It’s an organizer’s least favorite thing to hear, but there are a lot of times when we’ll go ahead and pay for the Rain Insurance on pay-to-play cycling or tandem event where you’re not locked into a situation where you’ll forfeit a significant portion of your registration fees.
For those who’ve never heard of rain insurance, it’s quite simply paying the added cost for late or same-day registration fees associated with an event. Or, in some cases, simply eating a non-refundable registration fee but cancelling your lodging reservations before you hit the cancellation deadline.
This weekend we’d planned to make the 2 hour and 15 minute drive over to Scottsboro, Alabama, for the Alabama Tandem Weekend. The event kicked off on Thursday night with three subsequent days of cycling. However, since I still work for a living, we decided we’d just get in two days of riding and pay the non-discounted room rate at the host hotel for a one-night stay and get in two days of cycling.
We used this approach for a couple of reasons, the biggest was the weather in April and — more to the point — the weather of late: we’ve not had many weekends with nice weather thus far in 2018.
As the weekend approached it became pretty clear by Tuesday that the weather for Scottsboro’s weekend was taking a turn for the worse and by Thursday it was looking bad enough for the organizers to move Saturday’s longer, more scenic rides to Friday so that the folks who made the trip to Scottsboro would have at least one great day of riding on a warm, sunny day in Alabama.
We’ve only had to invoke the big write-off of a tandem rally registration fee once, three-years ago when the 2015 Southern Tandem Rally was held in Richmond, Virginia. Hurricane Joaquin was working it’s way up the eastern seaboard as the rally approached and we decided we’d come out way ahead if we forewent the 1,300-mile road trip and three night hotel costs and simply wrote-off $200 rally registration fees, aka, the rain insurance premium. It turned out to be the right thing do for all reasons, other than missing out on visiting with friends.
Closer to home, there have been several one-day events where we’ve either forfeited the pre-paid event fee or opted to pay the bump-up for same day registration in the event the weather went south on us. I’d say on the whole we’re still ahead of the game.
All of that said, we were really looking forward to popping-in on the Alabama Tandem Weekend for the Saturday ride, meals & social engagement and then the Sunday ride before heading back home. Sure wish we could get a couple of Spring weekends with warm and sunny