Westerley Winter Warmer, 14th January

Our friends the Westerley Club are running their Winter Warmer event on Sunday 14th January.

There are three versions, at 110km (1200m of climbing),  61km and a the shorter version is around 44km.  The long route is a challenging winter ride which tackles several of the bigger climbs on the Chiltern ridge while the medium route has Hatches Lane as its main climb.  The short version is a very pretty route that misses out all the big hills and most of the (short) main road sections which the others have.

Entry prices are the same as last year: £10/£9/£8 for adults and free for Juniors (who must be accompanied by an adult).

Ride HQ is Chalfont St Giles Scout Hut, GPX tracks, computerised timing system and plenty of food before and after (including home-made cake).

Enter the Westerley Winter Warmer. The event sells out every time, so don’t leave entering too long.

Originally slated for this date was our Audax taster, the Watership Down event in Hampshire.  Since the Westerley event is much closer to home, it supercedes the Watership Down.

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Cormac Nisbet becomes a Pro Cyclist

John Wheatley has an update on Comac Nisbet’s pro cycling career.
John says “Some members may remember Cormac Nisbet, who was in the Slipstreamers then the Willesden CC, before getting serious as a racing cyclist.
In a very exciting development John adds that Cormac  “..is now part of the Wolfpack in the Soudal Quickstep development team. An outstanding achievement.”
Click here for a previous WCC blog posting when Cormac was racing as a junior
Well done Cormac!  We are all mighty proud of you and we look forward to following your career in the coming season. Chapeau!
Click on the following link for more information on Cormac’s journey to become a Soudal Quickstep pro.
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Race Report!

One of the Willesden CC’s finest riders is getting good results in a British stage race! Yes, the Willesden CC’s teleprinter has sprung into life with incoming reports of the 1953 Tour of Britain road race!  The Willesden CC’s Ken Daniels* gets a special mention in the attached film, which is available free to view on the British Film Institute’s BFI PLayer web page. Click here

*For more info on Ken Daniels, I urge you to also have a quick look at at a previous WCC blog post by clicking here



Ken Daniels

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Big Audax Sunday!

Last Sunday (29th October), WCC riders were out on a couple of traditional and popular fixtures on the Audax UK calendar, namely the “Dartmoor Devil” and the “Emitremmus”. Both rides are 100+km long but are quite different in profile.

The Dartmoor Devil

The Dartmoor Devil Brevet Card

Marianne has focused her recent training on the rigours that the Dartmoor Devil will deliver. This ride is a famous Audax fixture and it demands a lot of respect. It is rated as a “AAA” event, which stands for  “Audax Altitude Award”. In simple words it is a flippin’ ‘ard day out on a bike!

The Devil starts from Bovey Tracey, climbing up onto the high moors via pretty villages, narrow lanes and steep hills. It finishes back at in Bovey Tracey after tackling the infamous Widecombe Hill.

Marianne has had her eye on the Devil for sometime and this year was going to be her year. On Sunday morning she was ready and waiting on the start line, facing a 111km ride with 2,500 metres of climbing! Taking place in autumn makes it even more of a challenge, with less hours of daylight and plenty of late season weather to add further spices.

Marianne described the Dartmoor Devil as  “a great ride, the hills were great in gradient too, but if you love hills, you’d be in your element!”

In Audax circles, such rides with lots of climbing are described as scenic! As Marianne says “The vistas were fantastic, well worth the effort”.  She added that “…. some hills were very challenging for me and I had to stop for a breather”. As well as the hills being steep, there there was the legendary quality of our roads to add further  excitment. Marianne said  “… at times, I was going so slowly, putting so much effort in, I couldn’t guide the bike around all the potholes, so had to get off and walk until the road improved.”

Weather conditions on the ride were mixed. She reported that “the first two to three  hours were typically sunny Autumnal weather, after that, it rained sporadically, but not for long.”

The Devil throws plenty of challenges your way and the Audax time limit for the 111km ride is an exacting 8 hours and 53 minutes. As Marianne finished she thought the worst. She said  “I really thought I was out of time and shocked I had 10 minutes to spare, so to celebrate I bought the badge the organiser was selling.”

Chapeau Marianne and it’s a very nice badge it is too!

