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Latest attempt to placate NIMBYs teaches granny to suck eggs

A draft charter for cycling events in the New Forest has been published after several years of acrimonious protests from a small number of locals opposed to sportive rides in the national park.

But sportive organiser UK Cycling Events says there's nothing in the charter they're not already doing.

In the most recent incident, nails were thrown on the route of the Wiggle Spring Sportive. After the event, 18 riders were banned from subsequent events for breaches of event rules including urinating in public.

The draft charter has been drawn up by a cycling liaison group involving more than 20 organisations. The New Forest National Park Authority is now awaiting feedback from from parish councils, authority members and New Forest District Council before the final version is published.

Martin Barden of UK Ccing Events, which organises the biggest sportives in the forest, told road.cc: "We were heavily involved in helping to shape the Charter as part of the Cycling Liaison Group. There is nothing in the Charter we are not doing currently and we intent to comply with the Charter going forward."

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the National Park Authority, said: “The National Park Authority convened this group to encourage responsible cycling which is in keeping with the special qualities and purposes of the National Park.

“The draft Charter confirms the central role played by the New Forest Public Events and Safety Advisory Group – which brings together the Highway Authority, District Council, the Police and others - through which individual events are assessed in advance and monitored.”

The draft Charter provides guidance on: planning cycle events; liaising with local communities, landowners and organisations; advising participants in advance about appropriate behaviour; responsibilities of event organisers during and after the event (for example: effective marshalling, signage, litter picking, mechanisms for feedback).

Many of the charter’s recommendations are already standard procedure for event organisers in the forest. For example, organisers should plan a year ahead and avoid dates that clash with pony round-ups. But when UK Cycling Events planned last year’s Wiggle New Forest 100 Sportive, they gave substantial notice of the date, only to have round-up organisers choose the same date.

Some of the recommendations will be difficult or impossible to implement. The charter says organisers should take action “against participants who contravene event rules (e.g. banned from future events for unlawful racing or cycling in a peloton).“

The charter provides no definition of a peloton, or what would constitute racing, and elsewhere says riders should be started in groups.

Matthews said: “Obviously the charter does not supersede the Highway Code but the New Forest is unique in that it is a working forest with forestry, farming and equestrian activity on its narrow roads and tracks and free-roaming animals. Great care is needed to avoid unnecessary conflict and ensure the safety of all.

“A number of forest organisations, cycling organisations and cycle event companies are members of the Cycling Liaison Group and have helped draw up the charter, so we are confident that event organisers will find it useful and implement its recommendations. We will review the charter after a year.”

To view the draft charter for cycle event organisers go to www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/cycle-charter.

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.

37 comments

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brooksby [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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Will the draft charter also bind the locals, to stop them throwing tacks on the public highway?  39

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tomilett [6 posts] 2 years ago
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I heard you were allowed to ride on the same roads, any time of year you like, and for free...
And you can still time it and see how well you did on Strava afterwards  103

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700c [981 posts] 2 years ago
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I read the headline as 'daft' not draft..

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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There's a certain irony to the use of the pic in this post, that shows a group of riders whose road positioning suggests they either have no idea that there is a car behind them, or are aware of the car and have decided to just carry on as they are.

Come on guys, pick your pics more carefully  3

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7thGalaxy [44 posts] 2 years ago
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I see nothing wrong with this. Easier to overtake than a long long line of single cyclists. The whole "never ride double when cars are around" is a myth best done away with.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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I agree, cyclists are entitled to ride two abreast, but there are limits. The fact that there are two cars in the space between the two groups of riders, clearly positioned with an intention to overtake when safe to do so, ought to prompt the cyclists to at least ride more tidily, and perhaps switch to single file riding for a few moments. Everything about the cyclists' road positioning, on this particular road is wrong, and pics like these appearing in the media don't really help our cause.

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KiwiMike [1239 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I agree, cyclists are entitled to ride two abreast, but there are limits. The fact that there are two cars in the space between the two groups of riders, clearly positioned with an intention to overtake when safe to do so, ought to prompt the cyclists to at least ride more tidily, and perhaps switch to single file riding for a few moments. Everything about the cyclists' road positioning, on this particular road is wrong, and pics like these appearing in the media don't really help our cause.

It's a two-lane road. It will never, ever be safe to pass even single-file cyclists without crossing the centreline. Therefore the driver should use the entire opposite lane. Therefore the cyclists are perfectly correct. What they should NOT do is go single file, encouraging a close pass in the face of oncoming traffic.

