Vandals target top cycling event in New Forest

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  • Vandals target top cycling event in New Forest
  • allthepies
    Member

    A wrote:

    Before the weekend’s event, a spokesman for the New Forest Equestrian Association said that there was a big risk to horses and riders from such events, especially when cyclists came up quickly and silently from behind.

    I wonder how many animals (inc horses) will now end up with tacks in their feet or eat the things.

    29erKeith
    Member

    I’ll not link to the “Rag” as they are imo part of the problem and always do their best to whip up anti-cycling feelings locally, but here’s the content.

    THE safety of hundreds of cyclists was threatened during a major sports event when drawing pins were thrown on to the road and more than 1,000 route signs vandalised.

    Organisers of UK Cycling’s New Forest Spring Sportive were forced to take drastic action at the start of the twoday event when the participants were put in jeopardy by the reckless actions of the vandals.

    Visit the Daily Echo’s dedicated Cycling mini-site >>
    Marshals had to sweep up the tacks off the road in Boldre – but some tyres were still punctured.

    And event organisers also found that more than 1,000 direction and safety signs had been removed or defaced, forcing safety teams to replace them before the 1,850 cyclists set off.

    Heavy rain added to the organisers’ problems, forcing them to cancel the second day as the hosting field in Brockenhurst became waterlogged.

    Martin Barden, director of UK Cycling, said there were no injuries but he was “appalled” at the action of the vandals.

    He said: “A small minority of people have taken to vigilante lengths to stop the events. Their behaviour is unacceptable.

    “[They] have tried to ruin the day for everyone and tried to endanger cyclists.

    “Luckily that hasn’t happened, due to sheer luck, but the attempt to injure a cyclist has been there.

    “I think it is appalling. It’s all been reported to the police.

    “It is a very small-minded type of attitude. If we hadn’t been on top of it, it could have caused serious harm.”

    Mr Barden added that some cars were also being driven at slow speeds, causing a slow-moving roadblock.

    But he said that most cyclists were unaware of any problems and that many had enjoyed the day, despite the weather.

    He also said that the majority of the New Forest resi-dents were welcoming to the cyclists for the fifth annual event.

    The event had attracted criticism in the week leading up to it, with some residents of the New Forest claiming that cyclists were an increasing nuisance as they flocked to the park to enjoy its breathtaking views.

    Mr Barden said that the number of participants had been kept low out of respect to those living there.

    “We could have had 10,000 people here but we reduced the figures. We did it consciously to be considerate to the local residents. The same courtesy has not been extended the other way, in some parts,” he added.

    Ian Wild, chairman of Boldre Parish Council, said he thought that the vandals’ actions were “reprehensible”.

    “It could have caused accidents and could have potentially been very serious.

    Anyone who cycled over the tacks could have been injured. If someone had done that, that’s reprehensible,” he said.

    Over an 86-mile circuit cyclists were able to visit Lymington, Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, Landford, Hale, Godshill, Hyde and Sway. There was also a shorter route of 58 miles.

    Earlier this week Dr Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East, wrote to transport minister Norman Baker calling for a formal licensing system for cycle events to be introduced.

    He was unavailable for further comment yesterday.

    Before the weekend’s event, a spokesman for the New Forest Equestrian Association said that there was a big risk to horses and riders from such events, especially when cyclists came up quickly and silently from behind.

    Mr Barden said that the Forest ride event would now be rescheduled for later in the year.

    In the comments on the Article it appears a cyclist did come off on the tacks and broke his collar bone.

    Just so Sad!!! 🙁

    ormondroyd
    Member

    It’s pure prejudice. Hundreds of thousands of cars in the forest on any summer weekend, and they moan about a fraction of the number of bikes.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    might be worth posting on this thread too;

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/do-all-sportives-get-this-kind-of-hammering-by-the-locals

    I clearly have no idea if that woman from vizzit has a view on the tin tacks/roadblocks approach. But I’ll be asking her. If she chooses to answer or says she does support it I shall be contactign every cycle shop that advertises/is listed on her site and saying I will not use their services whilst they continue to do so.

    She’s put herself forward as a spokesman for these people – she can take the consequences.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’ve just sent her this;

    Hi

    I emailed last week about your apparent antagonism to cyclists using the New Forest. I have received no reply to date.

    I have a couple of points to add to my previous email;

    1) I understand that tacks/drawing pins were put on the path of the Wiggle ride on Saturday and a rider received a broken collar bone as a result of falling at that point.

