Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Audax => Topic started by: vorsprung on May 20, 2010, 09:27:30 am

Title: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: vorsprung on May 20, 2010, 09:27:30 am

If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?


There's PBP qualification for a start - that's what AUK was originally invented for.


ok, granted. But:
* PBP is in itself just another audax
* lots of people ride audaxes in britain that either have already done pbp (and thus presumably qualify for it again), or else have no intention of riding it.

Incorrect on both counts

Firstly, PBP isn't "just another audax"

"presumably qualify"- You presume too much.  Everyone has to do an Super Randonneur series (200.300,400 and 600) in the year in question to qualify.  Occassionally people who have done multiple PBPs ( more than 3, say) can get special pleading to skip part of the qualifications but this is exceptional
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: urban_biker on May 20, 2010, 09:33:14 am
*moved from BCM thread*

Well, Audax isn't competitive in terms of times apart from against yourself. You *can* set yourself personal targets and try to beat them - if you like. The faster people are just those you can aspire to perhaps stay with on the odd occasion. There is also a strange trade off between sleep and speed. If you can do without much sleep you can stay with those who are technically much faster.

The competitive element comes in at the level of how many miles you have ridden and how many audaxes, hence the points system, validation and the awards at the AGM each year. So Audax *is* competitive - but its not about how fast you finish each ride, its about how many rides you complete. Thats what AUK is there for - to encourage long distance cycling and more of it.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Chris S on May 20, 2010, 09:34:01 am
It is competitive - with myself.

Validation proves I did it. Points motivate me.

Not all rides are fun all the time - I need other motivators to drive me on when the main one, the cycling, is failing to deliver for some reason.

Given my history of inactivity, poor lifestyle choices, and general lard-arsery, the fact that I can ride a push bike 600km is nigh on miraculous. Damn right it's competitive. Just not in an obvious way.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Manotea on May 20, 2010, 09:44:20 am
Heigh ho, here we go...

1)  Validated Events and Series of Events set standards, providing a measure of performance and an aid to motivation. The extent to which one is in competition with oneself or with others is purely a personal matter. Yes, AUK offers pots for points but ISTM they are more a matter of celebration than competition.

2) PBP really is 'just another audax'.

3. Er, that's it really.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: border-rider on May 20, 2010, 09:46:24 am
For me, validation provides a framework that gets me out on the bike. Yes the only person who cares is me, but I can set myself goals (n points in a season; an SR Series; try to get round in under nn hours) and being a bloke, I'm target/metric driven - so it all helps.

That's very different from being competitive in an event - I tend to roll along at my own pace and I'd be very put off by any overt element of placings or rankings.  Maybe if I were faster that would be different, of course :)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: fboab on May 20, 2010, 10:03:41 am
I'll (probably) never win anything based on speed. Like Chris, I could easily find evidence to show my life history is a succession of poor choices many of which could have been life threatening. The fact that at my age I'm even considering riding 1000km is nothing short of miraculous and I like the fact there is incontravertable proof that I've ridden what I have.
Without validation I wouldn't push myself so hard. No one else is impressed, but I am, and that's what counts.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Martin on May 20, 2010, 10:24:02 am
the first medal I ever got for cycling was a 200km one; it was nice to feel I'd finally acheived something after n years of soul destroying TTs. You can even get one if you come "last"
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: AikenDrum on May 20, 2010, 10:26:52 am
It's certainly become more competitive since I started doing it last century  ;)

Internet forums like this one have surely played a part in this, with people talking about their "PB" for this or that event, or listing all their events in their signature like it's a DSO and bar.  ;D

There's still a need for validation, if only to stop people whose confidence outstrips their abilities from applying to do rides like PBP, and possibly taking a place from someone more deserving i.e. someone who can ride 200,300,400,600 in a season. Many people on this forum probably look at PBP as the Audax equivalent of the London Boreathon, and it's not, but that's what it would probably become if entry was by open ballot.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Greenbank on May 20, 2010, 10:35:32 am
Audax isn't competitive on the road bar a few who like to push themselves and be pushed by others and try and get back first. There's no great surprise in that, someone has to be first. But they don't get any thing extra/special from AUK for doing so. Their competitiveness doesn't affect the people plodding along at the back.

There's also a competitive edge to the points (AUK,AAA,FWC,Recumbent,..etc...) championship, but the vast majority of people don't worry about this and carry on doing the rides they want to do.

But it's a long way from the competitiveness of racing.

Validation is a completely separate thing, rides still need to be validated but AUK chooses to publish points tallies and lists of rides completed which is the basis for comparison and competition.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Weirdy Biker on May 20, 2010, 10:41:55 am
All Audax UK does, really, is ensure that we do events in accordance with certain regulations.  That's validation.  Cyclists who don't feel the need to have their ride validated in this way can just ride their bike without filling in a brevet card.

I do wonder, however, if the OP is confusing validation with the recording and making public of "points"?  That is unecessary but lots of people get motivation from that.  It's a human thing - more of a self-validation than anything more sinister.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: urban_biker on May 20, 2010, 10:45:03 am
. . . .  or listing all their events in their signature like it's a DSO and bar.  ;D


BTW  - I'm one of those that does that - but I never saw it as bragging. Just a social thing really. Means that people know what rides I'm doing and when we are likely to meet up.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on May 20, 2010, 10:50:15 am
Interesting reading, thanks.
So, leaving PBP qualification aside, to the people that say "it's important but only for me and not anyone else", would you be happy to just:
* be sent a brevet card in the post with your route sheet
* told what points you would get if/when you complete the ride
* record the points total in a spreadsheet which you are sent on membership of AUK which just sits on your own computer (or even paper in a drawer)?
In other words, are you happy not to prove you've done the ride to anyone else but yourself.

Just to make it clear i'm not criticizing anybody's attitudes or reasons for want of validation for any reason, I'm just curious really. I got thinking about it while on the BCM, and just sort of started asking myself what *my* attitudes to validation are, and I haven't really come to an answer yet.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Weirdy Biker on May 20, 2010, 10:50:49 am
. . . .  or listing all their events in their signature like it's a DSO and bar.  ;D


BTW  - I'm one of those that does that - but I never saw it as bragging. Just a social thing really. Means that people know what rides I'm doing and when we are likely to meet up.

