Some year-end reminders, as we approach the 2016 brevet season:
1. If you earned any RUSA distance awards in 2015, order those now, if you’ve not already done so, to avoid missing out on your hard-earned hardware. Click here to get that taken care of.
2. Check your RUSA membership status to ensure that you are a RUSA member before the start of your first brevet or permanent so that you receive “credit” for it, if that’s important to you. Remember that permanents cannot be ridden by non-RUSA members, and non-members include those whose memberships have lapsed. Get that taken care of here.
3. With our first brevet less than three weeks away, now is a good time for veterans and rookies alike to review and refresh themselves not only on RUSA’s Rules, but also the Rules for Central Florida Randonneurs.
4. Especially for you new(er) folks, here is a short introduction to what you can expect on your first brevet. Time spent now studying and becoming comfortable with the rules and procedures of randonneuring will prevent day-of-ride stress and headaches (and will also give you ample time to holler at me if you have any questions).
5. Make sure your reflective gear and lights are compliant with the Rules. The RUSA rule on reflective gear is here (scroll down to Article 10). The RUSA rule is the rule for Central Florida Randonneurs’ rides. Sam Brown or bandolier-style reflective belts are still permitted by RUSA, and therefore I will continue to accept them. You are, of course, free and encouraged to add additional reflective gear to your clothing and bicycle. Although it is not the rule, RUSA has a “best practices” guide for reflective gear located here, which I commend to your attention. You are all adults and experienced cyclists and are ultimately responsible for the safety of your own ride — not RUSA; not me — and so I leave it to your judgment and experience, and based on your own comfort level and the particulars of each night ride, whether you want to use any additional reflective gear beyond the minimum requirements. However, riding without the RUSA-required minimum reflective gear at night on in low-light conditions will result in your disqualification.
6. “Ride-alongs” merit a special mention this year. Do not have your friends, club-mates, or sworn enemies who are not registered for a brevet “ride along” with you at any point during a brevet. This includes starting the brevet and “just riding along” with you for the first few miles or having your friends or teammates meet up with you at any point on the route outside a control. Riding with unregistered riders on a brevet violates the rule against receiving non-neutral support and may result in your disqualification without any further warning. Of course, your friends are welcome to register for the event. They’re also welcome to volunteer and support all of the brevet participants. If you have questions about this, please contact me to discuss it.
7. Finally, this is the year after a PBP year. It’s a good year to introduce your friends to randonneuring and pursue a new randonneuring goal, whether it’s a domestic 1200k, a lesser-known international 1200k, a new RUSA distance award, or just reconnecting with the joy and adventure of long-distance cycling.
Happy New Year, bon route, and see you on the road in 2016!