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Cyclists Say They Haven’t Received Refunds For Canceled Central Expressway Bike Ride

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - It was supposed to have been a cyclist’s dream ride on Highway 75 from downtown Dallas all the way to McKinney. Cyclists signed up only to be told it wasn’t going to happen. Now, some are wondering about their refunds and wondering about the promoter.

Chris Lorance, who runs Cadence Cyclery in downtown McKinney offered to pitch a tent and fix flats for the Bike the City event scheduled for April 21st.

He backpedaled when he heard what the promoter told other bike shops.

“He insinuated we were sponsoring by the way of money. We weren’t going to do anything like that,” Lorance said.

The bike tour would have shut down Highway 75 north for 30 miles. All the cities involved, from Dallas to McKinney, and TXDOT would have to agree to it.

The promoter, Gary Lacara of McKinney, says because Plano refused, he had to cancel the event.  But the City of Plano says, Lacara never even filed a formal request. The City of Dallas said the same thing.

The Kiwanis Club of McKinney was one of the charities that would have benefited from the event. They said Gary Lacara had been a member in good standing there for several years.  But then, he brought up the idea for the Bike the City tour. The Kiwanis Club said they soon discovered a number of things that just didn’t add up.  For one, Lacara had told them Governor Rick Perry had spoken to him about the event.  The Kiwanis Club backed out and dropped Lacara from the club when he didn’t pay his dues.

John Denman, a McKinney cyclist, said he paid $120 to register for the event and never got a refund.

“I’ve asked him three times and never got a response back after I asked him,” Denman said.

Denman stops short of calling it a scam.  “Well, in his mind, he may not intend to scam anyone. I’m not saying he does. I’m saying he hasn’t shown the responsibility to prove otherwise. I’m really hoping he’s inept,” Denman said.

Chris Lorance said, “I think he was just trying a little too hard to drum up support by claiming what wasn’t really there.”

Lorance just found out Lacara is also offering a credit from the failed Dallas bike tour to another one in May – in Oklahoma City.

“That’s a bummer,” he responded.  “Good luck to him. I hope it works out. I hope that, maybe, the money he makes off that, maybe he can use to pay money that he owes down here,” he added.

Gary Lacara said he was in Oklahoma City talking to officials. But he said, by phone, that all the allegations against him were false and that he never received a request for a refund from John Denman. He called back later to say he would return John Denman’s money today.

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