2023 Policies

Rider safety is always paramount at Great Lakes Ultra Cycling.  Safety comes through route design, rider awareness, and the club rules and procedures that promote it.  It is everyone’s business and route design plays a huge role.  We can’t guarantee anything will be 100% safe, cycling has inherent risk.  The rider must always follow all traffic laws, etc - but we can strive to put you on low traffic, high scenery roads.

Route design for safety is very challenging, especially in urban areas like Chicagoland.  It can also be difficult in the countryside as well based on time and conditions.  A safe route in the morning may be unsafe in the evening.

The Pandemic continues to grate on accompanied by the flue, RSV and probably many others.  While we would all like it to be gone, we do need to remember that it's still a nasty illness that can take a life.  Being vacccinated is not only a good idea, but required in our club.  While we don't mandate masks, we certainly appreciate that some will still wear them and take their own procedures.  We ask that if you are ill for any reason, you not attend.  If you are sick and registered, contact us, we will work out transfering your registration to a different ride.

The roads we ride on are still the biggest part of our safety.  It's also a lot more fun to ride on quiet, scenic roads!

Routes designed for GLU Ultra Cycling Events (other than RUSA Events which have different requirements) will conform to the following:

  1. Roads with pavement issues should be avoided, if none is possible, marking the pavement with paint is an option
  2. Roads with significant traffic at the time riders will be passing through should be avoided
  3. The route should avoid complex intersections or ones without good options for a rider to legally and safely pass through (e.g. crossings where lights do not change and do not have a manual trigger)
  4. The overall distance of the ride is based on the published track, not on any calculation of the shortest distance between controls

Randonneuring and Brevets

While we would like to have it be so, RUSA rules and procedures do not always allow for the same kinds of flexibilty and options and keeping the sport intact is important.  The sport of randonneuring is an old one.  It dates to the 19th Century.

The basics of a randonneuring route are founded on the idea of designated stopping points or Controls.  At a control, a randonneur collects a proof of passage, normally a signature on a special card called a brevet card and/or a receipt.  The cards are carried, signed and the end and turned in.  Riders must arrive and validate passage within a specific time frame.  The route between 2 controls should be the shortest distance passable by bicycle to ensure that the route is followed.  Randonneuring routes are timed with the time it takes to stop at controls being a factor in the overall efficiency of the rider.   Great randonneurs don't just ride consistently and fast, they excel at time managment and the ability to effectively manage time at controls is vital part of the sport.  One of the biggest challenges of Paris Brest Paris is attempting to manage the time spent at controls (which lines and a lot of walking can be involved).  If you never use the cards, your experience at PBP will be a shocker.  PBP is about time management as much or MORE than riding.  Rides in 2023 will emphasize this.  You must get used to spending a certain amount of time at controls - at PBP, do not expect to spend less than 30-45 minutes at every control and likely much more.  You will be in line with thousands of others.

All randonneuring routes must be approved by the RUSA Routing Committee.  This is a long process (up to 2 months) and requires a lot of effort.  While some minor flexibility does exist, major changes to the route require re-approval.

One of the side effects of the traditional controlsl is that they can eliminate the best roads, particularly in areas where larger, busier county roads are the shortest distance.  Quiet roads with far less traffic would require the introduction of additional controls, stopping riders and becoming burdensome.  Controls are ideally spaced so that they coincide with needed services but get annoying when there are too many.  You should expect a slightly different kind of ride on a RUSA event.

Many have argued for years that proof of passage should be made electronic and not require stopping.  While this seems a simple solution, it also changes the sport significantly.  Randonneuring is a sport based on camaraderie and controls and cards are also a place for otherwise solitary riders to meet up and moving through a control and collecting proof of passage are key parts of the sport.  The added challenges on route design also create a consistency in randonneuring that GLUC feels is really vital, the fact remains that once we remove all the pomp and circumstance, we aren't are not randonneuring anymore, we are doing a timed ultra cycling ride.  We are no longer preparing you for PBP, the pinnacle of the sport.

Many small clubs have no choice but to function through RUSA for insurance purposes.  GLUC is extremely fortunate to have flexibility.  Instead of diluting down the sport of randonneuring, we want to preserve it and keep it as a part of our club that we can all enjoy the traditions that make it so distinctive.

RUSA Events will

  1. Use Brevet Cards and require mandatory stops at controls to gather proof of passage as a receipt
  2. Use routes approved by RUSA
  3. Enforce all the Articles of Randonneuring 
    1. You must start at the ride time or no more than 1 hour afterwards
    2. You must carry your brevet card and collect proof of passage as receipts at specfied businesses
    3. The card must be turned in at the finish SIGNED by you
    4. Cards must be mailed to the organizer no later than 1 day after the finish of the ride
  4. You may not ride with anyone else that is not on the brevet or accept help of any kind between controls.  Your fellow riders are your help.
  5. You must arrive at controls between the opening and closing times.  If you arrive early, you must wait for it to open before collecting proof of passage.
  6. You must wear reflective gear in low light conditions and have front and rear lights mounted to your bicycle. 
  7. Failure to comply with any articles or violating any traffic laws will result in disqualification.