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Paris-Brest-Paris in 2011?

Old 01-29-09, 05:54 PM
  #1  
Randochap
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Paris-Brest-Paris in 2011?

Is it too soon to ask this? PBP is just over two years away and long-term training should probably begin now.

I noticed a mention of at least one randonneur wanting to attend.
  • Are you planning to go?
  • Have you been before?
  • If you have been before, what would you do differently?
  • How are you planning to travel to the start?
  • Will you camp or hotel/motel?
  • What kind of bike will you use?
  • Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP?
  • Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why?
  • What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training?

Any other things you might add.

Maybe we can keep this thread around as a general resource for PBP 2011 aspirants.
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Old 01-29-09, 06:19 PM
  #2  
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So I am in the "Well, if I can do a 100mi in a few months, a 200k later this year, maybe I can see about working the longer events in 2010 and trying to do PBP in 2011, but I won't be heartbroken if I don't manage to do it" state. Last PBP, I was an overweight out-of-shape nerd. I am rapidly becoming a fit and toned nerd. Will I get good fast enough? Dono, but I'm still riding a hybrid with front suspension and slick tires, so....
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Old 01-29-09, 06:33 PM
  #3  
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It depends on how this season goes for me. I aspire to go to PBP 2011 but there are still a lot of details and training that need to be worked out. Wirehead has expressed my current state of mind very well.
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Old 01-29-09, 06:44 PM
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Are you planning to go? -- yes.

Have you been before? -- yes, twice.

If you have been before, what would you do differently? -- train more ... train like I did when I went the first time.

How are you planning to travel to the start? -- airplane, then train, then bicycle ... worked for me the last two times.

Will you camp or hotel/motel? -- camp, most likely.

What kind of bike will you use? -- my Marinoni Ciclo unless, God forbid, something horrible happens to him before the ride.

Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? -- no.

Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? -- as far as I know, I've got everything.

What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training? -- OK, this requires a longer answer than I can give right at the moment, but very briefly I'll say ... in 2003, I trained by commuting 13.4 km a day, 5 days a week, adding an extra 20 km loop a couple of those days, and adding an extra 50 km loop on one of those days ... then I rode centuries, double centuries, back-to-back centuries etc. just about every weekend. Oh, and do lots of training on short steep hills. I was in Manitoba in 2003, so I did standing hill repeats on overpasses.
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Old 01-29-09, 07:12 PM
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Sadley I'll be passing on the next PBP in 2011 myself due to my wife and I probably having a very small baby and a toddler. When we got into randonneuring we said that we would do PBP together in the future but once our kid/kids are older. That way grandma and grandpa can come with us and we can leave them for the time it takes us to complete and then finish with a holiday in France.
I will do an Ultra that year(1000km) locally and spend much of my time supporting other club members that will be going.

That will also give us lot's of time to save up for our next tandem. As we would love to do PBP in 2015 on a tandem.
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Old 01-29-09, 07:53 PM
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Is it too soon to ask this? PBP is just over two years away and long-term training should probably begin now.

I would like to try. It seems a very ambitious goal at this point, with ony one 200k notched. But I am trying a series this year, and looking for the ideal frame to build up with PBP in mind.

Rando, what "long term training" are you doing (or do you think you should be) at this point. I am thinking my SR series and prepping for that is a good start for me, for now, but I am very curious what you mean, there.

Also, I think you are right that this should be a sticky.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:00 PM
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Are you planning to go? -- Yes.

Have you been before? -- Yes, in 2007.

If you have been before, what would you do differently? -- Maybe arrange for hotels at the controls where I intended to sleep. Spend some time visiting Paris after the ride. Bone up on my francais more than I did in '07.

How are you planning to travel to the start? -- Will probably arrange flight and transfer to SQY with Claus as I did in '07.

Will you camp or hotel/motel? -- Hotel in Versailles would be great. Was in Plaisir in '07 and that was just fantastic.

