It’s always a hell of a ride, the Dartmoor Devil. It’s the sting in the tail of the audax season. 104km sounds like a nice Sunday’s distance. What makes the difference is the 2,500 metres of climbing. Well, that’s just one of the differences. The wind and weather too nearly always play their parts, especially on the exposed bleakness of the high moor, as the ride takes its toll, the gloom gathers and the Devil unleashes all his secret machinations. Continue reading
Isn’t that the sound of gunfire in the distance? But it is 6 am on a Sunday in the sleepy Isle of Purbeck and it is the day of the Dorset Coast. After a hearty breakfast (including black pudding) the four of us ride off to the start in Wareham. Mark and Jane are in their Willesden CC strips and Robin and I in our Audax Kernow colours. Mark is in his usual early season good shape (which is quite visible). Continue reading
This may only be a very short audax randonnée, but this is the one event that riders really look forward to in early December every year. It is a pleasant prelude to the season when the bike otherwise gets neglected and we put on some unwanted extra pounds.
887 miles in under 5 days
One dark winter’s night the idea was hatched. I think a pint or two may have been involved. I said I wanted to ride the National Audax UK 400 at Tiverton and before we knew it five of us had signed up for the longest audax event there is, the London-Edinburgh-London, the LEL. Were we mad?? 1420km (or 887 miles, and just a bit further than Lands End – John O’Groats) in less than five days. We were mad! But it turned out that 1100 others were heading for the asylum too.
Our ride started early, with about 25K to put in to get to Connor Downs for 9 o’clock. We were pleased with progress after several weeks off the tandem and with the captain still in recovery from LEL, and arrived in good time for once to find the hall buzzing in anticipation of a good ride and a sunny day.
The long hill out of Connor Downs to the A30 crossing is reasonably tandem-friendly and all was going along very cheerily until what would normally be an easy front mech change turned into a nasty snarl up and a fight with a greasy chain. This, luckily, is men’s work – the Butlers stopped to lend a hand and eventually we were back in business and pushing hard to catch the field at the Coombe checkpoint. A bit of faffing here and a couple of poorly coordinated starts saw us off the back again, and we enjoyed most of the rest of the ride in glorious isolation and at a very modest pace. Continue reading