Author Topic: what's the current state of UK Audax ?  (Read 14586 times)

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2018, 03:11:20 pm »
Here's the answer to the OP:

Rise of the ultra-cyclists: a new breed of riders go the distance

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2018/may/31/rise-ultra-cyclists-london-wales-london-audax?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

Front page of The Guardian Mobile site.

Shows how far audax has come in the last decade.

That's it now. organic hummous and aubergine dip will be de rigeur at the end of rides.

Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2018, 05:56:30 pm »
That article has introduced me to Jasmijn Muller and Be The Egg. But I am definitely the potato. Funnily enough, my nephews know me as Uncle Potato.

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2018, 08:40:50 pm »
I’m not sure I like being referred to as an Ultra Cyclist.  It’s not like I’ve changed my hobby much in the last 25 years.  The term seems to have been reverse fitted into what we were already doing.

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2018, 11:27:27 pm »
It's an American term, I believe.


bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2018, 11:38:08 pm »
My dad says it's changed - it used to have the reputation of a bunch of slightly weird older men sleeping in bus shelters, eating flapjacks, drinking cold tea and scowling at passers by. Now it's got a better rep with wider and more diverse participation, more like low-intensity sportives with even more stops at cafés or even - pause for effect - pubs.

"Better"  ::-)

The rep is better - there is a wider and more diverse mix of people giving it a go, which is great for all of us.

Off to do a populaire this Sunday it'll be really interesting to see what everyone else will be like, it might be used by many to 'dip their toes'.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2018, 07:11:37 am »
My gut feeling is that Audax is growing but on a lower trajectory when compared to cycling more broadly.

Slow and steady, the Audax way...

I feel the big picture is very mixed. Where I am, at least, TT-ing seems static, sportives and the like massively growing, also the whole fitness stravapalaver, whereas utility cycling and ordinary leisure cycling declining. My Audax events have grown to the point where I'm at the limit of the church halls and car park - for PBP qualifiers next year I'll probably have to have a cap on numbers. Moving to bigger premises will hike the price considerably.

No one in my club is interested in any form of touring, except perhaps the big bucks organised [maybe charity] affairs, common to see riders drive a handful of miles to the start of a club run, a very few do my populaires. As a non-gps user, annoyingly the club website now suddenly won't let you organise a ride without adding a .gpx - I mean, for a simple evening spin or chaingang, really? Something for the next committee meeting I think...the rise of blind tech-dependance is starting to get to me - typically riders on the local lanes haven't a clue where they are, just following the purple line.  ::-) Ok, rant over.

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2018, 09:24:31 am »
If everyone follows the purple route in a chain gangs or club rides it makes for less wrong turns leading to crashes.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2018, 09:32:33 am »
As a non-gps user, annoyingly the club website now suddenly won't let you organise a ride without adding a .gpx - I mean, for a simple evening spin or chaingang, really? Something for the next committee meeting I think...the rise of blind tech-dependance is starting to get to me
That's clearly an example of taking things too far!

How about using a dummy, joke GPX? Either one that makes a funny picture, or maybe something clearly unlikely https://ridewithgps.com/events/57035-acme-grand-1000-tom-deakins-audax-event ??
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

windy

  • Sitting on a bog in the North Atlantic
    • My Instagram
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2018, 09:42:59 am »
Surprisingly healthy (given the increased competition from sportifs, night rides etc).  If there was a period of decline it was around 1998-2008, but since then things have looked much healthier statistically.

That corresponds to my last Audax event in the West Midlands and my first event (The Snow Roads) after moving to Stornoway - I didn't realise the world of Audax revolves around me ;)

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2018, 10:23:28 am »
...the rise of blind tech-dependance is starting to get to me - typically riders on the local lanes haven't a clue where they are, just following the purple line.  ::-) Ok, rant over.

This is starting to bug me as well. The number of riders asking for GPX links, for audaxes, over on Facebook is ridiculous! I’m a fan of GPX, but can’t they even prepare their own from the route sheet? It’s not hard, and it allows you to review the route on a (virtual) map.

John

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2018, 10:50:05 am »
...the rise of blind tech-dependance is starting to get to me - typically riders on the local lanes haven't a clue where they are, just following the purple line.  ::-) Ok, rant over.

This is starting to bug me as well. The number of riders asking for GPX links, for audaxes, over on Facebook is ridiculous! I’m a fan of GPX, but can’t they even prepare their own from the route sheet? It’s not hard, and it allows you to review the route on a (virtual) map.

John

To be fair I recently had a crack at using an audax routesheet to create a GPX, and it was a bit of a nightmare. I am not a complete moron and have navigated around using paper maps for a long time, using a London A to Z when I was a wee lad doing work experience in a Kensington estate agents, but the routesheets are frustratingly light on details such as on which road the 'next left' is turning on to. This can be immensely annoying when trying to trace out where you're up to on a map, and really wouldn't be a difficult thing to include in a computer document.

