The Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay is cancelled for the 2022 year.
The board for the bike relay, that sees cyclists race along the Haines Highway from Haines Junction, Yukon to Haines, Alaska made the announcement Feb. 23, inviting cyclists to instead plan for June 17, 2023.
“Challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic make staging the event potentially unsafe and unfeasible,” the announcement reads, going on to highlight a number of factors in the decision.
One of the major factors is the requirements to enter Canada. In addition to providing proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, those entering the country must have a lab-based negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of crossing the border.
The timelines and limited testing capabilities make it difficult for Americans to come into the country for the race or for Canadians to return home after finishing the race in Haines, organizers said.
They also highlighted the welfare of the communities where the race starts and finishes.
“The Village of Haines Junction and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation are an essential and valued partner with our event,” it’s noted. “The welfare of their community is important to us and as such, we wish to respect their current request – that all visitors refrain from non-essential travel to their community.
“The board wants to consider and respect the health of all Haines, Haines Junction and First Nations residents.”
A decision on the 2022 race had been postponed several times as officials hoped for better news about the pandemic and travel restrictions.
However, with lead times required to set up registration systems, confirm volunteers, get permits and come up with a COVID-19 mitigation plan, a decision had to be made with the available facts.
“We are disappointed that we are unable to host the 2022 KCIBR event and we imagine that many of you are as well,” officials said. “We ask that everyone keep themselves safe until the pandemic eases. Don’t lose faith, we will be back! Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 17, 2023. We hope to see you all in person then.”
The race was last held in 2019, though a virtual challenge was hosted in 2021.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com