Author Topic: PBP 2019 - Notes to self  (Read 8147 times)

PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« on: August 22, 2019, 04:57:36 pm »
Notes to self should you ever return to this ride.

Ferry

The Newhaven / Dieppe crossing is short. To make the most of the cabin,retire to bed as soon as you get on. Not after sitting in bar drinking till after ferry sets sail. Turn volume down in room ship speaker to 0 / 1. Cabin has cupboard space, shower and toilet.

If no cabin, bring mat, sleeping liner, and something for pillow. You can get a good sleep under stairs, on deck 6 below bar level. Claim spot as soon as you get on.

Ride down.

You prefer the ride down over two days and this allows some contingency in case of gut problems. You don't need to ride down in one. Ditto for ride back.  Don't make this an extension of the long PBP ride days. The route you planned worked well so can stick with that. On way back it was hilly between Gisors and Forges des Eaux, but very flat along Voie Verte from Gasny to Gisors (not planned route but alternate taken on way back)

Bivvy

If riding down bring some form of lightweight bivvy with sleeping mat, weatherproof outer, warmer liner, and something for pillow. Alternately bring lightest tent.  Gives great flexibility of sleeping somewhere for free if riding down or somewhere to go if you retire early.

Driving down.

If you drive down bring a tent and stove and book a parking space. A number if riders pitched small tents behind where their cars were parked in Sheepfold.

Bike Check.

Book a late bike check. Not only are the queues non existent, but gives you more of Sat to complete the ride down.

Clothing

Bring padded liners and shorts if riding upright.  Easier to carry extra spare liners and easier all round if you have gut issues. Alpha direct top too warm apart from depth of night. Vapour rise top is better suited.

PBP medium gilet fits well when your weight is around 12st. You are size large LEL 17 jersey.

Strong preference for more merino as about the only clothing that stayed smelling fresh towards the end.

Start

Stick with 90hr starts. The 84 hr riders you saw on ride back were spread into small groups in less than 100km and hardly any people out to cheer them on. If on recumbent you'll be stuck with 90 HR start anyway.

Which type of bike?

Strong preference for recumbent if I'm to return. The PBP rolling terrain suits it.

Food

Go get food early on the Sunday and don't order something else if no pasta, go find another restaurant.

The Carrefour City store in the Rambouillet centre has a customer microwave. So if all else fails buy one of their pasta meals and heat it up.  Take your spork next time.

Pray to the anti gut problems Gods

Mechanicals

Check BB before ride, maybe even removing regreasing, and retightening up. Check tension screws on SPD pedals , if they fall out (which they did on right pedal) you won't be able to securely clip in on that side of pedal. Consider the trade off between more robust tyres and need to carry spare tubes. The former may eliminate the need for the latter, reducing to patch kit, and freeing up space in rack pack.

Be SPD sandal curious. Are they are better option for long rides?


marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 06:36:00 pm »
Do more than 3378km in the year of your next PBP.  Being unfit made that hard work indeed. Mental fortitude will get you so far but soon, the balance will tip.

(I know pure miles are not an indicator of fitness, but it's one of the few metrics I have!).

Weigh 58kg like usual - I've struggled to get to 60kg this year (having been the heaviest i have ever been at 63 over spring) - don't laugh, it all makes a difference and proportionally, a lot more!

Be in the earliest group possible - it does make a massive difference (2 PBPs starting from the back of the 90s versus this one starting at the front) (2011 - cleared the bulge by 300km but was riding 3-4+ kph faster on average; 2015 - I did not care about times, I was on fixed, had hotels, enjoyed the bulge a bit, but also had the speed to lounge about at controls and cafes)
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 09:05:19 pm »
You know those new pedals in the box in the garage ? Might have been worth fitting them. Would have been game over if a bike shop had not been about a k away.

Also, take a bit more time next time. Enjoy the food, take photos and talk to more people.

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 09:10:09 pm »
Weigh 58kg like usual - I've struggled to get to 60kg this year (having been the heaviest i have ever been at 63 over spring) - don't laugh, it all makes a difference and proportionally, a lot more!

