We’re gonna tell you right now, it’s probably too much for you to take on. Sure, it’s only gonna be 135 or 145-miles, but 40 or 50 of that will be in dirt, rocks, sand, water or gravel. Only 60% of starters finish the event.
We recommend getting out and doing some ten-hour rides with as much climbing and dirt as possible, so you can really see if your body is up to such a challenge.
The Wafer is much harder than doing half of the Waffle. It’s dirt to road ration is much higher and the course is actually considerably longer than half the Waffle. In short, the Wafer is a tough day on the bike for anyone.
Have no fear, we can always move you from the heroic Waffle start line to the Wafer, and we won’t even post about it, make fun of you, or otherwise make you feel small for biting off more than you can chew. So many people do it, hopefully not you though.
The kind of bike you ride will depend on the type of rider you are and how comfortable you are in the dirt and during long races. The uniqueness of the BWR is that it really causes great consternation as to what weapon to bring to the fight. Too much bike and the 90 miles of road will zap you. Too little, and the rocks, sand, gravel and water will make you suffer or flat.
Keep in mind, the BWR was conceived in part as an answer to the Freddie Freeloaders who can be found sitting in on group rides until a sprint happens… they bug. Those Freddies won’t be found at the BWR, but that has nothing to do with the bike you should ride.
On race day, you will notice there are road bikes with 25mm tires; plenty of Canyon Ultimates will devour the course from the front. There will be plenty of Canyon Grails, a unique gravel bike that provides clean comfort in any dirty detour. There will also be a lot of cyclocross type bikes, like the Canyon Inflite, where 32mm tires and plenty of clearance make for a speedy steed. Still others will be on the Canyon Endurace, with its endurance-optimized relaxed geometry, enhanced control features and race comfort; this bike is as at home on the road as it is in the gravel. You will even see mountain bikes, like the Canyon Lux, a light, full-suspension XC ATV. What you won’t see are e-bikes, time trail bikes or tandems.
The bike you should ride is the one you are most comfortable on for both road and dirt. After all, the BWR is a road race; a spring classic that’s long with devilish sectors to make you question your weapon, again and again.
Just like your bike decision, the tire choice is critical… even more so. In fact, tire choice and air pressure are the two most critical decisions you will have for race day. If your bike is the sword, your tires are the shield. Too little shield, you flat or fall over or get stabbed. Too much shield and your sword becomes more unwieldly.
Fortunately, the BWR has IRC as its official tire partner. IRC has an incredible array of tires to choose from for your weapon. They can prove to be the best protection you can afford yourself come judgement day.
The BWR has been ridden on everything from 23mm to 57mm tires. Most riders end up rolling 28mm, 30mm or 32mm tires. The Wafer has a larger dirt to road ratio and folks tend to roll wider tires on the whole for this shorter event.
You can choose between a host of tires depending on how comfortable you are in the dirt (as in you race ‘cross as a cat 1) or your bike’s ability to accommodate either wider or taller tires. Your tire choice may be affected by what your bike can roll with. Lots of road bikes can’t handle even 28mm tires and certainly not the popular SERRAC CX 32 mm tire that has become so popular for gravel racers these days.
IRC’s Formula Pro Tubeless Series features the optimal tire for those looking to ride in the front of the peloton. The Formula Pro Tubeless Light in a 28mm will be the best bet for those off the front.
IRC has every possible option for you from the lightest, most durable 23mm tubeless tires to
2.25” indestructible MTB tires.
One of the great features of the Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride is the sheer amount of support the race receives from volunteers, teams, colleges, fraternities, schools and bike-minded people who want to give back to the community. You will find these lively folks all over the course on race day. There are TEN feed zones on the Waffle course to help get riders the proper nutritional requirements to finish the event.
There will be six VeloFix vans out on the course, roving throughout all the waves. There will also be roving mechanics on e-bikes throughout the 15 off-road sectors. These mechanics will have most everything with them to help stranded cyclists who choose the wrong weapon or shield.
As with any race day, don’t try something new. If you have not tested it out, don’t try it on race day. That goes for the tires as much as it does for the food you eat and the things you drink.
