Return to: PBP Stories 2007

From the randon discussion group:

"Jan Heine's Bike Choice for PBP"

People have been speculating whether I could have ridden faster in
PBP on a modern bike. The answer is no. I have ridden plenty of
those, yet chose my Singer for its performance. I had no problems
keeping up on the hills with the modern carbon bikes, because my bike
works in sync with me, what we have termed "planing". That is more
important than a few pounds.

I got dropped from the main group at the first control when I
unsuccessfully tried to get some water. I caught back up on the next
long climb, only to have a crash all around me open a gap. I was
tired of the poor bike handling and realized that if I chased on
again, I'd use up energy I'd still need for the 950 km remaining. So
I rode by myself, stopped for water, then joined the second group as
they caught up from behind. We were 4 minutes down and catching up
when I had a flat in the rain. From then, I rode by myself, or with
one or two riders, which was nice and rather pleasant in the rain.
The crosswinds were tougher than the rain for me, and so I set myself
a goal of beating 50 hours, which meant I had to speed up
significantly on the last 250 km. This made the time go by faster.

However, I was not unsupported - my parents joined me at some of the
controls starting in Fougeres on the way out.

Far from retro, my Singer was probably one of the better-suited bikes
for the event. I wish I had tires wider than 30 mm on the rough
roads, but that will have to wait for 2011. I certainly had more
gears than I needed, and my modern SON lights were brighter than most.

Jan Heine
Bicycle Quarterly