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"No disruption" to residents thanks to new venue, says organiser...

UK Cycling Events, the organiser of two annual sportives in the New Forest, has found a new base for the rides that should put them out of the reach of New Forest NIMBYs.

Vociferous criticism from a small number of New Forest residents and councillors last year led UK Cycling Events to look for a new venue for the start of the ride.

There have been attempts to sabotage the rides, including tacks being dumped on the routes and signs being torn down.

After talking to other venues, including Gang Warily recreation centre in Blackfield, the rides will now start at Matchams Leisure Park, just outside the western edge of the New Forest and across the River Avon in Dorset.

The first New Forest event of the year organised by UK Cycling Events is the Wiggle New Forest Spring sportive on April 12-13.

A statement from UK Cycling Events said: “The route incorporates the same spectacular scenery of the New Forest National Park, combined with wild animals grazing and picturesque villages.”

Martin Barden, director of UK Cycling Events, said the new venue meant there would be “no disruption” to New Forest residents as a result of the ride.

He added: “We have moved to Matchams as the venue offers hard standing parking for all the riders.

“We chose to withdraw from Gang Warily as the decision-making process was taking too long and we wanted to ensure we had enough time to inform residents of our planned route.”

Opponents of the rides have been lobbying Hampshire County Council to impose restrictions on the events, and had hoped that persuading the larger venues in and around the park not to host the rides would lead to a reduction in the number of participants.

In November last year, Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry said that the council has no power to regulate sportive rides in the New Forest.

Earlier this year, UK Cycling Events voluntarily reduced the number of entries to its new Forest events by 20 percent. Nevertheless, Tony Hockley, chairman of the New Forest Equestrian Association told the Southern Daily Echo’s Chris Yandell: “Matchams can accommodate a couple of thousand cars, so we could be facing events on the same scale as before.”

Peter Roberts, chairman of the New Forest Association, said: “Cyclists will still ride across the Forest in rather large numbers, causing the potential to disrupt working practices.”

In October last year, the New Forest Verderers cancelled a planned ‘drift’ — an exercise in the care and maintenance of the semi-wild pony stock — blaming UK Cycling events for refusing to change the date of an event.

Martin Barden said that due notice had been given of the event, which was planned the previous year.

He said: “Despite offers of altering our event and working with the drift to ensure it was safe and could continue, the Verderers made the decision to move it to another day.”

The danger from cyclists to livestock and wildlife is often cited by opponents of the rides but according to the New Forest National Park Authority there have been no incidents involving animals and cyclists since records began to be kept in 2008. The majority of animal accidents in the park are caused by drivers, and after many years of improving safety on New Forest roads, 2013 saw an increase in incidents.

Events such as the Wiggle New Forest Sportive organised by UK Cycling Events also bring substantial economic benefits to the area, according to Martin Barden.

“The last event alone provided a financial benefit of £325,000  to the local economy,” he said. “We also wish to continue promoting cycling in the National Park which is in line with its aims of providing enjoyment for all.”

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, here's the organiser's video from last year's Wiggle Spring Sportive:

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

38 comments

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therevokid [911 posts] 2 years ago
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locals loss then ...  1

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andylul [410 posts] 2 years ago
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Western edge, surely?

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Markcw [13 posts] 2 years ago
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This sounds like a loose, loose for the New forest. Loss of business from people staying overnight, who will now most likely stay near, or in Bournemouth. And they still get 4000 cyclists "speeding" around "their" forest over a weekend. Serves them right!

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Forester [111 posts] 2 years ago
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It's totally unrealistic that the only cars seen on the video are in the event car park- highly selective editing. A foal is seen very near the riders, and two horse riders also near bikes doing 20mph; these are really not suitable roads for Wiggle events, and I speak as a regular rider in the New Forest. Purbecks are much more suitable, and actually have some hills.

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Chuck [521 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

It's totally unrealistic that the only cars seen on the video are in the event car park- highly selective editing. A foal is seen very near the riders, and two horse riders also near bikes doing 20mph; these are really not suitable roads for Wiggle events, and I speak as a regular rider in the New Forest. Purbecks are much more suitable, and actually have some hills.

If they're suitable roads for people to drive big noisy cars around then how are they not suitable roads for cycling on?
I know you said events rather than cycling in general, but I'm not sure what your point about the foal is. How is a load of cyclists riding past it worse than cars driving past it? Aren't they far more likely to injure it?

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David Portland [83 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

It's totally unrealistic that the only cars seen on the video are in the event car park- highly selective editing. A foal is seen very near the riders, and two horse riders also near bikes doing 20mph; these are really not suitable roads for Wiggle events, and I speak as a regular rider in the New Forest. Purbecks are much more suitable, and actually have some hills.

