New Forest Sportive.

by chrisp1973   April 8, 2014  

It would seem that some of the residents of the New Forest are still pushing to have Sportive's banned from the area.

I know this is a subject that's been done to death but it doesn't look like the issue is any closer to being resolved for some residents despite moves made by Wiggle to appease them.

The following is taken from a recent Brockenhurt Parish Council meeting minutes:

"On the cycling issues, Cllr. Thornber is now a member of the NPA and reported that the Wiggle has offered various concessions to reduce the problems of the sportives but that the NPA can apply for the removal of permitted rights which would require the organisers to obtain permission, should the Code of Conduct be broken, and that the county council can apply for a ban. A request was made that the parishes affected should be able to identify the places that they would like the sportives to avoid".

Are the days of Sportive's in the forest really numbered?

18 user comments

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"The Wiggle" Big Grin

posted by flathunt [9 posts]
8th April 2014 - 14:42

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That's mighty christian of them!

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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posted by jmaccelari [144 posts]
8th April 2014 - 14:47

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They gave them an inch.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [437 posts]
8th April 2014 - 14:50

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I grew up in the New Forest but now live in London... It’s been my ambition for absolutely years to open up a cyclist cafe in Brockenhurst – but this sort of thing just makes me think that even if I were to ever do it, it would be such a hassle that all the potential pleasure of doing something I love would be sucked dry by appalling NIMBYs who are perfectly happy for 40,000 cars to plough through the forest and its animals daily but the first time 1,000 people in lycra show up they start heating up the boiling oil... makes you wonder if they have any interest whatsoever in the economic and environmental future of the area they live in or if literally ever fibre of their beings is devoted to their own lousy self-interest.

posted by nicstevenson [30 posts]
8th April 2014 - 15:10

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posted by nicstevenson [30 posts]
8th April 2014 - 15:13

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It does seem that they're unlikely to let this go until they have won or made it so restrictive as to be no longer worth Wiggles effort or pleasant for the riders taking part.

As I understand it's not so much the actual residents but the small minority of "second home owners" and "London commuters" that seem to think the National Forest is an extension of their gardens and not there for all to enjoy.

If you were to look up the description of "Discrimination" in the dictionary it states:

"The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or groups, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex".

Surely then attempting to block or prevent the free movement (either physically or by use of other means) of any individual or group on public land / roads could be classed as discrimination or, given that the law on the subject is so subjective, a potential hate crime?

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posted by chrisp1973 [57 posts]
8th April 2014 - 15:40

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KiwiMike wrote:
They gave them an inch.

This, once you give one concession they will NEVER stop until cycling is banned at any level I suspect (when they should be doing the opposite and heavily restricting which public highways motor traffic users can use).

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
8th April 2014 - 15:53

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Carry on participating in events that are clearly interpreted as competitive, both by other road users and the "competitors" themselves, and promoted for commercial gain, to the detriment of residents and businesses along the route, and you can be sure that the prospect of tighter legislation creeps ever closer. It isn't just a few vocipherous nimbys in the New Forest, there's clearly a growing concern nationally about the whole sportive situation.

The sensible compromise is clear.

Bigger events, on closed roads, similar to the "RideLondon100", but carefully routed such that no 3rd party is inconvenienced more than once a year, and where ALL the money raised goes to charitable projects in the areas through which each event passes.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

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posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
8th April 2014 - 16:34

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Yet again we pander to a small vocal minority to the detriment of the greater good. There is a huge graveyard of good things in this country that have been killed off by this sort of behaviour. Haven't they got something better to do.....perhaps like going for a bike ride Wink

Shades

posted by Shades [177 posts]
8th April 2014 - 16:37

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Neil753 wrote:

The sensible compromise is clear.

Bigger events, on closed roads, similar to the "RideLondon100", but carefully routed such that no 3rd party is inconvenienced more than once a year, and where ALL the money raised goes to charitable projects in the areas through which each event passes.

It won't work, the problem is that there is no workable compromise, I have met people who move to the country next to a dairy farm and complain about the smell. It was there first, but that doesn't matter. What you have are incomers who believe the national park is theirs and not for anyone else. If they could ban everyone else's cars they would.

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posted by mrmo [1030 posts]
8th April 2014 - 16:48

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Quote:
It isn't just a few vocipherous nimbys in the New Forest, there's clearly a growing concern nationally about the whole sportive situation.

Ok so it's a nimby problem nationwide...the fact of the matter is there is a worrying "obsession" by certain people with "bloody cyclists" and a lot of envy going around it seems.

As for ALL the money going to charity - it's just not feasible for commercially organised sportives, surely you must realise how capitalism works (for all the positives and negatives it brings).

As I (and probably others) have said before, drivers will drive on "closed roads" as it's a red rag to a bull, even to the point of endangering human beings, seen it all before.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
8th April 2014 - 16:58

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northstar wrote:
Quote:

As for ALL the money going to charity - it's just not feasible for commercially organised sportives, surely you must realise how capitalism works (for all the positives and negatives it brings).

I understand what you're saying, but you miss my point. Commercial organisations shouldn't be running sportives at all in my opinion, because of the obvious conflict of interests.

