10 extraordinary days in the life of a #bloodycyclist

On 19 May Toby Hockley set out on the Boudicca Sportive… then he 'met' Emma Way, she tweeted about it, and life would never be the same again

by bloody cyclist   May 30, 2013  

Well what a week it's been, from a cyclist to internet celebrity and road safety campaigner in the space of a few days. After one incident on the road and a poorly thought out Tweet one person becomes a reluctant hero and one an internet villain. But the most important thing to take from it all is that we all share the roads and need to learn how to do so with mutual understanding.

It is strange to become the center of a media storm when all I wanted to do is ride my bike on a sunny Sunday morning with some friends. I've been hesitant to talk too much to the press for fear of putting the Iceni Velo in a negative light with drivers but with all the support from the club committee, members and the press I'm glad it's all happened. That's not to say I'm glad about what happened to the driver, two silly mistakes, not stopping and then tweeting her actions, has had terrible ramifications on her life and career. I think she's learnt her lesson and has acted as a deterrent to other drivers who lack respect to fellow road users.

The most important thing to come out of it all is the Bloodycyclist.com website. Set up by a couple of fellow cyclists and long time friends we plan on highlighting the issues of road use and campaigning to make the roads safer. Bad cyclist and bad drivers put all of us at risk and hopefully a little education will go a long way and improve conditions for all whilst trying to raise some money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Bloodycyclist.com has been set up to educate both drivers and cyclists on how to share the road. There's good and bad on both sides and we need to improve this. Highlighting the Highway Code, explaining what needs each others have out on the roads, and educating each other on how to improve road safety are the main aims.

No matter what happens though there's always the risk of accident and injury so we're aiming to raise the profile of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, a 100% charity funded service, who will save both cyclist and drivers when the worst happens. With the support of Decca and Bottle Sport we have a range of #bloodycyclist shirts, jerseys and bottles with profits from each going to the charity - something that's already been written about here on road.cc.

Big things are planned for the next few months with articles, interviews, charity rides and an expanding range of cycling kit.

15 user comments

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It's good that something like this can be born from the events the other week. For too long arguments between drivers and cyclists have resulted into a descending spiral where the two camps seem further apart than ever with nothing really improving.

While there are many examples of bad driving out there there are also quite a lot of bad riding. And there seems to be a growing fundamentalism among riders which only seems to result in more rules being broken and relations being strained more.

I like Toby's attitude in this respect. We all need to learn or relearn the rules for responsible road use, whether we are drivers, cyclists or pedestrians (and often we are all three). Hopefully we can all come back with a refreshed attitude of co-operation.

Oh and I like jersey too.

posted by mikem22 [12 posts]
31st May 2013 - 9:21

10 Likes

Cool looking arm and leg warmers there, pink with cartoons on, very unique. Hope they keep you very warm.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1360 posts]
31st May 2013 - 11:59

16 Likes

Well done Toby. Really good to see a positive come out of this.

I

posted by CStar [14 posts]
31st May 2013 - 13:29

11 Likes

Toby has a great attitude to the whole event - whilst the press have been goading him to get angry with Emma Way he's not taking it too seriously (although I do understand he posted some very odd comments on her Facebook about her car)

We still haven't heard whether Norfolk Police are going to charge Emma Way - I am hoping that the publicity regarding this incident means that they will.

When I was learning to drive I was so terrified of hitting someone that I would soak the driver's seat in sweat (hyperhidrosis for those that are interested). I failed five times (by four examiners) before passing on my sixth attempt on a route I'd never driven (although I knew the area quite well)! So I really do not understand the mentality of not stopping after hitting someone.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [291 posts]
31st May 2013 - 17:48

12 Likes

Great Idea, I love the kit too. How about some car accessories too? Bumper stickers to educate the guy behind you in traffic?

bikepixi's picture

posted by bikepixi [12 posts]
1st June 2013 - 2:03

16 Likes

So all we have so far is a silly tweet of the most common kind against cyclists and thankfully nothing more than that as is usual. When Norfolk Police either summons or charge Way, it will still depend on her pleading guilty or being found guilty. Since none of that has happened yet, we seem to be believing without question one side of this story, and so far as I can tell, Way has not even been tied to Toby's alleged incident.

But why should drivers be happy & not be annoyed by cyclists? For a start cyclists are a massive extra liability to drivers, impose their speed on them for long distances, often ride towards the centre of the road impeding several drivers at a time etc. Are we saying that drivers have no right to be annoyed and critical? I think this is a manufactured phony war by a tiny minority not represented by most cyclists & fomented by bogus twitter accounts too. Plain Face

Road safety 'experts' are often folk who's CV doesn't cut the mustard.

posted by Sedgepeat [64 posts]
1st June 2013 - 8:52

16 Likes

If Bercow can be found guilty of libel then there doesn't seem to be much in her defence. By her own comments she hit someone and failed to stop and provide her details. I'll be waiting to here the excuse from the Police/CPS as to why they think she should not be charged.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

ragtag's picture

posted by ragtag [161 posts]
1st June 2013 - 9:25

13 Likes

Glad to see that Toby , not being hurt , has had other Cyclists come to his aid and that people are not fooled by the " doe eyed malevelance " that tweeted her Victory to those that thought her tweets were worth following !

Too bad the CPS cannot prosecute those that choose to mock the law with their admissions of Lawbreaking 1

My comment to the " Bloody Cyclists Website /what to do about accidents "!

" Had not thought of the " coin " trick for measurement purposes !

