Beast from the East ….600 km Audax

Audax may have an image problem. For some it conjures up images of saddlebags, sandals and beards. For others, well it may not have an image at all as not many people have heard of it.

To state it briefly, a member of Audax UK will be ‘imbued with the spirit of long distance cycling’. The Wattmeister and all his contact points are suitably imbued.

This year, 2015 is a Paris-Brest-Paris year, an event held every four years for which there is a qualifying procedure. The events may not reflect the most glamorous aspects of cycling, but the ride names cannot be accused of possessing prosaic titles.

The Wattmeister’s list of events will include: The Poor Student 200, The Green and Yellow Fields 300, Asparagus and Strawberries 400, and the eponymous Beast from the East 600… the sum of which constitute a super randonneur series.

The Beast is an interesting ride as it leaves Waltham Abbey at 06:00 a.m on Saturday 23rd May 2015 and must be completed within 40 hours, by 22:00 p.m on Sunday 24th May. It is also 23 kms over distance. The route traverses the Southern Counties from East to West, as far as Taunton, taking in the Chilterns, Salisbury Plain and the Blackdown Hills; it returns via a long but quiet stretch on the A30 which incorporates a wicked climb near Shaftesbury before climbing over the Downs near Kingsclere, descending into the Thames Valley and finishing off with a second crossing of the Chilterns before the sprint for home, (which The Wattmeister fully expects to win).

So, a veritable tour of southern England on quiet, scenic roads. It totals 623kms with about 6800 metres of vertical climb, the equivalent to a couple of days in the Alps. Bring it on!

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