Choosing your first 200km audax

The Audax calendar can be confusing to navigate when you first look at it. Codes for this, that and the other, what does AAA even mean? BR-what? When I did my first 200km audax a few moons ago now (Scouting Mam Tor IIRC), I took the advice of someone I knew and didn’t even look at the jargon. It was only when I was hooked that I became fascinated by the idea of X-rated or 2.5AAA+ events (more on these terms another time). I’ve since completed my first RRtY and to continue this, I need to do at least one 200km+ event per month so I’m still on the hunt for new 200s.

To help those of you looking to complete your first 200km audax event, I’ve compiled a helpful list of recommended calendar and permanent events on Audax UK. Thanks to everyone who sent their praise for organisers and cafe stops across the country.

This list is by no means exhaustive but a good place to start if you’re looking bewildered at the AUK Calendar. Click the name of the event for more details and to enter. If you’ve got your name down for any and willing to show a newbie around, stick your hand up in the comments below.


Skip to…

Scotland | North East | Yorkshire | East Midlands
East of England | London & South East | South West
Wales | West Midlands | North West


Scotland

5th April: Eileen Dubh from Nairn, near Inverness

  • βœ… Facilities at the start and finish
  • 🍰 Two good cafe controls
  • πŸ›£ Quiet roads
  • πŸ“GPX route available

9th May: Monster Munch from Duffus, near Inverness

  • βœ… Facilities at the start and finish
  • πŸ‰ Say hello to Nessie
  • β›° Not too hilly
  • πŸ“GPX route available

29th August: Rothes Recce from Newtonmore

  • πŸ›£ Relatively fast and flat
  • β›° One major hill: Brig O’ Brown
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

10th October: The Long Dark Teatime of an Audax Soul from Galashiels

  • βœ… Good community centre at the start/finish
  • πŸ… Finishers medal included
  • πŸ›£ Out-and-back, gentle rolling route

North East

27th June: Hartside 200 from Aldborough St John near Darlington

  • β›° Around 2700m climbing but only two major hills including Hartside Fell
  • πŸ‘― Organised by VC167 which is home to many great audax riders
  • 🍰 two controls with plenty of resupply options
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

31st October: Peculiar Old 200 from Darlington

  • ❗️ Event not yet listed on the calendar. More info here in the meantime
  • πŸ“œ Based on a ride the organiser’s dad did back in the 50s
  • β›° Couple of tough climbs but made up by the quiet lanes either side
  • 🍻 Plenty of pub stops
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

Yorkshire

Throughout the year: Sheffield CTC

  • 🍰 Extraordinary volumes of cake
  • πŸ€— Friendly CTC members on hand for assistance
  • β›° Likely to feature a few climbs given the locale of many events

East Midlands

7th March: Roses to Wraggs from Alfreton

  • πŸš† Good train links between Sheffield/Nottingham
  • πŸ›£ Flat apart from a few lumps at the beginning and end
  • 🍰 Good resupply points along the route
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

21st March: Bomber County from Carlton le Moorland

  • 🚲 Route features cycle paths and quiet lanes
  • 🌊 Ride to the seaside
  • ⛽️ In true audax style, one of the controls is a petrol station
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

East of England

29th March: Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials

  • πŸš† Good public transport links to the start/finish
  • 🍲 Plenty of resupply options en route
  • πŸ›£ Rolling route, no climbs

10th May: There and Back Again, from Hauxton near Cambridge

  • 🚲 Easy ride from Cambridge where there are good public transport links
  • 🍰 3 cafe controls plus food at the start and finish
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

London/South East

15th March: Gently Bentley from Kingston-upon-Thames

  • πŸš† Good public transport links to the start/finish
  • 🍰 Plenty of resupply points en route
  • πŸ‘― Kingston Wheelers organise a number of good events throughout the year
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

28th March: London-Oxford-London from Ruislip

  • πŸš† Good public transport links to the start/finish
  • ⛽️ Option of a petrol station control
  • β›° Features a few choice hills in the Chilterns
  • 🚲 Usually very popular
  • πŸ‘― Audax Club Hackney are a great club if you’re in the region
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

29th March: Man of Kent from Golden Green

  • 🍲 Food included at the start/finish
  • πŸ›£ No major climbs, route rolls through the Garden of England
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

7th June: Ditchling Devil from Wimbledon Common

  • πŸš† Good public transport links to the start from London
  • 🍰 Entry fee includes food at the controls!
  • β›° Three main climbs in the South Downs and Surrey Hills
  • πŸ†˜ Good bailout points along the route if you decide you’ve had enough
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

