Author Topic: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?  (Read 13001 times)

Geriatricdolan

Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« on: 29 March, 2021, 10:19:55 am »
As per title...

with some form of respiratory hygiene requirement probably here to stay, is the idea of sharing a sweaty blanket at BCM or LEL still something that will be OK?
Will supported long brevets still be something organisers are keen to offer, or we are looking at a future of 200BR + a number of X-rated BRM?

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #1 on: 29 March, 2021, 10:31:42 am »
Don't know, but there's definitely a market for X-rated longer rides.

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #2 on: 29 March, 2021, 10:36:02 am »
I don't think respiratory hygiene is here to stay,  by 2025 life will be back to pre pandemic, international travel,  crowds hygiene all as before.

I'm expecting LEL to run next year,  possibly with some restrictions on international arrivals.

All talk of things never being the same again is as extreme as those arguing to remove all restrictions now.

Current roadmap lists removing ALL restrictions in June this year.  On that basis long audax rides would be allowed,  although there may be a significant number of people not prepared sleep in communal dormitories, this would not appear to be banned.


Eddington  100miles

John Stonebridge

  • Has never ridden Ower the Edge
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #3 on: 29 March, 2021, 11:26:24 am »
Interesting question.

Small and X rated events will recover quite quickly and you could argue they have already. 

From my perspective as a UK rider and organiser of events in Scotland I believe that the trend re controls will continue away from traditional village hall TLC to commercial premises and as a result we’ll see calendar events and DIYs becoming more similar in future.  It’s conceivable then that there will be far fewer calendar events especially at 200km and maybe even we will see a future where only a limited number of “classics” will remain on the calendar. 

Barriers to international travel will remain greater than they were pre pandemic for longer than a lot of people seem to believe (and possibly not just for Covid related reasons).  Therefore imho its big flagship international audax events that are least likely to resume in their pre pandemic form.

Similarly in future it’s likely that a greater proportion of 600km+ events will be X rated (or will place greater reliance on commercial premises).     

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #4 on: 29 March, 2021, 11:30:25 am »
On the continent most longer audaxes (400 and 600k) were already quite x-rated, AUK was an exception regarding 600k events with full services.
With the advent of fast selftests, more will be possible.
Yes, indeed, jetting to the other end of the world for a 1200 and returning within a week, that will be something that won't return that easily, so audaxing will be more self sufficient per continent.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #5 on: 29 March, 2021, 11:37:28 am »
Hard to know, but it won't be this year.  In general terms we won't be out of this until the rest of the world is out of it. Large,unvaccinated populations allow the possibility of new variants, which means that until that risk is gone travel restrictions in some form will exist.  Might have an impact on the next PBP

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #6 on: 29 March, 2021, 12:50:36 pm »
Indeed, for PBP I expect a reduction in numbers, stricter procedures at registration and less non European participants.
I could perfectly envisage a return of the registration by country to keep a sort of national bubble for the day before the start.

Geriatricdolan

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #7 on: 29 March, 2021, 01:20:40 pm »
I don't think respiratory hygiene is here to stay,  by 2025 life will be back to pre pandemic, international travel,  crowds hygiene all as before.

I disagree. Most people didn't know that we lose at least 7,000 every year due to the common flu, despite the vaccine and I think the idea of going to work with a temperature and a couple of pills of paracetamol as we used to do will be unthinkable for the foreseeable future.
Stats on Covid and other seasonal diseases are here to stay, the news have fed on that for one year and won't let go, unless numbers are so dull that nobody cares, but numbers on flu alone are quite juicy and numbers on Covid will keep existing despite vaccines. As a result, I can see a reluctance to share crowded dormitories with people you never met before, or have a dump in a toilet used by another fifty randonneurs and not cleaned for hours... it would feel a bit like a ticket to a chickenpox party, which have somehow lost popularity

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #8 on: 29 March, 2021, 01:31:15 pm »
I wonder if the issue is in fact about digital changing the landscape - rather than the covid hiatus.

Almost everyone has a GPS these days - so the value of having someone plot a route for you is diminished (and with Ride with GPS and Garmin you can probably find something interesting  to ride quite easily)

If you want to compare yourself or get "points" Strava partly fulfils some of that need

As a CUK member I have insurance.

The one thing that still stands for me is the social element - I like to see new faces at the start of rides (and old ones at the end) and to know that while I'mon the road there is a body of like minded people out and about. But increasingly I'm seeing posts from people saying  "I'm doing X ride on this date - rock up and ride..."

This is a bit of a doomsday scenario but it would be interesting to hear how the club can come out of hibernation with a bang.

Geriatricdolan

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #9 on: 29 March, 2021, 01:43:00 pm »
I wonder if the issue is in fact about digital changing the landscape - rather than the covid hiatus.

Almost everyone has a GPS these days - so the value of having someone plot a route for you is diminished (and with Ride with GPS and Garmin you can probably find something interesting  to ride quite easily)



I am always surprised by the number of people who seem to think there is some "magic" in the Audax routes... most are fairly obvious ways to go from A to B and almost all of them can be improved upon if mileage is not an issue.

