Sick of overpriced Sportives? Want to ride through some of the North Easts most stunning scenery (assuming you can see it through the potential mist, rain or snow)? Ever wondered what an Audax event is like?
Houghton CC are running their annual 100km Audax event - Killhope Grimpeur on Sunday March 25th 2012.
If you have never ridden an Audax event before, they can be described as “Fast Touring” or “The Original Sportives” and consist of a set route, over which you have to navigate yourself.
Direction cards are supplied rather than big signs telling you which direction to go and an emphasis is placed on self-reliance so there will be no feed stations, however you will pass enough Cafes to see you through. Every so often you need to drop in at a check point to get your Brevet card stamped. Time limits are set in which you have to complete the relevant sections of the route however and the times are easily achievable. The only problem you are likely to have with the times is if you are too fast and the Checkpoint isn’t open in which case you will need to wait until it does!
The traditional Audax rider will have a beard, a Dave Yates fixie and a Carradice bag (and it is infinitely sobering when one of these riders passes you on your 20 speed racing bike on the climb from Rookhope to Allenheads into a 20mph head wind!), however you will also find many racers on super light carbon bikes using the events as a social training ride.
A couple of Barnesbury riders rode the event in 2011 for the first time and were really impressed. It’s a great route, the pace was good, but not too fast and not to slow (excluding the climbs where you stop caring about the pace and just want to get to the top!).It was also probably the friendliest cycle event we have done. So much so, we’ve entered again.
And if you hadn’t guessed – it’s quite hilly, with the potential to be very windy and cold, and to top it off the last climb at about 80km is Crawleyside! It's also very civilised with (well last year anyway) tea and scones afterwards.
Audax UK Entry Details
Route Map (from 2009)
Please note that the route may change and that we are linking to this map as an example only. Don’t use it to navigate!