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oozaveared [947 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

There's a certain irony to the use of the pic in this post, that shows a group of riders whose road positioning suggests they either have no idea that there is a car behind them, or are aware of the car and have decided to just carry on as they are.

Come on guys, pick your pics more carefully  3

I can't see anything wrong with their positioning myself. It's perfect. Clear road, 2 a breast and gaps between groups.

Can you explain why you think that's wrong? I am genuinely interested because I've been riding in groups since 1973 and I'd love to know what I've been doing wrong for 41 years.

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David Portland [83 posts] 2 years ago
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The other side of the road is perfectly adequate for overtaking. Replace the group of bikes with a tractor or another car, it's perfectly fine. And considerably less obstructive than a wandering pony or herd of cows, which is probably around the next corner  3

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oozaveared [947 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I agree, cyclists are entitled to ride two abreast, but there are limits. The fact that there are two cars in the space between the two groups of riders, clearly positioned with an intention to overtake when safe to do so, ought to prompt the cyclists to at least ride more tidily, and perhaps switch to single file riding for a few moments. Everything about the cyclists' road positioning, on this particular road is wrong, and pics like these appearing in the media don't really help our cause.

I should also mention that it is the responsibility of drivers overtaking to do so properly and when it is safe to do so. It is not the responsibility of slower traffic to start manoevering to the side of the road so that someone can pass when it is not safe and so the passing vehicle can share a lane more easily.

and I say that as a former professional driver and member of the IAM.

The current penchant for parking on the pavement is a similar manifestation of the idea that everyone hasd to get out of the way so that some drivers don't have to slow down even a bit. Apart from the obvious offence of parking on a footway it's also the easiest way to get your car bumped into or the wingmirror smashed off. Precisely because it encourages people to think they can get past when there isn't enough room.

Been cycling long?

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MikeF [16 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

...The fact that there are two cars in the space between the two groups of riders, clearly positioned with an intention to overtake when safe to do so, ought to prompt the cyclists to at least ride more tidily, and perhaps switch to single file riding for a few moments...

If they were spread out in single file, the space between the groups wouldn't exist. There are certainly times when single file is appropriate but I think they're making it easier for drivers in that case. Whether the drivers see it like that is another matter.

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hood [117 posts] 2 years ago
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well said!
they are 2 abreast, whats the issue? all legit and above board, no highway code rules broken!

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underwood [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Switching to single file would effectively double the length of the group i.e. double the distance required for the car to safely overtake.

I'm driving my car; is it easier to overtake a long strung out group of single file cyclists or a group riding in pairs?

Pairs every time as it reduces my amount of time spent on the wrong side of the carriageway.

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CarlosFerreiro [112 posts] 2 years ago
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If you try to follow the highway code guidance on singling out AND the government guidance on taking primary, then it'd seem to lead inevitably to riders in this situation singling out to primary position?  39

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usedtobefaster [182 posts] 2 years ago
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4.4 Report immediately to the Police any instances of sign removal or tampering, obstacles or hazards placed on roads, or offences committed by other road users including other participants.

yeah like they're going to be really bothered about investigating sign removal or tampering. And I wonder how far they got investigating the trailer load of mud dump on the route of last years autumn's event.

Let's face it the main purpose of the document and main anti cycling groups in the area is to try to shut down UK Cycling Events activities in the area because the traditional local "power" wielders aren't getting anything out of them and don't have any control over the public highways and are angry that "outsiders" can't be controlled.

As is reported the UKCE event code of conduct and rules already included all of the points in the charter.

By the way I live on the outskirts of the New Forest and ride within the boundaries regularly in case anyone's wondering.

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Al__S [1084 posts] 2 years ago
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CarlosFerreiro wrote:

If you try to follow the highway code guidance on singling out AND the government guidance on taking primary, then it'd seem to lead inevitably to riders in this situation singling out to primary position?  39

Indeed. I take the HC guidance on singling out to refer to single-lane narrow roads, where you need to be single to allow vehicles coming the other way to pass.

As there's no actual definition of what a narrow road is in the HC, I reckon "too narrow for a centre line" is a sensible cut off.

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antigee [360 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

there's nothing in the charter they're not already doing.

