This to me would suggest sticking with the front group might end up a very bad idea, bonking 100k from the arrivee isn’t a great experience. I’d stick with a group if it was fairly comfortable, and ensure to keep fueling (which is usually harder in a group). If the pace is too hot (or they don’t have mudguards and it’s raining!) I’ll generally drop off the back and ride my own ride.
Over the years I have ridden about 200 Audax events ( in the UK and in Europe). The majority were 200 km with other distances upto 600km. The biggest lesson is do NOT try to stay with any group where the pace is taking you above your “endurance” pace. You will eventually get dropped and it then becomes a painful sufferfest to finish. Ride at your own pace, fuel well and enjoy the ride. It is NOT a race. Good luck and enjoy…
This times one thousand.
If I’m feeling really good, I’ll have a full ride IF of 0.70-0.75 for a 200K. If I’m having a more normal ride, it’ll be 0.65-0.70. When I look down two hours in and realize I’m sitting above 0.80, I know I’m going to smash into a wall soon and end up at 0.60-0.65 for the day.
Ride your own ride. Hook up with a few folks going at a similar pace and enjoy having lunch with them, but don’t feel compelled to stick to them like glue. Learn to control quickly (have a resupply plan before you stop) and enjoy the scenery.
In my experience, on a flat route, you can expect the faster guys to come in averaging 25-28kph for 200-400km. I wouldn’t expect many people to be able to hold over 200W. Maybe a bit less on a 600. Often, though, there can be groups going considerably quicker/harder for the first 100km; whether to go with them is a tough call, but as others have said, I would never go above tempo (and only then for short periods). Get to know where the top of zone 2 is, and treat that as your ceiling if you want a fun day out!
Thanks for the advice!
I’d like to test the legs but am just curious to how others ride and pace the event.
200W shouldn’t be much of an issue, I have held 245W (3.9wkg) < for about 3 hours (at altitude) once so I have a decent engine, thanks to TR
I am keen to follow the front group to test my fitness but I wasn’t sure if I can expect others to surge in the front, if so, I’ll just drop of - my aim is to hold 190W for the event and 160W for the commute to the event (totalling the additional 80km).
So basically- 40km @ 160W, followed by the event 200km @ 190w, followed by commute home 40km @ 160W or higher if I feel fine.
I’ll update you on how it goes and if I completely blow up!
Not in Ireland so can’t comment specifics. My experience is that the occasional person/group will treat 200s as a race, though it is variable. Most don’t. Even less common for longer brevets.
It is worthwhile to try and stay in a group as it makes your day much easier from the drag reduction. Even if you’re only occasionally taking pulls. If keeping up means going over ~0.7 IF though then probably not worth it because you will probably blow up. If the group is too big though, sometimes it will end up actually being slower due to having to herd cats at stops, provided you like to keep your stops short.
The fastest strategy is to go the pace you can maintain, and minimize stoppage time.
Locally, our fastest riders are going to be sitting at 34-36kph for a 200-300, though that group likes to stop for a 20minute lunch and coffee midway usually on a 200. When I ride with them I’m usually sitting at maybe 230-240 in the draft and taking pulls at 270+
Racing an Audax in my opinion is totally against the spirit of an Audax… haven’t done many but that’s my feelings. To me its about the journey. You should enjoy the day, the ride, the company, the coffee, the lunch. the dinner, the solitude and the lone miles on the road at 3am the morning. Go at a pace you will enjoy, never try to go someone else’s pace and complete within the time limit.
Want to race, go with the lead grupetto, get a top ten placing… find a 200km road race and go for it, Leave the Audaxs alone.
Nothing wrong with going fast, working together and completing a distance under a target time… If you call that racing then that’s fine…my definition of race/racing is aiming to beat others, placings 1st, 2nd, 3rds… Top ten…etc
I don’t intended to race the audax, I think its clear that it isn’t a race, but its a challenge to complete (for me, as I haven’t cycled that far before) and working towards making a decent time for me is part of the fun and would rely on cycling with others - My curiosity is how others treat the ride and what I can expect when trying to stick with the front group.
I programmed my Garmin to give me my average riding speed and my overall average speed (including stops). Found instructions online somewhere. That has really helped with pacing. For the audaxes I’ve done (up to 600 km) I’ve aimed for 25 kph riding speed and upwards of 20 kph total speed, because that way it’s easy to stay on top of the time. Like others have said, it’s good to minimise stops, though if you’re a fast rider of course you might want to stop more. In my experience also the fastest riders would do something like 28 kph.
At the end of my targeted Audaxes this year, I got to do a 1002km 3-day Audax. This was in the UK and organised by the Kingston Wheelers → London – Anglesey – London Event Details| Audax UK - The Long Distance Cyclists' Association
I did finish and elected for the Full Value package, with 1/2 hour to spare in the 75 hours allocated.
We started 10pm on the Wednesday and rode through to Thursday evening for Night/Day1 . Then overnight stop in Machynlleth, Wales (367km). Day 2 around Anglesey and Snowdonia National Park (316km). Another overnight in Welshpool, Wales and then back on Day 3 (314km).
An interesting result is the power decrease over the 3 days. I rode conservatively always with the last day in mind (only having done a 600 over 2-days previously) and also the hilly Day 2. The power graph of each day shows a significant drop. I did have short but good sleeps overnight and ate very well.
Red is Day1, Light Blue Day2 and Dark Blue Day3
Day2 had a lot of climbs hence higher power up to 30mins
In the end I was struggling to hold above 20km/h despite a flat last 56km.
I’m currently on the Low Volume Grand Fondo Plan (3 sessions per week) and supplement that with 2-3 commutes per week.
Just found this thread, @killroy123, and wanted to say: I think it’s super cool!
And this whole post is way underrated! Every word is pure gold!
Awesome stuff, folks.
What does “Audax” actually mean and where does it come from? I speed-read this wiki page on “Audax” and still can’t figure out where the word comes from or what it means? Is it just a made up name for a type of ultra ride? Help me out! I’m new here.
(my only experience in ultra riding is vicariously through my wife, plus the time I rode half of the ‘trenching’ challenge with her.)
I’m going off another wiki page
Latin: Adjective: Means bold or daring / foolish and fool-hardy.
Think it came to use in the UK to explain long distance cycling hence why its a separate word…but I could be wrong
I am not particularly fast and I’ve ridden a 200 at 28 km/h (I am super proud of that one) We had some strong people pulling from the group though. I have to admit it was a bit too fast and I bonked and lost the group and the final 40 km or so were painful.
The total climbing for this route was about 2500 meters so not exactly pancake flat (not steep either).
Brevet season in Spain starts in February. I’ve had sub-freezing temperatures in February and extreme heat in the September events.
In the UK, 2023 rides are starting to open up for entries… PBP 2023 starts to seem a little closer!
Convince me why I should enter PBP? I have pre-qualified through LEL so it seems obvious that I should do it, but somehow not that excited by it. It seems it will be crowded and the route is not that exciting. What do you like about it?
Don’t know where you are getting your facts from, but LEL first ran in 1989 not 1894!
The internet. Obviously.
Well your source whatever it is needs correcting!