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drop bag service or not on PBP?

Old 07-18-21, 12:49 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Great stuff, GhostRider62 . Always love hearing The Octopus's take on these things, too.

I feel like CampyOnlyGuy Eric was the one who got me interested in the 84-hour group.
Yeah I have heard his tips. I'm weighing pros and cons as a rookie
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Old 07-18-21, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulkitez View Post
Yeah I have heard his tips. I'm weighing pros and cons as a rookie
What's the longest ride you've done so far? I was really glad to have picked 90-hour for my first 1200k. I didn't know what misfortunes might befall me, or how fast I'd be able to ride by the end. Somewhere around the one-third or halfway point, I realized that I was hitting the contrôles with about 2 hours to spare, so I used that to set my pace for the rest of the way.
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Old 07-18-21, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
What's the longest ride you've done so far? I was really glad to have picked 90-hour for my first 1200k. I didn't know what misfortunes might befall me, or how fast I'd be able to ride by the end. Somewhere around the one-third or halfway point, I realized that I was hitting the contrôles with about 2 hours to spare, so I used that to set my pace for the rest of the way.
I've done a few centuries and (2) 200k's so far. I plan to ride 2 more brevets this year, a 200 and 300. Next year I will attempt an entire SR series.. and then ideally again in 2023. I feel like the "not-knowing" factor counts as a huge Pro on the 90-hour start time argument.
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Old 07-18-21, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulkitez View Post
I've done a few centuries and (2) 200k's so far. I plan to ride 2 more brevets this year, a 200 and 300. Next year I will attempt an entire SR series.. and then ideally again in 2023. I feel like the "not-knowing" factor counts as a huge Pro on the 90-hour start time argument.
You're roughly where I was in 2012, a couple of centuries/200ks and a 300k under my belt, with an eye toward PBP in 2015. Do you bike-commute? Good way to rack up miles and get in better shape in the meantime.
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Old 07-18-21, 02:35 PM
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I would say one strategy is getting into the earliest 90 hour wave. Say Wave G or H starting at 5:30 pm and then ride with a group very business-like to Villaines. I think the 90H waves go every 15 minutes until close to 10 pm? You'll be ahead of the mass,just avoid faffing around until Villaine, which is a great place to have a quick sit down food. A recumbent lets me see everything coming at you, so, I could see where the bulge of riders were in 2019 as I was returning. I slept in Fougeres, Loudeac, and a long sleep in Brest leaving a sunrise (just before 7 am) on Tuesday. Based on where the bulge was, I would guess a 35-36 hour ride out to Brest in a 5:30 pm start would put you 5-7 hours ahead of it. Things spread out even more on the return and sadly, riders drop out. So, the crowds will thin even more.
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Old 07-21-21, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I would say one strategy is getting into the earliest 90 hour wave. Say Wave G or H starting at 5:30 pm and then ride with a group very business-like to Villaines. I think the 90H waves go every 15 minutes until close to 10 pm? You'll be ahead of the mass...
Do they allow you to choose which wave you want to start in?
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Old 07-21-21, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulkitez View Post
Do they allow you to choose which wave you want to start in?
Yes.

When you can register depends on the length of your previous year's longest brevet. Those that completed a 1200K get first dibs. Those that completed a 600K come next.

In 2015, I decided I wanted wave B although wave A was open.
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Old 07-21-21, 05:17 PM
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I was in the first 90h group. I think I did pretty well at staying ahead of the bulk of the bulge until Loudeac. It was nice to just walk up to the sausage stand in Mortagne and get my order right away. In 2011, they had sold out by the time I got there and the cafeteria line was ridiculous. Then I ate too much. Okay, that was my fault. I'm not sure I'm going to get a 1200k in next year, I assume there will be a big demand. I would like to do a 1000k, I think that gets you first choice as well
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Old 07-22-21, 11:28 AM
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I was in the L wave, 18:45 depart I think, probably was in the blob for most if not all the ride. I didn't mind it at all, it was fun at the controls and there was always people around to work with on the riding... maybe that's why I don't remember much headwind, there was a bit somewhere before Loudéac but nothing worse than the usual wind we sometimes get in Ontario. I'm glad I'd finished a 1200k before going over to do PBP, I knew I could ride quick enough to afford taking time at controls. I haven't decided how to approach 2023 yet, the 84h might be fun but I really enjoyed the rolling party of being in the blob... doing a faster ride to Brest might make for a more enjoyable return though... I've got a fair bit of time to figure it out I suppose.

