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Live blog: Club cyclists accused of riding London to Brighton sportive route without having an entry - Oxted CC Chairman responds + more

All today's news from the site and beyond.....
18 June 2019, 16:08
UK Cycling Expert wishes G well (sort of)...

We're particularly liking the illuminati/conspiracy theory references to Froome's crash! You can read more about that on yesterday's live blog, and be prepared to facepalm...

18 June 2019, 11:17
Re London to Brighton sportive debate - here's a response from Oxted Cycling Club
Brighton, photo courtesy Bojan Lazarevic.JPG

Russell Hicks, Chairman of Oxted CC, sent this response to  

Yes, a lot of clubs do a very early morning dash to Brighton on some of the roads used by the BHF (British Heart Foundation) ride. A few points...

1) A few years ago, when I was with another club, we did this early morning dash and raised several hundred pounds from our riders. We sent the BHF a nice letter and a cheque which they banked, they didn't object.

2) Of course we don't want to take advantage of someone else's sportive, particularly a fundraiser, so we sponsor riders who are entered for the whole route. We raised several hundred pounds for BHF last Sunday, another club raised nearly £1000.

3) As a club we are doing charity rides all the time. We have helped a blind girl in our club who rides 'stoker' on a tandem raise thousands for her charity, Sparks. She and many other Oxted riders are in the Pru (Prudential Ride London) this year (link here). 

Also this weekend coming we have several riders in this incredible fundraiser. Amongst many charity rides we do is the 'Circuit of Kent', every year we have 40 to 50 riders in that.

4) Many of us have done the BHF Brighton ride in the past but it isn't good for club riders, there are just too many people, too many jams, too many accidents, too many dramas. We go down fast very early, using the almost empty public roads which we have all paid for many times over. We don't use any BHF facilities or feed stations and we turn right in Brighton, away from the BHF finish, our finish is in Hove. We return via a different route and are back home by 1/2pm... like nothing happened.

5) When marshals/police see us in the early morning, they always seem very excited at seeing fast pelotons flashing past. It's a different scene to what happens later!

6) As a busy club, we run six to eight volunteer led rides every weekend, 50 weeks a year. That's 300 to 400 rides a year PLUS midweek rides and many other events - so we more than do our bit for cycling, for the community and for healthy hearts. 

BHF could write to dozens of clubs saying 'don't do it' but I suspect people will simply still do the ride but not in club kit. The real problem is the 4/5000 (estimated by police) occasional riders who 'just join in' during the middle of the day.

18 June 2019, 14:39
Brailsford to lead Ineos at the Tour?


Someone at Team Ineos needs to own up to breaking a mirror, as it's been confirmed that defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has crashed out of the Tour de Suisse. Full story here, and important updates may appear on this here blog sporadically if/when we get more information. 

18 June 2019, 14:09
Bike beehive madness

Two specialist NYPD bee officers (yes, apparently they exist), were called to safely contain a swarm of bees without harming them yesterday after they attached themselves to a lone bicycle, reports the New York Post. The brave beecoppers (see what we did there) reportedly had the situation under control in around an hour and a half.  


18 June 2019, 14:00
Trek and Voxwomen partner to show Giro Rosa on TV for free
giro rosa

Trek and Voxwomen will provide an hour-long broadcast with English commentary of all ten Giro Rosa stages from the 5th-14th July. The episodes will air online shortly after the conclusion of the day's Tour de France stage, including stage previews with Trek-Segafredo directors sportifs Ina Teutenberg and Girogia Bronzini, highlights from the full Giro Rosa stage, and post-race content. it will be available in most countries worldwide on Trek’s racing page and Voxwomen’s website.

Further information on the  broadcast, including how and where to watch, will be available in the lead-up to the race.


18 June 2019, 15:26
7Mesh adds new Women’s Ashlu jersey to summer range

If you’re on the lookout for a new summer jersey (yes, summer will return fear not), then news reaches us from 7Mesh and its brand new Ashlu jersey.


It’s a Merino wool and nylon fabric jersey intended to provide good temperature regulation for changeable weather conditions, like those that you get in the summer. It’s also anti-bacterial so good for multi-day rides like touring and bikepacking.

Details include reflective details, full-length zipper, three rear pockets and two extra zipped pockets for stashing all your valuables.

It’s available now from and costs £110.