    2) There were ‘rolling roadblocks’ of cars on the route intending to disrupt the event.

    Clearly both of these activities put riders and other members of the public (both motorists, ponies, horses and riders and cyclists not in the event) at risk of more serious injuries.

    Could you let me know your view of the above please?

    Also, I understand that you recent undertook a charity cycling event in the Forest? How do you reconcile your choice of leisure activity with your opposition to others doing the same thing?

    I should let you know in advance, if you choose not to reply to this email or it turns out you support the dangerous activities I’ve outlined above then I will be contacting any cycle related advertiser/company listed on your site and advise them that they will get no business from me until they cease to be on your pages.

    You run a business to attract people to the Forest for you to then be actively campaigning against the same visitors smacks of a lack of integrity on your part.

    Regards

    Gooby
    Member

    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/10355147.Drawing_pins_on_the_road_and_route_signs_vandalised___vandals_target_New_Forest_cycle_event/?action=success

    Here is the original article. The area is incredibly anti-cycling and I will bet that this is about to get one hell of a trolling from the anti-cycling vandals who did this. Please sign up/in and give as good as we get.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Why do I keep thinking of the parallels between this and Etape Caledonia from 3 years ago.
    It all seems to stem from Nimbyists who are massively affected by it just stirring up the usual nonsense.
    How much do the people who took part in the events contribute to the local economy as a result?

    29erKeith
    Member

    That’s great wwaswas, I’ve been thinking about doing something similar myself and also to Julian Lewis the MP. But I’d included everybody on her website tbh. I had a few friends come down for it who stayed in B&B’s and Hotels and ate and drank in pubs in the forest. Driving thousands of visitors from the forest will affect them all.

    A local Councillor is on our side David Harrison search on Facebook for “councillor David Harrison” he posted last week in support.

    I’ll get on and write a few email myself tonight too.

    soma_rich
    Member

    idiots! Makes me so angry that people can be so narrow minded!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    bigyinn wrote:

    Why do I keep thinking of the parallels between this and Etape Caledonia from 3 years ago.
    It all seems to stem from Nimbyists who are massively affected by it just stirring up the usual nonsense.
    How much do the people who took part in the events contribute to the local economy as a result?

    The irony is that the Etape Caledonia does involve closed roads – something many of the protagonists in this case seem to want. The EC thing came down to a handful of individuals. Riding the course and visiting the local communities it’s easy to see that most folk support the event.

    Maybe the difference is that in rural Perthshire the are rather more appreciative of the additional income to the area and the NF doesn’t feel it needs it so much?

    bigyinn
    Member

    The NF seems to be a law unto itself, relying on many outdated bylaws etc which have no relevance to the modern world, but are held onto by the locals trying to preserve something that is long gone really.
    Given its a National Park now (isn’t it?) surely more should be done to encourage people to visit?
    Or is it the fact there are lots of people with buckets of money that wish to stop people using “their” forest?

    b r
    Member

    Takes some effort to remove/alter a 1000 signs, obviously not just person doing it.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Shocking. The small minded behaviour of some people is incredible. I hope the injured rider makes a full recovery and if anyone is caught that action is taken against them, either by the police or through the civil courts. I’m sure a few nights in a cell and a criminal record of a few hundred claims for compensation would make those responsible think again.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Just to clarify when I put NF I mean New Forest not National Front! Interesting….

    Clong
    Member

    The NF seems to be a law unto itself, relying on many outdated bylaws etc which have no relevance to the modern world, but are held onto by the locals trying to preserve something that is long gone really.
    Given its a National Park now (isn’t it?) surely more should be done to encourage people to visit?
    Or is it the fact there are lots of people with buckets of money that wish to stop people using “their” forest?

    Pretty much yes to all of these points, it is a national park that is heavily subsidised by public money.

    29erKeith
    Member

    I doubt a 1000 signs is accurate.

    Bigtinn, buckets of history more like, old families and old ways. It’s ours, ours! and the rest of you keep off! Some with money yes but many without, commoning’s not a rich man’s game.

    I’m glad there are commoners etc. still despite many of their attitudes to us (although it’s a hobby\part time for many as it doesn’t pay), it’s part of the forests history and it’s fantastic that many of the old ways and traditions are kept going. But! that doesn’t have to happen at the exclusion of everybody else.