It's also a motivation tool.  Research shows that if you write it down and tell other people you are more likely to follow it through.

My sig line on points etc is a bit self centred though.  Part of the social networking trait of making available personal information that no-one else cares about  :)  If I were to rationalise it, the events are to let people know what events they might see me on next (hence why I don't mention perms).  The points etc are to suggest what type of riding I do (mine probably gives a fairly accurate audax profile of me).
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: AikenDrum on May 20, 2010, 10:53:20 am
. . . .  or listing all their events in their signature like it's a DSO and bar.  ;D


BTW  - I'm one of those that does that - but I never saw it as bragging. Just a social thing really. Means that people know what rides I'm doing and when we are likely to meet up.

Time you changed your sig then.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on May 20, 2010, 10:54:40 am
I do wonder, however, if the OP is confusing validation with the recording and making public of "points"?  
Yes, I think I am.
I meant the latter, thinking that the two were synonymous, but not really considering validation to mean self-validation.
I used the term 'validation' originally to mean the gaining of stamps and the handing in/sending back of the brevet card, i.e. the "recording and making public of points", but you're right that it could also mean self-validation - but then again don't  we subsonsciously do that on every ride whether it's an audax or not...
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: border-rider on May 20, 2010, 10:57:07 am

So, leaving PBP qualification aside, to the people that say "it's important but only for me and not anyone else", would you be happy to just:
* be sent a brevet card in the post with your route sheet
* told what points you would get if/when you complete the ride

So far, so much like a perm ;)

Quote
* record the points total in a spreadsheet which you are sent on membership of AUK which just sits on your own computer (or even paper in a drawer)?
In other words, are you happy not to prove you've done the ride to anyone else but yourself.

One could do that just by riding outside the Audax framework.  The validation thing is all about doing it within a structured and external framework.  

I also like to have specific goals for myself - so I might be trying to get a Brevet 25000 for example, which would inspire me to get off my arse and enter and ride ab Easter Arrow.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: AikenDrum on May 20, 2010, 10:58:06 am
. . . .  or listing all their events in their signature like it's a DSO and bar.  ;D


BTW  - I'm one of those that does that - but I never saw it as bragging. Just a social thing really. Means that people know what rides I'm doing and when we are likely to meet up.

It's also a motivation tool.  Research shows that if you write it down and tell other people you are more likely to follow it through.

My sig line on points etc is a bit self centred though.  Part of the social networking trait of making available personal information that no-one else cares about  :)  If I were to rationalise it, the events are to let people know what events they might see me on next (hence why I don't mention perms).  The points etc are to suggest what type of riding I do (mine probably gives a fairly accurate audax profile of me).

This kind of sums up why ICBA with the likes of Facebook/Twitter - wrong generation I guess - my two daughters can't wait to post pics/discuss every minute detail of last night down the pub "OMG I was soooooo pissed LOL..." etc etc.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Nonsteeler on May 20, 2010, 11:07:20 am
the first medal I ever got for cycling was a 200km one; it was nice to feel I'd finally acheived something after n years of soul destroying TTs. You can even get one if you come "last"

Validation and competitiveness are for me different things. Assuming that there was no competition in audax rides (I believe there is as others have pointed out, personal best etc) validation would still make sense for me. As MV and others have said the there is motivational factor. What I'd like to add is that validation adds to the sense of achievement  doing a ride. Every couple of Ks somebody cares (sure, sometimes more, often less)  if I have ridden the min. distance between two controls. Their validation helps me to value the ride. This function is similar to parts of this forum - reading about  an audax here afterwards adds to the sense of achievement. It is nice to see that other people care in a very similar way about riding a ride. Also the little badges and medals you can buy afterwards can do a similar thing. Never thought they are worth it but after my first 600 last weekend I thought 'sod it lets celebrate and get whole set' (regardless of the fact that they will end up in my son's bric-a-brac toy box). Validation, badges and this forum help to make a ride special.

Maybe in a perfect world I would be completely intrinsically motivated and I would need this trumpery. But I am not.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: αdαmsκι on May 20, 2010, 11:09:43 am
One could do that just by riding outside the Audax framework.  The validation thing is all about doing it within a structured and external framework.  

Being able to validate the rides gives me something to aim for and a reson to finish. The first time I rode a >200 km ride was a 400 km ride that I did on my own, before I'd joined AUK. I'd finished the actual route I wanted to do and was heading back home when I got a puncture. It was gone 11pm, dark, and I'd already done over 400 km. I couldn't be bothered to fix the puncture and so called out the calvery to pick me up. Had this been a validated ride (a DIY, Perm or Calendar event) I'd have fixed the puncture and ridden the final 20 km. However, I don't feel that I cheated on that ride because I'd set out to complete a specific aim and I'd achieved that aim. I also knew I could have ridden the final 20 km, but I just couldn't be ar$ed to fix the puncture.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: mattc on May 20, 2010, 11:20:11 am
...
In other words, are you happy not to prove you've done the ride to anyone else but yourself.

Just to make it clear i'm not criticizing anybody's attitudes or reasons for want of validation for any reason, I'm just curious really.
I don't think I can answer this, because I started riding Audaxes [and thus also rides over 100 miles] knowing full well that the framework existed (badges, multiples-of-100km, PBP qualification etc ... )

So if I consider, say, riding a 200km perm route because I have a free Saturday, my motivation is inevitably coloured by knowing I could "score 2 points" for it!

From another angle... of course this nx100km stuff is all arbitrary. To understand it, look at marathon running. Running a marathon is not in any significant way harder than 25 miles - conditions on the day, gradients etc make as much difference. And yet how many runners would strive towards running "a 25"?

