The history of Audax Randonneur events
from 1900s until today
The frequent, day long rides from Rome to Naples, in the late nineteenth century in Italy, became quite popular. The difficult the cyclists were facing back them, made all the attempt and the effort “audacious” cycling conditions of that time, this effort was considered to be “audacious”. As per official cites, it was June of 1897, where the first recorded randonneur event took place. The total number of participants was only twelve, and they cycled the from Rome – Naples, on a route 230 km long.
It was Henri Desgrange, who at that time owned the Auto news press “L’Auto”, who produced the first regulations of the Audax France (based on the Italian model). Later on, during November 1904, he conferred on the Audax Club Parisien, the authority to certify brevets ridden under Audax rules in France. Note: at that time people participating were both cyclists and hikers.
The Audax Club Parisien members were all experienced cycle tourists hardened by long distance cycling. They were guiding group rides at an 18 kilometer per hour pace, which, until 1945, was considered to be the correct Audax pace.
Around 1920s, Victor Breyer, a journalist in L’Echo des Sports, undertook to organise a hiking event and begin to research on the original route for Paris – Roubaix. He asked Audax Club Parisien for assistance, and their collaboration resulted him (Victor) staging the two previous editions of this event in 1913 and 1914. However, L’Echo des Sports was a competitor of L’Auto, the newspaper belonging to Henri Desgrange, which made Henri rescinde the right of the A.C.P. to certify Audax brevets.
This led the cycling club to break up. A part of the ride captains and hikers left the Audax Club Parisien and continued to organise their events under the direction of the “L’Auto” newspaper. They created L’Union des Audax Cyclistes Parisiens (U.A.C.P.) which was later to become L’Union des Audax Francaises (U.A.F.).
The U.A.F. today certifies brevets ridden at a constant speed of 22.5 kilometers per hour ridden under the direction of ride captains, whom riders may not overtake. These rides are known as Brevets Audax.
Those members that remained loyal to the Audax Club Parisien immediately organised the Brevets des Randonneurs Francaises over distances between 200 and 600 kilometers. The main difference, compared to the events organised by UAF, is that the stages should be ridden at a pace chosen by each participant and not a predetermined speed.
The background of Spyros Filippopoulos
Spyros Filippopoulos (born in 1975), participated his first Audax Randonneur ride in 2006, just three years after they were introduced in Greece. The overall number of his participations (70+) made him cycle and discover almost every corner of Greece. He is actively engaged in organising cycling events for Randonneurs and ultra cyclists. His love for the authentic, full of natural and cultural treasures, landscape of Greece, has driven him to devote his life to cycling tourism. His kind, timid and honest personality is highly reputed among the cycling circles in Greece, while his vast cycling experience in the country’s unexplored rural regions, constantly inspire new cyclists to discover the hidden beauty of it.
How all started in Greece?
one man’s dream came true
It was during 2002 when Charis Plegas travelled to Central Europe and participated his first official Audax ride in France. Excited by the feeling a 200k offered him, combined with the Audax culture, he decided to establish the official institution of Randonneuring in Greece. The first years proved out to be rather hard, since Charis had no support, other than his family members and a few friends.
Back at those days, there was no finishing control (checkpoint) and Charis had to be every always the first one completing the ride, to officially certify all the others who were finishing. We can still remember a 300km ride around Delphi area, where two of us reached the finishing point around 01.30 am and we realised that Charis has planned to spend his whole night in his car, waiting for everybody to finish.
During 2010 Audax events became more popular, which significantly contributed in creating a small amount of resources to budget human resources, that could help Charis and all people engaged, to run an audax ride in the best of terms.
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What is included
Gr Cycling Approved and Bike Friendly Lodging. The facilities we normally choose for the Audax Randonneur events are 3-star hotels (or better) or traditional, quality guesthouses. They are located in close proximity to the starting point, to minimize the needed transfer time the day the ride begins.
The accommodation is based on sharing a twin (or triple) bedded room. Single occupancy option is available.
During your ride
A great variety of healthy snacks, light meals, and beverages are offered during your ride in every check control. Occasionally we prepare our own energy bars, made out of the best Greek ingredients, homemade drinks, like our famous lemonade.
Before or After your ride
All breakfasts and all meals mentioned in the itinerary are included. Away from any kind of touristic spots, we normally choose to have our meals at small, family businesses that we trust. That way you can enjoy traditionally prepared and quality meals and taste the very best of the authentic Greek cuisine. Fresh, tasteful vegetables, mediterranean fish, local recipes, and the original Greek atmosphere; all are part of this tip's highlights.
Bringing your own bike?
No problem. Depending on the trip's schedule, we can either store your bike box in our bike workshop, during your time in Greece, or carry it along with us throughout the whole trip. There is no extra cost for this service.
In order to participate in an official Audax Randonneur ride, you need to have been previously been registered in the Audax Greek Branch's records. Our agents, at no extra cost, will run the whole procedure on your behalf and make sure that your participation is officially listed.
All transfers from / to the airport and between the destinations included in this trip are included. On the date of your arrival, we pick you from the airport and we transfer you close to the region the Audax Randonneur ride begins.
Our van will always be in close proximity for anything that you might need. An extensive tool set and a wide range of essential spares will be available to you throughout the cycling activity. Additionally, our mechanics are always at your disposal, making sure to provide you all the necessary assistance during any repairs. Feel also free to bring any spares that you think you will need (e.g. an extra pair of wheels). All are going to be loaded on our support vehicles and be at your disposal once you need them.
Bike Hire option
In case you are not bringing your own bike, you may use one of ours, from our premium bike fleet. Make sure to let our agents know of your selected bike in advance. Feel free to send over your recent measurements, for us to have your bike ready upon your arrival. All of our bikes for this trip are going to be equipped with Apidura's Saddle and frame bags.