    Lies about scaring wildlife is frankly nonsense, the ponies barely bat an eyelid at cars or bikes. Deer bolt at the sight of their own shadows and the ground nesting birds thing is also nonsense, dogs are for more likely to be a problem for them as has been covered in studies before. Traffic problems, delays etc is also rubbish. The Beaulieu auto jumbles, New Forest show (Held at the same location as the weekend event) and others are far far more likely to cause delay to people including locals and emergency services.

    Clong
    Member

    commoning’s not a rich man’s game

    But you can get rich by doing it, there is current initiative to encourage more people to use their commoning rights, so commoners are paid £100 per month (or maybe even per week) per animal. The scheme is about to end though and ran for about 3 years.

    29erKeith
    Member

    Fair enough Clong many aren’t rich off of it though.
    One of the commoners local to me works full time as does his wife but turns out a dozen Angus and half a dozen ponies as a hobby, he’s certainly not rich

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Please sign up/in and give as good as we get.

    Or, please don’t boost the rags ad value + revenue by frothing over it on their site..

    http://www.vizzit.co.uk/who-we-are.html
    Vizzit is a company who offer web design and media stuff, franchises of Vizzit to other areas etc. Antia whatever her name is is co-director. All contact details are here – http://www.vizzit.co.uk/news/49-general/174-vizzit-media-on-the-move.html

    It sounds like she needs to listen to someone else’s PR advice when it comes to tourism and managing conflicts of interest.

    29erKeith
    Member

    I did post earlier but it’s already descended into “I saw a cyclist jump a red light”, Road Tax, Licencing, tests etc……all cyclists are evil and get in my way when driving and should be shot types now 🙄

    this one’s my favourite though

    and because so many criminals use cyclists to move around and escape undetected, the time has come to bring cycling into line with other vehicle use on the roads, and require complusory tests, licence plates and insurance.

    so we’re moving stuff for organised crime now 🙄
    where do I get a slice of the action, I’m missing out 😉

    ormondroyd
    Member

    I doubt a 1000 signs is accurate.

    To be fair, only a small number need to be meddled with before they all need to be checked

    29erKeith
    Member

    Anita Sibley\Grisham Hail from http://www.vizzitnewforest.com/ certainly seems to be a ring leader in all of the hysteria. She certainly seems to be the one that’s been quoted in several news papers on this subject.

    She doesn’t exclusively hate and want just cycling banned, she doesn’t seem to like runners either. Apparently between us we’ll be “the ruination of the Forest”.

    If she could separate the real world from the exaggerations and fiction I love to have a debate with her on the subject. She seem incapable of that though, I s’pose that happens when you’ve worked in marketing though a 🙄

    A HORSE rider says she was in fear for her life after 30 horses stampeded across the Forest after being spooked by runners. Anita Gresham-Hale, director of the Vizzit Group, was riding with a friend at Stoney Cross at about 10am on Sunday morning, unaware that the event, a nine-mile cross country run organised by Totton Running Club, was taking place.

    She said: “The runners cut across the airfield and dropped into Ocknell Wood before turning onto the underpass. Coming from the direction of the runners, some 30 horses stampeded out of the second underpass, all galloping furiously towards us. Their manes were standing up and it was absolutely petrifying. I have ridden over the Forest for years and I have never come across anything like this.”

    A look at the Vizzit website tells us that only one Anita sits on the board. Might Anita Sibley and Anita Gresham-Hale be the one and same? We tried to find out by calling Vizzit but were told “no comment” by a woman who identified herself only as “Anita”.

    Back to the stampede story:

    Mrs Gresham-Hale added: “I have no problem with the running club or how the race was organised. This is part of a wider problem. There here are too many events, with more people taking part. These events need to be better advertised and supervised by a National Park Authority official. I am in the process of launching a group because we are not going to allow the ruination of the Forest to continue.”

    Adding:

    Martin Nugus of the club told the Forest Journal that 134 runners took part and the event was marshalled by 52 people. He said he had received no reports from marshals about a stampede and explained that he had spoken to several marshals after obtaining details from the Forest Journal.

    Mr Nugus said: “While I fully sympathise with being caught up in a stampede, not one of our marshals witnessed the incident, in fact they said that there were very few horses and ponies about on Sunday. I cycled ahead of the runners and we had a UK Athletic qualified race referee at the event and we saw nothing. While I don’t believe that a stampede was caused by the runners, we will investigate.”

