Surrey councillor calls for regulation of sportive events around Box Hill

Locals "intimidated by cyclists"

by John Stevenson   July 9, 2013  

Box Hill (amandabhslater via www.flickr.com)

Surrey County Council is exploring ways in which sportives and other mass participation cycling events around Box Hill can be registered - residents on the hill feel "imprisoned" by the sheer numbers of cyclists says a local councillor.

The leafy lanes of Surrey have made the county a weekend destination for thousands of Londoners looking to escape the city and test themselves up the iconic climb of Box Hill.

As well as the profile generated by the Olympic road races last year, Surrey has an above-average rate of bike use, with 20 percent of residents riding at least once a month, compared to the national average of 15 percent.

But the country’s popularity as a venue for sportives, and high cycling rate is generating something of a backlash. A local councillor says that residents feel they are trapped in their homes during large events.

Councillor David Preedy told the BBC that the council is exploring ways in which events can be regulated.

"Imprisoned"

Councillor Preedy, who leads the Lib-Dem group on Mole Valley District Council, said the main problem was the "sheer number" of cyclists.

"Every weekend there are hundreds and hundreds of cyclists and then on top of that, big organised events," he said. “The pressure on residents is just getting too much, they're feeling imprisoned, they can't get out.

"A lot of them, particularly in Box Hill, are older people who feel intimidated driving through large numbers of cyclists."

"I welcome a number of events but we have got to get some of the organisers to look at limiting how many events they have so residents don't feel imprisoned in their houses, aren't frightened to drive out every weekend, and aren't intimidated by cyclists."

Olympic effect

You might say, “Well now they know how cyclists feel all the time,” but Rob Hillman, event director of sportive organiser Hman Race, says Councillor Preedy has a point.

“David very much has his residents at heart and given the vast increase in recreational cyclists going over Box Hill since the Olympics then he has a tricky job on his hands,” he told road.cc.

“We organise a large number of events and go through very thorough processes with Councils, Highways, Parishes etc to gain support of the events we deliver and share information. This isn’t the case with everyone and when you have instances where sportive routes are going in opposite directions to each other on the same stretch of road it is frustrating knowing that if other events had gone to the same lengths then this dangerous situation could be avoided.”

Near misses

Hillman says that Box Hill is already a special case. As it’s owned by the National Trust, organisers should contact the Trust and agree a license for use of the area. But, he says, “I know that a lot don’t!”

“We had several near misses a fortnight ago when the [Human Race-organised] London Cycle Sportive went the opposite direction to the Capital to Coast event (which the National Trust and David didn’t know anything about). It is only a matter of time until those near misses translate into something more serious as two sportive packs with motorists on both sides of the road too doesn’t make a happy picture.

Hillman said he would welcome some degree of regulation of events in the area.

“Given the number of events seems to be increasing at a great pace, the instances of routes clashing is also likely to increase. At the moment there is very little regulation and imparting a degree (none of us want to get caught up in too much red tape) would ensure that organised events can co-ordinate what they are doing and who they are affecting.”

48 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

When large groups of cyclists use the road, in groups, it is tricky to navigate around them in a vehicle.

I can well imagine if I lived around Box hill, I would get wound up by multiple events taking place every weekend, plus we all know that a minority of cyclists ride in sportives somewhat dangerously and inconsiderately

Events, particularly in congested areas should be coordinated centrally, for safety purposes if nothing else.

if some organisers are doing it without the requisite permissions, they should be banned from doing so in future.

On a related note, I passed some kind of time trial event taking place on a busy road on Saturday afternoon last weekend -groups of riders milling around the start, the finish line appeared to be at the entrance to a busy garden centre. What a completely inappropriate choice of location and scheduling.

It seems not every event organiser has the common sense required to organise safe events.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
9th July 2013 - 20:39

5 Likes

Box Hill?

There's so much more to Surrey than that - literally making a mountain out of mole hill...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
9th July 2013 - 20:45

4 Likes

"when trying to overtake groups it's pretty difficult to know how to do it safely"

Blimey Rolling Eyes

Maybe this will be helpful......

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/overtaking-162-to-169

note

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

posted by seanbolton [139 posts]
9th July 2013 - 20:48

6 Likes

seanbolton wrote:
"when trying to overtake groups it's pretty difficult to know how to do it safely"

Blimey Rolling Eyes

Maybe this will be helpful......

