Author Topic: When is an Audax not an Audax  (Read 6003 times)

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2018, 08:35:01 am »

Ha!

You might have a point there. Getting up in the dark seems to be more of a barrier than the thought of riding-until-it-gets-dark !


And yet, the Fred Whitton Challenge starts at 6 AM, the London Ride 100 starts even earlier for the quicker pens...

That said, it is probably true that the club riders won't probably bother to get up at 4 AM for a 6 pound Audax, they might for a 60 pound Sportive

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2018, 08:59:38 am »
Sounds like someone's salty they didn't win.

frankly frankie

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Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2018, 09:05:56 am »
Also worth bearing in mind that a lot of non-racing types are miserable and don't chat.

 ;D  ;D  ;D

Everyone's doing it for different reasons.
indeed
Although I'll never have a reason as 'hoping to pick someone up', so chatting is optional.

Certainly adds a new meaning to long distance relationship...

Quicker riders on the longer events will find they have plenty of time in hand for extra-curricular activity ...
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2018, 10:03:08 am »
IME once the start is earlier than 7 am only the truly Audax-bitten get out of bed in time.
Ha!

You might have a point there. Getting up in the dark seems to be more of a barrier than the thought of riding-until-it-gets-dark !

(I used to be terrible at early starts - it's the weekend, I deserve a lie-in! - but then you realise that if you want to do certain things with your spare time, there are always compromises; getting up earlier is one of the smaller compromises/sacrifices one can make in life :) )
This a lot. OTOH some of the funniest things on audaxes actually happen early in the morning on the way to the start. I was on my way to one in Chepstow last September when, entering the badlands of north Bristol, I overtook a pavement-riding bloke on a Yo Bike (the local answer to a Boris Bike). He, evidently on the way home from partying, challenged me to a race. "I'm the champion at this!" I let him win.  :D
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2018, 10:06:32 am »
As for people racing on an audax itself – they're probably not on Yo Bikes. I see two types of people who do their best to challenge the minimum time limits on 100s and some 200s. One is the club racers already mentioned (who are not racing but taking it easy, for them). The other is a select few points chasers who are long term audaxing stalwarts. Both types might or might not be chatty.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2018, 10:16:46 am »
IME once the start is earlier than 7 am only the truly Audax-bitten get out of bed in time.

I find starting at dusk more difficult than getting up to start before dawn. But then again, starting at dusk means you don't have to get up at dawn I suppose.

Either way - generally, only audax-bitten types would consider either scenarios as being worth the effort.

citoyen

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Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2018, 11:20:29 am »
I see two types of people who do their best to challenge the minimum time limits on 100s and some 200s. One is the club racers already mentioned (who are not racing but taking it easy, for them). The other is a select few points chasers who are long term audaxing stalwarts. Both types might or might not be chatty.

There's another type, which is riders who are just damn strong and fast regardless of whether they are interested in points - a good example being zigzag OTP, who is also friendly and chatty (at least as long as you can keep up with him).

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2018, 01:39:56 pm »
zigzag OTP

Ha! He overtook me 10 or 11 times on one 'Audax' and I still finished before him.

Back on topic, many people have the traditional stereotype of an 'Audaxer' in their head. As Audax participation grows in numbers it is pulling in more and more existing cyclists who don't fit that stereotype because the people that do fit that stereotype aren't in to cycling enough to take on a challenge of 100km+.

For me an Audaxer is someone who rides an Audax. One can choose to further classify these riders as TT-ers, fast club cyclists, etc, but that doesn't really help. Personally I'm all for ideas like validation by GPS and making the Brevet card optional - it depends on whether you see AUK's goal as promoting long distance cycling or promoting Audaxing.

My attitude has changed over the years, I've certainly used Audaxes as fast training rides before (i.e. bouncing controls, riding alone, eating energy gels, etc) and I'm far less worried about validation than I was originally (especially with BP rides); this fits with the idea that repeating things is less audacious than breaking new ground (and I now don't have the time to go for longer or hillier rides).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Ben T

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Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2018, 02:24:43 pm »
zigzag OTP

Ha! He overtook me 10 or 11 times on one 'Audax' and I still finished before him.

