Audax and Sportive Reports

Displaying 61 - 80 of 85
  • At last I finally managed to start a ride from Meopham (Kent), although sadly I still can't pronounce it!  Another surprise was to find that I actually knew some of the other riders (outside of HW).  GrahamK turned up, though I was unable to keep up with him from the start.  AlexP & JohnM were also there to do the 160.  Got going at 08:00 and made our way via hills, dales, over the Medway alongside the M2 and into the inner depths of Kent until we reached Hythe.  Then came the flat bit, with the afternoon heat.  I struggled and then some.  Managed to keep going but the final few miles w

  • Early on Saturday morning I drove down to Newhaven in order to catch the 10:00 ferry to Dieppe.  I got through the passport control and immediately met up with Alex, Barry & StevieG.  They had ridden down the day before and stayed at a Youth Hostel.  After an uneventful crossing we cleared Dieppe and got on the Avenue Verte - a more or less continuous cycle-path to Paris.  We got off at Neufchatel and then headed south another 6kms to the home of Valdis's little sis where we found Bruno (still sober) in the kitchen.  After a quick tour by Valdis & Anita we all hit the bottle(s).

  • Had I, or most of the other entrants, known of the true horrors awaiting us up the road then we would not have started.  So the ride kicked off at 06:00 from Cirencester in a very light drizzle and headed north to Alcester.  About halfway there it began to snow lightly, and then with a vengeance as we got further into the Cotswolds. 

  • Mark rides to Lille then hits the cobbles!

  • A stupid o'clock start got me to Tamworth by 07:30 for an 08:00 KO.  A speedy 50 kms to Wistow was followed by a not so speedy 50kms to Upper Stow.  A welcome break at the half way point as it had got fairly lumpy by now.  At about 115kms the heavens decided to open, and remained open until about 190kms.  At this point I decided to change my gloves but this took about 5 mins as my hands were too cold to remove them.  Then a watery sun reappeared and I had 25kms of drying time!  Got back inside of eleven hours, with ten hours of riding.  PW.

  • Only looked as if there were two HW riders in this, myself and SteveWh.  As yesterday it was great cycling weather.  Started about 10:35 and soon got to Thaxted via Reed.  Slowed down a bit on the return as I was navigating for another couple of riders and I knew where the dangerous & tricky bits of the road were.  (I had ridden some parts of the course on the previous day).  A welcome stop at Hare St before the final 25kms to the Arrivee.  PW.

  • What a glorious day!  A wind assisted trip from the 'Uts (at Ugley) to St Neots and a not-much-of-a-struggle return.  125kms done.  Then another loop of 75kms down to Chelmsford & back.  Not too cold.  Not too windy.  Not too cloudy.  Not too hilly.  PW.

  • Picked up Alex and drove to Swaffham for an 08:00 start.  Got there with plenty of time to spare and we soon set off towards Holt.  It was a fast journey to the North Norfolk coast, although it slowed down quite a bit in the strong crosswinds on the road to Wells.  Just after Wells we turned left into the grounds of Holkham Hall.  At this point it became apparent just how strong the wind from the South was blowing.  At one point I was blown to a standstill.  Fortunately the route meandered a bit so that it wasn't a total battle.  I was also lucky that a branch the size of my arm, that came

  • The first & last sections were billed as flat with all the hills in the middle hundred.  And so it came to pass, although the weather-fairy could have been a bit kinder with the crosswinds.  Alex & I left Girton at 08:00 and made good time on the cycle path\busway to St Ives.  From there it was lanes & B roads to Oundle.  After a (very) brief respite we carried on under the Harringworth viaduct on to Melton Mowbray where we indulged in a plate of chips (no, not a pork pie).  The return out of MM had been promised as very hilly but it wasn't too bad as we undulated our way along

  • Sam Lipscombe reports on a challenging ride made harder still by riding from Ware to and from the start in Ruislip.

