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I read something quite alarming yesterday in the editor's column of the September edition of the Richmond and Barnes magazine. Richard Nye (@TheRichmondMag on twitter, The Richmond Magazine / Sheen Gate on facebook) seems to think cyclists are a nuisance, and they should be dead.

Quoted straight from the editorial section of te September issue of the Richmond Magazine:

[...] as a daily driver on busy roads, I tend towards the temperate view that the only good cyclist is a dead one [...]

The rest of the editorial is also worth a read. Appalling views.
Richmond Magazine September 2012 Editorial

The full editorial is available on page 11 of the swanky animated online edition, but if it gets magically removed for whatever reason, here's a copy of page 11, and of the full September edition.

If you're a business who's advertised in this magazine, and especially if you're a sports related one (Virgin Active, or Moore's Cycles are in there), I urge you to consider removing your ads from a magazine who's editor clearly thinks your clients should be dead...

Nothing more to add.

Thanks @freespeedlondon for the initial tip off.

47 comments

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Bob78 [2 posts] 3 years ago
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According to recent DfT stats, 21% of adults in Richmond cycle at least once a week, the highest rate of any London borough. Which makes this seem like an even less clever move.

Link to stats: http://assets.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/local-area-walking-and-cycl...

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 3 years ago
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It's certainly a crass and insensitive comment, and Mr Nye must be spectacularly uninformed if he thought that the it would pass unnoticed - unless of course he thought no such thing, in which case he obviously likes playing with fire.

But is it a reflection of his actual views? Seems to me the piece is full of comedic exaggeration even if most of it is not very funny and is not meant to be taken seriously at all. Whatever, it's certainly dumb, especially given the numbers of cyclists in Richmond and the fact that a local bike shop advertises in his mag.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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I think he's just a cock that thinks Jeremy Clarkson's writing style is something to be aspired to.

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harvey.grainger [13 posts] 3 years ago
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Resignation Campaign?  20 #NyeOutNow

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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It's a weak comic article. Forming an online lynch mob over this would be almost unbelievably pathetic.

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ekynoxe [48 posts] 3 years ago
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BigDummy: no one asked for an online lynch mob. It's all about awareness here, and not letting anyone bully their way on roads, under banners of jokes and other free press rights.
Even if it's intended to be comical, I think he missed the point, specially given the borough is supposed to be one of the most cycle friendly ones.

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james-o [232 posts] 3 years ago
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editorial [at] sheengate.co.uk or 020 8939 5601
for any comments.

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Milky88 [10 posts] 3 years ago
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You have totally over-reacted with this article. Admittedly some of his comments are poorly thought out, but he isn't advocating going out and killing cyclists - if anything it is more about the positive effect of the Olympics on his view of cycling (as a competitive sport, anyway) and pro cyclists.

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Denzil Dexter [140 posts] 3 years ago
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No-one may have asked for an online lynch mob, but seems like there are plenty of people fetching a rope and building a gibbet.

Demanding his employers sack him certainly feels like an online lynch mob to me. Just seen someone on Twitter wanting to know why #sackrichardnye isn't trending.

Personally I think we should be a little more selective in picking the targets of our collective wrath - I'd much rather see a transport minister who broke a cyclist's neck and was convicted of careless driving in a SMIDSY incident only a year before the last election forced in to resignation than pick on some lazy journo making an off-colour comment in a mag that most of the people of Richmond don't even read.

All this 'burn the witch' hysteria every time someone says something bad about cyclists makes me feel a little queasy and I'm sure only goes to reinforce the perception amongst the anti-cycling lobby (and probably lots of the general public too) that cyclists are a sanctimonious, humourless bunch lacking a sense of perspective. Which of course we're not  3

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gazza_d [451 posts] 3 years ago
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I am not sure how else you could take "the only cyclist is a dead cyclist". When statements like that go into press they become influencial, and someone will take them seriously.

Which ever way it was meant it was a very poor and ill-judged comment from a professional editor who should know better. What if that sentence was in the editorial of The Sun or the Mirror?

I would like to see him spend a day cycling around Richmond in the company of local cyclists to see it from the other side. Damn if I lived down there I would offer myself

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Milky88 [10 posts] 3 years ago
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The quote from the article in context:
'After years of sullen rage against the cycling fraternity - as a daily driver on busy roads, I tend towards the temperate view that the only good cyclist is a dead one - I suddenly found myself feeling strange feelings of attachment towards the pedal stars of team GB'

Poor and ill-judged? Definitely. A reflection of what some drivers genuinely think? Probably. Likely to 'become influential'? Only if we, as cyclists, build it up to be something more than a bad editorial.

