Author Topic: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019  (Read 18775 times)

PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« on: September 03, 2015, 06:41:37 pm »
I think those of us who finished it this time, owe it to the Ourselves of 2019 (and anyone else who might be interested) in committing to silicon salient experiences and summaries from this time, that the audax Men-in-Black will blot out. This thread might... just might... prove to be a resource for the PBP2019 sub-board that will probably appear near here.

Here are my contributions, in no particular order.

1. PBP is NOT flat. It's a 1% ride (1230km laterally/11700m vertically). There's nothing steep, but the rolling +80m/-80m is relentless - for days. So pick hilly qualifiers. Don't stay east of the meridian. Do the Bryan Chapman (or equivalent) for your 600.

2. Learn to manage sleep. Do some overnight rides in the vacuum between qualification and PBP itself; they really help.

3. Emetophobes. You will see people throwing up. Deal with it.

4. Don't fear the desire to eat Spag Bol at 3am. Listen to your body. Your body knows best, unless it's saying "I wanna go home...." in which case, stop at the next place that feeds your weakness. You know... McDs, a Crepe+Nutella place, a bar, just something that says "I hear ya - you're hurtin' - have some of this."

5. Don't underestimate the level of SMUG you get from seeing folks still heading for Brest, when you are Paris-bound; Fuck Yeah! OK, they almost certainly started  later, and they're just doing what you did last night, but FUCK - they're headed West, when you're headed EAST. NUff said.

6. I mentioned the hills, right? If PBP2019 is your first - listen. PBP2015 was my first, and I was on the same bike as someone who had done it all before in 2011. She had no recollection of the hill at Bécherel. It has an Eglise, and a fucking great mast at the top, OK? If you do the Severn Across as your 400 qualifier, you'll know how masts-on-hills work. There are two on PBP - the one everyone remembers at La Roc'h Trevezel, and the other one.

7. Unless you're really into the Refugee vibe - book hotels en-route. F1s aren't glamorous, but they do have a 24-hour checkin window, showers, and a bed that will feel SO much more comfortable than a grass verge, and if you carry 21st Century tech with you, you can cancel the fucker several hours in advance, if you've scored a tow from a tandem.

8. Tandems. Tuck the FUCK in, and hold on tight. NEVER. EVER, waste a tandem tow. If they're going just that bit too fast for you, work that bit too hard to stay the fuck on, because overall, they WILL save you energy, and time. Don't box them in on the descents, tuck the fuck in behind, and hold on tight. Next climb, take the time (there could be a lot!) to get your breath back, take in the surroundings, and admire the backside of the stoker.

9. The hills. (You did that). OK.

10. Have fun. It's a ride that has history, and true adventure.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 07:01:41 pm »
Brilliant, and all too accurate (painfully so).

Just add something about the hills ... oh wait, you did that.
The other Robw, not the wobbly one

LMT

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 07:03:37 pm »
Ride a recumbent, these are made for long distance cycling and I was able (quite easily, average of about 108bpm over the entire ride) to maintain a consistent average speed of about 23kph moving which translates to time in hand which is sleep. 16 hours total for the ride, all I needed was a few hours in the afternoon back at the hotel after the ride and I was good to go.

More long distance rides, longest distance I done between the 600 at the beginning of May and the PBP was 112k, other than this it was tempo rides of about 60-70k three times a week. So when it came to the ride and I was about 400k in, my body was saying what the fuck is this? We ain't be here in while and it took some time to adapt.

More conditioning, stretching, etc.

More cross training, circuit training, swimming etc.

Would not change starting at 84hrs, only the one issue with food at Villianes (Paris bound) where they had run out of some food but the spag bol was very nice, other then this no queuing for food, no queuing for beds the five times I slept apart from Loudeac (Brest bound) had to queue for 10 minutes. The only times for me with the controls being busy were the last three as I caught the main 90hr field.

Buy bottled water for your bidons, you don't want or need the shits like some unfortunate folk...

Acknowledge everyone by the side of the road, give thumbs up to farmers who beep the horn in thier tractors as you ride past, see how many side fives you can give chidren at the controls (I managed five in a row), nod your head and say merci to the old folks clapping you as you cycle past.


Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 07:06:21 pm »
Note to self.


Start in Z.

.......I forgot. Ride a Moulton if you're thinking of taking the 21:13 Eurostar from Paris to London.

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 07:17:39 pm »


5. Don't underestimate the level of SMUG you get from seeing folks still heading for Brest, when you are Paris-bound; Fuck Yeah! OK, they almost certainly started  later, and they're just doing what you did last night, but FUCK - they're headed West, when you're headed EAST. NUff said.



Given the general grumpiness of your posts post-ride now I know why you looked so cheery when I saw you heading back and me on my way to Brest  ;D :thumbsup:
Look out here I come!

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 07:19:12 pm »
Remember it is fucking ace and have a brilliant time.

Be sociable.
Right! What's next?

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

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 07:20:05 pm »
Quote
1. PBP is NOT flat.

As said, it is down to what you are used to.

In 2011, other than the Roc, I only remember there only being one hill and that was about 15k out of Villaines on the way back. This was after qualifying rides that included The Wessex SR as well as other hilly rides. I think I rode the Brimstone about 3 weeks before PBP that year.

This season (and really for the last 12 months) I have not managed to do any hilly rides and surprise surprise, PBP had noticeable hills - who knew?



Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 07:30:27 pm »
I'll make sure that the subtitled version of the film gets shown on the big screens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FlblL27Ydc

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • 3x Brimstone ancien 3x Pendle/Tan Hill DNF
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 08:10:07 pm »
Do the stuff I did this time around.  I really enjoyed this time.  Echo points above:

1) My 600 was the Kernow & SW - therefore the only noticeable hills on PBP were between Loudeac and St Nicholas du Pelem.

2) I knew where I wanted to sleep and was fast enough to do so (back to the training hard on hills)

3) Make sure the celestial plumber had fixed the 2007 leak in the sky - wasn't it great riding in the dry and sunshine

4) Travel over on a daytime ferry so I wasn't sleep deprived at the start

5) Have a ready supply of indigestion tablets rather than having to forage on the route

6) Ride the comfy bike rather than the fast bike (which is a bit of a contradiction to 2 but I'd trained well enough
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 08:18:52 pm »
I think those of us who finished it this time, owe it to the Ourselves of 2019 (and anyone else who might be interested) in committing to silicon salient experiences and summaries from this time, that the audax Men-in-Black will blot out. This thread might... just might... prove to be a resource for the PBP2019 sub-board that will probably appear near here.

Here are my contributions, in no particular order.

1. PBP is NOT flat. It's a 1% ride (1230km laterally/11700m vertically). There's nothing steep, but the rolling +80m/-80m is relentless - for days. So pick hilly qualifiers. Don't stay east of the meridian. Do the Bryan Chapman (or equivalent) for your 600.

There are hills east of the A1- Moors and Wolds 400 seemed to test a few riders IIRC.


2. Learn to manage sleep. Do some overnight rides in the vacuum between qualification and PBP itself; they really help.
Agree.

3. Emetophobes. You will see people throwing up. Deal with it.
Missed that , thankfully.


4. Don't fear the desire to eat Spag Bol at 3am. Listen to your body. Your body knows best, unless it's saying "I wanna go home...." in which case, stop at the next place that feeds your weakness. You know... McDs, a Crepe+Nutella place, a bar, just something that says "I hear ya - you're hurtin' - have some of this."

For one day only, prepare for PBP by eating nothing but riz au lait .

5. Don't underestimate the level of SMUG you get from seeing folks still heading for Brest, when you are Paris-bound; Fuck Yeah! OK, they almost certainly started  later, and they're just doing what you did last night, but FUCK - they're headed West, when you're headed EAST. NUff said.
+1 -My strategy is based on get to Brest in the dark, leave in daylight. Just getting to the turn is a huge boost.

6. I mentioned the hills, right? If PBP2019 is your first - listen. PBP2015 was my first, and I was on the same bike as someone who had done it all before in 2011. She had no recollection of the hill at Bécherel. It has an Eglise, and a fucking great mast at the top, OK? If you do the Severn Across as your 400 qualifier, you'll know how masts-on-hills work. There are two on PBP - the one everyone remembers at La Roc'h Trevezel, and the other one.