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/overtaking-162-to-169

note

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

I think you miss the point.

If you have multiple groups of cyclists, overtaking each other, sometimes going in the opposite direction (ref the comments made by the sportive organiser in the article), then it's bloody difficult to get past safely, no matter your level of driving experience.

When I'm riding two abreast, I will always move ahead or back off into single file, unless it is a wide, straight section of road with no oncoming traffic.

Cyclists and drivers both have to be considerate of each other, otherwise this animosity will only increase

posted by 700c [556 posts]
9th July 2013 - 21:03

5 Likes

Every weekday, morning and evening, the roads around Dorking are chock-a-block with cars. The rush hour, which involves 1000's of cars, every weekday, is acceptable. a few weekends a year a few hundred cyclists rock up to take part in a sportive and that's unacceptable. Most weekends a few hundred weekend warriors rock up in lycra or on phat tyres, and I may be one, and the locals go nuts because they can't hussle their wankpanzers down the lanes fast enough. Bonkers.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [384 posts]
9th July 2013 - 21:16

3 Likes

It's quite interesting to hear someone from the South East of England where it almost impossible to escape the noise, pollution, congestion and conflict of the motorised traffic on the ground and ever present landing and taking off jets in the sky complaining about 'the sheer number of cyclists' spoiling the environment. I suppose psychologists might point to a kind of displaced agression; a person taking out his hostility on something less threatening to that which is actually making him angry. This is quite possibly the root cause of a lot of hostilty to cyclists on the road, and domestic violence in the home. It's a big problem in modern society. Cllr Preedy needs to see someone about his anger.

posted by hillboy [11 posts]
9th July 2013 - 22:06

5 Likes

700c wrote:
seanbolton wrote:
"when trying to overtake groups it's pretty difficult to know how to do it safely"

Blimey Rolling Eyes

Maybe this will be helpful......

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/overtaking-162-to-169

note

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

The po

I think you miss the point.

If you have multiple groups of cyclists, overtaking each other, sometimes going in the opposite direction (ref the comments made by the sportive organiser in the article), then it's bloody difficult to get past safely, no matter your level of driving experience.

When I'm riding two abreast, I will always move ahead or back off into single file, unless it is a wide, straight section of road with no oncoming traffic.

Cyclists and drivers both have to be considerate of each other, otherwise this animosity will only increase

The point being made, I think, is that it can be very difficult to pass a line of, say, 10 riders on a narrow, twisty road. A situation that makes riders and drivers nervous. It must be very frustrating for drivers. And some are less patient than others!

I agree that the Highway Code says allow as much space as you would for a motor vehicle. But, most vehicles aren't 25 m long.

We can all help the situation by being more considerate: riders and drivers.

Personally, I can't see what all the fuss is about Box Hill. There are much better, less crowded hills nearby...

posted by Jimbonic [108 posts]
9th July 2013 - 22:30

4 Likes

We do need to be wary, though. Surrey CC changed the road layout to stop the large number of motor cyclists enjoying themselves. Admittedly, they did tend to enjoy themselves rather too quickly! But, the point is that Surrey CC aren't averse to taking it out on a minority community...

posted by Jimbonic [108 posts]
9th July 2013 - 22:40

4 Likes

700c wrote:
When large groups of cyclists use the road, in groups, it is tricky to navigate around them in a vehicle.

When large groups of motorists use the road it is tricky to navigate around them on a bicycle.

posted by Tony [67 posts]
9th July 2013 - 22:42

4 Likes

Hmm. I have mixed feelings about sportives. As a club rider (and ride leader) I know we're careful about maximum numbers in a group and keeping groups apart. Sportive riders don't always have club discipline (to be polite). The story about the horse being put down that was published earlier in the week is an example.

I find it ridiculous that when organising a time trial that will obstruct precisely nobody, I need to put in a police permission form but sportive organisers can send thousands of riders along an inappropriate route (Cycling Weekly going up Pebble Hill to avoid the Box Hill Tax for instance) without informing anyone.

Recording times an publishing a list of finishers in time order makes a sportive a de-facto race but yet they're subject to none of the regulations.

Share the roads and play nice. And if you want to race, there are plenty of races and TTs.

posted by SteppenHerring [204 posts]
9th July 2013 - 22:48

3 Likes

Jimbonic wrote:
The point being made, I think, is that it can be very difficult to pass a line of, say, 10 riders on a narrow, twisty road. A situation that makes riders and drivers nervous. It must be very frustrating for drivers. And some are less patient than others!

