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I've signed up for my first audax, in fact my first properly long distance road ride, although I've done plenty of longish distance MTB rides/races.

I'm happy with clothing, body and food, but what tips and tricks are going to make me an audax regular?

Currently I'm going to get busy with the highlighters on the route sheets (list type with instructions and distances) to make reading them quick and easy (stolen from motorcycle rallies).

I'm going to mark up some bits of OS map as a backup and as part of the route passes close to home I can calibrate my computer to match the course setter. Bike is fairly comfortable for 3-4hr rides and has mudguards, so I assume will be bearable for a longer outing (how long is 215km going to take?).

I think I'm going to need some way of quickly getting at the route sheet so a map holder could be a good idea, I'll also need to carry a few bits and bobs of food and clothing, so maybe thinking about a bar bag although worried about a clash with bar mounted light etc. Any recommendations for either of these?

What else is going to make this long hellish day of pedalling a joy?

What exactly have I done  13 ?

40 comments

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cactuscat [284 posts] 5 years ago
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Got your beard on the go?  4 4

Only joking. I like audaxes me. Deffo get a bar bag, it's the best way of getting at all your stuff on the go. One with a map holder on the top is a plus...

assuming it's 15-30kph then 215km is going to take, erm, between seven and fourteen hours  26 if it's your first then best to take it easy i'd say, aim for maybe 12hrs total and pick up the pace a bit if you're feeling okay after the halfway mark.

Will your bike be comfortable? well, you'll find out  19 seriously though, there's no way of knowing other than trying. don't be afraid to tweak your position if you do get uncomfortable.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 5 years ago
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Hi Austen, which audax is it?

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austen [30 posts] 5 years ago
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The LVIS ball buster on 28 March, think that there were a few people on here thinking about signing up. I'm pretty familiar with the loop south of Bristol as I live out in the Chew Valley, loop north is a bit of a mystery at the moment (but that's the fun).

At least the long route doesn't finish over Dundry Hill!

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 5 years ago
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see you on the start line  1

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TheHatter [770 posts] 5 years ago
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I've only done one before but the experienced guys (including a PBP veteran) had map holders for the route guide along with a handy rubber band to move down to the next instruction line so you could see at a glance where you were heading next.

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workhard [397 posts] 5 years ago
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essential ingredient for rides of 200km and above imo is sheer bloody mindedness. Physically you may not 'enjoy' it, especially the second half, the first couple of times until your body gets accustomed. Eat before you get hungry, drink before you get thirsty, use the toilet facilities when you get the chance, and fill your water bottles when you can. Don't waste time at controls; having a control checklist can help with this. Adjust your clothing as required, layers! use your gears to make life easy and as others have said, pace yourself. YMMV.

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austen [30 posts] 5 years ago
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All good stuff thanks, rubber band for the instruction line is a great idea.

More overnight thinking has got me wondering about how to rig up my Petzl headtorch onto my helmet for reading the course notes if (when) it gets dark. Not that I have one, but I presume GPS is frowned upon/banned?

Fully expecting to grovel the latter stages workhand. I'm not sure what you mean by a control checklist though, do you mean a list of controls or is there some funny multi-faceted 'masons handshake' I need to do at each control? You've got me worried now!

Riding in to work this morning I'm quite looking forward to it.

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Simon E [2539 posts] 5 years ago
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To save carrying your OS maps, why not get a cheap road atlas and rip pages from that? You can pick one up for a couple of quid from discount shops and so on, or maybe a secondhand bookshop.

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 5 years ago
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GPS is not frowned upon or banned. Or if it is frowned upon, then the frowning was done behind my back! Or maybe they didn't notice, or don't know what one is.

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vorsprung [277 posts] 5 years ago
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If you have a bar mounted light then I would guess that a saddlebag rather than a barbag might be a good idea

It is a real advantage to have a route sheet holder. Mine is made from corrugated plastic

My top tip is don't follow other people, follow the routesheet

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vorsprung [277 posts] 5 years ago
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workhard wrote:

essential ingredient for rides of 200km and above imo is sheer bloody mindedness. Physically you may not 'enjoy' it....

My first 200 wasn't like this. The day after I might have felt a bit tired but I don't remember it being such a struggle. I definitely enjoyed it.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 5 years ago
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Will see you on the start like Austen, will be interesting to say the least. Im doing the three peaks trial in the Brecon Beacons the day before so you and Dave may have to push me up the hills!

Im relieved that the long one doesnt go over Dundry, some people at Badtri reckon that it does...just winding me up I guess.

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austen [30 posts] 5 years ago
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No route of Dundry but it does go up and one of the roads out of West Harptree up onto the top of the Mendips, can't remember which one off the top of my head, but all are evil so it doesn't really matter!

