Footage of a cyclist in London, riding with their pet cat in the bike's basket, has gone viral online, the video showing the moment the pair were knocked off their bike by a moped rider, only for advice from a police officer pulling up at the scene in an unmarked car with blue lights flashing recommending the cyclist wears a helmet.
Travis Nelson and his feline passenger Sigrid, a deaf Norwegian Forest cat, have become something of an internet sensation, the Londoner sharing videos of the pair exploring the English capital by bike. Travis has been a guest on the road.cc Podcast, the double-act having more than 150,000 followers on Instagram and more than 21 million likes on TikTok.
The pair's most recent video has been viewed more than 2.4 million times on X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter, and captured the moment an "impatient, close passing moped driver knocked us off our bike" in London on Monday.
Impatient, close passing moped driver knocked us off our bike today. Fortunately the police (?) were right behind us, so they could scold me for not wearing a helmet and then leave. First time off my bike since 2007.
Sigrid is fine; my knee is messed up, can't ride for a bit. pic.twitter.com/LdAESnSXnO
— Travis and Sigrid (@sigirides) November 13, 2023
The crash footage is shocking enough, with Sigrid falling from the HumanForest hire bike's basket towards the moped. All involved were thankfully uninjured, aside from a "bruised up butt cheek and aching knee", Travis tells us.
In the aftermath of the collision, an unmarked vehicle with blue flashing lights stopped at the scene. A woman, later confirmed by the Met to be a police officer, got out to first check everyone was okay, but then advised Travis to wear a helmet when cycling.
"You've not got a helmet on," the plain-clothes officer said. "I recommend wearing a helmet."
Travis later told his social media followers, "If anyone can fill me on how a helmet would have prevent this motorist from driving into me, I'd love to hear it."
Recalling the possible police advice given at the scene of the incident on Clerkenwell Road near Old Street, Travis told road.cc: "She asked if I was ok, asked if I was sure, then said the helmet thing. She didn't mention being police or anything (that's why I had the question mark in my post)... but they had the blue lights."
Responding to road.cc’s request for clarification on the vehicle and the police’s role following the incident, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers in an unmarked car had indeed stopped at the scene of the collision, offering medical assistance and creating a police incident report.
However, the Met also claimed that both parties involved in the collision told the officers that they did not wish to report the matter to the police.
“Police are aware of a road traffic collision that occurred at around 13.45hrs on Monday, 13 November in Clerkenwell Road EC1. A moped was in collision with a bicycle,” the Met spokesperson told road.cc.
“An unmarked police car was passing the scene during the aftermath of the collision and stopped at the scene.
“Blue lights were utilised to ensure the safety of all road users and an officer offered medical assistance. This was declined by both parties – with no injuries disclosed.
“Neither party indicated a wish to report the matter and a police incident report was created. Road safety advice was given to both parties, who then left the scene. Should any of the parties involved wish to report any concerns to police we would encourage them to do so.”
The spokesperson continued: “Police are aware of video footage of the collision and interactions afterwards circulating on social media platforms. It should be noted that this footage is heavily edited.
“All road users should be mindful and abide by the Highway Code and Road Traffic Act and consider the space needed for themselves and other road users when using London roads.”
It is Travis' first time off his bike since 2007, but fortunately "Sigrid is fine; my knee is messed up, can't ride for a bit".
"This is exactly why I don't like to stop for red lights," he wrote on social media. "Inattentive or impatient motorists frequently hit cyclists when the light turns green. Note also, I was in an ASL (Advanced Stop Line), meant to prevent exactly this kind of negligence."
This image is seared into my brain. At this moment the only thing going through my mind was "please don't go under the tires". pic.twitter.com/iGM4wm9AGO
— Travis and Sigrid (@sigirides) November 13, 2023
Speaking to our sister website e-bike tips back in September, Travis explained how Sigrid usually travels in a unique set-up, with a specially designed pet basket which attaches to the bars of Travis' bike, a fixed gear track bike built for street riding, and even occasionally wears goggles specifically designed for pets.
At the time of Monday's incident however, he was using one of HumanForest's hire bikes.
Explaining their usual set-up, Travis told ebiketips: "The basket is a Doggy Shopper by Klickfix Rixen & Kaul. They were the first sponsor we ever had and sent us their top-of-the-line basket to replace my cheap Amazon one. Over the past couple years I've customised it quite a bit to suit our particular needs."
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.