Audax United Kingdom (known as Audax UK or AUK) is the foremost long-distance cycling association in the UK, and the biggest in the world. It was established in 1976. AUK oversees the running of long-distance cycling events, and, using a system of timed checkpoints, validates and records every successful ride.
Although technically, AUK does not 'run' events - these are run by clubs or individuals under AUK's supervision. When a non-member enters an event, there is a small additional fee over and above the usual entry fee, which gives the rider 'temporary membership' of AUK for the duration of the event. This is necessary for insurance reasons.
It's Latin for 'bold', and was first used in the context of endurance sports towards the end of the 19th century.
'Randonnée' is a French word which loosely translates to 'ramble or 'long journey' - it's not really cycling-specific, but in AUK we take it to mean a long cycle ride.
A 'Randonneur' is a person who has completed a recognised 200 kilometre ride.
It means 'certificate', more or less. So it's the card you carry, which gets stamped at controls and finally validated by AUK as proof of your ride. The word is often also used to describe the event itself - ie, a certificated ride.
BRM (Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux) events are run all around the world under the standard set of rules laid down by the ACP (Audax Club Parisien) and the rides are validated and recorded by them. They are at standard distances, with a maximum of 5% over distance, and the maximum time limits for each distance is:
BR (Brevets de Randonneurs) events are at any distance over 200km, and are validated only by AUK. Whilst not dissimilar in conduct to BRM events the speed limits are subtly different. The maximum time allowed is based on the actual distance of the event and a minimum speed set by the organiser, usually 14.3km/h or 15km/h for events less than 600km. Lower minimum speeds are allowed in the AUK Regulations for longer events.
BP (Brevets Populaires) events, also validated only by AUK, are usually shorter than 200km and often run to more relaxed speed limits set by the organiser (with a minimum of 10km/h).
There are also RM (Randonneurs Mondiaux) events which are 1200km (usually 90 hour time limit) or longer (time limit based on nominal distance and speed limits similar to those for BR rides)
The 'classic' distances for AUK events are 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km. (200km is approximately 125 miles - kilometres are used because of AUK's close links with other similar organisations throughout the world, and particularly in France.) Most AUK events are either 200km or 100km.
However AUK aims to have something for everybody and events start from 50km (about 32 miles) and go all the way up to 1400km (about 875 miles), and even this is not the limit because there are set routes, known as 'Permanents', which span the length and breadth of the country and go up to 3200km.
The maximum time allowed to complete the ride is measured from the time you set off, to the time you finish. There are no allowances for breaks, meals, rest, sleep or mechanical breakdown. So in practical terms this means you have to ride fast enough to generate your own time buffers, especially on the longer events where you will need to rest or even sleep for a while.
This is not as tough as it may sound, as the maximum time limits are quite generous, with this in mind.
They are NOT races. People ride them more in the spirit of an event like the London Marathon, everyone riding to their own limitations with the primary objective to just 'get round'. These events suit everyone, club riders, time-trialists, recreational riders, cycletourists, 'born again' cyclists, young and old, male and female. And you'll see all sorts of machines - bikes, tandems, trikes, recumbents, and occasionally even stranger things ...
Size of entry varies greatly but is typically around 100 starters. Small local events may have just a handful of riders while a few popular events attract 200 starters or more.
The routes typically feature a few fast main roads and a lot of quiet, scenic lanes. Many events are quite hilly, some are extremely hilly, and even the flatter ones usually have one or two challenging climbs. Some events are noted for the quality of home-cooked food and tender loving care supplied along the way. But most are not - self-sufficiency is a highly-regarded quality in AUK.
On the same theme, 'support' - for example a following car - is very much frowned upon. There are maximum and minimum time limits, which are designed to suit everyone from the fittest of recreational riders, to more occasional riders who have plenty of determination. Each rider carries a 'brevet card' which is stamped at intermediate checkpoints and at the finish, and which is later returned to the rider as a certificate of their achievement.
The success rate on these events is very high - probably only about 10% fail to finish.
