What is Randonneuring?
Randonneuring is ultra-distance, endurance cycling. Riders challenge their physical and mental abilities by riding set distances in a prescribed time frame. The most common type of Randonneuring event is a brevet, referring to the certificate (brevet) the rider receives upon successful completion of the event. Typical brevet distances are 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km and 1000km in distance. Longer events known as randonnees can range from 1200km to 3000km in distance. The most famous of these and longest running cycling event in history, is the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) which first ran on September 6th, 1891 [official site].
In 2003, there were over 4000 riders in PBP from 28 countries. Of the 83 Canadian entered, Albertans recorded the fastest times by single Canadian male and female riders — but fast times are not the primary objective for all Randonneurs. Finishing an event within the time limit is the most important goal of Randonneuring. Riders compete against the clock, themselves, terrain and environment (especially the weather!). Being first is never the paramount goal and participants certainly pair up or group together during the events. However, it is not unheard of to see riders pushing themselves and each other to see who can clock the fastest time or be pushed to a personal best for an event. Provided one finishes within the time limit for the event, Randonneuring permits cyclists to "do the ride at the pace of their choosing". Whether you are an avid cycling tourist looking for the next challenge, an Ironman-Triathlete or competitive road racer looking for options to enhance your training, or you are just a little bit eccentric and obsessive about cycling, Randonneuring may be your next big challenge.
You need not be fast to be successful; in fact, the best Randonneurs are steady, consistent and know how to budget their energy. Riders are encouraged to work together as they compete against themselves, the weather and the route. The theme of Randonneuring is to promote individual health, goal setting and personal achievement. If you want high adventure, friendly camaraderie and memorable experiences in some of the best scenery in the world, come out and try Alberta Randonneuring — you will never look at cycling the same way again!
AR offers the standard Brevet series consisting of rides with distances of 200, 300, 400, 600 and 1000 km (see the schedule). The standard Brevets are conducted under the rules of the world governing body – Brevets Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM). Each ride in the standard series serves as a qualifier for the next longer distance. Populaires are not mandatory (though recommended) for qualifying for the 200 km ride.
Brevets have time-limits based on a minimum average speed, including any stops. These limits are:
- 50 km – 3.5 hrs;
- 100 km – 7 hrs;
- 150 km – 10.5 hrs;
- 200 km – 13 hrs;
- 300 km – 20 hrs;
- 400 km – 27 hrs;
- 600 km – 40 hrs;
- 1000 km – 75 hrs;
- 1200 km – 90hrs