Victoria BC – March 12, 2020 – Today, the Bear Mountain Bike Festival has announced the postponement of the annual event in the City of Langford BC originally scheduled for March 28-29, 2020. The festival was to headline the UCI C1 Bear Mountain Canada Cup on March 28 as well as the Rocky Mountain Enduro on March 29. The Westshore Kids Bike Day was also scheduled during this time in addition to a Bike Expo, Food Court, and a Beer Garden. The event was billed to attract hundreds of visitors, participants and racers from across Canada, the USA, and in other parts of the world.
“This was not an easy decision as the situation has been moving very fast,” said Event Director Jon Watkin. “We have been very aware of the COVID-19 situation both domestically and around the world and have provided information to the public through our website and social media on the situation based on all the available information. We have been closely monitoring information from the City of Langford, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. We have also been paying very close attention to the status of other major cycling events, sports gatherings and conferences in our area and abroad.”
In only the past several days, major cycling events worldwide have been cancelled or postponed, such as the World Cup Downhill in Lousa Portugal, World Cup Eliminator in Dubai, Sea Otter Classic in Monterey CA, and the next two rounds of EWS (Enduro World Series) in South America. There has also been team withdrawals from various international road events on the World Tour Road Circuit. In the USA, the NBA season has been completely suspended and President Trump has also suspended travel from Europe to the USA. The neighbouring state of Washington and the City of San Francisco have also banned gatherings of over 250 people for a period of time.
We have heard that major hotels in the area and all over Canada are having to re-assess the immediate or near-term risk of hosting major conferences and events, especially where visitors are arriving from various provinces or from outside of Canada. Insurance companies appear to be adapting their policies and are challenged with managing a large volume of inquiries to change or cancel travel plans.
“In only the last few days, there has been a noted increase in overall reported cases, including a confirmed case here in Victoria recently.” continues Jon. “Overall, the situation appears to be accelerating, which raises serious concerns as to what the situation may look like in 17 days in the Greater Victoria Area when we were scheduled to host our Bear Mountain Bike Festival. We are getting emails and messages from parents and participants who are concerned about their safety and health. In recognition of the seriousness of the situation, we feel that this is the most prudent course of action to take to ensure the safety and health of participants, spectators, volunteers, and to maintain the integrity of all partners and stakeholders.”
The Bear Mountain Bike Festival management team will be working with the Host Venue, City of Langford, Provincial, National, and International Sports Organizations to determine if a new date may be found and will be making a decision and public announcement by April 6, 2020. Participants are asked to maintain their registration of the event until this time.
If for various reasons, participants would like to cancel their entry fee registration, requests for refunds can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.