Author Topic: Demystifying PBP  (Read 3207 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Demystifying PBP
« on: June 21, 2018, 05:13:53 pm »

Watching a lot of the threads about PBP, I see much talk of names for places, terms I don't understand, and references that I don't get. It's all getting very confusing. Don't supposed there's a glossary of terms, or an idiots guide to your first PBP anywhere?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 05:17:44 pm »
There are probably hundreds of PBP accounts on the web.   Read as many as you can.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 05:21:09 pm »
There are probably hundreds of PBP accounts on the web.   Read as many as you can.

I have been, but they all seem to be written with an audience in mind of those who have already ridden PBP, and thus know where all the places are, and what all the french terms mean...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Phil W

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 05:24:18 pm »
Which terms do you not understand?

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 05:25:19 pm »
You can't really be expected to understand PBP until you've ridden it. All you need to know is that the faster you get round your qualifying 600, the likelier you will be to finish. Concentrate on getting faster.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 05:33:50 pm »
Which terms do you not understand?

Taken from just one thread in this forum:

vedettes, vélos spéciaux, touristes, Carhaix, Fougeres, Dreux,

Some of them, like "touristes", I understand as a word, it's tourists. But what does it mean in the context of PBP? The rest, I think some are place names, but I'm not sure...

I can't be the only person out there confused by all this, hence asking...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 07:21:45 pm »
The only term you'll need to know, because you'll get very acquainted with it, is 'ennui'.

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 07:27:53 pm »
vedettes = 80 hours start
touristes = 90 hours start
vélos spéciaux = everything except diamond frame solo bikes (recumbents, tandems, etc.)

Carhaix, Fougeres, Dreux are indeed place names, I leave up to you to locate them on a map as an exercise :)

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 08:16:33 pm »
I've never done PBP, but have found marcusjb's blog good when reading into it all...

http://www.marcusjb.com/search?q=pbp
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 08:19:08 pm »
The index of 2011 threads might be useful:

http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=28144.msg511355.0

Apart from the start and Brest control, there weren't a huge number of changes for 2015. And I don't think there's an index for 2015.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 10:03:25 pm »
vedettes = 80 hours start
touristes = 90 hours start
vélos spéciaux = everything except diamond frame solo bikes (recumbents, tandems, etc.)

Carhaix, Fougeres, Dreux are indeed place names, I leave up to you to locate them on a map as an exercise :)

I see lots of talk of the 80hr group, and the 84 hour, and the 90. If you start in one of the 80 or 84, but it turns out to be slower, but you make it in 90, is that still valid? Or is it 80/84 or nothing?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

LMT

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 10:06:50 pm »
vedettes = 80 hours start
touristes = 90 hours start
vélos spéciaux = everything except diamond frame solo bikes (recumbents, tandems, etc.)

Carhaix, Fougeres, Dreux are indeed place names, I leave up to you to locate them on a map as an exercise :)

I see lots of talk of the 80hr group, and the 84 hour, and the 90. If you start in one of the 80 or 84, but it turns out to be slower, but you make it in 90, is that still valid? Or is it 80/84 or nothing?

J

Well if you start in the 84 hour group... ;)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2018, 10:08:38 pm »
vedettes = 80 hours start
touristes = 90 hours start
vélos spéciaux = everything except diamond frame solo bikes (recumbents, tandems, etc.)

Carhaix, Fougeres, Dreux are indeed place names, I leave up to you to locate them on a map as an exercise :)

I see lots of talk of the 80hr group, and the 84 hour, and the 90. If you start in one of the 80 or 84, but it turns out to be slower, but you make it in 90, is that still valid? Or is it 80/84 or nothing?

J

Well if you start in the 84 hour group... ;)

What have I missed?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

LMT

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 10:13:27 pm »
vedettes = 80 hours start
touristes = 90 hours start
vélos spéciaux = everything except diamond frame solo bikes (recumbents, tandems, etc.)

Carhaix, Fougeres, Dreux are indeed place names, I leave up to you to locate them on a map as an exercise :)

I see lots of talk of the 80hr group, and the 84 hour, and the 90. If you start in one of the 80 or 84, but it turns out to be slower, but you make it in 90, is that still valid? Or is it 80/84 or nothing?

J

Well if you start in the 84 hour group... ;)

What have I missed?

J

The bit in bold, me thinking that you would able to work out the answer from that - obviously I was wrong or I've been 'ad.

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 10:21:32 pm »
You only get 84 hours to complete the 84 hour (randonneur) start.

Traditional advice for first-timers is to take the 90-hour start, so you've time in hand for any mishaps.

The advantage of the 84-hour group is you get a night's sleep beforehand (assuming they kick off at 5 am or so, which has been the case the last three editions at least - but it's not a great sleep).

The advantage of the 80-hour (vedettes) group is really fast groups that you can hopefully wheelsuck for a free 300 km or so.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2018, 10:24:50 pm »

Gotcha.

