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British Cycling

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Topic: British Cycling
Posted By: Ken
Subject: British Cycling
Date Posted: 09 February 2018 at 12:01pm
At the risk of starting a controversial and heated topic/ debate, I wanted to ask:
1) Is BHPC affiliated with British Cycling in any way?
2) Is BHPC affiliated with Cycling UK in any way?
3) What is the general feeling of the support or treatment/ recognition given to the recumbent/ HPV community by British Cycling?

I believe I know the rough consensus form the posts on the topic "wider acceptance"
but I wanted to verify.

I'm not necessarily wondering about specifics such as intermingling hpv's with bike in a criterium race, but more general concepts of the overall integration of one form of cycling into the governing bodies acceptance of cycling.

I'm curious as I believe that I, and many of the people from my branch of cycling are in the same position and we probably share a common value system/ belief structure in this area. I'm currently working through some issues with B/C and I'm looking to get perspectives on the relationship between the nations governing body for the sport in comparison to the community it affects.

I quite like the quote from Neil F in the "wider acceptance" thread:

"A first toe hold would IMHO be highlighting their discrimination against not-fully-able riders. Those who want to race at local club level but cannot due to some injury. Why are they banned from even participating?"

Surprisingly, or maybe not, there is even participation discrimination within paracycling in terms of who can participate as well.

But, given that you all are recumbents and trikes (quads) as are most of the handcyclists, I believe we share a common alienation from the sport.

Thanks for your comments. Again, I'm not trying to start a debate, just looking for perspectives.

PS, I don't suppose I'm the first to notice that HPV is actually a broad term for any human powered vehicle including uprights, track bikes, etc... and therefore when anyone talks about any "regular" (ie, upright, two wheels) bike they are talking about an HPV, and to dismiss the HPV idea is blatantly hypocritical. Am I?

Posted By: atlas_shrugged
Date Posted: 09 February 2018 at 5:19pm
Completely agreed with you about this. British Cycling does exclude HPVs which is astonishing. I have had phone conversations with BC about this, and to try and understand their viewpoint.
Neil is right that the best way to reform this prejudice is via the para route hand cyclists etc. The BHPC by contrast is very good at welcoming handcyclists, last year some very fast handcyclists joined in some of our races.

Posted By: ChrisH
Date Posted: 09 February 2018 at 10:46pm
British cycling do include handcycling as a separate race category in some of their events (e.g. The Castle Coombe Easter Classic)

One day it would be nice if they were able to accommodate an "Open " category (i.e., no restrictions beyond the usual brakes, no sharp pointy bits etc)

Posted By: Ken
Date Posted: 10 February 2018 at 3:09pm
Thanks for your replies so far.

Atlas, it is astonishing. Interesting, I too have had a number of conversations with B/C with seemingly no understanding of the need to recognise different forms of cycling, or any awareness that they, in fact, don't recognise it. I've tried to understand their viewpoint on the H/C's and tried to get them to understand mine/ ours but they seem to have such tunnel vision. Aye, I think it was Matt Lindley who posted the 2018 race schedule on the H/C FB page and gave high praise. I know my experience at the Derby Velodrome last year was great. I'd love to join in with more of your (BHPC) racing and riding but the drive to get to the races is a bit tricky at times. Might try to hit some of the northern ones though, especially if other H/C's will be there, only because I don't want to be the slowest all the time!

ChrisH, Good point about the Castle Coombe Easter Classic. But, I believe that is the same situation as a race we tried up here. It wasn't B/C who added it the H/C category , it was the local race organisers. Now, I'm going to have to get in touch with them to see what their criteria for the race is. Normally with B/C, unless you've been assessed for your disability you can't participate in H/C races (they blindly follow IPC rules) . But when local groups do their own thing, anyone can play (as it should be), just as it was up here, the race was open to any H/C. The newest IPC rules (from about May 2017 do allow for an "open" race for those not categorised by disability, but some of us, myself included, cannot be assessed precisely because of my disability, and many others who want to race for fun (not for Paralympic destinations)  won't get assessed. the problem with that is the "open" category has to be a race separate from all other H/C races and there's generally not enough riders to do that. Up here, we needed a min of 5 riders to hold the race, now if you happen to have 4 assessed, and 4 unassessed but need 5 riders for each race... that's 8 riders that can't race due to the bureaucracy of having separate races. The other, and very significant issue is the same thing we had up here... if you seach the B/C site for handcycle races i events (search for "handcycle" or "handcycle race" as that race specifies those exact words in the listing) you won't see a listing. So even for H/C races that have been created and they can never be found on the B/C site It's only listed on the special email list for handcyclists, but if you don't know how to get on that list, or that you need to... Nice to have seen that the listing situation wasn't a one-off for our race up here though.

