Backround: 10 years road bike riding. So far 600k has been longest ride. Tried 1000k last summer DNF. 53 months monthly 200k in a row. Sometimes -20C. I hate cold weather ( and hot too)
Before PBP start I was very confident. It was very odd feeling. It was totally different as starting LEL2013 when I rode 600k and DNF. Afterwards LEL was a good expierence. Not then because I wasn’t fit enough even to start.
My aim was to ride under 90 hours. I am kind of a couch potato compared to the other riders in the field, but I am quite experienced at least riding in bad conditions – cold winter weather.
My group was H and starting time 17:45 on Sunday.
I don’t remember much from ride to Brest: Little more back to Paris.
First 50 km I rode in group after that alone the rest (I am fucking too slow in order to ride in a group). The first stage was 220 km approximately. I did hang in there. From then on, there was 80-90 kilometers to each obligatory control stop. In these stops I stamped the card. There were two secret controls, too. I managed to ride Brest tuesday at 10. I’d guessed I had a couple of hours sleep during the trip. I felt constantly sucked and shit. And the route was planned by a pervert, because it was so hilly (for me). First time I slept under the washbasin in a hall of a control. The food was mainly macaroni with minced meat sauce or without. And then there was available also french loaf with ham. On the way there were bars and shops to buy food etc. I did seldom. Local residents offered food and drinks for free. I stopped a few times.
At some point the time became quite tight and happened to be a hot day. After a few too big hill I decided to quit, but then I thought, however, hang on to the next control. I had half an hour in hand, either queuing for food and eat or sleep. I slept for half an hour on the restaurant floor between the tables in a control. And missed eating. However, I freshed up a bit and deep depression turned into depression. Rode to 800 km. The pace dropped and I felt like I was crawling, but proceeded anyway. I got 1000 and I wasn’t in coma yet. I had no longer time to sleep and eat. The last 20h I rode over 300 km and it felt like end of the world. I rode to the end in 88 hours, ie 2 hours under the limit. Slept 2,5h all together. I didn’t have any special feeling after or before finishing. It was only that’s it. There were aboout 30 riders from Finland and 80% made it to the finish.
Afterwards I was tired one week. No other problem, but in both palms I have nerve compression (palsy etc) and that is not so nice.
But always be closing that was what I learnt during ride.