What kind of bike will you use? -- An '04 Giant TCR Comp 1 worked perfectly for me in '07. Could use the same bike. Or a similar replacement. Or a tandem with Mrs. Octopus or another rider. Or a SS/Fixie. So many options; all of them great fun!

Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? -- Could be. I've done brevets and ultras on the tandem and the Giant, but I've wanted to start riding distances fixed or single speed.

Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? -- No, I should have everything I need somewhere around here....

What kind of training are you planning to do -- Brevet series, daily commuting, one or two fast, short rides a week, and random weekend centuries. Will hopefully have done 1200s this year (Gold Rush) and in '10 (the ride on Hokkaido, if it happens, or another if it doesn't) and a 1000 in '10 as well.
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Old 01-29-09, 08:54 PM
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Are you planning to go? Yes
Have you been before? Yes, 3 times (1999, 2003, 2007)
If you have been before, what would you do differently? I'll train with more intensity, like I did in 2003 (not with minimal training like 1999, or with more long-distance like 2007)
How are you planning to travel to the start? Fly to Paris
Will you camp or hotel/motel? Hotel in central Paris--the RER is easy to use and convenient, allows much cheaper hotel than St Quentin
What kind of bike will you use? Waterford RS-22, same as last two PBP's
Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? Same basic bike, although frame replaced last year.
Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? I have recently added fenders to my bike, as a result of a very rainy PBP and a case of immersion-foot. Two previous dry PBP's erroneously seemed like a trend I could count on.
What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training? Focus on long distance starting about a year out, adding more intensity gradually as PBP approaches, lots of intensity and climbing during summer with 200k's mixed in. This worked very well in 2003 for me.

Last edited by Mark W; 01-29-09 at 08:55 PM. Reason: added to lodging answer
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Old 01-29-09, 09:51 PM
  #9  
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I dont think PBP is in my near future, having just completed my first real century and lots of commitments in the future. I suppose if the opportunity presented itself I could mange to train enough and do it. In that case I would use my Jamis Satellite, and I would buy a nice set of panniers, a higher spoke count front wheel and maybe fenders. What is the best method for getting a tandem over there Octopus? I would really like to do a bike trip to gettysburg, ride around the battlefield, camp near the battlefield or on it if possible, and then ride back to school.
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Old 01-29-09, 10:33 PM
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In my minds eye, I see a glow, well beyond the dark night's horizon. It is the lights of Paris, way off in the distance. But I must not think of the City of Lights now, she is too far off. If I think of her, I'll realize how far I have to go, and I'll lose the will to continue. I must only think of the next controle, 200km away in Davis. I've got 5 weeks and 2 days to get there. That's all I can allow myself to think of for now.

But in the back of my mind, I know the road eventually leads to Paris...
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Old 01-29-09, 10:40 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by khearn View Post
In my minds eye, I see a glow, well beyond the dark night's horizon. It is the lights of Paris, way off in the distance. But I must not think of the City of Lights now, she is too far off. If I think of her, I'll realize how far I have to go, and I'll lose the will to continue. I must only think of the next controle, 200km away in Davis. I've got 5 weeks and 2 days to get there. That's all I can allow myself to think of for now.

But in the back of my mind, I know the road eventually leads to Paris...
Just follow the line of tail lights, snaking off toward the horizon!
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Old 01-30-09, 09:44 AM
  #12  
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I haven't yet decided if I want to go back. It is a grand adventure, but there are a lot of other ideas for experiences that I haven't enjoyed yet. Bike touring through Japan, for instance ... I do feel that the poor weather in 2007 made for an atypical PBP experience, and if I do go back, it would be to see if good weather brings on more of the hospitality and crowd participation upon which PBP legends have been based.

