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Permanents

What are Permanents?
These are audax rides that can be ridden at any time, not limited to a particular date in the calendar.  There are broadly three types
 
Listed Permanents
These are named routes that have been established and logged onto the AUK website.  Often they are a spin-off from a calendar event.  Entrants receive a routesheet (just like is issued for a calendar event) and a brevet card.  They can be ridden at any time (but riders must notify the organiser of the date of the ride before starting, to satisfy AUK insurance rules), and can often be ridden from any point on the route or from a pre-agreed point off the "official" route.  Proof of passage will be provided by receipts or bank autoteller slips issued at the specified control points, and sometimes by the use of "info controls" (answering a question related to the location printed in the brevet card).
 
Permanents in the Thames Valley area include (towns listed are included only to indicate route and are not necessarily control points)
Marlborough Connection * (200km Woodstock - Hungerford - Wootton Bassett - Cirencester - Lechlade - Charlbury - Woodstock map)
Anorak's Delight (200km Tadley - Odiham - New Alresford - Bishops Waltham - Romsey - Amesbury - Andover - Tadley)
Taste of the Test (200km Tadley - Stockbridge - Old Sarum - Amesbury - Marlborough - Aldbourne - Hermitage - Tadley)
Poor Student * (200km Oxford - Shrivenham - Malmsbury - Cirencester - Chipping Campden - Oxford)
South East Oxford Loop (200km Bourton - Burford - Witney - Abingdon - Wantage - Uffingham White Horse - Lechlade - Stroud)
Summer Saunter to Wantage (200km Denmead - Kingsclere - Wantage - Lambourne - Whitchurch - Denmead)
Wantage Winter Wind-Up (200km Denmead - Whitchurch - Lambourne - Wantage - Kingsclere - Denmead.  This is broadly the reverse of the Summer Saunter to Wantage, but optimised for poor weather.
The Dean (300km Oxford - Stow - Newent - Chepstow - Malmesbury - Membury - Oxford)
Cheddar Gorge * (300km Witney - Marlborough - Bradford-on-Avon - Cheddar - Keynsham - Malmesbury - Cirencester - Witney)
Cotswold & Thames (300km Cheltenham - Moreton-in-Marsh - Banbury - Bicester - Thame - Dorchester-on-Thames - Chippenham - Marshfield - Tetbury - Cheltenham.  Can be started anywhere on route)
Faffers 400 (400km Didcot - Chipping Campden - Newent - Hay-on-Wye - Knighton - Chipping Norton - Didcot  map)
EWE Baaa * (200km, Kew Bridge - Windsor - Caversham - Lambourne and return)
 
There may well be others, but it is not always easy to tell from the AUK website where the individual routes go.  To enter any of these permanents click on the event name, and then use the "enter this event" button on the AUK page.  Those marked * are administered by Pat Hurt, and his website has some more information
 
DIY Permanents
These differ from listed permanents in that the route is planned by the rider.  A list of suitable control points (with the aggregate minimum distance between being no less than the specified event distance) is sent on an entry form to the relevant DIY organiser, who approves (or not!) the route and issues a brevet card.  There is considerable flexibility in the route (except in the minimum distance) in that they can be circular or linear.
 
To enter a DIY Permanent, click here, select your organiser and distance to print an entry form.  Events in the Thames valley area would normally be administered by Paul Stewart.  The entry form must be sent to the organser with the outline of your route (with controls stated) for approval.  Remember to include return postage for your brevet card.
 
GPS Permanents
These are a subset of DIY permanents, in that proof of passage is provided by a GPS tracklog recorded while doing the ride.  This gives greater flexibility in the choice of control points, as one is no longer restricted to locations where receipts etc can be obtained.  The entire process is electronic - entry and submission of the "evidence" is all on-line.
 
To enter a GPS Permanent, go here, select the appropriate organiser (again, likely to be Paul Stewart) to purchase a card, and then follow the link for the entry form.  An outline of the route, with control points identified, must be submitted to the organiser before the ride for approval.
 
Potential users of the GPS Perm format should ensure that their tracking device creates a log showing time, location and elevation (not all record elevation).  A trackpoint frequncy of one per minute should be sufficient, though many users just retain the device default (which is more frequent).  Users should check that the memory of their device is sufficient for the anticipated tracklog, without truncating or overwriting.
 
Mesh Permanents
This is a discontinued version of permanent, where a grid of the UK was provided showing selected places (generally 40 - 60km apart) where control facilities were available, together with the notional distance between them.  A route could be developed and submitted with an entry form linking the grid nodes to give the required total distance.  The writer mourns their demise!
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