Audax 2014 – 300k – Doesn’t seem so long this time (Norwich)

This year I was aiming for a Super Randonneur, but then at the critical time, I developed a long running cold, then incapacitated my back in a coughing fit. Despite not being fully fit, I figured it was getting late in the year for a big ride. So, seeing favourable winds, I took the snap decision to go for it and take on a flattish 300. My wife was not convinced by this plan and thought I would probably ruin myself.

This was exactly the same route I took last year. As you can see, I managed to shave 8 minutes off my effort one year ago!

It all started well, but my back started hurting a little more each mile, especially when putting power in. This meant I couldn’t keep up the pace I wanted up the hills. Around Milton Keynes, about half distance, I was contemplating abandoning. However, I knew that if I made it to my brother and sister in law’s in Ely, I could sit and wait for a pick up rather than have to deal with trains. That was only a 100k further, which wouldn’t be impossible. By the time I got to Ely, the pains had disappeared (maybe from the motivation of racing & beating a roadie) and I was flying again, so I pushed on. I’m glad I didn’t take an early chance of an easy way out.

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I was abit disappointed by not having quite as high a moving average as the last time and to still have spent 2 hours not moving. This is in spite of only having two real 30 minute stops for lunch and early supper. I always seemed to be stopping to take clothes on and off, adjust equipment and of course the call of nature. Both shop stops I made, I seemed to end up behind multiple people doing things very slowly!

The great things about the ride, were that I didn’t end up a cripple and I didn’t get any saddle sores! The Brooks Swift / Thudbuster combination actually came through on a big ride. I think the fact that my sit bones aren’t as well supported as on other saddles means that it doesn’t feel as good over a short distance, but equally prevents sores under the sit bones that have plagued me. The Thudbuster makes the whole thing not un-bearable on the other areas of my underside.

I’m also continually amazed by my ability to recover on long rides. I’ll find myself flagging, sit down and eat a sandwich, then be back on form, even after 250k.

Anyway, more random ride pictures:

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    • Joel
    • October 25th, 2014

    Looking to buy a Lynskey for Audaxing…..could you get in contact.

    • Sure, what would you like to know?

      This is only the second race type frame I’ve owned, so I can’t really give a detailed breakdown about how it compares with other stuff on the market. However it seems much more compliant than my old aluminium frame. 28mm tyres on the Lynskey feel as supple as 32mm on the old bike.

      My criteria for getting the Sprotive Disc was that I wanted a rack, 28mm tyres with mudguards and disc brakes (with the caliper mount in the right place to not interfere with rack mounting). In retrospect, something like the Croix de Fer (http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/frames/adventure/croix-de-fer) would have saved money, but I wanted to try TI as it seems to be preferred by Audaxers.

      Also worth noting that with a 53cm frame and size 8 shoes I get a little toe overlap on the front wheel. Only a problem when manouvering through gates etc,

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