Fringe Box



Letter: Cycling? Yes Please – Cycle racing? No Thanks

Published on: 29 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 29 Oct, 2013

Cycle Race ClosuresFrom A Edward Ordish

David Hodge’s comments about  Lib Dems ‘not understanding the electorate’ are a bit rich, especially from a man who came a whisker of being hoofed out at the last elections, by UKIP.

Perhaps Cllr Hodge has failed to notice which way the electoral wind is blowing and that more than twice the number of Surrey residents who voted for him, have now signed a petition totally condemning his annual road closures,  wholly undemocratic closures that shut  down thousands of miles of Surrey’s road network (yes, thousands, because every road that meets the damned racing route is also shut off).

Individuals, businesses, villages, communities are ‘kettled’ in their roads for up to fifteen hours so cyclists can have a jolly and commercial sponsors can make money, whilst many Surrey businesses and scores of thousands of residents in Surrey suffer.   It’s really sad that Cllrs Hodge and Helyn Clack do cycling such a disservice with this insane focus on racing cycling, rather than promoting cycling as part of everyday life.

Cyclists I meet and talk to whilst out on my bike confirm my impression that Surrey motorists are behaving far more aggressively towards leisure cyclists since all this racing madness started.  As for Surrey residents, just have a look at the petition to see what thousands of them are saying about the treatment they are receiving every weekend at the hands of Lycra-clad boy-racers.

In southern Surrey alone there have been more than 250 organised cycle races this summer (in addition to the road closures).  Hopefully, the police will soon be granted increased powers to control cycle racing on open roads and stop events which are deemed unsafe or antisocial.  It really is madness that any racing is allowed on open roads.

How can someone be a safe road user if their primary focus is racing against a clock, or another cyclist?  I’d like to see how the police would respond if I tried to organise a 100 person moped race on Surrey’s narrow lanes every weekend.  I suspect the answer, quite rightly, would be ‘no’.

The real solution to all this is: Cycling? ‘Yes please’ – Cycle racing? ‘No thanks’.

And guess which sport tops the annual league table for drug doping and other use of banned performance enhancing substances?  You’ve got it in one. Great role model eh?

Finally, well done Cllr Hazel Watson for trying to shine a light on how Surrey County Council’s undemocratic decisions about annual road closures were made and by whom. Just who were they meant to benefit? We shall see.

See also: Lib Dems Criticise Cycle Event Decision Taken ‘In Private’

Please don’t forget to vote on this subject in the Dragon Poll to the right…

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