Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 Details Released

Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 is right around the corner! For those thinking about attending, here is some crucial information:

(1) The official PBP brochure was recently released. You can find the original in French here, and an English translation of it here.
(2) The event starts Sunday afternoon/evening, August 18, 2019 and wraps up on Thursday (depending on your start time).
(3) For veterans, the format of the ride is essentially unchanged from 2015. Details are in the brochure.
(4) Prequalification is again being offered (and I recommend it). This means that your registration priority — when you are allowed to register — is based on the longest ACP/RM event you complete in 2018. If you haven’t yet done any randonneuring and are considering PBP, I recommend doing at least a 200K this year to give yourself some advantage in the queue (and, of course, to make sure that you actually enjoy this sort of thing). We have ACP events in July and August; check the registration page.
(5) It’s never too early to start planning your trip and your training. See articles I’ve written on those subjects here (planning; travel), here (training); here (choosing your start time); and here (group riding skills).
(6) I’m planning to attend, and this will be my fifth PBP (I’ve completed PBP-randonneur three times and PBP-audax once). Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the event; glad to help.
Paul

600K Update

All–

Hope you’re excited for the 600K this weekend! I rode in on Tues/Weds, and it’s a nice route. The weather looks dry for the most part, albeit a bit windy. Here is the latest on the proceedings this weekend:

1. I updated the cue sheet with a few minor changes that I noticed on the route regarding road signage and road conditions (much improved over prior years, especially in Clay County). There were no substantive changes to the route — it’s the same roads as the version that was posted on 4/16.

2. There is one major change to the info on the old cue sheet, which is that the Pack-a-Sack in Silver Springs now closes at 9:55pm (seriously, not 10pm!) instead of 11pm, which is what it had been for years. This means that if you are riding a pace where you will complete the first 400K in more than about 20 hours, you need to be thinking seriously about stopping in Salt Springs before those stores close at 11pm to ensure that you have sufficient food/water to ride the last 51 miles back to Tavares. If the Pack-a-Sack is closed for you, then there is NOTHING on route in that last 51 miles for services. Prepare for this!

3. Related to #2, it is possible to arrive in Salt Springs after 11pm — when everything there is closed — and to still finish the route on time. This would be a 400K time of approximately 23 hours. If you think that there is any possibility that you might be on that pace, you need to make sure that you leave Interlachen (78 miles to go) sufficiently supplied to ride all the way back to Tavares. Over the years, a few people have been in this position and they finished successfully because they were prepared for it. The short version is, keep an eye on your pace and your projected ETA in Tavares and make sure that you have sufficient supplies to make it back!

4. There was an error on the Events page indicating that the second day was the Swamp Rat. Oops. It’s not. The second day is down to Polk City and back. Sorry about that and thanks to Terry S. for pointing out the error!

5. Per usual, we’ll have food for you at the overnight (pulled pork!), but — also per usual — you will be totally on your own on the route. Please make sure that your bike and body are in tip-top condition and if you DNF, … remember that I’ll never leave anyone out there, but it may be many, many hours before I am able to do so and that your best plan of action is, by far, to call for a friend/significant other to help get you back to the start/finish.

6. Early check-in and bike check in the lobby from 6pm-7pm Friday. See you there!

-Paul

400K Update

All–

(1) The final cue sheet is posted to the Events page and is also here.

(2) The first 136 miles of the route checked out fine. The construction coming into Wildwood is now concluded. There’s a road-kill cow on CR 702 East of Center Hill (seriously; yuck). Unfortunately, I crashed at mile 136 and that was the end of the preride. I’m fine and you’ll see me Saturday — the ride is a “go” — but as for the rest of the route…. I expect it’s good and if for some crazy reason you come upon something…. use good judgment, be careful, and if things get too weird, give me a call and we’ll get it figured out. I don’t expect any of that. Looks like a brilliant day for a ride and these are all roads that are well-known and frequently ridden.

(3) I’ll have heavy-snacks/light lunch for all of you at Green Mountain. Ziti and accompaniments for dinner at the finish. Expect to be otherwise on your own during the ride itself.

