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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 02-16-10, 09:22 AM   #1
FrenchFit 
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Anyone ride RUSA Permanents?

I'm not so good at commiting to an organized ride date, though I understand you have to commit to the Permanent route a few weeks ahead of time. I've done numerous self-supported centuries, seems like riding local Permanents is a logical next step, perhaps Brevets afterwards. What do you think, are these fun, a challenge, or simply a long ride on someone's else route?
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Old 02-16-10, 01:05 PM   #2
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Depending on who your local Permanents coordinator is, and how their schedule goes, you might be able to register for a Permanent with far less than a few weeks of lead time. I've registered with as few as 5 days lead time, others in my club have done as little as 3 days.
You can organize a group Permanent with open registration at the start if you work it out with the coordinator. We do those quite often; where you can register at the start point, day of the ride.

Depending on the route, they can be whatever type of challenge you'd like them to be. I've ridden a 200k with very little elevation just to stomp out a PR time. We have other routes which are only 100k, but have 6000+ feet of climbing.
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Old 02-16-10, 10:58 PM   #3
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I joined my local randonneuring group's email list even though I'm not a RUSA member. They do rides all the time that you don't need to register for, you just show up.

The rides are fun and can be challenging, and generally cover areas I normally would not ride by myself.
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Old 02-17-10, 11:13 AM   #4
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There is no significant difference between riding a brevet and riding a RUSA permanent, other than the fact that for liability insurance reasons, you must be a member of RUSA to ride a permanent.

In some parts of the country, there are many more permanent routes than there are brevets. That means that you may find a larger number of scenic, fun, challenging routes if you ride permanents than if you ride brevets. I manage six permanent routes, and most of them are just as scenic and fun to ride as the brevet routes that my club uses each year.
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Old 02-18-10, 09:32 AM   #5
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I'm not so good at commiting to an organized ride date, though I understand you have to commit to the Permanent route a few weeks ahead of time. I've done numerous self-supported centuries, seems like riding local Permanents is a logical next step, perhaps Brevets afterwards. What do you think, are these fun, a challenge, or simply a long ride on someone's else route?
Fun - Yes, a challenge - yes and someone else' route (or your own) - yes.

I ride both here (Florida) and in Canada (northern Ontario). I wish that Ontario had a Permanent system, but they don't.

The only real difference between riding a Permanent and riding your own non-Permanent route is that you get credit for the ride. If that means something to you, and it might, then go for it. Score keeping is a good way, for most people, of increasing their total mileage. Personally speaking, I need a goal and I too am not much for organized rides. The organized club-type rides tend to be at inconvenient times and either hammer-type or too slow. The Permanents are ridden at your own speed. Brevets are also ridden at your own speed, but if there are enough riders, often you'll find someone who is riding the same speed if you choose to ride with others.
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Old 02-18-10, 08:09 PM   #6
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Note that the RUSA rules for riding permanents can be found here: http://www.rusa.org/prmreg.html and here: http://www.rusa.org/permfaq.html.

A few months ago, there was quite a bit of traffic on the listserv for permanent owners concerning the "group permanents with open registration" concept mentioned above. Although we have a new RUSA permanents coordinator, that practice was previously expressly prohibited, although I see that prohibition has not yet made its way into the rule sets above (or into the Rules for Permanent Owners, which can be found here: http://www.rusa.org/permrules.html). Whether that should be the case I leave to others, but just a note to warn that the practice, to the extent it's taking place with some permanent owners, might be short-lived.

I'll also add that how permanents are run varries widely. I've ridden perms owned by a half-dozen owners, plus my own, and each of us has quite a different approach to registration and handling the documentation of the controls. For example, though some route owners will permit last-minute resigtration, most require quite a bit of notice. Whatever the procedures are for each route owner, please respect them. Don't ask someone to register by email for a perm two days later if they explicitly require registration by mail 7 days or more in advance "because that's how it's done in [some other city]." And if you're asked to pick up receipts in addition to signatures at the controls (some of us like to force you to support the businesses who are validating your cards, and the hard proof of your passage that a receipt represents is nice, too, to ensure the integrity of the ride), please don't send your card back with digital time-stamped photos of you and your bike at the controls. Not cool. In short, please follow the rules. We're fast approaching 1,000 unique permanent routes in the United States. If you can't find one that you like with rules that fit your style, then create your own. (See my short article on that subject here: http://www.ohiorand.org/Permanents/G...t%20design.pdf.