Water tower-small hill, radio mast OMG. Ditto woodlands.

7. Unless you're really into the Refugee vibe - book hotels en-route. F1s aren't glamorous, but they do have a 24-hour checkin window, showers, and a bed that will feel SO much more comfortable than a grass verge, and if you carry 21st Century tech with you, you can cancel the fucker several hours in advance, if you've scored a tow from a tandem.
The expense of it all.

8. Tandems. Tuck the FUCK in, and hold on tight. NEVER. EVER, waste a tandem tow. If they're going just that bit too fast for you, work that bit too hard to stay the fuck on, because overall, they WILL save you energy, and time. Don't box them in on the descents, tuck the fuck in behind, and hold on tight. Next climb, take the time (there could be a lot!) to get your breath back, take in the surroundings, and admire the backside of the stoker.

No, I still couldn't hold on when you both hit the gas.

9. The hills. (You did that). OK.
The hills ,Esmeralda , the hills.

10. Have fun. It's a ride that has history, and true adventure.



Phil W

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 08:33:59 pm »
1. Do the ride there and back with others, it was ace and allowed me to be totally relaxed before the actual event.
2. Recliner chairs on the overnight ferry. You will get no sleep. Either book a cabin or drink then sleep in bar (the latter my tactic on return)
3. Cheap hotels are in crap places. Spent a little more on a nicer hotel nearer the bars of St Quentin.
4. Make more use of bars, cafes and pop ups on way out to Brest.  Virtually no queues, tasty food and drink, and good company (as discovered when I stopped at many on way back)
5. There's a Creperie 5 minutes after leaving Fourges as you head up hill. Brilliant tasty crepes and again no queues.
6. If it's hot during the day use the hottest part to sleep (if you need it) and ride through the night. Tactic adopted from Loudeac on way out. Sleep,in empty dorm during afternoon and left when sun set as other queued to enter form.
7. If you get an attack of the dozies, then stop and have a catnap.
8. Work out your start time such that you'll finish during the day (or whatever hour you'd orefer) based on how long you think you'll take. I had a long sleep at Dreux so I could finish during a reasonable daylight hour.
9. Not aiming at a time other than finish within time limit meant I had a great ride with plenty if stops at pop ups etc.  Decide if you are concerned about making the most of everything PBP is, or out to set a time for yourself. PBP confirmed I'm mostly in the former camp.
10. You don't need a plan other than riding by feel , keeping moving forward , and keeping an eye on the time when you get your card signed.
11 Help others you see struggling, believe in Karma.
12 At the finish queue for beer after handing brevet over, beer runs out faster than the food.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 08:42:07 pm »
WRT to 11)

Fuck 'em. It's a audax.

</Tail End Charlie>  :thumbsup:

It's self sufficiency, see? You can't have it both ways!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 08:46:18 pm »
I look forward to you harvesting your own food that has been grown on the bicycle to sustain you during future long brevets. That is self-sufficiency!
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Phil W

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 08:49:46 pm »
13 riding from Dieppe. The avenue Verte really is very good and tarmac'd. At Neufchâtel exit into town, bar open for breakfast at 7am with Boulongerie round the corner.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2015, 08:51:09 pm »
Hmm.  Lessons for next time...

1) Possibly book that bit of the Jollys as "Cubs-at-their-dad's" time
2) Have less Stuffs planned in the weeks leading up to it, in the hope of being a bit more organised
3) Try and find somewhere self catering with an oven :D

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2015, 08:58:37 pm »
I look forward to you harvesting your own food that has been grown on the bicycle to sustain you during future long brevets. That is self-sufficiency!

Hehe. We're already in discussion with Longstaffs.

Self-sufficiency also means researching eateries in advance. It doesn't necessarily mean stopping for every ailing cyclist on the route, although I totally get why you'd want to.  :thumbsup:

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 09:04:54 pm »
Buy bottled water for your bidons, you don't want or need the shits like some unfortunate folk...

Probably the aspect which most bothered me going in, having a well known weak stomach.

Oddly, despite filling up at the control standpipes and WC taps like many I had no issues at all - I didn't discern any particularly odd or foul taste to it either, something I'm also quite sensitive too.

