Author Topic: How does Audax make you feel?  (Read 25809 times)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #75 on: 07 October, 2010, 06:25:01 pm »
It's all about the night-riding - more specifically, the 02:00-07:00 riding.

The most miserable I have ever been in my entire life has been during Audaxes at that time.
Some of the best and worst moments of my (recent) life have been <ditto>.
Quote
I love night-riding but night-riding on an Audax means I've already spent about 15 hours in the saddle (and usually it then starts raining and/or freezing cold)
Very true. But then there are the times when you grab a few hours sleep around midnight; then set off before dawn, (fairly) refreshed, enjoy those magical night hours, then get that mystical high from the sun coming up. (Then spend an hour wondering why it's still so f-ing cold).

If you ride PBP fast enough, you'll do the first night completely fresh, then get enough sleep to enjoy the night-riding later in the ride. (or so I hear)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #76 on: 07 October, 2010, 06:48:14 pm »
I sang 'The Night is Departing' (from Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise) at full blast, in splendid isolation, as the dawn broke over Hampshire (NSN 1994).
It was just a week since our choir had performed this.
Wonderful!

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #77 on: 07 October, 2010, 07:57:23 pm »
I've only done 2 routes and one event, but when I am not talking, it puts me in a state of flow for an extended period. I just feel absorbed in the task.

Quote from: wikipedia
  1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.[5]
   2. Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
   3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
   4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
   5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
   6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
   7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
   8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
   9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it)
  10. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.

I did lose that for the overdistance part of the MH300, mind, when I found myself counting the miles for a bit. Fortunately, good company snapped me out of it.

I can also find myself going off into a state of mindfulness (or more accurately, I feel the same as I do when I do mindfulness practice) if I concentrate on matching my breathing pattern with my cadence too, although that happens more on my commute. I regularly find myself coming round and having no recollection whatsoever of a section I've just ridden.

recumbentim

  • Only 6 SR,s No hyper yet
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #78 on: 07 October, 2010, 08:07:24 pm »
RELAXED, cause one has a long time to ponder everything in ones mind.
It may be thoughts about work ,Family,bike repairs, TV , Mortgages  --any thing --- but after several hours I have generally cleared my mind and set to the job in hand then your thoughts turn to Conversation, food ,Water,sore bits,controls , Average speed, till reciepts and finish.
Then all the previous thuoghts dont matter as adrenaline and elation take over.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #79 on: 07 October, 2010, 08:17:14 pm »
I just switch off apart from wondering  will i get the knock every now and then. The adrenaline rush should kick in at the start. Great way to get fit for holidays.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #80 on: 07 October, 2010, 08:20:45 pm »
Tired, bored and with a sore backside...which is why I've pretty much stopped riding them  :-\

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #81 on: 07 October, 2010, 09:47:19 pm »
Scared.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #82 on: 07 October, 2010, 09:53:09 pm »

If you ride PBP fast enough, you'll do the first night completely fresh, then get enough sleep to enjoy the night-riding later in the ride. (or so I hear)

You're asking for it. But I don't know where it is.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #83 on: 07 October, 2010, 10:29:56 pm »
On several Audaxes I have experienced periods of longeuer - twenty minutes or so here and there when I've been plodding, thinking 'what am I doing this for?' or 'when is this going to end?'  These do not coincide with the tough times: the longer it rains or the hillier it becomes or the more tired I feel, then the more determined I become to carry on till the rain stops, the summits are reached, the lights of the final control appear on the horizon.  So far, the sound of the imp whispering in my ear has been faint enough to be drowned out by the angel shouting in the other.  And I think I take these experiences as positives into 'normal' life (not that I have that many struggles there).

On all Audaxes, most of the time, I experience what most other people have expressed here about the positive feelings it engenders.

On a few Audaxes I have had moments of what I can only call 'bliss'. They come out of nowhere and cannot  be explained away by an obvious reason (sunrise, swooping descent, classic panorama hoving into view, a side-effect of sleep deprivation, drugs).  Usually, but not always, they coincide with rush of energy.  On one occasion when it didn't, my usual wheelmate miniog was out-climbing me up to Pen-y-Pas, we'd had rain all the way from Lake Vyrynwy and I was keeping going at a pedestrian pace, but feeling OK.  All of a sudden the feeling came over me. I realized I was grinning involuntarily. Had I known the words to the Song of Joy they would have burst out, a la Hellymedic. Pity the poor pedestrians and drivers wherever they were, even - especially- if they were dry. Pity the people sitting at home in the warm.  Pity everyone else who wasn't me at that moment riding my bike on that mountain in the rain. For a few minutes the thought of being anywhere else and the idea of doing anything else seemed utterly ridiculous.