(4) Please look at the registered riders list and let me know if you don’t see your name and think you should, or if you see your name and are not riding.

See you Friday night/Saturday AM.

Paul

300K Update

All–

(1) Looking forward to a great ride tomorrow with some old friends and new folks. There are 39 of you signed up — which is awesome! Please let me know ASAP if you have registered and can’t make it or, alternatively, if you signed up by don’t see your name on the list on the events page.

(2) Save yourself some time and check in for the ride this evening at the hotel, from 6pm to 7pm. Get your bike inspection taken care of there, too — ankle bands plus reflective sash or vest plus lights all required.

(3) The cue sheet was posted Wednesday morning to the events page, following the preride. The route checked out well. The only thing of note — other than the usual rough pavement through the forest — is that part of the trail had standing water on it. It was a short, not deep, and could be easily navigated, but just keep a sharp eye and use good sense, as always.

(4) As usual, you’re totally on your own during the ride — live off the fat of the land — but you will receive a royal welcome on your finish. We have dinner and beverages awaiting you.

(5) Travel safe and see you tonight/tomorrow morning!

-Paul

200 / 300 Weekend Update #1

All–

(1) The prerides of the 200 and 300 for this upcoming weekend were successful. The final cue sheets are published to the events pages for each ride. I’ll also have copies at the start/rider check-in. There were changes to both routes. The 200K saw only a minor change, as the construction at Lakeshore and Hooks in Clermont is completed and we don’t have to go through the neighborhood there. The 300K route has changed from the prior version both out of and into Tavares because of construction on Lakeview east of SR 19. Outbound, we’ll use SR 19 to Orange. In-bound we’ll do essentially the same thing, although Bates is more pleasant than Orange at the hour most will return so note the slightly different routing there.

(2) There is a potential change to the 300K route, which is that there is construction on John Anderson that may require a detour back to A1A north before returning to the route on High Bridge Rd. Follow the detour if it is in effect and be careful.

(3) Please check the registered riders lists to make sure your name is on it. If it should be and it’s not, please let me know. Similarly, if you can’t make it, please let me know that, too. There’s still time to get signed up, so hope to see you there!

(4) There will be dinner following both rides (and beverages, of course!), but you should plan on no volunteer support of any kind during the ride itself. Stores in addition to the controls where sustenance can be had are indicated on the cue sheet. If you DNF, please have a plan for your return to Tavares that does not rely on ride volunteers. No one will be left in the countryside, but it may be many, many hours before someone is able to fetch you.

See you in Tavares,
Paul

Jerseys and Other News

All–

(1)  We now have Central Florida Randonneurs jerseys! Design, info, and ordering information here. Sixty bucks plus shipping. For Cracker Swamp veterans, these are the same manufacturer, material, and sizing. Tell your friends and order as many as you like. We’ll keep the order open through December 15; they’ll ship directly to you and you should have them in time for the February brevets. Big thanks and shout out to David Thompson for both the design and logistics. These would not have happened without him stepping up and volunteering to do the leg work so, next time you see him, please give him a big thanks!

(2) 2018 Brevet details will be posted in the coming week. And we’re still shooting for a final brevet in 2018, a 100K over here in Pinellas County.

(3) Don’t forget to renew your RUSA Membership for 2018 and, while you’re at it, to vote in the Board election. Less than 20% of RUSA members bother to vote, so you’ve got some real influence here.

(4) Enjoy the good weather and see you on the road,
Paul

Audax Update

I hope everyone is as excited about this ride as we are! Here are some last-minute reminders:

1.  Read (or re-read) the blurb on the Events page on what audax is all about. It’s a group ride that’s going to go 14mph, with two, 20-minute stops before mile 75, a sit-down served lunch at mile 75, and then one, 20-minute stop in the last 55 miles. It’ll take 11:40 to complete this ride. While the pace may sound pedestrian to some, staying with the group and managing one’s time off the bike do add some challenge. Make sure your mind is in the right place for the ride. Audax is social and group-oriented. Come with that mindset, and you’ll have a great time.