Additionally, don’t get in over your head at the beginning by going out too fast. It’s a long day, so pace yourself. You have all day to pass people who cut you off on the single track on the first dirt sector. Hold your rage in and when you finally pass that schmuck later on, tell ‘em to hold your wheel as you slowly, yet firmly throttle the hell out of the next dirt section. In short, don’t get emotional; stay smart. Often times, in the dirt, you will find the need to GO SLOW TO GO FAST, which essentially means staying upright at the places that require a little extra care to navigate. There’s a lot of those sections in the BWR.
The most glorious place to stay for race weekend is the Lakehouse in San Marcos. We are extremely pleased to announce we have again partnered with the Lakehouse Hotel and Resort in San Marcos, CA. This incredible, newly renovated resort is offering us a 15% discounted rate (Online Code: Waffle)* and an opportunity to stay with your fellow riders very close to the start and finish at the Lost Abbey. If you want to rub shoulders with the pros and feel like you are in some magical foreign setting, stay at the Lakehouse.
The first time the course will be revealed is at the VIP event at Canyon on May 3, 2019. You can book your own tickets to this event. The course will be revealed in great detail for all those in attendance of this special event. You can buy tickets here at the same place you register: VIP PARTY AND COURSE REVEAL
You can also learn more about possible sectors by following this account on Strava.
The average amount of calories burned over the course of the Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride would equate to seven Double-Double burgers, four cheeseburgers, two chocolate shakes and three orders of animal style fries or a total of 9,140 calories. In terms of waffles, you would need to consume more than 30 waffles from the Gear Grinder Grill in order to not have a calorie deficit on race day. We recommend about 3 before and, sure, bring one along for the ride. You will also note when you return—60% of the riders who start the BWR actually finish—that nothing goes better with a Lost Abbey Belgian Ale than a Belgian waffle from Gear Grinder Grill (except for maybe bacon, but you can have that too).
NO, you are NOT. You will be forever banished in ignominy for cheating.
For safety and fairness, no one is allowed support during the ride from unofficial people and riders are not allowed to ride with other riders who are not registered participants.
We’ve had people jump in vans during the race and get driven up to the leaders before (yes, we know who they are). We’ve had people hold on to the back of a truck on certain climbs (yes, we know who they are). We’ve had imbecilic drivers take their vans on the dirt sections of the course and nearly take out riders during the race just so they could help their friends cheat (yes, we know who they are).
If you are seen getting any support from non-official vehicles, you will be DQed on the spot. We encourage the riders out on the course to also share with us any dubious activities they witness. Riders who break these rules will also suffer the ignominy of being exposed to the throngs or revelers at the awards ceremony. Some will receive the Purple Jersey, a distinction no rider can ever live down.
While we believe the Canyon BWR course is the most unique in America—a true “Hell of the North” over 219 kilometers of relentlessly undulating hills, dirt and unusualness (twice the length and way over twice the climbing of the infamous Tour of Battenkill that claims to be the toughest race in America)—the ride will also have added facets that truly underscore just how special the BWR is. Borrowing from the Grand Tour dynamics that their multiple categories provide within the overall race, the BWR has several categories that riders can vie for: Sprinter (green jersey), King/Queen of the Canyon (black jersey), King/Queen of the Mountain (KOM in red/white waffle dot jersey), King/Queen of the Dirt (orange jersey), Hardman/Hardwoman(strongest contributor/blue jersey), GC (overall General Classification winner/yellow jersey), the kUDOs Award for the most giving and spirited rider in honor of our fallen friend, Udo Heinz (white jersey) and the dubious distinction of the Freddie Freeloader award for the rider, or riders, who contribute the least to the ride, or cheat, or worse (the dreaded purple jersey).
The idea of the Purple Card and Purple Jersey is simple: if you don’t take an adequate turn with your nose in the wind or you shun the front all together, you will be given a Purple Card, which does two things:
1: Commands you to go immediately to the front.
2: Eliminates you from the ability to earn any points on the next Sprint or KOM section.
It is our hope that, by introducing this unique rule we’ve invented, the overall ride dynamic will be completely changed, with the typical Wheel Suckers riding in fear of being called out, thereby ensuring the work gets equally shared along the way AND that the outcomes of the various categories are based on merit, strength and respectability. Ultimately, we want this shared experience to be one where everyone respects each other and takes care to be a good sport throughout the grueling event.
