Rockingham & Rutland Audax Report – Sunday 9th September

At least three CTC Northampton members – Bill Simpson, John Weller and Ian Macsporran – took part in this event.  Apologies if I missed spotting anyone else.

Organised by Richard Daniells on behalf of CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes, it was billed as a 110-kilometre event, starting and finishing at Oundle.  The route card suggested just over 117k and, in old money, I clocked up 71 miles.

The Joan Strong Centre has been the event’s HQ for some years.  There’s plenty of parking in the adjacent public car park for those wimps like me who drove over to Oundle.  The riders all assembled for a 9.30 a.m. start on a day of glorious weather.  More than one applied sun screen.

The route is glorious, circuiting Rutland and reaching west to Knossington in Leicestershire and north to Castle Bytham in Lincolnshire.  I saw Bill and John at the start but by the outskirts of Oundle they’d gone!  When I got to the manned control point at Ashwell, I saw them departing as I was arriving (they must have dawdled over their coffee and cake!).

For me, as on the one or two other Audaxes I’ve taken part in, this was essentially a solo ride after the first few miles.  Each rider chooses a pace he or she is comfortable with – and Richard’s route card made navigation pretty straightforward.  There were unmanned control points at Cold Overton and South Witham.

If Richard had organised the glorious sunshine, he also organised and warm but stiff southerly/south-westerly headwind for the final third of the course. The refreshments at the finish were very welcome!

So many thanks to Richard – and to Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire County Councils who were kind enough to leave their roads in such a state of poor repair that my memories of the cobbled cycle lanes of eastern Germany came flooding back!

John and Bill, of course, were not the sort of wimps to travel to Oundle by car but cycled to the start and home again afterwards.  I reckon that must have made a day of 130 miles.  Chapeau!

My route is here.

2 thoughts on “Rockingham & Rutland Audax Report – Sunday 9th September

  1. Mike took part in this event too and writes:

    Although I am not a member of the CTC anymore I was the only member of the Trycycle Association riding. Garmin tell me I clocked 70.96 miles.

    It is a tradition that all Audax rides starting from Oundle are at least 10% over distance – it’s something to get used to. At least the route sheet distances are correct I still remember a Mildenhall 300 that was 10% over distance but the organiser made no mention of it. Trust me that can be annoying.

    The roads on the first section were truly appalling. The trike was all over the place. I missed a couple of visits to ditches by the skin of my teeth. This slowed me right down and has given me a good upper body workout from wrenching the trike around.

    Apart from that it’s a nice course with a good control and I would recommend it – especially as at the end you are met by Max on his trike.

    • Thanks, Mike. Of course, I saw your trike but didn’t take the opportunity to say hello – apologies. Glad you agreed with me about the poor state of the roads. In fairness to Richard, he had posted a note at the start about the descent to Harringworth.

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