First Audax - well, nearly (long)

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Danny Colyer, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/cycling/ridereports/cheddar05.html>

    I'd fancied trying an audax ever since I first read about them, years
    ago, but I'd never got round to it. This year I read several weeks in
    advance about the Tasty Cheddar 100km. It started and finished in
    Bristol, which was important - the thought of driving halfway across the
    country for a bike ride has never appealed to me. By the time I'd
    ridden to the start, and ridden home again at the end, the total
    distance would be about 80 miles. That's a long way to ride with
    October weather, particularly bearing in mind the hills. But I booked
    the time off from the family, registered, and just decided to be
    prepared to wimp out if it was wet and windy.

    A few days before the event, the forecast was for a grey day, with
    plenty of showers and stronger winds than I liked the idea of. It
    didn't change much as the day approached, except for the forecast winds
    to get lighter. Anyway, they were forecast to be stronger in the
    afternoon than in the morning, and in the afternoon they should be in my
    favour.

    Thursday and Friday were grey, damp and windy. When I went to bed on
    Friday the forecast was for more of the same.

    I left my alarm set as if for work and got up as soon as it went off (so
    10 minutes earlier than I get up for work). I opened the curtains to a
    blue sky, glorious sunshine and not a breath of wind. I checked the
    forecast, it was to be sunny all day, with no mention of wind. No
    excuse to wimp out and visit the 2 local breweries that were having an
    open day, then.

    After a small bowl of cereal (all I can manage at that time of the
    morning), I left at 08:20. I should have got to the start for 09:00
    with no problems. Unfortunately I had trouble finding the Create Centre.
    I didn't actually make a wrong turning - I just thought I had, and spent
    quite a while trying to figure out where I /should/ have gone.

    (For those who know the area better than I do, I got my roundabouts
    mixed up in the centre of Bristol. I knew I wanted to turn right from
    what I thought was the Bedminster Bridge roundabout, and that's exactly
    what I did. I found myself on York Road, which I didn't think was right.
    I checked the A-Z and found that York Road was a left turn from the
    Bedminster Bridge roundabout, so I turned round and went back to the
    roundabout. Eventually I worked out that what I had /thought/ was the
    Bedminster Bridge roundabout was actually the Temple Gate roundabout.
    By turning into York Road, I had been heading in the right direction all
    along, /towards/ the Bedminster Bridge roundabout. I hate trying to
    navigate in the centre of Bristol.)

    Anyway, I reached the Create Centre at 09:20. I had planned to have a
    sandwich before starting, and there was no way I was starting the ride
    without one. So I was half an hour late starting. That put a stop to
    my primary navigation plan, which was to ride with the bunch and hope
    that enough of them had done it before and would know where they were
    going. I forgot to check my mileage at the start, but based on my
    mileage at the first control it must have been about 10.

    The ride started by following the appalling (if you're on slick tyres)
    cycle route along the West bank of the Avon, opposite the Portway. If
    I'd twigged beforehand I might have planned a different route (and I'd
    probably have got lost).

    Not too long after leaving the cyclepath, I found a nice descent. I
    changed up to, and then over, the big ring. Then had to stop and put my
    chain back on.

    My legs had had a hard day the previous Sunday. I'd made an effort
    during the week to rest them and replenish my glycogen reserves
    (including forcing myself to take it easy riding to and from work the
    two days before the event), but every time I hit a climb it was
    painfully obvious that I hadn't done enough. Still, I passed the first
    two stragglers, checking their route guides, at 10:10, just after the
    first sign post to Clapton and about 7 miles after starting.

    In Clevedon there was an instruction to turn right opposite church,
    signposted Sea Front. I found a church with a right turn opposite it,
    but no signpost to the sea front - just a cul-de-sac sign. So I carried
    on for a short distance. I could see the sea on my right, and no sign
    of another church, so I decided the previous turning must have been the
    right one. I went back to it and followed the road to its end, by which
    time it was clear that I'd been right first time. So, back to the main
    road, and I eventually found another church with a right turn opposite,
    this time signposted to the sea front. I reached the first control at
    11:05 (or 11:08 according to Rich, who was manning it, 8 minutes late),
    with the computer showing 25.59 miles.

    Navigating out of Clevedon involved getting out the A-Z and hoping that
    Clevedon was included. Fortunately, it was. Cheddar was easy to find,
    and I reached the second control at 13:13, with 11 minutes to spare.
    The computer showed 44.01 miles.

