updated for 2015
The Paris – Brest – Paris is one of the worlds oldest cycling events. It started being held as a race with the first one in 1891, two years before the initial Tour de France. Now it is an amateur ride, like a cycle tour but ridden at a cracking pace, 1200km in 90 hours or less.
It is the worlds biggest long distance ride. There were 5,000 entries last time and the organisers are talking about 6,000 entries this time
The current version of the ride runs every four years, and 2015 on the 17th of August is the next chance to do it.
To enter it you have to complete a number of qualifying rides. These are known as “Brevets”
Distances and dates
You have to complete an event of the following distance, between the dates shown
UPDATE FOR 2015 entry
For 2015 the dates are
* 200km 1st Jan to 10th May
* 300km 4th April to 24th May
* 400km 18th April to 7th of 7th June
* 600km 8th May to 28th June
All the events must be of the type BRM (Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux ). Essentially what this means is that they have rules about how the rides should be done that are set by the ACP (Audax Club Parisien) that organises the PBP. The events typically cost between £5 and £15 in the UK. The longer events cost a little more: some of the 600km events include a sleep stop.
The events must be ridden in a “self sufficient” way, with minimal support and within time limits. To give a couple of examples of the time limit for the 200 is 13h20 and the time limit for the 400 is 27h
Events are organised all over the world. In the UK the organising body is AUK (Audax UK).
Once the BRM rides are completed, entry can be made with the ACP web site. Part of the BRM process ensures that the BRM ride is registered with the ACP. The entry fee is 100 Euros, this does not include any food. Accommodation during the event is supplied but is patchy. There are 6000 riders but no one “control” (as the stops are called) can sleep this number so the beds are often over capacity. Not that there is much time to sleep….
The Paris-Brest-Paris web site has a useful pdf poster with lots of details and the history of the PBP on it.