A two-day bike ride through the north-east that has raised more than £1.5million for charity since it was established has been cancelled.
Dozens of cyclists were due to take part in Ride the North in August on a 171-mile circular route from Alford to Elgin through the Cairngorms and along the Moray Firth coast.
However, concerns about restrictions on exercising as well as demands on the time of participants have led to organisers cancelling this year’s event – while pledging to refund fees that have already been paid.
The fundraiser has raised about £1.6million for charities since it was launched in 2011.
Organiser Neil Innes said: “The realistic view is that I don’t think that an event in August is at all likely. There are considerations beyond whether the event is possible.
“A fundamental part of the event over the years has not just been the weekend in August but also all the training rides with friends and colleagues that it inspires all through spring and summer.
“I appreciate we can still cycle within the government guidelines, but I do not wish to be a position of encouraging more people to do more miles outdoors on the bike.
“Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge that the biggest employer of participants, by some margin, year after year is NHS Grampian.
“Many of those NHS workers are on the front line at the moment and over the weeks to come. I won’t run an event until they are ready to come with us.”
Mr Innes added that a reduced version of the event may still take place on the same weekend if the situation improved while the focus would now switch to ensure the fundraiser returned in 2021.