Posted By Ron

My goal is to finish PBP 2019 with a 2-hour margin (1230 km in 88 hours), but without adversely affecting my family, my employment or my friends.

Stephen says that most people can handle three projects at a time, and can stretch to four for short bursts. I find that the energy and time spent switching back and forth between projects wears me down. Long before I realised that, I avoided starting working on a project when I couldn't see finishing it, and finishing it well in the same sitting.

So my goal is simple, and includes maintaining life balance. It can be broken into manageable chunks. This blog is about the PBP training, so won't have a bunch of soap opera.

Weight: I will get down to 190 pounds by Christmas, and stay under 190 through Christmas. That's 1.4 pounds per week which is attainable. Then another 10 pounds in the first 10 weeks of 2018, which will be harder. I was last 180 pounds in the 1980s. Then maintain that weight through to the start of the 2019 brevet season, and maybe go lower from there. That all can be done by eating less overall, and in particular, eating a lot less crap. I know how to do it; I just have to do it. Weigh-ins will be before breakfast on Tuesdays, and will be published here weekly.

Cycling: In 2018, I will ride a full series of brevets that are more difficult that I have done before (i.e. one 200 will be the hardest 200 I have ever done), and I will do my first 1000. This will involve improving my speed, endurance, time management and mental/emotional preparedness. I will not start any brevets that I don't fully expect to finish. (There were several rides in 2015 that were No Big Deal. I need to have rides like that next year.)

In 2019, I will complete the PBP qualifying series as early as my schedule will allow (although probably not in a Hell Week).

My work/school schedule for September-November 2017 is good. I have been granted professional development leave, and my SFU classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. My Tuesdays and Thursdays will be packed with homework, to be sure, but there will be time for riding. At least twice a week I will ride to and from classes (46 km each way, with 500 m vertical in the morning). Saturdays and Sundays, I'll put in at least 150 total, with one 200 km permanent each month. My outdoor riding will be at transportation speed, with the intent of creating an aerobic base.

On days when the weather is just plain awful, I will substitute Sufferfest training sessions. One way or another, I will use The Sufferfest as least twice a week. These will be shorter than my outdoor rides, but much more intense. The goals are improved speed and power. So, on a real or indoor bike 4 days a week for the next three months, and further planning from then.

Also, I will measure my FTP using The Sufferfest every 10-12 weeks and publish.

Reports for all rides will be recorded here. Often just a sentence.

Upper body: I don't have a very good record of going to the gym. I do think that upper body should be of some help in cycling and in life. Maybe in the new year.

Posted By Ron

If Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 starts on August 18, I have 719 days to prepare. This blog will serve as a record of my training and, because it is public, as an instrument of accountability. You're welcome to read this, but I am writing for me.

I'll set August 18, 2017 as the official first day of training. So, where did I stand as of that day? In the two years since my failed attempt (3 hours over time on arrival at Carhaix, eastbound) I have ridden very little, and eaten quite a lot. I was at 194 pounds in August 2015, and by Christmas 2016, had reached 226. I have slowly got down to 213. I have 5 brevet DNFs (one does not appear in the BCRCC database [shhh]), 3 complete 200 km brevets and a 200 km fleche. In early June I also completed a 200 km and a 300 km permanent. No riding at all from October 2015 through March 2016, and only 700 km in all of 2016.

Early in the year, I bought a smart trainer, and put a number of virtual kilometres in. I also started getting out on the road more, riding over 400 km in April and May, and over 600 in June. But only a couple of short, easy rides in July and early August.

Coincident with the end of my PBP attempt was the beginning of my studies at SFU. I joined the BCIT Education Council at the same time too. The MEng I am working on requires the completion of 10 courses. I did one each in fall 2015, spring 2016, fall 2016, and spring 2017. I was so overwhelmed by all of the comittments that I had to leave EdCo after 2 terms, and still was close to melting down in the 4th term. I was able to secure professional development leave, so in summer 2017, I ramped up to 3 courses, and will do the last three this fall.

I have been the organiser of a good number of brevets. Bridges for Harold in September 2015, Whatcome Skagit 2016, and the very time-intensive Peace to Parliament 1500 km series in June 2017. I had plenty of help on all of these (especially from Stephen Hinde), but they all burned up a lot of time. Between P2P and the three courses this summer, I once again found myself at the edge of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

And Dad died suddenly in an accident in April.

Clearly, I have been trying to do too many things at the same time. I have never been good at multitasking, and seem to be getting worse (or at least more aware that it is an issue) as I age.

My wife, Kathleen has been the victim of my overstretched agenda. She doesn't see enough of me, and when she does, I am often grumpy and/or preoccupied.

The last two years have been generally good (except for Dad's death, of course) but too damned busy and too damned stressful. On August 18, 2 years before the next PBP, mentally end emotionally spent, I got on a plane with Kathleen for Ireland.

Posted By Ron

So, two years to the day before PBP 2019, Kathleen and I flew to Dublin. Then we drove to Bangor, Northern Ireland, and I slept for about 16 hours. The primary goal of this trip is refreshment. We are resting and relaxing and doing our best to ignore the troubles of the world for a few days.

But I did bring a bike. A new bike. A sweet bike.

Tern Verge X18