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.

PBP 2011

Mortagne
Mortagne

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.

Leaving Mortagne, I think
Leaving Mortagne, I think

PBP 2011

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.

PBP 2011

Entering Brest
Entering Brest

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.

On the return. Only 400K to go!
On the return. Only 400K to go!
Somewhere on Day 3
Somewhere on Day 3

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.

PBP 2011

Gorron
Gorron

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.

Fougeres
Fougeres
A blurry close-up
A blurry close-up. Santa!

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.

3 thoughts on “All Dressed Up For PBP: The Towns Along the Way

    1. I thought about that, and I’d say no for a couple of reasons. The RAGBRAI route changes each year, and the PBP route really does not. Some towns do decorate for RAGBRAI and others don’t as much. Also, PBP is only every four years, whereas RAGBRAI is every year, so it seemed like people were more into it.

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