Author Topic: Beginner-friendly 200s  (Read 1964 times)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2020, 07:39:47 pm »
My first 200km was the Kennet Valley Run (Late March), and still fastest calendar 200km.  Start is just south of Reading.  50-150km is 'linear' Hungerford <-> Bratton; wind direction can make a difference.
Can't believe that hasn't been mentioned  :P

One of the longest running 'early*' 200s, always a good field, good food options every 50km. Good train links. Sort of medium-rolling overall. Check the forecast for possible massive headwind on 50-100km bit!

*(I say early - I do believe it was in late Feb in the early days. Google confirms 2006-2009)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2020, 08:03:59 pm »
My first 200km was the Kennet Valley Run (Late March), and still fastest calendar 200km.  Start is just south of Reading.  50-150km is 'linear' Hungerford <-> Bratton; wind direction can make a difference.
Can't believe that hasn't been mentioned  :P

One of the longest running 'early*' 200s, always a good field, good food options every 50km. Good train links. Sort of medium-rolling overall. Check the forecast for possible massive headwind on 50-100km bit!

*(I say early - I do believe it was in late Feb in the early days. Google confirms 2006-2009)

I had 8 suggestions for London and the SE and didn't want to make the list too overwhelming, otherwise I may as well link to the calendar.  :)

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2020, 08:39:18 pm »
The Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials always attract a range of types of rider. Did my first 200 on the event one year.

I hated this ride (I've done it twice). There were an awful lot of riders with little in the way of skills- by which I mean road awareness and courtesy to other riders. The organiser went to a great deal of trouble to ask if you were riding with anyone... and then put my half and the other half of our tandem in different start groups. I also got a bit narky with them regarding the annual spam to persuade me to enter again.

To be fair I could say the same about some riders on my commute - not sure the organiser can do much apart from advice in the notes, which may or may not get read.

Ha don’t know when you rode your 200s but there were 3 different organisers between 2012 - 2017. The last one wasn’t particularly organised.  I’m the new organiser having revived it. Local CTC group will be helping as usual but I’ll be seeing everyone off. No spam from me.

If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

Tomsk

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Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2020, 08:39:49 pm »
Excellent! ACME gets a  :thumbsup: too. Thank You.

Martin

  • Levada Grande (do Norte)
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Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2020, 11:45:56 pm »
Double Dutch is probably the flattest event in the calendar at 192m ascent in 192km but very wind dependent; I have seen broken riders at the finish one year  :'( but most years everyone gets round OK

BTW it's rebranded as Nederlandse Dubbele this year for the 10th anniversary tulip edition  :)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2020, 11:53:24 pm »
Double Dutch is probably the flattest event in the calendar at 192m ascent in 192km but very wind dependent; I have seen broken riders at the finish one year  :'(

BTW it's rebranded as Nederlandse Dubbele this year for the 10th anniversary tulip edition  :)

192m of ascent?! You call that *FLAT*?!?

https://www.strava.com/activities/1707228772

You're just not trying :p

Flatest 200 on the Dutch calendar appears to be https://www.strava.com/activities/2765667729

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

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2020, 11:54:36 pm »
Yes, on paper it's one of the easier ones, but unfortunately Martin insists that we have to ride it on bikes instead, so it never is >:(

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2020, 07:28:55 am »
As a fixer, I generally define flat as anything which I don't have to walk, though my favourite descriptor is 'rolling flat'...

I once explained to some bemused overseas riders the meaning of the word 'scenic' when applied to AUK events, and the implications of a ride being described as 'very scenic'...

Back on topic, I'll give a shoutout for the London Ditchling Devil 200, which was flat but currently isn't, but that's down to me not the route which makes up for lack of ironing board qualities with the largest field and best collection of catered controls in audax. Probably. :)

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2020, 11:49:13 am »
Looks good, however I would just question Man of Kent's transport links, as pretty sure there are no trains on Sunday getting in before the start.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2020, 12:57:49 pm »
Looks good, however I would just question Man of Kent's transport links, as pretty sure there are no trains on Sunday getting in before the start.

You're right. First train into Tonbridge gets in just before 9. I'll update :)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2020, 01:36:49 pm »
The organiser went to a great deal of trouble to ask if you were riding with anyone... and then put my half and the other half of our tandem in different start groups.

Ooh, that's a good one.  *makes notes for exciting new cockups to make in her time-team capacity*


Quote
There's an assumption that new audaxers will be slow. That isn't necessarily the case. All you need for a ride to be beginner friendly is a lack of cliquey-ness and good organisation. Laying on a load of food doesn't always mean those requirements are met.

Yes.  Same goes for self-sufficiency or being afraid of the dark or whatever.  When I first rode an audax, I was perfectly capable of the bike riding side of things, it was the time limits and what-do-you-do-with-this-brevet-card stuff that I needed help with.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2020, 07:54:53 pm »
Here's the link then folks...

https://www.graceqom.com/journal/choosing-your-first-200/

Hope some of you find it useful. As I say, it's not an exhaustive list but more of a distillation of the calendar for those more unfamiliar with organisers and the typical audax jargon we're more fluent in.
given the impossibility of pleasing everyone, that looks a good selection! Good idea to give a regional spread. Must have been hard ... and Wales was obviously tricky. All 3 rides are in the bottom-right corner (and 2 start in England :P )

Can I now please have a list of easy, scenic, good-value 1000km+ rides for 2021, that will likely have spaces for the chronically disorganised?   :-*
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2020, 08:13:52 pm »
Can I now please have a list of easy, scenic, good-value 1000km+ rides for 2021, that will likely have spaces for the chronically disorganised?   :-*

Here you go:-
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2020, 08:36:12 pm »
Yes.  Same goes for self-sufficiency or being afraid of the dark or whatever.  When I first rode an audax, I was perfectly capable of the bike riding side of things, it was the time limits and what-do-you-do-with-this-brevet-card stuff that I needed help with.

