over the brow of the hill and at the same time a car behind me started to overtake us. There was room but the overtaking car was completely on the opposite side of the road and cause the oncoming car to swerve. I was fully expecting a collision - not with us, but between the two cars. Somehow, and I don’t know how, but they missed each other by what must have been fractions of an inch. The guys behind saw more than me and knew it was a close shave. After this we were just counting down the miles back to Great Dunmow. The entire ride was meant to be 606k but we had already done 615k and were still GOing! It can’t be far now surely? In fact all of the 9 stages were like this as we would approach the destination town. You would spot a sign with the distance and miles later you saw another sign and you were no closer! Finally though after over 39 hours of riding we were back in Great Dunmow. All that remained was to find the actual Control. Erm.... Does anyone know where we are going!? Nope it appeared not. We overshot the turn we were suppose to take and rode into town only to have to retrace back and finally make it to the Control - the Pub! Haha, the best Control of the race. It was a mix of relief that the ride was over, understated celebration that we’d www.aukweb.net


GOLDEN ROAD AND STANDING STONES - PHOTOS BY IAN GILBERT made it under the cut off and quiet satisfaction at a job well done. We all worked so well as a team which isn’t as easy as it sounds on an ElliptiGO. To all ride together for that length of time and distance and find that our pace matched one another and that everyone contributed to the effort was the most pleasing aspect of the whole ride. Hats off to Idai, Alan and especially Carl, who was taking on his first multi day event and who hadn’t ridden further than 180 miles before! In total we had covered 386 continuous miles. It was my longest ride also by a considerable margin. We toasted success with a drink, and took some time to reflect.

Richard Smith & Kevin Rae

Toasting our success! (L to R) Stuart Blofeld, Idai Makaya, Carl Nanton, Alan McDonogh

However it was late and we all had homes to get back to. The challenge in fact hadn’t ended as getting home raised some questions with the lack of sleep. I decided I would drive but had a good slap up mixed kebab first (the only place open on the high street) but boy was it good! I made it home safely but on reflection would allow myself a sleep next time.

Alan Fox & Campbell Crombie

Jamie Macleod & Andrew Tolley

Mary Jane Watson, John Clemens & Steve Parker

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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 BRM [PBP] Paris-Brest-Paris qualifying ride

200 06 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Tinsel and Lanes 08:00 Sat BR 211km 2060m £7.00 P R T 60 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth Staffordshire B78 1BY 100 06 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Flowers to Furnace 09:00 Sat BP 104km 940m £7 P R T 50 12-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth B78 1BY 200 06 Dec Tewkesbury Kings, Castles, Priests & Churches. 07:00 Sat BR 202km 2550m AAA1.75 [1800m] £4.00 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 01 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 philipmdyson@btinternet.com Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way Cholsey Wallingford Oxon OX10 9LL

50 07 Dec Carharrack, Cornwall Ed's Mince Pie & Mulled Wine 50 10:00 Sun BP £3.50 F L P R T (85) 10-25kph Audax Kernow 01326 373421 angells@talktalk.net Eddie Angell, 14 Belhay Penryn Cornwall TR10 8DF

200 01 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

100 07 Dec Hailsham leisure centre, E Sussex Bob Mchardys Memorial Meander 09:00 Sun BP 992m £6.00 P R (29/11) 500 15-30kph Mark Fairweather markfairweather11@hotmail.com Mark Fairweather, 310 Coast Road Pevensey Bay East Sussex BN24 6NU

110 08 Nov Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 113km 1000m £5.00 P L R 12-30kph Updated Alfreton CTC bandj.smith@sky.com Brian Smith, 10 The Crescent Clay Cross Chesterfield S45 9EH

Prison Run

200 13 Dec Prees Heath, nr Whitchurch A Brevet upon St Lucy\'s Day 08:00 Sat BR 208km £3.00 X P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax CTC perrin_john@sky.com John Perrin, 20 Princes Way Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8UB

200 08 Nov Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's Cymraeg Cyrch 07:00 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

110 13 Dec Swaffham, Norfolk Swaffham CX1 09:00 Sat BP 111km £5.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Updated CC Breckland Jonathan Reed, Braemar Houghton Lane Northpickenham Swaffham PE37 8LF

100 09 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

200 21 Dec Bredbury, Stockport Winter Solstice 08:30 Sun BR 202km 700m £5.00 P R T 60 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX

200 09 Nov Cheadle, Stockport 08:00 Sun BR 210km 800m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-30kph Peak Audax hamhort84@talktalk.net

200 21 Dec Great Bromley, nr Colchester Santa Special 08:00 Sun BR 202km £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph CTC Suffolk 07922772001 Andy Terry, The Nook Colchester Road Great Bromley Essex CO7 7TN

Eureka!

160 09 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Cheshire Safari 08:30 Sun BP 570m £6.00 P R T M 60 12.5-25kph Peak Audax hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ 100 09 Nov Petworth, W Sussex The Spordax 100 08:30 Sun BP 103km 1350m £7.50 F P T 15-30kph David Hudson ROA 25000 David Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham by Sea West Sussex BN43 6LG 200 14 Nov Anywhere, to AUK Annual Dinner ::::: Fri BR £5 DIY 14.3-30kph Updated Audax UK

Dinner Dart 0161 449 9309

200 15 Nov AUK Annual Dinner, Yarnfield, nr Stone, Staffs After Dinner Dart ::::: Sat BR £5 DIY 14.3-30kph Updated Audax UK 0161 449 9309 ROA 25000 Sheila Simpson, 33 Hawk Green Road Hawk Green Marple SK6 7HR 100 22 Nov Swaffham Community Centre, Norfolk The Swaffham Scorpion 09:00 Sat BP £5 LPRT 15-30kph NorfolknGood sandk.tandem@btinternet.com ROA 10000 Keith Harrison, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU 100 29 Nov Catherington, near Portsmouth Whitchurch Winter Wind-down 100 09:00 Sat BP 106km 1600m AAA1.5 £5.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Hantspol CC jondse@ntlworld.com Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road Waterlooville Hampshire PO8 0HS 200 06 Dec Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2SE The South of Bucks Winter Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 206km 1100m [1290m] £5.00 YH A1 L P T X 100 15-30kph Terry Lister lister4cycling@btinternet.com Terry Lister, 4 Abbey Walk Great Missenden Bucks HP16 0AY 200 06 Dec Coryton, NW Cardiff Monmouthshire Meander 07:30 Sat BR 204km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-25kph Updated Cardiff Byways tonypember@gmail.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 200 06 Dec Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul 08:00 Sat BR 2000m £5.00 P,R,T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 56

