The challenges of a night start on top of a lack of sleep and jet lag can take their toll….
Nigel G. wrote that he had to take several short naps to keep going the first night. That didn’t seem like an auspicious beginning but I know Nigel was determined to give this ride everything, and he did, finishing in under 89 hours.
Katie R. and Jon L. had a good first night but then a rough morning. Still, they reached Carhaix ahead of their planned arrival. A photo of them on the iconic bridge outside Brest posted to FB proved that they had made it half way…still smiling. Wednesday night I received texts from Katie saying she didn’t know when they were going to finish, saying they were going to DNF in Dreux, saying that they had simply been too slow, and that she was having her first cafe while Jon took a short nap. Then, a few hours later, Rich R. responded to my text about their ETA at the finish sent the previous day; he said they planned to finish just before noon. Huh? Apparently they just made it at the Dreux control, and they then managed an official finish with about 20 minutes to spare. That happens on PBP…things seem to be going well, or badly, and then they change. I’m so proud of them for keeping going especially when the final result was uncertain.
I followed Lois S. who seemed to be able to move steadily along, not real fast but steadily, steadily. She finished officially as well, but not without a story to tell. According to a FB post, she fell in the rain about 35 miles from the finish. She either sprained or broke something in a wrist that was already wonky. However, her 7th PBP is in the books. What determination. Amazing.
I saw Joe K., Chris N. and Paul S. start at 5:30 on Monday morning and then watched them make good progress along the course, steadily closing the gap between themselves and the people who started the night before. At Carhaix on the return they took a good sleep stop, their first I think. Then I received a text from Chris’s wife Eileen that she was riding alone. Huh? Apparently Joe was having issues, trying to complete the ride on a fixie, and Chris was riding her own pace so that she would be able to sleep again. Then near the end, it appears that Paul caught up with Chris and that they finished together in just over 80 hours. They’ve become such strong riders in the last couple of years. Joe’s willingness to make the ride a real challenge may not have given him the result he wanted, but what spirit and courage to challenge himself in this manner.
I didn’t hear much about Dawn E.’s journey as it unfolded, but a great photo of her at the end is posted in FB, so congrats to her as well. I know she trained hard, focusing particularly on hill climbing in the last weeks before PBP to be strong enough for the bumps between Paris and Brest.
I can’t wait to hear the full story from each of these and other friends and acquaintances.
Congratulations to all new and repeat ancien(ne)s.