Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

‘Get off your bike and walk’: Female cyclist “petrified” after man grabs bike and refuses to let go

“There's no way he would have done that if I wasn’t a woman,” said climate activist Clare James, who was riding on a cycle lane at the time of the terrifying incident ...

A female cyclist was left “petrified” and “visibly shaking” after a man confronted her while she was riding on a cycle lane. The man, who appears to have attended a nearby concert, grabbed the woman’s bike and told her to ‘get off and walk’. After a steward at the event intervened to fend off the attacker, another man “aggressively” jumped into the bike lane in front of the cyclist.

Climate activist Clare James was cycling through Cardiff city centre on Thursday night as concertgoers were leaving singer Lewis Capaldi’s gig in Cardiff Castle, WalesOnline reports.

To allow the crowds to exit the venue safely, Castle Street had been closed to traffic, though the cycle lane remained open.

> Lone female cyclists are “being targeted”, says former Scottish champion 

49-year-old James, who works for campaign group Climate Cymru, was riding through the crowds “at a snail’s pace”, when a man grabbed her bike by the handlebars.

“I said: ‘What are you doing?’ and he said: ‘Get off your bike now and walk’,” she told WalesOnline.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, then told her that she shouldn’t be cycling on the road, to which James replied that she was cycling in an open bike lane.

“But he was really aggressive and within a very short space of time I was really feeling very intimidated,” James said.

The cyclist also noted that the attacker ignored other people riding bikes in the lane, who she says were mostly male delivery riders.

She continued: “People started to come over and people were saying: ‘Let her go’. I think because they could see that I was in quite a bad state they were saying: ‘Are you okay?’”

> Female cyclist held down and bike stolen during frightening attack 

After failing to attract the attention of nearby police officers, eventually a steward working at the concert intervened and removed the man from the scene, allowing Clare to leave.

However, as she continued on the cycle lane, “shaking” after the encounter, another man – who was walking along the footpath – spotted her and “aggressively” and “determinedly” jumped in front of Clare. Fortunately, the traffic lights soon changed, which enabled the 49-year-old to flee.

Following the two back-to-back incidents, Clare says she was targeted because she “stood out as a woman on a bike”.

She said: “It was so obvious [the first man] was just going to pick on me because I was an easy target… there’s no way he would have done that if I wasn’t a woman.”

“There were two men, as far as I'm concerned last night, that really just wanted to be intimidating. They plucked me off, because I was on a bike and because I’m a woman.”

While Clare’s husband suggested closing streets to cyclists after concerts as a potential solution to the problem of harassment, she believes that “men’s attitudes towards women” were the root cause of the incidents, and that active travel to and from events should still be encouraged.

“I said [to my husband]: ‘No, no - maybe men shouldn't be like that’. That’s the issue. It doesn't matter whether you close the cycle lane, whether there’s drinking involved, whether there are crowds," she added.

While Clare says that she feels “reasonably safe” while cycling in Cardiff, and that the shocking incidents won’t prevent her from riding her bike, she says that Thursday’s night ordeal has caused her to reflect on her safety as a female cyclist.

“But I have to say that it's definitely made me far more aware that I'm not as safe on my bike as I think from people who are on foot, from pedestrians,” she concluded.

> "Deeply concerned" British Cycling steps in following spate of violent bikejackings across south London 

There have been a number of attacks on lone female cyclists in recent months, though unlike Thursday’s incidents these have mostly involved targeted robberies by violent moped gangs.

In April we reported that a woman was held down and had her bike stolen by two men in Surrey. The cyclist was sat on Beddlestead Lane, near Warlingham in Surrey, when she was approached by two men on a scooter.

Surrey Police say the incident, which happened between 1.40pm and 2.15pm, saw the victim held to the ground while the offenders made off with her bike down Clarks Lane.

In response, cycling clubs across south London had warned members to only ride in groups, and more recently former Scottish champion Jennifer George — who finished eleventh in last month’s British time trial championships — repeated the warning having been attacked herself on two separate occasions since April.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

75 comments

Avatar
Roulereo | 1 year ago
11 likes

Why is it relevant that she is a climate activist or where she works? Surely this makes it worse for her with online trolls etc. Why mention it twice? 

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Roulereo | 1 year ago
2 likes

Because the original newspaper article mentions it? Although I suppose you have shown it is a self fulfilling prophecy that the online trolls would pick up on that.