However, to all of the folks that are thinking "... well, I don't know if I'll get in shape in two years", I will say that I went from being a century-a-year, 2500 miles annually sort of guy in 2005, to going into and completing my first brevet series in 2006 and finishing PBP in '07. There, I met other folks who just started riding a bicycle in the fall of '06 who went on to complete PBP the next year. So, if you're looking to make the transition, know that it's quite possible. You don't need a five-year plan.

I think that, to add to randochap's point, I think that the two year window is about the right time for any cyclist to see if PBP is a feasible goal. Start a brevet series this year. See if you can go up to a 600k. If you don't make it to a 600k, figure out what might have blocked you and try again next year. Remember that the rides build on each other, so while a 600k might be initially daunting, your more immediate goal is to ride a 200k which is not much longer than a standard century, and from there ride the rest.
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Old 01-30-09, 09:51 AM
  #13  
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Are you planning to go? Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!
Have you been before? Yes in 2007
If you have been before, what would you do differently? Maybe if the weather is nice I'd like to try without any kind of assistance (last time my boyfriend had put up a tent fo me to sleep in)
How are you planning to travel to the start? By RER... I live in Paris...
Will you camp or hotel/motel? Ah ah ah I'll just stay at home...
What kind of bike will you use? If I'm able to actually make up my mind and get a recumbent before next year, I might try that.
Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? Yes, so far I've done 100 km on a trike and it wasn't even mine!
Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? A light and small sleeping bag if I do end up going on my own
What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training? I think I was in pretty good shape on PBP. Maybe if I can improve my climbing that would help.
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Old 01-30-09, 10:09 AM
  #14  
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I might be going. I was planning on doing it as a kickoff to a year travelling around the world with my wife, but we're going to bring our tandem to Europe and it seems like a lot of extra logistics to get my bike to PBP ad try to work it in. We'll see how are globetrotting plans shake out in the next year, and how my super rando ambitions shake out this year.

If I don't go in 2011, when I am 27 with no kids, I will probbaly not end up going until I have had kids and they are grown up. PBP 2031, here I come! How's that for long term planning?
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Old 01-30-09, 11:22 AM
  #15  
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great thread idea!!
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Any other things you might add.
  • do you speak french? non. but i'd like to brush up on it before 2011.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:25 AM
  #16  
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Are you planning to go? Yes
Have you been before? No, tho' I have done one 1000k and one 1200k so far
If you have been before, what would you do differently?
How are you planning to travel to the start? Fly
Will you camp or hotel/motel? Not sure
What kind of bike will you use? recumbent
Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? Maybe. I haven't settled on a specific bike yet, but it will be a 'bent.
Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? No. I should have everything I need before that
What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training? My four-year plan (just going into year 2) is to do at least one Super Rando series and a 1200 (or 1000) k each year thru 2011. Completed my second SR series and first 1200 (Rocky Mtn 1200, a ride I HIGHLY recommend) last year. I'm on the list for the Gold Rush Randonnee for this year, and will most likely do the Cascade 1200 next year. I figure the more 1200s I can do by 2011, the fewer surprises there will be at PBP.

Scott P
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Old 01-30-09, 11:39 AM
  #17  
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Are you planning to go? Yes
Have you been before? Yes
If you have been before, what would you do differently? Be more flexible about when and where to eat/sleep etc. If you feel good - keep going.
How are you planning to travel to the start? Air
Will you camp or hotel/motel? Hotel
What kind of bike will you use? Tandem
Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? No
Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? Already got a new bike last year, with couplers, maybe some new tires.
What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training? SR series 2009/Gold Rush, SR series w/ 1,000k 2010, SR series & 3 hilly/hard 200k in 2011 then off to PBP. Train smarter, not necessarily longer.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:44 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
  • do you speak french? non. but i'd like to brush up on it before 2011.

I would strongly encourage this. I knew some French in 2003, and got by on what I knew ... but I knew a lot more French in 2007, and it was great to be able to communicate with the people.

