Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's New at Paris-Brest-Paris 2011!

The Audax Club Parisien has sent this note with a variety of new things for PBP'11.  Some of these have been on their PBP website for some time, but some are new and have yet to appear there. Here is their message verbatim.  Some interesting tidbits!

New in 2011

In 2011, veterans of the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur will discover many new features that should make their ride even more pleasant.

Bike Check and Brevet Card Collection - As in previous editions, the bike check will make sure that your bike is in accordance with the rules and enable you to fix last-minute problems. After the bike check, you will pick up your brevet card as well as the various ordered items (jersey, reflective vest, meals, etc.).

In 2011 we will accomodate those who start at 5:00 a.m. by setting up bike check and brevet card collection for them alone on Sunday morning. This way, they can avoid spending two nights there before the start. All other riders will have their bike check on the day before, Saturday, August 20.

Pre-ride Party - The Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur is a great opportunity to celebrate and to have a good time all together. That's why we invite you to meet on Saturday evening for a party which will end with fireworks around the 'Gymnase des Droits de I'Homme'.

Charity - Since 1991, the Audax Club Parisien donates a part of the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur revenues to charity. This year we chose to help the 'Institut Curie' to fund cancer research. We invite you to join us with your own contribution. You will find several links to the 'Institut Curie' on our website.

Earlier Starting Times - The first riders will start Sunday, August 21 at 4:00 p.m. The last ones are expected to  leave around 8:00 p.m. This should enable you to ride further before your first overnight stop on Monday evening. We hope that this will avoid further overcrowding at the Loudeac control.

Free Starting Times - In addition to the traditional group starts, we will offer free starting times on Sunday evening from 09h00 to 10h00 p.m. and on Monday morning from 5:30 to 8:00 a.m.

No crowds, no stress, you will simply validate your brevet card and cross the starting line, and the randonnee begins. But beware, we can only allow small groups of less than 20 people to start at once, and if there is too much demand we might have to impose restrictions. Of course, you will immediately be riding in the flow of traffic and we urge you to be vigilant from the very beginning.

Simplified Registration - In 2011, the registration process is simplified. We only offer online registration on the PBP website ( with integrated payment. You don't have to send any documents by mail.

Rider Tracking - No more long lines at the controls to validate both brevet card and magnetic badge! We will still use the brevet card to document that you went through the various controls, but your passage will be automatically recorded with a magnetic chip that you carry across a mat on the floor. At the end of your ride, you can keep the chip as memory.

Sleeping Option at Saint Nicolas du Pelem - Starting earlier than in previous editions, you may ride further than Loudeac for your first sleep stop ... if you consider sleeping at all! But the need to sleep can show up all of a sudden. Saint-Nicolas-du-Pelem should allow you to tackle this stage without worries. Located midway between Loudeac and Carhaix, it will offer you an ideal sleeping opportunity if you hesitate to ride all the way to the next control. In addition to many sleeping mats, you will find: showers - restrooms - cold and hot snacks (breakfast) - and a bike mechanic.

Arrival at Brest City Centre - Previous PBP finishers will tell you how strange it is to look forward to Brest for many hours and finally see only a few corners of the city. In 2011, we will make you discover a little more of Brest's assets by inviting you to ride along the port and in the city centre. We would like your arrival in Brest to become one of the greatest memories of your randonnee.

PBP 2011 'High Visibility' Reflective Vest - Since 2007, French law has changed and all riders must wear a high visibility vest during hours of darkness or other low-light conditions. Long before it became compulsory in France, the ACP mandated the wearing of a reflective sash when riding at night. In 2011 , all reflective vests must comply with the safety norm no. EN471. At registration, you can purchase a reflective vest, to ensure that you comply with French traffic law. This vest will be marked with the PBP Randonneur 2011 logo.

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On a related note, have a look at Mark Thomas's excellent rundown on latest PBP quota info.

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