Saw a rider on Mille Cymru (1000km audax) in 2014 arrive at the Betsy Coed control on the time limit on day 3. It was sub zero in the night in June. He ate, put head down for 15 mins doze and then was out of the door. He finished about 30 minutes out of time but what a battle to try to finish in time till the end. The kind of audax he will remember for a long time, compared to the ones you finish easily.
I did ride the BCM in 2018. According to Garmin/Strava it was 6333m climbing. I noticed this year’s edition is not listed as a 8000m brevet on the ACP list (a 600km brevet with 8000+m climbing is now a requirement for the ACP10k award).
BCM is a lovely event. Prepare for both bitterly cold (nights) and very hot; in 2018 it was near freezing in the night yet on the 2nd day someone had to quit because of heat stroke!
Kings Hostel can/will be packed… I had a 1/2 length inflatable pad and a light sleeping bag with me and had 3+ hours of sleep under a table in the lounge. Oh, bring earplugs
I’ve only failed to finish an audax twice. Both times were mental failures (1 went past my parents house) and I could have finished if I’d had the need to really.
The time I was actually sick (like throwing up proper sick) I still finished in time because I needed to (PBP qualifier)
The hilliest ride I did, I actually felt the freshest at the end - good weather helped, but hills with good descents are easier than grinding out into a headwind for me.
Thanks for the advice!
Great information on this thread, thanks all for contributing.
A bit off the training topic, but I’m prepping for my first 600k in late April, and am curious to ask what sort of tail bag setups any of you might have? I was able to fit all my spares/food/etc. in a decent size handle bar bag for the 200, 300, and 400, but don’t have spare space for any extras.
Any suggestions of what works well and why would be appreciated! I’ve been riding a 2021 Trek Emonda. Thanks!
I don’t carry anything extra for a 600 over a 400. What extras were you thinking of carrying that you didn’t have on your 400?
For the 600 I have a large Apidura under saddle bag.
Still toying with getting a Tailfin Rack
For the 600 since this will involve a sleep (in my case) I add the following over a 400 (no sleep)
600km or Overnight Stops
- Spare Bib Shorts
- Spare socks
- Airline size toothbrush/paste
- Mini hairbrush / Comb?
- Chamois cream / Sudacrem 30g
- 2x Powder instant Porridge
- SiS Recovery Powder
- SiS Go Powder (for Day2)
- Anker PowerPort Atom III Slim (UK Plug to 4 USB Ports)
- Charging cables for each device
Sometimes we get lucky and in my upcoming 600 the sleep is at a community hall and the organisers will take a drop bag for you which reduces the amount of stuff you have to take.
Mainly a change of bibs and some extra food. The route isn’t super remote, but gas stations in small town Georgia in the states will be closed for an unknown reason from time to time so I’d like to be prepped in case.
Thanks @davidkcowie this is fantastic!
I did my first Audax of the season yesterday - Kingston Wheelers 210km Gently Bentley
I had read prior to riding this article
and had never really considered displaying Power whilst riding Audaxes with the thought, it is what it is.
However yesterday on the 3rd leg I needed to make up some time and put on NP, IF and 30s Power. It got me motivated a bit and resulted in IF of 0.75 for 8 hours of riding.
I’ll now be interested to see how this compares to my other Audaxes (maybe list IF by distance?)
For the same ride last year I had 0.78 but was a bit faster as I had a group for the 2nd half.
Below is my IF now mapped to distance. There is quite a bit of variation which I guess depends on all the factors such as route profile, weather, groups or not and personal condition.
0.78 is my high water mark the past three years for a 200K. And I DESTROYED myself on that ride.
I record my multi-day rides as individual days, so many of the lower IF rides are really Day 2, Day 3, or Day 4 of longer efforts on gassed legs. And sometimes it’s just a nice day out for a long cruise away from the stresses of life!
Here’s a similar chart, with some annotations for last year specifically. I also broke things down by day, and you can see that huge drop off from the first to second day of the 1200 I did last year… and boy did I feel it too.
Hilariously the dot just above 84 is the first official brevet I ever did – clearly I did not have a particularly strong sense of pacing! The 300 from last year (which was particularly hilly) was a triumph at the time and in retrospect.
