I'm no PBP expert but I have completed three and I really love the event. I hope to be lining up with 5,000 or so of my closest friends this coming August. Dreams lead to plans. I'm sure others are planning their PBPs. I like the formula we fell into last go around and hope to use it again. Stop pretty much everywhere that has food and see how things go. My target was a finishing time beyond 88:55 but alas came in a wee too fast. No worries, there's always the next ride.
I was hoping to post a qualifying time for la Société Adrian Hands. To gain admittance one must complete PBP in a time of 88:55 or greater. This is the time that Adrian Hands established by completing PBP in 2003. One hundred and two years earlier Charly Miller entered his 56:40 into the Great Book. To gain entry into la Société Charly Miller one must complete PBP in 56:40 or less, and be an American.
As expected, a quick inventory of the membership of each group shows no overlap. The societies are polar opposites of one another. There is no rider in la Société Charly Miller and la Société Adrian Hands. Charly Miller is for the fastest of the fast. Adrian Hands is for the more chronologically relaxed. Charly Miller is for American riders. Adrian Hands accepts riders of any nation. Both societies agree that PBP is a necessary rite of passage. Since qualification occurs during a very well attended event, eventually someone will belong to both groups.
|Adrian Hands at the finish of PBP 2003...|
I'm sure there will be no argument when I propose that it is more difficult to gain entry into la Société Charly Miller. The list only numbers 45 qualified riders as compared to 78 for la Société Adrian Hands. The first dual citizen will likely come from the Charly Miller list but that is not a given. In 2011 LSAH member Branson Kimball attempted a Charly Miller time on a fixed gear. He came up short on that particular ride but he is definitely capable of a very fast time. Perhaps with gears he could be the first. I heard that Tim Bol a Charly Miller member was looking for a more relaxed ride in 2011. He posted an 88:51. The clock can be cruel. I don't know his intentions but he obviously has the palmares to be the first on both lists. An LSAH rider who has a legitimate chance in 2015 is Bill Russell. He gained Hands entry with his 89:17 in 2011 but since then has switched to a velo mobile and has been in the habit lately of posting very fast brevet times. Control opening times figure more into his ride plans then closing times. Perhaps 2011 Charly Miller inductee Bob Brudvik will decide to sample the local fare with his new riding buddies from NC and join la Société Adrian Hands in 2015. Of course lining up at a start time other than the 90 hr one prohibits a chance for entry into LSAH.
I have the great pleasure to ride with some very good riders that are on neither list but could be on both. Mike Dayton, Mark Thomas and Dan Driscoll come to mind. They have the engines to go fast but the attitudes to take it easy. As Mark likes to say, "we'll start off slowly and back off from there." That is the kind of mantra that posts an 88:55 plus. The last person that I might mention as a strong possibility for both Charly Miller and Adrian Hands has it in his bloodline, Ian Hands. In 2011 he recorded a perfect 88:55. I wouldn't be surprised to see him post a 56:40 sometime. He has it in his legs, although he might not have the desire to race through PBP. Not enough time to meet everyone. Ian, you could always finish fast and then ride back out onto the course to ride in with your buds. Look for us at a café.
When we will have the same name on both lists? My guess is 2015. Let's all go to Paris just in case this is the year. Wouldn't want to miss that.