I know I shouldn't bite, but...

Jesus wept! Have you any idea what it's like to weigh 100kg? And ride a 20kg bike? And then foolishly choose to haul 10+ kg of luggage?

I look at some people and I wonder why they even bother. They/their bike weighs so little it's barely a challenge for them.

[bite over...]

 ;D
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

αdαmsκι

  • Twitter @Dr_AAY Instagram @ucfaaay Strava @ucfaaay
  • Look haggard. It sells.
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 11:17:51 pm »
You know those new pedals in the box in the garage ? Might have been worth fitting them. Would have been game over if a bike shop had not been about a k away.


Do tell!
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2019, 01:17:46 am »
Sleep

Bank as much as you can. Pack the night before. Sleep through breakfast. Look at opportunities to sleep during the ride if you have time in hand. Otherwise it will catch up with you.

Pack

Bring less stuff. You won't need a spare tyre, and someone will give you the one you've been lugging in the unlikely case that you do. You don't need a million tools - there are pro mechanics at every stop. You don't need a lock. You won't have time or presence of mind to brush your teeth or change your outfit.

Cash

Bring lots of cash - small notes and coins.

Mudguards

It didn't rain for more than a few minutes, but if it had, I wouldn't have wanted to be without them. Waterproof bags too.

Test exact bike setup

If your plan is "I'm going to be riding my usual bike, but with X change for PBP", you absolutely have to test X before the ride. Or it will bite you.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 02:24:45 am »
Accommodation
- have somewhere you can stay until a couple of hours before, also means can leave stuff behind

Stuff carried
- didn't use tools, lucky
- spare tyre, may need on ride home otherwise you should be able to boot a tyre problem to the next control
- coke and water in distinguishable from expensive powdery shit, something to try out on 200s
- suncream, small bottle was empty middle of second day, take 2 as French pharmacies only have spray bottles of 30 and 50
- wash kit, you survived without a wash as you didn't have time for one.
- spare kit, replace with merino layer options and a spare pair of shorts
- bog roll, French town bogs don't have toilet paper, practice using them properly or carry a few more packs of tissues, also useful when your rhinitis kicks in as you've not taken meds for 3 days
-

Travel
- touring down Was enjoyable, will find out how the retour feels in a couple of days
- light sleeper, consider less time efficient day trains and ferries

On the road - other riders (or stereotyping for safety)
- there will be utter twats out there, avoid.
- tall Dutch riders don't appear to do high speed twisty descents, liability to you even though they are good for the tow on the flat and slight climbs
- Japanese groups/riders are variable, some are really good, others you will wonder if they've ever been on a bike before, avoid unless get chance to assess
-- also most noted for white line following on the first night...
-- also noted for containing rider who when in a line passing you, pulled out, sat up doing no hands on mtb losing speed rapidly... Riders beside got the message quick enough thankfully
-- also noted for being riders you were most likely to turn Weegie on, see above...
- American groups, do ranndoneuring in style
-- they know how to ride together
-- quick to politely point out issues like rider fixing bike at roadside blinding oncommers, your profanity loaded insult was avoided.
- Canadian groups, see Americans, but with added comment about relatives in Hamilton, ON
- French individuals
-- don't trust the locals routing through junctions in their own town, one of the loudeac riders went left side of the separation near the control and almost onto a bonnet.

On the road - the wayside
- controls
-- if café and or restaurant are near control then make quick judgement of facilities
-- ham on plate of box Pasta at quedillac was shite, but everyone else says they got a fantastic feed there
-- scope out food options for daytime better, best meal was the Mexican chicken from the takeaway just out of the loudeac cobtrol, but Service was slow.
-- self service options at tintineac were good, cheff was appropriately stroppy.
- locals roadside
-- mostly water and cake, often bottles left out overnight if unmanned.
--- use them!
--The one after montagne on retour was a good rest for switching from hilly to pretty flat, tabac/boulangerie after that was good too.
-- You ignored them early on but would have saved time at controls

- shops
-- use the open ones on the first night, big mistake not doing so
-- staff know what they are dealing with is knackered cyclists many not seeking French
-- Coca Cola is called Coca
-- dive into tabacs with spectators, you are their entertainment.