The Purple Card and the Purple Freddie Freeloader jersey are based on the idea that nobody likes a Wheel Sucker. Purple contenders might think they’re playing a smart tactical game by letting everyone else do the work while they sit in as they normally do, but races (Sprints and KOMs) are won through cooperation and spending time on the rivet, flogging oneself and taking risks. Riding wheels and jumping past at the end is one thing and one thing only: Poor sportsmanship. Poor sportsmanship leads to Purpleness...
1. All Entrants must line up in the “official” start line area – Entrants may not start in front of this area;
2. All Entrants must properly enter the Start lineup, and may not cut in line, climb over barricades, or in any other way improperly enter the Start area;
3. All Entrants must properly wear a CPSC-approved helmet;
4. All Entrants must not cross a solid yellow line, whether double, or single on their side of the road (a no-passing zone);
5. All Entrants must show and practice good sportsmanship – un-sportsmanlike conduct of any kind is prohibited;
6. All Entrants must obey Police, Bike Patrol or other Event Officials;
7. No Entrant may ride with, or receive support from, unregistered cyclists (bandits);
8. No Entrant may draft, hold onto, or catch a ride in any motorized vehicle;
9. No entrant may utilize a motorized or power-assisted bicycle nor may a bicycle have such devices attached. All bicycles must be powered solely by human force.
10. All Entrants must cycle the full official route, as described on the official route map. Entrants may not short cut the official route, and are responsible for knowing and following the official route;
11. All Entrants must stay behind, and not pass, the lead vehicle;
12. All Entrants must wear their rider numbers, which must be easily visible;
13. Headsets covering or blocking both ears are prohibited, i.e., I-pod-type stereos or other devices;
14. Aero-type and other similar auxiliary handlebars are prohibited. This includes “tri-bikes” with otherwise unremovable aerobars. Please remove them prior to the ride [no tribikes].
15. All Entrants must depart the start line of the Event before the last official vehicle (trail vehicle) has left the start line;
16. All Entrants must show courteous behavior to Volunteers, Event Officials, and Police, and obey their instructions;
17. All Entrants must obey traffic control officers & personnel, and traffic control devices & signs, unless otherwise directed by an Official;
18. All Entrants must read and know California State bicycle laws, and must yield to emergency vehicles at all times, even if the road is closed;
19. All Entrants must give the right of way to other road users, including bicycles and motor vehicles, when legally required to;
20. All Entrants must stay to the right of cones set up at intersections, unless directed otherwise by Police or Event Official(s);
21. All Entrants must bicycle single file, when possible, unless the road is closed to motor vehicle traffic (any road closures will be announced on Event day), or a police escort is provided;
22. Support crews/non-Official vehicles may meet and provide support to their Entrant(s) but may, not follow Entrants on the Route;
23. Any Entrant riding after sunset (7:45pm) must have legal lighting: A white headlight visible at least 500 feet ahead and a red rear reflector, preferably 2″ or more in diameter;
24. All Entrants who drop out of the event must notify an Event Official, by informing an Aid Station Director, or calling the Event Hotline phone number. Be sure to give your rider number;
25. Entrants not finishing the course by 7:45pm will not be official finishers, but can continue on the route as long as they have the legal lighting on their bikes to be riding after sundown;
26. All Entrants must follow these steps at the Finish line: 1) Slow down after you pass the finish line under the banner, 2) Allow the finish chute crew to mark your official rider number, 3) exit the finish chute.
27. Rule Enforcement & Procedures: 1) Police, Event Officials, and Bike Patrol will identify any Entrant who violates traffic laws or Event rules for possible disqualification. 2) Those so identified will be reported to the Rules/Results Committee, who will investigate and deal with each violation on a case-by-case basis, imposing penalties, including disqualification, as indicated. 3) Any Entrant may report rules violations and present supporting evidence at the Registration booth/tent at the Finish Line. All such reports must be in writing and must be turned in within 15 minutes of the posting of the event results, or by 5:00pm the day of the Event, whichever is later.
