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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 joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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107 comments

Avatar
snubbers | 11 months ago
2 likes

People like MC just make life harder for the rest of us normal cyclists..

I ride on many shared paths, and see families out enjoying themselves, I don't close pass, ring my bell until they dive out the way, I generally just pop on the grass for 10 seconds and go on about my day..

The exact same frustrations we've had with car drivers, MC is just manifesting with pedestrians, which is frankly ridiculous, we can't have it both ways, we have to apply the same level of patience and consideration to peds as we expect from cars, or it literally undoes everything being campaigned for and is just showing what I feared, some cyclists are just selfish man babies that want everything their own way, and cars or peds are fair game..

I have got fed up the number of times I'm slowing for an obvious hazard and some camera toting lycra clad warrior blasts by at pace, completely obliviously and then after a near miss starts ranting and pointing at their camera.. 

Wake up, we campaign for the hierachy of vulnerability with cars, we have to now pass that on to how we treat peds and not be childish hypocrits.

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wtjs replied to snubbers | 11 months ago
7 likes

I have got fed up the number of times I'm slowing for an obvious hazard and some camera toting lycra clad warrior blasts by at pace, completely obliviously and then after a near miss starts ranting and pointing at their camera

As I said on the other topic, it's easy to identify nutters who just make things up.

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Rendel Harris replied to snubbers | 11 months ago
3 likes
snubbers wrote:

I ride on many shared paths, and see families out enjoying themselves, I don't close pass, ring my bell until they dive out the way

And CM (who's MC?) didn't do any of those things. He was riding perfectly safely and courteously along the path, as can be seen from his good-natured and polite interactions with the other pedestrians (as Mr Neal himself admits, "everything was dealt with nicely here"), when he encountered an obstreperous pedestrian who deliberately moved into his path complaining about cyclists, whereupon he issued a mild rebuke for her rudeness in a polite tone and continued without endangering anyone.

What's a "normal cyclist" by the way?

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Podc | 11 months ago
4 likes

I quite enjoy most of Ashley's videos. I do however question his let everything go attitude. He encourages people to never challenge or engage with people driving dangerously or inconsiderately. I can't see how this will improve road safety; it just encourages bullies to continue being bullies. I'm not suggesting that being confrontational is the solution, but never challenging or even standing your ground won't help.

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Bungle_52 replied to Podc | 11 months ago
6 likes

Completely agree. The obvious solution is to get a camera and report inconsiderate (bullying) driving to the police. If they would send out a warning letter each time, with a NIP for repeat behaviour, it would soon stop. Cycling Mikey has demonstrated that this approach works. Unfortunately it requires enough people like him who are willing to make the effort to report and police forces willing to take action. There seems to be many who are willing to report but unfortunately a number of forces seem reluctant to play their part. Some won't even give feedback to the people who report, let alone take action, which can be very demoralising. That leaves us with a dilemma.

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Yorkshie Whippet | 11 months ago
2 likes

In the red corner we have two attention seeking but well meaning cyclists.

And the blue corner we have a attention seeking but well meaning driver.

let the battle begin🤣

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grOg | 11 months ago
2 likes

VanErp and Vine want to be known as cycling activists, given their constant social media presence criticising motorised vehicle drivers, so they should expect push back and deal with it professionally.

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Adam Sutton | 11 months ago
4 likes

Got more respect for Neal. I think Vine blocking him on twitter rather than discuss openly, and now Mikey spitting his dummy out is rather telling.

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cycle92 replied to Adam Sutton | 11 months ago
3 likes

You're right. Mikey and Jeremy are the worst for hiding real difficult questions or point of views. They tend to block anyone who suggests approaching the problems without the drama or escalations. But doing this will reduce content so... They block these people and reply with a sideline passive aggressive comment to the hardcore fanboys to keep them entertained.

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Secret_squirrel replied to cycle92 | 11 months ago
8 likes

And FWIW in my opinion Neal is exactly the same and doubles down on his wuckfittery even more.  Mikey can be a little single minded and Jezza likes a bit of drama but I'd take them both over Neal any day of the week.

