Swinley Permits – Jeepers!
Something like that I guess. When I lived down that way I used to be quite self-rightious about the Swinley, buying ine every year and sneering at those who didn’t but then I started to question why I bothered. Walkers never had permits nor (I believe) did horse riders, yet both of these groups needed to be covered under some sort of public liability insurance, apparently what the lion’s share of the cycling permit was for. Also with so few actually bothering to permits and a very slim chance if ever being caught without one (in 6 years of riding there I only saw one person ever checking permits) it seemed even more pointless getting one. Of course it begs thebquestion as to what a ‘baliff’ would be able to do were they to see a group of riders without permits?Posted 8 years agoforge197Member
Last year I rode Swinley at a guess over 50 times therefore the value of the pass is excellent, some of the money also goes into the trail maintenance too.
Even at £18 for the year it’s good value for what is offered and the parking is free as well.
I hope it’s not subsidising those that don’t that would not be so good.Posted 8 years agothepuristSubscriber
I’ve just renewed our permits – it’s a 2 minute ride from the door & I’ve always assumed that a chunk of the cash goes toward trail maintenance so paying 35p a week to have that lot at my disposal seems like a no brainer. BTW, anyone know what’s what with getting more involved in the trail pixie-ing? Might have a bit more time on my hands this year…Posted 8 years ago
I believe that horse riders also require a permit at Swinley (for £165), walkers don’t.
Parking is free to all.Posted 8 years agothepuristSubscriber
Shortcut – this email from Gorrick should cover it:
Just a reminder that your Annual Permit to cycle at Swinley Forest expires on 31 March, so now is the time to renew it to get another whole year’s riding in the forest. We thank you for your support which has enabled us to continue with our programme of improvements and maintenance on a range of trails in the forest which will be ongoing throughout the year. Buying or renewing a permit is simple, you can either do it ONLINE at http://www.mbsawebsite.com , at the hire bike centre at The Look Out or at one of the listed retailers.
You may be interested to know that we are introducing a range of mountain bike skills training courses in Swinley Forest this year, to suit every type of rider, and so help you to get the most out of your riding and the forest. Full detail are at our website http://www.gorrick.com
GORRICK MBCPosted 8 years agojackstaMember
re the trail pixie question – the next working day is this saturday (4th). Trail maintenance is done by the BoB moutain bike club (www.bobmbc.com). I would assume all hands are welcome, get in touch with the Gorrick guys or the Bob info email and find out where to meet.
There are also a couple of guys in the club who are out mid week most weeks in the summer building new or fixing stuff between working daysPosted 8 years ago
I think the issue is that cycling on that area (away from bridleways of course) is by permission only. If the Crown Estate wanted to stop it they could in an instant – just declare it off limits to cyclists – and while there would still be the potential to ‘nick some cheeky trails’ that becomes a bigger offence that affects us all.
It’s also the liability issue. If trails are in there and are publicised to an extent, then i guess there could always be a chance that if someone hits a load of walkers, or injures themselves badly and tried to sue the land owners, however tenuous or unlikely, there’s a problem created there as well. The permit buys you liability insurance very cheaply to cover this.
Fuller details here: http://www.gorrick.com/swinley/permits.php
Bottom line. You probably are unlikely to get ‘caught’ and even if they do what can they do? Ultimately, they could ban cycling from the forest. So this needs to be self policing. There is a great resource there, make it your business to have a permit and also make sure your riding mates do too. It’s in all of our interests to be responsible and for the sake of £2, or £18 for the year – it’s not a lot to ask is it?
[sorry – late edit]
And if you do see someone without a permit remind them they need one. You don’t have to aggressively ‘police’ it, many’s the time I’ve reminded riders they need one only for them to say they weren’t aware of it. Sure, you get a few that tell you to sod off and stop bothering them, but they’re just c0cks, aren’t they.Posted 8 years agoGDRSSubscriber
I pay – the value of Swinley to me is that it is an all year venue. When the North Downs are a mud bath – or we have only got 2 or 3 hours to ride Swinley is a great resource to have to hand.
My views on paying for things have changed as I have got older – if I can I will, especially if I can see the benefit.
It would be a real pain in the arse if pay and display appeared for cars in the car park for those that drive there (I tend to come 50% of the time on the train) – and as for insurance etc it would be the worst outcome if the health and saftey brigade got a look in based on a balence sheet outcome due to a / some large liability claim(s).
It all good – Mrs GDRS can have a pre-ride pee in the warm – and there are tea and buns at the end. Not all related to the forest and the riding I know, but the power of a toilet when you have your wife as your number one riding buddy is, men on here take note, not to be under estimated.
Drink five pints of larger less and it has paid for itself. Bargin.Posted 8 years agoshortcutSubscriber
Thanks for the info, although only a very occasional rider there (probably about 6 times last year and most of that after 6pm) I have now purchased a season ticket. Haven’t been there yet this year so had better get some value out of it and get over there.
My conscience is now appeased!Posted 8 years agocatfoodMember
I wouldnt go telling people off for not displaying permits, I always keep mine in my camelback, I go there on differet bikes so keeping it on the bike is out and it jiggles around if you keep it on your helmet. as long as it can be produced if asked for by someone of relevance that should be enough.Posted 8 years ago
I don’t think anyone’s suggesting you need to tell people off. Just as per above, there are people riding there that are not aware of the need of a permit, and most will accept the information in good grace, and those that don’t are ar5es anyway.
I find the permit fits nicely around a rear helmet vent, I’ve seen others with it on their Camelback strap, but equally as long as you can produce it, I can’t see an issue.Posted 8 years ago
Simon, do you pay to park when you ride in the lakes?
no car, but anyway there’s plenty of free parking most places
Do you spend some money at the tea shops etc when you ride. If not then you are indeed a leech
Does not half my income go in taxes ? Here’s the deal, I want none of my tax spent on weapons, military, roads, stadiums or banks, and the whole lot ring fenced for poverty relief, particularly suicidal farmers down to their last 3 range rovers.Posted 8 years agopetetheplumberMember
I love the permit system, 3 times this year I have stopped or shouted at motorbike riders, I found one on the corkscrew and got “quit angry”. I can shout at them because I have a permit to ride they don’t. I would hate to finally get a motorbike rider get the police in to cube his bike just to find I have no permit to be there myself. Its also handy with dog walkers who let there dogs bite or course a danger. If a dog does bite you and you inform the police you could look a bit stupid if you where there with no permit. Its your protection and gives you the right to ride on private land with loads of track for £18.Posted 8 years ago
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