On April 7, 2013, we embark on the second edition of the now-infamous Belgian Waffle Ride.
It leaves the SPY Optic headquarters in Carlsbad at 8:30 AM after stuffing you full of, uh, Belgian waffles, eggs, and coffee.
Then you go out and ride your bike for 118 miles. Some of the roads are paved. One or two of them are flat (but not for long). The kicker comes at the end, when you climb Double Peak after 113 miles of misery.
Unlike last year, where there was a super exclusive vetting list that only let absolutely proven experts like Stern-O and Marvin participate, this year it’s pretty much open to anyone with two legs and a death wish. There are already over 400 idiots who think it’s going to be “fun.”
It won’t be “fun.”
What will it be, then?
It will be the only ride on your calendar where you’re pitted against other riders but where the test will not be against the other riders. The test will be against the road. Then, if you can somehow come to terms with the road (you can’t) you’ll get to worry about whether you’re ahead of or behind the hairy guy on the singlespeed whose wife yelled at you at the CBR crit because you made fun of her husband.
Like 99.9% of the people who do this, you won’t bother to recon the course. You’ll do a few off-road trails on your ‘cross or MTB and call it good. Maybe you’ll toss in a hundred-mile day to “get your legs ready.”
This will prepare you for the rigors of the BWR about as well as a sail around the park pond prepares you for the Antarctic Crossing.
The whole thing will be recorded on your Strava account. Unlike 2012, when virtually everyone failed to complete the entire course, this year riders will have their effort monitored on Strava. Complete the whole thing and you get a jersey and some craft beer. Cut a few climbs, avoid a mudpit because of the crazy old woman with a shotgun, and you’ll go home empty-handed.
In the heartfelt conviction that no one will actually do any of this, and knowing that therefore the awfulness of the event will be preserved, I’m going to share with you some tips I gleaned from 2012.
1. Recon the course at least twice. The full course.
2. Recon the course at least two times. The full course.
3. Ride the entire course twice, at least.
4. Don’t bother trying to keep up with the leaders, or with anyone. Set a comfortable tempo at the beginning. If you have to exert any serious effort in the first 50 miles, you’ll come apart no later than Bandy Canyon, after which the ride gets hard beyond belief even if you’ve properly conserved.
5. Stop at every rest stop. Today’s not the day to diet.
6. If you’re in a group, do not shirk the work. Of the three winners of the purple jersey last year, two were indelibly scarred by the humiliation. The purple jersey is awarded to the biggest wanker of the day, and there’s more than one to go around.
7. Do not tell yourself, or anyone, that it’s going to be “fun.” This will mislead all parties concerned, especially you.
8. Have ample ID on your person for proper identification of the corpse.
9. If you can’t recon the course, go do the Swami’s A ride with some extra credit. Then abandon your plans to do the BWR.
10. Run the beefiest set of road tires you have.