Archive for the ‘2011 PBP’ Category

PBP official stats (hopefully endorsed)

4 September 2011

I have copied the stats from the PBP site which recorded these from my chip. I have added in Alma’s prediction so it is interesting to see how they compare. I was aiming for a 89-90 hour finish so I slackened off once I reached Mortagne the second time. The three Intermediate speeds that are less than 10km/h are just after a sleep stop so the hours spent sleeping are included in their calculation of how long it took to get to the next stop.

Contrôle Date/Time Alma’s Cumulative Intermediate
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES 21-08 20:00 0h00 0h00 0km/h 0h00 0.1km/h
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 22-08 07:51 11h31 11h51 18.6km/h 11h51 18.6km/h
FOUGERES 22-08 13:04 16h28 17h04 18.2km/h 5h13 17.1km/h
TINTENIAC 22-08 16:02 19h46 20h02 18.2km/h 2h58 18.2km/h
LOUDEAC 22-08 21:34 24h34 25h34 17.6km/h 5h32 15.4km/h
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23-08 06:49 33h04 34h49 15.1km/h 9h15 8.2km/h
BREST 23-08 12:46 38h42 40h46 15.2km/h 5h57 15.6km/h
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23-08 18:17 43h57 46h17 15.2km/h 5h31 15.4km/h
LOUDEAC 23-08 23:14 48h36 51h14 15.3km/h 4h57 16km/h
TINTENIAC 24-08 08:20 58h23 60h20 14.4km/h 9h06 9.3km/h
FOUGERES 24-08 11:45 61h45 63h45 14.4km/h 3h25 15.8km/h
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 24-08 16:44 67h20 68h44 14.7km/h 4h59 17.7km/h
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE 24-08 21:56 72h34 73h56 14.7km/h 5h12 15.6km/h
DREUX 25-08 08:10 82h02 84h10 13.8km/h 10h14 7.3km/h
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES 25-08 13:16 86h01 89h16 13.8km/h 5h06 12.7km/h
Kilomètres cycled: 1230

A Tour de Paris

19 August 2011

Yesterday, I got up early for a ride into Paris. I had my route taking me along the Champs Elysees so I could experience the road used for the sprint finish in the Tour de France. Anything outside of that would have me by myself and without use of the Garmin GPS.

I had my lights on for the first time and it was quite cool. The roads were relatively quiet so early in the morning. I recognised a small section of the road as I had gone down it for the ride to Versailles the day before. I had come from a road on the right as I was facing but I could recognise it as I had sat at the red light for a couple of minutes. Where I had turned off to the left the day before had me going straight today.

I passed the palace at Versailles to the south and saw a beautiful small lake opposite. There were two swans swimming and it seemed as if the lake was just for them. After passing the palace, the road kind of stayed urban as I slipped into the outskirts of Paris and then into Paris itself. Traffic was not that bad – I had expected worse.

Crossing the River Seine

I crossed over the river Seine and was soon at a section on the route where the circular began. I remember planning the route so that I would head up the Champs Elysees towards L’Arc de Triumphe but the route was telling me a certain exit on the roundabout that I felt was wrong. Sure enough, the Arc de Triumphe appeared ahead and I was not even on the Champs Elysees. Doh! I passed around the monument and started heading down the Champs Elysees.

Arc de Triumphe

When I got to the Place de la Concorde, I went all the way around and headed up the Champs Elysees to get the true #TDF feeling. The television pictures do not even prepare you for the road surface. I remember hearing the commentators say that some of the riders keep tight to the edge of the road as it was smooth. Yeah right! Riding that close to the pavement would have me worried that my pedal was going to hit the kerb and I would be off. The cobbles are not the big ones but sized about a couple of inches wide and spread out like fans. I would not fancy sprinting on them but I guess if I had a whole support crew with spare bikes and such, it would not be a big deal. Still, respect given to all the sprinters.

The "smooth area" on the Champs Elysees

Cobbles on Champs Elysees

After coming back down the Champs Elysees again (yes, twice), I made my way over the river Seine and then on to the Eiffel Tower. I missed the turning for it and had to go through an underpass (dedicated bike path for that) and then cross the road and come back the other side. There were scores of people already lined up waiting to catch an elevator which had not even started operating for the day. There was a queue at each leg of the tower. Crazy! I took a self-picture directly under the tower which looked neat.

Underneath the Eiffel Tower

After that, I went to find some breakfast. I am not too sure which monument I was at but the breakfast, Le Petite Dejeunner Angalise, was very nice. A cup of espresso, freshly squeezed orange juice, a small carafe of water, a croissant and jam, and two sunny side up eggs on top of ham. Delicious!! That sat nicely in my stomach.