Every ride completed within the time limit is held by AUK to be an achievement and is recorded as such in AUK's permanent archives. The original brevet card is stamped and numbered by AUK and returned to the rider. On some events, marked in the Calendar as 'BRM', the records are also held in the archives of Audax Club Parisien (or ACP), which is the world's oldest-established long-distance cycling organisation. On these events the card is also stamped and numbered by ACP before return.
Successful riders are entitled to buy AUK's cloth badges and metal medallions for the various standard distances, and some big events have special versions of these as well.
AUK also runs an Awards structure for various combinations of events. For example, someone who rides a 200, a 300, a 400 and a 600km in the same season becomes a 'Super Randonneur' and a list of these elite is published every year in AUK's Arrivée magazine. At another level, someone who rides 10x100km events over any period of time, gains a 'Brevet 1000'.
AUK also runs a Championship structure, for the riders covering the greatest total distances in events during the year, with various categories including Juniors, Veterans, Trikes and so on. You need to have plenty of spare time on your hands to be in the running for these though - the record so far is 28,700 - equivalent to 144 200km rides in a year, or nearly 3 per week, summer and winter!
Generally, no. Do not expect a 'sag waggon' on these events, unless the organiser has said otherwise. Nor can you expect the finish, or any intermediate control, to be manned after the closing time as printed in your brevet card. You would be expected to make your own way back to your transport or directly home. It is common courtesy though, to get a message to the organiser if you possibly can.
You can try. But you are most unlikely to succeed!
AUK's regulations used to require mudguards - but not any more. Some events may require mudguards, but that depends on the individual organiser. In the Calendar, the code M indicates that mudguards may be required. Otherwise, they are not required, though their use might be 'encouraged' by some organisers.
Lights are required by British law if you ride between the times of dusk and dawn. In practice this could happen on any of AUK's events except a few summer 200s and some shorter events.
A standard Event Entry Form is available.
Entry must be made using this form or one that is textually similar, or the entry may be rejected. Entry fees vary from event to event, and are subject to a small surcharge for non-members.
Entry must be made in good time before the date of the event - if your entry is received less than 2 weeks before the start it may be rejected. Also several events have a limit on size of entry - so enter in good time to be sure of a place.
Audax UK is a non-profit organisation and the bulk of your membership fee goes into production of the quarterly magazine.
But in total:
- A quarterly A4 magazine, called Arrivée, packed with information, event updates, letters, stories and photographs. Including a hardcopy of the events calendar.
- Inclusion in the AUK Awards and Championships structure.
- And the warm glow you get from belonging to the world's largest long-distance cycling club.
The truth is, anything will do. But make sure it is roadworthy, well maintained and checked over before the start of any long ride.
The most popular type of bike is something at the 'fast' end of 'touring', and many UK manufacturers now offer bikes badged as 'Audax' or 'Randonneur', which will have quite a lot in common with a lightweight steel-framed club racing bike while retaining the necessary clearances and brazings for mudguards and a luggage rack.
Audax rides are run on most weekends throughout the year, but for Awards & Championships points are accumulated over the period 1st November though to 31st October of the following year.
Yes. The only proviso is, in the case of Championships, you cannot gain more points in Permanents than in Calendar Events.
So, if you gained 55 points in Permanents and 45 in Events, you would achieve the Randonneur 10000 award (100 points) but in Championship terms you would only have 90 points.
Yes, provided they are BRM or RM rides. That is, they must appear in the Calendars published annually by Audax Club Parisien or by Les Randonneurs Mondiaux.
But you will have to take positive steps to claim them by sending the AUK Recorder either:
- A link to the results page / finishers list on the Organiser’s website (or that of their national body). This should show the ACP homologation (validation) number, but if not, it must be provided to the Recorder as soon as known.
A scan of both sides of the brevet card which, when it is returned to you, should have a numbered ACP sticker on the back.
For most awards, no. AUK's results service on this website automatically tracks and lists who is eligible for what, on an annual basis. But you would be wise to claim, especially in the case of a Championship which appears to be a close-run thing, or if you don't agree with what you see on the website listings. You also need to claim for the Tandem, Trike and Recumbent Championships. There is a claim form accessible from the online Results pages.
