Author Topic: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link  (Read 8934 times)

Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« on: November 20, 2014, 12:43:05 am »
There's a thread  with the heading

Tips for PBP - Not the usual!

on

randon@googlegroups.com

I'm not planning on visiting France next summer, but do find that the comments are very interesting - both for PBP itself and randonneur riding in general

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 02:00:09 pm »
This the link to that discussion I see on google groups

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&pli=1#!topic/randon/SnqUG4txI5U

99% moronic USAian misinformation.  For example: several people claim it's difficult to find food and drink on the route??!??
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LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 02:18:56 pm »
I think those responses might relate to (massive generalisation) the typical USA newbie PBPer's tendency to overplan everything, combined with a lack of adaptability when things don't go according to plan.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Andrew

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 02:28:27 pm »
For example: several people claim it's difficult to find food and drink on the route??!??

In fairness, there are sections where there is little or nothing available... by other peoples standards or experiences anyway. Some give the impression that the entire route is lined 24 hours a day by villagers handing out grub in a very 'party time' spirit. That certainly is not my experience either. I recall sections where I could have been out on one of my own rides; nobody around and miles between mainly closed towns.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 02:36:40 pm »
Reminds me of the US rider I met last time, near Brest, who told me that her club was not eating or sleeping at the controls but instead had "safe houses" at various points along the way.  I think she thought she was on Petra-Baghdad-Petra, or similar.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Andrew

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 02:49:46 pm »
I think the only advice offered there that made me raise my eyebrows was "avoid the controls". The obvious aside, I would say the experience of the controls is part of the PBP package. I know what was being said but I personally wouldn't have said 'avoid'.

We all have our own experiences though and it is difficult to objectively give advice without flavouring it.

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 04:36:39 pm »
Lots of sensible advice there. I've been suggesting pit-stopping at Lidl in Gorron for the last two PBPs, picking up sandwiches and own-brand cola, so that you can use the buvette at Fougeres, which makes that control a one-stop-shop. I've checked recently, and that shop has closed down.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@48.4137418,-0.8305219,3a,75y,314.3h,80.31t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s_ZgqrVjZojMgcKDQ-q32zA!2e0?hl=en

If you move forward a few metres, street view is May 2011, and Lidl is open.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@48.4139086,-0.8308453,3a,75y,314.3h,80.31t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sO757Q5DBKtXZMePMFZlRiQ!2e0?hl=en

Netto is still there at Tinteniac, but it's not obvious.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@48.3286611,-1.8388465,3a,75y,205.75h,91.38t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1saNa_GeTNylXrsZwwVut8Cg!2e0?hl=en
Shops have been closing in rural France at a rapid rate. There used to be a bakers in Tremblay-les-Villages that handed out free water in the first night, that's closed and was in 2011. Bars are expensive, with a bottle of Coke costing over 2 Euros, 10 times the price of a discount store.

It's noticeable that some comments are from Australia. Their experience is like the USA, small fields and petrol station convenience stores. For us PBP is like going to Mexico from Southern Texas, a bit disorientating, but within known limits.

For the Aussies and North Americans it's like us going straight to Mexico and participating in a 5,000 participant 1200km ride. I'd be doing lots of research for something like that, and I'd be asking how long ago people did the ride. The time before last is 8 years ago. More than enough time for a huge megastore to open 2 miles from the route and kill every shop in the area.

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2014, 06:13:25 pm »
99% moronic USAian misinformation.

^^^ 100% smug British contempt.

recumbentim

  • Only 6 SR,s No hyper yet
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2014, 09:52:39 pm »
Learn how to stop your tail light flashing ? I must remember to spend hours practicing this?

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2014, 09:55:24 pm »
Learn how to stop your tail light flashing ? I must remember to spend hours practicing this?

Would help for some as it was an easy way to spot UK riders. Doh!

valkyrie

  • Look at the state of your face!
    • West Lothian Clarion
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2014, 10:56:11 pm »
"Time Penalties for riding two abreast" - never heard of that one.
World Class Excuses for Piss-Poor Performances

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2014, 10:59:43 pm »
It's ironic that we think they don't do irony.

