Author Topic: Happy New Year - Audax Adventures from North Worcestershire 2021  (Read 422 times)

AUDAXES FOR 2021: HAPPY NEW YEAR AND SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO.


Happy New Year all. If stories are to be believed, 2021 will eventually improve compared to 2020. Last year, Phil Richards managed to get his Sunrise and Snowdrop Express audax done just in time before the pandemic hit. Whilst some events were cancelled, the pop-up x rated audaxes to Montgomery and to the Cotswolds were a success even with reduced facilities and a restriction on entries.


What do we have in store for 2021?


· The Kidderminster Killer will return with vengeance on 24th July. Following reports that some sections were too easy in 2019, that problem has now been redressed through some small but significant tweaks to the 2021 route. Starting from Belbroughton the route takes an obscene 215km route to Montgomery and back. 3.75AAA. Entries: https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8716 Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33297530


· Begwyns, Books and Stones is scheduled for 17th April and is a brand new 200km ‘x rated’ event starting from Stourport, heading for the Begwyns, the Wye Valley, Arthur’s Stones and back through the Teme Valley. There are hilly sections but the route contains flatter sections in between. It is already fully booked but please get in contact for the reserves list. A few riders usually declare ‘DNS’ before the event. Entries: https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8906 Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33993917


· Gospel Pass Skivers is another new 200km x-rated event starting from Bewdley on Friday 14thMay. No prizes for guessing the destination of this event. Whilst the Gospel Pass is a popular location for many audax events, quite a few sections en-route are branch new, especially on the Herefordshire section through Woolhope and behind the Malvern Hills. The route qualifies for 3.25 AAA. Entries https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8959. Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34702797


· Summer Brevet Populaire. Phil Richards is planning a summer weekday Brevet Populaire, so watch this space for details.


· Beyond the Dyke on 2nd October is dedicated to the route’s founder and former audax organiser, the late Alan Mason who passed away earlier in 2020. Beyond the Dyke starts from Belbroughton heading for the other side of Offa’s Dyke. Stops are at Craven Arms and Presteigne. Entries: https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8945. Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34675201


Numbers are currently restricted to 30 people for April and May audaxes but if regulations are relaxed then the cap will be removed. The Sunrise and Snowdrop Express will not take place this year due to the likelihood of continued restrictions. The Clee to Heaven remains suspended due to uncertainty on control venues.


The state of audaxing in 2021

2021 will still have its challenges for audaxing with many of the earlier audaxes unable to proceed due uncertainty on control locations, organiser availability, etc. The Audax UK calendar pages suggest that many other events later in the year will also remain suspended unless the organisers make eleventh hour decisions to proceed. The likelihood is that there will be considerably fewer audaxes overall resulting in demand outstripping supply, exacerbated by the current cap of 30 entrants per event. That is one reason why we have two extra calendar events planned for April and May. If you are planning RRTY (Randonee Round the Year) or Super Randonneur Series then you will need to plan well in advance for calendar events. If events remain in short supply then I may consider repeating the Montgomery Madness and Cotswolds audaxes during the autumn on an x-rated no thrills basis.


However, with air of optimism surrounding vaccination and post pandemic recovery, audaxes will start to gather pace at some stage later in the year.


I hope you can join our events during the coming year.


Kind regards
Philip Whiteman