By completing the Badlands 200k and RMCC 300, 400, and 600k brevets, I have once again qualified for the quadennial Paris-Brest-Paris. However, even before completing the 600k brevet I had decided I wouldn’t be doing it this year. In an email to a friend I explained why:
Finishing the 600k would give me the option of doing PBP if I wanted to again. For most of the year I wasn’t sure, but in any case I wanted to do a full brevet series. Now I am thinking I won’t be doing PBP even if I am successful in the 600k because 1) I already did it, 2) there are plenty of other August events I haven’t done, 3) I already have other reasons to go to France in the future that cannot be combined in a PBP trip, and 4) flying to France nowadays is expensive. I looked up airfare last week just out of curiosity and was shocked to see that even if I booked now (2 months in advance), airfare would be $1300. In 2003, I booked tickets 10 days in advance via Priceline for about $570. Big difference! I can do three separate trips to Latin America nowadays for one R/T ticket to Paris.
The 2003 PBP was the most memorable moment of my life, however, so it’s not an easy decision. On the other hand, returning so soon may dilute the significance of the first experience. Probably better to return when I am 48 or 68… that’s what I envisioned when I did it the first time, when I was 28.
Indeed, life is too short and there are so many different things to do and experience that I can’t be devoting so much time and resources into doing the same events over and over. That is not to say I wouldn’t like to relive past moments again. Heck, that is what this blog is for. Sometime in the next couple of months I may also finally get around to posting a full report for the 2003 PBP event, something that I never got around to doing even as that experience continues to ride on within me.