Audax rides

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  • It's looking a bit chilly overnight - how much of this ride is in darkness?

  • 6am start it's just getting light.

    Ideally I'll finish by 11pm (I'm not particularly fast).

    Last year the weather was horrendous and I finished at 4.45am (the clocks had gone forward an hour to BST at 2am.)

    Can't be worse than then.

  • the clocks had gone forward an hour to BST at 2am

    That old excuse ;)

  • Hoping for no blizzard climbing up to Broad Hinton this year.

    That hill and Hackpen Hill just after it are two that really could never benefit from a blizzard at anytime.

    Congrats at hitting them on fixed though. I rode up them on geared two weeks back for a different audax and caught back a fair few people who had gone off the front early on. I was definitely twiddling the granny ring for them.

  • Done. Took my time when I realised I wouldn't make the last train to London (11pm) and finished at 1am (the fast boys, including one on fixed, got in not much after 7pm).

    20.54kph average, not too shabby over 315km (I had to go on from Oxford to Wheatley) given I had about 4kg of stuff in the rackpack (I really need to learn to carry less stuff).

    Elenith next. 4700m climbing in 305km. Irfon Valley. Devil's Staircase. Elan Valley. 67"?

  • Well done, that was a rough wind out there on Saturday, hope it didn't set you too far off the pace. 20+kph average is what I aim for. After three hours of riding you'll have a nice comfortable buffer for mechanicals and the like.

    The Elenith

    That's a little scary

  • Well done Greenback. I keep on meaning to have go at some Audax rides.

    I went out yesterday just to do a route check on the first and most complicated part of a solo ride I'm planning in a few weeks (200 km). I've done the distance before it's just the route finding I find really slows me down.

    Have you guys got any tips for route planning / reading. I've just been using a google maps directions and pages from a old road atlas in a plastic envelope and then stuffed under my arm / camel back strap. Not the most convenient but better than in my bag.

  • I usually use pages from a road map and just pick a route from a-b based on what the conditions are like on the day. If you want something more detailed, then use audax style short forms.

    TL - Turn Left
    TR - Turn Right
    SP - Signposted (will have a place name after it)
    no SP - There is no signpost or other reliable landmark
    LT - Left at T junction
    RT - Right at Tjunction
    @X - At crossroads. (This only applies when the road you are on crosses a dominant road and you do not have right of way, otherwise
    @ - at (instruction to be followed at the listed landmark)
    trl - traffic lights
    rnd - mini roundabout
    RND - roundabout
    drnd - double rnd
    Bf - Before (instruction is to be followed just before stated landmark)
    Aft - After (instruction is to be followed shortly after stated landmark)
    Opp - Opposite (instruction is to be followed Opposite stated landmark)
    Imm - Instruction is to be followed immediately after the last one.

    1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc - instruction to be followed at that instance of a landmark.

    Road numbers are written in italics at the end of an instruction to indicate that you are using that road.

    Other instructions are infrequent enough to be written in longhand.

  • Have you guys got any tips for route planning / reading. I've just been using a google maps directions and pages from a old road atlas in a plastic envelope and then stuffed under my arm / camel back strap. Not the most convenient but better than in my bag.

    I plan my long rides on bikely.com by looking for the most appropriate roads (zooming out every so often to check I'm going in roughly the right direction). I avoid roads that look like they're going to be busy/nasty but it's mainly down to experience and feel.

    80 quid buys you a bog standard Garmin eTrex H GPS, bike mount, and a cable (off eBay) to upload routes to it from the computer. There are then plenty of free bits of software (I use GPS Trackmaker Free on Windows) to do this. None of this involves buying any maps for the GPS. I simply follow the instruction/arrow at each turn. In other words, I tell it what to tell me at each junction.

    One routepoint per turn, labelled in a similar style to the above (there's a 6 character limit to names on older GPSes) and off you go.

    For example, this is Putney to Padstow:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/143­181
    

    Without that expense or gadgetry, just plot the route on bikely and make a note of where you are/what to do at each junction as above. Type this up so that it's nice and easy to read and either laminate it or whack it in a ziploc bag and lash it to the handlebars.

    Polaris MapTrap or Rixen & Kaul Minimap will allow you to attach it to the handlebars to be read much more easily.

    Also buy a cheap spiral bound 1:250,000 road atlas (often available in pound shops or cheap at service stations) and rip out the pages covering your route. Stick in waterproof ziploc bag in case of emergency.

  • Also buy a cheap spiral bound 1:250,000 road atlas (often available in pound shops or cheap at service stations) and rip out the pages covering your route. Stick in waterproof ziploc bag in case of emergency.

    If you do this and you expect to be riding in the dark, highlight the route in flourescent marker pen.

