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UK Cyclist: Long-distance and leisure cycling in the South-west and elsewhere

Towards the latter part of 2014 I started thinking about the next Paris-Brest-Paris, and how to ring the changes. To explain: I had ridden two 90hrs, one on gears and one on fixed, an 84hr and an 80hr, both on gears. I didn't particularly want to repeat myself. So the logical thing would be to ride an 84 on fixed, except that I hadn't ridden anything serious on fixed-wheel for several years, and I was conscious of advancing decrepitude.

Words: Mark Hummerstone

Although I am told that this is one of the hardest 600s in the diary, I found it a very enjoyable ride. Route directions were good on the whole and it went through some beautiful countryside. Two of the controls were at people’s houses which was most welcome.

Words: Chuffy Simmonds

I have spent the last two hours staring at the arse of a man with a flashing red biscuit on his saddlebag. It is bitterly cold. The hills are getting longer by the minute. I’ve been circling the drain for 10 of the last 16 hours and have spent almost the entire day praying for a poo. Welcome to the Old Roads 300k, this is my tale.

From: "Ian Hennessey" 

To: "Randon" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>*

*[Randon is now at]

Subject: Paris-Brest

Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 15:16:37 +0100

I arrived home yesterday after around 1850kms on fixed - 3X more
than I've attempted before. 35yr old Claud Butler stood up well,
though I think I've destroyed the headset. The back wheel I built
the day before leaving also survived - no truing needed. I kept the
luggage to a minimum. 2 sets of cycle clothing (wear one, wash
one); shirt and shorts + sandles for off the bike; camera; maps;
toothbrush and travel-towel; 2 light capes (1 waterproof - not
used); and essential tools. The off-bike wear I left at the hotel
during the event. Managed, with the aid of an accomplice, to get to
the head of the 90hr queue. Joined in the 'road-race' as we set off
- thinking "This is stupid/Ishall suffer for this/I should have more
sense." etc. Passed the courageous fellow on hand-cranks - shame he
didn't finish. Caught and passed most of the'silly' machines, before
finally losing contact (thank goodness) with the last of the fast

Event report of the 2013 event in the Southwest.

Jamie's photos of the event
and they're off (riders leaving the start)We had 108 entries in total. The weather forecasts during the week before were not inspiring, but nonetheless 88 turned up at the start. Chuffy and Baggy served breakfast , aided by Jamie, Peter, and others.

The first shower began just as the riders left. Late starter, John, arrived and left in the rain.

Report of the 2013 event

Fifty riders completed the 2013 event along the new route. The ladies at North Curry enjoyed the challenge of coping with the crowds (augmented at intervals by their regulars). The weather was kind; there were no reports of ice even on the early hills. There was, however, mud. A few people relying just on gps followed the track (literal and virtual) that ran parallel to the High Ham road. The organiser's reward was in the form of tracks of muddy footprints across the kitchen floor at the finish. Well done to all who finished, and thanks for riding.

Link to Barbara's blog.

Our LeJog plan gradually came together over several months, but the day of departure came upon us with a bit of a rush, as suddenly it was the 26th April. At 05:30 we picked up Steve and all his kit and set off for Lands End. With little traffic on the road we made good time and arrived at 08:15. It was blowing hard and very cold but this had not deterred Phil, Maggie and Richard turning out to see us off. We got the bikes loaded up with the panniers, pumped up the tyres and posed for photographs at the famous finger post. The Dorset flag was produced for the first time and it acted as a sail in the strong wind, almost lifting us up.

Read More (external link)

Link to Jamie's blog

Last ride of the season to get the full set for a South West Super Randonneur series.

I left the house just after 6am into a dark world of fog. The start point for the perm was about 5 miles from my house, so in theory time to warm up. Or get damp from fog moisture…

Read more [external link]

Long-distance cycling under AUK rules is often (though inaccurately) referred to as audaxing. Mudguards are not required for any of these events. Use whatever bike suits you. If you don't want to follow a routesheet then download the GPS file. You will need to be fit and self-sufficient. Most of these events, especially the longer ones, are hard. You should be an experienced cyclist with both fitness and stamina. There is a minimum speed of 15kph for all the events of 200km and above. Don't worry about the maximum speed of 30kph, you won't get near it. Prepare your bike and yourself carefully for any of these events. If you do all the distances, you become an Exeter Wheelers Super Randonneur.

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