For those riders looking for something more than the Cycling UK Reading club rides, there are a number of cycling events that might be of interest. These are described below. For more information on any of these event formats follow the web links within the different sections, or email the Cycling UK Reading Events Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
These events are organised by Cycling UK groups, cycle clubs and sometimes by individuals under the rules of AudaxUK, the long-distance cycling club. They give a different dimension to your on-road cycling. The routes, all over the UK and usually multiples of 100km in length up to 600km, are devised by cyclists with good local knowledge, so you can be assured of a route using minor roads wherever possible and offering the best riding in an area.
The events are open to all cyclists for a modest entry fee (generally not more than £10). While there is a great deal of camaraderie on the rides, particularly the longer rides, the emphasis is on self-sufficiency – there is no signing of the route (you get a detailed paper routesheet), no mechanical support and no broom wagon; if you cannot complete the ride you are expected to make your own way back.
Riders are required to complete the rides at a minimum speed of 14 – 15kph depending on the length of the event, but at a maximum of 30kph to prevent the event being a race. Many, but not all, Audax events also appear in the Cycling UK Tourist Competition event list. The complete list of Audax events and more information can be found at on the AUK website: www.aukweb.net
Members of Cycling UK Reading organise a number of Audax events:
- Kennet Valley Run (100 & 200km) Early March
- Dinton one hundred (100km) Mid-May
- Alan Furley Up the Downs, Down the Ups (100 & 200km) Late June
- The Rural South (300km) Late June
- Henley Hilly Hundred (100km) Late September
- Upper Thames (200km) Early November
There are many more within a short distance of Reading. Local audaxes are listed here: thamesvalleyaudax
Cycling UK Tourist Competition (DATC)
Cycling UK offers a wide range of events, and the basic idea is that riders are awarded points for each event completed successfully. There are more points on offer for riding a wide variety of events, for achievement in competitive events, and for events outside your own member group area.
The events cover all aspects of cycling, from relatively short rides of 50 km to the long overnight rides of 300, 400 or even 600 km. There are also fun events such as sports days and treasure hunts and the more serious events such as map reading contests and hill climbs. Finally there are off road rides for those who prefer unmade tracks rather than tarmac. As we are a touring club, there are no racing events, and everyone who completes standard rides in the allotted time receives equal credit. The season runs from 1 March to 31 October each year. Events may be organised by your own Member Group or by other Member Groups or cycling clubs affiliated to Cycling UK.
Cycling UK Tourist Competitions are open to all Cycling UK members, and you do not have to be a regular club rider to join in. The list of events is available on the Cycling UK website (see Cycling UK Tourist Competition), and is also published in Cycle magazine at the beginning of the season. There are activities all over the country, so you should find something to interest you in your local area.
Cyclosportive events have been popular in continental Europe for many years, and are gaining popularity in the UK. In many respects they are like Audax events, but the most notable difference is a greater level of support – signed routes, mechanical support, feed stations, broom wagon. There is no maximum speed restriction, so there is a more competitive atmosphere. Finishing times are recorded.
Events are generally 80 – 100 miles, sometimes a little longer. Entry fees are usually higher than for Audax or DATC (typically £20+), to cover the cost of the support services. Despite this, entry fields are usually in the 100s rather than the 10s typically seen at Audax events.
There is a list of cyclosportive events on www.cyclosport.org – you need to register on this site to see the calendar.