Explanation of Audax Riding

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Anonymous's picture

Can someone please explain to me the method of Audax riding and how it differs from a normal pace etc. What would be the benefits etc. compared with a regular well behaved paceline ?



Anonymous's picture
Hans (not verified)
Audax riding

"Contact any of the following leaders of the Sunday Audax Ride: Karl Dittebrand 212-477-1690 [email protected]; Robert Dinkelmann 212-207-8689 [email protected]; Linda Wintner 212-876-2798 [email protected]

Also, from http://www.rusa.org/glossary.html

audax (oh docks) - A style of group bicycle touring found mostly in France, but also in Holland and Belgium to lesser degrees. A steady pace is set by a road captain, who is in charge of a group of fellow club members. In modern times the pace is usually about 22 km/h between stops; the itinerary and resting places are planned in advance. Audax groups often ride about 16-20 hours per day until they reach their pre-arranged sleeping point. In the case of Paris-Brest-Paris, each group's objective is to finish inside the 90-hour limit with all its riders together. (""All for one, one for all"" is their motto.) A service car is allowed to follow each group, unlike the ethos of self-sufficiency stressed in the allure libre style of ""randonneuring"". Note that some national ""randonneuring"" organizations emulating the Audax Club Parisien have incorrectly used the word audax in their names. They promote allure libre long-distance cycling events, not audax ones, which are always ridden in a group. When founded in the 1970s to get foreign riders into the randonneur version of Paris-Brest-Paris, the divisions between the Audax Club Parisien and the Union des Audax Français may not have been clear. (See Audax Club Parisien, below.) Nonetheless, the distinctions are important and that is why we are the Randonneurs USA, not the Audax USA.

Anonymous's picture
Robert (not verified)
still clueless

I just read what Hans wrote. I also read the description in the monthly bulletin. And I still come back to Justin's question. How is this different from riding in a paceline? e.g., do you go at the same speed up and down a hill?

Anonymous's picture
Diane Goodwin (not verified)
The difference

"Karl is the best to explain the difference since he's the rep for France and leads these rides .... the others listed by Hans are also good sources, as they are regular Audax riders .... here's my interpretation:

Club rides and Audax rides are different dramatically.

Club rides are usually single paceline. The tempo of the ride varies. Rotating paceline is common. Depending on the group, everyone might wait for a flat or mechanical. The single paceline is typically slower. This is due to energy wasted in single paceline. The double line (especially in a group) gives more wind protection.

Audax style has strict rules. It's a double paceline and the speed is ALWAYS THE SAME - even going up the hills. It seems slower than if you are in a single paceline - but the single paceline can get caught by the Audax group just because of two lines and saved energy over longer periods of time. There is one leader per line and they set the pace (usually 10-15 mph). Women ride in the front directly behind the leaders (there's a French name for the leaders I forgot it) and men behind. If you are dropped, one person is assigned to wait usually (if it's a large group this is common). In a small group, the captain may not wait and you are on your own. If you ride with Karl, you better know the region OR be a strong rider.
There's not too much calling out potholes, runners or walkers up, limited warning. You may converse wtih the rider next to you .... but beware and pay attention to the front wheel. They usually stop for a long break (food - in France, I believe they have sit-down meals and are on schedule for the restaurant) but have strict deadlines and are conscious of being ""on time"". The rides always start out ""on time.""

If you can ride in a paceline, try Audax style. It's a bit of a challenge if you like to hammer - you aren't allowed to leave your position in the paceline - there's no hammering here. It's all about pacing oneself."

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