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Up PBP 2003 PBP Support Summary 2003 600k Brevet Brevets 2003


600k Brevet, Gainesville, FL - 12 April 2003

 

Facts:

Distance: 380.9 Miles 613.0 km
Elevation (climbing): 5,000 ft 1,524 m
Riding time: 24:41 h  
Total time: 31:12 h  
Average speed: 15.4 mph 24.8 km/h

 

Ride report:

Just wanted to let you know, that I finished successfully last weekends Brevet and once everything is confirmed I should be qualified for PBP (Paris - Brest - Paris).
 
We had two groups going. The slow group (32 people including myself) started at Saturday morning at 2 AM. The fast group (10 people) started at 6 AM. For the first 50 miles approx. 30 riders of our group stayed together as a pack. This was amazing with all the blinking lights at night. Some car drivers were quite surprised on what was going on here. We averaged about 17/18 mph at this time. After the first control they picked up the pace and started to ride 20 mph and I decided to let them go with all the miles ahead. Also this quite split the field, but I guess approx. 15 riders stayed at the front group. At this time I probably only had 2 riders behind and 30 in front. From mile 70 to 270 I was riding all by myself, but slowly but surely passed riders that sprinted out earlier in the morning.
 
When we came back to the start at mile 270, I came in as 12th rider at 10:20 PM. 20 Minutes after I was in, the first 6 of the fast group (that left 4 hours later than me) came in. They were amazingly fast (and tired).
 
Most people decided to take a sleep brake and started the next morning at 6:00 AM again for doing the last 110 Miles loop.
 
I wanted to get the experience to ride without sleep and so I went off by myself after approx. 1 hour brake, 5 slices of Pizza, Bananas, cookies and other things I stuffed into myself. Before me only 2 other people had left.
 
About 10 miles into the ride (at mile 280) I was caught by Jim Solanick. He was the only rider out of the fast group that wanted to continue without sleep. He is also the organizer of all those brevets and qualified for RAAM (Boston - Montreal - Boston - 750 Miles in 61 hours). He is a strong rider. But with the pace they had going in the morning (> 20 mph, to what I heard later), he slowed down and stayed with me all night. On the other side I picked up the speed a little. Jim was pulling most of the time and I provided my bright light, was reading the map and gave instructions on the turns. We worked quite well together and he didn't mind to stop for short 2 to 3 minute brakes every 15 miles to relieve some pain from my feet (hot spots).
 
The night was quite cold (49 F) and with high humidity and patches of fog this really felt like coming directly into your body. With the fatigue I guess with the same temperatures at both nights the second night felt much colder. I had two undershirts, a jersey, a jacket, arm warmers and leg warmers and sometimes was still cold. And this to me. Think about how Floridians felt?
 
Until 4 AM Jim and myself were quite fine, but then we get really tired. We took a 30 minute break at a CS, ate a Sub, drunk, but could not really rest. They had no seats or table inside. We were sitting on the floor.
 
As we took off from 4:30 for the next hour we had our toughest time. Both of us had difficulties to concentrate to the road and were really tired now. Only watching each other and talking to each other I think we were able to go for the next hour. Luckily we had another CS at 5:50. We had to wait until the opened at 6:00 AM, but we decided to do so, since we felt this would be safer, as tired we were. By the way at this time our speed dropped to about 14 mph.
 
This CS was nice, warm, clean and had tables with benches. We took another 30 min. break and kind of closed our eyes for 20 min while sitting on the table. We also had one of those energy drinks. This break made real difference. It was as somebody had exchanged our engine.
 
We still were fatigued, but no more tiredness. We went out there and starting pacing along 17/18 mph again. We had constant hills up and down. They didn't bother us a bid. At 7 AM daylight came in and temperatures started to become better. At 8 AM Jim took off one of his 2 jackets and I took off the arm warmers. For the last 20 Miles we picked up the speed again (19/20 mph on the flat). Jim was pulling and I actually enjoyed that speed. We came in at 9:20 Sunday morning.
 
Since the official starting time was 2:08, I had a total of 31:12 for the 380 Miles. I planned on 30 hours, but was still way below the 40 hour max and was quite happy. From the slow group I was the 2nd person to come in. Jim had a total of 27:12 and had the overall shortest time.
 
Approx. 6 riders went through the night without sleep break. Some took a short break of 2 to 4 hours and majority took a longer one and started at 6:00 AM in the morning again. The latest rider came in at 4:50 PM.
 
I guess, 6 riders did not finish.
 
Overall my legs were fine and could still be out there and moving (no cramps or anything similar). Where I felt it most: Feet, Butt, Knees, Hand palms. In addition overall fatigue and tiredness. But this was a very valuable experience on my way to Paris.
 
On a side note. So far Jim seemed to me like an engine. At that night I saw him as a human. He also had a sore butt and had to get up frequently. He was fatigued and tired. To see this on an exceptional rider like him, made me feel much better. Overall he was a big help the last night and we both worked well together as a team. I do believe that he enjoyed riding with me too.
 
Another note, I burned according to my Polar 16363 calories, but amazingly gained 5 pounds in weight. I kept eating like crazy.
 
Side note 3: I went eating dinner Sunday night with a group of PBP veterans. Did get some good tips and also some stories of "punishment" during PBP. We attested ourselves a certain portion of crazyness. I believe you do not disagree.
 
So this was a real long mail and I hope you have time to read it all. But on the other side, it was a long ride too.

Up PBP 2003 PBP Support Summary 2003 600k Brevet Brevets 2003

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top Last updated by Ridehard -     03 Dec 2004