Boston Brevet Series Details

The 2010 Boston Brevet Series kicks off on April 17th. This web page has most of the details you'll need.

Start Times
Lighting and Reflectors
Other Equipment
Cue Sheets
Directions to Starts
Broom Wagon
Overnight on the 600k
Support Vehicles
Facilities at the Start
Accommodations near the Start
2011 Paris-Brest-Paris Qualification

Preregistration is strongly suggested and there's a $10 per event surcharge ($5 for the 100/200k) for day-of-event registration. Feel free to email with questions, concerns, etc.

Start Times
Please ensure that you arrive at least 30 minutes before the designated starting time to allow for check-in, equipment check, and pre-ride briefing.

Lighting and Reflectors
Lights are required for all rides longer then 200k.

The minimum lighting and reflectors required to meet RUSA's Rules for Riders and state laws for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont (the states we may ride through at night) are:

  • a white headlamp, firmly attached to the bike, visible from at least 500 feet to the front;
  • a rear steady (non-flashing) taillamp, firmly attached to the bike, visible from at least 600 feet to the rear;
  • In New Hampshire and Vermont on the 600k, a red rear reflector or red taillamp reflector attached to the bike and visible from at least 300 feet to the rear;
  • In New York on the 600k, side lighting attached to the bike, visible from at least 200 feet to the side (forward or rear lights which emit light to the side are permissible);
  • reflective ankle bands, visible from at least 600 feet front and rear;
  • a reflective vest, sash, Sam Browne belt, or some other device that clearly places reflective material on the front and back of the rider.

Note that some devices may be used to meet multiple requirements. For example, an LED taillamp with a red reflective cover may be used to meet the requirements for rear lighting and a red rear reflector, and many headlights and taillamps meet the requirement for side lighting.

The red rear reflector and side lighting requirements are only for night riding outside Massachusetts, so they only need to be met on the 600k; the fastest riders won't need to meet the side lighting requirement, since they won't be in New York at night.

Lighting must be used from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, or when poor visibility conditions (e.g. rain, fog, snow, etc.) exist. Dynamo systems which do not generate light while at a standstill are acceptable. Peter White and Harris Cyclery offer several lighting options popular with randonneurs, including hub dynamos; The Blayleys have reviews of several different systems on their website.

RUSA rules require the rider to carry spare bulbs. For our brevets, this may be interpreted as spare bulbs for incandescent (e.g. halogen) lighting systems, since LEDs generally aren't user-serviceable. If you use a metal-halide (HID) system, you should carry backup lighting.

Other brevets may have different requirements depending on local laws. Regulations for other areas may be found on Massbike's website.

White LED forward lighting is permitted; backup lighting is strongly encouraged. Several manufacturers make good, battery-powered LED lights suitable for randonneuring, including Cateye, Princeton Tec, Cygolite and Solidlights, among others; new lights of this type are being introduced all the time.

Beyond the minimums required by law and RUSA regulations, the amount of light you'll need will depend greatly on riding conditions and chance as well as your own riding speed, skill, night vision, risk tolerance and ability to ride with others. It should be noted that most Boston brevets have some rough roads which are usually traversed at night, as well as the unpredictability of New England weather. If you suffer a crash from hitting a road hazard while trying to see by inadequate lighting, it'll be nobody's fault but your own. Hitting a road hazard is by far the most common cause of cycling crashes, and can easily result in serious injury or death in spite of protective measures.

Additional reflective material, lighting and backup lighting are both allowed and strongly encouraged. We want you to look like a christmas tree or UFO at night.

Many riders find helmet-mounted lamps useful for fixing flats, getting the attention of motorists and reading street signs, cue sheets and instrumentation. REI carries a wide variety of headlamps which can be mounted on or adapted to cycling helmets. If you mount a light to your helmet, make sure to use a breakaway mount (e.g. velcro, easily broken zipties, elastics/rubber bands, the original headband, etc.) so the helmet remains effective in a crash. Please use them with consideration when conversing with other riders (turn them off or point them elsewhere.)

Bar end plug lights can be a useful adjunct to your main rear lighting on bikes without bar-end shifters. Nashbar and Performance offer house-brand models.

Xenon Strobes are optional and can greatly aid your visibility to motorists in poor conditions, but they can also be a nuisance when riding in a group; please use them (as well as other flashing lights) with consideration for other riders immediately behind you. The Lightman is one of the better models available.

Energizer Photo Lithiums can provide more runtime, more consistent output and lighter weight in forward battery-powered incandescent (halogen) lights which use AA batteries (e.g. the Cateye HL500 II Micro). They're available at Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

Electronic Regulation can provide brighter, more consistent battery-powered lighting to tinkerers with some electronics experience. Willie Hunt's Lightbulb Voltage Regulators are ideal for incandescent (halogen) lighting, and George Scolaro's LED regulators should work well with the higher-power Luxeon LEDs.

Identi-Tape offers reflective tape for clothing and other surfaces in several different colors; most Wal-Marts carry red or white "200 MPH" brand reflective tape in the automotive section. White and yellow tapes are much more visible than other colors. Covering a sixth of the inner exterior surface of the rim with a solid block of white reflective tape is a great way to enhance the bike's nighttime visibility; applying reflective tape to your helmet and the bike's fork, seatstays, mudguards (if applicable), seatpost, cranks and pedals is helpful as well. You can even make your handlebars reflective using Cinelli Lux Ribbon.

