Anonymous forum poster accuses Bike Hub levy of non-transparency

Carlton Reid
Anonymous forum poster accuses Bike Hub levy of non-transparency

A man calling himself “BikeHub” on a trade-only forum has supplied figures to a business services company calling into question the spending of the Bike Hub levy.

Bike Hub – the levy, that is – supports British Cycling’s Go Ride programme, has funded CTC’s space4cycling events and some years ago seed-funded the Sustrans’ Bike It cycling-to-schools programme. Running since 2003, the levy also funds the Bike Hub cycle satnav app and paid for the “how to overtake cyclists” video, which has had in excess of 350,000 views and was also sent out to driving instructors by the Driving Standards Agency. 

The figures placed by “BikeHub” on cycleassociation.co.uk are disputed by the Bicycle Association. “BikeHub” is claimed to be a “group of disgruntled Bike Hub contributors.” However, this “group” has posted first-person postings on a trade-only website. “Mr Trump and the US might do very nicely out of this mess,” wrote the supposed group, “if I were a betting man I'd align myself there...where is Nigel when you need him?”

This reference on the trade-only biketradebuzz.com is assumed to be to Nigel Farage. When a poster said Trump was a “racist, sexist, homophobe”, “BikeHub” claimed that was “the norm for most middle-aged, white, male voters.”

“BikeHub” supplied the financials to a business services company said to be “shameful”, “abusive” and “patently misleading” by an independent adjudicator last year. The “financial clarification” document was uploaded to a website run by C2Zero Ltd., the business services company. Last year, Mark Walmsley, the director of this company was forced to hand bicycleassociation.co.uk to the Bicycle Association – C2Zero had been pointing bicycleassociation.co.uk to one of its client's websites. 

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Passing off? Nominet said there was “clear evidence of deliberate, meticulous attempts to obfuscate the true nature and purpose of the domain registrations.”

Part of this obfuscation involved a five-year-old child. Nominet said this was a “shameful charade via young family members, 3rd party “suppliers”, and identity protection services, designed to allow the [client] to deny its responsibility.”

The website dispute organisation's decision document also said that there was “clear evidence of deliberate, meticulous attempts to obfuscate the true nature and purpose of the domain registrations.”

The Bicycle Association’s Steve Garidis said: “The BA has recently been made aware of some queries about historic Bike Hub spend and we are looking to clarify these areas.”

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Full disclosure: The anonymous "BikeHub" names me on the financials document. As a freelance writer, I provided words to the Bike Hub website, words and tech support to the Bike Hub satnav app and comms support to the Bicycle Association. I also wrote and directed the "how to overtake cyclists" video, and others also produced for the Bicycle Association. None of this is secret – my name is on the Bike Hub website, the app, and the overtaking video is hosted on my YouTube page. As well as my freelance role with BikeBiz I also write for newspapers, magazines and other clients. 

Tags: bike hub , transparency

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