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Organisers respond to concerns raised by MP, as posters go up in pubs urging those who 'compromise safety' to be reported...

UK Cycling Events, organisers of this weekend’s Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, says that riders spotted breaching the Highway Code will not be allowed to take part in other events its arranges. The news follows posters reportedly going up in pubs in the area telling people to report cyclists they see acting in a way that "compromises safety" to take pictures and forward them to local councils.

Yesterday, a picture of one of those posters was placed on a forum thread on cyling website Singletrack World. An email received by one contributor to that thread suggests that some locals have equipped themselves with a speed camera and that they will film and report any cyclist the speed camera says is riding above the speed limit - presumably they are unaware that speed limits do not in fact apply to cyclists.

The poster itself reads:

SAFETY ALERT

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th April 2013

6000 Event Cyclists

will be travelling at speed in and around New Forest villages

If you see something that compromises safety then take a picture and send with the date, time, location and details of the incident to your Parish Council. Our New Forest authorities need hard evidence before they can act. Remember...

'one click could do the trick'

It's against that background of vociferous opposition to large-scale cycling events, something that has been escalating for a couple of years now, that Martin Barden from UK Cycling Events, quoted in the Salisbury Echo, said: “Cycling is becoming more and more popular and it is the responsibility of every motorist and cyclist to share the roads in a considerate manner.

“We ask cyclists, wherever possible, to ride single file around the course, and have produced signs we will put up around the route to remind riders.

“Any cyclist seen to be breaking the Highway Code will, as part of our terms and conditions, be banned from future events.”

He also said that particpants would be asked to ride slowly past horses and give them lots of space.

“As we choose some of the most scenic and beautiful areas to ride, such as the New Forest, we quite often come across wild animals grazing at the side of the road,” he explained.

“The same principle applies - give them plenty of room.”

Around 4,000 riders are due to take part in the event this weekend, and as we reported earlier this week, local MP Dr Julian Lewis has called for a licensing system to be introduced for organised mass rides within the New Forest.

Dr Lewis claimed that cyclists posed a risk to livestock in the New Forest, and also accused some of breaking the Highway Code.

His comments were made as the New Forest National Park Authority has said it plans to draw up a charter for organisers to adhere to.

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.

44 comments

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badkneestom [135 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds like these people don't deserve the influx of cash they're likely to see from the event. What a bunch of conservative nit-pickers.
I despise those that frown upon others because they don't like something... You'll hear plenty of racket from them if their "rights" are ever threatened.

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bike_food [168 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow, some people really have very little to do, such an insular attitude.

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Saint Mikie 41 [56 posts] 3 years ago
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I rode the New Forest safely about three weeks in a group of 10 and we beeped all the time by irate drivers on a Friday morning when only riding one abreast most of the time. I am riding the event on Sunday so gods knows what is going to be like now with this being wipped up by the media. Just wondering if I take a picture on my camera phone of bad driving directed at the cyclist's if they would do anything about that???

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Matt_S [240 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't know about these huge Cyclo-spotives, but someone should do something about the mass participation car and truck rallies that regular clog up the roads. There's speeding, dangerous and erratic driving, violent road-rage incidents, a..

Oh no, wait, that's just daily commuting.

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Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow. What a bunch of douche bags!

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dave atkinson [6210 posts] 3 years ago
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If I posted a picture of a car to the parish council and said it was speeding, what would they do exactly?

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sim1515 [141 posts] 3 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

If I posted a picture of a car to the parish council and said it was speeding, what would they do exactly?

How about posting a picture of a car overtaking dangerously, say with less than a metre gap? If the parish wants to punish cyclists breaking the highway code, they should want to punish drivers breaking the highway code right?

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djc1245 [23 posts] 3 years ago
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Never been to the New Forest, doesn't look like I while be bothering now or in the near future. The place has been ruined by the lard clad nimbys

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Argos74 [390 posts] 3 years ago
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There is only one sane, rational response to this. Shave legs, wear *the* tightest and most revealing shorts, wash the bike sparkly clean, and look amazing for the cameras.

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phax71 [287 posts] 3 years ago
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Conservatives are in the main C••ts!!

There I've said it, self hating, outwardly hateful, narrowminded C••ts!!

