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The countdown begins!

PBP Course 2023

-300Days -22Hours -41Minutes -33Seconds

It’s one week beforeToday I start my first Paris Brest Paris Audax something I always said I would never attempt 🙂 but I succumbed and now we are in Rambouillet

 

I’m rider O195 with a start time of 19:30 on Sunday 20th August with a finish time 90 hours later on Thursday 24 August at 13:30.

You can check my progress at this link. Honey’s progress can be checked at this link she starts 30 minutes before me at 19:00.

Our progress is automatically updated at the control towns:

The times are my official closing times at each control, I can exceed one or two but the overtime has to be corrected by the next one. So my sleep is going to suffer, according to Autosleep my Sleepbank currently has over 9 hours of credit 🙂

 

The Paris Brest Paris (PBP) Audax

PBP Course 2023We have both qualified & received our places for our first Paris-Brest -Paris ride. We completed our 200km, 300km, 400km & 600km qualifying rides in Thailand. The 2023 PBP for me starts on Sunday 20th August at 19:30 and Honey at 19:00. We have 90 hours to ride the 1219km (757 miles) which makes my finishing time on Thursday 24th August at 13:30, although obviously, it can be sooner hahaha. Stop laughing I did the Isan 2020km ride with a few hours to spare!

June 23 StravaWe have spent June training in the UK, The PBP course is hilly with 11,750m (38,550 feet) of ascent, or roughly 1%. Checking my Strava it looks like in June I cycled 1923km and climbed 13044m which is 0.7% so getting close. However, my average moving speed was 16.6kph obviously I need to speed up a fair bit if I want to sleep on PBP.

I managed to get some sort of lurgy in the past few days which has had me shivering like crazy and non-stop peeing. But it seems to be clearing up fast now so hopefully training will resume tomorrow.

More to

88 days in Thailand

I’ve now been in Thailand for 88 days and this is the first time I’ve been near my blog!  Which is to say very unusual for me as is riding 6600km (4,125 miles) in the same period. Not sure if the cycling rate will continue at such a pace with, as in the UK, all Audaxes stopped and the daytime temperatures reaching 40+ in the late morning.

With a lot of help from a very friendly Thai Lady, I managed to extend my 90-day visa to a 1-year retirement visa which if I pay an additional 3800 Baht (£94) when I next leave the country it will be converted into a multiple entry visa. Which given all the COVID-19 virus stuff is very useful.

I made the decision to stay here in Bangkok rather than go into isolation on my own in the UK. interestingly as of today Thailand with a similar population to the UK has a total of 2,169 infected with 10 deaths against the UK’s 42,000 infected and 4313 deaths!

Almost Immediately after I arrived I  failed the Sai Yok 600km audax due to a total lack of sleep on the plane and not been acclimatized to the afternoon heat but I still managed to ride 180km. The following weekend I successfully did the Kaen Makrut 400km in just over 23 hours with its two mega hills and very few/no supplies at the control points.

The star attraction for me was the Isan 2020km audax, awesome and very well organized and I did it comfortably in 160 hours the worst part by a long way was the 11 hours it took me to ride/walk the 80km from Ban Tat Kloi to Ban Kok Ka Bouk.

Two weeks later after doing some rides exploring Roi Et and then Ratchaburi we did the Ayutthaya 200 BRM audax a lovely easy ride (apparently Thailands first-ever audax route) but with a rather unfortunate abrupt ending at dinner after the event 🙁 🙁

I then decided to take a bike tour on my own with my pannier from Bangkok >> Na Rim beach >> Chantaburi >> Sa Kaeo >> Bing Nam Priao >> The Khun Dan 200 audax >> AyutthayaWattha Sung >> Kamphaeng >> Bantung >> Nakorn Lampang >> Lampang 200km test audax ->>Chang Mai then an overnight train back to Bangkok to try the Tha Chin-Mae Klong 400 Audax which I DNF’d by 5km due to punctures and my miserable attempt to repair them! Thus making a rather epic 2,339km in 18 days! and apart from the audaxes with all my baggage!

Back in Bangkok life eventually returned to before the dinner episode with the help of my bike box 🙂 although we now have the COVID-19 closing all the shops, bars, etc, fortunately, the Rembrandt Suites is a pretty decent place to be although a real pity the pool is closed 🙁

 

 

Nakhon Pathom 400km Audax

Buoyed by the success of my first 600 I thought it would be a grand idea to finish a Super Randonneur series whilst in Thailand 🙂 I managed to get entry to the Nakhon Pathom 400km Audax so I rested a few days at the Payamai resort which so reminded me of places that Pelosi gets invited to in Hotel Inspector! The Full moon festival was in full swing at Uthai Thani so great experience.

I cycled the 31 miles in the morning to Ban Takhli station to catch a train with the loaded bike to Bangkok the bike fitting in the old dining car converted to a parcels van easily through the double door opening. I spent the night by Bangkok station in the OYO 140 The Krungkasem Srikrung Hotel.

Platform 9 Bangkok station

The next day I caught the train going South to Nakhon Pathom, amusingly the main parcel van was full of boxes and a couple of motorbikes so myself and a small group of cyclists at to lift our bikes through the ever open windows 🙂 You have to be fit to travel with a bike 🙂

The train slowly filled up when leaving Bangkok eventually stopping at Nakhon Pathom.I had taken the front wheel off by now so I could upend the bike and squeeze through the regular door 🙂

The Zen Hotel is great about a mile from the Audax starting stadium and does breakfast from 6 am so perfect for the 7 am start. Great to see so many folks from the 600 ride at the start including Wit from the Audax FB post. The Fatty Bikes had now grown into a group of 4 plus a Californian lady on a recumbent.

Once again we set off at high speed averaging 18 mph to the first stop at 45 miles away! at which point I slowed down to my normal 21 kph. A small group invited me to their early lunch which was good, by noon I had reached the temple where I really enjoyed ice cream it was just so hot! far hotter than on the 600 the afternoon descended into a blur of finding roadside drink stops, I wish I could find something that is palatable when warm and doesn’t dry up your mouth. Fortunately, the sun gave up before me and the wonderfully cool evening started whilst I was ascending through the lakes gorgeous apart from the flies!  I eventually found the temple at Chom Bueng cunningly hidden off the main street, with ‘only’ 85 km to go and just after midnight (the speedier ones came through 5 hours before!) I declined the offer of floor space and ploughed on through the night with no other cyclists, the 7-Eleven seemed an eternity and I was getting  desperate to close my eyes but as soon as I stopped a posse of barking dogs would gather 🙁

I eventually finished at  Nakhon Pathom at 5.45 am with just over 4 hours in hand! I managed to be having my hotel breakfast again 24 hours later than when I set off.

So still on a learning curve especially with regard to sleep and maybe removing a lifetime habit of dashing off, although it has stood me in very good stead over the past 72 years 🙂

Now just a 300 to do to complete the SR series, I’m booked into the Chom Bueng 300 this Saturday a bit hilly compared to the last two. Here is the Strava for todays ride