Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Audax => Topic started by: Redlight on March 04, 2019, 05:56:36 pm

Title: Audax in the media
Post by: Redlight on March 04, 2019, 05:56:36 pm
Good piece on Audax on the Daily Telegraph web site today, featuring several occasional visitors to these parts.  It's behind the paywall, but....


HARDER, BETTER, SLOWER, STRONGER - THE RISE OF AUDAX CYCLING

Once every four years, an international event comes along that gets the cycling community buzzing. No, not the Olympics (that's far too mainstream) – I'm talking about Paris-Brest-Paris.

This legendary 1,200km event sees thousands of cyclists ride out from the Parisian suburbs to the town of Brest, on the west coast of France, and back again, all in the space of 90 hours or less. It's a low-key festival of amateur endurance cycling, and interest in recent years has been growing, with entrants rising from 3,500 for the 1999 edition to 6,000 for the last outing in 2015.

Indeed, the climbing participation rates are reflected in the wider world of organised long-distance cycling, known as 'audax', from the Latin for ‘bold’ or ‘audacious’ because of the distances undertaken. Membership of Audax UK, the long-distance cycling association, increased by eight per cent last year, and 11 per cent the year before.

With audax rides typically covering 200km, 400km and 600km (at 1,200km, Paris-Brest-Paris represents the outer limit of distance) and participants often riding for two or more days without sleeping, it all begs the question: why are cyclists getting hooked on these gargantuan undertakings?

"For me, it’s a way of getting to see places by bike I wouldn’t otherwise have gone to," says Judith Swallow, a multiple PBP veteranwho has covered more than 300,000 miles by bike. Her answer is typical of many audax riders, in that she cites the joy of riding, rather than a competitive element, as fundamental to her enjoyment of the challenges.

That sets audax apart from sportives – the shorter, five-or-so hour organised rides that are known for being fiercely contested and just a little bit elbow-y (the 100 mile Ride London being a good example). Where sportives are shorter and sharper, audax are more genteel and understated, with added cake. They are not races, although distances do need to be completed within a maximum time. Riders make their way between checkpoints using a suggested route and have cards stamped at each point to authenticate their entry.

At the end, instead of going home with a bag of leaflets and energy bar samples, you get a fully stamped card, a sense of achievement, and – if you're lucky – a badge.

Despite not originating here in the UK, audax has the feeling of being terribly British. "Audax does have the image of being a little quirky and old-fashioned and I think it quite likes that and feels no reason to change," says Jo Burt, author and illustrator of Longer Rides, a handbook for longer distances published by Bluetrain for Rapha. But nobody should be fooled by the convivial image. Audax is as tough as it gets.

"At the top end of some of the distances I’ve done I wonder whether it’s all worth it – but in the end it absolutely always is," says Grace Lambert-Smith, a freelance writer, PBP entrant and Super Randonneur (a rider who has completed 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k distances in one season). "Every audax has a challenge, whether it’s the weather, terrain, riding alone, riding with others and trying to hold their wheel, battling sleep demons or just trying to remember that you don’t hate cycling."

Ah yes, sleep demons. For the longer distances, completing the ride within the allotted time means most will have to cycle through at least part of the night, stopping for quick naps at the most. "The longest audax I’ve ridden is 600km from Hailsham to Wales and back," says Burt, recalling a ride that took just over 29 hours. "Wales in the middle of the night is interesting. I hallucinated a dinosaur eating a tree before it disappeared in a puff of smoke, fell asleep on the bike soon after and napped face down on a roadside verge."

Because audax puts people to the test, the community is notoriously friendly. "Every ride feels like a reunion of old friends," says Dr Eleanor Jaskowska, a biologist who competed in the Transcontinental Race two years ago. "During the 1,000km Mille Cymru we had everything from blazing sunshine to hypothermia, but we rode around as a club and it was a real demonstration of being stronger as part of a team, because we carried each other emotionally through the ups and downs."

It’s not just friendships that are made in the world of audax. Ella Wredenfors first met her boyfriend Luke Windsor at the tail end of a 400k. "There’s something reassuring about beginning a relationship with someone whose first experience of you is at your best and worst – when you’ve been both strong and resilient, but also a stinking crazed exhausted mess," she says.

