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Covid-19 Update July 2020

Greetings from the Big Sugar team.

2020 has had our community bobbing and weaving, climbing and descending, navigating without a map, and we are hard at work to find a way to see you in Bentonville for the inaugural Big Sugar – NWA Gravel event. It’s our hope to provide you something to look forward to in the fall. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be dynamic, and in turn, so do we, with all the changes and learnings that continue to unfold each week.

We are working through every option possible to help keep us all as safe as possible, while also still providing you an opportunity to ride your bike and test your limits. Truthfully, that means this year’s event will feel a little different than we had all envisioned. With that, we’d like to bring you up to speed on the steps we are currently planning to implement at the 2020 event. Please note – all of these are subject to change as we continue meeting with our local partners through this fall.

  1. Limit mass gatherings:
    1. Host a “pre-recorded” rider meeting
    2. Streamline packet pick-up
    3. Implement start waves to minimize gatherings at the startline
  2. Require face-coverings at the start, and encourage them throughout the race – neck gaiters will be provided for all participants
  3. Implement hand sanitizer and hand washing stations
  4. Offer deferrals, free of charge, for folks uncomfortable with or unable to travel to the event

Note: we had originally planned to open additional slots for female participants. In an effort to keep field size manageable, we will NOT be opening any additional slots for the 2020 race. Stay tuned for our efforts in 2021 to help drive diverse participation! Thanks for your understanding.

As you are considering your fall schedule and needs, we understand that each of us have different comfortability and responsibilities surrounding COVID-19. If there are reasons that you will not be able to use your 2020 entry, please feel free to defer now to 2021 or 2022. There will be no charge for this deferral. Please email with “Big Sugar Deferral” in the subject line.

As we continue to monitor the pandemic, we will announce a cancellation NO LATER than August 24, two months out from our October 24 date. Our cancellation policy will follow the same standards as our other Life Time events – working to take into consideration circumstances for you, for the Bentonville community, and for the future of Big Sugar. Arkansas COVID-19 updates can be found here. If cancellation becomes necessary, we are committed to offering these options:

  • Complimentary deferral into the 2021 event (Oct, 23, 2021)
  • Complimentary deferral into the 2022 event (Oct. 22, 2022)
  • *Donate your entry fee to your choice of the Life Time Foundation, or NICA Arkansas. As a thank you for your donation, you will receive a guaranteed, non-complimentary entry into your choice of the 2021 or 2022 event.
  • *Full refund on entry fee (excluding the service fees)

*Please keep in mind these options are not currently available, but will be made available should we need to cancel the event.

 We are all trying our best to navigate all that life is throwing at us right now, we thank you for being patient and understanding. Continue to crush those miles, don’t lose sight of your goals, and we hope so much to see you in Bentonville this fall.

Ride on,

The Big Sugar Team


I can’t make it in 2020 and want to get a refund now, is that possible?

The refund option will only be available in the event of a cancelation. You can choose to defer now, and should we need to cancel the 2020 event, you may opt for the refund then.

With folks deferring and not coming, will you open more spots?

At this time, we do not intend to open spots.

How can I follow the COVID-19 situation in Arkansas?

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