Tag Archives: PBP

Q is for


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.”

I Is for


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

Inspiring Images

25 The face says it all

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.

If :

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”.

G is for


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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.


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.


August 16-20, we will all be great.