- language
-- save time by learning French numbers and useful nouns.
-- rural France has more time for you murdering their language, its their day job too.

- sleep
-- getting a bed would be nice, getting up off the floor is much harder than lifting your head off a table,
-- the lounger at the top of the roc was great!
-- don't worry about time in hand when it come to a 15/30m power nap, the benefit of the nap will be seen in how well you ride from there.
-- your ability to wake up just before the alarm you set is pretty good, but don't forget to set it again if you decide you want  longer
-- outdoor sleeps are more pleasant during the day,

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 01:45:40 pm »
You know those new pedals in the box in the garage ? Might have been worth fitting them. Would have been game over if a bike shop had not been about a k away.


Do tell!

Left speedplay frog pedal developed a little bit of play near Brest. It wasn’t all that bad and I figured it would make it home. Just coming into St Meen le Grand the body parted company with the spindle and fell on the road.  I asked the locals in town if there was a shop and they pointed me to Cycles GERARD on the outskirts. He sold me some SPDs, fitted them and swapped my cleats over.  2 bolts had to be drilled out.  I then the rest of the ride on new pedals.  Probably cost me 30-40 mins and 40 euros.  He refused payment for the work. 

I found his Facebook page and put a glowing review up.

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 01:47:43 pm »
I’ve got another one.  If you’re a little emotional after finishing and go and have a little moment, the volunteers get very concerned and think you’re going to keel over.

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 02:05:15 pm »
Haha sorry about that. You were hobbling too so I was worried you were in a world of pain.

After some discussion we worked out you were British, so I was deployed to see if you were alright.

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2019, 02:24:30 pm »
Haha sorry about that. You were hobbling too so I was worried you were in a world of pain.

After some discussion we worked out you were British, so I was deployed to see if you were alright.

Cheers, but I’m not sure that was me. This was Wed afternoon about 3:30.

αdαmsκι

  • Twitter @Dr_AAY Instagram @ucfaaay Strava @ucfaaay
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Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2019, 02:32:06 pm »
Left speedplay frog pedal developed a little bit of play near Brest. It wasn’t all that bad and I figured it would make it home. Just coming into St Meen le Grand the body parted company with the spindle and fell on the road.  I asked the locals in town if there was a shop and they pointed me to Cycles GERARD on the outskirts. He sold me some SPDs, fitted them and swapped my cleats over.  2 bolts had to be drilled out.  I then the rest of the ride on new pedals.  Probably cost me 30-40 mins and 40 euros.  He refused payment for the work. 

I found his Facebook page and put a glowing review up.

All very exciting esp as the pedal explodes but the crank keeps going round :o It would have been even more fun on a descent. Lucky boy. But hey ho it all worked out  :)
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2019, 02:38:11 pm »
Haha sorry about that. You were hobbling too so I was worried you were in a world of pain.

After some discussion we worked out you were British, so I was deployed to see if you were alright.

Cheers, but I’m not sure that was me. This was Wed afternoon about 3:30.

hah!, no, this was another wobbly Rob, yesterday afternoon.

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2019, 03:05:42 pm »
Quote
Japanese groups/riders are variable, some are really good, others you will wonder if they've ever been on a bike before

I passed a Japanese woman around 50 km on an ordinary mountain bike, riding with her heels on the pedals and her toes out at 45 degrees, a style beloved of people turning up at their first local social ride. I hope I’m not taking the piss out of a disability, but god knows how she qualified and how far she got.

stefan

  • aka martin
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2019, 03:43:21 pm »
Next time, be a stone lighter. It wasn’t flat.
Riding down was fun, with a nice route (thanks PhilW) and good company. But it burnt a match I don’t really have to spare. So drive or train.
Don’t use a OUI-SNCF e- ticket for the train back. The bar code scanners don’t work at the ticket gates which is a complete PITA with a bike and luggage.
Don’t oversleep at controls, but know that you can make up the time should it happen.
Take your time as much as possible and enjoy the company and the amazing support.
Member no. 152 of La Société Adrian Hands

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2019, 03:46:25 pm »
Haha sorry about that. You were hobbling too so I was worried you were in a world of pain.

