A Ride Like No Other
A year that requires creativity from our staff, diligence from our volunteers, and flexibility from our participants.
This year’s event will be a ride like no other. As we define new safety protocols and work through ways to maximize social distancing and sterilization, it is a year that requires creativity from our staff, diligence from our volunteers, and flexibility from our participants.
I hope that you have had a chance to read through some of the safety considerations our staff has developed in our “Socially Distanced Ride” blog. The purpose of this blog is to give our community more insight into our decision making and some of the aspects of the ride that may be affected by macro-coronavirus related events.
We are working with all jurisdictions diligently and, at this point, we are optimistic that we will be able to hold our events without large disruptions to the route or unwanted changes to major locations. We are operating under the assumption that the current trajectory of the virus in localities in which we operate will remain constant and continue to improve and that CDC recommendations pertaining to outdoor events remain, similarly, constant.
Below you will find information pertaining to the planning of the event and communications.
In preparation for our events, we are executing a phased approach.
Phase 1: Government Communication (3 weeks – 6 Months Prior to Event
Phase one is our focus on communication with government agencies such the DC special events office, the county Health Department, and the Maryland State Highway Authority, and Delaware Department of Transportation in an effort to create new guidelines and procedures in producing events like ours. While permit approvals remain on hold, all parties are optimistic that approval will be granted if conditions continue to improve.
Phase 2: Safety Preparations & Policies (3-5 Weeks Prior to Event)
During phase two, we will focus on final preparation for the events and logistical updates to our participants. This phase will include directives on how we will streamline packet pick-up, check-in, rest stops, and the finish line. We have already shared several strategies we are exploring in prior blog posts [LINK].
Phase 3: Policy Communication (1-4 Weeks Prior to Event)
Phase three will include communication to our participants and volunteers regarding the final event logistics and guidelines. We will relay all pertinent information via our website, social media channels, , email messaging and additional channels. We will continue to update and amend our communication as information evolves and is released.
Phase 4: Onsite Preparations (Week of the Event)
Finally, we will focus on even execution. We will do everything in our power to create the best experience for our participants, staff and volunteers. This includes prevention supplies for all staff, volunteers, and participants, and creating traffic flow patterns to support social distancing.
As we approach the unknown factors in the weeks leading up to the event, we will need flexibility from participants as we finalize plans. The concept of socially distanced events is new, and we are all pioneers in planning, executing and keeping each other safe. We are in all this together. Our team has created event and safety plans for various scenarios to create an amazing ride and safe experience. But we are also cognizant of the reality that, like everything related to the Covid-19 crisis, the situation is evolving, and things are subject to change.
As we plan for all scenarios, we want our participants to be aware that some aspects of the event may be subject to adjustments due to potential Government or other requirements as a result of evolving Covid-19 information and trends.
The following three (3) aspects of the event may change in the weeks leading up to the Washington, DC and Maryland event:
1) The Route:
We are anticipating offering both a 100-mile route leaving form DC and Baltimore, AND, for the first time, a 100-Mile route only on the Eastern Shore that we are lovingly dubbing the “Bay to the Beach” ride. While we are optimistic with our progress and discussions pertaining to the permitting process, if we are unable to permit sections of the route, we may need to make the Bay to the Beach route our only Century offering.
In all cases, we are encouraging participants that are flexible to consider the Bay to the Beach 100-mile option to ease the logistics of the Bay Bridge crossing, assist in social distancing, and help with event approval.
We will send out details and opportunities for you to select your starting location as we get closer to the event (in Phase 3 of our event preparation).
2) Major Locations:
To ensure the spacing necessary to create social distancing, we have secured new locations that will enable even greater social distancing.
The Western side of the Bay Bridge shuttle will leave from Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. This location will enable us to space and spread out all the busses and amenities to ensure no large group gatherings
The Western side of the transfer is likely moved to Queen Anne’s County High School to allow more space for the us drop-off and to provide more parking options for those participating in our Eastern Shore “Bay to Beach” Century.
The finish is still planned for the Lions Club at Dewey Beach, but the on-site activity will be scaled back at the finish-line. After checking in at the finish, participants will be encouraged to go to a designated beach area to soak up the sun and hop in the water in a socially distanced beach setting.
3) Friends and Supporters:
Friends and supporters will likely be limited at all locations throughout the day. Only individuals that volunteer for the day and agree to be screened will be allowed at event locations. This includes the starting-line, Bay Bridge transfer locations and the finish-line.
• Families and friend will not be allowed into the starting-line.
• We will have a separate pick up area for individuals that choose to use their own transportation to cross the Bay Bridge.
• We will have an area designated for supporters at the finish-line, but areas and duration of stay will be limited.
If family or friends would like to support, you throughout the day. Please have them sign up as volunteers!