Here’s a photo of your awards as we stopped the presses midstream yesterday upon realizing that Coast to Coast & the Coast Loop 100 are not going to happen this year. The good news: we are carving the year 2021 in them with great confidence that we’ll all be journeying across the state or looping through the Manistee National Forest next year.
We’re sad for all of you, the volunteers, the support crews (and us). We’re discouraged that we can’t support JDRF volunteers who use this event – the only live event left for fundraising – to raise funds for their cause. And although our relatively small race doesn’t make a large financial impact on the places it touches, it does have some impact and also adds some fun energy as it passes through the Point Au Gres Campground, City of Au Gres, Gladwin, Marion, Dublin and Ludington.
As most of you know, we’ve put in a great deal of effort to try to pull this off on October 3, but some realizations over the past two days have convinced us that we need to punt to next year:
- We received more confirmation that the State of Michigan would NOT be moving to Phase 5 any time soon, which would have allowed a more acceptable 250 riders (it was never fully clear if we would be allowed that for each race or not, since they share the same finish, although with widely spread out arrival times).
- More than 50% of current registered 210-milers surveyed last week about a self-supported format – the only possible option left on the table – indicated a desire to defer to next year. Combined with those who already deferred over the past several months, 200 of the original 300 would not be racing. (We didn’t survey 100-mile racers because the primary intent of the survey was to understand how much support crews, so integral to the past two 210 racers, weighed in the decision to race.)
- The City of Ludington events manager told us (kindly but transparently) that no event in the city had yet been approved this year, and that if approved, it wouldn’t be until mid September that we would know.
At best, the event would have been a 90-rider 210-miler and a 90-rider 100-miler, minus support crews throughout the race, minus checkpoints, minus spectators at the finish, minus our post-race celebration, awards, and food. That’s not how Coast to Coast has been in the past and that’s not really how we want it to ever be. Although we do think we all could have had a safe race, erring on the side of caution in light of all the other challenges makes sense. Your health and the health of the volunteers, spectators, and communities we bike from, through and to is paramount.
So here are your options:
1. Do nothing and you will receive a 100% deferment credit code by email (likely late this week), good for the 2021 or 2022 Coast to Coast/Coast Loop. You may also use it on our Lord of the Springs bike race or any Michigan Adventure Race before 2023.
2. Gift your entry to the race to cover nonrefundable expenses. While we were careful to hold off on most expenses in light of the unknowns, vendor deposits, permit application fees, and advertising costs are not recoverable. Email us if you wish to help cover these costs. We will guarantee you a spot in the 2021 event and we’ll provide you some free swag (e.g., shirt, extra top caps, Moscow Mule mug, whatever we have available) at check-in at next year’s race as a thank you.
3. Donate your $150 Shuttle+ Drop Bag Service fees or $50 Drop Bag Only Service fees to JDRF if you purchased one of these support options. Email us if you wish to donate this; JDRF receives 100% of these funds. You can defer your entry and donate the fundraiser dollars. JDRF will provide you a receipt for tax deduction.
If you purchased any merchandise or the $5 lodging at St. Mark’s Church, this will be refunded in full to your credit card. The only gear that will be shipped out are the Borah bibs, jerseys and caps, sent directly from Borah. We will offer the same design next year.
The entire Coast to Coast and Coast Loop 100 courses are on public roads. We encourage you to get out there amid the cooler temperatures and fall colors and enjoy them solo or with your social bubble/small group. Matt Acker has also put together some convenient, shorter preview loops if you don’t have a shuttle.
I’ve included the volunteers on this note and want to thank you for your willingness to support the race as well. We will miss working with you (and all the great support crews) to pull off a race stretching across the state and we’ll see you all next year.
Thanks again for your understanding and grace. Pencil in June 26, 2021 – it can’t come soon enough! We look forward to seeing you then and celebrating as a gravel community.
Mark, for Greg (and Matt and the JDRF team)