What is brevet?

Brevet, or by the other name “Randonee”, is an extremely long bike ride. Riders, who may be referred to as Randonneurs in this discipline, travel along a specific but unmarked route (200 to 1,400 km in length), through designated checkpoints, and must complete their rides within a specified time limit. These time limits are demanding, but they allow you to ride at a comfortable pace – so there is no requirement for cycling at racing speeds or using tactics from road cycling. Randonee is a French word that can be translated by “long journey”. Brevet, however, means a certificate and refers to the control card that the randonneurs carry with them and must be stamped at checkpoints .; it also applies to the event itself, which is a certified ride. Randonneurs do not compete with other riders. Randonee is a test of the endurance, self-sufficiency and cycling skills of an individual. Cyclists must bring with them clothing for various weather conditions, spare parts and tools for any bicycle repairs. Many times include night rides, in which case the wheels must be equipped with night lights, spare lamps, batteries and reflective clothing (which glow in the dark). Brevettes do not require any special bikes, usually used race bikes or fast touring bikes. Wheels usually have attachments such as trunk and fenders.


Brevet types:

The classic brevet lengths are 200, 300, 400 and 600km (but there are longer 1,000 and 1,200km long brevet). To do all four types of brevet in one year means to do a “series” and the one who randonneur gets the title “Super randonneur”. To qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris, randonneurs must complete the entire series in the same year as the PBP runs.

Time limits for individual brevet types are: – 200K – 13.5 hours – 300K – 20 hours – 400K – 27 hours – 600K – 40 hours – 1000K – 75 hours – 1200K – 90 hours (or 80 or 84 hours of your choice) – 1400K – 116h 40min (or 105: 16 or 93:20 of your choice)



Just as competitive cycling has its ethics (eg not attacking when the opponent has a defect), so does the unwritten rule of randonneur riding:

1) Above all, be polite, so considerate to others. Aggressiveness, which has its place in competitive cycling, does not have it in the randonneur driving mode. Try to be an ambassador for cycling in general, your club and your country.

2) If you rode in a small group for a while and everyone alternated at the head of the group and dictated the tempo, try to finish the brevet together. This should also include defect stops (unless the rider has many defects due to old tires or inappropriate equipment).

3) Attacking is NOT part of this sport! If anyone drops out of the group because they can no longer withstand the pace of the group, so be it. But sudden acceleration in order to “shake off” other riders is not polite. For the same reason, there is no closing sprint on the brevet: all riders in the group are ranked in the same place and time. (While in a bike race, the need to determine the winner requires complex equipment to determine the winner, sometimes by just a few mm.)

4) Avoid dangerous situations. Follow the rules of the organizer. It also means obeying traffic rules – keep in mind stop signs and red lights! It rides in a group only with riders participating in the brevet. If your group is accompanied by a car for a long time, especially at night, there is something wrong – if you find yourself in the escort of an illegal escort vehicle, drive forward or leave it alone, but do not remain in the illegally escorted group. The punishment provided for such an offense will more than offset the advantage you have of riding in such a group.

5) Be friendly to volunteers and judges. Listen to their instructions. Thank them for their hard work and time. It only takes you a second or two. Without them I would not be able to participate in this beautiful brevet.

6) Finish brevet! The goal is to perform the best possible ride in the circumstances. Driving too fast and giving up later because you can’t reach your desired time is the worst mistake. These rules apply to randonneurism in general. Have fun, drive fast if it suits you, test your skills and the abilities of others, but remember – IT’S NOT A RACE!