So, the NFNPA cycling "charter" is up, some nominal support from cycling organisations, and Hants police. What's in it? Being a word document showing last minute revisions, extra insight
This charter does not replace or detract from the need to comply with the highway code or highway legislation
Because this charter isn't about rights, its about taking them away
"avoid use of quiet country roads". This again shows the real concern "inconvenience", and why so many millions in the now-defunct "Plan B" was to be spent widening a road. For the haters behind this charter, there is nothing worse than being held up by cyclists"
Again, that repetition of the duties of the highway code, not the rights. And we've suddenly gone from implying that cyclists are an "inconvenience' to "irresponsible"
Maybe pre-event briefings should cover those rights too, just for completeness. And for fairness, when the "New Forest Drivers Charter" is published, anyone organising an event with >100 cars will have to offer a pre-ride briefing on the highway code responsibilities
Again, the mention of "riding in single file", and highlights this. Note that the comment claims that it could be for an emergency vehicle: it's for your own good. We call that "post-rationalisation"
The second paragraph implies it, taking action against participants who "contravene event rules", e..g "banned from future events for ... cycling in a peleton".
In the absence of any definition of "peleton", what the fuck does this mean? As on a sportive its inevitable groups will form. Not necessarily fast ones, but groups, wheelsucking or turn taking. Is this now a crime?
As for banning: will that be from a specific event, like "wiggle sportives", or will it be from all rides in the area
Are the NFNPA proposing being able to ban cyclists from all events in the area?
The whole thing is bollocks and the NFNPA should be told to fuck off.
Realistically, Wiggle aren't going to, as they don't want to have the council, verderers and park authorities go out their way to make things already harder than they have. Wiggle are already forced to start outside the NF, they have to deal with Verderers apparently changing drift dates, and if people really did want to protest against cycling, tacks on the ground are an easy way to injure a lot of people.
Everyone else though should think long and hard about whether to agree to this. What it represents is an attempt to limit the number of cyclists in a bit of the countryside -and if the new forest does it, Surrey will be watching to see how it goes. Both these places have the same clash of locals thinking they have exclusive rights to drive down back country roads at speed, both blame cyclists,
And they both have councils saying "legislation may be needed". That's going to go down well with their narrow-minded haters, but nationally, it would be vicious.
What to do instead? Get out and ride! Don't be afraid of cycling two abreast or in a group. Don't be afraid to walk into pubs and buy food and beer. That doesn't mean be antisocial: let cars past when you consider it safe for them to do so, don't scatter gel wrappers everywhere (hint: there are pockets in your jersey for them), and be considerate of pedestrians in villages. Consider also fixing a camera or two on the bike, so if you do get tailgated by a car, or overtaken dangerously, you can be the one phoning in the number to Hants police, with a video.