Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 — 16-20 August 2015
Paris-Brest-Paris is one of the very oldest and certainly most famous cycling events anywhere in the world. PBP takes place only once every four years, so it's a major event in all randonneurs' calendars. It's 1232km long and we have just 90 hours to do it in — including riding, eating, sleeping and fixing any breakages of the bike! It's going to be fun …
Sterling work on GPS and route sheets for PBP. What could possibly go wrong?— Richard, July 2015
I've created a route sheet based on what I believe to be the correct PBP route based on the rather terse routesheet sent out by the PBP organisers and from the OpenRunner tracks on the PBP website. However, the route is open to interpretation because the offical GPX files and the OpenRunner online tracks do have some discrepancies between them. Nevertheless, this is the best I could come up with — 1232km covered in just 8 sides of A4, foldable down to A6.
DISCLAIMER — This routesheet has been prepared using the best information available to me from the PBP organisation and Google Maps and StreetView. However, it is possible and indeed likely that the official route may be slightly different in places and so you should DEFINITELY follow the directional arrows present at junctions in preference to this routesheet. If you are led astray by this routesheet then that's your problem. I will be using this routesheet as information as to what's coming up, but will follow the arrows on the event itself.
IMPORTANT — The routesheet was checked end-to-end in Google Streetview on 21 July 2015 and many improvements were made to the instructions. It was re-checked on 27 July 2015 and a couple more amendments to both the routesheet and the GPS files. And Stephen spotted a small but significant typo on stage 3, which was fixed around midday on 31 July 2015. And Stephen spotted some distance-calculation errors, as well as one more missing instruction (non-critical), all of which was fixed around midnight on 31 July 2015. If you printed the routesheet before any of these dates, please reprint it using this latest version. There may be additional amendments before the ride so check back often and print as late as you dare!
Note: If you find an error in the routesheet, or if you would like it in an alternative format so you can reformat it to your preferences, email Nick.
I've created some GPS files —
- One track for each of the 15 stages of PBP
- 4x 300km routes, each one including several stages of PBP — Paris-Fougères, Fougères-Brest, and back again
- 2x 600km routes — Paris-Brest and Brest-Paris
- Some simplified 600km and 1200km files for using with weather and mapping sites, but not for GPS use
The routes are named so that you can load all of the routes of a specific format onto your GPS device at the same time. They are named as follows:
- The 15x stage routes are named
PBP09E2_Carhai, etc. — that is:
PBP+ stage number + direction (W for westwards, E for eastwards) + stage number in that direction + start-stage name (it's easier to ask "where am I?" than "where am I going?"!) … except for the NEW with-cue/waypoints files, which include the destination name …
- The 4x 300km stage routes are named
PBP300EAST_B_TCX— the format is included so you can, optionally, load both the GPX and TCX routes onto your Edge device in case something goes wrong and you need to switch.
- The 2x 600km stage routes are named
PBP600EAST_TCX— again, the format is included.
Myself, I intend to use the 15 stage routes on my Edge 1000, because that will give me a distance countdown to the next control, and because resetting the route every now and again does tend to clear out navigational issues that Garmins seem to suffer from.
Note — If your device doesn't have space for all the files then you are best served to omit the 600km files, because the chances are your device is a Garmin Edge 800 and it will crash around 300-400km into the 600km route. Use the shorter routes instead, or use the smaller GPX files.
DISCLAIMER — These routes have been prepared using the best information available to me from the PBP organisation and Google Maps and StreetView. However, it is possible and indeed likely that the official route may be slightly different in places and so you should DEFINITELY follow the directional arrows present at junctions in preference to these GPS routes. If you are led astray by these GPS routes then that's your problem. I will be using the 15x routes as information as to what's coming up, but will follow the arrows on the event itself.
Choose your format: GPX or TCX as follows …
Some devices can only handle GPX files; some devices need simplified (500-point) GPX files. Some devices can't handle more than 200km in a single route, some riders prefer TCX — it's somewhat of a minefield trying to provide GPS files to suit all-comers! I've sliced and diced the most common formats and you should find something here for your device, whatever your requirements. If you'd prefer to grab an online copy and modify it yourself, the originals are here and you can duplicate to your own RWGPS account and play.
If you're still having problems or have a question, email Nick.
Standard GPX files
Most riders will use these normal GPX files. There are two flavours: standard and legacy (reduced-to-500-points for legacy devices). The controls are NOT included as waypoints in the multi-stage GPXes, since there will be literally crowds of marshalls in the road waving you in, so there's really no point! If I get around to it, I may add these back in — I got around to it, you have the choice of with/without, but be aware these are untested and if you're at all squeamish then use the WITHOUT files! Garmin Edge 700+ devices and most other non-Garmin devices use these.
- Paris-Brest-Paris GPX WITH cue/way points — be aware these are untested!
- Paris-Brest-Paris GPX WITHOUT cue/way points
Each ZIP file includes all 15 individual stage routes, as well as 4x 300km routes and 2x 600km routes. Just load all the routes onto your GPS device and choose which you'd prefer to use on the day.
Legacy 500-point GPX
These are for users of Garmin eTrex, Montana and Edge 500 and the like.
- Paris-Brest-Paris 500-point GPX WITH cue/way points — be aware these are untested!
- Paris-Brest-Paris 500-point GPX WITHOUT cue/way points
Each ZIP file includes only the 15 individual stage routes: if your GPS can handle routes of only 500 points then there's no point using longer routes (300km or 600km), so we've not provided them.
‘Advanced’ TCX files
TCX routes work on devices like Edge 800, 810, 1000 and possibly others. Note that unlike previous TCX routes I've created, these ones currently don't include any cue points, so there's no real technical advantage to using them over the GPX routes. This may change in the next few weeks, or not. Update — I got a series of cryptic emails from someone with no name to let me know that the TCX files work much better on a Garmin Edge 200 (and possibly 500) than GPX in that you get turn-by-turn with TCX which you don't get with GPX, so there you go!
- Paris-Brest-Paris TCX WITH cue/way points — be aware these are untested!
- Paris-Brest-Paris TCX WITHOUT cue/way points
The ZIP file includes all 15 individual stage routes, as well as 4x 300km routes and 2x 600km routes. Just load all the routes onto your GPS device and choose which you'd prefer to use on the day.
ACP's original GPX files
I've downloaded and merged ACP's own GPX files. You can grab them from here.
The Weather — GPS files for uploading to weather sites
If you're an avid user of WeatherBagel then you'll no doubt have come across some limitations and general slowness when using very large GPX files (and often crashes when using TCX files). Therefore we've created some very long GPX files from the 500-points versions — you wouldn't use these for turn-by-turn directions, but they may be useful for uploading to utility sites.
If you're still having problems or have a question, email Nick.