In addition to our regular brevets, we also offer several "permanent" brevets. What are these? A permanent is a randonneuring brevet too, with all the same rules and time limits, but here the rider can choose the day and time she or he wants to ride. These rides can be done alone, or in a group. But unlike regular brevets, which are open to any amateur rider regardless of club affiliation, in order to ride a permanent one must be a member of Randonneurs USA (RUSA).
Along with providing a rewarding day in the saddle on some fine roads, any of these rides will count for a rider's yearly kilometer total for RUSA Distance Awards. Permanents 100-100k count toward RUSA's P-12 award and permanents of 200k and longer count toward the R-12 award. See RUSA's Award page for details.
We offer six permanents (200k or longer) and six permanent populaires (less than 200k). The permanent populaires won't count for R-12 credit, but they do offer fine cycling on some of California's best cycling roads, and if ridden in ascending order they will provide great training for longer events while building a randonneur's yearly kilometer total of RUSA events.
Please see our ride offerings below. If you should still have any questions, feel free to contact Bill Bryant for additional information.
- Pigeon Point Ramble (102k): This is a fun ride along coastal roads north of Santa Cruz, with the turnaround in Pescadero. This is a good first-time permanent for new randonneurs (with only 2,900 feet of climbing). Great scenery too.
- San Gregorio Ramble (125k): This is a fine tour of the San Mateo County coastline that also takes in wonderful Stage Road north of Pescadero. This route has about 3,600 feet of climbing. GPS Track
- Tres Amigos Ramble (154k): This ride goes north along the Pacific Coast Highway to Half Moon Bay and returns along the same route. This is a good winter ride that avoids the dank forests and icy roads that lie inland; there is moderate climbing on Highway 1, but nothing severe. GPS Track Total climbing is about 4,300 feet.
- La Honda Ramble (154k): This route is more challenging than the Tres Amigos Ramble as it ascends the western slopes of Haskins Hill before reaching La Honda. Excellent scenery and about 5,000 feet of climbing. This is probably not a good route December through February due to slimy roads.
- HMB Century (167k): This ride explores the scenic coastal roads between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. There are many climbs but no major ascents. This is a good training ride for randonneurs building up to the 200 kilometer distance; it is also a cool hundred-mile summer ride when inland regions are sweltering with high temperatures. We estimate that this ride has about 6,000 feet of climbing.
- Los Coches Ramble (115k): This is a (mostly) out-and-back route that tours the western Salinas Valley. Near the turn-around in Greenfield, riders will do a loop out to Arroyo Seco. Some rolling hills, but an easy route overall, if the wind cooperates. Start/finish at the Buena Vista Market on River Road, south of Hwy 68. GPS Track
- Los Coches Junior (104k): This is an out-and-back route to Greenfield in the western Salinas Valley. Some rolling hills, but an easy route overall, if the wind cooperates. Start/finish at the Buena Vista Market on River Road, south of Hwy 68. GPS Track
- Foothill Ramble (116k): This is an out-and-back route beginning in Los Gatos and turns around in the hills of San Mateo. The route is mostly rolling hills with a few steep climbs at the turn-around.
- Carmel Valley Ramble (134k): An out-and-back mountainous route that travels from Carmel Valley Village to Greenfield and back. Summer months can see hot temperatures, so this route is probably best done in fall or spring.
- Chualar Ramble (200k): This ride does a big loop that goes south from Santa Cruz along the shores of the Monterey Bay, then travels to the west side of the Salinas Valley, and then the Pajaro Valley before returning to Santa Cruz. The route has about 4,500 feet of climbing, but most of that is compressed into the second half of the ride. Map
- Skyline Ramble (204k): Though not as long as some other SCR permanents, this is probably the toughest. The Skyline Ramble climbs Eureka Canyon in the morning and then travels north along the road on the mountain summit that divides the Bay Area from the Pacific coastline. This route features beautiful scenery, but it also has many hard ascents that will challenge any cyclist. This is not a good winter route; please check with the organizer before entering to see if all the roads are free of mudslides.
- Gonzales Ramble (208k): This is an easy permanent that goes south from Santa Cruz along the Monterey Bay to Moss Landing and Marina. The out-and-back route then goes inland and travels to the turnaround in Gonzales. The first and last 25 miles are "lumpy", while the middle section is mostly flat farmland. There is about 2800-3000 feet of climbing. GPS Track
- Gray Whale Ramble (200k): This is an easy 200k route; it hugs the coastline and has a moderately hilly route. Proximity to the ocean brings the benefit of enjoyable temperatures during summer months and ice-free roads during winter. The out-n-back route travels from Aptos-Moss Beach-Aptos. Map
- Moss Beach Ramble (207k): This is one of the most popular permanent rides in the US, and rightly so. The route travels north from Santa Cruz and visits many scenic roads before reaching the turnaround north of Half Moon Bay. GPS Track
- King City Ramble (229k): This ride is a big loop that begins and ends in San Juan Bautista and features fine scenery and tranquil roads. The first half goes south past the Pinnacles on lonely Highway 25, then climbs Bitterwater Summit and drops into King City. The route then goes north through the Salinas Valley before the five-mile ascent of Old San Juan Grade to finish in San Juan Bautista. The overall climbing is moderate for a ride of this length, but headwinds might make the second half of the ride challenging.
When you sign up for a permanent, you should allow at least two weeks before the ride from the time you send off your entry form and payment-and three weeks is better still. A special packet of materials will be prepared for your ride and these must then be returned to you in the mail. If you don't allow at least two weeks, you run the risk of not getting entered (especially if the ride organizers happen to be away for a few days at the time you send in your entry. It never hurts to send an e-mail beforehand.) In any case, as soon as your entry arrives in Santa Cruz, you will be sent an e-mail confirmation that it arrived and the registration process has begun.
Even though the rider can choose the time and date of their ride, once registered with the ride organizer, these must be used. There are no "rain checks" or refunds for any reason. If you should decide to DNS (did not start) or you end up being a DNF (did not finish), please contact the ride organizer in either case since there are event insurance matters to attend to.
If this type of randonneuring is new to you, please visit the RUSA permanents page or consult your RUSA handbook. The web page has a lot of additional information that can answer your questions. You should also review the RUSA Rules for Riders before undertaking any brevet. It is important that you fill in your brevet card carefully so that you get your ride credit. Even though the rider can choose the day and time for his or her permanent, they are just as formal as a regular brevet in all other ways.