“Audax” is a funny one. It’s not racing, but it’s not touring. It’s in the English language through the name of the more or less official world governing body of this most uncompetitive of sports. The whole thing emanates, you see, from the work of the Audax Club Parisien. Yet, in French, “Audax” designates a particular kind of group riding that hardly anyone actually does any more. In Audax, the events you ride are not called “races” or “rides”, they’re called “brevets”. This is the French word for the piece of paper you get at the beginning of the ride, and which you get stamped up until, having completed a given distance in a given time, your brevet is endorsed and you are officially recognised as having completed the event. There are no awards for completing in the shortest time, indeed there is a minimum time you are supposed to take, as well as a maximum you aren’t supposed to exceed. The people who do this are called “randonneurs”, which means “hikers” or “ramblers”, really.

Some British randonnneurs invented a challenge called “Randonneur Round the Year”. Some French randonneurs took it up, and they called it “Dodecaudax”. I like the latter word. It consists in doing a ride of at least 200km once a month for twelve months. Theoretically you also have to do your ride at the average speed stipulated by the Audax rules, so 200km has to be done in thirteen and a half hours, which sounds easy. I began my own attempt at a Dodecaudax in January 2015. This blog will document my efforts. There may be other posts about other rides and cycling-related experiences, probably about as often as I’ve posted so far.

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