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Posters claim to "warn event could put public at risk”...

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:

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.

60 comments

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jollygoodvelo [1422 posts] 2 years ago
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It's the "OUR roads and OUR villages" thing that annoys me most. NIMBYs can FRO.

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Chris [157 posts] 2 years ago
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"The weekend of Palm Sunday" Those evil godless cyclists!
I'm always amazed that anyone can get themselves so worked up over this sort of thing. Must be nice to have nothing better to do and nothing genuinely worrying to worry about.

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faz. [23 posts] 2 years ago
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I am sure I'm not the only one who finds this most hilarious. To go to the effort of printing colour posters and spending evenings sticking them to trees? This kind of thing is beyond sad, and the creators can only be pitied.

That said, last year I seem to recall there being some rather more malicious actions such as signs and attempting to block cyclists' paths? Hopefully will not happen again.

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bikebot [1924 posts] 2 years ago
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OK, whoever it is with the squeaky disk brakes, you really need to get those sorted  21

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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I just don't get the way these people think. They must know that the actual damage done by cyclists is zero compared to the damage done by cars, which they don't seem to have a problem with. So why do they behave as if it's the other way round? Have they actually worked themselves up into believing that this is the case?

Idiots.

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userfriendly [562 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:

I just don't get the way these people think. They must know that the actual damage done by cyclists is zero compared to the damage done by cars, which they don't seem to have a problem with. So why do they behave as if it's the other way round? Have they actually worked themselves up into believing that this is the case?

Outwardly projected self-loathing would be my guess.

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bikebot [1924 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:

I just don't get the way these people think.

Bigotry isn't logical. That's why good humour is such a strong weapon to fight it in all forms.

Don't explain to them they're being ludicrous, just rip the p out of them.

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [380 posts] 2 years ago
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The motivation behind these posters is quite simple - some people don't like cyclists because they make driving more of a task where one has to think.

That's it. Driving = slightly more difficult, therefore cyclists = evil.

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BigDummy [314 posts] 2 years ago
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For what it is worth, this steady drip of stories about the unfriendliness of the people of the New Forest does mean that I wouldn't really consider going there. It just seems to be a very unpleasant community. Presumably the people we hear about are not representative of everyone who lives there. If that is right, it is a pity that they are so vocal.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd still do there, but only 'cos I really need a poo and I hear their village greens are lovely

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nowasps [428 posts] 2 years ago
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allez neg wrote:

I'd still do there, but only 'cos I really need a poo and I hear their village greens are lovely

They also provide lavatory paper pinned to the trees. Just make sure you take it out of its plastic cover first.

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fatty [77 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:

I just don't get the way these people think. They must know that the actual damage done by cyclists is zero compared to the damage done by cars, which they don't seem to have a problem with. So why do they behave as if it's the other way round? Have they actually worked themselves up into believing that this is the case?

Utter selfishness - that's about it.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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That's a great photo, credit to whoever took it, other than that let them keeping making a rod for their own back...

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therevokid [948 posts] 2 years ago
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that's some sportive posse they've photographed ... glad
I'm not trying to hold a wheel in that ...  1

sad that they have to be soooo bigoted though ... oh well
they can have some pity ... oh wait I'm a cyclist they wouldn't
want it would they ...

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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I emailed her.

"Hi,

I believe you are responsible for defacing trees by using plastic and drawing pins to stick posters up around your area.

Please remember a few points when you do this:

1) The government is trying to increase sustainable transport. Cycling is one of those.

2) Cyclists do less damage, kill less people, erode less tarmac surfaces, and pollute less air than other forms of transport. Are they bad too?

3) Your area relies on tourism. This is it. For every cyclist there is a supporting family spending money in your shops, eating in your restaurants, staying in your hotels. So if there is less tourism, what do you fall back on? Bartering with neighbours? Populating charity shops?

4) Your comment regarding “speeding”. My experience is that the average cyclist is doing 14mph on a bicycle on these sorts of events. They are not professional races with higher speeds. That is half of the minimum speed limit you have. Do you refer to car drivers doing more than 15mph as speeders?

5) Most importantly – you are there to support the public, who pay you for the role you perform. I am such a member of the public, and use my taxes to pay you to represent me. I would like to see the levels of support you have for this somewhat bizarre initiative.

Kind Regards
Goggy (well, my real name)
Taxpayer (and your boss)

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bikebot [1924 posts] 2 years ago
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nowasps wrote:
allez neg wrote:

I'd still do there, but only 'cos I really need a poo and I hear their village greens are lovely

They also provide lavatory paper pinned to the trees. Just make sure you take it out of its plastic cover first.

If you ask the pro's, they all say that in competition you should avoid all that faffing about and simply drag your bum along using your arms in the way that dogs sometimes do.

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levermonkey [664 posts] 2 years ago
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That's fine. I'll just take my bike and my wallet elsewhere.  19

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

That's fine. I'll just take my bike, bum and my wallet elsewhere.  19

Quite right mate, me too!  3

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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It's important to make it clear to nimbys that the New Forest belongs to everyone, but let's all keep calm, let's keep the moral high ground, and let's not do anything that brings us even closer to legislative restriction.

There will surely be cameras at the ready, so let's not do anything that may be interpreted as "racing". Just to play devils advocate here, if I was gathering "evidence" to support my case for legislative change, this might well be one of the events I attended. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.

