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First Audax of the Year

posted 26 Jan 2014, 14:22 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Bernard Flynn - Sat. 25th January)    
First Audax of the year
The first Audax event of the year took place Saturday. Audax is long distance cycling. The shortest distance on the Audax calendar is 200K and they have events running throughout the year right up to Ireland's first 1200K event this June. Events are totally self supported, no crews or back-up teams which means in effect that you must carry spare clothing, tyres, tubes etc depending on the distance . Riders are given a route sheet and Brevet card at the start of the event which they must get stamped at particular points on the journey or obtain receipts as proof of passage.

There were 37 entered for last Saturday's event, with one from Lakeside Wheelers, which started from Whitehall in Dublin at 8am. The route was a complicated one, at first meandering through North Dublin with the first control at Skerries with 52km on the clock. At this stage we were all delighted as we had arrived dry even though the wind was strong at times. However, this did not last as a few kilometers out the road, the sky turned black and the heavy rain and hailstones descended. Somewhere in Balbriggan, I took a wrong turn and added 5km to my journey and which also left me cycling on my own for the next 40km through places like Bellewstown (which I now know sits at the top of a mountain!) and brought me on to my next control in Drogheda. 

I met an experienced Audaxer in Drogheda and we worked together for about 30km northwards through the headwind. My last control was in Slane and again I travelled with a couple of cyclists for about 10km but their pace was not suitable for me and thus I cycled on my own for the last 40/50km. 

The last 30K was in darkness and I arrived back with 215km on the clock at 6.55pm. Thanks to the 17A bus through Finglas which I chased and provided much needed warmth. For a full list of the Audax Calendar, go to audaxireland.org
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