Paris-Brest-Paris 2003:
Jan Heine and Jaye Haworth first "mixed tandem" in Paris-Brest-Paris 2003 on a 1948 René Herse tandem

(Author not indicated, probably Jan Heine)

During this year's event, held from August 18-22, the international team of captain Jan Heine (Seattle, USA) and stoker Jaye Haworth (Toronto, Canada) came first in the "mixed tandem" category. They arrived at the finish as the second tandem overall, beating all but one of the all-male tandems. They completed the 1225 km (765 miles) in 52:44 hours. More than 120 tandem teams started the event.

Riding a French 1948 René Herse tandem specifically designed for long-distance events, and foregoing the support from a car used by most contenders, Heine and Haworth relived the event's glory days in the 1950s. As the editor and publisher of "Vintage Bicycle Quarterly," Heine wanted to experience the event as it had been in the heyday of randonneuring and show at the same time that the old equipment and strategies are by no means outdated.

The ride was an unforgettable experience: "Zooming through small French villages to the applause of the locals is a lasting memory" says Haworth. "Climbing the more than 300 hills along the route required stamina, concentration and precise shifting to keep up the momentum," adds Heine: "The 55-year-old tandem performed perfectly. We used every one of the 10 gears, but the comfort of the fat tires and the flawless handling of this wonderful machine greatly contributed to reducing fatigue and allowing us to press on through 3 nights and 2 days." The team only stopped for a few minutes at each check point, the two longest stops for meals were 30 minutes each. "The enthusiasm of the local spectators in Britanny, the hotbed of French cycling, was most amazing. Many older people remembered the great tandems of the old days and were excited to see an old machine do so well in this prestigious event," say Haworth and Heine.

[The full story of Heine/Haworth's ride appears in Vintage Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 2, No. 1 (Autumn 2003).]

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