During his 15 years of catching law-breaking and distracted drivers red-handed, Mike van Erp has had his fair share of run-ins with angry motorists. But when the bike-riding activist, better known by his online alias CyclingMikey, decided to step in front of a motorist driving down the wrong side of the road, perhaps even he didn’t expect the driver to continue on his way, sending Mike onto the car bonnet in the process.
Dr Robert Davis, chair of the Road Danger Reduction Forum, posted images on Twitter of the remarkable incident, which occurred earlier today on the Outer Circle of London’s Regent’s Park, at a turning coined by Mikey as Gandalf Corner, one of his most recognisable locations for clocking drivers forcing their way up the wrong side of the road to get past other road users.
With @MikeyCycling that's a mistake. He stands in front of the car, explaining politely to the driver that he is breaking the law. The driver continues to drive forward (twice) with @MikeyCycling going on to the bonnet.
— CHAIRRDRF (@CHAIRRDRF) March 1, 2022
Gandalf Corner is a nod to the scene in the Lord of the Rings film The Fellowship of the Ring in which the wizard, played by Sir Ian McKellen, tells a balrog, “You shall not pass!”
Davis tweeted that he had just spotted his fellow road safety campaigner at Gandalf Corner, but before the pair could greet each other, Mikey spotted yet another motorist taking his chances driving on the wrong side of the road.
Like the aforementioned wizard, Mikey then stood directly in front of the driver’s car, explaining to him that he was breaking the law. However, the motorist appeared to be having none of it and continued to briefly drive on, all the while carrying a camera-wearing cyclist on his bonnet.
“Another bonnet ride,” Mikey tweeted later. “Blighter pushing me around the corner with his car.”
Another bonnet ride. Blighter pushing me around the corner with his car. pic.twitter.com/Twc0nGHTbY
— CyclingMikey tired of road crime. 🇪🇺🇳🇱🇿🇼 (@MikeyCycling) March 1, 2022
Fortunately, the driver’s dangerous manoeuvre was quickly brought to a halt by the appearance of the British Transport Police’s Specialist Response Unit. According to Mike, the motorist at that point “sheepishly” reversed. The police then took Mikey, Robert and the driver’s details, which will be passed onto the Met.
I have a quick chat with @metpoliceuk officer (sorry didn't catch which command), and give my details in case an extra witness is required.
Photo: @MikeyCycling explains what's happened. Driver isn't willing to continue (he now has a police officer to drive into as well).
— CHAIRRDRF (@CHAIRRDRF) March 1, 2022
Today’s incident wasn’t the first time that Mike has had a dangerous encounter with an angry motorist. In January, he claimed that he was assaulted and his bike damaged after filming a driver using his phone behind the wheel.
Mikey, whose his efforts to bring law-breaking drivers to justice are in part motivated by his experience as a teenager when his father was killed by a drunk driver, has said that in 2019 alone he caught 358 drivers – and two cyclists – breaking the law, with fines totalling tens of thousands of pounds after his submission of footage to the police.
He is well-known for posting footage on his YouTube channel of people he has witnessed committing road traffic offences, including a number of famous faces such as film maker Guy Ritchie, former boxer Chris Eubank, and ex-Chelsea footballer and current Everton manager Frank Lampard.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.