I’m hoping to enter PBP shortly and, having failed to complete it in 2015, I’m keen to do everything to ensure I get to Brest and back within the 90 hour “tourist” time limit.

I’ve already made an audax anti-blunder checklist, which is a good start, but obviously wasn’t enough last time. So for PBP I’ve listed some specific things that I need to do better next time. Maybe this will be helpful to someone else.

  • Be as fit as I reasonably can be – More speed at the same level of effort is going to give me more time for recovery during the ride. So I’ve made a loose PBP training plan.
  • Know where the controls are – As PBP is sign-posted, I wasn’t so conscious of the route. I didn’t get lost, but had no idea how it would be before I could rest/eat. Being able to pace myself to the next control would have helped. I need to have these noted down.
  • Have a pace plan – This really helped on the Mille Cymru and for the most part I stayed close to my estimates. During PBP2015 I lost time through a number of small incidents – a puncture, big queues at a feed stop, writing a postcard, stopping to help another rider and then needing recovery time after a big bonk. Knowing how far behind or ahead of my plan I was would’ve helped me stay on track sooner.
  • Always carry food – Probably the biggest factor last time was not having food easily available. It was never a problem on UK audaxes due to the smaller numbers, but on PBP, despite the well-stocked controls and generous French public, you can’t rely on getting food when you need it. In 2015 I think a banana in my back pocket would’ve made all the difference. My bag was packed full of clothing for a variety of conditions, with no room for food. Next time I’ll make room. I’d like to carry at least a cereal bar at all times. Also packets of energy powder that I could put into my water bottles could stave off a bonk. If possible I’ll grab a banana when leaving controls and keep it as a backup.
Back of blue cycling jersey with 4 bananas in the pockets

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