Manayunk Bike Race May Hit the Wall

The annual  Manayunk Bike Race , which extends from the Ben Franklin Parkway to the cycling legend, the Manayunk Wall, may be cancelled this year, according organizers of the race.

Only $1.2 million of the $1.7 million needed to get the race up and running  has been raised.  And if  the  $500,000  budget gap can't be filled Monday, the race scheduled for June 7 will be nixed , according to the Philadelphia  Inquirer. 

“We understand there is a recession, but we don’t want to lose this.  I’m going to try to rally some people with deep, deep pockets and see what we can do,” City Councilman Curtis Jones told the paper.

New sponsors may be in the wings, but with the troubled economy, it is difficult to get them to commit to the investment as the race quickly nears, according to the paper.

“It is not the city’s fault…Everybody is facing an economic crisis,” co-founder of the race Jerry Casale said.

The state of the economy certainly took its toll on the only single-day bike race in the United States, losing a number of high-paying sponsors and having to pay new costs to the city.

Philadelphia is facing a $2 billion deficit over five years, so the city now asks public events to pay for some services.

More money is needed now to pay the city for attendant costs, clean-up and police, averaging about $250,000, race co-founder Dave Chauner told the newspaper.

Losing what would be the 25th annual race would not only disappoint the Philadelphia community and the hundreds of thousands of fans who look forward to the race each year, but would affect the local economy, losing the $15 to $20 million in revenue the race brings the city each year.

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