PBP 2015 / Paris - Brest - Paris Audax

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  • Also, what's with this thing about some Vedettes having supporters on the course? I thought the whole point of audax was self sufficiency?

  • Not just the Vedettes. Masses of riders have support, especially the French riders (easy to spot, carbon bike with saddle bag the size of an apple) often have their partners driving from control to control, meeting them with a cooked meal etc.

    As you approach a control, the streets are lined with camper vans waiting for their riders.

    It is a different way of tackling things.

  • Sounds like bullshit then. If I wanted to go and break the record I'd need to have a team for it which defeats the whole point of audax. Then again, so does having 'records' for events. Maybe I should stick to touring.

  • I saw the leading vedettes come into Loudeac whilst i was still on my way out. Most of the continental riders appeared to have a team of 3-4 helpers feeding them, cleaning the bike etc.

    Search for Chris Ragsdale's account of his 2011 PBP for some ideas on how he tackled it. (American rider who finished about 5th or 6th with a small support team in sub 45 hours).

  • I've definitely read an American's account of 'racing' the PBP. Let me have a look and see if it's the same bloke.

  • "I took the opportunity to get in a final pre-race pee–in a bottle–and passed it to the friendly spectators on the sidelines!"

    "There were a few crashes in first 10K or so"

    "The car pulling the trailer quickly cut in front of us and the trailer whipped into the lead pack and took out the guy right next to me. "

    "I hit his leg and jumped into the air, the guy behind me went over his bars and hit my rear wheel which was airborne at the time. Somehow I rolled out of it?!?! I have no idea how I stayed up."

    Sounds like WWIII

  • Yeah, I'm torn though because audax isn't really a goal of mine, I'd just be using them for more interesting TT training really.

    Reminds me, Nik Gardiner and Gethin Butler both used to use the Bryan Chapman 600 as training rides. (Both of them did it in under 24 hours too I think, Gethin definitely.)

  • Gethin weighs 66kg though and BCM is hilly, right?


  • I am getting more and more keen to have a go. All this TT training has turned my cycling into a very lonely, boring pursuit. At least I'll get to see some countryside.

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  • A support crew is not essential for a fast PBP time. Henry Kingman went sub-50 hours unsupported at PBP99. Have a look on the Wayback Machine for his story.

  • So are many of us thinking of PBP this year? I am more and more having my arm twisted to enter. My current level of commitment is "I'll give the qualifying rides a go and see how I feel" but actually I am quite keen. Those of you who have done it before, what sort of miles did you have in your legs for the year before you started. I have pretty much no idea how to train for this other than step up the mileages in the audaxes.

  • Wow! Inspiring read.

  • Those of you who have done it before, what sort of miles did you have in your legs for the year before you started.

    2009: I had a big season (50 AUK points, mostly fixed, including London-Edinburgh-London) but daughter born at the end of the year and so Audaxing took a back seat
    2010: Did a couple of 200s and a single 400 to allow earlier pre-registration for PBP
    2011: Only Audax other than the minimal 200/300/400/600 was an early season 100 that I've got into a habit of riding up to each year to make it 200-250km (depending on whether I ride all the way back).

    The rest of my 2011 legs were commuting miles. 80km a week in pan flat London come rain or shine. Doesn't even look like I did much around Richmond Park either, just 8 laps (80km) in 2011.

    PBP was a little tougher than necessary, I'm sure more miles in the legs would have helped. I think I had 10 hours of sleep along the way but then I deal with sleep deprivation very well. Took a shade under 88h.

    I also prefer to ride alone, or at least not in a paceline. I rarely ever draft (only when I'm utterly broken) but prefer to ride along side someone and chat to them if I do have company. This tends to put me nearer the back of the field since the people that work together will be going faster.

    My 600 qualifier was one of the hilliest (Kernow & South West 600) and I finished that with 30 mins to spare (having stopped at a off license near the finish to get some beers as it was my birthday) and 45 minutes of sleep at Bude. I did take gears for that one though, the rest ('Uts 200, Invicta 300, Severn Across 400 and PBP itself) were done on fixed (67"). My reasoning for a hilly 600 was that if I could do that within time and minimal training then PBP should be doable (but not a breeze!)

    But having done a 1000km+ Audax before I knew roughly what to expect (of myself) and that I would have various low points that I just needed to push on through. Based on my timings I think I wasn't completely well when I started as I got faster and faster during the ride and finished on an absolute high blasting my way from Dreux back to Paris in the sunshine.

    The more miles you have in your legs the less you'll have to rely on mental fortitude to get you through. The less experience of Audax you have the less of an idea of what type of mental fortitude you require, which will make it even harder. Of course, many people have finished long Audaxes with little/no experience, it just comes down to how bloody minded you are.

    I never really did any specific training for Audax. I just rode Audaxes, commuted and occasionally did some harder shorter rides (Surrey Hills, laps of Richmond Park) but, as I said, I tend to be near the back of the field but still finishing relatively comfortably.

  • Thank you very much indeed; this is exactly the sort of thing I was after.

  • I'm knocking out a minimum of a 11k commute to work along with the 3.5k commute to get home. As the year goes on I'll bump that up to around 25k in at least one 40k loops. It's hilly up here in Sheffield so it should set me in good stead to deal with the lumps of PBP.

    For audaxes I'll be doing the following schedule.

    Jan - 200k
    Feb - 200k
    Mar - 2 x 300k
    Apr - 400k + 200k
    May - 600k
    Jun - 400k
    Jul - 600k
    Aug - 200k early on as a speed test then PBP.

    I may chuck in some others as well and possibly lay in some other overnight rides. On non-event weekends then I'll be doing a bare minimum of 100k with a bit of focus on climbing until I'm past the Bryan Chapman Memorial and then flat and fast to PBP. I'll also chuck in some evening sessions once it starts getting lighter out.

    I did have a 20k each way commute leading up to Super Brevet Scandinavia which really worked for me. Alas that's gone so I've having to motivate myself out the door every morning.

  • ok.
    so if i've never done an audax before, can i not pre-register?
    and does no place on the pre-register, mean no guarantee if you qualify by the registration deadline?

  • No, you cannot pre-register. That's reserved for those that did a registered audax in 2014.
    No, there is no guarantee of a place even if you qualify ahead of the deadline.

    However, this needs to be considered in context. There are 6500 places on this event, an increase on the number of places available last time. That's despite last time not selling out. Obviously cycling, including audaxing has increased in popularity on four years ago. However, I'm confident that anyone who hasn't pre-registered has a very good chance of getting a place if they qualify by mid-June and are prepared to sit at a computer around the time they open entries.

  • :)

  • Do you have the link handy?

  • So, DNS the first 200k, but it turns out I can do any of the longer, BRM rides in its place, all the way to May 10th..

    200km 1st Jan to 10th May
    300km 4th April to 24th May
    400km 18th April to 7th June
    600km 8th May to 28th June


    Severn Across on May 9th might be cutting it a little fine..

  • I assume though that if you do a 400 in place of a 200 then you just have to do 2 400s?

  • Yeah, of course you still have to do the 400. But doing a 300/400 instead of a 200 ain't no big thang.

  • Yup.

    Right, going to go and sort bike, then do some planning.

    Think my riding partner showed more gumption today and rode. I should probably have done so. Feel much better today.

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PBP 2015 / Paris - Brest - Paris Audax

Posted by Avatar for The_Seldom_Killer @The_Seldom_Killer