Back on topic, many people have the traditional stereotype of an 'Audaxer' in their head. As Audax participation grows in numbers it is pulling in more and more existing cyclists who don't fit that stereotype because the people that do fit that stereotype aren't in to cycling enough to take on a challenge of 100km+.

For me an Audaxer is someone who rides an Audax. One can choose to further classify these riders as TT-ers, fast club cyclists, etc, but that doesn't really help. Personally I'm all for ideas like validation by GPS and making the Brevet card optional - it depends on whether you see AUK's goal as promoting long distance cycling or promoting Audaxing.

My attitude has changed over the years, I've certainly used Audaxes as fast training rides before (i.e. bouncing controls, riding alone, eating energy gels, etc) and I'm far less worried about validation than I was originally (especially with BP rides); this fits with the idea that repeating things is less audacious than breaking new ground (and I now don't have the time to go for longer or hillier rides).

I can't see how making the brevet card optional would work.
If the organiser is laying on manned controls, village halls, etc, the brevet card serves as the ticket to take advantage of those facilities, as opposed to any old random Joe Bloggs off the street rocking up for a free cake.
If the organiser isn't laying on manned controls, it's an x-rated event, then there are them as would ask - if there's no brevet card, and no manned controls, what are you actually paying for?
You either do it for the validation, or the hospitality, or both, but if there isn't either of those then what's the point entering it as an audax at all...?  (If there's a solution to ensuring riders turning up at manned controls are on the event even when they've not opted for a brevet card then fair enough.)
This is destiny, it's fate, it's the matrix working in my favour.

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2018, 02:36:16 pm »
I rode my first Audax because a club mate suggested it as a season-ending ride. He collected the fees from us and put in a mass entry. I had no real idea of the Audax formula, and it was the first time I'd ridden 200 km. We did the usual yo-yoing, and were amazed to see the old hands time and again.

Any suggestion of an Audax 'ethos', would have been Greek to me.

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2018, 02:44:30 pm »
as opposed to any old random Joe Bloggs off the street rocking up for a free cake.

We're digressing (since you replied to a single snippet of a sentence in my post) but is this really a problem? The Audaxes I've done recently (not many I admit) have had no connection between getting a Brevet Card signed/stamped and getting access to the food.

I guess the biggest barrier is probably organisers worrying about people 'still out there' if they don't get the intermediate control info.

But this discussion is probably best spun out to a different thread...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

wilkyboy

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Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2018, 02:47:42 pm »
I can't see how making the brevet card optional would work.
If the organiser is laying on manned controls, village halls, etc, the brevet card serves as the ticket to take advantage of those facilities, as opposed to any old random Joe Bloggs off the street rocking up for a free cake.
If the organiser isn't laying on manned controls, it's an x-rated event, then there are them as would ask - if there's no brevet card, and no manned controls, what are you actually paying for?
You either do it for the validation, or the hospitality, or both, but if there isn't either of those then what's the point entering it as an audax at all...?  (If there's a solution to ensuring riders turning up at manned controls are on the event even when they've not opted for a brevet card then fair enough.)

Digital has a LONG way to go before it would be possible to validate a large field efficiently.  At the moment we (Cambridge Audax) can handle 150-200 riders with a single person on the desk (who's very organised) with paper brevets.  Trying to validate even 50 GPS tracks with the current plethora of devices, formats and methods-of-extraction, would require two, three or even four technically-proficient controllers, potentially doubling the size of the afternoon team!

In reality, it could only be done efficiently for a large field as a form of postal-finish, albeit via an online form, and then we'd need to support those who have no real idea what they're doing (which seems to be about half of GPS users).  And then there are still the non-digital crowd, so we'd still need brevets for some. 

I guess the biggest barrier is probably organisers worrying about people 'still out there' if they don't get the intermediate control info.

This is also true: paper brevets conveniently self-sort, in the sense that if you have the brevet then that rider has returned; if you don't then you need to keep an eye out for them.  This may redundantly duplicate other forms of recording, but it's useful when arrivée's busy and lots of riders are returning in groups, to check and avoid mistakes.

