Randonneurs USA's Rules for Permanent Riders is based on its Rules for Riders, which apply to brevets. In what follows, "organizer" means the Permanent route owner, or during a ride, an agent whom the organizer delegates. "Brevet card" means certification or control card (reflecting the meaning of "brevet" - i.e., certification) - it does not indicate that the ride is a brevet.
RUSA created its own program for permanents in 2004, to mirror those already available from Randonneurs Mondiaux ("RM") affiliated clubs in other countries. In contrast to brevets, there was no pre-existing, internationally agreed, set of regulations for permanents. RUSA's rules for permanents were, therefore, initially based those of Audax UK, with minor changes that reflect the differences in policies and culture between the two clubs.
Anyone who wishes to become a Permanent route owner must comply with the rules set out in RUSA's Rules for Permanent Route Owners document. Permanent route owners must enforce the rules listed herein for all individuals who ride their routes.
Rules for Permanent Riders
Only Randonneurs USA has sanctioning authority for RUSA Permanents.
RUSA Permanents may be ridden only by current RUSA members.
To participate in a permanent, a rider proposes a date and time to start the ride, and it must be agreed upon by the route owner. This will be the official start time. Riders need to make arrangements with route owners far enough in advance to allow route owners to prepare and send ride materials to riders. Riders should not expect an instantaneous response from route owners.
Electronic Proof of Passage Options at Registration -- “Electronic proof of passage” (EPP) means recording proof of a rider’s location (and time of passage for timed checkpoints) by electronic device, in a way that the route owner can verify.
EPP may be used for one or more checkpoints if both rider and route owner agree to use EPP for those checkpoints, agree on the EPP means to employ, and how to provide the validating data to the route owner. If EPP has been agreed to be used for all checkpoints, the rider and route owner may further agree that a brevet card not be provided. Riders may not insist on using EPP, and route owners may not require it.
If rider and route owner do not agree on using EPP or on EPP details as above, then traditional validation must be used.
During the ride, the rider may elect, for any EPP-agreed checkpoints, to use the non-EPP specified proof of passage (store receipt, info control answer, etc.), so long as a brevet card has been issued.
If more than one rider is on the permanent ride, they may share the same validating data (for example, store receipts or EPP data such as photos or GPS data) if the route owner agrees.
Once the route owner has accepted the rider's notice of entry, the rider may publicize the date and time of the intended ride, unless the route owner requests that the rider refrain from doing so.
As with brevets, a rider can start up to one hour past the official start time; however, a late start does not change the timing of the intermediate and final controls.
If there exist unsafe/hazardous conditions at the start of the ride, e.g., icy roads or dense fog, the official start time may be delayed with no time penalty. The rider should attempt to contact the route owner to advise him/her of the necessary delay. Once conditions improve, a new official start time is chosen and written on the control card. All intermediate and final control open/close times are adjusted by the difference between the original and new official start times.
When taking part in a Permanent ride, riders accept and consent to the possible publication of their names, time results, and photographs by the organizer.
During the Permanent ride, each rider is considered to be on a personal ride. The rider must ride in accordance with all applicable traffic codes, obey all traffic signals, and use bike paths when required by law. When riding, all riders must wear an approved helmet. The ACP, RUSA, and other organizers cannot and do not accept responsibility for any accidents that may occur during the course of a Permanent ride.
Each rider must be self sufficient. No personal follow cars or support of any kind are permitted on the course. Personal support is only allowed at checkpoints. Any violation of this requirement may result in disqualification.
All riders are required to conduct themselves in a civil manner and abide by all applicable vehicle codes, laws, and regulations. All riders are required to respect local customs with regards to decorum.
The route owner will provide a cue sheet and - unless waived by both parties because of EPP - a brevet card. These materials may arrive before the ride by surface mail, or by email if the rider agrees to this, or may be handed to the rider at the start of the ride. Route owners may also include unannounced (secret) checkpoints along the route. If a rider leaves the route, he or she must return to the route at the same point prior to continuing, i. e. no shortcuts or detours from the route are permitted, unless specified by the route owner. The only exception to the "no detours" rule is provided when a road is closed. In such a situation the rider should first attempt to contact the route owner to obtain permission to take a detour. If the rider detours without permission due to a road closure, the rider shall report the route deviation to the route owner at the rider's first opportunity. If a detour is taken, the rider and route owner are responsible for ensuring that the rider has completed the required event distance.
