Author Topic: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets  (Read 2970 times)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:47:57 am »
National organisations and individual organisers can surprise an unsuspecting foreign rider with additional requirements beyond the usual 'follow the route' and BRM regulations. Some of these additional requirements relate to the rider's equipment carried/ used during the ride.

I got caught out a few years ago because the UAF mandated helmets for all their brevets but didn't specifically advise so in the literature for each event (they do now). I ended up buying a helmet ten minutes before starting a 400 brevet celebrating Raymond Poulidor's birthday. Luckily for me, there was a bike shop at the start line and it was open.

Audax Oz requires riders to show the organiser two sets of front and rear lights and a reflective vest before starting any brevet where the maximum duration might extend into the hours of darkness. Cycle helmets are a legal requirement throughout Oz.

Randonneurs USA requires riders to wear reflective anklets at night, along with a reflective vest. "When riding all riders must wear an approved helmet."

I nearly wasn't able to do an Audax India Randonneurs brevet this year because "It is compulsory for the rider to display their rider number prominently on the front and rear of their bicycle, for the entire duration of the brevet. Riders not complying with this stipulation will not be permitted to start." The rider number is their AIR membership number. Scribbling on the back of a spare entry form, tearing it in half and using some zipties solved that problem. http://www.audaxindia.org/rules-and-regulations.php Helmets are mandatory and tribars are banned.

BC Randonneurs require that a rider complete shorter brevets before attempting longer ones e.g. must have done a 200 sometime before attempting a 300. Cycle helmets are the law in parts of Canada; for all ages in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and for under-18s in Alberta and Ontario but helmets are mandatory for Alberta Randonneurs, BC Randonneurs, Manitoba Randonneurs, Prairie Randonneurs, Randonneurs Nova Scotia and Randonneurs Ontario brevets. I expect that Club Velo Randonneurs de Montreal also requires helmets.

Helmets are the law in Israel (except in urban areas) but there are no penalties for not wearing a helmet. I've ridden Israeli brevets both with and without helmets.

There are other rules that I've not yet fallen foul of. Randonneurs Hong Kong mandates separate front and rear lights on the rider's helmet, in addition to front and rear lights on their bike. https://sites.google.com/site/randonneurshk/mandatoryequipment


Are there other gotchas that might DQ a rider or prevent them from starting an overseas brevet?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 08:51:33 am »
You do wonder who these rules are meant to protect, the riders or the organisers?
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 08:54:35 am »
Probably requirements pushed down from the insurers.

And it'll be down to the organisers on how hard they want to fight to push back on things that aren't legally mandatory.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 09:22:43 am »
I think Audax India also requires some sort of reflective vest at night.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Virtual Alps
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 09:45:20 am »
When Sheila and I rode the Dolomite Marathon - over 20 years ago now - that was the first event we'd encountered that required helmets (the Marmotte, ridden the year before, didn't require them).  It was a bit inconvenient throughout the rest of our 2-week Dolomite tour (Bike Bus to Venice, those were the days), having these bulky things strapped to our seatpacks.

Anyhoo, like many of the other participants, during the climbs I hung the helmet from my handlebars, and only popped it on for the descents.  7 Dolomite passes in total. The final descent to the finish was a relatively short one, so I didn't bother - and at the finish promptly got disqualified.  :facepalm:
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 02:16:06 pm »
You do wonder who these rules are meant to protect, the riders or the organisers?

Organisers.  A while back someone died on a UAF Audax organized by a friend, and the first thing the police said to him was "So you're the one that organizes events that kill people". It wasn't jocular, either. They, or anyone else wanting a scapegoat, will jump on any weakness they can find and try to portray what you consider to be reasonable caution as negligence.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 12:23:32 am »
Probably requirements pushed down from the insurers.

Other than compulsory helmets, oftentimes additional equipment requirements are bright ideas by the organiser/ somebody in the national body who wants greater rider safety by mandating extra equipment that is not legally required. Small organisations are particularly susceptible to these 'good ideas'.

The qualifying rides thing is usually an attempt to properly prepare newbies for the demands of riding long brevets. I'm not convinced it makes a significant difference, given that in recent times multi-PBPers have been more likely to DNF subsequent PBPs than newbies riding their first PBP.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 12:26:01 am »
I think Audax India also requires some sort of reflective vest at night.

It is easiest to assume that pretty much every national organisation outside the UK does. Requiring helmets is commonplace. Banning aerobars is less common.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 08:38:50 am »
The Danes like you to wear a lid, but they think it's charming if an Englishman turns up with a Barley and a hat.

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 08:50:26 am »
The qualifying rides thing is usually an attempt to properly prepare newbies for the demands of riding long brevets. I'm not convinced it makes a significant difference, given that in recent times multi-PBPers have been more likely to DNF subsequent PBPs than newbies riding their first PBP.

That specific thing is probably more psychological than anything else. Correlation != causation.

My guess is that if you took away the qualification then the DNF rate for newbies would increase. The DNF rate for anciens may also increase slightly too as a few would maybe go into the ride less prepared than they should with the "well I've done it before so I should be able to do it again" mentality.

Even with pre-qualification I'd be more likely to DNF a subsequent PBP/LEL because I've already completed them once. I've come to recognise in my self that this is one of the minor reasons[1] that I've stopped riding so much; simply put I get more of a kick from doing something new and audacious (outside Audax and outside cycling) than I do from completing the same stuff over and over again. Others are wired differently.

