Category Archives: Audax

Ultra Randonneur Audax award for Matt Chambers

In recognition of 10 years of a cycling life less ordinary, our very own Matt Chambers received his Ultra Randonneur Audax award last weekend from ultra-cycling great Mike Hall. Matt has spent the last 10 years clocking up an unfathomable amount of Audax mileage on the highways and byways of Britain and the nearer parts of ‘abroad’. The Ultra Randonneur requires commitment, tenacity, and the ability to chat through all kinds of adversity. It is an extraordinary achievement. Well done, sir.

Congrats Matty!
Matt (in red) receives his Ultra-Randonneur award from Mike Hall

Find out more about Audax long-distance riding

Weekend Round-up

Newbury RC’s Open Hill climb

Richard Gildea and Chris Virgo made the short trip down the A34 on Sunday 27th to take part in our neighbouring club: Newbury RC’s Open Hill climb on Walbury Hill.

Glorious conditions saw Chris have a solid ride to finish 53rd, with Richard Gildea riding an outstanding Hill Climb time of 4min 25.40s to finish the race in 3rd Overall. Full results here.
Richard GildeaCongratulations Richard!

Cross Country MTB – Rampage XC    

The 2nd round of the popular Mountain bike Rampage races at Checkendon were also held on Sunday 27th, 3 club members were racing, with Gareth Davies best placed DPCC rider of the day finishing 4th in the 11&12 year old category. 


Rachel Pearce picked up 2nd spot in the “Sprint” category in the Warwickshire Triathlon, in the event held in Stratford upon Avon Congratulations to Rachel!

Wessex Cyclo cross          

10 club members were in action in Swindon, in the 3rd round of the Wessex League Cyclo-cross in a event hosted by the Cotswold Veldrijden club.  Senior rider Dan Atkins finished a notable 20th, made even more impressive as this was done after completing the MTB race earlier in the day at Checkendon. Full results here.  

Sportive and Audax

Many club riders took full advantage of the glorious Autumnal weather to take part in some Audaxing and sportives both Local and further afield:

Henley Hilly 100 Audax, many members  on Saturday 26th (including Dan Atkins again)  took part in the local Audax starting from Sonning Common picking there way around the leafy lanes of the Chilterns.

Ron Smith visited his homeland to take part in the closed road sportive Etape Royale, finishing with the 19th fastest time in the 100 mile non competitive epic (results here), and also placing 13th in the timed King of the Mountain climb to The Lecht ski centre. 

Simon McGowan and Clare Hofmann were riding the Etape London , a 115 mile sportive into Essex and back from the Olympic Park in London.

Etape London 2015 - Simon and Clare with finishers medals

The Reading Roubaix a local sportive with a difference, taking in cobbled and unpaved lanes and tracks inspired by the famous Paris-Roubaix. Both Frank Schroer and Peter Cowan completed the 100km event in style, finishing on the Palmer Park Velodrome in the centre of Reading.

Club run

With all the above going on, Jeremy Hewitt and Simon Evans were left in charge of running the Clubrun, they both led the hilly ride out to Henley and back stopping at Toad hall. As usual the full Club run write up can be found on our forum here.


Abingdon cycle festival and TT Database

spring festival

Sunday 19th April sees a return of the Abingdon cycle festival. As part of the festival our club is running 3 of the many events on offer:

  • An Audax
  • A Ladies ride
  • A Medium paced ride

And as part of the Audax we need couple of people to assist at a couple of the check points. This wont be anything more arduous than ticking people off on a list, stamping cards, and/or handing out cake/munchies!). If you can help out for a couple of hours then please email.

TT Database

The club is also pleased to announce the launch of a new Time Trial database. The Database holds all results for the current and previous 4 seasons, its accessible from our website menu and here

Its shows the data from our club TTs in a number of useful formats:

  • Overall course history, and fastest times.
  • Individual Rider history
    • Personal bests
    • Head to head Rider comparison
  • Scratch points
  • plus many more features.

So take a look and explore, in time we will be back populating with previous TT seasons as we migrate the data from the existing set-up. Many thanks to  Mike Cooper and especially Simon McGowan for getting the Time Trial Database up and running.

July Newsletter 2014

Club Badge
Club Badge

Hello club members, welcome to the July edition of the club newsletter. There has been lots going on: records being broken, TT’s, road racing, Audaxing (if that is a word), Ladies 100km and the weather has been pretty good! – all this activity does make it tough finding time to watch the Tour!