There's always a number of commercial elements (supply of barriers, printing, etc) but any event itself should be organised by a "non-profit", with 100% of the net income being distributed to nominated charities.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

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posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
8th April 2014 - 17:30

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The sad thing is I fear you're right. There does seem to a "I don't want it and so nobody else can do it" school of thought going on in the forest.

If you try to close roads for an event they'll want to stop that too, claiming it's restricting their movement, impossible to please I guess?

If there is a repeat of last year with NIMBY's trying to shove people off bikes because they think it's their right to do so I'd remind you, whilst I neither encourage it or recommend it, you as an individual have an inherent right to act in self defence to protect yourself from harm. A few of the more radical NIMBY's might do well to remember that.

The bottom line is cyclists have a right to be there as do the residents, a bit of give and take and good behaviour on both sides is all it needs (with a healthy dollop of tolerance)!

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posted by chrisp1973 [57 posts]
8th April 2014 - 18:04

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Maybe if Wiggle loudly promoted the fact that many riders will be fitted with cameras, and maybe that Wiggle will be placing non-cycling people with cameras along the route, that would discourage the vigilantes? You'd only need a few high-profile prosecutions of esteemed locals brought low to make the rest pull their necks in and leave people to use the public highway in peace.

Remember folks, these roads ARE NOT THEIRS. They belong to EVERYONE. These councils and boards have zero right to close access to any public road, except for another event.

I think the event organisers have rolled over enough.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [437 posts]
8th April 2014 - 21:28

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Neil753 wrote:
northstar wrote:
Quote:

As for ALL the money going to charity - it's just not feasible for commercially organised sportives, surely you must realise how capitalism works (for all the positives and negatives it brings).

I understand what you're saying, but you miss my point. Commercial organisations shouldn't be running sportives at all in my opinion, because of the obvious conflict of interests.

There's always a number of commercial elements (supply of barriers, printing, etc) but any event itself should be organised by a "non-profit", with 100% of the net income being distributed to nominated charities.

I wasn't missing your point, i know what you mean't but personally I see no reason why commercial sportives cannot be run.

Not every sportive should involve charity donations, people want to ride them for different reasons.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
8th April 2014 - 21:42

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People should not be able to control who uses the roads in this way but, changing the subject slightly:
Sportives are loosely organised attracting loads of people who don't know how to ride in groups and who don't respect other road users. A Sportive is not a race but at the end you are given a time and a time based certificate: proper races, both time trials and road races have to jump though health and safety as well as policing hoops and requirements which Sportives don't seem to have to.
But that's another subject.....

posted by GreenWhisper [1 posts]
9th April 2014 - 19:59

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The growing public attitude to Sportives is the very reason that i and a large majority of my fellow club members have stepped away from them this year. Don't get me wrong, the Sportive has it's place within cycling but for me spending £30 for a waymarked route and a parking space is not value for money.

I don't think Wiggle have done themselves (or Sportives in the NF) any favours. They now chuck a large number of cyclists on to the busy A337 straight out of the start gate. There is a small rise that slows the riders down immediately compounding the problem. This is going to gripe motorists on one of the main roads through the forest. Then it happens again on the Sunday, and again in the Autumn!

Instead my club have now started to offer club away days. UK Cycling Events provide the sportive route Garmin links on their website. So anyone can download them. Last weekend we had a lovely ride (apart from the weather) through the New Forest with a small group of ten riders, following the majority of this weekends sportive route. A simple adjustment of the start/ finish location and a couple of road alterations were all that was needed from the 'official' route.

posted by Martyn_K [26 posts]
10th April 2014 - 7:46

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As I have posted before. I was born in the New Forest and my brother still lives there. It is a National Park. I'll write that again It's a NATIONAL PARK.

Residents that think they can buy a weekend or retirement home in the Forest then try to stop visitors using the park are the culprits here.

Most actual real locals (people who work for a living) either themeselves or have family or friends that work in the Forest in some way in tourism. From pubs, cafes, restaurants, shops, camping services and rental services. Now although many of them refer to visitors as Groccles they also know where their bread (or their wives, husband's childrens, and friends) is buttered.

I would be disappointed if readers on Road CC got the impression that most locals were against visitors of any kind.

I'm a big fan of Wiggle but they suffer as do most Sportive organisers from the fact that they are not located in the places where they run sportives. A bit like those Beach Clubs in the Caribbean where the guest's money is mostly repatriated to the USA or the UK and benefits the locals only marginally.

Maybe Wiggle or someone else that knows the business ought to front the sportives as the New Forest Sportive Co Ltd. Buy an office in Brock or New Milton employ mainly locals, get involved with cycle training in schools. That might help get over the one of the sticks that's used to beat Sportive Cyclists in the Forest.

My brother was at a meeting where it was literally said that Wiggle turn up with all their catering set up camp. The riders arrive and are catered for by Wiggle they ride the route arrive back and don't spend a penny in the Forest that isn't with Wiggle.

OK it's not totally true lots of people make a weekend out of it. My brother was there as a cyclist in favour of cycling in the Forest but even he acknowledged that it was true enough to be a fair point.

That's possibly one minor way that the cycling sportive community can hit back in PR terms.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [505 posts]
10th April 2014 - 11:25

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