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Residents photographed desperate cyclists who took to bushes to relieve themselves

Do cyclists pee in the woods? Sometimes they just have to, but some Somerset residents are not happy about spotting it during the Tour of Wessex sportive last month.

Somerton Town Council received a number of complaints, some even accompanied by photographs, of riders urinating in bushes after the event, which finished at Somerton Sports Ground.

Event organiser Nick Bourne, of Pendragon Sports in Wincanton, told This is Somerset that he will take more drastic action against offenders who ignore clear guidelines.

He said: “Unfortunately this is something that happens at all sporting events, even the marathon. However that does not excuse the fact that people should not be urinating in public.

“In the past we have tried to tell people in a polite and understated manner but in the future we will be issuing riders with a rear number for identification purposes and anyone seen urinating in public will be disqualified and we will inform the police.

“As far as we are concerned it is totally unacceptable.”

In the Tour of Wessex information leaflet, printed before the event, there was a section addressing 'calls of nature'.

It read: "Toilets: These are provided at the start, finish, and at the middle feed station so there will be no need to attend to the call of nature in public! These will be sign posted and will be located at Somerton Sports Club."

In spite of the anger of the residents who complained, the council took a wider view of the event and its impact on the town.

At a meeting, council chairman Eirian Williams said: “The event was very well attended and it brought a lot of money to the local community. We do want to keep it coming to town.”

1,697 riders signed up for the event, in which they could choose from distances of 23 miles, 73 miles, 105 miles, 117 miles and 106 miles.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

12 comments

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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Its all about context. Wazzing on someone's front lawn is disrespectful and arrogant (and I've seen plenty of it). Having a tinkle into a ditch by the side of a quiet field is only natural.

Birds do it, bees it, even educated cyclists do it.

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phillprice [19 posts] 3 years ago
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1,697 riders signed up for the event, in which they could choose from distances of 23 miles, 73 miles, 105 miles, 117 miles and 106 miles.

Quite a tough choice between a couple there.

I'm sure my rear number would be 10/10 thank you very much.

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JonMack [167 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't know about anyone else but on a 100km+ ride I need to take nature breaks probably every 60-90 minutes. One toilet break in the middle of the ride won't do it for me unfortunately!

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pj [147 posts] 3 years ago
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rear numbers? whatever next, a finishing order? a competitive race non-race race? a licence to hold the event? chance would be a fine thing.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS!

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antonio [1120 posts] 3 years ago
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A man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.

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ALIHISGREAT [119 posts] 3 years ago
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I think its fine to complain given that it was post even.. outside the sportshall.

In the middle of the countryside is fine.. but public urination in built up residential areas is going to annoy people.

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zanf [829 posts] 3 years ago
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So they want less Paula Radcliffe, London Marathon 2005 and more the runner in the Goteborgsvarvet 2006? (you know the image. Google at your own peril)

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SteppenHerring [328 posts] 3 years ago
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I've heard of a couple of recent incidents of cyclists losing facilities (race HQs etc.) because people can't keep it in/be more discrete. We're not in France where that sort of thing is considered normal and it's a sportive - not a race people. How hard it is to ride on the left, stop at red lights and not get your c0ck out in front of the locals?

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fred22 [158 posts] 3 years ago
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SteppenHerring wrote:

I've heard of a couple of recent incidents of cyclists losing facilities (race HQs etc.) because people can't keep it in/be more discrete. We're not in France where that sort of thing is considered normal and it's a sportive - not a race people. How hard it is to ride on the left, stop at red lights and not get your c0ck out in front of the locals?

Exactly

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SideBurn [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe it's because I have just finished a night shift; but I thought the photo above was of the Tour of Wessex riders. I thought,"look at them in their replica kit, AND they have numbers on their back!". But seriously what is it with sportive riders who chuck bottles, gel wrappers and piss anywhere and everywhere including up against someones front gate! I don't like dogs doing it (but neither does my dog, she says it so I don't have to!). Worst race for mess was a marathon; second lap was a 13 mile trail of bottles and gel wrappers including a person throwing a bottle over a hedge into someones garden!

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jollygoodvelo [1410 posts] 3 years ago
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As above - there's a difference between p!ssing on someone's prize roses or watering a hedge in the #rse-end of nowhere. And having grown up in Somerset I can vouch that there's an awful lot of "#rse end of nowhere", so you'd think they could have found some to p!ss on.