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Riding PBP 2023 un-officially, as a self-supported rider

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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Riding PBP 2023 un-officially, as a self-supported rider

Old 10-07-22, 04:45 PM
  #26  
unterhausen
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I really wanted to do an ACP 200k this year, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. If I can do the qualifications next year, that would put me in one of the later starting groups, which is less than ideal. But even just having a 300k this year is going to give you a lot of choice for starting time. But I came to realize that if you manage your sleep right before the ride, starting at night isn't an issue, other than being in the bulge.
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Old 10-08-22, 01:50 PM
  #27  
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If I remember correctly they aren't going to allow you into the controls anyway.
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Old 10-16-22, 02:47 PM
  #28  
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I had a local Tri guy drafting me in 2015 and indeed, I was worried that I would be fined an hour. SO, I stopped and let him go. It was a little annoying but the local fellow on a training ride probably had no idea that he could be screwing me. OP knows he could be affecting someone's ride. As such, he should either not ride close to others in his informal PBP or do the qualifications to gain entry and then just skip the controls.

I have not figured it out but the controls add an element of excitement. There is a level of seriousness one does not often experience. Let me pick on Villaines. In 1995 starting in the 84H group, we arrived before the official open. They scolded us. I got my card stamped. They were holding us there. I had to pee. The control then was not at the Mairee. I was going several hundred metres up the road to the trees and a stern controller was stopping me. I said something like, Il faut faire le pee pee, tres mauvais, tres mal. He looks at me face to face in the eye, points to the bush. Et, faire le pis and Ne bougez pas!! So, I peed and then waited until 5:53 or whatever the minimum time was to that control.

Then, 20 years later in Villaine I arrived a little slower having been dropped and no other riders was there at the control. I was the only rider. Vide. I asked where I could go toilette. The lady stamping my card took me by the hand and walked me there AND back. I am not sure why this memory means something to me. Surely as an older person and arriving there pretty fast, I suspect she was showing me respect. But overall, it just seems that the French take cycling seriously and they accord us crappy randos respect that we might not deserve or simply that they appreciate the effort.

Last PBP had me having some medical issues and my focus was just enjoyment and finishing pretty good. I could not find my hotel in Brest and decided just to sleep at the control. No beds. I was freezing my ass off, tired, and sleepy. I just laid down in the dorm by the gate keepers to the beds. They asked if I was ok. I said, "yes".....just old and confined to a velo couche (recumbent). They laughed their asses off. Asked me my age. Suddenly a room appeared from nowhere. I slept 7 hours. Still sleepy but I let at dawn on Tuesday. A photographer got picture of me riding with my eyes closed. I remember that exact moment although I never saw the photographer. The sun was coming up over the roc and it felt good, I closed my eyes. It was a very intense moment. Had I not had a number on my bike, that photographer would not been able to find me and offer me the shot. It would have been a moment lost......had I just done the ride without registering

Skipping the controls for me is a huge miss.

Do it right. Respect
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Old 10-17-22, 12:12 AM
  #29  
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Did she really hold your hand on the way back too?
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Old 10-17-22, 09:23 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Did she really hold your hand on the way back too?
Strange things at controls. In 2019, a down under randonneur abandoned at Fougeres, he was in line to pay for food ahead of me. He kept badgering the checkout lady about wifi and the password. Over and over he tried to connect while the rest of us languished behind him for an interminable amount of time. I regret not taking appropriate action. He felt updating his social media was critical, to get the photos from the first 300km downloaded. Very odd to me.

On the way back, I came into the Fougeres control entrance a little hot and being cold and clumsy, I almost lost it. The volunteer just looks at me in disgust, rolling his eyes like only a Frenchman can do and says, "Ou la la".....of course, I deserved it.

The point of my ponderous posts to OP, don't think the controls aren't interesting.

