I will be offline for a few weeks while I’m away participating in Paris-Brest-Paris for the second time.
If you are curious about randonnering, a form of ultra distance cycling w/roots in France, here’s an NPR report on the history of the sport (w/a soundbite at the end by me). I’ll post a gallery when I get back, emphasizing custom bikes, canvas bike bags, roadside eats and wool jerseys.
In honor of the World Cup, I’m reposting selections from Frederick Humbert’s awesome collection of historical rugby print ephemera. Humbert’s flickr catalog and blog, Rugby-Pioneers, include photographs, programs, cigarette cards, advertisements and even hand painted lantern slides of vintage rugby action. Even if you don’t follow rugby as a sport, study the photographs as a guide to looking stylish in a sports uniform (blazers and wool knits in lieu of track jackets and sweats).
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 selling kerchiefs on bike inspection day. She organized some of the first randonneuring events in Japan.
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.