Category Archives: Audax

My first but not last Hilly Audax

July 2015 was the first time I tried to ride my bike in Derbyshire, a 50 mile route from Buxton that totally destroyed me, mentally and physically and I vowed I would never go again.

Untitled After that,  I have avoided hills as much as possible because just the thought of them made me panic and break into a sweat.

Then I changed my bike, started getting stronger,doing longer rides including three, 200km Audaxes and The lap of Anglia, so when Geoff suggested an Audax in Derbyshire, after my initial panic I thought I have to do this because Geoff has accompanied me on the long Audaxes its only fair I accompany him on a hilly one.

So yesterday I found myself in Alfreton for the Hilly Beware of the Plague Audax around the Peak District. I wore my SWNC kit and It attracted many funny looks, many of the other riders wondering if I knew what a hill was !!!

I was told get to Eyam tea rooms and all the hills would be done, so off we set and I actually found myself enjoying the lovely scenery, amazing views, and the climbs, it felt like in no time at all we arrived at the first control point at Eyam T-rooms.Some of the other riders teased me saying you made it then !! Then proceeded to tell me that I had not seen a hill yet !!!

UntitledWe left the tea rooms with me wondering what was to come, but happily, I can say it was just more great scenery fabulous views and enjoyable riding, In fact, we were enjoying ourselves so much we forgot to stop at Monsal Head and get a photo of the viaduct !!  luckily we seemed to miss all the heavy showers just catching a little drizzle now and again.

As we headed back to Alfreton we passed the Crich Stand, Geoff suggested we go take a look but as it was at the top of a long hill I declined. We arrived back in Alfreton at 3.30 just as the heavens opened and I can honestly say it was a very enjoyable Audax.

Sadly this will most likely be the last Audax I get to do this year as Geoff will be going off on his travels again soon but I am sure next year we shall be doing more of the hilly Audaxes.

Norfolk Special Audax

No sooner was Geoff back from his travels and I had him out on a 200km Audax  strike while the iron is hot was my plan.

It was the Norfolk Special from Lound near Lowestoft, it’s quite a drive for an early start so we decided to stay over in Lowestoft.

Now we have done quite a few Audax it’s nice to see familiar faces on these rides.

I had already done one 200km Audax but this was to be Geoffs first, I knew he was perfectly capable of doing it, it’s just a matter of pacing yourself, something Geoff is not too good at. He starts off quickly trying to keep up with the fast boys then runs out of steam before the finish, whereas I go out slower and have energy at the end.

The route was described as offering a bit of everything that is nice about Norfolk – the Broads, the hillier and scenic north Norfolk, and the North Norfolk coastal village of Stiffkey and attractive market towns, finishing on gentle terrain along the flatter but still pleasant and quiet lanes of South Norfolk

As always the route did not disappoint us, we were lucky with the weather, the route had plenty of info points and 2 cafe stops, one in Wymondham where our friend Jayne lives, so we arranged to meet her there for a coffee which was nice.

Doing these rides has taught me that there is more to riding than bombing round the countryside as fast as possible which means I enjoy the more relaxed riding an Audax offers.

So another fab day out on our bikes Geoff said never again but I have other plans !!!!!!

A busy few months

While Geoff has been away touring around South Korea and Japan, I have been filling my time doing the things I love….. running, biking and walking.

First It was the LDWA Daffodil Dawdle, Gina and I have walked the Daffodil Dawdle before from Kirtling, in unforgettable conditions which included a lot of Mud, Rain and Snow, last year we gave it a miss opting to do the Flowers of Suffolk later in the year instead where Jo and Jayne joined us too. We enjoyed that walk so much that we decided to risk the Daffodil Dawdle again.This year it was from Stradbroke and luckily we were blessed with a lovely sunny day and a beautiful route. Many people run or run/walk these events and we were inspired by these people and have decided that a challenge for next year will be to run/walk the 18 miles

Easter and a 4-day break for me, I usually hate Bank Holidays when Geoff is away but thanks to Parkrun and SWNC I had a fab Easter break, filled with running biking and fun.

My Next adventure was a 200km Audax, something I have wanted to do for a while, so when the opportunity came up to join a couple of friends I jumped at the chance. It was an awesome day, starting from Seething, riding on lovely country lanes and roads, the route took us out to the Maglia Rosso cafe near Bury St Edmunds then we headed to the coast via Framingham, Saxmundham and Southwold before returning back to Seething. The miles just seemed to fly by and I returned home eager to book another 200km Audax with Geoff.