You see, it's natural to be motivated by these bizarre artificial targets.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on May 20, 2010, 11:37:43 am
So if I consider, say, riding a 200km perm route because I have a free Saturday, my motivation is inevitably coloured by knowing I could "score 2 points" for it!
but what if, say, for the sake of argument, there was a 100km audax going on from the next valley along that you thought was a nicer route?
Which leads me on to my next question, would/do you bother with validation for a 100km audax? Apparently they aren't "BRM" and thus not "proper" audaxes... this is what got me thinking about it, to be honest - I thought 'now I'm knocking out a 600, would I actually bother getting my brevet card stamped for a 100?', and then that led me on to thinking if I wouldn't bother with getting it stamped on a 100km, then why am I on this?

Quote
From another angle... of course this nx100km stuff is all arbitrary. To understand it, look at marathon running. Running a marathon is not in any significant way harder than 25 miles - conditions on the day, gradients etc make as much difference. And yet how many runners would strive towards running "a 25"?

You see, it's natural to be motivated by these bizarre artificial targets.
Good point - why don't they have 103km, 268km, 341km and 578km audaxes? ;) Why do they have to be boring and always go for a nice round number  ;)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on May 20, 2010, 11:39:20 am
But presumably they originally chose 26 because that was how long the route round the parts of london they wanted to route it round were originally, and then it has stuck and is the yardstick for any marathon wherever.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: border-rider on May 20, 2010, 11:42:52 am
but what if, say, for the sake of argument, there was a 100km audax going on from the next valley along that you thought was a nicer route?

I would always prefer a nice route (even if it's not validated or not an audax)

These days I quite often ride a 200-or-so loop from home just as a ride in preference to entering and driving to some less interesting audax. 

But if I want to make sure I'm not going to cut it short, I'd enter it as a DIY perm ;)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: toontra on May 20, 2010, 11:44:26 am
In my personal view audax validation and the hunt for points occasionally verges on the obsessive/ridiculous.  I've read on here of people prepared to take far less pleasant roads simply to get a receipt for DIY purposes.  To me that's crazy.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Greenbank on May 20, 2010, 11:44:46 am
But presumably they originally chose 26 because that was how long the route round the parts of london they wanted to route it round were originally, and then it has stuck and is the yardstick for any marathon wherever.

The current Marathon distance has a very odd reason for being chosen as it is:-

Marathon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon#Distance)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: mattc on May 20, 2010, 11:45:12 am
But presumably they originally chose 26 because that was how long the route round the parts of london they wanted to route it round were originally, and then it has stuck and is the yardstick for any marathon wherever.
Yeah, and then the Greeks* stole the idea ...

Back to riding 100s:
You're right, I do suffer lack of motivation to ride 100s now. But there's a subtlety to this:
by riding them and getting validated you're boosting the organiser's figures on AUKweb, so there is (kind of) some point!

So ....
If something like RRTY** was on the line, I'd choose the 200. But generally I'd ride out to the nice 100 Calendar event, mainly for the company etc.
(**for others, substitute seasonal points target, AAA points, an SR etc ... etc ... !)

(*Spartans? Oh who cares ... )
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Philip Whiteman on May 20, 2010, 11:46:50 am
I don't see a problem with the concept of 'validation' but perhaps we could question how validation occurs.

AUK is quite centralised as a national body leading to a small number of people spending an enormous amount of time volunteering their free-time on a regulatory activities (please don't take that as a negative criticism of their sterling efforts).  A more productive process of validation could be achieved on a devolved basis, say by calendar event organisers validating their participants.  This would free up time for AUK to promote and market audaxe's other tangible benefits as a cycling activity.  

Central validation could not be dispensed with in a number of other areas such as DIYs. Quite where permanents fit would require further thought.

The Brevet Card is a rather outmoded method of providing validatory evidence. Individual organisers could be given the discretion to use electronic methods as used on sportives.  Danial Webb has partially led the way through his experimentation with GPX files for audaxes.  
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Greenbank on May 20, 2010, 11:51:19 am
As I understand it, most of what you suggest is already in place Philip. I'm pretty sure most 200s are validated by the organisers now, and Danial is plowing ahead with the GPX validation, however this isn't a solution for all as not everyone has, wants or can afford a GPS.

BRM makes things trickier though as everything has to be validated by ACP too.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: marcus on May 20, 2010, 12:08:26 pm
For me, validation provides a framework that gets me out on the bike. Yes the only person who cares is me, but I can set myself goals (n points in a season; an SR Series; try to get round in under nn hours) and being a bloke, I'm target/metric driven - so it all helps.

That's very different from being competitive in an event - I tend to roll along at my own pace and I'd be very put off by any overt element of placings or rankings.  Maybe if I were faster that would be different, of course :)

This is exactly how I feel. Having a target for the season acts as a powerful motivator for me, and of course you get a real sense of acheivement when/if you meet your target.

The last couple of years' audaxing has brought home to me just how much I am driven by personal targets. In 2008 I set myself a target for gaining AAA points & this really helped get me out of bed in the mornings. Last year I didn't set myself any targets, just thought I would ride as and when I felt like it, and the result was I found it very difficult to motivate myself to ride audaxes, especially the longer ones, and I felt vaguely unfulfilled at the end of the season.

As MV says, I think some of it is a bloke thing!
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: mattc on May 20, 2010, 01:00:50 pm
... and being a bloke, I'm target/metric driven

Does this mean that if we measured events in miles, we'd get more laydeez riding?

IGMC ...
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: MattH on May 20, 2010, 01:10:41 pm
. . . .  or listing all their events in their signature like it's a DSO and bar.  ;D


BTW  - I'm one of those that does that - but I never saw it as bragging. Just a social thing really. Means that people know what rides I'm doing and when we are likely to meet up.

Same here - and I like seeing it in other people's sigs as it often prompts me to enter a ride that I'd missed on the calendar (or not realised had crept up so fast).
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: fboab on May 20, 2010, 01:11:53 pm
<checks frontage> it's not just a bloke thing. :-[ I ride 100s with my boy. It would be harder to motivate myself to do that if I wasn't picking up FWC points too, but I've probably enjoyed those rides most.
I think I'm going to have to admit I wouldn't find it as motivating if I wasn't comparing points against other people. I want to advertise I've got <n> points.
I am clearly a bad competitive person.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: hellymedic on May 20, 2010, 01:51:19 pm
It's not a bloke thing.
I enjoyed collecting badges and medals.
I achieved way beyond anything I thought I could do.
It was great to have proof of what I'd done and it's nice to have the souvenirs now i can't ride.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: vorsprung on May 20, 2010, 01:53:55 pm

Back to riding 100s:
You're right, I do suffer lack of motivation to ride 100s now.