2. Our ride will be led by the route captains: Ed BENNETT, Marion KUSTERS, Dan SCHRECK, and Dave THOMPSON who will lead different stages of the ride. They’ll set the pace and keep us on schedule. Don’t pass them.

3.  If you have a mechanical or disconnect from the group, call it out; let us know you’ve got trouble. The peloton will not stop, but we’ll peel off riders who are able to help you out and then get you back to the group. If your ride isn’t salvageable, have in mind how you’re going return to the start/finish. There is no SAG on this ride.

4.  There are 22 of us, which will make for a good sized group going down the road. We’ll ride 2-up when we can, and single-file when we must. Don’t ride more than 2-up; it’s illegal.

5.  For those who are still learning the ropes of group riding (heck, a refresher for all of us): be smooth, consistent, and predictable. Look up the road; don’t stare at the wheel in front of you. More words on group riding for randonneurs here.

6.  We’ll have volunteers at the 3 stops to help fill bottles and they’ll have light, grab-and-go snacky things. Plan ahead if you need more than that. Also plan you pee breaks. Like dad said, go when we’re stopped, ’cause we’re not stopping once we’re on the road.

7.  The stops really are 20 minutes. Not 19; not 21. Plan accordingly. We’ll get one warning with 5 minutes to departure — a horn will sound. After that, the next thing you’ll see is the route captains clipping in and riding. This is unlike any ride you’ve done before, where stops bleed into an eternity as people realize they need to hit the head, forgot something, need to adjust clothing, etc. Manage your time. No faffing off. We ain’t gonna wait.

8.  There are some other things and traditions, but we’ll handle those on the road.

9.  See you at the start. Get there early, with enough time to sign in, do some paperwork, and get your stuff read.  0700 is 0700 SHARP!  See ya then.

-Paul

 

200Ks Update (RUSA on Saturday; Audax on Sunday)

  1.  We’ve got a weekend of 200Ks coming up. If you’re not registered yet for them, get on it. It’s a good opportunity for those new(er) to the sport to give the longer distance a try or to practice back-to-back long rides. The audax ride is a totally new format and is an opportunity for some end-of-the-season camaraderie and fellowship. Both rides start at 7am sharp! Register for the RUSA brevet here; and the audax ride here.
  2. If you’re planning on staying at the Inn on the Green (or anywhere in Tavares), make your reservations ASAP. There’s a fishing tournament that’s unexpectedly coming to town and rooms are selling out fast!
  3. For those doing the audax ride, watch this space for some additional details on Thursday.

600K Update #1; Audax ride

All–

(1) If you’ve not seen it yet, the cue sheet was posted Wednesday night on the Events page and it’s also here.

(2)  The route is the first 600K of the Cracker Swamp, with two big changes and a minor one. First, we don’t go out to the wildlife refuge because the Haul Over Canal bridge remains closed. We stay on US 1, and remember that south-bound, that’s under construction in places, and rough in others, so be careful. Second, the ride turns around in Salt Springs (to make things an even 600K). The control will be a postcard control but there are plenty of stores there for you to obtain supplies. The minor change is that we’re using the Starbucks in Satellite Beach as a control (Cracker Swampers will recall that we used the park and staffed the control).

(3)  Say a weather prayer. It’s going to be very hot, very humid, and very sunny. This’ll make for a tough ride. It also makes for good fire weather, as those of you who live in the area know. Part of SR 46 was closed on Tuesday. I’m monitoring the weather and fires; we may need to make some last minute adjustments, but the ride will remain on.  I can’t stress enough, though, how important it is going to be to slow down and stay hydrated as you get into the afternoon. This isn’t just a message about finishing the ride, it’s about being safe out there.  Please, take it super easy. You can crank the pace up again after the sun goes down.

(4)  Dinner (ziti) at the overnight. Y’all are on your own during the day, though you will likely spy me out there at times.

(5)  Register for the Audax ride yet?  Get on that; it’s gonna be epic. Our lunchtime eats have been upgraded to the Smyrna Yacht Club.

-Paul