The upcoming weeks are loaded with cycling excitement, RAAM, the Trans Am, and the Tour de France. The next Paris-Brest-Paris will be held on 16th August 2015, so why bring up an event occurring more than a year away? Because if you are even a little interested in this event you need to understand the process now or inadvertently find yourself waiting until 2019 before you have another chance at what is perhaps the best amateur cycling event on the planet. The video below was taken in a town about 30 miles on the return leg from Brest just after sunrise during the 2011 PBP. To me it best describes what PBP is all about.
Anyone can participate in the PBP but you can’t just show up on the day of the event. You must go through a qualifying process. This process entails successfully completing a Super Randonneur Series the year of the event (see process here). OK, but still, the first SR qualifying brevet is not until 1 January 2015 so the question remains, why do I care now? By all means keep your eyes on RAAM just remember, the 2015 PBP has pre-registration preferences for riders who ride a brevet during the 2014 season. In other words riding a brevet in 2014 puts you in the front of the registration line over those who do not ride a brevet this year (see pre-registration schedule here) . There is a quota of around 6000 riders for the PBP. An official 2014 ride pretty much guarantees you a spot if you can follow-up with a successful brevet series in 2015. No brevet this year and there is a chance you will be squeezed out for the 2015 ride. If you are unfamiliar with Randoneuring, there is even a better reason to ride a brevet this year. It will give you an introduction to Randos before you are thrust into the mandatory qualifying for a Super Randonneur Series. These Series usually start early during a PBP year and will require some planning. Get a brevet in now and be better prepared for the qualifying year. Miss out on an early local 200K ride and you might have to travel a long distance to find another one. Go ahead, look up your nearest Regional Brevet Administrator here. The CruzMoose is already fired up and ready to go. I will try to pick up a 300K next month. Hope you do, too.