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CTC Wessex Gridiron takes place on same day as Wiggle New Forest 100

Opponents of mass participation cycling events in the New Forest are up in arms after it has emerged that two will be held in the national park on the same day this October, also coinciding with a planned pony round-up. The route of one of the rides has been changed to avoid conflict, but there have been repeated calls for such events to be formally regulated by legislation.

According to the Daily Echo, the overlap between the two events – the Wiggle New Forest 100 on 11 and 12 October, with 2,000 entrants, and the CTC Wessex Gridiron, which takes place on the second of those days and may have 1,000 particpants – came to light at a meeting of the Court of Verderers yesterday.

Councillor Maureen Holding, a vocal critic of sportives and similar rides in the area, said: “Organisers of mass cycling events are treating the Forest as a playground. The time is coming for legislation to sort this out.”

Her view was echoed by the Conservative Member of Parliament for New Forest East, Julian Lewis, who said: “The ever-increasing frequency of these very large events shows there will no end to this worsening problem until a proper system to licence mass cycling in the New Forest is established.

“I will continue to exert maximum pressure on the relevant department to achieve this.”

The newspaper says that it is believed that it is the first time a clash of this nature has occurred, and a spokesman for the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) said steps were being taken to prevent conflicts of this nature in future.

He said: “A new event notification system, linked to an online calendar, will soon be launched by the New Forest Safety Advisory Group.

“This, together with advance information about round-ups, will help avoid future clashes.”

Earlier this month, it emerged that the NFNPA could consider lobbying for a change in the law to restrict the number of riders taking part in sportives as well as the frequency with which such events take place.

Currently, sportives do not need to have a licence and in contrast to road races or time trials are not subject to the Cycle Racing on Highways Regulations 1960 and do not require the permission of the police.

The largest events to take place in the national park are the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, held in April, and October’s Wiggle New Forest 100, which takes place in October, both organised by UK Cycling Events, and both targeted by saboteurs in the past.

Earlier this year, the NFNPA published a draft charter for cycling events, compiled in partnership with its Cycling Liaison Group which comprises organisations representing the interests of local residents, horse riders and cyclists.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

39 comments

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Suffolk Cycling [65 posts] 2 years ago
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I normally don't get too worked up about the anti-cycling brigade, but I can't work out what damage a higher-than-normal amount of sportive riders would do to the New Forest. Do they scare the ponies?!!

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29erKeith [39 posts] 2 years ago
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Suffolk Cycling wrote:

I normally don't get too worked up about the anti-cycling brigade, but I can't work out what damage a higher-than-normal amount of sportive riders would do to the New Forest. Do they scare the ponies?!!

None and nope.

But some old dear in Fordingbridge doesn't like bikes and she'll not hear the end of it until they're banned.

The only possible side effect might be a few motorists will be delayed a few mins here and there. Which won't be a patch on the miles of tale back's that will be going on for the next 2 weekends when 2 of the largest new forest events are being held.

but they're fine because she likes them  37

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2Loose [36 posts] 2 years ago
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Did Julian Lewis take action over the increasing problem of motor traffic? Nope, didn't think so.

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mattsccm [340 posts] 2 years ago
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Now that is just plain and stupid.
The residents have a right to be heard. They live there. Give and take is fine but 2 at the same time is bloody selfish. 1 every 3 month might be reasonable. In would be on to the Press if I had that many. Why mot just move one a bit to the East for example.
Because they are damn commercial events and that's it. Run b greedy self serving opportunists.
CTC may be different but most of the rest are and have no concern for anything but pocket lining.

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Grubbythumb [61 posts] 2 years ago
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They hate cyclists with a vengeance and now there are two events on the same weekend, ha ha ha ha ha, oh man that's amazing.  24

I bet the anti bike brigade think this has been done deliberately to annoy them.

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Shades [313 posts] 2 years ago
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29erKeith wrote:
Suffolk Cycling wrote:

I normally don't get too worked up about the anti-cycling brigade, but I can't work out what damage a higher-than-normal amount of sportive riders would do to the New Forest. Do they scare the ponies?!!

None and nope.

But some old dear in Fordingbridge doesn't like bikes and she'll not hear the end of it until they're banned.

