The distances covered can be huge, with some events incorporating overnight stops, but for an Apprentice then the distances I am concerned about are around 100km+, a baby audax if you like.
For those who dont know me, or have not read my profile, then I should say I am a very late comer to cycling, having only taken up cycling after I retired when I was 60 yo, and so have no inbuilt reservoir of core cycling endurance; 100 km is a VERY LONG WAY !
My normal cycling involves much shorter distances and is invariably aimed at discovering new tea shops. However at the beginning of this year a friend, a veteran racing cyclist who is still incredibly fit, told me of his aim to cycle 10 audax events this year and suggested that I should give it a try.
In a moment of foolishness I agreed and the randonneurs at my local cycling club, Derby Mercury RC, also gave me encouragement. A previous post described my first adventure and now I have completed a second audax, The Three Fields around Alfreton and the Nottinghamshire lanes which was another 104km and involved another 1100 m of climbing.
Team Mercury were again out in force making an early arrival at the food stop
I have to say that stopping at this Church Hall was a delight; the local church ladies had provided streams of tea and coffee all supplemented by a vast array of home made cakes. It seemed a shame to leave but leave I must and so on towards Holocaust Hill and then some splendid scenic views
Cyclists need food, lots of it, when attempting long distance rides and I treated myself to a wonderful plate of beans on toast with a fried egg on top at Southwell...true rocket fuel
It has been explained ( INSTRUCTED!! ) that all audaxers should have a rear mudflap on their bikes, the use of mudguards is of course not up for debate, and so, in an attempt to obey ' the rules ' my Mercian now proudly boasts a rear mudflap in Mercury Blue.
This was an excellent ride, though I could have dome without the loss of my climbing gears on the last 10km hilly climb to the finish, big gear hill climbing is not to be recommended for Old Age Pensioners, but Mercian have now fixed this problem for me and replaced the ruined gear cable.
Next up will be Charnwood In The Spring, another baby audax but with hopefully slightly less climbing and somewhat warmer weather.
I doubt that I will complete 10 events but I am certainly enjoying new rides around the country.