Oxfordshire Road Race League
There is only 1 race left in the ORRL this season and Dave Emms has had some great results, winning the first race at Weston on the Green, 5th at Dalton Barracks and coming 2nd at Kirtlington. Junior rider Tim Allen is also placing high in the under 23 rankings for the race league. The 2nd round was our clubs road race and it was a huge success, down to the excellent organization from Nick Druce and Simon Evans – a huge thank you to them, and all the volunteers who made it all happen on the night. Photos here:

Beeline bikes will host a League presentation evening and last stage of the TDF at their shop on Cowley Road, Oxford. There will be a bar & nibbles and special discounts on the day.
Timings will be approx:
1630 – Shop closes
1700 – open up to league presentation evening
1730 – presentations of prizes
1800 – watch the finish of the tour.

Time Trials
The TT season is now down to the last few fixtures. There’s a 2-Up on the 24th July on the Sire’s Hill course, the 25 club championship has moved to 3rd August and joins the Oxonian event at Cumnor, and at the end of August the Club Hill Climb championship. Don’t forget there is a new “beginners” Wittenham clump hill climb too on 7th September.

The Scratch competition top 3 are currently: Neil Ashcroft 52 pts, Ron Smith 45 pts, and Steve Mead with 26 pts. ( Castle trophy competition top 3 are Mark Winks with 56 pts, Giles Clark 49 pts, and Andy Clark 47 pts. (

Also, Congratulations go to Steve Wright for breaking the 50 Mile TT club record with a time of 1 hr 46 minutes 40 seconds, on a very hot Shaftesbury CC E2/50 course on the 19th July and Phil Brown for breaking the Veterans 25 mile record in a time of 51mins 28 seconds on the R25/3L course in South Wales on 21st June.

This year also saw the 25th Anniversary of the Ben Owen inter club time trial which took place on the 19th June (Stadhampton 118A course). Numbers were down on previous years – mainly due to the World cup going on! – however DPCC had a great result with both the Men’s and Women’s team winning! Congratulations to all who took part and especially the volunteers & cake bakers – all helping to raise over £300 For the Children’s Leukemia charity.

Friday 20th June saw the BMCC Silverstone 9-Up TT ( 3 laps of the F1 circuit, 10.8 miles). An unpracticed DPCC team finished in a time of 24mins 53 secs placing a very respectable 34th our of 80 clubs.

If you would like to enter the Club Open 10 mile on H10/181 course Saturday 23rd August enter here :
Dave Rodger is also looking for some more help in the way of 3 marshals, if you have a spare hour or two on the 23rd then please contact Dave.

The Barbury Bash proved to be another successful event with 110km, 160km, and 210km routes. Plenty of club members took part over all distances and had a great day in the saddle. Thank you to Ian Middleton for organizing such a successful Audax.

Rapha Women’s 100
The proved to be great day – 16 ladies set off on a ‘figure of 8’ loop around Didcot. Having a last minute re-routing of the 2nd half as the council decided this would be a good day to ‘resurface’ some of the local roads! I use ‘resurface’ in the loosest sense – chucking stones one the road is what really happens!

We stopped half way for a welcome break and the obligatory tea & cake. A huge thank you for Mountain Mania for supporting the club and opening the shop for us to use on the day as well as providing the tea & cake, yum! Last year Rapha managed to attract 4,000 women worldwide to join the ride – this year they are expecting this to be more than double. So far on Strava 8,130 have signed up to the challenge.

8 DPCC members joined the ride and helped keep the rides together (we split into 2 after a while) – so a huge thank you to all of them. 8 non members join in the ride, with some coming from as far as Chipping Norton. No mechanicals, however, we did pass a number of road kill: 7 pigeons (not a good day for pigeons!), 3 rabbits, 2 butterflies, 1 pheasant, & 1 hedgehog . . . only the 2 butterflies were victims of cyclists! Oh and the 2 big juicy flies that Beth swallowed :o(

All ladies who took part will proudly receive a woven badge from Rapha – this should sit nicely with the DPCC roundels! Well done ladies, a thoroughly enjoyable day!

Le Tour
It is that time of year again when we avidly watch le Tour – and this year the Grand Depart was in Yorkshire! Duncan O’Reilly rode the first stage of the tour to raise money for the Brain Tumor Charity – so far he has raised an amazing £2,700!! If you have not donated it isn’t too late, visit:

A few club members managed to catch le Tour on its way from Leeds to London – bumping into Dunko in Muker on Stage 1, well he found them! Other club members managed to catch the racing on stages 2 and 3, with Martin Stanley and Simon Evans helping as official marshals on stage 3 within Epping Forest.

