Taking The First Step Towards Audax

Aravis

Here for the ride.
Location
Gloucester
You've had me scratching my head with this one, Heltor:
Absolutely. Obviously they aren’t ‘my’ roads but it takes hours to build a good 200km route on RWGPS. And it takes minutes for someone to ‘prepare for tracing’ your route and save it as their own. Poor form.
If someone thought enough of one of my routes to want to ride it themselves, then whether they told me before, after, or not at all, I think I'd feel extremely flattered. What am I missing?

If it's ever happened, I don't know about it, and that would be a shame if it has. They'd definitely have got kudos.

I'm also a little puzzled by this:

Yes, I'm wanting to have one or more 'practice' run(s) at Audax so that when I ride a Calendar Event I know what I'm supposed to be doing, no matter the format.
Granted, I've only ridden a handful of calendar events, they're not really my thing. But I would have thought that for most people it would be logical to start with one of those, where all the advice you need is riding alongside you?

It's great to hear from someone looking to up their distance. Regarding training, I remind myself from time to time that riding 200km at Audax pace is not a particularly athletic challenge; to my mind it has more in common with a day walking in the hills than with running a marathon. Provided your essential equipment is working for you as it should, you're in sound health and accustomed to the activity, you shouldn't have any problems turning the pedals for a few hours more. What you do need is the confidence to set out on a bigger ride, and more than anything I think that's what you need to build towards.

For many years the only organised event I'd ever done was the August Bank Holiday Bristol to London charity ride, which I did five times between 1986 and 1995. This was a nominal 115 miles, later reduced to 112 when they moved the finish to Kempton Park. For anyone thinking of taking part, my suggestion was that if you've ridden 40 miles and felt as though you could easily have gone on, that ought to be enough. The excitement of the day will help sweep you along.

For what it's worth, I'm a lifelong helmet non-wearer. I feel there's a spiritual aspect to cycling in the countryside (I'm not entirely sure what that means) which would be disturbed if I were to to enclose my head. However, on the Audax events I've attended, it's always felt as though there are two groups: those who wear helmets; and me.
 
OP
LeetleGreyCells

LeetleGreyCells

Un rouleur infatigable
You've had me scratching my head with this one, Heltor:

If someone thought enough of one of my routes to want to ride it themselves, then whether they told me before, after, or not at all, I think I'd feel extremely flattered. What am I missing?

If it's ever happened, I don't know about it, and that would be a shame if it has. They'd definitely have got kudos.

I'm also a little puzzled by this:


Granted, I've only ridden a handful of calendar events, they're not really my thing. But I would have thought that for most people it would be logical to start with one of those, where all the advice you need is riding alongside you?

It's great to hear from someone looking to up their distance. Regarding training, I remind myself from time to time that riding 200km at Audax pace is not a particularly athletic challenge; to my mind it has more in common with a day walking in the hills than with running a marathon. Provided your essential equipment is working for you as it should, you're in sound health and accustomed to the activity, you shouldn't have any problems turning the pedals for a few hours more. What you do need is the confidence to set out on a bigger ride, and more than anything I think that's what you need to build towards.

For many years the only organised event I'd ever done was the August Bank Holiday Bristol to London charity ride, which I did five times between 1986 and 1995. This was a nominal 115 miles, later reduced to 112 when they moved the finish to Kempton Park. For anyone thinking of taking part, my suggestion was that if you've ridden 40 miles and felt as though you could easily have gone on, that ought to be enough. The excitement of the day will help sweep you along.

For what it's worth, I'm a lifelong helmet non-wearer. I feel there's a spiritual aspect to cycling in the countryside (I'm not entirely sure what that means) which would be disturbed if I were to to enclose my head. However, on the Audax events I've attended, it's always felt as though there are two groups: those who wear helmets; and me.
It speaks more to the type of person I am. I like to work things out and have it clear in my own head before doing anything with a group. I don’t like going into any situation blind. 1) Ask for advice here; 2) Have a go myself; 3) Complete a calendar ride.

We’re all different, I suppose, and have our own way of doing things. Eccentric, idiosyncratic or plain pedantic, you choose :laugh:
 

Nebulous

Veteran
Location
Aberdeen
I think audax encourages different.

