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What is a Randonneur?
What is a Randonneur?

What is a Randonneur?

Have you heard of a Randonneur? When I switched from only running to doing triathlons, I found myself in a whole new world of cyclists and swimmers. As a runner, I was not aware of the many types of events out there for both. In addition to Triathlons there are many different types for cycling events you can join. They vary in length, road material, trail type, and competitiveness. I had no idea. Randonneuring peeked my interest as an endurance athlete. It is long-distance, self-supported, non-competitive cycling. The tradition of randonneuring began in France and Italy, when cycling first became popular.

200K Randonneur Ride from Adrian to Albion
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200K Adrian to Albion and Back

How far do Randonnuers Ride?

Brevets (the rides for Randonnuers) vary in length and are bound by time. All distances are on a predetermined route and must be completed in the time allotted. If you miss a turn and deviate from the set route, you must return to the route where you left it. Here are the traditional distances and times:

  • 200 kilometres (120 mi) – 13.5 hours (15 km/h)
  • 300 kilometres (190 mi) – 20 hours (15 km/h)
  • 400 kilometres (250 mi) – 27 hours (15 km/h)
  • 600 kilometres (370 mi) – 40 hours (15 km/h)
  • 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) – 75 hours (13.3 km/h)
  • 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) – 90 hours (13.3 km/h)
  • 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) – 116:40 hours (12 km/h)
  • 2,200 kilometres (1,400 mi) – 220 hours (10 km/h)

Randonneur Membership

There are Randonnuer Clubs all around the world and it is free to join. Once you are a member, your ride information is shared world wide. You can find rides and register to join in almost any country or state. In the USA, you can join the Randonnuers USA or you can find a local chapter. In Michigan we have the Detroit Randonneurs. You must renew your membership annually. Local chapters design and schedule events for riders to join. Registration for each event is typically around $10.

I am not currently a member, but I have helped with course previewing of a local 200K for the last few years.

Why become a Randonneur?

If you are looking for a non-competitive, camaraderie based riding, then this is where you can find it. Although rides are time bound, many riders choose to ride and rest together. Although the rides are not competitive, you can set goals to complete various ride lengths for awards such as the Brevet Medal for completing any single brevet of 200, 300, 400, 600 or 1,000 kilometers or the Super Randonneur for completing a series of 200,-300,-400-and-600-kilometers brevets within the same season. There are even multi-season awards for a combination of longer distances.

What cycling events have you participated in? Have you ever thought about doing a Brevet?

Check out other cool places to ride in Michigan! Thanks for following! ~KiteBikeVan

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