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Mr Agreeable [171 posts] 3 years ago
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It's not just big sportives that get this sort of treatment. At last year's Bath Cycle Races (which involved closing a short loop of go-nowhere road for a couple of hours so around 50 cyclists could race) some local residents deliberately left their vehicles parked on the course.

Looking at the footage of last year's Tour of Britain, it seems the organisers were up against similar opposition - cars littering the route in a way that you'd never get in a continental tour or classic.

As reported on this site, Bristol City Council attempted to ban CX events from its parks last year, on the grounds that thirty blokes cycling on grass for 45 minutes plus a lap causes unacceptable damage.

It's just another reminder of the way that "cyclists" are viewed as a homogenous plague by your average NIMBY.

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andylul [410 posts] 3 years ago
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sim1515 wrote:
Dave Atkinson wrote:

If I posted a picture of a car to the parish council and said it was speeding, what would they do exactly?

How about posting a picture of a car overtaking dangerously, say with less than a metre gap? If the parish wants to punish cyclists breaking the highway code, they should want to punish drivers breaking the highway code right?

+1 to that

As it happens, there are some people looking forward to the increase in vistors (Farmer's Market in Brockenhurst, for example)

If you ARE doing the sportive this weekend (and cycling ANYWHERE) please do us all a favour and take your litter home with you? It has been scientifically proven that one gel contains enough energy to put the empty packet back in your pocket...

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qwerky [184 posts] 3 years ago
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SAFETY ALERT for CYCLISTS

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th April 2013

2000 Sunday Drivers
1200 People Driving Home After Pub Lunch + Alcohol
1800 White Van Men
900 Aggressive Tossers

will be driving at speed in and around New Forest villages

If you see something that compromises safety then take a picture and we'll try and think of a way to blame 'the cyclists'. Better still join in the fun and try and harass them yourselves. Remember...

'knock over a cyclist and the police won't give a fuck'

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fatbeggaronabike [805 posts] 3 years ago
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phax71 wrote:

Conservatives are in the main C••ts!!

There I've said it, self hating, outwardly hateful, narrowminded C••ts!!

Nice to see you take such a broadminded approach to politics  4

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jayme [117 posts] 3 years ago
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Typical response of cyclists, the world is out to get you!
Nothing wrong with riding within the rules of the Highway Code.

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davidtcycle [62 posts] 3 years ago
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66 ponies killed by motorist in the New Forest last year, more than once a week a pony is splattered across the tarmac. How long do they take to die? A couple of mins? a hour?
or as long as it takes for a vet to be called out to shoot them. So 66 ponies died in agony last year alone after being hit by motorists. Maybe someone would like to photograph that.

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sim1515 [141 posts] 3 years ago
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jayme wrote:

Typical response of cyclists, the world is out to get you!
Nothing wrong with riding within the rules of the Highway Code.

I'm not saying the world is out to get us, or that there's anything wrong with cycling within the rules of the Highway Code, just saying that there should be equality between how the parish council views breaking it by both cyclists and drivers.

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Yennings [237 posts] 3 years ago
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I can't blame some locals for getting angry. Even as a keen cyclist, the attitude of certain other riders sometimes makes me angry too. That said, the increasing hatred of cycling by middle Englanders, stoked no doubt by the likes of Clarkson, makes me angrier still.

I can't help thinking this is going to end badly, some local psycho deliberately ploughing into the peloton like that nutter in Brazil. I really hope I'm wrong, though.

Why can't we all just get along and let people enjoy their hobbies in peace?

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Grubbythumb [61 posts] 3 years ago
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"He also said that particpants would be asked to ride slowly past horses and give them lots of space."

It would be nice to think this was always the case. As a horse and bike rider I have never had any problems with cyclists when riding my horse, but there are those that don't show consideration.

And let's not go down the 'you should have control of your animal' route, as that's the same mentality as 'you don't pay road tax' or 'you wear lycra'.

On the whole New Forest thing, I e-mailed two local councillors a few weeks ago pointing out that cyclists are also car drivers, holiday makers and often married with kids. I did get a polite reply, but I suspect the message was lost.

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jollygoodvelo [1402 posts] 3 years ago
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You can't break the Highway Code. It isn't law (though does contain snippets of the law. Cycling in contravention of the Road Traffic Act, now that's illegal.

Given that most of the Forest has a 40mph limit most would struggle to break that anyway. Even if - as noted - limits don't apply to cyclists.

