Randonneurs USA's Rules for Permanent Riders is based on its Rules for Riders, which apply to brevets. "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 contribute a route to the RUSA Permanents library must comply with the rules set out in RUSA’s Rules for Permanent Route Contributors.
SR 600 Permanents - RUSA Permanents linked to ACP Super Randonnée 600k's are covered by separate rules.
Rules for Permanent Riders
Only Randonneurs USA has sanctioning authority for RUSA Permanents.
RUSA Permanents may be ridden only by current RUSA members, and the rider must be a current member of the RUSA Permanents Program. Any form of human-powered vehicle is acceptable. The only stipulation is that the vehicle must be propelled solely by the rider.
To participate in a permanent, the rider selects a permanent route from the RUSA Permanents library, and then registers on the RUSA website to ride it, specifying the starting date of the ride.
Ride Direction and Starting Checkpoint Options - Permanent routes may be ridden in reverse direction. The rider must determine that the reverse route is safe and legal, and revise the route if necessary to make it so (for example, to avoid riding the wrong way on a one-way street). For a permanent route that starts and finishes at the same location, the rider may start and finish the permanent at an intermediate checkpoint so long as the other checkpoints are traversed in their order in the route. In all cases, for insurance reasons, the starting checkpoint must be in the United States.
When taking part in a Permanent ride, riders accept and consent to the possible publication of their names, time results, and photographs.
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. RUSA does not accept any liability for anything that might occur associated with the Permanent ride or during the course of the ride, including collisions and other mishaps, and the rider must sign a waiver without which it is not a RUSA credited 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 RUSA Permanent Routes Library provides a RideWithGPS online route for the Permanent, which the rider can use to navigate, either by downloading it to a device, or by printing off the cue sheet it provides. If the rider wishes to reverse the route or start from an intermediate control, the rider may make a copy of this route, or export the cue sheet to a format which the rider can revise.
If the rider needs or desires a brevet card - for example, for clerk-supplied proof of passage at an establishment, or to annotate the card at checkpoints - the rider can construct a brevet card based on the templates provided in the Permanents Resources page of the website.
Between checkpoints, the rider can follow the official route, or ride alternative routes, so long as they are legal and safe. The distance credited, however, is the distance of the official route. The “official route” is the one which was submitted for the approved Permanent, and is the route accessible from the RUSA Routes Library.
The rider must transit every checkpoint, unless a detour prevents legally and safely transiting one. In that case, the rider should obtain proof of passage at an alternate site to serve as the missing checkpoint.
The rider must ride at least the distance of the official route. If the rider’s route ends up being shorter than the official route, the rider must make up the distance at some point during the ride (e.g., at the finish).
The rider must establish proof of passage at each checkpoint, including start and finish. This proof of passage can be (a) a receipt from an establishment or clerk’s annotation of time of passage on a brevet card, (b) receipt from an automated device showing the time of passage (such as an ATM), (c) timestamped photo identifying the checkpoint location, or (d) a GPS track passing through the control location. Which type(s) of proof of passage to use is at the discretion of the rider.
If the rider does not have photo capabilities or GPS and is using a brevet card, then if the control has an open establishment or usable automated device, the rider must obtain proof of passage from the clerk, ATM, etc. If there are multiple riders riding together on the route, they may sign each other's card. Start and finish controls are timed, to establish the duration of the ride. Intermediate controls' times of passage establish that the controls were navigated in the correct order. However, there are no time limits for intermediate controls.
All controls are Open, meaning that any establishment or automated device at the checkpoint venue can be used, or any photographic subject so long as it identifies the checkpoint locale.
Missing checkpoint verification, finishing beyond the cutoff time, incomplete or corrupted 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.
The overall time limit varies for each permanent according to its exact distance (rounded down to the nearest km). The official distance is the distance of the “standard” route as approved, not the distance the rider actually rode.
The master schedule used to calculate time limits and control opening and closing times is detailed in the Rules for Permanent Route Contributors document, in the paragraph headed "Calculation of Opening and Closing Times."
While riding between sunset and sunrise and during other low-light conditions (rain, fog, etc.), a set of working front and rear lights must be firmly mounted on the vehicle and turned on. At least one of the rear lights must be in a steady (rather than flashing) mode. The lights must meet the requirements of local laws. Backup lighting systems and/or spare bulbs are strongly recommended in case the primary system fails and cannot be repaired on the roadside.
Between sunset and sunrise and during 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 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 Reflectivity Guide and are strongly encouraged to meet the recommended minimum standards for torso reflectivity described in that document.
Within 10 days after the ride, the rider must submit the ride result via the RUSA website, either the elapsed time to finish, or report of not starting, not finishing, or not finishing within the time limit.
The rider should retain materials validating the ride - digital files, posted ride tracks, receipts, etc. - for 12 months in case RUSA audits the result.
These rides are not competitive events, so no rider classifications are made.
No medals are available for riding a Permanent. However, Permanents count as credit towards a number of RUSA awards.
A permanent ride cannot be counted as participation in, or as credit for, another ride.
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 action. The appeal will be to the Permanents Committee. If the Permanents Committee denies the appeal, or if the rider does not receive a response from the Permanents Committee within 10 calendar days after submitting the appeal, the rider may appeal 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 Permanents Committee 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 submit any other question or complaint (other than an appealable action) directly 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.