Also, more experienced riders may have different goals, so if their attempted sub-75h ride starts to fall apart then they DNF rather than push on to finish in 81h or whatever. There's no requirement/desire to push on to complete the ride regardless because it's not their debut ride.

Anyway, this is a huge derail...

1. Having a small person being the main reason.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 09:05:18 am »
Continuing OT for a moment, traditionally recidivist PBPers had a noticeably higher finish rate than first-timers, supposedly because of experience being an advantage. That hasn't been the case for several editions. I can't imagine why the situation would have reversed, using your reasoning.

Some other 1200s require qualifying rides (like the recent Paris-Hamburg 1200) and others don't, with little aggregated difference in DNF rates. Quite a few DNFers and HDers at LEL17 had finished other 1200s with similar preparation. I suspect that completing qualifying rides is the least important indicator of whether somebody can finish a long brevet.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 10:23:12 am »
Flashing rear lights are expressly forbidden by Randonneurs Polska but they don't mention flashing front lights, oddly. Going off on a different tangent, they do say that "Any cheating whatsoever will lead to the rider being banned from organizations subordinate to ACP". So using a flashing rear light in Poland could in theory get you banned from AUK!
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Virtual Alps
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 10:31:50 am »
Oi!   >:(  AUK is not subordinate to ACP.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2017, 10:39:45 am »
That doesn't mean subordinate as in inferior to or dependent on but as in organizing events recognized by ACP.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Virtual Alps
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 10:55:56 am »
The relationship between AUK and ACP within LRM is very similar to the relationship between the UK and Germany within the EU - oh, hang on a bit ...  :D
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2017, 06:54:06 pm »
I was a bit surprised on the Portugal 1200 last week to be required (i) to wear a reflective vest at all times while riding - not just in darkness - and (ii) to carry a space blanket or bivvy bag.

I was worried about overheating with the vest on all day in 30 degrees, but unzipped it wasn't too bad.

To be fair these requirements were signaled well in advance, so no "gotcha".

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2017, 06:08:46 am »
I was a bit surprised on the Portugal 1200 last week to be required (i) to wear a reflective vest at all times while riding - not just in darkness - and (ii) to carry a space blanket or bivvy bag.

I was worried about overheating with the vest on all day in 30 degrees, but unzipped it wasn't too bad.


For me this was a no-go for participating. I would have no chance of completing the ride with these requirements. I have dodgy shoulders which should be kept cool, even an unzipped vest overheats my shoulders. Plus like some other riders my body can't stand extreme heat, serious heat + a vest requirement = extreme heat.

Plus the safety risk of someone falling asleep because they're dressed too hot due to the reflective vest.

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2017, 06:11:28 am »
For Dutch brevets of Randonneurs NL helmets are a free choice. Reflective vests are only advisory.
Secret controls are a possibility but usually not at spots where it would be too easy to use a parallel route (which isn't a real short cut).

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 08:47:18 am »
I recently heard that in Germany even battery lights, front & rear, have to be controlled from up front.  Dunno if it's true, though - Auntie H?

Oh, and the law in France says that you may have flashing front & rear auxiliary lights, but the main ones must be steady. But don't try it in a UAF peloton.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2018, 08:16:36 pm »
In the first example I know of, Audax Oz has recently relaxed its lighting and reflective vest policy to merely requiring legal compliance, though they still strongly recommend additional lighting and reflective material. https://www.audax.org.au/public/admin/forms Usually these things are introduced and subsequently only strengthened, never reduced.

Helmets are a legal requirement throughout Oz, so you still need them even when riding to the shops.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2018, 09:53:27 pm »
I'd be happy to comply with most of these extra rules as long as they are publicised in advance. I wear a helmet all the time when riding, but bought a white one with more vents before I went to Italy for the Super Randonnee 600km in the Dolomites this summer to keep my head cooler than the dark grey one I already had. I wouldn't be very keen to have to put a couple of lights on my helmet though.

On the Grosse Bayern Rundfahrt 1200km a few years ago we had to carry spare brake blocks and show them to the organiser at the bike check before the ride. It was a lumpy ride, but the spare brake blocks weren't required!


Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2018, 08:56:27 am »
Continuing OT for a moment, traditionally recidivist PBPers had a noticeably higher finish rate than first-timers, supposedly because of experience being an advantage. That hasn't been the case for several editions. I can't imagine why the situation would have reversed, using your reasoning.

Perhaps the anciennes are getting older on average.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - a Pacific bike ride
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2018, 09:19:59 am »
In Japan you need a helmet, a bell, a reflective vest that is worn all the time and lights that are mounted all the time.  A mirror is recommended but not required.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2018, 02:38:46 pm »
In the first example I know of, Audax Oz has recently relaxed its lighting and reflective vest policy to merely requiring legal compliance, though they still strongly recommend additional lighting and reflective material. https://www.audax.org.au/public/admin/forms Usually these things are introduced and subsequently only strengthened, never reduced.

Helmets are a legal requirement throughout Oz, so you still need them even when riding to the shops.

Good for Audax Oz  :thumbsup:

(they seem to be getting on well without you LWAB ;) )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: 'Gotchas' when riding overseas brevets
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2018, 02:41:00 pm »
Let's just say there may have been some encouragement. The heavy lifting was done by several persistent locals.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...