28. Belgian Waffle Ride is finished at 7:45pm local time and all course support will be closed. Any Entrants still on the Route will be asked to stop and will be afforded transportation to the Finish line by Event Officials and/or event volunteers.
29. Entrants are solely responsible for all their items of personal belongings. The event is NOT responsible for any items of personal belongings whatsoever, whether lost, stolen, placed at an aid station or information station, placed with an Official or volunteer, or misplaced. Do not leave your belongings with any volunteers, staff or officials. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BELONGINGS UNATTENDED.
30. The Belgian Waffle Ride will not be cancelled or postponed. It will go on through rain, sleet, snow, or heat wave – Be Prepared!
Borrowing from the Grand Tour dynamics that their multiple categories provide within the overall race, the BWR has several categories that riders can vie for: Sprinter (green jersey), King/Queen of the Canyon (black jersey), King/Queen of the Mountain (KOM in red/white waffle dot jersey), King/Queen of the Dirt (orange jersey), Hardman/Hardwoman(strongest contributor/blue jersey), GC (overall General Classification winner/yellow jersey), the kUDOs Award (the most giving and spirited rider in honor of our fallen friend, Udo Heinz/white jersey) and the dubious distinction of the Freddie Freeloader award for the rider, or riders, who contribute the least to the ride, or cheat, or worse (the dreaded purple jersey).
There are three KOM/QOM Strava segments combined for each of these categories: Spring, Climbing, Dirt.
There are two segments combined for the Canyon King of the Canyon category.
Riders with the lowest combined times (per Strava) for these segments will be determined the winners.
The GC/Yellow Jersey goes to the male and female winners of the BWR.
The Hardman/Hardwoman, kUDOs and Freddie Freeloader distinctions are determined by the riders, who will vote or provide anecdotal evidence after the rider. If you witness someone being naughty or nice, please tell the BWR officials.
There will be a phone number for you to call on your race bib, if you are stranded.
Bring your phone with you on the ride.
If think the question is, “What happens when I flat?”
Be prepared to change your own tires, but we will have so many mechanics and on-course race support that you should be back rolling in no time. Make sure you are rolling the IRC tires for best results.
They are strategically located at ten different locations on the course, usually every 20 miles or less. As the course wears on the Feed Zones become more frequent.
They will have SIS hydration and water, all sorts of different food-like substances and delicious and coffee-infused Quantum Energy Squares. Some stations have Coke and salty substances, like bacon or pretzels. All stations will have enough water and hydrating beverages for all.
Run, run away now. Either that or roll away now. Roll as often as you can, through dirt, rocks, gravel, even cacti, just to prepare yourself for the mayhem of Cinco de Mayo.
The Canyon BWR is the premier and hardest event of its kind and the most unique one day cycling event in the country, because everyone says it is. 219 or even 240-kms of suffering over sinuous, bone grinding roads or trails fraught with arduous climbs, mud, choking dust, leg-numbing sleet or heat and winds (always a head wind).
Created in the spirit of the great Spring Monuments, the Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) will take its peloton on a ronde through North County San Diego, where it will clatter through agrarian hamlets and the Ardennes-like hills—not over classic mountains per se, but rather a never-ending string of climbs—along dirt or roughly paved roads carved through inland San Diego’s beautiful rural and sometimes forested backcountry. Unlike many other Spring events, this one will not simply be a one or two-hump race suited to the smallest climber with the biggest lungs, as no one really likes that guy…
The BWR offers up terrain that is selective in the true sense of the word. Though Belgium’s sucking mud, pave, choking dust, sleet, and narrowly winding, bone grinding roads will be absent, BWR will throw plenty of challenging terrain into the teeth of the peloton. Indeed, it will proffer roads, the likes of which less hardened racers go out of their way to avoid. The hulking, primping, one-trick ponies who have made their reputations on the slender tendril of numerous lead-out men will find in the BWR a multifaceted, ugly, technical, tactical, grinding, pounding, relentless, spirit- sapping, muscle-cramping beatdown in the finest tradition of long road races. Lead-out not needed. Yes, there is dirt, gravel, sand, water crossings, hills, wind and pain. Just the way we like it. It’s quite possible the BWR is not for you.