The Dartmoor Devil’s Finisher’s badge







The Emitremmus

The “Emitremmus” is a companion ride to the “Summer Time Special”. The Emitremmus is traditionally held on the day the clocks go back in October, whilst the “Summer Time Special” is held at the other end of the summer, when the clocks spring forward.  So why is it called the Emitremmus? Well, it’s “Summertime” spelt backwards….. geddit??? This passes for funny in the Audax world :o)

It always starts with Brevet card admin.

This is the first of a few Audax rides that Ian Oliver has hand picked as being a good introduction for members wanting to try Audax, whilst still being interesting for old hands at this curiously addictive type of riding.  The ride start is in Stevenage, where the cycle path rules, and then heads over to Saffron Walden, before the return back to the finish.

L-R: Dan, John, Vyv and “Miles”.

Four of the Willesden CC made the start, Dan, John W, Vyvien and myself. We all met in a cafe at the start, which seemed to have a unique ordering system and a rather random approach to serving hot drinks.

Club Chairman John summed up the beginning of the day  – “The start cafe was slightly disappointing, as you needed to have ordered everything weeks ahead, but the sun was out and the roads were very quiet. Some lovely scenic villages on a great route.”  We can’t really report on the state of the potholes, as for a good part of the ride the road (and any holes!) were invisible under large expanses of muddy flood water.

On the ride out to Saffon Walden we serendipitously met up with the famous Hippy from the Willesden CC. He was at the side of the road with Mrs Hippy, who was putting the finishing touches to fixing her punctured rear wheel.

Mrs Hippy and Mr Hippy meet up wit the Willesden Massive

The ride passed through great handfuls of pretty villages and we gazed upon thatched cottage after thatched cottage.  As the ride passed through Manuden we stopped for photos of Vyv outside the house where she grew up.

Wot, no blue plaque!


We arrived at Saffron Walden after 65km of riding and we had to hunt down our own cafe, as there was no organised stop. At this point we had our second serendipitous moment, a perfect cafe appeared with next to zero faffing about. As soon as we were seated inside we were amazed by a beyond-epic downpour. We could scarcely believe we had dodged it! The cafe was bustling and its service was a blend of friendly and slow. But we were unperturbed as the rain  was proving stubborn to any suggestion of stopping and moving on to some where else.  John continued his patient vigil for his first coffee of the day – it turned up just before noon. When the food arrived it was high quality, delicious and more than ample.


The return leg was a good twenty km shorter than the outward route. Riding home we were treated to a number of halloween displays.

A friendly rider out on his bone shaker. Wouldn’t wanted to have met him on a night time Audax!


Unusually for a short distance Audax, the finish was in a different place to the start. It was not all bad news as John reports –

“The finish was 8k from the start BUT IT WAS IN A PUB! We duly honoured WCC tradition and ours were the only bikes outside, as darkness descended. The route back took us almost to the start, via a few identical looking dogging car parks but we made it back without incident. A Grand Day Out.”

After the unnecessary excursion we arrived back to our cars in total darkness. Everyone else had been and gone! It was a great ride and one we should do as a club ride in the summer of 2024.


Oh, and we got a badge as well!

If you have not done an Audax ride before or are fairly new to this enjoyable cycling discipline then contact us at info@willesdencyclingclub.org.uk  Audax UK’s web site gives a great explanation of this non-competetive alternative to the more expensive Sportive.



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Peter Persistently Picks Plenty of P*nct*r*es (WoW Ride 25th Oct)

Today’s WoW route to Velolife


This week’s WoW* ride had a great turn out of eight riders, namely Vyv, Anne, Juli-E, Marianne, Ian, Gerry, Pete and yours truly.

As we got ready, a buzz went around the groupetto as we began to notice Ian was quietly draped over a very fetching Italian e-bike. We all admired and approvingly cooed over the new addition to his bike family, which has already earned him a new sobriquet of “Eon Why”.

Conditions at the start were normal for a grey day at the end of October. Despite a forecasted dry day, we wanted to keep the run reasonably short in duration, but the P*nct*r* Fairy ws out to have her fun!

