Due to the road conditions in the Philippines, the response time to address emergencies and the lack of safety for women cyclists, the Philippines has been allowed by Audax Club Parisien to use support and gear vehicles for the main purpose of safety and security. Please see below guidelines for the use of vehicles in all types of brevets (updated as of October 28, 2022):
1) Access to support vehicles can only be within 500m of a checkpoint. No assistance from the support vehicle in between checkpoints. While the vehicle may be used to carry tools, food, clothes and gear, rider will only have access from the vehicle at the checkpoints. Rider may not have physical contact with the vehicle, get in, or rest in the vehicle at any time during the brevet. Checkpoints refer to designated stops along the route (can be a brevet-stamping/QR code scanning checkpoint or simply an identified checkpoint by Audax Randonneurs Philippines). In most routes, the checkpoints are roughly in intervals of 50km. "Assistance" in this regard need not be a physical support such as providing food or water; it may include handing out spare equipment/accessories.
2) No direct follow at all times. The support vehicle can leap frog (without impeding other cyclists and motorists). The vehicle may be in sight of the rider at all times but no direct follow.
3) No drafting behind the support vehicle nor may the rider/s ride to take advantage of the vehicle's headlights at night. Nonetheless, the support vehicle may stay in the general vicinity of the rider/s FOR SECURITY REASONS AS THE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY WARRANT, provided that: a) the vehicle shall keep a distance of no less than 500m in front or behind the rider/s, b) the vehicle shall not render form of outside assistance to the rider/s other than to provide security; and c) shall not impede motorists and or/other cyclists.
4) A tire puncture or a bike change (in between checkpoints) is not an emergency. Surely, one can ride from one checkpoint to another without having to be supported by a vehicle. These are also the same rules applied in Paris Brest Paris and in most Audax-approved countries. Riders are expected to be self-sufficient in Audax rides, hence, must carry the necessary tools/equipment to complete the same.
5) Support vehicles should be mindful of other cyclists on the roads AT ALL TIMES. No abrupt overtaking.
If proven upon sufficient evidence shown, penalties in case one is found in violation of the above guidelines shall include, not not limited to the following:
1st warning: 2-hour penalty added to elapsed finish time
2nd warning: non-homologation of the said ride
3rd warning: 2-year ban from joining any brevets organized by Audax Randonneurs Philippines
Warnings are not limited to just one ride. For example, if you have been given your 1st warning in Audax Mindoro, and you are caught violating in another Audax immediately following or in any other year, that will be considered as your 2nd warning already.
We understand that there may be exemptions and we will assess them on a case-to-case basis. These rules are pretty straightforward. Let's not over-complicate and over-think this. When in doubt, ask yourself if the support provided is aligned with the "safety and security" reason of having the support vehicles. Let us not abuse this privilege given to the Philippines. There is no shame in riding your support vehicles and quitting but please be honest. Keep your integrity intact and be good stewards of this sport.