Category Archives: Paris Brest Paris

All Dressed Up For PBP: The Towns Along the Way

This is the latest in a series of posts I’ve been planning about the incomparable international randonneuring event, Paris-Brest-Paris.

Previously, I wrote about Drew Buck, who completed PBP 2011 on a 1900 Peugeot, a as well as the tandem bicycles (Post 1 and Post 2). Today I’m talking about the towns along the PBP route. Continue reading All Dressed Up For PBP: The Towns Along the Way

More Tandems at Paris-Brest-Paris 2011

After digging through the photos archives, I discovered more tandem shots worth sharing from the last edition of PBP. That is, they are not hopelessly blurry or otherwise terrible. Perhaps you will even recognize some of the randonneurs. Continue reading More Tandems at Paris-Brest-Paris 2011

Tandem Bicycles at Paris-Brest-Paris 2011

Events like Paris-Brest-Paris are difficult to unbox all at once. Some aspects can be, such as the immediacy of the ride experience and the emotions and physical states experienced.

Felkerino and me, bike inspection

Others take time to absorb and appreciate especially when, for many of us, PBP occupies a small space in between a flurry of other activities and responsibilities. It also happens after an intense period spent building our stamina through longer rides, including a full brevet series and summer training.

Ron and Barb, PA Randonneurs, on their purple Burley
Ron and Barb, PA Randonneurs, ready for the 90-hour start with their purple Burley

Because PBP is yet again peering around the bend– 2015!– I’ve been revisiting my first trip to this great event. Today takes me back to the 90-hour start, which began around 6 p.m. The “special bikes”– such as tandems, recumbents, and velomobiles– launched first.

Back to back recumbent tandem. They took the 84-hour start.
Back to back recumbent tandem. They took the 84-hour start.
Back to back tandem in action. Photo by Felkerino
Back to back tandem in action. Everywhere they went people wanted to take their picture. Photo by Felkerino

This was also true of the 84-hour start, where Felkerino and I were one of only three tandems among the special bikes.

Cannondale tandem. They took the 84-hour start
Cannondale tandem. They took the 84-hour start

This was not the case for the 90-hour group. Dozens of tandems lined up. According to the PBP-2011 results, 42 tandems (84 riders) were part of the PBP field.

Look tandem, returning from bike inspection
LOOK tandem, returning from bike inspection

90-hour start. Tandem

Triplet! Photo by Felkerino
Triplet! Photo by Felkerino

What a sight, all of these diverse bicycles in one place. Big multi-day events like RAGBRAI have their share, but many of them are not tested randonneuring machines, like the ones you see on PBP.

Hey, I know you! John and Cindy ride by on their Co-Motion
Hey, I know you! John and Cindy ride by on their Co-Motion

PBP tandem start

My head spun like crazy, trying to get a look at all the bikes while I dealt with my own nerves and excitement about our upcoming day’s ride. (Unlike the 90-hour riders who started in the early evening, the 84-hour riders did not clip in until 5 a.m. the following day.)

PBP tandem and recumbent
Tandem trike and matching pink caps.
Tandem trike and matching pink caps. Mark & Arabella.

It wasn’t just the riders and tandems from all parts of the world, but the luggage used for the journey. From panniers to Berthoud bags, it covered a wide range of choices.

We saw some builders that were familiar– Co-Motion, Cannondale, Bilenky– but many of the tandems that flew past were not any I had seen before.

PBP start

Another interesting aspect to PBP is that it does not require riders to wear helmets. I’m not saying that for any other reason than it is not something that would happen on a domestic randonneuring event or even most organized rides. It gives the riders a different look than I’m used to seeing.

Bilenky tandem. I believe these are PA Randonneurs, and were honeymooning on PBP.
Patrick and Cecilie from Philadelphia on their Bilenky tandem. I believe they were honeymooning on PBP.
Another shot of the Bilenky, this time from Felkerino's side
Another shot of the Bilenky, this time from Felkerino’s side
PBP tandem
Brouchard tandem at a controle
PBP tandems at the start
Sonya and Colin (left) with a team from VC167 (right)

I hope you enjoyed this PBP 2011 Throwback Thursday, Tandem Style. Yes, I said Throwback Thursday. Oh, and please let me know if you recognize any of the bikes (and/or riders) in the pics.

PBP Memories: Drew Buck and his 1900 Peugeot

This week BBC News ran a feature about Drew Buck, a long-distance cyclist from Somerset, England, who is famous in the randonneuring community for completing Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) multiple times on vintage bicycles.

Drew Buck arrives at PBP. Love this shot. Photo by Felkerino
Drew Buck arrives at PBP on his vintage retrodrive Peugeot. Love this shot. Photo by Felkerino

The article prompted me to search through my own set of photos from the 2011 edition of PBP, and I realized that Felkerino I had the pleasure of encountering Drew Buck at various points throughout the ride.

Continue reading PBP Memories: Drew Buck and his 1900 Peugeot

Paris-Brest-Paris by Tandem

Have you heard enough about PBP yet? Well, hang on just a minute, because I’ve got one more story to share with you.

Felkerino and I co-wrote a short piece about what it meant for us to complete this past August’s Paris-Brest-Paris by tandem. It was published in the most recent edition of American Randonneur, the quarterly newsletter distributed by Randonneurs USA.

Felkerino and me, with Rob Hawks on PBP 2011 (c) Antoinette Galon

Randonneurs USA members may have already seen the article, but for those who have not, we decided to post it over at one of my favorite blogs, The Daily Randonneur. Click on over and check it out. It will make you immediately want to buy a tandem and start training for PBP. Kidding, though I do hope you like it!

See you on the road, everybody.

2011 in Review: All Rides Lead to Paris-Brest-Paris

Now that 2011 is coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the year, as many people do. For me, 2011 was all about Paris Brest Paris, not just because of the event itself, but also because of all the careful planning and diligent pedaling it took to get there.

In early 2010, Felkerino and I decided that we would attempt to ride the 2011 edition of Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) together on tandem. Continue reading 2011 in Review: All Rides Lead to Paris-Brest-Paris

My PBP 2011 Story: You Have to Go to Know

Hey, readers. The Daily Randonneur, a mighty fine randonneuring blog written by this guy I know, is featuring my Paris-Brest-Paris 2011 story. Yeah, you know PBP, that 1230K ride that so many randonneurs rave about? That one.

It took four days to ride PBP, and another two months to write the story. I’m not sure which was harder. Wait, yes I do.

Day 3 on PBP, with Felkerino and Jon.

Felkerino has been rolling out the story in daily increments this week, with the grand finale going up this Friday.

So grab your favorite beverage, click on over to The Daily Randonneur, and take a vicarious trip to PBP. Hope you enjoy it!

Randonneuring, Twitter, and #PBP2011

When people first started talking about this new thing called “Twitter,” (which I know is not new anymore) I didn’t get it. I understood Twitter was supposed to work as a social networking tool, but social networking about what? What you ate for breakfast? Who cares about that? Twitter struck me as a self-indulgent waste of time.

Despite my initial skepticism, I kept an eye on Twitter to explore what the hype was about. Continue reading Randonneuring, Twitter, and #PBP2011