I'm certain that the costs of implementation of digital-validation far outweigh any perceived benefits for calendar events, certainly there aren't enough benefits to make it mandatory across the board.  And as long as it's optional then I for one will be favouring traditional brevets for calendar events.
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2018, 02:57:21 pm »
Digital AUK calendar event validation is a complete non starter at the moment;

I get many forms of paperless validation for my perms currently (gpx files, .fit files, Direct tracklog upload Strava links etc) none of these can be rapidly analysed at the finish control; we need a paper starters list and a pile of brevets before we can consider our responsibilities to the riders discharged on the day currently (and even then a few riders don't even bother showing up at the finish)

Transponders (with mats at intermediate controls which I don't think currently happens in the UK on those events that use them) are the only solution and they are way out of reach of organisers

(yes as Greenbank says this needs a separate thread)

Ben T

  • What you saying, then?
Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2018, 03:16:43 pm »
as opposed to any old random Joe Bloggs off the street rocking up for a free cake.

We're digressing (since you replied to a single snippet of a sentence in my post) but is this really a problem? The Audaxes I've done recently (not many I admit) have had no connection between getting a Brevet Card signed/stamped and getting access to the food.

I guess the biggest barrier is probably organisers worrying about people 'still out there' if they don't get the intermediate control info.

But this discussion is probably best spun out to a different thread...

i don't know greeners, i've just typed two replies and deleted them both because I didn't agree with myself, but they boiled down to the notion that "if there's no brevet card, it's not an audax".

I rode my first Audax because a club mate suggested it as a season-ending ride. He collected the fees from us and put in a mass entry. I had no real idea of the Audax formula, and it was the first time I'd ridden 200 km. We did the usual yo-yoing, and were amazed to see the old hands time and again.

Any suggestion of an Audax 'ethos', would have been Greek to me.

Maybe in the listings, where they have letters for what facilities they've got, like "L P R T", for left luggage, parking etc, they could introduce an "E" for "Ethos"? Then you would know which audaxes have got 'Ethos' and which haven't. :)
This is destiny, it's fate, it's the matrix working in my favour.

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2018, 04:01:19 pm »
i don't know greeners, i've just typed two replies and deleted them both because I didn't agree with myself, but they boiled down to the notion that "if there's no brevet card, it's not an audax".

I'm not saying I've got a solution for all of the sticky points that have been raised, but we've already got rid of the Brevet Card in some Audaxes (e.g. DIYxGPS) and those rides certainly count as Audaxes, so that boat has already sailed.

Setting out to do a set distance within a certain time limit under certain rules is what an Audax is to me, Brevet Cards are just a bit of anachronistic fluff (maybe this should be in the iconoclasm thread) but they're required now for calendar rides as there isn't a suitable alternative.

In reality, it could only be done efficiently for a large field as a form of postal-finish, albeit via an online form, and then we'd need to support those who have no real idea what they're doing (which seems to be about half of GPS users).  And then there are still the non-digital crowd, so we'd still need brevets for some. 

This is where I was going with my comment. I was thinking more for the people that are already au fait with GPSes and are happy to accept the risk of non-validation if they do something wrong or the GPS device eats the file. File formats/analysis/etc is something that the software can mostly do and support for failed uploads can be done centrally rather than adding to the organiser's burden, and it doesn't need to be done at the arrivee (just as DIYxGPS and Perms are not tidied up right at the end of the ride). Sure it affects lots of other things (validation fees/etc) but those kinds of things can be rejigged too.

I'm sure some will still require or prefer physical Brevet Cards and I too think it will be a long time before we can do away with them completely.

Anyway...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2018, 04:08:03 pm »


Maybe in the listings, where they have letters for what facilities they've got, like "L P R T", for left luggage, parking etc, they could introduce an "E" for "Ethos"? Then you would know which audaxes have got 'Ethos' and which haven't. :)

In rhetoric, 'Ethos' is the appeal of experience in swaying the opinion of an audience. An example might be; 'In my thirty years of Audaxing, I've come to expect a degree of sociability, sadly lacking on this ride'.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2018, 05:50:23 pm »
Sorry GB, but I'm in total disagreement

... but we've already got rid of the Brevet Card in some Audaxes (e.g. DIYxGPS) and those rides certainly count as Audaxes, so that boat has already sailed.
GPS validation for DIY Perms works because a DIY perm is a personal event administered jointly by the rider and AUK, and DIYers follow the prescribed procedures and take pains to use their GPS devices correctly. Consequently problems are generally few and far between which means we have the capacity to help resolve them. Also, as they are personal events there is relatively little scope for fraud. Once you have a large number of riders completing the same track to the same schedule that's not the case.