This road.cc article could equally well have harped on about how Team GB's cyclists are turning even the most ardent cycle-haters into bike lovers... well, maybe that's stretching it too far.

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm with Denzil… he's an idiot, but if that were a crime there's a lot of us that'd be in trouble.

in the last 24 hours or so we've reported on a motorist who hid in bushes rather than help the woman he'd fatally injured when he knocked her off her bike. He got 8 months and will be out in four. We've also reported on the new minister of state for transport who was convicted of dangerous driving as recently as 2009 for an incident that left a cyclist with a broken neck - for which the politician received a £400 fine; we've also reported on the case of another Tory politician the former deputy leader of cambridgeshire council who was convicted of dangerous cycling after knocking a car's wing mirror off and was fined £350.

I would suggest that if you want to do something to change the lot of cyclists in this country they are the stories to get angry and active about. I'm not saying Mr Nye shouldn't be pulled up for what he said, but given the massive injustices in the stories I just listed wasting time and bile (unless you've really got plenty to spare) on a target as easy as this does seem like a bit of a cop out.

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Bez [584 posts] 3 years ago
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"it is more about the positive effect of the Olympics on his view of cycling"

No it's not at all, it's about how that effect is transient and abnormal. The final point is that that effect is somehow alien and uncomfortable, whereas the petty "them and us" tin-box attitude of warfare on the road is normal and justifiable and, by emphatic implication at the very least, perfectly acceptable.

Personally I'm happy to ignore these bits of tripe, otherwise I'd worry about the contents of all the papers that I also don't read, but I think "comedic exaggeration" is cutting it too much slack. I don't think it's much meant as comedy; it seems written as a nice piece of morning coffee entertainment for the sort of bungnut that secretly, or not so secretly, shares his views and likes being reassured that there are other bungnuts out there with the same views, because basically all cyclists *are* bastards aren't they, and look, this bungnut is an editor, so he's presumably fairly smart, so this is an opinion that *smart* bungnuts have, so it's ok, and those cyclists - bastards! - they're on bikes, they're not even smart enough to get a proper job so they can afford a car, so they must be wrong, yes, the editor must be right, yes, *I* am right! Cyclists! Bastards!

So whilst I wouldn't suggest losing any sleep over some bigoted bungnut with the privilege of some column inches to play with, if you want to defend it then I suggest searching YouTube for "stewart lee top gear", or even the web for Steve Coogan's piece on Top Gear's Mexican joke, and if you still feel able to defend it then at least you'll have been entertained. And after all, Lee and Coogan are right. I mean, I have the same view, and they're on the telly so they're presumably fairly smart, so theirs is an view that *smart* people have...

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 3 years ago
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I saw on Twitter that he is going to explain himself. Let's see what happens....

When I read it, my first thought was that O.J. Simpson got away with murder because an LAPD copper made a comment like that, using the "n word" instad of cyclist.

Is it syntomatic of society's attitude to cyclists in general? If it is, maybe targetting comments like this is a way to change that. Not getting the guy sacked or anything, but letting him know that it's not acceptable to use that kind of language. Which he already knows, judging by the magazine's Twitter account (@TheRichmondMag).

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Martin Thomas [376 posts] 3 years ago
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If you ask me the only good cyclist* is a cyclist with a sense of proportion about anti-cycling diatribes from third-rate hacks. Rising to this kind of feeble bait is really beneath us all, isn't it?

*This is not true. There are lots of other kinds of good cyclist.

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Chuck [521 posts] 3 years ago
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Denzil Dexter wrote:

No-one may have asked for an online lynch mob, but seems like there are plenty of people fetching a rope and building a gibbet.

Demanding his employers sack him certainly feels like an online lynch mob to me. Just seen someone on Twitter wanting to know why #sackrichardnye isn't trending.

Personally I think we should be a little more selective in picking the targets of our collective wrath - I'd much rather see a transport minister who broke a cyclist's neck and was convicted of careless driving in a SMIDSY incident only a year before the last election forced in to resignation than pick on some lazy journo making an off-colour comment in a mag that most of the people of Richmond don't even read.

All this 'burn the witch' hysteria every time someone says something bad about cyclists makes me feel a little queasy and I'm sure only goes to reinforce the perception amongst the anti-cycling lobby (and probably lots of the general public too) that cyclists are a sanctimonious, humourless bunch lacking a sense of perspective. Which of course we're not  3

Denzil is right here- it's hard to interpret the article as him suggesting cyclists are fair game.

That said, I think the reason silly little prejudices persist is that silly little things prop them up and keep them 'real' and therefore acceptable- bit like jokes about the Irish. So while he may not have really meant much by it, it is perhaps illustrative of wider attitudes and these things tend to be a bit self reinforcing.

