So instead of the usual three-day ride to the festival site via the nation's roads and towpaths, the Truants are inviting cyclists from all over the world to join a global event.
This year riders will have from June 1 until June 12 to complete the 175 mile journey - the distance from London to Castle Donington - on any pedal-powered device that can be tracked using the Strava mileage logging app.
All miles must be logged on Strava, and all riders must register via the Heavy Metal Truants website in order to raise funds. There is no registration fee, and the journey can be completed either by cycling close to home or by exercising at home.
"We were heartbroken to see Download festival cancel, a decision which we of course fully support," says co-founder Alexander Milas. "We weren't happy to sit on the side-lines either, particular when the needs of these charities are now greater than ever, so we got planning - this is the metal way."
"Metal is all about community," adds fellow co-founder, Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. "Today we're calling on that community to help the most vulnerable among in the name of metal and these four incredible children's charities. On yer bikes!"
Luke Morley from Thunder is already confirmed to join the ride, while participants in previous years have included members of Trivium and Paradise Lost.
The ride, now in its eighth iteration, has raised £681,500 for Teenage Cancer Trust, Nordoff Robbins and Childline over the course of seven rides, and has added Save The Children as a beneficiary this year.