VC Walcot
Audax & Sportive stuff
 
To help put together what events members are riding or thinking about riding, recommendations, general advice, lift sharing and all the rest of it, I have put together a mailing list for those who ride Sportives/Audax, are thinking of riding or are interested in what its all about. Just drop me an email me at andy_curran@talktalk.net  with ‘Sportive/Audax’ in the subject and I can add you to it.
 
In answer to few comments
 
Audax events are measured in Kilometres(km) as it originates from France. To convert km to miles, multiply by 0.6214.
Standard Audax distances are:
100km (62miles)
200km (124 miles)
300km (186 miles)
400km (249 miles)
600km (373 miles) 
 
Every 4 years Paris-Brest-Paris a 1200km (746 miles) event is held in France. Qualification required. http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2.php?lang=en&cat=accueil&page=edito
Every 4 years London-Edingburgh-London a 1400km (870 miles) event is held in UK. Qualification not required.http://londonedinburghlondon.com/
 
Much more on the Audax UK website http://www.aukweb.net/home/ 
 
News
 
Tour of Flanders Weekend – Friday 4th to Monday 7th April 
Lots of fun riding the Ronde van Vlaaderen Sportive in Belgium on Saturday then riding bits of the route and watching the professionals race the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. Thousands of people in the square afterwards and I bump into Gary Cooper, joint starter of Cyclescheme, having a bier next to us. Small world….I used to deliver their post! Paul Robson was also there although unfortunately we never got to meet up.
On Monday on the way home we stopped off near Paschendale to visit the largest commonwealth war cemetry from the First world war and then into Ypres to see the Menin gate, which included a inscription to a relative of  David Acklam.
We had all decided beforehand we wanted to visit these remembrance sites and pay our respects, especially as 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. 
Huge thanks to Sportive captain David Acklam who organised the weekend for the 8 of us. Lots of pictures from all of us and a longer write-up to follow from David…..
 
Valley of the Rocks 200Km Audax
On Saturday April 5th Angus McKendrick rode the Valley of the Rocks 200km Audax in Devon and writes about the event below.
 
“For my longest ride since taking up cycling I decided to do the Valley of the Rocks 200km audax. Its was quite a challenge, with 3900 metres of climbing, but very enjoyable. Parts of the route were fantastic, including the ascent over Exmoor and then down into Lynmouth. Anyone who hasn’t visited the valley of the rocks should- absolutely spectacular scenery and an excellent control at Mother Meldrums where I had a lovely apple pie and custard. The weather was OK mostly although there was some heavy rain for a short period- where I made a wrong turn (its difficult to read a route card when your glasses are covered in rain drops) adding 10 kms to my journey. Like quite a few others I punctured (twice in fact) and one rider rode the last 20 miles with his tyre filled with grass as his tyre had shredded. I must admit that with about 30 miles to go I was wondering at my sanity wasting  my free time hurting myself, but after a quick stop at the final control the last 25 miles went quickly and by the time I arrived back at Honiton I was already thinking about when and where to do my next Audax- unfortunately it really is addictive!” 
 
Upcoming events
 
The Heart of England 300km Audax
Saturday 26th April 06.00 starting from Cirencester 
(1 lift available)
 
200km & 100km choice of Audax rides in Somerset
Sunday 27th April 08.00 & 09.30 starting from High Ham, Langport. Somerset
 
  
Further Out
 
South Glos 100km Audax
Saturday 10th May 09.30 starting from Aust, south Glos.
(This event is just over 20 miles away so a ride to start and then back from finish would make a 109 mile trip, although plenty of parking also available)
 
Somerset 100 mile Sportive
Sunday 19th May starting from Wedmore, Somerset.
(Some members already entered so possibility of lift sharing)
Even Further Out 
BikeBath Sportive weekend
Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th June. Starting from Bath.
(Helpers being offered free entry to the Bike Oxford Weekend ride)
 
Bath CC 100 km Audax
Sunday 6th July 08.30 starting from Combe Down, Bath
Great reviews of last year’s event.
Our friends at Great Weston Ride are running a 56 mile challenging route across the Mendips and Somerset levels on Sunday 20th July. The ride starts from Long Ashton Park & Ride and eventually finishes in Weston-Super-Mare with proceeds going to help in the fight against prostate cancer.http://www.greatwestonride.com/
This makes an ideal family day out with relatives and family able to meet you at the finish, making it a real fun day out for all.
 
Clubrider Andy Lenthall has been strong armed into entering the Blenheim Palace Sportive on Sunday August 17th starting from Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Andy is seeking other to join him. see his March 21st post of the club Facebook page.
 
 
Audax Club Bristol event organiser Paul Rainbow has a 224km Grimpeur (Climber) event planned, hopefully for later this summer taking in some of the best climbs of the Brecon Beacons, including the famous Tumble. For those who like a bit of excitement it also includes an 11km fast descent into Crickhowell (not literally!) and Paul describes the route as, “pretty hilly!!”
Provisional route suggestion is http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4307015 
Start/Finish would be Aztec West which is very easy to get to from Bath and has ample free parking. More to follow on this as details get finalised.
 
til next time…