    I stopped in Cheddar for a couple of truly vile tasting doughnuts.
    Don't buy doughnuts from Fortes ice cream parlour. I also replaced the
    black lenses in my cycling glasses with amber ones, a decision that I
    was to regret a couple of miles later when I had to change back because
    I had the sun in my eyes. It started to spit with rain while I was
    eating the doughnuts, but it didn't last long. I had intended to
    acquire more water in Cheddar, but upon consolidating my supplies I
    found that I had 3 full bottles and a smidgen more. I drank the smidgen
    and decided not to carry any more up the gorge.

    Part way up the gorge, I decided I'd be better off if I knew roughly how
    far I had to go. I stopped to check the map, and was passed by 4 riders
    who had left the control shortly after me (I soon passed two of them
    once I set off again). I reckoned that the serious climbing would
    finish no more than a mile from the control, so I set my computer to
    show trip distance and rode on with the expectation that the road would
    get easier before I reached 45 miles. I was right - just. I had
    another 2.3 miles of climbing before turning off of the gorge road, but
    they were much less severe (although perhaps not for the dead badger
    that I saw at about 46 miles).

    At the turning off of the Cheddar Gorge road, I met the other two riders
    who had passed me on the gorge. They were waiting for their mates to
    catch up. After the turn, the road continued to climb for a further 1.4
    miles. This was where I started having trouble following the route sheet.

    The route sheet told me to go straight on at the first crossroads, then
    right at the next crossroads, signposted West Harptree. I went straight
    on at the first crossroads. At the next crossroads I was ready to turn
    right, but noticed that West Harptree was signposted straight on. As I
    was pondering, the cyclists that I had met at the earlier turning caught
    up. One of them stopped and told me it was straight on here - the
    previous crossroads hadn't been included in the route sheet. He
    mentioned that he'd done the ride twice before, and had previously met
    people stuck at this particular crossroads complaining about the directions.

    He then stayed to wait for his mates to catch up again. I should have
    stayed with him, but instead I carried on. I must have missed a couple
    of instructions, and as a result I ended up going straight on at a
    crossroads where I should have turned right (I did check the sign, but
    West Harptree was signposted diagonally, it could just as easily have
    been pointing either right or straight on).

    By the time I realised my mistake, I'd ridden 2 miles (including a
    fairly long descent) out of my way. I managed to find my way to West
    Harptree, then had enormous difficulty working out where to go next. At
    this low point of the ride, as I was lost and it seemed unlikely that
    I'd make the third control on time, it started to rain. Hard. I did
    not welcome the cold shower, fortunately it only lasted a few minutes.

    I eventually found the steep hill into Hinton Blewett, and ended up
    walking it because my rear tyre couldn't get sufficient traction on the
    wet road. I reached the 3rd control at 15:45, 50 minutes after it
    closed! The computer showed 58.14 miles.

    After leaving the 3rd control, I wasted no time in getting lost again.
    The first instruction was to turn left at the T-junction signposted Chew
    Magna. I never found that T-junction (and I still can't find it on the
    map).

    The first junction I found was a crossroads. Well, sort of. The road
    bent round to the right, in what appeared to be completely the wrong
    direction, with straight on and left effectively being turnings. After
    looking at the map I decided that I needed to go straight on to Bishop
    Sutton. At Bishop Sutton I came to another crossroads, where I decided
    the best bet was to go straight on again and continue to follow the NCN
    route 3 signs. I lost the signs twice, each time struggling to find
    them again.

    When I found a signpost telling me that I was ½ mile from Stanton Drew,
    I was finally able to work out on the map where I was. I was only a
    mile off course, but it looked a lot more. I was also more than 6 miles
    - as the crow flies - from the finish, with only 10 minutes to get there
    and every chance of getting lost again in the attempt. I phoned Joe
    (the organiser) to tell him that I wouldn't be finishing on time and
    that I probably wouldn't bother finishing at all.

    Shortly after that, I worked out that I was probably closer to home than
    to the finish. Home would also be easier to find - all I had to do was
    follow the NCN route 10 signs. With sore knees (my right knee started
    to twinge at 47 miles, on the climb of Cheddar Gorge), home seemed like
    a very good place to head for. The decision was made painful by the
    thought of missing the mini beer festival that was supposedly being laid
    on for us at the finish.

    At 17:25, with the computer showing 66.09 miles, I was between Pensford
    and Compton Dando when I heard a sound from the direction of the rear
    wheel very much like that made by a flat tyre. I stopped and found that
    I had a flat rear tyre. As I fixed it, having to use my knife to remove
    a thorn, a WVM stopped to check that I was OK.

