The Green Lanes Blog

Mike Sales
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Mike Sales » 10 Aug 2019, 4:31pm

reohn2 wrote:The problem with 4x4's and offroad motorcycles IMO is the damage they cause which is gross,I've seen some tracks turned into deeply rutted quagmires due solely to the use of these powerful offroad vehicles.
It can rightly be said that anyone traversing wild country is causing damage to the environment,whether they be walking horseriding or cycling but compared to 4x4's and motorcycles the damage is minimal.


I have tried to ride green roads after they have been made impassable by 4WDs. And given up.
Last edited by Mike Sales on 10 Aug 2019, 5:29pm, edited 1 time in total.

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 10 Aug 2019, 4:31pm

pwa wrote:
I do get what you mean but whereas I think I could stand between two reasonable people from the Ramblers and an MTB group and get them to find common ground, the motorised fraternity are on the other side of a chasm. I have worked with horse riders and ramblers, sat around the same table. The ramblers in theory suspicious of anyone who would take horses onto paths that have not seen horses for a long time. Horses, as you know, break up the ground much more than MTBs. And they soon recognised that what they loved about the countryside was basically the same thing. The ramblers finished up as allies of the horse riders there, suggesting other paths that could also be looked at for horse access. If you are out there doing a quiet activity and trying not to mess up the countryside, you should be able to get on with other user groups.


I think that the first step is that you have to remove all subjectivity - none of the ‘value based judgements’ such as one thing is ‘right’ or ‘acceptable’ and the other is ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’

You then have to drill down onto a suitability criteria based on damage, speed, safety, impact on neighbouring features including wildlife etc. - and that needs to be applied equally across the board. (Eg,at the moment mountain biking gets ‘erosion’ thrown at it as a reason not to expand access - but go to the Peaks, Lake District or Snowdonia and you’ll see huge erosion scars, costing millions of pounds to repair and manage, but nobody is talking about banning walkers)

The problem being that not all things can be objectively measured, so to some extent you still have to rely on a level of subjectivity based on experience and comparison. But I maintain that suitability & sustainability should be the guiding rule for all rights of way, rather than historic rights or value based judgements.

Mike Sales
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Mike Sales » 10 Aug 2019, 4:43pm

The National Park, or the mountain, or the wild country, whatever you want to call it, does not start at the edge of the tarmac. The roads, in summer full of cars, are still visible and audible from the tops. This is another intrusion into a well used landscape.
I wonder whether those motorists who object to bikes off-road, treat them well on-road, or do they resent cyclists getting in the way there too?

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2019, 4:44pm

Zulu Eleven wrote: But I maintain that suitability & sustainability should be the guiding rule for all rights of way, rather than historic rights or value based judgements.

I kind of agree, but again if one activity is noisy and most people are going to a place for quiet, that activity isn't compatible.

The erosion issue you raise is a valid one. Walkers and MTBers both cause erosion. I think the particular problem with MTB erosion is rutting, which (speaking as a walker now) makes a very difficult surface to walk on sometimes. The rut can be too narrow and often too wet to walk in, but there may be no good ground either side. But yes, walkers cause erosion too and that is one of those areas where with a bit of good will we can work through issues.

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 10 Aug 2019, 4:52pm

Mike Sales wrote:The National Park, or the mountain, or the wild country, whatever you want to call it, does not start at the edge of the tarmac. The roads, in summer full of cars, are still visible and audible from the tops. This is another intrusion into a well used landscape.
I wonder whether those motorists who object to bikes off-road, treat them well on-road, or do they resent cyclists getting in the way there too?


I suspect quite strongly that they are also the ones who would complain to the local planning authority about cyclists using the village cafe...

recumbentpanda
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby recumbentpanda » 10 Aug 2019, 5:47pm

I hike barefoot. That’s right, barefoot as in skin on the ground, not as in stupid rubber gloves for feet. My biggest bugbear in places like the Lake District, the Highlands and many other beauty spots is the sheer amount of sharp ballast, grit gravel and other unwanted stonework dropped on the paths to try & prevent erosion, often using 4x4 vehicles, or even helicopters, which while they may not churn up the ground are a massive waste of fuel. And the crowning irony is, I notice that even the boot wearers tend to avoid these surfaces because they are unpleasant to walk on! So the net result is is simply to spread erosion out.