Avatar
Roulereo replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
7 likes

Huh? Are you saying I'm an online troll?

Anyway, the article was seemingly compiled by someone, don't they have some ability to leave that needless info out? She's been harassed, doesn't need more. 

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Roulereo | 1 year ago
1 like

Personally I don't see a problem with the same info from the newspaper being put here. 

And I'm just pointing out that if, as you state, only online trolls will have any issue that she works at a climate agency, and you are the only person to pick that up as an issue online here, then are you outing yourself as an online troll?

Avatar
Roulereo replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
1 like

Pffft...I'm merely suggesting that the poor woman might not appreciate having her place of work etc. rehashed and being on the internet. 

You really are tiresome with your Judean People's Front rants, unable to see out of that one eye. 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Roulereo | 1 year ago
2 likes

For the full effect you seem to want you missed "little" as in "poor little woman".  Obviously she welcomes your concern for her protection though.

EDIT - quiff said it more nicely; given some of your previous form I don't believe your concern is coming from a good place.  Or rather - it's ideological.  I'd be delighted if you would prove me wrong though.

Avatar
quiff replied to Roulereo | 1 year ago
3 likes
Roulereo wrote:

I'm merely suggesting that the poor woman might not appreciate having her place of work etc. rehashed and being on the internet. 

I'm sure your concern comes from a good place, and I agree that her occupation, age etc are irrelevant to the story, but she posted about it herself on Twitter, where her bio makes clear she is a climate activist. 

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Roulereo | 1 year ago
0 likes
Roulereo wrote:

Why mention it twice? 

Because by the time they wrote the second mention they'd forgotten that they'd written the first one. (And the subheader.)

Avatar
Jenova20 replied to Roulereo | 1 year ago
3 likes
Roulereo wrote:

Why is it relevant that she is a climate activist or where she works? Surely this makes it worse for her with online trolls etc. Why mention it twice? 

 

They have to bring it up in every conversation, much like vegans. It's such a part of their identity that it has consumed their entire personality. In my experience these people tend to be toxic to be around.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Jenova20 | 1 year ago
4 likes

Or the newspaper decided to post it for their own reasons. They didn't use quotation marks so it is not like she said it in the interview. A small profile is normally asked for in these things. It is why there was always a mention of age, or where people lived in articles. 

Although I do like you think climate control activists are toxic to be around days after we had such extreme temperatures in Europe.

Avatar
Jenova20 replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
0 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Although I do like you think climate control activists are toxic to be around days after we had such extreme temperatures in Europe.

Act in an extreme way and you'll get an extreme reaction. When your protest becomes disruptive, violent or destructive it should be curbed. At that point you're pretty much just rioting.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Jenova20 | 1 year ago
9 likes
Jenova20 wrote:

Act in an extreme way and you'll get an extreme reaction. When your protest becomes disruptive, violent or destructive it should be curbed. At that point you're pretty much just rioting.

If everyone thought like you then women still wouldn't have the vote and slavery would be a lot more common.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

But - just taking the case of women's suffrage - was a particular factor decisive, were all needed?  Was it the terrorism, lobbying / awareness raising or (war) economics?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
5 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

But - just taking the case of women's suffrage - was a particular factor decisive, were all needed?  Was it the terrorism, lobbying / awareness raising or (war) economics?

We'd need to muck around with alternate timelines to find out that for certain and I'm not going to do that again!

Protests, disruption and riots are a clear sign that the leaders/politicians are listening to their corporate masters instead of the people.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

We'd need to muck around with alternate timelines to find out that for certain and I'm not going to do that again!

So this sh!tshow we're in is your fault, is it??? surprise

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

So this sh!tshow we're in is your fault, is it??? surprise

It all went wrong in 1971: https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

If everyone thought like you then women still wouldn't have the vote and slavery would be a lot more common.

You make a very good point but sadly slavery is more common now than ever.

Love the LGBTQ picture.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
5 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:

You make a very good point but sadly slavery is more common now than ever.

Love the LGBTQ picture.

Surely it would be far worse if the Civil Rights Movement was 'curbed' by people like Jenova20?

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
NOtotheEU wrote:

You make a very good point but sadly slavery is more common now than ever.

Love the LGBTQ picture.

Surely it would be far worse if the Civil Rights Movement was 'curbed' by people like Jenova20?

