“Riding a bike is everything to a cyclist. The friendship and camaraderie you have with other cyclists… to a cyclist, it was the be-all and end-all of your life.” — Tommy Godwin, English long-distance cyclist

Ever wondered who might be the people you spend the most time with? I’m pretty sure one of your cycling/running buddy would be in the top 5, if you train regularly. Spending anywhere between 30 mins to 3 hrs, this camaraderie I feel is unadulterated and without any ulterior motive but simply for the joy of sport you both share.

The cycling community of Hyderabad has been very special to me in rejuvenating the childhood love for cycling and Hyderabad Randonnuers has consistently provided the platform to push my limits in endurance sports.

It’s been 1 year since we all had an amazing experience trying our hand(or legs) at the pinnacle of randonnuering, the Paris Brest Paris 2019 and our Hyderabad Randonnuers go down the memory lane and recount their experiences 😀

Raja Sabareesh

  1. Short summary of your time at PBP
    It was a wonderful experience, tests more of your mental abilities and team collaboration than personal fitness. Its all about how well you plan the ride and stay together with your group.
  2. Toughest moment/s at PBP
    => Riding alone in those sleepy nights and crashing multiple times.
    => Chilly nights and not finding any place to take rest
  3. Most memorable moment/s at PBP
    => The U-turn point, was a wonderful bridge most beautiful place and a happy feeling that i finished half of the ride.
    => Every CP was memorable seeing the huge crowd cheering on the road and the nights with wonderful music & snacks from locals
    => And the finish point, even though i reached after cut off – seeing my friends and lot of people to cheer was awesome feeling.
  4. 2-3 tips for futureAdvice for future PBP aspirants
    => PBP is not a ride that you have to do it alone. So form a team and practice riding together.
    => Managing everything together – when u have a good team share your activities at every CP.
    => Dont waste time at any CP, eat small quantities and stack up rest in the bike and start quick. If you are taking rest at a CP then you need to get a good sleep, again it has to be whole team together.
    => Groupset, Carbon / Aluminium, carbon wheels or stock wheels none of this matters in such a long ride. Only thing matters is your comfort so make sure you carry everything that makes your comfortable.

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Prithvi Krishna

  1. Short summary of your time at PBP
    => I had an amazing experience in PBP It was a dream come true for me seeing such a nice country and people.
    => Views were breath taking . People of France are so good that even at midnight they were cheering on roads
  2. Toughest moment/s at PBP
    => Weather was most chilling
    => Climbs were too big than I expected
    => Lack of food for vegetarians . I just had to survive with bread
    => I gave up at Loudeac due to an knee injury
  3. Most memorable moment/s at PBP
    => Views of France
    => Hospitality of people in that country
    => Going to MacD and asking for French fries 🍟 like we do in India and people at store laughing at it
  4. 2-3 tips for futureAdvice for future PBP aspirants
    => Take proper clothing for cold
    => Take some supplements of food
    => Practice well for climbs before you attempt

Sanjay Yadav

  1. Short summary of your time at PBP
    => PBP was splendid. Right from the moment we left our accomodation till the time we crossed the finish line, we were always on our toes.
    => Each Night was colder than previous. Managing food was a huge task. Apart from a couple of checkpoints, there were hardly any choices for vegetarian folks.
    => My partner in crime(Prithvi) had to drop at Loudeac, so I kept looking for a peloton or a fellow rider with whom I could ride.
    => While all of this was happening, I was thoroughly enjoying downhills and at times I loved climbing.
    => Post Dreux, we sort of had a race to the finish line which I think was icing on the cake.
  2. Toughest moment/s at PBP
    There are 2 distinct events that i would term as the toughest.

    => Firstly, I somehow lost my base layer and jacket near St Nicolas-du-pelem checkpoint. This meant I had to ride through the night with a single layer of clothing. I suffered badly that night.
    I remember checking mercury level with one of the fellow cyclists around 2AM. His Garmin showed temperatures between 1-3 degrees. According to him, PBP 2019 was colder than PBP 2011 and PBP 2015.

    => The second occasion, on the return leg riding towards Mortagne-au-Perche, I had very little energy left in me probably because I couldn’t find anything to eat except for a couple of croissants and a coke at Villains-la-Juhel. I couldn’t pedal any further and had to stop.
    My Mom had given me a few laddus in case I got hungry. I barely managed to hide a couple of them from Prithvi as he attacked anything that was related to Indian food. They saved the day and I somehow crawled to Mortagne-au-Perche.
  3. Most memorable moment/s at PBP
    => Hands down, Hospitality of French people.
    => I was a bit scared while riding alone through the forests between Carhaix and Brest at night. The reason, I was hallucinating a lot that night. Was asked to join a peloton of Brazilian riders.
    Despite language barriers, their group leader communicated that I should lead the peloton during downhills. We had a different rider to lead when the road was flat, another when we climbed. I rode with those folks for a good 100-120Kms.
    => Sleeping under the dining table at checkpoints.

  4. 2-3 tips for futureAdvice for future PBP aspirants
    => Keep food supplies for emergencies. There is little or no support at Checkpoints after cut off times.
    => A lot of cyclists will be faster than you. Do not worry and have faith in your training.
    => Practice riding uphills as much as you can.
    => We are not used to extreme temperatures that one experiences during PBP. Keep yourself covered up and carry good quality thermal wear.

“[T]o me it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever:
as long as I’m riding a bike, I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” Mark Cavendish, British pro racer