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100 03 Jan Bradwell, nr Hope, Peak District Hopey New Year 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1750m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH C P R T 100 10-30kph David Darricott 01433 621 531 ddarricott@aol.com David Darricott, 9 Gore Lane Bradwell Hope Valley Derbyshire S33 9HT 200 03 Jan Oxford The Poor Student 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 206km 1800m £6.00 YH P X 15-30kph Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 iddu.audax@gmail.com Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road Lambourn RG17 7LL 200 03 Jan Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's January Sale 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 206km 1800m [2700m] £1.00 c f p r nm t 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 100 11 Jan Kings Worthy, Winchester 09:30 Sun BP 108km 1235m £6.00 L F P R T M 140 14-28kph Winchester CTC coles.sue@gmail.com ROA 5000 Sue Coles, 7 Ruffield Close Winchester SO22 5JL

Watership Down

200 17 Jan Chalfont St Peter The Willy Warmer 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 213km £7.00 L P R T M 75 G 15-30kph Willesden CC paudax@gmail.com Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens Chiswick London W4 3TN 100 24 Jan Aztec West, Bristol Jack and Grace Cotton Memorial 100km 09:00 Sat BP 104km £5.00 P R T 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road Horfield Bristol Avon BS7 9PJ 200 24 Jan Cardiff Gate Dr. Foster's Winter Warmer 07:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 201km £6.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC tonypember@gmail.com Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 100 24 Jan Hailsham Hills and Mills 09:00 Sat BP 102km 1850m AAA1.75 £6.00 R F P 85 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB 200 25 Jan 08:00 Sun

Cheadle, Stockport BRM [PBP] 201km 800m £7.00 P R T 80 15-30kph Peak Audax

A Mere Two Hundred

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AUK CALENDAR 150 25 Jan Cheadle, Stockport A Mere Century 08:30 Sun BP 155km 600m £6.00 P R T 60 15-25kph Peak Audax David Colley, 5 Huncoat Avenue Heaton Chapel Stockport SK4 5HN

150 22 Feb Cheadle, Stockport 08:30 Sun BP 153km 450m £6.00 P R T 50 15-25kph Peak Audax tim@mothy.org.uk Tim Hughes, 5 Peterhouse Road Sutton Macclesfield SK11 0EN

150 01 Feb Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm Down 08:00 Sun BP 155km [650m] £5.00 L F P R T 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk

100 22 Feb Corscombe, near Beaminster The Primrose Path 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1955m AAA2 £7.00 P L R T 55 12.5-25kph Arthur Vince 01935 863 429 arthur.vince@btinternet.com Arthur Vince, 3 Back Lane East Coker Yeovil BA22 9JN

100 01 Feb Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm-up 09:00 Sun BP 108km 650m £5.00 L F P R T 14-25kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 5000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane Cirencester GL7 1RL

Radway

100 22 Feb Henham, S of Saffron Walden Victoria C. C. - Brazier's Run 09:00 Sun BP 106km £10.00 A(1) L P R S T 15-30kph Victoria CC kieronyates@mac.com

200 01 Feb Denmead, nr Portsmouth a winter wind up to wantage 07:30 Sun BRM [PBP] 206km £6.00 P R T (21/01) 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road Emsworth Hampshire PO10 7XR

50 22 Feb Henham, S of Saffron Walden Victoria C. C. - Brazier's Run 09:00 Sun BP £9.00 A(1) L P R S T 10-25kph Victoria CC kieronyates@mac.com ROA 2000 Kieron Yates, 6 Aberdeen Terrace London SE3 0QX

200 07 Feb Alfreton Straight on at Rosie's 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 1190m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 5000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP

100 22 Feb Old Town Hall, Musselburgh Musselburgh RCC 24th Tour of East Lothian 10:00 Sun BP 106km £10.00 L P R T NM (10/02) 12.5-30kph Musselburgh RCC 07852105204 Alistair Mackintosh, 5 Durham Road South Edinburgh EH15 3PD

100 07 Feb Dial Post, West Sussex Worthing Winter Warmer 09:00 Sat BP 104km £5 FPRT 15-30kph Worthing Excelsior CC 01903 240 280 Mick Irons, 36 Phrosso Road Worthing West Sussex BN11 5SL

150 28 Feb Droitwich Over the Malverns 08:30 Sat BP 159km 1500m £3.00 C P R T M 60 12.5-25kph Gavin Greenhow 01905 775 803 ROA 25000 Gavin Greenhow, 44 Newland Road Droitwich WR9 7AG

200 07 Feb Tewkesbury Sam Weller's day trip to Wochma 07:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 203km 2300m [2700m] £4.00 c p r nm t 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ

100 01 Mar Bynea, Llanelli Carmarthenshire Stopper 08:30 Sun BP 102km 1720m AAA1.75 £4.50 C L F P R T 50 12-25kph Swansea DA 01792391492 jb@reynoldston.com John Bastiani, The Brambles Reynoldston Swansea SA3 1AA

100 08 Feb Chippenham Flapjack 09:00 Sun BP 102km £6.50 F P R T M 150 15-24kph Chip. & Dist. Whs. 01225 708449 Eric Fletcher, 174 Littleworth Lane Whitley Melksham Wiltshire SN12 8RE

200 01 Mar Exeter Mad March Coasts and Quantocks 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 201km 2725m AAA2 [1500m] £7.00 YH F P R T X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 841553 robinwheeler571@btinternet.com

100 08 Feb Leicester Rutland and Beyond 08:30 Sun BP 102km 1290m £4.00 F L P R S T 100 12-30kph Leic. Forest CC kimbo44@hotmail.com ROA 1000 Kim Suffolk, 73 Colby Road Thurmaston Leicester LE4 8LG 200 14 Feb Cardiff Gate Malmesbury Mash 07:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 1000m £3.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Newport Velo ritchie.t.tout@uk.pwc.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach Monmouthshire NP16 6RT 200 18 Feb Gravesend Cyclopark 07:30 Wed BRM [PBP] £5.00 PRT 15-30kph Gravesend CTC 01474 815 213 tom56jackson@gmail.com ROA 5000 Tom Jackson, 19 Denesway Meopham Kent DA13 0EA