Me too.  I have to enter the event and get  to the start on time.  Then all I get to do is a measly 100km.  Just get warmed up and ...it's over
The Dartmoor Devil is the exception that proves the rule
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: MattH on May 20, 2010, 02:15:44 pm

Back to riding 100s:
You're right, I do suffer lack of motivation to ride 100s now.

Me too.  I have to enter the event and get  to the start on time.  Then all I get to do is a measly 100km.  Just get warmed up and ...it's over
The Dartmoor Devil is the exception that proves the rule

Obviously for experienced riders 100s need a hook to be worthwhile; very scenic (in either sense of the word) or very sociable (ridden with my son or friends) do it for me - but not very often now.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: citoyen on May 20, 2010, 04:57:32 pm
For me, validation provides a framework that gets me out on the bike. Yes the only person who cares is me, but I can set myself goals (n points in a season; an SR Series; try to get round in under nn hours) and being a bloke, I'm target/metric driven - so it all helps.

That's very different from being competitive in an event - I tend to roll along at my own pace and I'd be very put off by any overt element of placings or rankings.  Maybe if I were faster that would be different, of course :)

Yep, that about sums it up for me. It's all about personal goals.

I do enter all my rides in bikejournal and have been getting slightly obsessed with climbing up the rankings, but that's just another motivational tool to persuade me to get out on the bike and not be lazy - I'm chasing perpetual dan in the yacf league, but not because I want to "beat" him, just because he's a handy target to aim for.

This "competitive" element has helped me lose nearly half a stone so far this year. Therefore, I am definitely the "winner".

d.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: kcass on May 20, 2010, 06:13:53 pm

In other words, are you happy not to prove you've done the ride to anyone else but yourself.


Yes. Even with the current system I'd be very surprised if anyone but me knows how many points I've got anyway.

But I do like to see what other's have got. It's interesting to see how  much other people ride and has probably motivated me to ride more this year but I'm not competing with anyone.

And I like the self-validation of Audax rides: I have a sore arse, therefore I am
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Salvatore on May 21, 2010, 10:15:54 pm

1. I ride a 300k start @ 6.00am
...
2. I ride a 300k and finish just within the time limit @ 3.00am.

Timing is everything.


If it's a 6.00am start you're an hour outside the time limit.

Very poor timing.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Greenbank on May 21, 2010, 10:26:32 pm
I've finished a 6am start 300km Audax at 3:45am and been inside the time limit.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: GruB on May 22, 2010, 07:34:53 am
Although I got the cards from Daniel, I have not validated any of my DIY 200s. 
I know I did them.  I don't really need any points to tell me that I can or to help me remember that I did.
I don't need to see my name in the little book either.
TBH, I'd rather get points for stupid miles commuting every day, year in year out.
That is much harder than pushing out a 200k ride.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: toontra on May 22, 2010, 08:37:13 am
Same here.  I'm doing 3 x 300's next week (London-Scotland) but I can't be bothered to try and claim points.  I want to take the nicest route and at the times that suit me, and not have all the faff of getting the route approved, buying a bottle of water for over £1 just to get a receipt, etc.  Maybe I'm not a proper audaxer.

Trouble is, I want to do PBP next year.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Noodley on May 22, 2010, 08:41:58 am
Same here.  I'm doing 3 x 300's next week (London-Scotland)

Lunan Bay? 
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: toontra on May 22, 2010, 08:48:20 am
Same here.  I'm doing 3 x 300's next week (London-Scotland)

Lunan Bay? 

Indeed!  How did you guess?
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Noodley on May 22, 2010, 08:56:17 am
Same here.  I'm doing 3 x 300's next week (London-Scotland)

Lunan Bay? 

Indeed!  How did you guess?

I have 'powers'  :demon: ;D and a good memory  :thumbsup: 8)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: toontra on May 22, 2010, 09:02:10 am
I have 'powers'  :demon: ;D and a good memory  :thumbsup: 8)


I'm amazed   :o  ...and impressed  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: kcass on May 22, 2010, 10:55:32 am
I don't really need any points to tell me that I can or to help me remember that I did.
I don't need to see my name in the little book either.


But you log everything on bikejournal - its the same thing isn't it. One just relies on your honesty.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: mattc on May 22, 2010, 12:21:55 pm
Grub thinks more of his fans will see his miles on BikeJournal than AukWeb.  ;)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: GruB on May 22, 2010, 02:51:44 pm
I don't really need any points to tell me that I can or to help me remember that I did.
I don't need to see my name in the little book either.


But you log everything on bikejournal - its the same thing isn't it. One just relies on your honesty.

Miles is not the same as points though.  I don't get points for those miles either.
So I am not sure how it is the same?
I log on Bikejournal because I am an obsessive compulsive when it comes to competitiveness  ;D
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: GruB on May 22, 2010, 02:52:28 pm
Grub thinks more of his fans will see his miles on BikeJournal than AukWeb.  ;)

Fans?  You're having a larf  ;D
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: kcass on May 22, 2010, 03:37:33 pm

I log on Bikejournal because I am an obsessive compulsive when it comes to competitiveness  ;D

That reminds me - must log that 1km ride to the video shop.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: GruB on May 22, 2010, 04:09:34 pm

I log on Bikejournal because I am an obsessive compulsive when it comes to competitiveness  ;D

That reminds me - must log that 1km ride to the video shop.

The only ones I don't log is when I go up and down the village in testing mode after fettling  ;D
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: simonp on May 23, 2010, 05:46:39 pm

I log on Bikejournal because I am an obsessive compulsive when it comes to competitiveness  ;D

That reminds me - must log that 1km ride to the video shop.

