British Cycling has released a statement this morning apologising for issuing controversial guidance which recommended that cyclists in the UK should avoid riding their bikes during Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral and procession on Monday.
The original advice, issued earlier this week by the national governing body and published on its website, stated: “As a mark of respect to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, British Cycling’s guidance is that no formal domestic activities should take place on the day of the State Funeral, Monday 19 September. This includes cycle sport events, club rides, coaching sessions and community programmes (such as Breeze rides).
“British Cycling strongly recommends that anybody out riding their bike on the day of the State Funeral does so outside of the timings of the funeral service and associated processions, which will be confirmed later this week.”
Following an online backlash against the guidance – which one Twitter user described as “worthy of the Stasi” – British Cycling swiftly removed the section relating to individual riders, though the advice concerning club rides and other domestic events was retained.
This morning, the governing body relented further, publishing newly updated guidance which advises clubs to “consider adjusting their route or ride timings so they do not clash with those of the funeral service and associated processions”, though British Cycling – critically – are now stressing that “they are under no obligation to do so”.
British Cycling has also apologised for the guidance published earlier this week, admitting that “we got it wrong”.
We're sorry - we got this one wrong.
— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) September 15, 2022
In a statement released this morning, British Cycling said that it “sincerely apologises for the guidance issued on Tuesday afternoon relating to cycling during the State Funeral.
“We understand that the decision on whether to cycle during that time is one for individuals and clubs to take for themselves, and we’re sorry that we got it wrong this occasion.
“At British Cycling we fought incredibly hard during the pandemic to protect the right to cycle, and we recognise the frustration and disappointment that Tuesday’s statement caused.
“We greatly value the support of our members and the wider cycling community and would like to thank and apologise to all who reached out to share their concerns with us on this occasion.”
The updated guidance, which is available on British Cycling’s website, now reads: “As a mark of respect to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, British Cycling’s guidance is that no domestic events should take place on the day of the State Funeral, Monday 19 September.
“In line with guidance from the Royal Household, any Clubs planning rides on the day of the State Funeral may want to consider adjusting their route or ride timings so they do not clash with those of the funeral service and associated processions. However, they are under no obligation to do so.
“As the day of the State Funeral has been designated as a national bank holiday, in line with many other employers British Cycling will close for the day.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.