Audax events are longer rides over fixed routes with control points, often at cafes where you can stop for refreshment. The routes, in the main, stick to quiet roads and country lanes. They are very similar to a Sunday Club run in pace and spirit and they are an excellent way of exploring the countryside away from home.
Audaxes are not competitive; the control points en route must be attained at a time equivalent to riding at least 15 kph and no more than 30kph (including stops for refreshment). Unlike Sportives, individual times are not published - the emphasis is on completing a pleasant ride under your own steam using a route sheet supplied by the organisers; there are no markings en route to assist you.
Events vary in distance from 50km to 800 km. Most Club members usually undertake either 100 or 200 km rides for their first Audax Event.
For hardened long distance riders, the big event in the calendar is the Paris-Brest-Paris, 1200 km. Two club members, Graham Haysom and Billy Weir, have completed this event. In addition, Billy has ridden the London-Edinburgh-London. One of our leading TT record holders, Chris Herbert is also very active in long distance audax events.
The calendar of events can be found at http://www.audax.uk.net/.
Here is a calendar of some top Audax events that you might wish to consider for 2017 supplied by Chris...
The Horsepower 200 & Horsepower 100 – 4 March
200 and 100km rides from Churchend Dunmow – ‘rolling’, not hilly. Quiet roads, nice scenery etc.
Kent Invicta Grimpeur 100 / Kent Invicta Hilly 50 – 12 March
A hilly ride – the 100 has a total of 1890m of climbing and the 50 covers 945m. A good early season test and chance to get some hard earned miles in the legs.
The Cambridge Pork Pie (200km) / The Cambridge Spring Dash (100km) – 18 March
The Pork Pie is relatively hilly for an event starting in Cambridgeshire, although the hills mostly come toward the end. The Spring Dash is a nice easy 100km on a lot of roads I grew up on and train on when I’m back in Cambridge – some lumps, but nothing challenging. The organiser (Nick Wilkinson) is dead friendly and his events are always well run and well worth the entry fee.
Man of Kent 200 – 19 March
http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/17-34/ - 19 March
A great event held in high esteem by many – nothing too challenging, but great views and a well-run event. A good chance to get to know some more roads near your doorstep and explore the garden of England.
The Shark (200km) – 2 April
A relatively new event from Audax Club Hackney. They like their hills and this is a tough ride – great roads and awesome organisation will more than make up for the endless climbing, but only enter if you’re comfortable with over 3,000m of climbing in just 200km.
Chiltern Chiltern Bang Bang (200km) / Chiltern Roalds, Take Me Home (100km) – 1 May
Chiltern Chiltern Bang Bang is a mix of fast roads and tough climbs with great views – not one I’ve ridden (yet), but takes in a lot of roads I know well and would be an excellent introduction to the Chilterns for anyone looking for a Ride London warmup. Chiltern Roalds is a shortened version for anyone worried about the length or climbing while still maintaining some of the best views and roads – a great option for anyone not yet ready for a 200.
The London Ditchling Devil (200km) – 4 June
This is an extremely popular event that regularly sells out well in advance. Think of it as a tougher London-Brighton-London on nicer roads and with better feed stops. With 2,400m of climbing it won’t tear your legs off, but make sure you save something for Combe lane on the return to London!
Rowlands RAAAmble (200km) – 17 September
Run by the Audax arm of the Kingston Wheelers, this is a great ride along scenic (and sometimes very ‘rustic’) lanes. It’s hilly, but not relentless – you can get a feel for it here: https://www.relive.cc/view/666849431.