Yeah 3 repeats of Bright to mt buffalo on a packed rd doesn't exactly float my boat. Not to mention no accommodation. I'll be taking the refund option.
Refund option, Is there one?
From the Apline Classic website-- New routes are up....
Routes in 2013
Because of road closures due to bushfire activity in the Alpine National Park, the 2013 Alpine Classic routes have been altered and all riders in the Alpine Classic will be using Mt Buffalo only. Depending on the distance to be ridden, multiple ascents of Mt Buffalo may be required according to the table below.
Riders may choose to change to any distance (other than the ACE 250). You do not need to advise us of your intention to change distance as all rides are travelling the same route and electronic timing is in place. If you are not already entered into the ACE 250 you may not upgrade now.
Distance Start time Mt Buffalo climbs Notes
250 ACE 4.00am
6.19am 3 climbs ACE 250 riders turn around at Cresta (6km beyond Dingo Dell) and Howitt Park in Bright
Vest required for first climb at 4am
200km 6.20am 3 climbs Alpine Classic 200 riders turn around at Dingo Dell and Howitt Park in Bright
This ride will be a total of 210km
130km 7.00am 2 climbs Alpine Classic 130/140 riders turn around at Dingo Dell and Howitt Park in Bright
This ride will be a total of 140km
60km 8.00am 1 climb Alpine Classic 60/70 riders turn around at Dingo Dell
This ride will be a total of 70km
All rides will start in Barnard St Bright.
Rider support checkpoints with food and water will be in operation at:
•Howitt Park, Bright
•Dingo Dell, Mt Buffalo
Water points will be in operation at:
•Mackies Corner "Waterland"
•Cresta (ACE riders only)
•Eurobin Falls (afternoon only)
Refunds not available
As the one-day events have been re-routed and are not cancelled, refunds and transfers are not being offered. The ride committee is considering ways to offset the inconvenience caused to riders by the bushfires. An announcement will be made as soon as practical. The priority now is to provide a unique and memorable event for riders and their familiies this weekend. The ride committee appreciates your understanding in the difficult circumstances.
Why Buffalo only?
After consultation with the emergency authorities Mt Buffalo remains the only approved and safe route. We understand that Falls Creek may be under fire threat, so rides will not be going over Tawonga Gap to Mt Beauty because that road will be required for the use of fire and emergency vehicles.
and my reply just emailed back to them.
Thank you for your updates. I understand this must be a very stressful time for the organisers not to mention the people of the Alpine area. Hopefully things calm down in the coming days. Regarding the ACE 250 ride. Changing the ride to 3 repeats of Mt Buffalo and saying the ride is still on and not cancelled is totally unsatisfactory. From my perspective and my group, we had booked accommodation in Harrietville, which we were informed yesterday had been closed to visitors. So even if we went ahead with this we would've had no where to stay. Your website stated as early as 2 days ago that it was likely the 250 and raid rides would be cancelled but didn't actually cancel them. I realise that the bushfire problem is totally out of your hands but surely you can see that paying $180, driving from Sydney with nowhere to stay then riding repeats of Mt Buffalo is not really viable. It is also far and away a totally different proposition to what we paid $180 for. I think a full or at least significant refund is only fair.
I also was going to drive from Sydney to do the 250 but am now having serious second thoughts. 3 laps of Buffalo is not at all equivalent and to say the ride's still on is a distortion. It's been cancelled and a new ride introduced in its place.
If Audax were a for profit organisation I'd definitely expect some compensation, if not a full refund. However, I don't suppose they are, and they have probably incurred serious costs to put the ride on. As a minimum, they should be clear with us about this.
2010 Charge Plug, 2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Giant TCR Advanced SL
Audax is a not-for-profit association, so please go easy on the 'profiteering' allegations Any insurance claims won't kick in unless the area is totally closed to traffic (as it pretty much was in 2006).
Maybe just go down there, do one or two runs up Buffalo, then have a great holiday weekend riding in the many other safe areas nearby. Or spend some time kicking back at Bonjour Bright.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
i just attended online chat with phil bellete and he mentioned they've already spent $100k on the event and that any refund is likely to be in the order of 30% of entry fee.
i will be attending - the event is a feature of my cycling 'program', due as much to the atmosphere and general surrounds as the ride. i am aiming for 3 x buffalo though
It's an 8 hr drive. And if I wanted to wander around bright taking in the local sights I don't expect to pay $180 just for the privilege and sleep in my car. I appreciate it is a nfp orginisation by the same token I can't just drop $180 for the hell of it. I can't imagine that an event run in that area in the middle of summer doesn't have a contingencey plan in place to manage the possibility of a brushfire impacting the event.
of course it does. it's just that it doesn't include refunding you the full $180
I'll still be heading down there - now that I know how it has changed I am looking forward to it. I was a bit worried not knowing what was going to happen, but now it has been decided - its all good. I was signed up for the Classic - 200 km route. I have ridden Tawonga and Falls twice before, and Buffalo is by far the nicest climb of the three. The idea of riding it three times is a bit of heart-stopper.... But I think it could be a bit of a party atmosphere up there - hopefully with a good sense of fun and with everyone soldiering on and making the best of it. I am sure everyone riding will appreciate the additional dangers with the extra people on the one road and show an appropriate level of care.
