Author Topic: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.  (Read 2883 times)

Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« on: June 19, 2019, 10:47:53 pm »
I'm dairy free, so choice can a bit restricted, so may have to forage between controls if I can't rely on them.
So what was available at controls in 2015?  I recall much cheese in 2007 - is there more variety now? Both for sit-down meals and the grab-and-go option.
And drinks - some unpleasant French energy drink in 2007 (I forget the brand but not the taste) and wine - what was available last time?

vorsprung

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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 09:38:20 am »
I'm dairy free, so choice can a bit restricted, so may have to forage between controls if I can't rely on them.
So what was available at controls in 2015?  I recall much cheese in 2007 - is there more variety now? Both for sit-down meals and the grab-and-go option.
And drinks - some unpleasant French energy drink in 2007 (I forget the brand but not the taste) and wine - what was available last time?

If you've already done PBP, not sure what you are asking!

As you know "it depends" . The smaller controls at a bad time of day usually have stale bagettes, black coffee and little else

The controls that are in schools have school dinners available.  There is choice and usually there is something ok to eat

Other controls are more hit and miss.  For example at Brest last time there was vegetable soup for breakfast at 5am and that was all.  No spoons either :)

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caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2019, 10:04:48 am »
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2019, 11:02:44 am »
I didn't ride in 2011, or 2015 - sorry, should have explained. Hence my lack of recent knowledge.

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 11:12:38 am »
The food in the controls is just the same as it ever was, as is the food in restaurants. The main change has been the consolidation of retail into larger supermarkets on small by-passes around towns. Gorron is a typical example. In 2007 there was a branch of Lidl on the route in Gorron. That's closed, and there's a Super U about 400 metres off the course.

That situation is replicated in other small towns. I've always favoured Lidl in France, as the layout and products are similar to the UK. You have to learn the 'grammar' of French stores. The best bet on-route is the large convenience store in Sizun, and Netto in Tinteniac.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 03:34:13 pm »
Interesting thought - at LEL we had instructions on the 14 allergens and needed to be aware of their presence in them (that included careful reading of the ingredients on the gluten free stock cubes we were using - they were also free of lactose, mustard, but not celery).  I think that's an EU directive, so in theory, the controls should now provide that information.   

However, am not aware that this happened in 2015, though I wouldn't have been looking out for it specifically.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 10:04:06 pm »
Well being GF I can tell you in 2015 it was a lottery, and not in a good way. The French don't suffer coeliacs disease as much as celts (it's an Irish disease in origin) so have a harder time understanding why it's a real thing, multiplied by language difference and tiredness, it was a miserable experience to be honest. I can't imagine dairy is any better.

I am mitigating this year by carrying some emergency powder food and I notice that the gel provider of choice, superstim, now actually make GF products where they didn't four years ago so *hopefully* there will be some choice - check their site for ingredients. LEL was a piece of cake (boom-cha) in comparison. I will use a dropbag service it I can find one and will have Supermarket stops as the big ones have something GF in them.

So... dairy... who knows? Print yourself a French dairy 'I am allergic too...' card and wave it around, know where the supermarkets are and join the lottery. I remember talking to a coeliac at the and of the ride in 2015 and him telling me he survived the last 600 on packets of crisps! I would suggest a trip around a supermarket looking at product labels and memorising friendly brands and products though...

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2019, 05:46:13 pm »
I will use a dropbag service it I can find one

Ah, this was my write up from 2015:

Loudéac — 445km / 782km — bag-drop hell
This control is a war zone when you're in the bulge!  It's also a crazy control due to the hemmed-in nature of the bike park and facilities.
...
This was the bag-drop control in 2015.  Lots of American and Asian riders paid for this service.  Unfortunately, the bag drop was literally that — 1000 bags all dropped under a covered area to the right of the bike park, with no organisation and seemingly nobody in charge.  The unfortunate riders who were hoping to change shorts were faced with diving into the pile and checking every single label to find their own bag — the sense of anguish was palpable!