Thanks

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2018, 09:07:24 am »
In 1995 I rode some of the way with a cheerful Parisien.  He said he wasn't really a cyclist, but it was his city, and his city's event, so he felt he had to ride it just the once.  He didn't appear to be at all mystified.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2018, 10:22:46 am »
In 1995 I rode some of the way with a cheerful Parisien.  He said he wasn't really a cyclist, but it was his city, and his city's event, so he felt he had to ride it just the once.  He didn't appear to be at all mystified.

He has obviously never met the mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche.

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2018, 10:32:23 am »
The whole PBP process is an interesting experiment in learning. I've done enough practical skills training to know that there are barriers to understanding that can't be broken down by anything other than experience.

The internet allows us to see how people attempt to limit uncertainty surrounding a demanding task through acquiring knowledge. The qualification process provides enough experience to manage half the allotted distance of PBP. The uncertainty lies in reaction to sleep deprivation, and physical effects such as inflammation of contact points and Shermer's neck.

Participants are unlikely to recall the second part of the ride with a high degree of accuracy. They seem to gravitate towards a consensus about conditions from Best back to Paris, as their memory is fragmentary and episodic. Many of the riders are self-centred in the first instance, and retreat further into themselves as they experience sleep deprivation.

One can get a lot of validation from being able to cope with all the pressures, and still be able to observe what's going on around you. It's redolent of war movies, which is why I've compared it to 'Saving Private Ryan' in the past. You can read all you want, but there's no substitute for being there.

It can be disappointing to those who are very physically able. They will have enough time to rest, and a lot of their ride will consist of passing slower riders, especially if they sleep a lot. I think that the best way to experience the event is to be capable of a 34 hour 600, and a 25 minute 10 mile TT, then ride with groups. It has to be demanding enough to engage you physically, while leaving you aware enough to enjoy the camaraderie and the spectacle.

A 34 Hour 600 gives you the stamina to finish, the speed from riding '10s', means you can recover time lost due to problems, jump groups, and ride away from unsympathetic company.

One comment I have seen is that the 84 hour group means that you have to deal with the most wrecked 90 hour riders towards the end of the ride in the dark, when the slow riders are weaving all over the road as if they have had a bottle of whiskey.

Veterans also have the advantage of knowing who to take seriously, especially in the anonymised world of the web. There are some who will give blanket advice based on their own single experience of the event. It helps a lot to know what posters have done, they may never have finished PBP at all.

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2018, 10:56:49 am »
In 1995 I rode some of the way with a cheerful Parisien.  He said he wasn't really a cyclist, but it was his city, and his city's event, so he felt he had to ride it just the once.  He didn't appear to be at all mystified.

He has obviously never met the mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche.

We interviewed Mr Larrington at Brest in 2007, when he seemed perfectly sensible. I was retreiving a loaned camera from Julian at the end, when she and Charlotte were preparing to rescue the now 'Mayor of Mortagne au Perche' from hospital, where he was attached to 'a machine that goes beep'.

References to the 'Mayor of Mortagne au Perche' are about the sort of pschycotic breakdown that can occur on PBP, as Mr Larrington entered a delusional episode around 1,000km on PBP 2007. He's a noted figure in recumbent circles.

In 2016 I interviewed the actual Mayor of Mortagne au Perche, as he received the wooden shovel which symbolises the spadework to be done by the organising committee of the Semaine Federale of the French Cycle Touring Federation.
https://youtu.be/vOLrcpQJeBg?t=316

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2018, 06:19:59 pm »
We'll have an ACME PBP 'Pubinar' at The Compasses, Littley Green, near Chelmsford, sometime this autumn/early winter. That may or may not help...

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2018, 07:17:06 pm »
Quote
of the riders are self-centred in the first instance

True for about half of randonneurs I have ridden with. The other half have mostly quit randonnering after a few years. Common complaint from the less self-centered riders that I have heard is the more experienced - and therefor leading - group claim to always ride as a group and leave no one behind and then at the off they promptly race off leaving the stragglers to ride as an entirely separate group. Not that they necessarily mind, but they do object to the "We always ride as a group" crap. 


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2018, 07:58:13 pm »
In the UK, the most experienced riders often do not form the lead group.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2018, 08:48:56 pm »
Greater experience often equates to greater age and therefore decline in athletic prowess (Im not specifically thinking of you Ian H) Some of the very experienced were never quick, whereas some really were.

Some really don't give that much of a shit about when they finish and some really have no choice.

I think the unwritten rule in audax is that you can't expect others to wait around for you, although if you've spent the best part of the ride with a small group you'll often find they'll nurse you through a bad patch. At night time it's a bit different and people are a bit more likely to coalesce.

At the start though you've just got to find a group going at a pace you find comfortable.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Demystifying PBP
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2018, 08:13:24 am »
We'll have an ACME PBP 'Pubinar' at The Compasses, Littley Green, near Chelmsford, sometime this autumn/early winter. That may or may not help...

That mirrors what I was going to suggest: find someone who's done it a couple of times and buy them a succession of beers.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.