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Q: What is an audax?

A: First of all an audax is not a race; it is a cycling event over a set route which has to be ridden within a minimum and maximum time limit. In most instances you have to pass through control points and collect proof of passage. Audax events can vary from 50km to in excess of 1000kms. In the UK audax rides are organised under the auspices of Audax UK (AUK). Audaxes might not be competitive but they are certainly challenging as riders pit themselves against terrain and distance. Self-sufficiency is key as routes are not signposted nor is very much support offered. Sometimes all you get from an organiser is a route, a brevet card on which you record your proof of passage and a cheery wave! The origins of audax date back to the Italian endurance sports of the late nineteenth century, and the rules were formalised in France in the early twentieth century. The word “audax” has its roots in the Latin word for “audacious”.

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Q: How do I register my AUK allegiance to ACME?

A: Did we just say audax isn’t competitive? That isn’t strictly true. Audax events over 200k attract points and points win prizes in the form of dodgy looking trophies, badges, stickers and bragging rights! Also the various audax clubs compete to amass the most number of points from their membership. We want ACME to be the biggest, best, world dominating, all conquering, second to none, most bodacious audax club the universe has ever seen! Oh yes! So when you join AUK you need to state you are an ACME member so your points will count against the club’s grand total. And if you are already an AUK member see the light, come to mama, dig a tunnel, climb the fence, flee under the cover of darkness, swim raging torrents and defect to ACME! We want you and above all we want your points! The club you are with at the moment don’t like you, they talk about you behind your back – it’s disgraceful. Come to ACME, we will love you and cherish you now and forever more. Just get on the AUK website and change your allegiance – DO IT NOW!

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Q: What sort of bike do I need?

A: When you’re starting out the best bike is the one you already have. We don’t want you spending loads of cash before you have worked out what sort of bike suits you. But there are some basic points you ought to bear in mind. Firstly, you will be astride your bike all day, sometimes all night so it must be comfortable. Secondly, you will need to carry some stuff so you should be able to attach luggage to your bike. Thirdly, you will probably be riding with a group and British roads are often wet so mudguards will prevent you spraying muck over the rider behind and over your clothes.

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Q: Blimey, audax sounds daunting, where do I start?

A: Don’t worry, we are a friendly bunch and are only too pleased to help beginners as we were all beginners once!

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Q: Where is mid-Essex?

A: Mid-Essex can be anywhere you want it to be, it’s more a state of mind!.

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Q: Do you have to be a man of a certain age to join ACME?

A: No. It is true that the stereotype of an audaxer is a bearded, middle aged white bloke who wears socks with sandals and avoids eye contact. But ACME’s membership is as varied as it is diverse so please join us whoever you are – you’ll be very, very welcome.

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Q: What is MEMWNS?

A: MEMWNS is the Mid-Essex Mid-Week Nocturnal Series. We like to think of the MEMWNS as the social arm of ACME, although given that it pre-dates ACME by some years (the first MEMWNS ride was in 2009) it is more accurate to say that ACME is the audax arm of the MEMWNS.  Click Here for the YACF message board with the latest ride information.

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Q: How funny is COR?

A: “COR” stands for Comedy Off Roading. COR is an activity whereby bicycles designed primarily to be ridden on roads with a Tarmacadam surface are ridden on roads which have no such surface. Indeed they may not even be roads! Some ACME members love a bit of COR, others detest it and the ensuing tension between these opposing schools of thought causes much merriment and leads to much banter. So, in answer to the question, there are few things funnier than COR!

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Q: What is an Essex energy drink?

A: Beer! Many ACME members love a pint of proper real ale, preferably locally brewed. But you might also see a slightly sweaty rider in an ACME jersey enjoying a glass of Merlot or a G&T. That said, ACME riders love tea, quality coffee and above all cake! So don’t think you have to drink alcohol to enjoy ACME – far from it!