Seeing riders buy drink whiskey-like stuff at later controls is always worth a chuckle. In a way, it is like a circus but we are all clowns in the show. Riding around the bigtop alone watching doesn't mean you did the ride in my view.
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Old 10-17-22, 05:12 PM
  #31  
unterhausen
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When I abandoned in Villaines, someone saw me wandering around in the courtyard of the school, put a blanket around my shoulders and guided me to the sleeping area. They probably have the best setup of all the control towns.
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Old 10-17-22, 07:00 PM
  #32  
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A simple memory.

Arriving to Loudeac it was cold and I was shivering and hungry. I get some stuff onto my tray and the lady takes one look at me and opens a cover over a vat of hot chocolate. The glee in her eyes seeing my excitement was priceless. I did go back for seconds on my second pass for food. Leaving the school, there was a group of older frenchmen surrounding one of the other few bikes in the schoolyard. Somehow it reminded me of 5th graders back in the day encircled the rich kid who stole his dad's Playboy. They were fondling and ogling Heine's bike like those school kids from my youth. I didn't need to try to focus to interpret the french into english, their excitement was plain as day. They loved that bike, Then, I got onto my carbon bike and slogged the next 6 hours to Brest while amusing myself with the hot chocolate memory and the boys playing with Jan's bike.

Or one of the controls in 2019 when I had had my sleep and decided to eat again before shoving off into the cold, damp darkness. Bodies were strewn everywhere. Just laying everywhere. Floor. Corners. Tables. Even one dude in the bathroom. An utter war zone of sorts.

Villaine is quite simply kickass. You almost feel like you are in the Tour de France. You have to feel it to understand. Doesn't surprise me someone put a blanket around Unterhausen.

It might not be apparent but there is TV coverage at some of the controls with interviews. It really is a big deal type event over there. Of course, there are internet social media coverage too. The controls are not bad if you just stay a little ahead of the bulge but it is sort of a small tax compared to small domestic brevets There are many thousands of fellow randonneurs and controls can be overtaxed
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Old 01-02-23, 02:12 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
Did you read the very first sentence of my original post:

"I only want to ride PBP to experience the atmosphere along the route."

Seeing the towns celebrating the passage of the event and riding on the roads at the same time as thousands of other cyclists are the big draws for me.
If it's like 2011, there might not be much atmosphere.
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Old 01-12-23, 12:50 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
This is a very important point. I just read through the rules on the PBP website. It seems that anyone drafting someone not in the race could receive a 1 hour time penalty.

I expect this is more to prevent the fast guys breaking away from the front group and then having a buddy up the road waiting to give them a draft. I expect that this rule will not be applied to anyone who isn't going for a fast time since there will always be wheels of registered riders that they could follow if they wished, so I wouldn't be giving anyone an unfair advantage. However, it would be better not to test that theory.
This is the most serious problem with your proposal. The rule that riders may not get support from non-riders is a very strict rule in randonneuring. Support can be interpreted broadly to include "moral" support, so even if you're riding alongside someone and chatting with them, you could get them penalized under the no-support rule. The rule doesn't only get applied to the fast riders. Maybe no one has this rule applied to them in PBP. Maybe only fast riders. Maybe some slower riders. You don't know, I don't know. But you cannot say that it is a zero-probability event that you will get a rider in trouble because of a time penalty or DNQ.

So you are putting all of the real riders at risk of not being able to finish in time, just so you can have your own little fantasy. From my perspective, if you are not willing to make the same sacrifices to be at the event that the real riders are making, you do not deserve to share the roads with them.

Nick
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Old 01-12-23, 01:00 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
This is the most serious problem with your proposal. The rule that riders may not get support from non-riders is a very strict rule in randonneuring. Support can be interpreted broadly to include "moral" support, so even if you're riding alongside someone and chatting with them, you could get them penalized under the no-support rule. The rule doesn't only get applied to the fast riders. Maybe no one has this rule applied to them in PBP. Maybe only fast riders. Maybe some slower riders. You don't know, I don't know. But you cannot say that it is a zero-probability event that you will get a rider in trouble because of a time penalty or DNQ.

So you are putting all of the real riders at risk of not being able to finish in time, just so you can have your own little fantasy. From my perspective, if you are not willing to make the same sacrifices to be at the event that the real riders are making, you do not deserve to share the roads with them.