Wye Wednesday

120 21 Feb Hailsham Mad Jack's- John Seviour Memorial 09:00 Sat BP 125km 2450m AAA2.5 £6.00 R F P 100 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB 200 21 Feb Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] £5.00 L P T 15-30kph VC 167 northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX 200 21 Feb Rochdale 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 2100m £6.00 R T P 15-30kph W. Pennine RC

Kirkley Gallop

North-West Passage 01706 372 447

120 21 Feb Rochdale mini-North-West Passage 09:00 Sat BP 1450m £6.00 R T P 10-20kph W. Pennine RC 01706 372 447 ROA 5000 Noel Healey, 95 Shore Mount Littleborough Lancs OL15 8EW 120 21 Feb Whitlenge, Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Sunrise Express 08:30 Sat BP 121km £6.75 P R T 100 15-30kph Beacon Roads Cycling Clu 01562 731606 montgomery@beaconrcc.org.uk 120 21 Feb Whitlenge, Hartlebury, S of Kidderminster Snowdrop Express 09:00 Sat BP £6.75 P R T 100 15-30kph Beacon Roads Cycling Clu 01562 731606 montgomery@beaconrcc.org.uk Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW 200 22 Feb Cheadle, Stockport 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 201km 750m £6.00 P R T 80 15-30kph Peak Audax tim@mothy.org.uk

Newport

100 01 Mar Exeter Mad March Exeter Excursion 09:00 Sun BP £7.00 YH F P R T 12-25kph Exeter Whs 01404 841553 robinwheeler571@btinternet.com Pippa Wheeler, Rull Barn Payhembury Honiton Devon EX14 3JQ 200 01 Mar Pendleton, Lancashire Delightful Dales 07:30 Sun BRM [PBP] 208km 3300m AAA3.25 [3600m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 07 Mar Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 1480m £5.00 X P R T 14.3-30kph VC 167 01325 374 112 nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk

Yorkshire Gallop

100 07 Mar Aldbrough St John, nr Darlington 10:00 Sat BP 572m £5.00 X L P R T 12-25kph VC 167 01325 374 112 nigel.hall@finklecroft.me.uk Nigel Hall, Finkle Croft Aldbrough St John Nr. Richmond DL11 7TD

Ripon Canter

200 07 Mar Cardiff Gate, NW Cardiff 07:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 203km 2450m £5.50 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 evansrichardd@googlemail.com ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road Cardiff CF11 9NW

Making Hay

200 07 Mar Churchend, Dunmow The Horsepower 200 07:30 Sat BRM [PBP] £8.00 A [1] C L P T R M 22/02 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 200 07 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading The Kennet Valley Run 07:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 207km 1763m £7.50 L P R T 15-30kph Reading CTC mes84uk@gmail.com 100 07 Mar Grazeley, S of Reading The Kennet Valley 100 09:00 Sat BP 895m £6.00 L P R T 12-30kph Reading CTC mes84uk@gmail.com Mick Simmons, 84 Kidmore Road Caversham Reading RG4 7NA 200 07 Mar Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick's March Madness 07:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 209km 2600m AAA1.75 [1700m] £4.00 c f p r nm t 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 200 08 Mar Dalmeny Forth and Tay 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 208km 2500m £7.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU

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57


AUK CALENDAR 100 08 Mar North Petherton, S of Bridgwater 09:00 Sun BP 102km 1600m AAA1.5 £8.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Bridgwater CC ktudball@aol.com Keith Tudball, 9 Winford Close Portishead N Somerset BS20 6YG

Dunkery Dash

200 22 Mar Golden Green,Tonbridge Man of Kent 200 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 203km 1526m [1425m] £7.00 F L P R T (120) 15-30kph San Fairy Ann CC manofkentaudax@gmail.com David Winslade, 3 Albany Close Tonbridge Kent TN9 2EY

100 08 Mar Otford, Sevenoaks Kent Invicta Grimpeur 100 09:30 Sun BP 1890m AAA2 £8.00 F L P R T NM 12-25kph West Kent CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk

300 28 Mar Oxford The Dean 07:30 Start Time 07:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 307km 4000m AAA4 £4.00 YH B P X 15-30kph Norton Whs a_rodgers8@hotmail.com

50 08 Mar Otford, Sevenoaks Kent Invicta Hilly 50 10:00 Sun BP 945m AAA1 £7.00 F L P R T NM 12-25kph West Kent CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk Patrick McMaster, 207 Colyer Road Northfleet Kent DA11 8AT

300 28 Mar Oxford The Dean 06:00 Start Time 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 307km 4000m AAA4 £4.00 YH B P X 15-30kph Norton Whs a_rodgers8@hotmail.com Andrew Rodgers, 99 Rivelin Street Sheffield South Yorkshire S6 5DL

100 14 Mar Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1270m £5.00 L P R T 100 12-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 5000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP

Three Fields

300 28 Mar Poole hard boiled 300 02:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 4400m AAA4.5 £10.00 L P M (50) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT

200 14 Mar Andoversford, Nr Cheltenham Cheltenham New Flyer 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] £6 LPRT 15-30kph CTC West stephen.poulton@btinternet.com ROA 5000 Stephen Poulton, Leckhampton Lodge 23 Moorend Park Road Leckhampton Cheltenham GL53 0LA

200 28 Mar Symington, Biggar More Passes than Mastermind 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 2600m AAA1.75 [1760m] £7.00 F L P R 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01750 20838 Russell Carson, 21 Ladylands Terrace Selkirk TD7 4BB

200 14 Mar Carlton le Moorland, Lincolnshire Yellowbelly Tour 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] £6.00 200,RM,P,R,T,NM 15-30kph Lincoln Whs richard.parker05@gmail.com Richard Parker, 28 High Street Carlton Le Moorland Lincoln Lincolnshire LN5 9HT 100 14 Mar Catherington, near Portsmouth 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1500m AAA1.5 £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Hantspol CC jondse@ntlworld.com Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road Waterlooville Hampshire PO8 0HS

Lasham Loop

200 15 Mar Halifax The Red Rose Ride 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 2600m AAA1.5 [1500m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC dmdodwell@gmail.com Dave Dodwell, 32 Parkside Avenue Queensbury Bradford BD13 2HQ 200 15 Mar London, Ruislip Lido, Woody Bay (beach) Station Steam Ride:London-Oxford-London (LOL) TheGhan 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 2128m £7.00 L P R T YH 15-30kph Audax Club Hackney info@steamride.co.uk