How is riding bikes at 20mph (can you read their computers from there?) past horses worse than driving cars or trucks past them at 40mph? The numbers don't lie -- no forest livestock has ever been killed by a bicycle.

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Justin Something [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Loss of business for the locals will serve them right. Let's ban horses whilst we are at it. FFS!

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Taff [19 posts] 2 years ago
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With the base moving out I doubt this will stop the antics of the NIMBY's throwing tacks and ripping signs down if they are fighting to get cycling banned altogether. I guess only time will tell. Are they looking to ban motorbikes following last nights tragedy near Ringwood?

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Forester [111 posts] 2 years ago
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Most of the New Forest stock is very docile, for various reasons including chronic ill health; foals are very easily startled. There was no sign of anyone slowing down for the riders. Horses can hear cars coming as can riders. I cycle these roads every day, and am happy that others do, but large groups of fast selfish riders trying to set Strava PBs are doing immense harm to the image of cycling and giving fuel to Commoners who have their own agenda.

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lushmiester [170 posts] 2 years ago
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giving fuel to Commoners who have their own agenda.

Please expand.

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Guyz2010 [302 posts] 2 years ago
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A well organised and good decision by the organisers. Leave the locals alone to their sleepy quiet life. The income by local businesses i'm sure will be missed. Let those would want to round up ponies do their stuff in peasce and cycle elsewhere where others might appreciate the huge income from participants.
I for one won't ever risk cycling in a hositle area like the New Forest.

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Chuck [521 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

There was no sign of anyone slowing down for the riders. Horses can hear cars coming as can riders. I cycle these roads every day, and am happy that others do, but large groups of fast selfish riders trying to set Strava PBs are doing immense harm to the image of cycling and giving fuel to Commoners who have their own agenda.

I'm with you here and also wish that some riders would pull their heads out of their backsides and be a bit more considerate on events like this. But as I understand it dozens of horses are killed in the New Forest by cars every year while the number killed or injured by bikes is zero*, so holding up the welfare of the animals as an argument for restricting cycling just doesn't hold water for me.

*Happy to be corrected if this is wrong but I've seen this said on this site somewhere I think.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Taff wrote:

With the base moving out I doubt this will stop the antics of the NIMBY's throwing tacks and ripping signs down if they are fighting to get cycling banned altogether. I guess only time will tell. Are they looking to ban motorbikes following last nights tragedy near Ringwood?

+1 They won't be happy until every one is choking on petrol fumes because of their selfish decision to drive everywhere.

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Gizmo_ [1333 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:
Forester wrote:

There was no sign of anyone slowing down for the riders. Horses can hear cars coming as can riders. I cycle these roads every day, and am happy that others do, but large groups of fast selfish riders trying to set Strava PBs are doing immense harm to the image of cycling and giving fuel to Commoners who have their own agenda.

I'm with you here and also wish that some riders would pull their heads out of their backsides and be a bit more considerate on events like this. But as I understand it dozens of horses are killed in the New Forest by cars every year while the number killed or injured by bikes is zero*, so holding up the welfare of the animals as an argument for restricting cycling just doesn't hold water for me.

*Happy to be corrected if this is wrong but I've seen this said on this site somewhere I think.

I believe there was a sad incident last year where a horse was spooked by a bike and kicked another horse which had to be destroyed. I can imagine the owners were devastated and I sympathise.

However, horses are a jumpy lot. They spook at plastic bags, manhole covers, wind from the wrong direction, the sun coming out, the sun going in, it being a Wednesday and hedges that looked at them funny. What a cyclist is supposed to do about this is unclear... even passing at walking pace having given fair warning one spooked at me the other day.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

It's totally unrealistic that the only cars seen on the video are in the event car park- highly selective editing. A foal is seen very near the riders, and two horse riders also near bikes doing 20mph; these are really not suitable roads for Wiggle events, and I speak as a regular rider in the New Forest. Purbecks are much more suitable, and actually have some hills.

I think you are a troll. In was born on the New Forest and my early cycling days were spent there. My brother still lives in the forest and we have taken part in Wiggle events together along with my son.

If you were genuinely concerned about the danger to the ponies then you would be spending your time trying to restrict the motorised vehicles that kill and injure them.

The Forest Verderers' own figures for last year reported 2012 can be seen here.
http://www.verderers.org.uk/roadaccs.pdf

51 Ponies killed
13 Ponies injured

7 Cattle killed
5 Cattle injured

6 donkeys killed

Deer are not counted as they are not counted as livestock.

