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London Ditchling Devil 200km Audax 3 June 2018

manoteamanotea Posts: 1,024
Heads Up Londoners, it's almost time for the 8th edition of The London Ditchling Devil, a 200km Audax from Wimbledon in South London visiting Ditchling Beacon and The Devils censored along the South Coast before coming home to Richmond.

The Ditchling Devil is supported by voluntary groups at Highbrook Village Hall and Chiddingfold, and Brighton Excelsior Cycling Club in Upper Beeding, providing the control points and refreshments included in the entry fee, and as this is an Audax we are talking real food: bacon rolls, pasta and lashings of tea and cake!

Click on the graphic below for entry details or simply google, 'Ditchling Devil'.

T3mYzn
"Put the kettle on, I\'m gaspin"

Posts

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,386
    Can't make it, which is a shame, as this is one of the best Audax events in the South East

    Highly recommended for first timers, who are maybe used to expensive, gel fuelled sportives, where you don't get much for your money... try a more social Audax, there will be a broad range of cyclists, some very quick who can go around in just over 7 hours, some very slow who will take the full 13 hours and many anywhere in between.

    These days most people have a GPS computer, which allows to navigate the route without the need for signage or old fashioned route directions.

    ... and you get real food... and you get a collectable stamped brevet card, what's not to like? :D
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,392 Lives Here
    Agree with Ugo, it’s a great event and even I have managed it. Unfortunately not for me this year.
  • TiesetrotterTiesetrotter Posts: 432
    Yep it's a great event. Also the Great Escape this Sunday
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Thanks for shout outs, bought a satnav with maps and will have a go.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,020
    Really enjoyable event and food is great. Sadly had to bail about 100 miles in last year but otherwise, highly recommended.

    Hope the weather is good for you all.
  • manoteamanotea Posts: 1,024
    Entry for this year's London Ditchling Devil is now closed as we have a full field of 400 riders, however, there is a full programme of events coming up in the West London area, including: A Catholic Education (200km, June 16), The Jack Eason Struggle (200km, July 1) and the London Orbital Audax (300km, August 11). See http://www.aukweb.net for details.

    N.B., My next event as Organiser is the London Orbital Audax. The nature of the route which includes a ferry crossing means the number of places available will be limited and I expect the event will be fully subscribed, so if you are interested in riding don't leave it too late!
    "Put the kettle on, I\'m gaspin"
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Learnings from first mini audax:

    HOW BIG ARE KINGSTON WHEELERS !!?!1 OH MY GOD!

    It really looks like not the event that was to be dominated by older men on metal bikes with multiple bags and dynamo lights.

    Do not buy satnav with maps a night before and expect being able to operate it next day without a hitch. It's a bit pants system anyways. If you have stats screen on and have turn notification pop up, it only shows you one turn. It's fine for a single turn out in the wilderness, but if it's a labyrintine navigation in town, you are pretty much forced to keep map screen on.

    Food was OK. It turns out you cannot stuff your face, jump on a bike and push at FTP. Up the Ditchling Beacon stomach was cramping with bacon roll. Had to just clamber up in spinniest gear. Felt really good only after last station. Tea and cake = beastmode! By the way, the grana serving cakes with a smile there, she was awesome, very heart warming.

    Still need to drink more, somehow. Drank 5 x 750ml bottles of water, a tea, a big cup of squash drink and then a pint of awfull piss in the pub after finishing, and upon returning home still was 2.4 kg lighter than before breakfast that day.

    THE SIZE OF KINGSTON WHEELERS! They are Everywhere, even among organisers.

    It would appear some of controls/stops were on private property, like, just a person's house and garden, that's very nice of them and appreciated.

    Doing Dragon Ride this week and it would seem it will be much of sameness. Makes one wonder. I do want that jersey, though, and wearing it without doing the event seems meh. Did the sportives not used to hand out jerseys with 'goody bags''?

    I am scared of descending. On pretty much every turn, while flying down narrow road, there seems to be fine gravel/sand in the middle of the road, which means i cannot touch rear brake and i still can't quite work out how to do it comfortably. Just front brake does not seem to be enough.

    I managed to miss one of the main features, 'Devil's censored '. I climbed it, among other bumps coming away from sea side but without realising that was it and was surprised to learn of it at the next control/stop,

    Finished in just over 9 hours, positive experience, overall.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,386
    Yes, Kingston Wheelers as a club are probably 700 or so.

    Yes, Audax are not what they used to be, certainly not these shorter and very popular ones in London... much fewer carradice bags and many more carbon wheels.
    Carbon wheels tend to become rarer in longer and especially overnight events.

    As size goes, Ditchling Devil is the biggest annual Audax, second in size only to London-Edinburgh-London, which is run every 4 years.

    BTW: they are not called "food stations", they are called "controls" :-)
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,020
    BTW: they are not called "food stations", they are called "controls" :-)

    :lol:
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,411
    mamil314 wrote:
    Learnings from first mini audax:
    Doing Dragon Ride this week and it would seem it will be much of sameness. Makes one wonder. I do want that jersey, though, and wearing it without doing the event seems meh. Did the sportives not used to hand out jerseys with 'goody bags''?

