Thursday, December 28, 2006

Are You Hooked On Audax?

AUDAX is an international organisation geared for cyclists who like to ride long distances. Audax originated in 1897 when a group of European cyclists rode 200 km between sunrise and sunset and become known as ‘Les Audacious’.

Today, Audax clubs exist in over 20 countries. Audax Australia has clubs across the country in most capital cities and several regional centres. The club runs rides of set distances: 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, 600, 1,000 and 1,200 km for road rides. Then there are 35, 70 and 100 km off road rides, a few 24 hour endurance rides and point-to-point tours, called Raids, which range from 350 km to 1200 km.

The thing that all of these Audax rides have in common is that they must be completed within certain time limits. These are based on 15 kph for the road distances, 10 kph for off-road distances and around 80 km per day for the Raids.

Audax enables riders of any ability to set themselves a goal and achieve it. This spirit of achievement is what attracts so many riders to Audax. The rewards are personal and yet can be accomplished with a group of like-minded cyclists. As the time limits required to complete events are generous, Audax appeals to a wide variety of cyclists, whether they are from a touring, racing, recreational or commuting background.

All riders on Audax events are issued with and must carry a ‘brevet’ card. This card acts as a type of passport that riders must have stamped at checkpoints, or controls, set on the course at around 80 km intervals. Depending upon the ride, the stamping is either done by an Audax volunteer, or obtained by the rider at a police station, post office, service station or shop, etc. The time of arrival is also registered. On completion of the ride, the brevet card is returned to the ride organiser and sent for recording.

Audax Australia records distances of 50 and 100 km on road rides, all off road distances (known as Dirt rides) and Raids. Audax Club Parisian (ACP), based of course in France, records distances of 200, 300, 400 and 600 km. The ACP keeps records of all rides, or randonnees as they are known, from all member countries, on a central database.

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Established in December 2006