July 11, 2012

A Challenge for the Uncompetitive Cyclist - Part 3, DIY Audax by GPS

Audax events have traditionally required the participant to pass through a series of control stages along a predefined route. To obtain proof of passage the ride would be issued with a “brevet card” which would then get stamped at each control point. A completed brevet card for therefore provide proof that the rider had completed the ride and the required distance to be awarded the brevet for that particular event.

In recent years Audax has acknowledge the use of GPS devices and their ability to record detailed track information, including time, speed, elevation and positional data. Audax UK now permit riders to plan their own Audax rides and submit GPS track logs in place of the traditional brevet cards as evidence that the agreed route and distance were completed within the time allowed.

Initially when I found out about this type of event I did think why anyone would want to faff about with membership, entry forms and virtual brevet cards just to have a ride “officially” recorded as a qualifying Audax ride? However, if you’re interested in planning and riding long distances, the extra discipline required to plan and complete them within Audax regulations does bring a new dimension and perhaps an element of madness to what might otherwise be just another casual cycle tour.

Tomorrow evening I set off on a 300km DIY Audax by GPS for Tavistock, this will be the furthest I’ve cycled within the maximum time allowed of 22hrs. Here’s hoping my bicycle pump doesn’t get stuck in my trouser leg (for the Monty Python fans amongst you).

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