The 2024 Audax Calendar is out!
TLDR: find it at audaxsa.co.za/schedule/
What is Audax?
Audax is a gateway drug to long distance cycling. You can start small, working your way up from a 200 to a 600 km ride. Or jump in headfirst like Rob and start with the 1400km Londen-Edinburgh-London as your very first Audax! Here is a Ride Magazine article from June 2006 to shed more light on the subject: Audax-by-Edward-Thomlinson.pdf.
“After a 600 km Audax, the definition of what is possible in one’s entire life is substantially redefined”. Find out why in this 1 page article, also by Eddie: Riding-a-600km-Audax.pdf
What is randonneuring?
Randonneuring is a form of long distance cycling. Distances are typically 200, 300, 400 or 600 kms or longer. It is a ride and not a race. But there are predetermined checkpoints and specified time limits. Randonneuring is a self-supported challenge. It has its roots in France. Also known as Audax. And governed by the ACP (Audax Club Parisien).
Here is a Ride Magazine article from April 2011 arguing whether randonneuring is Nature or Nurture. And here is a 1st hand account from Bicycling.com on What Is a Randonnée—and Why Should You Sign Up for One? See What Happened When I Rode My First Randonnée (bicycling.com)
What is PBP?
Paris–Brest–Paris is a long-distance cycling event. It was originally a 1,200 km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris in 1891. The last time it was run as a race was 1951. The most recent edition of PBP was held on 20 August 2023. In 1931 amateur cyclists were separated from professionals.
The last edition of PBP was in August this year, 2023. More on paris-brest-paris.org. And here is a great personal account or Rob Walker’s 2015 PBP ride, neatly organized into a 5-part series on his blog: justkeeppedalling.com/category/PBP2015
What is LEL?
London Edinburgh London (LEL) is a long-distance cycling event that covers 1,500 km (930 mi) from London to Edinburgh and back to London. It is not a race, but a self-supported ride where cyclists have to complete the course within 117 hours. LEL is organized by the Audax UK every four years, and attracts thousands of participants from all over the world.
The next edition of LEL will be on 3-8 August 2025 – find out more on londonedinburghlondon.com/. And here are some of my very own ramblings from cycling LEL back in 2017: nicoc.co.za/the-lel-experience/
How many Audax clubs are there worldwide?
Plenty. Audax is in over 70 countries, as listed below. I found these on the ACP website at our-organizations/brm-world/, where they list the contact details for each country representative. The 70 countries are listed below – and how cool would it be to cycle in each of them?!
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Basques, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgystan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, Ukraine – Mk, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.
What is a Super Randonneur?
Some context: Randonneuring events are called randonnées or brevets, and riders who complete them are called randonneurs. Some of the most famous and prestigious randonnées are the abovementioned PBP & LEL.
A Super Randonneur is a someone who completed a full set of 200, 300, 400 & 600 km BRM’s in a season (typically from November to the following October, annually). There are also a whole host of longer awards, building up to Randonneur 5000 and Randonneur 10000 – of which yours truly is the only one in Africa (at the time of writing and maybe/probably still). See randonneur-10000-en/
Who started Audax Randonneuring in South Africa?
Credit to Edward Thomlinsen. He was there from the very beginning. I fondly remember him and his wife at the Lido Hotel, waiting on end for many a randonneur to finish and hand out our medals and sign off the brevet cards. And they did this from 27 years ago — long before I stumbled upon Audax by chance (or design).
Here is a lovely article by Eddie himself, that appeared in Ride Magazine in March 2011, entitled Bitten by the Bug: How Audax came to South Africa: bitten-by-the-bug.pdf
How many Audax events are there in South Africa?
For the 2024 Audax calendar there are a total of 44 BRMs for the year. Roughly half of these are held down here in the Cape (23), and the other half are presented in Gauteng (21). That is a lot of long-distance cycling! More on this below.
The South African Audax calendar is easy to understand. It is split into 2 regions, North and South, ie Gauteng and the Western Cape. Each has at least one monthly long-distance ride, but most often a 200km and a longer one. There is also a 1200 km BRM in the Cape in May. Plus, two opportunities to get a full series of 200, 300, 400 & 600 kms BRM’s in the season – both at the beginning and at the end. The winter months are typically only for the 200s and 300s, for obvious reasons.
And now for the Audax Calendar
You can find the long-distance cycling in South Africa calendar for 2024 below. It covers both Gauteng and the Western Cape, and the season runs from the start of November 2023 till the end of October 2024. Find it at audaxsa.co.za/schedule/
PS, featured image location in Brest, France, right here: https://maps.app.goo.gl/AcbwkWvbMs3Qjwcd9