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Video: Slow-moving driver forces cyclist off the road on Woodhead Pass

“You've got to give me more space than that, you can't do that!” says rider who was out with his partner in the Pennines when incident happened...

A cyclist who was out riding with his partner in the Pennines on Saturday has filmed the moment a motorist pulled up slowly alongside him and tried to force him into the verge at the side of the road.

NB - As mentioned in several comments, there is an issue with the datestamp on the video; for the sake of clarity it was filmed on Saturday 17 October 2020 at approximately 2pm.

The footage shared on YouTube by road.cc reader Karl-Eric, begins with him tapping him on the side of a Kia car as the driver squeezes him towards the verge, the cyclist saying, “You've got to give me more space than that, you can't do that!”

He told road.cc: “I am Belgian. This is relevant as the attitude to cyclists is slightly different there and I have learnt to bike on the road by using 'my space' (aka about an arm length from the gutter). When doing group rides in the UK, I've noticed that the other riders are often closer to the gutter than I would deem safe. 

“I am a seasoned cyclist I already rode over 5,000km this year so far. I do a fair bit of off-road biking on my gravel bike – mainly due to the Tiles Explorer aspect of VeloViewer.

“I was with my partner, she has started cycling again about 18 months ago and she has some confidence issues. She should end the year with having ridden over 2,000km.

“The ride in question ... We'd just got a hard to get, off-road Tile, hence we had our CX tyres on. This is relevant as when 'attacked' by the car I knew I could always go in the gutter with no risk.”

Karl-Eric explained that his action camera was turned off for the initial part of the encounter with the Kia driver, but he turned it on as things began to escalate.

“As we were riding back, I noticed that my partner who was behind me was leading a long line of cars,” he said, “the first one being way too close for comfort. She was cycling between the cat’s eyes and the side of the road, uphill. Remember she is a fairly new cyclist and has confidence issues. I decided to let her pass on the inside to 'protect' her from the pressure of the nearest car. 

“As I moved into the road (no car there at that time) to let her pass, the driver of the car that was behind her overtook her, came to my side and started to shout at me (I couldn't hear anything as the windows were closed!).

“They were getting very close to me. I was asking them to move away and indicating the same with my right arm. My partner was impressed that I never swore! 

“The driver came closer to me – the wing mirror of the car being near my cockpit, so I pushed it in.

“This is the first time the car pushed me out of the road. I tried to 'push him away' by knocking his wing mirror again. The driver stopped, stepped out of the car and was shouting at me.

“I was not going to engage with him so, using my CX tyres, I rode on the side of the road and carried on back on it in front of the vehicle. I also turned on my Cycliq Fly12 camera.”

“He came again and you can see the footage. On the rest of the footage, you can see that car later, on a lay-by, waiting for us. Thank God he moved away before we got to there – I am not sure my partner would have biked past him.

“At the time, my partner was very shaken and only wanted to get out of that road and stop cycling. She felt better after a bit of pootling along the Trans Pennine Trail and a coffee/cake in Penistone.

“I was fuming. I will not let a bully, bully me out of the road! As long as it is safe (and I did think it was given the speed and the usable space to my left – thank God for CX tyres!) I will stand up to bullies.

“Since then I have had restless nights ... trying to get closure. Have I overreacted when I pushed his wing mirror? 

“I have contacted the police but apparently, this bit of road is owed between Manchester police, West Yorkshire Police, Derbyshire police and South Yorkshire Police.

“I have got great support from South Yorkshire Police but it is not really their 'responsibility'. I have also contacted the insurance company of the driver to alert them of his dangerous driving.

I want to insist that this driver is not representative of all drivers,” he added. “The next three cars stopped and asked my partner how she felt.

“(When she saw what was happening she stopped cycling). Most cars on that road give you ample space when overtaking you. You just need one to spoil a ride though.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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