The Maurice Brocco 400, short for MB400, takes place annually, on the longest day of the year and in honor of the cyclist Maurice Brocco. On this day, cyclists* compete to ride a course with 4 designated checkpoints.
In a period of 24 hours, the 400-450 km must be mastered and the deposited checkpoints are approached. At each checkpoint, a stamp in a small pink box awaits the riders.
400 KM on the bike. 4 women. 4 stories.
What struck us as a collective: In this year’s variant of the Maurice Brocco, particularly many long-distance beginners started in our environment.
Each had her very own approach to experience the 400 kilometers for themselves.
Ann-Kathrin started with long-distance expert and collective member Eva. Susi started alone. Rebekka and Lotti started together to their first 400 adventurous kilometers.
Of course, there was nothing more natural than to ask the four how they fared on the road, before and after, and what they took away from these 24 hours with countless kilometers in their legs.
Have fun reading!
SUSI: 400 KM on the bike alone
My name is Susi (she/her), I am 36 years old. The road bike love has grabbed me when I bought a friend in Berlin her Achielle and have noticed how a different frame geometry feels and how very fast driving shreds.
Just as quickly, the idea to buy a used racer was put into practice and my KTM Strada moved into our student flat. First conversions were tackled and kilometers were collected. That was in 2015.
After moving to Leipzig two years later, I realized that you are rarely greeted by other road cyclists with baskets and mudguards. The ambitions and the desire for a new bike grew. The choice was huge and the overload also.
A little trip to the next biggest bike store was actually just to look around and bang I was standing at the checkout, driving myself to ruin for once and already seeing the rest of the month’s groceries disappear into the afterlife.
That was at the beginning of 2019. From then on, everything went very quickly, the love grew steadily and new challenges were mastered. Meanwhile, the still manageable collection was expanded by a gravel bike and the gravel passion ignited.
ANN-Kathrin: 400 KM together with long distance expert EVA
Frankfurt and cycling – that fits me like a glove. I am Ann-Kathrin Ernst (she/her), born in 1991, and have been cycling since 2012. Originally, because I was infected with the triathlon virus. At first, only a road bike belonged to my small fleet, quickly came the passion for cyclocross or gravel.
I prefer to ride alone or in company – it has always been a colorful mix with a tendency towards groups.
In the past I often rode alone, because I didn’t know many other cyclists or groups with my level of performance.
For the past three years, I’ve been connecting my sporting passion even more with my home: I’m involved with the (female) cycling community in Frankfurt and offer monthly rides for women, the so-called “Girlsride”.
Up until the MB400, my longest distance was 204 kilometers, since then 437 – completely insane to this day.
Most of the time you will find me accompanied on the bike. The beauty of cycling in general and Girlsride in particular: We are all incredibly different, but find a common level right away, share memories and moments and grow together and beyond ourselves.
How did you prepare for the 400 KM long distance?
LOTTI More badly than right I was probably prepared, but that has Rebekka with her frauvorragenden setup, such as a roadbook, again compensated.
I was more for fun and entertainment responsible and have our tour with the best hits of my youth, maybe a little techno at one or the other place, colorful background.
Otherwise, I’m over the summer just really cycled a lot.
REBEKKA Better not need than not have!
Especially since I rode the MB for the first time, the preparation was essential for me. I wanted in no case fail, or me the already exhausting ride unnecessarily harder make, just because I something had not thought through properly or had forgotten a little something.
Proper preparation ensured that I could sleep peacefully the night before and that I feltsafe at the start.
Basically, my motto in preparation was:No experiments. I knew all my equipment, from the powerbank to the tools to the Bib. I applied the same to the food.
Before I did orderly carb-loading, just didn’t drink any alcohol and went to bed early.
On the day of the MB, I slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, and left at noon.
Lotti & Rebekka: Their first 400 KM "Intimate as a Team"
Round seven years ago I put my first steel racer on the road – a Francesco Moser.
A crazy mix of road bike and courier bike, which to this day shimmers on my closet in blue-pink.
Courier riding is my passion. Actually it is more, much more! First it was a job that grew into a passion and then into a lifestyle.
