Posted by Editoress on 06/24/06
I am not sure if other parts of Canada are experiencing some of the problems that road races in Ontario have experienced in the last few years, but if the letter below is any indication, road racing in Ontario may soon be put on the endangered species list.
The letter is from a resident who lives on Effingham Hill (home of the Niagara Classic) who has written to the local newspaper The Voice of Pelham regarding the last few races held on the hill, and specifically about the Niagara Classic held on teh May long weekend. They raise some good points, and the cycling community at large needs to answer for some of the issues raised. Ontario has lost a number of good race venues over the past 10 years, almost ALL due to the local residents complaints (some rightly made) about the disruptions of having a race on their doorstep. Most concerns seem to stem NOT from the inconvenience of the race but rather from the mess left behind and intrusion on their privacy. Some of you will remember that the Mt Nemo race was lost for the same reasons as was Ravenna and probably a few more.
Racers must realize that while attending races you are visitors to an area and as such are obliged to leave the scene much as you first encountered it. Trespassing on private property is an absolute no no . Most if not all races these days are held in rural locals and the Locals may be country folk, but many these days have moved to the country get away from the type of intrusions that events like bike racing brings.
If road racing is to continue in Ontario, racers MUST take on an attitude of responsibility - to clean up after themselves and pressure their fellow racers to do the same. To stay OFF private property unless you request permission (face to face) with the owner. To remind yourself that the people who live in the area you are racing in could care less if there is another bike race there.. Remember you are an ambassador for the sport and lately racers have been doing a very, very bad job.
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