Too often vehicles pass too close , being retired , i have the time to follow that vehicle to the next destination , then ask the principle of that business to either call the police or the Vehicles owner , to report the eratic behaviour of the driver .

Works a treat , since the driver generally owns up to the incident , for fear of their driving permit being affected . Their employer wants to avoid losing the custom of the business they are visiting AND they realise that something is serious , when a cyclist chases the vehicle . Going directly to the driver can cause a personal issue , but speaking to the client or Employer , gets a reasoned response . Rarily do i get the building owner refusing cooperation , since they understand that involving the Police will take even more of their time .

Not only does it work in the UK but in Continental Europe , the language difficulty is easily overcome with Goodwill .

Having been " doored " in Rome and elsewhere , been forced off the bike in other places , hit with wing mirrors , overtaken dangerously so as to turn immediately , forcing me to leave the road , i doubt there are many circumstances that a Cyclist can relate , that i have not yet discovered .

Only thing i have not done yet , is to wear cameras , facing front AND rear !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [387 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 12:33

12 Likes

I like the car detail - perhaps "Watch Out - as soon as I get out of this car I turn into a #BloodyCyclist"

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [496 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 17:57

13 Likes

But why should drivers be happy & not be annoyed by cyclists? For a start cyclists are a massive extra liability to drivers, impose their speed on them for long distances, often ride towards the centre of the road impeding several drivers at a time etc.

!!! Trolling much

I sincerely hope you don't drive if you believe what you just wrote there.

posted by kie7077 [521 posts]
6th June 2013 - 7:05

21 Likes

"often ride towards the centre of the road impeding several drivers at a time etc"
As in riding sufficient distance from parked cars so as not to get `door`ed?

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [102 posts]
15th June 2013 - 3:01

15 Likes

One thing that I think will really help the cause is to get more people cycling (obvious I know). Imagine if all taxi drivers and HGV drivers were required to spend a day cycling around London.

I was recently taking a bus lane, i.e., riding in the middle of it, behind another cyclist, as I was due to move into the right hand lane at the traffic lights. I moved about 20cm to my right and was in disbelief as a taxi driver was trying to overtake me, but only by straddling the bus lane and the lane to the right. As I looked down I could not see a gap between my right-thigh and the front wing of his taxi! My heart jumped through my chest.

Note that I was not changing lanes, or turning right. I just moved slightly further to the right. I accept there is some naivety on my part. I thought it was absolutely clear that I had taken the lane and that no car would try to overtake me without fully leaving the lane, but I was still extremely surprised to see this taxi there.

Now, the taxi driver will say I unexpectedly moved to the right, but there is absolutely no way he gave me anywhere near enough room. If I had ridden dead straight, he would have given me about 30cm.

If I am taking the lane, the only way he should have overtook me is to be entirely in the right hand-lane. Yet, I am quite sure he is not aware of how dangerous his manoeuvre was and probably thinks I am just a #bloodycyclist . In fact this sounds like a similar situation to the recent story on here where the cyclist was killed, although only the driver knows what really happened in that case.

The point I am trying to make is that the level of understanding will best be served by getting more drivers out on their bikes. I think it would be great if Ms Emma Way agreed to join Toby on a bike ride and look forward to reading about it on here! Smile

Dedicated cycling price comparison | http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [195 posts]
15th June 2013 - 9:07

15 Likes

Well, I wore my shirt for the first time last night.

Very comfortable and extremely good value.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [302 posts]
26th June 2013 - 7:46

15 Likes

Amazing how basically a text message can cause such a world wide interest. Glad that cycling safety got another push across all media channels, anything to help the cause to make politicians wake up and invest in infrastructure for all road users. Capital Cycles

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
4th July 2013 - 21:31

15 Likes

mckechan wrote:
One thing that I think will really help the cause is to get more people cycling (obvious I know). Imagine if all taxi drivers and HGV drivers were required to spend a day cycling around London.

I was recently taking a bus lane, i.e., riding in the middle of it, behind another cyclist, as I was due to move into the right hand lane at the traffic lights. I moved about 20cm to my right and was in disbelief as a taxi driver was trying to overtake me, but only by straddling the bus lane and the lane to the right. As I looked down I could not see a gap between my right-thigh and the front wing of his taxi! My heart jumped through my chest.

Note that I was not changing lanes, or turning right. I just moved slightly further to the right. I accept there is some naivety on my part. I thought it was absolutely clear that I had taken the lane and that no car would try to overtake me without fully leaving the lane, but I was still extremely surprised to see this taxi there.

Now, the taxi driver will say I unexpectedly moved to the right, but there is absolutely no way he gave me anywhere near enough room. If I had ridden dead straight, he would have given me about 30cm.

If I am taking the lane, the only way he should have overtook me is to be entirely in the right hand-lane. Yet, I am quite sure he is not aware of how dangerous his manoeuvre was and probably thinks I am just a #bloodycyclist . In fact this sounds like a similar situation to the recent story on here where the cyclist was killed, although only the driver knows what really happened in that case.

The point I am trying to make is that the level of understanding will best be served by getting more drivers out on their bikes. I think it would be great if Ms Emma Way agreed to join Toby on a bike ride and look forward to reading about it on here! Smile

The trouble with mixing it with taxis is that most taxi drivers know the size of their vehicles very well and are accustomed to passing very close to make progress on busy city streets. Its not always a bad trait but it can be very intimidating and arguably dangerous for cyclists.

posted by Matt eaton [424 posts]
7th August 2013 - 12:48

15 Likes