I'm sure this is nothing new to you all though. 

Posted By: RoyMacdonald
Date Posted: 10 February 2018 at 4:32pm
Dave Creasy the trainer, used to let me train with the Olympic athletes at Herne Hill Velodrome (before the Manchester Velodrome was built). They liked it because I could ride at a speed just beyond their maximum so it was a good work out for them to try and overtake me. They were all very friendly and interested in my Wasp. The only time I wasn't allowed on the track was when the juniors came on as the speed differential was too great.


Posted By: Ken
Date Posted: 18 February 2018 at 12:46pm
That's the kind of teamwork that's needed and the openness of mind to see how cyclist can all work as a team.


Posted By: Andrew S
Date Posted: 19 February 2018 at 2:04pm
Originally posted by Ken Ken wrote:

I too have had a number of conversations with B/C with seemingly no understanding of the need to recognise different forms of cycling
That's not strictly true: British Cycling currently recognise seven different 'disciplines' with different sets of rules for each:
  • road
  • track
  • BMX
  • cyclocross
  • MTB
  • speedway
  • paracycling (track and road)
Road paracycling, while closest to HPVs in terms of machine design, is restricted to riders with one of four specific types of disability so isn't necessarily 'a way in' for able-bodied riders.

As the range of disciplines has slowly expanded over the years possibly the most fruitful approach is a carefully thought-out proposal from BHPC, as the national body, for recognition of HPV road cycling as a separate discipline. Although fairly closely linked, BC categories are not directly copied from UCI so it isn't necessarily a question of recognition from UCI, which is a much more daunting proposition.

Posted By: Ken
Date Posted: 19 February 2018 at 3:11pm
OK, I agree that my comment isn't strictly true, but apart from paracycling, all the 'disciplines' utilise the same fundamental aspects/ parameters of riding. What I'm looking at are the remaining 'disiplines' that require different skills and techniques that are not supported/ accounted for.

Paracycling, is an interesting conglomeration there as, one could argue, there is far more diversity in the styles and techniques within paracyling than amongst the other groups listed there. As an example, the technique to ride my mountain bike is entirely different than my road bike despite both being handbikes.
As a simple example of my point on 'disciplines', there is no provision for recumbents, and that is a different style of riding to an upright.

Thank you for highlighting one of my points. Road paracycling is not, by nature, restricted to one of four types of disabilities. I don't have one of those four types of disabilities, yet I'm disabled and I ride and race. I know of someone who also rides a handcycle because of knee damage from years of upright cycling, I know a handcyclist who does it for fun and cross-training when he's not riding uprights, and there is a professional boxer in the States who's a handcyclist. No, handcycling is actually open to anyone who wants to do it.

I believe though, that what you might be referring to, is the limitation that the IPC and BC place on restricting racing to a limited number of categories where you have to be medically assessed in order to be categorised and race. This has slightly changed in 2017 though, with the inclusion of an "open class" for able-bodied and non-assessed/ categorised riders, but they cannot race amongst the other assessed classes and they certainly cannot race against any other paras in a points earning race. There most certainly is a way in for able-bodied riders to get into handcycling/ paracycling and I, personally, would be happy to see more able-bodied people handcycling. A number of people I've ridden with agree on that as well. The only thing stopping an able-bodied person form handcycling is 1) It's harder to do and takes a lot more effort and 2) the cost of the bikes (probably on par or worse than some of the HPVs).

I agree that a carefully thought out proposal would be a good way to go. It may be that the rules for uprights aren't directly copied from UCI, but in paracyling, they are governed by the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and to the best of my knowledge, BC accepts IPC rules as-is. I know that UCI is would most certainly be an uphill battle as they have always been opposed to recumbents from very early on and from the contact that I've had with the IPC, I think that's equally an uphill battle.

But, one of the key points for me is that BC isn't solely a racing organisation. It's a general cycling organisation and thus I would expect it to be (or would like it to be) inclusive of all aspects of cycling for that very reason. Thus, even if there are limitations in racing events, without racing, there should be an awareness of all aspects of cycling. 
* I've just been browsing the UCI site and apparently they aren't only dedicated to racing. There's some interesting indoor cycling covered as well. Anyone up for cycleball? Hands vs legs?

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