Rando Roundup: Brevet Season and PBP Anticipation

Spring brings all kinds of fevers. There is spring fever itself — that desire to get on your bike on a warm sunny day and not look back!

Then there’s brevet fever, as the spring ACP brevets come fast and furious on the calendar. Ah, the planning, the staging, the weather watching, and the savoring of a fine, challenging ride completed in the prescribed time.

Add in Paris-Brest-Paris fever, and one almost has to sit down to take in all. I love this time of year!

As you no doubt know, PBP online pre-registration began last Saturday evening.

That’s a new twist to PBP this year, and has caused a spike in discussions over the pace of USA signups and whether there will be enough slots under our allotment. In past years we simply filled out paper forms, attached passport photos and a doctor’s note attesting to our excellent health, and sent it with a check to RUSA. We would find out later how many attended and there no real concern about whether we’d get to ride. I’m glad we don’t have to chase down that stuff any more.

Now we get to do everything over the Internet and can see exactly how many riders have indicated they want to attend and how many more will be allowed. Though, more slots will be available to all after all the pre-registered riders complete their signups in June.

As of Wednesday evening 192 USA riders (who completed an ACP 1000K or 1200K last year) had pre-registered, including me and MG. Riders who completed a 600K last year can start signing up a week from Saturday, and that should tell us pretty quickly how much demand exists to attend PBP. I thought interest might decline a little after all the stories of rain and crowds at the 2007 PBP, but it looks likely the USA will use up all of its slots, no surprise given the growth in the sport in recent years.

To help randonneurs stay abreast of news and developments, Mark Thomas of the Seattle International Randonneurs has created a wiki page where he will post information on PBP, shakedown rides before the event itself, and other information. See it here.

Meanwhile, our favorite RAAM entrant, Randy Mouri, last weekend completed the Heart of the South 500 ultra race in an amazing 40 hours, 16 minutes. At his 12.4 average overall pace, that’s about a 60 hour ride at PBP. We’re glad to see Randy is riding so strongly and his team is coming together. Read more about his race at his My Quest for RAAM 2011 page.

We are back on the road this weekend at the D.C. Randonneurs“Contrary Mother of All 300Ks”brevet this weekend. “Contrary” refers to the direction we’ll be taking, compared to the originial version of this loop through the West Virginia mountains and valleys. No difference — we’re going to be climbing our brains out whichever way we go. Wish us luck! We’ll be back early next week with photos and a report.

Until then, happy randonneuring!

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