No refunds after June snowfall cancels Yukon-Alaska bike race – North

An unwelcome dump of snow on the weekend cancelled one of Yukon’s biggest annual sporting events, leaving hundreds of would-be competitors with t-shirts for an event that never happened.

It also left them a little lighter in the wallet — the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay has a no-refund policy.

“It’s no different than if you sign up for a marathon in Kansas, and they have to cancel the marathon at the last minute because a tornado rolls through, or a forest fire,” said race co-ordinator Mike Kramer.

“There’s just certain things that are outside of our control.”

About 1,300 riders were set to begin the cross-border relay race on Saturday morning in Haines Junction, Yukon. The one-day race was to finish 240 kilometres away, in Haines, Alaska.

Racers enjoyed more seasonable weather in 2014. (Elyn Jones/CBC)

But on Saturday morning, Haines Junction was blanketed in fresh snow. Road reports also told of slush, snow and black ice on the road to Haines.

“Those things, for drivers, for volunteers, and then specifically the bike riders on their bikes — a lot of which had skinny tires, and I’m pretty sure nobody had studded tires on their bikes — just make it an unsafe event to continue on with,” Kramer said.

“It was an easy decision to make, it was just difficult to make it in terms of, you know, not feeling very happy about making it.”

Too big to re-schedule 

Kramer said they considered delaying the race a few hours, or bumping it until Sunday, but those options proved impossible. The event is just too big — with volunteers, permits, and complicated logistics — to be easily re-scheduled.

It’s also impossible to refund the $76 registration fee to the competitors, something he says he’s being asked about.

The snow didn’t stay long around Haines Junction, but it was impossible for organizers to postpone the event, even by a few hours. (Submitted by Robert Unger)

“Just about every expense payment has already been…

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