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cycle92 replied to Secret_squirrel | 11 months ago
0 likes

That's fine. You do you. 

Secret_squirrel wrote:

And FWIW in my opinion Neal is exactly the same and doubles down on his wuckfittery even more.

Can you send me some examples? I genuinely haven't seen this myself. 

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HoarseMann replied to cycle92 | 11 months ago
4 likes
cycle92 wrote:

That's fine. You do you. 

Secret_squirrel wrote:

And FWIW in my opinion Neal is exactly the same and doubles down on his wuckfittery even more.

Can you send me some examples? I genuinely haven't seen this myself. 

Having a go at an ambulance driver because they got a little bit close to his precious car: https://youtu.be/yhLwDlgssPI?t=151

Telling another motorist to get off the phone: https://youtu.be/ZurmspspUSQ?t=552

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cycle92 replied to HoarseMann | 11 months ago
0 likes

I commend him for correcting his own. Tailgating is illegal and in that particular case, he was at risk. Both drivers in the clips provided are supposed to be driving professionals, I think he's fair to hold them to account as a professional himself. 

It could be worse.. 

"A good example of the wrong way to do it is this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sii4jDh3WL0 (link is external)
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 | 11 months ago
3 likes
cycle92 wrote:

I commend him for correcting his own.

Eh?! That's a new take on tribalism!

As for the Mikey video, it's just the outcome of two stubborn people clashing. Perhaps he could have just stood by the side and videoed the offending, maybe she would have run over and killed somebody whilst turning the corner on the wrong side of the road, who knows, best not to get involved? I see Mikey's actions more like a protest, a bit like 'just stop oil' blocking roads, it's going to upset some people. In some ways, that's the point of it.

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cycle92 replied to HoarseMann | 11 months ago
1 like

Correcting one fault while creating a dozen more doesn't make sense to me. If you see it as a protest, that's your opinion. I see it as an unnecessary hazard, that's my opinion. Just report it to the police without the childish drama. Simple.

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HoarseMann replied to cycle92 | 11 months ago
8 likes
cycle92 wrote:

Just report it to the police without the childish drama. Simple.

It's not always that simple though. The MET seem better now on prosecutions using 3rd party evidence, but it's not always been like that and some forces need to be shamed into taking action or changing their policies. Creating some publicity helps it pass the "in the public interest" test.

FWIW Mikey has not been back to gandalf corner recently. Apparently driver behaviour has improved there.

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cycle92 replied to HoarseMann | 11 months ago
0 likes

That's your opinion on what you think he is doing. I've been watching Mikey for years, I definietly do not see this being his priority at all. You'd think he'd mention this every now and again but he actually praises the police all of the time. 

Have you any statistics from Gandalf’s corner? I've seen Mikey block people when asked this simple question. Bring some facts to the table. 

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HoarseMann replied to cycle92 | 11 months ago
3 likes
cycle92 wrote:

That's your opinion on what you think he is doing. I've been watching Mikey for years, I definietly do not see this being his priority at all. You'd think he'd mention this every now and again but he actually praises the police all of the time. 

Have you any statistics from Gandalf’s corner? I've seen Mikey block people when asked this simple question. Bring some facts to the table. 

It's just anecdotal that gandalf's is quieter, from the horse's mouth: https://youtu.be/a2x0JrLYNwM?t=207

and a couple of quotes from this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/jan/05/filming-cyclingmike...
sounds like a protest against bad driving to me, plus the bit that reporting these infractions initially wasn't easy....

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cycle92 replied to HoarseMann | 11 months ago
0 likes

So Mikey stating it's quieter now makes it quieter now? There are no statistics to back it up his before and after claims. Assumptions and feelings aren't facts.

He nevers uses the term protest which is quite strange. Why does he avoid this word? I don't agree with his methods anyway, escalating situations isn't safe.

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eburtthebike replied to cycle92 | 11 months ago
5 likes
cycle92 wrote:

Correcting one fault while creating a dozen more doesn't make sense to me. If you see it as a protest, that's your opinion. I see it as an unnecessary hazard, that's my opinion. Just report it to the police without the childish drama. Simple.

