An Audax is a non-competitive ride that visits set control points over a defined distance. It is not a race; the objective is just to complete the distance within a certain time window. A route is always published and is normally the best/nicest route to take but the only rules are that you have to visit the set controls in the right order and within a set time frame which equates to an average speed of between 15km and 30km. 15km per hour sounds very low but a couple of leisurely coffee stops and lunch on a 200km route can soon get you near the limit. This lower limit also allows riders of all speed abilities to take part. The upper time limit is in place to stop the event becoming a race and it's only the very fastest club riders who would get anywhere near this limit taking 'control time' into account. Times aren't published at all in Audaxes, you've either completed the event in time or you haven't.
Audaxes are self sufficient events, there are no feed stops, no mechanical support and there is no recovery service. They are however incredibly friendly events and riders will always help out other riders with mechanicals, route finding or any other issues. Most Audaxes use controls where you will be able to find food and drink, cafes where possible or sometimes you just have to get a receipt from anywhere in a certain town so you can use a shop, cafe or even just a cash point machine receipt if you want to press on and keep riding.
We have a very active group of members who ride Audaxes with the most popular distance being 200km which is a full day out on your bike.
Our members ride all levels of distance and we now have several members who have completed a 'Super Randonneur' series which is the completion of a 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km event within an Audax year which runs from Oct 1 to Sept 30 (shorter events can be swapped with longer events ie 3 x 400km and a 600km event would count)
If you're looking to start some long distance cycling you'll find some friendly faces who can offer whatever help and encourage you need.
The governing body in the UK is Audax UK.