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14 Sep, 2022 11:09

UK sports body tells people not to ride bikes during Queen funeral

British Cycling has since altered its stance after widespread mockery
UK sports body tells people not to ride bikes during Queen funeral

British Cycling has U-turned on its previous "strong recommendation" that people should refrain from using their bicycles during the Queen's funeral next week.

Though the UK government had stressed there was no obligation to cancel or postpone any events during a period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, some sports such as football have widely postponed matches as a mark of respect to the monarch. 

Adopting a similar stance, British Cycling released guidance that said it "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."

This caused consternation among cyclists, with one noting that the funeral on Monday, September 19, clashes with their work hours. 

"Is it OK with you if I don’t follow your absolutely ridiculous advice and bike to work? Or would you rather I, as a mark of respect, pollute the air with my car? Maybe I can honk the national anthem on my horn?" they asked.

British Cycling has since deleted the section of its guidance that says people shouldn't cycle at all during the funeral for the 96-year-old Queen, but fresh recommendations have insisted that amateur cyclists should not go on rides with their clubs on Monday.

"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," it stated.

"This includes cycle sport events, club rides, coaching sessions and community programs (such as Breeze rides)."

With good weather expected which often prompts long rides with clubs, this has also drawn criticism and has seen the organization dubbed a "joke" with conduct "worthy of the Stasi," in reference to the former German state security service in operation from 1950 to 1990.

Some cyclists have threatened to cancel their membership, with one balking that British Cycling is "an embarrassment at a time when hatred towards cycling feels at an all-time high."