We have joined the AudaxUK. It is a long distance cycling club. Audax events are also called Randonee events. You have a specific long distance to achieve, and a cut off time to do it in. Assistance isn’t allowed and you must prove you achieved the distance either by event organizers signing your card and submitting it, or using a GPS as proof, and sending your card off to qualify your ride, before it is sent back to you. It’s a wee bit confusing, I don’t even know if I have it correct in my head, but one thing is for sure, you must belong to an Audax club.
We want to do the Paris /Brest / Paris (PBP). Like the Olympics, it is held every 4 years. It is 1,200kms long and you have 90 hours to achieve that distance, including power naps when possible. It has been going for longer than the Tour de France and open to all Nationalities and it is our next goal to train for. We found doing 170km days carrying 25kgs of weight on our tour, so easy; we thought we’d build on that and become Randonneurs. PBP is the logical goal.
To be accepted as an entrant, you first have to do qualifiers of 200, 300, 400 and 600kms; and these have to be done in the 12 months before the event. The event is in 2015, the qualifiers must be done between August 2014 and August 2015. So we are busy doing rides of 200 to 300kms this summer, as a stepping stone to next year’s bigger distances.
|On the way to Kaiteriteri Beach|
Yesterday I did my first 200km ride. I called it the ‘Tour of Tasman Bay Beaches”. It is amazing what choices of beaches we have available to us in a ride of 50km in one direction and back for lunch, and then 50kms in the other direction and back. We truly live in a slice of paradise here. The first 100kms was easy, but the second 100kms were a struggle at times. I had a dehydration headache which luckily disappeared after drinking enough, and then I had to grovel into a very strong headwind from Nelson out to Cable Bay. Luckily the wind didn’t change and I had a strong tailwind on the return 50kms home, but by then my legs were threatening to cramp on me. I held the cramps at off by drinking heaps and spinning the pedals instead of pushing hard, I got home after being on the bike for 11hours. I’m very proud of myself for doing it, and I can build on that over the summer to be competent at 300kms by autumn.
|Kaiteriteri Beach voted NZ's favorite beach.|
You may also be interested to know that I’ve started writing a book. It is an autobiography, but with an emphasis on all the crazy, funny, bizarre and interesting things that have happened while living my life on a bicycle. I’m thinking that I might call it: ‘A Wheely Good Life”.
|Rabbit Island beach - only 10kms from home.|
|Tahuna Beach Nelson's main Beach.|
|Cable Bay - where the power cable between the North and South Islands used to come ashore.|