    Curious times in the Forest.

    29erKeith
    Member

    To be fair, only a small number need to be meddled with before they all need to be checked

    Agreed

    bland
    Member

    This is such middle class vandalism! Love it!

    I agree, mass staging of rides should be banned. People should be forced to read a map and stop lining corporate organisations pockets!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    the time has come to bring cycling into line with other vehicle use on the roads, and require complusory tests, licence plates

    Do horses have number plates then?

    Perhaps we should ask the New Forest Equestrian folk? 😉

    29erKeith
    Member

    Runners are included in all this too don’t forget.
    We’ll have to get our legs licensed taxed and insured too soon

    registration plates tattooed on your forehead Sir\Madam

    tonyd
    Member

    If this Vizzit woman is so anti-cycling, how come they’ve this page on their site? First line:

    We hope you have a wonderful time when cycling in the New Forest and remember the roads can be busy (tractors as well as cars!) and often have cattle, sheep, pigs and ponies on them. Please take extra care.

    There’s a lot of events listed, the “Charity Horse or Cycle Ride at Burley Park Sat 11 May 2013 ” jumps out. Not sure how the horses or riders will cope with this since according to the New Forest Equestrian Society

    there was a big risk to horses and riders from such events, especially when cyclists came up quickly and silently from behind.

    These NIMBYs really need to get their act together and provide a more cohesive argument.

    Premier Icon annebr
    Subscriber

    according to cycling weekly they have a vehicle reg no and the police are investigating

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/537903/new-forest-spring-sportive-sabotaged.html

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Thing that jumped out for me about the runner/stmpede story was,

    I cycled ahead of the runners

    is probably the root cause of the problem. 😆

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Time for a STW Forum Ride there? Let’s invade their fiefdom by being as badly behaved as only STW’ers know how. 😆

    Seriously!

    tonyd
    Member

    Perhaps we could meet outside the Vizzit offices?

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Booze and spliffs compulsory and a rowdy picnic on a village green. 😉

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    and because so many criminals use cyclists to move around and escape undetected, the time has come to bring cycling into line with other vehicle use on the roads, and require complusory tests, licence plates and insurance.

    Yeah! And, and.. and those people on feet too! I see them running away from muggings and crime scenes! License the walkers! MOTs for feet!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Interesting to see in that Cycling Weakly article that the Caledonia Etape tack attacker had the charge against him dropped. Lovely.

    No doubt the offender here can look forward to similar justice if they are caught.

    clubber
    Member

    the Caledonia Etape tack attacker had the charge against him dropped

    Time for a civil case then? Lower burden of proof and the possibility to really hurt the person with the cost of tubes/damaged tyres and the rest.

    Or is the law different ‘up there’? 🙂

    DT78
    Member

    As a local rider I was planning on taking part in this as my first taste of a sportive. Glad I didn’t….

    Can’t believe people are able to get away with sabotaging events and spouting anti-cyclist stuff still. Given our wonderful turn out in cycling at the olympics I thought people’s opinions would be changing for the better.

    If it had been me coming off because someone threw tacs in the road, breaking bike / bones I would be fuming.

    tonyd
    Member

    DT78 don’t let that put you off, I rode this sportive a few years ago and loved it. Very friendly, well organised, good route, beautiful scenery (which you’re no doubt aware of!). All in all a great day out, been meaning to do it again since then, perhaps next year. We got a bit luckier with the weather than this year though 🙂

    29erKeith
    Member

    They’ve pencilled in a date in June or July I think, not sure if it’s sold out, you might be able to get in maybe, or just download the route. I rode most of just recently with a friend.

    My friends that rode the one on Saturday were oblivious to all of this bar a few protesters in Boldre. So fingers crossed it’ll not have done too much harm.

    Pick a day CG!

    Premier Icon FieldMarshall
    Subscriber

    We seemed to have escaped all the anti-cycling activists at our end of the forest.

    I was out for a ride at 7am on Sat and rode some of the route. I saw the UK Cycling Events van out checking signs, but all seemed ok.

    I only saw a few groups (nothing more than maybe 10 or so riders) pass through the village and no real disruption to traffic flow.

    Sounds like its the “southern forest dwellers” that are most anti this event. Never realised there was a north/south divide in the new forest. 🙂

    Could be interesting when its run again in June.

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