    One thing I *did* get out of my diversion was a photo of Compton church.
    I failed to get one when I passed this way last year, because my
    camera battery was flat.

    I arrived home at 19:50. The computer showed a distance of 77.35 miles,
    riding time 6:48:54, average riding speed 11.3mph. I'd ridden near
    enough the same number of miles that I'd expected to ride, they just
    weren't quite the same miles. I think I did all the climbs at least
    once, and then some. And, of course, I completed the all important
    climb of Cheddar Gorge.

    It was a nice ride, but would probably have been better with company.
    Thanks for organising it, Joe. Perhaps I'll try again next year. Maybe
    next time I'll find the start on time and manage to complete the route
    without making so many mistakes.

    --
    Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
    Tags:


  2. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/cycling/ridereports/cheddar05.html>

    I'd fancied trying an audax ever since I first read about them, years
    ago, but I'd never got round to it. This year I read several weeks in
    advance about the Tasty Cheddar 100km.

    Nice story Danny - thanks for sharing it with us.

    --
    Simon Mason
    http://www.simonmason.karoo.net
     
  3. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/cycling/ridereports/cheddar05.html>

    I'd fancied trying an audax ever since I first read about them, years
    ago, but I'd never got round to it. This year I read several weeks in
    advance about the Tasty Cheddar 100km. It started and finished in
    Bristol, which was important - the thought of driving halfway across the
    country for a bike ride has never appealed to me. By the time I'd
    ridden to the start, and ridden home again at the end, the total
    distance would be about 80 miles. That's a long way to ride with
    October weather, particularly bearing in mind the hills. But I booked
    the time off from the family, registered, and just decided to be
    prepared to wimp out if it was wet and windy.

    A few days before the event, the forecast was for a grey day, with
    plenty of showers and stronger winds than I liked the idea of. It
    didn't change much as the day approached, except for the forecast winds
    to get lighter. Anyway, they were forecast to be stronger in the
    afternoon than in the morning, and in the afternoon they should be in my
    favour.

    Thursday and Friday were grey, damp and windy. When I went to bed on
    Friday the forecast was for more of the same.

    I left my alarm set as if for work and got up as soon as it went off (so
    10 minutes earlier than I get up for work). I opened the curtains to a
    blue sky, glorious sunshine and not a breath of wind. I checked the
    forecast, it was to be sunny all day, with no mention of wind. No
    excuse to wimp out and visit the 2 local breweries that were having an
    open day, then.

    After a small bowl of cereal (all I can manage at that time of the
    morning), I left at 08:20. I should have got to the start for 09:00
    with no problems. Unfortunately I had trouble finding the Create Centre.
    I didn't actually make a wrong turning - I just thought I had, and spent
    quite a while trying to figure out where I /should/ have gone.

    (For those who know the area better than I do, I got my roundabouts
    mixed up in the centre of Bristol. I knew I wanted to turn right from
    what I thought was the Bedminster Bridge roundabout, and that's exactly
    what I did. I found myself on York Road, which I didn't think was right.
    I checked the A-Z and found that York Road was a left turn from the
    Bedminster Bridge roundabout, so I turned round and went back to the
    roundabout. Eventually I worked out that what I had /thought/ was the
    Bedminster Bridge roundabout was actually the Temple Gate roundabout.
    By turning into York Road, I had been heading in the right direction all
    along, /towards/ the Bedminster Bridge roundabout. I hate trying to
    navigate in the centre of Bristol.)

    Anyway, I reached the Create Centre at 09:20. I had planned to have a
    sandwich before starting, and there was no way I was starting the ride
    without one. So I was half an hour late starting. That put a stop to
    my primary navigation plan, which was to ride with the bunch and hope
    that enough of them had done it before and would know where they were
    going. I forgot to check my mileage at the start, but based on my
    mileage at the first control it must have been about 10.

    The ride started by following the appalling (if you're on slick tyres)
    cycle route along the West bank of the Avon, opposite the Portway. If
    I'd twigged beforehand I might have planned a different route (and I'd
    probably have got lost).

    Not too long after leaving the cyclepath, I found a nice descent. I
    changed up to, and then over, the big ring. Then had to stop and put my
    chain back on.

    My legs had had a hard day the previous Sunday. I'd made an effort
    during the week to rest them and replenish my glycogen reserves
    (including forcing myself to take it easy riding to and from work the
    two days before the event), but every time I hit a climb it was
    painfully obvious that I hadn't done enough. Still, I passed the first
    two stragglers, checking their route guides, at 10:10, just after the
    first sign post to Clapton and about 7 miles after starting.

