This is a list of the things I’ve done wrong recently that I should check carefully when planning/riding an audax or other long ride. The list is probably most helpful to me, but maybe some of the checks will be helpful to others as well. I expect it to be updated as I find new and interesting ways to screw up!  😉


  • Gears shift properly and stay quietly in gear
  • Mudguards are not clogged
  • All the nuts are done up tightly
  • Brake pads are clean and have plenty of life left (especially in the winter!)
  • Brake levers stop well before the bars
  • Wheels run true
  • Tyres are inflated to 70 front and 90 rear and stay up for several hours
  • Tyres are not worn
  • Saddle and bar position unchanged (198mm saddle-tip to bar top)


  • Waterproof or shell if forecast is good
  • Something warmer for any unscheduled stops
  • USB battery and cables for phone
  • Lights, front and rear
  • Charged AA and AAA to last the distance
  • Spare tube(s) which actually fit.
  • Tyre boots
  • Patches
  • Mini pump
  • Spoke key
  • Allen key set
  • Tweezers (for embedded thorns)
  • Multi-tool
  • Cable ties
  • Pencil for info controls


  • Ensure entry was received by organiser
  • Routesheet and spare
  • GPS loaded with route
  • Orux Maps loaded with route GPX
  • Memorise tricky turns using Google streetview, eg:
    • Left or Right on descent
    • Many side roads close together
    • Sections likely to be done in the dark

On the day

  • Get to the start with some time to spare
  • Know what water/food you have and where you can get more
  • Have a pace plan that takes into account wind and other weather
  • Stick with a group if there’s a headwind or adverse conditions
  • Get a bit ahead of the group if you need some time at the control
  • Be conscious of the distance to the next turn


  1. Hi James,
    As a newby to Audax your lists are informative, so thanks!
    Good luck on your hill climb, I’m
    planning to come along to give some encouragement and maybe try a couple of rides up with you!


    Mike Greer
    Mamlesbury CCC

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