Audax riding

by Gkam84   September 16, 2011  

So after watching the video in this article its got me interested in doing some Audax riding

http://road.cc/content/news/43908-video-towards-ocean-paris-brest-paris-...

So i headed over to http://www.aukweb.net and had a read up, after seeing Dave's name pop up on there, i thought this would be the perfect place to ask a couple of questions.

Firstly, i can't find anything on the site apart from this about bikes

Quote:
What kind of bike is best for Audax?
The truth is, anything will do. But make sure it is roadworthy, well maintained and checked over before the start of any long ride.
The most popular type of bike is something at the 'fast' end of 'touring', and many UK manufacturers now offer bikes badged as 'Audax' or 'Randonneur', which will have quite a lot in common with a lightweight steel-framed club racing bike while retaining the necessary clearances and brazings for mudguards and a luggage rack.

My problem being i physically couldn't go that length of time or mileage upright, so are recumbent's (i know, a swear word Wink ) allowed of Audax riding?

My other question, apart from those listed on the site, are there any other places to find Audux rides in the UK?

11 user comments

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Hi Gkam. Any road bike will suffice. It used to be that you had to have mud guards but that is no longer a requisite. Panniers only needed if you doing a extremely long cycle requiring an overnight stop. What you need to remember is that an Audax expects you to finish within a given average mph. (Eg 13 - 17). They tend to be more social than a sportive and much cheaper. The feed stations are great (proper food Big Grin ) also while a gps may be useful the direction sheet will get you round so you need to be pretty observant. Especially when you get your brevet card marked up and they ask you a couple of questions!!!

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posted by giff77 [1048 posts]
16th September 2011 - 10:49

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You can ride pretty much anything you want on an audax. The point is that you have to finish the distance, self-supported, in a specific time, so if you can do that on a recumbent you can ride that. You could probably ride a unicycle if you liked, i doubt anyone would much care. There'll be some fast chaps on race bikes shooting off the front and a wide range of other machines. I ride my Genesis normally, that's an audax bike in all but name...

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7317 posts]
16th September 2011 - 11:16

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I'm pleased the video has got you interested.
Recumbents are fine for audax, there were a whole variety of different shapes and sizes of recumbent that took part in Paris Brest Paris and a number who feature on regular audaxes here
the http://www.aukweb.net/events/ link will give you the comprehensive list of all calendar audax events that you can enter and ride with others. There is no other independent source of events as audax rides in the UK are those administrated by Audax UK by definition!
However a number of the rides are available to do as "permanents" where you can ride them on your own or with others on a day of your choosing and you can even construct a "DIY" ride where you choose the route and control points - more info on the audax web site
Audax rides are discussed on a number of forums but you will find a load more info on the http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=17.0 site
hope that all helps - I've only got into this over the last year or so but have enjoyed enormously the friendship and conversation as well as the opportunity to see swathes of the country that I would previously bypassed on A Roads and Motorways

posted by pipsuds [43 posts]
16th September 2011 - 13:26

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_some_ audax rides still require mudguards AIUI... all the instructions and requirements are on the audax website ride calandar thingy.

didds

posted by didds [41 posts]
16th September 2011 - 17:25

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Thanks for that pipsuds

Yeah i understand that some require mudguards, any idea why this is?

I'm sure i could fabricate some for my recumbent trike Nerd

Will have a look into it further with a view to starting next year because there are only 3 left in Scotland this year that i doubt i'll be doing Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
16th September 2011 - 18:03

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I've only done one audax and found it to be great and really friendly without all the posing you can find on sportives. Cake was excellent too!
I think the mudguard thing was more symbolic than anything as it showed a courtesy to other riders and shows that it wasn't all about performance. Unless its wet I wouldnt have thought anyone would mind if you don't have them fitted.

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
16th September 2011 - 21:16

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The mudguards request for some audaxes is simply about being a considerate rider. Firstly to fellow riders so they don't get spattered by your spray but also to cafes and their owners who may have agreed to host a control point but would appreciate not having 30 muddy and wet riders on their furniture!
Its not generally a requirement for most rides but many do have mudguards especially in the autumn/winter/spring

posted by pipsuds [43 posts]
17th September 2011 - 12:41

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I support pipsuds comments about mudguards. I've only been Audaxing since 2007, and the requirement is pretty much only in the winter months, and on country roads where muddy routes will mean muddy behinds sitting on cafe seats.
The courtesy to cafe owners, and consideration to riders behind you, is the reason.
Sadly many riders mis-interpret the mudguard requirement, and mistakenly think we are not cool.

Lycra Man

posted by Lycra Man [3 posts]
8th November 2011 - 13:48

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Don't get too hung up on the "it's a long way and I can't ride that far and my backside is going to hurt so I need a recumbent" thing. Unless there's a medical reason why, of course.

I got my first road bike 2.5 yrs ago, and initially 60 miles was a long way. Ramping up the distance gradually, within a season I rode 350 miles over 24 hrs, and this year rode 764 miles of Paris-Brest-Paris in 79 hrs. I wouldn't claim comfort for the whole distance, but it was never the limiting factor.

Three key things, in my view:

Bike fit. If you're considering a new bike, take the time to go to a good bike shop (ask local cycle clubs who's good) and get yourself measured. Proper fit makes a massive difference.

Time: Not just enough of it to get gradually used to long distances, but using it intelligently. There are much more efficient approaches than just "getting in the miles".

Clothing: I believe the Norwegians have a saying - "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". This doesn't have to mean expensive, but the right stuff makes a huge difference. Especially if you're doing a winter Audax in the ice and snow.

posted by flobble [42 posts]
10th November 2011 - 10:17

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Thanks again for commenting folks

Yes it would be for a medical reason, i have problems in my lower back that restrict me from pushing my rides out to far, i'm quite happy to do 100+ miles but i suffer for days afterwards having to go and get my back clicked back into place and massage for the muscles, the only bonus to that is, my legs never seem to suffer on long rides Big Grin

Yeah it is something like that the Norwegians say, but coming from Scotland and living not far from a ski slope, i'm quite prepared clothing wise Nerd

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
10th November 2011 - 12:32

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Lycra Man wrote:
Sadly many riders mis-interpret the mudguard requirement, and mistakenly think we are not cool.

Lycra Man


Very true LM, they are the ones that are not cool. I find that the people who are snobby about such things are really rather insecure.

The idea that mudguards are uncool is based on the silly idea that these useful items shouldn't be seen on a 'racing' bicycle. However, since pro riders like David Millar and Michael Barry use them on their training bikes I'm sure they aren't as terminally awful as some fools might suggest.

I fail to understand why deliberately allowing mud, cowshit, grit and cold water spray all over your arse, feet, legs and so on for 3 hours is a good idea.

Gkam84, I hope you enjoy your riding, whatever 2 or 3 wheeled device you're aboard and regardless of how the event is named. It's all about the riding in the end Smile

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
10th November 2011 - 16:10

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