    Also, if I'm trying to decide between a major A road and a longer back road, I use google earth to see just what the main route is like. Zoom in and track it along. This is how I discovered that there is a 16 mile cycle lane all along the A40 from Witney to Wheatley. Although this isn't the most fun ride available, it did save a lot of time and distance between two points. Also, streetmap.co.uk is handy for checking out the gradients as it goes into OS detail.

  • Thanks. confirmed that I'm pretty much doing things as standard. I just wanted to check there was a extra little trick I'd been missing. I have my own short hand and pictures which I have been using for over 10 years driving so I just tend to add that to the google maps directions as my notes.

    I've considered GPS but not being very flush I'd have to be sure I will get alot of regular use out of it. I'm not read to splash the cash. I may try some sort of map holder though to save tucking the map under may arm.

  • Good idea with google earth.

  • Handlebar bags are handy for holding routesheets and maps if you're not too self concious about how they lool. I've got one from Decathlon that I've been using for years and it works pretty well. Has a main compartment, two side pockets and a front pouch which is easily reachable on the roll for routesheets and maps.

  • I tend not to really use technology. When I first went on the Dun Run, I was completely baffled how anyone could possibly use that route sheet format to navigate successfully--it doesn't work for me in any way. When I was preparing the night rides I organised recently, I discovered that the way in which I need to navigate is simply by doing detailed map study beforehand and by writing a route sheet based entirely on names, both road names and place names.

    That's how I can remember things, and it works extremely well for me. I have a small additional light on my bars that I can take off to point at the route sheet holder on the rare occasions when I need to look up something on the sheet, which is better for me than a lamp mounted on my head. Old-fashioned and non-technological for me, but I've got a good memory and I might as well use it.

  • I can see the advantage of GPS though, it would be a lot quicker and you could do alot more complicated routes more easily, i.e avoiding main roads.

  • The advantages of GPS are indisputable, but I wouldn't use it unless I felt I actually needed it for something. People are always using technology like this when there's just no need, and I think are often poorer for it.

  • Devil's Staircase. Elan Valley. 67"?

    Ouch. I've climbed that geared, passing lots of other geared people walking it.
    67" would be too overgeared for me I reckon but I'm fucking 'eavy.

  • Ouch. I've climbed that geared, passing lots of other geared people walking it.
    67" would be too overgeared for me I reckon but I'm fucking 'eavy.

    I walked it last year even though I had a 30x29 on my triple. It looked like too much hard work to cycle up it, will opt for the same strategy this year.

  • Easter Monday - reliability ride in Essex. Not quite Audax but a good early season test. Last year it snowed.

    http://www.londonphoenix.co.uk/pages/eas­ter-classic/09/

  • I've signed up for the london phoenix above.

    I've got the memory of a goldfish and a terrible sense of direction, its quite good as I like getting lost but if I'm going out on a cycle I hate having to stop and look at maps and work out where I am and how to get where I want. So I bought a garmin edge 705, amazing machine still not got it totally dialed yet but its been brilliant so far, you plan a route in bikeroutetoaster then upload it and then follow the map on screen and it beeps at junctions and stuff telling you where to go. It is expensive but I would definately recomend one if you think you will use it alot.

    Did a century yesterday and it made the whole ride really simple, even though I'd never been on the roads before, once I've got it set up to tell me in advance what way to go at a junction/turning rather than when I'm on it the rides will flow even better and you will be able to ride it like you've been there loads of times before.

  • I walked it last year even though I had a 30x29 on my triple. It looked like too much hard work to cycle up it, will opt for the same strategy this year.

    I don't like being beaten by a hill so will bury myself to complete it but I'm only doing short day rides not crazy Audax distances. It makes a lot of sense to walk it if riding it is going to shag you out for the rest of the ride.

  • I do hate to be beaten by a hill but try to remain sensible about it. Stopped three times on a mile long 25%er yesterday to catch my breath, but it was worth it.

    On the other hand, I did a fair bit of walking on the Wild Wales Challenge last year with it's 30%er up to Gellilydan. I also had some trouble retaining traction on climb up to Cader Idris because the road was wet and mossy. Once you've lost traction, it can be hard to get started again. My gf, who does cyclocross, got off and ran past a bunch of people grinding the granny gears, much to their dismay.

  • Easter Monday - reliability ride in Essex. Not quite Audax but a good early season test. Last year it snowed.
    http://www.londonphoenix.co.uk/pages/eas­ter-classic/09/

    I've signed up for this just now as well.

  • Good. Fixed or geared?

  • I don't like being beaten by a hill so will bury myself to complete it but I'm only doing short day rides not crazy Audax distances. It makes a lot of sense to walk it if riding it is going to shag you out for the rest of the ride.

    Did you get up that steep hill in the Burgess Hill sportive the other week? I was about to get off and walk which most people were doing but then one of the guys who I had been riding with over took me which spurred me on. Had a bit of blurred vision by the time I got to the top though. Putting on a compact chainset over the next few weeks!

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Audax rides

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