“Free” riding GB

It is illegal to ride on two-thirds of public footpaths in England & Wales…

Yet in Scotland you can ride anywhere, anytime.

A BBC News feature (7/7/16) reported on a new campaign by British Cycling to get access to more countryside paths.

The Government currently holds onto archaic laws that make 2 out of 3 public paths illegal to ride, possibly making you a criminal.

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When we say ride, we’re talking about bikes, especially the mountain variety. However, seeing as us mountainboarders ride the same terrain while freeriding, we are definitely on the same page; as proved by my personal accident insurance policy which puts Mountainboarding in exactly the same category of potentially-dangerous or high-risk sports as Mountainbiking.

In Scotland, the Scottish Land Reform Act, brought in in 2003, has proven that responsible access by people on bikes is sustainable, manageable and highly beneficial to tourism, health and the economy (see Scottish Cycling).

Scottish mountainboarding too has offered the same benefits though undoubtedly on a smaller scale. The amazing tracks and locations on offer have already been ridden by locals Allan Gray and Dave McBean, who have a history of talks with councils and land-owners getting permissions to ride and host competitions…

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As an amusing aside let’s re-visit the time in 2005 that BBC Scotland covered the Downhill at Dunkeld lol

 

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When out freeriding in the rest of GB we use a lot of these paths, and indeed dog walkers/ hikers/ ramblers use them too. Yes we are considerate and most people are friendly, but there are of course walkers who think these paths are for feet only.

People are quite passionate about the issue.

 “the mountain biker brigade in the main are so arrogant, with the ‘bear grylls” force your way thro with gritted teeth and plough angrily past whatever and whoever is in the way attitude” 

“Cyclists need to be more considerate and ring their bells when approaching people who are walking, simple.”

“Yes we should share. I personally don’t use a bell to alert walkers, I open my mouth and say excuse me, much less aggressive. 
Please don’t tarnish all cyclists (road or mountain bike) with the same brush as the idiots you have come across. We can’t be held responsible the the 1%. Just like when I drive my car I can’t be held responsible for the texting teenager / late for work speeding office worker etc etc.”

Why not get over to facebook and read some voxpop opinions for yourself, and then maybe get a bell for your board!

BBC FB- Should we all share?

We’d certainly add our logo to the open letters to Environment ministers submitted by the British Cycling campaign!

Till we get any serious changes, for safety see our Freeride Code of Conduct that was drawn up with representatives from the Forestry Commission.