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Bikers urged to steer clear of Aviemore in Highlands over Thunder in the Glens weekend

By Tom Ramage

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Motorcyclists looking forward to their annual rally in the Highlands are being reminded that with this year’s event being cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic there will be no entertainment for them in and around Aviemore this August Bank Holiday weekend.

The "Thunder in the Glens" usually attracts over 10,000 visitors to Aviemore and Speyside over the weekend and has become a mainstay of the local economy since the first rally in 1997.

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However, organisers at the Dunedin Chapter of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group took the difficult decision to postpone this year’s TITG because of the health crisis.

Thunder is centred around the four Macdonald hotels that make up the group’s Aviemore Resort.

Thousands of people had already paid for it and booked accommodation, but have been given the choice of carrying their bookings forward to next year or being given a refund.

However, a number have decided to travel to Aviemore in any case.

George McGuire, the rally coordinator, said concerns had been expressed that an influx of bikers could descend on the resort anticipating the usual array of musicians and singers.

He said: “Measure have been put in place to ensure that visitors who have booked and paid for the TITG weekend will be able to defer their bookings to next year’s rally, or alternatively be given a refund.

“A number of would-be attendees have indicated they would travel to Aviemore for the weekend in any case, but contrary to information that’s circulating there are no plans in place for any bands to be playing at either the Cairngorm Hotel or the Winking Owl over what would have been TITG weekend.

“In any event this would be in contravention of current Covid guidelines.

“We’ve been approached by the police to ensure that visitors are aware that there’s no planned entertainment over the weekend.”

Mr McGuire added: “All registrations made for TITG 2020 will automatically be deferred to 2021 unless we are advised otherwise.

“Requests for a refund of 2020 rally tickets should be made before Tuesday 1st September 2020 via Eventbrite or by email to registration@titg.co.uk Tickets for the 2021 TITG rally will go on sale from September 1 at www.titg.co.uk

“It’s obviously a blow to all of us, including businesses in Aviemore, but we are all living in uncharted, unpredictable and challenging times.

“As organisers we have to follow the official guidelines as they are announced and work in partnership with our sponsors and supporters involved in supporting TITG as we strive to work our way forward through this pandemic.

“TITG will be back next year and we’ll do our utmost to make it bigger and better than ever.”

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