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2014, 11:05:10 pm »
Much as I dislike racial stereotyping it's hard not to view those from the USofA as a bunch of whiny girly boys* when you read some of the comments on the Randon Google Group.

(*"girly boys" is officially sanctioned by the ex Mayor of Los Angeles Alfred Schwarzenator and therefore not homophobic)

Either that or each time I've managed to ride a completely different PBP to the thing they're describing.

No food? No water?

Food and water is available everywhere. I've never seen so many people outside their homes offering all and sundry food and drink (and moral support "Bravo", "Bon Route", etc)

And France has shops and supermarkets. Quite a lot of them. The chap who said they rode all the way through Brest without finding anywhere to get water needs to be humanely put to sleep. Or at least humanely refused a visa the next time he wants to travel outside his 24 hour McDonalds world.

I hate the general anti-French tone of their posts. France is not a third world country. They do have clean toilets.

But most of all I hate the fact that they've completely lost sight of the fact that randonneuring is about self-sufficiency. Bitching about the length of time you have to queue at a control to get a cooked meal misses the point of the undertaking somewhat.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2014, 11:17:52 pm »
I wonder what they'd have made of the endless discussions about the EU regulations regarding hi-viz jackets on here four years ago...

Mind you, it did remind me of an American rider who just couldn't handle the toilets at Villaines. I saw him open the door of one portaloo, look at the hole, shake his head and move onto the next one, which was exactly the same. He was still standing and staring when I scarpered, having filled my water bottle.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2014, 11:29:17 pm »
"Time Penalties for riding two abreast" - never heard of that one.

I've heard that riding to Brest is an extremely silly idea: it takes up 30 or 40 hours of your life ;)

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2014, 09:56:29 am »
There was a request from RUSA for articles about first time PBP articles for the spring edition of American Randonneur. So I'd expect potential contributors to be throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

Maybe we could have some sort of 'US Friendly' badge made up for receptive British riders, so the sensitive flowers don't get bothered. Then they'd be able to mention that in an article. The magazine's a good read.
http://www.rusa.org/Download/nl/2013-03.pdf

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2014, 10:13:54 am »
I wonder what they'd have made of the endless discussions about the EU regulations regarding hi-viz jackets on here four years ago...

Well exactly! I dont think YACF-AUKs are in a strong position here.
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

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2014, 11:23:22 am »
I saw him open the door of one portaloo, look at the hole, shake his head and move onto the next one, which was exactly the same. He was still standing and staring when I scarpered, having filled my water bottle.

...with what? ;D
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2014, 11:34:51 am »
99% moronic USAian misinformation.
^^^ 100% smug British contempt.

I've read randon newsgroup before and this thread is fairly typical

I'm sure there are many, many useful nuggets of information that inhabitants of the United States of America can give us on how to ride PBP.  But on randon these bits of advice are mixed in with all kinds of other stuff.  The signal to noise ratio is low. 

Sorry for calling you morons, that wasn't necessary
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vorsprung

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2014, 11:41:50 am »
For example: several people claim it's difficult to find food and drink on the route??!??

In fairness, there are sections where there is little or nothing available... by other peoples standards or experiences anyway. Some give the impression that the entire route is lined 24 hours a day by villagers handing out grub in a very 'party time' spirit. That certainly is not my experience either. I recall sections where I could have been out on one of my own rides; nobody around and miles between mainly closed towns.

There are certainly *some* bits where there is nothing doing for miles and miles, particularly late at night.  But there are no sections of 100 miles across an uninhabited desert

There are occassional people offering free hostipality in their homes + tabacs that are open seeminging 24h for the duration of the event.

My take is that anyone that's qualified for PBP should be able to think "hmm, it's dark, it's a long way on this next leg so I'd better fill up the bottles and grab a sandwich for later".  It's sort of audax 101
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vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2014, 11:46:12 am »
Learn how to stop your tail light flashing ? I must remember to spend hours practicing this?