He didn't create any of the offences, the entitled, victimhood-claiming driver did.  Yes, it is an unnecessary hazard, but it's entirely caused by the dangerous drivers.  Doubtless you would be horrified and upset when someone is killed/injured there because of a dangerous driver, and will weep copious crocodile tears, and loudly wonder why "someone didn't do something before". 

The police can't be everywhere and they rely on the public reporting and stopping crimes if possible.  They should be giving Mikey some sort of award.

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wtjs replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
5 likes

The police can't be everywhere and they rely on the public reporting and stopping crimes if possible

Not in Lancashire they don't! People who report road traffic offences here are regarded as Public Enemy No. 1 by the local BentFilth Lancs franchise

https://upride.cc/incident/fd67nej_bmw420_redlightcross/

That's just for enhancement of confirmation bias, not because it has anything to do with the point above, except that it was, of course, ignored by OpSnap Lancs under Standard Operating Procedures

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cycle92 replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
0 likes

I disagree but that's fine. I still think it's dangerous on Mikeys behalf as more people are thrown into a rage. He or others could be assaulted or driven over. I'd take the risk of just recording one bad driver and reporting them to the police than create a dozen more which followed the sheep effect as demonstrated in the video I linked.

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Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
18 likes

Mikey. Never let them get you down.

London is a safer ride thanks to you. 👏

IMO. Cycling will see most of the city off limits to all but public transport in the next 10 years.

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chrisonabike | 11 months ago
11 likes

Apparently there's a difference between an aggressive ring on a bell and a friendly toot. Beats me, but maybe I don't have cloth / tin ears?

To his credit Ashley Neal did take another look in the case of the cycle collision in Edinburgh - where he suggested recklessness from the cyclist in the first video. I don't think his original point changed substantially; but reviewing something from another point of view is a rare thing in this arena.

On the whole business - this is the YouTube crossover which I for one wasn't calling for.

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JustTryingToGet... replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
1 like
chrisonatrike wrote:

Apparently there's a difference between an aggressive ring on a bell and a friendly toot. Beats me, but maybe I don't have cloth / tin ears?

I think you can do a friendly toot in a car, a double toot seems friendlier. Though as a rule, I think there should be very few reasons to deploy.

Difficult to differentiate on a bell because the problem is not the bell but the reaction of a selfish numpty. Who in addition, if we pay attention to the PBU, has self-esteem issues triggered by bell

On the whole business - this is the YouTube crossover which I for one wasn't calling for.

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chrisonabike replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 11 months ago
3 likes
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB wrote:

I think you can do a friendly toot in a car, a double toot seems friendlier. Though as a rule, I think there should be very few reasons to deploy.

AN certainly thinks so. I'm not so sure - I'm left pondering Ogmios' request for a gentle horn button...

I've developed my own "pedestrian notification procedure" over time but I know it still can cause irritation whatever I do. As always I'd just prefer the conversation to consider how to avoid the problem all together - by having separate spaces for the very different modes of driving, cycling and walking . (The first two can share where motor vehicles are *effectively* limited in both speed and number, the latter where there aren't many of either).

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JustTryingToGet... replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
4 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB wrote:

I think you can do a friendly toot in a car, a double toot seems friendlier. Though as a rule, I think there should be very few reasons to deploy.

AN certainly thinks so. I'm not so sure - I'm left pondering Ogmios' request for a gentle horn button...

I've developed my own "pedestrian notification procedure" over time but I know it still can cause irritation whatever I do. As always I'd just prefer the conversation to consider how to avoid the problem all together - by having separate spaces for the very different modes of driving, cycling and walking . (The first two can share where motor vehicles are *effectively* limited in both speed and number, the latter where there aren't many of either).

I'd pay good money to have something the volume of an Airhorn but Sandi Toksvig's voice saying 'excuse me darling'

For the bike and the car.

