It’s cycling at its simplest

There are no headline sponsors, no goodie bags, no numbers, no gold standard times, no pretending at the finish to have looked into the jaws of hell and survived.

It’s cycling at its simplest; it’s about distance at a sensible pace with good company. It’s about not making every niggle into a disaster; it’s about enjoying the ride.

At the end all you have are great stories, a Strava track and memories of taking on a tough challenge in a spirit of companionship, community, understated achievement and mutual encouragement.

It’s all explained in this article in Cadence and here’s some background from the club that helps organise events – Audax UK.

Riders support themselves; there are no broom wagons and there are legendary tales about resourceful cyclists managing to finish despite broken frames and outrageous odds.  However, most of us only ever have to face the occasional puncture; when you see another rider in trouble you stop to offer at least moral support.

Volunteers all over the country organise events that vary in length from 100 to 600km and even more. 2023 sees the running of the iconic Paris Brest Paris which attracts thousands of riders from around the world tacking an event that predates the Tour de France… entering the Tour de Ricky could be the start of something really big!

If you are thinking of entering the Tour de Ricky you really ought to consider membership of Audax UK.  As well as getting a discount on event entry fees you become a member of an unique community of cyclists – not just another person who happens to own a bike.

Rides are not created to generate profits; when a surplus is made it is most likely to be donated to a local charity or used to bolster club funds. Tour de Ricky surplus will be split between Willesden Cycling Club, Woodoaks Farm and Watford Cycle Hub

Entrants ride at a maximum speed of 30kph and a minimum of 15kph including stops.  For a detailed explanation of how it works check out this page from Cambridge Audax .

At the start you are given a card which shows you where you have to stop or with questions about a piece of information you’ll need to collect. Although you have a suggested route, you just need to show that you’ve visited the set points named on your card. Sometimes these will be a control where a volunteer will stamp your card or where you just need a receipt to prove you’ve been there. At other times you may need to find a piece of information such as pub name of a distance on a sign post.

Completing an audax, like the Tour de Ricky, brings few rewards or badges. You get the chance to meet some great people – and listen to some interesting voices (including your less encouraging inner monologue half way up a hill when all you want is a cup of tea!). It’s all about the challenge, not the kudos.