Come up to Ontario next year and do the Granite Anvil 1200, it's going to be a cloverleaf format through the Canadian Shield, lots of lakes, trees, and rocks... and hills!
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Old 07-22-21, 01:06 PM
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Clasher......what was the longest you waited to get food in line? I suspect there was no wait to get your card stamped? If I were on an upright instead of a bent, I would have hung tight inside a pack.
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Old 07-22-21, 01:51 PM
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I had to check my papers... in 2015 I was in the "P" group, and started at 7:15 PM. It sure didn't seem like very long before I started getting passed by faster riders! I actually appreciated it, because occasionally there wouldn't be too many people around, and I'd be unsure whether a turn was coming up, or if I was even still on course. Then someone would zoom by, and I would figure they knew the way!
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Old 07-22-21, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Clasher......what was the longest you waited to get food in line? I suspect there was no wait to get your card stamped? If I were on an upright instead of a bent, I would have hung tight inside a pack.
Yeah, cards were stamped very quickly, 5 minutes or less seemed like the average time to me. I didn't get food at Loudeac on the way out but most other controls seemed like half an hour? If the hot food line was long I'd just go and get stuff from the cold side... I think Villaines was the longest non-sleep stop I had, they had some delicious local beer there.
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Old 07-30-21, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
Come up to Ontario next year and do the Granite Anvil 1200, it's going to be a cloverleaf format through the Canadian Shield, lots of lakes, trees, and rocks... and hills!
Looks like that Granite Anvil ride is similar Elev Gain to the PBP.
Have you rode it before?
Are there a lot of mosquitoes and insects to deal with that far north in August/?
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Old 07-30-21, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
In 2019, I got to carhaix at just the right time and got a shower and cot right away. .
Was your first sleep break at CArhaix? is this a common first sleep stop?
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Old 07-30-21, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I think a camper is over the top, I wouldn't do that. Just a car with three drivers would be nice. I've thought about it in the past and I'd have support resting at Villaine with my night kit, food, water, etc. I'd take enough fuel to get to Loudeac. Support would go directly from Villaine to Loudeac and rest. After Loudeac, they would go to Carhaix, Brest, Carhaix, Loudeac, Tintineac, Fougeres, Villaines. You are right, Carhaix would be the difficult one for the support due to the roads but the 100 miles from Loudeac to Breast and then the return are pretty hard for the rider, too. If someone (other than a Bijorn) wants to ride a very fast one, support is almost a requirement.

In my opinion, hotel rooms are not needed if you know which controls have the good sleeping places and you plan your ride to not coincide with the bulge. I reserved a hotel in Brest but could not find it but it was a lovely little bonus tour trying to locate it. I slept in Fougeres, Brest, and Tintineac in 2019 and also twice on the steeply banked lawn facing the school in Loudeac. Fougeres is best to avoid because you are on a gym floor and they give everyone space blankets but even with earplugs, it is noisy and cold. The other two were really, really good.
I have never ridden PBP but am training for 2023. I thought that they don't allow support and that was the whole idea behind randonneuring? The PBP Web site reads: "Article 1 : The Audax Club Parisien organizes on August 18-22, 2019 the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur®, a 1200 km free-paced "Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux" event, in which riders are not allowed to get any support," is that not true?
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Old 07-30-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulkitez View Post
I have never ridden PBP but am training for 2023. I thought that they don't allow support and that was the whole idea behind randonneuring? The PBP Web site reads: "Article 1 : The Audax Club Parisien organizes on August 18-22, 2019 the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur®, a 1200 km free-paced "Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux" event, in which riders are not allowed to get any support," is that not true?
So, the thing with support on brevets is that you can have support AT controls, nowhere else. (What that means in practice varies by location/event. At PBP it generally means support cars can park on the course or just off it in a very small radius around the control, or for some controls where there's no street parking nearby, in a specific lot. The support cars can't drive on the route in between controls, they have a different route to follow to cut down on traffic on the route as well as illegitimate support.) Evidently a lot of the French bike clubs have a support van. Other people are disdainful of even the legal support options. Etc.

I don't think I'm trying again in 2023 but as long as I have extra vacation time I might offer to crew for friends.
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Old 07-30-21, 05:12 PM
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You can have friends and family meet you at controls. Outside controls.....verboten.

I have never had support but if I can get these old bone orthopedic issues mitigated, it sure would be nice to have someone get you some food.

The first control is 220 km, 309km (I forget Tinteniac)....and Loudeac at 449 k. The distances are bold and audacious.

