Thursday, January 21, 2010

Looking Straight into the Eyes of What is Between Me and Paris

OK. Now we're cooking with gas!

Dates, times, regulations, and promotion of the Paris Brest Paris Randonneur (PBP) are in motion. You can go to the official English version of the new 2011 PBP brochure (seen above) and much is finally explained.

For me, it sharpens my 2010 objectives very clearly. I knew that I wanted to complete a SR Series (200k, 300k, 400k, 600k) this year for many reasons. I also wanted to test myself on a longer brevet: 1000k or 1200k.

But now seeing that if I complete a 1000k in 2010, I will maximize my chances for meeting the country quota (assuming I otherwise qualify by doing an SR Series by end of June next year), I am determined to also complete a 1000k.

Completing a 200k, 300k and 400k feels very doable. I did that in 2009. While I completed them, however, I had repetitive use injuries (knee stuff, shin stuff or groin stuff) to deal with afterward. To get at that, I plan to put in alot more miles and work my body in other ways off the bicycle.

The 600k feels intimidating, but no more so than the others did the first times. The 1000k really feels like it is a different animal for me. But this focusing, this sharpening of objectives, this looking straight into the eyes of what is between me and Paris (rhymes best if Paris is pronounced as the French do) is exactly what I need.

I dig the progressivity of the whole endeavor, and I can't imagine ever attempting a 1200k event without having completed the milestones along the way. But with the milestones, seemingly anything is possible.

Here's a quote from the PBP brochure under the title "Editorial" and translated from the French:

"You will be among thousands of other riders from all over the world who want to participate in this mythical event in order to join the long list of successful randonneurs who have contributed to the legend of this Paris-
Brest-Paris Randonneur.

All along the 1200 km of this route, you will measure the strength of your body and, above all, of your mind. You may strive for a personal best or simply try to finish within the time limit; but you will always keep at heart the goal to support each other and to enjoy the friendly camaraderie that transforms this monument of endurance into an authentic Randonnee."

That is the spirit I read about in 2007 just after that event that got me thinking about this thing I'd never even heard of: Randonneuring. Exciting!

Keep it sharp,



  1. Don't stress too much about the PBP prequalification. If you look at the number of RUSA members who go to PBP, it is less than 20% of the total membership. And if you look at how many people ride a full SR series (even smaller number), it is very likely that anyone who does a 400k-600k brevet will get a chance to qualify for PBP.

    Riding a 1000k or a 1200k is a great cycling experience in itself, and totally different from a 600k. The Cascade 1200 is a great ride, and the WA-OR 1000k in September should be another great one.

  2. The longer rides I see as more of a mental challenge especially with some degree of sleep deprivation. Physically, the training effect kicks in. Find a comfortable seat and test it.
    The main reason to prepare with 1000k or more is to work out the kinks.