I think that sums it up  ???
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2019, 10:09:39 pm »
I will use a dropbag service it I can find one

Ah, this was my write up from 2015:

Loudéac — 445km / 782km — bag-drop hell
This control is a war zone when you're in the bulge!  It's also a crazy control due to the hemmed-in nature of the bike park and facilities.
...
This was the bag-drop control in 2015.  Lots of American and Asian riders paid for this service.  Unfortunately, the bag drop was literally that — 1000 bags all dropped under a covered area to the right of the bike park, with no organisation and seemingly nobody in charge.  The unfortunate riders who were hoping to change shorts were faced with diving into the pile and checking every single label to find their own bag — the sense of anguish was palpable!


I think that sums it up  ???

They will sort that out this year though right, I mean the event's been going since 1891 that's plenty of time to iron out the bugs...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2019, 10:22:48 pm »
Make sure your drop bag is uniquely coloured and it all gets much easier.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2019, 10:27:28 pm »
Is there going to be any sort of bag drop facility this year?

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2019, 11:21:54 pm »
Baxters are offering one, but ACP don't get involved in bag drops.

Tomsk

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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 08:07:37 am »
I'll be carrying my drop bag with me, and riding my support vehicle. You'll see some very distressed riders and helpers when it all goes wrong for them. Keep it simple. [Riding fixed is recommended, but optional.]

If you have special dietary needs then carrying an extra pannier of rations surely makes sense? The small weight penalty [a few pounds added to rider, plus bike and luggage] might slow you a little, but will save stress and maybe a lot of time looking for what you need? Reminds me of Josie Dew's LEJOG tale, living off little more than an enormous bag of porridge oats.

frankly frankie

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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 11:12:32 am »
The French don't suffer coeliacs disease as much as celts (it's an Irish disease in origin) so have a harder time understanding why it's a real thing ...

Plenty of Celts in Brittany.  Just sayin'
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 11:26:43 am »
The French don't suffer coeliacs disease as much as celts (it's an Irish disease in origin) so have a harder time understanding why it's a real thing ...

Plenty of Celts in Brittany.  Just sayin'

Quote
Ireland was first settled 9,000 years ago and the first farmers arrived 6,000 years ago. Irish agriculture became dominated by pasture. Milk products were central to the Irish diet. Although cereal was eaten, it was largely in the form of oats. Ireland's basic human genetic stock was established 5,000 years ago and has remained relatively homogenous and distinct ever since.
The diet of the planters of the 16th and 17th century was cereal-based. The planter farmers displaced the native Irish to poor land where tillage was difficult. Commercialisation also made dairy products and oats more expensive and these items were progressively lost from the diet of the poor. The potato became important. Oats were the only cereal and source of gluten consumed before the Famine. Wheaten bread became a staple of the Irish diet only with the dietary changes that followed the Famine and the Irish diet now differs little from elsewhere in the western world.
From prehistory until relatively recently, the Irish diet has been very low in gluten. This allowed gluten-intolerant genetic traits to persist. Our relatively high incidence of coeliac disease is explained by our dietary past.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/how-irish-diets-of-the-past-affect-the-present-1.1054583

The food on PBP is the Norman and Breton interpretation of what the rest of France expects, while showcasing local produce. So it's generic school meals in the canteens, and regional sausages with white bread or buckwheat pancakes on the stalls outside. At all times it's possible to get a ham and cheese sandwich, with lots of butter on it. It's very difficult to get one without the ham, as that would be an insult to visitors. It's a cultural thing.

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 11:47:12 am »
What about one without the cheese? Although simple baguette with butter would be fine.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2019, 02:22:59 pm »
What about one without the cheese? Although simple baguette with butter would be fine.

You might have thought that would be easy. One tip for PBP is to pay attention to cardboard signs at controls. They reflect the ad-hoc solutions to problems as they arise. We have evidence for this stuff.


Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2019, 09:03:43 am »
I'll be carrying my drop bag with me, and riding my support vehicle. You'll see some very distressed riders and helpers when it all goes wrong for them. Keep it simple. [Riding fixed is recommended, but optional.]

If you have special dietary needs then carrying an extra pannier of rations surely makes sense? The small weight penalty [a few pounds added to rider, plus bike and luggage] might slow you a little, but will save stress and maybe a lot of time looking for what you need? Reminds me of Josie Dew's LEJOG tale, living off little more than an enormous bag of porridge oats.