    In Clevedon there was an instruction to turn right opposite church,
    signposted Sea Front. I found a church with a right turn opposite it,
    but no signpost to the sea front - just a cul-de-sac sign. So I carried
    on for a short distance. I could see the sea on my right, and no sign
    of another church, so I decided the previous turning must have been the
    right one. I went back to it and followed the road to its end, by which
    time it was clear that I'd been right first time. So, back to the main
    road, and I eventually found another church with a right turn opposite,
    this time signposted to the sea front. I reached the first control at
    11:05 (or 11:08 according to Rich, who was manning it, 8 minutes late),
    with the computer showing 25.59 miles.

    Navigating out of Clevedon involved getting out the A-Z and hoping that
    Clevedon was included. Fortunately, it was. Cheddar was easy to find,
    and I reached the second control at 13:13, with 11 minutes to spare.
    The computer showed 44.01 miles.

    I stopped in Cheddar for a couple of truly vile tasting doughnuts.
    Don't buy doughnuts from Fortes ice cream parlour. I also replaced the
    black lenses in my cycling glasses with amber ones, a decision that I
    was to regret a couple of miles later when I had to change back because
    I had the sun in my eyes. It started to spit with rain while I was
    eating the doughnuts, but it didn't last long. I had intended to
    acquire more water in Cheddar, but upon consolidating my supplies I
    found that I had 3 full bottles and a smidgen more. I drank the smidgen
    and decided not to carry any more up the gorge.

    Part way up the gorge, I decided I'd be better off if I knew roughly how
    far I had to go. I stopped to check the map, and was passed by 4 riders
    who had left the control shortly after me (I soon passed two of them
    once I set off again). I reckoned that the serious climbing would
    finish no more than a mile from the control, so I set my computer to
    show trip distance and rode on with the expectation that the road would
    get easier before I reached 45 miles. I was right - just. I had
    another 2.3 miles of climbing before turning off of the gorge road, but
    they were much less severe (although perhaps not for the dead badger
    that I saw at about 46 miles).

    At the turning off of the Cheddar Gorge road, I met the other two riders
    who had passed me on the gorge. They were waiting for their mates to
    catch up. After the turn, the road continued to climb for a further 1.4
    miles. This was where I started having trouble following the route sheet.

    The route sheet told me to go straight on at the first crossroads, then
    right at the next crossroads, signposted West Harptree. I went straight
    on at the first crossroads. At the next crossroads I was ready to turn
    right, but noticed that West Harptree was signposted straight on. As I
    was pondering, the cyclists that I had met at the earlier turning caught
    up. One of them stopped and told me it was straight on here - the
    previous crossroads hadn't been included in the route sheet. He
    mentioned that he'd done the ride twice before, and had previously met
    people stuck at this particular crossroads complaining about the directions.

    He then stayed to wait for his mates to catch up again. I should have
    stayed with him, but instead I carried on. I must have missed a couple
    of instructions, and as a result I ended up going straight on at a
    crossroads where I should have turned right (I did check the sign, but
    West Harptree was signposted diagonally, it could just as easily have
    been pointing either right or straight on).

    By the time I realised my mistake, I'd ridden 2 miles (including a
    fairly long descent) out of my way. I managed to find my way to West
    Harptree, then had enormous difficulty working out where to go next. At
    this low point of the ride, as I was lost and it seemed unlikely that
    I'd make the third control on time, it started to rain. Hard. I did
    not welcome the cold shower, fortunately it only lasted a few minutes.

    I eventually found the steep hill into Hinton Blewett, and ended up
    walking it because my rear tyre couldn't get sufficient traction on the
    wet road. I reached the 3rd control at 15:45, 50 minutes after it
    closed! The computer showed 58.14 miles.

    After leaving the 3rd control, I wasted no time in getting lost again.
    The first instruction was to turn left at the T-junction signposted Chew
    Magna. I never found that T-junction (and I still can't find it on the
    map).

    The first junction I found was a crossroads. Well, sort of. The road
    bent round to the right, in what appeared to be completely the wrong
    direction, with straight on and left effectively being turnings. After
    looking at the map I decided that I needed to go straight on to Bishop
    Sutton. At Bishop Sutton I came to another crossroads, where I decided
    the best bet was to go straight on again and continue to follow the NCN
    route 3 signs. I lost the signs twice, each time struggling to find
    them again.

