Alex Piotrowski

Imago - Meditatio - Actio

A Brief Intro to Randonneuring from a Rookie's Perspective

Randonneuring a particular style of non-competitive long distance endurance cycling that has its origins in France, dating back to the early 1900s. Even though randonneuring goes back to the early days of bicycling, it is an aspect of cycling unfamiliar to many people, including seasoned cyclists.

I'll try to touch on a few particulars of the sport without going into excessive detail, but I admit up front that we randonneurs can go on an on. That's part of what our sport is about.

In no way is the information in this summary intended to supplant the defininitions provided by the official sanctioning organizations. For more in depth information, visit the respective websites for Randonneurs USA , Les Randonneurs Mondiaux , and/or Audax Club Parisien.

A few tidbits of randonneuring history from French origins to the modern Randonneurs USA.
Literally a "certificate", the brevet is the most common randonneuring event. Brevets are structured, timed long-distance rides of at least 200km (124 miles).
Grand Randonnée
A grand randonnée is a brevet of 1200K or longer length. The most renowned is Paris‑Brest‑Paris, but now there are many others world wide. Many choices are available just within the United States and Canada.
Super Randonneur Series
A Super Randonneur (SR) Series is earned by completing a 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K brevet in the same season.   An accomplishment in and of itself, the SR Series is also often a requirement to qualify for the even longer grand randonnées.
Often, people wonder how randonneurs can ride long distances in such relatively short periods of time. This section attempts to address the primary concerns.

NPR story with video montage

For a more in depth view of the journey into this type of cycling, I invite you to visit my ridelog where I've been commenting on my experiences on the journey down this path starting with my first brevet.