The only ones I don't log is when I go up and down the village in testing mode after fettling  ;D

Why ever not?
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Wowbagger on May 23, 2010, 05:57:42 pm
Grub thinks more of his fans will see his miles on BikeJournal than AukWeb.  ;)

Fans?  You're having a larf  ;D

You remember a couple of years ago when you lost that brevet card, Grub? I nicked it and sold your autograph on Ebay.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: MattH on May 24, 2010, 08:01:46 pm
Here's something from the US for those of a competitive nature (if only with yourself) Cyclos Montagnards -- R80/R70/R60 Rules (http://www.cyclosmontagnards.org/R80Rules.html)

Quote
The R80 honor requires completion of a brevet series (200, 300, 400 and 600 km) with each brevet completed in 80% or less of the maximum allowed time limit. The R70 and R60 honors are for those who complete the brevets in 70% or 60% of the allowed time, respectively.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: mattc on May 24, 2010, 08:17:05 pm
Instinctive reaction:
deeply uncomfortable with that. At least if they are riding regular events with other "normal" riders; they're welcome to run their own events with lower time limits.

But they're USAian so maybe a different ethos applies, I don't know ...

(Remember the PBP where the vedettes were fined for generall ill manners at controls?)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: MattH on May 24, 2010, 08:34:12 pm
I would also feel uncomfortable with this being an AUK-approved "award", and certainly wasn't suggesting that. I came across it whilst reading some ultracycling reports that I was using to put together a newsletter.

I don't see a problem with it as a personal challenge though - as long as normal standards of decent behaviour are adhered to.

Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: JStone on May 24, 2010, 09:03:55 pm
Here's something from the US for those of a competitive nature (if only with yourself) Cyclos Montagnards -- R80/R70/R60 Rules (http://www.cyclosmontagnards.org/R80Rules.html)
...

Interesting to read their fundamentalist approach to battery-powered lights: "Battery powered headlights use energy that is not generated by the rider. Thus, they are considered "outside assistance." They are allowed but we add a penalty of 1.5% to the time of riders who use battery-powered headlights. "  :demon:
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: dasmoth on May 24, 2010, 09:13:40 pm
Better not tell them about this (http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/shimano-dura-ace-di2-electronic-first-ride-18283).  :demon:
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: David Martin on May 24, 2010, 10:18:57 pm

BTW  - I'm one of those that does that - but I never saw it as bragging. Just a social thing really. Means that people know what rides I'm doing and when we are likely to meet up.

Quote
Next calendar events: Gospel Pass, Kernow&SW, Snow Roads

Wow, From South to North but on the west.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: teethgrinder on May 24, 2010, 10:21:18 pm
That is much harder than pushing out a 200k ride.

Ever tried pushing out a 200k ride after work then going to work the next day?
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: MattH on May 24, 2010, 10:32:09 pm
The closest I got to that was 160k on fixed (my longest fixed ride), followed the next morning by a 7am 25km commute on the same bike. It was ok, but I wouldn't have liked to do it week in, week out, with 600-800k at the weekends though...
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: citoyen on May 24, 2010, 10:39:38 pm
That is much harder than pushing out a 200k ride.

Ever tried pushing out a 200k ride after work then going to work the next day?

Are you trying to put ideas in Grub's head?  ;D

d.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: simonp on May 24, 2010, 11:04:56 pm
That is much harder than pushing out a 200k ride.

Ever tried pushing out a 200k ride after work then going to work the next day?

Are you trying to put ideas in Grub's head?  ;D

d.


Please, no!  Staying ahead of him on BikeJournal is killing me.  ;D
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on May 25, 2010, 09:20:26 am
Here's something from the US for those of a competitive nature (if only with yourself) Cyclos Montagnards -- R80/R70/R60 Rules (http://www.cyclosmontagnards.org/R80Rules.html)
...

Interesting to read their fundamentalist approach to battery-powered lights: "Battery powered headlights use energy that is not generated by the rider. Thus, they are considered "outside assistance." They are allowed but we add a penalty of 1.5% to the time of riders who use battery-powered headlights. "  :demon:

Ridiculous. Going by that principle, a tailwind could be considered "energy that is not generated by the rider". Where does it end!  ::-)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: border-rider on May 25, 2010, 09:26:51 am
There was some ultradistance event in the US a few years ago which welcomed fixed wheel riders - but would only class them as such (and there was a separate category) if they rode a steel frame. 
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: MattH on May 25, 2010, 09:34:25 am
Ridiculous. Going by that principle, a tailwind could be considered "energy that is not generated by the rider".

You've obviously not sat on my wheel after a couple of days of hard riding  :demon:
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on May 25, 2010, 09:50:58 am
There was some ultradistance event in the US a few years ago which welcomed fixed wheel riders - but would only class them as such (and there was a separate category) if they rode a steel frame. 

Furnace Creek 508, along with no aerobars, no flipping the wheel, no taking the feet off the pedals on downhills (some long steep downhills on that course).
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: border-rider on May 25, 2010, 09:51:35 am
That's the fellow :)

Ta.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: damerell on June 09, 2010, 02:18:34 am
Ever tried pushing out a 200k ride after work then going to work the next day?

Sure, it was easy.

... "going to work", mind you, consists of rolling out of bed, donning a dressing gown, and sitting down in the study.

More seriously, I like validation; I think it's part of the business of having a definite standard to aim for. For victory to be sweet, defeat had to be a possibility.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: frankly frankie on June 09, 2010, 01:14:13 pm
Picking up on 1 or 2 points from the last 5 pages ...

The publication of results lists, points listings etc on the website happened around the year 2000, before that most of the information was never publicised in any form.  But concerns about 'competitiveness' - sometimes involving alleged skullduggery towards the end of the season between riders or clubs vying for some championship or other - date back a lot further.  However back in 1991 when no fewer than 5 riders all broke the previous points record, I remember these people were generally riding in the same events, often together, and being supportive of each other, I don't recall any 'competitive' feel back then, other than a strong drive to set new benchmarks.  (I just got my kicks by hanging on their coat-tails, work patterns permitting.)
So I think competitiveness - whatever form it takes - is much more about the individual personalities involved, than anything else.  And as such it need only exist in their own minds, and I don't see why anyone else would be bothered either way.  It's just one small aspect of the very diverse activity which is audaxing.

