I know there will be adverse reactions to the reality of Audax No. 10, but part of this sport is facing harsh realities. We failed the audax. Not for time. Not because of finishers. We failed because we only had 3 starters. We always start with at least 4, and finish with at least 3. These rules are arbitrary, but they are fundamental in the discipline that is audax riding. We failed, but 3 of us still rode; we still met our own standard; we still overcame the challenges of the day.
One of our obstacles was mechanical in nature. Joe's chain became twisted on a steep climb, and we had to amputate part of it to keep it rolling. After some side of the road, all hands on deck (some literally dirtier than others) bicycle mechanic-ing, we were back on the road, almost half way done.
After some climbs, some dogs, some wind, and an unreliable drive-train, our audax worked to get back our time lost, knowing the whole time that success on our predetermined terms was futile. We had our own idea of success. The 3 of us were finishing the route, and we were doing it inside of our audax time.
We were determined. And Joe persevered. His less than perfect machine demanded a lot from his legs, and our effort to regain time on course was challenging to the cohesion. We know from experience: the last hour is hard on the peloton. Cooperation is difficult to execute, the more tired everyone is and the closer we get to home.
Finally, we braved Hickory Street to make it to the square at 13:30. After 5 hours, we had completed 109km, with 18 minutes to spare, and a total average speed of 21.8kph. That's a whopping 3.5kph slower than our average rolling speed of 25.3kph. That means we were booking it trying to make up time on what wasn't a slow roadside repair. And all that without accounting for the never before tested group. A unique combination of riders is always a test for our teamwork. But that's just how the Audax Turkeys roll.