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 supercede 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 theBrevets 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 insure 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.
At the start, each rider will receive a brevet card and a cue sheet indicating the route and the location of the checkpoints. Every rider must stop at each checkpoint to have his or her card verified. Organizers may also include unannounced 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, ie. no shortcuts or detours from the route, unless specified by the organizer. 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 ride organizer 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 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.
Organizers may have checkpoints at establishments with no member of the organizing staff present. At these checkpoints 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. Checkpoint verification information to be noted on the brevet card includes the time and the date of passage (for brevets that extend beyond 24 hours).
For unmanned checkpoints where no 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 brevet organizer; or (2) write into their 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), or 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 his or her brevet card is properly completed at 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. 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.
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 unusual 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 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.