What works best in my experience are the Dutch style numbered route systems. Instead of giving 'turn left' or 'turn right' instructions, they have a number for each road junction, and routes are expressed as travelling between numbers. So you can just express a route as a series of numbers, instead of daft instructions and cryptic punctuation marks like '$' which require referral to a key. Like everything else in cycling the cloggies are streets ahead while we languish sadly in the back.

Have a look: http://www.hollandcyclingroutes.com/online-cycle-route-planner



I will still take the routesheet out with me on my rides but it's not a very good system at all.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2018, 10:53:10 am »
I agree some routesheets aren’t great for plotting and can be frustrating, but it’s not insurmountable. And in the circumstances where the routesheet is a bit average, it’s even more important to review the route before. (Ones without distances I’m looking at you!!!)

John

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2018, 11:19:38 am »
I considered what had changed from the first LEL in 1989 in the intro to the LEL 2017 film. The internet and GPS were two obvious influences, both dating from 1989 in their current form.

Lighting is another, as are gravel bikes, which cry out for being put to a use which can be blogged about.

In 1989, riders had to navigate with a route sheet, and see their way with rather dim incandescent lights. GPS and LEDs have extended the careers of those with dodgy eyes, while attracting those who like to make use of their tech skills.

The web also facilitates the feeling of being part of a worldwide community. One you might visit, thanks to cheap air fares.


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2018, 11:36:14 am »
This is starting to bug me as well. The number of riders asking for GPX links, for audaxes, over on Facebook is ridiculous! I’m a fan of GPX, but can’t they even prepare their own from the route sheet? It’s not hard, and it allows you to review the route on a (virtual) map.

Depends on the route sheet. For the rides I've done the Route sheet has just been a list of villages that we pass through. Without the local knowledge knowing that there is a disused railway between these 2 villages, you could easily take a worse route than the one intended. I'd say that GPX is a good way of sharing routes with people.

If you are organising a ride, but don't have the ability/inclination to make a GPX, perhaps ask someone on here to make it, and then review what they've made to make sure it matches what you thought.

Perhaps I'm just being a youngen, but I think in this day and age, giving a GPX of a route is a must.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2018, 12:07:12 pm »
...the rise of blind tech-dependance is starting to get to me - typically riders on the local lanes haven't a clue where they are, just following the purple line.  ::-) Ok, rant over.

This is starting to bug me as well. The number of riders asking for GPX links, for audaxes, over on Facebook is ridiculous! I’m a fan of GPX, but can’t they even prepare their own from the route sheet? It’s not hard, and it allows you to review the route on a (virtual) map.

John

To be fair I recently had a crack at using an audax routesheet to create a GPX, and it was a bit of a nightmare. I am not a complete moron and have navigated around using paper maps for a long time, using a London A to Z when I was a wee lad doing work experience in a Kensington estate agents, but the routesheets are frustratingly light on details such as on which road the 'next left' is turning on to. This can be immensely annoying when trying to trace out where you're up to on a map, and really wouldn't be a difficult thing to include in a computer document.

What works best in my experience are the Dutch style numbered route systems. Instead of giving 'turn left' or 'turn right' instructions, they have a number for each road junction, and routes are expressed as travelling between numbers. So you can just express a route as a series of numbers, instead of daft instructions and cryptic punctuation marks like '$' which require referral to a key. Like everything else in cycling the cloggies are streets ahead while we languish sadly in the back.

Have a look: http://www.hollandcyclingroutes.com/online-cycle-route-planner



I will still take the routesheet out with me on my rides but it's not a very good system at all.


Route sheets are very much like a GPX track. They provide plenty of information to follow a track, but in their basic form don't give information about where you actually are or any information about your surroundings. Some orgs add decoration which does give some information. As they are just text it is also easy to add information relating the the current position on the track such as road conditions and controls. I think there is very little difference between the route sheet and the track with respect to knowing where you are. In the old days orgs would quite often recommend OS maps to help re-find the route after an error. That tradition has gone. A number of times I've come across riders relying on the route sheets and no way of validating their current cue line because they have no maps, electronic or otherwise.

I spent 15 years following route sheets and where I have been busy with work and just stuffed the route sheet on my handlebars and followed it have regularly suffered from the not knowing where I am syndrome. To appreciate where I am I need to have studied the route sheet or GPX against a map before the event, or have doe the event many times before. As John says, one of the best ways of understanding the route and knowing where you are is to transcribe a route sheet into a GPX.

I started using GPS in 2012 because I was struggling with route sheets at night due to eyesight.   The problem is a combination of being able to focus on the route sheet text without blinding myself with reflected head torch light and being able to read sufficient cues from the surroundings, e.g. sign posts that point in the direction of travel. I don't use the route sheet on the ride anymore unless I have doubt about a control. I do use the route sheet for planning a ride if I find time. I always carry one because they are authoritative, don't rely on batteries/dynamo converters and won't crash unlike a popular common brand of GPS device. The GPS also allows me to zoom out on a map and see where I am! I will never get stuck if my GPS fails but it could be very slow going though a night - and I'd probably lose the EC points. I also find that not relying an a route sheet gives me more time to enjoy the countryside, worry about dark clouds, marvel at double rainbows and watch the road.

