PBP Prep: Hitting the road for a few touring days

The PBP edition of RUSA’s American Randonneur magazine, just published, has a lot of useful information, including a refreshing article from Bill Bryant titled “PBP Training – Between the 600K and PBP.”

Bill’s advice includes avoiding lots of long rides during the period between the ACP qualifiers and PBP. Rather, he suggests back-to-back centuries and 200K rides, with maybe a couple of 300Ks or a 400K ride thrown in. (D.C. Randonneurs has an 8 p.m. 400K on July 8 if you are interested. See more here.)

Bill also reminds us that we need to fully recover from the 600K qualifier, no small event by itself, before we can peak again for PBP.

Bill offers a fine suggestion for long miles that matches our approach: “Touring is good.”

MG on Skyline Drive, Fall 2010

We couldn’t agree more. The strength gains from multiple days in the saddle with a few extra pounds of gear on the bike can’t be underestimated. Bill recommends a full week, which we would like, but can’t arrange the time away from work on top of vacation time needed for PBP.

MG and I have managed to put together a hilly four-day tour on the tandem this coming weekend, though, that we think will be a big help physically and mentally.

We’ll cover about 600K in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, heading south about 200 miles along the western side of the Blue Ridge over two days to Steele’s Tavern, Va. We then ride a century north on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive to the Skyland rest area on the drive. We’ll finish with about 100K on July 4th over the remaining miles on Skyline to Front Royal, Va. and then to our car near Strasburg, Va.

We love multi-day touring, with no time pressures and a chance to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding on long summer days in the country. We also hope the days will get our legs in shape for some more focused riding later in July before tapering to PBP.

Thanks for the article, Bill!

5 thoughts on “PBP Prep: Hitting the road for a few touring days

  1. Nice summary Ed. You’ve written about these 2, 3, 4 day tours you and MG take with some regularity. What sort of accommodations do you favor on these trips? Are you camping, hotels, hostels…? Thinking of trying it myself, and just like randonneuring, I expect I can learn a bit from those who’ve already gone down that road.

    Have fun this weekend. Look forward to the ride report when you return.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Mike. We stay indoors — motels, B&B if no affordable rooms can be had. We’re not hardy enough to camp just yet, nor carry the gear. There are tradeoffs both ways — you can’t pull over and stop, you have to get to the destination each afternoon.

  2. Randonneuring: the civilized enjoyment of cycling. Your tour is right in that vein. Have fun, and we look forward to your report.



    William M. deRosset
    Fort Collins, CO

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