We agreed to go to Velolife via Cookham Bridge and Winter Hill. It is said that the P*nct*r* Fairy loves to make fools of people who make plans.  She must have been listening to us with a smirk on her beautiful face. About half way into our ride she aimed her wand at Pete’s front tyre, which she had acquired a taste for from a previous ride. Her wand was waved and Pete instantly shouted “P*nct*r*!!!”.

A P*nct*r* Party was formed and Pete’s wheel, tyre and tube were efficiently separated from each other. The hunt was now on to find the exact spot where her magic wand had struck. Her work was hard to spot, but Anne eventually found a tiny, tiny hole in the tube. Our attention then shifted to the tyre, to pluck out either the tiny shard of glass, microscopic flint or whooping 6 inch nail that had caused the flat. Despite a very thorough and diligent search no culprit could be found. This was most unsatisfying. I had an uneasy feeling that the P*nct*r* Fairy was out to sport with us today.

The first of our P*nct*r* parties.

Velolife was reached and was bustling with non-cycling clientele. We found a table an enjoyed our break, Campervans seemed to be one of our main topics. When we returned to our bikes the clouds had vanished, the roads were dry and the skies were blue, but Pete had a look of concern on his face. His tyre was soft. More air was sought from the cafe’s track pump. As Pete got to grips with an unfamiliar  track pump, he involuntarily opted for a complete change of air in the tube. Once full pressure was restored, we gingerly returned to Beaconsfield, with a strategy of regular stops to check and pump up as necessary.

Pumped up…but not for long, as Pete’s pump caddy earns his crust :o)

On the route back to Beaco’, the stops to pump up Pete’s tyre became more and more frequent. By Burnham Pete had decided to call a minicab, however Marianne wouldn’t hear of it and said she would return with her car to collect him . Thanks Marianne, you saved the day.

Despite our encounters with the P. Fairy it was a great day out on what turned out to be a gentle and warm afternoon in friendly company.

Miles Back


* What are WoW (Willesden on Wednesday) Rides?

  • We meet in Beaconsfield, but we also meet in other locations to vary our routes and cafe stops. For example WoW rides start from Biggleswade, Alton (Work in progress) and Willesden itself!
  • Our WoW cafe stops are “Slow-cial”, rather then a rapid coffee + wee pit stop.
  • We aim to ride all winter, provided if conditions are safe and the forecast is dry and over 4C, but we confirm via a Whatsapp group earlier  in the week.
  • We ride as a group and have a “no-Drop” policy – no-one is ever left behind.
  •  GPS routes available.
  • Non-Willesden members are welcome to join us for a taste of what our wonderful club has to offer.

If you would like to join us, then email me on willesdencyclingclub@yahoo.co.uk and I will send you a QR Code to join the Whatsappgroup.

Miles Back

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WoW (Willesden CC on Wednesday) Ride

This week’s WoW ride consisted entirely of Willesde-dents (Willesden residents). They are a bit of a rare species with in the club, so a 100% Willesde-dent peloton was quite a land mark…. shame it was only a two-up! Many of the regular WoW riders were either abroad or had other commitments for this Wednesday, but just as well, as the weather forecast was a bit dodgy . The night before I set about examining the rain radar forecast in micro-detail. If I looked carefully at the right angle and in the right light I could just about see a small WoW friendly weather window between 10am and 1:30pm. That looked time enough for a no-nonsense 55km ride from Beaconsfield to Velolife at Warren Row.

One unknown along the route was the newly closed Cookham Bridge. I am pleased to say we were efficiently escorted through the road works by Traffic Marshals, who were keeping a good look out for approaching cyclists and walkers. Crossing the bridge on foot gave us time to admire the river, plus the approach roads on both sides of the bridge were eerily quiet. Something I have not experienced in some 35 years of crossing this bridge.

Our WoW cafe stops are deliberately slow-ciable, giving us time for chat and even a second coffee. However today the cafe stop needed to be brief, but not so brief that we didn’t have time for their delicious coffee and cake.

Back on the bikes and it was off home via White Waltham, Cookham and Harvest Hill. We even explored a new route back through Beaconsfield to avoid THAT climb on the A40! We were back at the start by 1:30pm and bone dry-ish. A no point were rain capes, donned, unfurled or even moistened, despite the bruise coloured clouds. It was a satisfying ride and it was great to get some more miles in our legs in readiness for the WCC’s appearance on the “Emitremmus Audax” to be held on Sunday, 29th October.

