As a major event producer, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Cascade Bicycle Club hard along with so many other organizations and businesses. After Chilly Hilly in February 2020, nearly all of Cascade’s annual events were cancelled.
But after more than a year, the club is finally ready to start hosting events again. The lineup includes many long-standing events mixed with a lot of new ones, all designed around pandemic safety.
“We are trying to make our events as safe as jogging outdoors,” Events and Rides Director Dave Douglas said in a Cascade blog post. So, for example, the club has limits on how many people can start in each wave and how many people can start per hour.
Unfortunately, that means the club’s biggest events are still not possible. The Emerald City Ride, the Seattle to Portland Classic and the Ride Seattle to Vancouver and Party have all been cancelled. The club’s biggest rides can draw 8,000 to 10,000 people in a typical year, far beyond the scope of an event during the pandemic.
But the limitations have led the club to get creative, launching a new hub-and-spoke style of multi-day touring that starts and ends each day at the same place. They are calling these “Tour Lite” events, and the first one kicks of near Lake Chelan April 30 (registration is closed). They also have a Gig Harbor Tour Lite May 14–16 (registration open through May 7, as advertised on Seattle Bike Blog) and two tours in the fall. For the Gig Harbor tour, people will book rooms at the same inn, and Cascade will handle mid-ride food and support.
The lineup also includes a couple Bike-N-Brews rides, a DIY Wine Ride and classics like Flying Wheels, High Pass Challenge, Ride for Major Taylor and the Kitsap Color Classic, though many of the details are still TBD.
See updated lineup and event registration info on the Cascade website.