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UK Cycling Events takes action against 18 riders it says broke its rules

The company behind the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive and other events in the national park says it is banning 18 riders from its events for breaking rules such as urinating by the roadside rather than in the portable toilets it provides.

The decision by UK Cycling Events was revealed at a recent meeting of the New Forest Association of Local Councils, reports the Daily Echo.

During the past couple of years, mass participation cycling events in the New Forest have attracted vocal opposition from some locals.

Earlier this month the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive was the target of sabotage attempts, as it had been in 2013, with 15 riders suffering punctures as a result of tacks being spread on the road. At some events, signs put up by organisers, often to do with safety issues, have been removed.

The riders banned for urinating in public were caught outside the Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst, with Martin Barden from UK Cycling Events saying: “The hotel had eight portaloos and our marshals told all riders stopping at the hotel to ensure they used the toilets provided.

“Anyone who decided not to was instantly banned from the event as this is not something we condone.”

He did not reveal why other riders had been banned, although he did tell participants prior to the event a fortnight ago that any cyclists blocking the road by riding more than two abreast, or seen dropping litter, would be barred from entry to future sportives organised by the company.

According to district councillor Maureen Holding, the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive led to “pandemonium” in Brockenhurst.

She told the Daily Echo: “The road was blocked by people who had abandoned their cycles in the middle of the road. And some of them were urinating in full view of families – even though there were toilets only a few feet away.

“I hope the ban sends out a clear message that we expect people to behave,” she added.
Criticism of cyclists relieving themselves in public on such events isn’t limited to those who urinate.

In December, it was alleged at a meeting of the New Forest National Park Authority that some riders had defecated on village greens while taking part in sportive rides.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

70 comments

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KiwiMike [1171 posts] 2 years ago
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Surely this is taking the piss? Now the organiser looks stupid. That's one sportive I'll definitely not be gracing with my cash. Actually, the headline sponsor is tainted by this as well.

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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Not going to comment on the litter or 2 abreast rules but as for the people urinating, its disgusting.

There were loo's provided but if your that desperate and cant wait keep cycling until its a stretch with no public about and disappear into the woods out of the way and out of sight so the numpties who are agianst the sportive's taking place dont get any ammunition.

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jmaccelari [240 posts] 2 years ago
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Fair enough. Riding a bike is no excuse for antisocial behaviour any more than driving a car is. Imagine if your average motorist behaved like this?

Kudos to the organisers for having the balls to enforce this. The rubbish won't be missed.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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I hope they get banned from all events from this organiser and not just this one sportive next year.

There is no excuse for urinating in public...BESIDE toilets provides (I guess there was a queue) and these guys just wanted to keep their time down.

Cycle on a bit and fit a quite spot, have a piss behind a bush...job done.

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fennesz [132 posts] 2 years ago
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It's taking a piss. In a forest. Kinda like the horses do.

It's really not so bad - try living in (southern) France. No-one raises an eye-brow there about. Cars stop so the driver can piss. People piss outside the bar (next door to my house) coz the bar loo is too small. On rides, you stop, you piss. It took me a little while to get used to it, but we all have to do it.

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mattsccm [328 posts] 2 years ago
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Good. they were told. Pleased that they were also punished for riding in a manner that was banned by the organisers. Legal aside. you break the rules, you are punished

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vanmildert [50 posts] 2 years ago
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Golfers do it, not to mention several 1000 London marathoners...

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ch [185 posts] 2 years ago
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When you gotta go, you gotta go. Now they're gone.

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cove123 [90 posts] 2 years ago
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will they ban TDF riders in Yorkshire/Essex?

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Notsofast [103 posts] 2 years ago
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So,more than two abreast...how do you define the difference between this and two abreast being overtaken by another?

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KiwiMike [1171 posts] 2 years ago
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For god's sake, it's just a wee: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18072905

and Things We Don't Know:

How long was the queue for the loos at the time?
Given the 'ban' on bodily functions except at Approved Locations, how long had it been since the last?
Were the 8 suffering from any sort of medical condition?
What does 'In full view of families' even mean? what distance? were the riders hanging it out over picnic tables?

Would a rider who had paid a lot of cash and most likely travelled a long distance, willingly and flagrantly jeopardise their future participation? Seems to me there must be substantial extenuating circumstances.

IMHO this event and the organisers with their pandering to a hateful, bigoted minority have jumped the shark. Seems to be a Stockholm Syndrome developing of the organiser fawning obsequiously at the feet of Mary Whitehouse-esque councillors and community leaders. Hold the event, set the bar for future bans at the level of gross misconduct or criminality.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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FFS, I give up, They were taking a piss in the hotel grounds, infront of others....not just wild in a field or forest like an animal would.

If you cannot see the difference, then you are a lost cause.

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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Interesting, this. I know the area well and where the alleged pissing took place isn't somewhere in the middle of nowhere, it's a busy area that'll be occupied by families and other non-cyclists on days out (I even looked at the hotel for my wedding), so the prospect of seeing a bunch of impatient, red-faced mamils with their cocks out is rather unpleasant. But, elsewhere on the route where there won't be anyone other than the odd pony around, does seem fair game, *if* you're discreet about it.

I daren't even read the comments on the Daily Echo about this. Their "readers" have enough of an anti-cyclist bias as it is, so news such as this is like fanning the flames with a hand grenade... Best be that extra bit vigilant on the commute tomorrow morning.

