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The bus driver filmed the undertaking on the bike lane and sidewalk; The council member was charged with a “petty smear campaign” against cycling activists demanding bike lanes; an explosion in bike clubs to turn them into a ‘mud bath’; Dan Lloyd Broke Ankle + More Live Blog

The bus driver filmed the undertaking on the bike lane and sidewalk; The council member was charged with a “petty smear campaign” against cycling activists demanding bike lanes; an explosion in bike clubs to turn them into a ‘mud bath’; Dan Lloyd Broke Ankle + More Live Blog

A Brighton cycling club has been criticized for turning a local park into what one council member described as a “dangerous mudbath” after a bike race at the weekend.

More than 300 slick and mud tire enthusiasts traveled to East Brighton Park on Sunday for round eight of the London X-League series, hosted by Brighton Miter Cycling Club.

Last week’s heavy rain ensured that the track – where the best cyclocross courses tend to do – turned into a brown, mud-strewn affair. Fantastic fun, then.

However, while Brighton and Hove City Council and British Cycling (who had previously inspected the track) were happy for the race to go ahead, despite the horrific conditions, some locals and a Brighton East Council member criticized the event’s organisers, who said they did. The garden was turned into a “chaos”.

“Brighton Miter Cycling Club, can you please explain why you feel it is appropriate to proceed with this cyclocross event in the wettest week in recent history?” A local site wrote on Facebook.

“With the water table completely saturated, it was inevitable that East Brighton Park would turn into a mud bath with 400 participants on wheels roaming our beautiful park.

“I know he’ll recover, that’s besides the point – the other park users now have to move around and look at the mess you left behind. I hope it was worth it.”


Chancellor Nancy Platts, who helps organize the weekly Park Run event in East Brighton Park, said she was “disappointed” that the race had been given the go-ahead, and claimed many residents had approached her to express their “shock” in the state of the park.

“It’s council territory, so I understood that if the council thought it was going to be dangerous or that it would cause damage, they could say it can’t go ahead because the weather is so bad,” Chancellor Platts told Brighton and Hove News.

Perhaps the regulators could have looked at the ground and said, ‘We’re going to cancel it.’ During the Park Run event we reverse course during the winter, so we don’t use areas where it’s really muddy so people don’t fall.

“The danger now is that it’s already so swampy that it starts to become dangerous because a lot of people are going to slip. I’ve had a lot of people write to me because they usually walk their dog, the kids use the park and we have fitness groups that use the park regularly and the vast areas of it are now just mud .

“I just don’t think it’s okay to turn a garden into a mud bath and I think a lot of people were really shocked by that.”

Claire Johnson, of the Brighton Miter Cycling Club, responded to concerns raised by the council member and said she hoped the club and council would work together to ensure that the race – and other events in the park – could continue into the future.

“The feedback from the participants, including many local kids, was great as was it from the local businesses involved in the event (such as the coffee shop) so we are very disappointed if this event had a negative impact on other events taking place in the cyclist said.

“Cycling is a fun and healthy activity that should be encouraged but also Park Run and since a lot of our members are also park runners, we want to be able to coexist happily in the same space.

“The last time this event was held in East Brighton Park was also in the fall in wet conditions but while there was some damage to the grass it was not as widespread as on this occasion. However, there were also complaints after the previous event about the condition of Grass, but, as now, grass will return faster than people realize.

“In the end, there will always be a risk of some short-term damage to the turf from any event where large groups of people congregate in a small space — concerts, prides, team sporting fixtures, like the rugby pitch at Hove Recreation Ground, which is a case of balancing Correct between enjoying each event and using the subsequent park.

For any future events, we welcome the opportunity to work with the council and any other stakeholders to ensure it continues in a sustainable manner, eg holding the event earlier in the year when there is a greater chance of drought conditions.

“The board has indicated that there will be a small additional fee to cover some of the cost of the ground repairs.”


Cyclocross race east of Brighton Park (Credit - Pete Ranson, Facebook)

A council spokesperson apologized to residents affected by the fallout from the race, but noted that the damage was largely “superficial”.

“We understand the concerns people have about the trails in East Brighton Park following this weekend’s cycling event,” the spokesperson said.

“We have given serious consideration to canceling the event due to the weather. But we have decided that we should move forward because it was a very valuable and popular charitable event that has enabled hundreds of people young and old to enjoy the outdoors and improve their health and well-being.

“We now know the paths need some repair and we apologize to the park users who have been affected by this. We will need to do some repair work and that will happen when the ground is drier.

But eventually the damage is relatively superficial and the grasslands and trails will recover. Our gardens are for residents and visitors and there is space for everyone.”


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