As AUK cannot/prefers not to invest in current commercial timer/dibber solutions, the way to go is 'smart gps' devices which can provide encrypted tracks and/or (more likely, I expect) a ubiquitous smartphone App which can register and track riders as a group. Much of the plumbing for both of these solutions already exists one way or another already albeit not in a readily usable format and history suggests it will be some time yet before a solution is available and adopted.

(I'll open the betting at 3-5 years, i.e., once the new AUK website which any such solution would have to talk to is bedded in).

So rather than the boat having sailed it's rather still on the architects sketchpad pending somebody coming up with the materials in which to construct it.  Pro-tem, Brevet cards represent a  remarkably cheap and robust solution.

Setting out to do a set distance within a certain time limit under certain rules is what an Audax is to me,
This is the bit that I really disagree with (and as an AUK org I hear it a lot).

Audax is about completing a pre-set route (preferably one that takes you far and wide,) to a pre-set schedule (controls and all), not just about riding a set distance. If its just about distance we're back to laps of the park. In fact why bother to go out at all - could do it all on Zwift....

Anecdata: many years ago I was in Milton Keynes and there were signs up to say a long distance running event (I think it was a 24hr event but it was a long time ago...) was being held inside the shoppping mall. That was when MKs indoor mall was an exciting vision of the future...


ElyDave

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Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2018, 06:27:31 pm »
Some would say 100 km is not really an Audax

 :demon:

Cobblers  :demon:

I do 100k's because it gets me out there with like minded (although I'm not so sure reading this thread) individuals without taking an inordinate amount of time.  Our motivations are all different, in my case I work away from home a lot during the week, and politically can't spend all weekend, every weekend doing a 300 even though they would be within my capability.  I've done longer events and enjoyed them, but have to be realistic.

I for one enjoyed the ACME winter series for exactly that reason, got me out of the house, kept me on the road over the winter rather than sitting in the shed on the turbo. 

Surely entering and completing any event under AUK controls IS by definition within the audax ethos?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2018, 07:57:24 pm »
Sorry GB, but I'm in total disagreement

Depends on what you think you're disagreeing with me about.

... but we've already got rid of the Brevet Card in some Audaxes (e.g. DIYxGPS) and those rides certainly count as Audaxes, so that boat has already sailed.
GPS validation for DIY Perms works because a DIY perm is a personal event administered jointly by the rider and AUK, and DIYers follow the prescribed procedures and take pains to use their GPS devices correctly. Consequently problems are generally few and far between which means we have the capacity to help resolve them. Also, as they are personal events there is relatively little scope for fraud. Once you have a large number of riders completing the same track to the same schedule that's not the case.

It was a reply to Ben T's specific point of "if there's no brevet card, it's not an audax". You seem to be taking my comment at a much wider context.

As AUK cannot/prefers not to invest in current commercial timer/dibber solutions, the way to go is 'smart gps' devices which can provide encrypted tracks and/or (more likely, I expect) a ubiquitous smartphone App which can register and track riders as a group. Much of the plumbing for both of these solutions already exists one way or another already albeit not in a readily usable format and history suggests it will be some time yet before a solution is available and adopted.

(I'll open the betting at 3-5 years, i.e., once the new AUK website which any such solution would have to talk to is bedded in).

So rather than the boat having sailed it's rather still on the architects sketchpad pending somebody coming up with the materials in which to construct it.  Pro-tem, Brevet cards represent a  remarkably cheap and robust solution.

Again, the "boat has sailed" was a reply to Ben T's comment concerning Brevet Cards being a fundamental part of an Audax.

As it stands, I agree with almost all of what you've written above (I never suggested timing mats or anything else). I never said there was anything ready now and/or would be suitable for everyone.

Setting out to do a set distance within a certain time limit under certain rules is what an Audax is to me,
This is the bit that I really disagree with (and as an AUK org I hear it a lot).

Audax is about completing a pre-set route (preferably one that takes you far and wide,) to a pre-set schedule (controls and all), not just about riding a set distance. If its just about distance we're back to laps of the park. In fact why bother to go out at all - could do it all on Zwift....

