Randonneurs USA's Rules for Riders are adapted from the Audax Club Parisien's (“ACP”) Réglement de Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux(“BRM”). Some portions of these regulations apply only in the U.S. Newer editions supersede older ones. These rules apply to all BRM events held in the United States of America, as well as other brevets sanctioned by Randonneurs USA (“RUSA”).
In 1921 the Audax Club Parisien (ACP) created a series of self-paced rides (200, 300, 400, 600, and 1000 KM) for individual riders (Note 1). In 1931 the ACP created Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneurs. These events were called the Brevets de Randonneurs Français. These rides have since become international in scope, becoming the Brevets de Randonneurs Européens in 1976 and the Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux in 1983. Since 1975, a series of 200, 300, 400, and 600 KM brevets has been required to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris, thus assuring that riders are well prepared for this difficult event.
Anyone organizing BRM or RUSA events must also comply with the rules set out in an ACP supplement called Rules for Organizers as well as RUSA's RBA Procedures to ensure full compliance with these rules.
Rules for Riders
Only the Audax Club Parisien has sanctioning authority for BRM events. The ACP registers all BRM brevets. Each brevet receives a verification number. These are assigned chronologically based on time of receipt. The ACP has registered these brevets since their inception in 1921. Only Randonneurs USA is authorized by ACP to organize BRM events in the United States.
Only Randonneurs USA has sanctioning authority for RUSA domestic events.
These brevets are open to any amateur cyclist regardless of his or her cycling affiliations. Any rider under the age of 18 must have consent of his or her parent or legal guardian. Any form of human-powered vehicle is acceptable. The only stipulation is that the vehicle must be powered solely by the rider.
To participate in a brevet a rider must complete a registration form, sign a waiver of liability, and pay the registration fee set by the event organizer.
When taking part in a brevet, the rider accepts and consents to the possibile publication of their name, time result, and photograph by the organizer.
During the event, 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 brevet.
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 will result in immediate 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.
A brevet card and a cue sheet indicating the route and the location of the checkpoints will be made available to each rider before the start of the event, in paper or electronic form. Organizers may also include unannounced checkpoints along the route. Every rider must obtain proof of passage at each checkpoint unless a detour precludes transiting a given checkpoint.
Detours are permitted when a road is closed, or is not safely or legally passable by cyclists (e.g., in some construction zones). In such situations the rider should first attempt to contact the ride organizer to obtain permission to take a detour. If the rider detours without permission, the rider must report the route deviation to the organizer at the rider's first opportunity. If a detour is taken, the rider(s) and organizer are responsible for ensuring that the rider(s) have completed the required event distance. In all other cases, 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.
For proof of passage at checkpoints, brevet cards may be inscribed by event staff if present or, in the absence of event staff, any of these proofs of passage which the organizer has allowed can be used:
- clerk or other staff annotation at establishments, or store receipts, including time and date of passage;
- a postcard mailed from the checkpoint, inscribed with the rider name and checkpoint information (location, time, and date);
- the answer to a question posed on the brevet card, discoverable at the checkpoint location;
- a receipt from an ATM or other automated device that includes time, date, and location;
- a photo incorporating date and time taken and including the rider and an identifying artifact from the location;
- data from a GPS or other location device that includes location and time of passage.
Information questions and postcard controls do not have opening and closing time limits. Intermediate controls using photo, GPS or electronic tracking may be treated either as timed or untimed, at the organizer's discretion.
The organizer determines which option(s) are allowed for a given checkpoint. For example, a checkpoint might allow for clerks at an establishment to fill in the card during business hours, while a question or photo could be allowed for use at other times. For photo and automated checkpoints, the organizer will make accommodation for riders who are not carrying a camera, ATM card, GPS tracking device, etc.
A brevet card will always be made available to riders, even though the organizer may elect types of proof of passage for the entire route that do not require a brevet card. When a brevet card is used, it should be inscribed with the time of passage for every checkpoint, and for events extending beyond the starting day, the date of passage.