After some discussion we worked out you were British, so I was deployed to see if you were alright.

Cheers, but I’m not sure that was me. This was Wed afternoon about 3:30.

hah!, no, this was another wobbly Rob, yesterday afternoon.

To be fair you were stood near me having a chat while I was dining, so thanks from me and my namesake.

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2019, 04:09:52 pm »
This is all useful stuff. If this thread is supposed to be a serious resource for future pbp’rs why doesn’t the community here maintain a wiki? I would have certainly have found that super useful - though I think the section on Canadians wouldn’t be accurate - I found them all to be super twats.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2019, 04:53:38 pm »
Quote
Japanese groups/riders are variable, some are really good, others you will wonder if they've ever been on a bike before

I passed a Japanese woman around 50 km on an ordinary mountain bike, riding with her heels on the pedals and her toes out at 45 degrees, a style beloved of people turning up at their first local social ride. I hope I’m not taking the piss out of a disability, but god knows how she qualified and how far she got.
I saw someone (though didn't note their club or board at the time) who was riding in a manner where their right leg stroked normally but left leg was bowed out with the ankle moving in a curve on left leg strokes.

I can't imagine that's conductive to long distance riding, my pied en canard gait and buggered right ankle cause me enough problems as it is.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk


Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2019, 05:54:30 pm »
Quote
Japanese groups/riders are variable, some are really good, others you will wonder if they've ever been on a bike before

I passed a Japanese woman around 50 km on an ordinary mountain bike, riding with her heels on the pedals and her toes out at 45 degrees, a style beloved of people turning up at their first local social ride. I hope I’m not taking the piss out of a disability, but god knows how she qualified and how far she got.

She probably finished. I saw similar riders. And passed them in the dawn before Rambouillet. It's amazing what people can do. Two Malaysian buddies rocking along on their Bromptons.. fantastic.

dubya

  • You can't stop the waves,but you can learn to surf
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2019, 06:13:29 pm »
Hotel
Do not use F1 hotel, walls too thin for pre ride nights. Got about 4 hours sleep each night, started at 18:30 and just wanted to go to bed.

Bike Check.

Notes to self should you ever return to this ride.

Bike Check.

Book a late bike check. Not only are the queues non existent, but gives you more of Sat to complete the ride down.

Completely agree. I rechecked the bike in the morning to discover my rear Dynamo light stopped working (working fine the day before) On inspection realize that connect tag become detached due to dry solder joint.  Rush over to Decathlon for cheap  5€ light.

Controls / Eating
You do not need to eat a full meal at every stop! Did this first two 2 stops. Just because one service is efficient doesn't mean another is.
Left control 1 already behind time. Spent the rest of the ride chasing clock and sleep, lost to both.

Bike park
Pay attention to were your bike make use of the number/letters not the relative location in the bike park, you may approach the bike park from opposite side - did this on Control 1 after visiting restaurant. (See above)

Do not leave a valuable or useful item on bike in plan view. 1 person had Garmin stolen another their pump.

Spares
Take spares of everything you have if you're traveling to start by car.  Leave all spares in car other than inner tubes and emergency tools, anything serious needs fixing lash it together and get to the control. Even if you have everything to fix it you'll be too knackered to do a proper job.

Kit
Try your full kit on 400 or 600.
Caradice Handlebar bag now known as TFB just didn't work well with my Equilibrium. Unbalanced the bike too much when I need it : 1) slow manoeuvres, 2) high speed descents

TFB
Also caused bike to flip over at control 1 damaging front derailleur, rear derailleur and moving shifter by 5%. Couldn't understand why my right palm hurt, now have a massive blister.  Check your bike fully after it hits the floor, with or with a rider.