The majority of that (I'd prefer "pre-set controls" instead of "pre-set route") is covered by my get out clause of "under certain rules" (minimal repeated roads, etc). I could try and articulate a minimal set but I'm sure they'd be picked apart by the armchair lawyers.

My point was that Audax, to me, is specifically not about the Brevet Card. It is, roughly, about stating what you were going to do in advance (within the rules that apply to that bit) and then going out and doing it (within the rules that apply to that bit). Proof-of-passage is required but I don't see the need for mandating a bit of folded card if there are other options.

I understand that the Brevet Card is fundamental to some people's view of Audax, and I'm happy for them to have that opinion. Personally I think it'll be gone within 10 years (3-5 years is a bold bid).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2018, 08:26:30 pm »
We've done this many a time before, but...

Surely entering and completing any event under AUK controls IS by definition within the audax ethos?

To many yes, to some no. Some prefer to use the term "Audax" to be tied to history:-

Quote from: http://www.aukweb.net/aboutauk/history/
1897   The idea of Audax was first formulated in Italy. Participants had to swim, run, walk, or cycle a set distance in 14 hours which was approximately the time between sunrise and sunset. The distance to be covered by cycling was 200 kilometres.

In other words; some people use the term "Audax" to refer to a ride put on by AUK (or other similar regulatory bodies) and so 100km and 50km Populaires are Audaxes. Others use the term "Audax" to specifically refer to a Randonée, in which case a 100km ride is not an "Audax" in their mind.

You won't find a definitive answer to this (or, more correctly, you'll find several differing definitive answers to this).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2018, 08:39:34 pm »
Perhaps 'we' would be more chatty on the rides if 'we' didn't do every subject to death in here.... ::-)

Ben T

  • What you saying, then?
Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2018, 08:47:08 pm »
i don't know greeners, i've just typed two replies and deleted them both because I didn't agree with myself, but they boiled down to the notion that "if there's no brevet card, it's not an audax".

I'm not saying I've got a solution for all of the sticky points that have been raised, but we've already got rid of the Brevet Card in some Audaxes (e.g. DIYxGPS) and those rides certainly count as Audaxes, so that boat has already sailed.

Setting out to do a set distance within a certain time limit under certain rules is what an Audax is to me, Brevet Cards are just a bit of anachronistic fluff (maybe this should be in the iconoclasm thread) but they're required now for calendar rides as there isn't a suitable alternative.

<snip/>
Oh right - sorry, I see what you mean. I thought you were on about having validation per se optional, I was envisaging having audaxes where people could enter but if they're not fussed about validation they could just not bother.
And then I thought, for me - that's a slippery slope to partaking in a calendar event, but not bothering to go to the start, but just picking it up at the closest point to home at the time when most riders would be passing: logic is as thus, if not doing validation is 'a thing', then I don't need to bother going to the start and I can get up later. But if I'm not bothering with validation, why bother entering? You can start to see how it's a slippery slope to it being just a bike ride and not an audax at all.
This is destiny, it's fate, it's the matrix working in my favour.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2018, 08:48:03 pm »
I understand that the Brevet Card is fundamental to some people's view of Audax, and I'm happy for them to have that opinion. Personally I think it'll be gone within 10 years (3-5 years is a bold bid).

I'm nothing if not audacious. :)
I'm suggesting that as a time frame for regular (as against PBP et al) Audax events to have the option of digital timing/tracking rather than the demise of the Brevet card.
Though one might shortly follow the other.
As is we seem to be on the cusp of many societal changes, from electric/self-driving cars, cashless society, advances in health care... so who knows!

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2018, 08:53:25 pm »
Jeez you guys must be really bored

 :P

Re: When is an Audax not an Audax
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2018, 09:35:35 pm »
I thought you were on about having validation per se optional, I was envisaging having audaxes where people could enter but if they're not fussed about validation they could just not bother.

That's on the increase anyway. The really popular 200s tend to have many (mostly) club riders who just don't seem to bother with the Brevet card, they just want to ride around a route that someone else has suggested/provided and then upload it to Strava for the kind of validation they care about.

(What I'm suggesting is that there should be a way we can make it easier for those riders to end up being validated by AUK too, as their numbers are probably only going to increase over the years.)

[EDIT] This is my attempt at getting it back on topic as this is partially what the original post was about...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."