When I came to Guyancourt (the starting point of the brevet) there was a tangible vibrant cycling atmosphere. There was a positive fluid in the air and the optimistic excitement about the ride was contagious. The cyclists had occupied the city. They came from Europe, China, Japan, Australia, USA, India, Brazil, from everywhere, it was a big international event, adding to its grandeur. It was easy to understand now what had puzzled me before: how could someone return every four years and ride PBP for the second, third, tenth time?
|Me, waiting for the start at PBP. Note my cycling footware for the PBP: the crocs.|
|A part of the Slovenian contingent for PBP under the Eiffel Tower.|
|Just before the start of the last group for 90 hours PBP.|
The time for my start was scheduled at 18:00. However, the Slovenian group I was with, was reluctant to leave the good picnic space that we occupied in the hotel's courtyard until the very last minute, so we came late at the start and consequently we started in the last group of the 90-hours randonnée, at 20:00. The weather was ideal though. The afternoon heat finished during our 2 hour wait for the start and the evening was warm and cloudless at it remained so all through the night. My plan was to ride my own randonnée, according to my own rhythm, and not to be a part of any group, except of those that spontaneously form and dissolve along the route. It meant riding a lot of time without the benefit of drafting and support but also free of constraints and compromises that riding within a pre-defined group poses. It was a very good choice.
|Bike park at a control point.|
|My bike parked at the finish of PBP.|
|Third day, on the way back from Brest.|