I met a man up near the summit of Coniston Old Man, who as some people do, took the opportunity to make some remark about my hiking barefoot. Putting on my most serious face I said, “Haven’t you heard? The park authorities have brought in a new rule to combat erosion, you have to walk barefoot or face a £200 fine for wearing boots.” He looked at me thoughtfully a moment and then said very firmly, “Ill pay the fine!”. Ironically, his dog was barefoot, and was enjoying himself just fine.

OK, I’m an eccentric outlier, but in the end, the only answer to these problems of human impact on the environment is to go quietly, softly and less often to the most vulnerable places. Just like the only real solution to car/cyclist conflict is less use of cars. It’s the attitude fight that matters, not the rules and regulations. Now I know I am seen by most as an extreme (nut) case, but even so it is not impossible to change attitudes. On a hike some years ago, I met a young woman who expressed astonishment and scepticism at the whole idea of barefoot hiking. It was an out and back hike. On the way back, I glimpsed her walking along a parallel route . . . barefoot. That’s just one person, but whole groups can also change. Changing attitudes to smoking, seatbelts etc are often mentioned on here, when discussing the possibility of changing attitudes to cycling. It can be done. The running world has not gone entirely barefoot, and I don’t suppose it, or the hiking world, ever will, but the ‘barefoot running’ movement did lead to lighter and saner approaches to running shoe design.

My emotional reaction is outrage that anyone would do anything so arrogant and stupid, but my reasoned thought is that the ‘4WD’s in the Lake District’ problem is about shifting wider social attitudes toward an understanding of the importance of low impact activities. It’s a very big job. But it is doable.

And if you want a real off road adventure . . . take your shoes off!

Ok, I’ll ramble off into the mist now . . . :lol:

brynpoeth
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Aug 2019, 5:53pm

^^ right again, recumbent panda
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Mike Sales
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Mike Sales » 10 Aug 2019, 5:59pm

recumbentpanda wrote:I hike barefoot.



Because of badly blistered heels I once spent a day climbing on Derbyshire gritstone barefoot. Effective and sensuous. Gritstone holds are generally rounded and depend on friction.
I met a man on top of the Cioch (Skye Cuillins) who took his dog out of his rucsac as he sat down for lunch.
"He can manage up to easy diffs (climbing grade) but then has to go in the sac. His pads are wearing out on the gabbro (the rather abrasive rock)."
For a time in childhood I went barefoot. Your soles do toughen up considerably.

mercalia
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby mercalia » 12 Aug 2019, 1:47pm

seems like UNESCO have come out against letting 4x4s drive on green lanes

https://www.savethelakedistrict.com/blog

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The utility cyclist
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby The utility cyclist » 12 Aug 2019, 3:05pm

Zulu Eleven wrote:
pwa wrote:I fail to understand how we ever got to a situation where recreational 4x4 ers feel they have a right to play on remote tracks.


Well, it’s certainly not everyone’s opinion that they are ‘playing’, do you regard cyclists riding along roads for no other reason than the enjoyment of the countryside as ‘playing’ too?

They are not upholding some ancient right.


I could say the same about cyclists expecting to be allowed to stop at a cafe

Landrovers were not invented until the late 1940s and were used by farmers for the first decade or two. Driving around the countryside in 4x4s for fun is a fairly recent thing that ought to have been nipped in the bud a while back. It is totally at odds with what most other users of the countryside go there for, namely escaping from


I’ve heard almost exactly the same said, repeatedly and over a period of years, about mountain bikers

There will always be a little friction between user groups in the countryside but all the other groups are looking for peace and quiet.