Missing checkpoint verification, missing checkpoint times (for checkpoints that have opening and closing times), or loss of the brevet card (regardless of how far into the ride a rider is) are grounds for possible disqualification. Each rider is responsible for seeing that proof of passage allowed by the organizer is obtained for each checkpoint.
Overall time limits vary for each brevet according to the distance. These are: (in hours and minutes, HH:MM) 13:30 for 200 KM, 20:00 for 300 KM, 27:00 for 400 KM, 40:00 for 600 KM, and 75:00 for 1000 KM. A rider’s total elapsed time is calculated from the opening time of the start control (regardless of the rider’s actual start time) to the rider’s arrival time at the finish control. Additionally, riders must arrive at each checkpoint between the opening and closing time for the checkpoint. These times are noted on the brevet card with the information for the checkpoints.
If a rider arrives at a checkpoint after it has closed and the ride organizer is satisfied that the rider's lateness is due to the occurrence of something unforeseen and beyond the control of the rider (such as a road closure or stopping to help at a traffic accident), then the ride organizer may waive the fact that the rider arrived at the control late and allow the rider to continue. Poor bicycle or equipment maintenance, fatigue, lack of fitness, hunger, etc. are not unforeseen and beyond the control of the rider and therefore will not serve as a valid reason for being late. Subject to the foregoing, failure to make all checkpoints, even if the brevet is done within the overall time limit, will result in disqualification.
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.
Regardless of whether or not an RBA or ride 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 an immediate disqualification.
At the finish, the rider must sign his or her brevet card and return it to the event organizer. The brevet card will be returned to the rider after the brevet has been verified and a brevet number issued. (In the event of the organizer losing a brevet card, no replacement to the rider will be made.)
These brevets are not competitive events, so no rider classifications are made. Results are published alphabetically, not by arrival time.
Commemorative BRM medals for each ACP-sanctioned brevet are available for purchase direct from RUSA by finishers. BRM medals noting the successful completion of the brevets are: a bronze medal for 200 KM, a silver-plate medal for 300 KM, a vermillion medal for 400 KM, a gold medal for 600 KM, and a silver medal for 1000 KM. The design of the medals will change after each PBP. A medal for a given event may be purchased after the rider's result for that event has been posted on the RUSA website. Consult the RUSA website for pricing, and to order online or by mail.
Super Randonneur: This title is earned by any rider who completes a series of brevets ( 200, 300, 400, and 600 KM) in the same year or qualifies for PBP. A longer distance brevet cannot be substituted for a shorter one. A special medal is also available for those holding this title. Riders may order this medal from RUSA by submitting a Super-Randonneur Application form including the certification numbers for the qualifying brevets. Note: In PBP years, the ACP presents all PBP participants with a Super Randonneur medal at PBP.
A brevet cannot be counted as participation in, or as credit for another event held in conjunction with the brevet.
Any fraud, cheating, or deliberate violation of these rules will result in the exclusion of the rider from all RUSA-, RM-, and ACP-sponsored 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 an e-mail) within 72 hours from being notified of the appealable action. The appeal will be to the Regional Brevet Administrator ("RBA"). If the RBA denies the appeal or if the rider does not receive a response from the RBA within 10 calendar days after submitting the appeal, the rider may appeal the appealable action 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 RBA 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.
Version 11/2006, RUSA Board of Directors
Two basic styles of randonneuring exist in France. In one, a group of riders ride the whole event together at a given pace. This is the Audax style. For BRM events riders are not obliged to ride in a group. Everyone rides at his or her own pace. (This is what the allure libre in the French refers to). The checkpoint times determine a minimum and a maximum pace in BRM events.
The Audax Club Parisien sanctions and organizes BRM events; however, the Audax in the club's name does not refer to the Audax group style of randonneuring.
The debate was fierce, early in the 20th century, as to which of these randonneuring styles was the right one. The end result is that both forms still exist and are practiced by quite a few cyclists. Both of these cycling groups, as well as other non cycling groups, use the word Audax, albeit for their different purposes.