Organizers may have checkpoints at establishments with no member of the organizing staff present. At these checkpoints, if EPP is not being used, riders must get their brevet card verified at a local establishment that the organizer specifies as a checkpoint, such as a grocery store or gas station, or any establishment in the checkpoint locale, if the route owner has specified that as an option ("open control"). Checkpoint verification information to be noted on the brevet card includes the time and the date of passage (for Permanent rides that extend beyond 24 hours).
For checkpoints where electronic verification is not being used, and no other means of getting verification is available (arrival in the middle of the night for example), the rider may either (1) mail in a postcard with the checkpoint information (time, date, full name of the rider) to the organizer; or (2) write into the brevet card identifying information from a predetermined landmark or sign at the checkpoint also noting the time and the date of passage. When the rider mails a postcard, the rider should mark his brevet card in the space provided for the checkpoint: PC, with the time and date the postcard was sent. The organizer has the discretion to determine which option is to be allowed for a given checkpoint.
Missing checkpoint verification, missing checkpoint times (for controls that are timed), incomplete or corrupted EPP data, or - if a brevet card has been provided - loss of the brevet card (regardless of how far into the ride a rider is) are grounds for disqualification. Each rider is responsible for seeing that proper verification has been secured at each checkpoint in the manner approved by the organizer.
The overall time limit varies for each permanent according to its exact distance (rounded down to the nearest km). The master schedule used to calculate time limits and control opening and closing times is detailed in the Rules for Permanent Route Owners document, in the paragraph headed "Calculation of Opening and Closing Times."
For night riding, vehicles must be equipped with front and rear lights attached firmly to the vehicle. Lights must be turned on at all times during hours of darkness or other low-light conditions (rain, fog, etc.). At least one of the rear lights must be in a steady (rather than flashing) mode. All riders' lights must meet the requirements of local laws. A rider is not permitted to cycle at night or in other low-light conditions without working front and rear lights attached to the vehicle; therefore, backup lighting systems and/or spare bulbs are strongly recommended in case the primary system fails and cannot be repaired on the roadside. Each rider, whether riding in a group or alone, must fully comply with this requirement. Everyone must use their lights!
During hours of darkness or other low-light conditions, all riders must wear a reflective vest or some other device that clearly places significant reflective material on the front and back of the rider. During these times all riders will also wear a reflective ankle band around each ankle. (Due to their different seating position, recumbent riders may modify their reflective torso devices to show better from front and rear.) Other reflective devices on clothing, shoes, helmets, and machines are encouraged for increased safety - but they are extra and may not take the place of the minimum items listed above. Riders must review the RUSA reflective guide and are strongly encouraged to meet the recommended minimum standards for torso reflectivity described in that document.
Regardless of whether or not an organizer conducts a gear/equipment inspection at the start of a ride, failure to have and display appropriate reflective gear and required lighting may result in immediate disqualification.
At the finish, the rider must sign the brevet card if one has been issued, and within 10 days of completing the ride, provide to the route owner all materials to verify the ride, including electronic data if agreed. If no brevet card was issued, then providing the EPP data to the route owner constitutes attesting that the ride was executed within the rules. As with a brevet, the rider should inform the route owner promptly if he or she DNF.
These rides are not competitive events, so no rider classifications are made. Results are published alphabetically by rider name, not by arrival time.
No medals are available for riding a Permanent. However, Permanents count as credit towards a number of RUSA awards.
Any fraud, cheating, or deliberate violation of these rules may result in the exclusion of the rider from RUSA-sponsored rides and events.
If a penalty, disqualification, or other action is taken against or affecting a rider (an "appealable action"), then the rider may appeal in writing (including the option of an e-mail) within 72 hours from being notified of the appealable action. The appeal will be to the organizer. If the organizer denies the appeal, or if the rider does not receive a response from the organizer within 10 calendar days after submitting the appeal, the rider may appeal the appealable action - excluding issues relating to electronic verification - to the Board of Directors of Randonneurs USA for a final decision. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Board of Directors will promptly contact the rider and the organizer and, if it deems necessary, will ask for any additional information. The Board of Directors will then render a decision in a timely fashion. A rider may directly submit any other question or complaint (other than an appealable action) to the Board of Directors.
Randonneurs USA will be the final arbiter of any questions that arise which may not be covered explicitly in these rules.