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Nails on road cause punctures for over 20 riders in third attack on New Forest sportive

Saturday’s Wiggle New Forest Sportive was marred by sabotage as more than 20 riders sustained punctures after protesters scattered nails on the road in the New Forest village of Bransgore.

This incident was the third time saboteurs have attempted to disrupt sportives in the New Forest. In October the Wiggle New Forest 100 was targeted and last April the Wiggle New Forest Sportive also suffered a tack attack. 

Fortunately there were no casualties in Saturday's incident. Organiser Martin Barden and local MP Julian Lewis both slammed the attack on the event.

The Daily Echo’s Michael Carr reports that Julian Lewis said top level talks were going on with Government ministers and national park chiefs to resolve tensions between residents and cyclists.

Lewis said: “It does not help anyone when people, however frustrated they feel, do something that could lead to a nasty accident or at the very least a nasty confrontation.

“I'm hoping that the cause of the provocation will sooner rather than later be sorted out but taking the law into one's own hands is not the way forward.

“Doing something illegal and dangerous is never the right thing to do.”

He added: “This whole issue is absolutely being focused on by local elected representatives' right up to Government ministers. I would appeal to the community to disassociate themselves from these actions.”

Sportives in the New Forest have been plagued by controversy as a small but vocal group of locals have campaigned vociferously against them.

Last week, posters appeared in villages along the route, condemning the event as "an abuse of our tranquil locality" and warning it "could put members of the public at risk" the event.

But one long-time opponent of the rides, New Forest Equestrian Association chairman Tony Hockley, decided to take part to see for himself what effect the riders had on livestock.

He said he had seen a herd of cattle “spooked” by riders, but said that on the whole cyclists behaved well.

He said: “There are a few cyclists who had that 'hell for leather' mentality - but that was a minority.”

“I did see some cyclists overtake on blind bends and narrow lanes, one even overtook me on a right hand turn on the wrong side of the road.

“Most of the riders rode in single file, and nearly all of them behaved very well.”

Martin Barden, director of event organiser UK Cycling Events said: “The New Forest Spring Sportive was a great success, with the participants enjoying wonderful weather conditions. The new route, event headquarters and additional marshals worked extremely well. The majority of locals residents where extremely supportive of the event, and the riders really appreciated them clapping and cheering them on as they completed the course.

“It was surprising and disappointing to see a handful of anti-cycling campaigners trying to disrupt the event again this year by throwing tacks onto the road on several occasions. Our support teams however, cleared these away before they could harm the riders, local drivers and new forest animals.

“It was great to see so many families taking part and riders cycling to raise vital funds for our national charity partner Prostate Cancer UK. We are also delighted to have donated £3,000 to the amazing local New Forest charity Oak Haven Hospice.

“We will as always continue to work with the local residents and authorities to refine the way our event operates in the future to ensure minimal disruption is caused.”

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.

55 comments

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themartincox [499 posts] 2 years ago
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>2000 riders raised £3,000 for a local hospice?

wow at £1.50 per rider that's some frugal spending!

but well done nonetheless, every little helps!

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MrGear [87 posts] 2 years ago
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Another well-organised event by UK Cycling Events, and I'm glad to say I didn't witness any bad behavior by either riders or locals.

I spent over £100 locally over the weekend, on food, campsite and entertainment, so that is just my personal contribution to the local economy. Small-mindedness by some locals is the minority view, I am sure.

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bikebot [1919 posts] 2 years ago
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So no poo this year?

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Bez [593 posts] 2 years ago
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Not the bloody road tacks argument again…

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cyclingDMlondon [488 posts] 2 years ago
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'... top level talks were going on with Government ministers and national park chiefs to resolve tensions between residents and cyclists'.

Is this what it's come to?

Resolving tensions?

Whatever happened to 'break the law, and you're f*cking going to jail'?

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bikebot [1919 posts] 2 years ago
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"after protesters scattered nails on the road in the New Forest village of Bransgore"

Any reason to believe it's plural, given that it's in one location. Sounds more likely to me it's just one fruitcake dishing out their own justice.

With any luck, they'll also have a big mouth and will pay the price.

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don simon [762 posts] 2 years ago
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What the hell is wrong with some people?

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nowasps [426 posts] 2 years ago
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How many residents and animals died during the event of massive spooking injuries?

We need to be told.

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TheSpaniard [98 posts] 2 years ago
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don simon wrote:

What the hell is wrong with some people?

I know! Bloody cyclists...  3

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ryanmerrett [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Credit where credit is due, New Forest Equestrian Association chairman Tony Hockley, fair play for getting involved and seeing first hand how the majorty of cyclists behave. As with the people throwing the tacs, it is the small manority giving the majority a bad name.

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AndrewRH [56 posts] 2 years ago
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Bez wrote:

Not the bloody road tacks argument again…

There is no such thing as road tacks. It is vehicle exercise duty.

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Rouboy [91 posts] 2 years ago
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The residents seem to have a collection of concerns one of which, hurting animals so the best thing to do is.....
Put nails on the road for them to walk on?
How stupid are these people?

