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“We’re sorry – we got this one wrong”: British Cycling apologises for advising cyclists not to ride their bikes during state funeral

The governing body’s updated guidance now says that clubs are “under no obligation” to adjust their routes or timings to avoid clashing with Monday’s funeral and processions

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.”

> British Cycling removes advice telling members not to ride during funeral for Queen Elizabeth II 

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”.

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 AA aren’t advising people not to drive”: Cyclists react to British Cycling’s state funeral guidance

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 in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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39 comments

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chrisonabike replied to IanMK | 1 year ago
4 likes

Maybe tap up John Lydon and see if he's interested in helping by doing one of his old numbers as a tribute?

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brooksby replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
10 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

Maybe tap up John Lydon and see if he's interested in helping by doing one of his old numbers as a tribute?

Well, its too late the save the Queen, but I think the other Liz is working hard on establishing a fascist regime...

Avatar
panda replied to IanMK | 1 year ago
7 likes

I've got no interest in the monarchy, and I find the current mandated grief somewhat annoying.  In general I think mandatory unquestioning reverence of the monarch and the influence of organised religion on the law of the land are antiquated and should have been left behind in the first part of the 20th century.

However, I am conscious that a lot of people feel that way about cycling.  I'm also conscious that I think it's completely reasonable that the general public are inconvenienced from time to time so that I might enjoy closed roads for a few hours for a cycling event.  Because it's only for a few hours, it's only from time to time and plenty of notice is given.  

As such, I figure I can not watch the BBC for a few weeks and not do anything to upset my fellow citizens who do care about the monarchy and are in some sort of grief for a couple of hours next Monday.  I therefore won't be playing "Never Mind The ..." at earsplitting volume in the garden just to upset them, but I might go out cycling which shouldn't.

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IanMK replied to panda | 1 year ago
1 like
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brooksby replied to IanMK | 1 year ago
3 likes

"We are all individuals!"

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eburtthebike replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

"We are all individuals!"

No.  You're just a number.

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David9694 replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
0 likes

Or a bit of both 

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steaders1 | 1 year ago
8 likes

As far as I recall we still live in a free country and therefore we should be able to make our own judgement on whether we ride or not and when we ride too. It would not be disrecpecting anything if we rode before, during or after the service next Monday. It could be argued that it will be safer to ride during it as the chances are there will be far fewer cars on the roads. So, we the people will decide what we want to do and when, thanks. For the record I will definitely be out enjoying myself

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dodgy | 1 year ago
12 likes

They should never have issued any guidance, none of their business unless it's a BC organised event. Cycling UK on the other hand (the Queen was their actual patron!) released no such guidance.

Now there is just enough confusion that it might result in some hostility on Monday for cyclists. I might just stay in, I'd rather that than look back after a bad experience and think "I should have stayed in". Way to go British Cycling 🤦‍♂️

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