Bon route!
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Old 02-18-10, 08:27 PM   #7
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Here in my area, the permanent owner will usually get you the paperwork via email, which means it can be done in a couple of days time. More to the point, you can schedule the perm AFTER you check the long-range weather forecast.

Rides vary, and the local riders know which rides have lots of climbing, which are more urban, more turns, etc. If in doubt, ask the local randonneuring group and they can fill you in.

To me, the distinctive thing about these rides is the length. If you want to ride a 200k on low-traffic roads, that's the way to do it.

Note that in the US, brevets require local group membership, but not necessarily RUSA membership, and permanents require RUSA membership, but not local group membership. If you're at all interested in either, just sign up for both, cost is pretty nominal.
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Old 02-18-10, 09:48 PM   #8
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I started with Permanents as a way to gain confidence for Brevets. You can cherry-pick the route (for example, a flat one if you don't like hills). You want to work on gaining confidence with hitting the controls within the time limits, and having your Brevet card signed and timed. They help you figure out what Food Mart foods work for you; how often to eat; how much to drink, etc. While yes, you have to commit ahead of time to the day you want to ride, you have control over the time you start - you can start an hour or two before sun rise to give you experience with lights and confidence with riding in the dark without really risking too much (if you get scared you can always kill some time in a Food Mart while you wait for it to get lighter).

They help you get used to working with cue sheets, and riding alone. You learn what you absolutely have to carry with you, and what you can leave at home. The risk of failure doesn't seem as big for a Permanent as it did for me for Brevet (which turned out to be all in my head).

When it's all said and done, the only difference between a Permanent and a Brevet is the group start. Go for it - what have you got to loose?
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Old 02-18-10, 09:49 PM   #9
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Go For It.

I started with Permanents as a way to gain confidence for Brevets. You can cherry-pick the route (for example, a flat one if you don't like hills). You want to work on gaining confidence with hitting the controls within the time limits, and having your Brevet card signed and timed. They help you figure out what Food Mart foods work for you; how often to eat; how much to drink, etc. While yes, you have to commit ahead of time to the day you want to ride, you have control over the time you start - you can start an hour or two before sun rise to give you experience with lights and confidence with riding in the dark without really risking too much (if you get scared you can always kill some time in a Food Mart while you wait for it to get lighter).

They help you get used to working with cue sheets, and riding alone. You learn what you absolutely have to carry with you, and what you can leave at home. The risk of failure doesn't seem as big for a Permanent as it did for me for Brevet (which turned out to be all in my head).

When it's all said and done, the only difference between a Permanent and a Brevet is the group start. Go for it - what have you got to loose?
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Old 02-19-10, 03:07 PM   #10
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For Permanents organized by me, I require signed "Accident Waiver and Release of Liability" to be up to date (one per year is enough) and then you communicate your start date and time (RUSA regulations), print the card and cue sheet yourself. Payment and registration form can be mailed with the filled-in ride card (I will not register the ride with RUSA without them) after the ride. I will register you as DNS, if your plans changed and you failed to communicate before your intended start. So it is all the matter of how fast you can get the waiver to me (signed, scanned and emailed is just fine). I never had to register weeks in advance for other Permanents. Email does wonders these days.

Consider Populaires (100-199 km) as a build up for longer rides. They are perfect between the longer rides during the season too. Permanent Populaires also credited towards RUSA distance awards (check www.rusa.org for more details).

