- Uh-Oh horse and hound magazine arent happy – surrey hills content
- b rMember
Purely from a ‘sensible’ perspective, I’d have thought that if you were going to build a ‘trail’ properly you’d consider how it would end and/or cross existing RoW.
But then there are lots of existing RoW which have blind corners and cross other routes.
And even at a trail centre you’ve always got to be aware that there could be a pedestrian/stopped cyclist around the corner.Posted 4 years agobig_n_daftMember
taking some emotion out of the points in the article the general point from the horse riders that some consultation should have happened is right.
working with the horse riding community is better than fighting them, this isolates the more “ranty” elements and reasonable compromise and joint action on access has to be the future
The comment about “our bridleways” tells you everything you need to know about the attitudes towards cooperation from certain members of the equestrian world..
but look at it from their point of view, they are putting in a lot of time, effort and cash to get changes to the definitive map. They see mountain bike trails attracting grant funding (which they are poor at obtaining) and are the latest sexy thing that is being pushed in local strategies. Very few mtbers have got these changes made.
We have much to gain from working together
and finally even “Jedi” has a horse 😉Posted 4 years ago
I am sure it will all be fine if people use common sense.
That was a joke wasn’t it? For something called common sense it’s not that common etc.
“Of most concern is a 100ft blind spot where cyclists won’t know if there is a horse in the sunken bridleway beneath them.”
If that is true then it sounds like a poor design and probably shouldn’t be routed there.
It also sounds like there is a lack of engagement with all user groups in the area, lack of communication leads to this sort of anger.Posted 4 years agohexhamstuMember
If they had consulted the BHS, they would have been told that a fast off-road cycle track alongside and crossing bridleways is out of order. Mountain bikes whizzing in and out of trees, jumping ramps above horses’ heads, around an established sunken horse track, is an accident waiting to happen.”
Best bit by far. Horses are useless, there should be some government scheme that allows people to trade them in for a bike.
If a horse eats to much grass it’s feet fall off. That fact alone should be their downfall.Posted 4 years agobrooessMember
If representatives of other key user groups – horse riders, walkers etc weren’t consulted then that’s pretty poor tbh. Surrey Hills are rammed full of people all year round and only a proportion are bike riders. Seems a bit daft not to have shared the plans for the new trail with other users and adapted them accordingly….Posted 4 years agoglasgowdanMember
Does anyone care about horse riders? There are far more mtbers and they generally don’t have stuck up attitudes or talk down everyone. Most horse riders I’ve had the misfortune of coming across do. Had one shouting at me once for driving my car safety and legally because her horse got a fright as I came into its field of vision at 3mph a good 20m ahead of it!
Burn them all!Posted 4 years agoshemMember
Its a shane riders of all variety’s cant get on. Ive had run ins with walkers on very little used footpaths, so I built a new trail above the footpath and then the walkers started to use that as it was dryer. SOme times ou just cant win.
have you seen this share the trail video that Naturla resources Wales produced?
I should also mention. Im one of the riders in this video, not that I have any connection, I just ride a lot.
It seems to be a bit one sided against bikers, in that the horses seem to be just plodding along and the ‘biker’ is that bad one not stopping.
Does make riders think though, it’d be nice to see a horsey equivalent…Posted 4 years agobikebouyMember
There have always been issues with Horse riders and Cyclists, be it road or trail, it’ll never go away.
One party thinks it has the right to ride and the other thinks it has the right to ride.
What would be good though, you know, is if someone considered others views BEFORE hacking something together on a piece of shared land/trail.
Theres your problem right there though, same old, same old.Posted 4 years agomattjgSubscriber
Coming over all ant-equestrian isn’t going to help anyone. They have the same rights of access and enjoyment of Leith Hill as cyclists do, we’re actually all on the same side. If they feel like they should have been consulted, and they weren’t, then they should have been. It’s a shared resource, no one group has any right to impose on another.
I’ve never had any attitude problem from equestrians on Leith Hill, be nice to them, they’re nice to us. Perhaps there’s the odd nutter, well the the same applies to bikers too (and some).
