Friday, September 09, 2011

Archival Report: Paris Brest Paris 2011


PBP spectators in Villaines, France

I just got back from the 17th edition of Paris Brest Paris, an ultra distance cycling event held every four years in France. I always say that I record and erase my memory of rides longer than 600k. I can confirm via official records that I successfully covered the 1200k course in a time of 86 hours and 55 minutes. My primary setback was a series of intense drowsy spells that left me convinced that I was pedaling in my sleep, but overall I felt strong.

First night. 1200k to go



Scenic views and slumbering cyclists

During PBP, I did my best take photos of my practiced obsessions: people, bicycles and food. Snaps of the scenic countryside are in short supply. For interested parties, here is visual evidence of my participation in Paris Brest Paris with some fragmentary notations

Maya. Organized first randonneuring events in Japan

Amused Breton bystander

Rando Buddha

Audax England rider (designed the club's jersey)


Photogenic Bryan on his Box Dog Bikes Pelican (SF Rando pal and AC stockist, Gabe, offscreen)

NC rider on one of the last Coho rando bikes

Duane Wright on his Peugeot fixie

Susan sporting a signature cycling dress at the famous PBP crepe control

Snappy French (?) gent riding a Gilles Berthoud

Riding buddy Jeff on his lovely Boxer Bicycles custom

Swedish pal, Jan-Olov, on his Velo Orange Pass Hunter

PBP Ancien Willi Nevin on his Vanilla custom

Kitty Goursolle, ultradistance cycling legend. We finished the Cascade 1200 together.

Jeff "I'm having the time of my life" Tilden

Bill, Oregon rando pal, at the ride start

Charismatic control worker





Food is one of the great motivators in cycling. On PBP, you can forage from Boulangeries on the course for your primary fuel (for me, pain au chocolat and jambon sandwiches). Jeff's strawberry tart was a visual highlight of one boulangerie which we liked as much for the free coffee. Fatigue and the need for forward movement often drove us to save time by eating at the official PBP controls. My photos reflect the matter of fact nature of this food.
Start
Halfway
One control from the finish

Jeff's brevet card (so much suffering to go)

Sample view. Vanilla at rest.

Full PBP 2011 flickr set here.

5 comments:

ekr said...

Looks like you guys had fun,
the woman from Japan with the Kanagawa jersey, I was born in Kanagawa, nice!

Ryan said...

Awesome! Well done - I would love to do PBP someday.

Joel said...

Really impressive achievement! Thanks for sharing your pix.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you very much for posting. Inspiring!

Grant said...

A truly amazing achievement! Congratulations and thank you for sharing.