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  1. #1
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    Paris Brest Paris finish times analysis?

    Has anyone done a 2011 finish time analysis, that would include:
    1. Start group
    2. Total time
    3. Time moving

    Also, does anyone know of an analysis that compares times for qaulifying brevets (adjusted for difficulty factor) with PBP 2011 finish times?

    I understand that 'flexibility' in the PBP watchword, that all schedule strategies get hazy after the start, and there are as many ways to ride PBP as there are riders. I also understand there is a formal PBP data dump available, but why duplicate someone else's efforts?

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    Randomhead
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    I don't think anyone looked at the SR times for people. The ACP doesn't ask for that, and it would be a lot of work to compile. I'm sure you could by looking at the results page on the rusa site.

    Nick Bull made an interesting chart/animation showing PBP times. I think you can put your number in to see how you compared with the herd.

    Some good pages:
    General info on completion times:
    DC Randonneurs: Rando 101: Information About Randonneuring
    Spreadsheets for PBP
    Spreadsheets - PBP 2011 USA
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  3. #3
    Randomhead
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    just to completely address your questions, I'm not sure you can get the results sorted by start group. Maybe, but I don't remember seeing them. Time moving is impossible. They had a rfid tag which was only sampled on arrival at the card stamping area. And one difference between PBP and domestic 1200k's is that there are people stopping everywhere. I think I probably wasted over 6 hours sleeping in ditches. I swear some people passed me 20 times over the duration of the ride because they stopped so much. So other than control times, the data is horrible.

    I have ridden a domestic 1200 in 85 hours, and that was including wasting time here and there, particularly on the last day. I think I will see how I feel next year and probably ride in the 84 hour group. There really isn't as much climbing as they would like you to believe. I think you should play with Nick Bull's spreadsheet and see where that puts you. I intend to enjoy riding through France as much as I can. It's an awesome ride and riding it fast doesn't make sense to me right now.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9606 View Post
    Also, does anyone know of an analysis that compares times for qaulifying brevets (adjusted for difficulty factor) with PBP 2011 finish times?
    A comment about this part ...

    Before I did my first 1200K, I did a quick calculation based on my 600K time. I had finished my first 600K in 36 hours on no sleep, and I finished my second 600K in 37:20 with 1.5 hours of sleep. So, I figured I would double that second time = 75 hours (which would include 3 hours of sleep), and add about 5 more hours for slowing down a bit toward the end = 80 hours, which would leave me an extra 10 hours for sleep!

    That was close, but it didn't quite work like that. Over all four 1200Ks I did, I think the most I managed to sleep was about 8 hours all up ... not the 13 hours of sleep I hoped for.

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    Randomhead
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    I have gone over what I could have different at PBP again and again, and I finally realized that I got 6 hours of sleep (it was a little hazy, it might be more) in the last 100 miles. It's no wonder I had trouble finishing in time. If I had a better grasp of the controle closing times, that would have worked a lot better. Should I do the ride again, I am going to work out a scheme to have closing times on a piece of paper that I can understand even in a sleep-deprived fog.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 07-29-14 at 07:07 AM.
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I have gone over what I could have different at PBP again and again, and I finally realized that I got 6 hours of sleep (it was a little hazy, it might be more) in the last 100 miles. It's no wonder I had trouble finishing in time. If I had a better grasp of the controle closing times, that would have worked a lot better. Should I do the ride again, I am going to work out a scheme to have closing times on a piece of paper that I can understand even in a sleep-deprived fog.
    Those closing times are confusing!!

    It didn't help me in 2003 when I set off with one group, got dropped almost immediately, and then rode most of the rest of the way with the group that set off 15 minutes behind me.

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    Randomhead
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    Nick gave me some links to the analysis of controle times
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...8/aJReJ5tODTEJ
    this is awesome, particularly if you know someone who rode
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...s/d7NjfdUuwaEJ

    here is a list by country, if you want to know what number to put into the animated histogram
    PBP 2011 Results by Country

    not hard to develop crosstabs with the rusa results database if you feel like delving into it that far
    Last edited by unterhausen; 07-29-14 at 05:15 PM.
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Much less scientific, but one of the things I found helpful was checking the finish times on the qualifiers for those folks I knew -- people I'd ridden with -- and then comparing with how they did on PBP. Controlling for terrain and weather is important.

    Fwiw, I don't think 600k finish times standing alone are terribly predictive of much on PBP. I know several people who finished tough 600s in under 30h, but dnf'd PBP. The time doesn't tell you much about what kind of experience the rider actually had. My 38h-plus 600k this year involved 5h of sleep, several sit-down restaurant meals, and I rode the whole thing solo while proof reading the cue sheet. Not really a 38h 600k....

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    I did my first 600k this year in 33 hrs.

    My math regarding PBP is to go to Brest in 32 hrs, sleep 8-10 hrs, and go back in 42 hrs.

