PBP spectators in Villaines, France
I just got back from the 17th edition of Paris Brest Paris, an ultra distance cycling event held every four years in France. I always say that I record and erase my memory of rides longer than 600k. I can confirm via official records that I successfully covered the 1200k course in a time of 86 hours and 55 minutes. My primary setback was a series of intense drowsy spells that left me convinced that I was pedaling in my sleep, but overall I felt strong.
First night. 1200k to go
Scenic views and slumbering cyclists
During PBP, I did my best take photos of my practiced obsessions: people, bicycles and food. Snaps of the scenic countryside are in short supply. For interested parties, here is visual evidence of my participation in Paris Brest Paris with some fragmentary notations
Maya. Organized first randonneuring events in Japan
Amused Breton bystander
Audax England rider (designed the club’s jersey)
Photogenic Bryan on his Box Dog Bikes
Pelican (SF Rando pal and AC stockist, Gabe, offscreen)
NC rider on one of the last Coho rando bikes
Duane Wright on his Peugeot fixie
Snappy French (?) gent riding a Gilles Berthoud
Riding buddy Jeff on his lovely Boxer Bicycles custom
Jeff “I’m having the time of my life” Tilden
Bill, Oregon rando pal, at the ride start
Charismatic control worker
Food is one of the great motivators in cycling. On PBP, you can forage from Boulangeries on the course for your primary fuel (for me, pain au chocolat and jambon sandwiches). Jeff’s strawberry tart was a visual highlight of one boulangerie which we liked as much for the free coffee. Fatigue and the need for forward movement often drove us to save time by eating at the official PBP controls. My photos reflect the matter of fact nature of this food.
One control from the finish
Jeff’s brevet card (so much suffering to go)
Sample view. Vanilla at rest.
Full PBP 2011 flickr set here