200 28 Mar Wormingford, Near Colchester Wormingford Dragon 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 211km £7.00 R L P T 15-30kph CC Sudbury auk@lythgo.me.uk 100 28 Mar Wormingford, Near Colchester Wormingford Wyrm 09:00 Sat BP 105km £5.00 R L P T 15-30kph CC Sudbury auk@lythgo.me.uk Viv Marsh, Lythgo Chapel Lane West Bergholt Colchester Essex CO6 3EF 200 29 Mar Lichfield Vale of Belvoir 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 211km 1498m [1329m] £5.00 P R T L 15-30kph Updated CTC North Birmingham bikeway@virginmedia.com Roy Bishop, 88 Millfield Road Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB 120 29 Mar Lichfield Charnwood Forest 09:00 Sun BP 1055m £5.00 P R T L 12.5-30kph Updated CTC North Birmingham 01213572570 bikeway@virginmedia.com ROY BISHOP, 88 Millfield Road Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1EB 200 29 Mar Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Ball Buster 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 214km 2000m £7.00 F L P R T NM (200) 15-30kph Updated Las Vegas Inst of Sport info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk

110 15 Mar London, Ruislip Lido, Woody Bay 'beach' Station Steam Ride:Quainton Express 08:30 Sun BP 117km £6.00 L P R T YH 14.3-30kph AC Hackney info@steamride.co.uk Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd Ealing London W5 1JG

110 29 Mar Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Blast 10:30 Sun BP 116km £7.00 F L P R T NM (200) 12.5-30kph Updated Las Vegas Inst of Sport info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk

100 15 Mar Seaham Seaham Sircular 09:00 Sun BP 1700m AAA1.75 £5.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Dave Sharpe david-sharpe@lineone.net Dave Sharpe, 3 Elizabeth Street Seaham County Durham SR7 7TP

110 29 Mar Long Ashton, Bristol Barry's Bristol Bash 09:30 Sun BP 116km 1100m £7.00 F L P R T NM (250) 12.5-30kph Updated Las Vegas Inst of Sport info@audaxclubbristol.co.uk Paul Rainbow, 49 Quarrington Road Horfield Bristol Avon BS7 9PJ

200 21 Mar Alfreton 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 212km 1391m £6.00 F P R T 150 15-30kph Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 5000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP

200 29 Mar Poynton, S of Stockport 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] £6.00 F P 15-30kph Peak Audax daz@delph45.fsnet.co.uk Darryl Nolan, 5 Grasmere Road Royton Oldham OL2 6SR

Roses to Wrags

100 21 Mar Copdock, Nr. Ipswich The Copdock Circuit - Spring in South Suffolk 09:00 Sat BP £5.00 L P R T M 12-30kph Suffolk CTC the.kells@talk21.com Dennis Kell, 9 Pheasant Rise Copdock Ipswich Suffolk IP8 3LF 200 21 Mar Leominster 07:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 210km 3750m AAA3.75 £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Hereford Wheelers cambrianaudax@gmail.com

The Cambrian

140 21 Mar Leominster The Cambrian - Minor 08:00 Sat BP 148km 2250m AAA2.25 £5.00 L P R T 12.5-30kph Hereford & Dist. Whs cambrianaudax@gmail.com Daryl Stickings, 22 Frome Court Bartestree Hereford HR1 4DX 200 21 Mar Ugley The Springtime 200 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 203km £5.00 A(2) L P R T S NM 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC 01245 467 683 160 21 Mar Ugley 09:00 Sat BP 162km £5.00 A(2) L P R T S NM 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC

The Springtime 150 01245 467 683

110 21 Mar Ugley The Springtime 100 10:00 Sat BP 112km £5.00 a(2) L P R T S NM 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC 01245 467 683 ROA 5000 Terry Anderson, 1 Claypits Road Boreham Chelmsford Essex CM3 3BZ

58

Arrivée Autumn 2014 No. 126

Chirk

200 29 Mar Stevenage Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 08:15 Sun BRM [PBP] 210km 1240m £6.00 P R T 200 15-30kph Updated CTC Hertfordshire luke.peters@live.com 110 29 Mar Stevenage Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 10:30 Sun BP 890m £5.00 P R T 200 12.5-25kph Updated Stevenage & North Herts luke.peters@live.com 60 29 Mar Stevenage Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 11:00 Sun BP 520m £4.00 P R T 200 12.5-25kph Stevenage & North Herts 07414 596877 luke.peters@live.com Luke Peters, 86 Skipton Close Stevenage Hertfordshire SG2 8TW 200 29 Mar Wareham Dorset Coast 07:45 Sun BRM [PBP] 207km 2850m AAA2.75 £11.00 C L F R P T M 1/4 15-30kph Wessex CTC 01305 263 272 pete_loakes@yahoo.com ROA 5000 Peter Loakes, 1 Church Cottage West Stafford Dorchester DT2 8AB 400 03 Apr Anywhere, to York Easter Fleches to York ::::: Fri BRM £12.00 Fee per Team. 4th also 15-30kph Audax UK dk.benton@virgin.net Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive Wigginton York YO32 2DB 300 03 Apr Rowlands castle, nr portsmouth wonderfull wessex 06:00 Fri BRM [PBP] £8.00 f l p r 15-30kph Hampshire RC mrpaulwhitehead@yahoo.co.uk Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road Emsworth Hampshire PO10 7XR www.aukweb.net


AUK CALENDAR 300 04 Apr Chalfont St Peter, SL9 9QX 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 2497m [3100m] £8.00 L P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC ianoli2010-audax@yahoo.co.uk Ian Oliver, 68 St Dunstans Avenue London W3 6QJ

3Down

110 12 Apr Mytholmroyd Spring into the Dales 09:00 Sun BP 115km 2350m AAA2.25 £4.50 L R T YH 12-24kph West Yorkshire CTC chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley Street West Sowerby Bridge West Yorkshire HX6 1EF

200 04 Apr Honiton Valley of the Rocks 200 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 205km 3900m AAA4 £7.00 L P R T 40 15-30kph Exeter Whs ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 10000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

57 12 Apr Mytholmroyd Leap into the Aire 10:00 Sun BP 1325m AAA1.25 £4.00 L 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 04 Apr Huntingdon Double Dutch 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] £4.00 X 15-30kph West Sussex CTC 01342 314 437 malinseastg@tiscali.co.uk Martin Malins, 64 Blount Avenue East Grinstead West Sussex RH19 IJW