It is intensely irritating to other riders and explictly disallowed in the rules

Some tail lights require a complicated set of button presses to turn off flashing.  This sequence is less than obvious after 30 hours awake, I suppose
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Cycling Daddy

  • "We shall have an adventure by and by," said Don Q
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2014, 12:15:25 pm »
Learn how to stop your tail light flashing ? I must remember to spend hours practicing this?

It is intensely irritating to other riders and explicitly disallowed in the rules

Some tail lights require a complicated set of button presses to turn off flashing.  This sequence is less than obvious after 30 hours awake, I suppose
It is also contrary to French law. The single file suggestion may relate to the law that forbids cycling two abreast in the dark, but I thought that was the sort of French regulation w that got ignored.
L
Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2014, 12:16:06 pm »
I did some study of national differences in key attitudes before filming PBP and LEL. Obviously information can only ever be general, but  attitudes to Uncertainty Avoidance are key in the uncertain environment of PBP. This is what Hofstede says about the USA, UK and France. There's a bit of a clash.

The US scores below average, with a low score of 46, on the Uncertainty Avoidance dimension. . As a consequence, the perceived context in which Americans find themselves will impact their behaviour more than if the culture would have either scored higher or lower. Thus, this cultural pattern reflects itself as follows:

There is a fair degree of acceptance for new ideas, innovative products and a willingness to try something new or different, whether it pertains to technology, business practices or food.  Americans tend to be more tolerant of ideas or opinions from anyone and allow the freedom of expression.  At the same time, Americans do not require a lot of rules and are less emotionally expressive than higher-scoring cultures.
At the same time, 9/11 has created a lot of fear in the American society culminating in the efforts of government to monitor everybody through the NSA and other security organisations


At 35 the UK has a low score on uncertainty avoidance which means that as a nation they are quite happy to wake up not knowing what the day brings and they are happy to ‘make it up as they go along’ changing plans as new information comes to light. As a low UAI country the British are comfortable in ambiguous situations - the term ‘muddling through’ is a very British way of expressing this. There are generally not too many rules in British society, but those that are there are adhered to (the most famous of which of of course the British love of queuing which has also to do with the values of fair play).

In work terms this results in planning that is not detail oriented – the end goal will be clear (due to high MAS) but the detail of how we get there will  be light and the actual process fluid and flexible to emerging and changing environment. Planning horizons will also be shorter. Most importantly the combination of a highly individualistic and curious nation is a high level of creativity and strong need for innovation. What is different is attractive! This emerges throughout the society in both its humour, heavy consumerism for new and innovative products and the fast highly creative industries it thrives in – advertising, marketing, financial engineering.


At 86, French culture scores high on Uncertainty Avoidance. This is clearly evident in the following:

The French don’t like surprises. Structure and planning are required.
Before meetings and negotiations they like to receive all necessary information.
As a consequence, the French are good in developing complex technologies and systems in a stable environment, such as in the case of nuclear power plants, rapid trains and the aviation industry.
There is also a need for emotional safety valves as a high score on Uncertainty Avoidance and the combination of high Power Distance and high Individualism strengthen each other, so to speak. The French, for example, are very talkative and “engueuler”, giving someone the sharp edge of one’s tongue happens often.
There is a strong need for laws, rules and regulations to structure life. This, however, doesn’t mean that most Frenchmen will try to follow all these rules, the same as in other Latin countries. Given the high score on Power Distance, which means that power holders have privileges, power holders don’t necessarily feel obliged to follow all those rules which are meant to control the people in the street. At the same time, commonners try to relate to power holders so that they can also claim the exception to the rule.

It's interesting to see how the USA differs from the UK and France.

http://geert-hofstede.com/united-states.html

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2014, 02:41:35 pm »
........... http://geert-hofstede.com/united-states.html

An interesting study of IBM employees from many years ago that may, or may not, be relevant to audax as an indication of human behaviour and culture.

I think anyone who sets out on a long audax should be aware of the uncertainty ahead of them!

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2014, 02:51:28 pm »
It's very easy to criticise those from the USA for not being good at being British.

Likewise it's easier for some Brits to cope with France than others. French attitudes can seem like OCD to us freewheeling types, but with an undercurrent of unfairness