‘We got this wrong’: British Cycling apologises for advice on Queen’s funeral

‘We got this wrong’: British Cycling apologises for advice on Queen’s funeral

British Cycling has apologised for issuing guidance that told cyclists they should not use their bikes during the Queen’s funeral. In a social media post on Thursday it said: “We’re sorry – we got this one wrong.”

Many cyclists had also been left flummoxed by the governing body telling them on Tuesday they should not go club rides on bank holiday Monday as a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, with some calling it “worthy of the Stasi”.

Others threatened to cancel their membership, pointing out the guidance would stop people using their bikes to get to and from work. Crucially, it also went against official government advice to sport, which stressed there is no obligation to cancel or postpone events during the period of national mourning.

On Thursday morning, the governing body issued an apology and revised guidance. “British Cycling sincerely apologises for the guidance issued on Tuesday afternoon relating to cycling during the state funeral,” it said.

“We understand that the decision on whether to cycle during that time is one for individuals and clubs to take for themselves, and we’re sorry that we got it wrong on this occasion. At British Cycling we fought incredibly hard during the pandemic to protect the right to cycle, and we recognise the frustration and disappointment that Tuesday’s statement caused. We greatly value the support of our members and the wider cycling community and would like to thank and apologise to all who reached out to share their concerns with us on this occasion.”

The new guidance states that “as a mark of respect to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, British Cycling’s guidance is that no domestic events should take place on the day of the state funeral, Monday 19 September.

“In line with guidance from the Royal Household, any clubs planning rides on the day of the state funeral may want to consider adjusting their route or ride timings so they do not clash with those of the funeral service and associated processions. However, they are under no obligation to do so. As the day of the state funeral has been designated as a national bank holiday, in line with many other employers British Cycling will close for the day.”