Riding brevets during the pandemic

For 2021 things will be different at least for a time as we adapt to this “new normal”. The goal is to do everything electronically in order to avoid passing paper/pens/clipboards back and forth with the resultant risk of infection.

Before the ride

The most important thing before the ride is this: if you feel unwell, don’t come! You are putting your own health and the health of your riding partners at risk with your participation. Also, you are riding by your own choice – if you’re uncomfortable with any of the guidelines here or with any situation you might encounter during the ride – either don’t ride or turn around and ride back to the start!
With that said, here is the process:


  • Rides are advance registration only. This is no change, we’d have done that anyway.
  • Upon registering, you will receive an email that will have two things in it:
    • A link to PayPal for you to pay. Note that a PayPal account is not required. Please add a note in the comment field which ride you are paying for.
    • A link to complete a waiver electronically. Note that after completing the waiver you will receive an email asking you to confirm your email address. You must do this to complete the waiver process!
    • Note that your registration is not complete until I have received your waiver and payment. If I don’t have them both on the morning of the ride you will not get credit for the ride!

After completing your registration, download the ridewithgps route and optionally print a cue sheet from ridewithgps. I will not be providing brevet cards for the ride.

Check in

In the interest of safety, we don’t want to congregate in groups so rides will be “show and go”. I’ll be at the start 30 minutes before the official start time. All you need to do is check in with me so I can verify you’ve turned in the requisite registration documents and do a quick safety check and you’re good to go.
You can also choose to leave within one hour of the official start time. In either case, you must take a time stamped photo of yourself at the start so that I’ll have your start time. Your ride start time will be set by your gpx file or time stamped photo. Details on these below.

During the ride

Make sure you maintain appropriate social distancing while riding. Bear in mind that other people may be more or less comfortable riding in proximity than you and respect their wishes. If someone is riding closer to you than you would like, ask them to give you more space and if someone asks you to move away, don’t take offense! We don’t know everyone else’s comfort levels or situations they might be dealing with such as their own health issues or immune compromised family members.
As is always the case with randonneuring, rides are unsupported. Whether or not you choose to go self contained or avail yourself of store/restaurant stops along the way is up to you. If you do use stores it’s recommended that you remove your gloves, wear a mask and pay for your purchases by credit card in order to minimize contact. Also, you should have and use hand sanitizer after leaving the store and before donning your gloves and helmet.

Proof of passage

Briefly, here’s what you do:

  1. Take a time stamped photo of yourself at the start.
  2. Start your GPS.
  3. Do the ride, taking a photo of yourself at each control and at the finish.
  4. When you’re done with the ride. Upload it and your photos to Strava/Ridewithgps
  5. Send me a link.

More detailed explanation.

As noted above, there will not be any brevet cards in use for rides during the pandemic. For proof of passage at controls (both c-stores and info controls) take a time stamped photo of yourself at the control.

There are smart phone applications on both the Google Play store and Apple App store that will automatically add the date and time to photos (search for “time stamp photo”). If you don’t own a smart phone you can use a digital point & shoot.

After the ride, if you use either Strava or Ridewithgps, upload your photos to your ride. This is easily done with both services regardless of whether you are using a smart phone or digital camera. Send me a single email with a link to your Strava or Ridewithgps gps file for the ride. I’ll verify that you were at all of the controls within the time limit and enter the results in the RUSA database.

You might be wondering why a gpx track (which shows you completed the route) and time stamped photos are required. In the time-worn tradition of randonneuring, this is “belt and suspenders”. Ever had a GPS fail? Lose a ride? Have upload problems? Sure you have! The photos are a backup in that eventuality. If you have GPS trouble you can simply send me the photos complete with date and time stamp and I’ll still be able to certify your ride. Note that I’m not going to be making posters out of your photos so super hi resolution isn’t required. I just need to be able to make out who you are and where the photo was taken.

Just to be completely clear, here’s how I’ll verify your ride:

  1. I’ll look at your Strava/ridewithgps file if you’ve provided one and check that you followed the route.
  2. I’ll use either the timestamped photos you provided or the elapsed time in your gpx track to insure you were at each of the controls within the time limit.
  3. Assuming (1) and (2) are OK, I’ll use your “elapsed time” (Strava) or “total ride time” (ridewithgps) or the calculated difference in your start/finish photo timestamps as the ride time I enter into the RUSA database. For that reason, if it’s important to you that your time be accurate you need to start/stop your GPS or take your start/finish pictures as nearly as possible to when you start and finish the ride.

As always, if you are unable or choose not to complete the ride please call or send a message (email or text) that you’re DNF.

These are extraordinary times and call for patience and caution on all our part. Things will eventually return to normal but these procedures will allow us to safely enjoy the sport we love.