No, it's not difficult - it's impossible. But that's OK. There is no god-given right to drive vehicles on narrow, twisty road at the maximum speed that engine or law permits. If you don't like going at the speed of the slowest road users, then stick to the wider straighter main roads.

Give it a couple of weeks and those townies-in-the-countryside will be complaining about all the long farm vehicles blocking the small roads while they're getting the harvest in.

If you're a victim, sorry constituent, of idiot Councillor David Preedy, then please suggest he tells his other constituents to share the roads and drive patiently until they reach the major routes and not try "driving through" cyclists!

posted by a.jumper [701 posts]
10th July 2013 - 8:16

2 Likes

Having done a sportive up Box Hill, I doubt it's actually the cyclist there are the problem, more the cause of the problem.

All it takes is one slow rider pottling up the hill at 8mph to bring the area to a grind. Drivers forcing their way passed on the wrong side whilst motorbikes zip in and out of gaps that possibly weren't there to start with. Coupled with the hot weather, fuses get short, tempers flare and KABOOM! Locals have to wait forever to get in and out of their properties as everyone attempts to go as fast as possible. Ultimately not able to go as fast as before, perceived or otherwise. Anyway sportives tend to run on weekends....

Role on next year when le Tour comes to Yorkshire, bet you anything those at Box Hill don't complain about the congestion around the route.

A little patience would go a long way, however in this day and age a little patience is all people have.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [293 posts]
10th July 2013 - 9:01

2 Likes

SteppenHerring wrote:
Hmm. I have mixed feelings about sportives. As a club rider (and ride leader) I know we're careful about maximum numbers in a group and keeping groups apart. Sportive riders don't always have club discipline (to be polite). The story about the horse being put down that was published earlier in the week is an example.

I find it ridiculous that when organising a time trial that will obstruct precisely nobody, I need to put in a police permission form but sportive organisers can send thousands of riders along an inappropriate route (Cycling Weekly going up Pebble Hill to avoid the Box Hill Tax for instance) without informing anyone.

Recording times an publishing a list of finishers in time order makes a sportive a de-facto race but yet they're subject to none of the regulations.

Share the roads and play nice. And if you want to race, there are plenty of races and TTs.


Exactly this.

As far as I know, sportives don't need to ok their precise route with the authorities, only the area they'll be using. Riding up Pebble Hill is simply ridiculous, but for a lot of these organisers it's about charging £30 per rider x 1500 riders, not about safety, sharing the roads with other users, making sure routes don't conflict with other cycling events on the same day, etc.

British Cycling (who is trying to get as many sportives under its wings as possible to cash in on their popularity) won't even allow regional BC reps to be involved in scheduling of sportives so conflicts with e.g., road races can be avoided. So instead we'll have local councils and police stepping in to regulate it if we can't do it ourselves.

It is actually against BC's rules for sportives to publish results in time order, but given that sportives don't need to be under BC's regulation at all, BC is very loath to reprimand organisers for fear that they will buy their event insurance somewhere else next year.

posted by smaryka [16 posts]
10th July 2013 - 10:00

3 Likes

Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
Having done a sportive up Box Hill, I doubt it's actually the cyclist there are the problem, more the cause of the problem.

All it takes is one slow rider pottling up the hill at 8mph to bring the area to a grind.

What rubbish, drivers have plenty of quicker alternatives to Box Hill and they well aware of it.

It's effectively a country lane and should be treated as such, sadly motorists conveniently ignore the truth.

posted by northstar [1106 posts]
10th July 2013 - 10:10

3 Likes

Jimbonic wrote:
700c wrote:
seanbolton wrote:
"when trying to overtake groups it's pretty difficult to know how to do it safely"

Blimey Rolling Eyes

Maybe this will be helpful......

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/overtaking-162-to-169

note

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

The po

I think you miss the point.

If you have multiple groups of cyclists, overtaking each other, sometimes going in the opposite direction (ref the comments made by the sportive organiser in the article), then it's bloody difficult to get past safely, no matter your level of driving experience.

When I'm riding two abreast, I will always move ahead or back off into single file, unless it is a wide, straight section of road with no oncoming traffic.