110 12 Apr Northmoor, W of Oxford The Harlequin Hack 09:30 Sun BP 600m £6.00 YH C F L P R S T 100 15-30kph Harlequins CC jordancottage@sky.com Ken Knight, Jordan Cottage Picklescott Church Stretton Shropshire SY6 6NR

300 04 Apr Tewkesbury Helfa Cymraeg Benjamin Allen ar. 05:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 302km £6.50 100, C,F,L,P,R,T,S,NM. 15-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ

200 12 Apr Pendleton, Lancashire Dales Delight 200 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 203km 3600m AAA3.5 [4100m] £5 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

300 05 Apr 06:30 Sun

300 18 Apr Alfreton Everybody Rides to Skeggy! 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 302km 1141m £7.00 L R P T X 100 15-30kph Updated Alfreton CTC tomandsuefox@yahoo.co.uk ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road Alfreton Derbyshire DE55 7FP

Penzance Many Rivers to Cross BRM [PBP] 307km 4940m AAA5 £3.00 BXYHC 14.3-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk

200 05 Apr Penzance Four Hundreds 200 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 207km 3760m AAA3.75 £3.00 BYHXC 14.3-30kph Audax Kernow martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk Martyn Aldis, Sundown 25a Kersey Road Flushing Falmouth Cornwall TR11 5TR 100 05 Apr Stalybridge Black Magic 10:00 Sun BP 105km 2375m AAA2.25 £4.00 PRT60 3/4 12.5-30kph Peak Audax CTC 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX 100 06 Apr Kilburn, N.of Derby National Arboretum 09:00 Mon BP 103km £5 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 200 11 Apr Bynea, Llanelli Carmarthenshire Snapper 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 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 11 Apr Cirencester Heart of England 300 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 307km 2800m £6.00 A(2) L P R T 100 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 peter@quernsgate.co.uk ROA 5000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane Cirencester Glos GL7 1RL 300 11 Apr Manningtree, Colchester Green & Yellow Fields 00:01 Sat BRM [PBP] 305km 1500m £4.00 XCTM 15-25kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 110 11 Apr Reepham, nr Lincoln Lincoln Imp 09:30 Sat BP 112km 200m £5.00 P R F L T 10-30kph Lincolnshire CTC Andrew Townhill, 80 Rudgard Avenue Cherrry Willingham Lincoln LN3 4JG 200 11 Apr 08:00 Sat

Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH BRM [PBP] 209km 2300m £7.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com

Two Battles

150 11 Apr 09:00 Sat

Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH BP 157km 1630m £7.00 P R T 50 14-30kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com

Towering Trees

110 11 Apr 09:30 Sat

Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH BP £7.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver

The Essex Bridge audaxgeoff@gmail.com

50 11 Apr Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Just a Chuffing 50 10:00 Sat BP £6 P R T 50 10-20kph Geoff Cleaver audaxgeoff@gmail.com Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive Polesworth Tamworth Staffordshire B78 1BY 300 11 Apr 07:00 Sat

Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Yr Elenydd @ 7 BRM [PBP] 305km 4950m AAA5 £10.00 A(2) C F L P R T (100) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk

300 11 Apr Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Yr Elenydd @ 6 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 305km 4950m AAA5 £10.00 A(2) C F L P R T (100) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire undulates@hotmail.co.uk ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent Wellington Telford TF1 2HF

400 18 Apr Coryton, NW Cardiff 05:00 Sat BRM [PBP] £10.00 X 15-30kph Change of Date Cardiff Byways CC Robyn Thomas, 44 Cosmeston Street Cardiff CF24 4LR

Buckingham Blinder

300 18 Apr Musselburgh Merse and Moors 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 4200m AAA4.25 £7.00 X P L R (50) 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU 300 18 Apr Poynton, S of Stockport Plains 23:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 310km £5.00 P X 15-30kph Peak Audax hamhort84@talktalk.net Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green Cheadle Stockport Cheshire SK8 3NZ 300 18 Apr West Stafford, Dorchester 05:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 312km 5150m AAA5.25 £6.00 A(2) C F L P R T 30 15-25kph Wessex CTC 01305 263 272 pete_loakes@yahoo.com ROA 5000 Peter Loakes, 1 Church Cottage West Stafford Dorchester DT2 8AB

3D 300

110 19 Apr Droitwich Spa Saracen Spring Century 09:00 Sun BP 114km 775m £8.00 F,L,P,R.T 15-30kph Saracen Road Club saracenroadclub@gmail.com Sean Barker, 16 Leahouse Road Stirchley Birmingham B30 2DD 200 19 Apr Earlswood, nr Solihull MC&AC 125th Anniversary 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 203km £7.00 P R T 15-30kph MC & AC Jim Lee, 107 Shustoke Road Solihull West Midlands B91 2QR 200 25 Apr Droitwich Three Counties Revisited 08:15 Sat BRM [PBP] 207km £4.00 C P R T M 15-30kph Gavin Greenhow 01905 775 803 ROA 25000 Gavin Greenhow, 44 Newland Road Droitwich WR9 7AG 200 25 Apr 08:00 Sat

Eureka Cafe, Wirral Eureka Excursion BRM [PBP] 215km £6.00 R L P T 70 15-30kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com

130 25 Apr 08:30 Sat

Eureka Cafe, Wirral BP 135km £6.00 L P R T 70 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com

Tea in Prospect

68 25 Apr Eureka Cafe, Wirral Two Mills Twirl 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 R L P T 50 10-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 200 25 Apr Galashiels Moffat Toffee The Tenth Anniversary 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 204km 2500m [2300m] £10.00 P,L,R,T,S 15-30kph Audax Ecosse pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy Mctaggart, 30 Victoria Street Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 300 25 Apr Meopham Oasts and Coasts 300Km 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 3178m £6.00 L P T R 15-30kph Tom Jackson 01474 815 213 tom56jackson@gmail.com ROA 5000 Tom Jackson, 19 Denesway Meopham Kent DA13 0EA 400 25 Apr 08:00 Sat

Newton Abbot TQ12 1LJ BRM [PBP] 5400m AAA5.5 £15.00 A(2) L P R T S 15-30kph Devon CTC 07762257917 turfnsurfaudax@gmail.com

