We're teaming up with Carmela Pearson, head of the Audax Randonneurs Philippines, to bring you the Virtual Populaire—a 100km Zwift century ride, to celebrate Women's Month. Mark your calendars for March 28 at 7am, Philippine time.
This thing has been brewing for well over a year now, but sadly, the pandemic derailed plans to roll this out properly last year. With so much uncertainty surrounding us, we just decided to push thru with it—even if the kick-off leg is done virtually.
The format is actually perfect for a lot of people looking to take their riding up a notch—or for us over here, the perfect warm-up to the Audax PH rides that we so dearly love and miss.
For those of you not familiar with the format, The Populaire is pretty much a shorter version of your regular brevet—its anywhere from 50 to 150km, and it offers a great glimpse into how Audax rides are, albeit at a much shorter distance. This virtual Populaire will not have control points or a cut-off time, due to it being a virtual ride and all, but to make it interesting and still be in line with the celebration of National Women’s Month here in the Philippines—we will have Carmela Pearson, the head of Audax Randonneurs PH, lead this ride.
For those who are not familiar with Carmela—she, in 2010, was the person responsible for bringing in and introducing the Audax format here in the Philippines. At the time, she was one, if not the only female organizer in the world to organize these rides. She has completed Paris-Brest-Paris a couple of times, and currently competes in both the Women’s Master’s and Women’s Elite class with Singapore-based matadorRACING Team in UCI-sanctioned races in the region. Though racing is something she does, she really considers herself to be an adventure cyclist and has cycled all over the world—from Geneva to the South of France to even remote places such as Tibet. Aside from the Audax rides, you can find her organizing bike adventure tours around the world.
Now, we’re not insinuating that this will be an intense ride… in fact it’s far from what we’re going for. We just want to introduce the format — and have Carmela, the one who introduced the Audax format to us back then, kick things off again. You can RIDE ANY WAY YOU WANT, but JUST RIDE.
This ride is open to all the female Wildflowers that have joined the OK Strava club. All you have to do to join this ride is:
- Join the Off-Kilter Cycling Club on Strava.
- Follow AudaxPH x OffKilter Women’s Populaire on the Zwift Companion App.
- We’ll be posting an event invite on the club page, and all the ladies who will mark themselves as “going” will receive an invite from the AudaxPH Zwift account. Make sure to check and accept this group ride invite.
- The ride will be at 7am on March 28, 2021(Manila Time), so make sure you’re already in Zwift at least 10 minutes before ride out time. The option to join the ride will come out before the takeoff time so make sure to look for it and enter the ride. We will not be able to reset things if you miss the notification to enter and join the ride, or come into the ride late.
- Make sure you prepare your nutrition for this ride. This will be a 100km sortie around the chosen course. Have some or a ton of snacks, maybe a towel or two here and there, and make sure you have the proper ventilation. I mean this may be a virtual ride and all, but it can still tax your system quite a bit.
- Finishers of this ride will receive a virtual badge of this very first Brevet Populaire!
Well that’s it, basically!
We’re really hoping to get all the Wildflowers out there to join us for this ride. It may still be a ways to go before we can really do brevets out in the open again, but in the meantime, we’ll continue to organize virtual rides like these to help everyone stay in shape… and more importantly, safe from outside exposure. See you on the virtual road!