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No. 35 Autumn 2008

Alpine Classic The view from Buffalo Audax South Australia Twenty years on Le Raid Pyrenean A gourmet tour of France

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Audax Night Special

Two flashing tail lights with a reflector on an aluminium plate which is designed to fit to the rear rack or to the seatpost to comply with Audax lighting requirements. Includes two flashing lights and red reflector. Easy to put on and take off the bike. Now powdercoated red or yellow $60. Cue Clips - inexpensive aide de navigation during audax rides - $12 Minoura Swing Grips for extra gadgets to hang off your handlebars from $25 Touring? Riding in remote areas? Take a Fibrefix spoke or a Stein cassette tool for emergency repairs Floor pumps $45 to $90 Shimano 5, 6 and 7 speed clusters Sigma computer lights $20

Audax members receive a discount of up to 10% on every item except labour and Specials. We accept telephone orders with credit cards, or by mail with cheque. Postage is extra.

National Committee The Audax Club of Australia Inc.


Association No. A0014462N President’s Pedals .............................4

President Garry Armsworth - 0411 252 772 Vice President Barry Moore - 03 9803 6529 Secretary Roslyn Russell - 0412 482 400 Treasurer Stephen Chambers - 03 5952 5969

Letters .............................................5 Oppy South Australia.........................5 National Executive face to face ...........6

No. 35 Autumn 2008

Audax South Australia 20 Years..........7 The 2006/07 Audax year ...................10 Awards 2007 ....................................11 Is support over-rated? .......................12 Training Notes: Bunch Riding .............16

Alpine Class ic The view from Buffalo

Keeping a ride journal .......................18

Audax South Australia Twenty years on

Next Year’s Rides ..............................20

Membership Secretary

Alpine Classic 2008 ...........................22

Lorraine Allen - 03 5783 2427

What I eat on the bike ......................26

Le Raid Pyre nean A gourmet tou r of France

The view from Buffalo .......................24

Brevet Secretary Simon Watt

PBP from the driver’s seat .................28

Le Raid Pyrenean ..............................38

Cogito ergo zoom? ............................30

Notes from the National Executive .....41

An attempt at the record ...................32

ACP 2007 Results Book .....................43

Committee Members Bjorn Blasse - 0404 866 078

My first brevet: Eltham, July 1991 ......36


Russell Freemantle - 03 9395 4963 Martin Haynes David Minter - 0419 755 302

State Presidents ACT Bob McHugh 02 6231 3501 NSW Chris Walsh - 02 9924 2200 QLD Vaughan Kippers - 07 3376 6761 SA Ian Peak - 0417 834 525 TAS Paul Gregory - 03 6229 3811 VIC Gareth Evans - 0408 497 721 WA Colin Farmer - 08 9330 4441 NZ Duncan McDonald +64 (3) 732 3030

Editorial It’s with some relief that I sit down to the task of giving an issue of Checkpoint its final proof read. And not just because I’ll have time to go on brevet again soon (right after I’ve cleared out the spare room and fi xed the fence and completed whatever other domestic duties have been piling up). No, it’s mainly because it’s the first time that I can read it as a magazine rather than stuff that might become a magazine. And what great stuff I’ve received for this issue. Of course there’s some coverage on the Alpine Classic but there’s also some great stories from the first 20 years of Audax in SA. (And there will be more to come on both of these topics in the next issue.) There’s plenty of practical advice in the form of “Training Notes”, a new column from Training Secretary, Russell Freemantle. There are also some remarks on nutrition courtesy of Peter Annear, and Whatto’s tips on keeping a ride journal. Meanwhile Garry Armsworth has been punching the numbers and testing his French to extract some interesting facts from the 2006/07 ACP results booklet.

I think you’ll enjoy all of the ride reports— from Barry Moore’s first brevet in 1991 through to David Byrne’s heartbreaking attempt at the Around Australia Record last year. And Tom Nankivell brings a touch of schadenfreude in his recollection and reflection on a nasty crash late last year. If all has gone well, readers will notice a dash of colour on the cover of this issue. It’s a bit of an experiment and if the feedback is positive it may become a standard feature. Let me know what you think—good, bad or indifferent—at Speaking of email, I’d just like to mention that I try to acknowledge receipt of all email sent specifically to me at the above address. If you send something in but don’t hear from me within a few days then your email has probably been nabbed by one of the spam fi lters, so feel free to send me a follow-up query. Now let me see, is there a good ride on this weekend?


Checkpoint Autumn 2008


President’s Pedals with Garry Armsworth

The annual general meeting in Bright was successful with about the same number of members participating as in 2007. One of the purposes of the AGM is to give members the opportunity to ask questions of the National Executive Committee (NEC). A couple of questions at the meeting to my mind probably highlighted that we haven’t been very good in communicating how the Audax Australia operates and the responsibilities of the NEC versus the regions. Audax Australia in my view can be best described as operating as a federation: a union comprising a number of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central body. In the context of nations, the typical political federation of states is accompanied by those states having their own constitutions; with Audax Australia it is only the national body that has a constitution and is incorporated. The constitution of Audax Australia however does specifically contemplate the establishment of regions and committees within those regions. Audax Australia, the national body, is effectively the NEC. The NEC comprises members elected by the members at the AGM to the positions of president, vicepresident, treasurer, secretary and four general members. The NEC also comprises a representative of each state who is elected by the regions within the state. In practice as many states only have one region, it is the regional president who typically fulfils the role of state representative on the NEC but it’s not a prerequisite. So having explained who the NEC comprises, what is its function? The NEC’s role is to provide the framework which will allow the regions or local committees to flourish and to provide a sound operating framework or more simply, to allow rides to be organised. The NEC consequently focuses on: • the constitution and maintaining our incorporation as an association which enables the club to exist; •  ride rules which are standardised 4

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

across all regions and are consistent with the Audax Club Parisien Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux rules with whom Audax Australia is affiliated; • ensuring insurance coverage is provided to members whilst on rides, to people officiating or volunteering at club events and club office holders in the performance of their duties; • maintaining our relationship with Cycling Australia; and • setting the club’s strategic direction. The National Executive Committee is also responsible for a number of practical things and typically appoints a member to look after those functions, such as:

Checkpoint Editor & Producer Trevor Gosbell Brevet Editor Stephen George Distribution Phil Bellette Subscription Enquiries Lorraine Allen


Contributions, especially those accompanied by photos and graphics, are always welcome.

• national calendar coordination, printing and distribution

The closing date for the next issue is 28 May, for publication on 20 July 2008.

• communication with members Checkpoint and the website

• maintaining membership records • homologation of brevets • management of awards • supply of brevet cards, medallions and patches All of this is of course a step or two removed from actually organising rides. At the level below the NEC, we have the regional committees it is their specific role to put together an interesting calendar of rides in their region and to make sure there is an appropriate mix of ride distances, supported vs unsupported rides. How this is achieved varies from region to region. The larger regional committees have the critical mass to appoint different people as brevet secretary, rides coordinator and maybe even a ride kit coordinator whereas in smaller regions these roles along with regional president and treasurer may all be performed by one or two people. The objective is the same though—to encourage ride organisers, put together a good calendar of rides and provide other assistance. If you think more could be done in your particular region then get involved; it won’t by necessity involve a lot of work and you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Of course everyone just wants to get out there and ride their bike, that’s only natural, but if we have more members doing just something extra like volunteering to support one ride per year, it would create a sea-change in many regions. Enjoy your cycling

Please send to:, or Editor PO Box 12144 A’Beckett St Melbourne VIC 8006 Cover photo: Howard Dove and Rebecca Morton about to tackle the Audax Alpine Classic. Photo by John Riley. Coverage of the Alpine Classic begins on page 22. Disclaimer Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the respective authors, and not necessarily those of the Audax Club of Australia Inc. Borrowing this copy? To receive your own copy, simply join the club at membership.htm or write to the above address. Free backissues: You can download backissues of this magazine from the club’s website at > News > Magazine. *** Website Webmaster Sam Blight

Letters Send your letters to I read with interest in Checkpoint no. 35 (Summer 2007/08) a letter by Barry Moore in regard to mirrors and the lack of mirrors used by Audax riders. I myself have been a user of mirrors for many years but have been very disappointed by their appearance, quality and cumbersome design until now. About two years ago I stumbled upon a shop in the United States called Aspire Velo Tech ( They sell a mirror called “The Italian Road Bike Mirror”. The beauty of this mirror is that it fits into the plug end of your handle bars (drop bars), is super neat, is made out of reflective glass so it gives a super clear view of what is going on behind you, is out of the way and has no ‘dork’ factor.

I have no interest in this shop or their products but this mirror is super and already is a feature on both my bikes. Every Audax ride I go to once the mirror is noticed it gets much interest. And with such a fine mirror being on the market once people get to know about it there shouldn’t be any excuses not to use one.

lens carrier would restrict my visual field but there was never a problem.

Scott Mclean

I mentioned a claim that spares are available and I’m pleased to report that it is true. After I sailed into that ditch in France I found that one of the shades had been lost. Cecil Walker in Melbourne ordered replacements and they arrived promptly.

Last year (Checkpoint, Winter 2007) I provided an update to our earlier eyewear article (Checkpoint, Spring 2004) and I’m now able to discuss the merits of the BBB Powerview BSG-20 eyewear kit. In short I am very happy with it. I took the old Euro corrective lenses to my optometrist who fitted them to the new BBB carrier for a very modest fee. I had fears that the smaller

The shades click in and out very easily and the kit is very comfortable to wear. It all comes in a good protective case though it is perhaps a little bulky for carrying on randonée.

In summary, I recommend the BBB BSG-20 highly.

Ian Boehm

Oppy South Australia Glen Thompson As a relatively new Audax member I was uncertain I could do an “Oppy” until I completed a 300 km ride a few weeks earlier, as my previous maximum in a day was 200 km. Then as the day drew closer, uncertainty crept in again because of the ongoing (record) heat wave and high forecast temperatures for the day. However, the chosen route went through Victor Harbor (well known for its sea breezes and lower temperatures) in the middle of the day and I still held hopes that it would not be cancelled. Then on the Thursday evening about 36 hours before the ride I received Matt’s email confirming that he would be riding despite the hot weather. I realised then how disappointed I would have been if it had been cancelled. Now we were going to ride this stupidly long distance in stupidly hot weather and I couldn’t have been happier (albeit stupid!) Seriously, I had done many long rides in very hot weather and I knew

I could handle it. In fact I would still say I prefer heat to wind, rain and cold. The first 85 km heading south was with almost no wind and the next 50 km heading east showed that the forecast north-westerly was gathering strength, though still not too strong. It was hard not to keep thinking about the next 140 km, which was going to be basically north, against this wind, uphill and mostly in the heat of the afternoon. Victor Harbor was even cooler than forecast and it was a delightful spot to sit outdoors and eat lunch. The cool didn’t last long, however, and the afternoon was, well, about as expected, to cut a long story short. But it could have been worse—the north-west head wind could have been stronger—so given the weather forecast it wasn’t too bad. Then as the sun went down the wind dropped and the evening was calm, warm and humid but with a nice cool-ish breeze while you kept riding.

Our only ‘incident’ was when we were waiting to re-group and a motorist said it looked like a cyclist had had an accident. Matt rode back and found that the “accident” was only Richard sitting awkwardly on the side of the road, trying to relieve his cramp. We had no punctures, which was a good thing because we had enjoyed our breakfast so much we only arrived back in Adelaide with ten minutes to spare. I thought Richard had selected the route brilliantly, given that he did it long before the weather forecast was available. He had also arranged a short overnight stop and a breakfast, both of which were very welcome. When I thanked him and congratulated him on his choice of route he didn’t agree, but I put that down to his having had a bad day with cramp. Many thanks to Matt too for organising this and many other Audax rides, and for staying with us slower riders. And for his knowledge of all the best country bakeries. Checkpoint Autumn 2008


NEC face to face Barry Moore

A face-to-face meeting of the National Executive Committee? I’d like to see that! With Audax Australia dispersed through six States and the ACT, meetings of the National Executive Committee are usually held over the telephone, with email providing an effective means of communication and decision-making between meetings.

the agenda items he had missed. On one occasion, committee members throughout Australia claim to have clearly heard the clinking of ice into a crystal glass followed by the swish of whiskey. The Vice President has since strenuously denied this claim.

of 2006 actions, we are well underway with many of them and need a time for review, for confirming some directions and perhaps for changing some others. In addition, there are new faces on the committee and direct discussions would be useful.

NEC comprises the eight elected representatives (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer and four ‘ordinary’ members) plus a representative from each State and the ACT. The International Brevet Secretary also attends meetings. President Garry Armsworth is fairly businesslike in his chairing of the meetings, although a bit of light-hearted banter can often smooth proceedings.

Despite these advantages, the teleconferences do have limitations. For a fundamental exchange of views around a table, there is no substitute for a face-toface meeting. In recent times, the last ‘real’ meeting was held in Lancefield in March 2006. We worked through an extensive agenda and set directions for the committee and the club. It was terrific to put names and personalities to some we had never met in person. It was also very useful for representatives of the different states to exchange information on their operations.

The 2008 meeting of the NEC will again be held at the very modest Lancefield Guest House. The Guest House meets our needs, is very economical and is close to the airport. Melbourne is a logical venue as it minimises total air fares. It is a slight bonus that Lancefield has been calculated to be the geographic epicenter of Audax riding in Australia and is home to the mighty Lancefield Lairs (or is that Liars?) For Saturday evening, we will be lured away to a barbeque at Andy Moore’s nearby country block.

We budgeted to hold another face-to-face in 2007, but decided there was not a strong enough need as we were still working through the actions decided in 2006. For 2008, the committee has decided that another face-to-face gathering is warranted. Whilst we have not completed the full set

An agenda for the meeting has not yet been settled, but likely items include: • Australian ratification of brevets and Permanents of 200 km and beyond

Teleconferences are held about every two months and usually go for two hours. Start time is 8.30 pm EST, to allow for our colleague from Western Australia. There are some real advantages to meetings via teleconference. One member found that he was able to drift into a strategic powernap during a crucial item, only to be discovered when he asked after

• restricting the number of long brevets and/or supporting feature rides over these distances • risk assessment of events, ride organiser guidelines and ride ‘mentors’ • more effective club administration, including online entry and payment • website development • constitution • Alpine Classic (discussion proposed by Victoria) • development of Regions, including support for ‘feature’ rides • revisions to Ride Rules • more effective communication with members • relationship with Cycling Australia.


Checkpoint Autumn 2008

If you want to comment on any of these items or want to suggest other items for discussion, please contact any member of the National Executive Committee (contact details at the front of Checkpoint).

Twenty years of Audax in South Australia Matthew Rawnsley

Twelve brave souls ventured out in the early hours of Sunday morning, 8 October 1988, heading into a brave new world of long distance cycling. And Audax South Australia was under way. After twenty long years of dedication and passion Audax South Australia, celebrates its 20th Anniversary on 11 October 2008. With the help in recent years from Adelaide Touring Cyclists, we are putting on an anniversary dinner at the Cuddle Creek Pub. But first there is a 200 km Audax ride, the same distance that was run in October 1988. I would like to invite anyone across Australia who has any association with Audax South Australia (riding or whatever) to the 20th Anniversary dinner after the completion of the 200 Audax ride on the evening of Saturday 11th October 2008. Contact me for details: m_rawnsley@ or (08) 83700415.

The First Twelve:

Mary Leith Geoffrey Robson Fred Surr Ian Pollard Sheila Malbut Stan Malbut Robert Reid-Smith Simon Chipperfield Peter Woolford John Bassett Terry Gross and his son (Terry and his son were on a tandem— this detail from Fred Surr, as none of my information records this). Over the next few issues of Checkpoint I have invited people who have been involved with Audax South Australia over the last 20

Oliver Portway and Katherine Bryant on the Olivers Audax SA 1000 in May 1995

years to tell us about their memories while riding Audax rides in South Australia. ••• David Cox

RIDES IN SA: 28 (1998–2004) SA COMMITTEE (2001–2004) I got involved with the shorter Audax road rides (200 km or less) and the off-road series soon after arriving in SA (1999). Adelaide is a small town and there was a lot of crossover of people in cycling activities. Those early years really developed my cycling abilities, cemented some long-standing friendships and gave me an intimate knowledge of the wonderful Adelaide Hills. I eventually got involved with the organising committee and mapped out road and off-road rides. The latter were a lot of work involving signposting tens of kilometres of tracks, moving bananas and cake to checkpoints in the middle of nowhere, and so on, but they were well attended and very satisfying. Personal moments include cycling an off-road Audax around Mt Crawford and losing a bolt out of my cleat and having to remain clipped in for hours until I found someone who could help me unclip. Magic moments were starting a Mawson Trail Audax (100 km off-road) before dawn and watching the sun come up over the Barossa Valley. Unfortunately participation in the road rides declined to the point where many of us could not justify the effort. SA leisure riders were prepared to pay big bucks for the highly publicised Bicycle SA rides but could not be persuaded to pay a few dollars for our Audax rides. Nevertheless there were some great rides and I am still amazed that most non-cycling friends who lived in SA all their lives have less experience of Checkpoint Autumn 2008


their own backyard (the Adelaide Hills and Plains) than I. I am pleased that Audax lives on and hope it continues for at least another 20 years. Fiona Spurling

RIDES IN SA: 20 (1993–2003) The best Audax ride I ever did was 636 km from Gawler up around Peterborough after some good rains, when the countryside was vivid green and purple with grass and Salvation Jane. I think it was in 1993 or 1994. The colour contrast was spectacular. The most interesting one was on the Yorke Peninsula I think on an Easter weekend and I was on my own and pretty tired. It was at night and I saw the lights of a town and for some reason got worried that it might be a bunch of Druids(!) having some weird ceremony at Easter time. A while later I was treated to the vision of a huge four poster bed ethereally floating along the road in front of me. Never caught up with it, which was disappointing, but at the least the Druids didn’t get me either. Other memories are of lying on a country road at night having a rest and getting a fright when I heard the transistor radio say the time and thinking I must have fallen asleep for ages. But in the cold country air my little radio had picked up a Victorian radio station, and their time was half an hour ahead. Another time I was lying on the road in the middle of the night—very bad pastime—and watching the stars go in circles. Made me seasick so I got up and started riding again. Two great advantages from doing Audax were the ability to sleep anytime, anywhere, anyhow; and of being able to endure a really hard job with long hours and little sleep for years, purely because of learning to keep on keeping on. Best wishes for the anniversary. Ian Peak

RIDES IN SA: 60 (1994–present) SA COMMITTEE (2004–present) The first time I had heard of Audax was in 1994, when I did a CTC touring cycle from Land’s End to John o’Groats and received an Audax certificate. A few months later I was cycling down the Mississippi banks on a cycle ride organized 8

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

by Bike SA stalwarts, Jim and Evelyn Grey, who told me a bit more about Audax rides and the PBP. On returning to Adelaide I undertook my first Audax ride, which was a 400 km ride commencing at Mt Pleasant up to Morgan, back to Swan Reach then to Mt Pleasant via Sedan for the first 300 km. Unfortunately I started half an hour late, and mainly because of that and also the bitter cold, didn’t do the final 100 km. But that ride would have had the most cyclists involved in a 400 km ride that I have experienced in SA. In 1995 I went to a talk at Bike SA by some of the successful 1995 PBP riders and then harboured a secret desire to undertake the 1999 PBP. Secret because of the high calibre of the SA Audax riders and I was just a normal touring cyclist. If I had expressed my dream I was afraid that they may have

