Randonneuring, Brevet's and Long Distance
What is Randonneuring and what is a Brevet? Who is RUSA? I will answer
these questions with information from the
RUSA web pages.
Randonneuring is long-distance unsupported endurance cycling. This
style of riding is non-competitive in nature, and self-sufficiency is
paramount. When riders participate in randonneuring events, they are
part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of
cycling in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie, not competition, is
the hallmark of randonneuring.
brevet (bruh vay) - Literally, the word means "certificate",
"patent", or "diploma" in French. In "randonneuring", it means two
things: certification of having successfully done a randonné,
--indicated by a small numbered sticker placed on a completed brevet
card --, as well as, by extension the long-distance event itself (at
least 200 kilometers in length). Completing a successful brevet means
one's ride has been certified and registered in France, and the rider's
name is added to the roll of honor, going all the way back to 1921.
These challenging rides can also entitle the rider to enter longer
events such as Paris-Brest-Paris or Boston-Montréal-Boston. As used in
the "randonneuring" world, the terms brevet and randonnée are often
interchangeable, but in common cycling usage, a randonnée might be
considered to be less structured or formal than a brevet.
Randonneurs USA (rahn doe ner) - The national "randonneuring"
organization for the United States. Created in 1998 to encourage the
growth of "randonneuring" in this country, RUSA oversees and coordinates
the randonnées of regional brevets series. RUSA also collects and sends
brevet results to France for processing and registration. It also
disperses French "randonneuring" medals to American riders. Every four
years RUSA collects and coordinates the entries of all Americans into
Paris-Brest-Paris. It also publishes a national brevet calendar and
quarterly newsletter devoted to "randonneuring". RUSA has an elected
leadership and strives to serve the needs of its members.
If you are interested in any of this, I highly recommend that you visit
the homepage of RUSA: http://www.rusa.org.
They have a lot of valuable information on their pages. This is how I found
information about these topics. I became a member, did in 2003 the complete
Florida Brevet series, other Brevets and finally PBP.
Want to do a Brevet? Check the
South Central Florida Brevet Series which
is sponsored by Florida Freewheelers Orlando.
Need more info on Randonneuring or upcoming events?
Nationwide Randon Discussion List or the
Florida Randon List.
Ridehard's Long Distance Hints:
I believe that everybody that did a century before can do long
distance rides with 125 Miles (200 k) or more. I encourage everybody to
give it a try. Try it and you will find out, it is just more fun.
Maybe a few hints:
- check your equipment and make sure it is reliable
- be mentally dedicated and prepared to do a long ride
- have a plan, take it easy and go the speed that is good for you
- get dropped - a lot of people try to hang on, no matter what -
do your own speed