‘Worthy of the Stasi’: British Cycling in Queen’s funeral U-turn after ridicule


British Cycling has performed a sharp U-turn after its “strong recommendation” that people should not use their bikes at all during the Queen’s funeral was widely mocked.

The sport’s governing quickly reversed its position when reminded that some would need bikes to get to work while the funeral is taking place.

“Unfortunately my working hours coincide with the funeral,” wrote one angry respondent. “Is it OK with you if I don’t follow your absolutely ridiculous advice and bike to work? Or would you rather I, as a mark of respect, pollute the air with my car? Maybe I can honk the national anthem on my horn?”

British Cycling’s fresh guidance has continued to draw criticism as it also tells amateur cyclists they should not go on club rides next Monday as a mark of respect to Queen Elizabeth II. With Monday now a bank holiday, it was expected that many cyclists would take advantage of the forecast good weather by long rides with their clubs. However, British Cycling’s official guidance now states this should be avoided.

“As a mark of respect to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, British Cycling’s guidance is that no formal domestic activities should take place on the day of the State Funeral, Monday 19 September,” it states. “This includes cycle sport events, club rides, coaching sessions and community programmes (such as Breeze rides).”

That stance has been heavily criticised with some calling it “worthy of the Stasi” and a “joke”, and others pledging to cancel their membership. “You’re an embarrassment at a time when hatred towards cycling feels at an all-time high,” said another.

The guidance comes despite the government telling sport there is no obligation to cancel or postpone events during the period of national mourning. British Cycling has at least removed a section on its website that told people they should not cycle at all during the funeral.

“British Cycling strongly recommends that anybody out riding their bike on the day of the state funeral does so outside of the timings of the funeral service and associated processions, which will be confirmed later this week,” its now deleted guidance originally stated.