Two great advantages from doing Audax were the ability to sleep anytime, anywhere, anyhow; and being able to endure a really hard job with long hours and little sleep. thought that I ambitions above my station. I did my first 300 km in December 1998, on a Matt Rawnsley Badlands ride. That was a planned 200/400 km ride, but back then it was possible to change rides so the 300 km was added for me. I think I finished just before the others completed the 400 km. After doing the 200 km Alpine Classic in January, I undertook my first 600 in February 1999 commencing in Clare. Amongst the six starters were Matt, Oliver Portway, Darran Kelly, David Shaw, Trevor Hogg and myself. It started with a 100 km loop around Clare, after which Darran dropped out with a stomach ache. These other guys were a lot faster than me, with Ollie training to beat Sir Hubert Opperman’s PBP record for an Australian. (Which Ollie did with a sub 49 hour PBP in 1999) so I spent a lot of time cycling on my own. I caught up to them in Burra when they were finishing lunch. When I got to Jamestown, the organiser, Trevor Hogg, was in a bad way lying on the lawns and had been vomiting. He was taken to the hospital

by his wife where he was placed on a drip. I recollect getting to Wilmington Pub about 11 pm to be told the others heard hissing most times I stopped for a wee or something to eat. They advised me that they would have been snakes. Well off to Quorn by myself, getting a bit of a shock when a kangaroo came crashing through the bush and across the road. In dark down the Pichi Richi Pass to Port Augusta for breakfast, then back to Wilmington via Horrocks Pass. A welcome sight was Darran Kelly, now recovered, who was acting as a support person. It was developing into a hot day of 36°c. Eventually going via Crystal Brook I returned to Clare at 8 pm. I was expecting if not a fanfare at least some cheers from a welcoming committee. The others though had already set off back to Adelaide and the ride organiser with wife was in hospital. So I got my brevet card signed by the caravan park caretaker and collapsed in my campervan. I had been imagining how great a beer would taste but took an hour to recover before I could drink one. This was the loneliness of the great SA Audax rider. I was amazed then to experience the numbers in Victoria, when I did my qualifying 400 km at Maryborough. Later that year in August to experience the cheers of the French calls of “courage, courage” as I finished a PBP in 78 hours and 15 minutes was one of my best experiences. Stan Malbut

RIDES IN SA: 5 (1988–1998) SA COMMITTEE (1988-1993) I first met Graham Woodrup in the 1985 Sunday Mail Two Day Tour. We rode together for long periods during that tour and worked well together. It was then that Graham asked me if I would like to ride with the Port Fairy team in the inaugural Opperman All Day Trail, organised by the Audax Club Parisian Australia branch in Melbourne. The team of Graham and two others from Port Fairy, plus Sonny Brookes and myself from Central Districts in SA. After 150 km two of the Port Fairy club had pulled out, leaving three to complete the ride and winning with a distance of 585 km. I organised a team for the 1986 Oppy, consisting of: me and Brookes from Centrals, John from south of Adelaide with John Dam and Ian Cook, two young riders

from Mildura. We won that one also having done 630 km. Having shown an interest in this type of event I was asked if I would like to form an Audax club in SA and organise some rides. With the help of my wife Sheila, we organised 200 km from Gawler Central Railway Station to Clare via Tarlee and Auburn and back via Saddleworth, Marrabel and Kapunda. We organised another 200 km ride followed by a 300 km. Unfortunately our bicycle business was taking up more of our time and it became impossible for me to devote more time to the club. It was fortunate we had someone like Glenn Partington and later Matthew Rawnsley to take over. Matthew has blossomed into one of the strongest members of Audax in Australia, not only as a rider but also a dedicated member of Audax. Sheila and myself hope to ride the 20th Anniversary event this year. Allan Dickson

RIDES IN SA: 55 (1999–present) I first joined Audax South Australia to ride the 200 km Midnight Madness randonnée at Verdun on 4 December 1999. There were about 20 riders for the 50 km, 100 km and 200 km rides, all starting at 8 pm. I enjoyed a very chatty first 50 km loop through

Matt Rawnsley leading the bunch, including Bill Luca, Ian Pollard, Katherine Bryant and John Edgar, on Echunga 600, September 1993.

Meadows and then rode to Woodside and could not find the control so I returned to Verdun having only the shouted exchanges with faster, returning riders as proof of my progress. The organisers were very supportive and I was told that the control would be open until 6 am at Springton so I pedalled with renewed spirit to arrive there at 4:46 am. My lights were legal but the 26 year old magnets in my Sturmey Archer Dynohub provided only a feeble yellow

Where the bitumen ends: John Edgar, Katherine Bryant and Lyndon Stacy halfway through Audax SA 1200 Adelaide to Lyndhurst (middle of nowhere) return.

light to assist my memory gained from 50 years of cycling in the Adelaide hills. On my return with the sun now warming my back several Audax riders cheered me on and I have a 12 hours, zero minutes brevet for that first ride! At the finish Oliver Portway, Matt Rawnsley and Ian Peak were talking about their 1999 PBP rides and this convinced me to aim for a PBP ride as well as the Alpine Classic. My only other ride during that Audax year was a 300 km randonnée organised by Elle Mattey, Sam Blight and Darran Kelly. Thanks to their encouragement during that ride I gained another brevet of 17 hours 37 minutes and was well on the way to gaining the ability to qualify for PBP. My antidote for what some see as a disease, or old age, is to cycle to the Alpine Classic every year and to fly to a city about 2000 km from Paris every four years one month before PBP. In 2007 it was Rome and in 2011 it will be Madrid.

Next issue: Oliver Portway reflects on Audax and audaciousness in South Australia.

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


The 2006/07 Audax year Garry Armsworth How far did we ride?

In 2006/07, participants completed over 630,000 km of Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux rides conducted by Audax Australia. Distance


km travelled















13,000 638,100

events were the Great Ocean Road 200 on 17 March 2007, Jump the Gun (200/300/400/600) on 2 December 2006 and The Southern Series (200/300/400/600) on 10 March 2007 all of which had more than 40 homologations (and all held in Victoria).

The 2006/2007 Honour Board

Outside of Victoria the most popular rides were • Seven Hills Dash (Tas) on 3 Dec 2006

Some members manage to get out there on randonnees more often than others. Recognising their achievement and strong support of the club, we publish here a list of the members who over the 2006/07 season averaged at least one BRM ride per month.

• Tablelands Trot (ACT) on 11 Feb 2007 • The [Sydney to] Canberra Ride (NSW) on 13 Jan 2007

Who rode?

• Oh Mee Oh My (Qld) on 14 Jul 2007

For the 2006/07 year 2386 brevets were homologated; these comprised 884 brevets (37%) completed by non-members and 1502 brevets (63%) completed by members.

• The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge (NZ) on 25 Nov 2006

We finished the year with 1006 members. Of those 1006 members, 577 completed no BRM rides, 182 members completed one ride and the remaining 247 members completed the balance of 1320 brevets (the median number of brevets completed by this latter group of members was 4). Why so many non-members?

The Alpine Classic is an iconic event in Australia and attracts a large number of non-members. Of the 902 brevets for the Alpine Classic 200, 704 brevets were ridden by non-members. What were the most popular BRM events?

Aside from the aforementioned ride in some hills in Victoria, the most popular

• Phive Pies Pedal (WA) on 24 Feb 2007 • the Burra Explorer (SA) on 10 Feb 2007 These rides homologations.




Data is limited to BRM events; Brevet Australia events (i.e. <200 km) have not traditionally been centrally collected. Data is from the homologation of BRM events; participants who DNF or did not return a brevet card for homologation are not included. Slight discrepancies between these numbers and the ACP 2007 results book (see page 43) are due to timing differences in the reporting of rides for homologation.

All Oppy together in 2009 Audax Australia, after consulting with all regions, has agreed that the 2009 Fleche Opperman All Day Trial will be held on the last weekend of March, starting at 9am on the 28th and finishing on the 29th, 24 hours later. With Opperman finishes in almost every state, this gives every member plenty of time to find the ideal route and the perfect partners to ride at least 360


Checkpoint Autumn 2008

kilometres within 24 hours in a group of 3-to-5 bikes (tandems count as one bike). Next year, in the unlikely event that the rain is pelting down, the night is bitterly cold and the headwinds are gale-force, at least you will be able to console yourself that every other Opperman team will be on the road at the same time.

Audax randonnees of course are not races and we don’t publish the times in which riders complete events, we do however encourage the spirit of participation and the sense of adventure in getting out there to ride long distances.



Chris Rogers (Vic)


Howard Dove (NSW)


Rebecca Morton (NSW)


Leigh Paterson (Vic)


Kathryn Temby (Vic)


Greg Cunningham (ACT)


Ron Kirwan (Vic)


Dave Minter (Qld)


Jim Chant (Vic)


Stephen George (Vic)


Martin Haynes (Vic)


Kevin Ware (Vic)


Michael Bentley (ACT)


Bjorn Blasse (WA)


Hans Dusink (Vic)


Douglas Kennedy (NSW)


Tom Nankivell (ACT)


It’s great to see this list have a strong representation of women members at the top of the list and to be spread across the country. Special mention goes to Chris Rogers: he racked up four super series!

Awards 2007 Congratulations to all riders who qualified for awards in the 2006/07 Audax year. NOUVEAU SERIES

Marie Bagley Barry Hahnel Ewen Hill Ros Marshallsea Margaret Jane May Derek Nicholas Lisa Smallbone Jim Sobczynski Marcus Thiele Adrian Whear Steve Xerri

Peter Heal Wayne Hickman Catherine Johnson Trevor King (×2) Tim Laugher Ros Marshallsea Margaret Jane May Rebecca Morton

Lisa Turner Kevin Ware (×2) Stephen Watson Simon Watt (×2) SARAH MADDOCK 500

Geof Bagley Judy Beswick


Marie Bagley Alan Bull Allan Dickson Pat Dorey Howard Dove Alan Dunn Russell Freemantle Jimmy Goode Lindsay Green Ewen Hill Catherine Johnson George Judkins (×2) David Killick Ros Marshallsea Maria Matuszek Margaret Jane May Sue May Rebecca Morton Heather Murray Matthew Rawnsley Stephen Rowlands Jim Sobczynski Marcus Thiele Steve Xerri SUPER SERIES

Garry Armsworth Gary Beasley Bjorn Blasse Peter Brack Stephen Chambers James Chong Greg Cunningham Allan Dickson Bruce Dodds Peter Donnan Howard Dove Hans Dusink Gareth Evans Russell J Freemantle Brian Gavan Martin Haynes


Garry Armsworth Geof Bagley Gary Beasley Greg Cuinningham Howard Dove Ewen Hill Catherine Johnson Rodney Kruz Ros Marshallsea Greg Martin Margaret Jane May Glenn Mitton Rebecca Morton Maxine Riggs Fraser Rowe Kathryn Temby Adrian Whear WOODRUP 5000

Bjorn Blasse (#61) Rowan Burns (#60) Wayne Hickman (#63) Richard Pinkerton (#62) DIRT AWARD

Lorraine Allen Peter Heal Richard Kruger Chris Rogers Jim Sobczynski David Vine Adrian Whear JOSEPH PEARSON

Kerri-Ann Smith and Tom Nankivell received the Randoneur 5000 award

Steve Murphy Leigh Paterson Richard Pinkerton Scot Plummer Frank Preyer Matthew Rawnsley Chris Rogers (×4) Errol Ross Stephen Rowlands Philip Rowley Richard Scheer Jim Sobczynski Barry Stevenson Kathryn Temby Marcus Thiele

Alan Bull Pat Dorey Alan Dunn Hans Dusink Ewen Hill Ros Marshallsea Greg Martin Maria Matuszek Pauline Nicholas Richard Pinkerton (×2) Frank Preyer Stephen Rowlands Alan Wallace Adrian Whear Stephen Wood

Howard Dove Dana Gottlieb Ewen Hill David Killick Maria Matuszek Rebecca Morton Fraser Rowe Stephen Rowlands Adrian Whear ARTHUR RICHARDSON

Hans Dusink Leigh Paterson Kathryn Temby Kevin Ware FRANK WHITE

Kevin Ware List compiled by Enid Halton. Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Is support over-rated? Bjorn Blasse

I chuckle to myself when planning a long ride as it always seems like such a great idea over coffee and cake, but I know somewhere on that ride I’ll be thinking, “Why the bloody hell am I doing this?” The 1000 km “York, York and more York” brevet was no exception. At the time it seemed logical to hold the ride a month after PBP. There was the added incentive of knocking off my Woodrup in twelve months and then using the PBP for a Randonneur 5000 this year. Easy! The evening before our folly, Nick Dale rocked up at my house straight from work in a suit and tie. We unloaded his bike from his boot into my car and headed out to my caravan at the Skydive Express dropzone. This was a perfect place to use as a base for an unsupported ride. I organised all the food: sandwiches, dried fruit, Hammer gel, coffee and a huge pot of pasta. In my experience when you ride with Nick, you One of fifty rolling hills

need to bring extra food as he’ll forget his and just eat yours. He once rocked up to a ride in his car, unloaded his bike and then realised he’d left the front wheel at home! (Incidentally this was how the last PAP was born, over a cup of coffee back at his house that same day, but that is another story.) We woke at 5 am the next day, giving us an hour to get ready. I need about half a litre of coffee to get going most mornings and this day was no exception. Having mercilessly taunted Nick about his lack of organisation and my superior planning, I had to eat humble pie when I realised that the three pairs of knicks I’d washed for the ride, were

still on the line in Perth. Nick smiled and said, “Mmm, do you want to borrow a pair of mine?” Cheeky git! So we set of at 6 am (me wearing Nick’s spare knicks) only to get a kilometre down the road before noticing that Nick had no bidons. I made him ride back alone, as I did not want to bump into any of my fellow skydiving buddies as Nick had accidentally set off my car alarm just before we left, waking up most of the dropzone. It was going to be one of those rides! After our rocky start we headed south towards Narrogin, our first control, 150 km away and straight into a head wind. The day started to heat up early and we were keen to get there as soon as possible, only stopping to take photos and fill our bidons. The café in Narrogin had changed hands and we were served up a fantastic portion of fish and chips that we shared. It’s good to get some salty stodge into you on a hot day. Our next section of the ride just retraced our steps back to the caravan. About 40 km down the road, two young guys in a ute cruised up beside us as we were riding. “You guys are a long way from anywhere, have a swig on this”, the passenger said leaning out the window, stubbie in hand. We took a gulp each and they roared off up the road. I thought to myself, if they were coming back the other way late at night and we were on the road, they’d chuck that stubbie at us as they zoomed past! Now, having a sip on that beer was a major problem, as it was stinking hot and we both had the taste for it. Next stop the pub! Pingelly Pub is your classic wheatbelt watering hole. We walked in there hot, covered in a mixture of sunscreen, salt and bugs, to be greeted with, “Quick, get these guys a blanket, they look like they’re suffering from frostbite”. You’ve got to love some of the characters that hang out in these places. We ordered two beers and mine did not touch the sides. I swear I did


Checkpoint Autumn 2008

not think it was humanly possible to make liquid that cold. The barman looked at me and said “You’ve blown a thermostat”, because as soon as I’d downed the cool amber liquid the sweat just poured out. “Well I’d better replace it then”, and ordered another. Sipping this one, I looked across at Nick who was knocking back a Hammer gel carbo shot and washing it down with his beer. The locals thought we were mad enough, so we did not dare tell them how far we planned on riding. After 300 km we pulled into Skydive Express and started wolfing down the pasta that we’d nuked in the van’s microwave. A strict 45 minute turnaround saw us fed and watered, and back on the road north to Dowerin. As night fell so did the temperature leaving me wishing I’d packed leg warmers instead of just knee warmers. The moon was not to be seen, so Nick spent most of the ride pointing out different constellations and giving me his usual backyard astronomy tutorial. It was hard to ride and look at the night sky. After another 90 km we pulled into Dowerin. It was too cold to spend much time there, so we stuffed our faces with sandwiches and followed the route back to the van. En route I plugged in my iPod. Nick wasn’t too pleased with this as I was ignoring his nocturnal lecturing, and I was irritated that his ramblings were disturbing my peace. So something had to give and we rode about 60 km alone. By the time I got to the dropzone my feet were frozen. Nick got there a little before me and crashed out on the packing mats. I got a hour’s sleep in the van—just enough time to thaw my frozen toes out! Having only the one pair of knicks (that I’d nicked from Nick), I rinsed them out and hung them to dry. We ate some more pasta and rode off just as the sun was getting up. The knicks were not dry, so I microwaved them for 30 seconds at a time for about four minutes. Perfectly done!

Nick Dale at Wave Rock

We headed off towards Wave Rock, just past Hyden another 250 km away. The worms had started to bite after only 30 km but to our surprise and delight we soon came across a new ‘gourmet’ truck stop serving amazing fry-ups and real coffee. The double shot latte simply hit the spot!

hub of the wheatbelt region, with huge silos and grain storage sheds. The area past Quairading was new ground for us. New cycling territory that, to our knowledge, no Audax event had ever ventured over and this enthused us! This area has massive glittering salt pans, worthy of a team photo: me in my PBP jersey and Nick in his German Randonneur jersey. I love sending photos of Aussie riders sporting foreign club jerseys to the guys who gave them to me. This place was particularly hot, dry and harsh. We also had a ‘Kodak moment’ at the Number 2 Rabbit-proof Fence.

We passed through Quairading and I realised that I have been here five times before, but only at night on previous Audax rides. So I hadn’t realised that it was the

The next section of the ride was made up of a lot of very long straight roads and rolling hills. To keep ourselves focused we’d guess how far it was from one hill to the

other. Most of them ranged from 12 km to 18 km, with the odd bit of dirt, road works and single lanes thrown in to break up the monotony. We promised ourselves a beer at Corrigin, and talked it up all the way. It was going to be so-o icy cold and served by a friendly, smiling, buxom young lady. When we finally pulled in to the pub, the beer was average and the barmaid was very large, rough and rude. At least we got to see the ‘Dog Cemetery’ and various ‘Dog in a Ute’ commemorative plaques! As we rode out of Corrigin we asked the local cops what the road was like to Kondinin (which we pronounced Kond-inin). After a long pause and blank stare came the reply, “Kond-inin? Dunno, but the road to Kondinin is good”, reminding us that we were Checkpoint Autumn 2008


A word from Nick Bjorn was seriously injured in a skydiving accident on Good Friday. He suffered severe head and leg injuries, which have required multiple operations. He spent two weeks on a ventilator in ICU at Royal Perth Hospital before being transferred to a high dependency ward, still in a coma but breathing spontaneously. His prognosis remains very uncertain; however we are all hoping that his physical and mental strength will carry him through to an eventual good recovery. Bjorn is an experienced skydiver, having performed nearly 600 jumps. He was in the process of achieving his instructors rating.

Bjorn demonstrates an unorthodox but effective method for reducing core body temperature.

now a long way from Perth and we should keep abreast of the local dialect. Kondinin was notable mostly for having one of three remaining Golden Fleece service stations. It was getting dark as we neared Hyden. On the side of the road was a sign with a school bus and child. I rode a little further and looked up at it again only to see the child in the sign get on the bus! I giggled to myself and told Nick that I really needed to sleep. We had arrived in Hyden with nearly 750 km in our legs and only an hour of sleep in the mix. The two of us cycled around the town looking for somewhere to sleep and found the back of an IGA supermarket. Nick used his sleeping mat and I made do with a cardboard box. Six hours later we woke and rode the 5 km to Wave Rock for a photo, then hit the bakery back in Hyden for steak-burgers and coffee. Finally on the home leg, we retraced our steps back towards York stopping for several

more photos of “wheatbelt art”—iron sculptures from old farm equipment—made by locals and displayed on the side of the road. Very cool! At about the 800 km mark it dawned on me that 1000 km is a bloody long way to ride around the wheatbelt with one of your mates. Nick was keen to make it back by midnight as he had to work the next day, so we pushed on, finishing it in 65 hours and 30 minutes. This was a singularly incredible ride, and it being unsupported made for rather an interesting journey. For me it represented the true spirit of Audax, in the need for self sufficiency, mutual support and encouragement, and strong camaraderie.