I'm not arguing one way or the other. I just felt like pointing out the increase in slavery as I'm guessing most people think it has pretty much been eradicated.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
0 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:

I'm not arguing one way or the other. I just felt like pointing out the increase in slavery as I'm guessing most people think it has pretty much been eradicated.

Fair enough

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
3 likes

Although I would argue that the "modern" definition of slavery also happened in the past, along with the "normal" belief of slavery. After all forced marriages, working for very low pay in abysmal conditions and child soldiers all happened in the past. They were just called serfs or work houses, arranged marriages, or squires. I saw some footage recently doing the rounds with a three year old chimney sweep and that was in 1930.

 

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
2 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Although I would argue that the "modern" definition of slavery also happened in the past, along with the "normal" belief of slavery. After all forced marriages, working for very low pay in abysmal conditions and child soldiers all happened in the past. They were just called serfs or work houses, arranged marriages, or squires. I saw some footage recently doing the rounds with a three year old chimney sweep and that was in 1930.
 

I've read a few sources saying that there are more slaves now than at any time in history. What you say makes perfect sense so perhaps the total is more but the percentage of the ever growing world population remains roughly the same. Either way it's an incredibly sad indictment on how some humans treat others.

Avatar
brooksby replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
5 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Although I would argue that the "modern" definition of slavery also happened in the past, along with the "normal" belief of slavery. After all forced marriages, working for very low pay in abysmal conditions and child soldiers all happened in the past. They were just called serfs or work houses, arranged marriages, or squires. I saw some footage recently doing the rounds with a three year old chimney sweep and that was in 1930.

And how well have the people building the world cup stadia in Qatar been treated, again?  Indentured servitude is pretty darned close to 'classic' slavery IMO.

Avatar
Car Delenda Est replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes

While indentured servitude is definitely a form of slavery, and very evil, it's still quite far from 'classic' chattel slavery. Remember that as a chattel slave your children (if you were ordered to have them) would have belonged to your master.

Avatar
Bmblbzzz replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
2 likes

This is also the case with indentured servitude; the debt passes on from generation to generation.

Avatar
Bmblbzzz replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like
NOtotheEU wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
NOtotheEU wrote:

You make a very good point but sadly slavery is more common now than ever.

Love the LGBTQ picture.

Surely it would be far worse if the Civil Rights Movement was 'curbed' by people like Jenova20?

I'm not arguing one way or the other. I just felt like pointing out the increase in slavery as I'm guessing most people think it has pretty much been eradicated.

I think – might well be wrong – that Hawkinspeter lives in Bristol. If I'm right on that, Im sure he knows about ice cream: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-45720510

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Bmblbzzz | 1 year ago
0 likes
Bmblbzzz wrote:

I think – might well be wrong – that Hawkinspeter lives in Bristol. If I'm right on that, Im sure he knows about ice cream: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-45720510

I do indeed live in Bristol, but I wasn't aware of Lopresti, though that is south of the river in Bedminster.

More info here: https://thebristolcable.org/2019/10/revealed-an-anti-slavery-court-order-was-made-against-local-boss-lopresti-heres-evidence-it-may-be-being-breached/

Avatar
Jenova20 replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
NOtotheEU wrote:

You make a very good point but sadly slavery is more common now than ever.

Love the LGBTQ picture.

Surely it would be far worse if the Civil Rights Movement was 'curbed' by people like Jenova20?

Do go fuck yourself for that. What a disgusting comment to make.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Jenova20 | 1 year ago
10 likes
Jenova20 wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

Surely it would be far worse if the Civil Rights Movement was 'curbed' by people like Jenova20?

Do go fuck yourself for that. What a disgusting comment to make.

Isn't it just the result of denying protests?

I don't mean to accuse you of being sexist or racist, but when a society has an entrenched power base that ignores the rights and voices of whole classes of people, then disruptive protest is about the only thing that works.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Can you think of any cause that "won" where you can show that disruptive protest appears to have been the key?  Unfortunately the ones I can think of all had several different types of pressure at once - making a single "cause" hard to point at.  So disruptive protest (or an "armed" / "violent" wing or at least credible threats from same), political movements, "ground-up" action - and possibly "other change in circumstances" too.

Thinking of Northern Ireland, changes in status for black people in the US, women's suffrage in the UK, gay rights, reversal of apartheid laws in South Africa...

Pages

Latest Comments