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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    What is Randonneuring? What are Brevets?

    For those who might drop in and might wonder what this type of cycling is all about, I thought I'd post the article on my site that describes it all:

    http://www.machka.net/rand.htm

    **********
    Randonneur: A cyclist who completes sanctioned long-distance bicycle events inside certain time allotments.

    Official rides or "Brevets" are over preset routes and distances, and must be completed within a set time limit with check-ins at control points. Riders are expected to be self-sufficient on all rides regardless of the distance or weather (rain or shine, day or night). Randonneuring is more like rallying than racing.

    All riders successfully completing the course within the allocated time are eligible for awards, rather than just the front-runners. Riders are encouraged to work together — they compete against themselves and the route rather than fellow riders. The theme of randonneuring is to promote individual health, goal setting, and achievement — all within a non-competitive athletic environment.

    The standard Brevet series consists of rides with distances of 200, 300, 400, 600 and 1000 kms. The standard Brevets are conducted under the rules of the world governing body — (BRM) Brevets Randonneurs Mondiaux http://www.lesrm.org/English/english_home.htm and the (ACP) Audax Club Parisien.

    Each ride in the standard series serves as a qualifier for the next longer distance.
    The Super Randonneur is an honor for randonneurs having done a full Brevet series of 200, 300, 400 and 600 kms in the same year.

    The "Super Randonneur" is also required to qualify for the longer distance events such as:
    the Rocky Mountain 1200 http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/rocky/rm1200.htm - a 1200K ride held every four years in British Columbia,
    the Boston-Montreal-Boston http://www.geocities.com/b-m-b/ - a 1200K ride held every year but the year of the PBP in Boston,
    the London-Edinburgh-London http://www.audax.uk.net/el/index.htm - a 1400K ride held every four years in England and Scotland,
    the Paris-Brest-Paris, and many others.

    The time limits for the distances are as follows:
    200K - 13.5 hours
    300K - 20 hours
    400K - 27 hours
    600K - 40 hours
    1000K - 75 hours
    1200K - 84 or 90 hours (depending on various qualifications)

    The clock starts ticking when the rider rolls off the start line and stops when the rider rolls across the finish line. All breaks (sleep, food, etc.) are included in that time. Randonneuring is really a test of endurance.

    The biggest event in the world of Randonneurs is the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 http://www.rusa.org/pbp.html which is held every 4 years. It attracts over 4000 riders!

    The longest event (I believe) in the world of Randonneurs is the RAAM (Race Across America) http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/ .

    And some more sites of interest:

    The UK Audax site http://www.audax.uk.net/index2.htm
    The Australia Audax site http://www.audax.org.au/index.asp
    The Randonneuring USA site http://www.rusa.org/
    The Ultracycling site (because Randonneuring really is "ultracycling") http://www.ultracycling.com/
    Various Randonneuring links on the BC Randonneurs site http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/links/links.html

  2. #2
    jcm
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    Thank you, Machka. I might like to try some of that next year after my vacation time builds up a little more. We have Seattle Randoneers around here. Love your website.

  3. #3
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    can the moderators or whoever make this a "sticky".

    machka knows!!!
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd bump this up for those who might not know what most of us are referring to when we talk about events like the PBP.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DanielS's Avatar
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    I don't think that RAAM would be called a randoneurring event would it? Its a race isn't it?

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    I don't think RAAM is a randonneuring event. RUSA doesn't sanction it. I doubt (but I don't know) that ACP does. The cut-off for RAAM is way, way faster than the cut-off for a "1200K plus." RAAM is probably the longest ultra race in the world, although I leave it to someone with knowledge of Le Tour Direct or Le Tour Ultime to chime in as to the length of those.

    ...

    Thanks for bumping this, Machka. Note that a lot of American randonneuring clubs run short, end-of-season brevets and "populaires" -- events less than 200K -- specifically designed to get new folks into the sport. Most riders are a lot stronger in September and October than in March and April, when the randonneuring season typically begins. So if you've got a century under your belt and you're wondering what comes next, cCheck out the RUSA page (and click on "Search For Rides") linked in the original post above to see if there's a ride near you!

  7. #7
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    ACP = Audax Club Parisien. It is the French organisation that administers world-wide randonnees up to 600km, then Les Randonneurs Mondiaux takes over for 1000, 1200 and 1400 events (I think).

    RAAM is administered by the UMCA = UltraMarathon Cycling Association. RAAM and the 6, 12 and 24-hour races run by the UMCA are not classified as randonnees, and there is no affiliation between RAAM, ACP and LRM. However, there is a little crossover with RAAM, as riders who finish 1200km randonnees under certain threshhold times (depending on gender and age) can qualify for RAAM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielS
    I don't think that RAAM would be called a randoneurring event would it? Its a race isn't it?
    I think the biggest distinguishing factor between RAAM and randoneurring is that RAAM a) is a competitive event and b) encourages riders to have support vehicles following close alongside. Brevets are distinguished from other events in that it is not a race and while riders might receive some measure of support at brevet checkpoints, having a support vehcile following you on your route is grounds for disqualification. Self-reliance is a precondition for participation.

  9. #9
    Sua Ku rollin's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this Machka...

    I'm currently looking forward to a London to Paris charity ride, over 3 days for 2007 and then LA-SF over 7 days for 2008...

    This puts all of that into perspective... RAAM looks crazy

  10. #10
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    Machka and others,

    Thanks for the added info on this. Sorry if this resurrects an old post, but I benefited from it this week and wanted to make a note of it.

    After doing the MS150 last year (Houston to Austin), I caught the bug of enjoying long distance riding. Now, I commute to work most days (about 90%) for 25 miles per day and ride 50 miles on Saturdays. I am looking to train hard this winter to build my endurance for possibly joining the Houston Randoneering club in 2007 and working on completing a full brevet series.

    As a side question, would training questions on building such a base set of miles work in here, or in Training and Nutrition. Regardless...this was a very helpful post.

    Thanks!

    Chris

  11. #11
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker
    As a side question, would training questions on building such a base set of miles work in here, or in Training and Nutrition.
    I would ask any questions related to brevets and training for them here.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker
    Machka and others,

    Thanks for the added info on this. Sorry if this resurrects an old post, but I benefited from it this week and wanted to make a note of it.

    After doing the MS150 last year (Houston to Austin), I caught the bug of enjoying long distance riding. Now, I commute to work most days (about 90%) for 25 miles per day and ride 50 miles on Saturdays. I am looking to train hard this winter to build my endurance for possibly joining the Houston Randoneering club in 2007 and working on completing a full brevet series.

    As a side question, would training questions on building such a base set of miles work in here, or in Training and Nutrition. Regardless...this was a very helpful post.

    Thanks!

    Chris

    I caught that same bug many years ago!

    And yes, ask your training questions here. Training and Nutrition is a good forum, but most of the questions there have to do with people's general physical difficulties (i.e. diabetes), or with losing weight, or for training for racing. Long distance training and nutrition questions tend to get lost over there because there aren't all that many long distance riders who frequent that forum. If you ask them here, you'll get answers specific to long distance riding from people who are long distance riders.

  13. #13
    Newbie ruMac's Avatar
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    WOW, great article. Thanks Machka and everyone else who has helped keep it an active thread. I just joined the forum and this is a very timely article for me.

    Cheers
    Robert

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