THE Arapiles Cycling Event has been cancelled for a second year running, with event organisers citing numerous reasons for the decision.
Event manager Mark Radford said the committee met on Sunday night to discuss the event's viability.
"It's disappointing, but it's become inevitable that it was the right thing to do," Mr Radford said.
"It's important for people to understand the reasons why we pulled the pin."
The looming threat of COVID-19 was one such reason, with both uncertainties about restrictions and potential future lockdowns playing a role in the decision to cancel.
Mr Radford said the event relied on riders to be financially viable, with a threshold needing to be reached in order for the event to be successful.
"Our goal is to get over a hundred riders. Once we get over a hundred we're in a position to make a really generous donation to our cause and cover our costs," he said.
"That's the sort of magic number to get up to."
In 2019 the event hosted over 100 riders, Radford said, and already in 2021 more than 30 riders had registered.
"We were on track to meet our target again this year," Mr Radford said.
In previous years, $20 from every entry fee was donated to the Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce, with organisers able to donate at least $1000 after each event.
In 2021 the money was set to be donated to the non-profit, Wimmera Against Cancer in Kids (WACK).
The Arapiles Cycling Event has run every year since 2014, bar 2020.
"The event attracts riders from around Victoria, and traditionally also we get riders that come across the border from South Australia, as well as quite a large amount of riders coming up from from Melbourne," Mr Radford said.
However, with the current COVID-19 restrictions in place, this meant that a lot of riders would not be able to make it, threatening the event's financial viability.
"The South Australian riders are ruled out, the Melbourne riders are ruled out," Radford said.
"We were really just relying on the local riders for it to happen. There was a gentleman coming from Wodonga and a family coming from Geelong and Port Fairy, as well as others scattered around the state. We had a team coming up from Warrnambool."
Accommodation challenges for non-local riders was also considered during the committee's meeting, Radford said.
"If we go into lockdown again, boom that wipes them all out straightaway," he said.
Another critical reason was the availability of volunteers crucial to the smooth running of the event.
"One of the key factors is now we rely on the volunteers to assist us from St. John ambulance. Having the ambulance on site while the event takes place is part of our emergency management plan," Mr Radford said.
"The event can't proceed without that. St John's has been really good, but they couldn't guarantee the volunteers, really up until the last minute."
Other reasons cited include rising COVID-19 Numbers, COVID-19 compliance concerns, restrictions on riders' abilities to train for the ride and volunteer welfare.
The consideration was made to postpone the event, but ultimately weather was another factor.
"The way it's placed it in the calendar is really important, from a, weather point of view," Radford said.
"If you run the event too late, it just gets too hot for the riders. To have it in the spring, that's where it sits the best, that's why postponing it probably really wasn't an option."
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