Preparation comes with a expectation and lack of preparation come with consequences. For me I have never been a guy who doesn’t like to be prepared when it comes to racing or endurance type events. I have never done the Belgian Waffle Ride, but I have heard plenty of interesting stories regarding this race/ride. I know plenty of friends that have done it but I know a whole lot more that laugh about even trying it.
So why did I think it was a good idea to do the BWR? It really started when I got my new Intense Cycles full suspension Sniper XC bike. Why would this bike make me want to ride 133 miles “40 which is dirt” and over 10,00ft of climbing? It’s simple I had a hard tail mtb that I wouldn’t be riding anymore. I figured this was a good ride to utilize my Intense Hard Eddie. There wasn’t much that I needed to do in my eyes to get this bike capable of doing this ride I put a carbon rigid fork on it and some 32mm wide road tires but the question mark was I going to have enough top speed with a 1-12? Once I added the 38t to the Sram eagle drive train I knew I was going to be just fine. With a top speed at about 36 mph before I spin out I knew I could hang in the draft of the group I wanted to ride with.
The ride was a week out and the longest ride I had done was 40 miles say 2 months ago, but for some reason I was ok with it. Life has been crazy lately and I didn’t want to add another layer of stress training for an event, so I basically played it by ear up until the night before the race. After spending all day at the baseball fields helping coach my sons baseball team I nearly pulled out of going but a good friend of mine Jake Elkins kept me in check, so I came home and got my crap ready for the ride.
I arrived in The Lost Abbey Brewery where the event was being held at 6am to find lots of very fit looking riders and all different types of set ups as far as equipment. Part of this ride is getting the infamous Belgian Waffle breakfast to load up on carbs before you suffer on two wheels. I ate on the way down due to wanting to sleep as much as I can in my own bed. Enough about my personal excuses let’s get to the fun shit! We had 6 guys in our crew Brian Davis, Greg Matherly, Jake Elkins, Simon and Alex that were all going to try and stay together so we could all work together and help each other out. Well you could imagine how that went once we rolled out. This huge day on a bike quickly turned into a full blow race! The first thing I noticed was how well the CHP controlled the road for the ride. The roads were blocked so we had an amazing flow. The first part of the dirt was at the bottom of Lake Hodges and it was definitely funny to see the people who don’t ride in the dirt absolutely panic once they didn’t have complete control of their bike. My mtb set up worked perfect like I wanted to in the dirt, I was very comfortable and confident and that was my goal. I got through Lake Hodges in front of a big group and started heading up Highland Valley road where I started to take advantage of the range of my Sram Eagle Cassete. I didn’t have to put a lot of power out to stay with the group. I just used a high cadence to save my legs. We got up into Ramona and headed to Black Canyon. My legs were starting to feel it a little already and that was from the pure lack of volume that I had NOT put in. By the way Greg and Jake were long gone due to measuring wieners up Highland Valley. We didn’t know how far ahead they were but I wasn’t in any type urgency to catch them.
Sooooo... should you start training to do the Belgian Waffle Ride? If you are a meathead and like to suffer yes! IF you like to train but aren’t a meat head do the wafer distance you will like that ride just the same I bet. I was blown away with how organized this ride was. It was seamless, Registration was quick and easy, the aid stations had everything you needed and more including Velofix mobile bike mechanics at every major aid station to help you if you were in need. The road markings could not have been any better. Honestly I was blown away how greatly executed a ride/race of this magnitude was. If you are a endurance Cyclist make this a must ride for you. The crew honestly utilized the best terrain that North County has to offer.
For Full Results from TBG Event Timing click here
My final stats from my Garmin were
Ride time: 8:49 min
Frame: Intense Hard Eddie
Fork: Carbon Rigid
Bars, stem, seat post: Carbon
Saddle: Union Sport
Wheels: Novatec Flow Trail
Tires: 32 Bontrager
Drive Train: Sram 1-12 with the 38 front chain ring
Chain Lube: Maxima Chain Pro
Lycra: Ride 100 Percent
Sunglass: 100% Speedtrap
Helmet: Bell Z20
Socks: Intense Cycles
Hydration Pack: USWE
Shoes: Sidi shot Road shoe
Pumped to get to the finish to say the least