Cyclists have hit out at posters opposing the Wiggle New Forest Sportive rides this weekend, and in response the Forestry Commission is removing the posters.
The anonymous posters have been placed in New Forest villages, apparently by a local person, to “warn that this event could put members of the public at risk”.
They look like this:
Ann Sevier New Forest Councillor is the bigoted anti cyclist responsible for this poster, ann.sevier [at] newforest.gov.uk pic.twitter.com/F2ayuFc258
— New Forest Cyclist (@forestcyclist) April 11, 2014
Cyclists, including at least one New Forest native, have responded angrily via Twitter, but also with humour, mocking the message of the posters.
New Forest Cyclist, who has been a significant voice in the social media campaign supporting sportives posted: “I’m a local, lived in area all my life, unlike this vocal, anti-cycling, Nimby minority.”
And the situation became very widely known when BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine tweeted: “Thought you were cycling? Nope, you were committing an ‘abuse of local tranquility’”
The latest twist in the tale came early this afternoon when New Forest Cyclist tweeted: “Been informed that @ForestryCommEng are pulling down the 'anti cycling' posters wherever they encounter them in the New Forest, great news!”
Many people have pointed out that drivers remain a far greater danger to local people and lifestock. The New Forest National Park Authority says it has no recorded instances of cyclists causing harm to animals including ponies in the last six years.
John Colvin tweeted: “BE AWARE! MASSIVE DRVING EVENT ON NEW FOREST ROADS EVERY DAY”
Andy Lulham said the poster was “Lazy, arrogant and inaccurate. I'm really surprised it's not in Comic Sans #TheBigotsFriend”
Dan Cook fired up his trusty image editor to create this parody of the posters:
While a few people have said the local opposition has put them off taking part in the ride, others are still looking forward to it.
Polly Neate tweeted: “Excited about my 3rd @ukcyclingevents New Forest spring sportive on Sunday: pony-spotting, deer-spotting if very lucky, nimby-spotting... ;)”
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.