A suggestion that the entry fee for last month’s Karāpiro Flyer cycle race was too high for seniors has been brushed off by the event organiser.
The Karāpiro Flyer was held on October 14, attracting more than 1500 participants across one of three distances – 100km, 50km and 16km.
Larry Gardner, a keen cyclist who moved to Cambridge from Pukekohe 21 months ago, was interested in riding the 50km distance but said the entry cost put him off. He claimed several other ‘gold card’ cyclists he knows didn’t enter for the same reason, and suggested organisers of future events could offer a discounted rate for gold card holders.
Event Promotions’ general manager Murray Fleming said that was unlikely. He said entry to the Karāpiro Flyer started at $60.
“We are not open to change,” he said.
“People don’t factor in the operational costs of running a cycle race like this. Because we are a commercial business, we can’t get funding from groups such as Pub Charity, and there are a host of expenses … medics, traffic management, marshals on every corner, the acquisition of medals, ribbons and so on. I understand people may not fully understand the commercial reality of meeting those costs.”
He pointed out that entry fees don’t translate into profits. “In reality, it barely covers the cost of running the event. We hardly make any money … in fact, for the amount of work that goes into that event, it is hardly worth us running it.”
Fleming said concessions were offered in the race, generally for students, and said if more discounts were included the event would run at a loss. “It would mean the end of it, and that’s crazy.”
He also said numbers engaging in road cycling were ‘plummeting’ in favour of other cycle sports, such as mountain biking. Gardner said he had been going to do last month’s Flyer but elected not to because of the cost.
“I wanted to jump in boots and all and was going to enter on the Friday before the race, but it was going to cost something like $80 or $90 for the 50km ride, so I decided against it.
“Cambridge is home to a growing number of seniors. I think we should consider that when arranging events that could interest that demographic… perhaps be aware some people could be living on their pension and offer some incentive for gold card holders.”