Paris-Brest-Paris is a long distance cycling event that runs from Paris to Brest and back. It is 1230kms, has to be completed in less than 90 hours, and contains around 11,200 metres of vertical climb in the form of undulating, rolling hills. It is run every 4 years, since 1891 — making it one of the oldest cycling events still running. It is organised by ACP and you qualify to participate by cycling 200, 300, 400 & 600km BRM events through your local Audax club.
This is why you should do it:
1. It’s global
Our local AudaxSA rides are tiny in comparison, but here you share the road with over 5000 other cyclists from around the world.
2. It’s ancient
You take part in one of the oldest cycling events still running. You see old world France and cycle through Normandy. Remember history?
3. It’s safe
Back home road cycling is downright dangerous, because of other motorists. But the Europeans respect cyclists. Vehicles are guilty until proven innocent.
4. The focus is on you
The French love cycling. They live cycling. You’ll experience great support en route. They understand what you’re going through.
5. Tour de France
It’s not often that you get an opportunity to cycle on some of these silky smooth roads. And you’ll recognise landmarks as you go through the countryside.
6. You don’t need to speak French
I certainly can’t. You’ll manage. And remember, they love cyclists. So forget about the perceived language barrier.
7. It’s not that expensive
Once you’ve taken care of the flights to Paris then the rest of the trip works out to be more cost effective than you’d think.
8. You’ll make new friends
I certainly did. Now you don’t just cycle with your mates over a weekend — you travel with them to a different continent.
9. You can do it
It remains far. And you might experience lots of pain and little sleep. But it is entirely doable. If you can do 600, you can do 1200.
10. You’ve done it
The sense of accomplishment afterwards is worthwhile. Not many cyclists can say they have done the same. Bucket list item ticked.
See you at the start line.
Featured image by Gerhard van Noordwyk. It shows the Pont de l’Iroise bridge, which you’ll cross next to when you approach the halfway mark in Brest.