Mealybar.co.uk

Audaxing 2018

conceived

In 2017 I participated in my first audax event and grew to love them. 2018 I want to explore new roads and routes, and get the distance out ever longer. Here I'm going to post my audax ride notes and odd photos, check my Strava profile for blow-by-blow rides.


Forth & Tay 200

5th March - Postponed due to snow.

18th March - Cancelled due to snow.

It'll now be run as a DIY event - so I'll pick it up on a free weekend sometime later in the year.


Moffat Toffee 200

14th April

After two false starts (snow cancelled the F&T twice) finally an opportunity to get audaxing in 2018 started. A little close to Sunday’s marathon, but good fatigued training all the same.

Bit of a rush down to Galashiels, always the same heh, but got there at 7:45, however still missed the mass start and hit the road 5 mins past after sorting the kit, collecting the brevet card (and a biscuit).

It was a nice morning, sun out, warmish, light to hardly any wind. I spun my way to Selkirk, and promptly took two wrong turns in the twiddly bit that cut out the climb to the high street, oops. Passed a couple of groups with a cheery “mornin!” and the climbing quickly came. And so did some misty murky stuff that dropped visibility and also the temperature a bit, good job the climbs were keeping me warm.

First control at Roberton an informational, a turn to head west towards the next. The legs felt good, I hit a nice rhythm, and was really enjoying the run on these sleepy roads. A few more “mornin!” as I continued at my cadence. I’d noted the HR was a little high, probably regret later, but enjoying it so kept on plugging away.

Somewhere on this stretch I pulled alongside some familiar audax faces (helmets?), “mornin!” then continued. A few minutes later I was aware of someone on my wheel, turned to see a train of half a dozen or so :) Prompt the pointing of potholes - and there were a tonne of them. Probably another 5 miles or just over and we pulled into Eskdalemuir and again exchanged pleasantries - I assured them I’d want the wheel repaid later in the ride :)

A quick egg roll and tea - 10:40 so second breakfast was due - and back out on the road. Destination: Langholm. I’d done this road in the other direction on one of my audax detours last year and remember it being a climb then long drag. Well it felt like a decent drag (then little descent) in this direction too - my legs definitely not feeling like they had in the first 50 miles. I spun on, mostly solo.

Langholm and Pelosis Cafe. I didn’t want to stay long in Langholm, only 20km after Eskdalemuir so collected a couple of cookies, nattered to a couple of familiar faces and hit the road again.

Ooff it felt tough. I can see why now though, heading south westish in a south wettish wind - in my head I’d thought Langholm was the turn northish and cursed this wind (I say wind, it wasn’t much more than keeping me honest, but it felt much more just now).

There was a blue jersey just ahead. Mile. Just ahead. Another mile. Still just ahead. Finally I closed the gap and it was a familiar face Jeremy who I’d bumped into on my very first audax last year! He couldn’t have come along at a better time, we nattered all the way to Moffat and it took my mind off my fatigue. Oh, the misty murk had gone, sun was out and it was suitably warm, very nice.

Moffat, Rumblin Tum cafe control, I spied a pie (and sticky toffee pudding with custard and ice cream!) a perfect(!?) pick-me-up for the run home. While at the cafe I googled if Moffat Toffee was a thing or just one of those things you tell tourists about, but no indeed it was. So with the in-laws visiting I thought I’d chalk a couple of brownie points and collect some to take home.

A packet of Moffat Toffee on the handlebars of a bike during the Moffat Toffee audax event 2018

Suitably toffeed up I hit the road again, again in duo with Jeremy. The day was perfect at this point, light tailwind, warm, (mostly) fantastic road, superb scenery - daffodils out, lambs in the fields, an absolute peach. Legs, not so much, but we ploughed on and worked well together sharing wheels, or nattering and taking my mind of fatigue.

The 30 miles seemed to pass quickly albeit not so much in speed and we were soon back at Galashiels. Cue brevet validation, brew, sandwich, shower and in the car on the way home.

Another good audax session in the borders, and great to open the 2018 account. Now the marathon is done focus is definitely back on the bike, a 300 audax in a couple of weeks preparing for Tour of the Highlands at the end of May, and onwards after then…


Planned

Merse & Moors 300 - April

Mille Pennines 1000 - July

Comments? Tweet me @mealybar, smoke signals, or homing pigeon, or something :)