When It All Gets Too Crowded

New Forest Woodland

Boring bosky dells – and other delights to ride by

To the New Forest for a holiday with, naturally, the intention that some days should include some cycling. I think I’d read somewhere that there are 100 miles of cycle trail in the national park and so we went equipped for some off-road riding.

We found plenty of trails … we found woods and we found heath. What we – Charli and I – also found was that it was all terrifically controlled and, well, tame.

Now, neither of us are tough off-road riders willing to risk life and limb in the pursuit of speed and ‘getting some air’ or whatever it is that braver people than me say when they’ve both wheels off the ground: I’m old and wise enough to know how much falling off hurts. I might be fat but I don’t bounce like I used to.

However, the New Forest trails are at the other extreme. I can see their appeal for riders who want a quiet traffic-free pootle-about and I’m not knocking that. I can see that it must be a horrifically busy area peak season and so managing the riders to prevent erosion is probably very necessary. But it is all just a bit boring as a result.

A sobering through is that, given the way the population is increasing, it’s probably a glimpse of the future – especially if you add in to the equation our increasingly risk-averse culture.