For the last few years Bjorn has been the beating heart of Audax in WA. He became the Rides Coordinator at the end of 2006 and took on the role with vigour. He increased the number of rides on the Calendar, including adding many Sunday rides and also Dirt Series rides. He compiled packs, with all the required paperwork, for each of the rides in 2008 and handed them out at last year’s Christmas Party to all of this year’s ride organisers. He has regularly clocked-up both the most number of Audax rides and Audax kilometres for the last few years. After our ride to Wave Rock last year Bjorn earned a Woodrup award from Audax Australia. He has also completed two PBPs. Six days before his accident he did the Oppy as part of a fixed wheel team. He was one 1000 km ride away from achieving his Randonneur 5000 award. Bjorn, we all miss you terribly. Rides are just not the same without your happy smile and conversation. We are all thinking of you and hope you get well soon. Your buddy,

Nick Dale.

Next year we may run this again, perhaps as one big loop back to the start, rather than having a base…and I might even consider putting away my music and buying an astronomy guide to keep up with Nick.

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Bunch riding Welcome to Training Notes a new column about training for endurance cycling. Several major events on the Audax Calendar require riders to undertake serious preparation, such as the Fleche Opperman 24-hour Team Trial and the Great Southern Randonnee. The Fleche Opperman requires a team of three to five riders to cover a minimum of 360 km in under 24 hours (there is no maximum). The Great Southern Randonnee (GSR) has 1200km and 1000km options and includes the Great Ocean Road and the magnificent Grampians, not an easy course. Recently there have been a lot of requests for information on group riding skills and these being very useful for both the Fleche Opperman and the GSR I have decided to focus on group riding skills in this column. Historically Audax riding is synonymous with group riding. PBP Ancien Oliver Portway describes Audax riding as, “a collective effort and not a competition to see who is the strongest, the fastest or the best rider.”1 Cycling Australia consider bunch riding skills very important, so important in fact that their Membership Handbook states, “With the advantages associated with sitting-on/drafting, it is considered poor tactics not to do so.”2 Why ride in a bunch?

• Greater speed, especially in head winds. Riders in a well organised bunch use about 30% less energy.3 • Social support. “Cycling with a group can bring a whole new enjoyment over cycling alone. The social interaction within the group makes the miles fly by.”4 • Greater visibility, especially at night. • Safety in numbers and witnesses in the event of conflict with other road users. • Help at hand for mechanical problems. I found bunch riding particularly useful during the Paris Brest Paris 1228 km event in August, 2007. Le Parisien, a French daily morning newspaper, indicated in its weather report on the day of the start that conditions for the next three days would include rain, storms, lightning and 60 km/h 1 Portway 2003, Checkpoint No 17, p.21. 2 Walker 2003, Cycling Australia Membership Handbook 3 Walker 2003, Cycling Australia Membership Handbook 4 Johnson 2007, Australian Cyclist Nov/Dec 2007, Riding in a group, p.18 16

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

Training Notes Russell J Freemantle MHSc, Skills Coach westerly winds followed by 70 km/h northerlies. This meant a 612 km ride to Brest with 60 km/h headwinds followed by a 613 km return ride to Paris with cold 70 km/h crosswinds coming off the North Sea. Fortunately, right from the start I was able to join a large peleton consisting of very experienced riders and shelter from the headwind. Without the protection afforded by the peleton my speed would have been much slower and the wind would have worn me down. Riding solo in strong headwinds on long rides can be particularly demoralising. What makes a successful Bunch?

Russell’s Six C’s of Bunch Riding • Calm • Communication • Compatible • Considerate • Constant • Co-operation


Riders in a bunch can be of varying abilities. Stronger riders should spend more time “on the front” while weaker riders can simply roll through or sit on the back (riders habitually sitting on the back are known as passengers or if detested limpets or molluscs) but if the difference in ability is too great then unless the stronger riders are prepared to slow down then ultimately the weaker riders cannot keep up and must drop off the back. Dropping off and getting picked up by another, slower bunch is a good option for the rider struggling to hang on to a fast moving bunch, similarly a rider frustrated by a slow bunch may wish to breakaway, chase down and join a faster bunch with which they are more compatible. Considerate

In addition to keeping a close eye on what riders in front are doing bunch riders need to have an awareness of who is to the side and behind of them. Before moving, changing position or pace riders must think about those to the side or behind. While sitting on in the bunch do not allow your front wheel to overlap the rear wheel of the bicycle in front, if your wheels touch then you could bring down the whole bunch.

If something happens such as riders bumping into each other or a rapid tyre deflation it is important that nobody panics and hits the brakes. Cycling Australia advise “Relax at the elbows and in shoulders to prevent sudden swerving if knocked by another rider”.5 Everybody stays calm, upright and sorts out the problem further down the road.

Considerate bunch riders will be happy to allow struggling riders to roll through or sit on particularly if they have a mechanical problem or are unwell. Generally, if it is at all possible it is preferable for the struggling rider to roll through as this preserves the flow of position changes. Even if the rider can only sit on the front for a short time other riders will appreciate that an effort is being made.



Riders need to talk to each other. Lead riders call “Car-up”, “Car-back”, drain, glass, pothole, etc. Hand signal are used to indicate slowing, turning, change of position or turn.

A steady constant pace makes for an efficient and smooth travelling bunch. Changes in pace and position changes should be made carefully and steadily. When starting off the group should wind up to its cruising speed slowly, and wind down slowly when approaching a contrôle.


5 Cycling Australia Skills Curriculum 2005, Group Comfort, p.6.

Training Notes Co-operation

Mavericks need not apply for a position in my bunch! Riders should agree on the type of formation and how changes in position will occur. The bunch needs to have accord on the pace to be maintained and riders should demonstrate a real effort to do a fair share of work on the front. It is bad form to sit on all day and then take off near the finish! Types of bunch formation

The definitive article on group riding is Oliver Portway’s superbly illustrated three page article “Group Riding” in Checkpoint no. 17, Spring 2003, a must-read for all serious endurance riders. Pace line or chain gang

The most simple group is a pace line (also known as a chain gang). In a pace line riders form a single line. The front rider regularly peels off the front and takes up a position at the back. Generally the front rider drops on the left side of the line if the wind is from the right and the right side if the wind is from the left. Falling back along the downwind side of the line shelters the former lead rider who may struggle to attach to the rear, particularly if they have been on the front for a while. Additionally the new lead rider must be careful not to raise the pace as they take up their position at the front. Pace lines are very effective for two, three or four riders. Larger groups can gain greater efficiency from a double line if conditions permit. Riding in echelon

When in a crosswind riders sit to one side of the rider in front to shelter from the wind. For example, if the wind is coming from the left then riders sit to the right of the wheel in front. If the riders in a line all sit to one side of the wheel in front of them this is known as an echelon (see illustration). Double line bunches

When a group has four or more members, riders can form two lines. On closed roads large groups of riders can form three or more line; however this opportunity is rare for Audax riders. The group can rotate clockwise or anticlockwise. To rotate clockwise the riders on the near or curb side move up while the riders on the offside drop back and then the front rider on the near side moves across. Meanwhile at the rear the rider on the offside is moving across to the near side; and vice versa for anticlockwise. As in a pace line the wind determines how

to drop back. If the wind is from the left then rotation is to the left i.e. clockwise. Echelon riding can also be applied to double line bunches. Exercises to develop bunch riding skills

When you are confident at sitting-on the next most important skill to develop is the ability to ride safely and confidently alongside another rider. 1. Ease the squeeze

Simulates close riding in groups: • Set up two markers (e.g. witch’s hats) about two metres apart in a large, quiet car park • Ride side by side with another Riding in echelon to shelter from a crosswind rider at a slow steady pace between the markers • Move the markers together and repeat


• Keep moving the markers closer together until you are forced to rub shoulders with the other rider to get between the markers

back ca require then ge skills ar matters other ri

Chan followin – can b differen Of cour an issue a proble

2. Close comfort

Reduces fear of rider contact:

If the an eche best wi dangero doing t hip of t and the stagger as ‘up t rear clo the road of up o wind in the roa on the r is usual appropr

• Find a smooth and quite road or large car park • Working with another rider try riding close beside each other. • While riding on the other riders right touch their right shoulder lightly with your left hand • Next get the other rider to lightly touch your left shoulder. • Repeat but this time with you riding on the left • When you have mastered this skill and if conditions are suitable, try doing the exercise again and resting your hand on the other riders shoulder for a few seconds.

• The direction of rotation can be altered for different wind conditions, ie clockwise if the wind is front the right or anticlockwise if the wind is from the left. The direction of rotation is conveniently called clockwise or anticlockwise so that everyone knows what they are doing. • The terms ‘up the road’ or closer to the centre and ‘down Checkpoint Autumn 2008 the 17 road’ or closer to the gutter can be conveniently used to describe the position of the lead riders on the windward side (see Figures

If num this can head w conditio The fro enough can roll position method the old occurs, with th request elbow.

Whic formatio not a ch kilomet it can be the diff

Keeping a ride journal Stephen “Whatto” Watson

If you want to know where (and how) you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been… By definition, a journal is essentially just an incremental record of occurrences, experiences or observations. A ride journal specifically has some fairly standard data points recorded as opposed to the general waffle which might be put into any other type of record. If you are the kind of person who is happy to keep a journal in an exercise book or paper based system, stop reading now. This article is not for you. It will focus on journals which are added to and managed by software. Bicycles may have been roughly the same since the 19th century but in the 21st century journals, like most other things, exist in the realm of computer software. Before choosing a journal in which to keep each of your ride’s details, you will need some understanding of what you might need and what you should consider before making that choice. Hopefully this article will give you some points to consider and questions to ask before ‘putting pen to paper’. Where does the data come from?

A significant amount of data recorded against any given ride will come from some sort of recording device. Usually this is the good, old, basic, bike speedo, which will at a minimum offer up distance, time and probably maximum speed. As the dollars invested in your speedo go up, this data can expand to include, heart rates & zones, lap times, altitude gains, temperatures, phases of the moon and the list goes on. How much of this you want to keep in a journal is up to you but the software’s ability to record it adequately may limit your choices. Types of journals

If you have a high-end recording device (speedo, HRM, GPS unit, etc), you may have been supplied with software which enables your computer to ‘talk’ to your device or vice-versa. If that software also has a journal feature then your choice has already been made for you and trying to use different software will create additional work that 18

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

you probably aren’t interested in. This sort of software is usually referred to as OEM (or Original Equipment Manufacturer).

when you pull your bike up at that Internet café to check your email, you can update your ride journal too.

If you are capable of, and have the right tools for, creating your own software then evaluating and choosing software will be a redundant task. This sort of custom software is usually referred to as bespoke.

Some software is free!

Third party software (so called because neither you nor the manufacturer of your device created it) is that which is out there for you to choose depending on your needs and how much you are prepared to pay. Both initial and ongoing costs in using the software will become a major factor in the initial choice. These costs will be in both dollars and hours! Web-based or client

Client software is that which resides entirely on your PC. Once installed you don’t need a connection to the Internet and you will not be reliant on someone else’s technology to access your journal. Speed of operation for a client is quicker as no data needs to go back and forth to the Internet. On the down side of using a client, it will be entirely up to you to make sure your data is backed up and safe. You may also be stuck with the same software until you update it by some prior arrangement with the vendor. Web-based software is usually under constant development and new features and improvements are usually added regularly and seamlessly. Web-based software may also enable you to view limited data for other users using the same software. This can be of use when comparing with your mates or other team members but is a feature that is above and beyond a pure personal journal (but not unworthy of consideration). Web-based software will require you to have a connection to the Internet but in 2008 that isn’t likely to present a problem. Even mobile phones can do this easily! A web-based solution will also mean that you can access it from almost any computer. So

No. That’s not a misprint. It seems strange but it’s true. Like many webbased applications they are funded by enough people clicking on links to paying advertisers. Free software is almost certain to have some limitations so investigate carefully before investing too much effort into your personal configuration and ride data entry. Some software may also provide a free ‘trial’ period in which it will work just like the heavy version until the specified period expires. Again, be careful of how much effort you invest while trialling just in case it turns out not to be what you’re looking for. Once you have invested a month’s worth of effort into getting your ride journal in shape, evaluating other options will look like work you don’t really want. Import/Export

If you have been keeping all your data for years in a spreadsheet or similar, you will obviously want to be able to reuse it. A spreadsheet seemed like such a good idea at the time, didn’t it? Depending on the amount of data you have, his may become a challenge to get it into a new journal. When considering journal software find out if you are able to import your data en-masse to avoid manually transcribing it all over again. A data import function will also avoid all those typing errors that you are bound to make! (Or is that gust me?) While some software may allow an unlimited number of ride log entries, you may have to enter each one individually. This task can get pretty tiresome even after just a few entries especially if you have a slow Internet connection. An export function will enable you to get all your data out of your journal for storage in another file or system. Even if you think you never really intend to use the data anywhere else this can provide a worthwhile option as

a back up of your precious data. Once you get several hundred rides into your journal, it becomes valuable even if it’s just for the time you have spent creating it! Data that doesn’t come from your recording device

This list could be endless! If you are trying to fine tune some performance issues you might want to record things anywhere from sleep (before the ride not during!) to appetite to local humidity. If the software is not supplied out-of-thebox with these rare fields, it may have the capability of creating additional fields for ‘custom’ values. This means that even if the standard configuration doesn’t provide for ‘How many mg of caffeine for the ride’ you can still record it if you really think it’s important. Some software will let you record things like % body fat which is useful at some level but if you don’t have a way to measure it (for each entry) then that feature could be a distraction from that which is really useful. Try not to get ‘blown away’ with all the software’s features without carefully considering how much of it you might ultimately use. Reports and Charts

Once you have data recorded in your journal, it only becomes useful once you get it out again. Viewing journal entries individually can be useful but the real value of using a software solution is the ability to sort, filter and summarise your precious data. How many brevets did I complete last Audax year? How many km have I covered this year? What’s my average speed for the last month? How many times have I ridden this course and what’s my average speed been on each of them? Without trying to second guess your reporting needs, software should have a range of reports which will provide the ability to generate what you think you might want. Reports and charts which have a plethora of available options and filters should also have the ability to save your pre-configured or favourite individual views. Manually having to reconfigure a report each time you want to run it will become tedious and frustrating. Charts are really just an extension of reports with the ability to group and display the data graphically. Using a chart to display statistical data will always put a different slant on it. Again, beware of the bells and whistles and focus on what’s useful for you.

Chart showing Whatto’s effort grouped by month over the 2006-2007 Audax year

The chart in the illustration shows my effort grouped by month over the 2006-2007 Audax year. You will notice a reasonably consistent effort up until August 2007 at which point, I slackened off somewhat. No mystery there! The chart summarises and groups 150 separate ride journal entries. Multiple riders

If you have several riders in your household who all want to keep a journal, then a client interface may be a better option. Most web software will treat each rider as a separate account each with its own licensing agreement. A client installation on the other hand is most likely to be licensed for the installation and will allow several different riders to use the same application independently of each other. However, if you have multiple riders in your household you probably also have multiple computers and installing the software on more than one computer may not be within the software’s licensing agreement. Maintenance

Ride journal software often provides some ability to record the maintenance you perform on your bike(s) and perhaps the ability to track the distance that various components travel. This feature can be pretty handy when trying to objectively assess how well your tyres are wearing or how far your chain goes between cleans. A maintenance journal is strictly separate from a ride journal but it can be a handy central place to be recording it.


Once you have your journal up and running you may choose to use it for planning your training and brevet rides. The ability to create a goal and continually monitor progress against that goal is a feature of some software that may prove very useful in creating some motivation during those cold winter months. My Journal

As you can probably glean from this article, I use third party software for my own ride journal as do several other Audax members. The journal I have chosen suits the majority of my needs but that’s not to say I didn’t wish it did a couple of things differently. Whichever journal you might use for your own ride records should be chosen with your own needs and limitations in mind, even if you do end up with the same old exercise book! Some options for further research:

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Rides Calendar

Next Year’s Rides Dave Minter Organisers are the backbone of Audax Australia. Brevet organisers run Audax Australia’s events, letting the riders (us!) enjoy riding them. Without events, Audax Australia would no longer exist. We are about halfway through the season but it is time for organisers to start planning the next year’s rides. The online ride calendar must be finalised in time to assemble, print and post the next year’s calendar by 1 November. The list of longer events (200 km or longer) is given to the ACP or Les Randonneurs Mondiaux (for 1200 km brevets) in September and there is little opportunity to add or modify these events after that. As a result, organisers should submit their 2008/9 events by 15 September 2008, if their state has not requested an earlier submission date. Online submission at public/ is preferred but your State Calendar Coordinator or State President can assist if you are unable to submit a ride online. Some suggestions for organisers:

Talk to your State Calendar Coordinator and/or State President before you propose a ride. Optimising your regional calendar with a steady progression of distances and minimising date clashes helps our riders ride longer events more often. New organisers can take over an established event from an experienced organiser who may be looking at holding other events (or doing more riding). Running a successful event is much easier if a new organiser has a proven template and somebody who can answer difficult questions. Experienced organisers should look at tweaking route or other problems to improve their events. Even the best events (and their riders) can benefit from some examination. Have another experienced organiser review your event (route and other aspects) while you are planning and preparing it. If there are no experienced organisers available in your area, an experienced 20

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local Audax rider or a very experienced organiser elsewhere in the state can be a good substitute. There is no requirement to implement their suggestions, organisers have control over their event, but a fresh set of eyes often results in good ways to improve a ride. Be careful to complete the relevant sections and tick the correct boxes when submitting your event. For instance, a 100 km brevet can be a Dirt Series ride or a road event and the difference can make quite a difference to the rider. A social event generally involves minimal riding, perhaps a State AGM or PBP information session may fit this category. Training rides are not brevets. There is a section in the online submission form that is viewed only by State Presidents, Calendar Coordinators and system administrators. If you are planning a ride or series of rides that is out of the ordinary (e.g. mid-week or consecutive rides), please make a note in this section to prevent possible confusion. Some general pointers:

Plan ahead. Rides involving lots of night riding often benefit from being close to the full moon. Date clashes with major local events or holidays in the area may mean that roads or accommodation could be congested. Study your proposed route carefully, evaluating the expected conditions when the riders will be passing various parts of the course. An enjoyable route taking advantage of traffic-free roads or good visibility can be quite a different experience with peak hour motorists, on a moonless night or in pouring rain. Many comparatively busy roads are virtually traffic-free after midnight. Look at reducing the number of sections requiring significant caution by the riders, particularly if riders are likely to be tired at that point. Examples might include right-hand turns across busy roads or steep downhills to gravelly hairpins at night. We are riding on open roads and eliminating

hazards isn’t reasonable or possible but organisers should be looking to mitigate significant risks to riders where a suitable alternative exists. Perhaps riding a loop anti-clockwise, rather than clockwise, may be a significant improvement. Come up with a good name for your ride and publicise the ride well. Several regions have their own email lists of riders likely to be interested in your event and the Audax-Oz email list can get word out to a wider audience of Audax riders. Flyers in local bike shops and messages on cycling forums can be appropriate, depending on the event e.g. suitable for new audaxers or aimed at riders looking for ‘challenging rides’. And now for something completely different...

Audax riding (often called Euraudax) was created in France by Henri Desgrange in 1904. It involves everybody riding in a group led by a ‘road captain’ (nowadays generally at an average 22.5 kph), with scheduled stops at checkpoints and often with extensive support. In 1921, the Audax Club Parisien fell out with Desgrange and instead developed Brevet des Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM), the randonneur events Audax Australia has held since 1981. Audax Australia‘s name emulates Audax Club Parisien’s name, despite both clubs running BRM events. Another group, L’Union des Audax Francaise (UAF), continued with the original form of Audax, preferring the opportunity to chat with their fellow riders to the freedom of choosing their own pace. These events are fairly common in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. There have also been several events in the USA within the last decade. From 1 November 2008, some selected Audax Australia organisers will be holding a few 100 km, 200 km and 300 km Euraudax brevets, homologated by the UAF. The following year, there are likely to be some UAF brevets up to 600 km. Hopefully, in 2011 the first Australian riders will ride the PBP Audax, alongside the many Australians riding the 17th PBP Randonneur.

