Compline – 200km Audax

Overnight Audax

Start / Finish: Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire

Date / Time: 30th July 2023, 8pm

Distance: 216km

GPS route here: Ride with GPS

Enter online here: Audax Calendar

The choice of audax events in the UK each weekend is amazing, but if you work at weekends it can be really difficult getting time off to ride. I know the old joke about Vicars is that they only work Sundays, but in reality we only get one day off a week. Riding calendar events on a Saturday or Sunday can be difficult. I created this calendar event to reflect the sort of Audax riding I do.

This is a 200km overnight summertime audax from Slaithwaite in West Yorkshire, to Blackpool Tower for midnight, and then back to Slaithwaite for breakfast at the Vicarage. Setting off at 8pm on a Sunday night means that the busy roads of Rochdale, Blackburn, Preston and Blackpool are basically empty. We use empty A-roads to cross the hills from Marsden to Blackburn, then enjoy the well-lit cycle path along the River Ribble through Preston. To get to Blackpool we take the utterly empty A538 dual carriageway, and reach Blackpool Tower around midnight. There will be nothing open except 24 hour garages. The return journey abandons the busy roads and follows isolated country lanes through sleepy villages back to another 24 hour garage in Burnley. The final bit of climbing to get back into the South Pennines National Park is all long and gentle.

Maps (C) OpenStreetMap : the route and elevation of this overnight 215km ride.

My route is 216km, but the minimum distance could be as low as 208km if you are creative. It is a free route, so if you fancy carrying your bike over the moors be my guest. The time limits still apply even if you spend more time carrying your bicycle than riding it.

This particular event is ideal as the basis of an Extended Calendar Event (ECE).

Blackpool Tower on a Sunday