    When I found a signpost telling me that I was ½ mile from Stanton Drew,
    I was finally able to work out on the map where I was. I was only a
    mile off course, but it looked a lot more. I was also more than 6 miles
    - as the crow flies - from the finish, with only 10 minutes to get there
    and every chance of getting lost again in the attempt. I phoned Joe
    (the organiser) to tell him that I wouldn't be finishing on time and
    that I probably wouldn't bother finishing at all.

    Shortly after that, I worked out that I was probably closer to home than
    to the finish. Home would also be easier to find - all I had to do was
    follow the NCN route 10 signs. With sore knees (my right knee started
    to twinge at 47 miles, on the climb of Cheddar Gorge), home seemed like
    a very good place to head for. The decision was made painful by the
    thought of missing the mini beer festival that was supposedly being laid
    on for us at the finish.

    At 17:25, with the computer showing 66.09 miles, I was between Pensford
    and Compton Dando when I heard a sound from the direction of the rear
    wheel very much like that made by a flat tyre. I stopped and found that
    I had a flat rear tyre. As I fixed it, having to use my knife to remove
    a thorn, a WVM stopped to check that I was OK.

    One thing I *did* get out of my diversion was a photo of Compton church.
    I failed to get one when I passed this way last year, because my
    camera battery was flat.

    I arrived home at 19:50. The computer showed a distance of 77.35 miles,
    riding time 6:48:54, average riding speed 11.3mph. I'd ridden near
    enough the same number of miles that I'd expected to ride, they just
    weren't quite the same miles. I think I did all the climbs at least
    once, and then some. And, of course, I completed the all important
    climb of Cheddar Gorge.

    It was a nice ride, but would probably have been better with company.
    Thanks for organising it, Joe. Perhaps I'll try again next year. Maybe
    next time I'll find the start on time and manage to complete the route
    without making so many mistakes.

    --
    Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  4. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/cycling/ridereports/cheddar05.html>


    It was a nice ride, but would probably have been better with company.
    Thanks for organising it, Joe. Perhaps I'll try again next year. Maybe
    next time I'll find the start on time and manage to complete the route
    without making so many mistakes.

    Nice one, Danny.

    Cheers, helen s
     
  5. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "wafflycat" <waffles*$*A**T*v21net$*££*D*O*T*co*D£$£*O*T*uk> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >


    apologies, group...

    Cheers, helen s
     
  6. m0rk

    m0rk Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    >
    > "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/cycling/ridereports/cheddar05.html>
    >
    > I'd fancied trying an audax ever since I first read about them, years
    > ago, but I'd never got round to it. This year I read several weeks in
    > advance about the Tasty Cheddar 100km.
    >
    > Nice story Danny - thanks for sharing it with us.
    >
    >


    Indeed .... note to self, when reach audax mileage find one that has a
    better route plan ;) (i'll be adding a gps unit once I get to those
    sort of distances ... my route finding skills are not upto much.)
     
  7. vernon

    vernon Guest

    It was a nice ride, but would probably have been better with company.
    Thanks for organising it, Joe. Perhaps I'll try again next year. Maybe
    next time I'll find the start on time and manage to complete the route
    without making so many mistakes.

    I found that having either an ordnace survey map or a a copy of the relevant
    pages from a motoring map that correspond to the route to be invaluable. On
    my first Audax, the OS map was a life saver on several occasions and it
    rescued me and a couple of other first timers when it wasn't too obvious
    where we'd gone wrong. It would also be helpful if organisers explained the
    conventions used in the rote description. It was only on my third ride that
    it was explained to me that the places typed in bold were ridden through. I
    effectively rode on my own on the first Audax as I too arrived late and the
    aforementioned first timers would bugger off into the distance and leave me
    to replace the map in my pannier until I came across them again pondering
    over their route description at a juction. The next two Audaxes were also
    solo efforts, I arrived for the Easingwold 100 10 mins late and was 20 mins
    behind the bunch. Took 30km to catch up with the tail enders. The 150km Ron
    Kitchin ride at York saw me peeled off the main bunch at the start by
    traffic lights that took a personal dislike to me and invariably turned red
    on my approach. Steep hills and gravity imposed an even greater distance
    between the 'greyhounds' and myself. I'd arrive at cafe's to see the tail
    enders disappearing into the distance having filld thmselves with tea and
    cake. The only time I had a riding companion was on a 200k Audax in York
    and he was the only other rider. I bailed out of my last Audax having
    arrived late and faled to catch up with the bunch after 30 k and was feeling
    a tad off colour still got 45 miles in so I got a decent amount of exercise.
    Then there was the Audax that i turned up for a day *early* but that's
    another tale :)
     
  8. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    vernon wrote:
    >
    > I found that having either an ordnace survey map or a a copy of the relevant
    > pages from a motoring map that correspond to the route to be invaluable.


