Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
PBP = Paris-Brest-Paris. 700 miles, as fast as you can do 'em.
IIRC it is also the oldest randonneuring rides.
It is an iconic event in long-distance cycling that celebrated its centenary in 1991, I think. The first running was the inspiration for both the Tour de France and the Modern Olympic Games. It was in a time when unknowing people thought that riding such a a dramatically long distance on a mere bicycle would kill a rider through exhaustion.
The French are fantastic supporters of the event; Britanny is not the most exciting region scenery-wise, but that is more than made up for by the families on the side of the road offering encouragement, coffee, snacks and even somewhere to sleep. It is very well organised, wiht electronic swipe cards to keep track of riders booking in at checkpoints. In 2003, there were over 4,000 starters, all amateurs and many from overseas -- holders of professional cycle-racing licences are not permitted to enter. I think it likely that the entry will blow out to 5,000 next year. I am aiming to be there again.
By the way, it's 750 miles, or 1200km.