RIDING GROUP: That Dam Ride takes participants on a scenic route through Stanthorpe while also aiming to raise funds for groups and charities in the area.
RIDING GROUP: That Dam Ride takes participants on a scenic route through Stanthorpe while also aiming to raise funds for groups and charities in the area. Glenda Riley

Impact of Girraween fires forces community to postpone event

THE IMPACT of the Girraween fires has spread further than the national park.

A community event in Stanthorpe which raises money for local charities is postponing their event after the devastating blaze.

That Dam Ride, founded in 2013, is a riding group that takes participants on a scenic route through Stanthorpe while also aiming to raise funds for groups and charities in the area.

Co-organiser Dan Cuthbert said the late fires that have been burning in Girraween National Park have increased traffic and reduced visibility due to the smoke.

Because of the possibility that it could flare up again with the winds predicted over the weekend, organisers decided the best thing to do was to postpone the event.

Mr Cuthbert said it was quite an easy decision to make after considering the safety of those attending.

"We didn't want to take any risks for our riders," he said.

"We'd rather people have an enjoyable experience without worry.

"Our goal for the event is to get people to come and ride safely and take some good memories home.

"If the fires flare up, the last thing we need is bike riders and emergency vehicles out on the road together."

That Dam Ride isn't the only community group to be affected by the fires after Greenland's Trail Ride and Ballandean Football Club also cancelled their events during the week.

"It is irritating but the community understand," Mr Cuthbert said.

"We know locals will support the event when it comes up again in a few months' time."

Mr Cuthbert said That Dam Ride was originally started to show visitors the perfect riding conditions in the Southern Downs.

The family friendly event consists of four different races, from 20km to 120km, to suit all experience levels

"The riding here is so good because of the lack of traffic and safety," Mr Cuthbert said.

"When you go for a ride in Brisbane, you hope to survive the day.

"Out here you can ride anywhere."

Since its first year, the non-profit group which raises money from rider's entry fees has donated over $7,500 to local charities.

That Dam Ride will be announcing its new date for the end of May over the weekend.



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