- Uh-Oh horse and hound magazine arent happy – surrey hills content
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 agoioloMember
If you come across horses on a bridleway what’s the problem in slowing down or stopping?Maybe even smiling and saying hello. You’re not giving in to “bloody horse people”, you’re respecting the country code – Respect,Protect, Enjoy.Posted 4 years ago
As regards having a DH track crossing Bridal Way’s. ROW’s, Footpaths, whatever does anybody actually believe that in this day of strava and the like anybody will slow down to check if a horse is coming? I can understand why horse and hound are annoyed at this due to zero communication by the trail builders (well at least I assume so reading the link by the OP). This kind of thing only fires the anger of the Aigle/Hunter/Land Rover Discovery brigade.vincienupSubscriber
It’s an issue that is largely based on intolerance and lack of consultation i think.
Sweeping generalisation, but horse and bike riders as groups seem unaware of the others’ needs and abilities – and this can lead to conflict. Additionally, some local horse groups I’ve come across have odd ideas about ownership of things like bridleways.
More thoroughbred horses can take flight easily – as above joke about crisp packet as trigger – although this could potentially lead to death/serious injury of rider and anyone in the way. Ideally, any rider out in public should be able to control their horse but there doesn’t seem to be any real ground to believe this. The fact that MTB’ers crash from time to time proves this goes on both sides.
I’m not really sure what should be done in this instance – but all the concerned parties AND THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRAIL / LANDOWNERS should be sitting down rather than ranting.
Unfortunately this sort of thing has the potential for certain classes of user being banned from sites if there’s a private landowner involved as it’s easier than dealing with it.
As with regular moans involving ramblers and dogs, it’s a ‘shared use’ – and frankly if it’s a place where there are likley to be many types of user especially in numbers, then it’s a stupid place to ride fast unless you want an accident or to otherwise cause trouble.Posted 4 years ago
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?
My understanding is that on a bridleway cyclists are required to give way to horses, and all give way to pedestrians. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but AFAIK that’s the law.
Horse behaviour is a grey area perhaps, it’s one thing to give way, but another to be expected to creep around like we’re not there for fear of startling them. I’d presume horse riders taking a horse to a shared access area have a duty of care to make sure the animal can handle the reasonable stresses of the environment.Posted 4 years agosq225917Member
I don’t really see what the issue is. Whenever I see a horse near enough to me on a track that it can see or hear me I slow down, say hello and stop if it looks like it will be the safest option. If everyone did this there would be no issue. Sure some of them are dicks, but then plenty of us are too.
Slow down, give way, then you won’t end up with a tonne of horse on your head- simples.Posted 4 years ago
I walked/rode this yesterday. The first 2 sections, which are the issue here with the horsey peeps I guess, are still taped off, they looked near finished to me so presumably that’s because there is some furniture or calming features to go in where the trail crosses the bridleway (as per the H&H photo) and at the end of the second section (which starts on the right of the H&H photo).
At one point on the first section there is a choice between the straighter line, or a left turn to a roll in with ramped exit. A rider taking that would “pop out” suddenly a few metres above the bridleway. Like most of us I have never seen a horse on they bridleway, in 15 years of riding here, tho the state of the surface indicates it is used, as is their right.
I saw at least one biker hooning down the “normal” Tower descent, too fast IMO, with families, dogs etc walking up. That’s the problem this trail is pitched as being there to fix. The other fix of course is for the rider to obey CTBM’s famous maxim “don’t be a dick”.
For night riding the first part of the Tower descent would make a viable climb too, saving some wear elsewhere.
After the second section there is a large track climb of a couple of hundred metres then 2 more long sections linking all the way down to Waggledance. It’s quite a piece of work the trail pixies have taken on here and it’s well executed. It incorporates (and sanitises with a weather proof trail) most of Chicken Skin Revue, which I guess some people will have mixed feelings about.
The last 100 metres down to Waggledance, which is rooty, muddy and cambered, with a reasonable gradient, isn’t resurfaced, dno if there are any plans to do that, tho I don’t mind if not as it’s quite characterful and can be a safe challenge, would be a big shame to lose it.
It’s a proper rider’s trail, not for novices or family bimbles. I’d call it a blue plus.
Good job trail pixies.
Aside, it was really odd yesterday riding with summer conditions but winter sight lines due to no vegetation. I came around the corner after the Rookery descent expecting to be closed in by the normal bracken forest that makes looking far quiet difficult, but of course at the moment it’s just a brown carpet and I could see way forwards.Posted 4 years ago
It’s a proper rider’s trail, not for novices or family bimbles. I’d call it a blue plus.
Thing is though, bar that last part to Waggledance it would be fine for more novice riders. I was really impressed with how much trail they’ve squeezed into a small area, I can imagine a lot of people climbing the bit to the tower unless it’s adequately signed. Like you, I don’t mind they’ve not done the last bit (yet), but I’m surprised, as that was the most eroded bit anyway!
