Author Topic: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link  (Read 7749 times)

Mr Larrington

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2014, 10:24:19 am »
There is a choice Florida ride coming up I think.  Key West to Fort Meyers (sunshine, considerate drivers, plenty of 24 hour food great support...what is not to like??)
L

Considerate drivers?  Florida?

(Boggles on both pistons)
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2014, 11:15:06 am »
I'm not sure that it is wise to judge national character on the basis of these postings on the Randon list--this was, after all, in response to a call for unusual tips.  I would say that the balance between parochial and cosmopolitan types is about the same in the US as it is in the UK--at least among randoneurs. 

Bill Watts

I find myself looking at a lot of these discussions from both ends. I like to over-analyse things, in a Germanic fashion, but I'm located among people who don't. There a resonance for me in some descriptions of US Southerners.

Quote
Nisbett argues that many of the cultural traits of the modern South can be traced back to the heritage of the population's descendants. "The Scots-Irish were a herding people, while people from the north [of the U.S.] were English, German and Dutch farmers. Herding people are tough guys all over the world, and they are that because they have to establish that you can't trifle with them, and if you don't do that then you feel like you're at risk for losing your entire wealth, which is your herd. This creates a culture of honor, and the Scots-Irish are very much a culture of honor, and they carried that with them from the Deep South to the Mountain South, and then out through the western plains.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/10/the-scots-irish-vote/27853/

Culturally I don't identify with the mass of people between the rational and emotional extremes. In the USA the academic tradition is heavily influenced by the German idea of 'Bildung'.

Quote
Most explicitly in Hegel’s writings, the Bildung tradition rejects the pre-Kantian metaphysics of being for a post-Kantian metaphysics of experience that rejects universal narratives.

In this way, fulfillment is achieved through practical activity that promotes the development of one’s own individual talents and abilities which in turn lead to the development of one’s society. In this way, Bildung does not simply accept the socio-political status quo, but rather it includes the ability to engage in a critique of one’s society, and to ultimately challenge the society to actualize its own highest ideals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bildung

So working to a goal through earnest enquiry is a US characteristic, more marked in those areas with Germanic/Scandinavian influence.

While to Brits, earnestness is a crime. In the US it's possible to get university course credits for it.

In the South, and in the rural upland UK, a respect for physical and emotional strength means that tasks such as Audax are closer to the 'natural' abilities of of the population. The same is true of Brittany, the Basque country and many other areas where pugnacity and toughness are valued. Look at Hinault for instance, as opposed to Fignon.

So my unusual tip is not to limit your potential pool of allies by riding with people who seem to be like yourself. Innate toughness can blend well with careful research, and the nature of the task sorts participants so that we are all more similar to each other than to people in general.

It's more important that allies share a common pace than similar attitudes. Paradoxically there's more potential for friction between those who share a language.

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2014, 12:46:18 pm »
99% moronic USAian misinformation.  For example: several people claim it's difficult to find food and drink on the route??!??

If there are 5000 riders at PBP, there are going to be 5000 different experiences. My experience as a 90 hour recumbent rider in 2011: people handing out water saved me during those brutally hot first few hours after the start, but the only food I could find on the first 220 km to Villaines that first night was a crepe stand 2 km before the control in Mortaigne. Even Mortaigne was out of bread to make jambon beurre when I was there at midnight. All the way to Brest I was riding surrounded by a swarm of cycling locusts, and I stopped in boulangeries that had nothing left to sell when I was there. Queues for hot food at controles  were typically an hour long, and the food available was high protein and low carb, not what my starved body needed. So yes, for me it was harder to find food and drink on the PBP route than on any other audax I have done. My unusual tip for PBP is to avoid the 90 hour bulge if at all possible, and either ride with the 84 hour start or on the very latest 90 hour start. like the free starts of 2011. I learned my lesson, and I am going back next year and I plan to have a great time at PBP.


simonp

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2014, 12:54:00 pm »
I'm hoping to go for the 80h hour group, riding fixed. This should make it much easier, they tell me.

marcusjb

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2014, 01:32:42 pm »
I'm hoping to go for the 80h hour group, riding fixed. This should make it much easier, they tell me.

