Archive for the ‘PBP Training’ Category

First French ride

17 August 2011

Today I went for my first French ride but not before picking up the rental car. I drove around town looking for a parking once place once I had learned that parking is free for the month of August. I found one close to the hotel and the car is staying there. I went back to the hotel and knocked up a quick route around Versailles. I went downstairs and finished setting up the bike. I had a close call with the dynamo light as I couldn’t get it to go on. Fortunately, it seemed to be just the way I set up the wires as after switching terminals, the light worked.

I set off heading North, not as if I was heading for the centre of Paris, that would have been North East. The first traffic light I stopped reaffirmed the notion I had that I like the traffic lights. They have lights that are at eye level and pointing diagonally out towards the driver; in my case, the cyclist. Saves getting neck ache staring up at the lights. I then came to some designated cycling lane which basically just a striped line painted on the side of the road. Another cycling lane I came to diverted me on to the pavement (sidewalk). What was interesting about the the cycle path was that it also accommodated for cyclists coming in the other direction. I saw an oncoming cyclist and he was in my lane!! As he got nearer, he moved over to his lane (on the other side of the trees) and after we had passed, he moved back to mine. Most strange.

For the first few miles, it was predominantly downhill. That worried me for the way back! The road signs seemed quite straight forward. There was one that was puzzling me when I had picked up the rental. No right turn for a 10t. What did 10t mean? Before 10pm? I finally figured it out when I saw some other signs with the “t” on it. Ten tonnes!! Vehicles over 10 tonnes in weight, no right turn! Good to know but not applicable in either case.

I came to my first cobbled road. I had been using one of these designated cycling areas when it led on to a cobbled street. I continued up it. The cobble stones are not as small as the ones I know in England but it does make for some interesting riding. I flashed a look to my left and saw that there was a cycling lane on the road itself. At the next opportunity, I veered left and on to the road. Much smoother. It was not long before I was back on the cobbles. This time there was no escaping them as the bike lane went over the cobbles itself!

Then came Versailles. Wow, much bigger than I had imagined. And very gold. I walked the bike up to the golden gates. I checked to see if it was really gold but it was just painted. Not that they would have been gold. If they had proposed melting all the metal down for cannon balls, I doubt they would have left any gold fence standing. I continued with the ride and sure enough, what comes down must surely go up!! It wasn’t a bad climb but I was passed by some older gent. I made a couple of wrong turns as the map didn’t have the roundabouts that well but it was easily noticed. As I had been doing best route, the map was a bit funny on some of the turns but zoomed out, I could see the correct way to go.

It was only 16 miles but it was good practice on the French roads and it keeps my legs ticking over. Tomorrow, the centre of Paris and the Champs Élysées. Wish me well.

Next brevet – 300k NYC

8 July 2010

The next brevet for this year, and the final one, is the NYC 300k on September 5th.  It is one day before Alma’s birthday so I think we are spending the weekend in the city – have to see whereabouts exactly the ride starts from.  Two years ago it started  by the Youth Hostel on 103rd Street but I have a feeling it will actually start in New Jersey this year.  I am waiting to hear from the organiser. (more…)

Hightstown 400k review

14 June 2010

This has been some time doing.  The ride was longer than anything I have done before and it challenged me a lot, both physically and mentally.  I learned that my bike set up needs improving and I learned that I have a long way to go before I am ready for the PBP 2011.  However, I do have a long time before that ride and there is ample time in which to get everything ready. (more…)

Frenchtown Practice ride

22 March 2010

Before anyone complains, I have forgotten everyone’s names already…  I do remember Jud, Leroy, Laurent and Rick as I knew their names before I even met them.  Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get to remember them soon.

Alma and I travelled down to Frenchtown the night before and stayed at Widow McCrae’s B&B.  I didn’t know until Sunday morning that the place was supposed haunted and could be the reason for the strange dream I had on Friday night.  But that story is for another blog site not one on cycling. 😛  I had brought with me shorts and a short sleeved jersey – it was going to be high temperatures but it was quite cold first thing in the morning.  Alma got ready for running and I headed off.  I was cold cycling down to the starting point.  I had forgotten my gloves but fortunately I phoned the cycle shop in town on the Friday just as they were closing and they said they would stay open for me if I made it down there in the next fifteen minutes.  That was nice of them so they get a big plug and a photo!!  Well done, Cycle Corner!!

Cycle Corner bike shop

Cycle Corner bike shop

(more…)

Here’s the ride for Saturday

15 March 2010

I got the cue sheet for Saturday’s ride:

Elevation for upcoming ride

Elevation map of upcoming ride

The climb after 10 miles looks interesting… 😛

And so it begins…

17 December 2009

The training for the 2011 PBP began today.