There are multiple objectives on PBP. It was originally a professional race and in fact, it was one of the first professional bike races. The French riders and fans see the lead riders differently than the rest. To them, it is almost like a race but a cooperative one. For regular randos, the observers and fans have a different fascination. A different respect. It is hard to put into words but they understand and appreciate your struggle. Why else do you have elderly ladies at 3 am softly cheering, "Bravo" from the shadows of the night. I almost cry thinking of such memories.
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Old 07-30-21, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mulkitez View Post
Looks like that Granite Anvil ride is similar Elev Gain to the PBP.
Have you rode it before?
Are there a lot of mosquitoes and insects to deal with that far north in August/?
I rode the 2017 edition, it was my first 1200. I don't recall having much problem with bugs, would only really run into them if you stop and wander into the bush. The 2023 plan is to start in Ottawa and do 2 loops out of the town of Bancroft and then ride back to Ottawa... it'll be similar in elevation to the previous version, and still have the ride across Algonquin Park which is awesome. The draft version of the days is here, at the bottom of that page... the club pushed it to 2022 on account of covid.
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Old 07-30-21, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You can have friends and family meet you at controls. Outside controls.....verboten.

I have never had support but if I can get these old bone orthopedic issues mitigated, it sure would be nice to have someone get you some food.

The first control is 220 km, 309km (I forget Tinteniac)....and Loudeac at 449 k. The distances are bold and audacious.

There are multiple objectives on PBP. It was originally a professional race and in fact, it was one of the first professional bike races. The French riders and fans see the lead riders differently than the rest. To them, it is almost like a race but a cooperative one. For regular randos, the observers and fans have a different fascination. A different respect. It is hard to put into words but they understand and appreciate your struggle. Why else do you have elderly ladies at 3 am softly cheering, "Bravo" from the shadows of the night. I almost cry thinking of such memories.
The roadside support is also amazing at PBP and one of my favourite memories of it too! I guess it's neutral support in a sense.

I gotta chuckle anytime I hear about people being against the support that is clearly allowed by the rules, like they know randonneuring better or something.
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Old 07-30-21, 09:36 PM
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I've done PBP with and without. I prefer without.

In 2011 when I got to my drop bag I wasn't ready to sleep, so I changed into my fresh kit and rode another few hours. At the sleep stop I showered, put my sweaty clothes back on, got to my dorm bed, stripped under the blankets, and slept nude. It was not ideal.

In 2015 I also had a drop bag. I got super sleepy early, and ended up sleeping way before plan, on a cafeteria floor. When I got to my drop bag, I showered, changed, and rode on into the night. It work out okay.

In 2019, I carried my stuff. There was no stressing over what to carry and what to pack. The headwind screwed up my schedule, but since I had my gear I slept when I felt like sleeping, showered when I felt like showering, and changed when I felt like changing. It was nice.

For sleeping on the road, I carry a foil blanket. IIRC, I've used one twice. Otherwise I've slept in controls.

My favorite 1200k approach is to ride fast and sleep lots.
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Old 07-31-21, 04:05 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
The roadside support is also amazing at PBP and one of my favourite memories of it too! I guess it's neutral support in a sense.

I gotta chuckle anytime I hear about people being against the support that is clearly allowed by the rules, like they know randonneuring better or something.
Not to be too slanderous against French randonneurs, but I think their attitude towards rules is somewhat flexible. I guess I looked French, in Villaines there was a guy that invited me to take the route the course used to take instead of the main road that it goes on now. I'm a little confused by American organizers that have ridden PBP and worry too much about where to put controls. It is obvious that the French are not nearly as concerned about possible shortcutting of courses as most Americans that set up brevets.

The campers at the top of le roc'h are all cheating, but they get around it by setting up a table and giving food to everyone. I don't remember that from 2011. I am pretty sure they weren't supposed to drive on that road, it would be really annoying to be passed by a lot of campers. I don't think I saw any other examples of support outside of controls. OTOH, the people standing in front of their houses are the best part. I wasted too much time talking to them

Originally Posted by Mulkitez View Post
Was your first sleep break at CArhaix? is this a common first sleep stop?
I can't believe I made that mistake. I only slept at Loudeac, which is the traditional sleep stop at 440km.

Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
In 2019, I carried my stuff. There was no stressing over what to carry and what to pack. The headwind screwed up my schedule, but since I had my gear I slept when I felt like sleeping, showered when I felt like showering, and changed when I felt like changing. It was nice.
My favorite 1200k approach is to ride fast and sleep lots.
Did you ride a bent in 2019? How much stuff did you carry?