Victoria Ride Calendar for 2009 Merryn Rowlands A subcommittee has been formed to discuss the ride calendar for Victoria for 2009. We shall be meeting shortly and soon we will be taking requests for time slots. Please give some thought to when you would like to run your ride, and try to pick three dates, to be on the safe side. We will always endeavor to give preference to your first date. If you must have your ride on a particular weekend, (e.g. The Queens Royal Tour needs to be on the Queens birthday long weekend), please contact me ASAP.

Would you like to run a ride but feel it’s a bit daunting?

Don’t worry. There are plenty of willing members who are happy to mentor and guide you through the process. Please contact the Ride Coordinator for further information (see below). The Ride Organisers role is a full filling and rewarding experience. Volunteers Required!

We would like to create a database which contains a list of people who are willing to jump in and help a ride organiser to run their ride. If a ride organiser finds themselves

short of help, then they can consult ‘the list’. This will be updated yearly, so you will be asked each year if you’d like to volunteer again. You can remove your name any time you wish, and you can say no, if the date doesn’t suit. Please contact the Ride Coordinator for further information (see below). Merryn Rowlands Victoria Ride Coordinator Phone: 9742 5330 (6 pm–9 pm).

Wanted: Calendar Coordinator Dave Minter incorrect, missing or data with individual

calendar as requested and agreed by organisers, State Calendar Coordinators and State Presidents.

• Conferring and negotiating with organisers, state and national officials regarding event date clashes.

• Understanding the implications of changes to any rule, procedure or other aspect of Audax Australia’s events and informing national officials of likely effects.

After two years as National Calendar Coordinator, trying to fill the shoes of Gordon Cockcroft, it is time for me to step aside and to allow someone else to assume the position. The National Executive Committee would be pleased to review nominations for the role of National Calendar Coordinator. The successful applicant will facilitate and guide the most important aspect of Audax Australia, our events.

• Clarifying ambiguous organisers.

Duties include:

• Notifying the International Brevet Secretary that the calendar has been finalised and approved.

• Reminding prospective organisers of upcoming deadlines for event submissions. This involves notifying the National Executive Committee and writing an appropriate article for Checkpoint and the Audax Australia email list at least a few months beforehand and preferably on several occasions. • Answering questions from organisers and from state and national officials regarding event organisation or submission. • Proofing the submitted event details for mistakes and ambiguities.

• Applying agreed procedures optimising the National Calendar.


• Approving or rejecting the submitted events, once the details are finalised.

• Outsourcing preparation of artwork for the National Calendar • Proofing the draft printed National Calendar. • Determining print quantities and arranging the distribution of the printed calendars to members (usually via a working bee), regions and others as necessary

The minimum time required averages perhaps an hour or two each week for most of the year, rising to several hours a week for September and October. The organisation relies on email for most communications and on Internet access for event proofing, approval and revision. The National Calendar Coordinator can be located anywhere in Australia. Expressions of interest should be submitted to Dave Minter (David.Minter@ and Roslyn Russell, Secretary (

• Revising or cancelling events in the online

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Audax Alpine Classic 2008

Merci les bénévoles (Thanks to the volunteers)

Rodney Snibson, AAC Volunteers’ Coordinator

There was a big turnout of volunteers for the Audax Alpine Classic. One hundred and twenty-three volunteers from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia turned up to support the ride. The volunteers ranged from teenagers to grandparents. Most were experienced riders, most have supported other rides and some were ride organisers. The volunteers provided a high level of support for the riders. They noted details of the riders such as unsteady speech or gait. They kept an eye on these riders until they are ready to depart. The volunteers worked hard at the checkpoints. In 2008, there was one volunteer for every 17 riders. Accommodation

With 50 volunteers using AAC accommodation, Ron McInnes was kept busy distributing rooms, getting in touch with accommodation providers. Ron had to find accommodation for the vendors at the festival. Ron found that mixing vendors and volunteers together does not mix. Supplies

The provision of food and drink is a personal thing for riders and a lot depends on the weather. Some riders find custard tarts appealing and others find them nauseating as they head off to Mt Buffalo. The Catering Coordinator, Eryl Lowe, had a tough job to cater for all the riders. She had to contact and coordinate catering supplies from the local baker and supermarkets. During the festival, she was managing the Cheese Stall. Her assistants were Val Kirkpatrick, Sally Jarvis, Barbara McNeill, Marie and Krystene Leniart. In past years the distribution of equipment was problematic. Equipment had to be hauled from Melbourne. The condition of the equipment was often poor. This year with two self-storage areas in Bright and the expertise of Martin Haynes and Alan Tonkin, distribution was so smooth that they have nearly done themselves out of a job for 2009. Festival

After a review of AAC '07, Phil Bellette decided that the event needed something 22

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extra to provide atmosphere. Phil, Keith and Eryl Lowe decided that a festival was the answer. Bonjour Bright was conceived. They contacted the Shire for approval, organised entertainers, food vendors, and the local vignerons. Jorgen Bobenko looked after the music and Kim Travers kept an eye on the Festival. Some volunteers such as Tiggy Grillo, Debi Hamilton, Fiona Maxwell and Sandy Vigar worked in the bar with the local wine staff. Rhonda Preyer was placed in the Information Tent. On Saturday and Sunday nights, the long marquee in Howitt Park had to be set up with trestles, chairs, table clothes and cutlery for the BBQ and dinner. Jill Jeppesen was in charge and had a number of helpers. After many years of volunteering at Mt Buffalo, Gordon Macmillan was appointed the AAC photographer. His job was to take photographs of the event in Bright. I.T.

In an event with over 2000 riders, some riders lose their registration documents, and others want to change their ride options. An information team was set up on the day before the event to handle these queries. Several laptops were linked to the AAC Riders database to check and amend riders’ details. The team led by Phil Bellette included Lorraine Allen, Gareth Evans, Callum Moore, and Sarah Reith. On Sunday Callum and Sarah were based at the computer centre at Bright Community Centre to check the scans. Each checkpoint team, except Mt Beauty, had a barcode reader to scan the rider brevets. When The Chalet Team was unable to get the scanner working, Callum was sent post haste to the Chalet by motorcycle. A special mention to Ewan Hill who set up the online AAC payments system.

Ninety percent of payments were made online avoiding the need to collect and bank a huge number of cheques. Logistics

Running the AAC requires signs and lots of them. Alpine Shire, the Park Rangers and VicRoads determine the content and location of the signs. The Signs Coordinator was Keith Lowe. His job was to prepare the location maps, sort out the signs and organize the distribution. His able assistants were Mal Faul, Bill Jeppesen, Frank Williams, Ron and Meredith McInnes. The role of the Transport Team is to organise the logistics and supply vehicles and drivers to deliver water barriers, equipment, and marquees to the checkpoints. Fifteen vehicles were hired including a refrigerator truck, vans and cars. The Coordinator was Stephen George, and the drivers were Steve Ambry, Brian Gavan, Alastair George, Elizabeth George, Bruce Giles, Gary Giles, Karen McGlynn, Derek McKean, Leigh Paterson and Barry Stevenson. Peter and Maree Martin ran the Volunteers Ride. The ride was changed to Friday morning because volunteers were required on Saturday. Five volunteers attended the ride. A weather eye

Peter Martin monitored the weather at the computer centre at Bright Community Centre. He downloaded weather reports from the Automatic Weather Station at Wangaratta and relayed them to Alan Tonkin in Howitt Park to announce and later they were displayed on the Weather Stress Indicator at the BCC. It is a difficult task considering it is an Alpine Region, and not helped by a 30-minute delay in getting the Wangaratta reports.

Audax Alpine Classic 2008 Eagle eyes

The eagle eyes of the Open Road Tourers surveyed the roads. Lloyd Williams and his team of six motorcyclists led out the first riders at 6.20 am and followed the last rider to a celebration in Howitt Park. The team members are: Graham Bickerstaff, Katherine Hayton, Mark McGuire, Wayne Soussa, Ian Taylor and Gary Young. This year Lloyd had to handle 100 vintage motorcycle riders on Mt Buffalo who were putting riders at risk as they freewheeled down the mountain. According to Lloyd the Indian motorbikes will not be back next year.

There is a special quality about the Falls Creek Team. They have been together for many years. Enid and Don Halton have three generations of their family working on the mountain. These are their daughter Hazel, and her husband Rod and their son Tom. The Haltons bring their friends such as Brian and Janet Eaton, Freda and Alan Radford and the Ward family. The pressure at Falls Creek is intense as riders rush for food and drink and shelter. Margaret Gavan and Martin Leaker were on the team.

Ron and Meredith McInnes and Pam Williamson. Chris Chapman was the traffic controller. Reaching the Mt Buffalo Chalet is the goal of many suffering riders. The Chalet Team provides drinks both hot and cold, and food. A laptop was used to scan the arrival of the riders. The volunteers kept an eye on exhausted riders. The doctor on the team, Marian Cranswick, advised one rider to be taken by ambulance to hospital.

Starter’s hands

The volunteers from the start team were up at 5 am to set up Howitt Lane for the six starts. Alan Tonkin aided by loudspeakers announced the start and advised on weather and on the water supply. The authorities advised visitors not to drink the local water. At the front Kim Travers and Derek McKean dressed as gendarmes kept the twitchy riders informed and entertained with ersatz French accents. Keran and Barry Challenger collected the waivers from the riders milling around Howitt Lane. Checkpoints

The success of the AAC rests on the quality of the checkpoint captains. They need to determine their transport and equipment requirements well before the event starts. They control remote checkpoints that include 14 volunteers and where 1500 riders pass through requiring water, food or rest. This year the AAC sub-committee had to replace the captains at the Chalet and at Mt Beauty. The new captains at the Chalet were Kaye Frank and John Rundle. Ray Watt and Deb Elliot were the captains at Mt Beauty. The new captains were experienced volunteers and they did an excellent job. From 5.45 am onwards the remote checkpoint teams picked up their vehicles, their catering and equipment supplies and headed off. Mal Faul and Bill Jeppesen distributed signs around Bright. Mt Beauty was once a secret checkpoint, now it is a checkpoint where 90% of the riders pass through collecting water and food before the climb to Falls Creek or Tawonga Gap. The co-captains were Deb Elliot and Ray Watt. Other team members were Kirsty and Stephen Chambers, Jon Miller, Monica Miller, Frank Plata, Leigh Robertson, Jo Sykes, and Frank Williams.

Members of the AAC Committee: Back row standing (L–R): Eryl Lowe (Catering & Bonjour Festival), Lloyd Williams (Motorcycle Team Teader), Peter Curtis (Captain of Bright Community Centre Checkpoint), Warren Soussa (Motorcycle Team), Ron McInnes (Volunteer & Accommodation Captain), Peter Martin (Weather Captain), Phil Bellette (Ride Director) Middle row standing: Alan Tonkin (Equipment Captain), Gareth Evans (Vice-President Vic Region) Middle row seated: Don and Enid Halton (Co-captains Falls Creek Checkpoint), Kaye Frank (Cocaptain Mt Buffalo Checkpoint), Robyn Curtis (Co-captain Bright Community Centre), Kirsty Harris (Captain Watergap) Front row seated: Martin Haynes (Equipment Co-captain), Keith Lowe (Signage Captain & Bonjour Festival), Stephen George (Transport Captain), John Rundle (Captain Mt Buffalo Checkpoint), Rodney Snibson (Volunteer Captain & AAC Secretary)

Peter and Robyn Curtis have a long association with Audax and with the AAC. They were the co-captains at the Bright Community Centre. From 7 am, they were organising the checkpoint. They wanted to make sure that the toilet truck was parked in the appropriate spot. Riding his Birdy, Peter kept in contact with Howitt Park. One of their first problems was a leaking urn and Russell Taylor made several trips to the hardware store to find washers to plug the leak. During the morning, Peter had to release volunteers to help out at Howitt Park. The volunteers included Barry and Keran Challenger, Fran Faul, Robyn Giles, Fil Nardella, Christine and Russell Taylor,

Fortunately the ambulance was nearby at MacKays Lookout. The team members were Karen Smith (Food Coordinator), Leigh Kilpatrick, Glenn Druery, Karen Ward, Bernadette Cranswick, Helen Lew Ton, Brian Joyce and Don Watson (Signs Coordinator). Glenn brought his children to the mountain and they were very helpful. Chris Rogers, was running trial monitoring of the 70km riders. The Mt Buffalo Gatehouse was manned all day alternately by Mal Faul and Frank Plata. As the riders were returning from Tawonga Gap, it was obvious that many riders had failed to read their documentation of road continued on page 25 Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Audax Alpine Classic 2008

The view from Buffalo Noel Cranswick

The Audax Alpine Classic has come a long way in the twelve years that I’ve been involved as either a competitor or volunteer. The numbers have increased each year with over 2000 riders leaving the start in 2008. By way of background, I first attempted the 100 km ride (as it was then) up Mt Buffalo, but failed to finish due to a lack of fitness (and using a 42/21 ratio). I came back to complete it two years later and have now completed the 130 km and 200 km rides several times. I first volunteered in 2001 and was stationed at the water stop on Buffalo. This was a fairly low key affair with just me, a single water tank on the back of a trailer and a hose. I filled bottles with the hose and repeated how far to the top of the climb (4 km that year). In the intervening years I continued to volunteer in many positions including the top of Mt Buffalo at the Chalet and at Bright where we set up before 5 am and where, for several years, I announced the start. I was stationed at the gatehouse on Buffalo two years ago when it was really hot. Last year, I spent the whole day at Howitt Park running the timing clocks. Water stop

This year, again I was one of the volunteers stationed at the water stop on Mt Buffalo. Things had changed a lot in the intervening years. There were barriers, signs, artificial turf and two vehicles. We had two large water tanks and a fairly complicated hose system which we did not fully utilise. We had four 20 litre water containers which we filled by hand so there were multiple access points for water. Peter Horsley was the boss and he runs a tight ship despite his easy going demeanour. Also there was Barry Stevenson in his first year as a volunteer. My eight year old. son, Rodney was also there for moral support and to occasionally spray the odd rider (more on this later). On the day

Fortunately the weather was kind and was nothing like the carnage of 2006. The temperature was about 32°c at its highest but with cloud cover and a gentle breeze, it didn’t feel so hot. We left Bright at about 6.45 am having watched all of the 200 km 24

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riders start from the comfort of Lawler’s Hut. After setting up the “2 km to the water stop” and “1 km to the water stop” signs, we set about constructing the site with barriers, bike racks and artificial turf (rather than seats as in previous years). After a brief interlude, the 70 km riders started rolling up. All seemed in good spirits and water was not a major issue so early in the day. The morning was intermittently interrupted by the loud rumble of the vintage motor cycles proceeding up the mountain. Many waved hello; some did not. We also met a small number of walkers attempting the “Big Walk” from the Gatehouse to the Chalet. All were offered (and most gratefully accepted) a top up of their water. After about 11.30 am, the main group of riders from the 140 km and then the 200 km events started filing past. From 12.30 until

4 pm the flow of riders was fairly constant and, at times, there were insufficient bike racks to cater for the number of riders. Despite the large numbers of riders who passed by the water stop (something in excess of 1500), we had plenty of water left at the end. The last two riders passed through the stop at about 5.15 pm and we were soon about the business of packing up. We emptied the main tanks of the remaining water and then packed everything, including all of the barriers into the large truck (thank God for hydraulic tailgates) with the help of a couple of the motor bike marshals. Spray

One of the highlights for many riders at the stop was the face and head spray, mostly provided by Peter. He had a strict protocol for this which Rodney had some difficulty with. It was all to do with his theory of removing salt from the eyes to

Yeah, Buffalo will do that to you… Stretched out on the turf at WaterLand.

Audax Alpine Classic 2008

Merci les bénévoles from page 25 changes and failed to read the signs. The new directions were that riders returning to Howitt Park from Tawonga Gap had to pass Howitt Lane and turn right at Star Rd and then right again to Riverside Ave. Volunteers had to be found to man Howitt Lane, Star and Gavan Rds and Riverside Avenue for 6 to 8 hours. Ron McInnes and Bill Jeppesen manned Howitt Lane; Ray Stenhouse manned Riverside Ave with relief provided by Rodney Snibson, Des Taylor and Peter Makin.

“Aah! Peter, that is sooo good!”

prevent stinging which included removal of the helmet and any other extraneous headgear (and seemed very successful). Rodney soon became bored with this regimented approach (where was the fun in this—he just wanted to spray everyone) and so retired to a chair in the shade to watch Dr Who DVDs on my laptop. Peter was a victim of his own success and a continuous long line of willing participants kept him busy through the middle of the day. Cramp

One of my jobs at the stop was to deal with any injuries or illnesses. The main issue was cramping and we had about 50 riders so afflicted. The exact cause of cramps in exercise is controversial and much has been written on the subject (including on the Audax Australia website). It is probably multi-factorial and contributing factors probably include genetics, electrolyte involvement (potassium and magnesium are the main ions implicated) as well as hydration status, exercise effort and fitness level. I assumed that every rider who presented with cramping was probably at least mildly dehydrated and the majority also needed some electrolyte supplementation.

I was able to get most to them to rest and stretch out on the artificial turf while they consumed one or two bottles of our electrolyte mixture. In the end, all got back on their respective bikes and proceeded in a heavenly direction. As far as I know, all made it to the top. Exhausting

By the end of the day, we were all well and truly knackered and the most we could do was drag ourselves down the mountain for little bit of dinner and to enjoy a bit of the entertainment and a crepe or two at the Bonjour Bright Festival. We had a fantastic day helping out—it was as exhausting as the 200 km ride (without the muscle pain). As a post script, my wife Mariam and daughter Bernadette were volunteers at the top of Buffalo and enjoyed their day as much as Rodney and I did; we were debriefing well into the next day about our experiences. We were in awe of the incredible organisation behind the event and it is impossible to overstate Phil Bellette’s contribution as the ride director.

The waterpoints were welcome sights for weary AAC cyclists. The waterpoints at Tawonga Gap and Mt Buffalo provide both a spray and water to the riders, reducing the risk of riders experiencing dehydration. Kirsty Harris recruited her own team of Brenda Masters and Andrew van Andel for WaterGap. Peter Horsley worked with Noel Cranswick and Barry Stevenson at WaterLand. All three are experienced Audax riders. The Howitt Park Team worked under incredible pressure to process the brevets, provide food and drink to the riders. Merryn Rowlands ably led the team. Her team included Steve Agnew, Lyndall Boyle, Pat Dorey, Peter Makin, Rhys Rowlands, Stephanie Jones, and Des Taylor. Kim Travers provided much assistance. Maree Martin and her team distributed the T-shirts and the berets. Sophy Morley helped out on the T-shirts Thanks to all

Many thanks to all the volunteers. They did an excellent job considering the pressure. Volunteering does not get easier. Apologies to volunteers who were not named. Many people make contributions to the AAC and not all are recognised. Many of the volunteers did a range of tasks. Only the main tasks have been listed.