One half of the first sentence makes a lot of sense when used in conjunction with the second sentence.  The other half, well, I am having trouble with!

If I am not on the tandem, then I have two options currently - go for a time whilst I am still able to, or do it fixed for giggles.  The two are not 100% incompatible, but I'd be on gears if I am going for a time.
Right! What's next?

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

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2014, 01:42:00 pm »
99% moronic USAian misinformation.  For example: several people claim it's difficult to find food and drink on the route??!??

If there are 5000 riders at PBP, there are going to be 5000 different experiences.
That's so true..

Quote
My unusual tip for PBP is to avoid the 90 hour bulge if at all possible, and either ride with the 84 hour start or on the very latest 90 hour start. like the free starts of 2011. I learned my lesson, and I am going back next year and I plan to have a great time at PBP.
That's a fairly standard tip, the interest is how to do it.  I wasn't aiming to do this last time but I ended up ahead of the bulge all the way round
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zigzag

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #56 on: November 24, 2014, 01:57:37 pm »
i'm also pondering gears vs ss. the times on my previous audaxes are pretty much identical on both bikes, and the terrain on pbp is very suitable for riding single gear (no steep hills). the disadvantage of ss bike is that i'd need to tension the chain 3-4 times due to wear/stretch, wasting at least 5min!!! :o

Andrew

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #57 on: November 24, 2014, 02:01:08 pm »
If every rider took the oft heard advice to avoid the bulge then wouldn't the bulge just move??? ;)

Don't overthink it would be my advice. Just get on your bike and ride, see what happens. PBP is so very do-able. Easier in many respects than the qualifying 600 you will have done. There's food, showers, bed, mechanics, speech therapists, feng shui advisors, pedicurists... well, okay, I made some of that up but you get the picture... every 80 odd ish km. There's street stalls and individuals offering food and drink. You're pretty sorted really. Certainly in comparison to other rides.

The most likely issues will be your in head and physical tiredness. Expect to get tired and disoriented, it goes with the territory, but you're not alone. You push yourself through that because that's what you're there for. It's PBP. And it's fun... if you don't over complicate it!

simonp

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2014, 02:06:18 pm »
I'm hoping to go for the 80h hour group, riding fixed. This should make it much easier, they tell me.

One half of the first sentence makes a lot of sense when used in conjunction with the second sentence.  The other half, well, I am having trouble with!

If I am not on the tandem, then I have two options currently - go for a time whilst I am still able to, or do it fixed for giggles.  The two are not 100% incompatible, but I'd be on gears if I am going for a time.

It was much less tough on fixed in 2011 than on gears in 2007. There are so many other variables, though. In 2007 I had a gear-related mechanical which would not have happened on fixed (or if I'd replaced my cables before the ride).

PBP's not too hard on fixed. Where it got problematic was the final day was very flat, and that was tough. But I was in a far better state than at the same stage in 2007, where I was seeing double for a while. And you get people coming alongside and saying things like "Fixed gear, Carradice, no helmet - you must be British!".


Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2014, 02:17:29 pm »
I'm hoping to go for the 80h hour group, riding fixed. This should make it much easier, they tell me.

One half of the first sentence makes a lot of sense when used in conjunction with the second sentence.  The other half, well, I am having trouble with!

If I am not on the tandem, then I have two options currently - go for a time whilst I am still able to, or do it fixed for giggles.  The two are not 100% incompatible, but I'd be on gears if I am going for a time.

It was much less tough on fixed in 2011 than on gears in 2007. There are so many other variables, though. In 2007 I had a gear-related mechanical which would not have happened on fixed (or if I'd replaced my cables before the ride).

PBP's not too hard on fixed. Where it got problematic was the final day was very flat, and that was tough. But I was in a far better state than at the same stage in 2007, where I was seeing double for a while. And you get people coming alongside and saying things like "Fixed gear, Carradice, no helmet - you must be British!".


