Catering for large Audax rides is an interesting challenge. Getting enough calories to get round 1400 kilometres of varied roads in a variety of weather conditions is always going to be difficult.
If you’ve done a lot of Audaxes, you’ll be used to living off the land. A field of 100 would be a big event, so you can find what you need in shops, garages and cafes. We’re the people who enjoy sitting on a kerbstone under a garage canopy, avoiding a light drizzle, munching a sandwich or pasty and swigging a well-known soft drink.
Big events such as LEL need a different approach. The are routed through small towns which would be stripped bare of carbohydrates by 1,500 riders. They also don’t have 24 hour facilities.
LEL 2013 was a big step up from 2009, and moved into bigger controls. LEL 2017 will use a similar size of control, so will benefit from the lessons of 2013.
It will never be easy to feed hungry cyclists arriving in waves at strange times, and with very different tastes from our own. But we do Audax because it’s difficult, and we’re the kind of people who’ve met big challenges in the past, and like to build on what we’ve done before.