In the mid-noughties there was again a lot of 'competitiveness' concern which I remember being discussed in committee - there is always the option to not publish some or all of the results stuff, but in fact all we did was to remove the points listing in points order, and replace it with an alphabetical listing.  This had, I thought, a very noticeable effect and appeared to take the heat out of late season points-chasing.  There was also a policy decision to put a 'random' delay into the recording of Permanents - I'm not so keen on this but it probably has also had its effect.

NB that the published results are a by-product of the recording process - they can be published or not, but the underlying recording (using the web db server) would still take place in exactly the same way.  This is because it's an easy way to arrange collaboration between several workers at the same coalface, even including the Organisers who perhaps unwittingly play their part in the recording process by using the online start sheet generator.  (Recording is a necessary process because without it, SR lists etc could not exist.)

Most riders seem to like the published results, but there is a small but significant minority who dislike them - I've even met 1 or 2 people who've stopped audaxing because they don't want their name appearing in these lists.  Another very useful by-product of publishing the lists is that they get thoroughly error-checked by the people most able to do this - the riders themselves.  There's a lot of typing (whoever does it) to generate these lists so errors do happen - but these days we can be confident that most of these are spotted and can easily be corrected.  With the old non-published records we can be sure they are riddled with mistakes, and indeed I daresay that in the bad old quill-pen-and-ledger days some year-end points totals were just fabricated by someone who couldn't be bothered to do all the necessary bean-counting.

As for validation - I detect a trend towards turning up and doing the ride, but then declining to pass the brevet card on for validation.  This may make some sort of statement in the rider's own mind, but unfortunately it is also, in a small way, cheating AUK.  
AUK has a very stupid financial model whereby a significant income generator is the small validation fee attached to each and every card submitted for validation.  (And also - even more so - any 'temp member' fees accruing from non-member finishers.)  If the card is withheld, these fees are lost to AUK, and if everybody did it there would be a big black hole in the finances.  As I say, its a stupid system (not least because no income is generated from DNFs) but I've never been able to persuade anyone on committee to even seriously consider more sensible alternatives.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: DanialW on June 09, 2010, 01:21:02 pm
As for validation - I detect a trend towards turning up and doing the ride, but then declining to pass the brevet card on for validation.  This may make some sort of statement in the rider's own mind, but unfortunately it is also, in a small way, cheating AUK.  
AUK has a very stupid financial model whereby a significant income generator is the small validation fee attached to each and every card submitted for validation.  (And also - even more so - any 'temp member' fees accruing from non-member finishers.)  If the card is withheld, these fees are lost to AUK, and if everybody did it there would be a big black hole in the finances.  

I'd never thought of this, FF. It's a very good point indeed.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Martin on June 09, 2010, 01:24:39 pm
 If the card is withheld, these fees are lost to AUK, and if everybody did it there would be a big black hole in the finances.

and also it would make the event look pretty poorly supported if there were fewer finishers from the previous year.

completely agree; the pittance an organiser sends back AUK for validation and cards in no way represents the enormous benefit AUK gives an event in terms of (almost) free publicity (also in the cycling press) and invaluable organisational tools  :thumbsup: also the way it is applied means the biggest events with the most riders put the most back into AUK.

I think it should be double (ducks)
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on June 09, 2010, 01:42:33 pm
As for validation - I detect a trend towards turning up and doing the ride, but then declining to pass the brevet card on for validation.  This may make some sort of statement in the rider's own mind, but unfortunately it is also, in a small way, cheating AUK.  
AUK has a very stupid financial model whereby a significant income generator is the small validation fee attached to each and every card submitted for validation.  (And also - even more so - any 'temp member' fees accruing from non-member finishers.)  If the card is withheld, these fees are lost to AUK, and if everybody did it there would be a big black hole in the finances.  As I say, its a stupid system (not least because no income is generated from DNFs) but I've never been able to persuade anyone on committee to even seriously consider more sensible alternatives.

This is something I've considered doing (especially on 100ks) but soon came to the conclusion that it would be a bad idea, but not for the financial implications that you describe (which I was unaware of anyway) but for a matter of pride for the organiser -  a measure of how good their audax is could be taken as how few DNFs there are.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: frankly frankie on June 09, 2010, 01:48:42 pm
a matter of pride for the organiser -  a measure of how good their audax is could be taken as how few DNFs there are.

Well actually, the only person who knows this is the Org themselves.
Numbers of finishers are published (another by-product of the recording) but no central records are kept of numbers of entrants.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Mr Larrington on June 09, 2010, 01:49:11 pm
There was some ultradistance event in the US a few years ago which welcomed fixed wheel riders - but would only class them as such (and there was a separate category) if they rode a steel frame. 

Furnace Creek 508, along with no aerobars, no flipping the wheel, no taking the feet off the pedals on downhills (some long steep downhills on that course).

By 'eck, they've got some right funny rules...


Plus if you go off-route, you can be driven back to where it happened :o

1 - No, not that one ;D
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: phil d on June 09, 2010, 01:50:25 pm
Some very interesting points in FF's post - thank you for making them.

I find the published results a fascinating resource.  I don't think it changes the amount of audaxing I do (let's face it, I shall never be challenging for the points title), but it is interesting to see what other events that people I've met on rides have done - this might well influence what I enter next year.

I don't much care how competitive or otherwise the points chasing becomes by those that want to do that - it impacts on me not a jot, though it can be fun to watch someone accruing a vast points (or AAA) total.  My competition is just me, against me, the machine, the road and/or the elements (for the record, the machine won twice, the road once, and the elements twice over the last 10 years).  I suspect that the vast majority of my fellow audaxers take much the same position.

