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CyclingMikey wishes Ashley Neal would "leave me alone" as YouTube driving instructor uploads another video criticising his approach

In his latest "Ashley's Analysis" video the footballer-turned-driving instructor questioned Mikey's riding around pedestrians, arguing it is "concerning" if his followers copy...

Ashley Neal — son of former Liverpool and England footballer Phil Neal — has uploaded another video, this time questioning fellow YouTube road safety figure CyclingMikey's riding around pedestrians.

The Liverpool-based driving instructor shared the video — which included two pieces of footage originally uploaded by CyclingMikey, real name Mike van Erp — with his 134,000 subscribers as part of his "Ashley's Analysis" series and said he has "concerns that with such a large following, people copy some of his behaviour".

In the video, Neal criticised Mikey's decision-making around pedestrians in one incident in south-west London's Richmond Park as well as another outside London Paddington Station, saying "social media is an influential place and content creators need to take great care with the content they produce because a lot of people listen".

The driving instructor told his viewers that Mikey rang his bell at pedestrians on a shared-use path as "a way of saying 'get out of my way'" and hinted that he should not have told the woman that she should be walking at the side of the path.

However, in response, Mikey said he "didn't mind waiting for her" and only "took offence at her being angry with the other cyclist" who had passed the walkers seconds earlier.

The road safety campaigner who reports law-breaking drivers using their mobile phones behind the wheel also said he wishes Neal would "leave me alone" but is "mildly amused by him having to use me to create content, perhaps he doesn't have enough of his own creativity".

> "People need to see justice being done": CyclingMikey says camera cyclists suffer online abuse because some motorists "feel they have the right to drive how they want"

Neal praised Mikey's earlier "nice use of the bell" with a pedestrian who moved to side of the path to let him pass, saying "everything was dealt with nicely here" in a "shared space where the pedestrians are more vulnerable, especially with a young child".

However, as the clip develops, Neal suggested the second group of pedestrians had legitimate reason to be upset with the "close pass" of the cyclist riding ahead of Mikey and criticised his interaction with the group while passing.

"If we think of things from this lady's perspective just for a second," Neal said. "She has just been close passed, then told she should be moving out of the way for cyclists when, in effect, she was maybe only taking her primary position so any pass of her and her group could be done and should be done safely. Was she just being awkward?"

In the second video Neal analyses, he takes issue with Mikey warning a cyclist about waiting on her phone by a junction as a bus turns left and blames the rider for not making it a "non-event" when a taxi driver "pulls out when it probably shouldn't have".

These incidents precede the main portion of the video in which Mikey argues with a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him when the lights were green for traffic.

Neal accused Mikey of "trying to create content just for views" before pointing out two cyclists rolling through the red light at walking pace in the background of the shot.

"You cannot criticise everyone else bar from your own group," Neal suggested, less than two minutes after the footage of Mikey telling the phone-using cyclist to be more careful. 

> CyclingMikey ends up on car bonnet during confrontation with angry motorist

"It's like me not calling out driving instructors when I see them doing something wrong," Neal continued. "So what is my reason behind releasing this video? Primarily, it is to show Mikey there are alternative ways to deal with things. His following is large and his outreach is great and it is concerning if people take up a similar mindset.

"If we are ever going to truly make the roads a better place we all need to work together, follow the rules and always think of things from other people's perspectives."

Mikey brushed off the video, saying: "I just wish he'd leave me alone. I want nothing to do with these people. I'm mildly amused by him having to use me to create content, perhaps he doesn't have enough of his own creativity."

Neal has previously said he "wholeheartedly" disagrees with the approach taken by Mikey, this his second video about the cycling safety campaigner who counts Guy Ritchie and Chris Eubank among the list of phone-using drivers he has reported to the Metropolitan Police. 

"What Mikey has done is actually rallied many cyclists to take a similar reporting approach," Neil said in a video uploaded last May. "This may have a positive impact nationally on stopping people using their mobile phones, but honestly, I think it's created a different problem. I've actually asked Mikey about this on his videos before but he didn't respond.

