A number of our members are regular Audax riders. Audax is an international long-distance cycling organisation focussed on independent unsupported distance riding. Audax events are organised by individuals and clubs up and down the country and abroad and start from 50 and 100km distances to 200km (the most popular) and 3/4/600km and beyond. One of the pinnacles of the Audax calendar is the Paris - Brest – Paris (PBP) 1,200km event which was held in August 2019 and was completed with in the 90 hour!! time limit by Mike Kear and Jack Tyler this year. Audax has a number of awards for participation in these events, including the popular Randonneur Round The Year (RRTY) involving completing a 200 (or more) km event every calendar month for a year, another being the Super Randonneur (SR) award to a rider completing a 200, 300, 400 and 600 in the same season (this is the minimum qualifying requirement for the PBP event). These can be completed by entering organised ‘calendar’ events, by riding published routes on a date you choose (Permanents) or creating a route and riding it yourself (DIY). Don’t be put off by the distances of some of these events – many of the local 100km calendar events are great routes and offer a sportive-like experience but at a much lower cost. For more info on Audax go to the Audax UK website https://www.audax.uk.
The club now organises two calendar Audax events, the 100km ‘Ridges of Monmouthshire’ in Julyand the 200km ‘Epynt Epic’ in September – both starting in Usk and representing quite challenginghilly routes for their respective distances. The Epynt Epic has just been run for the second time on Saturday 21 September and 30 entrants enjoyed the fantastic route in glorious sunshine. The route heads up from Usk to Abergavenny and then follows the lanes through Longtown to Hay-on-Wye. After a coffee in Hay the riders ride through Newbridge on Wye and via some tough climbs past Hundred House to Llandrindod Wells for Lunch. The return route offers (very) rolling A and B roads to Garth and Llangammarch Wells before turning onto the Epynt ranges, a superb tarmac private road on MOD property which crosses some fascinating, remote and high moorland before returning down to the A40 valley for the easier return through Brecon and Govilon to Usk. We have had plenty of great feedback from riders coming from all over the country (as far as Cambridge, Chester, Wakefield, and with one entrant riding all the way from Andover Hants the day before to ride the Epynt Epic, and home again on the evening after the event!).The route over the ranges is a must-see with the views of the Bavarian village built during WWII for training soldiers and for the smoothest tarmac imaginable for such a remote route. Hopefully we will be including the Epynt ranges in a shorter club ride format soon, as it really is a fantastic experience.The profits (approx. £170 per event so far) from each event go to the Mind Monmouthshire mental health charity. For more info speak to the Audax organiser Bob Millar.