In respect of the costs, if the amount of revenue lost due to "DNFs" became significant I guess the club would need to address it.  Relatively easy to do by requiring DNFs to be recorded on the official return, though open to abuse if an organiser decided not to include them.  But where do you stop?  What about DNSs?
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: arabella on June 09, 2010, 03:28:32 pm
In the mid-noughties there was again a lot of 'competitiveness' concern which I remember being discussed in committee - there is always the option to not publish some or all of the results stuff, but in fact all we did was to remove the points listing in points order, and replace it with an alphabetical listing.  
Ah, I wondered where it had gone - I wasn't bothered about the change to alphabetical order but the women-only listing disappeared at the same time - I quite liked seeing how other testosterone-lesser folks were faring, it's a bit hard to find them now, so I just vaguely wonder instead.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Martin on June 09, 2010, 03:32:18 pm
In respect of the costs, if the amount of revenue lost due to "DNFs" became significant I guess the club would need to address it.  Relatively easy to do by requiring DNFs to be recorded on the official return, though open to abuse if an organiser decided not to include them.  But where do you stop?  What about DNSs?

a simple way to address this is to have a single fee for each brevet card which is payable whether the riders complete / validate it or not
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Euan Uzami on June 09, 2010, 03:34:15 pm
a matter of pride for the organiser -  a measure of how good their audax is could be taken as how few DNFs there are.

Well actually, the only person who knows this is the Org themselves.
Yes, I know, sorry - I meant a measure for the organiser.
I meant that by deliberately 'falsely' (or, it could be argued, even accidentally/non-falsely, but that is another debate) DNFing, it is just a bit rude to the organiser themselves - nothing to do with other people's ability to use DNF stats as a rating system to guage whether an audax is any good.
Whether DNF stats should be published or not (possibly for that reason) is, again, another debatable matter...
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Jaded on June 09, 2010, 03:45:21 pm
In respect of the costs, if the amount of revenue lost due to "DNFs" became significant I guess the club would need to address it.  Relatively easy to do by requiring DNFs to be recorded on the official return, though open to abuse if an organiser decided not to include them.  But where do you stop?  What about DNSs?

a simple way to address this is to have a single fee for each brevet card which is payable whether the riders complete / validate it or not

Or the organisers pay for the number of starters (with cards), not finishers? If the riders are not handing in Brevet cards it suggests they have them and if they have them, they must have paid for them?
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Manotea on June 09, 2010, 04:04:04 pm
In respect of the costs, if the amount of revenue lost due to "DNFs" became significant I guess the club would need to address it.  Relatively easy to do by requiring DNFs to be recorded on the official return, though open to abuse if an organiser decided not to include them.  But where do you stop?  What about DNSs?

a simple way to address this is to have a single fee for each brevet card which is payable whether the riders complete / validate it or not

Or the organisers pay for the number of starters (with cards), not finishers? If the riders are not handing in Brevet cards it suggests they have them and if they have them, they must have paid for them?

The payment for different elements is much more.. granular than that. The Orgs pays for Brevets before the event, for validation after.

If there is a concern that AUK is missing out on income from DNS/DNFs then the AUK valiation cost might be rolled into the Brevet cost leaving only the BRM validation cost to be paid after the event (Back Off, Brus..., er, Paris).

However this increases the Orgs financial exposure in ordering the correct number of Brevets, which would likely increase requirement for entry in advance. [Some Orgs order a base number of pre-printed Brevets and have a stock of blanks to print up locally as demand requires].

Regardless, this isnt necessarily a real problem. ISTM very marginal. Unless the sums are significant at AUK level and AUK especially needs the money then this might not be a problem that needs fixing.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: phil d on June 09, 2010, 04:19:34 pm
I don't think we should get too bagged down with this - FF only noted it as a potential problem.  It doesn't seem to be just now.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: frankly frankie on June 09, 2010, 06:42:59 pm
If there is a concern that AUK is missing out on income from DNS/DNFs then the AUK valiation cost might be rolled into the Brevet cost leaving only the BRM validation cost to be paid after the event (Back Off, Brus..., er, Paris).

Straying off topic, sorry -
no there is no such concern AFAIK.  I simply mention that an individual who witholds their card from the validation process is not 'playing the game' in much the same way as an individual who declines to vote at a general election (holds hand up here) is open to disapproval in some people's eyes.  ie, if everyone behaved like that, it would be a problem.  When only a few do, it isn't.

And the problem with transferring all charges to the Brevet Cards as ordered for the event, is that many Organisers are remarkably mean about this already, eg under-ordering then making photocopies, or utilising old stock left over from previous events, etc - all to save a penny or two.  This would get worse if all charges were transferred to the cards.

Anyway, the future surely is each entrant printing off their own personalised event card from online, as part of the entry process.  AUK will have to find another way to take in the money.

</ off topic>

Competitive?  Well, here's a thing.  I stopped riding audaxes a few years ago when a change in work patterns made it difficult for me to stay fit enough to ride them fast, finishing in say the first 20% of the field.  I could still ride and finish at or near the tail of the field - but that has no attraction to me whatsoever.  There's no logic to it - I'm well aware that in this sport, in some ways the slowest riders are its highest achievers - and they get all my respect - but it's just not me, sorry.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: mattc on June 09, 2010, 07:02:55 pm
And the problem with transferring all charges to the Brevet Cards as ordered for the event, is that many Organisers are remarkably mean about this already, eg under-ordering then making photocopies, or utilising old stock left over from previous events, etc - all to save a penny or two.  This would get worse if all charges were transferred to the cards.
Do they mean me ... ?  :-[   
I don't want to reduce the AUK take, but reusing Brevet Cards vs over-ordering the things seems an obvious green thing to do. No doubt I'll be shot down by the
"don't bring politics into bike riding" brigade, but I hate waste, and those thick glossy multi-coloured cards going in the bin really irritates me.

Ordering blanks seems like the workaround - but I note the Event Planner makes it deliberately difficult to print off inlays to stick in!

Incidentally, I would think this behaviour is far more prevalent on BPs, where I feel AUK contributes much less to the event [running a BP is like marketing for AUK, isn't it? :) ]

Quote
Anyway, the future surely is each entrant printing off their own personalised event card from online, as part of the entry process.
Yup,  I'm surprised noone else has mentioned this - it seems the logical progression, given riders are doing this with routesheets already. Would save time at the start too.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Martin on June 09, 2010, 08:55:36 pm
If there is a concern that AUK is missing out on income from DNS/DNFs then the AUK valiation cost might be rolled into the Brevet cost leaving only the BRM validation cost to be paid after the event (Back Off, Brus..., er, Paris).