Cyclists and drivers both have to be considerate of each other, otherwise this animosity will only increase

The point being made, I think, is that it can be very difficult to pass a line of, say, 10 riders on a narrow, twisty road. A situation that makes riders and drivers nervous. It must be very frustrating for drivers. And some are less patient than others!

I agree that the Highway Code says allow as much space as you would for a motor vehicle. But, most vehicles aren't 25 m long.

We can all help the situation by being more considerate: riders and drivers.

Personally, I can't see what all the fuss is about Box Hill. There are much better, less crowded hills nearby...

Agreed. No idea what Box Hill is like, but around me in the Cotswolds are lots of hilly, twisty narrow roads. As a cyclist I have every sympathy for riders grinding uphill, but when in a car following a large group spaced out on a climb, following them the whole way at 2mph is pretty tedious. I can understand why less patient drivers can get worked up.

posted by JeevesBath [120 posts]
10th July 2013 - 10:55

3 Likes

Not sure what the big attraction to Box Hill is anyway, if it hadn't been in the Olympics it'd just be another local hill. Nice, but nothing outstanding. It's not a hard climb. York Hill is a much harder test and probably a lot quieter.

posted by james-o [197 posts]
10th July 2013 - 11:27

2 Likes

A lot of residents of Box Hill are retired and living in Park Homes. They are not super rich and do not all drive Mercedes. Park Homes are effectively mobile homes and often it's the only place that they can afford. My in laws live in a park home, and did consider buying one of the ones at Box Hill.

However, the people complaining are in the minority. I've never had a problem with the locals, and when I stopped on the way back home one day with cramp, I was offered a cup of tea whilst I recovered.

posted by 4ChordsNoNet [9 posts]
10th July 2013 - 11:35

3 Likes

a.jumper wrote:
Jimbonic wrote:
The point being made, I think, is that it can be very difficult to pass a line of, say, 10 riders on a narrow, twisty road. A situation that makes riders and drivers nervous. It must be very frustrating for drivers. And some are less patient than others!

No, it's not difficult - it's impossible. But that's OK. There is no god-given right to drive vehicles on narrow, twisty road at the maximum speed that engine or law permits. If you don't like going at the speed of the slowest road users, then stick to the wider straighter main roads.

Give it a couple of weeks and those townies-in-the-countryside will be complaining about all the long farm vehicles blocking the small roads while they're getting the harvest in.

If you're a victim, sorry constituent, of idiot Councillor David Preedy, then please suggest he tells his other constituents to share the roads and drive patiently until they reach the major routes and not try "driving through" cyclists!

I agree with your point. But, what I am saying is that, to make life a little less stressful, we can understand that it is difficult and use that knowledge to deal with the situation. I'd prefer to make it easier for someone to pass me safely than wait for them to pass me dangerously. It's not accepting that they have more right to the road, just that they have a heavier, more powerful vehicle...

posted by Jimbonic [108 posts]
10th July 2013 - 13:42

6 Likes

I bet the National Trust are not complaining. The shop at the top is busy all day, every day, and probably makes a fortune on its tea and cakes - I does out of me

Now I live in the Surrey Hills area and drive a car and ride a bike. There are an awful lot of bikes out there but most are sensible and considerate to all other road users on Box Hill and all the other hills.

I would agree that clubs and events need coordination and remember that the busy roads in Surrey are not training grounds

As for the poor abused car drivers - have a care for those very much more exposed than you and you will find them less agressive if thats your problem. Better still get a life and get a bike and you will see the world differently

Alg

posted by alg [129 posts]
10th July 2013 - 13:51

0 Likes

Jimbonic wrote:
I'd prefer to make it easier for someone to pass me safely than wait for them to pass me dangerously. It's not accepting that they have more right to the road, just that they have a heavier, more powerful vehicle...

Even so, that sounds dangerously like "Might Makes Right-of-Way".

Short of stopping, I'm fine with making it easier for someone to pass me safely when it's possible, but too many people try to pass in the craziest places (blind bends and brows, into oncoming traffic, and so on). This is why there's tons of camera footage appearing online now... if no-one did it, there'd be very little to report.

posted by a.jumper [701 posts]
11th July 2013 - 13:17

2 Likes

I’ve been following all the comments and felt as a local person i should respond to some misconceptions.

Firstly, as someone said, not everyone has a huge house and drives a mercedes its probably 70/30 in favour of small properties or flats.

There are a large number of council properties here also.