The mental aspect can be just as difficult as the physical, involving getting one’s head around the idea of being on a bike all day and all night, and audax are self-supporting so entrants need to carry everything they need with them or stop to acquire it – mainly food and tools for mechanicals. "In a world where a lot of cycling is posturing and ‘epic’, there’s a satisfying amount of 'just getting on with it' to an audax," says Burt. "It seems to favour a more mature self-sufficient rider that doesn’t need their hand holding all the way around a route".

Gavin Peacock, 48, began riding audax after what he describes as "a proper MAMIL midlife crisis and needing to look after myself better." This year he will compete in the Transcontinental for the second time. "My personality tends towards introversion so long distance riding with periods of being alone doesn’t faze me, and it does me good emotionally and mentally. It’s good for emptying the head and refocusing the mind."

Riding audax: the basics

Find a ride:Search Audax UK for calendar events and enter online through Pay Pal or pop an entry form and a cheque in the post for the nostalgia

Read: Longer Rides, by Jo Burt, will tell you everything you need to know and make you fall in love with the world of distance riding

Ride: Anything, really, but if you want the full experience go for a steel-framed adventure bike like the All Seasons from ISEN Workshops. Or for the brave, a fixed-wheel from Temple Cycles

Wear: Layers! Merino from Finisterre, and check out Morvelo and Rapha, Liv Cycling for women’s kit and Anna’s Legs from VeloVixen.com for the best cycling leggings ever made

Use: A Wahoo, reputedly better than a Garmin for audax routes

Carry: A Carradice saddlebag for the traditionalists, or try bikepacking luggage such as Apidura or smaller bits and bobs from Liv

Eat: Cake, of course! Fuel up at the checkpoints, and make sure you carry snacks
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ianrobo on March 04, 2019, 06:10:52 pm
interesting choice on the Bike computer, speaking as a Wahoo user !!

however I think that is an excellent read, does not paint us as some kind of Weirdo (I presume everyone saw the excellent coverage of LWL in the Guardian last year) and I am so glad I found it last year !
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: phil w on March 04, 2019, 07:48:28 pm
Over egging the sleep angle. Burt had an additional 11 hours he could have used to sleep. Most on PBP will sleep. But otherwise good little article.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: alfapete on March 04, 2019, 08:11:54 pm
Seven new members since 8.30am this morning - might this be related?
The numbers are too small to draw any statistical conclusions but that's 400% up on last Monday!
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Redlight on March 04, 2019, 08:35:04 pm
Seven new members since 8.30am this morning - might this be related?
The numbers are too small to draw any statistical conclusions but that's 400% up on last Monday!

Depends - I don't think the article appeared until about 10.00  ;)
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Wobbly on March 04, 2019, 09:24:33 pm
At the foot of the Telegraph article it has:

"Related topics: Sleep"

;D
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ElyDave on March 04, 2019, 10:03:42 pm
The article that made me laugh was on the Ride of The Falling Rain, described as "Audaxer riders turned up and were shocked at how low key and spartan it was".

Which was overdoing it a bit.  The main issue was no route sheet, but when the basic premise is to ride every road on a small island, you can get away without
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: FifeingEejit on March 04, 2019, 10:42:08 pm
The article that made me laugh was on the Ride of The Falling Rain, described as "Audaxer riders turned up and were shocked at how low key and spartan it was".

Which was overdoing it a bit.  The main issue was no route sheet, but when the basic premise is to ride every road on a small island, you can get away without

What's more, you can smell the controls. Although the risks of over-partaking in their wares may require some time to sober up.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: billy crystal on March 05, 2019, 09:52:50 am
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: CrazyEnglishTriathlete on March 05, 2019, 10:33:08 am
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.

I think you are right, although I for one, started Audax because it was an organised way of riding further than I would have done on my own.   So, as a novice, I might have been attracted by the article.