Hopefully the weather will give us another dry window for a ride next Wednesday. If you would like to added to the WoW WhatsApp group then drop me an email at willesdencyclingclub@yahoo.co.uk and I will send you a QR code.

Potential new Willesden CC members would be very welcome.

See you next WoW’s Day, regards “Miles Back”

The Willesden CC Peloton en masse at Velolife.


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“Cyclist” magazine article on Jim Love

One of the many assets of the Willesden CC is our club’s remarkable history and heritage.  It is great to see an article in an edition of the “Cyclist” magazine about the previous Willesden CC’s Club President,  Jim Love.

Jim Love was in the Great Britain team for the 1948 Olympic games, which were held in London. Jim lived in Kingsbury in NW London and joined the Willesden CC at the age of 16, just around the time the war was ending. He developed rapidly as a rider and by 1948 he had earned a place on  the six man GB Olympic team.  He trained at the Herne Hill velodrome, commuting there on his road bike with his track bike jauntily slung over one shoulder! He described how the saddle was just behind his ear, but the major hazard he had to contend with was the trams and their tracks.

In one of the penultimate training sessions he had an off-day and was distanced by his team mates. So he was nominated as a team reserve. It is worth noting that in a previous conversation with Jim he mentioned that his boss would not initially allow him to take the day off work to attend the Olympics!

Jim is a superb ambassador for the club and is a true gentleman, just look at the positive comments about him on the club’s history page. It is wonderful to see this salute to him in the cycling press, so thank you “Cyclist” magazine and also a big thank you to Gill Reynolds who spotted their article.

Miles Back

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Cookham Bridge closing for five months.

Today’s WoW ride (moved forward to a Tuesday to enjoy the splendid weather) went over Cookham Bridge. I noticed with considerable surprise that our favourite way of crossing the Thames will be closed to traffic from 16th October to 22 March 2024…. some five months.

The good news is that according to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s web site the bridge will be closed for to motor vehicles, however “pedestrian access will remain. Mobility scooter users will also be able to access the bridge. Cyclists will need to dismount before crossing the bridge.”

Miles Back

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Club Annual General Meeting this Friday 6th October at 19.30

Club members are invited to our AGM this Friday at the clubrooms on the Hillingdon Circuit.

We will have the usual official reports etc but there’s an interesting section on Club Development that we want to get approved and implemented. This will be vital to ensuring the long term future of the club.

Put your Willesden CC cap on and come and have your say on how we get younger members to join our wonderful club. We have so much to offer new cyclists and members.

We will be proposing using some club funds to get us back on track and we need a vote from members attending the meeting  to approve spending.

See you all Friday!




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Hillingdon High Wheelers – Sunday 24th September 2023

The Pennies are back at Hillingdon for another day of high wheel racing. At stake will be the British Penny Farthing Championship race trophy, donated by The Pickwick Bicycle Club. The other trophies originate from 1910 and are for riders of original Ordinaries (A.k.a. Pennies) to race over a course of one mile. They are magnificent trophies, standing 500mm tall.

The Pickwick Bicycle Club will run two races at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit, firstly for original Victorian Ordinaries, and secondly for modern Penny Farthings.  Not only is this a a great spectacle, but it is also free! So if you are free on the afternoon of Sunday 24th September 2023, then pop over to this wonderful and friendly event at the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit, 11-12 Springfield Road, Hayes, UB4 0LP, the entrance to the Hillingdon circuit is in the “Goals” car park

The Program for the day:

12 noon Cycle circuit is open for pre-race training rides together with social riding on the track for all machines.

2:00pm Start of Grand Old Ordinary race for original 19th Century machines to race one circuit of the track which is one mile.

3:00pm Start of the Penny Farthing race for more modern machines which will be for 30 minutes + 2 laps.

4:00pm Prize giving for both races

The impressive trophies

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PaM Goes cycling mad!

The Willesden CC’s base camp at the 2023 Semaine Fédérale.

