It is with a very heavy heart that I am sending this notification. Cancelling a ride which has run for the past 52 continuous years is not a decision to be made lightly. Unfortunately, the continued air quality in Virginia City and the surrounding areas has been averaging over 150+ AQI (unhealthy) for the past 5 days straight and the forecast is not showing any significant improvement for the coming weekend. I am just not willing to host a ride in potentially unsafe conditions. None of us want to ask that of our equine partners, and I also don't want all of our riders and volunteers having to be outside for long extended periods of time either.
This was a difficult decision to make as there is always a chance things could change and clear up unexpectedly. We had two riders (Lou Smith-Egstrom and Pat Chappell) who were riding for their 20th buckle this year. We had riders coming from smoke-free areas who did not have the long-term exposure concerns. If NASTR had been able to host the ride, it would have made Virginia City 100 the longest continually running 100-mile event, but unfortunately the same fire gremlin which made Tevis cancel on THEIR 53rd year in 2008 is also attacking our ride. 🙁
But for every wonderful and good reason we wanted to continue to put on the ride (numbers were never a concern thanks to some generous sponsors), the decision to DO RIGHT has remained clear even if it does not make it any easier. I was hopeful the air quality might improve and have pretty much given myself an ulcer checking and rechecking and looking at all the different forecasts and websites, but I'm just not seeing the numbers that I want to see to feel comfortable moving forward.
For all of our riders - we are offering you the opportunity to receive a full refund. Please contact me ASAP if you would like to donate a portion of your entry to help offset some of the expenses incurred. It is not required, but is appreciated. I expect to have processed all refunds by end of day Friday, Sept 18th.
We appreciate your continued support and patience. Our riders and volunteers really are the BEST! We hope each and every one of you will be able to join us NEXT year for Take-2 of the 53rd Annual Ride. We'll see you September 18, 2021!
VC100, Ride Manager