Join us May 29th for an unoffical randonneur "test event". While this is not an official RUSA sanctioned event on an officially approved route it will be conducted to best represent the spirit of this type of cycling on a route that starts and ends in Richmond.
Some of you are probably asking "what the heck is a randonneur?" Well hold on to your saddles...
"Randonneuring is a long-distance cycling sport. Riders attempt courses of 200 km or more, passing through predetermined "controls" (checkpoints) every few tens of kilometers. Riders aim to complete the course within specified time limits, and receive equal recognition regardless of their finishing order. Riders may travel in groups or alone as they wish, and are expected to be self-sufficient between controls. A randonneuring event is called a randonnée or brevet, and a rider who has completed a 200 km event is called a randonneur."
Pretty straight forward, right? It’s timed, but it’s not a race. There is no winner, but someone will finish first. A self supported endurance ride with friends or all alone. Come join us on May 29th to go forth and explore the roads of Cumberland and Powhatan County in the Bear Creek 200k.. Bring a group and ride a social pace, try and see how fast you can go the distance, or just enjoy the adventure.
The course is a 200 kilometer (roughly 125 mile) journey from Richmond out through Powhatan and Cumberland Counties over scenic paved and dirt roads. Along the way there will be 3 official store stops that will act as “controls” for you to refill bottles and stomachs. I have ridden this route before and I can promise it will not disappoint. The roads may be a little rough but the scenery is lovely. Gently rolling terrain over back roads with a fantastic stretch through the quiet woods of Cumberland State Forest.
There is no set expectation for speed. A cue sheet will be provided for all riders. Brevets are self supported so it is important that you (or your group) are properly prepared for this ride. The whole route can be completed on a traditional road bike but a light touring bike or cross bike with medium size street tires is probably best. There is about 15 miles of gravel road. While it is very well maintained, it would be best if you have supplies to repair a tube or even a tire patch, just in case. More on that to come soon…
If you plan on riding, arrive at Outpost Richmond between 8 and 8:30am on Sunday May 29th. Rider instruction, the passing out of cue sheets and fueling up on pastries and coffee will commence in earnest with the ride proper beginning at 9. Riders are expected to stay on course and stop at all three controls. Proof that you stopped at each control will be in the form of a receipt from a purchase there so bring as much cash (or a bank card) as you think you need to buy a snack or drink at each stop. The ride is on open roads and is unsupported, riders are expected to obey ALL traffic laws and will be asked to sign a liability waiver before the ride.
I look forward to seeing some of you at the ride and sharing this wonderful route. If you have any questions about the course, equipment, or are just curious about the event please do not hesitate to contact me for details. Stop by the shop or shoot us an email through our website.