This is the latest in a series of posts I’ve been planning about the incomparable international randonneuring event, Paris-Brest-Paris.
Until I rode Paris-Brest-Paris, the only other times when I experienced a high level of fanfare around sport in which I was participating was when I ran a marathon. People in the U.S. get excited about people who run 26.2 miles on their own two feet.
People in France get excited about those who ride 1240 kilometers under their own power. It doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow. What matters is that you go the distance.
During our four days of riding this event, we pedaled past many towns. Some were official stops, but others were towns that happen to intersect the route.
Many towns welcomed the riders with signs and bike-centric sculptures. I’d never seen anything like it and, in addition to making me feel welcome, I felt like I was part of something memorable and special.
Despite wet weather on both Days 1 and 2 as well as many miles of night riding, I still managed to take some photos of the roadside decor featured all along the route, and that is what I share with you today.
Where possible, I’ve tried to identify the towns, but there are many gaps in my memory so if anyone recalls the town that corresponds to the photo, please let me know in the comments.