....exactly that's the whole of idea of charters and self regulation

as to the pic this comment is spot on

"It's a two-lane road. It will never, ever be safe to pass even single-file cyclists without crossing the centreline. Therefore the driver should use the entire opposite lane. Therefore the cyclists are perfectly correct. What they should NOT do is go single file, encouraging a close pass in the face of oncoming traffic.
posted by KiwiMike"

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CarlosFerreiro [112 posts] 2 years ago
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Al__S wrote:
CarlosFerreiro wrote:

If you try to follow the highway code guidance on singling out AND the government guidance on taking primary, then it'd seem to lead inevitably to riders in this situation singling out to primary position?  39

Indeed. I take the HC guidance on singling out to refer to single-lane narrow roads, where you need to be single to allow vehicles coming the other way to pass.

As there's no actual definition of what a narrow road is in the HC, I reckon "too narrow for a centre line" is a sensible cut off.

That'd be one idea to base it on. Another idea would seem to be that maybe "narrow" might be where a car cannot overtake a bike, giving the appropriate DoT dynamic envelopes, without crossing the centre-line. That's a LOT of roads.
But not sure what the specifics are actually intended to be.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm well aware of what the highway code says, and I'm well aware that (theoretically) a single file means an overtaking vehicle spends longer on the dangerous side of the road, but that's not really the point I was making.

What concerns me is that using pictures like this, which may well be regarded by drivers as cyclists being arrogant or inattentive, even if those cyclists aren't technically breaking any laws, have the potential to fuel the confict between parties.

You've all got to remember that your comments are being read by drivers, and indeed by those who seek to ban sportives, who will inevitably note the collective scorn heaped on any suggestion of compromise for the common good, and that social media can so easily work against us.

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ThatBritishBloke [21 posts] 2 years ago
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The riders on the left (of the picture) have taken the lane, an appropriate and safe position even if they weren't cycling in a group. The others are riding inside that line. What's the problem?

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nowasps [491 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I'm well aware of what the highway code says, and I'm well aware that (theoretically) a single file means an overtaking vehicle spends longer on the dangerous side of the road, but that's not really the point I was making.

What concerns me is that using pictures like this, which may well be regarded by drivers as cyclists being arrogant or inattentive, even if those cyclists aren't technically breaking any laws, have the potential to fuel the confict between parties.

You've all got to remember that your comments are being read by drivers, and indeed by those who seek to ban sportives, who will inevitably note the collective scorn heaped on any suggestion of compromise for the common good, and that social media can so easily work against us.

This is nonsense.

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jova54 [667 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

I'm well aware of what the highway code says, and I'm well aware that (theoretically) a single file means an overtaking vehicle spends longer on the dangerous side of the road, but that's not really the point I was making.

What concerns me is that using pictures like this, which may well be regarded by drivers as cyclists being arrogant or inattentive, even if those cyclists aren't technically breaking any laws, have the potential to fuel the confict between parties.

You've all got to remember that your comments are being read by drivers, and indeed by those who seek to ban sportives, who will inevitably note the collective scorn heaped on any suggestion of compromise for the common good, and that social media can so easily work against us.

Not only are they 'technically' not breaking any law but they are not 'actually' breaking any law.

You want your cake and to eat it Neil753.

Almost every post you make you implicitly criticise cyclists by suggesting that we should think about the impression we have on drivers. You must have a very low opinion of the abilities of most drivers on the road and by implication the majority of people on this forum who are drivers as well as cyclists.

Maybe you'd be better off spending your time posting on driving web sites suggesting that the drivers read the Highway Code and gain an understanding of just why it's perfectly acceptable for a cyclist not to cycle in the gutter or for pairs not to single-out every time a vehicle approaches from behind. Being that you are a professional driver I'm sure your advice would be welcome.

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DaveE128 [678 posts] 2 years ago
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CarlosFerreiro wrote:

That'd be one idea to base it on. Another idea would seem to be that maybe "narrow" might be where a car cannot overtake a bike, giving the appropriate DoT dynamic envelopes, without crossing the centre-line. That's a LOT of roads.
But not sure what the specifics are actually intended to be.

Actually that would be pretty much ALL UK roads, therefore not a "narrow" road. I'd say lack of centreline is a reasonabe indication of a "narrow" road. And I haven't come across "dynamic envelopes" in any UK road design docs I've looked at (a few but not all of them by any means). I agree with the view that safe overtaking always involves crossing the centre line and I think this is the most sensible interpretation of "at least as much room as a car" in the highway code.

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Flying Scot [921 posts] 2 years ago
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brooksby wrote:

Will the draft charter also bind the locals, to stop them throwing tacks on the public highway?  39

No need, as per the Etape Caledonia...the criminal justice system can be applied.