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iandusud | 11 months ago
14 likes

My wife and I regularly use our local shared path (often several times a day) and I am very happy to share it with pedestrians and runners. I always slow down for them and give way to them. I always ring my bell when approaching them and thank them when they move to one side and on the whole we get on like a house on fire. HOWEVER, there's always someone! Last week I had two incidents. The first we were going into town on our tandem and were approaching a runner from behind. I rang the bell well in advance but saw nothing to indicate that he had heard me. As I approached I slowed right down and rang the bell a few more times. Eventually I slowed down to his pace and from right behind him rang my bell furiously. Still no reaction. I then decided to overtake him on his left hand side and as I did so he started to drift over towards me. I called out "Cyclist passing on your left". He jumped when he heard me, or maybe when I came into his field of view. He then shouted at me "You should use a bell". I turned around to remonstrate and saw that he was wearing ear pods! What made this all the more ironic was the fact that just before setting off I fitted a new louder bell on the tandem. 

The second occasion I was cycling into work when I came up behind a group of older men. I went through the usual routine until I came up behind them at which point I stopped and rang my bell several times and still got no reaction. So I called out "excuse me, cyclist coming through" which they heard and parted to let me through, only for one of them to say "You should use a bell". 

This sort of thing is a regular occurence for us and I'm convinced that some people are just in a daydream so that although they probably hear the bell they just don't register the sound and make the connection with an approaching cyclist, which is amazing as this particular path is very well used by cyclists and anyone who walks on it regularly will be only too aware.

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JustTryingToGet... replied to iandusud | 11 months ago
7 likes
iandusud wrote:

My wife and I regularly use our local shared path (often several times a day) and I am very happy to share it with pedestrians and runners. I always slow down for them and give way to them. I always ring my bell when approaching them and thank them when they move to one side and on the whole we get on like a house on fire. HOWEVER, there's always someone! Last week I had two incidents. The first we were going into town on our tandem and were approaching a runner from behind. I rang the bell well in advance but saw nothing to indicate that he had heard me. As I approached I slowed right down and rang the bell a few more times. Eventually I slowed down to his pace and from right behind him rang my bell furiously. Still no reaction. I then decided to overtake him on his left hand side and as I did so he started to drift over towards me. I called out "Cyclist passing on your left". He jumped when he heard me, or maybe when I came into his field of view. He then shouted at me "You should use a bell". I turned around to remonstrate and saw that he was wearing ear pods! What made this all the more ironic was the fact that just before setting off I fitted a new louder bell on the tandem. 

The second occasion I was cycling into work when I came up behind a group of older men. I went through the usual routine until I came up behind them at which point I stopped and rang my bell several times and still got no reaction. So I called out "excuse me, cyclist coming through" which they heard and parted to let me through, only for one of them to say "You should use a bell". 

This sort of thing is a regular occurence for us and I'm convinced that some people are just in a daydream so that although they probably hear the bell they just don't register the sound and make the connection with an approaching cyclist, which is amazing as this particular path is very well used by cyclists and anyone who walks on it regularly will be only too aware.

This reminds me of something a couple of weeks ago. A bike was coming off a shared use bridge*, pedestrians milling. The cyclist in a friendly way shouted out 'bike coming on your left'. The bloke that needed to move wanted to move, but got confused processing. Everyone was very nice about it and everyone got where they needed to be, but watching the pedestrian made me realise that it can be hard to follow specific instructions, like left/right when your brain is elsewhere.

I opt for an "excuse me" in my best customer service voice.

*people lost their tiny minds when this bridge was put in but so far there haven't been thousands of casualties from lengthy peletons flinging prams and dog walkers in the river.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to iandusud | 11 months ago
4 likes

Yep. I get that regularly. people walking in a daydream, or with earpods in. Either way, I ring my bell furiously, and shout, and when I pass them I sometimes get some earache, I was on the canal towpath the other day, and ended up shouting at the top of my voice at someone with their headphones on, in her own world. Then I had a cantankerous old man who stood to the side, and as I passed, made a sarcastic remark about why I was using a footpath. I really couldn't be arsed to stop and tell him why he was wrong.

On the whole, when I approach someone, I ring my bell in advance, and most people move to the side, they always get a cheery hello and thank you. Many comment on my classic bell, I have a Lion Bellworks. Had to buy a solid brass one as I broke so many others pinging them so bloody hard!

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