This was a great success last December and we are looking for a team of volunteers to help organize the next event, either this year or next. If you have a passion for Cyclocross & fancy helping to organize such a great event for the club then we’d like to hear from you, please contact: or

Well that is quite enough from me – I’m off to watch the highlights of the latest Tour stage!

Clare Hofmann
DPCC Ladies Ride Secretary

Weekend round-up

Hi All and welcome to our new members who have recently joined the club!

If you are new and haven’t registered for the Didcot Phoenix forum, please feel free to register for an account.  Due to forum spam I have configured some username and email restrictions, so if you are having problems connecting, please let me know.

With the recent spell of good weather, many club members have been out on their bikes, soaking up the sunshine and clocking up many miles.  Simon McGown completed the incredibly hilly Dragon Ride in Wales, cycling 131 miles, with 3,500 metres of climbing in under 8 hours!  Very impressive and he certainly gets my Strava “Kudos” for that 🙂

Also this weekend, two of our club members were up in Lincolnshire for the National 25 miles TT, mixing it up with the likes of Matt Bottrill, Michael Hutchinson and Julia Shaw!  Well done to Pete and Zoe Tantrum for completing this 25 mile TT!

Back in our neck of the woods, two club runs left Didcot Broadway yesterday, with the Club Run covering 60 miles out to West Wycome and back and the Ladies Ride covering 45 miles out to Waterperry Gardens.
  Both rides were essentially incident free (1 puncture and a chain de-rail) and were riden by about 20 riders)

This coming Thursday evening (13th June) the club will be meeting at Stadhampton for a 10 mile TT and also plan to meet in the Crown pub afterwards for a social.  If you would like to eat at the pub after the race, please call the pub ahead of time to choose your food.
    Telephone: 01865 890381
Email address:

The following Thursday sees the return of the Ben Owen TT, a memorial time trial helping to raise money for a few charities; Children with Cancer UK and alsoLeukaemia Research .  Didcot Phoenix will have two teams racing, with selection being made following the Stadhampton TT this week.  The event is an invitational race only, with other local cycling clubs making up the rest of the field.  Please come along and support the club at this fantastic event.  Given that it is a charity event, we will also welcome cake and money donations, so please let Laura know if you can donate a cake for riders following the event.

    Laura –

Moving towards the end of the month the club is running our annual Audax, the Barbury Bash. I’m sure you have seen the fantastic poster by now, which was designed by Tom Gray.  If you would like to cycle one of the three Audax routes this year, please contact Ian to register your place.

Finally, we will be holding another social on the Sunday that the Tour climbs Mont Ventoux, a fantastic climb and possibly the hardest road I have ever cycled!

Laura and I would like to invite all members for a summer BBQ and Tour party at our house on the afternoon of July 14th. We’ll set up a big screen and organise food and drink for the event. They will be a small charge to cover the expenses.

Keep enjoying the weather and see you soon!

Mike & Laura
DPCC Social Secretaries

Sunday 12th May – Club Run roundup

Hi All,

I’m writing this email from the comfort of my sofa and with a slight drizzle coming down outside, its satisfying to know that the Sunday club runs clocked up over 100 miles in fantastic sunshine this morning!  Two rides left the Broadway, with the men’s ride (approx 60 miles) heading over to Brill Hill and back and the ladies ride (approx 40 miles) cycling out to Lambourne (via Blowingstone Hill) and back.  Over 30 cyclists out enjoying plenty of miles and warm weather across Oxfordshire.  Cake were well earned today 🙂

Some comments from Laura who led the ladies ride:

“Fantastic Ladies Club Ride today. Route planned yesterday with a little help (!?!) from Mike. 8 of us out, doing a 40 mile loop. 30 miles to the cafe at Letcombe Regis (wow) and an easy 10 back with the wind behind us”.

“The 30 heading out was into wind and a wee bit hilly…..But we all made it to the top of Blowingstone Hill :-)

Next Ladies Ride will be Sunday 9th June

Some comments from Ron, who led the mens ride:

“Complementing the large ladies’ turnout, 22 of us left Broadway. Also doing a ~30 mile outward route, our destination was Waterperry Gardens. And also tackling a significant climb – ours being Brill Hill from Oakley – as well as a few minor ones, namely heading out of Chiselhampton and up to Cuddesdon. But we had the wind on our backs for most of the way there, and by the time we reached the cafe the sun had come out, meaning we could sit outside in the warmth while “refuelling” for the homeward journey”.“Heading back to Didcot we first took in Wheatley, Great Milton, the Haseleys, and Stadhampton. Then, to avoid retracing our outward route, we turned off through Newington, Warborough and Shellingford – where there was a brief break in the group as half of us got caught by the traffic lights. Regrouping a few minutes later, we took the back roads route for the final 10 miles or so – heading straight through Wallingford town centre and out to the Hithercroft roundabout to pick up the road to South Moreton”.