In 2011, I rode fast and slept a lot, but it was mostly ditch naps. Which is generally a bad idea, but 2 of them were pretty restful. The one that almost made me heurs delai in particular. I wish I was faster in 2019, I did get a nice nap in Tintineac waiting for a medicin that I never saw before they kicked me out. I learned that if you want someone to massage your knee, you shouldn't be wearing KT tape, the emt's refused to touch it.

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Old 07-31-21, 05:39 AM
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I always wondered whether the campers with free food tables were merely generous, kind souls or were they secret support for club riders. I have never taken food from these roadside tables but wondered.

I am not sure I see a drop bag as support. Drop bags are ubiquitous on longer brevets in the USA and some RBAs often have volunteers with water and snacks out on course, between controls that are spread way out on very hot days. You never would have seen this 30 years ago but it is pretty common now.

When I think of support, it is several people in a car getting to controls before you arrive and they have food or fresh clothing for you. In 2015, I was generally in the top 100 riders to arrive and was virtually the only one without such support but this could be not 100% statement, just a sense and observation. There was a Russian that I remember also riding unsupported. One fellow rando had Chrs Ragdale and others supporting him. Totally legit. I do regret not having support, I had family with me and it would have been pretty easy to avoid not having food or fresh clothing. The controls assumed that fast riders would have support, so, the food wasn't open yet. My first food was Loudeac, I got there with the rising sun. A long, cold lonely night it was. Lesson learned.

Support within the context of the rules would be more like a car following you on the route and handing you food, a jersey, or fixing your bike. Whatever happens at a control is not support. On PBP, there are massages available, Doctors, mechanics, sleep places, food galore, and who knows what else.

In 2019, my bike with gear weighed 45+ pounds. In 2023, I hope it weighs 18 pounds. LOL
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Old 07-31-21, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
...


Did you ride a bent in 2019? How much stuff did you carry?

...
Yes, bent in all three times I've ridden. I carried as little as possible. Clothing layers and shell were either worn or stowed. IIRC I had one wool jersey and one lycra, and i wore the wool jersey most of the ride. Fresh non cotton underwear* and fresh socks for each day. Various gloves, and ear warmers. Leg warmers and rainlegs. Flat repair, a few tools. Batteries. Foil blanket. That's about it.
People complained about the cold; wool jersey and rain jacket, leg warmers and rainlegs, and i was great. For the chilly but not cold times, the gilet over wool was sufficient.

*On the bent, I ride with swimming jammers over non cotton briefs. New briefs each day does the trick.
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Old 07-31-21, 03:19 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Not to be too slanderous against French randonneurs, but I think their attitude towards rules is somewhat flexible. I guess I looked French, in Villaines there was a guy that invited me to take the route the course used to take instead of the main road that it goes on now. I'm a little confused by American organizers that have ridden PBP and worry too much about where to put controls. It is obvious that the French are not nearly as concerned about possible shortcutting of courses as most Americans that set up brevets.

The campers at the top of le roc'h are all cheating, but they get around it by setting up a table and giving food to everyone. I don't remember that from 2011. I am pretty sure they weren't supposed to drive on that road, it would be really annoying to be passed by a lot of campers. I don't think I saw any other examples of support outside of controls. OTOH, the people standing in front of their houses are the best part. I wasted too much time talking to them.
In my limited experience in France, everything is flexible if you ask the right way

I think any organizer that is worried about cheating should just require photo controls and/or e-pop instead of putting in a whole whack of controls. There's a lot of places to cut corners on brevets in southern Ontario... lots of the roads are on a grid and I honestly don't care if people do want to cut corners, it'll put them on busy roads or gravel most of the time... 'cos of covid we require e-pop for the cycling insurance so hopefully it's something we keep going forward.

I assumed those people on the roc'h were just locals serving crèpes and whatnot, didn't realise it was a team support. I don't really have a big problem with people doing that if it's truly neutral support that anyone can access, it's not much different from finding a corner store or a coffee shop.
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Old 07-31-21, 03:44 PM
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GhostRider62
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Interesting observation on the French, Clasher. Lots of business trips to France and vacations confirms your take. The bureaucracy can swing both ways. If you seem really down and out and you are nice, they will more than likely go out of their way to help or bend the rules. If you are not nice, forgettaboutit.

I had a snafu with my bent. I somehow screwed up coming into a control and I was getting yelled at for going the wrong way or something. I stopped and looked at the yeller in chief and said, "Pardon, Je suis vieux...velo couche, J'ete dormi" and they all roared and helped me. During inspection, a non-french Inspector was busting my chops. The French Inspector co
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