It was when I got to riding further that I discovered a different sense of 'oneness' with the world - often as I'm riding the joy is of experiences from different rides fusing together - for examples various bits of 'Wessex' connecting events from different times and different emotional states - from the exhilaration of a descent on a summer evening, to the loneliness of riding up the same hill in the darkness of the early hours wondering why the overnight control is not around the corner.  That sense of connection brings reason to things that otherwise would have made no sense.  Those experiences, I think, are very personal, and not easy to synthesize within the bounds of a newspaper article.  Maybe its mental food for an Arrivee article?
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Jaded on March 05, 2019, 10:44:04 am
When an activity can do this: "I hallucinated a dinosaur eating a tree before it disappeared in a puff of smoke" and you are on public roads, I would worry that such coverage leads to (some) outcry, less sympathy for long distance riders killed/injured and some kind of attempt at clampdown or control.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 05, 2019, 11:07:28 am
I think there's a fairly high overlap between audaxers and recreational drug use.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Redlight on March 05, 2019, 12:05:28 pm
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.

I think you are right, although I for one, started Audax because it was an organised way of riding further than I would have done on my own.   So, as a novice, I might have been attracted by the article.

It was when I got to riding further that I discovered a different sense of 'oneness' with the world - often as I'm riding the joy is of experiences from different rides fusing together - for examples various bits of 'Wessex' connecting events from different times and different emotional states - from the exhilaration of a descent on a summer evening, to the loneliness of riding up the same hill in the darkness of the early hours wondering why the overnight control is not around the corner.  That sense of connection brings reason to things that otherwise would have made no sense.  Those experiences, I think, are very personal, and not easy to synthesize within the bounds of a newspaper article.  Maybe its mental food for an Arrivee article?

Both valid perspectives and, as suggested, worthy of an Arrivee article or two.  Interestingly, there's an article in the forthcoming issue from an AUK who writes about how he relishes the solitude on some rides.  It's a couple of months before the deadline for the next issue, so get writing!
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: De Sisti on March 05, 2019, 12:14:52 pm
I didn't like the sentence that derided Garmins  (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111264.0;topicseen) in favour of  Wahoos.  (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111264.0;topicseen) Nothing wrong with Garmins, they work very well indeed.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: mattc on March 05, 2019, 12:40:31 pm
I do quite like the phrase
"notoriously friendly"

it somehow suggests that audax is a friendly community, but a lot of people are rightly unhappy about this.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: billy crystal on March 05, 2019, 01:41:24 pm
Notorious B.I.G.  (British, Introverted, Getting on a bit in years)
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 05, 2019, 01:58:51 pm


It's an interesting article. It's a bit too anglo-centric, as one might expect. I find it amusing that it seems to interview half my twitter feed...

I agree with the points regarding hallucinations. At a time when long and ultra long distance cycling is under a more watchful eye than normal, hilighting what is ultimately a bit careless behaviour seems suboptimal.

J

Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: willpom gwraudax on March 05, 2019, 03:36:28 pm
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.

You've hit the nail on the head! I find cycling long distance zen like, even through the ups and downs, variable weather and sleep deprivation. When soloing whilst watching the world (or a country) roll by I'm sifting through my real life worries, problems, challenges etc and putting them all in perspective; then they all disappear in a puff of smoke as the giraffes run across the road or a stone wall of painted ladies starts singing to me at the arse end of a 1000km in the early hours...
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Exit Stage Left on March 05, 2019, 10:46:29 pm
It might have been nice to state that Audax doesn't publish times, two mentions of the Transcontinental Race might give the impression that Audax is competitive.

PBP isn't the outer limits of Audax distance, LEL is longer, and WAWA is a lot longer.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: CrazyEnglishTriathlete on March 06, 2019, 07:51:01 am
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.

I think you are right, although I for one, started Audax because it was an organised way of riding further than I would have done on my own.   So, as a novice, I might have been attracted by the article.

It was when I got to riding further that I discovered a different sense of 'oneness' with the world - often as I'm riding the joy is of experiences from different rides fusing together - for examples various bits of 'Wessex' connecting events from different times and different emotional states - from the exhilaration of a descent on a summer evening, to the loneliness of riding up the same hill in the darkness of the early hours wondering why the overnight control is not around the corner.  That sense of connection brings reason to things that otherwise would have made no sense.  Those experiences, I think, are very personal, and not easy to synthesize within the bounds of a newspaper article.  Maybe its mental food for an Arrivee article?

Both valid perspectives and, as suggested, worthy of an Arrivee article or two.  Interestingly, there's an article in the forthcoming issue from an AUK who writes about how he relishes the solitude on some rides.  It's a couple of months before the deadline for the next issue, so get writing!