    I don't know about you (well, given the posting you are a lot like me
    in many respects), but heading off into uncharted territory with a
    routesheet that if you miss one turn means you are Lost (actually, in
    my neck of the woods you may end up there), seems to me to be a tad on
    the adventurous side. Especially when the Lost may occur a long way
    from anywhere recognisable as civilised.

    So when I get the route sheet, I sit down with an OS map and follow the
    route through. It then gives me a very good idea of what to expect and
    where the tricky bits might be. (ie left turn in 5km. Are there two
    other left turns at 4.9 and 5.1 k, both of which have signposts to the
    same place, which could seriously ruin my day or is it the only turn
    for many k either side.)

    So I follow the AUK guidelines of 'familiarise yourself with the route
    before you start'. I then carry the OS map with me, keep a strict eye
    on the speedo (set to distance) and continually work out the difference
    between the given distance and my measured distance (they will be
    different). The only improvements to the route cards I have used would
    be differential distances and grid references.

    I like the orienteers maxim of keeping yourself unlost. It also helps
    to break down the longer stretches between nav points into thinking
    sized chunks.

    Oh, I also highlight key points on the route sheet, and encapsulate it
    in plastic. Works a treat.

    ...d
     
  9. m0rk

    m0rk Guest

    > So when I get the route sheet, I sit down with an OS map and follow the
    > route through. It then gives me a very good idea of what to expect and
    > where the tricky bits might be. (ie left turn in 5km. Are there two
    > other left turns at 4.9 and 5.1 k, both of which have signposts to the
    > same place, which could seriously ruin my day or is it the only turn
    > for many k either side.)
    >
    > So I follow the AUK guidelines of 'familiarise yourself with the route
    > before you start'. I then carry the OS map with me, keep a strict eye
    > on the speedo (set to distance) and continually work out the difference
    > between the given distance and my measured distance (they will be
    > different). The only improvements to the route cards I have used would
    > be differential distances and grid references.
    >
    > I like the orienteers maxim of keeping yourself unlost. It also helps
    > to break down the longer stretches between nav points into thinking
    > sized chunks.
    >
    > Oh, I also highlight key points on the route sheet, and encapsulate it
    > in plastic. Works a treat.
    >
    > ..d


    This is all hopefully next years fun for me ... but seeing the advances
    in gps kit available is anyone using one on a bike at the moment?
    Good/bad points?

    Id want to do a similar thing with the map and enter the route points
    into the gps thingy and have it direct me there - keeping this map as a
    last resort sort of thing.
     
  10. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    David Martin wrote:
    > vernon wrote:
    >
    >>I found that having either an ordnace survey map or a a copy of the relevant
    >>pages from a motoring map that correspond to the route to be invaluable.

    >
    >
    > I don't know about you (well, given the posting you are a lot like me
    > in many respects), but heading off into uncharted territory with a
    > routesheet that if you miss one turn means you are Lost (actually, in
    > my neck of the woods you may end up there), seems to me to be a tad on
    > the adventurous side. Especially when the Lost may occur a long way
    > from anywhere recognisable as civilised.
    >
    > So when I get the route sheet, I sit down with an OS map and follow the
    > route through. It then gives me a very good idea of what to expect and
    > where the tricky bits might be. (ie left turn in 5km. Are there two
    > other left turns at 4.9 and 5.1 k, both of which have signposts to the
    > same place, which could seriously ruin my day or is it the only turn
    > for many k either side.)
    >
    > So I follow the AUK guidelines of 'familiarise yourself with the route
    > before you start'. I then carry the OS map with me, keep a strict eye
    > on the speedo (set to distance) and continually work out the difference
    > between the given distance and my measured distance (they will be
    > different). The only improvements to the route cards I have used would
    > be differential distances and grid references.
    >
    > I like the orienteers maxim of keeping yourself unlost. It also helps
    > to break down the longer stretches between nav points into thinking
    > sized chunks.
    >
    > Oh, I also highlight key points on the route sheet, and encapsulate it
    > in plastic. Works a treat.
    >
    > ..d
    >

    I am a first year Audaxer but have completed 13 this year. I like to
    have traced the route on a OS map, road atlas version, beforehand and
    perhaps mark it up. If one does get lost, it is far quicker to be able
    to navigate back onto the route if one knows where the route is going
    to go. One does not have to complete every km of the prescribed route so
    one is allowed to join it later providing one knows where that point
    might be. This way, un planned detours are often not very much further
    and don't waste too much time.
     