18 June 2019, 12:23
Instagram 'influencer' couple who set up a GoFundMe page to finance dream African tandem trip still not popular

LOOK WITHIN And with this post, I will step away from social media for a little while. I mentioned that I'll be doing the hardest thing I've ever done mentally and physically, soon. Here it is. I am going on a walk. I will walk as long as I possibly can. No sleep, No social media, No distractions. Just me and my brain out there. This first came to my mind in the Himalayan mountains, where I got to experience what my mind, body and soul are capable of. Now I'm going to take it even further. I am ready to face whatever is buried deep inside me. those doing the 30 day challenge, carry on. Remember why you started and keep moving forward. Much love to you all. Time to do some soul work.

A post shared by CAT AND ELENA (@another_beautiful_day_official) on

Last week a couple named Cat and Elena, who run the Another Beautiful Day Instagram account, posted this asking for donations to the tune of $10,000 to fund a tandem bicycle trip to Africa: "A celebration of life, as we ride freely across mountains, by the sea and through metropolitans. We will show the beauty of this planet and it’s inhabitants, but also the ugliness. But we can not do this on our own. We need you!", they say in the Instagram post.  

Many responses have been a tad scathing, accusing the couple of narcassism, and in their latest post it's not much better. Cat has decided he will step away from social media to "find himself" and "go on a walk" after, we presume, an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign for the tandem trip... to which the first reply reads: "Try walking to a job interview." 

18 June 2019, 12:14
In Utrecht, roadworks cause bike traffic jams...
Utrecht cyclists (picture credit

Utrecht Central reports that the intersection at the Biltstraat is currently closed in the bike-mad city due to roadworks. Both cars and bikes are being forced to take alternative routes, and if cyclists want to use it they have to dismount. This has reportedly caused huge bike pile-ups as cyclists either scramble to dismount or turn back the other way. Cyclists who don't comply face being fined.

18 June 2019, 12:09
Eddie Vedder reunited with dutch cyclist who gave him a lift after a concert... in 1992

The NL Times reports that Pearl Jam frontman Vedder told the anecdote of a woman who gave him a lift on the back of her brother's bike after a show 27 years ago... so Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool tracked the woman down, named Valeska Custers, and 24 hours later she was backstage with Vedder again. He recognised her smile instantly, according to reports. 

18 June 2019, 08:13
London to Brighton: 'hundreds' of club riders accused of riding the sportive route without having an entry
London to Brighton by Peter Edgeler

The annual London to Brighton sportive took place on Sunday, and since then a lively debate has sprung up on our forum regarding 'hundreds' of cyclists, many adorning club colours who (allegedly) hadn't entered the event and were just taking advantage of the route and its closed road sections. Forum member wknight said: "3 Clubs had large groups out, all riding for free"...

"These rides costs a huge amount of time and money to organise, you get the benefit of marshals, closed off section roads, feed stations, signed route. What if everyone road for free, the ride would disappear. 

"I am absolutely disgusted with these 3 clubs and everyone else who rode the route for FREE today. Are you so hard up with your fancy bike that you can't afford the entry fee? Anyone else agree with me?"

Many agreed that non-paying cyclists using the closed roads is poor form, however some are of the opinion that there is little you  can do about members of the public using the open road sections. mc says: "If it's an open road sportive, there is nothing you can do about people riding the route. However, as you mentioned closed road sections, then it's up to the police to enforce that. Only those with permission should be on a closed road.

"And if they're using feed stations, then it's up to the organisers/marshals to ensure only those who have paid, get access to the feed stations."

Were you riding London to Brighton on Sunday, or were you one of those riding on the roads while it was taking place? Let us know your thoughts, in the meantime we'll be contacting the clubs mentioned in the original forum post for comment. 

18 June 2019, 08:09
The Bike Project are offering bikes and cycling programmes to refugees as part of #RefugeeWeek

"A bicycle saves on transport costs but it can also mean much more to a refugee than just getting from place to place",  say the Bike Project as part of their drive to empower refugees with two wheels. Find out more about their work here

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

Add new comment


ktache | 4 years ago
1 like

Found this on the Guardian-

How they built cycling tunnels under the Tyne by hand – in pictures

Seperate tunnels for cyclists and pedestrians.  Could be completed in the Summer.  Which could of course happen any month now.

