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PBP

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by longers, 20 Aug 2007.

  1. longers

    longers Veteran

    They set off today! Has anybody here done it or thought about doing it?


    (ACF has 62 riders this year!)
     
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    I did it last time and it was great.
     
  3. I thought about it years ago but never had the time to do all the qualifying rides, never mind the actual event. Now I wouldn't even get to the outskirts of Paris.
     
  4. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Location:
    Penarth, Wales
    Respect to anyone who has done that, I feel weary just reading about it and the 'catnaps' in the hedge etc. If there are 62 riders from ACF I can only add that's impressive!!!!!!!!
     
  5. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Rhythm Thief - Don't worry about this being an ambition from the past. The good thing about PBP is the average age of the successful rider is about (IIRC) 57 years old.

    This is not only a reflection of perhaps older people having more time in their lives for all the qualifying rides, etc, but is also a brilliant endorsement of the notion that 'slow and steady' usually wins the day. PBP is another aspect of life when going 'slower and longer' is so much better than youth's insistence on 'hard and fast' .

    PBP is a celebration of the wisdom, tolerance, fortitude, flexibility, focus, aptitude and frankly, in my case improving good looks, that all come with age. All this really can compensates for any general decline in 'performance'.
     
  6. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Just had a look at the web cam from the 'Ligne de depart'.

    http://www.parisbrestparis.tv/paris_brest_paris/menu_gauche_2/la_ligne_de_depart

    It's 9.30pm in France and this was about my start time four years ago. I remember as I waited in the start pen I was overwhelmed by a fantastic feeling of calm. A total realisation that there was no more I could do: No more training, no more bike preparations, no more refining of gear lists, no more worrying.

    I almost laughed at the simplicity of it all. The line I had carefully plotted on the map was now the road stretching ahead of me. I simply had to get on the bike and ride. So as the whistle blew, I wished everyone around me 'Bon Chance' and set off into the night.

    Whatever would be, would be.
     
  7. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    Oh that's good. Maybe in 4 years time these will accompany me to Paris. Mind you there's LEL in 2009 to worry about look forward to first. :blush:
     
  8. longers

    longers Veteran

    LEL? Crikey! :blush: Sounds like lunacy!
     
  9. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Location:
    Penarth, Wales
    Is that longer than PBP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Well, it's now about 42 hours gone and most of the participants have turned around at Brest and are heading back to Paris. (623 kms done. 623 km to go!)

    Some have still not slept, which means they are going to have to pick up the pace if they are to create enough leeway for a kip. A few are not reported as through Brest. They are either running like clock work on a 'maximum time schedule', or are cutting it a bit fine.

    A couple of Brits have 'abandoned' because of mechanical trouble, but considering it's wet and windy, there have been no other retirements.

    Those who remember 'Charlotte' from the old C+ days will be pleased to hear she is going well, ably supported by Liz (Comet Girl) who is providing succour and refreshment at one of the controls.
     
  11. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Now at nearly 45 hours, most people have passed halfway, but to keep in all in perspective - the first ones home have already finsihed! An average of about 28 kph for 1250 hilly kms.
     
  12. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York

    Absolutement! I can understand ELE, i.e. starting off in Edinburgh, reaching the English capital, thinking Hmmmm.. and then turning around and going back:evil::biggrin:

    As for the PBP, I am more of a hill-country cyclist but it sounds a real experience. I might try it when I am old enough.
     
  13. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    It should suit you down to the ground then - there's 33000 feet of climbing on the route!

    LEL is a slightly different beast. It is slightly longer, but as there are only a few hundred participants, it is a much 'lonelier' experience, which is further exacerbated by them using several different start and finish points (although unfortunately Edinburgh isn't one of them). All this is to keep numbers down on the road so as to not antagonise other 'road users'.

    In contrast, Paris - Brest - Paris is a festival of cycling. Many thousands of riders roam along either alone or in bunches purely on how the mood takes them. The villages along the route throw parties to celebrate the riders. Farmers set up shower blocks out of hay bales on the edge of their fields so you can wash some of the sweat and grime away. Cafes stay open all night and families sit out in the small hours of the morning just to clap and wish you 'Bon Chance'. For 90 hours you feel you are one of the most important people in that part of France.

    I can't recommend it enough. It's one of those 'must do in life' events. And the good thing is that is both cheap and accessible. How about the next one in 2011?
     
  14. longers

    longers Veteran

    I'm certainly going to look into doing some longer rides over the next year to see how I fare.

    Since they set off I've been to bed three times and will be asleep again while some of them are finishing.:biggrin:

    Even making it to the start is an achievement, let alone completing it.

    My mate has about 150k to go!! Go matt!
     
  15. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    He's in good shape. That's the point you really need to be at by dawn tomorrow.

    For many, tonight is the 'big' one'. Everyone has now been in the saddle for 3 nights and three days, so fighting tiredness is relentless. Faster people like Matt have enough time in hand to be able to stop and sleep, but lots of people will be chasing the deadline and wrestling with the classic dilemma: Do I stop for a couple of hours in the hope I go better after some sleep or do I use every hour to just keep peddling? Many people's minds will be so addled that they have lost all hope of rational thought.

    Some riders just peddle themselves to a stand still. The verges of the unlit Normandy lanes are strewn with sleeping bodies wrapped tightly in their space blankets, appearing as a succession of large shiny silver slugs in the glow of your bike lights. I passed one rider slumped by the very edge of the road, but it took me several minutes for my brain to register that he was both astride his bike and still clipped into his peddles! Surely no one can lay down under control without unclipping?

    I went back to check he was uninjured. However my best intentions went unappreciated. This Japanese rider was obviously 'somewhere else' in his sleep and fought me off with a series of wild karate blows while his feet stayed firmly lodged in his peddles. As he came round he realised the true situation and after exchanging many 'sorrys', (the only word we shared in common), I continued into the dark.

    In every village there was a cafe open all night. Double espressos were now the norm on the hour, every hour. You became slightly detached from what you could see. Was there really a land where everyone wears lycra and the bars stay open all night, specifically so cyclists from 25 different countries can meet up and chat? Perhaps PBP really is cycling heaven.