Preparing for Paris-Brest-Paris

Why in the world would anyone do a 750-mile bike ride? Because it is there? Randonnuering is self-contained long-distance cycling that fits right between bicycle touring and double centuries. It is a ‘ride to finish’ event, though some people, of course, race it. Paris-Brest-Paris is thee event; it started in 1891 (before the Tour!) and now happens every four years. Over 5000 cyclists from around the world are signed up, including 600 americans. There are staggered start times; I am starting 930pm (1230pm in California) Monday and have a 90 hour time limit. Just under four days. Fa(s)t Dan(donnuer) is already in Paris; after my ferry/train journey we’ll meet up for bike inspection Sunday. My Seven is hooked up with a front/rear lighting system and fenders.

You can follow my progress online, here. My plate number is 4660. If you can read French, there is some sort of GPS tracking planned.
I have so much food with me you wouldn’t believe it! Some pate in a tube, flapjacks, havla, Lara bars and the powdered stuff I am use to. I have a drop bag set up for Loudeac; since it is an out-and-back I’ll see it twice. My plan is to ride 274 miles, sleep 6-8 hours, ride 198 miles back to Loudeac, sleep again, then ride the 278 back to Paris. With the exception of the first night, which I will ride straight through, I hope to avoid real long stints at night.
Concerns? My biggest fear is getting a flat at 3am in the rain with no around and not being able to speak French to anyone. Also saddle sores, duh. Should be a great way to see France!

More info on the 115 year old event:
French site
BC Canada Randonnuer PBP site (the better of the lot)
PBP tv? Not sure what is going to happen here.
The painfully boring American Randonnuers PBP site

From the French site(!?):
The reputation of the cyclos must not be a synonym of
SLOVENLINESS
NUISANCE
BAD SMELLS

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