It would appear they have a Cycling in the City bit which seems to be seperate to their Bike Blog and neither featured the Offroad thing from a little while back.  Anyone know of another bike thing hidden somewhere?

darrenleroy | 4 years ago

I rode a sportive recently but didn't read the small print about having to wear a helmet and so didn't get an official time. Still helped myself to the feed station. It's a leisurely ride with others, not a race. 

Xena | 4 years ago

Tough ,roads are free for anyone to use .  It’s like the idiots who pay for these cycling holidays to ride alp d huez etc . Just book a flight use air bnb etc etc and you save a sh&£ load of money and ride when you want to .   It’s a total rip off.  Just go ride your bike . 

Legin | 4 years ago

One if the biggest jokes is "commercial" sportives hijacking the names days and routes of longer established club sportives. Or clashing routes. Many of the charity sportives I used to consider entering demand an entry fee and sponsorship; so I tend not to bother now.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Legin | 4 years ago

Legin wrote:

One if the biggest jokes is "commercial" sportives hijacking the names days and routes of longer established club sportives. Or clashing routes. Many of the charity sportives I used to consider entering demand an entry fee and sponsorship; so I tend not to bother now.

Another victim of Austerity Britain I'm afraid. Cuts to charity helping government funds plus people being less likely to just give one off payments as meant more and more alternate fundraising ways are required. So running their own sportives (or taking it over as mentioned above) and setting high minimum raise figures are ways to be able to make up for missing other funding they used to have. 


BehindTheBikesheds replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 4 years ago

AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Legin wrote:

One if the biggest jokes is "commercial" sportives hijacking the names days and routes of longer established club sportives. Or clashing routes. Many of the charity sportives I used to consider entering demand an entry fee and sponsorship; so I tend not to bother now.

Another victim of Austerity Britain I'm afraid. Cuts to charity helping government funds plus people being less likely to just give one off payments as meant more and more alternate fundraising ways are required. So running their own sportives (or taking it over as mentioned above) and setting high minimum raise figures are ways to be able to make up for missing other funding they used to have. 

Given we are one of only five countries to actually give out the 0.7% of GNI (that is in law and set by the UN) maybe we as a country should taper down to that of most of Europe who rarely if ever meet that target (including the Germans)?

Big charity is big business now, fat cats take the piss with massive over inflated salaries plus all the perks, there should be tighter regs on charities paying their top bosses disgusting sums of money whilst putting pressure all the time on joe public.  I've volunteered for my charity for 17 years, they work as a regional org seperate to the national, the national charity despite its relative small income (copared to a lot of the big ones), the CEO gets a sickening amount of money, it boils my piss.

As it is charitable donations have gone up by £2Bn since 2017 to 2018 (£75Bn - £77Bn) and BHF is worth £1.3Bn, aside from taking large sums from people ion bikes I don't see them adding value to cycling as a whole in our society despite the massive benefits that cycling brings to the heart and is a preventative intervention as well as aiding recovery.


alansmurphy | 4 years ago

I don't think it is at all.


Why take a Sportive down popular roads for cyclists... Oh yeah!


Do we know how much of the route they travelled on and if it's a path well trodden by them, they may be the ones that suffered by having the fair weather brigade around and about them...

ped | 4 years ago

Ouch. That's a cringeworthy response regardless of the rights or wrongs of their members' actions. Probably best not to try and defend nor offer 'yeah but ...' rationale.   

I think that if they're open roads then technically it's fair enough to ride them, but why would you choose to take a club run down a route that's going to lay yourself open for criticism like this? Very odd.

a4th | 4 years ago

The “we do lots for charity” line is a favourite excuse of rich people who avoid paying tax and like to justify obnoxious stuff. Look at how all the fat old men who got caught at the Presidents Club the other year defended their behaviour. 

There are are plenty of other roads out there to ride on - if you haven’t got a place and you decide to crash the route then you are probably the sort of person who likes to think they are doing good but in reality everyone else thinks you are a scum bag. 

Bet the the guy from cycling club quoted in the article is an estate agent. 

Daveyraveygravey | 4 years ago

I've done it a couple of times as a charity entrant, although the most recent was about 10 years ago.  Even at 6 am in Clapham, the route was packed with all kinds of cyclists, and whilst I enjoyed it, I haven't felt the need to do it again.

