Friday, August 14, 2015

My Paris-Brest-Paris time plan

I learned the art of brevet time planning from Susan Otcenas (who makes very elaborate time sheets with, among other things, speed variations based on climbing) and Lynne Fitzsimmons (who uses a similar but less complex system).  Mine are closer to Lynne's style, but have borrowed as well from Susan's style.   I like to have at least two versions:  A "plan A" for the schedule I'd like to keep if everything goes well, and "plan B" for the schedule I'll try to keep if things are going less well and I'm rushing to keep ahead of the cuts.

Here is my plan for Paris-Brest-Paris, extracted from a spreadsheet that has some additional columns, such as my speed and the time I plan to spend at stops (typically 45 minutes at each, except for sleep stops in Loudeac and food stops at a couple places that are not controls).

I depart at 7:30pm Sunday  (10:30am Eugene time) and have 90 hours to reach Brest and return, with intermediate time cuts that I must reach to avoid disqualification.  The intermediate time cuts are not even:  Basically I have 40 hours to reach Brest and 50 hours to return.

I have a hotel in Loudeac for Monday and Tuesday nights.  On the way out it's likely I'll get 90 minutes sleep,  3 hours on the way back, but more (or less!) is possible.  Sleep will be in 90 minute increments --- for example, if I have time for 4 hours on the way back, I'll take 3 (90 minutes x 2 cycles) and bank the extra hour for a nap sometime later.  However, if I reach Loudeac with less than two hours "banked", I'll likely to take at least a short nap before continuing.

A = Plan A  (optimistic schedule)
B = Plan B   (15% slower, less sleep, racing the cut)

SQ Yvellines (start) 19:30 Sunday
Mortagne au Perche (food) 139km/86 miles A: 2:28 B: 3:52
Villaines La Juhel 220km/136 miles A: 7:20 B: 9:43 Cut: 10:10 Monday
Fougere 309km/192 miles A: 12:21 B: 15:43 Cut: 16:04
Tinteniac 363km/225 miles A: 15:41 B: 19:43 Cut: 19:56
Quedillac (food) 389km/241 miles A: 17:10 B: 21:30
Loudeac arrive 448km/278 miles A: 19:59 B: 0:53 Cut: 2:00 Tuesday
Loudeac depart 448km/278 miles A: 22:00 B: 0:00
St Nic du Pelem 493km/306 miles A: 0:19 B: 2:47
Carhaix 526km/326 miles A: 2:47 B: 5:44 Cut: 8:03
Brest 614km/381 miles A: 8:05 B: 12:06 Cut: 14:53
Carhaix 698km/433 miles A: 13:11 B: 18:14 Cut: 21:19
Loudeac arrive 780km/484 miles A: 18:11 B: 0:13 Cut: 3:39
Loudeac depart         A: 23:39 B: 1:39 Cut: 3:39
Tinteniac 865km/537 miles A: 4:48 B: 7:49 Cut: 10:12
Fougere 919km/571 miles A: 8:20 B: 12:05 Cut: 14:23
Villaines La Juhel 1008km/626 miles A: 14:27 B: 19:25 Cut: 21:14
Mortagne au Perche 1088km/676 miles A: 19:20 B: 1:17 Cut: 3:08
Dreux 1166km/724 miles A: 0:08 B: 7:02 Cut: 8:44
SQ Yvellines 1230km/764 miles A: 4:12 B: 11:54 Cut: 13:30

Except for Loudeac, all times are departure times, after some time for getting my control card stamped, getting some food, etc.  There are a couple of anomalies in the schedule as shown here ... for example, I can't actually leave Loudeac before I arrive on the way out.  What that means in practice is that Plan B is not tenable on the outbound ... I must either ride faster than that or spend less time at the controles.

I think I can stay close to plan A for the first day, if nothing goes wrong.  I may slip closer to plan B in subsequent days.  I will try to keep 4 hours "banked" after the turnaround in Brest, but the early morning finish shown in Plan A strikes me as unrealistic ... it's more likely I'll trade in some of that time bank for a nap somewhere on the third or fourth day.  I'll have a drop bag in Villaine (but no hotel), so I might take a nap on a cot there.

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