The Semaine Fédérale might seem an odd choice of name for a cycling event, but it is a rather wonderful week full of cycling organised by the FFCT (Fédération Française de Cyclotourisme). The FFCT hold the Semaine Fédérale during late July or early August and it is hosted by a different region of France each year. It is a very French event and only a handful of Brits make it over there, but each year there are more of us. Mark Brooking introduced me to this event in 2009 and since then the Willesden CC have gone almost every year.

Leaving the camp site on the first days ride.

My first Semaine Fédérale was held in Saint Omer just a short drive from Calais. From the start I was highly impressed with the sheer size of the event and how extremely well it was organised. There were some 13,000 cyclists signed up for the event. We could choose from staying in digs or dormitories, but like many others we opted for the well laid out campsite specially set up for the event. It was a massive site and it seemed to contain every camper van known to France. The campsites are equipped with ample toilet and shower facilities. Though these are a bit basic, they are clean and perfect for the job (opps – unintentional pun!). If you are imagining full camper van hook-ups, on site swimming pools and wi-fi beamed into your tent, then you need to think again! However, the campsites have a good cycling vibe and a nice feeling of camaraderie .

Camping has its cosy moments – the record was 14 in this space

This year’s Semaine Fédérale was to be my 12th. It marked the 84th running of this annual event and the host town was the marvellous Pont-a-Mousson (PaM for short), located on the Moselle in the eastern part of France about 100km from the German Boarder. PaM has about 15,000 residents, who are known as Mussipontains, and although numbers were considerably down for this year’s event, the Semaine Fédérale still boosted the population by 40%. The town is centred on the river with a beautiful main square and a magnificent abbey. We all really we all became very fond of PaM and affectionately called it Ponty.

The usual format of the week is six days of rides over various routes. Non of it is obligatory – you’re on holiday after all! Each day there were four “road” rides to choose from, ranging from 55 to 160kms. All the routes are marked with arrows, plus these days a GPX file is also available. The rides are tours and are most definitely not races. You can start whatever time you want and finish when you choose. If you don’t like road riding then there are Mountain bike trails that are changed each day. Still not tempted? Then how about some Gravel bike riding, there were routes for these machines too.

Chilled Sunflower

This year the Willesden had a contingent of 16. The campsite was home for 14 of us, plus the two Birch’s who were in a very cushy apartment in Nancy. Most of us arrived in PaM on the Friday, giving us a couple of days to discover all the vital items we had left at home and all the non essential things we seemed to have brought instead. All tents are frequently visited by elves with long wooden spoons, which they use to stir up the tent’s entire contents. After the elves call nothing is anywhere near where you left it …. and they call frequently.

The first day of riding was on the Sunday. The rides are all curated by the local cycling clubs and really show off the area to maximum effect. As it was the first day we decided to ride as a one big sleek team. There appears to be no French word for “Faff” as the French riders seem more than able to get up eat breakfast and set out on their choice of ride. They would half around the course before the faffers of Willesden managed to get both socks on. We eventually set off late morning and enjoyed a ride together.

The next day, Monday, the weather was sunny but ominously windy, a sign that things were on the turn. By Tuesday the storm had arrived and it decided to stick around for a three days. Well PaM is in Lorraine were and there was a lorra rain. Most us used this as an excuse to elbow cycling and to drive over to neighbouring cities. This usually involved a quick trip around a cathedral and possibly a market, followed by a slap up lunch of several hours. Our WhatsApp group was very active with pictures of meals, showing off beautiful starters, epic main courses and topped off by riders peering around the sides of enormous puddings. Steve Llewyn and Pete James, who are some of our newest recruits, were having none of this. They eschewed the high living and rode each day regardless of the conditions. Well done Guys – your Willesden CC initiation is now complete.

Post-ride recovery was taken very seriously.

We made do with the only available protein shakes in PaM

As the end of the week approached the weather improved and we enjoyed some cracking rides on the longer routes. One ride took us along an amazing traffic free bike path that was over 30kms long. It was almost as broad as a road as well as surfaced with a unique type of tarmac that doesn’t have a gapping pot-hole every 10 metres (can we but this stuff for our roads please). It packed the bonus of being a former railway line, so its slopes were very leg friendly. Marianne was the star of the week, riding solo on the longest ride possible on the final day, which included a gratuitous hill of eye crossing steepness just before the finish line in PaM.

