Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Events: The Belgian Waffle Ride 2017

Events: The Belgian Waffle Ride 2017

(2016) Just the other day I was scrolling through the Instagram feed when a photo confused me immensely. I rotated my head, I spun the picture, I even scrolled up and then came back to refresh my point of view. It took a few moments to realize it was a cyclist who had dumped it on a dirt track, possibly going uphill. The angle of the bike as well as the perceived uphill simply confused me. I looked at the feed and got so many answers by identifying who it was and its hashtag: #failfriday.

 

I can’t pinpoint the moment I heard about the Belgian Waffle Ride. The name alone has so much going for it, like it was almost tailored just for me. Maybe Mike had said something about it at some point. But the truth of the matter was the event was days away from that discovery. There was no way we would have made it/ prepped for it.

A combination of social media and event emails reminded me that registration for the Belgian Waffle Ride, a one-day race/ride near San Diego, was open. On May 20th, riders will rejoice in hearing about 13,000 feet of climbing over 225 kilometers of routing. At least 50 kilometers of that is regarded as ‘unpaved.’ It would be best to watch some YouTube videos to see just how unpaved they’re talking.

  Photo from Cyclocross Magazine - A portion of the 'unpaved' Belgian Waffle Ride. 

Photo from Cyclocross Magazine - A portion of the 'unpaved' Belgian Waffle Ride. 

The event sounds a bit like this coast’s Tour of the Battenkill. However, the Belgian Waffle Ride seems to have moved the finish line a-ways back. It would nearly equal two laps of the Battenkill. The ride also seems to have added some hiking trails to make things very tense for those attempting the whole event on a road bike. And would it kill them to have a freight train constantly traversing the route so riders would have to throw their bike aboard, climb on thereafter, and step off the other side, ala Henri “Ritte” van Lerberghe? With statistics like the ones mentioned above, why not go all in, so to speak?

 

Some attractive apparel seems to make its rounds nicely at the Belgian Waffle Ride. There are some smartly designed kits for participants to sport on the day of the rac....ride. Having help from sponsors like Spy Optic and Cervelo certainly helps. However, why wouldn't we just sport our Belgian Boys Club kit? It fits perfectly with the theme. 

  Liege waffles.

Liege waffles.

Other attractive aspects include the detail that the ride moves pretty fast. It’s not a race, but it’s a race. In case there’s any doubt, there are ice-cold water bottles handed out at the aid stations. The riders viewing the Belgian Waffle Ride as ‘not a group ride’ are probably the ones blasting through grabbing the bottles. Those a bit more touring can be identified by the stop-and-have-a-look-around approach.

 

Those participating in the Belgian Waffle Ride (or its little sibling, the 68-mile Belgian Wafer Ride) get to finish at the Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos, California. That is motivation enough for us should times get dark as it did for the cyclist in our introduction. Lost Abbey has prepared a specialty brew called the Belgian Waffle Ride Bad Ass Ale for finishers.

  Photo from    socialbicyclist.com . Not a bad way to finish a challenging day out.

Photo from socialbicyclist.com. Not a bad way to finish a challenging day out.

We figured to put this event out there for anyone on the East Coast not awares of such a pretty remarkable assemblage with an impressive attention to detail. One final aspect that could convince people to jump on a plane to suffer through such an ordeal is that the day before features an expo. Or perhaps we could avoid all those miles and simply fly out for the piles of Belgian-style waffles. We’ll bring the Adirondack maple syrup, in two ounce increments, naturally.

Events: The 2016 Festive 500 Day One

Events: The 2016 Festive 500 Day One

Stops We Love: Brig O’Doon Coffee House

Stops We Love: Brig O’Doon Coffee House