PBP 2011: A successful and fun ride

You probably know by now that MG and I completed our first PBP together on tandem on Thursday with a time of 81:26, almost exactly what we planned.

It was MG’s first PBP completion and my fourth. On tandem it felt like quite a different ride. The uphills were longer and steeper than I remember, and the downhills were a lot of fun and not too challenging.

Let me say this: MG was an absolute awesome partner and stoker. This was my best ride at PBP by far and it was because of her. She kept us going though a minor injury (read on) and lifted my spirits when I got tired near the end, as I always do. I love you, MG, my spouse, randonneur spouse and now PBP Ancien!

We had mostly minor annoying problems along the way. On the way to Brest we had an intermittent click in the front wheel that went away. We oiled the spoke nipples and crossovers and it never came back. I had to replace a front shifter cable at Carhaix.

I also developed Achilles tendonitis on my right foot that we had to manage over the last two days. I took Ibuprofen, pedaled with my toe down and rode easier gears. The swelling stabilized and the pain was mostly a nuisance rather than a show-stopper. An unexpected side benefit was that some knee pain for both of us went away.

The other story was the rain on the first day. Big waves of thunderstorms hit our 84-hour limit group on the way to our overnight in Loudeac. We got hit by four major downpours but were able to keep riding as no flooding developed. Our Gore Tex jackets did a fine job of keeping us from getting soaked and we got into Loudeac without any problems.

Oh, and I managed to touch the rear wheel of the rider ahead of us when I somehow thought we should ride with the leaders early on the first day. We fishtailed, Mary screamed, but we didn’t fall and I got away with a lesson learned.

We’ll have a more full story later. Right now we’re in the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris awaiting our flight to Boston, not Washington, because of Hurricane Irene. We will then drive back to DC with Ron and Barb Anderson, dropping them off in New Jersey. It was better than staying here in Paris two more days, overpaying for rooms and food in weak dollars.

All in all we had a great trip, and loved the time with our riding pals, particularly TDR’s own Jon Gardner, who we have not ridden with in years.

A special thanks for the encouragement along the course goes to Dale Brigham and Jo Turner, our Hains Point friend Michael H., Ruth Reeder and Ken Zabielski. Plus, we loved hearing from friends far and wide via Twitter and Facebook — you guys are great.

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13 thoughts on “PBP 2011: A successful and fun ride

  1. So interesting to read this and see your photos. Our son was in the same group starting out with you. He was with the Seattle Randonneurs and they had a subgroup trying for the Charly Miller. They made it with an hour to spare. What a ride. Eager to hear more when he arrives back later this morning.

  2. Congratulations Ed & Mary. I felt like I was there with you because of your frequent posts to FB. I followed you throug every control on the PBP website. It was better than TV. I trust you will avoid the hurricanes and earthquakes on your wy back.

    • Thanks Russ! It would have been fun to have you with us. We really enjoyed the comments we got back from you and others…it helped a lot when we were tired, hungry, aching, you know, the fun parts of randonneuring…ha ha!

      Glad we’re all staying in touch.

  3. Even if you got into Boston right this minute, you would be driving through the hurricane as you headed to DC. Boston is under a Tropical Storm warning. Your best bet might be to check into a hotel in Boston until it’s over and then drive back.

  4. Driving thru the meat of hurricane Irene and the flooding it is likely to leave behind.

    Hmmn, wonder what the odds are on that presenting more problems than completing P-B-P?

  5. Well done on a great ride. Thanks for sharing the story. One day I hope to get to Paris myself for the PBP. Next time I hope.

  6. Good to hear you did so well. I kept looking for you guys, but with 6000 people, I suppose we will meet another time. Also, thanks for the update on Ron and Barb. I was wondering how they got back. Joe P.

  7. “Oh, and I managed to touch the rear wheel of the rider ahead of us when I somehow thought we should ride with the leaders early on the first day. We fishtailed, Mary screamed, but we didn’t fall and I got away with a lesson learned. ”

    Sorry but I am probably responsible for your loss of attention. I was the B2B tandem driver. Jean-Lou

    • Jean-Lou, your comment is very gracious, but I take full responsibility for my actions. Especially as a tandem captain, in a group, one must keep their eyes sharp and hands on the brake levers. We were very lucky that everyone remained upright.

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