Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

rareposter
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby rareposter » 17 Aug 2019, 8:49am

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.

Tinpotflowers
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby Tinpotflowers » 17 Aug 2019, 11:23am

rareposter wrote:
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.



Yes I understand your point. What about any large group football/rugby etc crowds. Pubs/nights clubs or even Ride London they can cause disruption.

fastpedaller
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby fastpedaller » 17 Aug 2019, 3:55pm

The easy way around this is for the owner to put a sign up outside saying "no cyclists or other travellers allowed" The cyclists (being grouped with the travellers) would then not be discriminated against ...... work it out :)

brynpoeth
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Aug 2019, 5:21pm

That would mean No Customers, even the people from next door travel to get there :wink:
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mercalia
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby mercalia » 17 Aug 2019, 6:12pm

Ah seems like a place for the local chapter of Hells Angels to visit, nice and quiet :lol: brrrm-brmmmmm :twisted:

fastpedaller
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby fastpedaller » 17 Aug 2019, 10:22pm

If they walked in (I guess they don't ride their bikes inside, unlike others :shock: ) how would anyone know they were cyclists? is it the lycra? :lol:

Tangled Metal
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Aug 2019, 10:28pm

Where baggies over lycra shorts. Fleece over the top which gets ditched in the car just before you ride off. Cyclists in disguise! :D

fastpedaller
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby fastpedaller » 17 Aug 2019, 10:55pm

I was thinking of having a Cafe stop tomorrow. If you go to the same place (I daren't tell you where as that will imply it's organised) please excuse my reluctance to even engage in eye contact lest we be accused of being a group :cry:

thelawnet
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby thelawnet » 18 Aug 2019, 8:31am

It emerges that there is a Councillor Maureen Hunt, who was referred to the police "when she attended and voted on a planning application to build seven houses in Warren Row Road, Knowl Hill, when she had already declared ownership of property in the vicinity of the application site and therefore a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest"

https://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/news/ ... he-police/

There is also a Parish Councillor, Bob Anwyl-Hughes, who lives at Saxons, Warren Row Road (the exact same postcode as the café in question).

https://hurleyparish.org.uk/contacts.html

He ran the pub (which failed), and is listed as the complainant in planning documents.

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mjr
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby mjr » 18 Aug 2019, 8:32am

mercalia wrote:Ah seems like a place for the local chapter of Hells Angels to visit, nice and quiet :lol: brrrm-brmmmmm :twisted:

This is the key absurdity. One motorcycle with a loud exhaust will be far louder than 40 cyclists, even if one or two can't speak softly. There is no injunction against motorcyclists arriving and it would be considered unreasonable to seek one.
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Carlton green
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby Carlton green » 18 Aug 2019, 10:54am

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.

However I cannot see how it's even slightly right to target a business over this when that business does not get involved with groups and their meets. The issue the local complainant has is with the noisy cyclists (taking complaint at face value) not the business. This puts the council in a difficult position because they need to address noise problems but the problem isn't linked to a business or address.

Part of me thinks that local cycling clubs and groups need to help the situation out. It's surely a simple solution for groups to meet elsewhere and only stop there mid route for a cafe stop. AIUI this would not contravene the injunction that's got a hearing in November. Take away the noise of meets the business isn't going to have this injunction threat hanging over them.

Of course the cyclists and other people should still support the cafe. Either mid ride, before the ride but starting the ride elsewhere or a post ride stop. In my groups in the past we often had cafe stops on the drive up to the meeting point, mid activity and/or post activity but not by the meet point. Either a decamp to nearby town by car or walking through the town to the cafe.

This is all about avoiding conflict not fighting unjust council approach.


It seems to me that Tangled Metal has understood the issues better than most and has some appreciation of how otherwise well meaning folk can unintentionally cause nuisance to others. The issue here should be to establish what nuisance has been caused and then to seek ways to both understand what can be judged reasonably acceptable and what can be done to work with the effected residents and businesses.

One of the best ways forward here is for cycling groups to use alternative public spaces to start and finish their events. We have planning processes and permissions to help us live well with our neighbours, just because we’re cyclists shouldn’t mean that we become exempt from the process any more than if we belonged to a Church or wanted to build a Hospital. One set of rules and we should all abide by them.

“This is all about avoiding conflict not fighting unjust council approach.” Absolutely, understand the actual issue(s) and work with people to find a reasonable solution.

fastpedaller
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby fastpedaller » 18 Aug 2019, 4:28pm

All very well - none of us (hopefully) want to create a nuisance to anyone, however is there really an issue? If appears there is some skullduggery going on here - and maybe a conflict of interest?

reohn2
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby reohn2 » 18 Aug 2019, 4:39pm

fastpedaller wrote:All very well - none of us (hopefully) want to create a nuisance to anyone, however is there really an issue? If appears there is some skullduggery going on here - and maybe a conflict of interest?

That's a definite possibility IMO.
TBH I fail to see how it can be a problem that groups of anyone meeting up in ordinary cafe opening hours other than people enjoying life.
If there is a problem with noise,the cafe owner would be aware of it and if s/he is worth their salt would ask any customers to be quite on entering or leaving.
But IMO it very much seems someone just doesn't like cyclists,which isn't uncommon in this putrid and septic isle :roll: :? :twisted:
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby Tangled Metal » 18 Aug 2019, 4:47pm

Not many cafés open when groups I've been in met up. Perhaps that's the problem, early meet ups that are there before opening.

Finding out the issues first seems a good idea but I don't have any idea if efforts were made in this direction.

BTW absolute noise is not the real issue with many noise problems. It's more likely to be noise significantly above background. A quiet Sunday early morning meet is likely a problem but middle of rush hour meet on a busy road won't be heard. That's extreme examples.

fastpedaller
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Re: Council limiting modes of transport to a cycling cafe

Postby fastpedaller » 18 Aug 2019, 5:01pm

All the twitter tweets (escpecially from the Council) would be comedy gold if this issue wasn't so serious.
Lets hope the Council 'officials' fall on their sword and lose their posts (with no golden handshakes please!) if found to have exceeded their powers.
If they have found to have acted out of order, any legal costs shouldn't be paid by the general purse, but the individuals. Bullies.