Riders Still Waiting on Refunds from Phantom Central Expressway Bike Ride

When a planned Downtown Dallas-to-McKinney bike tour was abruptly cancelled last month -- this the one that would shut down 30 miles of Central Expressway -- riders who had paid their registration for the race were promised a prompt and full refund, assuming they didn't want to take a free pass to a replacement race in Oklahoma City.

Somehow, prompt refunds seemed unlikely. The plan was far-fetched to begin with, and organizer Gary Lacara had already proven willing to play a bit loose with the facts. Take his claim when the ride was announced that he had buy-in from TxDOT as well as each of the cities along the route. Or his claim that it was Plano's obstructionism that killed the race. As we've detailed here before, neither was true.

So it's not at all surprising that CBS 11 reported Wednesday evening that riders do not seem to have received their promised refund. "I've asked him three times and never got a response back after I asked him," John Denman, a McKinney cyclist who dropped $120, told the station.

It's not surprising either when reporter Carol Cavazos debunks some of Lacara's other claims about the race. The one about downtown McKinney's Cadence Cyclery signing on as a sponsor? Not quite true, though the bike shop had agreed to put a flat-fixing station out front. And the Kiwanis Club of McKinney, one of the designated recipients of race proceeds, had backed out after realizing how shady the whole thing was.

That's to say nothing of Lacara's claim that he'd met with Governor Rick Perry and won his blessing for the race. Contacted by CBS 11, Lacara said that the allegations against him were false and that he'd never received a refund request from Denman. Then, he called back and promised to immediately give Denman his money. No word yet on whether the rest of the registrants will get their money, but one can assume.

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