    I am scared of descending. On pretty much every turn, while flying down narrow road, there seems to be fine gravel/sand in the middle of the road, which means i cannot touch rear brake and i still can't quite work out how to do it comfortably. Just front brake does not seem to be enough.

    Finished in just over 9 hours, positive experience, overall.
    I'm also doing the Dragon Ride (Gran Fondo) and descending is my biggest concern. Hopefully the crowd will thin out before the first descent so I can just worry about my own speed rather than a pack of pro-wannabees who are allergic to braking.

    So just a note if you are following a Genesis silver CdF with a Carradice zip roll on theback, it will be braking, sharply and often.
  • fontm0ssfontm0ss Posts: 32
    Sad to have missed this but given I was riding in France I can cope. Is there a gpx I could steal to ride this on my own or is that frowned upon?
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,411
    mrfpb wrote:
    mamil314 wrote:
    Learnings from first mini audax:
    Doing Dragon Ride this week and it would seem it will be much of sameness. Makes one wonder. I do want that jersey, though, and wearing it without doing the event seems meh. Did the sportives not used to hand out jerseys with 'goody bags''?

    I am scared of descending. On pretty much every turn, while flying down narrow road, there seems to be fine gravel/sand in the middle of the road, which means i cannot touch rear brake and i still can't quite work out how to do it comfortably. Just front brake does not seem to be enough.

    Finished in just over 9 hours, positive experience, overall.
    I'm also doing the Dragon Ride (Gran Fondo) and descending is my biggest concern. Hopefully the crowd will thin out before the first descent so I can just worry about my own speed rather than a pack of pro-wannabees who are allergic to braking.

    So just a note if you are following a Genesis silver CdF with a Carradice zip roll on theback, it will be braking, sharply and often.

    Mamil314, any comparison to make between Ditchling Devil and Dragon Ride. Im thinking of doing the LDD in future so any info from an Audax newbie would he gratefully received.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,386
    mrfpb wrote:
    Mamil314, any comparison to make between Ditchling Devil and Dragon Ride. Im thinking of doing the LDD in future so any info from an Audax newbie would he gratefully received.

    My advice about Audax in general:

    Don't take them too freaking seriously... nobody cares about FTP or whether you can go around it in 7 hours or 12, whether you climb Ditchling Beacon in 4 minutes or you walk up it... nobody talks about finish time or average speed. There is "completion" and "not completion". There is no shame in not completing or going over time... DNF always trumps DNS.
    Nobody trains for an Audax... maybe you do another Audax to understand how the controls work, what to do in case of an "info control" etc...

    Always bear in mind how little you pay and how much you get, everything is run on a shoestring and the fact that nobody makes a penny, although AUK as an organisation has quite deep pockets.

    Always acknowledge ALL the helpers and volunteers who make the event possible every time you talk about it...

    That's it... :wink:
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    There is not that much i can say that has not been said by others already.

    Navigation
    Road marking for Dragon Ride was superb and really handy for twists on unfamiliar descents and crossings. None of that in the audax. It's worth it investigating maps very closely. I saw some folks stop and investigate paper maps, majority were getting by with bike GPS. I took a wrong turn a couple of times, but that was user error.
    Some lanes of the LDD on the way to Brighton are well narrow, steepish and have gravel in the middle, so keep your wits about you and always assume incoming traffic around bends. Mostly big roads on the way back. Less hills - 2,2km vs 3.4 of Dragon ride.

    Food
    I missed sandwiches or baps on the Dragon's ride, but especially tea, as it's one of my staples on longer rides now. Those and cakes were provided in the LDD, along with a cooked meal around half way through.

    Event
    Audax is cheaper as they do not have to pay for marshals, road marking, mechanics and med evac helicopters! etc It's pretty close to riding alone, just with a bunch of other folks riding along without too much organization/preparation. You are supposed to be self sufficient on sportives, but in Audax your hand will be held even less. Still, you should be able to somewhat rely on fellow riders. They seem to be under less 'pressure' and hurry.

    Overall, i recommend it; i rocked up without much information/preparation and all went reasonably well. It was a nice day out.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,411
    I also missed tea on the Dragon. Not sure how I finished without it! Thanks for the feedback. I'm fairly good with GPS navigation, the only real concern is battery life when it's on. I tend to just keep an eye on the screen rather than using turn by turn, it shouts loudly if you go off course. I use a Garmin Edge 800, and have a phone as back up.

    I guess the standard of rider is in a narrower category for audax. RLS100 was too wide a range in terms of ability, Dragon was good - no absolute beginners, but I could do without the "road trains" cutting in front of me. I'm just after something a bit more sociable.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,216
    mamil314 wrote:
    Learnings from first mini audax:

    HOW BIG ARE KINGSTON WHEELERS !!?!1 OH MY GOD!

    Finished in just over 9 hours, positive experience, overall.

    We are around 550 (probably 350 active members)... of which probably around 80 turned up to this event. Paul runs a wonderful day, and with great food, views, climbs (everyone loves Combe lane after 100+ miles in their legs, and the Beacon is fun) its a properly nice day out.

    the run along Devils censored is fun, shame you missed that.

    9 hours is fine, that's a good steady time for a ride like that.
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