Our club audax series may have finished but several of our members continue to ride in Audax UK events with three Chippenham Wheelers qualified to ride in next month’s Paris Brest Paris (PBP) 1200-kilometre Randonnée.
Audax UK is the UK’s Long Distance Cycling Association. Audax riding is designed to test the individual’s ability inriding set routes, un-supported and against the clock. Whilst the events are not competitive riders accumulate points for distance ridden in events longer than 200km. There are awards for individual points achievements and competition between clubs to amass the most points through the season.
Our club is doing really well this year, currently standing 28th out of 362 UK clubs in the 6-rider competition, where we have earned 142 points for a collective 14,200km of audax riding. We’re actually snapping at the heels of some of the specialist audax clubs who do nothing but ride long distance, which is pretty good for a little town in Wiltshire!
Special mention goes to Alison Graham completing her first 300km in exceptionally tough conditions back in March, the Rough Diamond route from Tewkesbury. Also, to Erica Bradbury completing her first ever 600km (on a tandem with James!) in May, on Benjamin Allen’s Summer Outingacross Wales, although Erica says it’s also probably her last ever 600 as well!!
James, Alison & Sheni – 6am start of the 300km Rough Diamond, Tewkesbury…….ready for everything the weather had in store!
James & Erica – brevet cards ready to hand in at the finish of Benjamin Allen’s Summer Outing 600km
Sheni & Rob – about to start the 600km round trip from Windsor to Chester, and back again!
Our 3 PBP riders, together with their tracking numbers for members and friends to track their progress are:-
Sheni Jiwa K118
Rob Duncumb K113
James Bradbury H014
You can track their progress on the Paris Brest Paris websitewww.paris-brest-paris.org. The event starts from Paris on 18th August.
To qualify for PBP they had to ride 200, 300, 400 and 600 kilometre events earlier this year and have their rides validated by the Audax Club Parisien.
First run in 1891, PBP is a gruelling test of human endurance and cycling ability. Organised every four years by the host Audax Club Parisien, the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur is the oldest bicycling event still run on a regular basis on the open road. Beginning on the southern side of the French capital, it travels west 600 kilometres to the port city of Brest on the Atlantic Ocean and returns along the same route.
Today’s randonneur cyclists, while no longer riding the primitive machines used a hundred years ago over dirt roads or cobblestones, still have to face up to rough weather, endless hills, and pedalling around the clock. A 90-hour time limit ensures that only the hardiest earn the prestigious PBP finishers medal and have their name entered into the events Great Book along with every other finisher going back to the very first PBP.
No longer a contest for professional racing cyclists (whose entry is now forbidden), PBP evolved into a timed Randonnée or brevet for hard-riding amateurs during the middle part of the 20th century. The event is held in August every four years.
Several Wheelers have ridden PBP over the years. Our club’s record times stand at 72 hours 11 minutes, by Simon Matthews in 2011 and 79 hours 31 minutes by Kate Churchill in 2015.
If you are interested in learning more about long distance riding events, then take a look at the Audax UK website www.audax.uk or speak to any of our PBP riders.