Riding an Audax DIY Permanent Event
For all DIY events the basic ingredients are the same:
- Submit an entry and your intended route for approval.
All DIY routes, like all Audax events have a start and finish Control (checkpoint) and intermediate checkpoints spaced at intervals between 50km and 80km. Events of 100km or less should have at least one intermediate checkpoint. Routes may be circular or linear.
- Notify the organiser of the date you intend to ride, then ride collecting proof of passage as you go.
- Submit your proof of passage to the DIY organiser in order to have your ride validated.
There are two ways in which you can enter and have your DIY event ride validated:
- Enter by post or on-line to obtain a conventional brevet card. Collect receipts or stamps at checkpoint locations and return these with the brevet card to the organiser.
- Enter on-line to obtain a virtual e-brevet card. Record your ride on your GPS and submit the tracklog gpx file to the organiser.
DIY events may follow Advisory Routes or Mandatory Routes
All DIY events ridden with a conventional brevet card and receipts are based on Advisory Routes. The start, finish and intermediate checkpoint locations define the minimum event distance. They must be visited in the order specified but you may take any route you wish to link them up.
DIY events ridden with GPS validation may follow Advisory Routes as above.
DIY events ridden with GPS validation may follow Mandatory Routes. For these events checkpoint locations must be visited as above, but these do not define the minimum route distance. This is defined by a gpx track submitted with the DIY event entry, and which must then be followed. Mandatory routes enable DIY routes to be devised that otherwise would be considerably longer than the minimum distance of an advisory route, or would require an excessive number of intermediate checkpoints in order to define the route. As this is a new option there are detailed instructions here
You must decide which version of DIY event you intend to ride at the time of submitting your event entry.
DIY event entry checklist
Plan a route. Decide on the distance you’d like to ride. We validate DIY permanent routes at distances of 50km, 100km, 150km, 200km, and then at 100km intervals up to 1,000km. (You can go further but please contact the organiser before entering)
Add checkpoints along the route. For Advisory Routes check carefully that the shortest distances between your checkpoints add up to at least the distance you need. For Mandatory Routes make sure that the gpx track you intend to submit is at least as long as the nominal event distance.
Pay the organiser for your conventional or electronic brevet card by post or Paypal as appropriate and submit a completed application form by for each ride, making sure you include a list of your checkpoints; and for Mandatory Routes a gpx track of your intended route.
Notify your ride date before setting off. You may do this with your entry or right up to the moment before starting your DIY event.
After your ride
When you have finished your ride, send back your paper receipts (or scanned copies) and brevet card, or complete the electronic brevet card and email it back along with your gpx file. The organiser will then check the receipts or gpx file, and send off your ride details for validation.
Ride tips when you ride your DIY by GPS event
- Check the batteries in your GPS unit are charged. Carry spare batteries, and make sure they’re charged too.
- Make sure that your GPS is recording your tracklog, and that you’ve cleared the old tracklog.
- You must make sure that you pass through all the checkpoints that you said you would. If you are using checkpoints in obscure places, make sure that you’re on the right road!
- Remember to stay on Mandatory Routes
- If you are after AAA points, you may need to set the GPS elevation to the correct figure before the start.
- The GPS validation process expects trackpoints at least every 100 metres in the tracklog. Most GPS units do this automatically.
- Don’t forget to start recording at the beginning of the event, and stop recording at the end of the event. Then upload the tracklog to your computer so it can be forwarded for validation.
Probably answered in the FAQs below:
FAQ01: Do I need to list the controls on the entry form?
Yes. List place names where possible, towns, villages or local landmarks. For GPS DIYs especially, there is no need to be too precise as this is just a summary.
FAQ02: How do I submit Receipts by email?
Scan or photo your receipts together or individually as you like, though individual photos of receipts works best. Please note:
- All receipts the ‘right way up’ in whatever page format you use please.
- Number receipts and give individual files appropriate names 1-name of controls.jpg, etc.
