Tangled Metal wrote:I think my first thoughts were this seems a wrongheaded action by the council. Thinking about what was supposedly complained about, noisy cycling meets, I can see a potential problem.
Having been in various outdoor activity groups over the last 20 plus years I am aware how noisy groups at meet up points can be. Especially the heavily gear based activities such as cyclists (unloading bikes) and kayakers (unloading kayaks / kit and arranging car shuttle).
You often get people shouting across carparks when another person turns up, possibly who hasn't been put with the group for some time. Whilst in my activities meets start in more rural / remote locations so not an issue. Cycling in locations more built up than where I live / go could have locals wanting a quiet morning. Plus I think we have probably all seen that cyclists in groups can be noisy whether meeting up or cycling along.
I think there's very much an element of this - most people are simply unaware of a) how much noise they're making as a group and b) how much sound can travel, especially if it's bouncing off walls, echoing around and if it's done at a time of very limited other noise (like early morning when there's no traffic...)
I was out early one Sunday and stopped at a well-known chain-brand coffee shop. Nice Sunday morning, there were a few folk in there reading the papers, quiet inoffensive music. I sat down in a corner on my own. What I didn't realise was that this shop is the meeting point for the local club and not long after, two cyclists arrived in their club kit - followed a few minutes later by some more and then more. They took over a quarter of the coffee shop and they were LOUD. What can only really be described as "braying" about Strava, power, carbon, Majorca, power, KOMs, 53-11, disc brakes, power.... God they were dull. Anyway after about 20 minutes they got up and went outside with as much noise and faff as they could muster and stood there for a further 10 minutes while they extricated their bikes, fired up GPS / phone / power / bluetooth sync'd gadgets, faffed some more, got in each others way, and then eventually rolled off. The coffee shop returned to a state of peace and quiet and everyone looked at each other in amazement. It was very clear that they'd had an extremely offensive impact on everyone in there and numerous people outside who were simply trying to walk past while the parade of bikes was moved around yet the gorup itself had zero concept of any of that. There was no bad language or direct interaction with anyone else but they were just disruptively loud, you know when you can't hear yourself think. That.
On the other hand I strongly suspect that the council has not followed its own guidance when it comes to investigating noise; that fact that it's a councillor complaining has got it moved straight into the "sort this out" pile rather than the usual checks about when the noise is happening, how regularly, what the noise levels are and crucially is it an "unreasonable" level of noise given the venue and it's use (which obviously ties into the planning persmission side of things as what it is allowed to be used for). Willing to bet that there was zero oversight from Legal on that letter to clubs because that was ridiculous, a total abuse of power, completely unworkable and unenforceable.
British Cycling and Cycling UK have done some great work so far in calming the waters a bit so hopefully with it being national news now, everyone involved can return to some more measured discussion rather than the emotional overtones it's had so far.