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.
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.
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.
Volunteers all over the country organise events that vary in length from 100 to 600km and even more. 2017 saw the four yearly running of London-Edinburgh-London, a 1,400km five day trial; the UK’s flagship endurance event. While sportive fans were enjoying the brilliant mass event of the Prudential Ride London, 1,500 audax riders were grinding through the 890 mile round trip between London and Edinburgh in under 117 hours. It’s just a different appeal and a different type of challenge.
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.
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, it earns you the personal satisfaction that you have taken on an endurance challenge like no other.
More on audax
When they’re not riding, audaxers can’t seem to stop telling their stories.
Some inspiring reading can be found at:
- 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