Audax in FNQ – A Rough Guide To Everything

If you’ve never ridden an Audax ride before,

here’s everything you need to know.

Rule 1 – Have Fun.

(If you need further clarification – keep reading)

What is an Audax Ride?

Audax is a world-wide long distance cycling club with rides from 50km to 1200km in length.  The rides are not competitive, and emphasise achievement and endurance rather than speed.  Riders travel at their own pace, navigating around a set course and checking in at designated Control points.  You will be given a map, a cue sheet (written directions) and a Brevet Card.  Get your Brevet Card signed or stamped at designated control points along the way.  Rides are on open roads (no traffic controls), and Audax emphasises safe riding and rider visibility.

Do I have to be a member of Audax?

Most rides are open to members and non-members.

How much is it?

The fee for members of Audax Australia or Cycling Australia is $6, and for non-members $16 (includes $10 day insurance).  (Some rides may have higher fees – check the online registration).

Do I have to ride with a group?

All riders start together at a central location.  From there, you can ride alone, with friends or with a group.

What if I can’t keep up?

You ride at your own pace.  There is no set speed.  You can stop whenever you want, and enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat.  It is not a race, but there is a maximum time limit (eg: 6hrs40mins for 100km road; 13hours30mins for 200km road and 7hrs for the 75km dirt).  A successful ride is completed within the maximum time limit, following the set route, with the Brevet Card correctly signed and stamped at designated Control points.

What do I have to bring?

Ride a roadworthy bike of any type (recumbents, tandems, unicycles etc are welcome) and bring adequate spares (tubes, puncture repair, pump, multitool etc).  Give your bike a good check over before the ride.

Bring adequate water and food, or money to buy it along the way.

Audax lighting and reflective vest rules apply to rides 200km and over, as this time limit finishes after dark (even if you will be home long before then).  You are required to fit a front and back light to your bike, and carry (at least) a second front and rear light AND a reflective vest.  They must be used in any low light condition.   (If you are looking to get a cheap “hi vis” vest, try Bunnings – $6.95).

The organisers may have a small supply of spare lights and vests available on the day, but please don’t count on this.  A lighting check is conducted on the morning.  We realise lights and vests may be a sticky issue for some riders – but please be nice to the volunteers checking you in.

Lighting rules do not officially apply to shorter rides, but please be sensible about your safety.  Lights and visible clothing would be greatly appreciated.

Where do the rides go?

Check out the preliminary course maps advertised for each ride.  Final maps and cue sheets become available a few days before the ride.

Control Points.

Each rider will receive a Brevet Card, and will have to stop at designated Control points along the ride to have the card signed and their arrival time entered.  Opening and closing times for Control points are written on your Brevet Card.  Volunteers will normally be at the Control points.  At the end of the ride, hand your card in and it will be sent to Audax Australia for official validation of your ride.  It will be mailed back to you in a few weeks.

There may be unmanned Controls at turnaround points on each ride.  At these locations, riders need to stamp their cards (on the back in boxes marked “Secret Controls) with a stamp that will be hanging on a street sign.

Maps and cue sheets.

Navigation is a central aspect of Audax riding.  There are no marshals providing directions or specific Audax signs on the course.  An email will be sent to each rider after the close of registrations (a few days prior to the ride) giving the final map and cue sheets.  Please print them out, as they are your route guide for navigating your way through the day.  You will be referring to the cue sheet throughout your ride, so may want to resize the cue sheets to fit a plastic bag or another holder on your bike.

You can also download a copy of your ride onto a Garmin 1000 or 810 (or similar) when the final versions of the maps are issued just before the ride.

Volunteers at control points can help if you get stuck, but finding your way using the cue sheet and map is a central part of an Audax ride.

Food, drinks, toilets, coffee.

Audax riders must be self-sufficient.  The options are to bring along enough to sustain you for the ride, or stop off during the ride for supplies.  Your cue sheet will have facilities marked on them.  The rides usually pass several great coffee shops.  Check your cue sheets to work out where your refuelling stops are located.

Support during the ride.

Friends and family are welcome to be at Control points or park anywhere else along the route to encourage you along, but should not follow riders or provide support.  Please ensure that you provide your own support along the way (including what you carry with you or obtain en-route).  The obvious exception is in emergencies, where assistance should be provided to any rider in difficulties.

What if I get halfway and can’t make it?

There will be an emergency phone number for the sag wagon on the day.

Volunteers?

If you’d like to be part of the day, but don’t feel up to riding, we’d love to have you as a volunteer.  Volunteers help with rider registration and at Control Points along the way.  Please let us know.

And about the weather…..

“Audax” grew out of the early days of the Tour de France, and comes from the word “audacious”.  We ride in all kinds of weather (apart from stupidly dangerous stuff) and at all times of day.  Google YouTube Audax and you’ll see what we mean.

Parking.

You may be asked to park in a central carpark near the venue, and not in the street near the ride start or in front of nearby shops.  We want to remain on good terms with our neighbours.

 

Starting Times.

Most rides start at 6.30am.  Check-in is from 5.45am, where you will collect your Brevet card.  Audax Australia and Cycling Australia members – please bring your membership card.  Riders in the 200km will have a check of lights and reflective vests.  A rider briefing will be conducted at 6.15am. Rides will start at 6.30am.  The plan is always to be perfectly on time!!

Start format.

Given the number of riders, the police ask that we limit starting groups to 20 riders at 2 minute intervals.  If you specifically wish to start with another person (and therefore share the same starting time), please include this on the comments section of your registration (or let the RO know).  Riders will be notified of their final start group on the day.

Road Rules.

The rides are conducted on normal, open roads.  Riders must obey all normal road rules.  Help us keep our good reputation with the Police, local motorists and other officials!!

Audax Badges and Medals.

Riders who have ordered badges and medals will have them sent to them after their Brevet Cards have been processed by Audax Australia.  These are only awarded on the successful completion of the ride.  Any rider who does not complete their ride will have their money for badges or medals refunded.

Finishing.

Check in at the finish point, and have your final time recorded.  Your Brevet card will be collected, and you can retire for a coffee and relax with the rest of the group.  Rider times will be posted as soon as possible after the ride.

If you do not complete the ride, or need to pull out for any reason, please notify a volunteer or the Ride Organiser.  (If you are not checked into a control point or the finish, we will come looking for you!!)

Photography.

We’d love to hear from anyone who gets some good shots or GoPro footage for our records.

Final Rules:   Have Fun.

Audax rides are not races.  There is not a specific group, or pace, or any other expectations.  You can ride at your own pace, and with whoever you like.  Relax and enjoy the experience.

"No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle" Winston Churchill