I think I'll gear up a bit next year (75"+).   The spinning on the long descents caused me some comfort issues by the last day in 2011.

mattc

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #60 on: November 24, 2014, 02:20:38 pm »
If every rider took the oft heard advice to avoid the bulge then wouldn't the bulge just move??? ;)

Ideally we want to indoctrinate JUST the fastest 50% of riders with this "tip". That should smear out the bulge as much as is possible!
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: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #61 on: November 24, 2014, 02:23:53 pm »
I've ridden PBP four times, in three of those I've been in the heart of the bulge.
In 2003 I was actively supporting Heather to get round, and ran close to the limit most of the time.
In 2007 and 2011 Heather followed me round on a Press pass. I met her at controls and she filmed while I slept, and brought me food when she woke me up.
it's interesting to observe the bulge when all your own anxieties about its effects are removed. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the difficulties of getting food and some sleep, and to start making bad decisions. If you remove those uncertainties it's a lot easier.
It is possible to flirt with the bulge, as it's where the heart of PBP is. But you need a get out of jail free card, which is either pre-arranged support, or the ability to up the pace and escape the chaos.

I explored some of the problems in 2007. The video only gets watched before PBP, so it needs waking up a bit.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #62 on: November 24, 2014, 03:06:20 pm »
It is possible to flirt with the bulge, as it's where the heart of PBP is. But you need a get out of jail free card, which is either pre-arranged support, or the ability to up the pace and escape the chaos.
Indeed.

Or simply the ability to ride fast enough between queues that you can still get plenty of sleep.

God I hate those people!
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: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #63 on: November 24, 2014, 04:18:39 pm »
For me, the remarkable thing about randonneuring is the generosity one experiences, both from fellow riders, from organizers, and from the people along the road.  I am not as experienced as some on this list, but I have had the good fortune of finishing five rides of 1200K or more--PBP in 2011, LEL and Super Brevet Scandinaivia in 2013, and the Cascade 1200K and Ronde Alienor d'Aquitaine in 2014.  When I go into one of these rides, I figure that it is down to me to finish, and any help I receive along the way is an occasion for gratitude.  Like others, I find food and drink plentiful on PBP--I would say one needs to exercise greater care going up mountain passes in Washington State or France, or in the Swedish countryside.  Yes, toilet conditions on PBP controls can be trying, but that's only because so many riders are passing through--the good thing is that most French towns have public toilets near the church or the mayor's office.  And I actually quite like the ambiance of PBP controls.  When I arrived in Tinteniac in on the return in 2011, Sophie Matter was being interviewed with great flair by a local radio announcer, and the whole town seemed to have entered a state of unrestrained jubilation.  The inefficiency of PBP controls is only a problem if you are trying to finish in a certain time, or if your time bank is running low.  My answer to that problem is to try to keep enough time in the bank so that you don't have to worry about standing in line to fill your water bottle, but don't try to set a course record.  Finding a  happy middle ground makes PBP an entirely enjoyable experience.
Bill Watts

Reg.T

  • "You don't have to go fast; you just have to go."
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #64 on: November 24, 2014, 04:22:04 pm »
I think I'll gear up a bit next year (75"+).   The spinning on the long descents caused me some comfort issues by the last day in 2011.
What size gear was that on?
Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #65 on: November 24, 2014, 04:28:20 pm »
I think I'll gear up a bit next year (75"+).   The spinning on the long descents caused me some comfort issues by the last day in 2011.
What size gear was that on?

I used 70" last time.   Didn't have any trouble on the climbs although I did feel the Loudeac-Carhaix stretch a bit - both ways.

simonp

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #66 on: November 24, 2014, 04:32:02 pm »
I was on 69" last time, and I'd use it again. I'd not gear down. I suppose I could gear up but there weren't too many troublesome descents for me.

red marley

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #67 on: November 24, 2014, 05:12:00 pm »
I was pretty much in the bulge all of the way last time (see first figure at http://www.gicentre.net/blog/2013/10/31/lel). I don't recall it being problematic on the whole. The only problem I experienced as a consequence was not being able to get a bed at Carhaix on the way out. Certainly tails of hour-long queues for food didn't relate to my experience. Personally I wouldn't worry about that aspect of things.

