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.Smokin Joe said: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.
You would be beaten to death by men with beards and lumberjack shirts. Even a digital watch is frowned upon.RedBike said: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?
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.RedBike said:Is it possible to use some sort of GPS when doing them?
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.You would be beaten to death by men with beards and lumberjack shirts. Even a digital watch is frowned upon.