G is for

G.P.S:

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the route will be marked with different coloured reflective arrows in both directions, these also state destination. The arrowheads are reflective. It is difficult to get lost, but not impossible. It is important to consider the following points:

- France is a big country, do not assume that French riders automatically know where they are going.

-g.p.s and arrows are great for navigation, but do not neglect the route-sheet. If the other methods fail you should be able to switch to the route-sheet smoothly. Always make sure that your route-sheet is laminated.

- Code GREEN: you are merrily cycling along following arrows/route-sheet.

-Code ORANGE: you have not see another rider/arrow for 20 minutes, check route-sheet and try to pinpoint where your location. Be vigilant.

-Code RED: if you have seen neither rider nor arrow for 30 minutes, there is a strong possibility that you are off route. Consider retracing your path until you pick up the route again. Confirm that you are on the correct route

- Consider wearing a cap at night to give some protection to your eyes. The constant flow of lights on the other side of the road can be disorientating.

- A headlamp allows you to see the arrows from further away, as it can be difficult to see the direction these arrows are pointing from a distance. This allows for a more fluid style of riding as you can pass through the junctions more efficiently without constantly stopping and starting.

GROUP RIDING:

with so many countries riding at PBP, it can be a very interesting experience. Conversation might not flow for the full 90 hours as occasionally people will slip into their own little world. If you are feeling sleepy, drift out of the group that you are in but keep them in your sights. This is the safest thing to do and you can focus on the lights ahead of you to keep you motivated until you reach the next control.

GREAT:

August 16-20, we will all be great.

F is for..

pauls pics 3

Philip Ferguson ( Castlereagh C.C) at PBP 1999.Rumours that he later joined a convent are unfounded.

Francais:

there will be translators at all controls, easily identifiable by a different coloured tshirt to the rest of the volunteers. A clue to locating a translator is the presence of “Translation” written on tshirt. While these multi linguists are there to help you, make sure it is for something serious as opposed to “ where’s the sugar?”

Some important terms to be familiar with are:

A gauche – on the left,

A droite _ on the right,

Ralentisseurs – speed bumps,

Bonjour, est ce que vous pouvez m’aider? Je suis votre cousin Celtique, perdue et retrouve – Hello, can you help me? I am your long lost Celtic cousin. Please note this will only work in Brittany.

Family: Occasionally the tracking system malfunctions, showing that you have not made the control within the time limit. Let family and friends know that the electronic tracking system occasionally show false information. No need to panic, it usually will correct itself.

First Aid:

this service is well covered by The Red Cross (Croix Rouge), but once you seek their services they will be obliged to take responsibility for you. This can often take the form of enforced rest or withdrawal from the event. Many of the problems we encounter can be solved by a bit of rest, sleep, food or simply some “me time” to regroup your thoughts. Before reporting to La Croix Rouge some food and rest therapy first. If it is a serious illness/ injury seek assistance straight away.

E is for

Emil Zatopek:

emil

The world will be waiting a long time to witness an athlete of Emil’s calibre again. The Czech distance runner won the 5000m, 10,000m and marathon at the Helsinki Olympics of 1952. Over the 7 days he accomplished this, he also set 3 Olympic records. It was also his first time to run a marathon.

The darling of the Communist Regime , the easy going Emil soon fell foul of The Party as he never shied away from expressing his opinions. After speaking out against Russian aggression in his homeland, he lost his cushy number in the Army and spent the next 6 years working in an open cast uranium mine. The Regime’s plan of having him returned to Prague as a bin- man in order to publicly humiliate him soon backfired. The people held him in such high esteem they chose to empty their own bins as a mark of respect to their champion. He was quickly transferred to the countryside to dig ditches, away from public view.

Boys take down your Britney Spears posters, girls take down your Ed Sheeran posters and replace them with a photo of Emil.  A true inspiration.

Earplugs:

Not very inspiring, but a useful tool if you are a light sleeper. They can come in useful in the days leading up to PBP. Light sleepers may find it hard to sleep in the controls so, taking a set of earplugs with you

is important. Occasionally, by error, people are not awoken at their requested time. Consider setting the alarm on your phone to ring 10 minutes after your designated time in case you are overlooked.

Long-distance cycling in the 32 Counties