The decision was pretty much inevitable, but we waited through the weekend to clarify our minds and to make sure we were doing the right thing. This is a post to give you all our reasoning for doing what we did and for what we will be doing now, how we got where we are, and what our plans are for the future of the C.O.G.100. I also will touch upon the ramifications of our decision, and what our suggestions are for those of you who may have been planning on taking part in this gravel cycling event.
Obviously over the last week to ten days the news concerning the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus had been escalating in an almost hour-by-hour fashion. Late into last week it became evident that we were going to have to make a hard decision. In that time period we did reach out to the City of Grinnell to ascertain if the government there had any plans to advise groups like ours regarding the COVID-19 crisis. Their answer was that they saw "business as usual", which didn't jive with what the responses were that we saw coming from other sporting events and some governmental agencies.
So we waited to assess the situation further. We did make an announcement that we were considering the postponement of the event, or even outright cancellation of the event. In the meantime, N.Y. Roll looked into the ramifications of what a cancellation might do to us in terms of the insurance for this event, which was no small part of the money collected from entry fees. We received an answer that there may be a way to salvage our investment, but regardless, we were going to make a decision based upon what was right for people.
More and more that became clear that we needed to defer the event to 2021. But we weren't exactly clear on how to express that other than in the most blunt of terms. Thankfully we received two very thoughtful emails from would-be participants in the C.O.G.100. These e-mails were instrumental in helping us to where we are today, even though we may lose money, or riders, it is the correct thing to do in these times.
Thanks to Adrianne Taren and Mark Johnson we have come up with an idea. Since "social distancing" is being advised, we are asking all of you who were intending to be at the C.O.G. 100 to indulge us, and yourselves, by participating in a single speed gravel ride March 28th. Solo or with a friend(s) as you feel led. It can be as long or as short as you like. Of course, we think you should ride 100 miles, but 20 is fine as well. If you feel so led, we would appreciate everyone using the hashtag #cog100 and posting your images to the social media platform of your choice. Maybe in this way we can still share a bit of solidarity in these difficult times. We will share these messages and images here on our platforms afterward.
What We Are Doing: The C.O.G.100 for 2020 is being deferred to an undetermined date in 2021. (Probably late March, but we haven't decided yet) IF YOU ARE ON THE ROSTER- Your entry will be deferred to the new date. WE CAN NOT OFFER REFUNDS. There will be no transfers accepted. This is the best we can offer considering the insurance issues and that we had already invested in hats for all the riders coming to the event, plus the replacement of two Championship jerseys. Depending upon responses we get from currently paid entrants we may modify our plans in the future, but this is currently our policy. If you intend on not coming, or if you have questions or concerns, please email me at email@example.com.
T-shirts: We will be trying to send out t-shirts soon, but we do not have addresses for many of you that were to pick them up at the venue . Please contact us with an address if this applies to you.
Obviously there is a lot of time between now and 2021 and LOTS of things can change in that time. Just consider the massive changes that have happened within the time of the last two weeks as an example. So, we cannot say with any certainty that any of our plans will be effected or that they will be possible. I am committed to keeping the information as current as possible for the event. So please stay tuned to the C.O.G. 100 site for updates throughout the rest of 2020.
As an added aside, we noted Sunday that the USAC and UCI (administrators of Pro and amateur cycling) are pulling permits for events through April 5th and are encouraging no group rides and that other promoters fall in line with their suggestions. Please note that we decided to do what we have done independently and before this development from USAC/UCI. That said, it's a smart thing to consider.
Stay safe and stay positive. Thank you for your patience in this matter.