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Friday, December 17, 2021

Audax 50 and a bayside ride with Bryan


Wheels of Audax turning, my ride is registered, and the bling I ordered (cloth badge) is on its way

Boiled version of the ride route. It was mostly on bike tracks and roads I know.

Official route. Helps if you have a GPS (Global Positioning System)


A few weeks ago I put my toe in the water again with an Audax ride, "only" 50k this time, but there was at least a high chance of success, something I needed after failing to complete both 300 and 600k rides earlier in the year. 

The start was only about 3k away, and I got there in plenty of time for the 9am start, a chat, and a bit of a hand to the organisers setting up. I met up with Paul who I'd met before, and a couple of riders on Curve gravel bikes, and they ended up being the riders I went with most of the way. Unfortunately I left my camera at home, so its only word pictures plus a few ride instructions for this one. 

I'd downloaded the ride details the night before, but didn't bother with the GPS for this one. Many lines of instructions boiled down to just 4 or 5 chunks of bike paths and 2 or three roads in the middle of familiar territory. Paul and I were at the front and ended up at a caf on the Port Melbourne about 5 minutes ahead of everyone else. I had my own snacks and drink with me, but Paul was well into his coffee and croissant from the cafe by the time anyone else arrived. The Curve riders had ridden straight through. We caught up with them in Moreland, and they stayed with Paul and I until the end of the ride. I was able to lead on familiar paths for the last 15k of so. We only made 2 small glitches on the way, overshooting a bridge over Merri creek once, and a bit later diverting off the trail for a few metres near Ceres. 

So us 4 came in first, and were welcomed by Audax clubmembers and a few partners who had been cooking a barbecue and preparing food. There was nice chat in the barbecue shelters, a speech or two, and lots of sausages, bread, onion and tomato sauce. 

The bling arrived. Correct, not very far by Audax standards.

And here's one I took later, at the local bottleshop against a mountain of grog (Note, the bike is for sale, AUD 700, as is, where is.

and this one, the bike can carry this much beer and whisky though.

Thanks to Audax and this year's ride organisers. Some very tough riding this year, but I finished off with an easy one.


Bryan in black with Graham Signorini. Graham is one of my friends and we passed him near his work maintaining a boat at Docklands. Graham's bike is a new / secondhand Barchetta highracer he had bought in Shepparton.

Me and Graham

Bryan at Mordialloc, testing my mirror helmet with ear flaps. Yes, they are a thing as reported by Jun from the Biking in a Big City blog. Mine stop sunburn and its evil sibling skin cancer, whereas Jun and his mates wear them for cold protection.

We swapped bikes at this point, neither was properly adjusted for our height or body shape though.

A few days later, and I have organised to meet Bryan Taaffe for a ride. We have a regular meet spot at the corner of the Chandler Highway and Boulevarde in Kew, but the route was up to me, and I decide to take in most of the Audax ride but also do a "slight detour" (50k or so) to Mordialloc on the way back. 

I am on my faired recumbent, and Bryan on his upright bike, an endurance model with cableless DI2 shifters. He'd ridden it from Perth to Melbourne in 2019, and it really didn't show much sign of wear. He is very fit and currently averaging about 1200k a month for maintenance fitness. We stayed together most of the way to Mordialloc, but he's a much fitter and faster rider than me, and if any riders passed me, he would flit off ahead with them before slowing to let me catch up.

On the way back we saw Graham Signorini near the boat he works on and had a chat. It was good to see him again. 

Hopefully I will be in the 200k Buckley's ride on January 2, and I will be able to fit in a few more training rides like this one. 

Regards  Steve Nurse

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