Hi Tom - just the word pannier brings me out in a rash ;-)  No really, it's a balance. I know that I can get by if I really had to but the drop bag gives me a another option, basically GF Muesli and Bread at about the right time. Will also save me having to buy a new dynamo wheel! Like you I will be on finger food through night one. I am experimenting with powder food like Complan (it still exists!) and Huel for emergencies - these weigh nothing, taste horrible, but will get me through a few hours if needed. And I know that PBP is not mountainous but the thought of dragging four days of food up and down the 'not hills' is a bit much. I will be restocking once each way at supers as well I expect.

While I admire your fortitude and preparation and commitment to the UK ethos I am remembering the teams of Euro club riders and their vans and thinking that a drop bag is not exactly out of the spirit of the event. I am aiming for a 600 of stuff plus a toothbrush and 8 hours of emergency rations. As for epic feats of porridge fueled endurance I once was so poor as a student I lived off porridge for a fortnight... I am just not tough enough to do that for four days on a bike!

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2019, 01:10:39 pm »
I thought the "bag drop" was a misnomer and was referring to an ability to leave stuff in a bag at the start for pick up on the return?

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2019, 01:24:01 pm »
Hi Tom - [...] While I admire your fortitude and preparation and commitment to the UK ethos I am remembering the teams of Euro club riders and their vans and thinking that a drop bag is not exactly out of the spirit of the event.

I think the point you're missing, or possibly doubting, is exactly how f!cked up the drop-bag situation was in Loudéac in 2015  ::-)

Al, seriously, I was telling it absolutely straight when I said — "Unfortunately, the bag drop was literally that — 1000 bags all dropped under a covered area to the right of the bike park, with no organisation and seemingly nobody in charge.  The unfortunate riders who were hoping to change shorts were faced with diving into the pile and checking every single label to find their own bag — the sense of anguish was palpable!:-\

If the bag drop is the same this time around then you would be in that group of anguished riders, made worse by your need, because of your plan to rely on that.  It could be better this time around; then again it could be worse

In your shoes, I would plan to take at least the bare minimum with me to get all the way around unsupported; I would also consider sneaking some into Tomsk's Carradice without him noticing and then ride with for the duration  ;D

I thought the "bag drop" was a misnomer and was referring to an ability to leave stuff in a bag at the start for pick up on the return?

Nope — there's a "bag drop at the start" and there is a "bag drop" — the former is effectively "left luggage" and will most likely be a pile in the corner of one of the two registration "barns"; the latter will be hoiked into the back of a van and transported up the road, probably to Loudéac again, as that is just over two thirds the way to Brest, and so breaks self-supportedness into "convenient" 445-340-440km chunks, or thereabouts, assuming you can actually find your dropped bag ...

TBH, I don't know whether there were bag drop options that included Brest?
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2019, 02:35:31 pm »


Al, seriously, I was telling it absolutely straight when I said — "Unfortunately, the bag drop was literally that — 1000 bags all dropped under a covered area to the right of the bike park, with no organisation and seemingly nobody in charge.  The unfortunate riders who were hoping to change shorts were faced with diving into the pile and checking every single label to find their own bag — the sense of anguish was palpable!:-\

If the bag drop is the same this time around then you would be in that group of anguished riders, made worse by your need, because of your plan to rely on that.  It could be better this time around; then again it could be worse



The US tour operators had their customers' bags organised in lines, determined by the hotel they were staying in. Audax Japan had numbered identical bags. I got shots of the arrangements at Loudeac. I don't know how Baxters arrange their bag drops, that's for others to find out. We'd filmed less organised arrangements in 2007, and that may have coloured impressions of 2015.


Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2019, 02:54:50 pm »
Baxter’s park the coaches at near the controls at Carhaix  and Fougeres and the bags are in the luggage compartments.
It’s up to individuals how they use them.

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2019, 02:55:47 pm »
I used the Baxters bag drop in 2007 - never found my bag, and never got it back either.

But back to the food......

wilkyboy

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Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2019, 02:58:25 pm »
got shots of the arrangements at Loudeac.

Tidier than I remembered, but perhaps after 24 hours of rummaging they'd become a little less-organised ...
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Food/Liquids available at the controls & what to take.
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2019, 03:15:33 pm »
got shots of the arrangements at Loudeac.

Tidier than I remembered, but perhaps after 24 hours of rummaging they'd become a little less-organised ...

I think I'd put a cheap mobile in my bag, and phone it up, if I was going down that route.