I started cycling enthusiastically in 2010, had never done 100 miles, signed up for a tough 300, and completed it in 2013. A crash and loss of confidence in 2014 saw reduced mileage for a few years and slightly over-reaching I signed up for LEL in 2017. I made it more than halfway, 10 hours or so inside the time limit then fell off in the middle of the night and broke my ribs to get a dnf.

I took some time to recover, did nothing of consequence in 2018 then considered entering PBP this year. As I didn’t have a qualifying ride I couldn’t get in, but decided to do the SR anyway. After doing a 200/300/400/600 they offered some additional spaces for PBP and as I had the SR in the bag I got one of them. It was possibly the most demanding thing I have ever done, but I made it in 86.25 hours from a 90 hour time limit.

I rarely exceed 10 hours a week. I’m closer to 60 than 50 and take some time to recover after anything over 200. Some people were doing back to back 600s this year, for instance, but I needed 2-3 weeks to recover after my 600.

I guess what I’m saying is there are many different ways of doing this. It’s definitely more psychological than physical. Prepare for your gut playing up and rebelling at the sight and smell of food (scrambled eggs work for me) You need to be prepared to tell your brain and body. “F.... off. I’m going to finish this thing, regardless of what you say.”

Despite all that, fitness helps. Being stubborn, “thrawn” we say here, only carries you so far.
 
OP
LeetleGreyCells

LeetleGreyCells

Un rouleur infatigable
I think audax encourages different.

I started cycling enthusiastically in 2010, had never done 100 miles, signed up for a tough 300, and completed it in 2013. A crash and loss of confidence in 2014 saw reduced mileage for a few years and slightly over-reaching I signed up for LEL in 2017. I made it more than halfway, 10 hours or so inside the time limit then fell off in the middle of the night and broke my ribs to get a dnf.

I took some time to recover, did nothing of consequence in 2018 then considered entering PBP this year. As I didn’t have a qualifying ride I couldn’t get in, but decided to do the SR anyway. After doing a 200/300/400/600 they offered some additional spaces for PBP and as I had the SR in the bag I got one of them. It was possibly the most demanding thing I have ever done, but I made it in 86.25 hours from a 90 hour time limit.

I rarely exceed 10 hours a week. I’m closer to 60 than 50 and take some time to recover after anything over 200. Some people were doing back to back 600s this year, for instance, but I needed 2-3 weeks to recover after my 600.

I guess what I’m saying is there are many different ways of doing this. It’s definitely more psychological than physical. Prepare for your gut playing up and rebelling at the sight and smell of food (scrambled eggs work for me) You need to be prepared to tell your brain and body. “F.... off. I’m going to finish this thing, regardless of what you say.”

Despite all that, fitness helps. Being stubborn, “thrawn” we say here, only carries you so far.
According to my wife, stubborn is my middle name... this time I can tell her it’s a definite advantage! ^_^
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
riding 200km at Audax pace is not a particularly athletic challenge; to my mind it has more in common with a day walking in the hills than with running a marathon.
Shhh don't tell everyone ... it's supposed to be a secret. ;)

I think 200k is about the limit that I can cope with armed only with a well fitting bike, a comfortable saddle, a level of endurance and some mental grit (what the Finns call sisu). I have done a 400k on nothing but a diet of monthly 100 milers plus other odds and sods but I was in bits by the end (and it was super-flat and in perfect weather). I don't think I'll attempt that much again. Plus it wiped out a whole weekend and cost a lot in brownie points.

Big things that @Nebulous describes like LEL and PBP really do require some proper athletic prowess and fitness. They would be beyond me, I think, even if I decided to train seriously. I have the greatest admiration for people who can do them
 

Aravis

Here for the ride.
Location
Gloucester
Shhh don't tell everyone ... it's supposed to be a secret. ;)
Yebbut I was trying to be encouraging. :wacko:

Big things that @Nebulous describes like LEL and PBP really do require some proper athletic prowess and fitness. They would be beyond me, I think, even if I decided to train seriously. I have the greatest admiration for people who can do them
Likewise. But the main reason I could never consider doing them is that nowadays my road speed is far too low. Every extra hour a rider has to spend riding means one less resting, and there has to come a point when it's not viable. It's not a hard decision.
 