Whilst I see the points the horsey brigade are making I’d have thought having the cyclists in one ‘place’, as it were, was preferable to the present situation with riders more likely to be popping up in various places. I’d always give way to horses, and be polite, stupid not to IMO, but I know not everyone’s the same.Posted 4 years agohoraMember
I can see the point/worry. More and more cyclists/bikes are using the Surrey Hills, its getting more popular and you aren’t tripping over the same amount of horse riders/explosion in numbers. Building stuff like that will have more bikes in that one spot and riders ‘sessioning’ it.
Horse riders have a right and yes horses can get spooked. Ever ridden one? Its GREAT but its a living animal with independent thought and fears. So we should be consderate towards horses/horse riders and not keep developing new bloody trails that bring in more riders.
This weekend I witnessed drivers attitudes to horse riders. Guess horses shouldn’t be on the road as well in countryside hey?Posted 4 years agoGotamaMember
I saw at least one biker hooning down the “normal” Tower descent, too fast IMO, with families, dogs etc walking up.
Far too many people do this. Happened to be up on Leith twice at the weekend and saw numerous people flying down on skill compensators with complete disregard for all the walkers out enjoying the sunshine. Not entirely sure what is going through their head when doing so, presumably not a lot. So the new section of trail will be a big plus from that point of view and hopefully won’t cause issues with the horses when the gates are in. The rest of the trail is very good given what they have to work with. It’s great to have an all weather alternative and with the jumps/roll-a-bility it works for a diverse range of abilities too.Posted 4 years ago
Thing is though, bar that last part to Waggledance it would be fine for more novice riders.
To be fair, yes, taken at their own pace. I was comparing to, say, the Swinley blue. There’s more going on on SL2.
Yeah they’ve done a good job in the space and gradient available.
It remains to be seen if SL2 brings many more riders in. I’d say only the Tower descent section is worth sessioning for the DH/Enduro guys and it’s pretty short. And access isn’t as easy as at Swinley or Peaslake, the nearby car parks can get full quickly at weekends, which means riding up from a fair distance.
As a local rider, it’s a win, I hope it works out with the other land users.
Thanks to the implementer.Posted 4 years ago
My understanding is that on a bridleway cyclists are required to give way to horses, and all give way to pedestrians.
dunno if it’s the law but it’s the code. We are on the bottom rung offroad aswell as on. I think the more sensible order of priority is horsists, cyclists, pedestrians as that is the order of hardest to move/stand aside. Horses need to be given a wide berth, whether we like it or not they are ****ing insane and have every right to be there. It is a piece of piss for walkers to step 2′ feet to the side, alternatively if on a technical bit a cyclist has to get off their bike and push around some walkers or just stand aside they now take up twice as much trail as if they were riding. Also it is pretty much impossible for a cyclist to pass belligerent walkers heading in the same direction on narrow paths. (would still be difficult if priorities were changed but at the moment they can rightfully claim we’re supposed to yield to them)
I’m guessing RA would never stand for it tho, happily lots of walkers spot that it’s easiest for them to step aside and seem happy to do so.Posted 4 years ago
I feel the code is right, machines yield to people. People who happen to have a big animal yield to people on foot. I don’t think we get a bad deal within the system as a whole, leastways not where I ride where there is a huge network of bridleways, and some open access land too.Posted 4 years ago
I feel the code is right, machines yield to people.
erm I’m a person too. Like I said quite often walkers step aside as soon as they see you anyway. It’s just the problem cases, I’ve been in the daft situation where a walker knows I’m behind them (slowed down rung my bell or said hello/excuse me) but refused to let me passed, so I’ve had to get off pick up my bike and run along the side of the trail to get passed.Posted 4 years ago
I’m not angling for the ability to burn passed walkers shouting “get out of my way” but as I said the current priority seems wrong from ease of use perspective. Dunno maybe you would get mtbers and horse riders charging passed walkers if you gave them priority, in which case you may be right, keep it as is.
I am sure we all send healing vibes. The squeamish need not click through.
This near the cricket pitch apparently, I thought of the time there was potential for a trip up there. Roll it through first time.Posted 4 years ago
Eh? Biker tries to do jump and crashes, hurting himself in the process. Could have happened anywhere. The jump was rollable, he chose not to and paid the consequences.
My sentiments exactly. I didn’t say it was a trail no one could crash on, just that it’s quite beginner friendly, except that last bit to Waggledance.Posted 4 years agoratadogSubscriber
Got two local bridleways sorted out with th ehelp of a member of the British Horse Society and the Bridleways Trust. Got nowhere with trying to get it sorted out with the support of the local MTBers ( not that they were not trying, they just didn’t seem to have the right combination of influence and knowledge of the law ).
So the author of the piece quoted by the OP may have a point.
What tyres for a 15h Cleveland Bay?Posted 4 years agocrispycrossMember
The law on bridleways is quite clear. The 1968 Countryside Act, section 30 introduced the right to cycle on bridleways, provided cyclists give way to walkers and horseriders. You don’t have to like it but you’ve got to lump it. Those posters expressing views that the order of priority ought to be different are no different to motorists who think speed limits ought to be higher or cyclists ought to pay road tax. Campaign to change the law, by all means, but know what it is now and expect trouble if you don’t follow it. Just sayin’, like.Posted 4 years ago
The only real issue with that hierarchy is that you could theoretically get stuck behind some belligerent walkers for as long as they wish, if they’re legally entitled to stand their ground and not let you past.
