Archive for August, 2009


Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

So that’s the very sad summary – I Did Not Finish. Overall I did about 600Km before calling the wife to rescue me. I bitterly regret it now, but what’s done is done. The least i can do now is to learn from that adventure (and adventure it was) and be much better prepared for Paris Brest Paris 2011 amd, if I am still as keenĀ  then as I am now, LEL13.

So here are the lessons that I leaned, not necessarily in the order of importance…

1. Preparations. It is NOT right to clean the bike on the say of departure, nor it is to pack the night before. I should be all set and ready few days before the departure day and manage to get 10-20km ride on the bike just to check that all is fine.

2. Make much better use of bag drop. Have a new pair of clothing wherever I could possibly spend the night, as well as whatever I may need to see me through the next day. That may mean having quite a bit of spare clothing, but that’s a small ‘penalty’ to pay.

3. Ride faster – this is really critical. I should average at least 17Km/h (including any stops) as default (excluding sleep breaks).

4. Sleep less – Only sleep where absolutely necessary and for the minimum amount of time. I should aim for 300-400 in one stretch rather than 200. Alternatively have real short ‘power nap’ sleeps after 200 Km sections.

5. Combination of 3 and 4 – build contingency into the plan. My plan had 1 hour of contingency – that’s laughable.

6. Good clothing is more important than food (to carry). I can replenish myself at every control with food – but clothing I can’t.

7. LOSE WEIGHT – easier said than done, but it is blatantly obvious that 10kg less to haul up a mountain wil lmake a really big difference. Still not sure how to achieve it – I just like eating too!

8. Good gear for rainy conditions. I had TWO ‘rain proof’ jackets that were just no good. I must invest in a really decent quality rain proof jacket.

9. Solution for wet cycling shoes. In LEL09 I famously wraped my shoes with plastic bags. It worked, for sure, but it was not kust funny, but also cumbersome and time consuming. A better solution I must find.

10. Change the handlebar to a standard ‘drop’ style. The flat handlebar was OK-ish, but I am sure that a standard one with drops is easier on the hands. I tried it with the fixie and – it’s just so.

11. Last here – but really should be first – never quit until you are forced to. I abandoned the journey way before I HAD to (if it would have actually amounted to that is unclear – but very likely). I should remember that whatever ‘projections’ and ‘plans’ I am making should not be a guide to action. Only the here and now should when it comes to giving up.