New Forest NIMBYs melt down (again) as two cycling events planned for same weekend

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

by Simon_MacMichael   July 17, 2014  

New Forest rider and pony (CC licensed by iNew Forest:Flickr)

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.

39 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

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.

posted by Matt eaton [498 posts]
17th July 2014 - 15:17

41 Likes

Still don't get how a round-up of the ponies is affected by hundreds of cyclists whizzing by in an orderly fashion.

http://www.suffolkcycling.com
Blog and GoPro videos

Suffolk Cycling's picture

posted by Suffolk Cycling [72 posts]
17th July 2014 - 15:24

48 Likes

The drifts seem to something of a moveable feast, when it suits Confused

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.

posted by David Portland [89 posts]
17th July 2014 - 15:44

65 Likes

"You're holding up the traffic!", bellows the motorist.
"We are the traffic!" replies the cyclist.

dafyddp's picture

posted by dafyddp [181 posts]
17th July 2014 - 15:50

59 Likes

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.

posted by SteppenHerring [231 posts]
17th July 2014 - 15:54

42 Likes

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?

Chris's picture

posted by Chris [111 posts]
17th July 2014 - 15:58

47 Likes

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.

posted by Joeinpoole [308 posts]
17th July 2014 - 16:30

51 Likes

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 Yawn


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.

posted by outcastjack [9 posts]
17th July 2014 - 16:36

44 Likes

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

Housecathst's picture

posted by Housecathst [96 posts]
17th July 2014 - 17:41

47 Likes

I know lets move the critical mass peeps down there for the weekend. Devil 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.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [605 posts]
17th July 2014 - 18:25

33 Likes

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



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
17th July 2014 - 19:56

33 Likes

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...

posted by parksey [295 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:15

31 Likes

You have got to laugh really.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:16

30 Likes

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.

posted by parksey [295 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:20

28 Likes

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 Day Dreaming

posted by martib [48 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:29

29 Likes

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.

posted by TheSpaniard [67 posts]
17th July 2014 - 21:06

30 Likes

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?

Rolling On The Floor

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

goggy's picture

posted by goggy [116 posts]
17th July 2014 - 22:08

19 Likes

"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).

posted by cichlid65 [2 posts]
17th July 2014 - 22:20

37 Likes

So, they want to limit cyclists, but the huge lines of cars every weekend that mow down people and ponies alike are just fine...

posted by jacknorell [576 posts]
17th July 2014 - 23:00

24 Likes

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 Worried
Personally, I will never spend my money in the New Forest ever again.

posted by JeevesBath [131 posts]
18th July 2014 - 7:08

16 Likes

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!

posted by bikebot [789 posts]
18th July 2014 - 8:08

27 Likes

"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....""

yes that would be the purpose of a national park.

says so here
"Managing recreation in the New Forest National Park is widely recognised as being one of the most important tasks for local organisations.

The most popular activities are walking, cycling, horse riding and camping and the forest is generally well-equipped to cater for these."
New Forest National Park

Now of course if you don't want to live in a national park you can always move. I was born and grew up in the New Forest and my brother still lives there. It's a fantastic place.

I didn't see any objection by the same nimbys when the New Forest was being mooted as a National Park. Well why would there be it comes with significant funding from Natural England. That in turn levers in all kinds of other funding most recently £2.9m from the EU.

The quid pro quo of being a national park, having your area protected from development, and with funding for communities to be sustainable without it, is that it becomes and is intended to become a recreational area for the nation. A national playground if you like.

And Julian Lewis MP isn't even a local. He's Welsh but being a Tory couldn't get elected there so was parachuted in.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
18th July 2014 - 8:27

30 Likes

jacknorell wrote:
So, they want to limit cyclists, but the huge lines of cars every weekend that mow down people and ponies alike are just fine...

I agree with you on this but I think that we should concede that there is a distinction between car use on New Forest roads and cycle events. For the most part cars use the roads for the purpose of travel/transport. The journeys might be unneccesary or to reach a destination for purposes of leisure but they travel from A to B and back again. Sportives and similar events use the roads themselves for the performance of a leisure activity. As most riders travel by car these events also contribute to the huge lines of cars so the Sportive brigade are not inocent on that front either.