We all hope to be asked to volunteer, as a family, again next year. Checkpoint Autumn 2008



What I eat on the bike Peter “NancyBoy” Annear

Just after the Alpine Classic, there was a spirited discussion on the Audax-Oz mailing list about the benefits or otherwise of gels versus “real” food. At one point NancyBoy took a “deep breath and jumped in the deep end” and offered the following thoughts. I’m going to sit somewhere in the middle on all of this. I’ve been following the Hammer document and the research behind it for quite a while now and done some personal experimentation. Everything that follows is my own experience and may or may not apply to others. You’ve been warned. Ultra-endurance events (lasting more than three or four hours) require more nutritional inputs than the regular sports drink with carbs and electrolytes. Something around the 4–to–1, carbohydrate–protein ratio seems to be supported by research. Of course the carbohydrates should be relatively slow uptake which will help reduce blood sugar spikes. The electrolytes should include a range of salts especially potassium and magnesium not just sodium, and somewhat balance the loss through exercise. That’s the theory… When exercising to maximum levels (e.g. setting a personal best for the Alpine Classic or a 100 km run) I find it quite difficult to ingest real foods in anything like the quantities required and so supplement my intake with sports supplement drinks, gels and electrolyte tablets and such. The harder I go, the harder it is to take on significant quantities of “real” food and therefore the greater the proportion of “supplements”. For instance on the recent Alpine Classic when I set a PB and had my heart rate over 165 for a total of more than 5 hours (at 49 years of age), I consumed: • 2 × 750 ml bottles of Endura Sport Drink at 6% carbs 26

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• 10 Lava Salts electrolyte tablets • 6 bananas • 1 fruit muffin • 1 ham sandwich on rye • half a salad roll • 1 tub of fruit and jelly • 3 carb gels • 2 bottles of Hammer Perpetuem at 6% carbs (not as recommended) • 6 bottles of water I ate all of the bananas and the ham sandwich while riding. I can’t stomach sport drinks mixed any stronger than 6%, it starts to mess with my gut chemistry and I don’t take up the fluids as well. If you mix at much higher rates, you will need to consume water along with the drink. As I tire and get dehydrated drinking the sweet warm sport drink gets harder and I tend to drink water. It’s also much better for pouring over your head when hot.

According to my heart rate monitor I burned around 7500 calories. At a very rough estimate this food contained around 2500–3000 calories. No where near replacement. Two hours before the ride I consumed six Oat-Brits with no fat milk, two standard drinks of Sustagen Sport with no fat milk, a couple of low fat breakfast bars, two bananas, two large glasses of grapefruit juice and a cup of coffee. I ate a carb-biased, low-fat diet for a couple of days before. When I finished, I ate everything in sight, steering clear of fats as much as I could. This seems like a pretty good diet for me for this kind of event. However

In longer events, where such a high work output can’t be sustained, I try to stick much more to whole food, but with the same general balance. This ensures lots of other things continue to work “Real randonneurs eat pies.” Stephen Rowlands fuels up on a pie and properly, like fibre to keep chocolate milk at the 2006 Lancefield Lazy Legs. the bowel working, minerals and trace elements needed to sustain proper metabolism over longer periods and just to keep me feeling like I’ve got real food on my taste buds and in my stomach. Where possible I try to get nutrition from whole foods and where this is difficult, I supplement with “sports products”. But no matter what, I can find no way to replace what I’m using during an event. You just need to train your body to operate at a temporary deficit. Post-ride

The same ideas come into play once I get off the bike after a ride or a training session. The

ideal post-ride meal is some pasta with lean grilled chicken strips tossed through, hot or cold. Or maybe some Weetbix and milk with a handful of nuts. Lots of carbs and some protein, straight off the bike is great for recovery. This kind of food isn’t always available, like when I get to work in the morning after a hard 50 km into the wind. So then a nice big shot of Sustagen Sport or Hammer Perpetuem goes down a treat. Or as at the end of the Alpine Classic, I could be heard extolling the virtues of the custard tarts being handed out in the park. Carbs + protein = great! (Yeah, I know there’s way too much fat, but I figured I’d earned it.) Just try things out when it doesn’t matter too much and do what works for you. Use whole food where it makes sense and supplement it with “sports products” where

appropriate. Steer away from fats because they don’t metabolise quickly on the road. Don’t use simple sugars (e.g. Coke and mars bars) because they will spike your blood sugar, your pancreas will squirt you full of insulin and you’ll have an energy crash. I don’t want to make my thoughts about nutrition sound too grand. I really just try to get down whatever I can and the above is just my accumulated experience from a bunch of different riding, running and triathlon related events. What I’m trying to get at is that the closer I want to push myself to my absolute limit, the more I need to focus on getting my diet right. If I had have eaten that custard tart before riding up Buffalo, it might have finished me. I also know from bitter experience that eating nuts during or before an event gives me

serious tummy trouble. As it was I did have trouble with my stomach on the last 8 km of Buffalo and had to stop on the roadside for an emergency and then to slow down. But by then I was nearing the end. For a much longer, less frenetic event, I think the advice to just eat lots of what you normally eat is ideal. That’s certainly how I approach 600 or more. If in doubt, eat another banana. If your pace, stomach and riding style allow, please have a caffé latte and baklava, egg and bacon roll, a beer and steak or whatever takes your fancy. (Yes, beer has an analysis very similar to a good sport drink.) Remember, riding a bike is supposed to be fun!

Hops help hydration and heart We haven’t been able to track down the original source of this one, but it was widely reported in the media recently (and on Audax-Oz, of course) that a drop of the amber nectar is helpful in rehydrating after heavy exercise. A study led by Professor Manuel Garzon of Granada University in Spain had subjects run on a treadmill at a temperature of 40°c to the point of exhaustion. After researchers measured their hydration levels, concentration ability and motor skills, the lucky half of the subjects were then given a pint of Spanish lager to drink, while the

remainder were given water. Both groups were then allowed to drink as much water as they wanted. Professor Garzon said the rehydration effect in the subjects who were given beer was “slightly better” than among those given only water. Woohoo! Meanwhile, an article in Time magazine ( reported on a “crowd pleasing” Danish study that suggests that moderate consumption of alcohol has a similar effect on the heart to exercise—and a “compounded effect” when exercise and

booze are combined. Double woohoo! Dr. Morten Gronbaek, of Denmark’s National Institute of Public Health, found that people who neither drink nor exercise have the highest risk of heart disease, those who partake of either have a 30% reduced risk, while exercisers who drink have a 50% reduced risk. Age is a factor­—there is no preventative effect until the age at which heart disease becomes an “appreciable risk”, so the benefits don’t kick-in much before 45–50 years of age.

Are raisins as good as gels? In a study funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board, entitled “Raisin Consumption and Exercise Performance of Endurance Athletes”, Dr Mark Kern of the Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, University of California San Diego, found raisins to be a good alternative to sports gels. In the study, endurance-trained cyclists (4 males and 4 females) completed two feeding-performance trials where changes in metabolism and cycling performance were compared after consumption of raisins (a moderate to low glycemic index food) versus a commercial sports gel (a

high glycemic index food). There were no differences in performance in the 45 minute cycling trial (at 75% VO2max). Measures of metabolic substrates after exercise were the same with both the sports gel and raisins except there were more free fatty acids after the pre-exercise ingestion of raisins. This increase in the free fatty acids indicates that raisins subtly, but favorably, improved metabolism. The authors concluded that raisins have similar performance effects to commercial sports gel products, but raisins are a better alternative since they provide more micronutrients, an acid-neutralizing load

to the kidneys and are a more cost-effective and convenient food for use during exercise. The final report to the California Raisin Marketing Board can be found at RaisinConsumption.pdf, and the research paper was published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research (Volume 21, Issue 4) last year under the title “Metabolic and performance effects of raisins versus sports gel as pre-exercise feedings in cyclists”.

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Paris–Brest–Paris 2007

PBP from the driver’s seat Sheila Sharpe

Having been the support driver on a few events in the past, I thought it was about time a support driver did the report instead of the rider. Eight kiwis were on the starting sheet including two women, Marion and Jenny. As we headed back to our hotel after the 90-hour start it absolutely tipped down with rain; Steve was just grateful that his start was tomorrow morning and hopefully the rain would go. Back at the start line for about 4.30 am, at least it wasn’t raining although it had rained all night. After a safety briefing on the line which included some dodgy road surface and a warning about the prolific French road furniture, the starting hooter blew for the 84-hour group at exactly 5 am and they disappeared into the night. As support driver, my plan was to get Smiles and the Silver Fern at the start.


Checkpoint Autumn 2008

to the first check point before them at Villaines-la-Juhel for about 2 pm, being some 220 km away. Still trying to get to grips with driving on the wrong side of the road, using the wrong hand to change gear with and trying to map-read all at the same time, meant that I got there 20 minutes after them. I was also paranoid about avoiding their route—support vehicles found on the riders’ route would incur their rider a penalty. The lads had a baguette or two from the car and were feeling good and set off again about 3 pm. I’d decided I was sick of driving already and wanted to chill out a bit; lucky I did really as 20 minutes later I heard a familiar voice shouting, “Thank god you’re still here, what a stuff up!” Steve had left his

control document wallet in the boot of the car! He then had to do a 20 km time trial back to Anton to catch him again—just what he needed. On his way back to catch up with Anton, a rider passed him, which because he’d been going so fast hadn’t happened so far, so Steve said hello to him. The guy turned out to be Stéphane Couge, a past French National Champion, who rode with him for about 80 km. Steve says it was like riding along with Michael Jackson, as when all the school kids on the side of the roads were cheering, they recognised him and were shouting, “Hey Stéphane!” Very cool. Stéphane then followed his progress on the Internet and met up and rode with him

again on the return journey. It was shortly after this that the rain started and never stopped again until the Friday afternoon. I leap-frogged the next control at Fougères, and met up with them again at Tinteniac later that night about 8 pm being 365 km.

N164 which is a pretty good road and I just couldn’t see the centre line, I was almost aquaplaning; I had to pull onto the SOS bay for 10 minutes until the cloudburst passed. Poor buggers who got caught in that on a bike!

people. Bodies were lying everywhere in emergency blankets and it was raining again. It had now been raining on the 90-hour people since Monday night and it was now Thursday morning.

It had rained constantly and they were soaked. The buffet food at the control was perfect: salty pasta dishes, semolina puddings, bread, hot coffee. And because they still hadn’t really caught up with the 3000 90-hour guys, the queues were okay at that stage. Loudéac was the next control. I was parked on the street at the back entrance to the school having a sleep in the car when Steve texted me to say they’d arrived. It was 1.30 am. They came and got some food and then they slept in the car for three hours while I sat in the restaurant/hall area with 1500 smelly damp soggy cyclists. I woke the lads up about 5 am (it was Wednesday morning now) and they set off again at about 6 am into the drizzle for Carhaix from Loudéac. In January I’d managed to book the last hotel bed in town for tonight in Loudéac and I wanted to get the checking-in all sorted before I left so that we didn’t have to worry about it later. I found a laundrette and got cycling gear and merino tops washed. It was tipping it down all this time. I’d decided that I wouldn’t go all the way to Brest but would catch them at Carhaix on the return journey later that day. They got in about 5.30 pm. Very wet! They had a feed, gave people cheek, met up with Patrick and Jenny, the Kiwi couple who were riding a tandem, and changed clothing again. They left Carhaix about 7.30 pm Wednesday evening heading for the hotel room at Loudéac, which no doubt helped. Half an hour later I met up with Douglas Mabey, another of the Kiwi contingent. He’d lost his support crew as they were also supporting Josh in the 80-hour group so the distance between them made it impossible to support both of them, so Doug was on his own, but going okay under the circumstances. On the way to Loudéac, I had never seen rain like it. At one stage I was on the

Steve Sharpe mixes with heavy traffic.

I got back to Loudéac about 11 pm and parked down the road from the hotel (having checked in earlier in the day) and took a load of bags up to the room. Then I headed to where I’d parked the last time I was at Loudéac behind the control. But we’d just missed each other and by that time the lads were already in the hotel room and were showered by the time I got there. That hotel room was bliss. Steve had changed his merino layer for polypro earlier that day and it was useless. He’d got really cold walking to the hotel (having left his bike at the control) in the downpour but at least they had a hotel room for the night which was more than the other poor buggers in their survival blankets had. Anton said he’d set his phone alarm for 3 am. Next thing we knew it was 5.50! It had rained all night so we figured they’d been in the best place. Just as we were walking back to the control, the heavens opened again. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such abject misery being suffered in one place by so many

I spent a while longer in the hotel room trying to dry out gear with the hairdryer. I was getting a bit concerned that due to the oversleep we were running close to control closing times. The Tinteniac control closed at 1.50 pm on Thursday and they arrived about 11.30 am. By the time they ate and changed and got away again it was past 12.30 pm. It just didn’t give them much leeway for incidents. The Fougères control would close at 6.10 pm but I shouldn’t have worried. They got in at 3 pm. Fougères control was a shocker. It was a reasonably sized city and as usual there weren’t any signs on the support vehicle route to show where the control was. I just had to drive round and round til I came across a cyclist then follow them, not knowing whether they were coming or going, usually going so I’d end up out in the country again and have to do a 67 point turn back into town. continued on page 40 Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Cogito ergo zoom? Making sense of a high speed bike crash Tom Nankivell

Soon after completing ‘the fastest 5000km ever’ (see Checkpoint Summer 2007/08) , an equipment failure while descending Canberra’s “Mont Rouge” put Tom Nankivell’s audaxious cycling career in jeopardy. In this article, he recounts and reflects on one bike ride he’d prefer not to have taken. In hindsight, the events of 15 December 2007 were not entirely unforeseeable. I had become aware during the week that my back tyre was getting quite worn, with some threads from the casing just starting to peek through. However, for various reasons I was unable to get hold of my replacement tyres before the weekend, so I started that Saturday morning’s ride up Red Hill on the old rubber.

in once more, but again I sensed the mushy rear end slipping away, and by now the outer edge of the corner was approaching fast. More heart beats went missing.

In hindsight, one option at this stage would have been to try to regain control and then jam on the brakes and turn in sharply, and hope somehow to stay both on the tarmac and the bike, although the more likely result would have been to leave a trail of flesh smeared all down the road and the gravel verge.

The lure of “the wind-in-the-hair feeling of unconstrained freedom” crowded out any thoughts about the condition of my rear tyre…

In very little time though, that option no longer existed: I was going too fast and had little bitumen left to play with, and had no confidence to try to turn the bike again anyway. I was heading straight for the edge and, in effect, I had essentially frozen and become a passenger on a wild ride that would take me off the roadway, across the verge and into the long grass that lay ahead of me, and whatever treats might await beyond it on the slopes of Red Hill.

After reaching the summit, I set off back down the hill using gravity and gradient to gather speed unfettered, as I had done scores of times before. I cut a nice groove through the first right hand corner, then sliced through the next left and set up for the long right hand sweeper. By now my speed was approaching 70 km/h: fast, certainly, but not I thought sub-optimally so…

I automatically shifted my weight and corrected the steering to bring the rear into line, but while fortunately I was still upright, I was now aimed almost straight ahead again, instead of heading towards the apex of the bend as planned. I gently tried to turn 30

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

What followed seemed to happen in a combination of slow-motion and fastforward: I remember just four things about the crash, but each memory is very vivid.

Photo ©

I started to turn and lean in to the right, but instead of following in the tracks of the front wheel, the rear wheel slid out to the left. The cause was not one of Red Hill’s notorious mid-corner bumps. Rather, the problem was with the rear tyre. I knew this feeling immediately: the tube had either deflated or blown, and the tyre now seemed to be rolling around under the rim, with minimal traction. My heart skipped its first beat.

First, as I speared off the tarmac, I had a resigned acceptance that something potentially quite serious was about to happen. Surprisingly, I was not feeling scared at this point. Rather, I felt more like a disinterested third-party observer, detached but curious about exactly how the crash would unfurl and what the outcome might be. The second thing I sensed was hitting that grass—it actually felt like I was flying sideways through a cane field or through

thick reeds: thwack, thwack, thwack. By this stage it seems that I must already have become dislodged from my bike, but I do not recall that happening. In hindsight, that long grass probably softened the blow of the crash substantially.

Due to my wrist, I have not yet been allowed to remount my bike, although that didn’t prevent me from piloting a trike around the Alpine Classic. The good news is that I stand to make a full recovery.

Third, I had a sense of accelerating as if being sucked down by gravity in some kind of free-fall. This was not good: I really wanted to be decelerating or preferably stationary! It didn’t make sense until later, when I realised that I had careered down an embankment several metres off the road.

Reflecting on this experience, there is a simple and obvious reminder in it about the importance of maintaining the key equipment on one’s bike. That said, I’ve ridden before on tyres in worse condition that haven’t blown, and I’ve also dealt with blow-outs/decompressions without serious consequence, albeit at lower speeds. The problem here was a combination of marginal equipment and failure to adjust speed to reflect it—really quite a dumb mistake on my part.

My final thought, which I presume really occurred several seconds after I had actually come to a halt, was along the lines of, “Hmmm, as far as I can tell the crash seems to have ended…and I still seem to be alive!” As it turned out, not only was I not very deceased but I seem to have escaped lightly compared to many others who have crashed at high speed. The left side of my body got away with just a few scrapes and sprains, although on the right side I had numerous grazes and gashes from the shin to the hip, a large chunk out of the knee, more flesh wounds on the arm, and a couple of broken bones in the wrist. I spent the rest of the day in Emergency and then a couple of weeks laid up at home. Recovery was initially quite painful, but more recently just frustrating.


Obviously, before starting out on that ride I was aware that there was some risk, but as I began the descent of Red Hill, which is one of my favourites in Canberra, the lure of “the wind-in-the-hair feeling of unconstrained freedom” crowded out any thoughts about the condition of my rear tyre. In other words, I simply wasn’t sufficiently alert. But then, I wouldn’t have needed to be had I changed that tyre earlier. Beyond (re)learning that lesson, the question arises as to whether my having experienced this crash will reduce my penchant for cycling in the future, and the

speed and risks I am willing to take while riding? Of course, cycling is an inherently risky activity, and the more one cycles, the greater the risk—indeed, most of my ACT Audax pals seem to have had at least one major crash during their cycling careers. Equally, the faster one cycles, the greater the risk. At the extreme, some cyclists die. Up until now, I have been quite a rapid descender, if not a totally fearless one—I clocked around 85 km/h during the last Fitz’s Epic, for instance. On one view, this crash has changed nothing significantly in my risk assessments and benefit-cost calculations. While I’ve got another ‘data point’, and a strong personal reminder of some of the ‘costs’ entailed in crashes, this is the first serious bike crash I can remember since being hit by a car in my youth, and so it is not inconsistent with my pre-existing probability and risk judgements. That said, I suspect I might become a tad more cautious when I get back on the bike, at least for a while. Time will tell. Certainly though, I hope that I never have to completely give up on the joy that comes from hurtling down mountains on a bike. As one of my Canberra colleagues says of cycling: “Allez-liua”.

Broken your wrist, so can’t ride a bike? Ride a trike instead! Tom being accompanied around the Alpine Classic course.

Photo: Top Shots ( Checkpoint Autumn 2008


An attempt at the Around Australia Record Dave Byrnes

Following a rewarding, but very challenging, unsupported 4300 km mountain bike ride from Wilsons Promontory to Cape York in 2006 via back roads and 4WD tracks, I decided to give sand and corrugations a miss for a while and stick to sealed road surfaces for my 2007 cycling adventure. An attempt on Eugen Schilter’s outstanding record of 55 days 17 hours and 8 minutes for riding around Australia solo and unsupported caught my imagination. I worked out that an average of 270 km per day would complete the trip in 53 days. At the time, I had never even ridden 270 km in one day and wondered whether my 56 year old body could sustain such a challenge. I thought it possible, but not probable. A few weeks before my departure, I discovered that Eugen Schilter had now offered a prize of $15,000 for the person who breaks his record (see, subject to following a minimum specified route and some other rules. This added some spice to my quest, although I was making the attempt regardless. The edited extracts below are from my diary. For the full record you can visit www. Day 1: 20 July Gosford–Taree, NSW (227 km)

All of the preparation meant that, for the second night in a row, I didn’t get much sleep, so I was already feeling tired when I left the apartment to cycle the two kilometres to Adcock Park in Gosford, my “official” departure point. It was gratifying to see so many of my friends had made the effort to get up so early to see me off (I hope they have reason to come back in 53 days!)

Dinner in Cloncurry

It was very interesting to meet Eugen Schilter. What can you say about a guy who left Sydney at 2 am, carrying a farewell banner, to ride 80 km, some of it along a very dark and winding mountain road, to see me off. And then rode back again after riding the first 12 km with me!