Leatherhead, where a lot of the cycling is targetted since the Olympics, on the road, is a tiny town with very narrow passing places and people are penned in if they are closed off.

We already have huge yellow warning signs up all over the place for 4th August. Please come and have a look, it looks hideous, like some kind of dictatorship has taken over. A lot of the abuse from cyclists is targetted towards horseriders too of which I am one.

We are shouted to get off the roads which we don’t want to be on but sometimes we have to as roads cut through our bridleways, and when we are on our bridleways, sportives run us off of them.

I almost ended up in hospital due to a mass cycle ride piling past Polesden Pacey near Box Hill as there was no forewarning and no signage apart from tiny pink arrows which appeared that morning.

We were suddenly taken by surprise and hit by an onslaught of brightly clad bike riders racing sometimes at 37 mph (also noted on a utube blog). If you dare or care, please read Horse and Hound 4th July edition where there is a two page article. Horses have died and people have ended up in hospital from being thrown by terrified horses that would not bat an eyelid at much else. It IS dangerous for bikes to come speeding past or up behind horses.

We would like people to call out, slow down, let us know they are there etc somehow.

We are taught that you never trot or canter past walkers or other people on your path, to slow down and walk as it can cause distress.

We should all realise that our actions do cause distress to some people and just take a step back.

I am sure there are a few out there who will give me a lot of flack, but deep down you know what I am saying is true.

Cyclists in Surrey have and still do go straight over lights, straight over roundabouts when someone else has right of way, it is heart stopping and happens all the time.

They have their heads down and see nothing, presumably in their own world seeing themselves as Cav or Bradley Wiggins or is it Chris Froome now, on top level professional rides where the roads are closed off for a short while.

This is not so.

You must observe the highway code. People are dying because they don’t.

Dont crawl alongside juggernauts, I wouldn’t when driving and certainly not when riding, we are too vulnerable.

I see so many scary manoevres just sitting on the bus in London. You are so pushing your luck and your life. The attitude of such a large nunber of cyclists will surely see you all regulated, insured and taxed if it continues as it is.

If you want parity on the road, and for the tax payers to fund cycle lanes etc, you have to pay for it I’m afraid.

It’s cloud cuckoo land to think that any of us gets anything for nothing - as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

[Edited by admin to make it readable. Paragraphs and punctuation are good mmmkay.]

posted by junemcd [7 posts]
12th July 2013 - 23:29

2 Likes

Oh dear junemcd, you were doing so well till the last few paras.

I ride horses too, so I'm totally sympathetic to the plight of riders, and always warn then pass wide and slow, and almost always get thanked.

But your final screed on how we're all going to get taxed and licensed and we all break the Highway Code is the same anti-bike garbage we hear all the time. Way to completely destroy any sympathy you might have already garnered.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1063 posts]
13th July 2013 - 12:33

5 Likes

Actually, except for the bit about "crawling alongside juggernauts" (whatever that means - why crawl when I can ride?), everything in the second half of junemcd's rant can have "Cyclists" replaced with "Horseriders" and "cycle tracks" replaced with "bridleways" and be exactly what you read elsewhere. It's not true about most of either group and it shouldn't be true about the taxing: we already pay for tracks, bridleways and roads through general taxation and they're open to everyone and so they should be!

posted by a.jumper [701 posts]
13th July 2013 - 19:11

2 Likes

I am sorry that you feel that way. Its very patronising to say "oh dear you were doing so well ......" when someone says something you may not agree with. It is true about the roads. I pay my local taxes too and pay for the roads on top. it has been hell on wheels quite literally until the police stepped in in our area and the cyclists are a lot nicer than they used to be - am guessing a few were fined, as they were VERY confrontational. You were lucky to have the nice ones. I think taxation etc is contentious but may well come as I say. The bad ones break the law and ride off with no way of identifying them and that's the issue and the good cyclists will be left to pick up the pieces and pay for them - unless you guys get together to stop them. I have always taken the stance with everyone that people should be able to share tracks and roads and not assume they have a right of way or ride past at a rate of knots - actually horses have the right of way if you read the highway code but I don't want this to be an argument. it wasn't what was intended at all. I hope you can see now why non cyclists as I used to cycle and have a bike at my stables but don't use it any more - due to a foot injury - but which allows me to ride albeit slowly - want some form of registration brought is - isn't that what they do in Holland? I don't know for sure but maybe you do.

posted by junemcd [7 posts]
15th July 2013 - 10:59

4 Likes

where was it edited - footnote. its as I wrote it?!
tku

posted by junemcd [7 posts]
15th July 2013 - 11:19

3 Likes

Junemcd, I understand your points about being shouted at to get off the roads, cyclists are also often shouted at for no apparent reason by drivers. No one should be shouting (cyclists or drivers) but I've never seen any anger or abuse directed at horse riders from cyclists. We slow down and inform the riders that we're coming through.

