I agree with most of above, have not seen the anti cycling facebook comments, but have looked at and added to a facebook discussion on cycling UK which this board drew attention to. It is clear that some of the sportive cyclist were not happy about the behaviour of some of their colleges in last years event inasmuch as some were racing and other dropping litter. Some were doing their best to promote considerate cycling-one even offering to do a litter picking event.
I have had a negative experience of this event last year when a cyclist behaved in a dangerous way-first time I have had problems but felt the organisers were very dismissive of it.
I do feel the BBC South interviews were confused, the rep from cycling UK talking about new forest ponies etc and the rep from NFEA talking about horse and riders. Indeed bad cycling may well make it difficult, if not impossible for some horse and riders to use some of the minor roads used by this event.
I do feel that cycling UK advice for passing horses is inadequate, as it tends to focus on passing forest ponies, not horses and riders.
It was also confusing to being in the subject of cars colliding with ponies-maybe this was the reporter asking a confused question. There have been reported (one in Forest Journal last year) incidents involving horses/riders and cyclists. There has nationally been some serious issues-a cyclist was killed when a horse backed into him/her on the road-cannot remember the details but involved a fairly famous rider. There was also an incident a ling time back when a cycle race caused a horse to run off-rider fell off and was injured-horse put to sleep-cycle race fined massively-again long way back.
But given according to a FB discussion on cycling UK that some or the cyclist are very clearly looking for cycling on this event to be considerate and not racing, and that cycling UK has very clearly said those breaking the highway code will be banned, maybe they should be given a bit of a chance to show this. Riders may be far better off with an organised event where the cyclists know the consequence of causing problems 'banned from wiggles!' than what seems to be happening on some occasions which is ad hoc 'racing' and[i] if 4,000, 5,000, or even 10,000 descend on the forest what a great chance to help those cyclist who do not understand how to pass a horse/rider or horse/cart understand how to do this safely for all concerned. [/i]
And praphs to help horse riders understand cyclist a little better.The NFEA leaflet for cyclist/cars is excellent in this regard as gives more details and explains the consequences of getting it wrong.
Horse riders do not get everything right, last weekend while out with my two hairies witnessed a rider 'trotting' through a spread out large family group of which some of the children were approx 5 and running around-did not look that safe to me.
Having said that (Sadly!) it would seem that nature may well play a hand in this week ends event, current met office forecast s seem to suggest that we have high winds and rain so it may be a very slow 'wiggle' and the main threat to horse riders may be falling branches.