The 16th Paris Brest Paris will be held from August 20th to 24th. Over 4000 riders are expected to attend. The Paris Brest Paris is a 1200 km Randonnee held every 4 years. It is the oldest organized cycling event in the world, and was first held in 1891. The ride starts in a small town just outside Paris, goes to Brest on the coast, and back for a total of a little over 1200 kilometers. At most, riders have 90 hours to complete the ride ... including all breaks.
Riders are required to ride a Super Randonneur series by the middle of June in the year of the PBP in order to qualify. A Super Randonneur series consists of a 200 km brevet, a 300 km brevet, a 400 km brevet, and a 600 km brevet.
You can follow the riders on the official PBP site under 'The Ride and Riders follow up'. Type either the rider's last name or rider number into the fields provided. It is probably the easiest to type the rider's last name.
I believe that you may be able to follow the ride on 'The webTV of PBP 2007' as well.
You can read more about the history of the PBP, helpful information for riders, stats, stories, etc. on the BC Randonneur's PBP website. There is also an Alberta Randonneur club, which you can read about on the Alberta Randonneur website. There will be several riders from Alberta at the Paris Brest Paris.
As you are following along, you might be interested in the conditions in which we are riding. A couple years ago, I stumbled on a fascinating site which provides:
- time of day information all around the world (i.e. if it is 3:45 pm Mountain Standard time, it is 11:45 pm in Paris, France - Central European Time)
- sunrise and sunset information
- weather information, including wind direction and speed which is very important for cyclists to know
and a whole bunch of other information. The site is called "time and date".
My PBP adventure began back in January 2007. During late 2006, I had been given permission to create my own brevet series in Central Alberta. I already had a 200K and 300K, but I needed to create a 400K and 600K. Creating good routes isn't as easy as it might sound!
I went through several drafts during the early months of the year, and put many kilometers on my car as I drove back and forth across the province scouting out good roads. I carried Machak, my Marinoni Ciclo, in the back of my car, and would stop periodically to hop out and ride sections of potential routes. My computer is also full of the photos I took along the way. I have pictures of just about every road in Central Alberta. Finally, I settled on the routes I used, and created them online using Streets and Trips. You can see these routes on the Alberta Randonneur website.
And then in May, I started riding the brevets! I've started writing up those stories under the 2007 link in the sidebar, but won't be able to finish them until I return from Europe.
I will be departing for Europe on Sunday, August 5th, and arriving in London on Monday, August 6th ... where I will be meeting Rowan. The two of us will make our way to Paris, taking in some of the sights along the way. We'll likely do some travelling after the PBP as well. Then I return to Canada, and Rowan returns to Australia in early September.