Turf n Surf 400

www.aukweb.netArrivée Autumn 2014 No. 126

59


AUK CALENDAR 300 25 Apr Newton Abbot TQ12 1LJ 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 4050m AAA4 £12.00 A(2) L P R T S 15-30kph Devon CTC 01626 873562 turfnsurfaudax@gmail.com Rod Pash, c/o 53 Regent Street Exeter EX2 9EG

Turf n Surf 300

400 25 Apr Preston, Lancashire Heartbeat 400 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 404km 4000m AAA4 £7.50 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 25 Apr Trowell, Nottingham Charnwood in the Spring 09:00 Sat BP 105km 950m £6.00 L P R T 150 12.5-30kph Updated Nottinghamshire CTC Terry Scott, 21 Winterbourne Drive Stapleford Nottingham Notts NG9 8NH 200 25 Apr Wigginton 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 1400m £3.00 A(1) L P T (15/4) 15-30kph CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 dk.benton@virgin.net Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive Wigginton York YO32 2DB

Wiggy 200

400 09 May Manningtree, Colchester Asparagus & Strawberries 09:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 414km 2600m £4.00 XCTM 15-25kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 400 09 May Poynton, S of Stockport Llanfairpwllgwyngyll gogerychwyrndrobwll llantysiliogogogoch 400 09:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 2600m £9.50 XP 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX 300 09 May Wigginton, York 05:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 302km 2305m £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Change of Date CTC North Yorks 01904 769 378 dk.benton@virgin.net Keith Benton, 127 Greenshaw Drive Wigginton York YO32 2DB

Wigginton 300

200 09 May Willington Hall, E of Chester Seamons CC Tour of the Berwyns 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 205km 3100m AAA3 £6.00 L P R T 75 (05/05) 15-30kph SEAMONS CC dmanu@outlook.com

100 26 Apr Galashiels Broughton and Back 09:00 Sun BP 1380m £7.00 P,L,R,T,S 12-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

130 09 May Willington Hall, E of Chester Seamons CC Llangollen Panorama 08:30 Sat BP 138km 1750m AAA1.5 [1500m] £6.00 L P R T 75 (05/05) 12.5-25kph Seamons CC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG

100 26 Apr Newton Abbot TQ12 1LJ 09:00 Sun BP 1500m AAA1.5 £7.50 A(2) L P R T S 12-25kph Devon CTC 07762257917 turfnsurfaudax@gmail.com Rod Pash, c/o 53 Regent Street Exeter EX2 9EG

110 10 May Evesham 09:00 Sun BP 112km 885m £6.00 C P R T 15-30kph Jim Lee

Turf n Surf 100

400 02 May Chepstow Brevet Cymru 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 401km 4900m AAA2.25 [2300m] £9.00 c f l p r t nm z 100 15-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 blacksheepaudax@gmail.com ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road Tewkesbury Park Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 400 02 May Poole 14:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 5900m AAA6 £10.00 L P R T M (50) (20/4) 15-30kph Wessex CTC Shawn Shaw, 22 Shaftesbury Road Longfleet Poole Dorset BH15 2LT

Porkers 400

200 02 May Whaley Thorns, N of Mansfield Lincolnshire Cross 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 211km £6.00 L P R T (100) 15-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 matt.connley@talktalk.net ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close Bolsover Chesterfield S44 6RL 200 04 May Bredbury, Stockport May-as-well Solstice 08:00 Mon BRM [PBP] 202km 700m £5.00 P R T 60 (05/03) 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX 110 04 May High Easter, Nr Chelmsford 10:00 Mon BP £5 L P R T (70) 15-30kph ECCA

The Counties Festival 100 01245 467 683

53 04 May High Easter, Nr Chelmsford The Counties Festival 50 11:00 Mon BP £5 L P R T (70) 12-25kph ECCA 01245 467 683 ROA 10000 Terry Anderson, 1 Claypits Road Boreham Chelmsford Essex CM3 3BZ 400 08 May Corstorphine, Edinburgh The Auld Alliance 21:00 Fri BRM [PBP] 3324m £12.50 X F L T 15-25kph New Event Audax Ecosse millealba@hotmail.co.uk Graeme Wyllie, 16 Corstorphine House Avenue Edinburgh EH12 7AD 400 09 May Chalfont St Peter, Bucks 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 407km 3500m £7.50 YH L P R T 70 15-30kph Willesden CC Liam FitzPatrick, 13 Heron Close Rickmansworth Herts WD3 1NF

Severn Across

300 09 May Honiton 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 3400m £8.00 LPRT 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 10000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

Old Roads 300

200 09 May Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 201km 3000m AAA3 £12.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

Chevy Chase

Every time a bell rings.....

55 10 May Evesham 10:00 Sun BP 375m £5.00 C P R T 10-20kph Jim Lee Jim Lee, 107 Shustoke Road Solihull West Midlands B91 2QR

The clapper

100 10 May Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland 09:00 Sun BP 1600m AAA1.5 £6.00 FPRT 12-25kph Tyneside Vagabonds northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

Burma Road

200 10 May Meopham, nr Gravesend Hop Garden 200km 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] [1800m] £8.00 F L P R T NM 15-30kph Gravesend CTC pmcmaster@blueyonder.co.uk 160 10 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 10 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 300 10 May Pendleton, Lancashire Blanchland Blinder 06:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 302km 4600m AAA4.5 £6.50 P R T X 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 10 May Shenstone, Staffs 08:00 Sun BRM [PBP] 213km 2963m AAA3 £7.50 F L P R T 15-30kph CTC North Birmingham audax@nbctc.co.uk

Castleton Classic

160 10 May Shenstone, Staffs 08:30 Sun BP 1680m £7.00 F L P R T 15-30kph CTC North Birmingham

Derbyshire Dales audax@nbctc.co.uk

100 10 May Shenstone, Staffs Staffordshire Lanes 09:00 Sun BP 102km 680m £5.50 L P R T 12.5-25kph CTC North Birmingham audax@nbctc.co.uk 54 10 May Shenstone, Staffs 10:00 Sun BP £4.00 F,P,R,T 10-25kph CTC North Birmingham audax@nbctc.co.uk Terry Dwyer, 5 Damson Grove Solihull B92 9EN

Rosliston Roller

400 16 May Alfreton Moors and Wolds 400 10:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 404km 2425m £8.00 P R T X 15-30kph Alfreton CTC nigel.randell8664@gmail.com

200 09 May Lodge Moor, Sheffield The Sheffrec Full Monty 08:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 202km 4000m AAA4 £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Sheffrec CC henry@henryfoxhall.co.uk

