The Ride the North cycling event due to take place this summer has been cancelled for a second year.
In a statement shared online, founder Neil Innes confirmed that this year’s event could not go ahead within current guidelines.
He said: “I’ve been anxious not to reach an early conclusion about the viability of this year’s event.
“Ultimately cycling has been a hugely positive thing for so many people during lockdown and cycling has all sorts of public benefits – in terms of economy, sustainability and health.”
Ride the North started in 2011 as a small cycling event around the north-east with 37 riders which has now grown to attract up to 1,000 annually. Since its launch, the fundraiser has raised more than £1.6 million for charities.
There were high hopes that it would be able to go ahead this summer after Covid forced the event to be cancelled last year.
The 2021 Ride the North was to focus on community, boosting tourism and showcasing “all the best about the north-east of Scotland”.
Due to take place on July 24, there were to be 111, 86 and 62-mile route options for cyclists to choose from. Around 1,600 participants had registered to take part with many raising funds for 25 charity partners.
The event would also be a boost to the local hospitality sector as many visiting participants planned to stay in local accommodation.
‘Guided by the guidance’
Scottish Cycling’s safety guidance includes a limit on participants, social distancing when not on bikes and no spectators. All riders would have to serve their own refreshments and groups would not be able to overlap when cycling.
The guidelines create a number of obstacles which mean the event would not be able to operate to its full potential.
Mr Innes wrote: “I value the reputation of the event, the relationship it has with local communities. I acknowledge that it has a high profile in the local area.
“The only credible position I can take is to be guided by the guidance.”
He thanked everyone for their understanding and his hopes that Ride the North will be able to return next year.