Dams Challenge 2024 cancelled as events climate bites

WestCycle is disappointed to announce the Dams Challenge 2024 has been cancelled after a cost-benefit and risk analysis found the event to be financially unsustainable in the current climate.

Significant increases in event and insurance costs; diminished private and public funding potential and tightened household purse strings due to cost-of-living challenges all played their part in the decision.

“It’s with a very heavy heart that we make this announcement for our marquee event and a beloved one among the road cycling community in Perth, the State and beyond,” said WestCycle CEO Wayne Bradshaw.

“WestCycle inherited what was already a popular event from Bicycling Western Australia (BWA) in 2019 but two COVID-driven cancellations dented continuity and commitment. After the WestCycle Board considered the high risks in operational complexity, weather and associated costs, it become clear we couldn’t proceed with the event.”

Damned by rising costs

Financial analysis showed entry costs would have been required to rise significantly, creating significant concerns about whether we could attract a critical mass of riders, without compromising the experience, event quality and safety of participants.

Restrictions around event timing and associated hot weather consequences and risks, plus a broader downturn in mass participation sporting events, also factored into the decision.

Wayne Bradshaw advised, “In a cost-of-living crisis, this was simply deemed too risky a proposition for a small, resource-tight organisation, like WestCycle to undertake. 

“We reiterate this is not a decision we have taken lightly, and it is a decision we hoped we would not have to take. We know for many cyclists it is an annual cherished event, and for others a ‘Bucket List’ challenge be it 2, 3 or 5 Dams.

“For all riders, volunteers and partners we say thank you for your participation and support over the years and can only reiterate our disappointment that the joy of completing the Dams Challenge is on ice for now.

“Finally, WestCycle thanks all the committed people at BWA for entrusting us with the Dams Challenge and for their continued support over the years.”

Bradshaw continued: “Frankly it’s a sad day for WA community road cycling, but one we couldn’t get around. We remain committed to hosting selected road, gravel and community events and programs, as we continue our mission to represent all WA bike riders.”

Burst Dams: “We reiterate this is not a decision we have taken lightly, and it is a decision we hoped we would not have to take. We know for many cyclists it is an annual cherished event, and for others a ‘Bucket List’ challenge be it 2, 3 or 5 Dams," said WestCycle chief Wayne Bradshaw.

For further information and/or to speak with Wayne Bradshaw contact:  

Shane Starling 

WestCycle Communications Manager 

Phone: 0492 897 199 

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Tim Roach

Elected Director | Off Road

Tim has been in senior leadership and strategic development roles for more than twenty years. He is currently Director of Executive Education in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University and is a past Assistant Commissioner and General Manager in the public service. He is an Accountant (FCPA) and sits on the Divisional Council of CPA Australia.

Tim has been involved in racing mountain bikes, BMX and triathlon for many years, both as a father of two children who race and as a past and current bike racer. Tim is the current over-50 State Champion in downhill mountain biking. He is also a very regular and enthusiastic transport cyclist; frequently seen in a suit and tie riding to meetings in the city on a mountain bike.

Denise Sullivan

Chair | Governance & Risk Committee

Denise Sullivan has a career spanning over twenty years in senior management and executive roles in the state public and not-for-profit health sectors.

In her usual role of Director Chronic Disease Prevention with the Western Australian Department of Health, she leads the development of state chronic disease and injury prevention policy and planning frameworks and contributes to the shaping of the national preventive health policy agenda.

Her professional interests cover many aspects of chronic disease and injury prevention encompassing health communications, health promotion and research, public policy on health and workforce planning and development.

She has a particular interest in furthering collaborations with other sectors with a mutual interest in promoting a more active and healthier WA community, and creating and sustaining environments that support this. Denise is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Leadership WA Signature Program, and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian College of Health Service Managers.

Denise is a recreational cyclist and recent convert to mountain biking (although trainer wheels still on!).