Every so often all day the road crossed very big rivers flowing from the nearby Great Divide to the ocean through large flat floodplains predominantly grazed by dairy cattle. Between the river valleys were low mountain ranges so I frequently had some climbing to do.


Checkpoint Autumn 2008

I rode along in the freeway breakdown lane wondering what on earth I had committed myself to. One positive was that there was a nice following wind, so I was making good time despite a reasonably heavily-laden bike. Day 2: 21 July Taree–Woolgoolga, NSW (268 km)

From Macksville to Coffs Harbour I travelled along one of Australia’s most notorious stretches of road where there is two-way traffic and the road winds through a small mountain range. There are many accidents along this stretch and little room for cyclists on the edges. It was busy but I passed through without incident except for being hit by an empty plastic drink bottle thrown from a passing car. Day 3: 22 July Woolgoolga–Burleigh Heads, Qld (299 km)

After getting away as planned by 4:20 am in mild conditions my optimism for the day soon fell foul of more front chainring problems as I climbed a mountain

range heading for Grafton. I found myself fiddling around trying to work out what was happening in the dark, and then couldn’t get my headlights going again for some time when I resumed riding. To top it off, as I descended the northern side of the mountain range, the temperature dropped precipitously and I went from being hot from the climb to shivering with frozen toes in 10 kilometres.

the road just before I reached them and managed to steer between them before they realised I was coming and bolted.

After lunch I headed north out of town and immediately began encountering some significant hills. To make it more difficult, the traffic was heavy, and I was feeling very tired. I began questioning what I was doing and began to doubt my ability to finish.

Day 11: 30 July Mount Garnet–Georgetown, Qld (213 km)

Day 5: 24 July Gympie–Miriam Vale, Qld (299 km)

I imagine I will have plenty of more days like today. Fourteen hours of riding with a couple of short breaks in the only towns I passed through, interspersed with long road sections through mainly arid forest. I did a lot of dreaming about spending the rest of my retirement lying on a couch watching the midday movie and being served with lime milkshakes. I have learned to hate the sign that says “Overtaking Lane Ahead” because it almost always means you are about to start climbing again.

Although I was exhausted, the last couple of hours cycling through the bush after sunset with the full moon rising behind me and Venus bright in the sky in front of me were magic. There wasn’t a breath of wind, just the night sounds of the bush.

I’m now in road train country and they travel at all hours. I carefully left the roadway each time one appeared when the road was narrow. Often the sealed section on these outback roads is only wide enough for one vehicle, and the road trains don’t like to leave the sealed surface because it makes the trailers, particularly the third one, unmanageable. I stopped for a late breakfast in Mount Surprise (122 km) and rethought my strategy. I decided that I needed to start much earlier each day, say soon after midnight, and stop earlier in the day so that I had time to find a bed, dinner and supplies.

Day 12: 31 July Georgetown–Normanton, Qld (300 km)

I got up at 12:30 am and was on the road by 1:20 am. It was cool but pleasant and I made good time on what seemed like my private bike path through the brilliantly moonlit bush. The countryside was mildly undulating savannah with occasional grazing cattle, which I had to watch out for on the road. I’ll leave very early again tomorrow, and won’t see any settlements until the Burke & Wills Roadhouse (192 km) so need to be reasonably self-sufficient. Apart from the need for sleep today, I don’t feel too bad, but don’t know how I’ll go doing another long day tomorrow. I feel I’m near the edge. Days 13 & 14: 1 & 2 August Normanton–Mount Isa, Qld (494 km)

I set out from Normanton at 1:20 am in the hope of making it as far as Cloncurry (380 km) during the day. At around 5.00 am, after catching myself twice riding off the road while dozing I accepted the inevitable, found a quiet spot about 20 metres off the road and slept for two hours.

Passing through the Kimberley

Day 7: 26 July Marlborough–Mackay, Qld (229 km)

The ride to Sarina was punctuated with two pleasant surprises which helped pass the time. Firstly, I came around a corner near a place called Clearview and there was the ocean, translucent, blue and calm (inside the Great Barrier Reef here), stretching out to some low mountainous islands far offshore. The second bit of luck was a strategically placed home-made ice-cream shop where I enjoyed a waffle cone with scoops of mango and cranberry ice-cream sitting out on their verandah—superb. Day 8: 27 July Mackay–Ayr, Qld (306 km)

As dawn broke I was riding through a high valley used for cattle and cane fields and surrounded by forested craggy peaks with wisps of fog cladding some of their slopes. The road had levelled out a bit and I was now making good time with an occasional following breeze. Day 10: 29 July Ingham–Mount Garnet, Qld (282 km)

Narrowly missed four cows while descending a hill at speed in the dark tonight. I suddenly realised there was something on Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Hello cycling friends. Have you ever thought about travelling around Europe on a bicycle? As you can probably imagine, it is far more rewarding than being “shuttled” by bus, car, or train from one historical site to another, from city to city, and hotel to hotel. While this form of travel is convenient for tour operators, it can be disappointing for people who enjoy being active and want to see more than the inside of a tour bus or selected cultural monuments. Bicycle touring, on the other hand, allows you to see people, villages, and the countryside—in other words, everyday life—up close. Czech Active Tours, a bicycle touring company, offers exactly this type of travel experience. By travelling around Europe on a bicycle, you will not only visit the great cultural and historical sites but also experience everyday life and see many places - architecturally amazing as well as naturally beautiful - that regular tourists and tourist buses never go to. And by cycling every day, you will burn enough calories to savour the local delicacies and beverages to your heart’s content! In 2008 we are offering three different trips. One takes you to the marvellous fairytale towns and romantic countryside of the Czech Republic. This tour starts and ends in Prague, which many people argue is the most beautiful city in Europe. Our second tour takes you from Prague to Budapest in Hungary. On the way, you will cycle along the Danube River and visit the four countries (Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary) and their capitals (Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest) that comprised the former AustroHungarian Empire. Four countries in 10 days… Finally, our third tour goes to Andalucía in Spain. This tour takes you through the breathtaking countryside and whitewashed mountainside villages of Southern Spain. Along the way, you will visit its three major jewels, the cities of Seville with its cathedral, Córdoba with its Mezquita, and Granada with the Alhambra Palace. Whichever tour you choose, you will experience an unforgettable vacation, excellent cycling, great food, architecture and cities and towns dating back many hundreds of years. Most of all, you will return home understanding the culture, history, nature and people of the country(ies) you visited much more than most “regular” tourists ever do. What will you get for the very reasonable price that our tours cost? We provide accommodation in carefully selected, mostly 3–4 star hotels and pensions that have character and reflect the local culture. We take care of all breakfasts and most evening dinners. We transport your luggage from one hotel to the next. You will have the benefit of a tour leader and a tour guide on the route, along with detailed maps and cycling directions. Our support vehicle will provide you with any necessary assistance including mechanical help, some snacks, and yes, also shuttle options. City and historical town tours and entrance fees and tours in various castles and churches are also covered. We also include unique cultural activities, such as a flamenco dance show in Spain, wine tasting in Moravia on the Prague to Budapest tour, and a tour of the original Budweiser Brewery in the Czech Republic. Our tours are suitable for road bikes, fitness bikes, and hybrids. You can bring your own bike or you can rent from us. For more information, please visit our website at, email us at info@ or call me on (08) 9417 9469. We are looking forward to hearing from you. See you in Europe! Regards, Ludvik

I reached Cloncurry at about 9:30 pm and began looking for a roadhouse but the only place I could find open was a bottle shop where I bought a packet of corn chips, some chocolate bars and some Coke for dinner. Days 15 & 16: 3 & 4 August Mount Isa–Three Ways, NT (641 km)

I left Mount Isa reluctantly and with little motivation at 1:30 am with the prospect of two long days in front of me. Eventually, I rolled into the seemingly deserted Barkly Homestead Roadhouse at 3:00 am the next day and saw that it opened at 6:30 am. I found myself a corner on the concrete flooring of the verandah where I was somewhat protected from the icy wind and had a sleep for three hours. Day 17: 5 August Three Ways–Elliott, NT (242 km)

Given the relatively modest target distance for the day, I decided that a 4:20 am start would be sufficient. The hills aren’t steep, but they are there. Sometimes you are not even aware that you are climbing, just that your speed has dropped a little. You can see a crest in the far distance and gradually climb to pass over it. The road has very long straight stretches so you can see many kilometres ahead. Day 19: 7 August Mataranka–Victoria River Roadhouse, NT (300 km)

Visited the students of Rod Gregg’s class at Casuarina Street Primary School (Katherine) to talk about my trip and answer their questions.

Crossing the border

and had a pizza for dinner while watching the cross-section of life that visits such establishments at night.

The last part of the ride was through Gregory National Park which was scenically spectacular with the sun setting over craggy mesas and dappling the valleys.

Having failed to find a room when I telephoned a few places two nights ago, I resolved to keep riding given it was 359 km to my next target town, Hall’s Creek. By this time, my backside was badly chafed from the hot sweaty ride earlier in the day. So I spent pretty much the whole night climbing into the Kimberleys without sitting down on the saddle. It was hard work and my knees became sore, but by daybreak the chafing pain was more tolerable.

Days 20 & 21: 8 & 9 August Victoria River Roadhouse–Warmun, WA (515 km)

Day 23: 11 August Fitzroy Crossing–Willare Bridge Roadhouse (227 km)

When I reached the Western Australian border and was interrogated by the WA Quarantine officer who wanted to know if I was carrying any live animals (they were looking for cane toads)! From there it was 43 km to Kununurra which I reached at 7:00 pm, local time, having gained 90 minutes by crossing into the WA time zone. I found a huge roadhouse/supermarket

I left town at 8:40 am for the 227 km ride to the Willare Bridge Roadhouse. In between the two, the map showed there was nothing, and that proved to be the case.

The tedium of the afternoon was broken by seeing a cattle drive of several hundred cattle and eight or ten drovers parallel with the road.

There was a brilliant red sunset which would have looked great from Cable Beach at Broome, which is only about 100 kilometres to the west. Many times during

the day I wished I was in the water catching waves at that beach. Day 25: 13 August Roebuck Plains Roadhouse–Sandfire Roadhouse (289 km)

I left at 3:15 am in cool weather and pedalled south west out into the scrubby plains. I made reasonable progress, stopping every 40 km for a snack and drink while it was still cool. Around 100 km I began to notice some pain in the front of my left leg just above the knee, but didn’t take too much notice of it as it has been quite common to get occasional niggles which come and go. By 200 km I was in real trouble with the leg, which was painful to bend and to push on the pedal with. I pedalled with my right leg with my left leg just going through the motions. Even that was painful and I spent some kilometres with the left foot off the pedal and dangling while I pedalled with the right.

continued on page 44 Checkpoint Autumn 2008


My First Brevet

Eltham, July 1991 Barry Moore

This story like many great novels, has spent time locked in a top drawer before seeing the light of day. But the passing of time has only served to mature its content and provides the reader with an insight into Audax '91 where the equipment was different but the pain and frustration the same. My attempts to strike up conversation were not resoundingly successful. I did establish that the United States was a good place to buy cycling gear, but another conversation ended with my companion’s comment that he had “not seen hubs like those for years”. I began to worry that my old steel frame (actually it is my bike which has the old steel frame) was not up to the task. “Not to worry”, I consoled myself, “the engine is sound”.

“You don’t think you’ve bitten off too much, do you?” This was enough to raise my hackles, tolerant though I am. I bode my time, then let the adrenaline take charge and surged ahead—only to have to wait at the next crossroads for confirmation of the route. Confessions of an Audaxious Runner

Some would say that my first Audax ride was based on too little training. But you have to start somewhere—so why not at the deep end? I had been cycling a couple of days a week for about three months. The reason for this exercise was to keep me away from excessive running for long enough to allow my chronically aching Achilles tendons to achieve some recuperation. There was also a thought in the back of my mind to have a go at some longer rides in the fullness of time. The ride to work is a little over 20 km. This had been supplemented by two Sunday rides of about 40 km and 60 km, both in the Dandenongs. On the first occasion I had to face the ignominy of pushing the bike up the hill into Tremont, despite a considerable reduction in my lowest gear in the week before. It must have done me good, for on the second attempt a fortnight later I was able to conquer the climb. But the effort was such that I had no great confidence that I could survive anything longer or harder. The 100 km ride I had planned proved impossible to attend so my next step was a big one: the brevet from Eltham to Macedon on 7 July. The fullness of time arrived more quickly than I had anticipated. The bike was thoroughly prepared: the chain was oiled, the brakes adjusted and spare sets of batteries were charged. 36

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

We finally hit some downhills between Whittlesea and Darraweit Guim. This brightened my outlook somewhat as the headwind was beginning to test my inadequate preparation. A digression on geography

Having mastered flash cycling footwear, Barry later went on to tackle PBP.

Other preparations took longer. Day pack and panniers were replaced by a bumbag, with wet weather gear on the rear rack. The cyclometer was carefully zeroed—I definitely wanted a record of this trip. Low-key start

The lack of any ceremony to launch 70 heroes on this mission impossible was a bit of a surprise: riders straggled out individually and in small groups shortly after the scheduled start time. I recorded my own push-off at 8.03 am and joined the stream. I told myself that twelve hours would be an acceptable time (ten hours of cycling and two of rest) but had warned my wife not to send out the search parties until the next day. I could offer no bright ideas on how she might credibly explain to the children that their father, who had left for a ride before they arose for the day would not return until after they were asleep.

This may be as good a place as any to digress into a little geography. The Audax ride took me through many towns I had previously known as signposts on highways. Darraweit Guim (or is it plain Darraweit?) is not a dell into which I ever expected to dip. Bolinda rang a bell, but from a map or possibly a signpost on the freeway. Even Riddells Creek had not previously been graced with my presence—or had we driven through on the way somewhere? The country impresses itself more firmly on a cyclist than on a motorist. This is especially true of the topography—for reasons that were becoming obvious to my knees by the time Bolinda was reached—but also applies to the features. The windswept plains between Darraweit and the rolling country to the east of Clarkefield will remain in my memory for many years. Compare and contrast

On the way out of the checkpoint I latched onto a couple of other cyclists. It was a very pleasant tucked in behind them, hiding from the wind which was well on its way to

becoming a fearsome adversary. I was able to make a leisurely study of the contrasting equipment supported by the pair and myself. My old running shoes looked nowhere as flash as their cycling footwear which clipped directly into their pedals. I was a little puzzled at how they could dismount from their cycles. The sleek leggings of most other riders were also in contrast to the misshaped shorts I had purchased in the days before Lycra had become popular and cycling gear had become items of fashion. My musings on the relationship between equipment and performance were disrupted, however, when I had to dismount to replace my chain on each hill. Other cyclists were mere blobs of colour diminishing along the road ahead. Dimishing returns

Thus I arrived at the nadir of my inaugural Audax ride: Riddells Creek to Macedon. Twenty kilometres of unrelenting hostility from a savage headwind. My speed diminished. My enthusiasm diminished. My energy diminished. Some lines about a “…sunburnt bloody stockman…” from The Great Australian Adjective, come to mind: He rode up hill, down bloody dale, The wind it blew a bloody gale… Bloody, Bloody, Bloody! It was only the enticement of food and hot drinks at the checkpoint that drew me on. The stamp which the checkpoint official would plant on my brevet card was unimportant. The prospect of having the brevet sent to Paris for endorsement was not a major factor in inducing me to continue. Thoughts of being able to enliven a dinner party conversation with a jewel such as, “Would you like to see by brevet? It’s been endorsed in Paris, you know?”, were far from my mind. A digression on road conditions

It is at this point that I would like to discuss the state of the roads immediately to the north of Riddells Creek. The edges of these roads are no more than series of linked potholes, most of which have been filled. As most would know, pothole mending is an art which requires the mender to almost, but not quite, match the level of the pothole with that of the surrounding road. In a stretch consisting more of repaired pothole than of original road surface, the result for the cyclist is a jarring not unlike that caused by riding over cobblestones. As my backside had been well tenderised by this stage, the effect was excruciating.


Despite these obstacles, I managed to struggle into Macedon. Pumpkin soup, cups of sugar (to which tea was added to put the sugar into solution), delicious cake and bread smeared with dark and flavoursome honey, together with the prospect of a tailwind on the return trip, were enough to revive my spirits. I set out for the return on the tail of a pack of shocking pink cycling tops with “Plenty Ladies Psychlists” emblazoned on the backs. One of the pink ladies turned out to be a bloke. Some questions revealed that they were in training for a relay race across Australia later in the year. This was an extension of their usual Sunday ride. It was then that I admitted that I had passed my previous longest ride some 40 km before. Exuberance and disorientation

I had a couple of new problems between the second and third checkpoints. First, I kept having to fight off rushes of blood to the head. With a considerable distance to go, bolting ahead could have had disastrous consequences but I often allowed myself to succumb to the temptation. Locals may have been startled on that pleasant Sunday afternoon at the sight of a lone cyclist peddling for all he was worth (not very much, by then) and singing loudly or shouting original utterances such as “Eeehh haa!” or “Wheee!”—I had not experienced such exuberance since the days of long runs in the beautiful Brindabellas. My second problem was that I had little idea of where I was going and I thoroughly resented the need to break into my euphoria by stopping to read my directions. The problem had not been as acute earlier in the ride as there had usually been riders in sight ahead. But by now the field was more thinly spread. Fear of the consequences of taking the wrong route was enough to overcome my distaste for stopping and I managed to find my way to the next checkpoint. For much of the distance from Macedon to Clarkefield, I rode in concert with the pink ladies. At the Clarkefield turnoff, the pink ladies, the pink man and I huddled over our instructions attempting to determine whether we had to leave the Lancefield– Melbourne road and enter the town. While we were engaged in our discussion a group of three cyclists swept by with a shout, “Straight ahead!” So off we went. A lovely stretch of country followed: two steep valleys separated by a beautiful plain.

Actually the plain was probably similar to the one to the north of Darraweit. It may have been the transition of the wind from adversary to ally which made the surroundings so much more pleasant. Just before the third checkpoint the route turned northwards again for a few kilometres. I’m sure this was a deliberate move by the route planner to demonstrate to us that the wind had lost none of its vigour. We then had a long and fairly flat ride east to Yan Yean. From here the instructions said to return to Eltham by the way we had come out. This apparently simple direction proved most difficult to follow. None of this part of the trip was at all familiar to me, despite my having ridden it that morning. The biggest problem was that all of the hills went up when they should have gone down. Dark and disorientation

It was now dark and I found myself having to stop at every major intersection to study my instructions. Even this did not prevent me losing the course. At one point I found myself climbing a very steep hill, which I was sure I had not descended on the outwards journey. My navigational disgrace was so complete that I was standing at a T-intersection less than 400 metres from the start/finish point and trying to make up my mind which way to turn when the group of three sailed past again. I made a valiant attempt to exude an air of nonchalance, struggled back onto my bike and followed them to the finish. The upshot of all this was that I managed to more than treble my longest ride, had a marvellous time, and can recommend Audax rides to any reasonably fit person— though it may be useful to do some serious training beforehand. It took me four days to get back onto my cycle. And the cyclometer? It told me I had travelled 209.29 km in 9 hours and 59 minutes. But this cannot be correct! I’m sure I rode an infinity and it took an eternity.

