An angry cyclist is demanding action after he had a nwrrow escape from being hit by a car as two groups of bikers converged in the New Forest.

A car overtaking a group of riders on a narrow country road appears to drive straight at cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.

It happened when two mass cycle rides were staged in the same part of the Forest in the same day.

The near-miss involved a rider known on social media as Forest Cyclist, who was not taking part in either event but was caught up in the chaos.

He managed to capture the incident on a GoPro camera and plans to report it to Hampshire Police.

The cyclist, who asked not to be named, said: “A red Citroen DS3 pulled out from behind cyclists coming towards me.

“At first I thought the driver would simply pull back into a safe gap but to my horror she kept coming towards me - at speed on my side of the carriageway.

“I braked hard and waved my hand to make myself visible as I was concerned she had not seen me, despite my bright clothing.”

The cyclist said the car came within feet of hitting him, but rather than apologise the driver gave him a V-sign.

“She had two fingers raised at me in an abusive gesture, in shock I reacted in kind as most people would likely do,” he said.

“In the heat of the moment - and in fear of being killed - I used a few profanities myself.”

The drama occurred near the former airfield at Stoney Cross on October 12, which saw the CTC Wessex Cycling Gridiron event coincide with the second day of the Wiggle New Forest 100 Sportive.

“There's absolutely no justification at all for the thoroughly shocking standard of driving I witnessed,” said the cyclist.

“The local authorities and the police need to be doing a great deal more to protect law abiding cyclists on New Forest roads, irrespective of whether they're riding in an event or otherwise."

Hampshire Police road safety sergeant Darren Ord urged cyclists and drivers in the Forest to make sure they were more aware of each other.

He added: “Every day there are incidents which could have been dealt with better by the road users involved, and I'm pleased to say that on this particular day there were very few issues raised with the police.

"Fortunately this incident did not result in injury but it appears both parties made their feelings known to each other in no uncertain terms.”

The New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) said it did not condone dangerous or hostile behaviour by cyclists or motorists.

An NPA spokesman stressed that cycle ride bosses had changed the routes in a bid to avoid a head-on clash.

“Had they not done so it would have been difficult for cyclists and motorists, including emergency vehicles, to safely use New Forest roads.”