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Paris-Brest-Paris

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A sample of photos that I took during the 2007 Paris-Brest-Paris. The oldest active bike ride in the world, the Paris-Brest occurs every four years and draws 5000 ambitious amateurs from around the world. It is a 1200 km journey with a 90 hour time limit. All participants must be self-supported and it is not for the faint of heart. Yet, this sort of challenge draws out the boldness, passion and grace that lurks within the heart of all who participate.
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Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France
The Paris-Brest-Paris is a precursor to the Tour De France and is the oldest active bike ride in the world. It is a 1200km (750 mile) journey from Versailles to the coast of Brittany and back. No longer a professional race, the Paris-Brest is now...
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53700 Villaines-la-Juhel, France
I started PBP in the third wave of 90 hour riders, at 2210 under a light drizzle of rain that turned the narrow tarmac until a slick, dark avenue of cold and danger. My legs felt weak, the crowd of 100 riders who surrounded me wore on my nerves. I...
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61400 Mortagne-au-Perche, France
at some point around dawn, after leaving Mortagne Au Perche, I found myself mixed in with a pack of Japanese cyclists, their jerseys proclaiming them as coming from Saitama, on the outskirts of Tokyo. I spoke no Japanese, and their English was...
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53220 Saint-Ellier-du-Maine, France
A few months before the ride, I was hanging out with some New England randonneurs for dinner at Redbones in Davis Square. There, amidst plates of ribs and pints of Guinness, we talked about bikes, riding and collective insanity. One of them, K,...
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53220 Saint-Ellier-du-Maine, France
for the families who live along the route of the Paris-Brest, the ride is a quadrennial opportunity for them to come out and cheer. It is like the Boston Marathon, but stretched out over four days and 750 miles. Many of them will setup picnic...
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28100 Dreux, France
for a bike nerd, simply being around the parking lots of Paris Brest can be an almost religious experience. the number, variety and quality of bikes that you will find is simply mind-boggling. Custom bikes that cost more than an average used car...
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Brest, France
I arrived in Brest, at the halfway mark of 375 miles about 35+ hours after I started this ride. i've had, maybe, two to three hours of sleep. I took this photo at the bridge, where a bunch of the rest of us had stopped to commemorate our making it...
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28270 Brezolles, France
there was an Italian rider near this cafe who, like many Italians, looked immaculate despite the many hours that he'd been on the road. He was a chatty fellow and tried to amuse us by guessing where we were from by our accents. "ah, you, the way...
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Paris, France
Serendipitous light on a September afternoon--a rainbow arcing over the Eiffel Tower and ending at the gold dome of L'Église des Invalides in central Paris. (Under that dome, emperor worship continues--Napoléon I lies buried in a crypt in the...