The percentage of these killed or injured by cyclists was 0%
The percentage of these killed and injured by motor vehicles was 100%

2 of the 82 deaths or injuries to these particular animals were caused by motorcycles. 1 by a tractor. The remainder by cars.

I would add that the thousands of other animals that die on the roads in the forest: badgers, foxes, squirrels and birds are also all killed by motorised vehicles not by cyclists.

I also ask any person to consider the outcome of an unlikely scenario if a cyclist ever did collide with a pony or a cow. The outcome would be a scared pony or cow and an injured cyclist.

As for cyclists whizzing by at 20mph. I refer you to "O" Level physics and the equation for force. In this case the amount of energy transferred on impact. The equation is E = 1/2 m v2 (energy = mass x velocity squared divided by two)

Let's take a cyclist then a heavy one just for arguments sake. 13 1/2 stone and a reasonable bike weighing 30 lbs odd that's around 100kg.

And they are travelling nicely along at ~22mph. That's a nice round 10 meters per second.

Now let's do the equation. 100 x 10 squared divided by 2. so 100 x 100 over 2
that's 5000 joules of energy. if a big old cyclist on a heavy old bike travelling decently quickly for a big fellah hits something.

Remember 5000.

Now let's take a car. This time we'll take a little one. I have a Smart Car it weighs. 750 Kg. Add a small 8 st person and that's roughly 50Kg and all in we have 800 Kg Let's say that's also doing only ~22 mph. I won't go through the same equation with you but the answer is 40,000 joules. So that's a small person in a very light car going slowly for a car having 8 times more force of impact than a really heavy cyclist on a heavy-ish bike going at a decent clip.

Oh alright then. ....

My son is 18 and he weighs ~50 because he is a fit lad and cyclist. On his nice bike he's around 60Kg and at 22mph the answer is 3000 joules of impact energy. Remember 3000.

But what if it wasn't a smart car with a small driver we compared a cyclist to? What if it was a range rover with four big fellahs in it? Well now you have 2200 kg + four blokes 300 kg 2500 Kg and let's say it's doing 44mph not 22mph. (cos there's precious few cars doing just 22mph round the forest). That's 20 m/s squared so 400.

2500 X 400 = 1,000,000 divided by 2 so half a million joules.

The impact of a very small car is 8 times that of a heavyweight cyclist at the same speed. But it could be up to 140 times the impact force for a big car travelling at normal speed for a car. That's why its motor vehicles that kill the animals and not cyclists. See?

And that Mister Troll from the Forest is why cyclists and anyone with common sense or an O level in physics laughs their socks off when you say that cyclists pose a danger to wildlife.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 2 years ago
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Mr Troll "from the forest" I presume?

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oozaveared [933 posts] 2 years ago
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Guyz2010 wrote:

A well organised and good decision by the organisers. Leave the locals alone to their sleepy quiet life. The income by local businesses i'm sure will be missed. Let those would want to round up ponies do their stuff in peasce and cycle elsewhere where others might appreciate the huge income from participants.
I for one won't ever risk cycling in a hositle area like the New Forest.

It's worth remembering that lots of the locals are the cyclists and many of the people complaining don't live there, they just own property and come down for the weekend.

This has nothing to do with locals versus cyclists. It has to do with a few rich people who think buying property in a scenic area being very vocal about other people using the forest for recreation. I was born in the Forest and my brother still lives there. If you asked the proper locals what they thought then they would probably rather the carpet baggers who buy up the property and make life expensive for them (and who are the main complainers about; cyclists, walkers, campers and the locals who work in the forest and make noise). would stay in London at the weekend. And definitely stop driving on narrow roads like it's the M25.

People brought up in the forest have always known it's a place for recreation and have been happy to share. They saw becoming a National Park as an entirely good thing that brings in much welcome business in hotels, pubs and shops where they work.

No, it's not the locals. Owning a second home in the Forest does not a local make.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

A foal is seen very near the riders

I can't shift this out of my head after reading that:

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_meddouhgyB1rsuxuyo3_250.gif

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P3t3 [198 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

Most of the New Forest stock is very docile, for various reasons including chronic ill health; foals are very easily startled. There was no sign of anyone slowing down for the riders.

I know its a selectively, shot video but the cyclists really don't seem to be scaring the horses!

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Ok, editing the film to exclude all traffic is to be expected in this sort of promotional video. But it's really inspiring stuff, isn't it? It just makes me want to head down to the New Forest and start riding. Fabulous.

