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UK Cyclist: Long-distance and leisure cycling in the South-west and elsewhere

Event report of the 2013 event in the Southwest.

Jamie's photos of the event
and they're off (riders leaving the start)We had 108 entries in total. The weather forecasts during the week before were not inspiring, but nonetheless 88 turned up at the start. Chuffy and Baggy served breakfast , aided by Jamie, Peter, and others.

The first shower began just as the riders left. Late starter, John, arrived and left in the rain.

Dunster on the National 400At Carhampton, Pam and her Minehead crew served tea and cakes to damp cyclists.

Although there were some very heavy showers around, most riders managed to miss the worst. They did report extremely wet roads where downpours had just passed.

A strong tailwind blew the cyclists over the Brendon Hills towards Taunton. Some had difficulty getting through the town because of the Taunton Somerfest.

The tailwind meant riders arrived in a steady stream at Hadspen, the second control, early enough to induce near-panic in the controllers. Lara and Simon aided by Peter, Tony, Alan and Ian, coped heroically with the rush, despite the food still being in preparation.

At Peasedown St John, Big Dave and his teapot provided refreshments before the Two Tunnels section.
The tunnels, with background music, were a lowlit highlight for many of the riders.Two tunnels cycleway

Tony and Kathy, with John and others, dispensed tlc and sustenance at Bulwark Community Hall (well-known to riders of the Brevet Cymru 400 and Bryan Chapman 600).Severn Bridge

At Kingswood, Jonathan, with family and friends, prepared tiring cyclists for the southbound section back to Hadspen. The hilly bit, through Colerne, was probably the least popular part of the route, being both steep and narrow.

The team at Hadspen were in full swing for the return. The first riders turned up at around midnight, and a steady stream followed all the way to the closing time. The last rider opted for half an hour's sleep as the controllers packed up.

There was an unfortunate routesheet error on the last laney bit towards the finish, which delayed a few riders.

The first finishers arrived in the early hours; the last with seven minutes to spare. The rain held off until close to midday, so nearly all had a dry finish.

79 riders finished. Congratulations to all of them.


AUK National 400 helpers: Role of Honour

The start & finish



Peasedown St John



Rob Simmonds Pam Almond Lara Day Dave Atkinson Tony Pember Jonathan Duckworth
Gill Simmonds Louise Crossman Simon Proven Iwein Dekoninck Kathy Pember Matt Zorn
Jill Day Steve Crossman Alan Vance Tim Beadle Maggie Hayes Jo Fletcher
Pete Thompson Dave Maynard Tony Hull Nigel Shoosmith John Hayes James Gumbrell
Andy Gates Alison Webber Pete Thompson   Wendy Hodges Caroline Duckworth
Graham Brodie Kevin Poole Ian Hennessey   Graham Hodges Rosie Duckworth
Kate Hattersley John Needham Google the Cockapoo   Kirsty McGaul Paddie the hungry Labrador
Jamie Andrews       Marcus Mumford  

Long-distance cycling under AUK rules is often (though inaccurately) referred to as audaxing. Mudguards are not required for any of these events. Use whatever bike suits you. If you don't want to follow a routesheet then download the GPS file. You will need to be fit and self-sufficient. Most of these events, especially the longer ones, are hard. You should be an experienced cyclist with both fitness and stamina. There is a minimum speed of 15kph for all the events of 200km and above. Don't worry about the maximum speed of 30kph, you won't get near it. Prepare your bike and yourself carefully for any of these events. If you do all the distances, you become an Exeter Wheelers Super Randonneur.

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