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YouTuber stays calm in face of unsolicited opinion

Here's one of the most bizarre helmet camera videos I've ever seen, in which a rider walking her bike, minding her own business and behaving perfectly and utterly legally is subjected to anti-cycling opinions offered unsolicited by a complete stranger.

YouTuber leveret day remains remarkably calm throughout the encounter despite being told that cyclists, including presumably herself "are their own worst enemy" and "deserve to die'. Lovely.

The encounter happened on the morning of Friday November 20 as she was pushing her bike in South Kensington.

She said: "This stranger walked up behind me and started talking to me. Note that this was not the result of any encounter between us as I was actually cycling along. I was just wheeling my bike along, to cross the road at the traffic lights.

"To begin with I thought he was perhaps a cyclist commiserating about recent tragic cyclist deaths with some rather uncomfortable 'gallows humour' … but then he used the words 'road tax' and was alas shown to be just a really vile man.

"I'm not at my most articulate but really I was quite thrown by how to respond to him.

He didn't seem to mind that I had my helmet camera recording so, well, here we go."

Her response is a great lesson in how to remain calm in the face of random unreasonable nonsense, pointing out that nobody pays road tax and despite being trained and licensed, drivers still do reckless things.

I have to wonder though, would this man have offered his odious opinions to a male rider?

Update: did this man see Claire Hitier-Abadie die?

A blog entry containing opinions eerily similar to those espoused by the man in this video has emerged. In it, the blogger identifying himself as James Nash writes: "I saw the crash at Victoria station when a cyclist was crushed by a tipper truck and yes, as expected the cyclist was weaving in and out of traffic with no care for other road users and paid the penalty and another one bites the dust."

(The blog has since been deleted, but a screenshot of a later version of it is here.)

The blog posting is dated February 20, the day after Claire Hitier-Abadie died after being hit by a tipper truck at Victoria.

Police are appealing for witnesses to that crash. I hope James Nash has come forward with his account.

Update 2: Denial, admission & counter-claim

James Nash initially denied he had been the person in the video, but now seems to be admitting it.

As he has deleted all the content of his blog, discussion has moved to a post on his Google Plus page.

He denies saying that cyclists deserve to die, despite it being clearly audible in leveret day's video of Nash telling her his thoughts on cycling, and then claims the video was "taken out of context".

He says he was struck by leveret day as she mounted the kerb and then received "a torrent of abuse" from her.

He wrote: "What happened was thast I was walking along Cromwell Road the other day about to cross over to the other side of the street when, all of a sudden I was struck by a cyclist mounting the pavement as I was about to step off and cross the road. My thirst thoughts was to enquire regarding the cyclist's well-being when all of a sudden I was receiving a torrent of abuse from the said individual."

Leveret day responded: "It's lucky that I've kept the video footage of the time prior to our 'conversation'. Will be posting it up soon. Interestingly it doesn't show me striking you at all!"

And indeed it doesn't. Here it is:

James Nash has been asked several times if he has given a witness statement regarding the death of Claire Hitier-Abadie, which he claimed to have witnessed. He has so far failed to respond.

In recognition of the fact that it has been claimed James Nash is mentally ill, comments on this story have been locked.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

93 comments

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beardyjim [50 posts] 4 years ago
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tweeted it to try and get it going viral quicker as I'm sure his employer would love to watch it..

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bikebot [2116 posts] 4 years ago
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beardyjim wrote:

tweeted it to try and get it going viral quicker as I'm sure his employer would love to watch it..

Employer... I'm going to guess City of Westminster council.

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ddraver [10 posts] 4 years ago
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Genuinely not sure if he is real or a character from some new, edgy, Trigger Happy TV style comedy

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Goldfever4 [406 posts] 4 years ago
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Genuinely couldn't watch that....

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ieatalot [6 posts] 4 years ago
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I think she did well. I probably would have responded with, "U WOT MATE!?"

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don simon fbpe [2995 posts] 4 years ago
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This worries me massively as he is beyond reasoning with and genuinely believes that he's in the right, and he has a car...  22
I wonder if he'd be able to confirm exactly when I stop being a cyclist and start being a "human being".

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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I think that man has some mental health issues.

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only1redders [122 posts] 4 years ago
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Bravo for the calm, measured 'reasoning' with the unreasonable. I think I might have lost my head

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md6 [181 posts] 4 years ago
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what a sad pathetic little man. It really should be surprising that some people are that ignorant, but unfortunately it isn't

Bravo for keeping cool, reasoned and calm. I'd have reacted differently and been much less articulate

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nowasps [525 posts] 4 years ago
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The woman handled that extremely well.

He may well be having some mental health issues, but he's not so far gone as to pick on someone his own size...

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Must be Mad [652 posts] 4 years ago
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Oh my goodness, Harry Enfields 'you don't want to do it like that' character has taken a life of its own!

What an odious man, glorying in the deaths of others - lets' not all rush to his funeral eh?

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andyp [1605 posts] 4 years ago
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Beautifully handled. What an odious toad he is.

