Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Talking PBP With Chris & Annette

Tar Heel randonneurs Chris and Annette, who live in Western North Carolina, are in fine form this season as the gear up for PBP 11. They successfully completed PBP 07, and RTP caught up with them last week for any tips they might have for PBP 11 hopefuls. Their responses follow:

You guys did your first PBP in 07, meaning you rode in rain and more rain. Now you're going back for more. What gives?

I have ridden bikes for all kinds of reasons for fifty years. The experience at PBP was the pinnacle. The desire to return again is to see what happens if the sun comes out.

Best experience you guys took away from PBP 07?

The French people throughout the countryside. In Brittany (second night), in a farming hamlet, in the rain, at 3 a.m., hearing clapping at the side of the town square...that was unbelievable.

You can give a newcomer one bit of advice about Paris Brest Paris. What is it?
Do not ever doubt yourself. That will get you through.

Anything you wish you'd carried with you in 2007?
More real food at the depart. Excitement burns energy. I was in a deficit too soon.

How did you train in 07? Will you do anything differently this time?

We rode a lot. Also raced track that summer. Speed is good, especially for saving energy. Need to get back on the track this June and July.

Did you make any rookie mistakes in 07?
I was in a food deficit the first night.  I remember seeing Jimmy Williams sitting at the depart, waiting, waiting, eating a gigantic Croque Monsieur (baguette with ham and cheese).  I needed one of those and another in my saddle bag.

Do you have time or other goals in mind for this year's event?
The thing I like about randonneuring compared to racing is that all you have to do is cover the prescribed route in the allowed time. Still, speed equals sleep...I would like to get a bit more sleep this time. In 2007 we slept 5 hours out of 87. That was blotto.

Several North Carolina riders happened to reach Dingé at the same time on the return leg. You were there as well. Describe that experience, please.
We departed before Cap'n Ende's attack. The memory of Dingé was the joy of seeing a slew of familiar faces: Branson, Glenn, JD, Mike and John. The bad part was that we burned a half hour trying to get some food from a bakery that then announced they were complete for the day.  That clock never stops.

If people ask you why you do such long bike rides, what do you tell them?
I like to quote Geof Simons from the Raleigh 600K ride of 2010: it is on the really long rides that cycling gets interesting.

Annette runs a fast paceline. Does she enjoy punishing us on these long rides or does she feel bad about it afterwards?
Annette is a benevolent taskmaster, and retired world class road racer. Speed, efficiency, and consistency will get you to the end and off your bike faster.

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