Paris-Brest-Paris is a veritable United Nations of cyclists. It’s our Olympics, our signature event where we proudly converge in solidarity of our international randonneurhood.
Rour friends shouting your name (or good-naturedly heckling you) at an amateur race is one thing; it’s an entirely different experience when you’re riding Paris-Brest-Paris.
Just as Paris-Brest-Paris draws a diverse gathering of randonneurs from around the globe, it’s fitting that an endurance event that pushes individuals to their extreme limits also attracts a wild range of human-powered machines.
In the early hours of a Sunday afternoon in August, 300 or so of us randonneurs in the 5:30PM “G” group left the suburban confines and cheering crowds of St. Quentin-en-Yvelines bound for Brest. The concrete homes soon gave way to the rolling terrain of countryside.
Riding 1230km across France within 90 hours (or less, depending on your start time) is a grueling affair. But even in my most enervated state, the charm of the rustic French villages never failed to captivate me.