Nebulous

Veteran
Location
Aberdeen
Shhh don't tell everyone ... it's supposed to be a secret. ;)

I think 200k is about the limit that I can cope with armed only with a well fitting bike, a comfortable saddle, a level of endurance and some mental grit (what the Finns call sisu). I have done a 400k on nothing but a diet of monthly 100 milers plus other odds and sods but I was in bits by the end (and it was super-flat and in perfect weather). I don't think I'll attempt that much again. Plus it wiped out a whole weekend and cost a lot in brownie points.

Big things that @Nebulous describes like LEL and PBP really do require some proper athletic prowess and fitness. They would be beyond me, I think, even if I decided to train seriously. I have the greatest admiration for people who can do them
I had a colleague, now retired, who went from 25 stone to 13 and took up running. It became a passion, dare I say it obsession with him. He once told me that a clubmate said "I really envy you. I've been running for many years, know exactly what my limits are and know I'll never be as fast as I once was. You're still improving and don't yet know what you're capabe of."

My journey was similar but a bit less spectacular than that - from 18.5 stone to 13 stone 3 in 2010/11 and found a bike along the way, which became more important than the weight. I did LEL in 2017 and made it back to Brampton from Edinburgh, but fell off trying to clip in on a wet hill, my chest landing on my bars and breaking my ribs. I did that on adrenaline and determination, certainly not athletic prowess or fitness. I did do quite a few base miles, often pushing hard, but certainly not the 10-14 hours discussed above.

A big change in the past year has been structured training, particularly using zwift. I'm learning to do time on the bike at less than flat out. My comfort zone was 35-50 miles as fast as I can. I spend the weekend 51 miles away from where I live during the week with 600 metres of climb. I try to cycle it one way in dry weather and unless there is a particularly strong headwind I expect to break 3 hours. Slowing it down and doing things like cadence drills instead of flat out helped, as did doing 4-5 sessions every week instead of ad-hoc riding when I felt like it.

Where for LEL I was wound up like a spring with excitement, PBP was more about anxiety. I was fitter, but more anxious I didn't want another DNF. That's partly what I mean by it being psychological rather than physical. I think mentally I'm beginning to put limits on myself that weren't there before. There's a feeling I am clearer about my age and physical ability now, and am using that to fence myself in.

I'm not sure I really fit in Audax, but I think there are many misfits in that community. The fast guys are very fast, very well prepared and very consistent. The slow guys grind on and on, with very short stops and very little sleep. I'm somewhere in between. I spoke to someone on PBP who finished in roughly the same time as me, but who had more than 10 hours more on the bike. I'm still learning my craft, but do feel what previously felt like a limitless horizon closing in.

I'd say to anyone wanting to try - go for it. It has taken me on a roller-coaster ride which has changed my life. Try structured training, some intervals, some speedwork, some longer rides and some recovery time if you want to give yourself the best chance possible. Do a few 200s and then add on a bit more until you feel you've hit a barrier. I'm increasingly of the view though that the barrier is more likely to be in your head than in your legs.
 

GetFatty

Senior Member
Just dive straight in. I'd done a few informal night rides but my first actual Audax was LEL :smile:
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
But the main reason I could never consider doing them [PBP/LEL] is that nowadays my road speed is far too low. Every extra hour a rider has to spend riding means one less resting, and there has to come a point when it's not viable. It's not a hard decision.
It's not just the multi day events where that's a consideration. There's a hilly 200, The Shark, near where I live that I don't enter for the same reason. I know I could ride the route ('cos I have) but I doubt I could do it inside the cutoff time ('cos I didn't).
 
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LeetleGreyCells

LeetleGreyCells

Un rouleur infatigable
The longer routes I have done so far have been mostly flat (with a few lumpy bits). I'll definitely need to take time/speed into consideration when looking at routes with more-than-my-usual elevation. It is quite hilly where I live though so I suppose 'flat' is relative.

I did think of doing the Hopey New Year ride which is 100km but with 1850m of elevation. I don't think I'd be able to do that distance with that elevation (yet).
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
The longer routes I have done so far have been mostly flat (with a few lumpy bits). I'll definitely need to take time/speed into consideration when looking at routes with more-than-my-usual elevation. It is quite hilly where I live though so I suppose 'flat' is relative.

I did think of doing the Hopey New Year ride which is 100km but with 1850m of elevation. I don't think I'd be able to do that distance with that elevation (yet).

The main stealer of time is faffing about at controls. Its very easy just to sit down at a control, have some thing to eat, a bit of faff on your phone, chatting to others. Next thing you know an hour has gone by.
 
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