Super Randonneur

I had a fascination for a Bianchi bicycle early on during my high-school days. I got the sting of it when I saw the riders with these iconic bikes in Tour de France in the late 1980s which was telecasted in Doordarshan, the Indian broadcasting agency. I used to spell the “chi” in Bianchi as how would you pronounce “Che”in cheese. Only later I got the correct way to pronounce the name. And to really own one took me another twenty years. What started as a casual leisure cycling became a intense activity when I got introduced to Brevet.

Most of the cycling terms have a French origin because they have pioneered this sport in the early 1900s. The world famous Tour de France was founded by a cyclist and journalist Henri Desgrange and was first staged in 1903. Let me start with the basics on what these french words actually mean.

A Brevet is a timed, long distance road cycling event. Brevet (bruh vay) means certificate which refers to the card carried by randonneurs which gets stamped or signed at checkpoints along the way. The word brevet also refers to the event itself, that is, a certified ride (this sport originated in France, hence the odd names). At the beginning of the ride you get a passport type card called a “brevet card,” which becomes your “proof of passage” showing that you completed the entire course without shortcutting and that you finished it within the allotted time limit. A brevet is not a race, although riders seek to improve their personal best times. It is a “pass or fail” event — you either finish within the allocated time frame or you don’t. Results are listed alphabetically, not by your finish time.(link)

Simply put a person who does a brevet is called a Randonneur. To become Super Radonneur you need to complete the following in the allotted time.

200 km = 125 miles, 13.5 hour limit
300 km = 187 miles, 20 hour limit
400 km = 250 miles, 27 hour limit
600 km = 375 miles, 40 hour limit

Apart from these there are more advanced ones 1000 km and 1200 which you have to finish in 3 Days 3 hours and 3 days 18 Hours.





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