What is a Brevet?

The Arizona brevets are a series of timed, long distance cycling events through southern Arizona. Brevets (pronounced brah-VAY) are not races, although riders seek to improve their personal best times. For many, the goal is simply to finish and to go farther than they have before.

The series is made up of the 4 traditional brevets:

200 km = 125 miles, 13.5 hour limit
300 km = 185 miles, 20 hours
400 km = 250 miles, 27 hours
600 km = 375 miles, 40 hours
Here's how it works:

Riders are provided with cue sheets showing the route and brevet cards at the start of the ride. Riders must follow the route exactly and get to the checkpoints on time. If you should get off course, you must return to the route where you got off track. It is not enough that you ride that required number of miles or kilometers. You must ride the route exactly as it appears on the cue sheet. Anyone observed taking shortcuts from the official route will be disqualified, but there is no penalty for detours such as unforeseen road construction, flooding, or traffic accidents.

At the checkpoint, a brevet staff worker signs the brevet card. At the finish the brevet staff worker keeps the completed brevet card and send the results to the national organization (Randonnuers USA, RUSA) and to the international governing body (Auxax Club Parisien, ACP). Results are also posted on this web site.

RUSA members are entitled to buy a handsome brevet medal if they finish successfully. Pictures are shown here and can now be purchased at the RUSA on-line store.

The rides are held rain or shine. Bring adequate clothing for variable weather conditions. Brevets are long events and the weather might change a great deal before reaching the finish.

Here are other ways in which brevets are different from club rides:
Timed: Brevets are not races, but riders must reach the checkpoints on time so as not to be disqualified. Riders can stop and rest any time, but the clock is always running. The overall minimum pace on brevets is about 15 kph (9.25 mph); the maximum is 33 kph (20.5 mph).
Sanctioned: The Arizona brevets are sanctioned by Randonneurs USA (RUSA) and Audax Club Parisien (ACP) in France. They can be used as qualifiers for 1200 kilometer events such as:
2011 Events
Paris-Brest-Paris (France, August, 2011)
High Country (Colorado, July 2011)
Shenandoah 1200k(June 2011? Virginia)
Texas Rando Stampede (May 2011, Dalls, TX)
Taste of Carolina (Sept)
The Big Wild Ride (Alaska)
Other Annual Events
Cascade 1200 (Washington)
Colorado Last Chance (usually September)
Gold Rush Randonnee (California)
Rocky Mountain 1200 (British Columbia)
Night riding: Because of the length of the ride you will probably have to ride in darkness. Proper lighting is essential and required by law. (More on lighting.)
Self reliance and determination: Brevet riders are expected to be self-sufficient and tenacious. They should be able to repair their bike, read a map, and deal with bad weather. Having said that, we're not going to leave you stranded. We do not have the resources to sag but we can get you back to your car or help you call a friend for a ride.
Integrity: It is not practical to have event officials everywhere. Brevet riders are on their honor to follow the rules.
Helping others: Friendly camaraderie, not competition, is the hallmark of randonneuring.
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