Tour of Wessex angers locals with riders peeing in public

Residents photographed desperate cyclists who took to bushes to relieve themselves

by Sarah Barth   July 8, 2012  

Milan San Remo riders relieve themselves(© Daniele Badolato, LaPresse via RCS Sport)

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.

 

12 user comments

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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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posted by aslongasicycle [302 posts]
8th July 2012 - 12:02

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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.

posted by phillprice [19 posts]
8th July 2012 - 12:08

1 Like

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!

All the gear and no idea!

posted by JonMack [171 posts]
8th July 2012 - 12:20

2 Likes

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.

posted by pj [139 posts]
8th July 2012 - 13:12

1 Like

FFS!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
8th July 2012 - 14:12

4 Likes

A man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.

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posted by antonio [955 posts]
8th July 2012 - 15:07

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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.

posted by ALIHISGREAT [110 posts]
8th July 2012 - 15:08

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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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posted by zanf [513 posts]
8th July 2012 - 15:16

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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?

posted by SteppenHerring [196 posts]
8th July 2012 - 18:30

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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

posted by fred22 [207 posts]
8th July 2012 - 19:21

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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!

posted by SideBurn [804 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:19

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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.

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posted by Gizmo_ [857 posts]
9th July 2012 - 13:26

1 Like