What is randonneuring?
Randonneuring is self-supported long-distance cycling. It's a great sport for those who love to ride their bikes, like to explore new roads, and wonder what is over the next hill. Our rides are scenic and challenging. Perhaps most enjoyable is the camaraderie among randonneurs. Randonneuring is not a race, but the time limits makes it challenging nonetheless.
Randonneuring is a big tent where every rider finds his or her challenge. Some aspire to finish within the time limit, others try to set a personal best, yet others want to go as fast as possible. Some concentrate on the longest distances, others do the day rides (100, 200 and 300 km). All are randonneurs. At Seattle International Randonneurs, each rider is respected. We are all out to have fun.
Rides (called Populaires or Brevets) vary in length between 100 km (62 miles) and 1200 km (750 miles). Riders are given a route sheet, which tells them where to go. They carry a control card, which they have signed at pre-determined points to show that they have completed the course. At the end, those who complete the course within the time limits obtain a medal.
You can find our upcoming events in the sidebar to the right of this text.
What does it take to become a randonneur?
Our 100 km "Populaires" are open to anybody and are free. You can ride them on any self-powered bike in good mechanical condition. You'll need lights that are affixed to the bike and reflective gear (ankle bands and a reflective vest or sash) for night riding and other low-light conditions.
Our longer events require a small entry fee depending on the distance. (The fee is less for members.) During our long rides, many riders ride at least part of the time at night, so we require reflective gear as well as front and rear lights attached to the bike. Since some of our rides are remote, a spare set of lights (these can be detached) is a good idea.
How randonneuring is different from a century, RAMROD or STP?
1. There are fewer riders on the road. A typical brevet has between a dozen and 100 participants.
2. There are no "aid" stations. Riders are expected to carry what they need, or buy it along the route.
(Most checkpoints are at stores that sell food and drink.) Longer brevets often include an "overnight" stop at a hotel,
where food and beds are at the disposal of riders.
3. There is a time limit. It is within the reach of most able-bodied riders, but it does present an added challenge.