Recently, the RUSA Board approved a change that gives Permanent/Populaire owners and riders the option of using an Electronic Proof of Passage (EPP) in addition to the current control card/receipt process in use today. There was a long discussion among the route owners about the possible challenges, additional opportunities, policies and limitations of EPP but, in the long run, there was significant support for allowing it. The key takeaway, at least at this point, is that EPP is optional and must be agreed to by both the route owner and the rider before it can be used. No one will be forced to use EPP if they don’t want to. This means that you will find route owners who accept it and others who do not.

For now, the key benefit of EPP is in reducing the time and effort required from the rider to document and submit their rides. Many feel that, for all but the most technology savvy route owner, it will increase the time spent approving a route. Maybe, at some point, the policy will be expanded to allow routes that require EPP. This may be a limiting factor for riders who don’t want to invest in GPS devices and/or smart phones but it would allow for more creative route designs that don’t have to rely as heavily on control placement.

Each route owner is allowed to determine if they will accept EPP and what formats are allowed.  Let me point out that, at least in my opinion, the decision to use EPP should be well thought out. If you decide to go that route and end up not being able to produce the necessary Proof of Passage because of a technology issue, you will not get credit for the ride. My advice for anyone riding one of my routes is to decide what type of EPP you plan to use, let me know ahead of time and then carry a control card, get it signed and get receipts. At the end of the ride, I’ll be able to tell you if your EPP is sufficient for my requirements and you can decide if you want to skip the card/receipts on future rides. If there is a problem getting your results approved, you can always send me the card and receipts. I’d suggest you do that until you know that I can accept your EPP.

For my Permanent routes, I am willing to accept 2 types of EPP, as long as you adhere to my requirements. In addition to submitting a paper control card, you may submit either/both time-stamped photographs at each control or a GPS recording of the ride.

For a photographic EPP, the requirements are:

  • Take a photograph at the start, at each control and at the finish of the ride
  • Each photograph must show a time & date stamp on the image
  • If possible, add text to each photograph indicating the route and the name of the person submitting it
  • All images must include enough of the control location to make it recognizable
  • Everyone who is using the photograph as EPP must be in the image, with their bike, except the person taking the photograph.  That person’s bike must still appear. If you can get someone else to take the photograph with everyone in it, even better
  • If possible, the photo should be emailed to me ( while at the control but sending them after the ride is ok as well
  • The decision of whether an image constitutes a valid Proof of Passage is mine alone

If your current camera app does not add the necessary data fields, there are plenty of apps that do.  I use Open Camera on an Android phone. Timestamp Camera is another free app that will work. If you are using an actual camera instead of a smart phone, you’re on your own.

For a GPS EPP, the requirements are:

  • Use whatever recording device you wish
  • Do not send me a data file
  • Upload your ride data to RidewithGPS or Strava (the free accounts are sufficient)
  • Make sure the route is “public”
  • Send me the URL of the entry
  • I don’t care what other web-based GPS sites you use (Garmin Connect, TrainingPeaks, etc).  I will only approve rides from RidewithGPS or Strava
  • The URL you submit must point to a ride with enough data for me to verify that you followed the route and arrived at the controls within the acceptable windows
  • The decision of whether a GPS recording constitutes a valid Prof of Passage is mine alone


Filed under: RandonneuringTechnology