Audax A-Z


AAA points

Audax Altitude Award points. Once a route exceeds a certain level of hilliness it gains 1 point per 1000 metres climbed. If a route has many AAA points it is very hilly

ACP – Audax Club Parisien

the organising body for the PBP


The AUK official magazine. Also the end of a ride…


From the same root word as “audacious” this first became used as a description for cycle rides in the late 19th Century


The Microsoft Autoroute computer program is used to check the minimum distances on all brevets and perms. Known as the extra member of the AUK committee for this reason


This is a high end frame builder based in Bristol. It has no connection with the UK catalogue shop of the same name



Certificate. Also some people call rides “Brevets” as they are used to get the certificate. The “certificate” is the “brevet card” which is carried round the route and stamped


Boston Montreal Boston. A North American 1200km event with much rain and packs of wild dogs. Apparently this event is no longer run.


Bryan Chapman Memorial. The best attended 600km event in the UK. Goes “across Wales, twice”


A brand of hard leather saddle popular with long distance riders

Beans on Toast

Tinned beans in tomato sauce served on toasted bread. A staple at controls.
Baked Beans


Brevet Populaire, a UK only brevet usually with a low minimum speed


Brevet Randonneur, a UK only brevet with finishing time limit extended to the length of the route


Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux, internationally recognised brevet with fixed finishing time limit

Bus Shelter

An unofficial sleep stop on many long rides
A magnificent bus shelter in Wales.  Photo by Chris Narborough


Calendar Events

AUK has a Calendar of what’s on throughout the year


Brevet Card.


Point where passage must be proved AUK control sign


Carradice of Nelson make traditional canvas saddle bags


A bike mounted speedometer/mile counter. Can usually show average speed etc



Compact- A type of “Chainset”

the front rings of the transmission system that has two chain rings. The size of the rings is smaller than a standard road chainset. The reason it’s called compact is that the smaller 110 BCD allows inner rings down to 34t. An alternative to a Triple for riding hilly courses


Devils Staircase

A section of extremely steep ascent on the hilly mountain road to Tregaron in Wales


perm that allows the rider to “make up” their own route to a set distance


El Supremo

aka Dave Hudson. A well liked organiser from the SE of England


An entry to a AUK event, usually requiring lots of stamped addressed envelopes


Finishing Time

The total time taken on a ride. These are not published, to discourage racing


A bike with one gear and no free wheel.


A cake made from oats, butter, syrup and sugar
flapjacks at teatime...hmmmmm


A hilly ride or the rider on the hilly ride

Gator Skins

A short name for the “Continental Ultra Gator Skin” tyre popular with audax riders. These hard wearing, reasonable fast tyres are either hated or loved. The haters don’t like the wet grip or the flint resistance



The Stein Hypercracker is a special gadget for removing a cassette using the bikes own transmission


A custom bike frame maker in the north of England. They employ the audax legend Gethin Butler


Info Control

A special question that has to be answered to show proof of passage at a point on the route. For instance “name of pub on left”





London Edinburgh London 1400km audax event. AUK’s big event held every four years


Custom frame makers in Stoke on Trent. Specialists in tricycles


MGM- Madrid – Gjion

Madrid 1200km. Long event in Spain


aka Fenders. See article “The bikes weakest part”

Maximum and Minimum Speeds

The routes must be completed at an overall average minimum speed. This is how the time limits are calculated. The speed must not exceed a preset limit, to discourage racing

Map Trap

a clear plastic holder for maps or route sheet that is attached to the handlebars

Mersey Roads

the UK national 24 time trial event. It is also the ONLY 24 hour time trial in the UK


Nuun tablets

expensive electrolyte tablets, just add water. See the article “The Secret Ingredient



Rides are usually stated as being 200,300,400 or 600km. But the real distance isn’t exactly a round number of hundreds. The real distance is more. So the bit over the whole number is the over distance


a now defunct titanium frame maker popular with UK audax riders



Giving up on a ride. Ie “My bottom bracket failed and I had to pack”

PBP- Paris Brest Paris

the oldest road cycling event in the world and the ultimate for audax style riding


AUK has a competition for who can complete the most randonees in a year. Each ride over 200km is worth one point per 100km


or permanents. Routes that can be ridden at any time, not just at a specific time as is the case with calendar events


Qualifying Ride

see SR



A trek or ramble. Not a race, not a journey, just for fun. Audax rides are kind of organised rambles


A maker of custom steel cycle frames based in the SE of England


Randonneur Around The Year. Award from AUK for doing a 200km or more ride every month of the year



The AUK season runs from Oct 1st to Sep 30th the next year


Usually this is a euphemism for a very hilly ride


At the control, the brevet card is marked with a stamp to proof passage


A brand of german made electrical generator that is built into the front wheel

Secret Control

Like a control but it is not stated on the route sheet or brevet card where it will be on the route. So the rider has to stick exactly to the given route or they might miss it.


a set of 200km,300km,400km and 600km rides that are used to get a “Super Randonneur” series. All the qualifying rides in the set must be done in a season for the SR. Only holders of a current SR are allowed to enter PBP


a brand of diaper/nappy creme popular with randonneurs for preventing and treating saddle sores. See the article “Caught Short”


Triple- A type of “Chainset”

the front rings of the transmission system that has three chain rings. Gives a very wide range of gears


Brand of bike designed by St John Street cycles in Bridgwater


Under Distance

see over distance. Under distance is not allowed



a route planning website



a cycling club in London with strong associations with AUK


X ray spokes

Sapim spokes that have been xrayed to ensure they have no hidden flaws

X rated event

An event with little or no facilities. It might start in a car park and the brevet card is posted back to the organiser at the end


Young Rider Award

The youngest AUK rider to complete a 200km+ ride in a season gets this Award


A maker of custom steel frames



See Bus Shelters


  1. interesting start!

    on my computer some of the links have an extra http in front of them and do not open eg Argos

    • You are quite right, don’t know how that happened. Fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out!

  2. Suggested addition to great listing –
    Rohloff – 14 speed hub gear that makes an excellent alternative to triple chainsets and derailleur gears. German engineering gives long life and reliability with minimum maintenance. Goes round the world with many riders.

  3. […] Audax A-Z: […]

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I was just looking at it. Incoming links show up in the statistic for the site, y’see

  4. Gethin Butler is joint owner of Hewitt Cycles. Rumour has it he owns 90%.

  5. […] start point for the perm was about 5 miles from my house, so in theory time to warm up. Or get damp from fog […]

  6. 1. Two of the images in A-Z are broken
    2. Do you have a contact email address?

    • 1. Oh yes, thanks! Also the date for the “season” was wrong, it changed last year
      2. I don’t, cunningly my contact email for shows up as an old defunct address. I’ll email you at hotmail

  7. […] Audax A-Z […]

  8. can i add
    Chapeau! is often used as a generic expression of approval and appreciation in France and other parts of Europe: as a sign of admiration or respect, one shall indeed remove their hat [1]

  9. Very informative for a Newby , Thank You !

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