Ride SB 100 to be in-person this year
After pivoting to hold the Ride Santa Barbara 100 cycling event virtually in 2020, this year’s race is being held in-person on Oct. 23, and race coordinators are excited to welcome avid cyclists back to the streets of Santa Barbara.
Registration opened March 29 with an opening discount of $99 for 48 hours.
According to Jamie Monroe, Ride SB 100’s race director, the event has already had a “tremendous response” from local cyclists. He told the News-Press that out of the four routes available for participants, the 100-mile and 100-kilometer options, both of which include the Gibraltar Road challenge, are “by far the most popular routes.”
“We’re planning for a similar sized field as years past with 800 to 1,000 riders,” Mr. Monroe said. “Since last year’s event was held virtually, the return of a live, in-person event this year will be dramatically different. It’s impossible to replicate the camaraderie of the cycling community at the start line, views of the Pacific Ocean along the route and overall experience of riding through Santa Barbara with a virtual event.”
The event is partnering with Foodbank Santa Barbara County again, and organizers hope to exceed last year’s total amount of meals, which was 60,000. This year, each 100-mile registration will include a donation equal to 100 meals, which the event highlights in this year’s slogan: #100Miles100Meals.
Riders can choose between a 100-mile ride including Gibraltar (the most difficult), a 100-kilometer ride including Gibraltar, a regular 100-kilometer ride and a more casual 34-mile ride.
Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic these days, Mr. Monroe remains confident that organizers will be able to hold the event in person.
“We are planning for the safe return of a live, in-person event in October, and the good news is that all signs are pointing in a positive direction,” he said. “We have no doubts the 2021 Santa Barbara 100 will be able to take place. Cycling is an activity that’s socially distant by nature, and the sport has seen a dramatic rise in popularity during the pandemic.”
He referenced an article by Union Cycliste Internationale, which wrote that 2020 will likely stand as the biggest year for bicycling since 1973.
And Mr. Monroe looks forward to celebrating that growth with the cycling community in October.
This year’s race will mark the 10th anniversary of Ride SB 100.
When asked what he’s most excited about being able to hold the event in person again, Mr. Monroe said, “It’s the little things that I’m most excited for, (such as) the smell of the finish line Paella, the well-stocked aid stations along the route (and) passing out race numbers. Those are the things we missed most during the pandemic when events were unable to take place and we are looking forward to putting on the absolute best event in October.
“We know that Santa Barbara has one of the best cycling communities in the U.S. and we expect everyone will want to come out and be a part of the fun at Leadbetter Beach.”