For regular blog readers- this also may help you navigate where 2021 might take you in regard to events. Please feel free to ask questions or to leave comments. I am open to dialogue on this subject. Now for the post......
The current thinking here between N.Y. Roll and I concerning whether or not to completely cancel the C.O.G. 100 is a process of back-and-forth, a changing of thoughts on a daily basis, and is a hope against hope situation that is- frankly- exhausting us. Here are things that are shaping our thoughts as of November 2020 in no particular order.
- We acknowledge that certain events have taken place and have been relatively 'safe' in retrospect. There have been big, event impacting decisions done with regard to these events that, honestly, if we followed suit, would take a lot of what we intend for the C.O.G. 100 away and in our view make it less the event we originally had intended on putting on. This is not where our hearts are at. So, regarding the comparisons one may make here, we get that others have done their events. But we cannot do ours the way we intended to in the current situation we have found ourselves in. We feel it is, therefore, difficult to call it the "C.O.G. 100" then if it isn't really done in the way the first one was.
- COVID-19 is not going away by the time we want to have the C.O.G. 100. Yes, you may have heard news recently about a vaccine, and that is good news. However; the reality is that it will take months to roll out any - as yet unapproved by the way - vaccine, and then it will be first administered to our most vulnerable in the population, as it should be. With less than four months to go until a rescheduled C.O.G. 100, it is our estimation at this time, having reviewed the best information we can gather, that there will be no vaccine available in time to affect whether or not we can put this event on without enforcing restrictive protocols.
- The current situation with regard to the pandemic is worsening. The Governor of Iowa announced restrictions yesterday on crowd sizes and masks, mandating that any outdoor gathering of 100 or more people would have to be required to wear masks if they cannot socially distance. This was one of a few mandates made Tuesday, and are the first 'mask mandates' made in Iowa on a statewide level. That should tell you that we are quite a ways away from getting clear from having public restrictions with or without a vaccine. It is our best judgement that IF a C.O.G. 100 were to happen that we would have to enforce some strict protocols regarding group sizes and make sure riders were administering social distancing practices.
- Our insurance would have to be re-purchased for the event. The policy we hoped to make use of runs out before we'd get to a rescheduled C.O.G. 100. This means an out-of-pocket expenditure or perhaps adding enough riders to make up the shortfall by re-opening registration. Adding more folks sounds like a really bad idea right now though.
- While some may feel having 'something' is better than nothing, I am not of that school of thought. Racing, competitions, and socially gathering for events, are frivolous activities that are expendable when a random element to a deadly virus could cause a lot of pain and suffering. For what? A silly single speed only gravel event?
In closing, all of these things are weighty issues to consider and we haven't even touched upon what we would have to consider IF we cancelled the C.O.G. 100 altogether. But we'll cover that IF we get to that point.
In closing, I want to say that I appreciate everyone's patience regarding the situation with the C.O.G. 100. We are leaning toward NOT having the event at all at this point because we do not feel that by late March things will be any safer than they are today. I think we will have a definite answer one way or the other by the end of this month. Look for our final word by then.