The same hierarchy doesn’t exist on the road, so those comparisons aren’t as valid.
That said, I don’t have a specific issue, always give way to others where appropriate, and wince at the pace at which people ride that trail from Leith Hill tower considering the number of walkers on it.Posted 4 years agoglenpMember
I do not believe anyone gets stuck behind walkers for any great length of time. If you ride behind them at walking pace for, say, a minute or two… make conversation, say hello, be civil… are you seriously saying they will just block your path? Nonsense. They might wait for an appropriate spot to allow you to pass. I don’t see why walkers should jump into the ditch, or even stop and step aside, but when the path widens suitably then it is a good place to pass.
Back on topic – if I see horses at all I usually just stop completely and wait a few seconds. Say hi, wait until they’re gone and then on with my stuff in peace.Posted 4 years ago
I do not believe anyone gets stuck behind walkers for any great length of time. If you ride behind them at walking pace for, say, a minute or two… make conversation, say hello, be civil… are you seriously saying they will just block your path? Nonsense.
Read the post and calm down. No, I’m not saying that at all, I specifically said that I don’t have an issue, always give way, and am polite. I said that a particularly belligerent walker could, with the law on their side, impede your progress if they so desired, which is a slight issue with that hierarchy.
Not that they will, not that they do, they could.
Back on topic – if I see horses at all I usually just stop completely and wait a few seconds. Say hi, wait until they’re gone and then on with my stuff in peace.
Agreed, but the issue here is more that it’s occurring at an intersection where horses are potentially unseen. The fireroad crossings on Telegraph Road come to mind – plenty of people hit them at full pace, it’s a similar scenario.Posted 4 years agospacemonkeyMember
I’m still trying to figure out where this new trail continues once it exits at the bottom of the Tower, i.e at the crossroads linking the different fire roads. Was walking there on Sat (came up from the Landslip) and couldn’t for the life of me see where it picked up in order to get to Waggledance. Saw some riders having a go on the cordoned off section then just stopping at the gate not knowing where to go either.Posted 4 years ago
The “stuck behind” issue is probably regional, it’s never happened to me in Surrey, I didn’t even consider it, when discussing “give way” I was thinking face to face meetings. I guess on a fell or a thin moorland track, getting stuck behind must be more common. But it still seems to me the current system, if not right, is still optimal. I don’t see how taking a bike somewhere justifies the expectation other people should get out of the way. Walkers and equestrians have a right to enjoy their time in the countryside without being obliged to dodge bikes. Bikers who can’t handle that still have the choice of a bike park or trail centre, we get a good deal I think.Posted 4 years ago
I’m still trying to figure out where this new trail continues once it exits at the bottom of the Tower, i.e at the crossroads linking the different fire roads.
Turn right before the gate, take the broad track (above the deep sunken lane) about 200 metres, there’s a 90+ degree left bend at the top of the climb, take that, about 10 metres further on the trail entrance is on the right. It’s not marked.Posted 4 years ago
Having ridden it a few times now, I really can’t see the problem. Where exactly is the area(s) they are worried about?
as it stands now:
* about 2/3 of the way down the first section from the Tower, there’s a junction, turn left for a roll in and pop up “above the bridleway”, or carry on the more contoury line
* where the first section ends (left of the bway in the middle of the H&H pic), rider crosses the bridleway to start the second section
obviously, it’s taped off because it’s not finished yet so there’s every chance it’s all in hand …Posted 4 years ago
I don’t see how taking a bike somewhere justifies the expectation other people should get out of the way
Like I said I’m not expecting people to jump out of the way so I can speed passed without slowing, just pointing out that the order of how easy it is to yield is walkers, cyclists, horse riders so it’s a bit weird that the walkers are the ones everyone else is expected to yield to. But as I said later, there may also be valid reasons for that.
make conversation, say hello, be civil… are you seriously saying they will just block your path?
The time I’m thinking of, I didn’t have a bell, I had tried “excuse me”, “hello” and the walker was just ignoring me and walking dead centre of the narrow trail.Posted 4 years agospacemonkeyMember
Turn right before the gate, take the broad track (above the deep sunken lane) about 200 metres, there’s a 90+ degree left bend at the top of the climb, take that, about 10 metres further on the trail entrance is on the right. It’s not marked.
Ah, ok … I just missed it then as we walked up from the Landslip and headed for the Tower, hence didn’t notice anything round the corner to the right.
Sounds like it’s kind of an extended replacement for that trail that got closed off a few years ago (starts on the left about 100m further along before spitting you out just before the cricket pitch). I also remember that little C shaped trail that went off the side of the hill immediately oppos the cricket pitch before curving back in. That didn’t last long IIRC.Posted 4 years ago
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