The last hill on the last day! It was a brute!

It was now Saturday night and it was time for the closing Gala dinner laid on by the organisers. The multi-course meal was superb value and it would have cost 5 times as much in a London restaurant. Our favourite cycling accordionist was there to entertain us whilst we waited for our dinner.

Most of our party returned directly home to the UK on Sunday. The rest stayed until throwing out time on Monday morning. We had various destinations in mind, but all plans seemed to involve being ensconced in luxurious French hotels with toilets that had seats and ceilings.

Miles Back


A silly sign post

Vincent and Briand taking part in the their Willesedn CC v Twickenham CC tournament

Jan made it into the local papers.

err….insert your own caption for the Club Chairman.

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Reminder WCC Inaurgual 100km this Saturday

WCC Inaurgual 100km this Saturday
Don’t forget to let Liam FitzPatrick know to expect you for the first ever running of the Willesden 100 on Saturday.
Starting from Rickmansworth Station at 0900 the ride heads up into the Chilterns via Chesham, Cheddington, Ivinghoe and Tring. There’s even an ice cream stop at the top of the Beacon!
It will finish back at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome – where anyone who couldn’t make the ride can still join the fun over a cake or possibly a beer.
The aim is to ride at an average of 20kph (12 mph) and although we’ll probably ride together, a two group approach might work if enough people show up.
The route can be downloaded here – https://ridewithgps.com/routes/44035061 – Use the WhatsApp groups to tell us if you’re coming.
And if you  can’t join at the start, Liam will post a tracker on the Sunday Rides WhatsApp group so you can track us down later on the ride.
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Mel Kirkland riding his eighth Paris-Brest-Paris

Paris Brest Paris is the world’s most prestigious Audax. Willesden’s Mel Kirkland has ridden each one since 1995 and this will be his eighth. If he finishes, he will set a new club record.

The tracker is at https://track.rtrt.me/e/CC-2023#/tracker

I have not had much luck with the tracker as it shows him at that start but he should be around 20 hours in.

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Audax Sundays

Audax Sundays

** Don’t forget – The Inaugural Willesden CC ‘Club 100’ Audax Style Ride – 26th August 2023 from Rickmansworth ***

Willesden and Audaxing

From the 80s to the late naughties Willesden was one of the UK’s pre-eminent Audax clubs. Legends like Jack Eason, Liz Creese and Peter Turnbull won awards galore:

  • Willesden Members have won the Audax annual individual championship 14 times.
  • The Club has won the Club Audax championship 13 times
  • The late Jack Eason was awarded the “Randonneur of the Millennium” award
  • The Audax hall of fame has about 90 entries and it is peppered with Willesden CC riders.

The premier event in Audaxing worldwide is Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP), run every four years (the 2023 edition starts on Monday). Willesden CC has in the past won the Coupe Diverse France for being the British club with the greatest number of PBP finishers. It would be great to get some of that vibe back into the club. My aim as Audax Secretary is to do that with help from everyone in the club.

Audax Basics

I agreed at last week’s club meeting to find six Audaxes a year to become club rides. The events I have chosen first are 100km rides, but UK events are generally 50km,100,200,300,400,or 600km long, with a coupleof epics a year over 1000km so we can ride other distances if people want them. PBP is around 1220km and London-Edinburgh-London(LEL), the four-yearly UK premier event scheduled for August 2025 just unveiled a 1,500km course.

An Audax is not a race and individual riders’ times are not published – if you finish within the time limit, then you’ve succeeded. Events have average speed limits which include stopping time, so the clock keeps ticking through cafe stops and puncture repairs. The strict upper limit, to avoid racing, is 30kph. Lower limits are event dependent and generally range between 10 and 15kph. You are expected to be self-reliant: no arrows, no sag wagon. All events issue routesheets, nearly all GPXs.

There are around 500 rides per year all over the UK. Most are entirely on roads, but some are not. Some are flat, some leg searingly hilly. A big part of the attraction is they tend to take advantage of the local knowledge of the organiser, using roads well known to local riders but not visitors. Our own events, for instance, cover big distances almost completely missing busy roads. Although there are fewer events in the winter, the routes still offer great riding making the most of the conditions.

