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Audax

edninoednino Posts: 684
In preparation for a 24hr event I think an audax or 2 would be good training.
I've never done one but done plenty of 100mile sportives last year. Few questions...

Why are they abut £5 compared to £25 sportives?
What do they mean by 'control at' and 'information control' ?
What else is different other than them being further?

Im a noob so any help welcome on audaxing

Posts

  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    They don't have big coloured arrows telling you which way to go. You have to navigate by yourself to various check points around the route where your card is stamped proving that you've done the course. You do this with a direction sheet which you carry with you which is pretty easy to follow. There will probably be access to food and drink along the way but there may not. You won't get a tee shirt or a medal or a goody bag. They are not competitive. They are run by enthusiasts not by businessmen

    They are great fun and tremendous value for money!
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Food @ audax's tends to be better than sportives from my limited experience.

    They aren't chip timed & you have to navigate. Also there will be less people entering than in a sportives & its likely more people will have beards.
  • Audax is great.

    They are self supported, there is no mechanics, no sag wagon but everybody will be really friendly.

    You will be given a card at the start which will have a number of boxes on it. At the physical controls you will get a stamp on your card whereas at the information control you will have to make a note about something (take a pen with you). This is often the distance to another village or the date on a building. This is to confirm that you have visited the control and therefore done the minimum distance.

    You can cycle any route you like between controls although there is always a recommended route. They are only £5 as you are paying for the printing of the cards and that is about it. All done by volunteers.

    Have a look at the Facebook audax Uk page or the audax forum under yacf.

    marcusjb will probably be along soon and will give even more info

    Chris
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    All of the above.

    A couple of extra tips. Some fabricate some sort of map pouch or clip for the route sheet to sit visibly on the stem or bars. My memory for directions is shocking and I find this really helps.
    Audax is catching up with gadgets, check the website, more and more have files of the route to download to your garmin.
    Don't be fooled by the old hands, some have many hundreds of thousands of km's in there legs and can ride at relentless speeds all day.

    Enjoy, it's huge fun.
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I did my first last year - The Season of the Mists from Hebden Bridge.

    Cost = £4.
    As mentioned above, this included a Brevet card to get stamped at two waypoints and tea and biscuits at the start. Navigation by plotted GPS route which was about as effective as the route cards folk had rolled over their wrists! The waypoints had food (you had to pay but it was cheap - we stopped at an alternative café en route).
    When we got back, there was loads of food supplied including fabulous home made rice pudding.
    The Brevet card was handed back and returned a few weeks later all stamped up and validated. I paid a quid or so extra for a cool Audax UK medal!

    Seems like brilliant value compared to £70 for the Eroica Brittania which gets you roughly the same and a campsite plot that I don't need!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    ednino wrote:
    In preparation for a 24hr event I think an audax or 2 would be good training.
    I've never done one but done plenty of 100mile sportives last year. Few questions...

    Why are they abut £5 compared to £25 sportives?

    Because they're by cyclists for cyclists. There is no greed, everyone volunteering and riding just loves cycling.
    ednino wrote:
    What do they mean by 'control at' and 'information control' ?

    A control is a designated place you stop in order to prove that you've ridden the route. A normal control will usually be at a cafe or shop and you need get your brevet card stamped or a receipt as proof. An information control is where they ask a question that you can only answer at a specific point on the route when typical controls are too far apart or inconvenient.
    ednino wrote:
    What else is different other than them being further?
    We all have beards.
    ednino wrote:
    Im a noob so any help welcome on audaxing
    Just get out there and ride. Loads of interesting people with great stories and none of the machismo BS you get with sportives.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Everyone has mudguards and a carradice saddle bag. The average age is 120 :-)
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    edited February 2014
    As others have said, it is a very inclusive community with people running events for the love of it, not to make a profit. Many of us 'put back' into audax by volunteering to help, whether it is pouring tea or stamping cards or whatever.

    The best way I ever heard it described was simply ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and it is true. Many people you will meet in audax are very understated, but they may have done some of the most incredible rides you have ever dreamed of. Never underestimate anyone - the chap on the crappy old bike wearing track suit bottoms and trainers, with a woolly hat? Could well be a multiple PBP finisher. He may be about to rip your legs off if you try and keep up with him!

    It is a very friendly environment where pretty much everyone has great respect for each other and we try and look after each other, especially on the really long stuff.

    It can also be horribly addictive, and like all good drugs, you just want more.
  • StedmanStedman Posts: 377
    Mikey23 wrote:
    Everyone has mudguards and a carradice saddle bag. The average age is 120 :-)
    Mikey,

    You may jest, but here in the East Midlands there are two guys here on steel framed bikes with the mudguards and a carradice saddle bags full of tools that can easily see me off (and I suspect most sportive riders on their lightweight carbon bikes)! I recently finished a 300k Audax in 11 hours including café stops, (sorry controls), to find that they had finished in front of me.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Oh yes me too!! And I was jesting, they are great guys and I look forward to doing my next one
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    +1 to all the above (especially about the beards and carradice bags!)

    Would add that they are also much more friendly and chatty bunch than you get on alot of sportives.

    Did my first (Grazeley) last year and doing it again soon. Downloaded the route onto my Garmin in advance and never even looked at the directions (100Y TR, 200Y CSO etc). You will need one or the other unless you stick with someone else who has them as sometimes there are less riders than other events so you can find yourself suddenly on your own for a short period until you catch someone or someone catches you - unless you take a wrong turn at that point!

