Final Audax of 2011

Audax UK's calendar ends on the 31st October and as there are gales and storms forecast for half term and next weekend I am mountain biking on both days, I have just one more chance to up my AAA points. So, on Sunday, I sorted out my final AAA ride of this Audax Season.

DSCN0782 On top of Injebrek Hill in the fog, the wind and the rain...

Audax wise, this has been the best year for me so far. I have become fitter. Sorted out a new saddle, and I have upped my AAA points from 32 points achieved last year, to 46 this year. I really wanted to get to 50 AAA points. But its not gonna happen. 🙁 Not this year anyhow.

My plans for the AAA calander 2012 is to reach that magical figure of 50 points and to try to get some Audax points for riding 200km rides, I intend to ride more in the UK. I love my home island, but when I cycle 200km rides here, everything tends to get dizzy!

My last ride was a tiring steady one, storms are forecast, and the Island is preparing for them, the trees are stripped bare and branches sway as they perform their seemingly regular daily ballet. Sunday had the best forecast, not so windy, just a force 7, but rain sadly..

The ride is one of my favourite ones, it takes in a good few hills and valleys but its quite short just making the 100km distance. Injebrek is my favourite route, very scenic and beautiful from the reservoir at its base to the moors on the top, going up Injebrek I always end up walking... Try not to, but its so steep, that in the damp the wheels of my bike lose traction and I dont want to risk a fall.... (thats my excuse, I can hardly breathe going up that hill, it makes anything Ive ridden so far seem quite easy).

DSCN0783 The Glen Roy road

I met up with Tina to ride the northern bit, as usual it was good to have her company for the miles the route took us though. As we reached Ramsey, we parted company and I headed away to Maughold Church and home via Laxey and Glen Roy. I have never felt so exhausted cycling a 100km DIY Audax as I was this particular Sunday. The wind was relentless and it seemed I was always in a head wind, even though I technically rode a circle of sorts. I got soaked 3 times, when it rained it really chucked it down making the heavy rain drops bounce off the tarmac. Glad I had my Paramo on, torso warm and snugg, everything else as if I had dunked myself in a cold bath. I was worn out so much on the Glen Roy road, I very nearly bailed out. Glad home was just 4 hilly miles away.

DSCN0785 Every way home is up when your tired..

I didn't chance the ford the current looked quite fast and the surface can be slippery with aglae so I took the small bridge over instead (no point taking chances on a day like today).


Anyhow.. That it.... Done my effort for this year at least. My final 2 points to my total... phew.

Next year... more 200's hopefully not many of these in gales. I had best not complain too loudly, or the snow maker will hear me eh!

16 comments on “Final Audax of 2011”

  1. Chris wrote:

    You've certainly captured the grim weather you're having right now on your side of the country. For a change of scenery here's the provisional date for our 200km Audax next year: Sunday 20th May, 8.00am start at the Humber Bridge 🙂

  2. Mary wrote:

    LOL Is this our CycleSeven Challenge for next year Chris? If it is, Im on for it, I can include 2x C2C while Im at it. 🙂

  3. Patrick wrote:

    Well done with the ride Mary. I absolutely love the photos – the top one especially. It makes me want to go cycling in the fog, the wind and the rain... inside a Paramo jacket of course.

    I suppose you'd call it grim (that weather) but I've met several Australians who moved to the UK for its misty green wetness. I can relate to that – the older I get the less I mind the rain. I would prefer it a little less dark in winter but even then, it means we have our endless summer evenings. The grass really is greener LOL

  4. Chris wrote:

    I missed this year's Hull & East Riding CTC 200km Audax (James was just two weeks old), but I've read a couple of accounts of it and it sounded like quite a ride. It went from the Humber coast up to Flamborough and back. It's almost 20 years since I did a 200km Audax, so I'd quite like to give the 2012 ride a go. Anyone else fancy it? 🙂

  5. Patrick wrote:

    8.00am start at the Humber Bridge

    ... is too early for me Chris. It would mean getting up at 5.00 am to be on the road at 6. I'm not sure either if I'd be fit for a two-hour drive afterwards. I couldn't have driven safely after our Yorkshire ride. Besides, 100 miles cycling is my limit I think.

  6. Mary wrote:

    Ah Patrick.... If there are few or no hills, 200km after our Yorkshire epic will be a snip, I have as yet to find a ride as challenging as our Yorkshire trip was!

