Paris-Brest-Paris is a long distance cycling event and you don’t need to be a cartographer to spot that it runs from Paris to Brest and back.
Those 1230 kilometers need to be completed in either 84 or 90 hours, depending on your start group. Other than the many fans along the way there are also 11000 meters of undulating rolling hills to keep you entertained. It is run every four years ever since 1891, making it one of the oldest cycling events still running.
Why do it?
It’s global. Our local Audax rides are tiny in comparison, but here you share the road with over 5000 other cyclists from around the world.
It’s ancient. You take part in one of the oldest cycling events still running, get to see old world France and cycle through historical places like Normandy.
It’s safe. Back home road cycling is downright dangerous because of other motorists, but Europeans generally respect cyclists and vehicles will queue behind you if necessary.
The focus is on you. The French love cycling. They understand what you’re going through and you’ll receive great support en route. Imagine the Cape Town Cycle Tour but ten times longer.
Le Tour. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to cycle on some of these silky smooth roads and recognize landmarks from Tours gone by as you go through the countryside.
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.
It’s not that expensive. Once you’ve taken care of the flights to Paris, the rest works out more cost effective than you’d think. Maybe seeing the world from your saddle is the ultimate way to travel.
You’ll make new friends. I certainly did. Instead of cycling with your mates around the block, you now get to travel with them for an adventure on a different continent.
You can do it. It remains far and there will be some discomfort and lack of sleep, but it is entirely doable. If you can do 600, you can do 1200. And more.
You’ve done it. There is a humbling and worthwhile sense of accomplishment afterwards. Try and create the opportunity to take part in this amazing experience. Bucket list item ticked.
See you at the start line.