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burtthebike [283 posts] 2 years ago
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Are cyclists the new n*****s? So many people seem to have such an irrational hatred of them that if it was based on skin colour, race or sexual orientation it would be illegal.

If the councillor is using her official position to justify her actions, she would appear to be abusing her office. We can only hope that dinosoars like her get voted out quickly. Would UKIP be an improvement? Given her attitude and the fact that she's already a conservative, it wouldn't be too surprising if she switched to them.

Perhaps local cyclists could set up a fund and pay to get her some counselling to deal with her affliction?

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chrisp1973 [55 posts] 2 years ago
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This is really starting to get on my nerves now! Never have I seen such a small minded and petty effort from a grown woman in a position of responsibility and trust. Is she speaking on behalf of everyone in the New Forest, was this deed carried out after a vote or with the consent of those she represents? I doubt it.

This woman and her cronies WILL NOT stop me having a great day on Sunday. I will ride within the rules of the Highway Code and conduct myself in a gentlemanly fashion, however, if a NIMBY attempts to push me off my bike, as happened to riders last year, I will act accordingly.

Will I be bullied by a small group of posh thugs, no, no I won't

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fret [37 posts] 2 years ago
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I can see the points about the roads being clogged by large groups of cyclists which annoy car drivers (Oh dear, what a pity) but there is no law against it, so shut up, womaytypething.

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VeNT [53 posts] 2 years ago
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I wonder if she's getting much email about this.

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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She-who-I-will-not-name-in-case-of-legal-action replied to me (below)

"On 11 Apr 2014, at 19:29, "Cllr xxx" wrote:
yes - i am a supporter of cycling and its great and the New forest National park Authority has money from government to promote family cycling.

BUT
Recently we have had a horse rider thrown and killed by speeding cyclists and other people including children thrown.
AND cyclists killed and seriously injured
and also the livestock killed and maimed.

So any organisation that encourages people to cycle fast in narrow lanes - in my view - this is reprehensible and 'smacks' as avarice - cyclists are paying £30+.

I have put up two posters and the parish has put some on their notice boards. If people have a problem this weekend they contact the parish or town councils in the New Forest.

Talking about tourism -- we have 10+ million visitors every year and they all want to use the Forest - it is unique for quiet recreation.
How can i put this - i have yet to see a Sportive rider stop at the pub, tearoom or shop. (Talking of charity shops as an old age pensioner - they are great!!)

The problem is not confined to the day -- for the last two weeks we have had cyclists 'doing' the route as fast as they can - and they will be back after this weekend to do it again with their friends.

Sportives are properly organised on the continent - on main roads not sending thousand of cyclists down narrow single track roads used by everyone.

The New Forest national park and the District council went to London last week and spoke to the Ministry for an hour - they are supported by the association of the Town and parish councils and other organisations in the Forest. The national park has tried for two years now to find a solution - the government will have to resolve it. I think through local licensing but i don't think it will come in till after the Tour de France next year which starts in Yorkshire.
Licencing is probably - the best way - other events are licensed - everything has then to be proportionate on both sides.

yes I represent the local ward - voted in democratically - and the safety of people is my concern - and I will always speak up.

At the moment - the local majority tells me - i have got it right.

ANn"

___

I hope she doesn't also have responsibility for local literacy levels in schools.  35

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jacknorell [966 posts] 2 years ago
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goggy wrote:

Recently we have had a horse rider thrown and killed by speeding cyclists and other people including children thrown.
AND cyclists killed and seriously injured
and also the livestock killed and maimed.

I'd be surprised if any cyclist was throwing any children?

Also, did any cyclist kill another cyclist, or was that a car doing the killing / injuring?

And, has there been any reported incidence of livestock or any ponies hurt by a cyclist? Or was that a car again?

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Jones The Steam [36 posts] 2 years ago
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I emailed her too. Got pretty much the same reply as above. I'd imagine she's had rather a lot of email today so has resorted to cutting & pasting her replies!

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manox432 [8 posts] 2 years ago
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I suggest we all go down and ride reeeeeally really slowly, 3 wide.
Absolutely pathetic

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paulfg42 [387 posts] 2 years ago
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Cyclists causing carnage. Again.  37

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cisgil23 [55 posts] 2 years ago
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I think the best comment here is the idea that everybody rides really slowly, especially on the narrow bits, with very little room for cars to overtake.

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chrisp1973 [55 posts] 2 years ago
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Dear Mrs Sevier,

I'm writing to express my horror at your posting of anti-cycling posters in the New Forest before this weekends Wiggle event.

Whilst I understand some of your concerns, I'm disgusted that you feel it's acceptable for you to abuse your position by attempting to sway the opinion of members of your parish and the general public by the use of your bigoted and laughably inaccurate posters.

You, madam are running a hate campaign, nothing more and nothing less, against a healthy, environmentally friendly and sociable sport and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Your behaviour is elitist, sectarian and smacks of discrimination of the lowest kind.

I have had the pleasure of serving my country for the last eighteen years as a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in, most recently, Iraq and Afghanistan fighting against oppression and discrimination. I do not expect to be subject to the kind of discrimination you so plainly support and push on others in my own country!

The New a Forest is a national park and open to all, not who you decide fit in with what you desire.

I will cycle the forest this weekend. I will follow the Highway Code and behave with courtesy and respect for others, I expect the same in return.

Sincerely

A very angry cyclist.

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