I have a February 100 with an IF of 0.865 but it’s not something I track in ride. I see power or heart during audax as something to keep a cap on, so I don’t burn too many matches fresh and early on in a ride. A 100 I see as something to have fun on, with no caps. Less than 6 mins stopped on this one.
The one thing I don’t want audaxes to turn into is staring at numbers on a screen. Do enough of that when doing intervals on a turbo.
Most of us lose time when not moving. My last 200 I spent 1 hour 20 mins stopped. I’ve had that as low as 10 minutes before. Keep your stops efficient and you can achieve the same elapsed time whilst riding a lot easier, with less toll on the body.
Just saw this thread now, cool!
I’m based in Norway, but did the Bryan Chapman Memorial in 2017. Definately one of the prettiest rides I’ve done. Also getting to experience the UK Audax scene was awesome. Loved how the controls were manned, and that it was a whole happening. When you ride here in Norway, you’re all on your own and your controls are basically gas stations along the route.
But yeah, BCM was hilly for sure. And steep! Some of the Welsh climbs are brutal. Kinda short, but so so steep! The views are stunning though, so the ride is HIGHLY recommended if you can get a spot.
Another randonne worth mentioning is the Jotunheimen Super Randonnee, which is a little over 600 km’s long and with over 10.000 meters of climbing. It was also brutal, but has some proper climbs and stunning views.
Will hopefully manage to qualify for my 3rd PBP this year, so might see some of you out there on the roads in Frace in August!?
Sure, you start with a map and a dream, but you can also ask yourself: how central is plan to the pursuit? Who knows, but if the following the plan means pushing for what will surely be all of eternity into this flag-shredding headwind, then hopefully not very central at all. What is it you’re doing out here anyway? After 185 kms of this brutal, singular effort, and knowing there was another thirty-kilometres to go before the route would split south and offer a break from the morale-zapping resistance, plan and pursuit went their own ways and just because you decided to draw a little line on the map a month ago while planning this big stupid escapade, could you not simply turn off any time you wanted switch the record to the next number in the show?
As it turns out you absolutely can. The bicycle headset can be used to change direction quickly, a perfect feature on this perfect machine. And so I did. The music is just a way to keep all the players together, but when now the band lifted from the page up struck the jazz. The Garmin beeps with the rhythm, and it keeps beeping, telling me in no uncertain terms that I have deviated from the route. Turn around, man. You are off course. I am. So see you later, Garmin, I’m finished with your navigation. You can continue into that headwind as long as you like, but I’m going south. I turned off the GPS, and now, riding on this unplanned road the silence came suddenly and the mist lifted and I didn’t even know it was foggy until the air returned to clear.
I had planned a 450km route with the goal to finish in 17 hours. This meant a consistent zone 2 pace, and importantly, keeping all stops fast and efficient. There would be no breaks. No proper meal stops. Water would be refilled only at gas stations where sugar would be shaken into the bottles. A Snickers bar and a can of Coke and you’re out of there. What do you think there’s all the time in the world? The routing improvisation now took the course eastbound. Presence returned when the goal realigned with process, and rolling through this tiny farm town I could smell the fish and chips from a mile away.
The sun baked at 40 degrees and while I waited for my french-fries for five… ten… twenty minutes, anxiety over the elapsed time ticking melted in its rays and the meaning of the mission rose into my heart. Scrap the sheet music, drop the clock into the lake. It’s better to know what to do when the situation arises than to push through like an unconscious fool. Flow would not be found through this rigidity. To surf the wave you first accept it. And so, after twenty minutes of waiting at this greasy little fish and chips outpost, I took my fries and two cans of coke to the picnic table and enjoyed a proper meal, the grease doing well to neutralize the pure sugar, and wait was worth the time because I not only felt better, I was totally renewed. How much distance had passed? It hardly mattered for there was still so much to go.
The loop began to curve all by itself, finding the best roads past the farms, through the woods, every turn that seemed worth taking I took. The sun tucked into dusk as I found myself pointed eastbound, aimed back to the start to close the loop. It didn’t matter how I got there but I would get there. And when I did I was thirty kilometres short of the original plan. It didn’t matter. It took riding 430 kilometres to realize that the plan, the route, the distance, was simply a vehicle for, and not the purpose of, the ride, which begins the moment you forget about what you thought it was to go off and find out what it is.