Yesterday we reported how Bernie Shrosbree – a former international athlete and Royal Marine turned celebrity fitness coach – was ordered to pay £3,700 in compensation after he tried to rip the door off a Mercedes while he was out for a bike ride. Shrosbree told road.cc that he only reacted so strongly because the motorist deliberately drove into him for riding two abreast with a friend – riding two abreast is not illegal and is considered good practice in certain situations.
The 60-year-old, who served for 10 years in the elite Special Boat Service, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour – but he also wants to give his side of the story.
Shrosbree said that he was coming to the end of a 3.5 hour ride when he bumped into an old friend who he hadn’t seen for years. The two then rode side by side for a short way, chatting.
They were on a one-way road with a narrow cycle path. Shrosbree was outside the cycle lane, but there was still left plenty of room for drivers to overtake.
They were passed without difficulty by a female driver, who nevertheless sounded her horn. Howard Harvey, in the Mercedes behind her, then wound down his window and hurled abuse at the men for riding two abreast.
Shrosbree said that Harvey then pulled to the left and deliberately ran into him. It was at this point that the cyclist punched the car’s mirror, knocking it off. Harvey reacted to this by veering towards him again and this time knocked Shrosbree off.
Shrosbree attacked the car, attempting to rip off the driver’s door. He removed the keys and threw them into an overgrown garden. He then cycled to where his car was parked nearby before returning to the scene shortly afterwards.
Upon his return, he discovered that the police had been called and he was arrested. Harvey was not.
“Whoever calls the police first, wins,” said Shrosbree by way of explanation. “If I had got up and my friend had called the police, he’d become a guy who’s just used his car as a weapon. If I’d got up and kicked his car and punched his car, he’d still have got done.”
He added: “The lesson I’ve learned: call the police first.”