Bonsais Moor Motocross track

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Jak*
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Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by Jak* » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:08 am

Hi, this just came up on my Facebook page http://chng.it/sG8Vbc7hdN
For those of you who don’t know it Bonsall Moor is just South West of Matlock. It is in an area where there used to be a lot of quarrying and few people apart from the occasional local dog walkers go up there. There is a green lane that runs past it. I cannot think of a more sensible place to have a practice track as it is well out of the way and the noise doesn’t seem to travel. Having these facilities keeps some idiots off the lanes, provides local employment and can benefit local businesses. Please sign and pass on. Thanks

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by daveuprite » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:34 am

At first sight, sounds like a great idea. But these things so often get tangled up in maintenance, club membership and most importantly insurance issues - until the nice little informal playground becomes an officious and bureaucratic nightmare.

Most of us on here are in our 50s/60s/70s etc. Do you remember those super little sites you learned to ride on? Old discarded bits of ground, disused quarries, yet-to-be-developed sites, post-industrial wasteland, even old bomb-sites left over from the war. We begged, borrowed and sometimes stole rubbish old junkers and thrashed them around with our mates, learning to jump, climb, drift and crash. Crappy old AP50s, C90s, Fantics, Bantams, DTs and RMs. Totally informal, constantly running from police interest and angry neighbours. But importantly we learned to ride in those places and we made good friends. We probably became much better road riders because of it.

Sometimes it's better to leave the few sites like this that remain in the UK alone. Let the kids use them, let them have some fun, and hope that there isn't a serious accident. The moment they become formal MX tracks, you need machinery, organisers, fencing, membership fees and insurance policies.

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by Jak* » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:04 am

This is an existing site. It has been improved in the last few years with better changing facilities etc. It is affordable and an ideal place for youngsters to learn. The old days of being able to learn to ride, or take your kids to a piece of waste ground to learn on are long gone for most people in the UK, this is at a time when cheap Chinese made bikes are becoming more affordable. Therefore we need more places like this, not fewer. I do not know why anyone would want to close this track but my guess is that the green lanes near it will be next.

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by daveuprite » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:24 am

Jak* wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:04 am
This is an existing site. It has been improved in the last few years with better changing facilities etc. It is affordable and an ideal place for youngsters to learn. The old days of being able to learn to ride, or take your kids to a piece of waste ground to learn on are long gone for most people in the UK, this is at a time when cheap Chinese made bikes are becoming more affordable. Therefore we need more places like this, not fewer. I do not know why anyone would want to close this track but my guess is that the green lanes near it will be next.
Well I don't pretend to know anything about this site, Jak. And as an existing site, it's well worth fighting for. Of course there must be formal tracks too, for organised motorsport and 'tracktime'. It just strikes me that maybe one of the reasons so few young people in the UK are taking up biking, and why it is now a leisure pursuit of the ageing, is because there are so few informal places to just muck about on cheap bikes without being monitored, surveilled or checked on. In the french countryside there are thousands of freely open trails and hundreds of 'playground' areas of no real use to wider society anymore where kids can scrote about. You see the marks left by attempts to climb up slopes, gravel screes, quarry sides, banks and woodland single track everywhere. Us old codger enduro-bike riders often follow them and try (often unsuccessfully) to get up the same slopes. But more importantly there is not an angry mob of offended, affronted, key-jangling older people constantly telling them off and branding them hooligans.

Meantime, very best of luck with your campaign.

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by Jak* » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:56 am

Hi, thanks Dave, it is not my campaign it just appeared on FB this morning and really pissed me off as there is absolutely no logical reason to shut this place down. Although the rumour locally is that they want to shut it so they can build a housing development there.
Whilst I think in principle you are right about the opportunity to just use waste ground etc a number of things have killed this off. The road traffic act now applies to private land, so for instance you cannot legally take your child to a car park when it is empty to teach them to ride before they are 16 as my dad did with me. The fear of litigation if someone has an accident riding on your land and you did not do your utmost to prevent them doing so. The demand for land. I also think people’s behaviour when they are able to use places has contributed, they show little on no respect or consideration for local people.
That is the beauty of the track at Bonsall, there are really no locals, even the access doesn’t really effect anyone. If it were a show jumping ground I do not suppose they would try and shut it down.

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:58 pm

Back when the TRF was fighting the Peak District NPA, I was on a phone-in radio programme as the TRF representative.
Afterwards I got a call from a senior officer in GM Police.
She wanted some help, she said. Some of the housing estates in Manchester had a 'problem' with youths on motorcycles.
They had actually got the youths to agree to let the police keep their bikes, and transport them somewhere where they could ride them legally...but hadn't found a suitable location...oh dear.
She wanted my help.
There really wasn't much I could suggest...I said that as soon as you find somewhere and start using it, someone will complain.
Even the notorious Toms Farm, which was miles from anywhere in Wales, had the council crawling all over it.

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:01 pm

Signed...anything to get up the nose of the PDNPA

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by garyboy » Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:36 pm

yeah .. there is no such thing as waste ground/ old quarries/ places to practise, anymore. :(
Legal trail bike riders are hounded out of existence if possible, by the `decent folk` :lol:
Which leaves the illegal ones, and hooligans, left to dominate the trails, and represent our cause :roll:
This year, even I have been pissed off by the many hooligans on trails meant for cyclist, walkers, horse riders, etc .. and no doubt these, mostly youngsters, have never heard of the TRF, GLASS etc, and dont even want to know what a BOAT is?
Even more pissy-offy is the few old experienced regulars that simply defy the law when they should know better.
I dont really give a wotsit about this itself, but it puts us in an even worse light? .. especially when they post it to public view?

.. so YES .. its a good thing to support a legal play area :D

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Re: Bonsais Moor Motocross track

Post by Hugh » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:21 pm

Greetings,

This issue is also highlighted on the APTR (Association of Peak Trail Riders) website. I have asked on there for formal details but as yet none have been provided.

Apparently 'we' are dealing with the Peak District National Park Authority which has been very active in closing quite a number of green lane routes, especially BOATs. They are very astute and have learnt from their past mistakes, so those protesting will need to be very sure of their facts and of their support base. Bear in mind that all land in England is owned by somebody and therefore it will have some financial value and be subject to restrictions as to use, etc.

Only a few years ago a lane, Green Lane actually, adjacent to the site in question was determined to be a combination of bridleways, Bonsall BW 61 and Ible BW 21, so this probably has a tangled web of intrigue behind the proposed closure. The attached map might help alert folks to the situation in that area.

TTFN

Hugh.
Upper Town.jpg
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