GPS Audax February, an island in the sun!

I havent written to the blog for AGES.... I am missing my cycling. Its not even as if I am NOT cycling, because I am. But doing miles fewer than I manage when the weather is milder, like many other cyclists of course, and the days longer... soon the season gets underway again, and I am champing at the bit for the next long day out.

Anyway, here is my route today:

Last year I managed 20 x 100 Audax runs. I would love to repeat that again this year, and its my ambition to ride my first 200km Audax in 2011 as well. Its time I went up a level. Planning on the Isle of Man though is a bit problematic. The island is only 35 miles long and 15 miles wide, so to do a 200km route, you will have to criss cross the routes previously ridden earlier in the day. Ah well, my Manx 200 is still in its planning mode more on that one another time.

Bikie

The Sunrise just after I had set off at 8am this morning.

I set off at just after sun up, it was cold, i feared ice, but last night it rained pretty much all night long, and although at 5am this morning the stars were out, the cloud cover from earlier in the night drove off any thoughts of Jack Frost a visitin'. I am currently using a new map card in my SATMAP device. I am cycling THE BIG ONE in July this year, and so I now have complete OS mapping for the whole of the British Isles, sadly though someone forgot to mention to the map makers, the hills on the Isle of Man and so Island subsequently registers as ZERO hills, flat as a pancake, which meant I had to choose an up-se-down-sey route to ensure I got the right number of AAA points (Altitude Audax), ie more than 1.25. (I am hoping for 3 points for today, but on reflection, I think its nearer 2.5.

Certainly by the time I was half way round, I was beginning to think that the entire route was uphill. Its amazing how unfit you get when not really doing much in the way of hill work at the weekends, and certainly I am only riding an Audax 100km on a monthly basis, whereas last year, by April, I was completing at least 2 of these a month. So although I managed todays ride fine and dandy, I wasn't at all quick. In fact I was pretty slow to be honest, but had a fab run out. I even managed to put my Paramo summer jacket on, and even this travelled for half the route in the saddle bag.

The Sound

The Sound, the very end of the Isle of Man. Stopped for a control point here. Mr Sunshine was with me for most of the day too!

Lots of lambs out, and spring flowers poking their green though.... its comin' is this thing called Spring!

9 comments on “GPS Audax February, an island in the sun!”

  1. Patrick wrote:

    Good ride Mary.

    Reading your Posts, I'm tempted towards Audax. I don't know much about it but the Audax system seems a possible way out of my comfort zone. 100 kilometres is a perfect distance for me.

    Yes, Spring is nigh! Warm sunshine, dry roads, grass beginning to grow. Lovely out today. First ride this winter with no cycling jacket – just the four T-shirts.

  2. Mary wrote:

    Well, Patrick, I am a lazy person at heart, for me Audaxing has helped give focus and given a 'reason' to get out there and train which of course = cycling. I get a lot out of it. I also like the fact, that I don't need to be fast – a tortoise gets there in the end, and Audax gives quite generous times for 100km (10 hours). Of course, there is no winner either. You simply 'compete' against yourself, so you are doing your own personal challenges.

    Its made me quite a good map reader too!

    Their GPS system also means I am not restrained to particular events as such, I can now 'do' an Audax any day, and any where. This has saved me a lot of time (travelling to UK always means days off work), and a lot of accommodation money too, but I still enjoy the Audax UK events and I incorporate these into weekend away trips.

    Best of all, it gives me something to do (planning rides and trips in UK) over the dank dark winter nights. :)

  3. Chris wrote:

    Nice to see a picture of your new bike, Mary, even if it is a tantalising glimpse and the non-drive side. I see you're using Continental Gatorskins. How do you rate them, or is that difficult to judge? I'm thinking of getting some for my new wheels.

    20 x 100km Audax rides are a good measure of consistency. I missed far too many rides last year.

    There's an Audax event near me in May, but that's probably a bit too soon after baby Bailey comes along.

  4. Mary wrote:

    LOL, you men, you always have to see ALL the toys!

    She runs on Campag Record, chosen because thats the same gear the Hetchin wears, and I like it a lot, very smooth gear change. (also happens to be easy to keep clean too) The Italians make such lovely shoes and handbags, so why not good gearing for bikes :)

    The bike came with the Gatorskins, I have had a puncture already (front one), but the bike had ridden over crushed glass, so I expect its a given over those conditions. No such thing as puncture proof.

    You are about to embark on the most rewarding, the most busy and the most expensive part of your life Chris. Love every moment of it, I expect everyone had told you how fast the time will now speed along, and that Baby Bailey wont be a baby for very long, so hold onto every minute of it. Motherhood has been and still is, my best ever challenge. Beth is readiying her self for Uni in September, I am wondering how life will be without her :(

  5. Alan wrote:

    I like the tigger on the drops. Does he get squashed when you tuck down and shoot down the hills?

  6. Mary wrote:

    Ah you spotted Vyvyan did you!

    He never gets squashed, because I never use the drops... :)

  7. Garry wrote:

    68 miles and 7800 ft gain. Now that's the equal of the second and hardest day on the CTC Lejog I've done twice. That's the cycling March to Bataan from Lostwithiel into Exmoor, Tavistock, Dartmoor and on to Exeter. A killer.
    You are a veritable cycling Amazon!!

    They'll change the Isle of Man to the Isle of Woman if you keep this up.

  8. Richard wrote:

    Just happened across your blog so thought I would make a post. You should definitely go for a 200 this year, I did my first one last year and felt a real sense of achievement. I have it on good authority that you aren't really a proper Audaxer until you have done a 200! Well done on 20 100’s, thats way more. mileage than I did last year. Check out my blog at blokeonabikesblog.blogspot.com just started it and associated website (work in progress) but hope to add equipment reviews, ride reports and thoughts/rants as and when. Enjoy the new season.

  9. Chris wrote:

    Well that's rather spooky, Richard. I visited your blog and, as a fellow middle-aged teacher (of ICT) and bit of a cycling obsessive (according to my wife anyway), I found a few other similarities. For instance, I'm drafting a post on retro cycling shoes and another called The Commute Part Deux as a follow-up to our own Kern's cycle ride to work. I'm also hoping to do a 200k Audax after a break of nearly twenty years.

    Anyway, good luck with your blog. I tried to write this on your site, but I find blogspot.com an inhospitable place to leave a comment :sad:

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