A Saturday of audax riding – Ian Reid and John Thompson

Two Velo Club Baracchi members rode the Horsepower 200km Audax, on Saturday with very different aims and expectations.

Ian Reid and John Thompson both rode.

Ian Reid was using the event towards qualification for the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP), a 1200km international Audax ride which takes place in August every fourth year and 2019 is one of those years.

Riders must qualify for the event by completing a Super Randonneur series of 4 rides between January and June in the PBP year at distances of 200, 300, 400, and 600km held under Audax rules which specify minimum and maximum time limits.

Reid and fellow VCB member Kate Churchill have both entered this year’s PBP and for Reid the Horsepower 200k Audax was the first of his qualifying rides. Thompson has no PBP intentions.

The Horsepower 200 started at Dunmow in Essex, visiting the Snetterton racetrack via Lavenham and the horse-racing town of Newmarket on the way back to Dunmow (hence the Horsepower of the ride title).

Reid saw Thompson at the start and both set out at 7.30am from Dunmow. The first section through Lavenham to Snetterton was strongly wind-assisted and Reid covered the 100km in a little under 3 ½ hrs.

After a stop to refuel at the racetrack café with the sounds of the motor-cycle track day in the background, the next stage to Newmarket was decidedly more challenging.

With winds gusting up to 40mph it became a struggle simply to keep the bike upright let alone make forward progress but he made it to Newmarket, where a coffee and cake was much needed.

The final section back to Dunmow was more benign as the wind moderated and the route took a more south-easterly direction putting the wind on the side.

This section was very rural with early springtime very much in evidence over the fields and in the hedgerows.  

Reid described it as “overall an excellent day’s ride of 205km covered in 8 hours on the bike plus 2 half-hour stops, and the all-important first PBP qualifier in the bag.” His total time including stops was 8 hours and 57 minutes.

Thompson said Reid’s performance was “Some ride in Saturday’s conditions” and vertured that he ought to try some time trials.

Thompson finished in 12 hours 15 minutes, which he said he was pleased with considering the strength of those gusting winds.  Including riding to and from his digs at Barnston, he covered about 129 miles, also riding a short distance the next day.

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