What’s your “First Brevet” story? Contributions of about 800–1000 words are requested for this column (and if you can include a photo or two, so much the better!) Send yours to

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


Le Raid Pyrenean or the “Jasper Report”  * Lindsay Harvey

On 29 May 2007 Howard Jeffery and Lindsay Harvey set out to cross les Pyrénées from Hendaye on the Atlantic Ocean to Cerbère on the Mediterranean, a ride of 720 km in distance and 11 000 metres of ascent. It took them ten days including two rest days and they cycled some of the most beautiful country in France. Planning

Stuart DeJong (whose real name is Stuart DeLongride on account of his habit of riding 180 km each Saturday and Sunday in Darwin over the last nine years), was the Chief Planner and instigator of the ride. Planning started some 14 months before the ride and Stuart discovered the Raid Pyrenean which would fit our ideas nicely. It is usually done over four days but we wanted a holiday and the ability to enjoy the French countryside and villages and their wonderful hospitality, fabulous food and the occasional beer and red wine (actually a lot of beer and red wine). The level of fitness was important and it was decided very early in the planning that we did not have the time to get fit enough for a four day cycle of this distance with all the climbing and that suited our ideas of a holiday as well. Michelin maps were purchased and numerous meetings were held and backup crews were cajoled into assisting. Our support crew was Mary-Lynne DeJong, Liz Jeffery and Ian Harvey—and what a crew! Consideration was given to the number of days cycling, van hire, accommodation, bike bags and bike transport and in the event all this worked very well. What was not planned was Stuart cutting his thumb with a pen knife and severing his tendon, nerve and artery four weeks before we set off on the ride. Stuart was in meltdown but picked himself up and

The above photo is very representative of the country side we were riding through on Days 1 and 2. It lulled us into a false sense of security as we had an easy climb to the Col and a very fast decent to Mauléon.

decided that he would walk instead and back up Howard and myself in the Jumpy. Day 1 (29 May) Hendaye to Larceveau (100 km)

Despite pessimistic prognostications the weather was terrible. There was a gale blowing in the Atlantic and rain. At least the wind was blowing in the right direction. We left our motel at Hendaye at about 8 am and ventured out onto the right hand side

of the road to negotiate peak hour traffic all the way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It was a nervous start as we negotiated the roundabouts and tried to master the directions with our school boy French. In addition to trying not to get lost I had the responsibility of trying to keep Howard on the right hand side of the road and make sure he went through the roundabouts the correct way. This proved quite a challenge as the Man from Darwin was thinking left.

* The alternative title the “Jasper Report” arose because Lindsay would send a SMS report back to Australia each afternoon—3 am Sydney time. This would wake up a black curly retriever call Jasper who would then wake up his owners John and Robin Florin and then the rest of Greenwich… 38

Checkpoint Autumn 2008

After an hour we were in the countryside and gently gaining height alongside the Nivelle River. All our stress left us and we started to feel at home. It was great riding and in no time at all we reached our first col, Col de St Ignace some 169 metres above sea level.

This was a major breakthrough as we then started to enjoy some fine French cuisine at lunchtime. We arrived at Arudy to find our trusty backup crew ready and waiting to start drinking.

Our destination was Larceveau some 100 km from Hendaye and 132 metres above sea level. The problem was this little village did not deserve any signs to it on the French roads so we got lost. Howard whose French was as bad as mine asked directions in a little village at the local bar and we went 10 km in the wrong way before a foundry worker set us right. On the route we came to a small countryside roundabout with four connecting roads. There were at least twelve signs off each road and it took us about five minutes to work out the correct route. On more than one occasion we had to go twice around a roundabout to pick up the right road. Just before Larceveau there was a slight climb and for reasons only known to Howard he fell off his bike peddling up this rise. As I had gained about two metres in height I was reluctant to go back and help so Howard rescued himself and we found the support crew and more importantly a bar where would could have a beer. Day 2 (30 May) Larceveau to Arudy (85 km)

Le Col d’Osquich at 500 metres waited for us on a beautiful French morning. In view of the fact that we got lost on Day 1 a council of war was held each morning with the Master Planner and lots of notes made so we could navigate the route in the most direct manner. This worked well for the rest of the ride and made for a more relaxed navigator. Being from Sydney and riding to Akuna Bay and West Head, you get used to very bad roads. Not so in France until we came to Arudy where there was a forest climb with a long decent on a road surface worse than Akuna Bay. After thirty minutes of cycling downhill we stopped and it was like we still were in a vibrator as our bodies tried to stop shaking. Howard, who was continually looking for a McDonald’s or Pizza Hut in the smallest of French villages, finally bonked and agreed to stop at a French café for lunch.

of snow about as the Man from Darwin shuddered at all the snow. Good news, the road between Col d’Aubisque and Col du Soulor was closed to cars but open to bikes. This was great for us but bad for the back up crew as they had to drive a 150 km detour to Luz-SaintSauveur. Without a doubt this was the most beautiful section of the ride. We descended 245 metres over 10 km on this scenic alpine road. No one mentioned the road tunnel without lights and corrugations in the road. I gripped the handle bars not confident enough to take one hand off and remove my sun glasses and hoped I would not hit the wall of the tunnel.

Howard and Lindsay with a can of Fanta after two hours on Day 1.

Day 3 (31 May) Arudy to Luz-Saint-Sauveur (60 km)

At the morning breakfast Council of War, Stuart revealed that we were only riding 60 km. Howard and I were delighted and were thinking of all the extra drinking and eating time that would be available. Stuart dashed our hopes with the mention of Col d’Aubisque at 1709 metres. It still doesn’t sound like much until you realise that the 18 km climb is mostly 8% to 9% with a 13.5% thrown in for good measure. This was a very hard climb despite our low gearing using compact cranks (34/29); a triple crank would have been good. I struggled with this climb but Howard set off like a water buffalo was chasing him and got a well deserved polka dot jersey for this fine effort. (How can someone from Darwin ride up a hill better than someone from Sydney I asked French sheep blocking myself?)

There were some interesting hazards in the French Alps. Although we encountered no water buffalo, the French farmers had a habit of leaving various stock on the road to keep cyclists awake and aware. It was with excitement and disappointment that we commenced our downhill ride to Luz-Saint-Sauveur. It was a descent of 37 km but our destination was the start of the climb of Col du Tourmalet and we did not want to loose all that height. Downhill was exhilarating but very scary and dangerous. The road was steep with plenty of hairpin bends and a lot of braking required. It was nothing to come around a corner at 50 to 60 km/h and find the road blocked as the picture below shows. In addition to the descents being fast and furious they were very, very cold. To keep warm I used a Ground Effect microfleece (Cadence) and a Campagnolo lightweight

the road with French shepherd ready to strike cyclists if they don’t stop.

The weather was hot and cold depending on altitude, the time of day and what side of the Col you were riding. After about 30 minutes of cycling we arrived at EauxBonnes. This allowed us to take off our winter gear and get ready for the climb. Some two hours later we arrived at Col d’Aubisque and it was very cold with heaps Checkpoint Autumn 2008


rain and wind proof jacket. In addition full length gloves and boot covers provided warmth as we negotiated the bends on the downhill. On this downhill it snowed, helping to reduce temperatures further. Day 4 (1 June) Luz-Saint-Sauveur - Rest Day

Raining and miserable but very pleasant to walk around the town. It should also be mentioned that Howard and I were exhausted from the climb of Col d’Aubisque and the rest day was essential to our continued enjoyment of this epic. Howard rather unwisely went on a trek to the Grande Cascade de Gavarnie with Stuart and Mary-Lynne and then to Lourdes with everyone except Ian and myself.

pleased we did not ride the day before in the poor weather as that would have denied us the glorious views that just got better and better.

PBP driver

One kilometre before the summit the grade reared up to 10%. This slowed me a little but about 100 metres from the top it got steeper and Howard found himself walking. By this point I was well ahead of Howard and the polka dot jersey was mine.

from page 29

What a feeling to be at the top. I have never climbed that high or that steep for that distance—it was a magic moment in my cycling life. The very good weather added to atmosphere. On looking down both sides of the Col, there were hundreds of cyclists Short road tunnel between Col’Aubisque to Col du Soulor

Day 5 (2 June) Luz-Saint-Sauveur to Arreau (61 km)

The cyclist’s Holy Grail, Col du Tormalet at 2115 metres was on the breakfast menu. This time we did not argue with Stuart over the distance and we set off at a leisurely pace to find ourselves confronted with the start of the 17 km climb with an unrelenting gradient of 7% to 9%. This was a tough three hour ascent for us. The rest day had given me my legs back and I climbed this Col with relish, enjoying the fantastic views. Lot of cyclists were doing this climb and there must have been about 100 cyclists at the top. It was a clear cool day with visibility for miles and as the panorama unfolded before me I was so These signs gave hope and despair. Each time we reached one we knew that was one kilometre less but we hoped for a lesser grade. Unfortunately up the Col du Tourmalet there were mostly 8% to 10% on the signs. My speed was 7 km/h to 9 km/h for most of the climb.

making their way to the summit; it was a sight to behold. During the climb and just before the 10% grade the road flattened to 5% and it felt like riding on the flat. We found that 5% was easy for us and we could maintain speeds of 13 km/h to 18 km/h.

We also encountered Col d’Aspin on the way to Arreau but at 5% after our Col du Tourmalet it felt like a pimple. Next issue: Part 2—Arreau to Cerbère Checkpoint Autumn 2008

I dozed on and off until I got a text; the lads arrived soaking wet again at about midnight. Both of them were having Achilles tendon trouble. Quick change then into the car for a three-hour sleep while I sat in the control and watched more abject misery. One poor guy, hands shaking, managed to drop his money on the floor. The look on his face was utter devastation. When I picked it up for him, you’d have thought I’d just saved his mother’s life! Steve came into the control before 3 am. They were ready to go. He’d been woken up by Anton shivering so thought they’d better get moving.

I would not like to be doing this descent in poor weather conditions. This was a scary descent even in good weather and one can only marvel at the professionals who streak down these Cols at speed in excess of 90 km/h. Once again very cold on the descent. The café at the summit catered for this with a large box of newspaper that cyclists were stuffing down the front of their jerseys.


I would meet up again at Mortagne-auPerche, being the second to last control. I got there about 8 pm (the lads having got to the previous check point at Villaines-laJuhel about the same time). Support vehicle parking was in a camping ground. It was a bog by now.

I too went to Dreux. I was struggling to stay awake (something to do with having been up all night) so I found the McDonald’s there and had a sleep in the car park for an hour then had a coffee before heading to the finish at Saint-Quentin. Just as I was getting there at about 11 am Steve texted me asking where I was. I said I was nearly there. His reply was, “Beat ya”. He had finished at 10.30 am making a 78-hour ride. Anton turned up about 1 pm, well pleased. On the Saturday night we caught up with the other guys in the New Zealand team including Colin “Wal” Anderson, NZ hero for setting the record earlier in the year for cycling from Cape Reinga in Northland down to Bluff at the bottom. The whole NZ team of eight riders had completed the ride which under the circumstances was incredible.

This is an edited extract from Shiela’s online report, available at http://shesteve.

Notes from the National Executive Committee Greg Cunningham At its 29 November 2007 meeting the National Executive Committee (NEC) considered measures to enhance communication with members about decisions on the administration and activities of the club. Enhanced communication will form an important part of the initiative currently underway to upgrade the club’s IT capability (more on this later), but for the moment it was decided that the club’s Secretary should reintroduce the practice of reporting via Checkpoint about the outcome of NEC proceedings. In this note I will report on the main developments during the last three NEC meetings and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was held in Bright, Victoria, on 26 January during the Alpine Classic weekend. Outcome of the AGM

As our President, Garry Armsworth, mentioned during the AGM proceedings in January, the good turnout at the AGM in each of the past two years has vindicated the decision to hold the meeting in Bright on the Alpine Classic weekend. It has been particularly pleasing to see members from many parts of Australia at the meetings, including WA and SA. Good suggestions were made on the club’s administration and activities, and the Committee plans to continue with the practice of holding the AGM as part of the Alpine Classic activities. While most of the NEC positions were announced at the AGM, at the subsequent 21 February meeting the NEC decided who should fill the vacant positions following nominations received after the AGM. In summary, the 2008 National Executive Committee comprises: President: Garry Armsworth Vice President: Barry Moore Treasurer: Stephen Chambers Secretary: Roslyn Russell Member: Bjorn Blasse

Member: Russell Freemantle Member: Martin Haynes Member: David Minter The Committee thanked the outgoing Secretary Greg Cunningham and members Keith McCulloch and David Larsen for their contribution to the NEC’s work during recent years, and welcomed the new members, Roslyn Russell, Bjorn Blasse and David Minter (who returns after a year’s break). The NEC also comprises representatives of each region. The regional representatives for 2008 will be decided at the regional AGMs to be held during March (the outcome will be reported in the next issue of Checkpoint). In addition, the International Brevet Secretary (Simon Watt, who took over from Peter Mathews during 2007) is invited to sit on the Committee each year due to the importance of this role in the club’s activities. During the AGM, Garry Armsworth thanked Peter Mathews for his efforts over many years in the brevet secretary role. Garry also commended Patrick Van Dyk for his long stint as the editor of Checkpoint. Editorial duties were assumed by Trevor Gosbell during 2007. In his address to the AGM reviewing the 2007 year Garry noted, in particular: • the NEC’s decision to outsource installation of a new content management system (CMS) for the club’s website in the coming months, as part of a progressive approach of converting the website to the new CMS system over the coming 12 months or so. This will enable updates to be made to the website by more people without risk to other parts of the site. • concurrent with the CMS project, it is planned to establish a fully functional membership database online by the end of the current Audax year .

• the creation of the position of training secretary to which Russell Freemantle has been appointed, which is to be followed up by work on how the club will get that training advice out to members and the extent to which it can be delivered face to face in the context of a national organisation (see the new “Training Notes” column in this issue of Checkpoint). • the remarkable growth in membership during 2007 even allowing that it was a ParisBrest-Paris (PBP) year, with membership at the end of the year (31 October 2007) standing at 1006, 24% up on 2006 which was itself 35% higher than the previous year. To commemorate this threshold achievement, at the AGM Scott Puddy was presented with a club jersey as the 1000th member to join the club during 2007. • an excellent representation from the club at the 2007 PBP, with the record number of 125 participants (representing a 50% increase on 2003) having a finishing rate in line with the average. The club’s impressive representation was facilitated via a huge effort by Hans Dusink and Howard Duncan in making necessary administrative and travel arrangements. A survey of PBP participants is to be conducted in the near future. The Treasurer Stephen Chambers then gave a rundown of the club’s healthy financial position, noting that while the audit is not yet complete the preliminary results indicate that a surplus of approximately $17,000 will be recorded for the year and that cash on hand is approximately $83,500. Stephen noted that the club therefore has the financial resources to help address some key challenges. These include reducing the burden on the club’s volunteers, increasing ride participation, and the pressing need to upgrade IT capability. During the Q&A session following the AGM formalities the Committee heard members’ views on various issues, Checkpoint Autumn 2008


particularly on the proposition canvassed in a recent Checkpoint article that there be a limit on the number of 1000 km and 1200 km rides in the annual Rides Calendar. The Committee will be considering these views, and the responses posted to the club’s email discussion list, when it makes a decision on the future policy at the NEC strategy meeting scheduled for 19 and 20 April 2008. During the AGM Garry Armsworth emphasised that since the purpose of the club is to promote endurance riding, the NEC’s objective in kicking off the debate was identify ways to get more people riding those longer distances, not to limit the number of rides per se. 29 November 2007 NEC meeting

Several of the matters decided at this meeting are referred to above, in particular: • measures to improve communication with members; • PBP follow-up actions (principally the design of the survey of Australian participants); and • the appointment of Russell Freemantle as the club’s training secretary. At this meeting the Committee also decided to establish a standing procedure for awarding life membership where a person has given exceptional service to the

club over an extended period. Nominations for life membership are to be considered and decided without further referral by a sub-committee comprising the current President, the current Vice-President and the immediate past president. The Committee was also advised of research underway on the possible use of better quality paper and higher definition printing for Checkpoint, together with costings for outsourcing the mail-out process and the possibility of introducing a colour cover. 17 January 2008 NEC Meeting

The key matter discussed at this meeting was the club’s IT development requirements. As noted above in the context of the AGM, the Committee authorised necessary expenditure for implementation of the Joomla Content Management System, as the first stage of the website redevelopment project. At this meeting the Committee also discussed possible changes to the ride rules to enable ‘Permanent’ rides to be held. A Permanent is a ride that would be registered with Audax Australia, would be subject only to Audax Australia rules, would not be included in the annual rides calendar, and could be ridden anytime by arrangement with the organiser. The proposal raised some important issues, including the insurance status of the ride, the rules that would be appropriate, whether such rides would be

overseen at the regional or national level, and the interrelationship with the proposal that the club introduce locally homologated rides in the annual rides calendar. In view of these issues the Committee decided to reconsider the proposal at a later meeting after all relevant operational and procedural issues have been investigated. 21 February 2008 NEC Meeting

At this meeting the Committee considered nominations that had been received for the two positions that remained vacant following the AGM, and decided that these should be filled by Roslyn Russell (Secretary) and Bjorn Blasse (Committee member). The Committee also decided that: • the 2008 NEC strategy meeting will be held on the weekend of 19/20 April, in Lancefield, Victoria; • the Fleche Opperman 24-hour event will be held Australia-wide on 29/30 March 2009; and • in relation to successfully-completed rides of 200km or more, club members will in future have the choice of ordering a Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM) medallion (which are issued by Audax Club Parisien) or the Audax Australia medallion (which to date have been the only medallions that been explicitly offered for Australian rides).

Choice of medallions Riders are now offered a choice of purchasing either the Audax Australia or Audax Club Parisien medallion for the successful completion of a Brevet Randonneur Mondiaux ride. The cost of the Audax Club Parisien medallion will be $9 and Audax Australia medallions are $8. The Ride Entry Form on the website has been updated to allow participants to clearly select which medallion they wish to purchase; please ensure that you use the new form to avoid any confusion. The design of the Audax Club Parisien medallions changes every four years with the new design commencing the year after Paris-Brest-Paris. Medallions are produced for the five standard BRM distances: 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km and 1000km.


Checkpoint Autumn 2008

ACP offers the 300 km brevet medallion in a “brilliant silver” finish.

Keep an eye out in the next edition of Checkpoint for information on the Audax Club Parisien Super Randonneur award.

ACP 2007 Results Book Garry Armsworth

Many members may not be aware that the Audax Club Parisien publishes a results booklet each year; this is probably because we receive only a couple of copies—in French—so it’s not widely available or very accessible.

For those outside of France the most interesting sections are those devoted to the ranking of organising clubs and countries. The 2007 calendar saw the organisation of 1,790 Brevet Randonneur Mondiaux rides throughout the world; 317 in France, 313 for the USA and 1,160 in the rest of the world. The homologation of these BRM rides amounts to randonneurs around the world traversing more than 15 million kilometres.

Organising club rankings Organising Club







Audax Australia - Victoria







ARA Nordbayern Fränkische Alb









Audax Club Parisien









Randonneurs Cyclos de l’Anjou









AS Cheminots Rennais








Cyclo Club de Mours








Seattle International Randonneurs







Audax UK







ARD Sjælland






Club Cyclotouriste du Poher








Audax Australia - New South Wales








Audax Australia - ACT







Audax Australia - Queensland







Audax Australia - Western Australia







Audax New Zealand

New Zealand






Audax Australia - Wollongong







Audax Australia - Maryborough







Audax Australia - Tasmania







Audax Australia - Adelaide







Audax Australia - Melbourne






Audax Australia - Tumut





Total 1,615


601 665




126 146


89 52


47 41


41 30 120 11

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


The PBP effect

France, due to the effects of Paris-Brest-Paris, regained in 2007 the number one country ranking however when combining the results of the last 4 years, the USA comes out on top. Australia has maintained its strong standing in 2007 ranking 6 in the league table. The performance of Japan is remarkable, having come from a first time entrant in the table in 2003 to nearly 600,000 km traversed in 2007. The Alpine Classic effect

In 2007 Audax Victoria resumed its position as the number one organising club. In addition, outside of Paris-Brest-Paris, the Alpine Classic was the most popular/important BRM ride of the year with 902 homologations. The closest rides in numbers to the Alpine Classic were 200s in Italy and in France with 640 and 307 homologations respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, 251 brevets had less than five homologations. But as ACP pointed out, these brevets often allow participants to avoid long hours of travel and make randonneuring available to a broader community.

