The Tour de France, the Vuelta, the Giro, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastone-Liege, Tour of Flanders. All truly inspiring rides with long and loyal followings.
None, however, have managed to achieve the legendary status of the three rides which comprise the Las Vegas Institute of Sport Audax; rides which eschew the strange obsession of people handing you food as you slow down to 20kph, rides for which success is measured by whether you got pavlova at Hill before it ran out or by how many bowls of soup you consumed at Doynton, rides which alternate between frostbite & sunburn depending on which year you ride.
The 8th edition of this modern Classic will be taking place on 2nd April 2017, a day truly burdened with history. On that day in 1912 the Titanic began its sea trials (1912), in 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands and in 1960 a young boy named Linford Christie was born, heralding a golden age of food container related puns.
As is traditional, entries open on the 1st January - the birthday of the Institute's late lamented founder, Mr Barry Jaegar.
Following their imminent arrival back in the UK from what is possibly the most convoluted round trip to pop out for a pint of milk, it is rumoured that this edition may see the return of LVIS's intrepid audax meisters, Kirsty & Marcus McGumford.
Check out the blog of their travels here: shesnotpedallingontheback.com (warning: content may contain disturbing images of unkempt beards).
The 8th Edition of the LVIS audax: for a limited time with added McGumford.
Due to limitations on space at the village hall and at some of the controls, we will be accepting a maximum of 200 riders on the Ball Buster route, 250 riders on the Bash route and 200 riders on the Blast route. We cannot accept any entries on the day.
Dave Atkinson of road.cc wrote an article about the 2013 event: 190km of Rule Five. And 22km of our own rules.
There's also an article about the 2010 event on road.cc: My first 200km: Barry's Bristol Ball Buster.
And a report on the 2011 112km event here: Audax Bristol 112k.
And here's Marcus's article for Arrivee about what goes on behind the scenes to organise the event: Feeding the 500 (pages 52/53).
Barry's Bristol Ball Buster
8:00am start, 13hr 30min time limit, finish by 9:30pm
The 'classic distance' 200km route (Brevet 'Randonnée') circumnavigates the city of Bristol before climbing up on to the Mendip Hills then down to the Somerset Levels and returning to the start point in Long Ashton.
Highlights include: Clifton Suspension Bridge, views of both Severn bridges, the Cotswold Escarpment, the Mendip Hills, Glastonbury Tor, the Somerset Levels, Gordano Valley.
With over 2000m of climbing over the 200km distance this is sure to test the legs of even the best riders.
Barry's Bristol Bash
9:30am start, 9hr17min time limit, finish by 6:47pm
The first of the shorter 116km routes (Brevet Populaire) heads north to take in the same route as the start of the Ball Buster but heads back to Long Ashton just south of Bristol instead of continuing onto the Mendips.
Highlights include: Clifton Suspension Bridge, views of both Severn bridges, the Cotswold Escarpment, Bristol City views from Dundry Hill.
Save some energy for the final climb over Dundry!
Barry's Bristol Blast
10:30am start, 9hr17min time limit, finish by 7:47pm
The second of the shorter 116km routes (Brevet Populaire) heads south to follow the same route as the second half of the Ball Buster, heading out from Long Ashton to Chew Stoke and then continuing onto the Mendips, down to the Somerset Levels and returning to the start point in Long Ashton.
Highlights include: the Mendip Hills, Glastonbury Tor, the Somerset Levels, Gordano Valley.
Start/FinishRiders on Barry's Bristol Ball Buster (214km) will set off at 8:00am.
Riders on Barry's Bristol Bash (116km) will set off at 9:30am.
Riders on Barry's Bristol Blast (116km) will set off at 10:30am.
View LVIS Audax Start/Finish Point in a larger map
The rides start from the Long Ashton Village Hall (Keedwell Hill, Bristol, BS41 9DP) where there will be toilets, hot drinks, and hot and cold food available. The food and drink at the start/finish is included in your entry fee, but there will be a collection for the charities WaterAid, Jole Rider (Bikes4Africa) and Sustrans so please bring some cash! You will also need money to buy refreshments on the route.
There will be some parking at the village hall with on street parking nearby. Please consider riding to the start, sharing lifts or using public transport where possible.
Performance Cycles will be selling ride essentials such as inner tubes and back up lights at the start HQ.
Out on the Ride
If you've never ridden an Audax event before then expect a relaxed and friendly atmosphere (it's not a race), a variety of different types of riders and bikes and an enjoyable day out on some roads that you may not have ridden before. The ride is self guided and not sign-posted or marshalled so you should be competent at following a route sheet and carry tools, clothing and food to keep yourself out of trouble.
You can ride at your own pace, as long as your overall average speed, including stops, stays between the minimum and maximum
specified for the event.
Barry's Bristol Ball Buster: 15 - 30kph
Barry's Bristol Bash: 12.5 - 30kph
Barry's Bristol Blast: 12.5 - 30kph
At the start you get a brevet card, which has to be filled in at each checkpoint, to show that the course has been completed. The opening and closing times of the checkpoints (including the finish) are based on these minimum and maximum speeds.
Food and drink will be available to buy at the manned checkpoints across the events which are:
Hill Village Hall - Under the capable control of the local Church group and WI you will not believe how much cake, pavlova and home baked produce is on offer here.
Doynton Village Hall - Now rivalling the Hill control for quantity and quality of food, The Wick and Doynton WI will be providing a huge selection of savoury and sweet options with hot soup if it's cold and/or wet.
Glastonbury Town Hall - This control point will be manned and stocked by City Of Bristol Rowing Club who will be looking after and feeding hungry riders all afternoon.
The Drum and Monkey Pub, Kenn - Not far from the finish, this is a useful stop for a bar snack or swift half to get you through the last few kilometres.
Barry's Bristol Ball Buster uses all four controls.
Barry's Bristol Bash uses the Hill and Doynton controls
Barry's Bristol Blast uses the Glastonbury and Kenn controls.
There are also info controls, where you will need to answer the question given on your brevet card about a location on the route. If you do not put the correct answer on your card then we cannot validate that you have completed the ride.
Qoroz bikes will be helping out at the second manned checkpoint while also displaying their range of unique titanium bicycles.
Sunrise is at about 07:00 Sunset is at about 19:45 so you will need lights for the long route and should consider carrying lights for the short routes.
Sections of the route are on narrow country lanes where there will be some mud and grit on the roads. It is strongly recommended that you fit mud guards to make the ride more comfortable for yourselves and those riding behind you.
To find out more about Audax UK follow this link: http://www.aukweb.net/aboutauk/
Profits from the event and any money collected on the day will be split between the following good causes
All routes cost just £7 to enter. If you are not a member of Audax UK or the CTC there is an additional charge of £2 for temporary Audax UK membership.
Payment is through PayPal (the secure online payment service) and you can pay by debit or credit card - you do not need a PayPal account.
There will be a limit of 200 riders on the Ball Buster route, 250 riders on the Bash route and 200 riders on the Blast route
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