I once plotted a route through the Cambrian mountains, just with the idea of going for a ride in Wales... it turned out it was the same route used by the Elenith to cross the mountains... well, guess what? It's the only bloody route you can pick to do that kind of loop.

Point is (before I miss it) there is still a demand for pre-packaged routes with that perceived "magic", since most people have no confidence with the idea of plotting a route, any route, even in their local area, they rarely move away from the pre-packaged routes their local club defaults on.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #10 on: 29 March, 2021, 01:56:52 pm »
Interesting question.

Small and X rated events will recover quite quickly and you could argue they have already. 

From my perspective as a UK rider and organiser of events in Scotland I believe that the trend re controls will continue away from traditional village hall TLC to commercial premises and as a result we’ll see calendar events and DIYs becoming more similar in future.  It’s conceivable then that there will be far fewer calendar events especially at 200km and maybe even we will see a future where only a limited number of “classics” will remain on the calendar. 

Thinking over the Scottish rides I've done, they're almost all arguably X-Rated.
The only full controls I can think of I've encountered are Dunblane (once I'd prayed and found it) on the Auld Alliance and Braemar on the most recent running of the Snow Roads.
Other than that it's been the hub nature of the Galashiels 600 and finding Dick or George stamping cards in a café; and a couple of car based checkpoints where it was needed to make the route work.

The Northumbric events are much the same, couple of controls based at campervan or car park, the only sizeable control out on the road was the Colvend sleep stop on the TBAG 600

The only (and therefore also most Northerly) full service event I've done was Deano's Great North Road.
Yorkshire via Essex was IIRC X rated but had both a cafe and pub control on it (due I think to sharing day and inverse of route with the Flatlands), and that was proper south.

Maybe it's just the Southern softies expecting TLC at controls that will end...

 :P


Geriatricdolan

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #11 on: 29 March, 2021, 02:28:50 pm »


Maybe it's just the Southern softies expecting TLC at controls that will end...

 :P

Maybe...

but the degree of TLC is the difference between a 400 that racks up 150 entries and one that struggles to gather 20.

In the absence of any form of TLC at events, I doubt AUK would manage to keep membership in the thousands

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #12 on: 29 March, 2021, 02:32:40 pm »
I wonder if the issue is in fact about digital changing the landscape - rather than the covid hiatus.

Almost everyone has a GPS these days - so the value of having someone plot a route for you is diminished (and with Ride with GPS and Garmin you can probably find something interesting  to ride quite easily)



I am always surprised by the number of people who seem to think there is some "magic" in the Audax routes... most are fairly obvious ways to go from A to B and almost all of them can be improved upon if mileage is not an issue.

I once plotted a route through the Cambrian mountains, just with the idea of going for a ride in Wales... it turned out it was the same route used by the Elenith to cross the mountains... well, guess what? It's the only bloody route you can pick to do that kind of loop.

Point is (before I miss it) there is still a demand for pre-packaged routes with that perceived "magic", since most people have no confidence with the idea of plotting a route, any route, even in their local area, they rarely move away from the pre-packaged routes their local club defaults on.

Today's cyclists are so reliant upon the garmin, how many can read a map now? If its got a tickbox name thats all that matters for some. Just look at the Audax scene in Scotland how many are new events? Lets just talk about 2 and 3 hundreds they are all rehashes of old routes or parts of old 400 and 600s. I liked Audax but when you run out of new stuff to ride  i can leave it for others. 😁

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #13 on: 29 March, 2021, 02:33:17 pm »
In the absence of any form of TLC at events, I doubt AUK would manage to keep membership in the thousands

That doesn't follow at all. Most members don't ride any events.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #14 on: 29 March, 2021, 02:33:21 pm »
I can ride several hundred kms a day while surviving on garage food at any time but riding a well-thought-out event with good support is something worth targeting (and enjoying).
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Geriatricdolan

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #15 on: 29 March, 2021, 02:56:24 pm »
In the absence of any form of TLC at events, I doubt AUK would manage to keep membership in the thousands

That doesn't follow at all. Most members don't ride any events.

True, but they probably joined because at some point they entered a well catered for BP with a friend in the know about Audax... they got impressed by the lavish provision of food at the arrivee and thought it was well worth supporting such an amazing organisation.
It's not that they wake up one morning thinking... today I am going to get an AUK membership, with the idea that I will never actually ride an audax!

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #16 on: 29 March, 2021, 03:18:55 pm »
Aspirational members. Supporters not riders.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #17 on: 29 March, 2021, 03:23:41 pm »


Maybe it's just the Southern softies expecting TLC at controls that will end...

 

Maybe...

but the degree of TLC is the difference between a 400 that racks up 150 entries and one that struggles to gather 20.

In the absence of any form of TLC at events, I doubt AUK would manage to keep membership in the thousands
Geography and audaxer density is as much a factor in entry size.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk


FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #18 on: 29 March, 2021, 03:24:52 pm »
I wonder if the issue is in fact about digital changing the landscape - rather than the covid hiatus.

