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Sanctioned by Randonneurs
Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Cycling Club
The Colorado Brevet Series is a family of more than a dozen challenging endurance events from April to October, ranging from 70 miles to more than 600 miles. For most events there is no charge to ride, but you must be an RMCC member ($25 per year).
· What Format are these Events? – Riders start together, follow a designated route, and pass through a series of checkpoints, where they get their passage validated. You carry a validation card for that purpose. You may ride by yourself or with others - drafting is permitted. Rides of this format are called “brevets” – a French term meaning “certified” – since your brevet card validates your ride. When certified, you get an individual serial number for completing that ride.
· What is the Style of Riding? – These are self-supported endurance rides. There may be staff on the route, but you take care of your own nutrition, repairs, and the like. Riders may of course help each other. Self-sufficiency and camaraderie are both encouraged. This style of riding is called “randonneuring” – from the French term for self-sufficient touring over terrain.
· How much time do I have to Finish? – There are deadlines for reaching each checkpoint and for finishing. But they are very generous – requiring only a 9 mph average including stops. This gives you time to overcome problems you or your riding partners may encounter and still finish officially, which is the main goal. Example: you have 13½ hours to complete an event of 125 miles (200km).
· Does a faster finishing time improve my standings? – No. The last rider to finish gets precisely the same credit as the first to come in. You may get personal satisfaction from setting a personal best or a course record. Or your goal may be to ride with friends who could use your company but may not be as fast.
Are these held under
racing conditions? - No.
They are explicitly not races.
Riders perform each event as an “individual tour” on open roads without
Are these Sanctioned
– Yes. They are sanctioned by Randonneurs USA (RUSA), the official organization for
randonneuring in the
· Can I get Awards or Recognition? – If you are a member of Randonneurs USA, you can purchase a medal for finishing most brevets, and you can work towards awards for total event distance over a year’s time. There are other awards, too. A list of finishers is posted on the RMCC website and featured in the newsletter, and RUSA members’ results are posted on the RUSA website. You can join RUSA here.
· Are there different varieties of events? – Yes. “Brevets” are events of 200km to 1000km (125 to 625 miles). “Populaires” are events of the same format, but 100km up to 200km (62-125 miles). The RMCC also organizes a “grand randonnée” of 1200km (750 miles) called the Colorado Last Chance. You can find details on these and more 1200k’s here.
· Do I have to qualify to ride? – For most events, no. The Last Chance requires you to qualify, and a couple of the more strenuous mountain events require a level of experience. Other than that, the events are open without qualifying.
· Can I use these events to qualify for others? – Yes. A number of the brevets can qualify you for 1200k and other longer events, including the world-famous Paris-Brest-Paris. Maybe that’s not on your radar right away, but may become part of your ambitions later on.
· How do I Register? – Have a look at the event schedule which describes the starting time, starting location, and any requirements (lights, registration, etc.). Even for events where registration is not required, it’s a good idea to pre-register: it allows us to plan for how many riders there will be, and it allows you to get e-mail notices of last-minute changes. You can register by printing and mailing the application, or by sending an e-mail to John Lee Ellis, Colorado Regional Brevet Administrator, listing which rides (by date and distance) you’re signing up for.
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