Brevets (Randoneering) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Cycling Events Glossary

What is a Brevet?

A Brevet, also known as a randonneuring event, is a long-distance, non-competitive cycling event that challenges riders to complete a set course within a specified time limit. Brevets are typically organized by local cycling clubs or organizations and are part of the Audax Club Parisien (ACP) system, which sets the standards for randonneuring events worldwide.

How are Brevets different from other cycling events?

Unlike traditional cycling races, Brevets are not competitive events. Riders are not racing against each other but rather against the clock and the course itself. The emphasis in Brevets is on self-sufficiency, endurance, and camaraderie. Participants are expected to navigate the course on their own, following a route sheet or GPS track, and are responsible for their own food, water, and equipment.

What are the requirements for participating in a Brevet?

To participate in a Brevet, riders must register with the organizing club or organization and pay a registration fee. They must also be members of the ACP or a recognized randonneuring organization. Riders are required to wear a helmet, have a working bicycle with lights and reflective gear for night riding, and carry a brevet card that is stamped at designated checkpoints along the route.

How are Brevets organized and conducted?

Brevets are typically organized in distances ranging from 200 kilometers to 1200 kilometers, with shorter events known as Populaires also available. The courses are designed to showcase the natural beauty and cultural landmarks of the region, often taking riders on scenic back roads and challenging climbs. Riders must complete the course within a specified time limit, which varies depending on the distance of the event.

What are the benefits of participating in Brevets?

Participating in Brevets offers cyclists a unique opportunity to challenge themselves both physically and mentally, test their endurance and navigation skills, and explore new destinations on two wheels. Brevets also provide a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie, as riders often form bonds with fellow participants during the long hours on the road.

What are some popular Brevet routes and destinations?

Some of the most popular Brevet routes and destinations include the Paris-Brest-Paris, a 1200-kilometer event held every four years in France; the Boston-Montreal-Boston, a 1200-kilometer event in the United States; and the London-Edinburgh-London, a 1400-kilometer event in the United Kingdom. Other popular Brevet routes can be found in countries around the world, offering cyclists a variety of challenges and experiences to choose from.