London Wales London is an audax ride and audax rides are different.
There are no headline sponsors, no goodie bags, no numbers, no gold standard times, no pretending at the finish to have looked into the jaws of hell and survived.
It’s cycling at its simplest; it’s about distance at a sensible pace with good company. It’s about not making every niggle into a disaster; it’s about enjoying the ride.
At the end all you have are great stories, a Strava track and memories of taking on a tough challenge in a spirit of companionship, community, understated achievement and mutual encouragement.
It’s all explained in this article in Cadence
Riders support themselves; there are no broom wagons and there are legendary tales about resourceful cyclists managing to finish despite broken frames and outrageous odds. However most of us only ever have to face the occasional puncture; when you see another rider in trouble you stop to offer at least moral support.
If you are thinking of entering LWL you really ought to consider membership of Audax UK. As well as getting a discount on event entry fees you become a member of an unique community of cyclists – not just another person who happens to own a bike.
Rides are not created to generate profits; when a surplus is made it is most likely to be donated to a local charity or used to bolster club funds.
Entrants ride at a maximum speed of 30kph and a minimum of 15kph including stops. For a detailed explanation of how it works check out this page from Cambridge Audax Or this from the mighty Westerly CC.
Audax rides follow a suggested route, checking in at prescribed points; on London Wales London, riders will check in at:
- Walford (Gloucestershire)
Completing an audax, like London Wales London, brings few rewards or badges. You get the chance to meet some great people – and listen to some interesting voices (including your less encouraging inner monologue half way up a hill in the dead of night). It’s all about the challenge, not the kudos.
More on audax
When they’re not riding, audaxers can’t stop telling their stories.
Some inspiring reading can be found at:
- Longer Rides – a primer on long distance riding from legend Jo Burt. Includes advice from seasoned hands at this endurance lark.
- Advice on long distance riding from 2018 finisher Olaf Storbeck
- Audaxing the easy way – general insights into what audaxing involves
- Duracel Bunny on a Bike – one woman’s take on long distance riding
- That Emily Chappell – thoughts from the author of the best book ever about cycle couriers…
- Fat girl on a bicycle – interesting ramblings from a bike rambler
- The Bike Bird – advice from one of Europe’s most experienced audaxers
- Bikes and bees – lovely writing about the joys of going further
- Don’t talk to me about bikes – audaxing and cycling
- Marcus Jackson Baker – thoughts from a serious fixie
Main picture credit Matthew Scholes