  11. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    m0rk wrote:

    >
    > Id want to do a similar thing with the map and enter the route points
    > into the gps thingy and have it direct me there - keeping this map as a
    > last resort sort of thing.



    Some folk use them on AUK events, I don't. They still get lost though. A
    GPS will not stop you getting lost if you make the wrong descision when
    loading the waypoints. The best you can hope for is that you make better
    descisions in the comfort of your own home than you do when out on the
    road, oh and you batteries doesn't die on you. They really are not
    necessary on AUK events if you can read. I have done many events without
    looking at a map nor a GPS, conversly I have over taken GPS users as hey
    change their batteries or worse as they return from a detour from the
    proscribed route !!!.
     
  12. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    vernon wrote:
    > I found that having either an ordnace survey map or a a copy of the relevant
    > pages from a motoring map that correspond to the route to be invaluable. On
    > my first Audax, the OS map was a life saver on several occasions and it
    > rescued me and a couple of other first timers when it wasn't too obvious
    > where we'd gone wrong.


    The route covered two Landranger maps. I had both of them with me, and
    the A-Z. All of them were necessary.

    > It would also be helpful if organisers explained the
    > conventions used in the rote description.


    The one I only worked out after I got home was that if you have priority
    at a crossroads and are going straight on, then the crossroads won't be
    mentioned in the route description. It seems reasonable, but it was
    pretty confusing 50 miles into the ride when I had been specifically
    looking for a crossroads to go straight on at...

    The bit that really confused me after the first control was to do with
    the route sheet being divided into 4 numbered parts. There were 4
    controls, so I assumed that after leaving the first control I'd need to
    start at the beginning of section 2. Which meant that I had missed no
    less than 7 instructions! Fortunately I worked it out before I had a
    chance to get lost.

    Before the second control I was looking for a right turn opposite a
    church. It was just unfortunate that it was a few hundred yards after
    another right turn opposite a church. It might have been useful for the
    name of the church and the name of the road that we were to turn into
    to have been included on the route sheet.


    --
    Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  13. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    David Martin wrote:
    > So when I get the route sheet, I sit down with an OS map and follow the
    > route through.


    I traced the route on the map before I registered, just because I wanted
    to check the contours before deciding whether I wanted to register.
    Going over it in more detail a day or two before the event would have
    been a good idea, though.

    > So I follow the AUK guidelines of 'familiarise yourself with the route
    > before you start'. I then carry the OS map with me, keep a strict eye
    > on the speedo (set to distance) and continually work out the difference
    > between the given distance and my measured distance (they will be
    > different). The only improvements to the route cards I have used would
    > be differential distances and grid references.


    Grid references would have been *very* helpful. They wouldn't have been
    much use in the places where I was lost in the Somerset lanes and unable
    to work out where I was on the map, but once I knew where I was they
    would have made it so much easier to work out where I *should* have been.

    I think it might be useful next time for me to retype the worksheet,
    with a map next to me, putting it into a more easily readable format
    (i.e. only one instruction to a line) and putting in grid references
    where possible.

    > Oh, I also highlight key points on the route sheet, and encapsulate it
    > in plastic. Works a treat.


    --
    Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  14. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    MSeries wrote:

    > Some folk use them on AUK events, I don't. They still get lost though. A
    > GPS will not stop you getting lost if you make the wrong descision when
    > loading the waypoints. The best you can hope for is that you make better
    > descisions in the comfort of your own home than you do when out on the
    > road, oh and you batteries doesn't die on you. They really are not
    > necessary on AUK events if you can read. I have done many events without
    > looking at a map nor a GPS, conversly I have over taken GPS users as hey
    > change their batteries or worse as they return from a detour from the
    > proscribed route !!!.


    A GPS will not necessarily send you the right way, especially at a
    complicated junction, but it will make it clear fairly soon that you've
    gone the wrong way. It's also brilliant for getting you back on route
    when you have gone wrong. I've used one a couple of times recently,
    mainly as an experiment. The one I tried is a Garmin 89. It's quite old
    kit and intended mainly for aviation. I'd quite like to try some more
    with something like a Garmin Vista.

    Whether or not the route sheet is better depends on the route sheet.
    Mostly I would still use the route sheet as the primary navigation tool,
    but having done a couple of Wessex events this year it would be the GPS
    every time for this style of route sheet. Mind you the Wessex route
    sheets are not easy to follow, even on a map, so entering some of the
    way points might be problematical.

