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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this is the right forum to post this question.

There was a rather large and popular biking event in my area Saturday involving a 100 mile ride. I was checking the route to avoid getting in their way and vice versa, so II went to the event page and was reading about it.

I noticed they have a policy that if the event was cancelled, or any reason, they would NOT refund the admission/participation fee OR allow the fee to be used at a future event. The comment was the fee could be counted as a tax deductible donation. My thought was that the policy was outrageous, but I lack experience in the area of bike races and tours.

Is the refusal to refund the fee or apply to a future event standard practice for biking events? Would a policy like this prevent you from participating?
 

· off to ride
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An event I just did a few weeks back, no refunds allowed but they would allow for the fees to be transferred to another rider if you couldn’t attend or allow for the fee to be transferred to another event.

if the event was cancelled and they allowed nothing…..that’s crap!
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
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I know for events there are a lot of non-refundable things they have to pay for ahead of time, permits, event fees, other required support.
 

· SS Pusher Man
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Depending on the event organizer and the event.....the entry fee can legitimately be a donation. Many of the local events that benefit the high school teams are like this.

By signing up, you agree to whatever the organizer sets as policy. If you don't read the cancelation policy before signing up.....that is on you. Don't agree with it....move on to another event.
 

· since 4/10/2009
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I know for events there are a lot of non-refundable things they have to pay for ahead of time, permits, event fees, other required support.
Yep. This is probably the biggest reason for this lack of a refund policy. If the organizer refunds fees to participants wholesale, then the organizer loses a LOT of money for a big cancellation because they're not getting refunded for a big chunk of what it costs to organize the event in the first place.

If it's only a few people who need to cancel or transfer, that's usually not going to break them and many would work with folks...pre covid. But with covid restrictions meaning a LOT of completely cancelled events, they are simply unable to absorb that many refunds all at once so the policy had to change.

Yeah, if you aren't willing to accept that, then don't sign up in the first place.
 

· Combat Wombat
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Here in Oklahoma starting about April, there are events similar to what the OP described nearly every weekend up until October. Back when the majority of my riding was on the road, I used to look forward to and participate in several every year. I would say most did not do refunds. Along with what Jayem and Harold already mentioned, there are also issues with conflicting with other scheduled events if they tried to reschedule. Refunds and rescheduling are just not practical.

These events are typically used as fund raisers. For me, part of the deciding factor that influenced which events I participated in, was what they were raising money for. If it got canceled, my $35 fee that was going to someplace like St. Judes, was all good.
 

· furker
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919 Posts
All the local events I participate in have no refund/no transfer policies for cancellations. But the two times when whole events had to be cancelled due to weather, they both were rescheduled anyways despite the policies. Both times I considered it a happy bonus.

The time I missed a series due to my own injury, I lost that year's series event fee, and I ended up volunteering instead.

I consider biking events as a long term investment, and not just a one time transaction. I want the events to continue, and I know event organizers can't survive long term if they are on the hook for things out of their control like bad weather or riders injuring themselves. It is what it is.
 

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Georgia NICA did this about 4 or 5 years ago...There was a storm coming but it looked like it was going to miss the event, organizers pushed for early registration until about 3 days to go then cancelled the race the night prior. Everyone got the email about 'no refunds because we laid out a lot of money, yada, yada and no credit for the upcoming races'.
 

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I've raced in the rain and while snow was falling, once in the same race. Snow at the top and absolutely pouring at the bottom. I always thought mountain bike races were run rain or shine but that may be geographically dependent. I remember getting refunded the one and only time a race was cancelled. I'd raced the cross country the day before and for whatever reason the super d on Sunday was cancelled. The entry fee was only something like $20 and there was probably only 40 or so riders competing, not like the hundreds the day before. I pulled a no show to a race last year and didn't expect a refund.
 

· furker
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Most local event organizers will let us race in the rain, and in the snow. But they will close the course for lightning storms nearby. If you are already out there doing laps, they will end the race on the current lap. If it is before the start, they will delay the start times.

I attended a small event where it kept getting delayed for lightning. The officials decided if the lightning didn't stop within 5 minutes they would cancel the race because it was getting too close to dark. Then the lightning suddenly cleared out right at the deadline. 4 minutes after their deadline we had sunshine and a rainbow. They finally made the last minute call and announced that in 1 minute they would mass start all the classes at the same time if there weren't any more lightning strikes. It was complete chaos, and some folks didn't finish until after sundown, but at least they didn't cancel!!
 

· Combat Wombat
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Racing rain or shine is really dependent on how the race course will handle the traffic under those conditions. I have seen races where it went on despite the weather and places like Roman State Park, the dirt quickly turned to a heavy clay muck that got so clogged between tires and frames, that people just end up carrying their bikes out to the parking lot. At another popular local trail like Saint Crispins, it is pretty much impervious to rain. At the same time, rescheduling nearly always draws less numbers than the original date. I ran race number seven of the state series for five years and always stressed the Fall weather when my event was scheduled. It was one unknown that I could not control and the money raised paid for our club's insurance and storage building fees.
 

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One one hand, it sucks from the organizer's point of view, but I believe the risk should be on the organizer's end. Most of the events I've been to have been for profit anyways. If you buy concert tickets and they cancel you get refunded, I don't think bike events should be the same way.
 

· I live to bike
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I had several events i signed up for her canceled due to Covid. Some gave a full refund, others gave a partial refund and a discount toward the next year's event. Fair enough.

I had to cancel one of my own events because of Covid last year, too. I credited everyone's fees to this year's event, and refunded the couple people who asked for it. Thankfully, I hadn't had to put much out at the time I made the cancelation, otherwise I would have had to offer only partial refunds or discount to this year's event, too.

But definitely, if the cancelation is the event's call, they should be offering something up to the registrants other than "too bad so sad." If a participant doesn't show or can't make it, and policy is no refunds, that's one thing. But not offering anything when the event promoter made the call to cancel is poor form. And just because the event listed that as the policy ahead of time doesn't make it much better. If I'm registering for an event and I see that as their policy, I think twice before going through and registering.
 

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It would be a tough pill to swallow if the event was cancelled and you also booked multi day lodging if it was a day's drive away. I'm racing tomorrow, three hours away and sleeping in my car, with the other half and two dogs, lol.
 

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It would be a tough pill to swallow if the event was cancelled and you also booked multi day lodging if it was a day's drive away. I'm racing tomorrow, three hours away and sleeping in my car, with the other half and two dogs, lol.
It could be worse. Imagine paying $800 for an Ironman plus 9% fee to Active.com, plane tickets for you and your family, and multiple hotel days because check-in occurs two days before the event to force participants to stay longer. Oh, yeah, all the close hotels jack up their rates.
 
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