I hope you and your families are staying well at this difficult time.
Having previously stated that I’d wait and see before making any final decision about Ride the North in 2020, the realistic view (as of Easter weekend) is that I don’t think that an event in August is at all likely.
A fundamental part of the event over the years has not just been the weekend in August, but also all the training rides with friends and colleagues that it inspires all through Spring and Summer. I appreciate we can still cycle within the Government guidelines, but I do not wish to be a position of encouraging more people to do more miles (outdoors) on the bike. Furthermore, I wish to acknowledge that the biggest employer of RtN participants (by some margin) year after year is NHS Grampian. Many of those NHS workers are on the front line at the moment and over weeks to come. I won’t run an event until they are ready to come with us.
I have made the decision to refund the fees that have been paid, so that does mean that Ride the North 2020 has been cancelled. I am so very sorry to say that and I hope that it is a decision you will understand. If you paid for your own place, you do not need to do anything further as you will be refunded fully. I can instruct refunds via the payment system. That will all take me some time, but rest assured it will be complete by end of April. You will want to cancel accommodation bookings.
There are two footnotes I wish to add:
(i) If the current circumstances change faster than I anticipate, I can arrange an event of some description at quite short notice. We all have 28-29 August in our diaries. If, by mid August, it looks possible to do something that weekend, then something will be in place. It will not be Ride the North. I had suggested previously that, if August did not happen, then 11 April 2021 be an alternative …as a spring ‘day out’ to mark the beginning of cycling in 2021 after such a difficult 2020. I am not going to stick to that. I will come back to everyone with new plans for 2021 later in the year. I think it’s cleaner that I refund you.
(ii) I don’t yet know the full future implications for Ride the North. The event started as a passion and has become part of my livelihood along with other smaller events and tours, none of which will happen in 2020. I will give it my best to come back to you all with a plan for a bigger and better RtN in 2021. In my mind it has always been a celebration of community spirit as much as cycling, so I will endeavour to look at how that can be amplified as a legacy of these challenging times.
Thanks for all your support.