"Quite often you can see on the footage while he's challenging the motorist for contravening the keep left bollard, cyclists doing exactly the same. Now, I understand that anyone driving a tonne's worth of metal is going to do a hell of a lot more damage than anyone riding a bike, but with the speeds involved at this junction and at this crossing area, honestly, it becomes a lot less relevant.

"Some motorists think because of the lack of requirement for number plates and licences to ride a bicycle, cyclists are getting away with things that motorists don't."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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107 comments

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cycle92 replied to ChrisB200SX | 1 year ago
0 likes
ChrisB200SX]<p>[quote=cycle92 wrote:

Glad you agree that her behaviour was not the safest option and she therefore started the altercation by deliberately blocking the highway (which is illegal)  1

I thought half of Mikey's content is blocking highways? There's a famous corner named from it.

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chrisonabike replied to cycle92 | 1 year ago
3 likes

I thought Mikey was simply crossing the road at that point, quite legally, and each time was met by a motorist dangerously blocking one direction of the highway by driving the wrong way up it? Also, towards a junction where the sight lines aren't good and - I believe - there have been collisions. Naturally, being concerned for their safety and the safety of others CM merely stopped to point out each driver's mistake and how to safely resolve it... In one case a driver even drove into him!

I think the difference between that and a contretemps with a pedestrian on a shared use path is great!

TBH the sooner we can persuade our local authorities and planners that shared use paths are an outdated bodge* the better. There's a reason NL, Copenhagen etc have lots of cycling, are great for pedestrians AND have few if any UK-style shared use paths...

* which will end up limiting active travel and make their area look uninviting to investors and get them angry letters and then no votes from those in their wards... hmm, maybe that first reason is currently a positive for many of them?

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cycle92 replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
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It seemed to me like he was blocking the road to confront illegal drivers for trying to skip traffic for driving on the wrong side of the road. This is partially fine but he could have just of filmed and reported them to the police from the pavement. By blocking the path of the oncoming cars, he led the other cars behind him he was holding up to illegally drive on the footpath to move past him and the drivers he stops. He's not the brightest mind in road safety to me.

He should just record and report them to the police from the pavement. The bad drivers will listen more to the police with penalties than an angry pedestrian throwing abuse with a camera holding up traffic.
Same result applies without the pointless confrontation and added road rage. Courts have told him this.

I'm just keeping it real here.

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chrisonabike replied to cycle92 | 1 year ago
3 likes
cycle92 wrote:

It seemed to me like he was blocking the road to confront illegal drivers for trying to skip traffic for driving on the wrong side of the road. This is partially fine but he could have just of filmed and reported them to the police from the pavement. By blocking the path of the oncoming cars, he led the other cars behind him he was holding up to illegally drive on the footpath to move past him and the drivers he stops.

Hmm... well you sound like you've watched more of his stuff than I have, I've only seen a few things linked from road.cc. So I'll have to defer to your greater experience as someone interested in his content. However... I can't recall seeing cars passing him on the pavement (in my tiny sample), and I'm not quite sure I'm following the logic of "he led the other cars behind him he was holding up to illegally drive on the footpath..." Surely the car doing the first illegal move would also be in the way of any putative cars behind him (and they're wider than a person...)? Any drivers choosing to mount the pavement to go round him are doing so of their own volition, is that not so, also knowing there is another car blocking the road in front of them?

cycle92 wrote:

He should just record and report them to the police from the pavement. The bad drivers will listen more to the police with penalties...

Is that the case in this situation? Genuine question as you clearly know more about his work than I do. I'd read he does get action on the drivers on their phones. Certainly just filming other driving infractions in other places (Lancs, Scotland) is liable to result in nothing more than you wasting your time!

cycle92 wrote:

...than an angry pedestrian throwing abuse with a camera holding up traffic... I'm just keeping it real here.

Sounds like "point of view" here. Again I defer to your greater knowledge but I though I'd read comment from the police saying they were OK with him.
(Might have been a take from the man himself though! )

You don't like the style, fair enough, the little I've seen of him he's on the edge for me and I wouldn't be copying him myself. However I am almost certain that the "anger on the roads" isn't coming from his activities, unless he's flying up to Edinburgh or has a legion of drivers here as fans...

