Author Topic: 90hrs  (Read 3155 times)

90hrs
« on: March 11, 2019, 07:08:35 pm »
As a newbie, keen to hear thoughts on what we should expect, what strategies will be useful.  I presume most veterans took up the early departure times so advice will be most applicable to what you should think about if you are starting in one of the last departure slots (go club 2045 go!), i.e. battle with the bulge 101.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 07:25:41 pm »
As a newbie, keen to hear thoughts on what we should expect, what strategies will be useful.  I presume most veterans took up the early departure times so advice will be most applicable to what you should think about if you are starting in one of the last departure slots (go club 2045 go!), i.e. battle with the bulge 101.

Did the back of the 90h start-ish in 2007 and 2011. A few things:

 - don't assume there will be no beds - ask! You might have to wait but I made that assumption in 2007 and slept on the Baxters coach. In 2011 we were able to sleep at 3 controls without too much delay (St Nic, Loudeac return, Mortagne return).
 - you can group-surf to get ahead, there will be lots of wheels to catch
 - many of the controls have both a sit-down meal option and a quick option. Don't go for the sit down options if there are big queues and you want to get ahead of the game
 - make sure you know where your bike is, it's easy to lose it in the dark and waste time finding it again
 - make use of places at the road-side if they are available and not overrun, then get through the controls faster

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 07:47:00 pm »
Not to sure if my plan A will survive but I am planning to push on through the first night working on the principle that a lot of  people will  be stopping and sleeping plus I imagine the first couple of controls will be bedlam .


Paul

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 09:18:40 pm »
Ride all the way through the first night and next day. There are plenty of fast wheels to follow and you will likely clock your fastest 200 and 300 times of the year.

Many riders will still try and follow the principle of sleeping at night.  Try riding through nights and dosing or sleeping in the warmth of the day. Dormitories were fairly empty late afternoons in 2015 and a few hours sleeping set me up to push on through the night. I like night riding , this may not suit you. Since it is out and back you will likely see stretches in daylight one way or the other. Once ahead of the bulge you can shift to more daylight riding if you want.

On the way back some of the pop up stalls had reclining chairs or mattresses you could grab a dose on.

You need to pay for beds , food at controls consider getting food outside the controls to reduce queuing time.

Riding slowly forward is faster than being stopped and not being able to sleep.  So if you are not sleeping get up and get going. (Unless you stopped because you were falling asleep on the road)

The bit about remember where bike is. I lost about 2 hours looking for my bike across three of the controls. They were not busy when I arrived but were when I left so I did not recognise the bike park anymore.

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 09:21:28 pm »
The more French you can speak the easier lots of things at controls will be. It's not essential, many get by with none. But even a few simple phrases will help you.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 09:52:35 pm »
Take whatever you need to sleep any place any time.   I'm going to probably take an inflatable mat and a sleeping bag liner.

Have a plan but don't expect it to work out

You will find groups to ride with but don't expect it to last

Eat when you are hungry, there are loads of places on the route and 99% of them are friendly

It's an event with 5000 people so there are a lot of crazies.  Don't mind if people draft you for miles.  Don't mind if you try to get a draft with a group and they all wave and shout at you

Don't expect to get through controls quickly

You will have a "bad patch".  Just keep riding, it will pass

Don't worry about GPS devices and batteries.  The route is fully signed, just follow thousands of people

The weather might be too hot.  Or it might rain.  But Northern France is pretty similar to the UK so you are at an advantage compared to Southern Italians or people from Arizona

Brest is a shithole.

Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 09:54:14 pm »
Not to sure if my plan A will survive but I am planning to push on through the first night working on the principle that a lot of  people will  be stopping and sleeping plus I imagine the first couple of controls will be bedlam .
Paul
I'd be surprised if any 90 hour start riders stop and sleep before midday. Even if they wished to sleep earlier in the ride, they'd have to have built up a time buffer or risk being out of time at their next control. Fougères is at 306k and Tinténiac is at 360k.
So your Plan A is the same as the other 5000.

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 09:57:48 pm »
Not to sure if my plan A will survive but I am planning to push on through the first night working on the principle that a lot of  people will  be stopping and sleeping plus I imagine the first couple of controls will be bedlam .
Paul
I'd be surprised if any 90 hour start riders stop and sleep before midday. Even if they wished to sleep earlier in the ride, they'd have to have built up a time buffer or risk being out of time at their next control. Fougères is at 306k and Tinténiac is at 360k.
So your Plan A is the same as the other 5000.

