San Diego-based eyewear brand SPY is back to serve up the fourth edition of their unique and extremely challenging Spring Classic cycling event, the SPY Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR), in addition to the new, shorter, and only half as painful SPY Belgian Wafer Ride, on April 26.
“The SPY Belgian Waffle Ride began as a homage to the storied history of bike racing in Belgium—a place long considered to be the epicenter of international professional cycling,” says Michael Marckx, SPY president, CEO, and creator of the event. “A tribute to the beautiful—and equally grueling—races staged in early spring, this year’s route is different than all of the previous years with different gravel, dirt, and rocky sections, and more climbing than rural Belgium could offer, promising more fun, more pain and more opportunity for excuses than ever before. Due to its incredibly taxing nature, some people may be more comfortable on a cyclocross bike, and we promise at least 14 dirt sections, more than 11,000 feet of climbing and headwinds no matter which direction—or what—you ride.”
Returning in true Flemish fashion, the BWR—complete with moules-frites, Lost Abbey ale, waffles, and more Lost Abbey ale—punishes worthy entrants with a 225-kilometer cycling route split roughly into two 112-kilometer loops with 11,000 feet of undulating climbing through the unrelenting hills of San Diego County. The fourth annual fete will mark the largest cycling extravaganza in SPY Belgian Waffle Ride history, and is staged to attract 1000 of the best of the biking community, including Olympians; World, National and State champions; professional and amateur cyclists; and surf, motocross and bike industry luminaries.
“We’re also excited to upgrade our partnership with our friends at the Lost Abbey, who will host the expo, awards and the start/finish to accommodate the BWR’s expansion. In addition to the venue change, we plan to do live-streaming of the event and the post-race antics online,” adds Marckx. “Keeping up with tradition, we will continue to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) and accomplish the task of consuming massive piles of Belgian waffles alongside a frosty glass of Lost Abbey Belgian Waffle Ride Bad Ass Ale.”
The event kicks-off at The Lost Abbey at 6:30am, April 26, with a catered breakfast for the participants, replete with fuel-sized portions of authentic Belgian waffles. The pain-promising Waffle Ride will ensue at 8:00am, while the Wafer ride will roll out starting at 9:00 am.
Wafflers will contend for a variety of awards, including the kUDOs award—an accolade in memoriam of Udo Heinz, a fallen cyclist, husband, and father of two who was struck and killed near Camp Pendleton in 2013. Remembered for his vigor on the bike and in life, the kUDOs award will be presented to the rider who exudes the most heart—a happy vitality—on course.
The Lifestyle and Fitness Expo portion of the event—as well as the event’s start and finish—is being hosted by The Lost Abbey, a collection of craft brewing geniuses that have created a range of beers that reflect the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium. The expo will begin on April 25 at The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif., where athletes can pick up race packets and peruse the offerings from event sponsors and exhibitors between noon and 5:00pm. The expo will begin at 6:30am on April 26, and run throughout the duration of the event until beers, jeers and awards are distributed for heroic efforts and lack-thereof. Custom-made jerseys, designed by Joe Yule of StageOne, will go to the overall winner (“General Classification—King of the Waffle”); the best overall climber (“King of the Mountain”); the hardest working rider (“Belgian Hardman”); the kUDOs award for most spirited; and the most aggressive sprinter. There will also be a distinction for the most selfish, uncooperative, inconsiderate rider—the “Wawful Freddy”—who will be nominated by a panel of on-course marshals. In addition, Wafer riders will vie for top female and top male honors.
Registration for the event is now available at www.bikereg.com/spybwr.
Registered SPY Belgian Waffle and Wafer Riders will help support the event’s cause, the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF), whose mission is to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. Additional sponsors include Giant Bicycles, RIDE Cyclery, GQ-6, True Dentistry, Stage One, SRAM and Zipp.
For more information about the SPY Belgian Waffle and Wafer Rides, go to www.facebook.com/SPYBWR. To view the 2014 SPY Belgian Waffle Ride film, go to youtu.be/Cl62Bj_rToM. For more information about SPY’s cycling, multisport and endurance sports goings-on, log-on at www.facebook.com/spyperformance. For info about SPY products, athletes and events, log-on at www.spyoptic.com and www.facebook.com/spyoptic.