Light-colored clothing can aid your visibility in nearly all conditions; a solid white or hi-viz (neon) yellow jersey appears to get the best response from motorists at night. Illuminite clothing also retroreflects about as much light as light-colored clothing, but the dark colors normally used mean it won't show up as well as light-colored clothing under streetlights or during the daytime. It's a good choice for tights, which are normally black anyway. Illuminite clothing will not meet the requirements for reflective equipment on the rider, since it isn't reflective enough.

Other equipment
Fenders (mudguards) are not required but highly suggested.

Riders shall give an audible warning whenever necessary to ensure safe operation; however, the use of a siren or whistle is prohibited. If you can't yell loudly, you should have a bell.

The 600k includes several miles of dirt roads; wider (26-28mm+) tires are suggested but not required, and accessories should be firmly attached.

Any vehicle may be used, as long as it is powered solely by the rider. If you want to use a non-motorized scooter, recumbent, tricycle, a fairing, aerobars, etc., feel free, so long as you can meet the time requirements.

Cue Sheets
Detailed cue sheets will be supplied at the start of each event. Cue sheets are generally between two and four 8 x 11 pages. You should bring some sort of plastic bag or other protection for the cue sheets as we can't supply additional cue sheets.

Note cue sheets downloaded from this site are preliminary and subject to change, but they should give you a pretty good idea of what the route will be like.

Also note that the 200k is fully arrowed. A cue sheet will be provided, but shouldn't be needed unless you get lost. The 100k is not arrowed so come prepared to read a cue sheet.

Most checkpoints are stocked with a variety of fairly standard (boring?) cycling fare - bananas, PB&J, cookies, and water. One full meal is provided at the end of the first day on the 600k. Generally speaking, you'll pass at least one store selling water and snacks every 50 miles but services can be less frequent at night and in rural areas. Carry enough food and H20 to make it between checkpoints without additional services.

Directions to Start
The Boston start is in the Civil Air Terminal parking lot at Hanscom Field in Bedford, MA.

From Rt. 128 (I-95) take exit 30B, Rt. 2A West. (Do NOT take the exit for Rts. 4 & 225 which says "Hanscom Field" - you'll end up at the Air Force entrance and they likely won't know what you're talking about!) Take 2A west for approximately 1 miles until you come to a blinking yellow light. Turn right onto the Hanscom Field access road and follow signs for the Civil Air Terminal - bear left at the fork. The start area is in the first large parking lot on the left, well away from the terminal itself.

The Burlington Vermont events start from Old Spokes Home located at 322 North Winooski Avenue, just off Routes 2/7. To find your way there we recommend you check out the Google Map for the location.

Broom Wagon
Though support staff will attempt to respond in emergencies, you should not expect to be picked up by our vehicles. Support crews have strict schedules which do not allow them to go out to search for stranded riders. If you are unable to ride the distance or if you doubt your abilities, don't start.

Overnight on the 600k
We will at least have floor space available for sleeping at Sandgate (about 217 miles) during the 600k; we may have mattresses and/or cots available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you want to spend the night with us, bring a sleeping bag to the start and we'll take it to the checkpoint for you.

Support Vehicles
Follow vehicles are not allowed on any of the rides.

Support vehicles are discouraged for the 200k and the 300k. For the 400k and the 600k, support vehicles may meet riders anywhere after the first checkpoint, but must not interfere with traffic in any way. Interference with normal traffic flow is grounds for rider disqualification.

Facilities at the Starts
Boston Start: The civil air terminal at Hanscom Field has toilet facilities and snack machines. In past years it's always been open.

Vermont Start: The Old Spokes Home has facilities but won't necessarily be open at the start/end of the rides.

Accommodations near the Boston start
  • Lexington Sheraton, Rt. 128 & Rt. 2A, 727 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA; 781-862-8700 (2 miles from start);
  • Best Western, Rt. 128 & Rt. 4/225, 340 Great Road, Bedford, MA; 781-275-6700 (4 miles from start);
  • Holiday Inn Express, Rt. 128 & Winter St., 385 Winter St., Waltham, MA; 781-890-2800 (4 miles from start);
  • Best Western Inn, Route 2 & Elm Street, 740 Elm Street, Concord, MA, 978/369-6100 (5 miles from start);
  • Numerous other motels in the vicinity of Rt. 128 and Hanscom Field. Some riders just nap in their cars the night before.

2011 Paris-Brest-Paris Qualification
The next PBP is scheduled for the summer of 2011. Qualification requirements are determined by Audax Club Parisien (ACP) and are expected to include successful completion of the four brevets (200k, 300k, 400k, and 600k) in 2011.

As of December 2009, ACP is limiting the number of PBP spots for Americans. They have indicated that early registation will be awarded to those who have completed ACP events in 2010, particularly 400k events and longer. More information about PBP in 2011 and the American quota can be found on RUSA's PBP 2011 Page.

Most 1200k events require the completion of a complete series, such as the Boston Brevet Series. Riders have found the challenging rides of the Boston Brevet Series to be good preparation for PBP and other long events. We try to offer a little of everything on our rides: Bad pavement, horrible weather, 20% hill climbs, as well as scenic routes and friendly company.

Back to the New England Randoneurs Events page.
Last Updated: 29-Dec-2009, by Jake Kassen.

Copyright 2009, New England Randonneurs, Inc.