I'm sure there's some mundane chemical reason to explain these occasions, like a serotonin tap somehow being turned on.  But that doesn't diminish them. 

Wothill

  • over the hills and far away
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #84 on: 07 October, 2010, 10:48:08 pm »
Great thread. Thanks for starting it, MegaJ. I thought you summed it up beautifully, but having read the rest of the thread, lots of other contributions ring true for me  too. This is my first full year of audax - I did a single 200 in 05 but only started properly at the end of 09. All the rides I have done have had something about them, especially the ones that broke new ground in some way - night riding, long (and even longer) distances, big hills (even more big hills, one after the other) new roads, suddenly realising I am riding through some really magic scenery that I haven't seen before, realising I have actually been on this road before only last time it was dark or raining. I like audaxers too: good banter from everyone maintaining a veneer of normality when underneath everyone is a bit mad and is quite glad there are other nutters around.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Audax
« Reply #85 on: 07 October, 2010, 10:52:07 pm »
Oh, very true. But it's the time element again. I get exactly the same feeling on one of my own rides if my ticket is valid for a specific train and I'm cutting it fine. I hate time pressure when cyclling. To Hummers: done that too.

It would appear that audax is not for you, but it's only one of a large number of cycling disciplines, none of which are going to appeal to everyone.

Oh, quite agree. There's the other problem I haven't mentioned, which applies up to a point to everyone, and that's getting to the start of the ride. Probably a bit harder if you live out an a limb as I do.

Don't get me wrong: if people like audax, good luck to them. But quite a few of the favourable comments on here apply to lots of other forms of cycling and are not unique to audax.
Bach without a doubt.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #86 on: 07 October, 2010, 10:56:23 pm »
I love having time to think to myself with little distraction. Probably why I'm not a fan of fast pace lines sharing the work. I'd rather ride on my own, or along side someone and have a chat.

I don't get this with other cycling as those rides are either too short (I need at least a couple of hours to empty my head) or they lack any form of motivation to keep going (which is one thing Audaxes do provide me with).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Martin

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #87 on: 07 October, 2010, 11:02:44 pm »
It's all about the night-riding - more specifically, the 02:00-07:00 riding.

I always try my very best not to ride between those hours

I've never done a lot of that; on 600s I tried to be asleep by 0200; and ideally finish a 400 before 0700 although summer ones have the advantage of riding into the sunrise a lot earlier, and in PBP the only night I rode through was ipssing down,  but I agree with Danial it's a magic time to be out as long as you are not too tired and cold (it gets bloody cold at 0500 no matter what time of year)

most recently have been riding at that time on 300s but I think I'll jump at the chance of an 0600 start on El S's one next year.

Re: Audax
« Reply #88 on: 07 October, 2010, 11:08:32 pm »
Oh, very true. But it's the time element again. I get exactly the same feeling on one of my own rides if my ticket is valid for a specific train and I'm cutting it fine. I hate time pressure when cyclling. To Hummers: done that too.

It would appear that audax is not for you, but it's only one of a large number of cycling disciplines, none of which are going to appeal to everyone.

Yes Ian.
On the other hand, I thrive on the pressure. Ever since I was 13 years old and wanted to cycle as far away from home in my summer holidays from school. I had to get home before my parents or I'd have been found out and my bike would be locked away in the garage for the rest of the holiday.
My 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2007 seasons were constant pressure. The individual rides would have never have been much of a challenge, but putting them all as close together as I did made them a lot harder and I really didn't want to fail any. It was very depressing for me when I failed a 1500k permanent in 2007, even though what I'd done beforehand made it a very good performance for me. I wasn't entirely confident that I could manage what I had planned for the last two months of 2007 and really felt under pressure. But from that, allthough I felt exhausted from what I'd done in the previous 10 months, I felt alive, even if a bit scared. I look back on it now and still can't work out how I managed it. It's as if a different person did it all now. It took over my life for that year and I oubt I'll ever do it again, even though I think I could do even more. I've had my turn now, more than ebough times and there's much more to life. But I'm certainly glad that I had those very tough years. I learned a lot each time and in some ways I miss not doing it.
2007 left me pretty shell shocked and confused. My 2000 season blew my head to pieces and I reckon it took me about 2-3 years to recover. It knocked me down to an all time low, but I learned so much from it and I gained a great deal from it as I gradually built myself up again. I'd have never done what I did in 2007 if it wasn't for my hellish 2000 season.
I've gained an awful lot from Audaxing, but now it's time for me to move on and just use Audax rides as social and fun rides andto help keep the miles ticking over. I think I've pretty well got almost all I can get from it now. The best thing I do now is my September 600s when I help others ride their first 600. My first 600 and SR series is still the biggest sense of elation I've ever had from anything I've done in cycling. My points chasing years never gave me the same level of elation. They were different each time and were more life changing experiences more than anything else.