I'd suggest taking a night class or something. I have tapes and books and things, and they're good, but in a class you can talk to other people, and get tips on how to say things from your instructor.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:58 AM
  #19  
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Are you planning to go? yes
Have you been before? yes, once in 2007
If you have been before, what would you do differently? Quite a few things. My lights died because of rain, too flimsy rear rack, get a different bike, use much less time at the controls
How are you planning to travel to the start?Bicycle from hotel quite nearby
Will you camp or hotel/motel? Hotel in Paris and I will again try to only sleep once, in the dorm in Brest.
What kind of bike will you use? Either my Break-away or a new (drool) randotype bicycle
Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? Could very well be
Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? Topnotch battery lights
What kind of training are you planning to do ? Just a lot of bicycling, maybe the Viking Tour here in Norway a month before PBP
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Old 01-30-09, 11:59 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
How are you planning to travel to the start? -- airplane, then train, then bicycle ... worked for me the last two times.
I see everyone is answering "air" for this question, and perhaps a bit more detail would be helpful.

For US riders, RUSA has some sort of deal going with a travel company, but if you're not with RUSA (and I'm not), there are at least a couple options for getting over there:

1) Fly right into Paris
2) Fly elsewhere in Europe and travel to Paris by train and/or bicycle

When I looked up flights in both 2003 and 2007, I found that flying into London Heathrow on Air Canada was my least expensive flight option. For a minimal cost you can get a train from London to Dover, take the ferry across to Calais or Dunkerque, and then catch the train to Paris. That route cost me about $500 less than flying directly into Paris.

Now, if you're flying in from Australia, rather than North America, as I may very well be next time ... it will cost an arm and a leg! Brace yourself!! And check around through various airlines.

Last edited by Machka; 01-30-09 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 01-30-09, 03:41 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I see everyone is answering "air" for this question, and perhaps a bit more detail would be helpful.
i'd seriously consider taking a boat over there, but from seattle that's a looong trip! they say a flight from seattle to europe is about the equivalent of a full year's worth of driving (which i don't do) - so i will feel some amount of guilt by flying over there. but it's PBP!! so i'm doing it anyway.

and my hydro-bike's chain is broken, so there goes that idea.. =]
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Old 01-30-09, 04:01 PM
  #22  
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* Are you planning to go? Well, yes.
* Have you been before? PBP no, France yes.
* How are you planning to travel to the start? Most likely by Queen Mary 2 (wife doesn't fly)
* Will you camp or hotel/motel? I hope to ride or train from Evreux where my in-laws live.
* What kind of bike will you use? Custom steel frame Fuso
* Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? Probably a typical 1200k kit
* What kind of training are you planning to do? Completed SR series in 2008, will attempt Gold Rush 1200k this year, and Shenandoah 1200k next year. Along with R-12's each year.
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Old 01-30-09, 04:40 PM
  #23  
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Are you planning to go? God willing, Yes
Have you been before? Nope
If you have been before, what would you do differently?
How are you planning to travel to the start? Fly, maybe RUSA deal
Will you camp or hotel/motel? Not sure
What kind of bike will you use? cross bike turned brevet bike
Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? No, I've done a few long distance evernts on it and an very satisfied with it.
Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? Maybe a dynohub wheelset, but I may not have the resources (read as "cash")
What kind of training are you planning to do -- for PBP ancien(ne)s and returning hopefuls, how might you improve training? Complete Super Rando series in 2009 and a 1200k in 2010 (Shenandoah 1200k). There will be lots of bike commuting (20 miles each way) and lots of long distance rides and back to back centuries
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Old 01-30-09, 04:52 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
I haven't yet decided if I want to go back. It is a grand adventure, but there are a lot of other ideas for experiences that I haven't enjoyed yet. Bike touring through Japan, for instance ... I do feel that the poor weather in 2007 made for an atypical PBP experience, and if I do go back, it would be to see if good weather brings on more of the hospitality and crowd participation upon which PBP legends have been based.