50 16 May Alfreton Victorian Post Boxes 50 10:30 Sat BP 669m £3.00 FLPT 10-25kph Alfreton CTC nigel.randell8664@gmail.com Nigel Randell, 15 Hammer Leys South Normanton Derbyshire DE55 3AX

100 09 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

400 16 May Musselburgh The Southern Uplands 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 5000m AAA5 £2.00 X P T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse martinfoley@btinternet.com Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road Musselburgh East Lothian EH21 6TU

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AUK CALENDAR 300 16 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Westmorland Spartans 07:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 4000m AAA4 £6.00 A(2) P YH L R T S (60) 15-30kph Lakes School Windermere paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow Ulverston Cumbria LA12 8QL

600 06 Jun Ballachulish Mull of Kintyre 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 7677m AAA6.5 [6705m] £25.00 YH C F L P R T S 15-24kph Audax Ecosse millealba@hotmail.co.uk Graeme Wyllie, 16 Corstorphine House Avenue Edinburgh EH12 7AD

200 16 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria The Cumbrian 200 08:00 Sat BR 203km 3900m AAA4 £6.00 YH L P R T S A(2) (60) 15-30kph Lakes School Windermere paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands Brow Edge Backbarrow Cumbria LA12 8QL

600 06 Jun Poynton, S of Stockport A Pair of Kirtons 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 3000m £10.00 x 15-30kph Peak Audax 01457 870 421 mike@PeakAudax.co.uk ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Fm Millcroft Lane Delph Saddleworth OL3 5UX

100 16 May Troutbeck Bridge, Cumbria La'al Lakeland 100 10:00 Sat BP 107km 2350m AAA2.25 £5.00 YH L P R T S (60) 12.5-30kph Lakes School Windermere paul@revells.com Paul Revell, Kirklands, Brow Edge, Backbarrow Ulverston Cumbria LA12 8QL

200 07 Jun 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

100 17 May Uffington, near Wantage Blowingstone-White Horse 09:30 Sun BP 107km 1162m [1346m] £5.00 P T R 15-30kph Oxfordshire CTC Nick Dunton, 44a High Street Sutton Courtenay Abingdon Oxon OX14 4AP

600 13 Jun 05:30 Sat

600 23 May Chepstow Bryan Chapman Memorial (Classic) 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 619km 8300m AAA8.25 £30.00 BD C F L P R S T Z (4/5) 15-30kph Newport Velo ritchie.t.tout@uk.pwc.com Ritchie Tout, Sunnyside Cottage Mynyddbach NP16 6RT

600 13 Jun Bushley, Tewkesbury Mae Mr Pickwick yn mynd i chwilio am ddreigiau a chwedlau. (clasurol). 05:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 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

600 23 May Churchend, Dunmow 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 606km £6.00 X A(1) C L P R TM (16/05) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 300 23 May Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 4100m AAA4 £12.00 F P T A(1) 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds northern.audax@gmail.com Aidan Hedley, 16 The Close Lanchester Durham DH7 0PX

The Flatlands

The Mosstrooper

Bushley, Tewkesbury Mae Mr Pickwick yn mynd i chwilio am ddreigiau a chwedlau. BRM [PBP] 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

600 13 Jun Pendleton, Lancashire Pendle 600 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 613km 10150m AAA10 [9000m] £10.00 BD F L P R S T Z 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 200 14 Jun 08:00 Sun Updated

Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Cotswold Expedition BR 212km £9.00 C L P R S T 100 15-30kph Beacon RCC pete@petemarshall.me

The Old 240

160 14 Jun 08:30 Sun New Event

Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Cotswold Journey BP £9.00 C L P R S T 100 15-30kph Beacon RCC pete@petemarshall.me

400 23 May Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire Not Quite The Spurn Head 400 05:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 403km 2450m £8.00 A 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

100 14 Jun 09:30 Sun New Event

Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Anticlockwise Cotswold Outing BP 108km £9.00 C L P R S T 80 12-25kph Beacon RCC pete@petemarshall.me

400 23 May Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire 05:30 Sat BRM [PBP] 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

600 23 May Poole Brimstone 600 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 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 23 May Waltham Abbey Beast from the East 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] [2388m] £20.00 F P T Z 15-30kph Updated Willesden CC Mark Brooking, 48 Howard Close Waltham Abbey Essex EN9 1XA 100 24 May Canterbury The Blackhouse Hill Revival 10:00 Sun BP 107km 1675m AAA1.75 £5.00 FLPRT 14-26kph Patrick Cherry licencetoclimb@gmail.com Patrick Cherry, 28 Barton Road Canterbury Kent CT1 1YQ 400 29 May Wem, Shropshire Snowdon & Coast 22:00 Fri BRM [PBP] 410km £14.00 A(1) F L P R T 15-25kph CTC Shropshire sandehargraves@gmail.com Edwin Hargraves, 22 Trentham Road Wem North Shropshire SY4 5HN 600 30 May Exeter Kernow and Southwest 600 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 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 600 30 May Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 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

The Border Raid

600 30 May Windsor Windsor Chester Windsor 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 5537m £30.00 A(1) F L P R T S Z (100) 15-30kph LEL 2013 auk@danialwebb.com ROA 5000 Danial Webb, 11 Heather Avenue Hellesdon Norwich NR6 6LU 400 05 Jun Clayhidon, near Taunton Avalon Sunrise 400 22:30 Fri BRM [PBP] 407km 3300m £15.00 flprtc 15-30kph Exeter Whs Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge Ashill Road Uffculme Devon EX15 3DP 600 06 Jun Alfreton 06:00 Sat BRM [PBP] £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

9 Counties 600k

100 14 Jun Woodrush RFC, Wythall, S Birmingham Clockwise Cotswold Outing 09:00 Sun BP 108km £9.00 C L P R S T 80 12-25kph New Event Beacon RCC pete@petemarshall.me Pete Marshall, 45 Butler Road Solihull West Midlands B92 7QL 600 20 Jun Leighton Buzzard 07:00 Sat BRM [PBP] 5600m £5 X 15-30kph Exeter Whs 01404 46993 ian@ukcyclist.co.uk ROA 10000 Ian Hennessey, 10 High Street Honiton EX14 1PU

The Buzzard

600 20 Jun 06:00 Sat

Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The 3 Coasts 600 BRM [PBP] 607km 5611m AAA1.75 [1631m] £10.00 A(3) L P R T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