But although this vid is carefully edited to get the adenaline pumping, it can't avoid showing riders on the wrong side of the road, riders overtaking other riders without a safety check over their right shoulder, riders passing horses far too fast, riders of apparently vastly differing abilities travelling too close too one another and, possibly worst of all, riders on the wrong side of the road in wooodland, where the dappled light on the road would inevitably increase the risk of colliding with another road user. Bonkers coverage, especially if the worst of the "naughtiness" has presumably been edited out.

As a regular veteran of the L2B since 1980, I know that all these things are to be expected on mass participation rides, and aren't too terrible in the grand scheme of things. But, on roads open to other traffic, this isn't ideal when part of a profit generating event, especially when this situation is occurring repeatedly in some popular areas.

The solution is for local agencies to host events on (and this is the important bit) closed roads, with vast numbers, just once a year for each area, such that no resident or business is inconvenienced any more than once annually, and for ALL "profits" to be ploughed back into the local community for the common good.

There has to be change, because it simply isn't fair for ordinary cyclists to get "punished" on the road, and for our efforts to get cycling more universally accepted delayed, through this proliferation of events by organisers who either don't realise the damage they're doing, or know what they're doing but are quite prepared to carry on doing it.

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Tripod16 [149 posts] 2 years ago
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I've given up on riding in the NF and certainly won't be camping/stopping/eating etc. there as I have in the past. There is far too much good cycling elsewhere where locals are appreciative or at least not bothered.
NF -  103 bye, bye

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Guyz2010 [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Mmmm Ousaveard. Good usual educational point using extensive sums!
My point though is the possibly biased reporting by RoadCC doesn't perhaps reflect the other locals who don't mind. Yep I'm sure some have holiday homes. I have one in Cornwall (I'm fairly local in Devon) but it's a better pension investment than investing in the city through the likes who buy New Forest holiday homes. Gosh I've gone off topic.
Perhaps someone who does like the events there could give their opinions.

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Forester [111 posts] 2 years ago
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I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to be abused; I live in New Milton and cycle with the Lymington Tuesday Cycling Group, as well as riding in the forest every day. I have done the Rattler and many charity rides in the forest. I don't see how that makes me a troll. Apology welcomed, but not expected!

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MrGear [87 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, I'm doing this ride with my brother, and looking forward to it. No horses will be harmed in the process.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 2 years ago
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Forester wrote:

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to be abused; I live in New Milton and cycle with the Lymington Tuesday Cycling Group, as well as riding in the forest every day. I have done the Rattler and many charity rides in the forest. I don't see how that makes me a troll. Apology welcomed, but not expected!

No apology from me. Just check your facts. and if you don't want to be regarded as one of the regular anti-cycling trolls try not to just parrot their propaganda about cyclists damaging the wildlife and scaring the ponies.

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700c [817 posts] 2 years ago
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Depressing, but not surprising, how some on here just cannot see the POV of the locals and their legitimate concerns.

We are not talking about the few 'anti cyclist' NIMBY's - (who will hate you cycling wherever and however you do it.. ).

We are talking about locals who have legitimate concerns about 5,000 cyclists turning up, many from outside the area, to ride together in an unregulated event on narrow lanes with the minority riding inconsiderately as we know will happen (and a minority of 5,000 is still quite a lot)

Re-organising the start of the event to reduce disruption is a sensible action - and will take away the argument from the NIMBY anti cyclist brigade.

Imagine if 5,000 motorcyclists, horse riders, or car drivers turned up and did the same - I'm sure cyclists would be pretty peeved to be sharing the road with that lot, no?

These events need some sensible regulation and organisation with consideration to avoid damaging the reputation of 'cyclists' as a whole among the non cycling public - and to make sure we can keep on doing them!

There is a minority of NIMBY's, (e.g in the new forest or elsewhere), and a minority of die-hard cyclists (e.g on this forum or elsewhere) who will always hold entrenched views and further the 'them and us' view of different road user groups.