As for riding fixed, I've done that the last two times and if I am able to enter next year will do so again. It's pretty fixed friendly on the whole. I'd have some caution in going for the 80 hour group though, not because of the time as such, but because it is much more challenging riding in a group at a faster pace if you are the only one on fixed, especially when other riders are not expecting it. On more than one occasion last time, I think the lack of freewheel noise and obvious stopping of moving legs made tired riders behind a little less responsive to slowing down. For the first time ever I actually received anti-fixed comments from other riders in PBP 2011, ranging from sarcy comments from fellow Brits (not all joking) to being told that fixed riders shouldn't be riding in a group with geared riders. Personally I prefer to ride either alone or with one or two others, doing my socialising at controls.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #68 on: November 24, 2014, 05:16:14 pm »
The inefficiency of PBP controls is only a problem if you are trying to finish in a certain time, or if your time bank is running low.  My answer to that problem is to try to keep enough time in the bank so that you don't have to worry about standing in line to fill your water bottle
Or in other words:
if you're slow enough to find PBP a challenge, ride faster!

;)
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: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2014, 05:23:33 pm »
For the first time ever I actually received anti-fixed comments from other riders in PBP 2011, ranging from sarcy comments from fellow Brits (not all joking) to being told that fixed riders shouldn't be riding in a group with geared riders.

That's one of the great things about PBP, people start saying what they actually think.

Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2014, 05:48:36 pm »
For the first time ever I actually received anti-fixed comments from other riders in PBP 2011, ranging from sarcy comments from fellow Brits (not all joking) to being told that fixed riders shouldn't be riding in a group with geared riders.

That's one of the great things about PBP, people start saying what they actually think.

Assuming they speak the same language...Otherwise gestures and tone of voice have to be sufficient, e.g if someone cuts you up or nearly knocks you off.
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2014, 05:53:38 pm »
I'm hoping to go for the 80h hour group, riding fixed. This should make it much easier, they tell me.

I rode a 67" fixed in 1999. Gear seemed about right to me.
My experience from last time, on gears on the 80hr, was that not all the controls were fully set up. Because I wasn't among the fastest, there were no vacant beds at Brest (again, still setting things up).

simonp

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Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #72 on: November 24, 2014, 11:25:38 pm »
For the first time ever I actually received anti-fixed comments from other riders in PBP 2011, ranging from sarcy comments from fellow Brits (not all joking) to being told that fixed riders shouldn't be riding in a group with geared riders.

That's one of the great things about PBP, people start saying what they actually think.

Plenty people were quite happy to sit on my wheel and not take a turn.

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #73 on: November 25, 2014, 12:56:05 am »
I would say that the balance between parochial and cosmopolitan types is about the same in the US as it is in the UK--at least among randoneurs.

If by parochial you mean 'small-minded', then I'd say that's been my experience too.

Of the two PBP's I've done, by far the most satisfying memory I hold of of both rides [apart from actually just getting round] is interacting with all different types of overseas riders - some you understand, others you don't, some you like, some you don't. But nevertheless, the International aspect of the event is really fantastic. I really liked that side of the whole thing.

Entering with absurb generalizations about any race is going to be a limiting factor on how you see people.
Take people as you find them, and it can only add to the enriching experience of it all.
Garry Broad

Re: Tips for PBP - Not the usual! -- a link
« Reply #74 on: November 25, 2014, 01:22:55 am »
I quite like absurd generalisations as an opening gambit in a conversation at 4 in the morning, with the first person you've ever met from Tennessee.
You have to mention Dolly Parton, Tina Turner and Nutbush City Limits, before moving on to Al Gore and US environmental policy. Don't you?