there are several thousand reasons why we should not quit at Paris Brest. These range from the practical to the personal. Everyone is going to have a bad patch or two at some stage and question what they are doing. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like this, one of the characteristics of a wise randonneur is recognising this. Another is knowing that they will come good after a while and start feeling better.
Long distances can cloud our judgement and tiredness may lead us to make rash decisions. Decisions made under the influence of alcohol may make sense at the time, but won’t necessarily seem practical in the cold light of day. Think of tiredness as having the same effect.
If you are feeling low, never make any decisions until you have eaten, slept and had time to gather your thoughts. When you have done this you will realise that there is only one option and that is to carry on.
5 of the several thousand reasons are:
1. Think of all the time, travel and training that you have spent getting this far.
2. You will be kicking yourself until Christmas.
3. We may never be here again.
4. You know that you can do it.
5. How are you going to get back to Paris? It may take twice as long as riding. Negotiating several train transfers with a bike is not a glamorous proposition on a good day. Think of it on a bad day, reinforcement to carry on. A fairly mundane one, but an important one nonetheless.
one to brighten up your day if you are having it rough.
Ned Flanders – “you were cycling two abreast?”
Homer Simpson – “ I wish! We were cycling to the lake.”
Some will be looking to record a fast one, others for full value.
Keep an eye on it – especially at controls which can eat it up.
Know how much of it you’ve got.
Try and get some in hand just in case. Build up enough of it and you can get some sleep.
Check yours before you go and fit new ones if there worn. Consider carrying a spare or a “boot” for emergencies.
Can fix everything from your carradice to your freewheel. Carry a few.
Gets us all. If you start to get “the noddies”, consider 15-20 minutes catnap at the side of the road.
a very important factor in the build up to PBP. It will help build excitement and enthusiasm in the lead up to our big challenge. Now is a good time to read a book or watch a film that you find inspirational and will leave you hungry to get going at the start line. Some books/films that I have found inspiring over the years prior to a big event are:
Miracle in the Andes – Nando Parrada ( a survivor of the Andean plane crash in the early 70’s).
Touching the void –Joe Simpson and Simon Yates epic tale of surviving an ill fated climbing trip in Peru.
Films –Gerry Maguire and all the Rocky films
Aidan Brosnan wrings his socks dry for the millionth time at PBP 2007. Aidan was one of several Irish riders who were being chased by the time limit for a large part of a very wet few days in France. We managed to be one of 4 countries that posted a 100% finish rate that year. The full value riders were the true heroes of the event and an inspiration to all.
the if word is out of circulation for the next few weeks.
“If I can get around in 89 hours” has now become “when I get around in 89 hours”.