Anorak | Cycling ‘carnage’ and a runners’ ‘stampede’ in the New Forest: what really happened?

Cycling ‘carnage’ and a runners’ ‘stampede’ in the New Forest: what really happened?

by | 7th, March 2013

new forest journal

THE New Forest Journal is reporting on looming “carnage “. By the paper’s front-page news of a dead child and a missing student, we read of the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, a cycling event scheduled for April 13 and 14. Before news of how the race brings death to the woods, more on the event itself. The Wiggle website tells us:

The aim of the Wiggle Super Series is to encourage riders of all levels to get out and ride!

The blurb for the Brockenhurst-based event notes:

Based in the iconic New Forest National Park with has average speed limits of 20-30 miles a hour, the quiet forest roads allows you dust of your bike and warm up your legs by taking in the breathtaking scenery in peace.

Riding with 2000+ like minded riders each day, will ensure you have a magical experience.

The Wiggle Saturday New Forest Spring Sportive has 2 route lengths (83miles / 56 miles), The route differs from our end of session finale (The Wiggle New Forest 100 Sportive), but incorporates the same spectacular scenery of the New Forest National Park, combined with wild animals grazing at the roadside and picturesque villages – a great early season ride!

Over in the local paper, the event is advertised to appeal to anyone who likes their sport bloody and fatal. We hear from Anita Sibley. She runs Vizzit, a website about the New Forest. It features adverts for all manner of things, including bikes and cycling. Says she:

“When similar events have taken place, cyclists ride four or five abreast on our narrow New Forest roads, often aggressively and with little or no concern for other road users. Bunching (riding closely in a group) is popular because it improves speed, as does undertaking cars. Although the organisers state this is not competitive, the cyclists are attempting to outdo their personal bests so, in effect, are racing themselves. If this is not a ‘competitive’ event then I would expect participants to adhere to the New Forest Cycling Code.”

That official New Forest site advertises :

The New Forest is a fabulous place, especially for all you budding cyclists.

New Forest Cycle Code tells riders:

The following Cycle Code has been put into place by the Forestry Commission, and should be adhered to by all cyclists on the New Forest, at all times…

Keep to the Way Marked tracks when cycling in the New Forest.
Slow down and call out a warning when approaching other Forest users. Be courteous and friendly.
Take extra care when nearing horse riders. When in a group, all cyclists should pass the horse on the same side.
Do not startle ponies, cattle or other wildlife. Go slowly and give them space.
Avoid causing obstructions do not ride more than two abreast. Always ride in single file on narrow roads.
Keep well away from any work going on in the Forest.
Do not pass any vehicle loading timber until you have been told it is safe to do

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Posted: 7th, March 2013 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink