Nassry Azli participates in Paris-Brest-Paris

Our colleague Nassry participated in the prestigious Paris-Brest-Paris brevet. As the name suggests, the route spans from Paris to the French Atlantic coast and back to Paris. Nassry aimed to cover the 1,200 kilometers within the designated time of 84 hours. How did he came up with the idea to go on such a long bike ride?

For Nassry, it all began in 2017 when he and his brother decided to cycle from their residence in southern Germany to Paris, aiming to arrive just in time for the final stage of the Tour de France. The timeframe was set: one week remained, but there was a problem — as students, funds were limited.

“We had only 50 euros left in our pockets to cover everything—food, accommodation. […] That meant no detours along the way. No shortcuts, because we had only that much money left. We just kept on riding, covering almost 300 km in a day because we were determined to get there.”

In the end, they managed to make it, and Nassry had discovered his newfound passion for long-distance rides.

This year, in order to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris, he had to complete 200, 300, 400, and 600 kilometers at various events. Participant slots are limited and in high demand.
However, the 1,200-kilometer distance poses greater challenges. Nassry’s strategy sounds simple: “The main strategy is actually the food. It’s said that in long-distance races, food is half the battle.” Fortunately, there are refreshment stations along the Paris-Brest-Paris route; carrying all the necessary food would be impossible. But how does one tackle such a long journey effectively?

“I ride at 50 percent effort and maintain a steady pace throughout the entire route. Then, of course, I try to find suitable companions on the way. Drafting plays a role, too. If you’re riding with someone faster, it’s best to stay behind. And when riding in pairs, it’s ideal to ride with someone who maintains the same pace.”

To cover such lengthy distances within the time frame, cycling in the dark is inevitable. To ensure safety during nighttime rides, Nassry’s bike is equipped with a reliable SON dynamo lighting system.

“I have a SON28 upfront, which powers the headlight. This allows me to ride fairly comfortably through the night. I use a regular Edelux II, which provides a good amount of light.”

Nassry finds the high beam function of the planned Edelux headlight with high beam particularly interesting for Paris-Brest-Paris.

“For me, high beam is definitely a major advantage, as I actually have to lift my front wheel to see the signs. I do this either by briefly stopping by the roadside or by doing it while riding. Naturally, this isn’t necessary if you can activate the high beam with a button.”

However, Paris shouldn’t be Nassry’s last journey. His grand dream is to cycle to his homeland in Malaysia. He sees significant potential here for a headlight with charging capability.

“Cycling from here to Malaysia, the new headlight is a bigger advantage, as the route isn’t signposted and there’s a lack of power outlets. […] Now, I can charge my headlight and my phone on the go, without needing additional devices to convert the dynamo’s alternating current to direct current . It’s all integrated into a single headlight, which leaves me much more space in my bags.”

Regarding the upcoming challenge in France, Nassry commented:

“I’m definitely looking forward to the people, as there are individuals who share the same passion on the road as I do. Of course, I’ll have contact with people from my homeland who are participating in the race, and getting to know them, those are always the most beautiful experiences.”