The only possible side effect might be a few motorists will be delayed a few mins here and there. Which won't be a patch on the miles of tale back's that will be going on for the next 2 weekends when 2 of the largest new forest events are being held.

but they're fine because she likes them  37

Should we change NIMBY to NOMTOE - Not My Type Of Event  3

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Steezysix [29 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh my god. There's going to be twice as many people pooing on the village greens...

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brooksby [1711 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

Councillor Maureen Holding, a vocal critic of sportives and similar rides in the area, said: “Organisers of mass cycling events are treating the Forest as a playground. The time is coming for legislation to sort this out.”

OR: People who happen to live within a national park area want to treat that area as their personal garden, with no outsiders allowed.

/sarcasm_off.

Mind you, after everything that's been going on down there I would have thought that the sportive organisers might have shown a little restraint... Especiallty if there is some sort of scheduled and organised round-up of the wild new forest ponies happening that weekend.

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 2 years ago
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Such a shame its going this way.

It's a wonderful area to ride a bike and when I went back in '08, the cafe owners and people out and about were more than willing to say "hello" and pass time.

Whether that's still the case for a long travelling cyclist, I don't know.

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Matt eaton [742 posts] 2 years ago
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I seem to remember a confilct with the round-up last year too. The sceptic in me wonders how wdely the round-up dates are published and whether the clash is deliberate.

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Suffolk Cycling [65 posts] 2 years ago
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Still don't get how a round-up of the ponies is affected by hundreds of cyclists whizzing by in an orderly fashion.

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David Portland [83 posts] 2 years ago
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The drifts seem to something of a moveable feast, when it suits  7

Really, this is all ridiculous. 3,000 cyclists across a weekend? Big deal. It's the New Forest Show next weekend, that had (I think) 94,000 visitors last year and most of them drove. I don't hear these people complaining about that.

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dafyddp [401 posts] 2 years ago
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"You're holding up the traffic!", bellows the motorist.
"We are the traffic!" replies the cyclist.

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SteppenHerring [330 posts] 2 years ago
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Sadly it seems that there are some who are intent on whipping up anti-cyclist hatred. I see it here too in Surrey. Clubs have been riding the roads for 100+ years, races have been going on since the 1960s (TTs even earlier) without bother but now there's abuse, spreading tacks, throwing stuff etc.

I'm not sure what the answer is - aside from waiting for all the colonel blimps to expire from the inevitable heart attacks.

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Chris [159 posts] 2 years ago
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Having both events on the same weekend gets them over with in one go and means only one weekend of inconvenience instead of two. Surely that's a good result for them that don't like cyclists?

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Joeinpoole [441 posts] 2 years ago
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mattsccm wrote:

Because they are damn commercial events and that's it. Run b greedy self serving opportunists.
CTC may be different but most of the rest are and have no concern for anything but pocket lining.

What's wrong with commercial events or enterprises? How does that cheap food get on your table? Who built the hospital and who will provide the drugs to treat you if you get sick? Who designed and manufactured the components of the bike you ride? Are they all run by "greedy self serving opportunists"?

I'm perfectly happy that commercial organisations are taking financial risks to promote cycling for the masses. It's up to the individual if they want to participate or not.

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outcastjack [9 posts] 2 years ago
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29erKeith wrote:
Suffolk Cycling wrote:

I normally don't get too worked up about the anti-cycling brigade, but I can't work out what damage a higher-than-normal amount of sportive riders would do to the New Forest. Do they scare the ponies?!!

None and nope.

But some old dear in Fordingbridge doesn't like bikes and she'll not hear the end of it until they're banned.

The only possible side effect might be a few motorists will be delayed a few mins here and there. Which won't be a patch on the miles of tale back's that will be going on for the next 2 weekends when 2 of the largest new forest events are being held.

but they're fine because she likes them  37

Having the misfortune to have inlaws from the new forest I have to agree with this, it seems they like golf, horses and old cars anything else is unwanted and if it inconveniences them slightly is the devil incarnate.

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Housecathst [536 posts] 2 years ago
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They move the pony draft to coincide with any cycling event that they hear about it just gives them another reason to moan.

