Audax series background
Audax rides are NOT races. Everyone rides to their own limitations and the primary objective to ‘get round’. There are minimum and maximum time limits, which are designed to suit everyone from the fittest of recreational riders, to more occasional riders who have plenty of determination. The routes typically feature lots of quiet, scenic lanes. Many events can be quite hilly, and even the flatter ones usually have one or two challenging climbs.
The name Audax is Latin for “Courageous” and was first used in 1904 in France where this type of event was developed. Audax riding is designed to test the rider’s spirit of self-reliance and resilience to complete the route within the set time limits. Audax events are sometimes referred to as ‘brevets’, meaning ‘test’.
For official Audax UK events, each rider carries a ‘brevet card’ which is stamped at intermediate checkpoints and at the finish. When validated, the brevet card is later returned to the rider as a certificate of their achievement. Some famous Audax’s include London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) and Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP). The club has had a good number of participants complete both these events.
The club runs its own series of seven Audax events each year starting with the 50km Audax in January and progressing monthly by an extra 25km each month up to a challenging 200km Randonnée in July.
The 100km event is the club’s traditional open event, “Fletcher’s Flapjack”, giving members the chance to experience an audax with other riders, typically well over 100 entrants.
The climax of the series is the club’s traditional 200km Fish & Chip ride to the seaside in July, returning with a climb up Cheddar Gorge.
These are a great way to start with a really achievable ride and progress to longer and longer distances. Please see the calendar for the events planned.
For the 2022 season we are introducing three levels of achievement award for cumulative distances ridden in the club Audax Series events at 350km, 500km and 750km. Prestigious medals will be awarded as follows and presented at the club’s Annual Awards Evening:
Bronze Audax Medal – for completing 350km total distance in the club Audax series events
Silver Audax Medal – for completing 500km total distance in the club Audax series events
Gold Audax Medal – for completing 750km total distance in the club Audax series events
- a minimum of 4 of the 7 club Audax events need to be ridden to qualify for a medal
- only the nominal distance of the event counts towards the total distance i.e. 50km, 75km etc.
- for example, you could earn a Bronze Medal by riding the 50km, 75km, 100km and 125km events making a total of 350km ridden across the 4 events
- if you ride all 7 events you could actually achieve a maximum of 875km total distance, but it’s not necessary to ride all the events to earn the highest (Gold 750km) level, but you’ll need to ride at least 5 or 6 of them to achieve 750km and qualify for Gold – and this will need to include the 200km event!
There are many open audax events running throughout the year and many of the local ones are frequently ridden by club members. Examples include Gospel Pass 150km, Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster 200km, Heart of England 300km, Brevet Cymru 400km and the Bryan Chapman Memorial Welsh End-to-End 600km. Open audax events can be entered through the Audax UK website.
Chippenham Wheelers puts on its own open event in support of audax cycling in general. This is affectionally known as “Fletcher’s Flapjack”, named in memory of Eric Fletcher who organised this event for 20 years since the very first running in 1999. This events is advertised for entry through the Audax UK website as numbers are limited. It typically attracts over 100 riders. Club members are encouraged to volunteer to help make this event run smoothly. Club members interested in riding and/or helping at this event should refer to the details in the Chippenham Wheelers website calendar.
Club Audax series 2022
|Distance||Date||Start time||Entry fee (Members)|
|50km||23 Jan 2022||10:00||£3.00|
|75km||20 Feb 2022||09:30||£1.00|
|100km Fletcher's Flapjack||06 Mar 2022||09:00||See club calendar|
|125km||17 Apr 2022||09:00||£1.00|
|150km||15 May 2022||08:30||£1.00|
|175km||12 Jun 2022||08:00||£1.00|
|200km||09 Jul 2022||07:30||£1.00|
Event details are available in the club calendar, where GPX routes and traditional Route Sheets are made available for download and printing approximately 1-2 weeks before each event.
In 2022 we are re-introducing the traditional brevet cards for the club series. You will need to collect a stamp and/or some information along your ride as proof of passage that you have completed the set distance. It’s a good idea to bring a pen to note any information you are required to collect along the route!
Please pre-register your entry on the event page in the club calendar and arrive at the start at least 15 minutes before the start time to pay the small entrance fee. Please bring the correct change!
Non-members are welcome to come and try a few of the Audax rides. There is an additional £1 supplement for non-members (except for the 100km Fletcher’s Flapjack where non-members can only enter through the Audax UK website).
On the 50km event the club will provide tea, coffee and cake at a control village hall. On the Fletcher’s Flapjack 100km event the club will be providing a feast of food at no less than 3 village hall controls on the route, as well as at the finish in Chippenham Sports Club.
A few points to note about our Club Audax Series:
- Routes are not mandatory unless otherwise stated, however all riders are expected to visit the designated control points to be sure of completing the required distance.
- You can ride on your own or in a group with other riders as you wish.
- Validation of rides via brevet cards will be required in 2022. We aim to make this simple and fun and all will be explained in the event details and at the start.
- Control points are usually cafes or hired village halls, which are indicated in the Routesheets and on the RWGPS route map. On some of the events you will need to collect and note a piece of information as proof of passage – the information location will be shown in the route sheet and an information clue will be provided in your brevet card which you will receive on the day of the ride, just before starting. It’s a good idea to bring a pen to note any information you are required to collect along the route!
- It’s not always necessary to obtain any evidence of visiting the designated control cafe, but they are usually chosen for their suitability and have advance notification of our club’s visit, so please support them with your custom.
- The control times in your brevet card are based on a minimum average speed of 12.5km/hr and a maximum average of 30km/hr. The speeds are designed to suit a wide range of riders from new to the more experienced. Don’t worry if you miss an intermediate time, keep going! You just need to finish before the event closing time.
- You should be self-reliant with spares and able to repair punctures and simple mechanicals. In the unlikely event you cannot continue the ride then you will need to find your own way home, the club doesn’t provide a rescue service (as we’ll be riding our bikes too!)
- If you are unable to finish the ride in time please email email@example.com after you get home to let us know.
- To qualify for the prestigious Club Audax Series Gold, Silver or Bronze medal awards see the information further above.
- All audax rides have to be ridden on the date of the advertised event, with the exception of the Helpers Ride (see below).
- Helpers Ride – we usually need a few people to test the route a couple of weeks before the event. Anyone offering to do this “Helpers Ride” can have their ride validated so that it counts towards the medal awards.
- In the unlikely event of cancellation we will try to re-schedule if possible, subject to being able to secure control venues.
- In poor weather conditions riders are free to find alternative routes e.g. following gritted roads rather than country lanes when conditions are icy.
- You don’t need to return to the finish location if you prefer to cycle directly to your home, provided you complete the nominal distance of the event, 50km, 75km, 100km etc. You can send a photo of your completed brevet card to firstname.lastname@example.org after you get home with your finish time noted. There is one major exception to this which is Fletcher’s Flapjack 100km Open Audax, run under Audax UK rules, so you MUST return to the finish at the Sports Club on the Flapjack to have your brevet card validated.
- For further advice on risk, cancellation and ride preparation please refer to our Club Activities page