Friday, February 13, 2015

Out and back in lieu of the PBP.

  This coming summer 2015, an epic, organized bicycle event happens in France. ...No, not that one, the one that matters to some of us everyday riders. It's a supremely overused word, but epic was the key word. In mid-August several thousand riders from around the world will assemble in Paris and ride off into the night on a self-supported four day journey to the Atlantic coast town of Brest and then back to Paris. A more appropriate use of the word epic doesn't come to my mind. The PBP is run every 4 years, dating back to 1891. When I started dreaming about riding off into the landscape it didn't take long to learn about the sport of randonneurring. I imagined one day finishing the required brevets and qualifying to make the journey over to France to attempt this historic ride. I don't currently carry a membership with RUSA, but have in the past and on a few occasions have ridden the shorter brevets. Maybe one day I will devote the time....though anyone who rides a decent amount can likely complete a brevet, putting together the time to complete a whole series to then travel and do the 1200K overseas remains a provocative fantasy. While I wholly embrace the ethos of the randonneur, in practice I tend more towards the solitude of bicycle camping and getting a bit lost on the map.

  I won't be participating this year in the PBP, but it's still in the bucket. In an effort to ride in spirit with those making the journey this summer I am looking to do a camp and ride from my home a mile or so from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River south of Prairie Du Chein cutting across the Driftless in the SW corner of Wisconsin. Not quite a PBP, but a respectable journey never-the-less.

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