Things I learnt on my 300km audax

Dave does his first 300km Audax on the Jamis Quest and reports back his findings

by Dave Atkinson   May 13, 2012  

Chufy and Wivvy

1) If you're packing for a 300km audax and you have a choice of mending a small hole in your best, comfiest shorts or packing some other shorts, MEND THE HOLE IN YOUR BEST SHORTS.

2) Check your equipment. For example, if you make sure your charging lead for your phone isn't a loose fit then you won't have to fashion a rudimentary cable support out of zip ties halfway round and spend the rest of the ride only able to see half the screen. For example.

3) That Jamis Quest. That's a cracking Audax bike is that.

4) If you're starting at 6am in May after a clear night, and you've only packed your mitts, don't expect to be able to use your hands for the first hour or two.

5) If you're riding to Cheddar in a headwind, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a tailwind RIDING THE EXACT SAME ROAD IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION AN HOUR LATER. Grrrrr.

6) Chamois cream is your friend. Take some extra with you to reapply half way round. Suntan lotion doesn't work quite as well, although it's better than nothing. Probably.

7) Anyone who thinks the country is too crowded and the roads are narrow and dangerous should try the B3227 from Barnstaple to Wiveliscombe. Lovely wide smooth tarmac, graded climbs, not a soul on it. Magic.

8) You can never have too many home made energy bars.

30 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Classy pic... Surprise

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
13th May 2012 - 21:01

1 Like

Well done mate 300k is some ride regardless of the terrain. Applause

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
13th May 2012 - 21:04

2 Likes

that pictures just up the road from me Cool

Do what you love and the rest will follow !!!!

posted by dmc [52 posts]
13th May 2012 - 21:17

0 Likes

6) Especially if you are a German naturist.

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
13th May 2012 - 21:30

2 Likes

dmc wrote:
that pictures just up the road from me Cool

you get to ride the lovely B3227 whenever you want then. lucky chump Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7432 posts]
14th May 2012 - 7:34

3 Likes

let's have the energy bar recipe then...

Really, though?

posted by workhard [388 posts]
14th May 2012 - 7:42

3 Likes

workhard wrote:
let's have the energy bar recipe then...

1) some oats
2) some seeds
3) some nuts
4) some fruit
5) a tin of condensed milk

mix together, bake till brown. nom.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7432 posts]
14th May 2012 - 7:50

3 Likes

Would have laughed at the wind direction comment if I'd
not had just that on a 100km sportive on Sunday !!!!

Congrats on the 300k Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [725 posts]
14th May 2012 - 8:20

2 Likes

People take the piss out of the brown bar tape on my Ribble Audax but I'm obviously rocking the look now.

Just need a RoadCC Jumper that fits like that (i.e. Lose more weight) Big Grin

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
14th May 2012 - 8:42

0 Likes

Would a 'mamil' with a carbon and no mudguards (me) get strung up from the nearest tree for entering one of these events? Or is the kit obligatory?

posted by SideBurn [836 posts]
14th May 2012 - 9:00

0 Likes

Great achievemant, Dave- really makes a person feel trapped in the office today.

Love the cartoon counterpoint of the road sign. Round body on skinny legs, stuff in its jersey pockets, with large B3227 standing to attention....

posted by clayfit [28 posts]
14th May 2012 - 9:27

4 Likes

SideBurn wrote:
Would a 'mamil' with a carbon and no mudguards (me) get strung up from the nearest tree for entering one of these events? Or is the kit obligatory?

of the 16 (i think) riders, at least three were on carbon bikes with no 'guards

mudguards aren't obligatory. if it's raining and you want to ride in a group on an audax, you'd want to fit 'em for everyone's benefit. don't really need them on a sunny saturday though

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7432 posts]
14th May 2012 - 9:47

3 Likes

Well done Dave! My first 300 due in a couple of weeks, so I've taken notes, mainly re muesli bars.

Sideburn despite the cliches there seem to me a few types that actually turn up on the day - for a 200 down my way (London/Essex) you'll get a large turn out of club guys on club guy type bikes (carbon, ribble winter trainers, out and out race bikes). The only thing to check is that the event isn't 'mudguards compulsory', otherwise you can ride what the hell you like. Steel and titanium is default only 'cause it lasts forever and you get more guard options. I once rode next to one of the guys who did 20k+ a year and he was on a Giant carbon TCR without guards (must have been his 'short' ride bike).

So yes, ride one. Enjoyable, go at your own pace without the pressure of a timing chip, and cheap. Cafes are always well chosen and are expecting you to be wet and smelly. Also a fascinating glimpse into a genuinely errr, idiosycratic part of the cycling world.

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [275 posts]
14th May 2012 - 9:57

0 Likes

There were 14 finishers, with a 6am start the first person was back just before 8pm.

