Types of Rides with Great Lakes Ultra Cycling

Great Lakes Ultra Cycling specializes in endurance cycling - 60 miles and up guided by our club principles of Camaraderie and Perseverance.

We have several different types of rides affiliated with different organizations.  Ultra EventsRUSA/ACP Brevets, Imperials and Gravel Rides.

    ACP Brevets, RUSA Brevets and RUSA Populaires (Affiliated with RUSA)

    The sport of randonneuring originally emerged in the late 19th century as demonstration of the bicycle as a form of travel.  The word “randonnée” roughly translates as "ramble", meaning an exploration of the countryside.  The club does not race and we value our ability to support each other on the road above support from elsewhere; the enjoyment of the time we have on the road binds us together.

    The word “brevet” means certificate in French.  The term applies to any ride that is certified either by us or another organization such as RUSA.  The specific rules for those organizations differ, the ride and the challenge do not.

    The common goals of all brevets are as follows:

    1. We ride a certain distance with a personalized clock on a specific route.
    2. We have the freedom to ride as slow or as quickly as we like within a certain (very generous) time limit.
    3. We prefer the support of our fellow riders to ride from outside.  This is part of the camaraderie that we share as we travel.
    4. We are safe, courteous, and respectful to those around us, riders, volunteers and onlookers.

    RUSA/ACP Brevets may be ridden by :

    1. Members of RUSA - this is a RUSA requirement driven by insurance.  RUSA membership is $30 per year.

    Rides certified by RUSA are based on the following:

    • All riders must adhere to the rules of the road (legal and otherwise).
    • All riders must adhere to RUSA’s 17 articles, including lights and reflective gear - failure to follow them will result in disqualification
    • Credit for the ride is pass/fail (no partial) based on completing in the specified time
    • Proof of passage is ONLY by
      1. Receipts gathered at specified points (controls) on the route (normally mini-mart)
      2. Answering questions handed out about specified points on the route
    • Routes are approved by RUSA using the “shortest legally ridable route between 2 points (controls)” policy
    • No external support is allowed unless a rider is a specified point (control)

    Time limits for ACP Brevets (mandatory to be considered “finished”):

    • 200k/124 miles - 13.5 hours
    • 300k/186 miles - 20 hours
    • 400k/248 miles - 27 hours
    • 600k/373 miles - 40 hours

    Distances are submitted to RUSA after the ride.  GLU members and guests will have mileage recorded separately in our system as well.  No GLU medals are given for RUSA rides.  Riders must apply for medals via RUSA and pay for them - they are available for ACP type brevets and other distance awards.

    Ultra Events

    As an ultra cycling club, GLU has many options in format from touring to grand fondos to challenges similar to the Great Divide Ride.  We tailor these to the needs of our riders.

    • Double Centuries
    • Centuries (ultra-light!)
    • Others above 200 miles

    Different rides will have different levels of support involved.  We encourage all our riders to involve themselves not only on the riding side but also on the support side of the ride.  It can also be a great way to involve families into cycling.

    Ultra Events may be ridden by :

    1. Members of GLU
    2. Guests of GLU (anyone who is not a member), membership in GLUC is included in your first ride

    Rides certified by GLU are based on the following:

    • All riders must adhere to the rules of the road (legal and otherwise)
    • All riders abide by GLU’s code of coduct
    • Credit for the ride can be partial - we honor everyone’s best efforts by recording them
    • Proof of passage of the route can be as follows:
      1. Via a GPS Track or Electronic Proof of Passage using our system
    • All riders must notify the organizer of their finish, either in person, by text, phone, or email, no matter when they finish
    • Rides are designed using GLU’s “Safest Route” Policy
    • GLU may stagger starts or implement "BYOS" (Bring Your Own Start) or vary the start point within a day to ensure proper social distancing you have as much time as is needed to ensure a safe ride.

    All distances by riders are recorded, regardless of whether the distance was completed.  Most GLUC Rides provide a SAG service to riders and follow the “Safe Route” policy (see below).

    Awards are based on completing the ride in any amount of time.  However, we recommend that you be confident of riding at a minimum pace of 9 miles per hour in order to not overextend yourself.  

    Gravel Rides

    Gravel rides in GLU are mainly in North Central and Northwestern Illinois.  This has some of the most scenic and challenging gravel anywhere.  From rolling farmlands to hills and rivers, almost everything can be found at some point.  GLUC gravel rides take some of the most remote rides there are.  Few cars and varying types of gravel abound.  The area is lightly packed to chunky gravel with a little sand here and there.  Rides farther north can get into the sand flats of glacial Lake Agassiz and present their own challenges.

    We encourage all gravel riders to come and enjoy the day.  Gravel rides are never timed.  Focus on time with friends and the challenge of miles of undeveloped countryside.

    Gravel Rides may be ridden by:

    1. Members of GLU
    2. Guests of GLU (you may ride without a membership)

    Gravel rides do not have certification since they are not brevets but adhere to the following:

    1. All riders must adhere to the rules of the road (legal and otherwise).
    2. All riders abide by our code of conduct
    3. No proof of passage is required

    All distances by riders are recorded, regardless of whether the distance was completed. Gravel rides are for fun and enjoyment of the territory and do not have a clock.  GLU gravel rides provide a SAG service to riders and follows the “Safest Route” policy .

      Rides in our Club
      Membership included for guest registrations

      Click on ride name for details

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