After Lifetime rescheduled its Dirty Kanza gravel races, we were expecting news that the Lost and Found gravel race, which has historically shared the same weekend, would also change its date. Although the event said in mid-March it plans to push forward, we realized holding the early June event wouldn’t have been possible.
We didn’t expect the event to be canceled, however. The event, which is a fundraiser for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, won’t take place in 2020. With the coronavirus and COVID-19 declared an “Act of God,” the promoters are not issuing refunds but converting entry fees into tax-deductible donations.
While the Stewardship has plans for Grinduro-style event in the fall, it’s a major loss for the cycling community.
See the full announcement below.
Having to write this headline is devastating, not only because of all the hard work our staff, partners and volunteers put into the Lost and Found event, but also because of the financial implications to Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS), the community of Portola, and the greater Lost Sierra region. What started on the shores of Lake Davis in 2014 with 200 participants has grown into an extended family of 2,000 participants bringing much needed positive energy and economic stimulus to Plumas County. Through good times with good people, the funds raised from Lost and Found go back to SBTS, helping fund new trail projects for the public to enjoy – also known as #dirtmagic – while providing critically important employment and local jobs.
But a global health crisis affecting hundreds of millions of people quickly puts things into perspective; for the health of our participants and the health of our small mountain communities, Lost and Found will not happen in 2020. Obviously this was not an easy decision to make, but our mountain communities are fragile, with an older population and no immediate care in the area. Public gatherings are not what the Lost Sierra needs at this time, so please, we are urging everyone considering a visit to the mountains to stay home. The mountains will always be here, and we can’t wait until this passes so that we can once again welcome everyone with open arms. But right now, the maintained health of our local community is the top priority.
For SBTS as a 501c3 non-profit, the cancelation of Lost and Found is a serious economic hardship. This time is financially difficult for nearly everyone, but for a grassroots non-profit facilitating recreation and events while providing jobs in economically depressed communities, having to refund every event registration would be the end of SBTS as an organization. This circumstance is legally considered an Act of God not within our control, so unfortunately there will be no refunds on entry fees. SBTS has already spent much of the entry fees on planning, deposits, contracts and required purchases in preparation of an event that will not happen. We are not asking our valued event partners for our deposits back, for they are also reeling from the social distancing requirements. We are all suffering loss with this announcement.
On the bright side, based on SBTS’ status as a federal 501c3, every event registration will be acknowledged and converted into a charitable donation. Registered riders will receive a letter in May with our Federal Tax ID number for your donation to SBTS, along with a comfy pair of Lost and Found event socks. You’ll also receive priority registration for next year’s Lost and Found, which we hope you will use.
On behalf of the SBTS Board of Directors and our hardworking staff, we sincerely hope this message finds you and your family well. Times like these are a reminder of what’s truly important in life; our personal health and caring for one another. Your support and understanding will help SBTS weather this storm of uncertainty intact so that we can once again gather the tribe in celebration of life and sweet Sierra singletrack.
Be well and be good to one another. We’ll be together again soon.
SBTS Executive Director