On Ridelondon, you get clubs (with some hangers on, probably) with whistles blowing to get slower lesser mortals out of their way, desperate to set fast times.  I hope none of that was going on!

Judge dreadful | 4 years ago

Tell them to shove it up their arse. BHF hijacked the event anyway. When push comes to shove ( up your arse or not ) it’s mostly an open road route. Just don’t use their stop points, or bag any bling / swag, and divert around the closed road bits, and what can they do?

JPKD | 4 years ago
1 like

Three times now I've ridden roughly half of the L2B route all three times as part of a club ride. Never have I used the feedstops and each time I've set off at 7am to avoid the crowds. This year there were two British Heart Foundation volunteers collecting donations on the seafront. I was surprised to find they could only take card payments. The fiver I had in my pocket couldn't be taken. 

On a separate note I'm not sure I'll ride the route again - certainly not if the weather was like this year - as each year more and more of the route is open to cars and it's less clear where roads are open to traffic. The run in through Brighton is full of people busting to get a 'good time' through live traffic and over road crossings bit too stressful for my liking. 

I'm not sure how long L2B is for this world. Given that RideLondon seems to have surpassed it as 'the' charity ride in the South East/London.

mtedds | 4 years ago

So I pirated the London to Brighton a few years ago - I joined a group that already had entries but I was too late and entries were closed. I donated the entry fee to the Charity independently, didn't use any of the feed stations and set off at stupid o'clock to avoid the crowds. Feel free to lambast me.

That is the first and last time I will ever ride it. Despite the early start, there were too many cyclists not used to riding in large groups - nor in these kind of events - making sudden, unexpected manoeuvres riding unsuitable bikes (badly maintained shopping bikes) and I felt uncomfortable for pretty much the whole ride - dodging sudden dismounters on the Beacon was particularly frustrating.

You won't find me riding the Marmotte either - for not totally dissimilar reasons - though I have attempted it on a different day to the organised event (and failed - some unfinished business there...).

But let me be clear, I have no problem with others treating L2B as a challenge and I always support the encouragement of cycling in (almost) all its forms - this is my personal view and I have made my personal decisions.

As for Clubs pirating these events, I agree that is really not the right spirit and they should take a careful look at themselves and the message they are giving.

FluffyKittenofT... | 4 years ago

I don't really see the appeal of doing this.  Surely the whole point of participating in such an event is the 'raising money for charity' thing.  Otherwise I would have thought it would be far more pleasant to do it on some other day when the route isn't packed with other cyclists (including, I would imagine, a lot of unconfident novices).  Not sure a few bits of closed road would outweight the crowds.


Personally that day is a day I remember specifically deciding NOT to cycle to Brighton. 

Pantster | 4 years ago
1 like

Really not on - it’s a charity event! Especially bad if they used feed stations. It also reflects badly on their clubs. As others have said not a lot you can do, I hope they contact the clubs to complain though. If they wanted to do it, do it a different day

Gstev68 | 4 years ago

Rocking up and joining someone else's paid-for event without paying is seriously bad form.  

Following the same route outside of the event is fine as it's public roads but not a (semi) closed road event with all the benefits that go with it.  Even if they don't use the feed stations there are many benefits; liaising with the authorities to close the roads, marshalls, emergency services, etc.

I'm sure the individuals considered are feeling pretty smug but they, and their clubs should be ashamed - they are not a good advertisement for the cycling community who, on the whole, tend to be decent human beings (despite what the anti-cyclying lobby might say)!

Kendalred | 4 years ago

Hijacking a sportive is not something I would do (having a fully functioning conscience and all that), but I can't see what you can do about it. Even stopping those without bona fide sportive numbers (helmet, front of bars etc) at feed stops would be tricky, given they are mostly staffed by unpaid volunteers who understandably wouldn't want to get into an argument over a few flapjacks.

The cycling community, although we like to think otherwise, reflects the wider society we live in - ie there will always be a fair share of dicks.

Rick_Rude | 4 years ago

As long as they didn't use feed stations, who cares? Public roads and all that.

Crippledbiker | 4 years ago

Not sure about this specific sportive, but, if handcycles aren't permitted?

Fuck 'em, if I can and want to, I will. Start allowing handcycles in and then we'll see, but otherwise I'll just chance my arm - it's literally the only way I might get to participate!

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