After the trial and Saturday I think you'll deserve a push, I'm planning on spending the day preparing by lying down as much as possible!

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G-bitch [321 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm riding that one too. Most important thing that I've found is just to eat and drink regularly.

I'll be riding a Hewitt frame if anyone wants to say hello.

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 5 years ago
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I'll either be on my shiny new Genesis Equilibrium (if i can get it built up in time!) or a Salsa Fargo...

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austen [30 posts] 5 years ago
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I'll be on my blue Kaffenback (XL with a lot of seatpost showing) so say hello if you're there. There is a small possibility I'll be accompanied by a 'larger gentleman' on a CAAD9 too (if he actually turns up...).

I did part of the route over the Mendips and down to Glastonbury last weekend and it really was beautiful, should be a good day out.

Do you see the mental conditioning I'm doing already  3 ?

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MrsK [42 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm doing the wussy short one, though I feel justified as my baby is less than a year old and it's my first one and all.

Off to purchase a map holder now. I am relying a lot on my friend being more organised than I am and me knowing the last bit, including evil Dundry.

I'm planning to drive the bit of it I don't know, just so I've got a vague idea as well.

I'll be the worried looking lady on a steel Pinarello covered in maps.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 5 years ago
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I will likely be on a felt ar4 donning a road.cc jersey.

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Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
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i will be on my Boardman single speed as all the other bikes are in bits, but only doing the 100km as got to get home to eat cake.

 4

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 5 years ago
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Jon Burrage wrote:

I will likely be on a felt ar4 donning a road.cc jersey.

doesn't look like jersey weather right now:

http://www.metcheck.com/V40/UK/FREE/dayforecast.asp?zipcode=bath&day=6

 39 39 39

The Genesis lives! so i'll deffo be on that. it has mudguards. which it looks like i'll need.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 5 years ago
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Looks like fun, lovely cold, wet weather for a 215km ride!

Looking forward to seeing this genesis of yours.

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austen [30 posts] 5 years ago
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La, la, la, not listening (looking?). Weather is going to be perfect...

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 5 years ago
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Looks like this: Ultegra, Racelight fork, Alpha Q bars, Charge saddle. Actually the bars need changing to a shallow drop, gonna get some Salsa Bell Laps.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 5 years ago
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classy, I am envious of the mudguards in view of the weekend.

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Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

Looks like this: Ultegra, Racelight fork, Alpha Q bars, Charge saddle. Actually the bars need changing to a shallow drop, gonna get some Salsa Bell Laps.

looks good and considering that our english summers tend to be more wet and mild as of late and that a genesis equilibrium takes 'guards and that frame and fork package comes in at around £350, i think it kind of looks like a perfect british all round bike..think i'm gonna have to take a lump outa the kids inheritance.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 5 years ago
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good point well made Fringe, it appears to be great value for money. Are you going to make an appearance earlier to wave off the intrepid (stupid) 215km audax'ers?

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vorsprung [277 posts] 5 years ago
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Jon Burrage wrote:

Looks like fun, lovely cold, wet weather for a 215km ride!

Looking forward to seeing this genesis of yours.

It's not until next weekend
The weather could get far worse by then  4

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Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
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Jon Burrage wrote:

Are you going to make an appearance earlier to wave off the intrepid (stupid) 215km audax'ers?

i may well, or maybe i'll just catch you up  4

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 5 years ago
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Quote:

i think it kind of looks like a perfect british all round bike

that's what i'm hoping. while i'd love to be a racer the reality is that even at 15kg lighter than last year i'm still going to have my arse hanging out up the hills and i might as well go for something a bit more comfy and set up for the UK while i'm pootling along back there. that for me means steel, and 'guards. I love the Salsa Pistola but there's no 'guard eyelets and although the ride is superb the Equilibrium gives it a run for its money, and in terms of value it's a different league. I was hoping it'd sneak under 20lb with pedals but it's about 20.5lb kitted out as it is.

Took it out on the long (10 mile) commute today which includes a bit of unsurfaced stuff, some back roads and a nasty climb, and it's a sweet ride. I love it to bits. Needs shallower drops though but i've got that covered, hopefully in time for sunday...

WEATHER UPDATE: a bit wetter but *much* less windy is the forecast right now. I'd take that  4

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MrsK [42 posts] 5 years ago
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Metcheck is just saying cloudy at the moment, but I won't abandon the waterproof socks just yet. I know overshoes probably are better but they look sooooo wrong.

I'm hoping it's not too windy cos that bit around the Severn estuary is horrendous for channeling wind.

We got hugely wet on Saturday and I don't look forward to repeating it. Is taking a hip flask out of order?  39

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