Clothes
I do not need spare clothes, but should take spare shorts just in case.

Groups
Randonneurs are bad / dangerous group riders. Too many issues to mention but if you're used to a well disciplined group you expect certain communication.

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2019, 06:26:50 pm »
I wonder if those guys on fat bikes with 4" knobby tyres finished (in time)?

Personal thoughts for a next time:
* consider not to start (depending on how the numbness in fingers develops)
* 1800 is a good time for the bike check: quiet, short queues
* first 90h start group is good, if your morale can handle being overtaken all the time
* when cleaning the cassette beforehand make absolutely sure you put it back correctly, with the proper spacers (annoying if you can't use one of the cogs, doubly so when it's the 25t)
* bring savoury food stuffs, the French will handle the sweet stuff
* avoid the baguettes at the controls
* make a list of boulangeries and tabacs, forget about the restaurants at the controls
* bring toe warmers (instead of / in addition to overshoes)
* learn more French
* don't fret about losing time at the controls (I never had to wait to get my card stamped, and distances to walk were very reasonable IMO)
* make more stops in the villages where the locals have theirs stands

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2019, 06:28:23 pm »
Sleep

Bank as much as you can. Pack the night before. Sleep through breakfast. Look at opportunities to sleep during the ride if you have time in hand. Otherwise it will catch up with you.

Pack

Bring less stuff. You won't need a spare tyre, and someone will give you the one you've been lugging in the unlikely case that you do. You don't need a million tools - there are pro mechanics at every stop. You don't need a lock. You won't have time or presence of mind to brush your teeth or change your outfit.

Cash

Bring lots of cash - small notes and coins.

Mudguards

It didn't rain for more than a few minutes, but if it had, I wouldn't have wanted to be without them. Waterproof bags too.

Test exact bike setup

If your plan is "I'm going to be riding my usual bike, but with X change for PBP", you absolutely have to test X before the ride. Or it will bite you.

Why did I read the first word as "sheep"? Not that my beloved has the intention of ever letting me start PBP but reading the experiences is worthwhile (and fun, in a sadistic sort of way :demon: :demon:)

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2019, 06:41:21 pm »

I saw someone (though didn't note their club or board at the time) who was riding in a manner where their right leg stroked normally but left leg was bowed out with the ankle moving in a curve on left leg strokes.

I can't imagine that's conductive to long distance riding, my pied en canard gait and buggered right ankle cause me enough problems as it is.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk
[/quote]

That might be the result of having a replacement joint. I saw someone like that on my first ever BCMF and I'm sure it was what he had. I suspect my right leg no longer goes round in circles too 'since the knee replacement)

Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2019, 06:49:37 pm »
The first exit on the second roundabout out of the Dieppe ferry port really is the right one. Even if it looks wrong in the dark. Have faith. Do not lead 63 cyclists in a lap of the roundabout

If you ever need a hotel in Dieppe continue past cafes on left, and harbour on right into one way system. At turn at the end is a road full of hotels with a few displaying cyclist welcome signs.

Dieppe beach is pebbly but the quick dip was nice after a long ride.

Your cheap PAYG phone will not ring UK 0800 numbers when in France. Get the true UK number or bring your smartphone.

Consider bringing smartphone next time, to be used for looking stuff up in a contingency situations. Google translate in conversation mode,  is brilliant for real time translation if you have an Internet connection. Shame you didn't bring smartphone. Maybe just bring the smartphone.

A ziplock bag of salt tablets, rehydration salts, Imodium, stomach settlers, and pain killers was a good choice. But consider small brightly coloured stuff sacks as pulling out your toolkit ziplock rather than that from rack pack got tiresome after a while.

dubya

  • You can't stop the waves,but you can learn to surf
Re: PBP 2019 - Notes to self
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2019, 07:12:17 pm »
Advice
Take it with a pinch of salt. What works so invaluably to one person, is a time wasting process for another.

Couchette
Controls vary. One I used had thick blankets another thin sheets with a draft over you.  I would take my own draft free liner for next time.