Randonneurs Ontario

Randonneuring and Riding Brevets

What Is Randonneuring?

Randonneuring is more like rallying than racing. Randonneuring originally meant long-distance walking, and has evolved to mean long-distance paced cycling. Medals can be purchased by all riders completing a ride within the designated time limit - whether they arrive first or last, ride alone or work with others. Riders compete against time, distance, and the elements rather than fellow riders. The goal of randonneuring is to promote individual health and achievement in a non-competitive athletic environment.

Official rides or Brevets are over preset routes and distances, and must be completed within designated time limits with check-ins at control points. Pace can vary and group riding is encouraged. Riders must be prepared and equipped to brave any weather - rain, heat, or snow - day or night!

Whether you are a touring, recreational, racing, commuting, or triathlete cyclist, randonneuring offers a meaningful and satisfying challenge.

Brevets and Populaires

Randonneurs Ontario has five chapters offers events in central Ontario and the Ottawa region. This includes the Brevet Series of 200 km, 300 km, 400 km, and 600 km, with an optional 1,000 km brevet and a 400 km Fleche event, as well as 'populaire' rides. On completion of the brevet series, you become a Super Randonneur. Every four years, you can also qualify to enter the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 km event, which gathers randonneurs from around the world. 'Populaire' rides initiate new riders to longer distances and group riding. Riders can also participate in established events in the USA, such as, the 1200 km Boston-Montreal-Boston, and club events, such as those sponsored by the Rochester and Syracuse Randonneurs.
The club requires that each participant wear an approved cycling helmet.

Riding a Brevet

Prior to the Day of the Brevet

Prepare your Bicycle!

Check for:
a) Functioning, powerful, reliable lighting system, front and rear, affixed to the bicycle
b) Red rear reflector and reflective tape visible from rear on rear forks/fender and/or seat stays and/or rear rack
c) White reflective material on front forks.

Prepare your Equipment!

Note: Sag wagons are not provided by Randonneurs Ontario!

Check for:
a) Reflective safety vest.
b) Reflective safety material for some moving part of body (e.g. ankle, knee, foot).
c) Replacement bulbs and/or batteries for lighting system(s).
d) Water bottles.
e) Spare Parts: spare tubes, spare folding tire, spokes, chain links, seatpost bolt, brake cables (front and rear), gear cables (front and rear), bungee cord, etc.
f) Road Repair Tools: Patch kit, pump, flashlight (with fresh batteries), chain rivet remover, spoke key, 6" adjustable spanner, Allen keys (sizes needed), screwdriver(s), chain lubricant, any special tools you may require for non-standard equipment.

Prepare Personal Supplies!

Check for:
a) Clothing for expected weather conditions (includes sunglasses, sunblock, spare jerseys, rain gear, etc.).
b) Food and Water
c) Helmet - the club requires each rider to wear one
d) Personal Identification and Health Card.
e) Money.
f) Medical supplies as appropriate.
g) Someone to pick you up if you have problems along the route (Remember! No sag wagons will be provided!).

Pre-Register for the Brevet!

Pre-registration with the organiser by telephone or e-mail is required.

Verify with the organizer that you have qualified at the previous distance, e.g. 300km Brevet requires completion of a 200km Brevet, (unless you have previously completed a brevet series in one year)

On the Day of the Brevet

Opening Control

Bike Check and Registration:
Bike Check and Registration opens at least 1/2 hour prior to the start time and closes 10 minutes before the start time. For example: if the Brevet is scheduled to start at 8:00am, the control will open at 7:30am and close at 7:50am.

Bike Check:
Be ready to show your lights affixed to the bicycle and in working order, and your replacement bulbs, batteries, reflective material, pump, repair kit and so forth. Riders not passing bike check will NOT be allowed ride

Registration:
Sign a waiver form. Pay for your medal if you wish one. Sign and take your control card. Take your route sheet. Prepare to leave.

Departure:
The ride organizer will give the signal to leave after a brief review of safety and good riding habits. Be ready to leave on time!

Along the Route:
Your route card will show the name of the control point and the time of the opening and the closing of the control at that point. Your arrival MUST be between these two times. Control points are usually located at food and rest stops. Politely ask the staff to sign your control card and indicate your arrival time. Do not lose your control card. Have your control card signed at each control point. Loss of card or non-signing means you will not be credited with the Brevet.

Group Riding:
The group will usually start out as one, but will likely split up into several groups depending on riding speed and riding habits.

Try to find a group that fits your speed and habits, for example, a group travelling 22 km/h with one hour stops for food/rest, or a group travelling 25 km/h with 10 minute stops. An appropriate group is key to "staying within yourself" (within your own stamina, reserves, abilities) and will help you enjoy the ride AND finish.

More experienced riders will attempt to stay with slower novice riders, but will leave these riders if they feel they will not able to complete the Bevet within the time limits. Slower riders should try to find other slower riders. Novice riders who just make the first control in time should consider turning around. There is no stigma attached to stopping early - we have all done it at some time or another - and there is always another Brevet. You have gained, not lost: you have learned something about yourself and your ability to ride long distances.

Ride a in neat line. Stay well to the right hand side of the road. Signal cars UP or BACK and potholes. At the top of a hill, reform the group and make sure everyone is "on". No "half wheeling", maintain an even pace; do not speed up when it is your turn at the front. Take your turn at the front. "Thermal Adjustment" and "Rest" stops can be called. At night, keep together for greater visibility, of the road and you. Obey the rules of the road.

Food and Drink:
Eat. Drink. Both well and sufficiently. In fact, if you are new to this type of riding, start eating lightly on the bike as you start the ride. Many foods take time to be processed into fuel.

At the End of the Brevet:

Return your Control Card to the ride organizer. If the ride organizer is not there:

Call in your finish time and total hours to the ride organizer or appropriate club executive* within 24 hours. Send your fully-completed Control Card fully the appropriate club executive member*. You must provide results and the card, or your results will not be registered with the International Randonneurs in Paris France and you will not receive recognition of your Brevet or a medal. (*"Appropriate club executive" will be announced.)

If You Stop and Return Home Without Finishing:

Please let the ride organizer know you have left the ride, leave a message at the closing control or call one of the club executive to let someone know your status.

Time Limits:

Time limits for Brevets conform to those set by Randonneurs Mondiaux as follows:

200 km (13.5 h)
300 km (20 h)
400 km (27 h)
600 km (40 h)
1000 km (75 h)

If a time penalty is assessed for a violation of the rules, the penalty will be added to the elapsed time to give the official finishing time.

For more information, contact the club's Vice-president/Brevet Administration .

Copyright 2017, Randonneurs Ontario

Comments? E-mail the WebMaster