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cycle92 replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
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As you apparently have not seen much of Mikey's content, I am not going to continue this conversation. If you want to continue this, please educate yourself and familiarise yourself with both their approaches to road safety. I personally believe he seeks confrontation for content to post on his social media channels. I prefer Ashley’s approach by avoiding confrontation and making incidents into non-events. I recommend you watch both channels to get a better understanding. I am surprised you wrote such a long reply in regards to two people you repeatably state you do not watch. I followed both for years but fell sour of Mikey when he was asked fair questions but he responded with insults and blocking users. If road.cc is the only source for your infomation on these two, that is also quite flawed. 

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chrisonabike replied to cycle92 | 1 year ago
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So you don't want to address specific points in something we have (apparently) both watched? I did ask about about a specific - pretty basic - road safety point... it does make your take sound more like "I don't like his style". Which I would certainly agree is more confrontational than Ashley Neal's. AN of course is promoting his channel too (including doing promo stuff within one I watched) - and that's fine of course, it's part of his business!

I have given AN some respect for correcting himself on an assumption he made in his Edinburgh York Place/ Picardy Place video (I've probably seen half-a-dozen or so now, similar to CM). A less dramatic approach to road safety would benefit us all - unfortunately on the "vulnerable road user " side campaigning is still needed also. Anyway AN seems to have generally good advice on safe and considerate driving. I don't agree with all his views on cycling and driving around cyclists ("friendly toot"). Again he gets some credit for getting on a bike - as someone whose business is driving and drivers!

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cycle92 replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

To me, he rode too close to the lady and sounded his bell in an intimidating way being directly behind her. Adding the comments to sneer her isn't helpful or needed at all. Keep calm and wait to pass until safe to do so. It's as simple as that. That's my opinion on this clip.

Both get paid for their YouTube platforms. One gets paid by seeking out bad drivers by creating events and making small incidents into viral moments by escalating them. The other teaches road safety and commentates on other road users pushing the message of education (as he does it as a job anyway). His message is if you or others around you have a problem, keep calm and solve it. Make it a non event. Ashley reviews all road users, Mikey goes after certain road users that fit his agenda.

A good example of the wrong way to do it is this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sii4jDh3WL0 
This clip is when I gave up on Mikey. 
Can you count how many offences are committed by the road users that are not involved in this incident? But due to him confronting one driver, he's created several more bad road users which he doesn't even acknowledge. The MET let her off in the end. If he stood on the pavement and just recorded, that's all the MET would have needed. He chose to stand in the road and cause unsafe chaos. I respect Ashley more for not taking this approach in his videos.

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HoarseMann replied to cycle92 | 1 year ago
4 likes
cycle92 wrote:

Personally I think he went too close and forced her hand but that's just me. You do you and I'll ride how I was taught. I grew up around a lot of heavy machinery (farming), I learned how to drive in a 1996 Scania 430. I stand by my view, choose to respect those more vulnerable and choose the safest option.

I don't get the comparison between a bloke on a bike doing 3mph and a lot of heavy farming machinery.

Nobody was pushed and the only person who was 'forced' to do anything was Mikey, who had to slow and wait behind the pedestrian whilst she had a little outburst.

It's really not so clear cut to say the pedestrian is more vulnerable here. I actually think it's reversed in this situation, the cyclist is potentially at more risk than the pedestrian, as they could be knocked off their bike more easily than the pedestrian could be pushed over. Sure, the onus is on the cyclist to not put pedestrians at risk, which Mikey did by slowing down. But it's not carte blanche for pedestrians to be overly obstructive.

I would like to think I would have been more chilled about it, but I have encountered belligerent pedestrians before: Walking 3 abreast blocking the entire width of the shared path, then one shouting 'get in the road' at me, despite me slowing right down to their pace and ringing a bell. I did inform them I had every right to ride there and I would probably get yelled at if I cycled in the road.

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cycle92 replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
0 likes

My point is I was taught to look out for those more vulnerable while operating a larger vehicles.

Slowing down to wait or even stop is the correct action if pedestrians are blocking your path. I think Mikey just went too close for that last loud ring which triggered the angry lady. Responding with sarcastic comments doesn't help either.

