Randonneuring in the Texoma region is gaining considerable popularity! Cyclists are learning about the superb cycling we have in the area. We (Charlie & Pat) have been active in organizing randonneuring events in Texoma since 2008. Many randonneurs from the Dallas/Ft Worth are come to Texoma to ride our routes regularly. Additionally, riders from across the USA come for our brevet series'.
Every year we host one of the states largest randonneuring events: the "Two Flags" brevet series. Brevet routes of 200k, 300k, 400k, 600k & 1000k, all starting & ending in Texoma. Cyclists from across the nation come to Texoma every year to ride our brevet series.
Additionally, we host other brevets throughout the year, including our famous "Kiamichi Challenge" brevets. The Kiamichi Challenge starts & ends in Antlers OK. Routes of 200k, 300k & 400k are available. All distances climb up & over Honobia Hill on Indian Hwy. The 400k also traverses the entire "TaliMena Scenic Byway". TaliMena is considered by many cyclists as the toughest 50 miles in America! The 300k does the western half of TaliMena.
We also host populaire events. Populaires are a great way for riders to "test the waters" of randonneuring without the need to join any clubs or organizations. Populaires (group randonneuring rides at least 100k, but less than 200k) are like short brevets, and are open to ANY cyclists. The next local Populaire will be announced soon. Stay tuned!
Our RUSA approved "Permanent" routes are very popular, allowing cyclists to ride our routes anytime instead of waiting for a group event. We have over 25 permanent routes ranging in length from 100k to over 600k. We are creating more routes all the time. In addition to traditional paved routes, we have created several RUSA approved routes on gravel roads! We are the nation's trendsetters, blending "Gravel Grinder" routes with RUSA events.
Randonneuring is long-distance unsupported endurance cycling. This style of riding is non-competitive in nature, and self-sufficiency is paramount. When riders participate in randonneuring events, they are part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of cycling in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie, not competition, is the hallmark of randonneuring.
There is no direct English translation of the French term "randonnée", which loosely means to go on a long trip, tour, outing, or ramble, usually on foot or on a bicycle, along a defined route. A person who goes on a "randonnée" is called a "randonneur". (The correct French term for a female participant is "randonneuse", but such distinctions are often lost in America, where we tend to lump everyone together). In cycling, it means a hard-riding enthusiast who is trying to complete a long randonnée inside a certain time allotment. Note that a randonnée is not a race. Overall, about the only thing being first earns is some bragging rights. It is not uncommon for the last finishers to get as much applause as anyone else. Indeed, there is much camaraderie in randonneuring. One does it to test oneself against the clock, the weather, and a challenging route - but not to beat the other riders.
In comparison to other forms of competitive long-distance cycling, such as at the Race Across America (RAAM), where there are following cars with crews supporting the riders every inch of the way, randonneuring stresses self-sufficiency. Help can only be given at the checkpoints along the route, so support crews (if there are any) must leapfrog the rider. Any rider caught receiving assistance from a support crew in-between checkpoints (or, "contrôles" as they are commonly called) will be subject to a time penalty, or even disqualification. Randonneurs are free to buy food, supplies, or bike repairs at any stores they encounter along the route. Once riders have successfully completed a 200-kilometer "brevet", they are entitled to be called a "randonneur" or "randonneuse".
Again, this is a French word for which we have no direct translation for its cycling usage. In general, it means a "patent", "certificate", or "diploma". For the randonneur, the randonnée, they have entered is often called a "brevet". This is typically a challenging 200-, 300-, 400-, 600-, 1000- or 1200- kilometer ride, each with a specific time limit. The randonneur carries a brevet card, which is signed and stamped at each checkpoint along the way to prove they have covered the distance successfully. (Losing the card, or missing a required checkpoint is a very bad thing to do!) Also, pronounce the word correctly: "brevet" rhymes with "say" or "Chevrolet", not "get" or "let"
A Permanent is like a brevet but you can ride it any time, not just on one specific date. Like brevets, routes can start and finish in the same location, but they can also run point-to-point, and can be any distance of 200km+ (100-199km for a Permanent Populaire). Permanent rides in the US are validated by RUSA.
RUSA Permanents may be ridden only by current RUSA members and by foreign riders who are current members of an ACP "correspondent direct" organization. ("Correspondent direct" organizations are the country or other organizations that have direct affiliation with the ACP, such as Randonneurs USA, Audax UK, BC Randonneurs, and Ontario Randonneurs.)
Procedure for riding a permanent: First check the listing of available routes. Contact the organizer well in advance of your planned riding date. The organizer will provide you with an entry form and further information about the ride. Submit the completed form to receive your control card and cue sheet. At the agreed date and time, obtain validation on your card at the start location and you can begin riding!