Author Topic: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019  (Read 19991 times)

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2015, 02:28:16 pm »
I’ve always found the hills near the end a bit of a relief after the mind numbingly dull (and on fixed, unpleasant on the derriere) terrain around Dreux.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2015, 02:30:23 pm »
Be ready for the sting in the tail in the Rambouillet forest.

In 1999, the last time I rode fixed – and I was slower then,  Jim Hopper, who'd already finished, was out inspecting the troops as I climbed past the bugler (or was he a bell-ringer?).  I waved and he shouted Gerronwithit!.

This time Damon was filming or photographing as I graunched upwards. 

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2015, 02:34:15 pm »
This time Damon was filming or photographing as I graunched upwards.

We snuck back in the wee-small hours, without anyone noticing :).

Assasin

  • It can only get better
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2015, 02:42:26 pm »
We put on matching clean pink tops at Dreux.
(Raymondo Kelly has standards to be met).
A welcome gallery with cow bells greeted us at the top of the last climb in the forest.
There must be some nice paparazi pics somewhere.
I think Damon was doing his thing at the finish.
Hard to tell with all of the sharp changes of direction to get to the elusive final tracker mat.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2015, 02:48:52 pm »
Willesden pink!  How the world changes.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2015, 02:51:26 pm »
I decided a long time ago to think of the top of the Cote de Gambais as the finish of PBP, and the run-in as a sort of epilogue. I'd put the timing reader there, and neutralise the last bit.

My plan had been to get my bike there to film the run-in to the finish. By the time I phoned Heather she said not to bother, as the finish was a big disappointment, and it was raining.

The finish was marred by the positioning of the rest-tent, which meant that the finish line was visible to only a small number of people. The old finish was even more tedious to get to, but it had the saving grace of the big mirror-glass building on the final straight, which meant you could photograph yourself. The old roundabout finish was fun, but it did tie up the town centre.

So my note to self would be to scope the finish arrangements at the beginning.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #56 on: September 04, 2015, 03:13:58 pm »
Yes that finishing area was a bit of a let down. It's almost as if they designed it to sneak everyone in through the back door without any fuss.

I think after doing 1200km we could all do with a bit of fuss being made over us?

Thank goodness Deano was there with his bag of beers :)

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #57 on: September 04, 2015, 05:05:35 pm »

We had real issues remembering the different controls after the 2011 edition, so have put together a blog post to remind ourselves.
http://blog.tandemthings.com/2015/09/the-controls-of-pbp.html?m=1
California Dreaming

Phil W

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2015, 05:35:54 pm »
Oh, and one to add:

* Make sure Marcus is taking part and you bump into him. If his cheery mood doesn't lift your slump, at least you can admire his shiny orange steed.

* make sure Rob W isn't taking part or an encounter with his slump may make your bike disassemble itself and quit all on its own...

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2015, 05:48:02 pm »

We had real issues remembering the different controls after the 2011 edition, so have put together a blog post to remind ourselves.
http://blog.tandemthings.com/2015/09/the-controls-of-pbp.html?m=1

"Surprise hills".

Hehe  ;D

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2015, 09:09:14 pm »
Another not regarding the weather:

-If the weather is ok at the start of the night, keep on riding untill you absolutely have to sleep, you never know if there's going to be a morning fog.

Phil W

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2015, 11:31:43 pm »
I really like the pie and gravy at Titeniac. So nice I had it on the way back as well.

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2015, 08:22:56 am »
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.

Well, you don't remember all your dreams, and a good chunk of PBP halfway resembles a dream rather than full wakefulness.  As it happens, I remember Bécherel but neither the church nor the mast.  I do remember etymological musings over Becquerel, béchamel and radioactive cauliflower cheese.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2015, 10:18:15 am »

We had real issues remembering the different controls after the 2011 edition, so have put together a blog post to remind ourselves.
http://blog.tandemthings.com/2015/09/the-controls-of-pbp.html?m=1

Ye gods, there's a restaurant upstairs at Tinteniac? I had no idea. (the snack bar had moved down to the bike park thobut). I never found the dorm here, although I understand there is one. I kipped under a space heater in the marquee.

In two PBPs I have yet to visit the restaurant at Villaines "Kids help carry trays down the maze"

The upstairs restaurant WAS the dorm after the volunteers at the real dorms shut up shop because there were no blankets .

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2015, 10:29:51 am »
I was the only person in the restaurant when I first sat down, outbound.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #65 on: September 05, 2015, 10:35:55 am »

In two PBPs I have yet to visit the restaurant at Villaines "Kids help carry trays down the maze"

This year, on the return journey, was the first time I used it.  It takes you by surprise.  Getting the food is easy enough, but then you're directed through a door, down a long ramp, and into an enormous room where half the town has congregated to eat, drink, and be merry.  The hubbub was almost deafening.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2015, 10:41:22 am »

We had real issues remembering the different controls after the 2011 edition, so have put together a blog post to remind ourselves.
http://blog.tandemthings.com/2015/09/the-controls-of-pbp.html?m=1

Ye gods, there's a restaurant upstairs at Tinteniac? I had no idea. (the snack bar had moved down to the bike park thobut). I never found the dorm here, although I understand there is one. I kipped under a space heater in the marquee.

In two PBPs I have yet to visit the restaurant at Villaines "Kids help carry trays down the maze"

I had no idea there was a restaurant at Tinteniac or Villaines either!