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CarlosFerreiro [112 posts] 2 years ago
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DaveE128 wrote:
CarlosFerreiro wrote:

That'd be one idea to base it on. Another idea would seem to be that maybe "narrow" might be where a car cannot overtake a bike, giving the appropriate DoT dynamic envelopes, without crossing the centre-line. That's a LOT of roads.
But not sure what the specifics are actually intended to be.

Actually that would be pretty much ALL UK roads, therefore not a "narrow" road. I'd say lack of centreline is a reasonabe indication of a "narrow" road. And I haven't come across "dynamic envelopes" in any UK road design docs I've looked at (a few but not all of them by any means). I agree with the view that safe overtaking always involves crossing the centre line and I think this is the most sensible interpretation of "at least as much room as a car" in the highway code.

I'd agree that would not give many "wide" roads, but it is speed dependant too.
The general problem comes with trying to find some consistency in the vague words, as the Highway Code also uses the "narrow road" definition when talking about when drivers should be prepared to stop for pedestrians walking along rural roads, and ideally of course you would always be prepared to stop, unless you could safely pass the pedestrian without having encroaching on possible traffic coming the other way....

Overtaking envelopes on page 16/17 of LTN 2/08 here
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil...

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jstreetley [63 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

even if those cyclists aren't technically breaking any laws.

Not only are they not breaking any law (technically or otherwise), to me they are exhibiting best practice for the type of road.

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Mickyruff [13 posts] 2 years ago
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I agree, many of the New Forest people who have complained about the sportives are nimbys, mainly horsey people, but the vast majority are just ordinary New Forest residents. I have many cyclist friends in the New Forest who say that they have experienced much more aggression towards them in the last few years, since the sportives began. This isn't just limited to the time of the sportives, but the whole year round.

I have road-raced for many years and I consider myself a 'roadie', as are my friends in the New Forest......some are ex-pros. We know how to ride properly, having learnt proper cycling etiquette and skill, handed down. A minority of the newer cyclists who ride sportives do not have this skill and show little courtesy towards other road users.......including other cyclists.

At a time when we cyclists should be getting a better public image, the actions of the mindless cycling minority are steadily eroding all the gains we've made.

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nbrus [297 posts] 2 years ago
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Single file with long gaps between short length groups is what should happen when traffic is approaching from the rear. Two-abreast when there is no traffic around is fine. It is much easier for vehicles to overtake if they don't need the whole road to do so, and much less dangerous for both parties. If you want to cycle in a Peloton, then go and take part in an organised race, where roads are closed to other traffic.  13

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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jova54 wrote:
Neil753 wrote:

I'm well aware of what the highway code says, and I'm well aware that (theoretically) a single file means an overtaking vehicle spends longer on the dangerous side of the road, but that's not really the point I was making.

What concerns me is that using pictures like this, which may well be regarded by drivers as cyclists being arrogant or inattentive, even if those cyclists aren't technically breaking any laws, have the potential to fuel the confict between parties.

You've all got to remember that your comments are being read by drivers, and indeed by those who seek to ban sportives, who will inevitably note the collective scorn heaped on any suggestion of compromise for the common good, and that social media can so easily work against us.

Not only are they 'technically' not breaking any law but they are not 'actually' breaking any law.

You want your cake and to eat it Neil753.

Almost every post you make you implicitly criticise cyclists by suggesting that we should think about the impression we have on drivers. You must have a very low opinion of the abilities of most drivers on the road and by implication the majority of people on this forum who are drivers as well as cyclists.

Maybe you'd be better off spending your time posting on driving web sites suggesting that the drivers read the Highway Code and gain an understanding of just why it's perfectly acceptable for a cyclist not to cycle in the gutter or for pairs not to single-out every time a vehicle approaches from behind. Being that you are a professional driver I'm sure your advice would be welcome.

Jova, you're right. I do seem to get a fair amount of flack, so I've decided to stop posting on this particular cycling website, although I have enjoyed chatting with you lot, by raising issues from the slightly unusual perspective of a lorry driver who also rides a bike, or should that be a cyclist who just happens to drive a lorry for a living  3

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Aapje [242 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

What concerns me is that using pictures like this, which may well be regarded by drivers as cyclists being arrogant or inattentive, even if those cyclists aren't technically breaking any laws, have the potential to fuel the confict between parties.

If drivers do not understand what is legal or do not understand that the behavior that irritates them is actually safer for them as well as cyclists, the solution isn't to pander to their ignorance. The solution is education.

I'd rather have them see pictures like this and comment in anger, so their misconceptions can be corrected by other commenters, then let them keep their beliefs that may result in road rage.

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