Country rankings Country



















































4,437 2,922 32









Spain CA





























































South Africa














Spain VA


















































New Zealand















































Checkpoint Autumn 2008

from page 35 My spirits nose-dived as I realised there was no way I could continue my quest with a leg this damaged. I couldn’t imagine riding the 290 km I had scheduled for tomorrow, let alone another 28 days. In the short-term, my attention turned to making enough progress to get to Sandfire before they closed. I was stopping every few kilometres to rest and stretch the leg and pedalling single-legged in between as the sun set and the road entered a vast open saltbush plain. Eventually I reached Sandfire Roadhouse at 6:50 pm, about two hours later than intended, after a very painful and arduous afternoon. I have resolved to have up to three days off in the faint hope that the leg repairs itself sufficiently to keep riding. Losing three days will still leave me an outside chance of breaking the record, provided that the leg stands up to the rest of the trip. This seems a bit unlikely. If I had a similar injury as a runner, I would be taking three weeks off to allow the soft tissue repair necessary. Sandfire Roadhouse will be an interesting place to spend three days. There’s no TV, no reading matter, only pies, toasted sandwiches and some confectionary for food, no mobile phone coverage and only occasional wireless internet connectivity. At least the I will catch up on sleep. Day 26: 14 August Sandfire Roadhouse

It’s beginning to sink in that my quest is most likely over. After a day of no riding it is still painful to walk up or down steps or to bend my injured leg. I’m pretty depressed about my situation and keep thinking back to those really hard days I put in to keep on schedule without apparent injury and wonder why this problem should have occurred on a relatively easy day. On the other hand, I recognize that I have been lucky to get this far without any serious problems and I always knew that luck would play a major part in this venture.

8 10,657





The position ranking is based on a point score where BRM rides of 200, 300, 400, 600 and 1000 are awarded 2, 3, 4, 6 and 10 points respectively for each homologation. 44

Attempt at

Day 27: 15 August Sandfire Roadhouse

I decided to ride to Pardoo Roadhouse (137 km) tomorrow as a tester for the leg

the record and, if it was OK, to resume my 270 km per day average.

Brevets With Simon Watt and Stephen George Contact the Brevet Secretary:

I have been feeling withdrawal symptoms all day from not riding. I have had this nagging feeling all day that I should be on the road and it seems unreal that I am not.


Day 28: 16 August Sandfire Roadhouse–Pardoo Roadhouse, WA (137 km)


The strong easterly wind was mostly from behind and made it easier to ride gently and protect my sore leg. I coasted along at a good pace on a bright sunny morning through the low grass and scrub-covered plains. The road paralleled the Eighty Mile Beach but again, although it was nearby, I never saw the ocean although, tantalisingly, after about 100 km I could see a line of white sandhills to the right which probably marked the edge of the beach.

100 km, 10-Nov-07, VIC, PBP Dirtissimo Organiser: Gareth Evans Gareth Evans, Richard Ferrer, Chris Rogers

50 km, 25-Nov-07, VIC, Indigo Classic Organiser: Fraser Rowe Eva Boultan, Bob Dunnett, Katrina Dunnett, Libby Hosking, Michael Knight, Allan Lee, Wendy Rose Nelson, Hazel Pilcher, Fraser Rowe

50 km, 9-Jan-08, VIC, Pakenham Pushover Organiser: Enid & Don Halton Hazel Cumming, Tom Cumming, Barry Hahnel, Don Halton, Libby Haynes, Martin Haynes, Alan Radford, Merryn Rowlands, Colin Smith, Jan Ward

50 km, 28-Jan-08, VIC, Alpine Recovery Ride Organiser: Maria Matuszek Steve Ambry, Peter Annear, Graham Robert Brown, Jeremy Chin, Allan Dickson, Howard Dove, Alan Dunn, Maria Matuszek, Jan Mohandas, Margaret Mohandas, Rebecca Morton, Frank Preyer, Tim Taylor

50 km, 1-Feb-08, VIC, Irene Plowman

I stopped every 30 km or so for a break and to stretch my quads. The pain in the leg was minimal early on, but got rapidly worse in the last 30 km, causing my mood to go from optimistic to pessimistic. Day 29: 17 August Pardoo Roadhouse–Port Hedland, WA (150 km)

On the 150 km ride into Port Hedland this morning the muscle tear steadily worsened until I was again pretty much pedalling with one leg, despite strapping and Nurofen, and very thankful for a tailwind. I abandoned my quest on Day 30 in Port Hedland and flew back to Sydney. After careful thought and lots of introspection, I have decided to make a second and final attempt on the record, departing Gosford on 7 May 2008. I again plan to maintain a diary on my website at I don’t rate my chances of success any more highly this time than for my first attempt. A lot of luck will be required to be successful. Erik Straarup, a Dane with an enviable long-distance cycling record, began an attempt on the record from Perth on 29 March 2008 (see

Organiser: Vic Region Committee Ryan Bath, Deb Elliott, Gareth Evans, Frank Grant, Ray Lelkes, Edward Mantel, Helen Mantel, Karen Mcglynn, Catherine Stephenson, Brett Williams

100 km, 29-Sept-07, VIC, Mallee Routes

100 km, 6-Jan-08, VIC, Wheels to Walhalla Organiser: John Laszczyk Graham Angliss, Paul Balchin, Jim Chant, Carl Cole, Anckew (Nick) Cowling, Vin Cross, Tim Dent, Pat Dorey, Reg Goltz, Ian Gosling, Ewan Hill, John Laszczyk, John Laszlo, Tim Laugher, John McKain, Barry Moore, Steve Murphy, Brian Norman, Jane Reid, Ken Sim, Robert Stewart, Adrian Whear, Neil White

100 km, 9-Jan-08, VIC, Pakenham Pushover Organiser: Enid & Don Halton Arnold Birrell, Mark Bosworth, Rodney Cumming, Tim Dent, Malcolm Fordham, Howard Gibson, Geoff Hook, Trevor King, Keith Lowe, Ros Marshallsea, Greg Martin, Jane May, Ron McInnes, Barry Moore, Steve Murphy, Frank Preyer, Maxine Riggs, Leigh Thornton, Michael (Mick) Ward, Kevin Ware

100 km, 12-Jan-08, VIC, Murchison Gap Organiser: Lorraine & George Allen George Allen, Lorraine Allen, Bruce Baehnisch, Karl Bennett, Peter Curtis, Carlos Duarte, Hans Dusink, Howard Duncan, Pat Dorey, Phil Hayes, John Hasouras, George Judkins, Richard Kruger, Tim Laugher, Peter Martin, Heather Murray, Stephen Rowlands, Gordon Ross, Leah Ross, David Syme, Steve Wood

100 km, 20-Jan-08, VIC, Cheryl’s Choice Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes Ian Boehm, Stephen Chambers, Vin Cross, Peter Curtis, Henry De Man, Rod Dixon, Pat Dorey, Trevor Gosbell, Don Halton, Russell Hamilton, Baden Lowe, Keith Lowe, Leon Malzinskas, Peter J Martin, Peter Mathews, Ronald McInnes, June Parsons, Denzil Ponsonby, Maxine Riggs, Ken Sim, Robert Stewart, Kevin Ware, Frank Williams

100 km, 1-Feb-08, VIC, Irene Plowman Organiser: Vic Region Committee Judy Beswick, Nick Cowling, Hazel Cumming, Rodney Cumming, Peter Curtis, Peter Donnan, Pat Dorey, Mal Faul, Alan Field, Kaye Frank, Don Halton, Enid Halton, Rus Hamilton, Dave Harrington, Libby Haynes, Kevin Henley, Bill Jeppeson, Eileen Johnson, Phil Jones, Brian Joyce, Winton McColl, Di McKinley, Marysia Murray, Claire Noonan, Frank Preyer, Maxine Riggs, John Rundle, Andrew Thomas, Tim Waters, Adrian Whear, Frank Williams, Debbie Wright, Ian Wright

Organiser: Les Solley Chug Fuller, Julie Knoop, Carol Miller, Susie O’Donnell, Andrew Thomas, Deborah Thomas

150 km, 25-Nov-07, VIC, Indigo Classic

100 km, 7-Oct-07, VIC, Flowerdale Jaunt

150 km, 19-Jan-08, VIC, Mt Wallace

Organiser: Ignazzio Cannizzo Nick Cowling, Philip Giddlings , Phillip Grant, Pauline Nicholas, Frank Preyer, Maxine Riggs, Alan Wallace, Adrian Whear, Stephen Wood

100 km, 17-Nov-07, VIC, Alpine Delight Organiser: Peter Campbell John Boyle, Peter Campbell, Gus Garnsworthy, Chris Hall, David Hurn, Treve Jenkyn, Curtin Morgan, Judy Scott

100 km, 25-Nov-07, VIC, Indigo Classic Organiser: Fraser Rowe Jim Boehm, David Boulton, Tricia Bowman, Ray Circulis, Michael Crowe, Peter Fahy, Miichael Fitzsimons, Ian Hamilton, Keith McCulloch, Scott McLean, Andrew Milliken, Pam Milliken, Stephen Nurse, Alex Olejniczak, Kristine Penney, Gordon Ross, Leah Ross, Solveiga Saule, Lisa Smallbone, Ross Taylor, Rik Thwaites

100 km, 15-Dec-07, VIC, Café au Lait, S’il vous plait Organiser: Chris Rogers Pat Dorey, Libby Haynes

100 km, 22-Dec-07, VIC, Bah Humbug Organiser: Tim Laugher Lorraine Allen, Peter Annear, Karl Bennett, Neil Boness, Henry De Man, Tim Dent, Phil Giddings, Phillip Hayes, Ewen Hill, George Judkins, Maxine Riggs, David Syme

Organiser: Fraser Rowe Stephen George, Ron McInnes

Organiser: Russell Freemantle Shane Balkin, Jesus Dagmang, Richard Freemantle, Russell Freemantle, George Judkins, Greg Lanyon, Jonathan Levitt, Pepe Ochoa, Michael Overton, Peter Rohen, Fraser Rowe, Eddie Tucker, Oliver Wagner

150 km, 20-Jan-08, VIC, Cheryl’s Choice Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes Arnold Birrell, Jim Chant, Tim Dent, Gareth Evans, Martin Haynes, Ewen Hill, Phil Huguenin, Ros Marshallsea, Greg Martin, Margaret Jane May, Barry Moore, Leigh Paterson

150 km, 1-Feb-08, VIC, Irene Plowman Organiser: Vic Region Committee Mark Hooy, Myroslav Loboda, Gavan McCarthy, Barry Moore, Michael Zylan

200 km, 9-Jun-07, ACT, Multiple Audaxin Yes! Organiser: Bob McHugh Bob McHugh, Tom Nankivell, Greg Cunningham, Michael Bentley, Kerri-Ann Smith

200 km, 29-Jul-07, NSW, Central Coast 200 Organiser: Rebecca Morton and Howard Dove Warren Page, Garry Armstrong, Peter Barlow

200 km, 29-Sept-07, VIC, Mallee Routes Organiser: Les Solley Geof Bagley, Marie Bagley, Stephanie Frawley, David Killick, Greg Lanyon, Andy Moore, Glo Moscattini, Steve Murphy, Gordon Ross, Leah Ross, Steven Xerri

Checkpoint Autumn 2008


200 km, 30-Sep-07, NSW, Central Coast 200 (Buckety) Organiser: Mal Rogers Lindsay Harvey, Stuart de Jong, Bruce McMillan , Warwick McAlpine

200 km, 7-Oct-07, VIC, Flowerdale Jaunt Organiser: Ignazio Cannizzo

200 km, 15-Dec-07, VIC, Café au Lait, S’il vous plait

300 km, 5-Nov-06, QLD, Another 300 Organiser: Catherine Johnson

Organiser: Chris Rogers Lorraine Allen, Loretta Armitage, Roger Cortis, Hans Dusink, George Judkins, Tim Laugher, Gordon Ross, Leah Ross

Bruce Dodds, Catherine Johnson, Vaughan Kippers, Pat Lehane, David Minter, Phil Rowley, Ben Wilson, Elizabeth Zeller

Bob Bednarz, Stephen Chambers, Peter Curtis, Carmer (Charlie) Debrincat, Ewen Hill, Sam Pupillo

200 km, 13-Jan-08, NSW, Hawkesbury Valley Randonee Organiser: Chris Walsh

200 km, 20-Oct-07, VIC, Noojee Loops

Chris Walsh, Stuart Matthews, Graham Jones, Peter Barlow, Douglas Kennedy

Organiser: Keith & Eryl Lowe Les Bradd, Paul Conroy, Peter Curtis, Jurien Dekter, Gareth Evans, Dave Harrington, Ewen Hill, Mark Hooy, Bill Jeppeson, Rodney Kruz, Ros Marshallsea, Greg Martin, Margaret Jane May, June Parsons, Leigh Paterson, John Retchford, Peter Signorini, Kathryn Temby, Kevin Ware, Frank Williams

200 km, 28-Oct-07, NSW, Central Coast 200 (Buckety) Organiser: Mal Rogers Denis Fahey

300 km, 29-Sept-07, VIC, Mallee Routes Organiser: Les Solley Brian Gavan, Ross Marshallsea, Ronald McInnes, Matthew Rawnsley, Simon Watt

300 km, 27-Oct-07, VIC, Gippsland Gambol Organiser: Peter Matthews Richard Freemantle, Russell Freemantle, Martin Haynes, Leigh Johansen, Heather Murray, Dave Whittle

200 km, 19-Jan-08, NSW, Bingara and Beyond Organiser: Lisa Turner Paul Cook, Lisa Turner, Brian Lowe

300 km, 17-Nov-07, SA, One Level Up Organiser: Matthew Rawnsley

200 km, 12-Jan-08, Wollongong, Tallong Organiser: Henry Boardman

Allan Dickson, Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer, Alan Capell, Dean Lambert

Henry Boardman, David Langley, Maria Matuszek, Richard Pinkerton, Martin Sides, Barry Stevenson, Grant White

300 km, 24-Nov-07, New Zealand, Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Organiser: Colin Anderson / Garry Armsworth

200 km, 20-Jan-08, WA, Bjorn’s Brain Boiler Organiser: Bjorn Blasse

200 km, 4-Nov-07, SA, Scuzzi’s Run Organiser: Matthew Rawnsley Allan Dickson, Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer, Adam Barnes

Peter Curtis

Bjorn Blasse, Glenn Mitton, Paul Lever, Wayne Hickman

300 km, 15-Dec-07, VIC, Café au Lait, S’il vous plait

“Made it!” At the Alpine Classic finish line.

200 km, 4-Nov-07, TAS, Riverbank Ramble Organiser: Paul Gregory

Organiser: Chris Rogers Stephen Chambers, Peter Signorini, Garry Wall

Andrew Heard, Troy Fyfe, Trevor Maning, Adrian Woodhead

300 km, 5-Jan-08, VIC, Daylesford 300 Organiser: Bob Bednarz

200 km, 10-Nov-07, VIC, Circuit de la Mer Organiser: Russell Freemantle

Stephen Chambers, Roger Cortis, Joe De Losa, Martin Haynes, Leigh Paterson, Frank Preyer, Chris Rogers, Kevin Ware

Phillip Dew, Phil Giddings, Stephen Kerwin, Ros Marshallsea, Peter Martin, Margaret Jane May, Jim Sobczynski, Michael Sweeney

300 km, 1-Feb-08, SA, Burra Explorer Organiser: Matthew Rawnsley Mike Holmes, Oliver Portway, Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer, Glen Thompson

200 km, 11-Nov-07, NSW, Ben Who Organiser: Lisa Turner Paul Cook, Lisa Turner, Barry Roberts, Creighton Dolbel

300 km, 9-Feb-08, ACT, Jasper’s Secret Garden Organiser: Peter Heal

200 km, 11-Nov-07, WA, Coolup Loop Organiser: Ralph Morgan

Kerri-Ann Smith, Joel McFarlane-Roberts, Elliston, Daniel Oakman, Peter Heal

Duncan Faux, Mike Jawauski, Ken Dupuy, Tony Gillespie, Alan Gunthar, Colin Law, Bjorn Blasse, Rob Godkin

300 km, 9-Feb-08, SA, Burra Explorer Organiser: Alan Capell

200 km, 17-Nov-07, VIC, Alpine Delight Photo: Top Shots (

Organiser: Peter Campbell Paul Addison, Owen Anstey, Rob Campbell, Ed Chan, Jim Chant, Joe De Losa, Robert Lim, Leigh Paterson, John Van Seters

200 km, 25-Nov-07, VIC, Indigo Classic Organiser: Fraser Rowe Neil Bowman, Arnold Birrell, Jim Chant, Peter Heal, Rodney Kruz, Ros Marshallsea, Margaret Jane May, Peter May, Kerry McLinden, Heather Murray, Chris Rogers, Stephen Rowlands

200 km, 2-Dec-07, TAS, 7 Hills Dash Organiser: Paul Gregory Tony Freeman, Danie Teague, Joe Askey-Doran, Costan Magnussen, Doug Hagger, Mark Guy, Trevor Maning

200 km, 9-Dec-07, NSW, In Search of Hills Organiser: Garry Armsworth Cameron Ainslie, Garry Armsworth, Peter Barlow, Luke Beuchat, Tom Boogert, Brian Crompton, Chris Crowder, Ron Gauld, Sean Hardy, Tony Koppi, Bruce McMillan, Ricky O’Brien, Frank Paterson, Steve Peters, Geoff Robb, Ros Russell, Mark Scragg , Robert Smith, Maggie Tran, Richard Makin

Tony Gillespie, Rob Godkin, Colin Goonatillake, Eamonn McCloskey


200 km, 1-Feb-08, VIC, Irene Plowman Organiser: Vic Region Committee Paul Addison, Peter Annear, Karl Bennett, Arnold Birrell, James Brownlie, Joe De Losa, Henry De Man, Michael Fox, Philip Giddings, Liz James, Niels Klazenga, Leon Malzinskas, Ros Marshallsea, Greg Martin, Margaret May, Al McDonald, Steve Murphy, Jim Murray, Arthur O’Connell, June Parsons, Jennifer Reed, Peter Signorini, Kevin Ware, Neil White, Stephen Wood

200 km, 17-Feb-08, WA, Bacon Buttie Organiser: Tom Willis

200 km, 9-Dec-07, WA, Post Party Pedal Organiser: Tony Gillespie Hari

Bjorn Blasse, Rod Godkin, Eamonn McCloskey, Hari Goonatillake, Tony Gillespie, Colin Law, Duncan Faux, Peter Kimber, Brian Hawes

Matthew Rawnsley, Oliver Portway, Mike Holmes, Richard Scheer, Glen Thompson

400 km, 27-Oct-07, VIC, Gippsland Gambol Organiser: Peter Matthews Ros Marshallsea, Jane May

400 km, 1-Dec-07, SA, The Classic 400 Organiser: Matthew Rawnsley Allan Dickson, Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer

400 km, 15-Dec-07, VIC, Café au Lait, S’il vous plait Organiser: Chris Rogers Martin Haynes, Leigh Paterson, Chris Rogers, Jim Sobczynski, Kevin Ware

600 km, 29-Sept-07, VIC, Mallee Routes Organiser: Les Solley John Evans, Martin Hrotic, Ros Marshallsea, Jane May, Chris Rogers, Richard Scheer, Errol Schmidt, Jim Sobczynski

600 km, 27-Oct-07, VIC, Gippsland Gambol Organiser: Peter Matthews Stephen Chambers, Scott Plummer, Chris Rogers, Kevin Ware

600 km, 1-Dec-07, VIC, Jump The Gun Organiser: Gareth Evans Martin Haynes, Chris Rogers

Results for the Alpine Classic will be published as they become available.


Checkpoint Autumn 2008


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Checkpoint No. 35 (Autumn 2008)  
Checkpoint No. 35 (Autumn 2008)  

In this issue: Audax South Australia 20 Years; The 2006/07 Audax year; York, York and more York; Training Notes: Bunch Riding; Keeping a rid...