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Police go door-to-door in hunt for New Forest sportive saboteurs

National Park and councillors condemn locals "taking the law into their own hands"...

Police investigating Saturday’s sabotage attempt at the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive are carrying out door-to-door enquiries in their search for the culprit or culprits.

Nails were scattered on the event route where it passed through the village of Bransgore, causing punctures to 15 riders’ bikes, but no injuries, according to the Daily Echo’s Michael Carr.

A rider was reportedly injured last year after sharp objects were scattered on the route of the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive. The victim was a local man riding to work, not a sportive particpant, who broke his collarbone after crashing because of a puncture caused by a tack.

It seems police are taking the latest incident very seriously, attempting to trace the saboteurs via house-to-house enquiries.

Bransgore Parish Council chairman Richard Frampton said: “I know there’s been sensitivity over these events, partly because of the numbers, but there’s no excuse for anyone to take the law into their own hands.

“If there are genuine concerns they should go through the proper channels and be looked at in the correct way.”

Cllr Frampton said any genuine arguments against mass cycling events in the Forest were being undermined by people taking illegal action.

A New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) said: “There can be no justification for acts that may cause accident or injury.

“The event was closely monitored and while we’ve heard reports that the behaviour of a minority of cyclists was unsatisfactory, the large majority behaved well and followed the New Forest Cycling Code, which encourages responsible cycling.”

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.

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