- For other uses, see brevet.
In the sport of randonneuring, a brevet or randonnée is an organised long-distance bicycle ride. Cyclists - who, in this discipline, may be referred to as randonneurs - follow a designated but unmarked route (usually 200km to 1400km), passing through check-point controls, and must complete the course within specified time limits. These limits, while challenging, still allow the ride to be completed at a comfortable pace - there is no requirement to cycle at racing speeds or employ road bicycle racing strategies.
Randonnée is a French word which loosely translates to 'ramble or 'long journey' (in French the verb 'randonner' originally means 'hiking', but is nowadays also used for bicycle and even motorized tours). Brevet means 'certificate' and refers to the card carried by randonneurs which gets stamped at controls; it is also used to refer to the event itself, ie: a certificated ride.
In Great Britain and Australia the term audax is also used for brevets, although this term actually designates a different kind of long distance bicycling, see Audax. The French brevet club is called "Audax Club Parisien", which increases the confusion.
Randonneurs do not compete against other cyclists; randonnées are a test of endurance, self-sufficiency and bicycle touring skills. Riders are expected to carry appropriate clothing for inclement weather, spare parts and tools needed for likely repairs. Brevets frequently involve night riding, when participants are required to carry lights, spare bulbs and reflective gear. No specialist bicycle is required; most riders use either a racing bicycle or a fast touring bicycle - several manufacturers provide models with a Randonneur or Audax name to reflect their target market. Those are usually racing bicycles with mounts for a baggage carrier and mudguards. On many brevets recumbents and velomobiles can be seen, as these types of bicycles are well suited for long distances.
The classic distances for randonnées are 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km. To complete one of each during a given year is known as completing a "series". A randonneur is required to complete an Auduax Club Parisien series to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris. There are brevets of distances greater than 600km but none under 200km. The organizations recognise and run events called Populaires for those events less than 200km.
The time limits for the distances are as follows:
- 200K - 13.5 hours (14 hours in the UK, as in the original events.)
- 300K - 20 hours
- 400K - 27 hours
- 600K - 40 hours
- 1000K - 75 hours
- 1200K - 90 hours (or 80 or 84 hours by choice)
- 1400K - 116:40 hours (optionally 105:16 or 93:20 hours)
Sometimes regarded as the Blue Riband randonnée, Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) is an approximately 1200km event held on an out-and-back course between Paris and Brest every four years. Begun in 1891, it is the oldest bicycling event still regularly run. It began as a race for professional cyclists, but is now a non-competitive endurance challenge. To qualify, a cyclist must complete a series of brevets within the same year. The series can be completed in any order (200, 300, 400 and then 600k is traditional), and any brevet may be replaced with a longer randonnée.
Boston-Montreal-Boston (BMB) is also a 1200km out-and-back between Boston and Montreal. BMB is sometimes regarded as the North American equivalent of PBP. It was held every year except when Paris-Brest-Paris was held but there are currently no plans to hold the event again.
Other 1200 km and longer brevetsEdit
- BMB Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200k (USA)
- Bonifay Cheaha Challenge 1200K (USA)
- Cascade 1200 (USA)
- Gold Rush Randonnée (USA)
- Great Southern Randonnée (Australia)
- Hamburg-Berlin-Cologne-Hamburg 1500 km (Germany)
- Last Chance 1200k Randonnée (USA)
- LEL: London-Edinburgh-London (United Kingdom)
- Madrid-Gijon-Madrid 1200km (Spain)
- PAP: Perth-Albany-Perth (Australia)
- Rocky Mountain 1200 (Canada)
- Sofia-Varna-Sofia 1200km (Bulgaria)
- Super Brevet Scandinavia 1200km (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
- VanIsle 1200 (Canada)
- Big Tour of Bavaria 1200km (Germany)
- Audax Australia
- Audax Japan
- Audax UK
- British Columbia Randonneurs Canada
- French website of ACP
- Race Across America
- RUSA - The ACP-sanctioned brevet coordinating organization for the United States of America.
- Seattle International Randonneurs
- Ultra Marathon Cycling Associationde:Brevet (Fahrrad)