    So long as I can get the time off work Chris, I will def have a go at this Audax. I am assuming there are no AAA points for it – which would be a bonus, as I dont really quite enjoy 200km rides with mega hill climbing added just for the fun of it.

    Besides I might be greedy, and cycle a 200km to the start! Its gotta be at least 100 miles from Heysham.

    So keep me in mind Chris.

    Anyone heard from Alan? Im missing his posts.

  7. Patrick wrote:

    Well Mary, I'm doing an 80-miler with Chris this Saturday, weather permitting. It is comparatively flat I believe, so we'll see. I think you're right though. Sandra, who hardly cycles between our 12-milers at weekends, can do 65 miles with ease, and fully-loaded too. So maybe this 200 Audax problem of mine comes down to the very early start!

    I wondered about Alan as well.

  8. Chris wrote:

    I was thinking of suggesting a few Yorkshire-centric options for a CycleSeven ride in 2012:

    One I put together myself through the Yorkshire Wolds;
    The 2012 Grimpeurs des Wolds in July (Sportive 160km, 100km, 60km – I've never done one before);
    And now – since Mary mentioned it – the 200km CTC Audax.

    Previously there have also been 150km and 100km versions, each setting off half an hour after the previous ride. Just an option, as that would give all levels of fitness a chance on the day.

    I wonder if you people might want to make a weekend of it, say, coming along with non-cycling partners on the Saturday... As I say, just a thought... 🙂

  9. Kern wrote:

    I very much like the first photograph – the slant of the tree says everything about the power and direction of the prevailing winds. One sees the same effect on the Northern Penninsula of Newfoundland (although the trees are much more stunted). Also, your rear lighting looks impressively aggressive.

    Good ride, Mary, and well done. I would have stayed home and thrown another log on the fire 🙂 .

  10. francis brogden wrote:

    Chris – put me down for the 200km to Flamborough – as long as you buy the ice creams 🙂

  11. Mary wrote:

    Did someone mention Ice Cream? 🙂

  12. Hilary wrote:

    I admire your determination Mary, as Kern said that looked a great day for staying in! Your photos capture the conditions beautifully and somehow do give me a strange perverse desire to cycle in bad weather. Apart from the odd shower it has been dry for ages here, I think I am a bit spoilt!

    I've been missing Alan and Brown Bike too.

  13. Chris wrote:

    Hi, Mary. I can't find anything on Audax UK's FAQs about riding an Audax event and using a GPS device to follow the route. Are you allowed to create or get hold of the course in .gpx format and download it to your Garmin, say, or is following a paper route sheet still regarded as part of the point of these events? Thanks if you can help 🙂

  14. Mary wrote:

    hi Chris. What I do is this. I am a member of Audax UK. So I log in first. Scroll down on LHS of site, to DIY.

    This open to DIY by GPS or something similar.

    You have to purchase what they call Virtual Brevet Cards. Choose an organiser, they vary depending on where you live. I use Rich Forest. Press on the link to Organsier, and a list emerges, you choose your area. I can pay Rich for up to 6 Virtual Brevets at a time via Paypal and he receipts me for this (or Audax UK do).

    When Im ready for a ride. I sit at home wiht my SATMAP or my OS map, and punch a route into BikeToaster, or Bike HIke to make sure the route will a) be hilly enough and b) be long enough.

    Then I download into my GPS unit (SATMAP).

    Then I pull up the entry form from Audax UK – find it following above info from DIY to GPS. Press Entry Form. And in this, you put your starting point and OS Grid ref

    Then work down the form adding your controls. All controls must be the shortest route up to 100 or more km depending on your distance. Add them up.

    Rich then prefers me to use Goggle Maps, and send him a link to that, so he has my route visually as well, I dunno if everyone likes this, but my organiser does, so I do it.

    When my form is filled in and sent in online. My hotmail address has a copy of it as a receipt. When I ride out, my GPS unit is on of course and it creates a track of my route. I download this into a GPX file, and forward this file to RIch Forest. He valids it, send me my feedback – elevation, time taken etc.

    Then he forwards this to Steve Snook, who sorts out my elevation and therefore my AAA points.

    Hope this helps.


  15. Chris wrote:

    Ooh, thanks, Mary. I checked elsewhere to make sure it's not just in DIY Audax rides that you're allowed to use a GPS device to follow the route. It seems to be okay. Thanks again.

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