Riding in the very eraly hours can be very miserable when it's not going your way. Being sleepy is the worst thing. But hen you're firing on all cylinders, the miles are racing by, full moon ablaze and everything hunky dory, it can be the best thing in the world.

A 600k ride for me is more like a club run or weekend ride. They used to be a very big challenge, but after all I've done, they are pretty tame. I aim to keep myself in condition to be able to ride a 600 on any given weekend of the year with no warning.(weather conditions permitting, I wouldn't ride if it's icy) Audaxing has conditioned me to be able to do this. My default mode of transport now is my cycle, regardless of distance. I'll only use other means of transport when I physically cannot cycle to the destination in time, or perhaps to avoid very unpleasant cycling. I'll think nothing of setting off from work Friday afternoon to reach some distance place by cycling through the night. Audax has turned cycling into an any time activity.


Audax - it never gets easier, you just go further.




That's very true, if you pursue it enough.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #89 on: 08 October, 2010, 04:26:42 pm »
Mostly freedom (a la escape artist), and I hate the cellphone for its intrusion here, but also makes me not take the car for granted. After some ride, to sit in warm dry comfortable place, going up hills without legs hurting makes me think how good the car is. Usually only lasts till the first dodgy-overtake on the next commute...

AndyH

Re: Audax
« Reply #90 on: 08 October, 2010, 06:03:17 pm »
The best thing I do now is my September 600s when I help others ride their first 600.

Well I hope you & Rich keep doing those, it was my best Audax experience to date. I would be tempted to join you again next year.

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #91 on: 08 October, 2010, 06:46:42 pm »
Audax makes me feel 10 years younger :thumbsup: untill I look in the mirror where I look 20 years older. :-\

It's a great way to cycle through different parts of Britain benefiting from the organizer's local knowledge.
Coming over the Shap or down  the Vale of LLangollen at daybreak is something you just wouldn't experience if out for a social run.

Don't have to know anyone, you can just turn up at Audaxes and you'll end up cycling along with others for at least some of the time.

Audax is compelling as you don't want to lose your fitness that took so long to build and there are always new challenges to try.

Despite the pleasures of cycling the best bit is often the end, especially if that happens to be Newtonmore where there's always a good crowd with food and drink served until late. ;D
 


Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #92 on: 08 October, 2010, 07:26:25 pm »
1. Most audaxes I've done have been a struggle against the clock. I've been concentrating so hard on getting round the course in time that I've neglected those bits of cycling that make it fun.

2. I've rarely done an audax in which I haven't thought "Why the bloody hell are we going this way? There are much nicer roads over there!" OK, I know you are allowed to choose your route between controls, but see point 1 above.

3. I'm not that good at riding on my own, and I'm too slow for others to want to keep me company - see point 1 above.

4. I get a lot of fun plotting my own routes. I don't want some other bugger to do it for me.

Remarkable how I can agree on all of these points, albeit partly. The main difference with me being usually fast enough. On occasions where the clock became an issue, I found that quite frustrating.
The second point, as mentioned already, can be solved by going to rides further away. I try to avoid the two closest organisers just for this reason. I think I might solve this and the fourth point by organizing my own rides in the future (2012?).

Being on my own is usually fine, but when time is tight I am more likely to give up when on my own.

And to answer the subject: I do it for the endorphins.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been too many days since I have ridden through the night with a brevet card in my pocket...

AndyH

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #93 on: 08 October, 2010, 07:43:02 pm »
Coming over the Shap or down  the Vale of LLangollen at daybreak is something you just wouldn't experience if out for a social run.

