1999 Paris-Brest-Paris and Qualifying Brevets
by Chuck Bramwell

Paris-Brest-Paris is one of the most prestigious long distance amateur cycling events in the world.
It is held once every 4 years and will be held August 23-26, 1999.
With 750 Miles and 31,000 Feet of Climbing that must be completed in 90 Hours,
"PBP" is considered one of the toughest cycling events anywhere.
This photo of the start of PBP is courtesy of Audax Club Parisien who organizes it.

A journey into nature
Push yourself until the pain comes
Until you think you can not survive
And then go on

Here the ego will let go
Here you will be purified
Here is the moment of true prayer
Where you will feel the power of the universal language
            Eco-Challenge 1996

Originating in 1891, the 1,200 Kilometer non-stop Paris-Brest-Paris ride has endured to become cycling's oldest.

Encouraged by the success and notoriety of the 1891 "PBP", a Frenchmen started the modern Olympics.

The Tour de France was started in 1903, also inspired by Paris-Brest-Paris.

PBP was ran as a Pro-Race in 1891, 1901, 1911, 1921, 1931, and 1951.    A "Randonneurs" class was added in 1931 when the Audax Club Parisien started that class and was then continued in 1948, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, and 1995.    The 1999 PBP will be 14th running of the PBP "Randonneurs" by the Audax Club Parisien. Thanks to Bill Bryant for this history.

In order to qualify for "PBP", the rider must complete 4 timed qualifying rides known as Brevets. Overall time limits vary for each Brevet according to the distance -- 13:30 for the 200 KM, 20 Hours for the 300 KM, 27 Hours for the 400 KM, and 40 Hours for the 600 Kilometer Brevet. These are non-stop, unsupported events where the clock doesn't stop. Regardless of what the rider is having to deal with, if the rider is Off the Bike, the clock keeps on ticking -- just like Paris-Brest-Paris!!

PBP Table of Contents

Motivational Quotes

A sure sign of wisdom is a cheerful temperament.
While you look at what is given, look also at the giver.
Conservative pacing, cheerful optimism, and appreciative awareness
can be important ingredients in Paris-Brest-Paris.
Kim Freitas
"PBP: Randonneur Philosophee"
March 1999 Ultra Cycling Magazine

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13
My Mom and I love this scripture

There's no fakin' it in this sport.
Lon Haldeman to me at the end of PAC Tour 1990 in Savannah Beach
Referring to whether people did the training or not
Check out the PAC Tour Web Site Here!!

The important point is to set a goal just beyond your reach
So If you do meet it, you'll feel really good about the fact that you did your best
Considering the circumstances
As opposed to just like cruising in and then two days later,
you start thinking back, "Gee we could have done better"
Pete Penseyres
1987 Tandem Transcontinental Record Video
(If you don't have this, you need it!!) :) :)

This is not a Wine Tasting Tour!!
Lon Haldeman & Susan Notorangelo in PAC Tour Brochure
Very applicable to PBP as well
Check out the PAC Tour Web Site Here!!

The best thing you can do is to keep going. Rust never sleeps.
Pete Penseyres

For the first time, we saw a new mode of travel, a new road to adventure,
a new vista of pleasure.
These cyclists averaged 80 miles a day for 10 days,
yet they arrived fresh and healthy.
Even a skillful and gallant horseman could not do better.
Aren't we on the threshold of a new and wonderful world?
Pierre Giffard, Original Organizer of Paris-Brest-Paris
Referring to the 1891 PBP
In 1931, the 90 Hour Time Limit was added

It's the hard things in life that make us strong.
From a Mormon Pioneer Diary

More importantly, though, is this fundamental truth:
"It is good for a journey to have an end,
but in the end, what matters is the journey."
Nick Gerlich, RAAM 1998

The rewards for those who persevere
far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.
One of my favorite posters with Two Cyclists in a Fog Storm

Really long distance cycling does something magical for me.
Matthew Chachere
Finisher of 1995 PBP

But for many who would finish behind me and cry just as deeply,
the focus was not on how fast but on the completion of the task.
They -- no we -- are anciens, and for this we will receive a medal
exactly like the one awarded to Dickson and Chabirand.
Ed Pavelka, Bicycling Magazine Editor
Referring to his 1991 PBP
Scott Dickson was the First Place Man at 43:42
Nicole Chabirand was the First Place Woman at 59:43
Ed's Time was most impressive at 57:38

'Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white,
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion?
Pinprick holes in a colourless sky,
Let inspired figures of light pass by,
The mighty light of ten thousand suns,
Challenges infinity and is soon gone.
Night time, to some a brief interlude,
To others the fear of solitude.
Brave Helios wake up your steeds,
Bring the warmth the countryside needs.
The Moody Blues
Days of Future Passed
I was glad to see this come out on CD
because I had worn out 5 vinyl records
of this Moodies Classic!!