AUK's records are currently compiled on an annual basis. So in the case of those awards which can span more than one season, that is, most of the 'Brevet Series' and also the Ultra Randonneur, you must make a claim and substantiate it.
Yes, but only for events ridden within the current season (November 1st to October 31st).
Once added to your record they can count as usual for AUK's various Awards.
You will need to claim for these events with the Recorder, after the event results have been validated, but before the end of the season in which you joined. You will need details of your Name, Membership Number, and the Event Number (eg 21-119 or GJ03). The Event Number can be found here for Calendar events and here for Permanent events. Clicking on the Event Id (blue text) will give you a list of successful riders. If your name and membership number is shown in the list you do not need to claim, but if it says "Non-member" then use this form to send your request to the Recorder
In your AUK membership details you can choose to show your membership of both a Cycling Club and a Cycling UK (formerly CTC) Member Group (formerly DA). Audax Club Parisien (ACP) can only store a single club or member group affiliation against each rider of a BRM, and prefers to have only a single affiliation through each season (this is important for PBP qualification). This affiliation is declared to ACP for each rider when AUK submits the results of BRMs. In the early part of the season you have the choice between Club, CUK Member Group, or simply Audax UK as your "ACP Club". If you do not make a choice AUK allocates one. Once your first BRM is validated by ACP, the choice is locked for the remainder of the season.
Anything could happen to delay you. Serious equipment problems - stripped freewheel blocks are a favourite, or snapped cranks. People have been known to fall off, go to hospital, have stitches, carry on and still finish in time!
Minimal lighting, a small rear LED light and a modern compact front light, weighs very little and doesn't take much space. It's a sensible insurance.
Your card has to scrutinised and validated by Audax UK.
First, the event organiser has to collect together all the cards at the end of an event, sort them into some sort of order, compile a results sheet and a financial returns sheet including payment to AUK for any medals and badges. All this is then securely parcelled and posted to AUK.
During the busiest part of the season, which is April and May, there could be 15 or more such packages arriving at AUK after each weekend.
At AUK, each card is individually scrutinised for missed or out of time controls. It is then awarded a unique Brevet Number, which is printed on a sticker and attached to the card. If the event is one of those which is labelled BRM in the Calendar, the results are now forwarded to Audax Club Parisien in France for another validation process. ACP generate their own Brevet Numbers and their own stickers which are attached to the cards.
Now the cards can be parcelled up along with the medals and badges and returned to the organiser. The organiser must now sort the cards into their individual sae's, checking each one for a medal or badge request and enclosing as necessary, and post them back to the riders.
This chain of events is laborious enough, but often what really slows things down is that one or other link in the chain will be on holiday.
There are a number of reasons why results might not appear promptly.
The first thing to do is to check the relevant events results page (calendar events or permanent events). If a calendar event does not yet appear on the list it means that the event has yet to be processed through AUK's system. The delay may be down to the Organiser or the Validation team, but never fear, it will be published eventually.
When the event does appear, click on it to see the list of names who are recorded as having completed the event.
If your name appears with your membership number you'll be able to see the ride in your individual rides list. If it says "Non-member" against your record then this may be because you entered the ride before joining or because of an oversight in the processing of your entry. Just send an email to the Recorder or use the Contact Us page to get your record corrected.
In the unlikely event that your name does not appear at all, let the Event Organiser know and copy any correspondence to the Validation Secretary.
Make sure you mention your membership number and the event number (eg 21-119 for a calendar or GJ03 for a permanent) if you know it, or the date, the start location and the distance.
You have to put a motion before the AGM, with a seconder. The AGM usually takes place in February, but the motion needs to be thought out MUCH earlier than this. In fact the signed and seconded motion needs to be in the hands of the AUK Secretary at least 56 days before the date of the meeting.
This is so that there is time to get it published in Arrivée before the meeting, so that members can read the motion and form a considered view before voting. If you are trying to get a difficult idea across to the membership, the Secretary will help with the formal wording of the motion, and you would also have the opportunity to write a paragraph or two explaining your ideas, in Arrivee.
Finally, you don't HAVE to attend the meeting, but if you want your motion to succeed, it helps!