Details of the events are posted on the Audax UK website – www.audax.uk – the home of the UK governing body, which regulates event distances, provides limited quality control of routes and supplies a portal to search, enter and pay for events. Members get a £3 discount on each event and a decent magazine quarterly. Cycling UK members can get the £3 discount. One year membership is £18.

The club runs audaxes, nine in 2023, making it one of the most active UK clubs. Organisers need help. More about running our events in later posts.

The first two club rides

The first audax is the Emitremmus – End of Summertime (Red Hot Chili Pepper reference there!) on the 29th October from Stevenage, setting off at 08:15. This popular ride is mainly in the most rural part of Herts, the east, and crosses over into North Essex, turning at Saffron Walden. Bring lights just in case, but you should be finished in daylight. Easily reached by car on the A1M. and while Stevenage has an excellent train service, unfortunately there are no early Sunday trains* from London getting you there on time. But going mob handed as a club gives us car sharing opportunities. See https://www.audax.uk/event-details/10567-emitremmus___stevenage_end_of_summertime_special for event details.

The second is on 14th January, from Kings Worthy, a suburb of Winchester, at 09:30. The ride is the Watership Down which takes you over the Hampshire and Berkshire Downs. Unlike many children’s book locations, Watership Down is a real place where, since they don’t hibernate, you may be able to admire the bunnies. It’s a really quick dash down the M3 or you can take the first train service of the day* from Reading/Elizabeth Line and get to the start just in time. The event organiser is hot on mudguards. Take lights in case. If ice is a worry, you won’t hit a valley until around 10:15. See https://www.audax.uk/event-details/10501-watership_down for details.

As the Audax UK calendar for 2024 fills, more events will be added.

Most audaxes have a fixed entry limit so that long queues for food and drink don’t form outside controls. If events sell out it is typically in the last week to four weeks before the event. So enter as early as possible. You will not get a refund if you fail to turn up, but you generally don’t pay much in the first place.

GPXs and route sheets are generally emailed to entrants a week or two ahead of the event. Many events don’t supply them on the Audax UK website, to discourage freeloaders. Search RidewithGPS with the event name and you will normally be able to find something from the year before, which will generally give a good idea of the route.

Try a 200km event?

A very special one is the Old Roads and Drove Roads on 28th August (Bank Holiday Monday). It’s fairly demanding with 30km or so off-road track. However, it offers a rare opportunity to cycle parts of Salisbury Plain that are normally closed off for the army. It starts from Sparsholt, next to Wantage. See https://www.audax.uk/event-details/10666-old_roads_and_drove_roads

If you want to ride your first 200, I would recommend you do so before winter sets in. If it’s a big step up in distance for you, it will be a hard learning experience. Long hours of darkness and cold weather can make 200s challenging and stressful from the changing of the clocks through to February. Keep winter for your second 200.

https://www.audax.uk/choose-a-ride/calendar-events/ lets you search events by length, date and location, and there are a number in our region. Two stand out as starter events: Straight Outa Hackney. follows my 600km event for 50km, so it must be good. Secondly the Brace of Bramleys is run by Kingston Wheelers from Surbiton over mainly gentle hills in Surrey and Hampshire, with just a couple of stiff climbs.

You may have spotted a theme of quirky event names. My favourite is a 600 in the East Midlands that goes through two villages called Kirton. Wait for it… A Pair of Kirtons.

* Based on the current timetable

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The Inaugural Willesden CC ‘Club 100’ Audax Style Ride – 26th August 2023

All members are invited to the inaugural running of what we hope will be an annual get together for all Willesden CC audax and club run riders – The ‘Club 100’ ride.

This year, our Audax specialist organiser Liam Fitzpatrick has designed a 100km ride starting and finishing in Rickmansworth on Saturday 26th August. The proposed ride runs out to the Chalfonts and into Hertfordshire via Cublington and Wing before heading home via Ivinghoe Beacon and Aldbury.

The ride route is here:

WCC Annual Club Ride 2023

As the club approaches its centenary year in 2026, this is the first of special events that we hope will help to celebrate the club’s special birthday.

So all of you members that we only see from time to time, please prioritise this date and ride in your diary.


