Author Topic: Control/sleep advice  (Read 1658 times)

Control/sleep advice
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:33:55 am »
Hi all,

Long time reader, first time poster. Looking forward to my first PBP, and the material here has been extremely useful over the last 12 months preparing it, so big thanks.

Bit of a noob question, mainly based around control "process". I'll be riding solo and unsupported (with no hotels booked) so will have to rely solely on controls for sleep facilities. I plan on taking with me a really small sleeping mat, silk liner and foil blanket, so worst case I can use the floor somewhere.

But, if I come to a control I want to sleep at, should see if I can book a bed first, and then faff (control stamp, shower, feed etc)? Or do I faff first, and then look to see if a bed is available?

On the BCM 600, I got to Kings at 11.30 and then as beds were available, put my name down for one. I then faffed (shower, feed) for about an hour before actually going to bed (at 12.30am). Got woken up again 2.45am so probably missed out on an hour's kip compared to if I'd just put my name down for a bed after I'd faffed.

I'd like to try and be as economical with the controls as possible. I'm in the 84 hour start at 5.15 on Monday, so looking to get to at least Loudeac before sleeping. Rough plan is the Loudeac - Loudeac - Mortagne sleep pattern, although I imagine quite a few will be on a similar timescale.

Thanks!  :thumbsup:

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 11:49:38 am »
I've only done it once so I'm not the best source of advice but I don't think you can book a bed when you get there and then go off and do other stuff. You'll need to do your other stuff and then get a bed IF there is one available (there's a good chance you'll be okay on the way out if you'e on an 84 hour start time). It's not like Kings on the BCM where you get kicked out after a couple of hours to make way for people coming in, if you get a bed (I think) you can have it for as long as you request it, they will have some kind of system of system for noting when you want to be woken.

My preference is to sleep and then and have a shower when woken up because if there's a bed available best get in it.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 01:09:12 pm »
If you're taking a sleeping mat and silk liner (luxury!) I'd kip on the floor and not waste time waiting for the couches.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 01:32:18 pm »
If it's like LEL the person operating the beds will only be able to either offer you one straight away or ask you to come back at some indeterminate later time if they're full.

If the latter happens, the correct response is to go find a corridor or whatever to sleep in, or if you're not desperate for sleep get back on the bike and sleep at the next place. You'd only actually wait for a bed if you've got luxurious amounts of time to burn.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 02:02:12 pm »
What is the bus shelter situation like on route?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 02:18:59 pm »
Limited. ATMs, cafes and private homes are more common places to sleep under cover.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 02:37:30 pm »
ATMs?

Only country I've noticed undercover ATMs was Switzerland and that was in a bank lobby that locked when you went in so only 1 person could be in the lobby at a time.
It took me a short period of time to work out I had to release the door lock with a button...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 02:41:03 pm »
There are bank lobbies with ATMs in France - carpet is comfortable.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 03:55:54 pm »
There are bank lobbies with ATMs in France - carpet is comfortable.

Excellent...
Never noticed that before.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2019, 04:10:58 pm »
I almost always only sleep in controls at PBP but needs must. Most PBP villages are too small to have bank lobbies but some are big enough.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...


vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2019, 04:38:47 pm »
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2019, 05:37:40 pm »
11:30 at king's, Means your easily fast enough to freelance the sleep stops.
Eg
You may plan to sleep at carhaix but if it's 10pm when you arrive, it might be more beneficial to push to Brest and rest during the coldest part of the night.
I'm taking a silk liner and mattress too.
I'd make use of the stops at quedilliac,  st pelem and unofficial ones at Ribay on the return.
Listen to your body.. and all will be well.
And it's nothing like LEL.😉



Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2019, 05:44:42 pm »
11:30 at king's, Means your easily fast enough to freelance the sleep stops.
Eg
You may plan to sleep at carhaix but if it's 10pm when you arrive, it might be more beneficial to push to Brest
OP starts at 0515. Carhaix is at 521/693km. If it's 10pm when the OP arrives, it might be more beneficial to push on to Loudéac, because it'll be Tuesday.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2019, 05:56:50 pm »
Ah.. ok he's on the 84.
Even better if he's quick.
Bank up the hours and enjoy the ad hoc sleep stops on the return. The control times are tight on the  allez but relax on the retour.
My 1st PBP was also 84.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2019, 06:04:36 pm »
If it's like LEL ..
it isn't

  ;D.  Yeah, I’m going to offer advice based on no experience.  Love this forum.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2019, 06:06:42 pm »
Also always drink and eat before bed.
If there's queues for food I eat what's left in my pockets.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2019, 06:11:59 pm »
Beds are on a first come first served basis and you can't book a bed then go and do other stuff. I'd get card stamped and eat something before sleeping, because this will help with your energy levels once you wake up.

