Of all the 1200k events offered in in the US in 2018, the Coulee Challenge is closest to what riders will experience in France in 2019. The overall amount of climbing is about the same as PBP.  The Coulee ride has more overall climbs, some of them steep, but a good part of the course is rolling hills on quiet roads, very similar to Western France.  The road surface quality of the Coulee Challenge is very good to excellent, similar to PBP roads.

Riders that complete the Coulee Challenge in 2018 will be well prepared for PBP in 2019.

As part of the pre-ride activities, there will be two PBP based seminars on the Sunday before the ride. One session will be a History of PBP, including how randonneuring evolved in the US because of the PBP event. The second session will be a panel presentation and discussion with a number experienced randonneurs discussing various aspects of preparing and riding the PBP event and Q&A time. These will be very interesting sessions for both first time and experienced PBP riders.

Coulee Challenge First Time 1200k Finishers

One of the fun parts about seeing riders succeed at the Coulee Challenge was the number of first time 1200k finishers we had. Out of the 76 finishers (including pre-riders), 29 completed their first 1200k event. Congratulations to all of you! As a bonus, seven of them were women, which along with 4 other women finishers we believe is a high water mark for a US based 1200k event.

We also had a number of riders (nine) that did not qualify in the traditional RUSA sense, by completing a super randonneur series. These riders completed other long distance events, such as the Tour Divide, National 24 Hour Challenge and other long distance gravel endurance rides. As a group they did very well and we were glad to have them. Here are the first time 1200k finishers

F Anda Arms KS

F Jodi Beinke MN

Pete Carroll MN

Andrew Clayton FL

Lane Coddington MT

Dan Cromwell WI

Phil Fox IL

Steve Fuller IA

Tim Gehres IN

Scott Gregory MN

Nathan Herzing NJ

Jim Howell CO

F Amy Sarah Hreha NJ (MN!)

F Ann Benoit/Jurczynski NH

Jeremy Kershaw MN

Bob Kingsley MN

John Klem MN

Simon Korzun NJ

F Oksana Kovelenko CO

Keith Larson MN

F Micheline McWhirter NS Canada

Ryan Morehouse CA

F Marj Oneschuk SK Canada

Chris Pearson MA

Matt Roy MA

Michael Russell OR

Brad Smith MA

Kyle Sobota MN

Don Ward CO