Caton Audax 2010

My favourite Audax run is the one done yearly from Caton near Lancaster and is organised by the Lancaster and South Lakes CTC group. This is the second time I have completed this particular Audax ride and I had a ball! Maybe because I rode my road bike and left the tourer at home, maybe because I am a whole year fitter and 2.5 stones less to lug about than last May when I first rode an Audax. (this ride was my first Audax experience)

Here is ‘Bike’ in Lancaster about to ‘do’ the bridge on route to Caton.

But here is my route of the Audax from Caton, you can see where I went wrong on the way back

Ignore the hill climbing if you managed to open this link, it was loads higher than the Garmin stated as I had not calibrated it properly before I started. The route has AAA points (1,75 I think). We were all lucky with the weather. No wind at all. I can cope with rain, but I hate the wind and although we all got a soaking for the last 20 miles or so, the wheels of my bike spun without any hindrance caused by a head wind. The route was well attended by fellow cyclists, not many women though, I think maybe just 3 of us, but as always the route was also very well organised. I even met up with Cycle UK a member from the CTC Forum, it was good to catch up with his news. I also met up with Julian Dyson the Audax Dynamo, and I was please to be able at last to keep up with him. He bailed me out twice where I took wrong turnings due to my inattention to detail (ie not reading my map!)

Last Brevet card said I completed this route in 7.30 hours. This time I managed it in about 6! I know its not about winning or getting to the end first, but I so did want to do better than last year, and this I did achieve, but maybe thats not such a good thing because I will be very disappointed if next year I do really badly!

Bike on the prom on the way back to the ferry home.

I stayed at a very nice B&B in Caton just 2 miles from the start of the ride. Had a fabulous long weekend out and about with my bike.

On the subject of Audaxing…

I read in my recent Arrivee that Danial Webb and others have started DIY Audax rides that are verified using GPS… Something really to think about. How this works is thus, you pay your organiser via Paypal (hubby bailed me out here) £16 for 6 electronic Brevet Cards is where we went on this – I intend to do a lot of these DIY rides. On your card, you sort out your route, write down an OS grid ref or description using the shortest possible route between control points. You are in control of your controls, in that you simply have to pass through a specific point – no receipts or questions to answer. You have to choose the shortest route and of course in total this route has to total the distance of either 50, 100, or 150km or more. (I can ignore any more distance than that!).

So, as an experiment, as I have a lot of learning to do with my Garmin Edge GPS, because even after reading Patrick’s and Mick’s posts, the whole ‘how your gps system works thingy’ really leaves me cold… but according to DIY Audaxing its the way forward and so I now have a strong reason why learning how the blasted black box staring up to space on my handlebars really works.

So, as an experiment, I took the Garmin and measured my route from home to the boat, from the harbour in Heysham to the ‘fancy pub that robbed me of £28 for a lousy tiny weeny lunch’ and back to my B&B. It worked rather well. I cannot publish the gps route as you will know the name of the pub and I dont want to upset the owners by referencing it on here. But, why do meals out that cost a shed load have no vegetables included in the silly money they were charging? A totally brown meal in front of me, in tiny weeny silly portions, with a blob of this and that and no real substance to it at all… anyway… I really missed my vegetables and ended up eating vegetarian for the rest of my trip, so I could eat some of my veg portions for the day. (It has been a long time since I have eaten out).

Anyway, in the end my DIY to the ‘Daylight Robbery’ pub  was not verified, as sadly although distance was ok, I had run out of time, but Danial did not count an unverified ride, so I still have 6 cards left to go. It seems that sitting for several hours on the boat had spoilt my time – something I did not think about, but at least I managed to download all my riding distances into Garmin Connect (that is super and easy to use – even simple enough for me to use), and using that I could make a simple gps file which I managed to save on my Mac.

I am cycling to Norfolk shortly, and will use this DIY route using the GPS system to getting more Audax points as I go along. In all, this particular trip is worth more than 400km but spread over several days.