To be clear, I don't want to see restrictions on cycling on New Forest roads but we should be honest about the situation.

posted by Matt eaton [498 posts]
18th July 2014 - 8:39

15 Likes

Matt eaton wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
So, they want to limit cyclists, but the huge lines of cars every weekend that mow down people and ponies alike are just fine...

I agree with you on this but I think that we should concede that there is a distinction between car use on New Forest roads and cycle events. For the most part cars use the roads for the purpose of travel/transport. The journeys might be unneccesary or to reach a destination for purposes of leisure but they travel from A to B and back again. Sportives and similar events use the roads themselves for the performance of a leisure activity. As most riders travel by car these events also contribute to the huge lines of cars so the Sportive brigade are not inocent on that front either.

To be clear, I don't want to see restrictions on cycling on New Forest roads but we should be honest about the situation.

I think you missed the point.

The councillor has singled out the cycling events and only the cycling events for the travel disruption they cause, though they are a fraction of the size of other events that also occur in the same season.

posted by bikebot [789 posts]
18th July 2014 - 9:54

10 Likes

bikebot wrote:
Matt eaton wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
So, they want to limit cyclists, but the huge lines of cars every weekend that mow down people and ponies alike are just fine...

I agree with you on this but I think that we should concede that there is a distinction between car use on New Forest roads and cycle events. For the most part cars use the roads for the purpose of travel/transport. The journeys might be unneccesary or to reach a destination for purposes of leisure but they travel from A to B and back again. Sportives and similar events use the roads themselves for the performance of a leisure activity. As most riders travel by car these events also contribute to the huge lines of cars so the Sportive brigade are not inocent on that front either.

To be clear, I don't want to see restrictions on cycling on New Forest roads but we should be honest about the situation.

I think you missed the point.

The councillor has singled out the cycling events and only the cycling events for the travel disruption they cause, though they are a fraction of the size of other events that also occur in the same season.

I do get it, and I agree with you. What I'm getting at is that road-based cycle events contribute to traffic levels in a very visible way as the events themselves take place on the roads. Other events that take place off of the public highway result in just as much disruption (if we are to label people using the roads as 'disruption') but only whilst people are travelling to or from the event, not by the nature of the event itself. I think it's wrong but this is the basis of the oposition to sportives etc. in the area.

posted by Matt eaton [498 posts]
18th July 2014 - 11:17

9 Likes

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.”

I love that quote. If my history serves me correctly the forest was originally established as a playground for the Normans. Surely cyclists are just carrying on that tradition.

posted by matttheaudit [51 posts]
18th July 2014 - 12:24

9 Likes

Matt eaton wrote:

I do get it, and I agree with you. What I'm getting at is that road-based cycle events contribute to traffic levels in a very visible way as the events themselves take place on the roads. Other events that take place off of the public highway result in just as much disruption (if we are to label people using the roads as 'disruption') but only whilst people are travelling to or from the event, not by the nature of the event itself. I think it's wrong but this is the basis of the oposition to sportives etc. in the area.

I'm quite happy to let the councillor hang themselves based on their objections. They can't oppose a cycling event on the basis that it is cycling, as that is obviously pure bigotry. So let's have them specify exactly what the criteria is for disruptive events that should be banned or restricted.

I've got a suspicion that however they try to rig it, all the events they themselves support would also fall foul.

posted by bikebot [789 posts]
18th July 2014 - 12:59

15 Likes

I think you are right. They do have a couple of legitimate grounds to object in my view but they are very minor points and totally undermined when they come up with spurious ones like danger to wildlife.

posted by Matt eaton [498 posts]
18th July 2014 - 13:20

10 Likes

Take both events to Yorkshire. They love bikes oop North!

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [416 posts]
19th July 2014 - 20:19

4 Likes

.

AndrewRH's picture

posted by AndrewRH [50 posts]
19th July 2014 - 23:17

2 Likes