Gainesville Cycling Club 2015 Brevet Series

Enjoy the Challenge of Longer Rides!

Enter your name into the Great Book beside Charles Terront, PBP's first finisher.

Date Time Distance Time Limit Cue Sheet Cost
January 31 7:00AM 200 km 13:30 200k.zip $25
February 28 5:00AM 300 km 20:00 300k.zip $30
March 28 4:00AM 400 km 27:00 400k.zip $35
April 18 3:00AM 600 km 40:00 600k.zip $40

Note: 2015 is a Paris-Brest-Paris year, and the 600 km ride has returned. You can ride a full qualifying series in beautiful North Florida!

Cue sheets are from earlier years. Final versions won't be available until the Tuesday before the event. Hard copy will be provided at check in, but presbyopic cyclists may want to print an enlarged version. Rumor has it the latest AcrobatReader has this capability.

Background

PBP start, circa 1895

Brevets are longer, self-paced rides ridden by randonneurs (tr: ultratourists). A sequence of four brevets of increasing distance qualifies the rider to enter Paris-Brest-Paris, the oldest bicycling event on earth. The next PBP is scheduled for August, 2015.

Once upon a time, PBP was the only 1200K event in the years when it was held. In off years, various surrogate rides were held in its stead. By 2011, PBP participation had grown so much that the event was nearly unmanagable, and alternative events were allowed in PBP years. Now you can choose from several 1200K rides that don't require foreign travel, but you'll be crazy not to try the real thing if you can.

Brevets are not races; published results traditionally list the finishers alphabetically and may not even include their times.  For example, you'll have to look toward the bottom of the final Boston-Montreal-Boston (2006) finisher list to find GCC's own Andrea "the Italian Stallion" Tossolini, who was only the second cyclist ever to complete the gruelling ride in less than 50 hours.  Andrea was unable to convince the officials to sort by first names!

However, there is a time limit. This limit includes the minutes spent eating, fixing flats, and on the longer rides, sleeping.  All but the shortest brevet (200 km/125 miles) require some night riding, and good lighting is essential.  Along the route, riders are required to stop at controls to get an authenticating stamp on their brevet cards. Each control has its own time window within which the authentication must occur to avoid disqualification. Riders should also anticipate one or more secret controls whose location will not be revealed in advance.

Unlike traditional century rides which may feature rest stops every 20 miles or so, the Gainesville Cycling Club brevets are unsagged and minimally supported. Controls are mostly convenience stores, and riders who abandon will need to arrange their own transportation back to the start/finish.

Randonneurs are a hardy lot.  These rides will take place rain or shine,  wind or cold,  sleet or snow (although the last two are extremely rare in Florida).  The course is not marked. Finding one's way is part of the fun. Getting lost is sometimes part of the experience.

Requirements

Each rider will be covered by the Gainesville Cycle Club's special event liability coverage as required by RUSA rules.  (This coverage is secondary to any personal liability policy you may have.  It provides very limited medical coverage.  Today, a simple broken collar bone can set you back $20,000. Shattered femurs are considerably more; don't ask me how I know!)  Please assess your own risk tolerance.  Each rider must sign a waiver of liability before the ride start.

Each rider must present their machine for bicycle inspection. Lights should be affixed, correctly aimed and working. Inspections and rider check in will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 PM the evening before the ride at the primary motel (See below) or after the ride start on the morning of the ride.

Randonneurs USA membership required before the ride to use the brevet as a qualifier. RUSA rules apply.  Most notably, helmets are required.  Membership in Gainesville Cycling Club is not required, but those who ride all four brevets will save a few dollars by joining.

Registration

By popular demand, we are provisioning our website to accept credit-card payment. Registration will be open by the end of November.

To save $5 per ride, and get the benefits of Gainesville Cycling Club membership, prepare a club membership application before registering for a Brevet.

Accommodations

This year, we'll use the Quality Inn, 2435 SW 13th Street, as our primary motel. I've negotated a discounted rate of $70/night (+tax = $78.40). To get this rate make make your reservation at least two weeks in advance, and mention the Gainesville Cycling Club. Reservations: (352)373-6500. Streetview/Map, or for your GPS: 29.629502, -82.338769