The British Heart Foundation has responded to claims made by e-bike retailer Cycling Made Easy that the charity banned to use of user assist e-bikes in their London to Brighton race.
In our original piece on the news (which can be found here), Cycling Made Easy Director, Ray Wookey commented: "I had spoken directly to decision makers at the BHF last year who assured me that pedelecs would be allowed to join in their events; and why shouldn’t they? Pedelecs are legally classed as bicycles. That’s not just my opinion, that’s fact, not only here in the UK but across Europe. You can see why I am not only confused but frustrated by their decision, not least as I helped raise £3000 for the BHF riding on a pedelec."
In response, Nancy Smyth, Head of Events at the British Heart Foundation, explains: “The British Heart Foundation’s terms and conditions for all cycling events currently limits those who participate to non-powered bicycles, therefore excluding electric bicycles, to ensure rider safety on all our cycling events. This has always been a pedal-powered event and any change to this would considerably alter the nature of this event.
As the London to Brighton bike ride attracts around 20,000 participants every year, it is important to consider the health and safety risks and to put in place all necessary measures to ensure that the event is safe. These considerations are made at the planning stage of each event which occurs at least 10 months prior.
Our cycling events are fantastic fundraising events which help the British Heart Foundation continue its life saving work. Over the last 40 years alone the London to Brighton Bike Ride has attracted over 800,000 cyclists, raising over £65 million to fund BHF research into coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer. We are truly grateful to all our participants for their fantastic fundraising efforts.”