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.