Baseball is 90% mental ...
The other half is physical
Yogi Berra, Best Catcher for the New York Yankees

I believe we have more potential inside of us than we can imagine.
When a crisis like this happens, we find out what we're made of.
We find that we're made of an awfully lot.
Christopher Reeves, 3 Years after his Accident leaving him paralyzed

See the moon roll across the stars,
See the seasons turn like your heart,
Your finest days are lost to you,
This is your time here ... to do what you will do,
Your life is now, your life is now, your life is now
John Mellancamp

At the end of the ABC Coverage of the 1989 Tour de France,
Greg Le Mond lifts his 5 year old son up to the Winner's Block.
The announcer says:
Comebacks are always a part of the fascination with sports
From so far down, to so high up
How does it happen?

Like so many things, it begins with the most simple belief
The one you must have in yourself
That must be translated into results by dedication
The knowledge that dedication which feeds on belief can make it so
1989 Tour De France
ABC Wide World of Sports

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PBP Hot Items

Calories Being Burned 600 Calories Burned / Hour * 70 Hours on Bike
= 42,000 Calories Being Burned
or about 14,000 Calories Per Day
We need to be eating all the time on the bike!!
Number of U.S. Riders
-- 1999
As of 7/15/99, the RUSA Organization reports that slightly over 400 applications for PBP have been processed.
Sunrise / Sunset Times Sunrise will be at 6:54 am in France
Sunset will be at 8:52pm in France
There will be a full moon on August 26th
Courtesy of Jennifer Wise

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Historical Stats Courtesy of Bill Bryant

1891 300 Cyclists Signed Up -- 293 Men & 7 Women
209 Cyclists Started
106 Cyclists turned around at Brest
100 Cyclists Finished
Charles Terront won in 71:35
Average Time: 10 Days
1931 Sir Hubert Opperman won overall in 49:21
Jules Tranchant won Randonneur Class in 68:30
1951 442 Cyclists Started
388 Cyclists Finished = 88%
54 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 12%
1971 325 Cyclists Started
263 Cyclists Finished = 81%
62 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 19%
2 U.S. Cyclists Started
0 U.S. Cyclists Finished
2 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish
1975 666 Cyclists Started -- 647 Men & 19 Women
554 Cyclists Finished = 83%
112 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 17%
8 U.S. Cyclists Started
4 U.S. Cyclists Finished = 50%
4 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish = 50%
1979 1,766 Cyclists Started
1,572 Cyclists Finished = 89%
   194 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 11%
35 U.S. Cyclists Started
24 U.S. Cyclists Finished = 68%
11 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish = 32%
de Munck & Piguet were lead Men at 43:24
Susan Notorangelo was lead Solo Woman in 54:40 = Women's Record
1983 2,106 Cyclists Started
1,895 Cyclists Finished = 90%
   211 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 10%
107 U.S. Cyclists Started
  72 U.S. Cyclists Finished = 54%
  35 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish = 33%
de Munck & Piguet were lead Men at 43:24
Susan Notorangelo was lead Solo Woman in 54:40 = Women's Record
1987 2,597 Cyclists Started
2,104 Cyclists Finished = 81%
   493 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 19%
230 U.S. Cyclists Started
124 U.S. Cyclists Finished = 54%
106 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish = 46%
Rainy & Cold Conditions
Scott Dickson was lead Solo Man at 44:05
Kay Ryschon was lead Solo Woman at 61 Hours
1991 3,281 Cyclists Started
2,618 Cyclists Finished = 80%
   663 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 20%
398 U.S. Cyclists Started -- 352 Men & 46 Women
340 U.S. Cyclists Finished = 85%
  58 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish = 15%
Scott Dickson was lead Solo Man at 43:42
Nicole Chabirand was lead Solo Woman at 59:43
1995 2,976 Cyclists Signed Up
2,860 Cyclists Started -- 2694 Men & 166 Women
2,380 Cyclists Finished = 83%
   480 Cyclists Did Not Finish = 17%
283 U.S. Cyclists Started
241 U.S. Cyclists Finished = 85%
  42 U.S. Cyclists Did Not Finish = 15%
Scott Dickson & 8 Riders won in 43:20 = New Course Record
Brigitte Kerhouet was lead Solo Woman at 44:14 = Women's Record

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Chuck's Favorite PBP Web Pages

Main PBP Web Sites

Randonneurs USA (RUSA) -- Contains tons of information about the U.S. Brevets -- just check under the "For Members" Link. Excellent work by Webmaster Johnny Bertrand.

