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Pedal for Scotland charity ride 'a disaster' say locals who couldn't cross roads

Complaints: too many cyclists ignored crossings and disregarded residents

Residents of Linlithgow have said that the Pedal for Scotland event last weekend was a “disaster”, with large numbers of cyclists preventing locals from going about their daily business.

Thousands of cyclists joined the 50-mile ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh, which raises money to help combat child poverty.

But Lorna Johnston, a resident of Linlithgow, told the Linlithgow Gazette: “Whoever thought closing the main road from Linlithgow Bridge, through Linlithgow and onwards needed their heads looked at.

“People could not cross the road because cyclists continued to speed on, ignoring the crossings and people were putting their lives at risk because of this lunacy behaviour.”

Keith Irving, Cycling Scotland Chief Executive, said: “The route through Linlithgow and lunch stop at the Peel is one of the highlights of the day for many people.

“Before and during the event, we remind all participants to follow the highway code and to be mindful of other road users and the communities through which the event passes.

“We will continue to review traffic management to determine the most safe and effective arrangements for event participants and communities along the route.”

Last week we reported how last Sunday’s Pedal for Scotland has become the latest cycling event to be hit by sabotage. Large numbers of riders sustained punctures after nails and tacks were found littering the road between Limerigg and Avonbridge in Stirlingshire.

Herald Scotland reports that Alpine Bikes, the firm providing mechanical support, were inundated with people who had punctures.

Andy Butler, senior buyer at the firm, said that the tacks had been dangerously placed on a fairly narrow road, causing up to 50 punctures within a short space of time. Extra mechanics were sent in to help out and additional inner tubes provided, but Butler says it was still a challenge to cope with the volume of punctures.

"The tack incident caused a constant queue of around 30 people for more than four hours, even though each mechanic was finishing a repair every five minutes. Some very sporting riders even stopped to pick up tacks in an attempt to clear the road – whoever those people are, we are grateful."

One of the participants, Kenny Laird from Glasgow, said that the tacks didn’t just find their way into tyres.

"There was lots of people, one after the other, stopped at the side of the road with punctures. It was a mixture of carpet tacks and slate nails. I heard of someone who got one in their knee. They must have come off in among them.

"I was fortunate enough to avoid getting a puncture but I passed at least 30 small groups of people helping each other. My wife, who was also cycling, said she could hear the hiss of people's tyres going down around her."
 

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.

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