Randonnées can be tough, but riders who prepare well can usually finish within the time limit.
We all have times when we are not feeling good and may be tempted to give up.
Pushing through those periods makes the difference between success and a DNF.
Ed Bernasky says about his PBP2019 ride:
The decision to quit is highly personal, indisputable, and must be respected.
In that light, I would offer to a newer rider the wise advice of our former PA RBA, Tom Rosenbaurer, who essentially said to eat and sleep before withdrawing.
On PBP2019, I knew I had a problem right from the start. A bit technical but I was making a lot less power (75 watts) at a given heart rate than I know is normal for me. I also felt horrible. Horrible.
It took me longer to get to Fougeres than normal or planned. I considered withdrawing for a minute or two but remembered Tom’s advice. So, I ate and rested. Still felt like crap. So, I got a place to sleep. I awoke with bad diarrhea.
Then, I woke up wheezing badly (I have asthma). I got my rescue inhaler. I slept some more. Reluctantly, I shoved off. I slept again in Loudeac. I suffered to Brest. I slept 6-7 hours in Brest. I woke up and ate like a horse. Felt great.
The rest of the ride was great. I loved it.
The bottomline…….eat, sleep a few times, and shit half a dozen times before abandoning because only you can determine the right time to quit.