You will see a surprising number of bodies asleep on the side of the road on the first night, and some not very far in.  i can only imagine, a combination of travel fatigue, jet lag, a foreign country, and adrenaline wearing off being the reason. Plus as LEL 17 demonstrated a number of riders did not want to ride through that first night.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 10:00:26 pm »
A 90hr starter sleeping before Loudiac has a much higher chance of DNFing. I slept earlier than that once but made it round bouncing against the time limit for a fair while. I don't recommend it.

Earlier 90hr starters should be aiming at Carhaix and faster early 90hr folk will make Brest before sleeping.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2019, 10:16:11 pm »
Not to sure if my plan A will survive but I am planning to push on through the first night working on the principle that a lot of  people will  be stopping and sleeping plus I imagine the first couple of controls will be bedlam .
Paul
I'd be surprised if any 90 hour start riders stop and sleep before midday. Even if they wished to sleep earlier in the ride, they'd have to have built up a time buffer or risk being out of time at their next control. Fougères is at 306k and Tinténiac is at 360k.
So your Plan A is the same as the other 5000.

I didn't say it was the perfect plan  ;D

Paul

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2019, 10:17:16 pm »
Earlier I’ve ever slept is St Nic which is between Loudeac and Carhaix. I had a lie down at Loudeac during the day in 2015 (80h start). I could not sleep. It’s way too noisy during the day. Don’t repeat my mistake. It just meant less time in hand at Brest.

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 08:31:40 am »
Try and ignore the starting euphoria. Riding hard and nervous from the start eats into your reserves like nothing on earth. Assuming another 1230 km course, 20 kph average speed on the road will get you round with nearly 29 hours for resting.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 09:50:38 am »
I'd be surprised if any 90 hour start riders stop and sleep before midday. Even if they wished to sleep earlier in the ride, they'd have to have built up a time buffer or risk being out of time at their next control. Fougères is at 306k and Tinténiac is at 360k.
<snip>

You will see a surprising number of bodies asleep on the side of the road on the first night, and some not very far in.  i can only imagine, a combination of travel fatigue, jet lag, a foreign country, and adrenaline wearing off being the reason. Plus as LEL 17 demonstrated a number of riders did not want to ride through that first night.
I agree a clear takeaway from Phil's 'bodies on the side of the road' experience is that it's foolish to start 'less than fully loaded' with sleep. So riders should design their pre-race timings (arrival time and extraneous activities) to minimise any risk of that.
Noone on the PBP 80 hour starts will stop before they've done 300km unless they have wellness issues. And from the starts later in the evening, if fuller value riders stop and sleep before dawn they risk being out of time at the following control unless they are quick on the road (in which case they'll surely push on anyway).

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 10:23:57 am »
...
I'd be surprised if any 90 hour start riders stop and sleep before midday ...



You will see a surprising number of bodies asleep on the side of the road on the first night, and some not very far in.  i can only imagine, a combination of travel fatigue, jet lag, a foreign country, and adrenaline wearing off being the reason. Plus as LEL 17 demonstrated a number of riders did not want to ride through that first night.
I agree a clear takeaway from Phil's 'bodies on the side of the road' experience is that it's foolish to start 'less than fully loaded' with sleep. So riders should design their pre-race timings (arrival time and extraneous activities) to minimise any risk of that.
Totally agree (and it's what made the biggest improvement for me when riding my 2nd PBP).

but ...

Quote
And from the starts later in the evening, if fuller value riders stop and sleep before dawn they risk being out of time at the following control unless they are quick on the road (in which case they'll surely push on anyway).
I can't agree with that as a blanket statement, sorry :)  Take the Bristol 9pm start 300km in November - I slept at about half-way (like perhaps 4-5 others). post-dawn I hoovered up at least a dozen riders who were looking dozy. Finished with an "adequate" time buffer.
PBP has more generous time limits.

Similarly, I recall Jo Wood passing me (at about Mach 3) in the early hours on PBP. He'd had a roadside nap - he said later that he just couldn't stay awake, but felt fine when after he got going.

If your body needs sleep, you will probably be better off sleeping (I'm not talking about 4 hours!). To quote Mr S.Abraham - "the best way to stay awake is to sleep". I wouldn't PLAN to sleep on the 1st night, but as people also keep repeating - you need to be adaptable. Likewise sleeping early on the 2nd evening/night - if your body needs it, and there is somewhere quiet/comfy, then do it! It doesn't matter if you haven't reached Loudeac/Carhaix/Brest/500km/whatever-crazy-fixed-target.

n.b. almost everyone will agree with YOU not me, if they've ridden PBP!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2019, 02:37:34 pm »
I didn't sleep on first night and still failed dismally to make Brest in time after 3 hour sleep on night two. I was too slow, spent waaaaaay to much time in controls and was generally underprepared for the long queues, navigating around controls etc.