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KiwiMike [1171 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

FFS, I give up, They were taking a piss in the hotel grounds, infront of others....not just wild in a field or forest like an animal would.

If you cannot see the difference, then you are a lost cause.

...as I said, Things We (and You) Don't Know...do feel free to jump to conclusions that suit your world view of sportive riders though. Oh, you did. OK.

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TheSpaniard [97 posts] 2 years ago
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That'll teach those riders. Now they'll be stuck having to just ride on these public roads without paying a fortune for the privilege.

Poor buggers.

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IanW1968 [267 posts] 2 years ago
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/\ this..jump on the back or ride it whenever you like.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:

FFS, I give up, They were taking a piss in the hotel grounds, infront of others....not just wild in a field or forest like an animal would.

If you cannot see the difference, then you are a lost cause.

...as I said, Things We (and You) Don't Know...do feel free to jump to conclusions that suit your world view of sportive riders though. Oh, you did. OK.

It clearly STATES in the article

"The riders banned for urinating in public were caught outside the Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst".....

How am I jumping to conclusions and how would you know my view on sportive riders....I take part in sportives, not as much as I used to, because many won't accept my recumbent trike.

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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Airzound wrote:

How about the horses? They pee and crap all over the place yet they are not singled out.

Any horses taking part in the sportive who broke the rules will be banned from future participation  4

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racyrich [243 posts] 2 years ago
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Hmm, pee in public - all hell breaks out. Breastfeed a baby in full public view in a swimming baths - get told to stop, then sue and get a payoff. Mad world.

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Simon E [2652 posts] 2 years ago
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racyrich wrote:

Hmm, pee in public - all hell breaks out. Breastfeed a baby in full public view in a swimming baths - get told to stop, then sue and get a payoff. Mad world.

Sorry, not comparable in MHO.

I recommend you don't go near any fields for a while, you may see four-legged mammals feeding their young the same way. And they won't stop when you ask either.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 2 years ago
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I have been on some UK Cycling Events sportives and have found the toilet situation to be woefully inadequate in terms of number, frequency and hygiene, worse than Glastonbury IMO so I'm not surprised folk peed on the floor.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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So, Wiggle and the organisers have been under pressure from the NIMBYs and local council bods, they find out about this merry band of small-bladdered sportivists (sportiveurs?) and it's an easy win for them to be seen 'doing something' about it.

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fatty [77 posts] 2 years ago
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fennesz wrote:

It's really not so bad - try living in (southern) France. No-one raises an eye-brow there about. Cars stop so the driver can piss. People piss outside the bar (next door to my house) coz the bar loo is too small. On rides, you stop, you piss. It took me a little while to get used to it, but we all have to do it.

Having had the misfortune of witnessing a rider winding out a turd at the side of the road in the Etape du Tour one year I really don't want to see us going down the French route...

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martin [11 posts] 2 years ago
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Paula Radcliffe didn't get banned from the London Marathon and she pee'd on the BBC. This is crazy, did people really abandon their bikes in the middle of the road to go the toilet, if they did maybe someone should check the food in that hotel.

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Bez [589 posts] 2 years ago
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jmaccelari wrote:

Imagine if your average motorist behaved like this?

Have you never been abroad? A lot do. And the world turns just fine, because everyone needs to piss and it's not a big deal to piss up against a tree.

Seriously, what's worse: some piss on a tree, or driving round in a box that gives everyone cancer and asthma in order to try and find a box that wastes treated water and/or uses mostly environmentally harmful chemicals?

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surly_by_name [356 posts] 2 years ago
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Given the efforts by certain residents of the New Forest to prevent the event taking place, I suspect the organisers felt they had little choice but to take this action in an attempt to deny local nimbys ammunition. Smacks of desperate (and slightly pointless) after the event damage control.

Without knowing all of the facts, stopping to piss next to facilities seems a bit stupid/selfish. I find it difficult to believe that anyone on start line was not aware of need to be on "best behaviour" given efforts of aforementioned nimbys. In my (admittedly limited) previous experience of Wiggle sponsored sportives you get a briefing at start line which covers things like this.

I wouldn't want a collection of randoms stopping and pissing on my front lawn, but I don't have a problem with someone relieving themselves by the road side where road runs through woods (which I presume it does quite a bit in New Forest) or other public lands. Extra marks for trying to find some kind of foliage to shelter behind. But I don't think much of objections based on the fact that impressionable members of the public/children might spy genitalia - we've all got some (genitalia that is) and you can always choose to maintain eye contact to avoid being surprised.

Laying the brown out of doors is well beyond the pale, however.

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ct [158 posts] 2 years ago
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Having a slash is public is not on.

Go in the trees...like in a Forest.

If the slashing was done in a widely accessible area...come on people, have a word with yourselves

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The _Kaner [739 posts] 2 years ago
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Try Israel (Tel Aviv), where whole vans/buses stop at the roadside so that en mass pissing can take place...and Israelis think nothing of stopping and taking a piss into the road/gutter on a night walk home from the pub

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Argos74 [389 posts] 2 years ago
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fatty wrote:

Having had the misfortune of witnessing a rider winding out a turd at the side of the road in the Etape du Tour one year I really don't want to see us going down the French route...

You didn't ride straight through a messy one did you? Noooooo....

//i.imgur.com/kY4Aaxd.gif)

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Yennings [237 posts] 2 years ago
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Grammatical masterclass...

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