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PBP = Paris-Brest-Paris. A randonnée from Paris to Brest and back, 1230K. It is held every four years as the peak international randonneuring event. This year Pittsburghers Patty George & I are going. Patty's an actual athlete and doctor, who is raising money for Team PHenomenal Hope, her pulmonary hypertension charity. Her website for donations is here. I'm not raising money, just trying to finish in time (90 hours). My start time is August 16 at 7:15 pm Paris time. You can follow the ride here. My frame number is P326. If you want to get involved with randonneuring you can find out about local rides here. The next ride, which will be the last this season, is the North Hills 200K September 6. Among message board folks, @reddan and @stefb are heavily involved with this.
2015-08-04 13:04:32
Bonne route, Jon. PBP is one heck of a challenge, and I wish you the best of luck.
2015-08-04 13:08:31
Riding here (in France) is weird. Typically, when I approach a crosswalk from the bike path, motorists stop, even when they have the light, even when I have stopped or slowed too and haven't even entered the crosswalk! Totally the opposite of Pittsburgh. Hard up get used to. It's as if my safety matters more to them, personally, than getting where they're going as fast as possible.
2015-08-15 00:13:15
Good luck with the ride jon. Please post some pics and more 'rambling thoughts' when you have the chance. Enjoy your ride.
2015-08-15 08:34:59
I'm posting a lot on Facebook.
2015-08-16 11:29:07
Jon (and Patty George) finished earlier today. Chapeaux to both of them!
2015-08-20 11:44:44
Some impressions of PBP: I had no idea that it was such a big deal in France. It is like the amateur TdF. A lot of people who don't like the TdF because they can't identify with the riders support PBP instead (which overlaps the course, BTW, near Fougeres). You'll be riding through a village, 3 am, and there are folks at a bistro applauding each rider. Or winding down some small street at night and somebody calls out "Bon courage" from a window on the second floor. It's really an incredible level of support. And the motorists are fantastic. I saw some really crappy cyclist behavior, like entering a rotary without yielding, running stop lights without stopping, etc. Motorists were completely patient. No honking. Trucks behind riders riding two abreast on a two lane road, patiently waiting for a turn to pass safely. I did know about the families that set up tents and hand out coffee etc. to the riders. Some of them are pretty competitive, to get the riders to stop in. Girls cheerleading: "We have chocolat!" Or 11:30 pm, a couple in their front yard serving coffee from a folding table, while their child is inside, watching TV, calling for mom. They are genuinely committed to helping us and being part of the ride. There's also the amazing experience of seeing a line of red taillights as far as the eye can see. Or the many many riders curled up beside the road or at the controles in their space blankets. These are things you will never see unless you do PBP. I felt pretty damn good about myself for being able to finish. I'd worked out the key issues of sleep and nutrition, better than some other stronger riders. I discovered that it's really not necessary to get hours of sleep; 10 minutes is fine to put quit to the hallucinations and the slowing down. And you can also wake yourself up other ways, such as by talking with the other riders -- which also takes your mind off the pain. I'd recommend this to anyone who has the ability; it's a great reason to do randonneuring, in my opinion. There is no other ride like this in the world, and you will not get to do it without randonneuring.
2015-08-23 16:50:35
"I felt pretty damn good about myself for being able to finish." You certainly should; congratulations and welcome home. I imagine there's a lot more you could say about it and I look forward to hearing about it.
2015-08-26 09:34:31
Some recovery rides coming up this week-end (Neighborhoods, PedalPGH metric C, ...). Hope to see you there.
2015-08-27 21:37:56
I got a DVD from the PBP people. I uploaded it to Youtube so you guys can see it. I know this is copyrighted by those folks in France but I figure it has little entertainment value other than encouraging people to ride in PBP, which they probably want. So take a look. Oh, it's in French, and I can't figure out how to get the subtitles to work. But basically, all the guys in the beginning are talking about what an important ride this is, and how excited they are to ride in it. The people who aren't riding are all talking about how excited they are to support the ride and what a big deal it is for France. And the guys who look tired towards the end are all talking about giving up.
2016-02-14 19:08:05
Wow. This may become a goal for me someday. I am getting old though. 50! Thanks for sharing it. I could try in two years. Am I too old? I am a tall person at 6'2". Hmmm. Looks great though and I love France. LOVE!
2016-02-14 22:32:07
I completed at 58. Jim Logan and Dan Blumenfeld (and other Pittsburgh Randonneurs) did an excellent job of helping me learn what I needed to know. The next one is in 2019.
2016-02-15 07:18:46
50 years old is no problem for PBP. The oldest finisher was 75...
2016-02-15 09:40:12
Thanks Jon for the inspiration. If my work schedule allows, I plan to do some randonneuring this Spring. I'll have turned 50 yrs old in 2019...
2016-02-27 00:13:31