Amazingly my next big event was running Parkrun number 100, not such a big achievement when many have run 200 but for me it was huge as I was the person that was never going to do Parkrun, why would I want to set my alarm clock on a Saturday I told everyone but it took just one Parkrun and I was hooked, now I cannot imagine a weekend without a Parkrun

 

Then to top it all off there was the 10k GEAR run, I have done this run many times but had to miss it last year due to injury, so it was nice to be back running a home event with many lovely friends and Ladybirds. This year it was being run by the Asda foundation and as a runner, I can say it was very well organised with a great medal, T-shirt and goodie bag. There was also the most amazing amount of support around the route, which provided a magic atmosphere.Due to not running for 10 days and doing 250 plus miles on my bike I didn’t expect to run a good time, but my legs had other ideas, a great time of 56.53 missing out on a P/B by 10 seconds !! After the run we all went to the pub, enjoying food, drink and of course lots of chatting and it really did feel like I just about knew everyone.

Now Geoff is home for the summer and I have lots of exciting things planned for him !!!!!!

New Year QE2 100km Audax

One of my Christmas gifts from Geoff was an Audax membership, Audax rides are something I really enjoy and as Geoff prefers these to sportive’s it something we can enjoy doing together.

So with this in mind we booked our first Audax of 2017, the New year QE2 100km from Swaffham for Jan 14th , little did we know that this weekend there would be a bad weather warning !

The sprinkling of snow which arrived early on Friday 13th was followed by strong wind and low freezing temperatures. I think it was the wind that saved the day because it dried out all the roads leaving just a few icy patches to look out for.

Thankfully the strong wind  disappeared over night leaving us with a very sunny if cold day, this sun did cause a few problems though as it was very strong and low making visibility hard at times.

The route had info points at Docking, Swanton Novers and Hulver street with a control point at Nortons cafe, where the coffee and scones were as good as ever. It was the first real outing for my Hip Flask, a christmas gift from Matthew, I filled it with home made Sloe Gin which hit the spot on this cold day.

Luck was on our side and we enjoyed a great ride, only having to take real care at a few hazardous places, unfortunately on the way to Bradenham we had to help two guys who came off on ice just behind us and I believe one has a fractured hip, it could so easily have been us but that is the risk we take.

We arrived back at Swaffham community centre 5 and a half hours after setting off ,we were greeted with Home made soup ,rolls, bread pudding and tea/coffee, which we enjoyed along with many other riders.

A great start to our Audax year, many thanks to Jonathan and all the volunteers who make these events possible and I am looking forward to riding many more especially my first 200 km Audax with Julie sometime in May when the weather should hopefully be warmer.

Cambridge Autumnal 100k Audax

The  Cambridge Autumnal 100k Audax was my 5th Audax ride this year, I so love these rides as they are far more relaxed than sportives, cost a lot less to enter and it feels like a real day out rather than a race to finish as quickly as possible and get home. The food is usually pretty good too !!

I was doing this Audax with 2 girlfriends, Jo and Gina,in fact it was Jo’s first Audax and the first one where i was in charge of the navigating, which did make me a little nervous, Unlike when walking I confess to not being able to follow the written route sheets on my bike so have to totally rely on my Garmin 1000.

The start was from Girton and a nice breakfast had been laid on for us so after booking in we enjoyed tea and toast before setting off , the organiser assured me the garmin route would be excellent but was happy to see that i also had a written route sheet just in case ,not that it would have helped me at all !!

img_4021The route was going to be  slightly undulating and take us through cambridgeshire suffolk and essex , with controls at Great Thurlow, Thaxted and Saffron waldron, then an information control at Balsham, the amazing thing is the TCX file was so good it told me at intervals how many km to control points and also told me when we had reached them and was always spot on .

It was a little hairy coming back through central Cambridge at 3pm but we made it without running over any suicidal shoppers who just walked straight out in front of you without even looking !!!

On our return we had a slap up meal consisting of vegetable chilli, cheese/ham rolls, lemon/toffee cake plus tea/coffee which we totally enjoyed while having a good  girlie chat

Next year I hope to move on to do some 200k Audaxes which I am sure Geoff will enjoy if he can stay in the country long enough !!