When I've gone looking for a bed on PBP I've always found one. There might be a bit of a delay. Some very busy controls (particularly Loudeac on the way out) will struggle to find you a bed in a reasonable time. I've seen controls full of people with heads down on tables, yet beds available in the dorm, so don't be misled by apparent chaos, take the time to ask if a bed is available. These people may have decided on a quick cat nap, or just assumed no beds available.

My experience is based on two 90h starts and one 80h. On first 90h start I assumed no beds would be available ever, and this was a bit of a rookie error. Since then more sleep facilities have been added at additional non-mandatory controls. The additional numbers might make things worse - play it by ear. In 2011, we slept at St Nic, Loudeac on the return, and Mortagne on the return. In 2015, when I was on 80h, I slept at Fougeres (return) and briefly at Villaines (return). That was it. Not for lack of beds, but for lack of time.



Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2019, 06:13:16 pm »
Last couple of editions, there was an overflow sleep control at St Nicolas du Pelem, inbetween Loudeac and Carhaix. It was about 495 km, so maybe a little less with the change in start. That would be a good target for a quick rider in the 84-hour group (bearing in mind that Loudeac will be bursting at the seams), and it's where me and my clubmate slept in 2015 from a 5.30 morning start.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2019, 06:49:16 pm »
This is a popular one. But the chances of it being unoccupied are low.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@48.1398712,-2.4604624,3a,79.5y,353.6h,88.95t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1svuX_llupEGuEKjoqWk3Qqw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DvuX_llupEGuEKjoqWk3Qqw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D84.51829%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en&authuser=0

I've used this one in 2011, quite comfy on the way back.

In 2015 I slept on the way out behind the oven of a bakery near Carhaix.

Actually, I hardly ever sleep at the controls, mostly I find a place somewhere on the road. An alpinist style sleeping bag is enough for that.
Regarding beds at the controls. The busies sleeping period is between midnight and 3am. If you ask for a bed at 4am you usually find one directly.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2019, 08:18:28 pm »
If you have your mat and silk liner then just find a spot and get your head down. If you decide on dormitory then card, eat first. Think the dorms were €4 last time. I slept in Loudeac Dorm during late afternoon on way out, mostly due to heat. Had a catnap on the Roc as I got early hours dozies.  On way back slept in field, reception area of Quedillac, and the dorm of Dreux. With your speed you can afford to be flexible and decide at each control whether to push on. A number of village pop ups also had mattresses and reclining chairs for a doze. For ATM lobbies you'll need a chip and pin bank card . Don't stay rigid in sleep plans..

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2019, 05:17:39 pm »
2015, late Monday night I just felt the temperature of the grass outside the checkpoint where a few people where sleeping and it was cold and damp, I then felt the temperature of the tarmac sports pitch, it was warm as toast and dry, so I slept there, a bit hard but stops you hanging about just resting when you have woke up. On the return in the early evening with the sun out same checkpoint, I did the same, but the grass was warmer so slept there. My next sleep stop very early Wednesday morning was just down a corridor next to some pipes inside a checkpoint. And my last little nap was at Dreux, just pushed my plate to one side and rested my head on the table to just kill some time so I could finish in daytime. Only thing I had for comfort was a silk liner and a space blanket which I never used.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2019, 05:58:18 pm »
At various times on various PBPs I have slept in a control dormitory; under a table in a control canteen; on the verge; behind a hedge; in a cafe; in someone's garden; on the floor in a secret control; and in a bank lobby. I have also seen people sleeping on the pavement and in the road, though I wouldn't try the last one. Generally I've had the best sleep behind a hedge and the worst in the dormitory - it's too full of snoring cyclists.  The main reason for not sleeping outside is the weather, it can be cold or wet and in such conditions it is better to sleep inside. Equipped as you are you can afford to be flexible as to where you sleep and there are plenty of options.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2019, 10:23:55 pm »
Agree with you about the dorms. Too noisy and often too hot. Most of the time, I am too hyper to sleep anyway and usually end up having a cat nap some time in the afternoon. On two PBPs, I have only used a dorm twice.

Re: Control/sleep advice
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2019, 09:28:24 pm »
Thanks all for the tips.

So in summary, the message I’m drawing from this is:

1. Faff then look for sleep
2. Worst case be self sufficient.

Seems pretty straight forward. I can probably manage that.  ;D