Discussion in 'Beginners' started by HJ, 5 Aug 2007.
I feel slightly embarrassed at asking this, but what is Audax?
I think it's a brand of earwax remover
The Audax UK website does a pretty good job of explaining what it is;
Why people do it and what they get out of it is a whole different question, to which there are many answers
You have to find your own way round, with a route sheet sent by the organiser. There are no direction signs. I've done a couple organised by my own club, but they are not really my cup of tea. They tend to be a bit cliquey, if you turn up on a race bike you sometimes have to put up with a few abrasive comments from the bearded brigade on their 1950's Ephgraves.
Having to stop seventeen times in five miles to check your route sheet (and still going off course) either appeals or it doesn't. For me, it didn't. I'm not knocking them in general, there are many who are happy to base all there cycling round these events.
stopping to check a route sheet 17 times in 5 miles =
a) stupid or
blind or, most likely
c) roadie (a combination of a) and )
A posh name for a LONG bike ride: or if you prefer, randonneur.
Long, slow rides for beardy-weirdies!
No all long, (they range from 50km to 1400km +) and not necessarily 'slow' - though the definition of slow depends on how fast you can ride. Some of the events are actually races - PBP is one for example, though only the elite riders actually race, most just aim to get round within the time limit. I've not seen many who can out-speed the control opening times though, not even ex category 1 racers and those who are actually active in racing at cat 3 level. I have managed to out speed control 1 a few times on some of the very shortest events - 100km for example, but once past the first control most people slow down and it's a very few riders who can out-speed controls all the way round events, especially on the longer events
NB - I don't have a beard, although weirdness may be down to interpretation!
I have never found audaxes cliquey and ride a Serrotta 'race bike'. Most people on the events seem friendly enough. However, they are not club rides and others will not usually wait for you unless you have made a prior arrangement with someone. I think it depends on how outgoing you are and also on which events you do. The better attended events (usually the shorter events of 100 to 150km) are better for socialising as there'as a higher probability that there will be others riding at your pace. I do agree though, that you pays yer money and takes yer choice - audax is cheap, at £3 to £5 for most events, inlcuding those of 600km, which at a near enough to a 30 hour ride time for most people, including me, you can't really beat for good value! Therefore audaxes are fairly 'shoestring events' in that you must read your own routesheet or use a map - there are no marshalls, signs etc. as these things tend to cost more money. They do vary with regard to catering and HQ facilites but this tends to be reflected in the price with better catered events having a slightly larger fee. The spirit of Audax though, is all about self sufficiency and challenging yourself agaist the open road. By way of comparison, Sportives are more expensive at about £20 (or more in some cases) and I guess you get what you pay for.
Regarding the ease of reading the route sheet - this does get easier the more events you do. Some organisers are better than others for their route sheet writin skill and each has their own style of doing them, so the more of one person's events you do, the better used to their style you will get. Reading them becomes second nature soon enough anyway. You should not need to stop to read a route sheet - it's best to either attach it to the stem or bar so you can see it at all times, or have it easily reachable in your jersey pocket. Memorising two or three turns ahead helps too.
Just enter a local audax see if you like it.Blonde 600km in 30 hrs is amazing ! Thats the kind of cyclist I want to be,.
I've done about half a dozen Audax rides and I've managed to get lost on all but one of them!! The last one I did I added 15 miles to what should have been a 100 km route! If you stay with a group, it's fine, but have a puncture half way round and you are by yourself for the rest of the ride. You have to refer to the route planner at every junction which is a bit of a pain. However, if the weather is good, an Audax ride can be quite rewarding and enjoyable and the routes are usually on quiet country lanes. I'm doing another 100k on Sunday so they can't be that bad.
Having done a few sportives this year I quite fancy trying an Audax. However, I'm less than keen on getting lost. (With my inability to follow a map/directions it's quite inevitable that at some point I will deviate from the route!)
Is it possible to use some sort of GPS when doing them?
You would be beaten to death by men with beards and lumberjack shirts. Even a digital watch is frowned upon.
Yes they’re becoming quite popular. If you haven't already got one I'd try a couple of rides before investing. I've never had trouble following the route sheet, the occasional slight diversion, but nothing that distracted from the ride. Groups form on the road, so the effort of navigation is shared, though it's advisable to keep track of where you are, should you split. Many groups will have riders who've done that ride before or with local knowledge. Every Audax I've done is different. I've enjoyed them all but some far more than others. If you're going to try them I'd recommend you plan at least 4, and do all 4 before making your mind up.
That will be the least of their worries. I've no mud-guards or panniers and my bike (including the wheels) is made from carbon. I do have a beard though.
I sort of already have a gps/satnav, I run both tomtom and memory-map on my phone. I say sort of because without a charger the battery life is rather dismal. I normally only get about 2.5/3 hours use. I will be able to use it to get me back on track if I go wrong; but it wont last long enough to guide me along the entire route.
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