Straying off topic, sorry -
no there is no such concern AFAIK.  I simply mention that an individual who witholds their card from the validation process is not 'playing the game' in much the same way as an individual who declines to vote at a general election (holds hand up here) is open to disapproval in some people's eyes

I've only met a few refusniks in this respect; some are non AUK's who are happy to blast round a 100 for the small entry fee and can't be bothered with the infos so don't fill them in; they are presumably not aware that they have already paid for the card to be validated but there's not much I can do with their cards except recycle them (no not on another event!) even if they have ridden the whole distance and it makes no odds whether they are validated or not in the scheme of things; although a few extra finishers might help boost AUK's figures.

the others are riders who are happy to ride around a DIY / Perm 200 and CNBA with the paperwork to get it validated
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: teethgrinder on June 09, 2010, 09:01:21 pm
So I think competitiveness - whatever form it takes - is much more about the individual personalities involved, than anything else.

I agree. I've seem more competitive riding from people riding 200s than I've seen in some (but not all) points chasers who've bagged over 200 points in a season.
AUK doesn't seem to have much to offer after 100 points in a season though, which I think is a shame. Points chasing is points chasing howeve few or many you are aiming for. The championship/points award is just to acknowledge the person who has gained the most points that season (as long as it complies with the 50% rule)
I think it's a shame that once you've got 100 points that there are no other tagrets to aim for, except maybe your own personal goals.
It saddens me a bit too. When I began Audaxing, I was inspired by points chasers (among others) and I doubt that I'd have done anywhere near as much as I have if it wasn't for them. I hope that what I've done has encouraged others to do more or even do some. I think that once you get more people doing more, it has a knock on effect and there is more of a spirit in long distance cycling, rather than a few lone riders doing big rides alone. Having lots of riders getting over 200 points in a season is much better than one loon getting 400 one season, once. But maybe that one loon with 400 points will be joined by the others in years to come while a new loon achieves 500 in a season? I bet that in the early days of AUK that not many would have guessed that several people would gain over 100 points in a season as regularly as happens now.
I think that AUK has spent too much time in the last 15 years worrying about whether it's competitive or not instead of the more important issue of encouraging long distance cycling.
I joined AUK for long distance cycling, but sometimes I think that it is long distance cycling, but with limits.



Competitive?  Well, here's a thing.  I stopped riding audaxes a few years ago when a change in work patterns made it difficult for me to stay fit enough to ride them fast, finishing in say the first 20% of the field.  I could still ride and finish at or near the tail of the field - but that has no attraction to me whatsoever.  There's no logic to it - I'm well aware that in this sport, in some ways the slowest riders are its highest achievers - and they get all my respect - but it's just not me, sorry.


These rides are great fun if you're fit and can get your sleep. But when you're up aginst the time limit, they really are tough. I've been at both ends of the field and the slow end is definitely tougher, unless you're there for tactical reasons (eg, it's a tough ride and you're not going to flog yourself when you know that you can stay just in time very comfortably without flogging yourself)
A lot of very fit and fast riders take an early bath when they find that they're not going as fast as they planned. It doesn't nesecarily make them competitive though. It's psychological. I know how it feels to go from riding at evens to be struggling to manage 10mph. It's very demoralising, or at least, it can be.
I strongly suspect that the longest standing active members of AUK are the ones that can happily ride slowly. I've noticed that most of the fast riders who do a lot of Audax don't seem to last as many years as the plodders. Not that all of those that are happy to plod are always slow.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: teethgrinder on June 09, 2010, 09:02:32 pm
the others are riders who are happy to ride around a DIY / Perm 200 and CNBA with the paperwork to get it validated

Some silly fool did that with the Grand Triangle about 12 years ago. :-[
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Gareth Rees on June 09, 2010, 09:04:53 pm
Anyway, the future surely is each entrant printing off their own personalised event card from online, as part of the entry process.

How would that work on a route with info controls?
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: Manotea on June 09, 2010, 10:58:51 pm
Anyway, the future surely is each entrant printing off their own personalised event card from online, as part of the entry process.

How would that work on a route with info controls?

Riders could collect them when they sign on. They could be printed on stickers to go in the brevet or simply on a piece of A6 paper to be kept with the Brevet.
Title: Re: If audax isn't competitive, then why bother with validation at all?
Post by: 3peaker on June 09, 2010, 11:13:35 pm
Of course Audax is Competitive.  Well, it is to me and I look at my Palmares and think ‘for how much longer?’  Will I have to go Titanium to keep within the time limit?  My first Audax challenge was in 1982, when I gained my first SR.  Being a TT-ist I used Audax as long-distance TT training.  I dabbled for a few years, opted out while serving in Germany and lost my low member number (0242?). I added a Trike SR as a challenge in 1993 and rode Trike PBP in 1995.  All these were personal challenges.  Following retirement in 2001, I found Audax was my preferred form of cycling, with Randonnee 5000, Ultra SR, Randonneur 25000 challenges meeting my wheels.  After a Trike blast in 2006, last year was a really competitive challenge; based on LEL for a potential 14 points, I went Trike mad and with a variety of early planning, good fortune and luck, emerged with the Trike Trophy, a new Trike Record and, to add cream, the Veteran’s Trophy.  As for speed, back in 1982 I was regularly in the first group home (or even home solo).  Now, I do not care for position; it is finishing in time that matters. It is something to do with age, something about equipment, something about ambition, something about enjoyment, something about fatigue.  Amassing loads-o-points blows out the red-blood count and mineral balance, so you are never fully recovered ride to ride.  Doing Trafalgar-Trafalgar (3100km with continuous 14hr days at 200km) was a real battle to keep up the minerals balance.

If you check the names of Trophy winners, many now form the History of Audax UK.  But without their inspiration, endeavour and enthusiasm, the current crop would have no yardstick against which to measure.  Also, many come into Audax from a touring base; I came in from a TT base, so my outlook might have a different complexion.

SteveP