Challenge accepted. Article drafted.  Will now leave it for a week and see if it does capture the ineffable experience of Audax.  Perfect antidote to editing a report on Client X’s IT strategy.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Redlight on March 06, 2019, 09:04:43 am
Challenge accepted. Article drafted.  Will now leave it for a week and see if it does capture the ineffable experience of Audax.  Perfect antidote to editing a report on Client X’s IT strategy.

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: billy crystal on March 06, 2019, 09:12:41 am
I started drafting an article, but realised it would be better written as a prose poem.  Which I've set myself the task of doing.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: tonyh on March 06, 2019, 09:54:59 am
Great stuff Billy and CET, I'll really look forward to those, or to just the possibility of them - no pressure!

Thanks for the various excellent posts.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Zed43 on March 06, 2019, 10:01:02 am
It might have been nice to state that Audax doesn't publish times
AudaxUK doesn't, but ACP does and so does Randonneurs NL; there may be others who do too.

It's still not a race.

Regarding hallucinations and severe sleep deprivation, just how prevalent is it amongst audax riders (and why would you subject yourself to such a thing when finishing with 11 hours in hand?)
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ElyDave on March 06, 2019, 10:10:28 am
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.

I think you are right, although I for one, started Audax because it was an organised way of riding further than I would have done on my own.   So, as a novice, I might have been attracted by the article.

It was when I got to riding further that I discovered a different sense of 'oneness' with the world - often as I'm riding the joy is of experiences from different rides fusing together - for examples various bits of 'Wessex' connecting events from different times and different emotional states - from the exhilaration of a descent on a summer evening, to the loneliness of riding up the same hill in the darkness of the early hours wondering why the overnight control is not around the corner.  That sense of connection brings reason to things that otherwise would have made no sense.  Those experiences, I think, are very personal, and not easy to synthesize within the bounds of a newspaper article.  Maybe its mental food for an Arrivee article?

Definitely much of this, I'd done an imperial century sportive pre-Audax days, but had left it at that. So far a 200, adn the Audax ethos definitely helped whilst touring last year. 

Whilst I've not got much higher yet, my thoughts are definitley turning towards 100s adn 200s this year in recovery, 300/400 next year as tasters/indicators of an LEL entry in 2021, so very much encouraging me to go further in a pretty supportive community.  Adn even if not on an organised audax, I'm definitly using the "oneness" with the world philosophy and seeing bits of the East Angles I'd have otherwise missed.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Ajax Bay on March 06, 2019, 11:57:35 am
a stone wall of painted ladies starts singing to me at the [quality] end of a 1000km in the early hours...
FTFY
MP1K's Sedburgh Millenium Hall wasn't that bad (or good) third time round, surely.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Exit Stage Left on March 06, 2019, 05:54:18 pm


Regarding hallucinations and severe sleep deprivation, just how prevalent is it amongst audax riders (and why would you subject yourself to such a thing when finishing with 11 hours in hand?)

Sleep deprivation and hallucinations are fairly common. PBP is a case in point. Some fast riders will aim to finish in 60 hours to avoid the third night, which means riding through two nights. Others find themselves in a good group during a ride, and don't stop to sleep in order to stay with that group.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: phil w on March 06, 2019, 06:12:07 pm
I'd say it is a small percentage of riders having hallucinations on a particular ride. Just those at the extreme ends of the curve, the ones who do not sleep to get a good time, and those who do not sleep because they are slow or faff a lot.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Bikeabilityman on March 06, 2019, 06:36:54 pm
I'd say it is a small percentage of riders having hallucinations on a particular ride. Just those at the extreme ends of the curve, the ones who do not sleep to get a good time, and those who do not sleep because they are slow or faff a lot.
I'm the latter, which is handy coz I don't need a lot of sleep (yawn).
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: mattc on March 06, 2019, 06:54:52 pm
I'd say it is a small percentage of riders having hallucinations on a particular ride. Just those at the extreme ends of the curve, the ones who do not sleep to get a good time, and those who do not sleep because they are slow or faff a lot.
Probably true, but they tend to relate their hallucinations rather enthusiastically, and rather often!