However, to all of the folks that are thinking "... well, I don't know if I'll get in shape in two years", I will say that I went from being a century-a-year, 2500 miles annually sort of guy in 2005, to going into and completing my first brevet series in 2006 and finishing PBP in '07. There, I met other folks who just started riding a bicycle in the fall of '06 who went on to complete PBP the next year. So, if you're looking to make the transition, know that it's quite possible. You don't need a five-year plan.

I think that, to add to randochap's point, I think that the two year window is about the right time for any cyclist to see if PBP is a feasible goal. Start a brevet series this year. See if you can go up to a 600k. If you don't make it to a 600k, figure out what might have blocked you and try again next year. Remember that the rides build on each other, so while a 600k might be initially daunting, your more immediate goal is to ride a 200k which is not much longer than a standard century, and from there ride the rest.
I think there is a very real warning sign in here for people who are intent on doing SRs and big rides every year leading up to PBP, from a point-zero start. The commitment to randonneuring is a major one and while doing events is certainly character-building, there can be a cumulative psychological toll.

There are three seasons to PBP, and there is a real chance of burn-out right when you want to achieve the randonneur's ultimate dream. I'd caution going too far in achieving goals because:

(a) Obviously, physically, there is greater chance of injury and just plain long-term fatigue.

(b) There are emotional penalties involved, that may range from personal relationships with family and friends, through to the fatigue of handling lonely training and event hours on the bike.

I started preparing in early 2002 for PBP-2003. It was sufficient for an absolute neophyte to do what had to be done. It began with a new bike (Fuji Touring), and a 200km ride between Tasmania's cities in January 2002. Then followed various other rides, including a very, very hilly 850km one between Canberra and Melbourne over 4-1/2 days through the Great Dividing Range. Qualifying for us started in December with a 200 and 300 back-to-back, and finished less than two months later! That left around six months of just doing centuries... century after century after century in hilly country.

Since then, I have done that PBP, failed to finish the second in 2007, completed three or four SRs to qualify for PBP and BMB (also DNFed), the Last Chance 1200, the Great Southern 1200, a Randonneur 5000, a Woodrup 5000 (an Australian version of the R5000), two 1000s, a large number of centuries, two Opperman 24 Hour Trials, two 24 hour races, and a fair bit of touring, as well as commuting and so on.

The DNF in PBP-2007 was primarily because I (and Machka) stopped having fun in the wet conditions. We didn't feel any pressure to finish because we had done so in 2003, and our LD records (hers in particular) stand for themselves.

This past year I took time out from randonneuring and other long-distance events because I needed it. I kept my hand in with personal centuries and the like... and built up new bikes. I also needed to assess whether the sport in Australia was heading in the direction it should be, rather than becoming yet another popularist bike club that is rapidly forgetting its long-distance roots.

I'm feeling quite refreshed now, except the second issue with the national organisation remains unresolved and that is inhibiting my participation in formalised events.

Suffice to say, though, that it's likely in 2011, that Hell Yes, I'll Be Back in Paris one way or the other.

If you have been before, what would you do differently? Unsure.

How are you planning to travel to the start? Fly, unless we are in Europe at the time.

Will you camp or hotel/motel? Unsure

What kind of bike will you use? Unsure. Maybe a CF bike or a lightweight steel frame custom built by my old ride partner Tim Stredwick (Velosmith).

Is this a different bike than you've used for other events, including PBP? Yes. Fuji Touring in 2003, Shogun 400 fixed gear conversion in 2007.

Is there a particular piece of kit you'll get for this event and why? Maybe one of the new high-performance LED dyno lights, and maybe a Carradice Nelson Longflap or Camper saddlebag with a Brooks Swallow Ti saddle.

What kind of training are you planning to do ? Unsure. I have to consult with my training and ride partner when she gets here.

Last edited by Rowan; 01-31-09 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 01-30-09, 05:46 PM
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