8th August: Essex R&R from Witham

  • πŸš† Good public transport links to the start from London and Ipswich/Norwich
  • 🍲 Light refreshments included at the start/finish
  • πŸ›£ Quiet B roads
  • 🌊 Route goes past two reservoirs and a few rivers
  • πŸ‘― ACME is a great club if you’re local
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

South West

21st March: Cheltenham New Flyer from Andoversford

  • πŸ›£ Scenic route taking in the Cotswolds and North Wessex Downs
  • πŸ‘― Great local teams helping at controls
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

5th April: Dorset Coast from Wareham

  • πŸ† The longest continually running event on the AUK calendar
  • 🍲 Food served at the start/finish
  • β›° Challenging route with a good few climbs
  • πŸš΄β€β™€οΈ Usually very popular
  • β›΄ Includes a ferry ride!
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

25th April: Valley of the Rocks from Honiton

  • β›° Hilly with over 3000m climbing, though the bulk of that is in the first half, so it will be challenging for all riders
  • 🍰 Good cafes and pubs along the route including food at the start/finish
  • πŸ“– More info on UKCyclist
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

12th July: Plains, Trains & no more Automobiles from Bristol

  • β›° Neolithic monuments and great views with a few hills thrown in
  • πŸš΄β€β™€οΈ Around 100 riders
  • 🍰 Good cafes for controls
  • πŸ‘― GWR Audax has a bunch of other good events and a great community around them
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

I send the best ride prep out there. I get comments about my info as much as my rides! Along with extensive notes they get gpx, true turn by turn tcx & fit, route sheets, kml, links to RWGPS and an event where it is split up into shorter sections.

Will Pomeroy, GWR Audax event organiser

July: Lizard and Camel 200 from Devoran, Cornwall

  • ❗️ Event not yet listed on the calendar but should be July 2020
  • πŸ“– Read Margaret’s review from 2016
  • πŸ›£ Option of the 21km of the Camel Trail
  • 🍰 Plenty of resupply points at controls and elsewhere on the route
  • πŸ—Ί Rough map of the route available

πŸ‘€ Keep your eyes out for Black Sheep Audax’s events throughout the year. Routes vary between South West, Wales and West Midlands but always begin in Tewkesbury.


Wales

14th March: Efengyl (Gospel) 200 from Bristol

  • ❗️ Starts in Bristol but route is predominantly in Wales
  • 😁 Great atmosphere and well-catered
  • πŸ‘― Audax Club Bristol is a brilliant club and organises a lot of events. Worth reaching out if you’re local.
  • β›° One major climb: Gospel Pass – the highest road pass in Wales!
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

2nd May: Transporter 200 from Cardiff

  • β›° Couple of good climbs including Devil’s Elbow
  • 🍰 Good resupply options en route
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

πŸ‘€ Keep your eyes out for Black Sheep Audax’s events throughout the year. Routes vary between South West, Wales and West Midlands but always begin in Tewkesbury.


West Midlands

πŸ‘€ Keep your eyes out for Black Sheep Audax’s events throughout the year. Routes vary between South West, Wales and West Midlands but always begin in Tewkesbury.


North West

23rd February: A Mere 200 from Lower Whitley

  • 🚲 Easy ride to the start from Manchester/Macclesfield
  • 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Cross the border to Wales
  • 🍰 Good resupply points throughout
  • πŸ›£ Rolling route with no major climbs
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

26th April: Eden Valley 200 from Hallbankgate, near Brampton

  • 🏘 Start at a community centre/cafe
  • 🍻 Finish at the pub opposite
  • πŸ›£ Scenic, no major climbs but undulating
  • πŸ“ GPX route available

Perms: Mike Wigley’s Cheshire perms

  • ⏰ Start and finish when you like
  • πŸ›£ Easy to navigate routes
  • 🍰 Plenty of options en route for cake stops
  • 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 A few go into Wales which is always novel
  • πŸ“ GPX routes available for all

I’ve done my best to include GPX files where possible though the routes themselves are subject to change. Your best bet is to contact the organiser, or they will send an updated file once you’ve entered.

If any of these events’ details need updating please let me know. I’d like to keep this as up to date as possible. Look out for my beginner-friendly 300s, 400s and 600s in the coming weeks and months.


I hope to see you on a 200km audax in the not-so-distant future and this list has certainly whet my appetite and given me a range of new events I might sign up for later in the year.

One Comment

  • Kevin

    The Roses to Wrags audax is also available as a perm called the Notts, Lincs and Derbys 200 which I have done a few times. Should you do this one in decent light or have good lights their isanice option with about 15km to go. At Ravenshead enter Newsead Abey Park and ride through on the cycle route. At the other end you could rejoin the route near Pinxton but I tend to just go Annesley, Seleston and Somercotes route. Easy to find on maps. The organiser of the permanent (Tom Fox) told me about this option.

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