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How To Ride A Brevet

Background

The term brevet (pronounced "bra-vay") is a French word meaning certification.  Unlike a race, a brevet operates on a clock in which each rider is responsible for managing their own time and speed to finish before the clock runs out.  The average speed is a shade under 10 mph so even with various stops, the time limits are generally not difficult to manage until the longer distances.   All finishers receive the same accolades in a brevet and camaraderie is paramount, especially in GLR.  Even if you do not finish on time, GLR records distance ridden and your time.   The time limit can be seen more as a guide for whether you are ready for one than a ticking clock during the ride.  If you can ride a century in 8-10 hours, you should be fine to ride a 200k within the 13.5 allotted.

In 2020, in response to the situation with COVID-19, GLR made the decision to have its own certifications for rides separate from RUSA.  This was to allow easier access to technology advances that allow use of electronic proof of passage and other options to allow social distancing and protect riders.  

Signing Up

GLR Rides are generally scheduled far in advance.  Registering for a ride is online through this website.  Though we do allow you to sign up until the start of the ride, it's also good form and helps the organizer to do so at least a couple of days before.  

GLR Brevets

Membership in GLR is not currently required to ride our rides.  Our club has a long history of welcoming newcomers and providing good experiences for our riders.  We encourage people to become GLR members as it gives you better access to our website (one click registration), a customized view of. your riding history, and a bit of a price break. But it is not mandatory and we happily welcome all new riders.  Sign up for GLR membership here.

RUSA/ACP Brevets and Rides

 In 2020, insurance issues with our national organization, RUSA have made this a challenge.  RUSA-affiliated rides now require RUSA membership ($30) and have additional fees. 

RUSA is a great organization and we highly recommend joining.  However, you should allow several days in advance to get a RUSA membership as their process is manual.  They will initial assign a number beginning with "T" - this cannot be used to sign up for brevets.  Our website will enforce that you have a valid RUSA number to sign up.

Controls

One of the biggest question raised is regarding controls.  Controls are stops to both give you an idea of how you are progressing with respect ot the time limit and to give you options for refueling and resting.   Speed and a racy attitude are discouraged.  Politeness and helping others are prized.

GLR Brevets

GLR allows all the options listed for RUSA brevets.  We also permit users of GPS services to submit their results as a GPS track.

  1. The track must clearly show the date and time of the ride
  2. The email address associated with the track must match the email address of a rider's GLR membership OR be declared during registration in the comments section.  If the service does not show email addresses, the rider must notify the organizer in advance what the user name or alias is.
  3. We accept Strava and RWGPS tracks
  4. Tracks must be sent via email or text to the organizer within 24 hours of the end time of the ride.

RUSA/ACP Brevets and Rides

The Brevet Card is generally the standard proof of passage for a RUSA/ACP.  In past years, the card was signed by clerks at controls.  Today, GLR has so many controls that this is not practical so we have moved to getting receipts at business controls.  Collect a receipt from each control and turn it in with your signed card at the finish (a plastic bag is a good way to keep receipts together and the card safe).  The card will also have the organizers name and phone number for emergencies.

Timing your arrival at controls is one of the skills of the sport.  Each control has a time window that it is open. 

  • the minimum average speed to get to controls on time is ~10 mph
  • the maximum average speed to get to controls on time is ~20 mph

The open and close times will be recorded on your brevet card and on the cue sheet (if you take one).  If you arrive early, you must wait to get your receipt.

The Finish

The finish is generally (but not always) manned.  At the finish, you must turn in all the receipts along with your SIGNED card OR email your GPS track to the organizer within 24 hours.  If the finish is manned, the volunteer will take care of recording your time.  If it is unmanned, there will be a business nearby to get a receipt.  Turn it in with the others.  You must SIGN your card at the finish.  Also, if the finish is unmanned, please text the organizer.  They are likely supporting the ride and/or riding so knowing that you are finished is important.  No organizer ever really rests until all riders are in.