I hope the organisers of these's events did it on purpose just to whip them into their frothing mouthed frenzy.

I live the other side of Southampton and have the misfortune to have to ride through the forest once a year on the way to swanage. I hate the car invested hell hole and they sooner they turn it into car park the better (it's what the out of town "locals" want)

The soon we take cycling money else were the better.

.....and relax

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fatbeggaronabike [836 posts] 2 years ago
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I know lets move the critical mass peeps down there for the weekend.  19 Preferably the same weekend as the show so that the show organisers can't fleece the visitors for car parking and entrance fees, the trade concessions don't make any profit etc etc. I'm sure that local businesses would suddenly have something to say to the minority that don't like cyclists.

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Leviathan [2264 posts] 2 years ago
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Why don't they round the ponies up in a field? Crazy idea I know.

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a real shame that there's this vociferous and entirely unwarranted opposition to cycling events, as the New Forest really is a decent place to ride. I've used the 100 sportive route as the base of my last couple of rides and it really does take in the best of what the Forest has to offer.

Would hate to see people not take part in the events, and more importantly not then return to the Forest at other times too, just because of the ill-informed views of a very small, but admittedly very vocal minority.

Besides, as was mentioned above, surely it's a good thing that the two events are held on the same weekend as the disruption is presumably less as against holding them on separate weekends?

Alternatively, run the events midweek when most of the so-called locals will actually be up in their London boltholes...

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OldRidgeback [2658 posts] 2 years ago
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You have got to laugh really.

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

Why don't they round the ponies up in a field? Crazy idea I know.

The ponies are all wild and, due to ancient local laws, essentially have the run of the entire Forest, meaning they're not confined to particular fields.

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martib [64 posts] 2 years ago
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Surprised that it is safe to have a Sportive in the New Forest, with all the toys and dummies that have been thrown out the pram by some of the locals.
Having lived near the New Forest for a number of years the biggest threat to the precious ponies is the local's bombing around the place in their cars. When will these idiots learn that they do not own the roads we all do and anyone can use them as the are PUBLIC roads.
There again the horsey community seem to have a bit of an issue near we're I now live. I was considering getting them stickers for their oversized vehicles they don't seem to have the ability to drive "I slow down for horses and expect everyone else too but I don't bother my ar$e for other vulnerable road users"
RANT OVER  105

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TheSpaniard [103 posts] 2 years ago
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For the record, the Gridiron is a really good event that has been running for years, and is generally well received (or at least tolerated) by the NIMBYs.

I've ridden it for the past few years and it's a much friendlier low key event than the mass market Wiggle ones.

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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After my email exchange with a parish councillor last time, I freely support as many as possible. Why stop at 2? Where's the Road.cc sportive? And shall I phone BHF and see if they can organize a night ride through the forest on the Saturday night after the success of the London - Brighton Night Ride? And what else is there to do on a Friday except have a mass protest by that loony lot in London picketing for safer roads?

 24

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cichlid65 [3 posts] 2 years ago
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"Councillor Maureen Holding, a vocal critic of sportives and similar rides in the area, said: “Organisers of mass cycling events are treating the Forest as a playground. "

As far as im aware the New Forest has allways been a playground since William 1 replanted it to go hunting. ( Royal playground).

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jacknorell [974 posts] 2 years ago
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So, they want to limit cyclists, but the huge lines of cars every weekend that mow down people and ponies alike are just fine...

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JeevesBath [180 posts] 2 years ago
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Housecathst wrote:

The soon we take cycling money else were the better.

Actually I proposed something along those lines on the forum a couple of months ago and was generally shot down for being arrogant  17
Personally, I will never spend my money in the New Forest ever again.

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bikebot [2149 posts] 2 years ago
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cichlid65 wrote:

"Councillor Maureen Holding, a vocal critic of sportives and similar rides in the area, said: “Organisers of mass cycling events are treating the Forest as a playground. "

As far as im aware the New Forest has allways been a playground since William 1 replanted it to go hunting. ( Royal playground).

I've made that same point many times. On a smaller scale, the same complaint sometimes comes up in London's Richmond Park, with motorists using it as a shortcut complaining about cyclists using it for recreation. Obviously, an absolutely outrageous use of a park!

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