|WHO WE ARE ....
New Jersey Randonneurs (NJR) is a long distance cycling club. It was founded in 2001 by Diane Goodwin who initially wanted to provide brevets and other randonneuring events for the New Jersey and surrounding regions. Seeking the expertise of legendary, Sandiway Fong, the series kicked off with a memorable 200 and 300K. Sixty cyclists participated on the 200K and forty-four, on the 300K. Since then,
NJR is an official club of League of American Bicyclists. There is no membership required in order to participate on an NJR brevet. Participants are encouraged to join Randonneurs USA (RUSA), the club that sanctions our events and sends results to Audax Club Parisien (ACP).
The distances of our events vary from 70 miles (a populaire) to 600K (380 miles). What makes our rides different from others is the enthusiasm of participants and volunteers. Careful planning and attention to detail goes into each event. We want each cyclist to experience a pleasant, memorable first time. Not all participants are newbies. You'll find plenty of anciennes of Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) and Boston-Montreal-Boston (BMB), along with Race Across America (RAAM) finishers, local racers, Olympians, etc... all ready to lend a hand or word of advice.
Randonneurs are cycling enthusiasts. Long distance events such as PBP and BMB 1200Ks are long range goals. Some Randonneurs enjoy just riding 200Ks. Randonneurs ride differently than local club cyclists. All of us are out for a self-challenge, great scenic routes and new comrades. Randonneurs only care about the completion of an event ... not the time the event was completed in. Some jeopardize completion to help fellow randonneurs along the route. Brevets are events that qualify us to ride a 1200K - each has a time limit. Riding a 10mph pace without stopping is enough time to finish a brevet.
There are specific rules about brevets. Brevets are "controlled" events. A rider receives a brevet card and route sheet at the start. Everyone starts together ... riding a moderate pace to warm up and keep as a group for a few miles. Eventually everyone spreads out. It's not uncommon for a slower rider to pass a faster rider (mechanicals and flats happen!). Upon arrival at the finish, the rider receives a warm greeting (cheering mostly) and turns in the brevet card for final processing.
The attitude of a randonneur is quite obvious. A friendly disposition and non-competitive character is common. Randonneurs travel out-of-state and even abroad to ride other brevet events. Brevets started in France and now are worldwide. Visit the RUSA (www.rusa.org) website for a more complete description of brevets, rules, results, events around the US, etc... While there, you might want to download a membership application if you intend to qualify for a 1200K here in the US or want your brevet results counted. In previous years, riders focused on qualifying for Paris-Brest-Paris and gained RUSA membership only for that year. Now riders see the importance of being a member of RUSA - newsletter, randonneur handbook, brevet results counting for other medals, etc...
Oh, besides your name listed in France for each event completed ... you can order a brevet medal as well!
The New Jersey brevet series is a good series to start with as we "pamper" you a bit. We are still experimenting with the controle points and routes from year to year but you are guaranteed an accurate route sheet (at least the turns!), proper result processing and lots of new cycling friends. Also, there have been different sponsors/supporters each year (i.e. Biofreeze, Balance Bar, E-Caps, Victory Beer, etc...).
We are young and growing ...