Most riders think of Audax as an event for individual, independent riders, but it actually has its roots in an organised ride for groups cyclists. The vestiges of this remain in the UK take the form of Easter and Summer ‘Arrow’ rides, where groups of 3 to 5 riders setout for York from any point in the UK. The ride must be of at least 360km, although teams are free to ride further if they want, and must be completed in a maximum of 24 hours. The sting in the tail is that they must complete the last 25km in the last two hours, which means that you cannot simply zip up to York and book into the hotel or park bench of your choice. Instead, most riders will look to find a somewhere to take a break in the wee cold hours of the morning, although those looking to set big distances will just keep going through the night.
Willesden has two teams riding this year. The Willesden “Beastly Boys” lead by Mark Brooking will depart Waltham at 10 am on Good Friday after a traditional Full-Willesden breakfast Chez Brooking on a 360km Arrow through the flatlands of the Eastern England. The Willesden “Home Boys” lead by Paul Stewart will leave Willesden at the same time on a 400km outing, taking a long loop round to the north of London to pick up Mark’s Beastly route.

Maybe we should run a sweepstake to guess which point they’ll catch up with the Beastly Boys (assuming they do of course!).

If you’d like to join in the fun, just drop Paul or Mark a line at willesdencyclingclub@yahoo.co.uk

Paul Stewart
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