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    Randomhead
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    Did you go straight through to ride a 600k in 33 hours?

    getting back is almost always easier. Although I have heard of headwinds on the way back. My hope is to get far enough ahead on time that I can stop at every roadside cafe that has a crowd of cyclists drinking bear outside.

    Other than getting totally out of whack on my sleep, the other problem I had on PBP was food. Trying to live off of the controle food on PBP just didn't keep my legs happy. On the way back, I went into a grocery and bought some chocolate. Other than giving me severe heartburn, that worked really well for me. And avoiding the lines at the first food stop would have saved me tons of time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Did you go straight through to ride a 600k in 33 hours?
    Yes, I tried 200 and 400 in 2012. didn't ride much this year, and went str8 to 600. Trekking bike and had some problems with IT band, I am thinking about changing the bicycle and if I could change the knee .

    It sounds encouraging that the way back is easier , we ll see, I don;t know how I'm gonna feel after sleeping.

    I think that i ll try to avoid eating at the controls, there is a lot of info online that it is a big waste of time.
    Last edited by 2d2f; 07-29-14 at 10:50 PM.

  12. #12
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    the cafés along the route will generally serve you quite quickly. I probably will still eat at the controles, just not at every one like I did in 2011.

    I would plan on sleeping more than once on the way out. Going straight through is a little much on a 600, but on a 1200 you still have another 600 left to go. I could see it if you were going for a 24 hour trip to Brest. Sometimes going slower is the best way to go fast. I rode straight through on my fastest 600. I probably could have slept an hour and a half at the 400k mark and still finished in the same time while feeling a lot better about the ride.

  13. #13
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    I think there would be a problem looking at SR times and PBP times, because there are too many unknown variables. If you looked at my 600k qualifier time of 39:30, that might suggest a PBP DNF. The 600k results don't tell you about the crash, bike repair time, decision to abandon and heading for the hotel, changing my mind and returning to the course, and riding the last 150k with injuries. The determination that got me through that situation is far more indicative of how I would do at PBP than my 600k finish time. Another rider with a long 600k time may well have decided to maximize sleep and avoid intensity on the bike - another strategy that could serve them well in France. OTOH, a guy who finished their 600k in 34 hours with no sleep might be in deep doodoo at PBP.
    This has to be a tie between re-frozen slushy uneven dirty ice stuff just right of the nicely plowed pavement, and super-glassy ice with a dusting of fresh powder - SalshShark

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    Randomhead
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    I have heard of examples of fast people quitting, possibly because they are too tired to make rational choices. If you look through the dnf's, there are some examples that just boggle the mind. 50km left and 2 days to ride it, for example. Of course, that could be an injury, or just doesn't care, but it seems nuts to me. Actually, if you look through just the U.S. results, there are a number of examples of people that DNF'ed with a lot more time banked than I ever had. Mortagne-au-Perche seems to be a common place for people to drop out, you can't really tell if those people are in one of the shorter time groups though

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    I think there would be a problem looking at SR times and PBP times, because there are too many unknown variables.
    +1

    Every single one of my SR and longer rides has been different ... even when I've done the same distance on the same course at the same time of year.

    And all kinds of factors can create those differences. Probably the most obvious is weather ... one year it is sunny, warm, and calm, the next year it is pouring rain and howling winds. But other things like how busy/tired/stressed/sick you were leading up to the ride ... who you rode with or not ... the bicycle you chose to ride ... can all make a difference.

  16. #16
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    Can someone comment on the typical amount of time spent at controls.
    Maybe 1 hr each, times 11 controls, is about 11 hours faffing about.
    Or 1-1/2 hours?
    Maybe one hits the bulge of riders twice, so that's 2 hours for each of two stops.
    Assume sleep is a separate time category, it is so individual.

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    Randomhead
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    It wouldn't surprise me if I spent at least 11 hours at controls (minus sleeping), but I didn't keep track. You don't have to spend that long at the controls. I was never in line for card stamping more than a couple of minutes. Finding the card stamping area is sometimes a chore, so maybe 15 minutes each if you hurry. Bike parking is an issue at a couple of places. Bathrooms are often an issue. That's why so many people just use the ditch by the side of the road. Also, the food lines can be bad, particularly at the first stop on the way out of Paris. That took a lot longer than I wanted because they had run out of sandwiches by the time I got there, and I was in the main pack. The line for cooked food was very long there.

    One issue I haven't quite figured out is where to get water. There was a recent post somewhere that said cemeteries are a good place for that.

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    So it seems that outside of just pedaling on course the major concerns are of water, food, & sleep - like any cycling event!
    Water - can one just stop at a cafe or bar and ask for a fillup?
    Food - are there not plenty of cafes, épicerie fine, & bars from which food can be bought?
    Sleep - if one takes a sleeping bag liner & space blanket can one just take a nap in someone's back yard, after asking?
    I get the idea that getting the card stamped is the only chore needed to be done at the controls, outside of medical & mechanical.
    The people along the route seem to be as into the event as the riders and if asked nicely would love to help - yes??