Yeah. When I started I was fine with self sufficiency, riding in the dark, cold, even the wind, all no problem. But my first 200 was my first metric century, my first imperial century, and my first double metric century. I had a rough idea of the brevet card from reading stuff on here, but exact implementation was a learning exercise.

Everyone is different.

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

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2020, 09:07:52 pm »
My first 200 was a New Forest event. It was well organised (though once a cafe control closed before i got there), friendly enough (with enough space to ride by myself or with others), pretty good transport links, and nice roads / scenery.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2020, 09:20:52 pm »
My first Audax was a flat 300, starting from Doncaster at midnight.
I had lived and worked in Doncaster, so knew the town and its station.
I was accustomed to missing sleep as a junior doctor.
I'd been on a Sports Medicine course earlier in the year so was aware of which foods were likely to work.
I'd previously done 200km by myself at Audax speed.
My bike was a light touring machine I used for commuting and tours.

All in all, I felt well-prepared.

Everything went fine.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2020, 09:47:49 pm »
My first 200km was the Kennet Valley Run (Late March), and still fastest calendar 200km.  Start is just south of Reading.  50-150km is 'linear' Hungerford <-> Bratton; wind direction can make a difference.
Can't believe that hasn't been mentioned  :P

One of the longest running 'early*' 200s, always a good field, good food options every 50km. Good train links. Sort of medium-rolling overall. Check the forecast for possible massive headwind on 50-100km bit!

*(I say early - I do believe it was in late Feb in the early days. Google confirms 2006-2009)

It's far better to have the massive headwind from 50 to 100km as you then have a massive tailwind from 100km to 150km.  I think that's one of the best bits of this event, marshalling a group to get to the half-way control early, have a good feed and then ride back smiling at those still battling there way out. 
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 170 (metric) 520 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2020, 09:48:56 pm »
My first audax was a 200km in 1985. Then I took some time to recover and did my second, a 600km in 2018.


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CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • Chartered accountant in 5 different decades
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2020, 09:49:27 pm »
The Upper Thames 200.  Nice route.  Three legs of equal length.  Tailwind (usually) on the last 50km.  Free fireworks displays.  Mary's excellent cooking at the finish.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 170 (metric) 520 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2020, 09:54:14 pm »
In November though. Obviously that doesn't necessarily make it super tough but it does mean there is reduced daylight, and likelihood of poor weather (this year's was pretty damp). It's a good ride (as are all audax rides I've done) but I wouldn't really pick it as an ideal 'first toe in the water.'
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2020, 10:02:00 pm »
Yes.  Weather is a problem multiplier.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2020, 10:30:54 pm »
My July first Audax was a deliberate choice. There were only a few hours of darkness following the midnight start. I'd ridden through the night alone before so that didn't worry me.

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2020, 04:58:01 pm »
Slightly OT but im hoping to put on a beginner friendly 300 in early July in Alba. 

Night start (2230) from Stirling which has direct rail services from Glasgow, Falkirk, Edinburgh and even outposts such as London. 

Just a little riding in what passes for night time in Scotland in July (daylight by 0330) and full on village hall TLC at 95km and 185km.  I think Mr Cameron from Forfar may be approached to provide pastry based sustainance tho im not sure if its better as supper or breakfast. 

2,500m climbing according to RWGPS, even if thats not bang on this is probably the least lumpy 300 possible starting from Stirling.  Route is basically Stirling - Perth - Forfar - Farnell - Edzell - Kirrie - Stanley - Comrie  :thumbsup: - Stirling.

Might even throw in a bag drop if theres demand, and maybe a Brewdog finish for the Rapha clad brigade. 

Im waiting approval from the Eassie Hall authorities to use their swanky hall in the dead on night. 

As a Falkirk Bairn theres always a frission of excitement and a whiff of danger while walking the streets of Stirling. 

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • Chartered accountant in 5 different decades
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Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2020, 11:49:03 am »
Slightly OT but im hoping to put on a beginner friendly 300 in early July in Alba. 

Night start (2230) from Stirling which has direct rail services from Glasgow, Falkirk, Edinburgh and even outposts such as London. 
 

The one time I started a 300 at this hour (well 2330 from Carmarthen) I struggled massively with the dozies throughout the night, even with the entertainment of Cambrian hills and Army exercises on the Black Mountain.  The scariest bit was when those squaddies hunkered down by the side of the road resolved themselves into ditch markers.  :facepalm:  However, a good feed at 95k might well have been the solution to such difficulties.  (It doesn't take advanced statistics to work out the chance of finding a pastry at 3am in Llanwrtyd Wells)
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 170 (metric) 520 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: Beginner-friendly 200s
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2020, 02:54:27 pm »
My first audax was the Greenwich Mean Climb 300, done with routesheet only as had no Garmin at the time.

Talk about a baptism of fire. Has served as a great point of reference though. 'yes this is tough, but it's not as tough as that time I was trying to read a routesheet in the pitch dark somewhere in the High Weald'