Randonneurs Info -- This main Web Site contains a wealth of information about the qualifying Brevets and PBP along with the forms and rules. Another most impressive Web Site by Webmaster Johnny Bertrand.

Audax Club Parisien -- This is the Web Site of the club in Paris that does a fantastic job in organizing the Paris-Brest-Paris event for cyclists from around the world. Unless you are fluent in reading French, click on the Paris-Brest-Paris link on the Home Page in order to be able to read the English version.

History of PBP Web Pages

History of PBP by Robert Lepertel -- An excellent history from 1891 to 1987 by the chief organizer of PBP in the Audax Club Parisien.

Audax United Kingdom at the 14th Paris-Brest-Paris -- Includes some great photos in the PBP Pix Gallery include those from 1931, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, and 1995. Notice the Trike in the 1991 photo. Also contains a great PBP History page.

Harriett Fells' 1975 PBP Personal Memoir -- An excellent journal of Harriet's ground breaking experience complete with great old Black and White photos. Harriett was one of only 8 Americans starting PBP that year ... and she was only 4 Americans finishing it!! Fantastique!!

Matthew Chachère's 1995 PBP Personal Memoir -- An excellent journal of Matthew's adventure. It's well worth the time it takes to download the photos and text. Warning: it takes 21 pages if you print this Web Page out. Matthew talks about each Day of the event in great detail and includes sections on "Body and Soul", "The Bike" and "A Bit of PBP History". Highly recommended reading!!

Lightning Leads at Paris-Brest-Paris 1995 -- Great photos of Pete Penesyres in a Lightning F40 on PBP 1995. Pete smoked into Loudeac in 10 Hours and 27 Minutes which is an incredible average of 26.3 Miles Per Hour over the 275 Miles!! This is so amazing to me ... but Pete is an incredible cyclist.

Kilgore's 1995 PBP -- A fun page with a few photos from PBP 1995 including a recumbent tandem bike!! Great photo of the early start group and the late start group.

John Wagner's Randonneuring Stories -- A fun and varied collection of accounts of PBP 1991 and 1995 by John and various other authors.

PBP Tools

PBP 1999 General Info Page -- Provides information on Start Times, Checkpoints, Support Vehicles, Registrations, Qualifying Requirements, Medals, Super Randonneur, and Lighting-Safety from the Randonneurs Info Web Site.

Journal of the 1999 Paris-Brest-Paris -- Like a "What's New" Page from the Audax Club Parisien Web Site with all the latest updates on the event.

PBP 1995 Elevation Change -- Shows Peter Moore's Elevation Change Graph for Checkpoint to Checkpoint. Peter found that the 1995 course had a total of over 9,400 Meters of Elevation Change which is over 31,000 Feet of Climbing. For those of us in California, Paris-Brest-Paris will have about as much climbing as 7.5 back-to-back Wildflower Centuries.

PBP 1995 Grade Change -- Shows Peter Moore's Grade Change Graph for Checkpoint to Checkpoint.

Des Peres Travel -- Claus Claussen is a wizard on all travel aspects of Paris-Brest-Paris. Claus works at this Travel Company in St. Louis and is very helpful.

Length Conversion -- This slick web page quickly converts Centimeters, Inches, Feet, Yards, Meters, Chains, Kilometers, and Miles to and from each other!!

Weather with 3-Day Forecast for Paris

Weather with 3-Day Forecast for Brest

Brevet Information

Audax United Kingdom Randonneur Links -- A good page of links to Randonneur Web Sites around the world.

Boston Brevet Series -- Dave Jordan and team does a great job on the Boston Brevets with all of the info here.

Boston-Montreal-Boston -- All about the American version of Paris-Brest-Paris including tons of information and results from the 1997 and 1998 BMB's.

Seattle International Randonneurs Web Site -- Includes all the info on the Brevets in the Seattle area.

Southern California Brevets -- Information about the Brevets organized by Hugh Murphy Productions in Southern California.

Super Randonneur 5000 Rules -- Contains the rules for this special award if you complete 5,000 Kilometers in Brevets. As of 1998, only 3 Americans have received this award.

Control Point Calculator -- Mike DeLong from Atlanta programmed this to calculate the Open and Close Times for any Control Point on a Brevet using either Kilometers or Miles.

Brevet Opening / Closing Time Calculator -- From the Randonneurs Info Web Site, this also calculates the Open and Close Times.

Checkpoint Times' Calculation Tables -- These tables on the Randonneurs Info Web Site can also be used to calculate the Open and Close Times for any Control Point.

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