A Permanent is like a brevet, but can be ridden on any date. Permanent rides in the USA are sanctioned and validated by Randonneurs USA. RUSA members who register to ride a Permanent route must follow the Rules for Riders. Like BRM events, Permanents are not casual affairs. Any RUSA member may contribute routes to the RUSA Permanents library, so that RUSA members may ride them. Randonneurs USA thanks all volunteers who contribute to the organization of these rides, and as a consequence to the development of long distance cycling in the USA.
Contributing a Permanent Route
Members may contribute a new route to the RUSA Permanents Library, or an existing inactive route, or ask that an active route be updated. Here's what needs to be submitted:
- a filled-in route contribution questionnaire ... for submitting a new route, reactivating a route, or requesting a route update.
- a RideWithGPS route that contains all the info needed to ride the route - including checkpoints, services, advisories, tips, and time limit - as detailed in the RUSA RideWithGPS Guidelines for Perms.
You will need access to a RideWithGPS Premium account in order to create or edit the "complete" route described above. If you do not have personal access to a Premium account, you may use the RUSA Club Work Account, described here.
When you submit a route, it will be reviewed by the Permanents Committee, who may ask you to fix certain issues. The committee will activate or update the route when it's ready, and members will then be able to register to ride it.
A Permanent may be any distance of 200km or more. A Permanent Populaire may be from 100-199km. Routes may be new to RUSA, or may follow the course of an existing or former brevet. Minor revisions, which may need to be made to a route from time to time, do not need to be re-submitted. Major changes will require re-approval. The RBA Procedures document offers guidance on what constitutes a minor change. Changes can be submitted by the original contributor or someone else.
The route may start and finish in the same place, or finish in a different location (point-to-point), and follow any number of shapes in between, but may not contain repeated loops.
Permanent routes are free routes. Riders may take any safe and legal route between checkpoints, including the route specified in your submission. That "default" route you submit determines the official distance credited for riding the Permanent. Therefore, it should be close in distance to the shortest safe and legal routing between checkpoints.
Similar guidelines apply for checkpoints on Permanents as on brevets. Checkpoints should be more or less regularly spaced between the start and finish. Typically, checkpoints should be about 50-100 km (30-60 miles) apart depending on total route distance. Additional checkpoints should be located at any point along the route where a shortcut might be taken.
Intermediate checkpoints have no opening and closing times. There is only an overall time limit for completing the ride. You may use the RUSA Permanents Open/Closing Times Calculator to calculate the overall time limit (which needs to be included in the cue sheet). The time limits are based on the following minimum average speeds:
|Min. Avg. Speed
|(9.3 mph) (Permanent Populaires)
|(5.2 mph) -- 200km (125 miles) per day
Note: This calculator also returns open and closing times for intermediate checkpoints, but these checkpoints are untimed on a ride, and are not part of the data to include with the cue sheet.
Checkpoint Proofs of Passage
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 checkpoint location. The contributor can provide options for (a), (b) and (c) on the cue sheet, e.g., a specific establishment for receipt, or "any establishment at this location," location of ATM or other automated device at a checkpoint locus, and/or identifying subjects for a photo, such as an establishment, street sign, historical plaque, etc. This info goes in the cue for each checkpoint.
Time periods during which this route is ridable or recommended for riding - e.g. 12 months, March through October - can be supplied on the perm route application. Restrictions may reflect extreme weather, seasonal road closures (e.g., because of no winter maintenance), high-season traffic conditions, etc. There is no enforcement of these restrictions in registering to ride a permanent, but riders are expected either to plan in accord with available time periods, or do some research to find out whether riding in a restricted period is feasible or safe. Therefore, "availability" is useful data to potential riders.
The Permanents Coordinator may optionally consult with RBAs within whose regions the submitted route passes regarding suitability of the route, except that: an RBA may opt out of consultation by informing the Permanents Coordinator, and the Permanents Coordinator may omit an RBA from consultation if that RBA has not been responsive in the past. Also, if the contributor is an RBA, that RBA will not be consulted for segments in that region. A consulted RBA will be given a week to respond to a request for input.
Cue Sheet Checklist
The following items need to be included in cues in the RideWithGPS cue sheet submitted for a route:
- start checkpoint, finish checkpoint, and each intermediate checkpoint,
- proof of passage details for each checkpoint,
- street address or other location information for the start checkpoint (to be included in the cue for the start checkpoint),
- time limit for the ride - to be included with the cue for the finish checkpoint,
- warnings, cautions, and advisories - e.g., traffic, railroad crossings
- possible delays due to ferries, trains, drawbridges, etc.,
- services at particular points, or lack of services over a given stretch.
- Route Contribution Questionnaire (new route)
- Route Contribution Questionnaire (reactivating)
- Route Contribution Questionnaire (updated active route)