600 20 Jun 06:00 Sat

Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The East & West Coasts 600 BRM [PBP] 605km 4380m [5380m] £10.00 A(3) L P R T Z YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 chris.crossland@halifaxctc.org.uk

200 21 Jun Mytholmroyd, W. of Halifax The Good Companions 08:30 Sun BR 2697m AAA1.75 [1631m] £5.00 A(2) L P R 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 300 27 Jun 06:00 Sat

Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Golden Road and Standing Stones BR 3850m [3200m] £12.00 50 L P R T F C 15-30kph Hebridean CC ian_d_gilbert@yahoo.co.uk

110 27 Jun Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Hebridean Hundred 10:00 Sat BP 113km 1068m £6.00 50 L P R T F C 12.5-30kph Hebridean CC ian_d_gilbert@yahoo.co.uk Ian Gilbert, 19 Churchill Drive Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2NP 400 04 Jul Stonehaven Old Military Roads 07:00 Sat BRM 6000m AAA6 £6.00 X P L R T (25) 15-30kph Stephen Reed Stephen Reed, CAIRNBANNO 34 Dunnottar Avenue STONEHAVEN AB39 2JJ 100 05 Jul Combe Down, Bath 08:30 Sun BP 1650m AAA1.75 £7 N.P.R.T 15-30kph Bath CC Robert Mcmillan, 228 Bloomfield Road Bath BA2 2AX 200 05 Jul 08:00 Sun

Mendip Transmitter

Denshaw, Saddleworth BR 3500m AAA3.5 [4400m] £5.00 P R T 14.3-30kph Saddleworth Clarion 07850 208 977 nephialty@gmail.com

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CALENDAR 170 05 Jul 08:30 Sun

Denshaw, Saddleworth BP 3000m AAA3 £5.00 P R T 12.5-25kph Saddleworth Clarion nephialty@gmail.com

Slaidburn

100 05 Jul Denshaw, Saddleworth 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

Widdop

300 10 Jul Great Dunmow, Essex Hereward the Wake 21:00 Fri BRM 301km £9.00 X C R L P T M (03/07) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC tom.deakins@btinternet.com Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway Great Dunmow Essex CM6 2AA 400 11 Jul Carlton le Moorland, Lincolnshire Lincolnshire Poacher 06:00 Sat BRM £8.00 X A1, C, L, P, R, T 15-30kph Lincoln Whs richard.parker05@gmail.com Richard Parker, 28 High Street Carlton Le Moorland Lincoln Lincolnshire LN5 9HT 300 11 Jul Tewkesbury A Rough Diamond 06:00 Sat BRM 301km 2500m [3450m] £6.50 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 18 Jul Corwen Barmouth Boulevard 08:00 Sat BR 204km 3650m AAA3.75 £5.50 P R T 50 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 100 18 Jul Corwen The Brenig Bach 08:30 Sat BP 107km 1920m AAA2 £5.50 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG

200 27 Sep 07:30 Sun

Denmead, Nr Portsmouth WYLYE AND EBBLE VALLEY 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

200 27 Sep 07:30 Sun

Pendleton, Lancashire Last Chance Dales Dance 200 BRM 3300m AAA3.25 [3000m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

New Season 2016 200 04 Oct 08:00 Sun ROA 10000

Galashiels BR 204km 2379m £5.00 BPX 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

Etal-u-Can

100 11 Oct 09:00 Sun ROA 25000

Hailsham, E Sussex The Autumn Tints 100 BP 103km 1200m [1100m] £6.00 F P 15-30kph David Hudson David Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham by Sea West Sussex BN43 6LG

100 25 Oct 10:00 Sun

Galashiels Ride of the Valkyries BP 106km 1200m [1517m] £5.00 B,P,X 12-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com

200 31 Oct 08:00 Sat ROA 10000

Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul BR 2000m £5.00 P,R,T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 pedaller1@sky.com Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St. Galashiels Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

60 18 Jul Corwen The Bala Parade 09:00 Sat BP 700m [1000m] £5.50 P R T 50 10-25kph Chester & North Wales CT dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 200 19 Jul Steyning, W Sussex The Devils Punchbowl 200 08:00 Sun BR 205km 2248m £6.00 F P T 15-30kph David Hudson ROA 25000 Dave Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6LG 100 19 Jul Steyning, W Sussex The Devils Punchbowl 100 09:00 Sun BP 108km 1200m £6.00 F P T 15-30kph David Hudson ROA 25000 Dave Hudson, 151 Middle Road Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6LG 200 25 Jul Belbroughton, N Worcestershire Kidderminster Killer 08:00 Sat BR 214km 3750m AAA3.75 £7.75 F L P R S T (70) (8/8) 14.3-30kph Beacon RCC 01562731606 montgomery@beaconrcc.org.uk Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace, Drayton, Belbroughton, Stourbridge Worcestershire DY9 0BW 120 25 Jul Belbroughton, N Worcestershire From Clee to Heaven 09:00 Sat BP 1950m AAA2 £7.25 F L P R S T (65) 13-25kph Beacon RCC 01562 731606 montgomery@beaconrcc.org.uk Dr Philip Whiteman, 2 Drayton Terrace Drayton Belbroughton Stourbridge DY9 0BW 200 09 Aug Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Pistyll Packing Momma 08:00 Sun BR 209km 3400m AAA3.5 £5.50 P R 50 T L 15-30kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 130 09 Aug Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Mountain Views 08:30 Sun BP 137km 2000m AAA2 £5.50 P R 50 T L 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC dmanu@outlook.com ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage Cross Lanes Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NG 50 09 Aug Old Ma's Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma's Leafy Lanes 09:00 Sun BP £5.50 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 09 Aug Padiham, Lancashire Tan Hill 200 08:00 Sun BRM 206km 4500m AAA4.5 £5 P X 15-30kph Burnley Sportiv burnleysportiv@yahoo.com Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT 100 23 Aug Droitwich Saracen Century Audax 09:00 Sun BP 106km 1600m AAA1.5 [1500m] £8 L P R T 12.5-25kph Saracen RC saracenroadclub@gmail.com Sean Barker, 16 Leahouse Road Stirchley Birmingham B30 2DD

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WINDSOR–CHESTER–WINDSOR 600, PHOTOS BY PETER MOIR

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Arrivee 126 autumn2014  
Arrivee 126 autumn2014  

The magazine of Audax UK, the long distance cyclists' association

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