Where is there an end of it? | All posts tagged 'udax'

What's in my Carradice?

Carradice Junior

Partly as an aide memoire, here's a list of the things I always carry in my Carradice saddle bag. Some of this stuff may not be necessary for shorter rides, but I wouldn't want to get used to riding light, now would I?

Extra stuff is added for very long rides (e.g. an extra inner tube and electrical items) and this list does not cover clothing.

Most of the content is organized into Alpkit bags to keep things neat.

Loose in the bag

  • Pump – a Lezyne mid-sized one with a length of insulating tape around the barrel
  • Spare spokes (2 × rear NDS, 2 × rear DS, 2 × front) and some nipples
  • Waterproof (Gore shakedry)
  • Assorted cable ties
  • Pen
  • Exposure Joystick light/torch

 Tyres / Drivetrain bag

  • Spare tyre (Continental 4Seasons 25mm)
  • Inner tube
  • Genuine Innovations tubeless tyre repair kit
  • Plastic tyre levers × 2
  • Tyre bead jack
  • Di2 cable
  • Di2 cable tool
  • 2 × ball bungees
  • piece of plastic toothpaste tube
  • Park tools tyre boot
  • Lezyne adhesive patch kit
  • Stans valve core tool
  • Digital tyre pressure gauge
  • Tube of flexible superglue

Medical / toilet bag

  • Sun lotion
  • Ear plugs
  • Plastic ziplock bag
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Tick removal tool
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine
  • Assorted sticking plasters
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste

Misc. tools bag

  • Nitrile gloves
  • Fitment to attach Exposure Joystick as backup front light
  • Replacement freewheel star ratchets
  • Fibrefix emergency kevlar spoke
  • Victorinox SwissCard Classic
  • Multitool with chain-splitter
  • Quick links for chain
  • Derailleur hanger

For longer (≥ 400 km) rides, add some of ...

  • Additional inner tube
  • Spare CR 2032 batteries
  • USB cables
  • USB power bank(s)
  • USB/mains adaptor
  • Di2 charger
  • Backup rear light
  • Chain lube
  • Indigestion tablets
  • Baby wipes
  • Emergency gel(s)
  • Electrolyte tabs

"Cambridge Markets" 200km audax

I had to ride an audax in November to keep my RRtY attempt alive. With the month drawing to an end and reasonable weather in prospect and I chose the "Cambridge Markets", one of Nick Wilkinson's excellent series of permanent Audax routes from Cambridge.

Another audax starts
The Départ: Co-op in Girton

And so at 07:13 I found myself setting off from Girton through the Cambridge traffic, which was more than usually clogged because of the sinkhole in the centre of town. However, this did not impede my progress and before long I was at Quy ready to join the busy A1303 towards Newmarket. Because of the heavy rush hour traffic I turned on a large red rear flashing light, which felt – on an audax – mildly transgressive.

By the time I reached Newmarket day had broken. I left town along the familiar road beside the gallops and continued east through Moulton and Gazeley. Although some watery sunshine was struggling to break through the overall picture was a cloudy one, and would remain so for the rest of the day.

Muted near Moulton (re-crop)
Muted near Moulton

As I got deeper into the countryside the temperature dropped, at one point (according to my Garmin) touching zero. I became conscious I has committed a clothing error: open-toed sandals were not appropriate footwear today, even with thick wool socks.

Too cool
Just too cool

Otherwise I was mostly happy with my equipment choices today. This was the first outing of my winter bike since January: it's a steel frame (a 2015 Genesis Equilibrium) with disc brakes (TRP Hy/Rd) and sturdy-ish tyres (Hutchinson Sector 28). Since the forecast was dry I hadn't made the effort to re-fit mudguards – more feelings of audax transgression.

Before long I reached Bury St Edmunds and wheeled my bike through the crowded market in search of a cashpoint that was working. As part of my training for LEL I am wanting to get used to riding longish (100km) stages without a proper food stop, so after getting a cashpoint slip, I swiftly re-mounted my bike and pressed on eastward.

The easternmost point of this course is Framlingham, but rather than take a direct route there, Nick routes via a control at Needham Market. I had been here once before on the Green & Yellow Fields audax, but forgot the layout of the town and managed to ride past the shops, necessitating some annoying backtracking. I'm not normally an impatient person, but it seems the further one gets into the country, the longer shop transactions take. The gentleman in front of me at the post office was keen to make a contactless purchase for the first time, then to get some cashback, then – on impulse – buy a scratch card and then buy some stamps that had been forgotten in the former contactless excitement. Argh.

There's some slightly rough lane work after Needham Market – otherwise this route is mostly on fine roads making it suitable for a winter audax. Around here my Garmin decided to switch itself off (it did this again later too). The current firmware for the Edge 1000 seems particularly flaky. At one point the mystery of Garmin/phone integration led it to announce to me simply "Message from 0" ! It's shocking how a supposedly market-leading product is still so poor.

I arrived in Framlingham at around 12:15 and headed into Paddy & Scott’s café for lunch: a sausage roll, cup of tea and carrot cake.

Framlingham: They still believe in magicke here it seems

Apart from a flapjack bar I munched on the bike through the ride, this would be all the food I was to eat, which, as it turned out, was plenty.

Lunch, Framlingham
Half of lunch

After lunch I started back west towards Cambridge. The return route didn't go via Needham Market but took a more direct route via Debenham and Elmswell. This was perhaps my favourite section of the ride, on gently rolling smooth roads through green open country. 

Back at Bury I got a cashpoint slip and looked up to see Starbucks. Perhaps I deserved a cake and coffee? (or at least the hot milky stuff one typically gets from Starbucks). But no, I stiffened my resolve and rode off west in the gathering gloom.

As darkness fell I reflected on the fact I'd been on the ride for nearly 10 hours with my only human contact a few brief businesslike exchanges with shop assistants. I seem to be able to tolerate my own company and happily while away solo hours a'wheel – something I suspect I will be doing in the longer brevets next year …

To my pleasure the route back from Bury was not a simple out-and-back, but took a southerly detour via Dalham and Ashley, which gave a long gentle descent into Newmarket and a good excuse to rest the legs. Then, it was time to re-light the rear flasher and brave the (again busy) A1303 back to Cambridge. On the way I worked out I had a chance to get my best ever time for a 200km, which gave me an incentive to up the pace for the final kilometres. When I arrived back at the Co-op my receipt was timed at 17:40, 10 hours and 27 minutes after departure.

Overall this had been a very satisfying ride. The winter rides in a RRtY can make you feel you're on a treadmill, needing to get an audax "in" and having to face unpleasant cold and dark conditions – so this makes a really suitable course with good roads and well-spaced controls with ample refreshment opportunities. And, at 204km the ride isn't much over distance!

Next up: the Santa Special.