Oh! To Be In Kent – The Dulwich Paragon Audax

The 2024 event will take place on Saturday 3 August, and entries will open here on 29 March.

Orchards! Oasthouses! The Darling Buds of May! Very tired cyclists! Kent has it all, which is why we made it the setting for our annual 210km Audax. Inaugurated in 2022, it’s fast becoming a fixture on the calendar.

But what exactly is an audax? Good question. It’s a bit like a sportive, but Audax rides tend to be longer distance rides (the classic Randonneur distances start at 200km and increase up to multi-day rides). They have to be completed within a set time limit, which includes any stops to eat or rest. Riders need to maintain an average speed (from start to finish) of between 15 and 30kmh. More general information here.

To validate your ride you have to pass though controls/checkpoints. On a typical Audax this means either getting a brevet card stamped from a volunteer at that point, collecting a receipt from a local shop or cafe, or answering a question at a specific location (an “info” control). We will have all three types of checkpoint. Unlike a sportive we do not provide rider recovery, assistance or a “broom wagon” – but you are never far from railways, villages etc.

OK, so where does it go? You’ll start off at Peckham Rye, then head out of London into Kent over the North Downs for a hilly first half that nibbles at the edges of East Sussex before reaching Tenterden. Then there’s a flatter section in the Weald of Kent, including a chance to double-take at the sign saying “East Peckham”, before heading back into town for a finish at the renowned Herne Hill Velodrome. We look forward to welcoming you there.

How do I enter? Simply register following the link at the top of this page. Entry costs £8 for Audax UK and Cycling UK members. Anyone else can ride by paying an additional £3 for temporary Audax UK membership.

How on earth will I ever ride that far? For those who aren’t seasoned audaxers, the distance can be daunting. But if you’re a member and comfortable with club runs, look out for our “club 2 audax” training rides that gradually increase the distance and gently stretch those limits.

I have another question! Feel free to email organiser Sam Crossley here.