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Anger at Vélo North cancellation

This is just the most recent Vélo event to be abandoned...

Organisers of the Vélo North event, which was due to take place in September, said they have cancelled the closed road event because they were not able to attract enough interest. 

An email sent to those who had signed up already said: “Despite our best efforts, we were unable to attract sufficient riders to justify the level of disruption the event would have had on residents, businesses and communities throughout the region as a result of the road closures.” 

The event had faced opposition from residents and in May parish councillors in Teesdale called for a public meeting to be held amid concerns about the impact the event would have on local communities. 

https://road.cc/content/news/260221-public-meeting-demanded-over-velo-north-closed-road-sportive

Speaking at the time Councillor Bob Danby said: “There was a petition brought into UTASS (Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services) by a shop proprietor in the village. 

“As a result of that I went to speak to him and he feels quite strongly about it.

“We were also pushed by another parishioner down at the mart who felt very strongly about it.” 

https://road.cc/content/news/261376-locals-air-concerns-over-velo-north-closed-road-sportive-public-meeting-tonight

Closed-route sportives can often attract small but vocal opposition from locals who raise concerns about the effect on businesses and residents due to road closures.

Last year’s event was cancelled ahead of a relaunch for this year with a new route and name – Vélo Birmingham and Midlands – while what was due to have been the first edition of Vélo South last year was cancelled at the last minute on safety grounds due to forecast stormy weather.

https://road.cc/content/news/247930-legal-challenge-launched-and-protests-planned-against-velo-south

Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

He said: “Whilst I understand that Sportive organisers are in it to make money I feel it’s very wrong that when they realise they’re not going to do so they just pull the plug with no regard for everyone of the signed up patrons losses.

“In business (almost any venture) you’re taking a gamble, these guys have done so with the patrons money not their own which seems pretty poor to me. Once they’ve started collecting money (over quite some time too) I really feel they should have just had to bite the bullet and suck it up that they hadn’t got their figures right.” 

The organisers of the event offered three solutions to riders who had already paid up; Donate your entry fee to their charity partner Prostate Cancer UK, transfer your entry into Vélo Birmingham & Midlands (taking place on Sunday June 28, 2020), or claim a refund for their entry fee. 

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30 comments

Avatar
Chris4990 | 4 years ago
0 likes

You should. My 8 year old daughter is always out on her push bike and she loves it.

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Htc replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
1 like
Chris4990 wrote:

You should. My 8 year old daughter is always out on her push bike and she loves it.

I feel sorry for her, having such a small minded parent will impact her oportunities greatly as she grows up.

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Chris4990 replied to Htc | 4 years ago
2 likes

Haha. Thank you for such an eloquent and well considered contribution.

Htc wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

You should. My 8 year old daughter is always out on her push bike and she loves it.

I feel sorry for her, having such a small minded parent will impact her oportunities greatly as she grows up.

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hawkinspeter replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
1 like
Chris4990 wrote:

You should. My 8 year old daughter is always out on her push bike and she loves it.

To my mind, road closures for these kinds of events are a balance between the interests of the event participants, the local businesses that get more business because of the event and the locals that get inconvenienced.

Here in Bristol we get quite a few road closures for things like half-marathons, street parties and even Extinction Rebellion (though that's not quite the same thing). Whenever there's a football match on, the roads around Ashton Gate become clogged with cars and that's a regular event.

However, with cities, there's usually other means of transport and as the road closure is only temporary it's usually easy enough to plan round the disruption. It's concerning just how dependent some people are on using motor vehicles.

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Chris4990 | 4 years ago
0 likes

A689

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hawkinspeter replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
3 likes
Chris4990 wrote:

A689

Just seen it on Google Maps.

Looks like a beautiful part of the country round there - must try to cycle round there at some point.

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mikeyboy247 | 4 years ago
0 likes

Velo 29 are  putting on a replacement sportive, with discount for those who entered this ill fated event, they run hundreds of events and NO I dont work for them, but I have ridden their events before!!!

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natto | 4 years ago
0 likes

I think (although I may be wrong) that the organisers of The Winking Sheep Sportive which is held in Weardale/Teesdale, cancelled their event this year as they are a small event and felt the Vélo North would overshadow them, and be too expensive for riders to enter two sportives at a similar time. 

If so, Vélo North has therefore caused two events to not run. 