In addition to my studies and various office jobs, I have always given a lot of space to this part of my life. So I traveled to courier championships around the world and got to know a huge and lovely community. One bike quickly turned into more…
My favorite thing to do is ride in company – I love it when this driving group dynamic develops, everyone is fully aligned and the concentrated power rolls through the streets – BALLERN4LIFE.
I like to organize ‘bike stuff’: workshops, alleycats and such.
I’ve been cycling more sporty for about three years. 2018 came then the courier job to it. Then it became clear pretty quickly: I need a second bike, for longer tours, mountains and any terrain.
Last summer I then dared to the ‘Sachsendreier’, 300 km in one piece from Leipzig via Chemnitz to Dresden and back to Leipzig.
Actually, my pact was with myself: If I successfully complete the Sachsendreier (spoiler: yes), I drive the MB400. But then the route from the MB last year was so hard that I decided against it. My first MB400 should rather seem a little more feasible to me in advance.
To travel such an insane distance for the first time alone with myself and my thoughts, when I can also have a good friend by my side? Since I did not have to think long!
ANN-KATHRIN My highlight was my companion Eva, whom I met on this day in the first place.
I had previously expressed doubts about whether I could drive it alone, since I myself have no experience at all. After a short time to think about it, she contacted me and offered her support.
On the road it was, at least for me, as we would know each other for years.
When we set off I really didn’t know if I would be able to meet this challenge, but the moment we left most of the track, any mountains and the darkness behind us, I knew: nothing could stop me now, the ‘point of no return’ had been reached..
REBEKKA I had a lot of respect to drive through the night. But since getting up early and shooting through was out of the question for me, I’ve decided to approach it classically and to go at noon...
So I inevitably had to go through the night. I was worried about getting tired in the dark and not knowing what to do when thoughts went in circles.
That’s why I had packed caffeine and agreed to get picked up, which I kept up despite Lotti’s company.
So we came at night at 12 to fresh cold fries and a new supply of rolls.
Did you ever have a low point on the long journey? How did you experience that, how did you deal with it?
SUSI The last 50 kilometers were really hard. That’s when I counted every kilometer. The fatigue announced itself very clearly, so that I almost drove twice in the ditch..
LOTTI Besides a short low point at nightfall, there was never a moment when I regretted my decision to accompany Rebekka.
Not even when it rained for 3 hours at a time twine and I had to realize that there are also ass rockets, which are not waterproof.
Second secret recipe: music and good company.
REBEKKA Naturally, no 24-hour ride is just sugarcoating, and the high was then still caught up by an absolute circulatory low when I no longer expected it at all.
At 10 o’clock in the morning, virtually on the home stretch, I was suddenly ultra slow, and the body just did not want more, I was dizzy and nauseous.
But giving up was now really no longer an option! If 50 KM elsewhere would be insurmountably far, they were here only a cat’s jump, and it was a matter of simply biting through, no matter how slowly. And so it came that the last two hours were the longest of the tour.
At the finish line, pretty much 24 hours after departure, then relief, tears of joy, pride, hugs, finish line photos, beer at the Späti and an extended nap.
I am looking forward to a ‘real’ MB400 with manned checkpoints and other drivers* on the road. Then I would also munch diligently cake and eat something warm.
And: Always think in stages. Focus on what you have already accomplished. When I was at a checkpoint, I didn’t think: ‘still 250 km’, but ‘already 190 km’.
I rode less by kilometers than by hours. I knew I wouldn’t get there today. I focused on being on the road instead of arriving.
ANN-KATHRIN In advance check the route extensively: Where are gas stations or supermarkets? When are they open and what are the alternatives?
But also pack sufficient food, such as potatoes, and drinks and fill them up as soon as they come close to running out.
Also plan on warmer clothes for the night and don’t even think about if and when you might hit a low.
It comes anyway, but you will also master it 🙂
We could not express that better! Thank you so much for your thoughts and words, Ann-Kathrin, Susi, Rebekka and Lotti – see you on the bike 🙂
You can also find the four of them on social media:
Curated by: Eva Ullrich, Marie Beulig
Edit & Layout: Marie Beulig
Header-Pic: Eva Ullrich