    --
    Dave...
     
  15. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > David Martin wrote:
    >> So when I get the route sheet, I sit down with an OS map and follow the
    >> route through.

    >
    > I traced the route on the map before I registered, just because I wanted
    > to check the contours before deciding whether I wanted to register. Going
    > over it in more detail a day or two before the event would have been a
    > good idea, though.
    >


    I've only been on one formal audax - a short one. I'm not ashamed to admit I
    found the route sheet confusing - reading that was an entire new skill in
    itself. I find an OS map much easier. Is there anywhere online that
    describes the terminology of an audax route map?

    Cheers, helen s
     
  16. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, David
    Martin ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > vernon wrote:
    >>
    >> I found that having either an ordnace survey map or a a copy of the
    >> relevant pages from a motoring map that correspond to the route to be
    >> invaluable.

    >
    > I don't know about you (well, given the posting you are a lot like me
    > in many respects), but heading off into uncharted territory with a
    > routesheet that if you miss one turn means you are Lost (actually, in
    > my neck of the woods you may end up there), seems to me to be a tad on
    > the adventurous side. Especially when the Lost may occur a long way
    > from anywhere recognisable as civilised.


    A word to the wise: take your reading glasses. Do not ask how I know
    this.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they
    ;; do it from  religious conviction."          -- Pascal
     
  17. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Danny
    Colyer ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > vernon wrote:
    >> I found that having either an ordnace survey map or a a copy of the
    >> relevant
    >> pages from a motoring map that correspond to the route to be
    >> invaluable. On my first Audax, the OS map was a life saver on several
    >> occasions and it rescued me and a couple of other first timers when it
    >> wasn't too obvious where we'd gone wrong.

    >
    > The route covered two Landranger maps. I had both of them with me, and
    > the A-Z. All of them were necessary.


    I used to use Michelin maps. They were printed on thin paper and were
    smaller scale than the standard OS maps but perfect for cycling because
    very lightweight and you get a useful amount of territory on one sheet.
    I had thought you could not get them anymore as I haven't seen them for
    sale for years - but Amazon stock them.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; all in all you're just another click in the call
    ;; -- Minke Bouyed
     
  18. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    wafflycat wrote:
    > "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > David Martin wrote:
    > >> So when I get the route sheet, I sit down with an OS map and follow the
    > >> route through.

    > >
    > > I traced the route on the map before I registered, just because I wanted
    > > to check the contours before deciding whether I wanted to register. Going
    > > over it in more detail a day or two before the event would have been a
    > > good idea, though.
    > >

    >
    > I've only been on one formal audax - a short one. I'm not ashamed to admit I
    > found the route sheet confusing - reading that was an entire new skill in
    > itself. I find an OS map much easier. Is there anywhere online that
    > describes the terminology of an audax route map?


    Various, but they are all different.. I have seen good, bad and
    indifferent ones. My preferred format is tabular with one direction per
    line, four blocks per A4 page.

    typically there are a bunch of abbreviations used, most of which are
    obvious. The other thing is that only junctions where you do not have
    priority are noted.

    Abbreviations:

    L, R, SO (left right straight over)
    at T
    Imm (Immediate, eg L Imm R for a staggerred junction)
    SP (signposted)
    RO (Roundabout)

    There is a set of symbols that are used as well for the better route
    sheets but I can't find them right now.

    Hope this helps.

    ...d
     
  19. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

  20. iakobski

    iakobski Guest

    >>The one I only worked out after I got home was that if you have priority
    >>at a crossroads and are going straight on, then the crossroads won't be
    >>mentioned in the route description.


    Thanks, I wondered what the rule was!!

    I absolutely _hate_ navigating from lists of instructions - those AA
    routes are the worst, but I also find Audax ones difficult. For
    example, all you have is "L SP Ambridge" there is no indication whether
    it's in 1 km or 30 km, if it's the first left or the 20th. So after 10
    km you're starting to worry whether you've missed it. Then there are
    the instructions that have been used for 20 years with no changes, so
    all the new junctions, roundabouts, signposts are not on there and you
    have to guess. If you miss one instruction without a map you have to
    retrace.

    This year is my first year Audaxing, but what I do now is check the
    route beforehand on an OS 1:25000, then either cut out or photocopy
    bits of a motoring atlas in the right size to stick in the mapholder
    next to the instructions. I then use a highlighter to outline the
    route. I find it much easier to think of "third left onto B-road,
    heading due East". Another tip is to highlight every third line in the
    instructions, then it is easier to focus on and find your place while
    you're moving.
     
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