Ride report Falmouth 100 Audax 26 September 2021

I only started cycling about 18 months ago and although I enjoyed the Coast and Clay Sportive earlier in the year, I did not understand what an Audax was all about.  I enquired during the Ogil ride on Wednesday but did not get a satisfactory answer. Anyway, having just taken part in the Falmouth 100 Audax I now get it. It’s a great fun sociable event where it gives an opportunity for members of other clubs or individuals to join the host club on an interesting and enjoyable ride that also raises some money for charity.  Riders appeared to be gathering from about 0800 at Falmouth Cricket Club ready for the start at 0900.  Phil Conroy and his team of helpers which even included a Covid 19 compliance officer, had everything very well organised and we set off on time in small groups. I teamed up with Danny, Ian, a few other Wheelers and some riders from other clubs. However, we became well spread out at the first checkpoint which was at Falmouth pitch and putt. Danny inadvertently disappeared into the distance as I was faffing about taking a photograph of a sign.  But not to worry, a peloton of high-speed One and All riders whizzed past me so I hitched a tow on the back of the stack and we were soon reunited for a very high speed run down into Gweek.  Going up Gweek Drive we were overhauled by two chaps who were about 1/3 of our age and weight but we were soon to overtake them as they were clearly having some navigational problems. After they caught us up, we rode with them for a while just to make sure they were appropriately paced and to point them in the right direction.  It transpired that the reason they went wrong was that they had managed to download a previous version of the course which has changed this year. After dropping down into St Anthony on the hairy steep gravel covered bends, we prepared ourselves for the gripping ascent of a long 20% hill on the way to St Keverne.  I thought this was going to be a bit like the North Face of the Eiger so having stopped to fit crampons to the bike and clipped myself on, off we went. After a few more hills, we arrived at St Keverne and after a quick debate with two other riders from Rame concluded that Lizard village was favourite for a coffee stop.  Spurred on by the thought of an imminent Americano and a bacon sandwich the four of us started cycling into a substantial headwind which increased at the top of the hill out of St Keverne.  We rode on each other’s wheel for most of the way to the Lizard with a good rotation of the leader dropping to the back of the group.  We managed to keep the speed at about 20 miles an hour for several miles doing this with nobody getting particularly tired even though it was excruciating to be at the front of the group. I don’t know the name of the Rame riders but if you read this, thanks that was a great team effort.  Having caught up with Ian, we then had a very enjoyable rest in a café on the lizard where some hot apple pie fresh out of the oven was available.  With the wind behind us, the ride back through Poldu, Helston and Porkellis was easier than on the way out.  As we turned into Muddy Lane, we were surprised to see other riders approaching from a completely different direction which I understand is often a feature of these events. Having dropped Ian who desperately needed a pint in Porkellis, Danny and I cycled hot stick back to the cricket club to try and do the course in under five hours which we did.  We were greeted by a fantastic spread organised by Liz Hammick.  Loads of Wheelers contributed to the catering so thanks to them.  I am very pleased Phil Conroy’s intention to have a low-key catering effort due to Covid 19 was successfully overruled by Liz who was determined to maintain standards.  About a hundred people took part and it was great to see a colourful array of lots of different groups having an enjoying the tea outside the cricket club in their club kit.  Everybody was clearly having a good time.  One of the most impressive sights of the day was a seven year old cyclist in full kit from the Velo City club riding a small full-size bike with clipless pedals. So, once again, thanks to Phil, Liz and the large number of volunteers for making the effort.  Thanks also to Falmouth cricket club for the loan of their very nice facility.  I’m looking forward to reading a ride report for the shorter 50K route (the Bunny Hop) which appeared to be very well supported.  Funny that there was nobody in Bunny suits though.


One Reply to “Ride report Falmouth 100 Audax 26 September 2021”

  1. Thanks for your kind words Damien, I may have organised the tea but I couldn’t have done it without my three other sandwich makers, Sonjia, Denise, and Barbara, the many others who baked cakes and various goodies, and for the wonderful kitchen helpers, Teresa, and Margaret and Martyn, who made endless cups of tea and coffee while we relaxed after the Bunny Hop (cycled at a fast pace of almost 11mph, not bad for us ‘slow’ lot on Cornish hills.) A wonderful day, the only Audax in Cornwall this Year! so many congratulations to Phil Conroy for making it happen – and we’re promised another one in April 2022

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