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edster99 [336 posts] 2 years ago
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Rouboy wrote:

The residents seem to have a collection of concerns one of which, hurting animals so the best thing to do is.....
Put nails on the road for them to walk on?
How stupid are these people?

you seem to be under the misguided assumption that they try to make decisions based on logic!

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userfriendly [562 posts] 2 years ago
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Hate and resentments are not rational.

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samuri [60 posts] 2 years ago
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edster99 wrote:
Rouboy wrote:

The residents seem to have a collection of concerns one of which, hurting animals so the best thing to do is.....
Put nails on the road for them to walk on?
How stupid are these people?

you seem to be under the misguided assumption that they try to make decisions based on logic!

Or that that are really concerned for the animals welfare. Obviously if death and injuries of ponies really bothered them they'd demand that cars be banned since they kill over 70 a year and injure another 30.

No, what really bothers the residents is that someone appears to be using their back yard for something they're not involved in.

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The _Kaner [770 posts] 2 years ago
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well everyone (in opposition) kept bleating on about cyclists needing to pay road tacks.....har har....  24

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Simmo72 [603 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm not fan of large scale sportives, but this is dangerous and stupid. I can't work out if this is the work of an inbred tribe or the london lot thinking they own the place because they have a twee holiday cottage, a pair of hunters and a chuffing horse.

Where do you get these nails which only work on paying sportive riders and not local cyclists, walkers, animals or cars? Very clever people these New Forestarian Fcukwits.

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dp24 [201 posts] 2 years ago
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samuri wrote:

No, what really bothers the residents is that someone appears to be using their back yard for something they're not involved in.

Spot on.

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Simmo72 [603 posts] 2 years ago
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samuri]
[quote=Rouboy

wrote:

No, what really bothers the residents is that someone appears to be using their back yard for something they're not involved in.

May I suggest the addition of badger baiting and riding the entire event in Hunter wellies, that should keep the locals and the londoners on side.

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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Dozens of these events, whether Wiggle/UKCE-organised or otherwise, take place up and down the country every weekend without hitch, so why is it only the New Forest ones that seem to have this vociferous oppositon and the resulting problems?

Genuinely interested to (try and) understand this...

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Kim [228 posts] 2 years ago
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Well given that there were 72 livestock deaths and 32 injured caused by cyclists last year, maybe they have a point. Also cars never cause a problem or do any damage...

Oh, hang on, I think I might have made a couple of mistakes in that first statement...

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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To counter these endless "attack" "stories", how about running some about all the people that enjoy these events?

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don simon [762 posts] 2 years ago
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parksey wrote:

Dozens of these events, whether Wiggle/UKCE-organised or otherwise, take place up and down the country every weekend without hitch, so why is it only the New Forest ones that seem to have this vociferous oppositon and the resulting problems?

Genuinely interested to (try and) understand this...

http://road.cc/content/news/93074-saboteurs-lay-out-tacks%E2%80%99-etape...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13404042

Bloody southerners!  29

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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AndrewRH wrote:
Bez wrote:

Not the bloody road tacks argument again…

There is no such thing as road tacks. It is vehicle exercise duty.

I just snorted at my desk, and a little bit of snot came out

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stupegg [3 posts] 2 years ago
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I love how people live in an area think they own that area.

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Forester [116 posts] 2 years ago
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Did the Dorset Coastlet Audax on the Sunday, to avoid the Wiggle Ride; Dorset a much friendlier place to ride, even had cars giving way to let us across major roads. More hills too!

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step-hent [722 posts] 2 years ago
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stupegg wrote:

I love how people live in an area think they own that area.

It's kind of a natural reaction, isn't it? Even people in big cities tend towards that way of thinking. And it's not always a bad thing - 'taking ownership' of the environment around us often means taking better care of it and can result in a nicer environment for everyone. For the most part, people don't get carried away with it, and recognize that public rights of way exist, particularly in a national park, and that everyone has to share the space. The problem in the New Forest seems to be that a small bunch of very vocal individuals have taken it upon themselves to decide who gets to do what in public spaces. Perhaps they would prefer to lose the national park status, and have the whole thing sold off for luxury flats and retail developments? Just a thought...

Good on Tony Hockley for getting in and seeing what it is really like though. Maybe he can help to calm the local disquiet and push for a bit more balance all round!

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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stupegg wrote:

I love how people live in an area think they own that area.

Well there's nothing wrong in taking pride and a feeling of stewardship in your area, seeing as you spend most of your time there. Go somewhere that doesn't happen and decide if you think it makes for a pleasant environment.

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Rob 105 rider [9 posts] 2 years ago
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The photo attached to this story is of me! I rode this event a few years ago and remember being very respectful of the animals I encountered due their unpredictable nature. It is unfortunate that someone thought it necessary to sabotage what is a great event and a shame those responsible don't seem to speak up and have some sort of dialogue with the organisers to see if any compromises can be made to stop nail scattering ruining an otherwise enjoyable event?

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gazza_d [459 posts] 2 years ago
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Why for fecks sake are they dragging Ministers into the row.

It's simple.
Bikes are non polluting
Bikes are healthy
Bikes don't use all the bloody space.
Bikes don't kill the wild animals.
Bikes are legally using the roads.

Tell the idiots and dinosaurs to STFU.

Stupid stupid people

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