TCBC Bike University Program:  – Randonneuring Locally and Internationally – Norman Ehrentreich – Thursday, February 15, 2024, at 07:00 pm. See the Registration information below!

Norman Ehrentreich has been a lifelong cyclist and In 2003, he moved from Germany to Minneapolis, where he soon joined TCBC and became a ride leader. He discovered Randonneuring through TCBC in 2008, thinking that those listed distances up to 600km were both utterly insane and impossible to ride. Turns out, he was wrong (at least on the “impossible to ride” part) and that these long distances are indeed very addicting. By now he has completed 10 Super Randonneurs series (a series of 200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km rides in a calendar year), completed Paris – Brest – Paris in 2019, and he is close to achieving Randonneuring USA’s (RUSA) Mondial award (40,000km in qualifying RUSA events). Last year, he became the acting Regional Brevet Administrator for the MN: Twin Cities / Rochester region.

Norman is a year-round bike commuter, and he also organizes the regular winter program for Minnesota Randonneurs (each month between November and March a 100km and a 200km ride). By now, Norman is working on his 8th (exclusively Minnesota based) R-12 series (an R-12 award is earned by riding an official RUSA event of 200km or more for 12 consecutive months).

Minnesota Randonneurs: https://www.mnrando.org/

Randonneurs USA: https://rusa.org/

Paris Brest Paris: https://www.paris-brest-paris.org/en/home_/

Registration: You must register for the Zoom Program in advance by going to this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwucuusqjsiHdR9w2BIapAMzfF-4kRb_r2l

After Program Information:

Norman Ahrentreich discussed his own experience with the organization and the mental challenges that accompany this style of riding. In addition to discussing the history of the Randonneuring organizations including the link between TCBC and the local MNRandos, Norman defined the variety of ride names, ride styles, and ride types and distances.  While randonneuring has a long history beginning in France, their organization continues to expand its horizons. New this year, RUSA will include rides fewer than 200K.  For TCBC, that means the opportunity for more rides in a structured manner that will not take all day or days to ride!

If riding long distances appeals to you, RUSA events such as Paris-Brest-Paris, North Cape 4000, or the local North Star Bicycle Race are some of the rides available to cyclists. In addition to riding over beautiful terrain on less-traveled roads, a rider has the opportunity to experience new locales with a somewhat structured format similar to TCBC and gain cycling friends to discuss their cycling dreams.

While randonneuring is defined by its noncompetitive nature with many unsupported rides, the timed component of the rides, the individual/team riding events, and the awards structure provide a cyclist the motivation needed to expand and challenge cycling limits.

What does randonneuring offer the TCBC rider? The Winter Riding Series, 200K or fewer distance rides, meeting more cycling friends, setting new cycling goals, and consistently structured year-round riding.

This year, MNRandos will be offering and scheduling 200K or fewer distance miles on the TCBC ride calendar.  Those rides may include ride names like Populaire, Permanents, and Gravel Ride.  MNRando rides will be listed as Outreach Rides. The MNRandos Winter Series offers a 100/200 K ride in the Twin Cities from November through March, so there is still time to ride this winter.

For a TCBC member to ride a MNRando ride you need the following:

  • a RUSA membership $30/year
  • a MNRando membership $25/year or a $5 ride fee (NEW!)
  • and Register both on the TCBC calendar AND the MNRando Site

In addition to commuting year-round, Norman has ridden and finished the Paris-Brest-Paris under the allotted timed finish, continues to work towards RUSA award goals, and enjoys the challenges. He sums up randonneuring by saying it is not just for hard-core long-distance cyclists anymore and that there are ride distances for many different levels.

Thanks to Sam Carroll for arranging for the program and this after-program write-up.

Please follow the link below to the Zoom recording of the session on the TCBC YouTube Channel: