New Forest sportive riders slammed by motorists for not riding single file

New Forest 100 participants 'cause anguish to Forest stock' say critics in re-run of row from last year

by Sarah Barth   October 20, 2012  

Welcome to the New Forest

A sportive event in the New Forest has come under fire, with motorists and farmers complaining that cyclists are inconsiderate when riding in the area.

The New Forest 100, which was held two weeks ago, was the latest cycle event to anger locals. Last year we reported how an increase in the number of cyclists there is posing a danger to pedestrians and livestock, according to the chairman of a body representing the rights of Commoners in the New Forest.

Frances Baye, a motorist, told the Salisbury Journal that she had been held up by the New Forest 100. She said: “I was trying to overtake the cyclists as I was approaching Burley and it was virtually impossible.

“A group of cyclists refused to get into single file and continued to overtake each other, despite knowing there was a queue of traffic behind them.

“I am not against these cyclists enjoying the fresh air and getting fit but think consideration has to be the priority.”

A resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Despite these types of events not being classed as a race, the competitors are consistently in a hurry to pass other competitors at speed and in large packs.

“They can cause anguish to Forest stock and other cyclists, including children, who are not involved in the race, as well as cars and other vehicles.

“Last weekend was really the last straw with a ridiculous numbers of competitors.

“There were as many as four cyclists abreast on each side of the road; they were nearly crashing into each other at speed, going downhill, never mind the traffic trying to go up and down the road.

On the cycling section of its website, the New Forest National Park Authority says “You are welcome to cycle on public roads, byways open to all traffic, public bridleways, restricted bridleways, and dedicated cycle routes. You are not permitted to ride over the Open Forest, or on Forestry Commission tracks which are not dedicated cycle routes. Cycling on public footpaths is also not permitted.”

The National Park’s boundaries roughly correspond to the area of heathland and woodland within which some 500 commoners are entitled to graze livestock including cattle, donkeys, pigs, sheep and, most famously, ponies.

Last year, Dr Graham Ferris, Dr Graham Ferris, chairman of the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association (NFCDA), established in 1909 “in response to the increasing conflict between the spreading urban populations around the New Forest’s fringes and the commoners’ animals,” said that the number of cyclists riding in the New Forest nowadays meant that “The roads are effectively obstructed and confrontations leading to a breach of the peace are likely.”

Concern for livestock was cited then and now as reasons to keep cyclists in line during mass events.

But data compiled by the New Forest National Park Authority clearly demonstrate that it is motorists, not cyclists, who pose by far the the greater risk to livestock in the Forest.

During 2009, 24 foals and 41 mares were either killed outright or had to be put down following collisions with motor vehicles in the New Forest. There were no reported occurrences of animals being killed in incidents involving cyclists.

Director of UK Cycling Events, organisers of the New Forest 100, Martin Barden said: “Some 1,300 people took part in the New Forest 100, many of whom travelled from all over the country to take part, to experience the beautiful national park and assist the local economy in these difficult times.

“There are one or two people who live in the New Forest who believe they own the New Forest roads.

“The roads are public highways and cyclists have every right to cycle along them and get fit and enjoy the New Forest.

“The event on Sunday was a non-competitive event, with riders’ start times spread out from 7.30am to 10.15am.

“As per our terms and conditions, anyone who is deemed to be racing would be disqualified.

“We ask cyclists to ride considerately and in single file where possible, although riders are legally allowed to ride two abreast.”

As well as the New Forest 100, UK Cycling Events runs the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sunday Sportive, and it is also home to the New Forest Rattler and a recent ride out with the Garmin pro team.

156 user comments

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nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
Look, you explain your opinion on why you think drivers are irritated, I understand your opinion, I just don't agree with it...
There's nothing to agree, or disagree on ... its a simple statement of fact.

What exactly is your fact and what exactly is the evidence to prove it?


The fact is as a motorist I get irritated, and that's also my evidence ... unless you believe I'm telling fibs?

The title of this thread says it all "New Forest sportive riders slammed by motorists for not riding single file". Is this evidence enough?

Sorry ... I think I misread your post ... I thought you were saying that you don't believe that drivers get irritated. Confused

Yes, I agree drivers get irritated, I'm saying that in my opinion they are irritated due to lack of knowledge/understanding of how to overtake, and if they knew/understood they wouldn't be as irate. Your opinion seems to be that they get irritated because cyclists are in the wrong, but this is not fact, it's your opinion.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 15:35

1 Like

/slits wrists

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [416 posts]
24th October 2012 - 15:36

1 Like

nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:

What we seem to disagree about is this depend on situation thing, the rule doesn't say that, it simply says leave the space.
And two abreast cyclists means that vehicles need an extra 1.5 meters (to the right) to overtake safely...

You still don't get it, regardless of what a driver is overtaking, I'm saying that they should take the same line around. Am I not saying it right?

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 15:37

1 Like

Tell me about it! Maybe a diagram will help (please forgive my rubbish paint skills).

On the left is a car overtaking a car, on the right is a car overtaking a cyclists. The overtaking car is in the same place for both overtakes, this is what I've been trying to explain.

Do you understand the overtaking rule now?

OvertakeComparison.jpg

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 16:59

1 Like

nbrus wrote:
It should be made an offence for cyclists not to move into single file when faster moving traffic approaches ... imagine coming round a bend, at a legal speed, only to be confronted by a pack of slow moving cyclists taking up the full width of the lane ... they are a danger to themselves and others.

Anyone driving a motor vehicle round a bend in such a way as they cannot stop should they encounter something just beyond their vision, be it a car that has broken down, a pedestrian crossing or some cyclists, should be convicted of dangerous driving and have their licence taken away. It is morally tantamount to attempted murder, because they are driving without caring whether they kill someone or not.

nbrus wrote:
Even two abreast this is still not a safe way to ride on the public highway.

Why not? All cars are two abreast (driver and front passenger) and no-one says they shouldn't be on the roads. Going two-abreast is the natural way for most people to cycle: it is a social activity.

posted by arowland [96 posts]
24th October 2012 - 17:09

2 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
Look, you explain your opinion on why you think drivers are irritated, I understand your opinion, I just don't agree with it...
There's nothing to agree, or disagree on ... its a simple statement of fact.

What exactly is your fact and what exactly is the evidence to prove it?


The fact is as a motorist I get irritated, and that's also my evidence ... unless you believe I'm telling fibs?

The title of this thread says it all "New Forest sportive riders slammed by motorists for not riding single file". Is this evidence enough?

Sorry ... I think I misread your post ... I thought you were saying that you don't believe that drivers get irritated. Confused

Yes, I agree drivers get irritated, I'm saying that in my opinion they are irritated due to lack of knowledge/understanding of how to overtake, and if they knew/understood they wouldn't be as irate. Your opinion seems to be that they get irritated because cyclists are in the wrong, but this is not fact, it's your opinion.

Its not my opinion either ... what I (and others) are saying is that cycling *two abreast* is both selfish and a hazard. It puts both parties at increased risk. This has nothing to do with lack of knowledge, as I feel well educated having read all your posts. Smile

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:07

1 Like

sim1515 wrote:
Tell me about it! Maybe a diagram will help (please forgive my rubbish paint skills).

On the left is a car overtaking a car, on the right is a car overtaking a cyclists. The overtaking car is in the same place for both overtakes, this is what I've been trying to explain.

Do you understand the overtaking rule now?


Please don't rubbish your paint skills ... they are much better than mine ... probably because of the number of times you have drawn your diagrams. Smile

From your very own Blog...

Rule 163: "...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car..."

Looking at your diagrams, even I can see that the gap between the cyclist and car on the right diagram is about three times the size of the gap between the two cars in the left diagram? Thinking

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:19

1 Like

In April of this year I was the lucky recipient of a three day cycling break in Mallorca, thanks to road.cc . Yup, its as good as I've heard but there quite a bit of signage for cyclists. Mainly to stay single file through twisty or narrow bits. It works. Most of time car drivers (of which I'm one) have the road to themselves and don't have to navigate around slower vehicles, it happens but is not the norm. Hence,some ill advised and foolish individuals take it upon themselves to crusade against cyclists after an event such as the new forest 100. What it takes is a bit cash, education and thought. How hard could it be ? (yeah right - may be ten years from now). Great ride by the way.

To slo to live, to slo to die! ::-}

posted by OldnSlo [125 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:38

2 Likes

I rode across the New Forest last Sunday (on my own, although I was participating in a 200km event)

Utterly appalled by the consideration shown to other road users by both pedestrians and car drivers.

At one point a lady of "mature years", one of a group of ramblers stepped off the grass verge along which they were walking, straight into the road in front of me for no apparent reason and without looking. Evidently relying on hearing any approaching cars? If she'd done it half a second later I'd not have had time to swerve and she'd have got one of my aero bars where it was never supposed to go.

Several ludicrous overtakes (by the usual large German cars) on blind bends, in the face of oncoming traffic (causing it to have to brake sharply), at places where there were ponies close on either side of the road.
In every case it seemed to gain them about 20 metres before coming up behind another car that was driving within the 40 mph limit. Still at least they got past that pesky cyclist.

Frankly if that's the standard of driving we can expect in the NF then cyclists are safer in large packs which inconvenience other road users.

posted by PpPete [10 posts]
24th October 2012 - 18:59

2 Likes

Having grown up in the New Forest I can attest that most of the people who used to live there - who used to have an understanding of New Forest ponies, badgers, squirrels, pedestrians and all other things non 4x4 - have been squeezed out by the super-rich.
Once I was able to cycle no-handed (No-handed means you can steer, but are slower at braking. Great for cycling. Lethal in traffic)through the quieter country lanes with the knowledge that by the time I heard a car heading my way, my hands would be back on the handlebars.
Nowadays, as I cycle cautiously along with my fingers on the brakes, I fear every corner, as there's a likelyhood that some git with 'roo-bars' will come hurtling round it at 50mph+ - on MY side of the road.
Conclusion?
They paid for the car. They own the road.
The solution:
More Real) tractors, hauling more (Real) silage.

posted by Phytoramediant [23 posts]
24th October 2012 - 19:04

2 Likes

nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
Look, you explain your opinion on why you think drivers are irritated, I understand your opinion, I just don't agree with it...
There's nothing to agree, or disagree on ... its a simple statement of fact.

What exactly is your fact and what exactly is the evidence to prove it?


The fact is as a motorist I get irritated, and that's also my evidence ... unless you believe I'm telling fibs?

The title of this thread says it all "New Forest sportive riders slammed by motorists for not riding single file". Is this evidence enough?

Sorry ... I think I misread your post ... I thought you were saying that you don't believe that drivers get irritated. Confused

Yes, I agree drivers get irritated, I'm saying that in my opinion they are irritated due to lack of knowledge/understanding of how to overtake, and if they knew/understood they wouldn't be as irate. Your opinion seems to be that they get irritated because cyclists are in the wrong, but this is not fact, it's your opinion.

Its not my opinion either ... what I (and others) are saying is that cycling *two abreast* is both selfish and a hazard. It puts both parties at increased risk. This has nothing to do with lack of knowledge, as I feel well educated having read all your posts. Smile

Nic, I think you still misunderstand, it's YOUR OPINION that cyclists are selfish and a hazard, not fact. It's MY OPINION that drivers don't know how to overtake properly and therefore their perception of cyclists being at fault is wrong.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 19:46

2 Likes

nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
Tell me about it! Maybe a diagram will help (please forgive my rubbish paint skills).

On the left is a car overtaking a car, on the right is a car overtaking a cyclists. The overtaking car is in the same place for both overtakes, this is what I've been trying to explain.

Do you understand the overtaking rule now?


Please don't rubbish your paint skills ... they are much better than mine ... probably because of the number of times you have drawn your diagrams. Smile

From your very own Blog...

Rule 163: "...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car..."

Looking at your diagrams, even I can see that the gap between the cyclist and car on the right diagram is about three times the size of the gap between the two cars in the left diagram? Thinking

I see where our difference of views is, you are still thinking of overtaking in terms of the gap to give the cyclist, if the cyclist is almost touching the kerb, the driver can overtake without crossing the white line.

This is where you misunderstand the rule and picture, what it is saying is what I've been saying, regardless of road position, vehicle, size etc, drivers should overtake giving the same space as they would another car. This means that they take the same line around the vehicle they're overtaking.

To illustrate this I created that diagram which you rightly point out leaves a large gap between the car and the cyclist but this is by design and I think that's the space cars should give if they're following the same line.

You may think that this is due to my diagrams not being to scale or me not getting the point properly so I've crudely edited the photo from the Gov website to further explain, on the left is the car overtaking another car, obviously it's the same car but flipped and pasted over the cyclist. The picture on the right is the original, showing where you are meant to overtake a cyclist. Obviously the overtaking car is on the same line, I'm trying to show they could be overtaking a cyclist, a car, a horse etc but it shouldn't affect the line they take around them.

Do you now understand?

Overtakebikecar.jpg

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 20:16

2 Likes

Please refer to Rule 163: "...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car..." The picture on the website is an *example* where the car is giving the cyclist MORE than the minimum space ("at LEAST as much room") stated in Rule 163. This rule is very clear.

Definition of "space" ...

"continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied"

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 20:36

1 Like

nbrus wrote:
Please refer to Rule 163: "...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car..." The picture on the website is an *example* where the car is giving the cyclist MORE than the minimum space ("at LEAST as much room") stated in Rule 163. This rule is very clear.

Definition of "space" ...

"continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied"

You are correct, the rule is very clear, you just don't seem to get it. I assume people like you are the reason they bothered to go out, take a photo and put it on the website to back up the words with an illustration. It's just a shame that this seems wasted on you too as you interpret that the car is giving the cyclist more than the mininum space rather than accept that the picture is showing you the minimun space.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 20:46

2 Likes

No, I can show you a picture of how the Highway Code says you should overtake cyclists, please see above.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:08

1 Like

sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
Please refer to Rule 163: "...give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car..." The picture on the website is an *example* where the car is giving the cyclist MORE than the minimum space ("at LEAST as much room") stated in Rule 163. This rule is very clear.

Definition of "space" ...

"continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied"

You are correct, the rule is very clear, you just don't seem to get it. I assume people like you are the reason they bothered to go out, take a photo and put it on the website to back up the words with an illustration. It's just a shame that this seems wasted on you too as you interpret that the car is giving the cyclist more than the mininum space rather than accept that the picture is showing you the minimun space.

Can you show me a picture a car giving another car the same *minimum* space as the cyclist in your picture while overtaking safely?

"at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car"

Please READ the caption on that photo ... it makes no mention that it shows the *minimum* space ... in fact the wording is exactly as stated in rule 163 ... please read that rule again. Smile

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:13

2 Likes

I'm bored with all this tennis...

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [193 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:17

1 Like

stealth wrote:
I'm bored with all this tennis...

Point taken, I am too. I think I've said all I can to show how to overtake safely, if it's still not enough then I doubt anything else I say will make a difference either.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:24

1 Like

sim1515 wrote:
stealth wrote:
I'm bored with all this tennis...

Point taken, I am too. I think I've said all I can to show how to overtake safely, if it's still not enough then I doubt anything else I say will make a difference either.


I am too...

Please read Rule 163 again ... good night. Wink

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:29

2 Likes

nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
stealth wrote:
I'm bored with all this tennis...

Point taken, I am too. I think I've said all I can to show how to overtake safely, if it's still not enough then I doubt anything else I say will make a difference either.


I am too...

Please read Rule 163 again ... good night. Wink

Only if you look at the picture to go with it! night.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:36

2 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
stealth wrote:
I'm bored with all this tennis...

Point taken, I am too. I think I've said all I can to show how to overtake safely, if it's still not enough then I doubt anything else I say will make a difference either.


I am too...

Please read Rule 163 again ... good night. Wink

Only if you look at the picture to go with it! night.


Only if you paint another picture showing a car overtaking another car with the same minimum space they would give a cyclist. good night. Wink

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:39

2 Likes

nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
stealth wrote:
I'm bored with all this tennis...

Point taken, I am too. I think I've said all I can to show how to overtake safely, if it's still not enough then I doubt anything else I say will make a difference either.


I am too...

Please read Rule 163 again ... good night. Wink

Only if you look at the picture to go with it! night.


Only if you paint another picture showing a car overtaking another car with the same minimum space they would give a cyclist. good night. Wink

Thankfully I don't have to, the Highway Code provided a pic to show it. night night.

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:45

3 Likes

nbrus wrote:

But the space between the cars isn't the same as the one with the cyclist. Wink good night.

We both know that's not what's in question. You can keep saying it but I think we all know the rules now, even if you won'd admit them. I'm so bored now though Yawn

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:57

1 Like

sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
stealth wrote:
I'm bored with all this tennis...

Point taken, I am too. I think I've said all I can to show how to overtake safely, if it's still not enough then I doubt anything else I say will make a difference either.


I am too...

Please read Rule 163 again ... good night. Wink

Only if you look at the picture to go with it! night.


Only if you paint another picture showing a car overtaking another car with the same minimum space they would give a cyclist. good night. Wink

Thankfully I don't have to, the Highway Code provided a pic to show it. night night.

I found it...

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 21:58

2 Likes

Yawn Yawn Yawn

Si

posted by sim1515 [139 posts]
24th October 2012 - 22:09

2 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
nbrus wrote:

But the space between the cars isn't the same as the one with the cyclist. Wink good night.

We both know that's not what's in question. You can keep saying it but I think we all know the rules now, even if you won'd admit them. I'm so bored now though Yawn

Really? You quote the highway code when it suits you, then you reinterpret it when it doesn't. Liar

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 22:10

2 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
Yawn Yawn Yawn

good night Yawn

Please re-read Rule 163...

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 22:27

3 Likes

I found my Axe ... it was in the glovebox. Devil

Nic

posted by nbrus [281 posts]
24th October 2012 - 22:33

2 Likes

nbrus wrote:
I try and explain why drivers are irritated by cyclists riding two abreast and all I hear back is the highway code being quoted. If you are determined to continue frustrating other road users because the rules give you a means to do so, then you will solve nothing. Drivers and cyclists will continue to infuriate each other.

It should now be clear why I suggested the laws should be changed to prevent two abreast cycling when traffic is present. Cyclists seem oblivious to the hazard that two abreast cycling presents, and are unwilling to compromise on their position because "the rule book says". Well the rule book doesn't say that cyclists 'should' cycle two abreast and hold up other traffic, it merely allows them to do so if they choose to do so.

Now, where did I put my Axe... Confused


[[[[[ But, Nbrus, you said earlier that "two cyclists abreast are difficult to spot". YIKES! Not much chance of you spotting me, then, if I'm riding single-file....
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [293 posts]
20th March 2013 - 1:37

3 Likes

Ultimately, The New Forest is a national park, and it thrives on tourism, visitors, it has websites encouraging us to visit, walk, drive and cycle around it, camp and caravan in it, and engage in a whole number of leisure activities there. Maybe it's down to those businesses that need visitors to survive to stick their heads above those who are complaining and acting in a dangerous manner and let the world know whether The New Forest is a good place to visit or not?

the_mikey's picture

posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
15th April 2013 - 17:28

3 Likes