The fact that I've entered an event spurs me on. If it wasn't for audax I would have carried on dicking about with short rides, doing nothing much. My night riding and dawn views have been in Dorset, Kent, Lincolnshire, the Cotswolds. and if I hadn't been on an audax I would never have seen them. Apart from the hallucinating / cold / falling asleep on the bike bits, night riding is wonderful.

OT but in Scandinavia in high summer the night riding is even better, because it is night in every sense of the word (wildlife, people etc). but it doesn't get dark.

Androcles

  • Cycling Weakly
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #94 on: 09 October, 2010, 01:31:21 am »
It gives me a real sense of achievement.  I was always one of the non-sporty types at school, and it does give me a certain sense of satisfaction that I can ride up to 600km which is beyond the comprehension of, well, nearly everyone (including most of the school sportsmen).

It's not just that though.  A very satisfying aspect is helping others to achieve that which they thought improbable.  I've done a 50km with my 12 year old son, who only started riding this year (nice day out despite the rain) and given moral support to other clubmates who were attempting 200km for the first time.

So; a sense of achievement and a warm glow.  What could be better?
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into a dream

Oaky

  • ACME Fire Safety Officer
  • Audax Club Mid-Essex
    • MEMWNS Map
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #95 on: 09 October, 2010, 01:50:49 am »
...

+1 (except I'm still not sure I can do 600km - but next season will hopefully see that tested).

I really love the way that Audax has removed my fear of distance and of being in unknown territory and, coupled with doing a very under-prepared DIY, enhanced my confidence in navigating from A to G via B, C, D, E and F with no more resource than a list of towns and a few pages from a road atlas.

I do especially love spreading the "creed".  By this I mean, taking other people cycling on distances that they previously thought impossible.  Incrementally removing the barriers to distance that they had in their minds.

I can all too easily remember the same barriers in my own mind --- it's not much more than 2 years since I thought 10 miles to be quite a challenge. (I'd ridden much further in my youth, but that was, err, in my youth).
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

Audax Club Mid-Essex Fire Safety Officer
http://acme.bike

Androcles

  • Cycling Weakly
Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #96 on: 09 October, 2010, 02:00:00 am »
Seems like we are on the same page, Oaky.

And of course you will do your 600km.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into a dream

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #97 on: 09 October, 2010, 11:13:58 pm »
The last one I did gave me a sore arse and aching legs

This :D

Um, I've done one and DNF'd another now and once recovered felt pretty awesome after both because I managed to squeeze out 100k on each, far more than I really believed I was capable of.

legitlee

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #98 on: 20 July, 2011, 10:01:56 am »
I have no idea yet. I'm attempting a 200km tomorrow one I made up to have a go. I have joined Audax UK so I'll really get in to it next year. At 50 and only just taking up cycling last year, this year is all about Sportives (112mile longest) they are ok but I spend more time looking at my computer than I do the road and scenery. Then I found Audax and I really fancy the challenge. I'm using the same bike added Brooks saddle lights and a bigger bag, well it looks the part. Having read a few threads I like peoples attitudes, the experience and help is fantastic to someone new to the concept. I just need to gain some confidence then I'll join a club and hopefully enjoy socialising too. The problem so far is slowing my pace but I'm sure that will happen when I'm cycling further. Any advice welcome and thank you. Lee

Re: How does Audax make you feel?
« Reply #99 on: 20 July, 2011, 12:08:55 pm »
I have no idea yet. I'm attempting a 200km tomorrow one I made up to have a go. I have joined Audax UK so I'll really get in to it next year. At 50 and only just taking up cycling last year, this year is all about Sportives (112mile longest) they are ok but I spend more time looking at my computer than I do the road and scenery. Then I found Audax and I really fancy the challenge. I'm using the same bike added Brooks saddle lights and a bigger bag, well it looks the part. Having read a few threads I like peoples attitudes, the experience and help is fantastic to someone new to the concept. I just need to gain some confidence then I'll join a club and hopefully enjoy socialising too. The problem so far is slowing my pace but I'm sure that will happen when I'm cycling further. Any advice welcome and thank you. Lee

Hi Lee, welcome to Audax  :D

Personally I like calendar Audax events because of the camaraderie involved, that 'we are all in this together' feeling when it's tipping it down and we are all riding into a headwind. You can be as social or as anti-social as you want and it's all OK. There are probably not many sporting activities a middle aged woman like me could fit into, enjoy and succeed at in the same way. Just be aware that once the bug bites you might start doing daft distances and wanting to enter insanely long events like has happened to me in only one year :)