Le Petite Dejeunner Anglaise

I looked for the route to Sacre Coeur and decided to head down to the river and then head North just after Notre Dame. That plan would have worked except I didn’t identify Notre Dame as I think it is under going repairs and was shrouded in protective sheets. Once I realised I had gone too far, I had to look at the paper map again to get my bearings. As I was doing that, a French tourist asked me where the Champs Elysees was and so it was relatively easy to direct him towards that. So my plan was to make for the Bastille and then straight upwards.

I got to some other monument and again I was lost. After the photo I put on facebook, it turned out I was at the Bastille after all. So when they say they stormed the Bastille, I was thinking of some much bigger place. After that, I turned northwards-ish and made my way past Place de la Republic and then on to Gare du Nord (train station). Then, I was kind of by myself again and kept taking the roads which seemed to be heading physically upwards. Soon there were signs for the cathedral and after that it was easy. Well, the route was easy. This was all on cobbles and it was a beast of a climb. MaymyRide gave it a category 5! Tour de France does not give out category 5s as I guess they just seem too insignificant to be given a grading. Category 1 is the steepest category. I regard HC as being uncategorised. After riding around the cathedral, I descended back through Montmatre. This is my favourite place in Paris. I just love the area with all the oil painters and little cafes.

I headed south towards the river hoping that I would catch my route back to St Quentin en Yvelines. As luck would have it, I ended up at the Place de la Concorde and from there it was easily back.

I found getting around Paris on bicycle a lot easier than walking. It is easier to get lost but you don’t have to deal with getting taxis or figuring out le Metro. It is definitely the way to do it. The only drawback is that you can’t leave the bicycle and being by myself meant I couldn’t use one of the public toilets. I was out for six hours and had to hold it all in. 😛

PBP 2011 – Our Ozzie cousins

17 August 2011

Meet Simon (on the right) and Tim, a couple of Australian’s who have flown over from Australia just to ride the PBP!

Simon and Tim

I am thinking they must have flown the furthest distance of all the entrants. Simon rode in 2007 but unfortunately failed to make it in 90 hours; his finishing time was 93!

Simon's recumbent

PBP 2011 – Arrival into Paris

16 August 2011

We arrived safely into Paris. It took some time to get out of JFK but with a westerly wind behind us, we raced over the Atlantic in quick time. The Airbus 320 has three cameras on board; one on the tail, one on the undercarriage and one on the nose and you could select to view what each camera was seeing. As the plane took off and landed, all the screens were showing the view from the tail camera – that was pretty neat.

Got through security with ease; makes US immigration seem like Fort Knox in comparison. Both pieces of luggage arrived safely though I noticed an inspection ticket tucked into on the straps and one of the straps was loose. That means they opened the bike box. I hope to god they packed the bike back well. I am waiting for it to arrive from the airport – it should be on the next bus when the San Francisco flight arrives.

The hotel is on the other side of Paris to the airport. I saw the Sacré Cœur and the Eiffel Tower from a distance. We went by the Stade de France which looks quite impressive. It is the home of both the football and rugby national teams.

Will be going out to explore but not sure if I should await the bike.

PBP 2011 Mystic Alma’s Predictions

15 August 2011

Alma has done a great spreadsheet and calculated the times I am expected to exit each controle. You can keep track to see how well she does! The green bars indicate projected sleep stops.

Controle Opening Closing Alma’s estimate
SAINT-QUENTIN Sun. 18h00 n/a Sun. 18h00
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE Sun. 22h27 Mon. 03h20 Mon. 01h55
VILLAINES- LA-JUHEL Mon. 00h59 Mon. 08h44 Mon. 06h31
FOUGERES Mon. 03h57 Mon. 14h40 Mon. 11h28
TINTENIAC Mon. 05h45 Mon. 18h38 Mon. 14h46
LOUDEAC Mon. 08h49 Tue. 01h08 Mon. 23h34
CARHAIX Mon. 11h32 Tue. 06h49 Tue. 04h04
BREST Mon. 15h08 Tue. 13h19 Tue. 09h42
CARHAIX Mon. 18h24 Tue. 19h51 Tue. 14h57
LOUDEAC Mon. 21h42 Wed. 01h56 Wed. 00h36
TINTENIAC Tue. 01h34 Wed. 08h47 Wed. 05h23
FOUGERES Tue. 04h01 Wed. 13h04 Wed. 08h45
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL Tue. 08h01 Wed. 20h12 Wed. 14h20
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE Tue. 12h00 Thu. 01h56 Thu. 00h34
DREUX Tue. 15h45 Thu. 07h12 Thu. 05h02
SAINT-QUENTIN Tue. 19h00 Thu. 12h00 Thu. 09h01

Pre-registered for the PBP

17 April 2011

Well, I have successfully pre-registered for the 2011 PBP. Now I just have to do the three more rides for qualification by middle of June and then get ready for the August ride. Yikes!!!