If you don't think a cyclist is any different to a pedestrian, that's your opinion. The highway code recommends extra care.

You do you and I'll do me.

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HoarseMann replied to cycle92 | 1 year ago
3 likes
cycle92 wrote:

I think Mikey just went too close for that last loud ring which triggered the angry lady.

Mikey was quite a respectful distance away at that 2nd ring and he passed with plenty of room. You can see the basket of his bike is right over on the other side of the path.

Fair enough if you would have given them even more room than that, but for me, that was more than adequate. In fact, most of the shared paths I ride on are nowhere near as wide as that. I'd not be able to use the cycling infrastructure at all if I couldn't pass pedestrians closer than Mikey does here.

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cycle92 replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
1 like

I disagree but that's fine. I haven't triggered pedestrians with my methods, Mikey has with his. I would of held back an additional 6-8ft. The comments passing weren't necessary either but we know some people can't help themselves. I do agree with Ashley that the first cyclist in fluro orange created the agitation by pushing past. 

Drivers would argue they won't be able to proceed on backroads if cyclists road two abreast all the time on certain roads without a close pass but they have to respect the more vulnerable just as we do with pedestrians. In some cases, highway rage can lead to this, just hold back until it’s safe to pass. It's not difficult. They'll calm down or get bored eventually. Personally I just avoid creating rage, it's gets you nowhere. I'd still be polite to them as I pass.

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brooksby replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
3 likes
HoarseMann wrote:
cycle92 wrote:

I think Mikey just went too close for that last loud ring which triggered the angry lady.

Mikey was quite a respectful distance away at that 2nd ring and he passed with plenty of room. You can see the basket of his bike is right over on the other side of the path.

Fair enough if you would have given them even more room than that, but for me, that was more than adequate. In fact, most of the shared paths I ride on are nowhere near as wide as that. I'd not be able to use the cycling infrastructure at all if I couldn't pass pedestrians closer than Mikey does here.

I haven't watched the video.  But can someone explain why the little girl and her dad are on one side of the path and the woman with her arms out is walking on the other side?  That looks more like "taking up the whole path" rather than "sharing the space".

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cycle92 replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
0 likes

Why don't you just watch the video.... 

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ChrisB200SX replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

I haven't watched the video.  But can someone explain why the little girl and her dad are on one side of the path and the woman with her arms out is walking on the other side?  That looks more like "taking up the whole path" rather than "sharing the space".

That is exactly what she was doing. Deliberately being a complete arse because she hates cyclists. Mikey then calls her out for it.

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wtjs | 1 year ago
11 likes

I am a supporter of CM and have no intention of clicking anything in connection with deadbeat dimwit AN. Problem solved for me

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Dz1 replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
3 likes

That's the problem. So many cyclists here commenting without even looking at the video. I've always found Ashley Neal to be very even handed.

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Flintshire Boy replied to Dz1 | 1 year ago
1 like

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AN 'even handed'?

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How DARE YOU, Sir?

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Off this site with you immediately!

.

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Flintshire Boy replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like

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Yeah, but. No but.

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That's life in Garstang for ya.

.

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cycle92 replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
0 likes

.

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cycle92 | 1 year ago
4 likes

I agree with Ashley on this one. 

I have never felt right about Cycling Mikey. Him and a few others on twitter, especially as grown men and woman, acting like petty children with gotcha moments. Jeremy Vine of all people really shocked me! There is no how do we solve these issues, it is all finger pointing and who is right and who is wrong sneering. 

From my point of view, Mikey creates large situations out of smaller incidents. He loses his temper; throws abuse and I have seen road users around him do illegal activity to get by the one bad driver he's holding up. He does not mention it or acknowledge it.

I have not seen any bad or childish content from Ashley. He has qualifications on road safety and he's responsible for the drivers he puts on the roads. He holds his own account. Unlike many anonymous people online, he uses his real identity and puts his own business on the line. I feel he takes road safety seriously and I see the driving community responding to his content positively, especially when cyclists are brought up. From the Cycling Mikey, Cycling Gaz, Jeremy Vine and even Road.cc, it is all finger pointing negativity which just grows and grows.

