Tips for taking part in challenge rides
- Check out the FAQ pages and other guidance published
by organisations such as Audax
Get advice from experienced riders by using the Beacon message
board or other forums.
- Before some very demanding events (e.g. the Etape du Tour)
you need to get a medical certificate. If you've got any
qualms about your health, talk to your doctor before doing
other tough events, too.
- Make sure you've got enough miles in your legs: you should
already feel comfortable riding at least two thirds of the
event distance ahead of the day. If it's a tough ride you've
got lined up, give yourself a few days rest as well.
- If you are doing an AUK event, there will be no rescue
service, so make sure your bike is in good nick, with sound
tyres, etc. Remember that some Audaxes use rough country
lanes, where very lightweight racing equipment may be found
wanting. Whatever sort of event you're doing, take a few
basic tools and spares with you.
- If there's the slightest risk of you failing to finish
in the daylight (e.g. if you have a mechanical problem),
- Always carry some money and a mobile phone. Consider programming
the organiser's (mobile) number into your phone, along with
that of your next of kin, listed under something that someone
else could find easily, such as ‘Home’, ‘Next of kin’ or
‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency).
- You will probably be given or get chance to buy plenty
of food during the event, but carry some with you just in
case. Never ride without at least one water bottle and top
it/them up whenever you can. Eat loads the day before, with
the emphasis on easily digested carbohydrates, such as pasta,
bread and rice.
- In an AUK event, if you are at all unsure about your ability
to find your way, take a map with you, in addition to the
organiser's directions. You can buy little gadgets for attaching
directions to your bars; otherwise a laminated sheet can
often be secured with rubber bands and/or cable ties. GPS
is becoming increasingly popular for Audax navigation and
some Audax organisers (including the Beacon) will provide
Audax routes in the most common GPS formats. For more info,
- Don't get carried away early during the ride. Most challenge
events involve slow roads, tough climbs and a lot of miles.
What's more, unless you're exceptional, there's always going
to be someone stronger than you: follow his/her wheel at
- If you can't complete a ride, make sure the organiser
knows you've given up.
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Roads Cycling Club
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