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
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Well, he's a creepy little bully isn't he?

It really is quite funny how people think they can start giving you shit if you try to completely legally walk your bike somewhere. I once made the mistake of walking down a pavement with a space4cycling sign on my saddle which encouraged a lively conversation with a gentleman that had previously been pissing up a shop doorway.

I very much doubt this weird shithouse in the video would have been as lippy with fella walking his bike.

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voodoorich [3 posts] 4 years ago
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wow. I'm almost speechless at his idiocy.

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bendertherobot [1543 posts] 4 years ago
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Why do we assume mental health issues? These sorts of beliefs are utterly prevalent in society. That's the big problem we face.

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southseabythesea [149 posts] 4 years ago
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"Look mate, go home and take a double dose of your medication and maybe get laid..."

On a serious note would he have said the same to a man or did he feel safe picking on a lady pushing her bike?

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aslongasicycle [389 posts] 4 years ago
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My hero. She nailed it. Calm and intelligence and the face of a smug sociopath with an elevated view of his own genius (he probably hates himself, hence the show, poor bastard).

Applause.

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andybwhite [250 posts] 4 years ago
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All too common, I'm afraid. Morons posing as decent people  35

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vonhelmet [1440 posts] 4 years ago
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Weirdo. She handled it very well.

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OldRidgeback [3225 posts] 4 years ago
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He looks a lot like a bloke who came for an interview some years ago when I worked at my former company. My colleague and I listened to what he said during the interview and alarm bells began to ring. Afterwards we checked the online blog he'd referred to and it contained some rather offensive comments. I didn't offer him the job.

If this was the same person, and the physical similarity plus the comments being made are of note, then he doesn't seem to have changed much. He is greyer but just as obnoxious.

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robert posts child [89 posts] 4 years ago
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He is the sort of bloke who wont go away after latching onto a woman in the pub. The sort who walks up to group of women picks one out and asks if they are on their own...and then wont leave.
Smug idiot.

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Evo Lucas [24 posts] 4 years ago
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Jonny_Trousers [277 posts] 4 years ago
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What a pillock. Let's hope this comes back to bite him on the arse. Good on the girl for standing up to his utterly unprovoked bullying.

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miocene [11 posts] 4 years ago
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This seems to be the blog he was going on about: http://rabbit2020.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-is-connection-between-fred...

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andyp [1605 posts] 4 years ago
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yup, that looks like the chap.

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medic_ollie [45 posts] 4 years ago
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I had exactly the same thing when I was cycling on Friday. I was taking a break to look at my map and had a complete stranger come up to tell me the cycling has no benefits and is the most dangerous thing I could do- backing this up by saying he spent 5 and a half months in hospital after being hit by a car not wearing a helmet.

Bear in mind I was wearing a helmet, fluoro jacket and front and rear lights- hardly my fault he wasn't wearing a helmet.

Makes me wish I'd had my head cam >.<

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Jimmy Ray Will [1031 posts] 4 years ago
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Off topic... but I had an interesting experience this morning.

Commuting in, and going through a set of lights I found myself effectively moving up the left side of an articulated lorry... this in turn was following the road which curved gently to the left.

The point I'd quickly add here is that the lorry was in the far right hand lane of a three lane carriageway, his lane was blocked, mine was free... so I was not about to get crushed or anything.

Anyway, the lorry is moving slowly (5-10mph) I'm travelling at about 15mph, and I'm maintaining a consistent distance from the side of the truck (1-1.5m), when suddenly the lorry stops and starts beeping its horn at me.

Now I get this... his trailor is following a different arc to his cab, and I can understand that someone could be caught out by this... i.e I was not really following what best practice.

So I understand what he was moaning about.

The point however is this... He could clearly see me. I was supposedly in this famous blind spot we all hear about, and he clearly saw me.

Anyway, I digress.

Not sure the man in the video was actively bullying, I think he felt that he had a valid opinion that he wanted to share beyond his 12 followers. The woman in question did as good a job as possible.

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Sedgepeat [93 posts] 4 years ago
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Oh the old red herring. Road CC please don't say 'nobody pays road tax' just because they call it something else. In the context that to drive certain vehicles on the road, a tax is paid then it is a road tax. No semantics can change that. It also doesn't account for the rest of the £50 billion a year that are exclusive driver taxes either.

If the cycle Lobby wants to win an argument, dishonesty isn't the way to do it.

I don't support a road cycling tax or registration but I cannot support any statement that denies that drivers pay exclusive taxes to drive either. Please try to be honest about this and educate your members to be also.

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bawheid [7 posts] 4 years ago
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Thank Christ I don't live in London. I agree with the Boris Johnston bit, but as the lassie says, for different reasons. Well done in dealing with it as reasonably as she did.

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Daveyraveygravey [702 posts] 4 years ago
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I've met his type before, and also the ones who when you disagree with them, try and punch you, and or drive their vehicle at you. Let's hope he gets named and shamed and can't hide behind not "being recognised". How do you make dangerous people like this rethink their attitudes?

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