Again, exactly the same criticisms laid against mountain bikers

And their points of friction can be managed. We were walking in the Derbyshire Peak District a couple of weeks ago (Kinder if you are interested) and as we were descending a track (possibly Restricted Byway but I'm not certain) we were passed by two MTBers, spearately, not together. One was going a bit faster than I felt comfortable with but both gave us a wide berth and I was generally relaxed about sharing the track with them. With a bit of mutual respect and care walking and MTBing can coexist with neither detracting from the other. That is emphatically not the case with motor sports in the mix.


Exactly the opposite to what many in fact say about mountain bikes.

You would be wrong on that point, going about ones lawful business on the highway is an indisputable innate right, so stopping on the highway at a place of rest is a right. Motorists when operating their conveyance have no rights, just privileges of license and acts of parliament, destroying the landscape whilst polluting at the same time is not remotely comparable, it's bewildering that you can make even a remote comparison between people on cycles stopping at a cafe and operators of polluting kiiling machines :?

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 12 Aug 2019, 3:38pm

No, I’m afraid that you are incorrect, the operator of a motor vehicle has the *right* to do whatever he wants, so long as:
i) He operates within the terms of that licence
ii) his actions are reasonable; and
iii) he does not contravene the law of the land

That, for example, is why the operator of a motor vehicle (which is of course in law a carriage, the same as a bicycle) has a reasonable right of stopping, as well as of going and returning, in the use of the highway - in just the same way that you have a right to pull up your car outside your door, even if it overlaps (but does not obstruct) your neighbours property, and pick up passengers, or even to park there for a reasonable amount of time - such examples of the right of use were set out by the courts in [i]Original Hartlepool Collieries Company v Gibb (1877)[/i]. The simple requirement of a licence does not take away the right, so long as you comply with the terms of the licence.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Bmblbzzz » 12 Aug 2019, 7:49pm

Zulu Eleven wrote: But I maintain that suitability & sustainability should be the guiding rule for all rights of way, rather than historic rights or value based judgements.

Historic rights developed in a historic context (well who'd a thunk it!) which doesn't always translate well to modern conditions. In this case, the right of "carriage" that was suitable for a horse cart is not always suitable for a 4x4. That much is clear, and I'd agree with. The problem is, equally obviously, that historic rights are things people tend to defend and insist on when it benefits them regardless of changed conditions, and also that they form the legal framework.

However, I'm not sure what you're referring to in "value based judgements". How are decisions on suitability and sustainability not value based judgements, albeit - hopefully - informed ones? Could you expand on this please?

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 12:37pm

This focus on "rights" is a bit bogus because we decide what the "rights" are when it comes to things like this. In practice everyone who is eligible has a right to drive a car so long as they stick to the law, in that nobody has the right to stop them. That "right" is taken away if they are found to have been misusing it in some way.

So far as "Green Lanes" (wishy washy term that can mean different things to different people) are concerned, we choose to allow the usage that we choose to allow. God did not lay down any rules on this, we did. We decide.

I don't believe most people draw a big red line between wheeled use and non-wheeled use. The line that means most to people is between motorised and non-motorised. I doubt very much that removing motorised use would embolden most walkers into demanding widespread curbs on the right to ride bicycles on bridleways and restricted byways. There will always be objections to unauthorised cycling on paths not designated for cycle use, but that is a different matter that needs dealing with on a case by case basis.

This reminds me of the argument that was made when hunting with hounds was being banned, that if that was banned the anglers would be next. Well that was ridiculous and proved false, and this is the same.

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 13 Aug 2019, 1:01pm

pwa wrote:
This reminds me of the argument that was made when hunting with hounds was being banned, that if that was banned the anglers would be next. Well that was ridiculous and proved false, and this is the same.


No, it was the grouse shooters

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 1:14pm

Zulu Eleven wrote:
pwa wrote:
This reminds me of the argument that was made when hunting with hounds was being banned, that if that was banned the anglers would be next. Well that was ridiculous and proved false, and this is the same.


No, it was the grouse shooters

A shooting friend of mine assured me that the anglers would be next. He was wrong. As I said at the time, everyone has a friend or uncle who fishes. Opposition to fishing was and remains a very fringe thing.