Contact your local randon group. They are friendly bunch, some of them may even offer to ride with you (it is good idea to have a buddy system on unfamiliar roads). Be safe!
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Old 02-20-10, 12:19 PM   #11
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A few months ago, there was quite a bit of traffic on the listserv for permanent owners concerning the "group permanents with open registration" concept mentioned above. Although we have a new RUSA permanents coordinator, that practice was previously expressly prohibited, although I see that prohibition has not yet made its way into the rule sets above (or into the Rules for Permanent Owners, which can be found here: http://www.rusa.org/permrules.html). Whether that should be the case I leave to others, but just a note to warn that the practice, to the extent it's taking place with some permanent owners, might be short-lived.
I'm curious what the rationale was behind this prohibition. I can see the potential for competition with the rides run by an RBA, but I'm not sure that should be a big concern of RUSA. Considering that permanent riders have to be RUSA members and RUSA membership isn't all that large. I joined last year, number less than 5400, and there are many, many people that have numbers less than mine that are inactive.
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Old 02-22-10, 05:01 AM   #12
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I'm curious what the rationale was behind this prohibition. I can see the potential for competition with the rides run by an RBA, but I'm not sure that should be a big concern of RUSA. Considering that permanent riders have to be RUSA members and RUSA membership isn't all that large. I joined last year, number less than 5400, and there are many, many people that have numbers less than mine that are inactive.
Likely due to insurance - liability issues.
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Old 02-22-10, 12:44 PM   #13
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I started with Permanents as a way to gain confidence for Brevets. You can cherry-pick the route (for example, a flat one if you don't like hills). You want to work on gaining confidence with hitting the controls within the time limits, and having your Brevet card signed and timed. They help you figure out what Food Mart foods work for you; how often to eat; how much to drink, etc. While yes, you have to commit ahead of time to the day you want to ride, you have control over the time you start - you can start an hour or two before sun rise to give you experience with lights and confidence with riding in the dark without really risking too much (if you get scared you can always kill some time in a Food Mart while you wait for it to get lighter).

They help you get used to working with cue sheets, and riding alone. You learn what you absolutely have to carry with you, and what you can leave at home. The risk of failure doesn't seem as big for a Permanent as it did for me for Brevet (which turned out to be all in my head).

When it's all said and done, the only difference between a Permanent and a Brevet is the group start. Go for it - what have you got to loose?
Olde Steele:

Best explaination yet for me on how to approach and how to get involved with this kind of riding. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-22-10, 03:10 PM   #14
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Olde Steele:

Best explaination yet for me on how to approach and how to get involved with this kind of riding. Thanks for posting.
I concur. That's what I did, though I rode the routes freely without any registration and not for credit. The fun part is that local groups might have a person announce their plans to do a permanent and others may register to ride the same time, thus you get a loosely organized ride. I know that some route owners are flexible and will allow the rider to do the route in reverse, and also might plan to meet the rider at the start to hand out the card and sign off the start time.
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Old 02-23-10, 12:38 AM   #15
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I never liked permanents much - they felt 'empty' compared to brevets.. which mostly has to do with the fact that it was just me +2, not me +100 or whatever our (SIR's) big brevets are. Did one 200k perm in November in 2008 and it just felt pointless. (moreso than brevets if you can imagine)

I guess the OP summed it up for me: "...or simply a long ride on someone's else route" - especially since (around here) all the 'good' permanents seem to start outside of the city, e.g. in the creator's backyard...

So if your choice is a 200k brevet or a 200k permanent, the choice is simple: pick the fun one! (ymmv)
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Old 02-23-10, 02:03 PM   #16
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I never liked permanents much - they felt 'empty' compared to brevets.. which mostly has to do with the fact that it was just me +2, not me +100 or whatever our (SIR's) big brevets are. Did one 200k perm in November in 2008 and it just felt pointless.
I just finished up my 4th 200k solo permanent over the weekend. It's lonely, but not an 'empty' ride. I'm 1/3 of the way to my R-12 now.
If you do them solo, they're especially good for working on the mental aspect of LD riding. I noticed it on the 100k social a few weeks ago; it was easier to push hard with the group after a few months of nothing but solo rides.
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