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    there are people with water by the side of the road the first night, just like you see on the TdF. I don't remember seeing that later. There are people serving food and drink all along the route, but for some reason eau is not something normal

    You will see people sleeping everywhere, nobody really expects you to ask to sleep. If you ask the right people, they will put you up. But that's not something to bank on (ok, you can bank on being able to sleep in a ditch). Personally, I am resolved not to sleep in ditches, but at controls or hotels or somewhere with a bed. The layout of this area of France is somewhat like the American midwest, There are discrete towns and the rural areas have plenty of space between houses
    Last edited by unterhausen; 07-30-14 at 05:28 PM.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9606 View Post
    So it seems that outside of just pedaling on course the major concerns are of water, food, & sleep - like any cycling event!
    Water - can one just stop at a cafe or bar and ask for a fillup?
    Food - are there not plenty of cafes, épicerie fine, & bars from which food can be bought?
    Sleep - if one takes a sleeping bag liner & space blanket can one just take a nap in someone's back yard, after asking?
    I get the idea that getting the card stamped is the only chore needed to be done at the controls, outside of medical & mechanical.
    The people along the route seem to be as into the event as the riders and if asked nicely would love to help - yes??
    It sort of depends ...

    In 2003, there were a lot of people out and about cheering us on, and there seemed to be more places where you could acquire food along the way.

    In 2007, the atmosphere was different and we ran into long stretches where there was no one around and didn't seem to be much of anything open. Of course it was absolutely bucketing down with rain for at least the first 400 km ... that might be why no one was out and about.

    Regarding asking for food and water, make sure you know enough French for that.

    In 2003, I filled up my water bottles at controls, and then there were enough little stands etc. around with orangina, coke, and coffee to keep me hydrated. I also stopped at two supermarkets and may have bought water, I don't remember. I do remember having our bottles filled at a pub in the middle of the night somewhere on the way back. And I remember people handing me cans of coke along the way.

    There are quite a few places to acquire food during the day ... I remember coming into a town at about 7 am, and the patisserie had just put out the croissants and pain au chocolat. Quite a few of us stopped there and had breakfast ... but again because quite a few of us stopped, there was a line up. But during the night it can be a little challenging.

    Fortunately in 2003, there were lots of people out and about with stands etc. But in 2007, we were actually struggling to find food and a water source at a couple points.


    As for sleep ... yes, any ditch will do. As long as it is not pouring rain.

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    Machka how much water do you carry?

  22. #22
    Randomhead
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    I had two water bottles and never ran out of water. It was perfect weather in 2011 though, apparently 2003 was very hot.

    The bakeries open up really early, those little towns probably were mad at us for cleaning them out before anybody else got up. The only thing is that they don't serve coffee, have to go to a cafe for that
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2d2f View Post
    Machka how much water do you carry?
    Two 1-litre bottles.

    But I ran into some difficulty on my way back from Brest in 2003 ... I decided to buy a package of a sports drink to put into one bottle of water. I think it was Sustained Energy or something similar. Absolutely foul ... just awful! I could not get the smell and taste out of my bottle and so I was down to one 1-litre bottle for the last half of the ride. Thank goodness for orangina!!




    2003 was very, very hot just before the PBP ... but the day the PBP started the temps dropped. Our daytime highs were quite comfortably in the high 20s, maybe even low 30s, but the nights seemed very chilly. I wasn't expecting the night time temperatures to be that chilly, and had not come prepared with adequate attire.

    I don't recall having any difficulty finding something to drink in 2003 ... and maybe there were more people out and about providing water, orangina, coke, coffee, etc. to riders because it had been so hot leading up to the event.

    However, in 2007 when it was cold and very wet, there didn't seem to be as much of that around ... not really a surprise ... I wouldn't want to stand by a table on the side of the road in the pouring rain either.

  24. #24
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    So, assuming civilized weather, most everything can be gotten outside of the controls, which eliminates having to spend much time in line, or wondering about.
    Sleeping on a backyard lawn or hay pile sounds nicer than a snore fest. Maybe for a few euro they will wash & dry my kit! And I'll give them a fridge magnet of the Washington Redskins!

  25. #25
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    2011 I used the controls for food, sleep, and water. Once or twice I got water from a fan and once got food outside a control. I never waited in line, largely due to being on a recumbent and starting and staying ahead of the big wave. For a first timer with poor French, that was the safe approach, allowing me to focus on the ride.
    This has to be a tie between re-frozen slushy uneven dirty ice stuff just right of the nicely plowed pavement, and super-glassy ice with a dusting of fresh powder - SalshShark

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