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about these cyclists on a bridle way?

(125 Posts)
Ellybellyboo Mon 11-Dec-17 11:04:27

I don't want to start a cycling bashing post, most cyclists I come into contact with are fab

DD2 has been riding for years and a few months ago we were lucky enough to find her her own horse.

During DD's lesson Saturday morning, her teacher suggested they go out on a hack. There's a bridle way just to the side of the yard - about an hour, off road, in a nice loop that brings them back to the yard. Clearly signed as a bridle way, on local maps and information. Great. Off they go.

They come back to the yard and the teacher tells me DD has had a fall and explains that DD's horse got in a bit of a tizz after a huge group of cyclists went charging past. Several cyclists went past them - singly and in pairs, gave the horses plenty of room and all was fine. Until a huge pack of cyclists came towards them - all over the path, clearly racing each other, jostling and shouting, etc, etc. Horse had a moment, DD fell off (bit bruised but not hurt)

Anyway, teacher said this isn't the first time it has happened, as apparently it's a good path for time trials and more and more groups of cyclists were using it. She said that other owners at the yard were writing to the local cycling clubs to ask them to speak to their members.

I emailed the main club and explained exactly what happened - was very polite and explained that several people had gone past and were great, it was just the big group. I got a reply this morning, basically stating that cyclists have every right to use bridle ways - we should ride else where.

Yes, they do have every right to use bridle ways and the majority of cyclists were brilliant, but AIBU to think there could be a bit more consideration?

TheFaerieQueene Mon 11-Dec-17 11:09:29

I agree. We have a real problem with cyclists in the woods in my village. They don’t stick to the bridle path though and cycle very aggressively on the footpaths. My dog gets very scared of them. Luckily she has good recall so come back as soon as I call, but I am worried that they will cause a big accident on a foot path at some point. (A lot of children and older people use the footpaths and not as able to get out of the way).

I hope your daughter is ok - and the horse of course - and you get an apology.

NCforNow955 Mon 11-Dec-17 11:11:47

Speaking as a cyclist/runner who races...

Nope, not at all unreasonable - in shared spaces everyone needs to treat each other with respect and caution. Even when racing, losing a few seconds is well worth it to save an uninvolved 3rd party from injury or worse.

BTW minor nit pick; in a time trial the riders go off at one minute intervals and are supposed to stay at least 10 meters away from each other or risk being disqualified - so I'm guessing it wasn't a time trial but a load of cyclists (possibly from a club) just being knobs.

mumonashoestring Mon 11-Dec-17 11:12:30

YANBU, these are exactly the kind of fuckwits that get all cyclists branded 'lycra clad terrorists' and treated like dirt by other road users. Yes they have a right to use the bridlepath but SO DO YOU. Worth pointing out to them that if a group of cyclists acting like tits spook a horse they're as likely to get hurt as the rider.

Don't suppose you have any militant 'right to roam' groups locally who could be persuaded to slowly dawdle along the bridleway on a regular basis and make it less attractive for time trials? grin

NCforNow955 Mon 11-Dec-17 11:15:34

And don't get me started on dog walkers who let their dogs off the lead or on those ridiculous trip wire things.

Apparently I'm supposed to be clairvoyant and know when there is a dog walker coming around the corner who has let their dog race ahead of them and hide in the undergrowth.

Or spot the tiny string/trip wire that is across the path while the dog walker chats to their friend completely obliviously!

Sharing the path means keeping your animal under close control (as a minority of responsible dog walkers do) and slowing to a walking pace/stopping if necessary when running/cycling in a shared space (as a minority of cyclists, including me, do).

Ifailed Mon 11-Dec-17 11:16:46

Agree with others, it's a shared path and all users should show consideration to others. Did your DD note if they all seemed to be wearing the same jerseys and if so can she remember if there was a club name on them?

Sirzy Mon 11-Dec-17 11:16:56

The cyclists are idiots.

I am in a running club, if we pass a horse we automatically slow down and pass in single file. Tbh as much for our own safety as that of the horse and rider!

peppykoala Mon 11-Dec-17 11:24:19

That's awful, your poor DD, hope she is OK.

YANBU, they are lucky none of them ended up under the horse. If you pass a horse in the car you slow down, surely it's common sense to do the same if you're travelling in any other way. Cyclists doing this in my town would definitely be made to realise they shouldn't try it again.

Beerwench Mon 11-Dec-17 11:27:27

Is the bridleway council maintained? Because if the club are arsey over using it considerately then it may be worth contacting the bridleways officer and explaining the situation and that you've tried contacting the club and received the reply you have? At the least they might offer some advice.

Ellybellyboo Mon 11-Dec-17 11:28:54

Thanks all!

DD and horse are both fine. DD's confidence has taken a knock, but physically she's fine.