- Make sure photos are lit properly. No need for flash umbrella's just make sure they are legible
- DO NOT use hi-lighters to highlight time and date stamps, as this renders text illegible when viewed online. Better to underline the relevant text.
- Consider file size and use a tool like MS Picture Manager to compress images where appropriate. Hi-res photos of 1Mb or more will easily shrink down to ~15kb.
- Finally, please double check that your photos are legible before you send them in!
FAQ03: How do I claim AAA points for a DIY Perm
AAA points can be claimed for GPS DIY perms only. Where initial analysis indicates the GPX track may be eligible for an AAA award, it is automatically forwarded to the AAA secretary. But our regular processing will not identify marginal cases, or routes which do not qualify for AAA overall, but contain hilly sections of 100km or more. If you feel "there are AAA points in there somewhere", please let your DIY org know or take it up with the AAA Sec directly.
FAQ04: How close to a Checkpoint shown on Google Maps do I need to get?
Passing through/past a Control it doesn't really matter but if 'bouncing' off a control, i.e., changing direction, you should get reasonably close. If possible, identify the cafe/store where you will plan to stop, otherwise if the Control represents a "turn point", mark the "outer boundary" of the area where you expect to obtain a control receipt or for a GPS DIY, mark the roads you actually plan to ride.
FAQ05: Must we have at least one control every 80km or so, even for a 'straight line' route or for Mandatory Routes?
Yes, and at least one intermediate checkpoint for routes of 100km or less
FAQ06: What about ferry crossings?
Ferries are fun but require careful planning. Ensure you know the crossing times and frequency, and allow time for the ferry crossing itself, boarding, etc. Should your ferry be cancelled, an appeal would be allowed because this is equivalent to a diversion because of a closed road. However, if you miss your ferry because you are behind schedule, an appeal will be rejected. The crossing time is included in the time allowance for the event but not the event distance. It's simplest to consider them as extended moving cafe/rest points.
If your route is circular and has one ferry crossing, consider plotting the route from and to the ferry arrival and departure points. This allows the route to be plotted as a single Googlemap route showing the correct route distance for validation purposes. You can start your ride at any point along the route. If your route does includes more than one ferry crossing make a note on the entry form so the organiser will know your brevet will require special attention.
FAQ07: Can you validate the ride I did at the weekend if I send you an entry form and the receipts?
No. The route must be submitted before the event starts.
FAQ08 Can I change the date of a ride? What happens if I don't start or abandon the route?
You can change the date of a DIY perm until 23:59 the day before. After that, if you don't ride or abandon the attempt the Brevet is marked DNS/DNF. If you are unsure when you will ride you can leave the ride date blank on your application and send an email to confirm the ride date later. This can be left right up to the moment before your departure, but remember to let us know otherwise your ride will not be validated. If you do DNS/DNF, please do let us know as it helps us keep the books tidy.
FAQ09 How soon after the ride must I send in my proof of passage for validation?
Your brevidence/GPX track should be returned to the DIY organiser within 14 days of completing the event. If this is not provided your Brevet may be marked DNS/DNF and closed.
FAQ10: Why do we need checkpoints for GPS DIYs? Doesn't the track confirm where and how far we've ridden?
It's an Audax thing. An Audax is an internationally recognised form of cycling event which consists of completing a route defined by a sequence of checkpoints (controls) to an agreed time schedule, evidenced by "proofs of passage" collected along the way. Controls are required at regular intervals to allow for rest and refreshment.
FAQ11 What do I need to send in for GPS DIY validation?
We'd like the raw track(s) as recorded by the GPS. Please note:
- A single GPX file please (not .gbd, .fit, .tcx, whatever)
- Check that the submitted GPX file contains tracks relating to the current ride *only*
- Delete any extraneous track data (recording of travel to/from and about the start / finish, for example).
