“You can keep your nice, your leisurely and your convenience” Mike Hall 2016 (The Bugle by Brooks England)
In the days following the sudden death of Mike Hall, some of Mike’s friends in the UK Audax community felt the need to plan a group ride that encapsulated his spirt. Driven by the challenge of self-supported adventure, Mike often rode 400km days on his bikepacking races, was keen to incorporate a bit of gravel into his Welsh road training rides and was certainly not shy of hills. We wanted to capture the essence of his article ‘This is not a tour’ in an Audax format.
Having talked it over, and ideas shared with Mike’s close family and friends, a plan was hatched for a 2018 Audax UK calendar event. The result was a challenging 400km mixed surface route with some of the steepest 7500 meters of ascent you’ll ride in Wales. We felt that Mike would approve.
The recce proved challenging but very rewarding, both in terms of terrain covered and the planning of supplies after night fall. However, it also highlighted the need for some alternative routes to ensure a wider cross section of cyclists could join in remembering him.
So, a weekend of additional 100km, 200km and 300km single loop routes have been planned to run alongside that 400km ride, we even have a 600km. These are not normal Audax events and are certainly not sportives. They are not-for-profit! They will offer something not often found on the AUK calendar, or any calendar. They will all embrace the spirit of Mike and promise to be challenging in their own right.
The spirit of self-sufficiency should be embraced. There will be no route arrows, no AUK feed stations, no AUK staffed controls, no bag drops, no roaming mechanic, no sag wagon and no on-route cafe/shop information. There will be an event HQ, gpx tracks and the information provided on this website, but once you leave HQ, you’re on your own folks.
These rides will demand commitment to make the time allowances. Remember, this is not a tour! And whilst they are not races, we encourage spirited riding. However, don’t enter the longer events thinking you will be able to just ‘knock them out’ on your light weight race bike, you won’t! And that’s not a challenge.