If you love the challenge of long distance cycling, the Audax is a must for you.
The concept has been on my radar since I really got interested in long distance cycling a few years ago.
With the rise in Sportive popularity and the growth in people entering them to race I have been reluctant to enter them in more recent years. I wanted to tap in to something less commercial and more about time on the bike not speed on the bike, I want to explore and just enjoy my day out on two wheels and that's excactly what the Audax offers.
The addition of a new titanium bike which is super comfy to ride and the suggestion from a fellow Dunwich Dynamo rider the week before prompted me to go online and not only enter a 200km ride in Essex but join AudaxUK.
I entered and within minutes had the route sent to me with a welcome email. I downloaded the GPX on to my garmin and packed up some snacks for the ride.
The Essex R&R certainly doesn't stand for rest and relaxation. However, following on from years of racing it was a result to turn up to a cycle event and not only be relaxed but offered free breakfast before I set off; even though I was a good half hour later than planned!
The first 'control' was a post office about 20miles in from the start, we had to get a receipt to prove we had been. I purchased a cereal bar but was so excited by the receipt I ended up leaving my purchase in the shop!
The route was stunning with quiet country roads and a list of recommendations about good places to stop to refuel it was just like riding with a local.
The format of Audax means you are not having to keep up with the group and there's not strict start and finish time, you just hop on your bike and ride the route. The style of this Audax is known as Randonneuring, instead of riding together you cycle at your own pace, stop/sleep when you need, fuel yourself between 'controls' and finish within an agreed time limit.
Finished off with free teas and cake at the end, with a friendly bunch of cycling fanatics!
What more could a cyclist want?!