Kudos to the organisers for coming up with a solution in what must be very difficult circumstances. I also think they have done a very good job of keeping people updated as best they can. I can understand how people on the ACE or Raid might be disappointed though, climbing Hotham would be be completely different experience than the altered routes. But there is nothing that can be done. I imagine the organisation will lose out financially this year.
Like anything in life, it is possible to make lemonade out of lemons. Perhaps all those who are disappointed can set themselves the challenge of riding each ascent of Buffalo a little bit faster. Or find a way to come up with a unique and encouraging comment to every rider they pass on the way up.
Jim - I imagine there are a lot of accommodation cancellations going on right now in Bright or other towns. Why not try to hook up with someone who has cancelled, either through here or the Audax facebook site.
For me this has been nearly 12 months of preparation. Last year I signed for the 200km route and had to bail out at 130 km on the way back through Bright. Despite the additional training (but not nearly enough!) and a new bike, the event is going to take me to the limit of what I can achieve on the bike, regardless of the route. I am excited and nervous in equal measure. Sure am glad the forecasts look a bit cooler than last year.
I just picked up my rider pack from the Bright Information Centre and have heard that 900 ppl have already pulled out.
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2012 Scott Foil Premium
Im not on my own theres 8 of us.
As I stated in my email I can accept that a full refund may not be possible but a significant portion should be available. Saying you can just do repeats of buffalo is not a satisfactory contingencey imo. What If there's a fire on buffalo, do we just do 500 laps of the Coles car park in bright?
Define cancelled . My point is that repeats of mt buffalo is not the ace 250 event that I paid $180 to attend.
If some one can point in the direction of the forum the organizers frequent rather than answering their emails I'll happily take up the conversation there.
it's either on, in which case you can ride, or it's not on - as you seem to be arguing, as what is being offered does not constitute the event you paid for - in which case it's been cancelled. either way, the T&Cs are pretty clear that you aren't in line for a refund.
i've already linked you to the audax website, you can get in touch with them through that.
In 2003 when the last major fires were on, the event was cancelled and we were offered a refund of around 30%, or we could choose to donate it to the local CFA, or 2 other volunteer organisations, which I think most people did. Gave a tremendous boost to those organisations and made the best of a bad situation in my opinion. As stated, a lot of money has already been spent or commited.
As a diehard long suffering regular I was pretty disappointed that the ride didn't go ahead given I had trained well, but thats life. I'm even fitter this year and have trained really well, but it's some consolation to me that at least I will be doing something, although not the 10 hour ACE250 I had planned. the options are a better alternative than a complete cancellation IMO given the time and effort I'm put into training.
I love the atmosphere of the weekend, it's a great location, I'll be having fun! There should be good comradery as we all head up Buffalo, again, and again and again . No pressure, no expectaions, and lots of fellow cyclists.
I've decided not to go. It's 8 hours drive each way, taking up two of my treasured days off, and when I got there, I wouldn't be able to do any of the usual Friday/Saturday rides (Harrietville, Tawonga, Falls, Hotham), according to the info from Audax on their chat forum today. And the Sunday option is much less attractive, and possibly more dangerous due to crowds on Buffalo, than the 250.
It's a pity, but it's just not that appealing now.
I'd be happy to donate any refund to the CFA.
2010 Charge Plug, 2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Giant TCR Advanced SL
Given the potential seriousness of the fire, I think credit should be given to Audax for making the call now and not Saturday when we're already in Bright.
I am as disappointed as everyone else. But what sort of contingency plan do you expect jimsheedy? Of course you have a right to complain, but what better solution is there? These fires could burn for weeks.
Perhaps in future events that involve travel and significant costs in advance, you should consider travel insurance. I don't know what else you expect Audax to do in the situation. They need to recoup their costs. And they have stated that they are considering other ways to compensate riders for the inconvenience. But right now, they have bigger fish to fry.
I don't find repeats of Buffalo appealing either, though after a chat this morning with my riding mates, we agreed we'd all go and enjoy it for what it is - something different. At the end of the day, we have to make the best of the situation that confronts us.
yeah, it's a tough situation.. I've been psyched for the 'real' 200 for months now, and was a bit disappointed to hear of the alternate route today.
But - I'm an optimist. thousands of cyclists, in one place, enjoying a challenge, albeit now on the same mountain, still sounds good to me.
I'm looking fwd to testing my limitations. I've been cycling for 14 months, did the 130km last year, done ATB 210 in Nov, and training rides over the last month - all pointing to doing my best on Sun 27th.
That is still the plan.
As i said in a previous post - if the worst that comes of a bushfire in the Vic high country is that a couple of bike rides get cancelled or changed, it's a good result.
I also don't envy the event organisers - no win situation for them. There'll be (understandably) disappointed ppl whichever decision they make.
Can't wait for Sun
"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels"
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