You may have been unlucky and met a few idiots, there are some that ride bikes, as there are some that drive cars and I'm sure that ride horses as well but you can't group all cyclists together because you have had a bad experience with a few.

Cyclists are allowed to cycle at 37mph, obviously not past horses, but the speed limit only actually applies to motor vehicles.

You may see cyclists ride through red lights, and it is wrong, but I see drivers jumping red lights too, does that mean they all do it? Again, you cannot group all cyclists together, it doesn't help your point.

You are correct though, we should all follow the highway code, the road would be a much safer place if we did. Sadly, there are some drivers and some cyclists that don't, the main difference is that cars breaking the highway code tend to cause a lot more damage then cyclists so if you have to start with one group, it should probably be them.

Parity on the road though, I'm not sure I understand your point, do you pay road tax for your horse? I pay council tax which goes towards the roads, vehicle excise duty (which you pay on your car) isn't used to on top, it also goes into the big pot. Plus, I also have a car, does that mean I can also ride my bike on the road? However, I have a hybrid, so no "Road Tax", does that mean I can't again?

Your point about registration, at what age do you want to start this? Also, there is a lot of trouble with pedestrians, some vandalise things, some steal things, maybe we could get some kind of license for them too?

You say you didn't want an argument, but you posted some very generalising anti-cycling comments ending with:

"If you want parity on the road, and for the tax payers to fund cycle lanes etc, you have to pay for it I’m afraid.

It’s cloud cuckoo land to think that any of us gets anything for nothing - as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch."

I my opinion it's pretty antagonistic.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th July 2013 - 13:40

1 Like

Hi,I think you may not have read my second notes above as I will address your points. I did say that the chap was lucky to have such nice cyclists around him.

Agree with you 100% on people not being aggressive whatever they are doing. Sadly we have seen a lot of aggression towards us by cyclists in our area around Box Hill and Bookham / Polesden Lacey - the cars drive by us and do as we ask if we ask them to slow a bit, with no problem. We have to go on the one track twisty lane overhung with trees so its a bit dark in places, and have done for many years taking and bringing horses to and from the field and one small part of a hack out, before it became an Olympic cyclists paradise. I was walking my horse in hand back home as I dismounted, hearing from a bike scrambler that there was another race on - some five mins up a lane and a cyclist came right up to us and stared me in the eye quite literally - he was on my shoulder pedalling slowly with a big grin on his face when I turned around. I asked him in a normal way "why didn't you say you were there" and he laughed and pedalled of. He wanted an argument but I wouldn't give him one. We have had numerous problems like this and that's why Surrey Police patrol our lane. They don't do that for no reason as it would be wasting much needed police resources.
The 37 mph by thousands of cyclists was on a bridleway and knocked my horse and I flying by jumping in front of us (?why as I nearly ended up in hospital and that's whats started this issue with me, it shook me that anyone could so such a thing and not care). they are called bridleways, no getting round it although its open to walkers and cyclists going at a slow pace. its not a race track, so we both agree there.
Absolutely agree there are some stupid motorists around too, I wouldn't dispute that in any way.
How can saying that something looks to be inevitable unless the good cyclists stamp on these bad ones who spoil your good name be antagonistic. Its what's needed as they wont take any notice of drivers walkers or riders. I saw a guy in London tell another guy to get off his phone when he was cycling along on a Boris bike.
I do pay a huge amount - it costs me about £1k per annum to keep my horse. I commute every day and only have the weekends to enjoy my hobby. I don't compete, I am what is euphemistically called a happy hacker these days, and would like to remain so.
Registration would be up to theh government but usually starts when one reaches adulthood, whether that's classed as 16, 18 or 21 I don't know. All I do know is that its not usually the young ones who are the problem, there are a lot of things like lycra louts and MAMILS is one I heard from a Ride London Drop in last week - middle aged men in lycra. Sadly all my experiences do seem to be with this age group whether driving, riding or walking and they are very aggressive in London. I don't know how old you are but would you agree with this? its certainly something UK Cycling and British Cycling should address. I'm not anti cycling, I am enjoying the Tour de France and my fave is Cav as I like his attitude. He seems to be very inclusive when he is interviewed. I cant imagine he would be riding up to people and staring them down. I have helped at the TOB last summer at the Guildford stage where a lot of cycling volunteers didn't bother to turn up after having said they would. More fool them as we had a great day and were able to walked around the team cars and watched Cav be interviewed. I had a great little vid of it.