The dorms at Tinteniac were really good (small rooms - mine had four beds in), once you got through the hilarious bureaucracy. About five blokes who entered into huge discussions whenever anyone approached them, one Irish lass attempting to translate, and two sheets of A3 paper with bits of post-its stuck on to indicate riders and wake-up times. The table shook every time anyone touched it, and the bits of paper went everywhere. Also, the boy refused to lead me to my dorm, as he was expecting two, and there was only one of me...

Did anyone ever work out how to get coffee at Carhaix?

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #67 on: September 05, 2015, 11:16:39 am »
Yes: coffee at Carhaix was in the other restaurant, the other side of the kitchens to the main one; this was also a dorm on Monday night on the way out, because the dorms were full.  Immediately turn left as you enter the main door into the restaurant towards the First Aid station and follow the corridor to the right.

I thought I'd eaten at the restaurant in Villaines, but all this talk of "kids carry trays down the maze" leads me to think I was in the snack bar instead.  Perhaps that's a note to self:

  • Every control has at least two eateries — a café or snack bar for coffee, baguettes and croissants, as well as a restaurant for proper hot meals.  I've no idea how to tell them apart, except that in most case the closest eatery to the actual control position is the café, so you have to work for your hot food.  This didn't appear to be true at Dreux, where I saw only a full-on eatery, but my experience of Dreux is somewhat limited.  Also the mini stops of St Nicolas du Pélem and Quédillac had just the one snack bar eatery to my eyes.  I remember Loudéac also had a barbecue, possibly other controls also.

I was disappointed both times at Villaines to be eating pastry when I really wanted something more substantial — I shall know for next time.

Next time?!  :facepalm:
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #68 on: September 05, 2015, 11:20:36 am »
Off topic but prompted by Deano's query about coffee at Carhaix.

My cycling club (Cyclos du Poher) from Carhaix was heavily involved in providing volunteers & organising the control. They had a debrief the other day & explained the problems they had with food supplies. They had a professional catering firm to provide everything who then steadfastly refused to restock the canteen when things began to run out early Wednesday evening. Massive arguments behind the scenes but unfortunately the caterers dug in saying it was all about money to them.

The organisers were extremely upset & have issued an apology to everyone. All controls are run by the local communities and believe me they take it personally when it goes wrong. They knew that things didn't quite work out how they wanted. I said I'd pass on their apologies on here.

They also complained about the number of signs taken as souvenirs in this area while they were still needed. Anyone notice cyclists on their way to Brest going the wrong way on the main road leaving Carhaix?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #69 on: September 05, 2015, 11:40:52 am »
They also complained about the number of signs taken as souvenirs in this area while they were still needed.

A pox on those self-centred souvenir-hunters, I say. George and I picked up outward-bound signs but that was hours after the last Brest-bound folk were sighted and they were 'continue on' signs along straight roads, not even located at intersections.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #70 on: September 05, 2015, 11:49:28 am »
The organisers were extremely upset & have issued an apology to everyone. All controls are run by the local communities and believe me they take it personally when it goes wrong. They knew that things didn't quite work out how they wanted. I said I'd pass on their apologies on here.

Thanks Jacques. 

Personally I was incredibly impressed with the sheer scale of the controls and the huge numbers of volunteers who took part.  I was musing with fellow riders that it's impossible for the control organisers on an event of the scale and infrequency of PBP to get everything right, particularly as it's impossible for the controllers to practice until the event itself and by then it's que sera, sera.  And in each four-year gap the world moves on: new people, new suppliers, new technology, new expectations, so as I see it the control organisers have to start from very little each time and rewrite The Plan every PBP — an incredible undertaking, especially for groups of volunteers, chapeau to all of them!  :thumbsup:

Quote
They also complained about the number of signs taken as souvenirs in this area while they were still needed. Anyone notice cyclists on their way to Brest going the wrong way on the main road leaving Carhaix?

Ah, I did wonder about cyclists climbing directly up Le Roc on Tuesday afternoon, instead of riding the Huelgoat scenic detour: I thought it was down to a different route for the 84hr starters.  I didn't take away any souvenirs, apart from sore hands and blisters.  EDIT:  And a LOT of new friends and memories  :thumbsup:
RRTY #6 done; #7 aborted and restarted.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #71 on: September 05, 2015, 12:09:12 pm »
I had to go and get some riders who had gone off course on the way to Mortagne, because some arse tried to pinch a straight on direction sign but left it askew and pointing to the left instead. When I got back on course and carried on, the road was empty for miles.

Instant disqualification and withdrawn brevet for anyone found carrying a sign at any point on the ride should sort that out easy enough.

Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2015, 12:13:35 pm »
I think it's pretty clear with hindsight that all the volunteers seemed to be functioning to a higher level of efficiency than the all rather hit-or-miss technology at each control.
Bring back the swipe cards, I rather liked them  :demon:
Garry Broad

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2015, 12:14:25 pm »
Instant disqualification and withdrawn brevet for anyone found carrying a sign at any point on the ride should sort that out easy enough.

That'd just mean that only the motorhome crowd would collect the signs instead.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: PBP2015 - Notes to Self for 2019
« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2015, 12:22:08 pm »
But they won't take that many signs even if they did, which I don't think they would, as the threat of disqualification for their rider would be too much of a risk to take.