Our GPS track validation process requires a single gpx file. If the record of your ride is split across more than one GPS file and you have the 'tech', merge the tracks into a single gpx file for submission. Don't worry about joining the tracks; the GPS track segments are automatically merged when we process the file. If you don't have the 'tech to merge GPS files, send in what you have with an accompanying note and we will handle it.
FAQ12 If I'm doing a GPX DIY on an Advisory Route, do I need to send in receipts as well?
No, but it never hurts to collect them just in case you have a problem with your GPS.
FAQ13: What happens if I get home and my GPS track is less than the qualifying distance?
Good question. Nominally the function of the GPX track for Advisory Routes is to confirm you have traversed the control points. Having said that we expect to receive a complete record of your ride. Inevitably there will be times when there are gaps in the record, however, if the evidence indicates the rider may have taken an unscheduled short cut then the Brevet will not be validated. For Mandatory Routes the event distance should be clear from the pre-submitted gpx track. Just remember to stick to the route!
FAQ14: What if I forget to reset my gps before/after the ride?
If your GPS is running before you start/after you finish and you have the tech, feel free to trim away any extraneous sections, otherwise we'll deal with at validation. Just add a note when you submit your GPS track to say it requires special attention.
FAQ15: What if my gps resets during the ride?
If your GPS resets during the ride for whatever reason – “I generally turn my eTrex off when I'm at controls” - you'll likely end up with multiple track segments. That's not a problem, our validation tool will automatically join the supplied track segments for processing.
FAQ16: I'm on a GPS DIY and my GPS died, what should I do?
If you are riding A DIY advisory route, get to a sweetshop, buy a chocolate bar, keep the receipt and collect receipts as proof of passage for the rest of the route. If you are riding a DIY mandatory route, then without a complete tracklog, the ride cannot be validated. So it might be advisable to carry a backup GPS device, e.g. a smartphone or a GPS logger.
FAQ17: My scheduled route is over-distance, can I stop once my GPS has recorded (say) 200km?
No. If you don't complete the route you entered you 'DNF' (Did Not Finish)
FAQ18: I have entered a cycling event that is not an AUK, BRM or LRM event. Can I also ride it as an AUK DIY event at the same time?
Possibly, but read on.
Other cycle events may be concurrently ridden as DIY events providing the normal AUK requirements for DIY events are met. Riders should submit a DIY Perm application to the DIY Organiser and subsequently submit ‘Proofs of Passage’ for validation as normal. Include details about the ‘other’ event in the additional information area of the DIY application form. Where the organising body ‘validates’ the riders participation in the event, such validation might, with the prior agreement of the AUK DIY organiser, be used as ‘Proof of Passage’ for the AUK brevet. Factors which need to be considered in assessing whether the external event is eligible for inclusion in an AUK brevet include:
Distance - the ride must conform to AUK regulations regarding controls, distance and the collection of appropriate ‘Proof of Passage’.
Support - this would follow the usual practice for audax events in each country. In the UK, personal support is not permitted and riders travel to support, not support to the rider.
Competition - the event must be non-competitive, as required by AUK regulations and insurance.
Questions about ‘other’ organised events ridden as DIY events
Q1: Why do I have to provide details of controls?
A1: Because that is required by AUK regulations
Q2: How do I find out about the event controls?
A2: Ask the event organiser.
Q3: What if the event doesn’t have AUK style controls or the controls do not satisfy AUK requirements?
A3: Define your own. This is straightforward for GPS DIY Permanents.
Q4: Can the ‘other’ event controllers simply sign my Brevet Card?
A4: No, you will need to provide some form of independently verifiable proof of passage, i.e., a receipt, GPX track or (subject to prior agreement), proof of completing the event from the ‘other’ event organiser.
Q5: This all seems a lot of work.
A5: Well, from AUK’s perspective, it is ‘business as usual’ for setting up an AUK event. This ensures your Brevet complies with AUK regulations, standards and administrative processes.