posted by junemcd [7 posts]
15th July 2013 - 16:32

3 Likes

spot the mistake, it costs me £1k per month to keep my horse is bedding and feed with a roof over his head.

posted by junemcd [7 posts]
15th July 2013 - 16:36

7 Likes

junemcd wrote:
We have had numerous problems like this and that's why Surrey Police patrol our lane. They don't do that for no reason as it would be wasting much needed police resources.

I'm not so sure. Just public relations seems to be enough sometimes. Elsewhere, we've seen numerous crack-downs on infractions of daft/inconsistent/confusing rules (not only highways) just because it makes the police look good with the sort of people who turn up to local PACT consultations.
junemcd wrote:
Absolutely agree there are some stupid motorists around too, I wouldn't dispute that in any way.
How can saying that something looks to be inevitable unless the good cyclists stamp on these bad ones who spoil your good name be antagonistic. Its what's needed as they wont take any notice of drivers walkers or riders.

The idiots don't take any notice of other cyclists either! I'm pretty slow and defensive but I have at least one near-miss a year with some nutter undertaking, riding the wrong-way or doing crazy moves without lights. There's a pretty constant low level of idiocy... at least the ones on bikes are less dangerous than some of the others.

I shout at the nutters but what more do you want us to do? I might as well demand you do something on the idiot horseriders that used to ride along the narrow footpath (not a bridleway - not even a public footpath) in front of my house or the ones in the country lanes that used to delight in waving cyclists past when they could see oncoming cars over the hedges! I don't do that because I expect you're a safe rider, like the vast majority are, even if the few anti-social nutters are more memorable.

About spending £1k on the horse - that's great, but you spend no more on the maintaining the roads as a result. It all comes from general taxation.

About licensing in the Netherlands - no, there's no requirement for bikes to be licensed there any more. The old licence plates are quite collectable on ebay now. I'm not sure when it stopped - a bit after WW2 maybe?

Not that licence plates would do any good. Cycling in London is pretty bad, right? But there's millions of journeys done by bicycles that have great big numbers painted on them - TfL's cycle hire scheme. How many of their numbers have been reported to TfL or the police for bad riding? Zero, when http://ipayroadtax.com/no-such-thing-as-road-tax/bike-licensing-doesnt-w... last asked.

The main effect of licence plates would be to get people off their bikes and into more cars - and as the bike idiots will just be more dangerous car idiots, I'm sure that would be good for horses(!)

posted by a.jumper [701 posts]
15th July 2013 - 18:36

3 Likes

I guess its just down to whether people are decent to each other whatever they are doing and appreciate another's point of view. Waving cyclists into danger is outrageous. I go on our little lane very rarely and keep to the bridleways as it should be safer -horses have a brain to consider which cars and bikes don't and can jump around at a paper bag even or something different or out of place on their usual route, strange as it may seem - bet your bike doesn't do that, ha ha. horses aren't allowed on the footpaths either, and its against the law to ride a horse on the narrow grass verges unless there is a right of way which there rarely is around houses so you can tell them to get off (may be worth googling a copy of the countryside code - everyclick.co.uk is a charity based search engine), but agree there are some crazy riders out there too and they worry the rest of us too. They walk along on their mobiles oblivious and probably drive the same way and would ride a bike in the same way.
I think the police are just trying to keep the peace for everyone to enjoy the countryside. The councillor was on the right track there so shouldn't be castigated completely. it may have sounded pompous but he was almost certainly reacting to a lot of flack from his constituents as the Sportives have been a real issue for riders locally as they go on tracks rather than roads. There are kids at our yard and its coming up to school holidays where they want to be out on their ponies all the time, and some parents are truly worried that they will be ok.

posted by junemcd [7 posts]
17th July 2013 - 11:13

2 Likes