The last two arrived just before 1am

The weather was very good

Next event in this series is the Kernow and Southwest 600km starting from Exeter, details here

http://www.ukcyclist.org.uk/ksw600

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [291 posts]
14th May 2012 - 10:09

3 Likes

gonna pass on the 600 for this year Big Grin

I'll see you at the Avalon Sunrise 400 in June though

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7432 posts]
14th May 2012 - 10:14

3 Likes

Brilliant piece. Did you make it to Dulverton over the course of the ride? If not, then I highly recommend a return trip to Lewis's tea room there. Truly spectacular cake and/or cream teas Smile

jamesfifield's picture

posted by jamesfifield [94 posts]
14th May 2012 - 10:41

7 Likes

Sideburn
If you want an intro to these events, then come along this Saturday (19th May) to the 109 miler coast to coast ride. Starts at Kentisbeare Village Hall - registration on the day starts at 07h30 for an 08h00 ride start.

They'll be plenty of MAMILs with carbon/titanium bikes and no mudguards!!

Devon Bike Builders's picture

posted by Devon Bike Builders [3 posts]
14th May 2012 - 10:44

1 Like

Oh dear, Sideburn - looks like you're on the radar now for 'conversion' Smile

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
14th May 2012 - 11:00

1 Like

Back in the day I thought the 'old guys' were great. You know the ones, mud guards, spokes taped to the frame,tool kit, who had no problem keeping up with us 'young upstarts' with thinly disguised racing bikes, minimal kit. I now ride in the rain wondering why I don't get mudguards and am coming to terms with being an 'old guy'. Audax's look like a challenge and free from the b.s. and the trail of empty gel wrappers that goes with sportives. Do you just need to pace yourself or do you need to get the miles in?

posted by SideBurn [836 posts]
14th May 2012 - 11:18

3 Likes

Congrats on the 300, Dave!

No.5 is so true. I did a blustery 110km Audax yesterday and it felt like I was riding into a headwind for at least 90% of the time.

posted by MCLK [83 posts]
14th May 2012 - 13:25

0 Likes

Sideburn

I've been baby Audaxing for a couple of years (200km or less) and the main problem I have is slowing down - that sounds stupid, but if you've been throwing yourself around the universe as fast as you can for a few decades where a long ride is 4/5 hours then the recalibration takes a while. It's like the old school 'getting in the miles' training, except that's the main event. Of course you can flog yourself to death if you want!

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [275 posts]
14th May 2012 - 13:28

2 Likes

There is only one wind direction when you are riding a bike. It's called a North-South-East-Westerly, and you are always heading into it.

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [275 posts]
14th May 2012 - 13:29

2 Likes

All good points!

for my lejogle ride due to start next week I was peaking with my training last week and likewise did a 301km ride on the thursday, I then followed it up with 276km on friday as a good test.

on the 301 day I also got my first puncture in 4500km (ironically it was 2 hrs after I had offered an old boy the use of my (only) co2 cartridge - which thankfully he declined!

i think I am a little fool hardy though, my saddle pack has a co2,tube and a multitool and everything else goes in my pockets - its a great feeling to feel your pockets get lighter as the day wears on!

total km for the 7 days of training 1220 - good times indeed!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [365 posts]
14th May 2012 - 14:38

3 Likes

Um, the B3277 is miles away from Barnstaple...

posted by localsurfer [165 posts]
15th May 2012 - 18:29

4 Likes

I assumed Dave means the B3227; it would have been quite a scenic detour across the border to the B3277. He is either Superman, needs a drug test or would have noticed his mistake! Honiton to St Agnes, Cheddar Gorge and back in one day? How many pasty's would that take?

posted by SideBurn [836 posts]
15th May 2012 - 20:21

0 Likes

re 5)- it's like BBQ smoke; follows u'round.
take it as a compliment- normally de win'don care!

"Inside every car is a pedestrian, just Waiting to get out..." S.J.L.

scotter's picture

posted by scotter [64 posts]
16th May 2012 - 21:57

4 Likes

That mention of home mad energy bars is making me think it's time for my mid morning snack already!

Lovely article - short sharp and inspiring.

Tom

Brevet

Tom Eeles- SwissRetreat Cycling Tours's picture

posted by Tom Eeles- Swis... [7 posts]
17th May 2012 - 9:52

2 Likes

I was one of those who did it on a carbon bike with no 'guards, and the light weight was a definite advantage over that lumpy route. However I'd say do a 200 on your bike first, as the relatively harsh ride of a carbon frame will be exaggerated over the extra distance. I'd also definitely add some sort of 'guards for that distance if there's a likelihood of rain.

posted by alreynolds [7 posts]
18th May 2012 - 12:16

0 Likes

SideBurn wrote:
Do you just need to pace yourself or do you need to get the miles in?

It's a bit of both. My first audax a couple of years ago was the Avalon Sunrise 400km and I did that having never ridden longer than 100 mile sportive's before. I went out too hard and suffered for the last half but made it around. I would say ideally work your way up 200- 300- 400- 600 as you learn from your mistakes each time. Here's my data from Saturday: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/177462613 which hopefully shows a reasonably consistent pace and heart rate (for the course), which definitely makes it easier and more enjoyable when doing 300km or above.

posted by alreynolds [7 posts]
18th May 2012 - 12:34

2 Likes

Don't you just love computers! Soon we won't even have to ride our bikes!

posted by SideBurn [836 posts]
18th May 2012 - 21:46

1 Like