I only stick to GCN, cycling weekly, cyclist, bike radar and his channel as every other channel has a negative vibe.

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LeadenSkies | 1 year ago
0 likes

Won't be watching either of their YT videos. One rightly submits footage of dangerous and illegal driving to the Police but his style is unnecessarily confrontational and leaves me feeling uncomfortable. The other refuses to submit footage of outrageous driving, which is condoning the poor driving even if in the soundtrack to the video he says differently. Actions speak far louder than words.

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HoarseMann | 1 year ago
13 likes

I think the video with the drunk pedestrian is a few years old (edit: 2018-ish going by streetview). Seems like Ashley Neal has been digging around for content that puts Mikey in a bad light. Not sure what AN is trying to achieve (other than clicks).

When a cyclist in Edinburgh rode through a red light (seemingly by mistake), it wasn't 'make it a non-event', it was these sort of selfish cyclists could give a driver nightmares if they killed them, etc.

When a driver beeps their horn at a cyclist, it's merely to 'notify of presence' - if you get upset by it, it's your fault for misunderstanding the 'true' meaning of the horn (even though the highway code says it is to warn of presence). Yet ring a bell at a pedestrian wearing headphones and you're being arrogant - even though the highway code actually encourages you to do so.

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Simon E replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
10 likes
HoarseMann wrote:

Seems like Ashley Neal has been digging around for content that puts Mikey in a bad light. Not sure what AN is trying to achieve (other than clicks).

I've just been asking myself the same question: why is a driving instructor in Liverpool so bothered about someone riding on a shared path in Richmond Park?

While I can understand the value of dashcam footage to show good/bad behaviour examples, I'd have thought that his YT channel should be more focussed on promoting his driving school than stuff like this.

In the video description Ashley says "I do have concerns that with such a large following people copy some of his behaviour." If that is the case then where is the benefit of putting it on his own Youtube channel (134k subscribers and considerably more views than Mikey's)? And I wonder why he thinks Mikey's videos are so influential yet his own...

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PRSboy | 1 year ago
4 likes

 I'm with Ashley Neal here.  The second 'ding' seemed petulant to me, not to mention his 'holier than thou' remarks afterwards.  Imagine if this had been a motorist blowing their horn at two riders abreast with a child on a narrow country road.

Mikey's treatment of the older guy was awful, not to mention escalating a total non-incident for no reason (except youtube clicks)  

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Jippily | 1 year ago
6 likes

I never knew there was so much psychology behind ringing a bell. For one person it's fine, for the next it aparrently isn't.

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JustTryingToGet... replied to Jippily | 1 year ago
7 likes
Jippily wrote:

I never knew there was so much psychology behind ringing a bell. For one person it's fine, for the next it aparrently isn't.

I don't use a bell anymore. Despite roughly half the population welcoming it (well, they say they welcome it but they probably can't hear it over headphones), the other half are angrily and sometimes violently against them.

Plus ca change.

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nosferatu1001 replied to Jippily | 1 year ago
9 likes

Yep! Half of the time people are fine with a bell, other times they say I should have said something as a bell disconcerted them.  And vice versa if I don't use the bell.

 

im expected to know, in advance, withiut knowing the person , which type they are. 

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HarrogateSpa replied to nosferatu1001 | 1 year ago
3 likes

In my experience, most people prefer it when you use a bell.

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brooksby replied to HarrogateSpa | 1 year ago
2 likes

I think it depends how far away you ping the bell.  If you are far enough away that they'll register it, look around, see you, and move aside, then that's fine.  It's when people are two feet behind them and pinging madly that it gets people's backs up.

Mostly...

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sapperadam replied to HarrogateSpa | 1 year ago
7 likes
HarrogateSpa wrote:

In my experience, most people prefer it when you use a bell.

That's the problem with experience. In my experience, people prefer the voice. We could do this all day. I've experienced both voice and bell preference but mostly voice.

The worst one...
"DON'T YOU RING THAT F***ING BELL AT ME! YOU NOT GOT A VOICE?! USE IT!"

The worst I've had for someone preferring a bell to voice...
"Ooh, don't you think you should get a bell, love" quiet and polite. Thing is with that lady, I'd already rung the bell twice on the approach!

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