  • Hilly, slow, rain & headwinds.  A bleak day with no cheer.  Fortunately this event had none of these!  A cold and foggy start from Dunmow at 07:30 on a reasonably flat route.  The occasional hill (pimple) just to warm things up a bit.  Soon settled into a good rhythm and tried to maintain this tempo throughout.  Through Sudbury, Lavenham and then up to Snetterton to watch a few of the cars whizzing around the track before slogging back to Dunmow via Newmarket.  With a minimal amount of stoppage time (42mins) I ended up completing the Audax in as fast a time as I've ever done.  My moving

  • Seven-thirty start from Grazeley, but left about five minutes later due to GPS loading difficulties ( I can't manage without the damn thing).  Within a mile I realised that a more pressing problem was that my new chain & 1000 mile old cassette weren't on speaking terms.  This was generally OK on the flat, but it made life very interesting on the hills (and I have enough trouble with those, anyway).  Eventually got going, got cold, got wet, got to Hungerford, got my coat on - and the sun came out.  Just short of Bratton (turning point) one of my rear spokes parted company with itself - t

  • A good ride with no major complications until about 25kms from the end.  The first hundred was fast and (as per the weather forecast) the winds were strengthening.  By the halfway stage it had got quite wet.  The second stage was hilly, but the clue to this was in the title.  By the time we set on on stage three the winds were gale-force and the journey from Aylesbury to Thame won't be forgotten for a long time but as with Stage 2 it was a circular(ish) route so it was never going to be a headwind all the way.  At 184kms (in the High Wycombe mountains) I started to experience mechanical pro

  • Hertford through Cambridge to Cottenham.  Then on to St Neots, Bedford, Brogborough, Codicote & Hertford.  Wasn't particularly cold until the last hour and a half.  A bright, sunny day.  No rain.  Encountered some steep bits around Ridgmont thru to Sharpenhoe (about 100 miles in) but it was the least windy day that we'd had recently.  So no complaints.  PW.

  • Started at 09:23 and got back at 20:40.  Hertford to Braintree, Sudbury, Long Melford, Cambridge & Hertford.  Due to my rear wheel not being fixed properly the local shop lent me another for the ride.  Sadly this wheel's tyre had a small piece of metal in it and whilst trying to fix the puncture at Sudbury I snapped one of my tyre levers.  Luckily I was within 100 yards of a mobile repair service.  Perhaps someone was smiling (or laughing?) at me.  A further element of luck was that it started to rain when I was within 150 yards of getting home.  Not too cold, or windy.  Although I was

  • 22 Jan 16

    Mark Tappenden and Sam Lipscombe rode the 10th edition of the legendary" Willy Warmer" 200km Audax from Chalfont St Peter.

  • From Hertford to Thaxted, Linton, Newmarket, Soham, St Ives, Royston and back to Hertford.  It was a cold, bright & sunny day with light rain after Royston.  It was a bit of a slow journey, especially across the Fens, as there's no protection from the wind yet everything was reasonably OK until 200kms.  Unfortunately for the final 6kms the rot set in and there was nothing left in the tank to deal with it.  Those last 6kms took over half an hour to cover.  From Royston had the choice of the A10 in the dark or the lanes via Sandon, Walkern etc.

  • Started from Gt Bromley (nr Colchester) at 08:00.  A fast wind-assisted trip up to Halesworth via Wickham, thence onto Palgrave (Diss) for more food and hospitality.  This set us up for the toughie (headwind) bit down to Sudbury with most of the old hands saying "it's not as bad as last year".  Left Sudbury just at 15:50 but soon it was dark with torrential rain, a strong cross-wind on an unlit road and all a bit tricksie.  I made fairly good time and got back at 18:10.  A reasonably flat course engineered so that the bits that were worth seeing were during the day, whilst once it got dark

  • I'd never done a DIY Audax before, just calendar events.  So I sent in an application showing my proposed route and got the OK with the proviso that I "controlled" at every place mentioned.  I think that this was my first mistake.  Next time I'll put fewer place names.  From Hertford to Chesham, then Wendover.  After a few hours of cycling into the wind it was a blessed relief to freewheel the last few miles at over 20mph.  From Wendover to Dunstable wasn't that tough but this changed as I turned south for the short climb up to the Chiltern Visitor Centre.  Markyate was my 100km point and s

  • Thinking that I'd get my November 200 done ASAP I entered this without reading the small print.  Whaddamistakertomaker!  It was an AAA event ie bloody hilly.  Starting at Ruislip but mainly set in the Cotswolds you'd expect a few lumps and maybe some bumps but some of these posed quite serious problems.  It's all very well suffering physically uphill, but no fun downhill on the mental front.  Some of the descents were as steep as the climbs.  Therefore brakes fully on and travelling at speeds equivalent to climbing speeds.  And less fun as everywhere was wet although it didn't rain.  But th