Sustrans, CTC and the BCF have all asked cyclists not to venture into the countryside during the ongoing Foot and Mouth epidemic. And a variety of MTB races have been cancelled. But its also harming some IBDs: Rutland Water Cycling, for instance, has been forced to shut up shop...

FMD spreads to bikes

If youre a bike shop in a rural area youre likely to be already heavily affected. But you probably be able to continue trading, albeit on a reduced, er, footing.

Thats not the scenerio for Rutland Water Cycling. Anglian Water, owner of the Rutland reservoir and environs, has forced Rutland Water Cycling not just to close down the hire business which owner Paul Archer would have done voluntarily anyway but has also demanded the retail operation should close too!

Were situated in a farming community and are supportive of farmers in their current plight but were not in an exclusion zone so its a bit rough for the shop to be closed when theres no need.

Its very frustrating. Our revenue source has been slashed.

Were just one of many rural businesses like pubs and hotels that are being seriously affected by Foot and Mouth. Weve all got to hope the outbreak is over by Easter. The Easter Bank Holiday Weekend is one of our major sales and hire peaks.

Rutland Water is not the only hire operation affected. The Camel Trail is also closed, which impacts on Nigel Wiggett of the hire outlet in Wadebridge, Cornwall (and the UK Trailer Co). He said: Weve got to see whats happens in the next few days. Its potentially crippling.

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