This time I will be riding a little quicker and keeping moving forward at all times. I will have just enough gear to sleep for just about long enough anywhere (bivi bag and light down jacket: 500g). I will carry enough food for night one in the format of disgusting meal replacement powder. I still intent to ride through the first night but this time I won't really be stopping for long until Brest < then figure the rest out from there.

I also really failed to fully comprehend how time in hand worked for PBP, it seems to have it's own logic!

Also if you are on the slower end of the spectrum get used to the idea that you are not going to sleep much. You need *some* otherwise you will get into serious hallunication land, but it less than you think :-)

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 03:43:09 pm »
Plus, if it's your first time, bear in mind that the control times are front-loaded — you have LESS time to get to Brest than back again, so you are EXPECTED by the organisers to get a move on for the first half.  It's the old "race out, tour back" thing.  So you MUST keep moving forwards for the first two days or risk being out-of-time compared to a UK brevet.

That said, in 2015 I slept face-down in an omelette in Goron for nearly an hour on the first night (there's a photo somewhere; I've never seen it), and then half an hour in the shade in a field gateway later in the afternoon, before stopping to sleep at Carhaix (the control before Brest) on Monday night.
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2019, 03:45:09 pm »
The bit about remember where bike is. I lost about 2 hours looking for my bike across three of the controls.

My trick was to ride a "quite recognisable bike" and park it in the vélos speciales section whenever I could.  This won't work for everyone, but worked a charm for me  ;)
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2019, 04:00:43 pm »
...and faster early 90hr folk will make Brest before sleeping.

As did at least one full value rider last time around  ;)
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2019, 04:04:31 pm »
Any strategy depends on how used to sleep deprivation you are, and how fast you can ride. A 600 qualifier that starts at 10am, and fast rides in July and August can give you some of that.

I did make a video on strategy for LEL.

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 07:18:05 pm »

Brest is a shithole.

Unfortunately , it can't be avoided.
Aim to get there in the dark if you can, kip for a few hours then set off looking for breakfast on the way out of town.
The psychological boost that you get from leaving town and seeing the long trail of riders behind you is not to be underestimated.
However, if you have a late start time on Sunday, you will have to minimise the faffage and sleeping on the way out to get yourself into that position.

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2019, 07:50:18 pm »
Take whatever you need to sleep any place any time.   I'm going to probably take an inflatable mat and a sleeping bag liner.

Have a plan but don't expect it to work out

You will find groups to ride with but don't expect it to last

Eat when you are hungry, there are loads of places on the route and 99% of them are friendly

It's an event with 5000 people so there are a lot of crazies.  Don't mind if people draft you for miles.  Don't mind if you try to get a draft with a group and they all wave and shout at you

Don't expect to get through controls quickly

You will have a "bad patch".  Just keep riding, it will pass

Don't worry about GPS devices and batteries.  The route is fully signed, just follow thousands of people

The weather might be too hot.  Or it might rain.  But Northern France is pretty similar to the UK so you are at an advantage compared to Southern Italians or people from Arizona

Brest is a shithole.

I'll be following some of that advice (except the mat, the sleeping bag liner, and the plan).

Re Brest:  you get to leave again pretty soon.  Otherwise, I shall reserve judgement until I've visited it in leisure-time.

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2019, 07:54:34 pm »
I'm grateful for all the help I had over the years from all the control towns. They've put in sponsorship in the past. That seems to have diminished. Perhaps the ability to monitor the reaction to their hospitality over the web has had a bearing on that.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2019, 08:11:33 pm »
I liked the little flags they gave out in Brest last time — very proud of their local region, and it slotted nicely into the side pocket of my Carradice.  I snapped it off, though, getting my leg over to remount later in the ride ...
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: 90hrs
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2019, 08:18:21 pm »
Any strategy depends on how used to sleep deprivation you are, and how fast you can ride. A 600 qualifier that starts at 10am, and fast rides in July and August can give you some of that.

I did make a video on strategy for LEL.

Your final line of commentary was a bit of a tease - I was all ready for footage of a massive pile-up :(
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: 90hrs
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2019, 09:32:39 pm »
A lot of that footage is from PBP 2015. It's in HD, so you can cross-reference the numbers of the riders carrying rucksacks to see if luggage-carrying style has any bearing on finish times.