Post-PBP Funk and New Challenges

Felkerino and I spent the past year gearing up for Paris Brest Paris, and the ride was definitely one of the great highlights of my summer. Since PBP, Felkerino and I haven’t been doing much riding.

We unpacked, put the bike back together, and tried to catch up on sleep and stuff at the office.

Felkerino and me en route to Chartres (c) Greg Conderacci

Until this week, I had a strong craving for sugar and indulged in more ice cream and chocolate than I care to recall. Or perhaps I do… it was yummy! I was also perpetually hungry. Fortunately, my ravenous appetite finally subsided somewhat and I’m now eating regular, as opposed to randonneuring, portions.

I’ve found myself feeling tired yet restless. Felkerino and I put so much energy into our PBP plan: riding Tom Rosenbauer’s 1000K last August to build our confidence and endurance; doing a week-long tour in October; hitting the riding hard again in January; completing the brevets; and riding steadily through the summer all the way up to PBP. It was exhilarating, but I think the energy it consumed caught up with me a little.

I’m excited to start planning for the next event, but still feel fatigued from all the planning and effort it took me to get to France. I know that everyone is different. For some people, doing something like PBP may be just a regular thing, but for me a 1200K is a big undertaking. A 1200K in France? Just that much bigger.

I’m definitely feeling a post-event crash of a sort, and I’ve been asking myself things like “What now? What’s the next goal?” Then I start thinking, “Hey, I’m tired. I don’t feel like doing anything! Let’s ride to coffee and biscotti!” Any other riders feeling this way, or felt this way in the past?

I’m combating my post-PBP letdown by setting some fall goals. My first of these was to start riding my new Velo Orange Mixte around town, which Felkerino finished building up after we returned from France. It’s been an around-town cycling treat.

Velo Orange Mixte in Lafayette Park

Tooling around on the VO Mixte prompted me to also sign up for the WABA 50 States Ride which happens this Saturday, September 24. This 65-mile urban jaunt takes you through all four quadrants of D.C., and across all 50 streets named after states (as the name implies). As of now, I plan to do on the mixte, but the Rivendell Quickbeam is also a potential steed of choice.

I participated in this ride last year  and thought never again, but an e-mail from Rootchopper somehow convinced me that I should sign up this year. So long, tranquil roads of France. Hello, Washington, D.C.! If you’re going to be there, let me know; I’ll be on the lookout for you. We can talk bike lanes and baristas.

Coffeeneuring and the 50 States Ride = Yeah!

I’m most inspired to pursue the Coffeeneuring Challenge. Seven coffee shops in six weeks? Right on! That kind of fall riding that is right up my alley. And I can’t wait to hear stories from all the other coffeeneurs out there.

After that? Who knows. I’m looking forward to the good memories of PBP lingering, the body being fully restored and healed, and some great fall riding with Felkerino and friends.

And you know what else? It’s time for some more Bikes to Like! Coming soon to a blog near you!!

12 thoughts on “Post-PBP Funk and New Challenges”

  1. I’ve had a similar experience, had trouble being quite so psyched to work on, ride, or spend money on my bikes. Lucky, with cyclocross season here I have some motivation to do something totally different than long distance riding. So far, I’ve had good luck with getting some mountain bike miles in and doing rides just like you describe; shorter and casual that don’t require any planning or investment.

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    1. Cool that you ride cyclocross, too! I feel the same way about the bikes. My attention has been going in other directions. Might also be because some things got neglected during the summer months spent riding.

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  2. Great post, MG and it captures what I’m feeling too. I’ll share this with my wife since it explains my ‘blahs’ so much better than I have been able to. And Greg’s photo of you two is terrific! A bientot

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  3. I completely understand the let down. After my ride from DC to Northern Indiana I was restless for days (and hungry, too!). I missed the feel of the wind in my face. And found myself raising my butt when my car drove over a pothole. Give it a few weeks. Ride to a gurgling stream, pull out a good book and chill. Soon you’ll be ready for your next challenge. Blue Ridge Parkway + Skyline Drive? A week exploring La Route Vert in Quebec? Boston-Montreal-Boston? Oh, the places you’ll go!

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  4. Ditto. I thought I was the only one going through this. Its taken me 3 or 4 weeks to get interested in doing much of anything. The rando world doesn’t seem to talk about this very much. Hopefully, it won’t be that long until we all work through it and start getting excited about the next big thing.

    Dan Diehn

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  5. I think there is some physical reason behind this, but I’m not sure what it is. I’ve heard of people suffering from post-brevet ennui, but no definitive reasons for it.

    When I was much younger, I rode 200+ miles to go to a race. I was physically fine, but for the next two days I had a pathologically low level of motivation. The best way to describe it was a mental bonk. Fast forward 30 years, and a similar thing happened after my first 600k, but it lasted much longer. Interestingly, as I’ve now done two more 600k, I have almost no such effect. I had a blah period after PBP, but not that bad.

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  6. Thanks to everybody for their thoughts. I’m glad to know others have had these or similar feelings as well after a big event. I agree w/ you, Dan. I don’t think randos talk much about this, and some are able to keep going. Not me! Also, as you say Rootchopper, I do miss the feeling of being outside so much!!! Eric, I hope that as I get more experienced, that post-event letdown ebbs. I wonder if it also varies from person to person. It would seem so.

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