Bikepacking von Paris nach Brest

Paris-Brest-Paris is a renowned long-distance bicycle race that takes place every four years in France. Named after the cities of Paris and Brest, the route covers about 1,200 kilometres with 11,000 metres of altitude. Cyclists from all over the world take part in this epic endurance competition to ride back to the finish line after a maximum of 90 hours. The race has a long history and attracts both professionals and ambitious amateur athletes who want to push their limits.

Start in Rambouillet

The atmosphere at the start in Rambouillet is unique. I have rarely seen such a variety of people and bikes at an event. Young and old, trained or rather less trained, from folding bikes to time machines, there was nothing that wasn't there. Of course, there were also many on the classic randonneur with mudguard and luggage rack. The field of participants was also colourfully mixed. From the Brevet Club from San Francisco, California, a never-ending group of Italians, riders from Malaysia, India and even Bhutan, a total of 60 nations were represented. In the scorching heat, everyone waited for the starting signal at 4 pm for the first group.

6 stages from Paris to Brest

For us, the journey did not start until the next day. As we had not done the required qualifying brevets (200,400 and 600 km) we organised our very own Paris-Brest event. This also gave us a chance to make the route a bit more exciting than the classic route of the organisers. On a total of 6 stages, we first went to Alençon in Normandy, just like the participants. From there, however, we turned directly towards the sea and reached the famous Mont Saint Michel in the evening of the 2nd stage.

Coastal hopping in Brittany

On day 3, we finally arrived in Brittany. We meandered along the coast, past oyster stands and seemingly endless beaches, via Cancale, Saint Malo and Dinan to a small campsite. What we totally underestimated was the elevation gain in Brittany. There are no real mountains, but there are constant hills to overcome. So the trip became a constant interval training, with luggage not quite unstrenuous.

The highlight: The pink granite coast

We reached our absolute highlight in the evening of the 4th stage: Perros Guirec. A small coastal village, famous for the so-called pink granite coast ("Côte de Granit Rose"). Impressive stone formations that shimmer pink in the right light. Absolutely the right place for a break day. Here start many trails and also with the wheel one comes very well to the impressive rocks. From there we went on the last stage directly to Brest. The city itself was completely destroyed during World War II, so all romantic expectations of an idyllic destination remained absolutely unfulfilled here. Therefore, we were then not sad when we then set off again by train to Paris.

In total we covered 810 km and 7700 meters of altitude. Not quite in 90 hours, but with a lot of experience and many new experiences.

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