February 25, 2008 – The Randonneurs Nova Scotia long-distance-cycling club is entering its sixth season this year. The 2007 season was a banner year for club participation, the best yet, and we hope to carry the momentum forward into 2008.
“Randonneuring” is long-distance, non-competitive cycling. Riders push their limits to achieve long rides comfortably. The emphasis is on teamwork and efficiency – to arrive at one’s goal, not necessarily first or fastest, but with the most efficient use of one’s resources.
Randonneuring is a growing sport around the world. This was evidenced last year by the planet’s participation in the grand-daddy of all ultra-marathon cycling events, the “Paris-Brest-Paris” 1200km ride in 90 hours or less. There were 5300 riders from 31 countries around the world who attempted P-B-P in ’07, up from 4100riders in ’03, the last time this ride took place (every four years). Nova Scotia sent five riders in ’07 to challenge themselves against the French countryside and weather, up from one rider in ’03.
The heart of the randonneuring club is the “brevet”, which is a distance challenge ride to be accomplished within a set period of time. The time limits are generous, assuming a minimum average speed of 15 km/hr, but the clock is always running whether you are riding or stopped, eating or sleeping. Brevet distances are in multiples of 100km; there are brevets of 200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km, as well as the ultimate challenges of the 1000km and 1200km brevets.
Randonneurs Nova Scotia had eight riders last year who completed “the series” of 200/300/400/600km brevets. The tales are epic and the rides are too. Most of our club members will have a riding average speed of 25 – 28km/hr for under 150km and 22 – 26km/hr for longer rides, depending on the individual’s fitness level and pace.
If you are interested in trying long-distance cycling, you can find the 2008 Randonneurs Nova Scotia ride schedule here. If you would like to join the club, the application form is available here. You do not have to be a member of the club to participate in any of our club rides; all Bicycle Nova Scotia general members or licensed members are very welcome. Those who join the club will get a weekly update by email with the details of the coming weekend’s ride, as well as maps and cue sheets for the ride and carpooling to the start of those rides which start outside of the metro area.
We look forward to seeing you on one of our rides this spring! Join us!