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29erKeith [39 posts] 2 years ago
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"Perhaps someone who does like the events there could give their opinions."
I'm local and have no problems with the events at all. I live in a small village which a number of sportives have passed through over several years. A couple have gone right past my house. I've never seen any problems at all personally. I've never done one but have been out on my bikes (Road and MTB) when some have been on, and been out and about in the car too. My son was born the day a large sportive came right past my house. No problems at all getting in and out\to the hospital.
The vocal types are just a bunch of, "old hate everything, except what I do" types, you'll never win an argument with them it's not worth wasting your breath. No logic or reason will work, they'll not be happy until the events are banned  102
They do themselves no favours at all with their sabotage and by campaigning on their utter nonsense reasons which vary from wild exaggerations to utter fabrication e.g. danger to people\motorists, wildlife, environment, "their historic way of life", an alleged human poo on a village green a month after....but fail to mention to their real problem! “I had to wait behind some cyclists and it cost minutes on my journey. Oh the injustice of it, ban them all!”
As I see it there are a couple of small problems, road traffic is impacted slightly (a few seconds\minutes here and there) and a small amount of litter (accidents and perhaps an inconsiderate few). The traffic impact is not a patch on many other non cycling and commercial events held in the forest and the litter as I've seen (one or two gels, quite possible not even from an event, lots of local\visiting cyclists pass though), it is a tiny percentage of the volume dropped\thrown from cars every day, by looking in the local verges, beer cans, energy drinks, sweet\crisp wrapper and the usual McD, KFC, Costa etc. 70 animals a year killed by cars (many local drivers), by bikes 0.

Half the forest is crippled every year by the new forest show and a few others events, Beaulieu can be bad. Lyndhurst and Brock' in the summer can be a nightmare at the best of times in a car. Dogs mess at every car park and path all over the show, was that a “ban dogs” I hear, no I didn’t think so.

The ponies on the forest don't bat an eye lid at very much at all tbh, yes people need to pass horses at a safe distance but unless your Mark Cavendish on a sprint or going down Ornamental drive (which I never seen a horse rider on) I think the speed point is nonsense, just pass wide and announce yourself with a cheery "good morning" as you approach and you'll have no trouble except from the odd horse which was going to jump at the sight of a leaf\crisp packet in the wind anyway and you simply can't do anything about that. Any car passing will be doing 15-20+mph, just so long as you announce yourself and aren’t going warp speed just roll on.

Wiggle\UK cycling events seem to be doing everything they can meet the nimbys demands, they'll ban any dangerous and inconsiderate riders that are reported they apparently do very detailed briefs and have cut numbers, extra toilets.....

NIMBYs and Bigots you'll not win, just try to have a nice day everyone who's doing it, and make sure you give any locals you do see a cheery Hello. Your jolliness will no doubt infuriate the NIMBY’s sadly amongst us even more.

Sorry for the length, and thanks if you stuck with it. 1st post too, been lurking for ages now.  103

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29erKeith [39 posts] 2 years ago
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@700cc get your numbers right please!
As I understand it, it's 1800 (20% cut) over 2 days over 3 routes (with common bits), with a staggered start, that does not make 5000!

Other than within a mile or two of the start it results in a broken but steady flow over a few hours, it is not the M25 at rush hour as many would have you believe.

please give me a genuine concern from a local

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oozaveared [933 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

Depressing, but not surprising, how some on here just cannot see the POV of the locals and their legitimate concerns.

We are not talking about the few 'anti cyclist' NIMBY's - (who will hate you cycling wherever and however you do it.. ).

We are talking about locals who have legitimate concerns about 5,000 cyclists turning up, many from outside the area, to ride together in an unregulated event on narrow lanes with the minority riding inconsiderately as we know will happen (and a minority of 5,000 is still quite a lot)
.

I bet I know more locals than you. ie more or less my entire extended family live in the Forest. Their biggest gripe is the New Forest Show which jams up the roads completely. They can't go anywhere.

But this is the horsey lot mainly from outside the Forest who are main complainers about cyclists oh and hikers, and campers, and groccles (holiday makers) and well just about anybody using the forest that isn't on a horse or towing a horse box. The reason they don't want people in the forest is because that's not where they make a living. They don't work in the pubs or hotels or garages and shops like the locals do. They pop down the M3 on a Friday night and want peace and quiet before they had back to London on Sunday evening.

I reiterate. The opponents of people coming in to the forest are not locals. The complainers are also coming from outside to use the forest but want it exclusively for their own recreation and for nobody else's. Even the Scout Association has trouble with them and they've been using it for over a hundred years. My brother needed work done underpinning his house and had one of these folk round as soon as cement mixer turned up trying to make sure there would be no work done on a Saturday or Sunday when "they were down for the weekend". That's what you are up against. Went away with a flea in his ear.

Well done Wiggle for moving the start and finish to just outside the forest and Hampshire CC. That's a few years they've wasted lobbying and entertaining Hampshire Councillors. Dorset (which does encompass some of the Forest) is much more tourism friendly.

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David Portland [83 posts] 2 years ago
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A pedant notes: As far as I can tell, none of the National Park is in Dorset. There's a short bit of common boundary near Bransgore though  1

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