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Awavey | 4 years ago
1 like

it was the 2,200 metres of climbing that put me off, it sounded a real mountain goat type experience, prefer my sportives much flatter

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AlsoSomniloquism | 4 years ago
0 likes

Hard thing to do though. Velo South was taking place until the day before but the Autumn storms hit and it was rightly cancelled. 

The Northern one, well they obviously misjudged the demand and maybe the timing. The midland one has been a "success" due to it being in the middle from North and South. But how many people are going to travel 3-400 miles from London or Oxford, especially whilst the kids holidays are still on.

There is additional costs for closing roads and it is probably the most expensive thing in the whole Sportive. VeloWales closed this year due to rising costs and lower demands and that had been going for several years and was quite popular. 

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Jetmans Dad replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 4 years ago
0 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

But how many people are going to travel 3-400 miles from London or Oxford, especially whilst the kids holidays are still on.

In most of the country it is the last weekend of the holidays so in most cases will be back to school on the Monday or Tuesday after the event ... which is itself an issue for people feeling able to get to it from distance. As a teacher, I certainly wouldn't consider doing it the day before going back (which it is for us) and I am only in Hull which isn't that far away. 

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check12 | 4 years ago
1 like

When reporting these events in future I think it’s important that the likelihood of them actually taking place is also reported. 

 

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DanaColby85 | 4 years ago
3 likes

Actually, srchar, Scott's quite genuine about the freelance loss. He's a technical specialist in a highly competitive area of the media, not an Uber Eats rider, and their schedules really do work six months or a year in advance. Though I think his main beef is that events organisers might be tempted to take a punt on setting up something speculative, knowing that they can bail out and leave punters to pick up their own tabs. I'm not suggesting this is what happened at Velo North.

I'm a freelancer too, so I understand his point, though I'm not at the same level. I'll finish here, as I have to deliver a pizza.

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ped | 4 years ago
6 likes

> Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

> He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

A freelancer who has to book time off 3 months in advance? IR35 anyone? 

 

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srchar replied to ped | 4 years ago
2 likes
ped wrote:

> Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

> He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

A freelancer who has to book time off 3 months in advance? IR35 anyone? 

I smell bullshit. While he may well have had to notify his client that he won't be available for work on those two days, I find it hard to believe that the client wouldn't just say, "yeah whatever" if he said he was now available for those two days, three months from now.

...and his travel insurance will cover what he'll lose on the hotel (one night max, if anything)

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Daddylonglegs replied to ped | 4 years ago
0 likes
ped wrote:

> Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

> He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

A freelancer who has to book time off 3 months in advance? IR35 anyone? 

 

Hmmm... I noticed that...

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richliv replied to Daddylonglegs | 4 years ago
0 likes
Daddylonglegs wrote:
ped wrote:

> Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

> He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

A freelancer who has to book time off 3 months in advance? IR35 anyone? 

 

Hmmm... I noticed that...

 

Ditto. But most "employers"/clients (all those I've ever had) will let holiday be unbooked, and presumably he can anyway go somewhere else for a break - he hasn't lost money because he was intending to be on holiday anyway. Hotels have cancellation policies and many people (ok not all) have cancellation insurance for this kind of thing anyway. So £1000? Umm. It would have to be a particularly inflexible set of circumstances for that to be true.

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Chris4990 replied to richliv | 4 years ago
0 likes
richliv wrote:
Daddylonglegs wrote:
ped wrote:

> Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

> He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

A freelancer who has to book time off 3 months in advance? IR35 anyone? 

 

Hmmm... I noticed that...

 

Ditto. But most "employers"/clients (all those I've ever had) will let holiday be unbooked, and presumably he can anyway go somewhere else for a break - he hasn't lost money because he was intending to be on holiday anyway. Hotels have cancellation policies and many people (ok not all) have cancellation insurance for this kind of thing anyway. So £1000? Umm. It would have to be a particularly inflexible set of circumstances for that to be true.

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

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hawkinspeter replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
4 likes
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

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Chris4990 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
0 likes

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

Avatar
Chris4990 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
0 likes

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

Avatar
Chris4990 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
0 likes

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

Avatar
Chris4990 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
0 likes

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

Avatar
Chris4990 replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
0 likes

I've plenty more examples if you're interested. Don't imagine you will be though.

Chris4990 wrote:

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
2 likes
Chris4990 wrote:

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

I'm not sure why the carer couldn't just walk from house to house but I'll assume there's a reason why not.