    Control point was halfway at a great Cafe, so lunch & cake there. A couple of information points where as others say you have to answer a question about mileage to somewhere or the date on a monument or some such.

    Toast & biccies in the morning, soup, beans etc afterwards, all in a village hall.

    Cost is low because its not for profit, just to cover actual costs, which are lower because no signposts, no support vehicle, no feed stations en route etc.
  • I've done a few sportives but I'm doing my first Audax at the end of March - the Killhope Grimpeur - supposedly quite difficult :D
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I've done a few sportives but I'm doing my first Audax at the end of March - the Killhope Grimpeur - supposedly quite difficult :D

    Anything with AAA (Audax Altitude Award) points as this has, is, in general, going to be a tougher day as it'll be pretty lumpy (anything with grimpeur in the name is also a guarantee of 'orrible 'ills).

    AAA is a separate competition (remember the bit above about Audax being non competitive? It's sort of true, but there are competitions!) with awards for climbing lots of hills in the season. Chap that won that last year, climbed well over three hundred thousand metres last season!
  • Yeah I'm familiar with most of the roads around there and they are horrible climbs :)
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    marcusjb wrote:
    I've done a few sportives but I'm doing my first Audax at the end of March - the Killhope Grimpeur - supposedly quite difficult :D

    Anything with AAA (Audax Altitude Award) points as this has, is, in general, going to be a tougher day as it'll be pretty lumpy (anything with grimpeur in the name is also a guarantee of 'orrible 'ills).

    AAA is a separate competition (remember the bit above about Audax being non competitive? It's sort of true, but there are competitions!) with awards for climbing lots of hills in the season. Chap that won that last year, climbed well over three hundred thousand metres last season!

    Mikey isn't human...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Grill wrote:
    marcusjb wrote:
    I've done a few sportives but I'm doing my first Audax at the end of March - the Killhope Grimpeur - supposedly quite difficult :D

    Anything with AAA (Audax Altitude Award) points as this has, is, in general, going to be a tougher day as it'll be pretty lumpy (anything with grimpeur in the name is also a guarantee of 'orrible 'ills).

    AAA is a separate competition (remember the bit above about Audax being non competitive? It's sort of true, but there are competitions!) with awards for climbing lots of hills in the season. Chap that won that last year, climbed well over three hundred thousand metres last season!

    Mikey isn't human...

    Not Mikey (though I would agree that he isn't human!) - Billy won the AAA championship with 300000metres of ascent.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Yeah I'm familiar with most of the roads around there and they are horrible climbs :)

    Al good stuff.

    One thing people may spot is the style of roads that many audax rides use these days - due to the smaller field sizes, audax route planners can often use much, much smaller lanes than sportives (don't want to turn this into a sportives vs audax thread - they both have their merits).

    You may well discover some new lanes and climbs in an area you thought you knew well. That crappy little track, with a stream running down it and a 'Not suitable for motor vehicles' sign? Almost a guarantee that the sadistic route planner will send you up it!
  • My advice is to find the leader of the pack... the bearded guy who knows the route best and stick to his wheel... this way you don't have to bother navigating... eat when he eats, wee when he does, be his shadow and offer to do a few turns at the front when the wind is behind...

    On the other hand these days with GPS information an Audax is even easier to negotiate.
    They are great events
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Although I think some consider using a GPS on Audax as cheating...!
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Too right !

    I much prefer the routesheet, great fun following it.

    Although I do convert it to miles as I hate them foreign kilometer things...
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    marcusjb wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    marcusjb wrote:
    I've done a few sportives but I'm doing my first Audax at the end of March - the Killhope Grimpeur - supposedly quite difficult :D

    Anything with AAA (Audax Altitude Award) points as this has, is, in general, going to be a tougher day as it'll be pretty lumpy (anything with grimpeur in the name is also a guarantee of 'orrible 'ills).

    AAA is a separate competition (remember the bit above about Audax being non competitive? It's sort of true, but there are competitions!) with awards for climbing lots of hills in the season. Chap that won that last year, climbed well over three hundred thousand metres last season!

    Mikey isn't human...

    Not Mikey (though I would agree that he isn't human!) - Billy won the AAA championship with 300000metres of ascent.

    Really? Wow. I need to start reading that damned magazine.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • edninoednino Posts: 684
    This has all been very helpful, much appreciated. I'm ok on a bike, but rubbish with maps so I will try to find one with GPS.

    Want to start with a 200k then do a 300k
    Think longest sportive I did last year was 113miles so not far off 200k
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    No, don't worry about maps.

    The routesheet has at-first-incomprehensible instructions like
    79.3 S/O at X sp Toytown. = at 79.3km, straight-on at crossroads signposted 'Toytown'
    82.3 L at T no sp. = at 82.3km, left at T-junction, no signpost

    You just set your computer to km and follow the instructions, preferably reading ahead a little bit so you can see what's coming up and if it's in 0.2km or 10
    Of course, miss an instruction or go off course and it all falls apart :)

    If you want to use GPS, some organizers provide the route, or you can plot it out in advance on bikeroutetoaster or ridewithgps or whatever you use and create your own upload
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