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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 15 Sep 2020 18:47

On Thursday at 9am, the first Beacon audax will open to entries since the start of the pandemic. It may even be your first audax since the Snowdrop or last year’s Kidderminster Killer and Autumn Audax rides.

October’s Montgomery Madness is an X rated audax and opens for entries at 9am on 17th September. It is the first event of a series of three and will be different in organisation with social distancing measures and allocated start times for riders. But one thing not taken away are great routes, rather like the last your last Beacon RCC audax ride.

An X rated is not as nearly as exciting as it sounds. It simply means that there are no facilities provided on the road, so we make use of local shops and cafés along the way. After the ride you post or e-mail your proofs-of-passage to the organiser.

The Events

1. Montgomery Madness – 17th October - from Bewdley

This is the calendar version of our permanent event and is similar to the Kidderminster Killer in nature. Whilst it is a tough ride requiring a good degree of fitness, the route is picturesque. First of all you pass over the Bromyard Downs, through Mortimer’s Forest, across the Knighton and Stretton Hills including The Long Mynd. It is a long day out so lights will be required.

- Allocated rider start times 0735; 0745; 0755; 0805; 0815; 0825
- Distance 204km
- Audax Altitude Award Points 3.5
-Start: Bewdley Dog Lane Car Park
- Controls: Ludlow, Knighton, Church Stretton
- Info Controls: Bromyard, Montgomery, Morville
- Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33950081
- Entry opening date 17th September @ 9am
- Entry page https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8783
- Entry Fee AUK / Cycling UK members: £4; Others: £7

2. Begwyns, Books and Stones – 14th November – from Stourport

A brand-new route to some locations rarely if ever visited on audaxes. It is a challenging route and you will need a good degree of fitness. The route sets off through the Wyre Forest, before levelling off until you reach The Begwyns in Mid-Wales. Thence a quick flat dash along the Wye Valley to Hay-on-Wye enabling you to purchase the complete set of encyclopedias to stuff into saddle bag for the journey home. After Hay is a the steep ‘Scarp’ climb to megalithic monument of Arthur’s Stones. It is then home via Leominster, Leysters and the Teme Valley. With autumn colours in full force this will be spectacular especially through the Begwyns.

- Distance: 201km
- Allocated rider start times: 0735; 0745; 0755; 0805; 0815; 0825
- Audax Altitude Award Points: Does not qualify strangely!
- Start: Stourport Riverside Meadows Car Park
- Controls: Kington, Hay, Leominster
- Info Controls: Kinlet, Erwood, Arthur’s Stones
- Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33993917
- Entry opening date: 15th October
- Entry page: https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8787
- Entry Fee: AUK / Cycling UK members: £4; Others: £7

3. Salt and Cotswold – 5th December – from Droitwich Spa

Just before winter truly sets in, go for a ramble down to the Cotswolds as a last hurrah to burn off calories ahead of Christmas over-eating. Firstly, you head eastwards into Warwickshire before veering southwards to the market town of Witney, then it is a passage over the top of the Cotswolds before descending descent to Tewkesbury and the final stage home.

- Event date: 5th December
- Allocated rider start times: 0750; 0755; 0800; 0810; 0820;0830
- Distance: 212km
- Start: Droitwich Lido
- Controls: Shipston on Stour, Witney, Tewkesbury
- Info Controls: Balscote, Guiting Power
- Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33901505
- Entry opening date: 5th November
- Entry page: https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId=8786
- Entry Fee: AUK / Cycling UK members: £4 - Others: £7

The Other Stuff

Facilities and X Rating

With the ever present problems of Covid restricting indoor venues and hall hire, we decided to go X rated meaning an audax in its most basic form. Sorry no cakes, hot cooked meals or warm halls at the HQ as we start in a car park. Just turn up to register and the controller will sign you in and you ride to the control locations. After the event you post or e-mail your proofs of passage to the controller. Toilets might be available depending upon the local authority. The entry fee is representative of the bare bones approach.

Along the route, you will have plenty of opportunities to pop into cafes or shops to pick necessary sustenance if required though you may want to carry extra supplies.

What about Covid?

• Clearly the events are subject to government restrictions both national and local.
• Riders will be allocated a start time.
• There will be no single group start and no hanging around at the start.
• Turn up, register and ride. Your departure time will be noted for the purposes of ride time validation.
• Overall entries are limited strictly to 30
• Entries will be online only
• Your data will be kept for track and trace
• Any riding groups must not exceed 6 persons.
• ‘Free Control’ locations help riders to choose venues to collect food etc.
• Riders are encouraged to supply electronic forms of evidence for their ride though brevet cards will be available (see below).
• ‘Snot rockets’ are a definite no!
• Riders need to carry personal PPE and cleansing gels.
• YOU MUST NOT ride or enter if experiencing symptoms related to Covid infection.
• If you reside in a local authority area subject to lock down regulations, you will need to check those regulations to ensure that you are eligible to travel to alternative venues where you meet people outside of your household.
• Audax UK have produced a set of guidance and risk assessments to ensure that our activities are legal and can operate. These can be found at: Audax UK have put in place guidance for riders, see the attached link: https://audax.uk/static-data/covid-19-r ... our-codes/

Proofs of Passage

• If ready in time, we may be the pilot for the new experimental android E Brevet Card which allows you to register your passage at a GPS coordinate. Technology has at last reached AUK!
• GPS tracks are allowed as proofs of passage. Just remember to charge your unit.
• Brevet cards will be available and will need to be posted to the organiser along with receipts etc.
In the meantime, I wish you all the best.


- Entries in advance only. Sorry. See above for links.
- No entries on the day or substitutions
- Places are limited to 30, if you miss the rush to enter then please contact me to be added to the reserve list.

Kind regards

Philip Whiteman

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Simon Woodward
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Post by Simon Woodward » 15 Sep 2020 21:02

Thanks for organising these events Phil. I always look forward to new routes and as a plodder X rated events suit me perfectly.

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Philip Whiteman
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Location: Drayton, Worcestershire


Post by Philip Whiteman » 18 Sep 2020 10:06

Only six places left on the Montgomery Madness event now. I have tried to group Beacon RCC riders in the same bubble at 0745 but may have to disperse others across the other start times.

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 24 Sep 2020 11:50

The second of three Beacon audaxes is now open for entries.


A 200km audax through varied countryside; forest, pastoral, orchards, hop country, Cambrians and a megalithic monument.

Start/Finish: Stourport-on-Sev
Controls: Kington, Hay, Leominster
Info controls: Erwood, Arthur's Stones.
AAA: None but there is approx 3000m of ascent.
Allocated starting times between: 07:45 & 08:25
Facilities: X Rated
Topography: Separated sections of very hilly route with level sections between.
Entry: https://audax.uk/event-details?eventId= ... oOeOyXDjVI

Remember to wear a jersey with very large rear pockets to carry home your book purchases from literary capital of Europe, Hay-On-Wye.

Whilst not eligible for audax altitude award points, this x-rated event does have some clumps of large hills to cross but the gaps between. It is a challenging day-out. As an x-rated event, it has minimal facilities with a car park start and requirement to sent proofs-of-passage to the organiser afterwards. Whilst x-rated, there are plenty of shop and cafe opportunities en-route.

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