(I think just getting very tired is something that rarely makes it into ride reports.)
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Exit Stage Left on March 06, 2019, 07:11:07 pm
I'd say it is a small percentage of riders having hallucinations on a particular ride. Just those at the extreme ends of the curve, the ones who do not sleep to get a good time, and those who do not sleep because they are slow or faff a lot.
Probably true, but they tend to relate their hallucinations rather enthusiastically, and rather often!

(I think just getting very tired is something that rarely makes it into ride reports.)

'Hallucinations' are often just an attempt to interpret something unusual. Car headlights illuminating tree-lined ridgetop roads at right angles to the PBP course throw up a rich crop, as do wind-turbines.

It seems to relate to the amount of imagination that the viewer is able to deploy to fill in the gaps in what they can't readily interpret. Fortunately many Audaxers are very literal-minded. Unfortunately, they're not the ones who can write readable articles.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ianrobo on March 06, 2019, 08:47:22 pm
Although understandable, I find articles that bang on about the rough and ready nature, the physical and psychological hardship, and what to consume increasingly tedious.  These are simply the mechanics of doing an event, not its experience.  An exercise in doing something extreme rather than a day of being profoundly human.

I wish more people would write about how cycling long-distances can transcend the sense of having to be the fastest, how it gives time to reflect and develop perspective by the time the ride is done, how it connects you to time passing and leaves you with impressions.  Some of my favourite life moments have been on audax events, usually in a moment of quiet as I ghosted through the countryside, absorbing what is around me.  Audax is unique because it offers these compensations for the undoubted challenge of turning the pedals for a long time.

well you ever read this on last years LWL

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

and you even get to see a pic of me !! very good read and not described as you did and all positive
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: phil w on March 06, 2019, 09:14:16 pm
I'd say it is a small percentage of riders having hallucinations on a particular ride. Just those at the extreme ends of the curve, the ones who do not sleep to get a good time, and those who do not sleep because they are slow or faff a lot.
Probably true, but they tend to relate their hallucinations rather enthusiastically, and rather often!

(I think just getting very tired is something that rarely makes it into ride reports.)

'Hallucinations' are often just an attempt to interpret something unusual. Car headlights illuminating tree-lined ridgetop roads at right angles to the PBP course throw up a rich crop, as do wind-turbines.

It seems to relate to the amount of imagination that the viewer is able to deploy to fill in the gaps in what they can't readily interpret. Fortunately many Audaxers are very literal-minded. Unfortunately, they're not the ones who can write readable articles.

Or relates somewhat more to the amount of stimulants they take to try and stay awake.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ian_oli on March 06, 2019, 10:23:36 pm
I quite like the mentions of the Transcontinental as I see them very much on a continuum with Audax and I feel both disciplines can feed off each other to the betterment of both.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: grams on March 06, 2019, 10:52:08 pm
I've always taken "hallucinations" to be an overly dramatic way of describing seeing shapes in hedgerows in the dark, which is quite benign and boring and doesn't require any stimulants.

(although it usually means you're *pretty bloody tired* and should think about not riding a bike quite soon)
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Exit Stage Left on March 07, 2019, 12:13:29 am
Hallucinations are part of the culture of long Audaxes. They go along with caffeine tablets, Ibuprofen and Shermer's Neck. It's all part of what makes Audax an 'extreme' sport. People seem to like the idea of suffering, it makes for a good read.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Redlight on March 07, 2019, 09:11:06 am
well you ever read this on last years LWL

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

and you even get to see a pic of me !! very good read and not described as you did and all positive

And indeed, I refer you to: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=108499.25
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Exit Stage Left on March 07, 2019, 11:43:05 am
The need to prequalify for PBP has cut down the opportunities for cycling writers to take it on. In 2015 we encountered Paul Robson, the deputy editor of Cycling Plus, who rode his first Audax in January 2015.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJwcKk6-lmQ
He got us to do some stills for his article, which is now online. https://www.cyclingplus.com/articles/i-rode-it-paul-robson-at-the-2015-paris-brest-paris-randonee/

That's a good guide to the sort of story to be written about PBP. In 2017 Cycling Plus responded to a press release about LEL being 'Britain's Toughest Audax' by commissioning us to provide words and images for a story, as we were already making a film. That press release had dangled some well-known names, and Cycling Plus had bitten.