It was quite a large group, DD said they took a while to go past but she doesn't remember what they were wearing. Horse started to freak as they were coming towards her and none of them slowed down, moved to give her room or stopped to check DD was OK.

The teacher says they come from a club, she's seen the same faces a few times.

FlaviaAlbia Mon 11-Dec-17 11:28:58

Wow, that response from the club is pretty appalling.

It might be worth checking Strava and seeing if there's a segment on it. If you have an account you can see who cycled it and what clubs they're from and ask your local police to have a word with the clubs responsible.

FlaviaAlbia Mon 11-Dec-17 11:30:19

Oh, if you know the club already, then I'd ask horse riding school to approach your local police formally. Cyclists should be giving room to horses and passing carefully.

UnimaginativeUser Mon 11-Dec-17 11:33:39 - hopefully this link will work. If it doesn't, google "Bridleway Users Code" and it should come up.

I would forward it to the cycling club.

Your poor DD - I hope it hasn't put her off.

Namechangetempissue Mon 11-Dec-17 11:34:26

That's crap, thank god you daughter wasn't hurt.
We have a similar situation around here for some riders -you can't win as people want horses off roads as much as possible, but don't get you can't just trot around any old field you fancy. We have limited options. Luckily I'm in a situation where I get private hacking through my livery yard which is worth its weight in gold.
You SHOULDN'T have to ride elsewhere. Both parties should be mutually respectful and stand aside/slow down as necessary for safety. I would be pointing that out to the club in my return email. They do not have the right to behave dangerously on a shared pathway.

UnimaginativeUser Mon 11-Dec-17 11:34:51

PS - Clicking the link will download the guidance automatically from the British Horse Society.

If you're uncertain, google it as per my previous post.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 11-Dec-17 11:36:41

They’re twats and I say that as a keen cyclist. Code for shared use paths is most vulnerable user gets deferred to. So everyone waits, slows for pedestrians, cyclists slow down for horse users.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 11-Dec-17 11:39:05

And after a couple of recent high profile incidents I’m surprised they’re not been more careful. If there was to be a serious accident they could be prosecuted, most recent high profile one ended in a jail sentence for the cyclist. Obv it was a more serious incident and involved a collision but that was pretty much a test case. If they’ve been shown to be negligent enough that a reasonable person could foresee a potential consequence it could be treated as harshly even without a collision.

RatherBeRiding Mon 11-Dec-17 11:40:21

This makes me so bloody angry. The response from the club is appalling and I wouldn't leave it there although as they have the right to use the bridle path I'm not sure how much more notice they might take.

I'd report it to the police at least - again not sure what action they might take, but the cyclists caused an accident so at least speak to the police to see if they would be willing to speak to the club.

A number of fellow horse riders near me have had accidents/near misses - always involving dogs rather than cyclists (I had a really bad fall myself not that long ago) but sadly there's not a lot you can do except try to identify the culprits and approach them directly.

I find that a cheery call of "my horse hates dogs and WILL kick" to dog owners who are unwilling to put their dogs on a lead can have a positive effect.

OhChill Mon 11-Dec-17 11:44:35

Yanbu. You could plaster their rubbish response all over social media if you were that way inclined? Police probably more sensible though.

Kazzyhoward Mon 11-Dec-17 11:45:06

Yep, we have problems with lycra louts too, as a cycling family.

Exactly the same happened to us - we were cycling in single file, to the side, and a huge group of lycra louts were coming the opposite way taking up the entire width of the lane - we had nowhere to go and all ended up in the hedges, with my young son badly cut and bruised.

So, it's not just horses they don't give a shit about - it's other cyclists too. Lycra louts are a menace.

Ellybellyboo Mon 11-Dec-17 11:46:11

Thanks all!

Unimaginative thanks for the link! It's fab. I'd found some stuff giving advice on cycling websites but it was a bit woolly, nothing setting it out like that. I'll email it back in my reply.

The response from the club has annoyed me more than the original incident to be honest. It's so arrogant. Didn't ask if my daughter was OK or anything.

It's a bridle way, not a cycle path. Horses on a bridle way are not something unexpected.

QueenOfAccidentalDeathStares Mon 11-Dec-17 11:46:17

i'm a cyclist
they were twats.

please do not let them scare you off.

perhaps ask the horse club/yard place to ask people to log incidents/near misses and ask people to look for club insignia?

If there is documentation of several incidents involving one cycle club, you could ask the police to have a friendly word?

Nyx1 Mon 11-Dec-17 11:47:10

oh these cyclists are such a problem everywhere

btw what is the trip wire thing please?

Eve Mon 11-Dec-17 11:48:28

I would write back - and say as a car driver - I will lay in wait for them to exit the bridle way onto the road and them show them the same consideration they have just shown me.

And I would be sharing that response all over every local facebook page and shame them for the fact they have shown no remorse to injuring a child.

TwoPoint Mon 11-Dec-17 11:48:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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