From the article:
But Sam Bayley, National Trust head ranger, said that dedicated tracks for mountain bikers will improve safety, because cyclists have been “creating unauthorised trails at Leith Hill following and crossing many bridleways”.
This causes me concern, I hope we’re not going to lose access to all the secret corners of the Hill in exchange for a point and shoot motorway. Bad deal if so.
I’ve been off the bike for a few weeks due to injury, hopefully I can spin up there at the weekend and take a look at the current layout of the new trail.
As for consultation, the first I knew about this trail was when it started to appear. I ride with one of the best known groups in the area, we meet right at the bottom of the hill. AFAIK nobody asked us if we thought it was a good idea, it just turned up. Perhaps it’s my fault for being out of the loop somehow, but it feels like somehow somebody though it was a good idea, got a window of clearance, and just cracked on.Posted 4 years agohooliMember
I have no issue with horses when I am out cycling, I go very slowly and let the horse rider know that I am there early so the horse and rider don’t get spooked. Where I live, the riders are always appreciative and friendly.
I do have an issue in the car though, riding your horse in rush hour on a fairly busy road is just selfish.Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
Many of the comments seem pretty balanced and reasonable.
Read that article with interest after reading this post on the CTC the other day –
I am the chair of a Local Access Forum and a member of another LAF, and it has often struck me that neither Forum has ever had any contact from CTC with regard to off-road access and rights of way. The only time I wrote to CTC about an off-road issue, I received no reply. I assumed at the time that this was because what little resource the CTC had was devoted towards specific projects like supporting trail-building.
As a result what few improvements you will ever see in access and rights of way are down to LAFs, local authorities and the British Horse Society. No cycling organisation gets involved, even though many thousands of CTC’s membership must be active mountain bikers, as well as road users.
My advice to anybody who wants to see off-road trails improved in their area would be to join the British Horse Society and not the CTC, even if you don’t own a horse. They do far more for off-road cyclists than the CTC does, and might do even more if you campaigned in your area for a particular trail to be improved, or a footpath to be upgraded to a bridleway. By comparison, the CTC doesn’t appear to be interested.
Don’t be too quick to distance yourself from horse riders. They may trash trails in winter from our POV but there’s more value in working with them than against – ime I’d say they’re all quite friendly towards us. MTB has no UK-wide voice, apart from local groups where it’s been forced by access problems. Until we all spend as much time on creating one as we do on here, it won’t have.Posted 4 years agoSonorMember
By comparison, the CTC doesn’t appear to be interested.
That could have a point seeing as the CTC have just got shot of their MTB representative.
MTB has no UK-wide voice,
It could have done with IMBA UK, but mtb’ers (not all I might add) have been brought up on the understanding the mountain biking was somehow rebellious, and belonging to an organisation that could have represented our interests would have been a bit lame.
Unfortunately, the language of mountain biking still believes that being “out there man” is the only way to be.Posted 4 years agoDaveyBoyWonderMember
This I agree with totally if the trail is crossing a BW in the same way stuff gets slowed down if crossing a fire-road etc at a trail centre. there could be horses, other riders, people with kids etc on the BW so agree, you don’t want a bike flying across at speed:
“We aim to balance the needs of everyone,” he said. “The design will ensure cyclists naturally slow down at crossing points by appropriate turns and signage.”
This though puts them back to square one. Priority to horses? Wheres the rule about that or is it a horsey, upper-class, Range Rover driving expectation? So we need to share the space but give priority to horses?Posted 4 years ago
We want to work with the BHS to educate cyclists about the priority that needs to be given to horse riders, so we can all share the Surrey Hills.”scaledSubscriber
We don’t have a lot of choice but to share the trails in England and Wales unless we’re going to get cheeky.
I’ve ridden (on a bike) with a few horses and they are pretty skittish for the first ride but soon calm down. Maybe we should be looking at buddying up with some horsey types to educate their equine friends 😀Posted 4 years agop8ddyMember
Some decent points on here.
I think there will always be people with polarized views who can’t or won’t accept that trails are shared, but a bit of mutual respect and considerate riding (of bikes AND horses) will allow everyone to enjoy their day out.
Being inconsiderate is rubbish – whatever hobby you partake in.Posted 4 years ago
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