I'm sure a few riders will will just read a route sheet before they leave home and ride from memory. I would fail at turn 3. There are many ways of solving most problems.

Hunting for GPX files is only a problem if it causes work/stress for an organiser. Maybe there needs to be a prominent statement somewhere on the events page stating that routes are defined by route sheets and a GPX may not be available.   

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Virtual Alps
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2018, 12:35:08 pm »
My dad says it's changed - it used to have the reputation of a bunch of slightly weird older men sleeping in bus shelters, eating flapjacks, drinking cold tea and scowling at passers by. Now it's got a better rep with wider and more diverse participation, more like low-intensity sportives with even more stops at cafés or even - pause for effect - pubs.
"Better"  ::-)
The rep is better - there is a wider and more diverse mix of people giving it a go, which is great for all of us.

But the point of a club (any club) is not inclusivity.  Some people are 'in' and others are 'out'.  AUK should be an elite club of certified hardriders.  The AUK you describe just makes me want to resign.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2018, 12:36:40 pm »
Go for it  :thumbsup:

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Virtual Alps
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2018, 12:45:12 pm »
Predictable.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2018, 12:51:37 pm »
But the point of a club (any club) is not inclusivity.  Some people are 'in' and others are 'out'. 

Yes and more people being in is a benefit.

Quote
AUK should be an elite club of certified hardriders.  The AUK you describe just makes me want to resign.
Ridiculous. If you want to be in a masochistic 'normies out' organisation go somewhere else because this has been contrary to Audax UK strategy since 2013 so if you've got a problem with it, get out of the way. https://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/audax-to-harness-sportive-popularity-37406/

When organisations don't move with the times the volunteer base dies out over time as younger people don't get involved.

The enemy of change is the architect of decay.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2018, 12:55:18 pm »
But the point of a club (any club) is not inclusivity.  Some people are 'in' and others are 'out'.  AUK should be an elite club of certified hardriders.  The AUK you describe just makes me want to resign.

What about those in a state of having joined auk, but  not yet done a BRM. Should we have provisional status for those who haven't yet done their first brm?

or should we not just be  club of nice friendly people who accept any nice friendly people who like to ride bikes?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2018, 01:19:30 pm »
But the point of a club (any club) is not inclusivity.  Some people are 'in' and others are 'out'. 

Yes and more people being in is a benefit.

Quote
AUK should be an elite club of certified hardriders.  The AUK you describe just makes me want to resign.
Ridiculous. If you want to be in a masochistic 'normies out' organisation go somewhere else because this has been contrary to Audax UK strategy since 2013 so if you've got a problem with it, get out of the way. https://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/audax-to-harness-sportive-popularity-37406/

When organisations don't move with the times the volunteer base dies out over time as younger people don't get involved.

The enemy of change is the architect of decay.

I see that 'inclusivity' is illustrated by the young, fit and attractive, climbing a long, steep hill, unencumbered by the usual Audax gear.


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Virtual Alps
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2018, 01:27:51 pm »
or should we not just be  club of nice friendly people who accept any nice friendly people who like to ride bikes?

I think you're describing yacf
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2018, 01:32:40 pm »
or should we not just be  club of nice friendly people who accept any nice friendly people who like to ride bikes?

I think you're describing yacf

I don't recall agreeing to be nice to people or welcoming when I joined AUK.   It's a broad church and no-one should be required to conform to what has become the norm rapha wearing, GPS navigating, 1*11 drivetrain, gravel bikes, blah, blah).

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2018, 01:37:54 pm »
Literally no one is asking you to do any of that. At all.

Old people are the worst snowflakes of all with this kind of thing tbh. Points that if a club doesn't keep up with the times it'll fall out of popularity and the volunteer base will die out get spun as bizarre demands that no one ever made. It's absurd.

This is exactly what happens in many sports clubs. A bunch of old boys who hate change sit at the top, don't move with the times, everyone else down below gets fed up and moves on to something else, and over time the club subs and volunteer base dry up and eventually die out.
Bikepacking bargain basement: reviews of high value kit great for the tourer, bikepacker and randonneur on a budget

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109048.msg2312359#msg2312359

Re: what's the current state of UK Audax ?
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2018, 01:39:22 pm »
some very amusing and interesting observations.
 
from my initial thoughts, does seem an eclectic mix of folk, perhaps not so much as the Rough Stuff Fellowship whom I first joined in the 1990's, and arriving astride a mtb with suspension, seemed a tad like arriving at a mosque in a mankini,  but transpired to be a veritable Banyan tree in practice and pursuits.

Only the old school types have spoken to me whilst riding an event, but then I'm non too interesting.

 ( hmm..did my interest in Audax predate my imagining a technoviking beard being a desirable diversion from baldness and increasing fragility, or a causal consequence there of ?, hard to recall with the growing penchant of a disassociation with the passage of time, which suits cycling)
look down from t' hills across a land traversed..having known at least a route through, and written it in body and ascribed the mind to its ways