Couldn't you have just driven a different route? (It sounds a bit selfish to bring up yourself as an example, by the way).

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Chris4990 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
0 likes

You clearly have no idea as to the geographical area we live. Villages are spread out several miles apart and she travels between them. But yes, she could walk those miles and miles (why should she) so you lot can go out on your push bikes. As for me, there is one road through the dale which was going to be closed, no other route. Selfish!! Coming from a cyclist? Hilarious. Other examples...cafe owner on the route unable to open as she couldn't get there. Even if she could her customers couldn't. The pubs that have this week as one of the busiest weekends (as it's the show weekend) but customers and staff couldn't get to. The only way to travel around this part of the countryside is by this single road. It's not a playground for middle aged blokes on push bikes, it's where we live.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

I'm not sure why the carer couldn't just walk from house to house but I'll assume there's a reason why not.

Couldn't you have just driven a different route? (It sounds a bit selfish to bring up yourself as an example, by the way).

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
1 like
Chris4990 wrote:

You clearly have no idea as to the geographical area we live. Villages are spread out several miles apart and she travels between them. But yes, she could walk those miles and miles (why should she) so you lot can go out on your push bikes. As for me, there is one road through the dale which was going to be closed, no other route. Selfish!! Coming from a cyclist? Hilarious. Other examples...cafe owner on the route unable to open as she couldn't get there. Even if she could her customers couldn't. The pubs that have this week as one of the busiest weekends (as it's the show weekend) but customers and staff couldn't get to. The only way to travel around this part of the countryside is by this single road. It's not a playground for middle aged blokes on push bikes, it's where we live.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

Me! I wasnt going to be able to drive from home to Newcastle as the proposed route was around 10 miles of my drive. Also, the carer of elderly people who lives next door had no idea how she was going to get from house to house. There's two...you're welcome.

hawkinspeter wrote:
Chris4990 wrote:

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Name one.

I'm not sure why the carer couldn't just walk from house to house but I'll assume there's a reason why not.

Couldn't you have just driven a different route? (It sounds a bit selfish to bring up yourself as an example, by the way).

You're right, I have no idea about that area. Which road closure caused you the issue?

Avatar
Rapha Nadal replied to Chris4990 | 4 years ago
3 likes
Chris4990 wrote:
richliv wrote:
Daddylonglegs wrote:
ped wrote:

> Scott Ferry-Collins had signed up to the Vélo North ride and said that he has probably lost close to a thousand pounds because of the cancellation. 

> He booked two days off work, but as a freelancer he does not get paid for those days, and he had also booked a hotel. 

A freelancer who has to book time off 3 months in advance? IR35 anyone? 

 

Hmmm... I noticed that...

 

Ditto. But most "employers"/clients (all those I've ever had) will let holiday be unbooked, and presumably he can anyway go somewhere else for a break - he hasn't lost money because he was intending to be on holiday anyway. Hotels have cancellation policies and many people (ok not all) have cancellation insurance for this kind of thing anyway. So £1000? Umm. It would have to be a particularly inflexible set of circumstances for that to be true.

...and still no one shows any concern for the many, many people who wouldn't be able to have worked that day due to this selfish event. Typical cyclists....all about you and you lycra. Cancelled and good riddance.

Hi, welcome to the forum!  What bike do you have and what club, if any, do you ride with?

Avatar
dassie | 4 years ago
4 likes

Ride it anyway?  The roads are free.  Make amendments to the route if desired, take a bit more of your own self-sufficiency kit,  perhaps some 3rd party insurance if needed, and... have a great time.

Avatar
Organon replied to dassie | 4 years ago
1 like
dassie wrote:

Ride it anyway?  The roads are free.  Make amendments to the route if desired, take a bit more of your own self-sufficiency kit,  perhaps some 3rd party insurance if needed, and... have a great time.

Sure, you can ride the route, but not on closed roads. This is a virtue to Closed R Sportives; no cars, just ignore the lights, no slowing down, or loosing momentum, just ride and ride. They are special and worth a try if you haven't done one. There are plenty of open sportives already.

 

Shame about the event. they need to plan with local authorities and promote the hell out of these things. And have a USP. This one was a bit of an also ran to their Birmingham one, they need to get that right first.

 

It would be a shame if London was the only one of these type events.

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