Nick
Also, there's been some mention of registeriing for the event but skipping controls. As soon as you skip the first control, you're DNQ'd and no longer a rider. The no-support rule then applies. The only way it doesn't apply is if you're riding the event. So unless you want to risk DNQ'ing someone, you've got to plan to ride the event.
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Old 01-12-23, 07:58 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If it's like 2011, there might not be much atmosphere.
Do you mean 2007? I thought there was plenty of atmosphere in 2011. I guess those who rode the 84 hour group in 2011 might have missed a lot of it, but they always do, I think
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Old 01-12-23, 08:48 PM
  #37  
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I don't like mixing my solo rides with organized rides because I know if I were to crash, the medical folk that came to assist me would be associated with the ride. (It wouldn't matter what I said. Word would get to them quickly and their fundamental principal is to do good.) Now if a paid up and registered rider crashes soon after somewhere else on the route, well someone else has to take that call. We're busy. He might not get the service he thought he'd paid for.

If this ride had head counters to ensure all are accounted for and nobody got lost, you are making their work harder (and perhaps less accurate).
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Old 01-12-23, 11:17 PM
  #38  
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I think the medical people are SAMU, so they would be coming after you anyway if you or someone else called 15 or 112.
The idea of counting participants on PBP is a little funny, lots of people finish it on the train. I did.
I guess you can tell them you're quitting, but I feel like that's somewhat unusual.

I feel like the OP gave up on his original idea.
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Old 01-14-23, 05:33 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Do you mean 2007? I thought there was plenty of atmosphere in 2011. I guess those who rode the 84 hour group in 2011 might have missed a lot of it, but they always do, I think
Yes, sorry 2007.
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Old 01-14-23, 08:44 AM
  #40  
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I feel like just saying it without being PC. Riding along on PBP rubs me the wrong way personally. There are riders who made enormous sacrifices to qualify, overcoming all manner of things. Over 3,000 volunteers giving of their time to make this the premiere cycling event for randonneurs. Joining the ride without qualifying, registering, and stopping at the controls is disrespectful and wrong.

I wonder how OP, a 3 x Transcontinental Race veteran, would feel if I just decided to jump into TCR and onto his wheel. Doing a SR should be a literal pique-nique for anyone who completed TCR and as for the hassle of the registration process, it took me under a minute online.
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Old 01-14-23, 11:20 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I think the medical people are SAMU, so they would be coming after you anyway if you or someone else called 15 or 112.
The idea of counting participants on PBP is a little funny, lots of people finish it on the train. I did.
I guess you can tell them you're quitting, but I feel like that's somewhat unusual.

I feel like the OP gave up on his original idea.
Absolutely, SAMU or SMUR.
Never ridden PBP, but most events attracting a large number of people in France, can be anything, concerts, festivals, cultural events, subjected to autorisation triggers automatically the intervention of the local Préfecture
which is responsable i.e. general public security/safety issues.
You might have spotted Red Cross and Protection Civile ambulances alongside the road, just in case.
Likewise for choppers, if a rider must be airlifted and simultaneously an old lady with a stroke needs also an airlift, nobody tosses a coin, there’s a coast guards chopper ready in Brest if the regular white air ambulance is busy.

May I take this opportunity, Dear American friends, to remind you that it’s f.r.e.e. (!), airlifts included.
Do not hesitate to call the paramedics.
90m tourists (2019), indigenous population 67m, contributing 9.8% of its GDP, France can afford, taxpayers paid for, free airlifts.

There are still, apparently, surreal conversations between American tourists, airlifted in ski resorts, asking for the bill and French scratching their heads and answering, What bill ?
Neither of them understanding each other.
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Old 01-14-23, 12:27 PM
  #42  
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That was a nice post, thanks for the local information. I think we have suitably chastised the OP for his bad idea and so I'm going to close this thread. Since this is the first day of registration for people who rode longer distances last year, I'm going to start a new, hopefully more positive thread.
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