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WoW (Willesden on Wednesday) Ride – 16/08

Anne and Marianne take in the view from Taeppa’s Mound.


Actually getting out on the road for a ride on a Wednesday has been a bit hit and miss over the past few months. This has been largely thanks to weeks and weeks of wet weather, plus the club’s annual expedition to the Semaine Fèderale in eastern France in the second half of July. Well, we are all back and it looks as though the summer has arrived, albeit fashionably late.

Yesterday we had a group of nine “WoWzer” riders out for a spin to the Grange Chocolate Cafe at the Holme Grange Craft village. We did 70km and had a leisurely stop at this excellent cafe. We were back at the Beaconsfield start for 3pm, with a short stop at Taeppa’s Mound at Taplow Court to admire the view and to soak in some history.

“Miles Back”

Refueling for the return leg….

Brief stop for a history lesson and a group photo at Taplow Court


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Great Turn Out For Club Night

27 WCC members attended the club night at the Hillingdon Circuit on Friday 11th August. 6 members made it onto the circuit for a few laps on the warm evening. The main room was almost full!

The evening was a great social event but a meeting was also held to discuss re-establishing the club profile, with the aim of recruiting new members. The meeting was extremely positive and one immediate result was that Sunday Club runs are back on the calendar with a new outlook.

Sunday club runs will now have the following guidelines:

  • Rides to start at selected locations depending on the destination
  • Start locations to include safe parking and toilets / cafe where possible and close to public transport (tube/rail)
  • Start at 9am prompt
  • 30-40 min cafe stop
  • Return to start for 13:30
The first ride will be on Sunday 20th August from Little Chalfont – Destination will be PE Mead Farm Shop at Wilstone. Julie Anderson is the ride leader for this one. 42 miles and only 500m of climbing.
Meet at Little Chalfont – Snells Wood Car Park – Junction of A404 and Cokes Lane HP7 9QA. Leaving 9am promptly

The club also agreed to give more support to the successful Tour de Ricky audax and the annual ride will be used to recruit new members for the future.

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Sunday Club Runs August / September/October

Here is our provisional list for the next few weeks

All club runs start 9.00 promptly.

Rides 40-50 miles.

30-40 minute café stop.

Return to start at 13:30

All ride info will be issued via the Sunday Run WhatsApp group including GPX files of routes.

20th August – PE Mead Farm Shop, Wilstone

Meet at Snells Wood Car Park, Little Chalfont. Junction of Cokes Lane and A404 HP7 9QA

Run leader  – Julie

Route map

27th August – Farm Café, Nr Wokingham – 43 Miles

Meet at Windsor End, Beaconsfield Old Town

Run leader –  Gerry

3rd September – H’artisan- Wargrave

Run  leader – Anne 

Route Map

10th September – Windsor

Run leader – Ian O

Meet at Beaconsfield Old Town, Windsor End

17th September – St Albans

Meet at Car Park at Rickmansworth Aquadrome

24th September – TBA

Run leader – Marianne 

1st October – TBA

Run leader TBA

8th October – TBA

Run leader TBA

15th October TBA

Run leader – Liam 



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Hillingdon Cycle Circuit – address

Some of the more recent members to the WCC may not know the exact location for this Friday’s rides and meeting .

The Hillingdon cycle circuit and club room is located within Minet Park, Hayes.

The entrance to Minet park is via Springfield Road, just off the A4020 Uxbridge. The postcode for your GPS is UB4 0LP.

The entrance is shared with “Goals Football Centre”. As you enter Minet Park entrance, the “Goals FootballCentre” car park will be on your left. Just head straight on through the green gates ahead of you (NB – height restriction), and drive down to the car park near the cycle circuit club room.

Maps and further info available here ( then click on continue reading)https://hillingdoncyclecircuit.org.uk/location/

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Club website update

Some members may have noticed a few changes to the website with revised text and a few new photographs over the last 6 months or so.

The front page has been recently edited to include info about how we are successfully using WhatsApp to communicate our group rides information.

We believe the site reflects the clubs status as accurately as possible.

We hope to see you all at the club night on Friday 11th August at 19.00 for 19.30. Or get there earlier for a ride on the circuit?

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