Stats: just over 56 miles in 3 hours 22 minutes, meaning an average of a shade under 17mph”.

The past few weeks have also seen some great conditions for racing and time trials with a number of club members making PBs on the Tring TT course.  In addition, club members have been out road racing, Audaxing and generally enjoying the warm weather and Bank Holiday weekend.

Some dates for your diary:

10 Mile Cup – Thursday 30th May
Come and race on the fast H10/17R TT course to see if you are the quickest DPCC club rider

Barbury Bash – Sunday – 30th June
A little further off, but one of the clubs premier events throughout the cycling season.  The “Barbury Bash” is an Audax that Didcot Phoenix run annually and this year we are planning 3 routes with distances of 110 km, 160 km and 210 km.

As ever, to ensure the Audax is a success we are looking for volunteers to help run the event.  The starting point is the Methodist Church in Milton, but we need staff to look after each of the checkpoints on route.  This is very undemanding work that will hopefully be no more than sitting out in the sun watching the riders go past.  You will not have to give up a whole day and timings can be arranged to suit the needs of individuals.

If people are able to help please could they let Ian Middleton know.

Best regards,


Abingdon Cycling Festival – Sunday 21st April

Hi All,

This weekend sees the return of the Abingdon Cycling Festival, an opportunity for local riders to take part in sevearl arranged bike rides, an Audax hosted by DPCC, plus soak up the atmospere will some local beers and good food care of the Loose Cannon Brewery and Kings Head and Bell, Abingdon.

Didcot Phoenix Cycling Club will have a stand in the Abingdon Market Place from 09:00 on Sunday, but we are in need of volunteers to help out with the audax as well.

Volunteers required:

Market Place
09:00 – 16:15 (Audax riders likely to leave by 10:00 and return by 15:30)
Mike and Laura will staff the market place, with a small DPCC stand and Audax Sign-On.

Check Point 1: North Leigh
Approx 10:30 -> 12:00 (The Audax requires cyclists to be at the check point between 10:44 and 11:42)
We need 1 volunteer to man this check point for an hour or so. It would be a great cycle out from Didcot, check the Audaxers and return home!

Check Point 2: Longworth Village Hall
Preferably 2 volunteers required for this check point, or more if we split the shift into two.
Someone is required to deliver some cakes and tea/coffee to the village hall and then wait for Audax riders to check in (between 11:28 and 13:23).

Who can help?!

Please let me know as soon as possible.

Mike – 07801 240 898,

Club Volunteering

Hi All,

If you take a look at the TT pages on our website, you can now see columns where you can volunteer to help out throughout our TT season.

In addition, the club is also some help to draft an Audax routesheet which we are preparing for the Abingdon Cycling Festival.  If you are able to help out at a club TT, please email

If you are able to assist with the Audax routesheet, please email  Note, that work can be done from the comfort of your laptops with Google Streetview, even just doing a 10-mile section – it all helps!

Your help is welcomed!


Thanks, Mike

Upper Thames Audax – Nov 3rd 2012

Not technically a Didcot Phoenix event, but organised by a DPCC member.

A reminder that this event is local to Didcot, starting in Cholsey and going over Chilterns to outskirts of Henley, then Christmas Common, Waterperry (cafe), around Bicester and across to Chipping Norton (cafe), then south over edge of Cotswolds to Brize Norton then home via Stanford in the Vale. About 212km in total with less than 2000metres of climbing. Plenty of food at end included in entry fee.

Fuller details can be found at, including links to the entry process.

There are usually about 70 starters. Would be nice to see a few DPCC members among them.

Barbury Bash

Help is still needed to staff the controls for the Barbury Bash Audax’s on the 1st of July. In particular people are needed in the Rain Forest centre on the Sunday afternoon. This simply involves sitting in the Rain Forest Centre in Hampstead Norreys and checking the riders off as they arrive. This would probably be best divided between two people. Any offers of help would be very welcome.

Please contact Ian via the forum, or email