Gravel

Belgian Waffle Ride cancels 2020 San Diego race, moves forward with Utah event

Organizers of the popular Belgian Waffle Ride have canceled the 2020 edition of the San Diego-based event. They plan to move forward with a Utah edition of the race.

Organizers of California’s Belgian Waffle Ride gravel race have canceled the 2020 edition of the San Diego County-based event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is planning to go forward with its Cedar City, Utah-based event scheduled for October.

The San Diego-based Belgian Waffle Ride, which is traditionally held in the spring, had been rescheduled for November 8.

The news was announced Thursday morning.

“We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the 4,000 riders who have signed up for the original event in May, but also the brands, industry professionals, and local community who were due to attend the event,” organizers said in a release. “We also hope that this doesn’t come as a big surprise, given the current situation in CA.”

The San Diego edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride has grown into one of the largest mass-participant rides in the U.S., with participation soaring into the thousands. The news of its cancelation comes several months after founder Michael Marcxk told VeloNews that the likelihood of the 2020 edition going forward was eroding.

“We do this as much with optimism as we do to be better ready for 2021, as the likelihood of a mass event in San Diego in November keeps eroding with the pandemic’s spread in neighboring counties, cities, and states,” Marcxk said in a July interview.

Organizers are hoping to go forward with the 2021 edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego, which has tentatively been scheduled for May 2, 2021.

Organizers said they spent the past weeks developing a new model for holding the event, which would utilize staggered start times to keep riding groups small. The new plan called for the shorter ‘Wafer’ ride to be held one day before the 139-mile ‘Waffle’ race.

According to the release, the increase in COVID-19 rates in San Diego county due to the restart of schools is likely to persuade officials to maintain a ban of events larger than 50.

The group is still going forward with the Belgian Waffle Ride Cedar City, slated to be held on October 17. For that event, organizers are reshaping the event to comply with rules of social distancing and COVID-19 safety. Riders will go off in groups of 50 or less; masks will be required at all feed zones and at the pre-race neutral zone; all food at the feed stations will be individually wrapped.