Cyclists have hit out at posters opposing the Wiggle New Forest Sportive rides this weekend, and in response the Forestry Commission is removing the posters.
The anonymous posters have been placed in New Forest villages, apparently by a local person, to “warn that this event could put members of the public at risk”.
They look like this:
Ann Sevier New Forest Councillor is the bigoted anti cyclist responsible for this poster, ann.sevier [at] newforest.gov.uk pic.twitter.com/F2ayuFc258
— New Forest Cyclist (@forestcyclist) April 11, 2014
Cyclists, including at least one New Forest native, have responded angrily via Twitter, but also with humour, mocking the message of the posters.
New Forest Cyclist, who has been a significant voice in the social media campaign supporting sportives posted: “I’m a local, lived in area all my life, unlike this vocal, anti-cycling, Nimby minority.”
And the situation became very widely known when BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine tweeted: “Thought you were cycling? Nope, you were committing an ‘abuse of local tranquility’”
The latest twist in the tale came early this afternoon when New Forest Cyclist tweeted: “Been informed that @ForestryCommEng are pulling down the 'anti cycling' posters wherever they encounter them in the New Forest, great news!”
Many people have pointed out that drivers remain a far greater danger to local people and lifestock. The New Forest National Park Authority says it has no recorded instances of cyclists causing harm to animals including ponies in the last six years.
John Colvin tweeted: “BE AWARE! MASSIVE DRVING EVENT ON NEW FOREST ROADS EVERY DAY”
Andy Lulham said the poster was “Lazy, arrogant and inaccurate. I'm really surprised it's not in Comic Sans #TheBigotsFriend”
Dan Cook fired up his trusty image editor to create this parody of the posters:
While a few people have said the local opposition has put them off taking part in the ride, others are still looking forward to it.
Polly Neate tweeted: “Excited about my 3rd @ukcyclingevents New Forest spring sportive on Sunday: pony-spotting, deer-spotting if very lucky, nimby-spotting... ;)”
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.