I keep wanting to jump in on this thread and then stopping myself because it's not really a VINTAGE BIKES topic (though I do my randonnee rides on a 79 Raleigh supercourse). But I wanted to assure people that its possible (though hard) to qualify for PBP in a short cycling season. Some of my fellow Prairie Randonneurs from Saskatchewan Canada are veterans of 2 or 3 PBP rides, and we NEVER hit the road (without studded tires) before April--more often the season begins in May. The trick seems to be in doing the qualifier series the year before PBP (i.e. in 2002), when the schedule is not so compressed. That way the series in the year of the event is more a matter of maintenance and confirmation than acquiring the necessary fitness. I'm aiming for PBP 2003 and my plan is to do one longer ride each season. This year I rode 200, 300 and 400 km brevets: next season I'll go for a 600 as well. I'd also Love to do RAGBRAI, and maybe bring a few friends. Should we perhaps continue this discussion off list?