Monday, August 8, 2011


As PBP approaches a number of my family and friends are checking out this site. Many of you only know that I'm going on some long bike ride in France. That's true, but there is more to the story.

The first PBP took place in 1891 and its been regularly held ever since. In modern times, the ride is held ever four years.  The event is held over a 1200 kilometer (750 mile course) travelling from the suburbs of Paris to the Atlantic port city of Brest and returning to Paris.  Riders have 90 hours to finish the entire route. Some quick math will tell you that a rider needs only to average around 8.5 miles per hour to beat the deadline. That works really well . . . unless the rider wants to eat or sleep or get off the bike to use the bathroom.  Once the clock starts at PBP, it doesn't stop.  In addition to the 90 hour deadline, riders must pass through various checkpoints, called controls, within certain time periods. Failure to make a time limit at a control results in an immediate DQ.  Also adding to the challenge is a general requirement that riders be self sufficient throughout the event. That means most riders will carry basic tools to fix bike problems, spare tires and tubes, energy food, changes of clothes, raingear and spare batteries.

This year 5224 people from around the world will line up to start PBP. Approximately 450 of them are from the US, only 3 are from Wisconsin.

During PBP, I will be carrying and using a SPOT individual GPS locator. A link from this page will allow interested readers to check my progress as I update my location. I intend on sending a signal every one to two hours. Additionally, the PBP organization maintains a tracking site that posts the times as riders move through the various controls. There is a link to their site on the upper right of this blog page.  (to use this site, you will need to know my frame number which is 4625)  Finally, depending on how things go, I intend to post BRIEF updates to this page from the route. The frequency of these postings will depend on how tired I am, how well I am  banking time, and whether the technology works as advertised. In other words, check in, but don't count on it.

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