A coworker, JC, suggested riding in a brevet this upcoming Saturday with the San Francisco Randonneurs. I had heard the word randonneur thrown around in different cycling conversations, but was a bit clueless of its significance.
From what I’ve read on Wikipedia and on the San Francisco Randonneurs’ site, I’ve learned the following. A brevet is non-competitive: there is a maximum time limit to finish the course, but no prize for first. The rides are usually minimally supervised, relying on honesty and check-point controls such as recording a mileage marker on a certain sign or receiving a time stamped receipt from a particular store, etc. And I believe you have to pack your own gear, especially if you plan to stop and sleep.
This Saturday’s ride is only a 115k, also known as a Populaire, and should be a good intro to the sport. The categories of rides go all the way up to 1200+ km spread over multiple days, the most famous being the Paris-Brest-Paris.
It’s really good having an event to look forward to. And we’ll see where this journey goes!
Here’s a picture from checkpoint 2 of the ride: Nicasio General Store.