So what is a permanent? Basically, they are long(er) bicycling routes under the sponsorship of Randonneurs USA (or RUSA for short).
Permanents are a form of randonneuring route. Unlike a brevet, which is run on a specified date, permanents can be ridden any time by any RUSA member. Most routes here in Minnesota can be ridden between March and December with the March and December being subject to weather conditions (no one recommends riding these distances in very snowy conditions or extreme cold). Permanents can count towards RUSA distance awards and the R-12 award, if one is interested, but mainly they are a way for randonneurs (and randonneuses) to share their favorite routes with others and provide yet another way to ride the endless miles that we all love.
Riding a permanent does require being a member of RUSA and filling out a certain amount of paperwork: namely, a registration and a waiver form. Both forms are available on this site for all the permanents. Once these are filled out, a date chosen, and a small contribution (generally $5) made, the route owner sends out the cue sheet and a permanent card. Riders collect proof of passage at controls (generally a receipt showing the time) and turn everything in to the owner after the ride is complete. The same time limits apply to permanents as apply to brevets so they are excellent ways to begin in the sport or to train.
Routes are maintained by the owner who is also has some responsibility for ensuring the roads are in good standing. However, in this age, it is always possible that some kind of construction unexpectedly moves in so riders need to be self-sufficient. Part of the fun in randonneuring is always the unexpected element!
I hope you enjoy your ride!
Minnesota Article Count: 6
All my original permanents here in Minnesota. These are some of my favorite rides
Wisconsin Article Count: 1
I love Wisconsin. This is where I learned to climb.
Arizona Article Count: 1
Thanks to Dad, I have a place to go when it is cold at home.