Aside from one plate of pasta towards the end, I didn't eat at any of the controls though either. Maybe the bad tummies were related to canteen hygiene, or possibly something completely unrelated? If it had been something widespread in the water, I'd have caught it I can pretty much guarantee.
The other Robw, not the wobbly one

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2015, 09:14:45 pm »
Items I would take again:-
Travel towel excellent, better than the paper towels offered.
Small hotel size shower gel container so you can have a decent shower
Toothbrush (cut down handle) and toothpaste.
Ibuprofen gel. It enabled me to finish. I gave some Italian who was thinking of abandoning due to neck pain. It got him to the control and proper first aid.

Not used but essential:-  Imodium and indigestion tablets

I would not take a razor. No hot water to shave.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2015, 09:21:08 pm »
Yeah. We I had a metric fucktonne of Immodium too.

If you don't need it? Meh - didn't even know it was there.

If you DID need it? Hell yes!! Great decision!!!  :thumbsup:

Phil W

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 09:29:08 pm »
I would not take a razor. No hot water to shave.

I took a razor and shaved roughly every 24 hours with a little wash. It renewed me no end and I wouldn't unestimate the power it can have on your mood and thus ability to complete the ride.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2015, 10:00:32 pm »
Quote
1. PBP is NOT flat.

As said, it is down to what you are used to.

Jonah told me it is flat and much easier then the BCM when I was worried that the raw egg on the pasta pre ride food in the afternoon at the corner cafe would poison me. Very grateful for that kind of humour.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2015, 10:06:35 pm »
Quote
6. I mentioned the hills, right? If PBP2019 is your first - listen. PBP2015 was my first, and I was on the same bike as someone who had done it all before in 2011. She had no recollection of the hill at Bécherel. It has an Eglise, and a fucking great mast at the top, OK? If you do the Severn Across as your 400 qualifier, you'll know how masts-on-hills work. There are two on PBP - the one everyone remembers at La Roc'h Trevezel, and the other one.

I remembered (and was dreading) the hill up to Becherel from watching the Tour go past there @2008. But when I got to it I enjoyed it - it was a relief for a "proper" hill after the endless draggy climbs.


Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2015, 10:13:11 pm »
Around the Weald in January, Dorset Coast on the bank holiday, BCM for 600, Start in H. Sleep early. Rest before the ride, efficient controls.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2015, 10:19:41 pm »
Notes to self from a failed ride...

1. More, harder rides in build up, include proper hills
2. *Consider* drop bags with known amounts of quality food (GF issue) - could then mostly ignore control food which would be brilliant
3. I would also consider a small group effort with a very well matched riding buddy - essentially for a good pep talk or two along the way for those of us whose main problem is the mind/confidence/persistence game
4. Maybe take race bike not touring bike (nice roads, why not go a little faster if you can get comfy?) Got sick of being passed by people who looked like they were doing sportives! Or just take less crap. Or just ride faster (see point one)
5. Catnaps to Brest - 1.5 hrs total (I took 3.5, too much at my speed)
6. Controls... ignore as much as practical on way out.
7. I get really cold when off the bike, even in good weather - take a very light weight insulating jacket (350g top)
8. Practice. Redlight was practising 600s without sleep, I thought he was nuts. He finished, I didn't  :facepalm:
9. More yoga for core comfort and back. More off-season running and other sports to keep general fitness higher into early part of the season
10. Don't have a medical problem that cuts out four months training
11. Practice mental game. Not sure what that means yet, but I need it.  ::-)
12. Perhaps do some time trialling, think about Mersey roads - generally turn up the heat on the training and get a little faster
13. Do LEL, longer but has known food
14. A little more focus on doing the ride rather than being at the event 
15. 82kg max, not 86...
16. Leave GPS at home, fit a cheap reliable cycle computer, route is crystal clear. And wear a watch. No need for any charging or cache batteries then, less crap to carry

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2015, 10:28:34 pm »
I would not take a razor. No hot water to shave.

I took a razor and shaved roughly every 24 hours with a little wash. It renewed me no end and I wouldn't unestimate the power it can have on your mood and thus ability to complete the ride.

I stopped shaving when I started audaxing.