25 August 2011

PBP - next time need stronger handlebars

PBP - next time need stronger handlebars
Well, after a dry start I got to the 140km checkpoint with a 30kph average moving speed (including some ups and downs), ...  the pace then slowed a lot. From late morning we had rain and some incredible thunderstorms, complete with drenching downpours and lightning strikes too close for comfort, the remainder of the first day and overnight into the second morning.  The storms and lingering jet lag set me way back, so I took a first sleep break at Tinteniac for 3 hours instead of going to Loudeac or beyond ...  I somehow went from having 5 hours already "in the bank" and the prospect of more, to a constant game of catch-up to meet the deadlines at each control point.

There were lots of high and low points (figuratively and literally) along the way, but for now, here is the result:  I made it through the 1009 km control point at Villaines-la-Juhel but not to Mortagne-au-Perche at 1090 km.
About 30 km into the leg, at 2am in the dark, zipping through the town of Frenay-Sur-Sarthe, I hit a low curb (that looked like another lane of the street, not a curb, to me) and went down on my right side, hearing the hiss of exploding tires and then the hard clatter and a bang as my bars slammed into some kind of marble, solid memorial stone.  The carbon handlebars gave way to marble.

Anyway, just some minor road rash and bruises, I think, but no way to continue on.

7 comments:

Manfred von Holstein said...

Oh no, very sorry to hear! Glad to know though that you seem to be overall fine. 1009km is still an incredible achievement - and also proof the full 1,230km would have been possible for you. Have a safe trip back home to Tokyo!

mob said...

David,
so sorry to hear about your crash and the resulting termination of the race. As Ludwig wrote, I am sure that you would have made it to Paris. Looking at the map it seems so close.
Somehow I like the idea that you rode more than 1.000 km (which is a "metric millenium" opposed to an "imperial century" ie. 100 miles) which is a superb achievement and easy to show. So I am also glad you didn't crashed at km 974. Really, I think that you did well beyond expectations and you don't need to be sad that you didn't made it to Paris.
Your superstrong now and you will enjoy the 300km leisure rides in the Japanese autumn.

lennon said...

David, that is a real shame; I was following your progress avidly ~ you were surely going to make it. But next time without a doubt.
Graham

Froggy said...

Hi David

Without this fall you would surely have made it to the finish. I feel bad because I am the one who usually ride with an unfixed bike...
Anyway I hope you have not been hurt & hope to hear the detailed story of this new challenge => I am now considering entering the next edition to avenge you.
See you soon

Froggy

TOM said...

ARRRRRRGHHH...DNF...arrrrgh so close!!! What a pity but still what an incredible effort (think of it more than 1,000km virtually non-stop and without once changing one's bibshorts) !!!!

Was it the combination of fatigue and the darkness of a poorly-lit road that spooked you into that marble stone?

Next time with superstrong aluminum handlebars you will make it for sure David - no doubt.

Your courage and passion for the sport is awesome.

David L. said...

Thanks for the comments -- I really appreciate the support. I am back in Tokyo and online.

MOB -- I like your positive phrasing. I did a "metric millenium" and rode the famous route of "Paris Brest Fresnay-sur-Sarthe". I certainly feel that I got the full PBP experience, and now I have a reason to try to go back in 2015.

Manfred -- yes, I felt my legs were definitely strong enough to finish, and the other aches and pains had gotten much better during the 6 hours before the crash, so I was confident I could finish. ... but still would be good actually to finish, instead of just being confident that I could have finished!

Tom - I did have a drop bag at Loudeac (or was it Looniac, Maniac, Silliac or Rintintiniac, or one of the many other "acs" we passed?) with spare bib shorts etc. ... which all got wet after I put them on, as the rain continued for some time after Loudeac. I'll write another post with more details on the ride and the provisioning/equipment challenges and lessons learned (including: bring more chamois cream and spare batteries than you think you could ever need, as you might actually need it/them).

Yes, it was definitely a combination of fatigue, darkness/poorly lit road and an odd road feature -- low curb that looked like another lane to me, not a curb -- that resulted in the crash. It was 2AM on the 3rd night of riding, with less than 6 hours sleep total during the prior 70 hours (3+1+0.5+0.75). Also, my lights' batteries were not fresh --hence my lights not as bright as they can be--but I did not want to change the batteries yet since I would still have to go 5 hours on the next set until 7AM daybreak. And at/after the Villaines checkpoint I was frustrated that I could not find a quick cup of coffee anyplace, as I had had after the earlier Tintineac checkpoint. That cup had really revved me up for the following hour or so and had me passing plenty of riders on the hills.

Anonymous said...

great effort David. happy you survived. we were following you on the web-site... best J&D