Waking up on Saturday morning, we were able to watch all the bikes riding past us on their way to the bike checks.
This time next week we will be in France heading towards Rambouillet, outside of Paris, to the start of the 2019 Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Randonnuer. For me, this has been a long time coming. After having abandoned after 900km in 2015 due to serious sleep deprivation, I’ve had a lot of time to consider what I did wrong and how to right it.
I had unfinished business with this ride. 4 years earlier this was my first attempt at a 600k, and a massive eye opener with regards to fuelling and sleep deprivation. However, all that aside, I had loved the ride, and the support and organisation made it one of the best Audax events in the calendar, especially if you were a novice like me.
Despite having a lovely, but shorter ride in Wales, and knowing I had made the right decision to quite, the old feelings of doubt became to surface. What if I really am just not good enough? What if just getting there is always going to be this hard? Maybe I really should just give up this dream and go touring instead? But I had put so much effort in already, and a fair bit of money. I didn’t want to give up just yet....
I turned up in Chepstow, and looked around the rather smaller than normal group of entrants. Everyone looked very fit and capable, and then I also noticed the lack of women on the ride. In normal years the ride attracts a mixed bag of riders. There’s no doubt this is a challenging event...after all, it covers the width of Wales, and ventures into the Brecon Beacons in both directions. But, it is such a beautiful and iconic ride that many Audaxers like to give it a try.
Our girls French trip was a real eye opener for me. Here I was with a riding partner that I loved to ride with, who had a similar pace to me, but who had very different rest & recovery requirements to me. This could be a real problem. We needed a way forwards, but I had no idea what that was to be. Just a couple of weeks later, was the infamous Bryan Chapman 600k.....
When I last wrote on this subject it was Spring, I was full of excitement, and really happy that I was going to be riding this attempt as part of a team. Myself & my friend Laura were to be riding, and my husband (The Hubster) would play a supporting role providing ‘domestique’ duties at each control ensuring a consistent supply of food, a guaranteed bed at any control we needed, fresh clothes, and batteries/chargers for our electronics. This support was to be with Dora, our trusty Transit Van.
The first proper day of our Dutch adventure was a food tour in Amsterdam. We had booked this in advance and was to be a 4 hour walking tour to include food and drinks at various locations, along with a potted history of each type of typically Dutch food. As a surprise, our guide had... Continue Reading →
My husband and I have been taking holidays by bike for years. There are pro’s and cons though. Luggage restrictions You can’t take much luggage, so it forces you to really think hard about what to pack. At some point on the trip you will have to transport it all. You don’t want to take... Continue Reading →