The key to a good article is often good images. In 2007 I met a freelance adventure photographer, called Gregg Bleakney. http://parisbrestparisphoto.blogspot.com His images turned up in a few articles, one being in Cycling Plus. http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/pbp/articles/2007_cycling-plus72-73.html

The best guide to PBP articles is the PBP hub of British Columbia Randonneurs. http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/pbp/articles.html

I've got one on there from 2011. http://www.damonpeacock.com/paris-brest-paris.html

Quote
The typical PBP rider is a 52 year old man. I’m one of those, and I can tell you that life isn’t usually a lot of fun for us. I watched a BBC4 documentary about postcards, and the people who collect them recently. That’s the sort of thing that 52 year old men do, watch BBC4 and collect postcards. Pipes and slippers have gone out of fashion of late. But we are the people of the shed, tinkering in comfy obscurity, and meeting our chums for a weekly pint of foaming real ale in the local pub.

Some of us fight against the dying of the light, and usually get a pitying reaction to our mid mid-life crisis. The best we can hope for is to club together with other like-minded souls and indulge in a hobby which gets us a mild ribbing from those around us.

So it is with Audax, we assemble in our village halls. We debate the relative merits of Shimano and Campagnolo. Then we do our rides, during which we might be pelted with eggs, or we might not. On the way round we eat pasties while seated on service station floors or we eat teacakes in cafes in faded seaside towns, while drinking tea together, in the afternoon of our lives.

We’re not all 52 year old men, but that’s the background hum and the wallpaper. The further away from a middle aged bloke on a steel framed lightweight tourer you are, the more interest you will generate. My films are populated with those exceptions, largely because the last thing that a 52 year old bloke on a bike wants to see is another 52 year old bloke on a bike. He likes to see a distant view of himself, climbing convincingly enough to suggest someone much younger, but that’s difficult to do for all the 52 year old blokes, and they’re usually fairly happy with scenery and a much younger female subject.


I'd still like to be doing PBP, but my hands can't cope with cold, wet and vibration. I should be out today, doing some hedgelaying at an altitude of 750 feet, on the lower slopes of Pendle Hill. But it's cold and it's raining, so using a chainsaw is ill-advised. I have to restrict damaging misery to things that provide an income these days, and I have to pick my days for that. It's not PBP that's the main problem. Its the qualifiers, as you're locked in to ride a 300 and a 400 early in the season.

We'd be up for making a film, and providing stills for articles if anyone wants to give us a commission.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: Greenbank on March 07, 2019, 11:50:37 am
I've always taken "hallucinations" to be an overly dramatic way of describing seeing shapes in hedgerows in the dark, which is quite benign and boring and doesn't require any stimulants.

I've seen/experienced plenty of what you're describing on Audaxes over the years, a tired mind can play tricks, but I for these I was never tired enough to be a danger and I'd agree that they're not really hallucinations.

However, I've had one proper experience where the 'seeing shapes' was taken to a whole different level. Static items seemingly moving right in front of me whilst I'm looking straight at them, not something seeming to happen out of the corner of my eye. I'd count these as more proper 'hallucinations'. This was part of LEL'09 where I was far too tired (but felt absolutely fine when I left the previous control an hour and a bit before that), shortly after I was drifting off whilst riding and it was only solved by riding companion keeping me in conversation and then finding somewhere suitable (a church porch) to have a quick nap, followed by a few hours of proper sleep a few hours later in a proper bed.

As others have said, tales of hardship sell, especially when describing something that isn't actually as hard as it is being described. People think "Bah, that shouldn't be that hard, I could do that" and a potential new recruit is found. Personally I think the tales of hardship will put off more people than it entices this way. Like some have already said, I prefer Audax for the headscape and the time to myself more than anything else.
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ianrobo on March 07, 2019, 12:22:59 pm
well you ever read this on last years LWL

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

and you even get to see a pic of me !! very good read and not described as you did and all positive

And indeed, I refer you to: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=108499.25

Thank you and that’s lovely positive article !
Title: Re: Audax in the media
Post by: ianrobo on March 07, 2019, 12:48:16 pm
I wonder if anyone has been in touch with Andy about covering his two events in July ?