Paris Brest Paris - PBP - 21 August 2011

PBP is a cycling event held every 4 years.  Requires 4 qualifying rides to enter.  Runs over 4 days.

Source of image:

I'm looking forward to seeing all the randonneurs who I have got to know on the physical and virtual road to Paris.

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Below is my schedule, after a start on Sunday 21st August at 18:00 local time.

MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE 22/08/11 02:24
VILLAINES- LA-JUHEL 22/08/11 07:16
FOUGERES 22/08/11 12:52
TINTENIAC 22/08/11 16:52
LOUDEAC 22/08/11 22:14
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23/08/11 06:15
BREST 23/08/11 12:05
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23/08/11 17:45
LOUDEAC 23/08/11 23:56
QUEDILLAC 24/08/11 03:47
TINTENIAC 24/08/11 07:58
FOUGERES 24/08/11 11:31
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 24/08/11 17:23
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE 24/08/11 23:19
DREUX 25/08/11 04:05

Which will give me at least one hour spare, with more depending on actual start time on the day.

The West Bay and Back 200 - August 2011

I like this photo because of the reflection of Bill in Jamie's glasses.  Bill, Jamie and I rode together the whole way around.  Congratulations to Jamie on his first Audax.

On the way back home, in the car, we burst into song: 'Oh such a perfect day'.  Jamie would sing the chorus: 'Oh my arms and shoulders'.  It was a fantastic day out.  Lovely scenery, great weather, great company.

I received compliments on my 'little gear', 'as big as a dinner plate'.  The guy laughed, but I laughed even more, because he should see the dinner plate on my other bike!  I was grateful of this guy's good sense of humour, though.  Because I had lost mine in the Hambro Arms.  I didn't appreciate the ageist and sexist remarks of the women at the bar.  If I had been on my own, I would have been straight out of there.

At West Bay, I was pleased that LEE had insisted we'd go to the seafront after lunch.  The view is spectacular.

At the first control, I knew something was up with the tandem Things.  Emma said: "Have a good ride."  That is not something you say when you are riding yourself.  They took the precaution not to aggravate an ankle injury ahead of PBP, so turned back.  Anti-inflammatories and ice, Emma!  

Thanks to Andy and team for organising the event.  It was Andy's first as organiser and it was very well done. 

Photos are on the slideshow till the next ride (!!! that will be PBP !!) or here: Clicky

The West Bay and Back 200 - August 2011

"Don't get the paper", said Sarah, "I'll pick one up on my way".  However, whilst doing the groceries, and with the new financial turmoil on my mind, I spotted the FT - Financial Times.  

Got home to a Donko's coffee, and I opened the Life & Arts section.  "From bicycles to boardroom", let's have a quick read of that.  If you are curious like I was, the article is online: From bicycles to boardroom.

Turned the page and saw the headline "Flanders".  Geraint Thomas is leading a cycling holiday in Kortrijk - Belgium.  That is very close to where I'm from.  But why spend £869 for 200km, when you can do 1200km for less than £100.  What do you mean it's not the same? 

Oh yes, not long now.  Tomorrow, I'll be riding my last long ride before PBP.  Below is the route (double click to enlarge).

My best friend from work has entered also.   Last Christmas, he asked me if he could join me for 'one of those long rides'.  Sure, I said, I'm free the first weekend of August 2011.   I was surprised at his laughter, but if you are preparing for PBP, and you are a beekeeper, your weekends are pretty booked up.

He'll be fine, he's a marathon runner and cycle commuter with determination.  Told him about all the 'side-effects' of a 200 and he's still keen.  He's probably one of those people Zoe Williams described in her excellent London Cyclist article: with a "make it harder personality".  A brilliant line I thought it was: "... a cognitive ability to take a huge physical pain in the butt, and turn it into a sense of achievement so intense that you seek out ways to make it even worse".  It happens to be an article about night riding.  Funny that.

Anyway, the Financial Times, good paper I find.  Don't think I'll get to the financial bits though.