On Monday, the biennial London-Edinburgh-London Audax gets underway. This mammoth 1400 km ride starts with a ceremonial-style prologue stage starting at Buckingham Palace on Saturday before things get under way properly on Sunday from Loughton in Essex.
The Audax is a curious beast in the world of modern cycling. In this era of shaven legs, lycra and carbon fibre with every grams being counted, the audax has something of a reputation for deviating from that norm just a little bit. They are widely seen as populated by ‘more mature’ riders, usually wearing wool-based garments and riding steel machines that wouldn’t seem out of place in a race from the last century.
Despite all that, you can’t take away from the nature of the challenge. 1400km is still 1400km on a bike. And that equates to 200km per day, which is certainly nothing to be sniffed at.
The Audax is not a race as such, with riders competing against each other, but it is a race against the clock with each rider aiming to reach a designated checkpoint before the cut-off time.
The route shown here includes the various checkpoint stops that riders have to stop at. At many of them there are spaces for riders to sleep and rest as well as stock up on supplies.
What does it take to ride 1400km in a week?
Dom Irvine can tell us. The long distance cycling man is taking on the audax next week, partly in preparation for his upcoming second shot at the Land’s End to John O’Groats tandem record ride. You can read more about his preparations and expectations for the audax here.