Having said that - it does no harm whatsoever for the two-wheeled community to ride sensibly and share the road with the less-enlightened.

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nowasps [413 posts] 3 years ago
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Perhaps the best response would be to make the New Forest the go-to cycling centre of the UK. A major Sportive there every weekend. Regular time trials by clubs from all over the country. Off-road racing three times a week. Every Mamil in the land should be duty-bound to ride there twice a year. Give it a couple of years and the Forest would be a place of tranquil beauty once more, instead of a giant motorised amusement park reduced to poisonous fumes, nerve-shredding racket and livestock slaughter.

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sim1515 [141 posts] 3 years ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

You can't break the Highway Code. It isn't law (though does contain snippets of the law. Cycling in contravention of the Road Traffic Act, now that's illegal.

Given that most of the Forest has a 40mph limit most would struggle to break that anyway. Even if - as noted - limits don't apply to cyclists.

Having said that - it does no harm whatsoever for the two-wheeled community to ride sensibly and share the road with the less-enlightened.

I disagree slightly, the Highway Code is a code of conduct for all road users (drivers, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians) and contains rules. Some of these rules are law and some are not but all can be "broken", just some can result in prosecution (must/must not = laws), some won't but could be used as evidence to establish liability (I'm paraphrasing from the gov.uk website).

If cyclists wish drivers to overtake them properly, and understand why it can be appropriate to cycle 2 abreast as according to the Highway Code, they should obey it as well. I agree that if we all tried to share the road considerately it would be a much nicer place!

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853rider [18 posts] 3 years ago
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Disarm the angry locals with a smile, wave and cheery call of 'Morninnnnnng.' Works wonders on our club runs!

Rising above the twatery gives you an enormous sense of wellbeing!

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700c [860 posts] 3 years ago
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Everyone should follow the highway code, end of.

Yes the NIMBY stiff is pathetic and laughable, but...

Its really concerning if anger is being whipped up against cyclists - a group whose ONLY similar characteristic is that they are vulnerable road users.

If you're starting to get abuse and horns blaring ahead of this event, I dread to think what it'll be like on the day, and its not difficult to imagine road rage scenarios happening if self righteous fervour had been whipped up in advance.

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andyfla [28 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't forget, when someone beeps their horn at you it just means they think you have a cute bum. I realised this a couple of years ago and since then any motorist who hits his horn gets a mighty thank you and wave as he drives past.

Sometime no one appreciated my mamil bum, but other rides I get back from feeling very good about myself .......

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700c [860 posts] 3 years ago
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Ha! Yeah if only..

Personally I find having horns blaring at me really aggressive when I'm on the bike - something to do with it being loud (as well as usually unwarranted)

Which is probably why I tend to react back quite aggressively, though its always stopped short of anything physical..

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ridemybike [10 posts] 3 years ago
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We ask cyclists, wherever possible, to ride single file around the course, and have produced signs we will put up around the route to remind riders.

“Any cyclist seen to be breaking the Highway Code will, as part of our terms and conditions, be banned from future events.

Are UKcyclingEvents suggesting that cyclists should not ride 2 abreast? Even though that is permitted within the highwaycode?
If so, shame on them.
If it's because of the impact of 2000 riders on the forest roads then they should reduce participant numbers - it's entirely in their control.

Of course, this might just be a bit of PR to pander to the NIMBY's in the Forest - as riding 2 abreast isn't against the highway code - therefore riders doing so will not be excluded from future events.

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Ian P [5 posts] 3 years ago
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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:
phax71 wrote:

Conservatives are in the main C••ts!!

There I've said it, self hating, outwardly hateful, narrowminded C••ts!!

Nice to see you take such a broadminded approach to politics  4

To be fair I thought he did quite well to leave it at that.

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Ian P [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Comment removed due to incompetence.

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spatuluk [27 posts] 3 years ago
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New Forest drivers are the worst kind, but be gentle with them - they're having a bad day!

They enter the forest hoping to go somewhere nice and relax, but if they're not in traffic jams, they're in queues of cars stuck behind tractors, horses, bicycles, caravans, Sunday drivers, and pretty much every other slow driver you can think of.

It's quite often more stressful to drive through the New Forest than it is to drive through rush hour London. Don't be fooled by all the nature!

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