A Solvang Century rider checks on fellow cyclists as they travel along East Clark Avenue in Orcutt during the 2019 charity event.
A Solvang Century rider checks on fellow cyclists as they travel along East Clark Avenue in Orcutt during the 2019 charity event. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk file photo)

The 2021 Solvang Century won’t occur in March, marking the second year that COVID-19 has put the brakes on the large cycling fundraising ride.

The Solvang Century, planned for last March 14, was one of the first events canceled because of the public health emergency related to COVID-19.

Organized by the Whittier-based SCOR (Specialized Coronary Outpatient Rehabilitation) Cardiac Cyclists Club, the event attracts hundreds of riders to the Santa Ynez Valley.

Riders had the option of three routes — 50, 70 and 100 miles — taking cyclists into the Lompoc and Santa Maria valleys. 

“We decided to tentatively reschedule the event for March 13, 2021, assuming the pandemic would blow over in a few months and we would be able to obtain permits and organize the event next year,” organizers wrote on the club’s website and social media pages. “That continues to not be the case as the pandemic soldiers on.”

Health orders continue to prohibit large gatherings. 

“At this point, we have no idea when or if these restrictions will ever be lifted and are now forced to suspend the event indefinitely as the state is being ‘locked down’ again and event permits are not being issued to any organization,” organizers wrote.

The club has “no interest” in hosting a virtual Solvang Century. 

“We are sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but it is not under our control,” the post states, with pledges of updates via email, Instagram, Facebook and website postings.

The club also won’t be issuing refunds for the missed ride. Organizers had hoped to transfer all or part of the 2020 entry fees to the 2021 event. 

“Our treasury is down to a few thousand dollars, and we are behind several months in our warehouse space rent,” the club said. 

Refunds “are not possible” because of the club’s year-round expenses, organizers said. “Additionally, due to the last-minute cancellation, several businesses in Buellton we had contracts with would not return our deposit checks. Fun times!”

The announcement included a pitch for a number of men’s and women’s 2020 Solvang Century jerseys. 

“They are available to purchase as a souvenir of the ‘Phantom Ride’ that evaporated at the midnight hour,” according to organizers.

The jerseys have sold out, according to the website.

The fundraiser has benefitted SCOR Cardiac Cyclists Club, which started in the 1970s to encourage cycling as a form of rehabilitation after heart-related procedures or diseases.

Although it’s been called the Solvang Century, the event’s cycling festival plus starting and finishing lines have been based in Buellton in recent years.

Organizers say that proceeds from the ride benefit Camp Bon Couer, Camp del Corizon or Camp Taylor, three summer camping organizations designed specifically for children with congenital heart disease who cannot participate in traditional summer camps.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.