Almost everyone has a GPS these days - so the value of having someone plot a route for you is diminished (and with Ride with GPS and Garmin you can probably find something interesting  to ride quite easily)



I am always surprised by the number of people who seem to think there is some "magic" in the Audax routes... most are fairly obvious ways to go from A to B and almost all of them can be improved upon if mileage is not an issue.

I once plotted a route through the Cambrian mountains, just with the idea of going for a ride in Wales... it turned out it was the same route used by the Elenith to cross the mountains... well, guess what? It's the only bloody route you can pick to do that kind of loop.

Point is (before I miss it) there is still a demand for pre-packaged routes with that perceived "magic", since most people have no confidence with the idea of plotting a route, any route, even in their local area, they rarely move away from the pre-packaged routes their local club defaults on.

Today's cyclists are so reliant upon the garmin, how many can read a map now? If its got a tickbox name thats all that matters for some. Just look at the Audax scene in Scotland how many are new events? Lets just talk about 2 and 3 hundreds they are all rehashes of old routes or parts of old 400 and 600s. I liked Audax but when you run out of new stuff to ride  i can leave it for others.
What's the point in reading a map when the route is compulsory and all you can do is follow the instructions?


Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #19 on: 29 March, 2021, 03:26:20 pm »
A fair number of audaxers travelled a long way to ride a National 400 in Scotland a few years ago. I think it was support (relative to an X-rated calendar or perm) that brought them that fair.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Geriatricdolan

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #20 on: 29 March, 2021, 03:37:45 pm »
A fair number of audaxers travelled a long way to ride a National 400 in Scotland a few years ago. I think it was support (relative to an X-rated calendar or perm) that brought them that fair.

Yes,

I am sure I could ride a 400 or 600 without any support, but my desire to do so is very small... to be brutally honest, I really don't see the point of entering an x-rated event... it's just a non-event... there will be maybe another guy I can share the road with... easier to just do a perm/DIY at my convenience if I really have that urge.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #21 on: 29 March, 2021, 03:53:46 pm »
I wonder if the issue is in fact about digital changing the landscape - rather than the covid hiatus.

Almost everyone has a GPS these days - so the value of having someone plot a route for you is diminished (and with Ride with GPS and Garmin you can probably find something interesting  to ride quite easily)



I am always surprised by the number of people who seem to think there is some "magic" in the Audax routes... most are fairly obvious ways to go from A to B and almost all of them can be improved upon if mileage is not an issue.

I once plotted a route through the Cambrian mountains, just with the idea of going for a ride in Wales... it turned out it was the same route used by the Elenith to cross the mountains... well, guess what? It's the only bloody route you can pick to do that kind of loop.

Point is (before I miss it) there is still a demand for pre-packaged routes with that perceived "magic", since most people have no confidence with the idea of plotting a route, any route, even in their local area, they rarely move away from the pre-packaged routes their local club defaults on.

Today's cyclists are so reliant upon the garmin, how many can read a map now? If its got a tickbox name thats all that matters for some. Just look at the Audax scene in Scotland how many are new events? Lets just talk about 2 and 3 hundreds they are all rehashes of old routes or parts of old 400 and 600s. I liked Audax but when you run out of new stuff to ride  i can leave it for others. 😁

That could be something to do with the number of roads?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #22 on: 29 March, 2021, 04:10:31 pm »
the value of having someone plot a route for you is diminished

For me, riding routes devised by other people is pretty much the whole point of Audax. I can go to distant parts and ride a route devised by someone who knows the area, and it is pretty much guaranteed to be better than anything Strava's algorithms can come up with.

Plus the social reasons that you mention, and as LWaB says, there's also the 'well thought-out event' element. Which is one of the reasons I enjoy the LWL 400 so much.  :)

It's the whole package, really. Riding X kilometres is just one part of the equation - and not always the most important part.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Geriatricdolan

Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #23 on: 29 March, 2021, 04:17:48 pm »
I can go to distant parts and ride a route devised by someone who knows the area, and it is pretty much guaranteed to be better than anything Strava's algorithms can come up with.


Is it though?

I always review the route as I rarely trust organisers, unless I know them well. I have been sent on some dreadful A roads, because that's Audax innit! And the alternative quiet lane is not compliant with the 19th century rules of the game...
With limited knowledge of the area, I can often improve on the original route by adding a few km, just by using basic platforms like Streetview.
The technology is there for anybody who has never been to said area to plot the best possible route... that said, majority of people are lazy or lack that confidence

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Will Audax as we know it recover from this?
« Reply #24 on: 29 March, 2021, 04:35:51 pm »
I can go to distant parts and ride a route devised by someone who knows the area, and it is pretty much guaranteed to be better than anything Strava's algorithms can come up with.


Is it though?

OK, maybe not always.

Still, the point remains that riding other people's routes is one of the main attractions of Audax for me. For others, chasing points or awards is the main motivation. It's a broad church.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."