Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2009

2007 PBP, Part 1: Arrival and departure

On the Sunday before the start of the 2007 Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Randonnee, a large number of Northern California riders gathered after the mandatory, but this year much abbreviated, bike inspection. We sat at a cafe, indoors alas, and tried to ignore the falling rain outside. My friend Reid made a waggish remark about the experience we were about to have. He said that doing Paris-Brest-Paris in the rain could be quite easily simulated at home by standing in a cold shower in bicycling clothing while ripping up $100 bills. I thought about this remark and in the the long, dark hours of the first night's ride through the French countryside, and with the rain beginning to pelt us once more, I came to the conclusion that the analogy was inadequate. What was missing in the comment was that it failed to include any mention of first having to stand in line to get into the cold shower. Having now commented on the inadequacies of the analogy (and pausing briefly to state that I completed

What comes next after riding 449 km?

In August of 2007, I put my bike on a plane and along with several hundred other Americans, I flew to France to participate in the Paris, Brest et retour, the once every four years cyclo-touring event most commonly referred to in the US as ' PBP '. It is an understatement to say that my experience there was not what I was anticipating, but by any measure the trip and experience were simply fantastic, and it was fantastic in spite of near constant rain and in spite of falling far short of my goal. I named this blog after the distance I was able to accomplish on PBP that year. I registered this blog shortly after returning from France on that trip, with the intention of chronicling my preparation for returning to PBP in 2011, in whatever form that 'preparation' would take. In the days, weeks and months just after PBP I thought often about the trip. Again, an understatement. For weeks, I had nightly dreams of the ride. I would frequently dream of riding up a gentle slope