So yeah, it is a shame when journos crap out stuff like this- he is playing his part in keeping it OK to view cyclists as pests. As Tony says though it's important to keep a sense of perspective.

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ekynoxe [48 posts] 3 years ago
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Let's be very clear here: I'm not one to claim the man to resign, be sacked or web-lynched, and I have not. Some comments on this story have, and honestly, I disagree. But this information has to be known. To do so, and in the event that the issue gets pulled out or edited of their website, I have, like freespeed and the Richmond Cycling Campaign, saved it so it can still be accessed later on.

We're pretty much all road users at some point: cyclists, motorists, pedestrians etc... or any combination of those. I'll happily agree that on both sides there are a minority who don't abide by the rules, don't know them or simply don't care, but by no means they are majority.

The kind of comments made by Richard Nye are just not acceptable. No matter how you want to read the context of the editorial, you cannot retract the words (exactly as they have been printed) "as a daily driver on busy roads, I tend towards the temperate view that the only good cyclist is a dead one". In or out of context, I cannot see how his response on twitter later on can have any value, claiming to be "misunderstood". The words are there, he has written them. I'm a daily cyclist, and I try as much as I can to abide by the rules. I'm not perfect either, but I'd like to be safe. And if you don't even bat an eyelid at this kind of comment (even when made in the editorial of a 40,000 copies publication), my guess is that your probably not in the category of road users who would like to share the road peacefully.

tony_farelly has rightly pointed out the other distressing cycling news this week, but I also need to tell him the one he didn't mention: The death of a 79 year old in Walton on Thames, neighbouring borough to Richmond, yesterday 5th September (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-19491400). Maybe that's something worth spend a bit of time and bile on? I doubt anyone would joke about that.

Maybe, only maybe, the column intended to be humorous, but you've got to weigh your words for your audience, and this one wasn't funny at all. In the most cycle friendly borough in London, with the best place to leisure cycle and train in the capital with Richmond Park in its centre, I think it's fair enough to publicise it. It is after all our own right of free press too.

over and out

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 3 years ago
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It's a pity it's not a northern irish rag

#outnye

sorry.

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workhard [397 posts] 3 years ago
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Let's wait and see if the offending article mysteriously gets deleted from the online edition of the magazine.....

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

It's a pity it's not a northern irish rag

#outnye

sorry.

That's grand, so it is.

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Bez [584 posts] 3 years ago
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Whilst it's a fair point that there are more consequential things to complain about, I think things like this contribute to the foundation that underpins those consequential things. The consequential things are the symptoms, not the disease.

It's the fact that we, as a society, are tolerant of shabby standards of driving that means cyclists get hit and killed by people who had no intention of killing anyone. A harsh sentence for an unintentional death, however stupidly it was caused, is a stable door shut on a bolted horse. Make the sentence as harsh as you like, the fact remains that in nearly all cases the driver was just stupid or lazy, not malevolent.

And it's the fact that we, as a society, are tolerant of bigoted and aggressive attitudes to other road users that means people take dangerous action on the road and call for "the others" to be removed from it, or for other legislation which offers no benefit at all for anyone other than to make one group feel that they've got one over on the other. Ignoring editorials such as this says that it's an acceptable view, that it's ok to hold that view.

Verbal discrimination and demeaning language have been made unacceptable not because it's an actual physical oppression but because it undermines equality in terms of people's attitudes. If the article had essentially said that "a temperate view is that the only good gay man is a dead one, so I find it very strange that I enjoyed George Michael's bit at the closing ceremony, but then I saw a chap coming out of a gay nightclub and vomiting the pavement so I shouted abuse at him and was so relieved to be able to feel able to hate gay people again" then would we still be saying, "yeah, that's fine, it's just a bit of comic exaggeration"? Of course not: you don't publish stuff that says it's ok to hate gay people, because it's not and as a society we don't put up with that any more.

The point is that it remains socially acceptable to hate cyclists, and that attitude leaches through to things which affect us on a frequent basis. Campaigning for harsher sentences for killing people is all very well but I don't believe for one second it will actually make any difference to the accident rate or the fatality rate.

Campaigning for just a bit of basic understanding of one another is something that might just stop people cutting cyclists up, might just stop people bellowing red-faced expletives at cyclists for no reason whatsoever, might just stop people trying to get counterproductive legislation in place, and might just encourarage a few more people to take up cycling without fear of people like Mr Nye fantasising about mowing them down on their way to work.

I don't think a lynch mob is productive, but I do think it's incredibly important to provide a loud and collective voice that makes it clear that it's not acceptable to publish views like Mr Nye's, let alone be in charge of an entire publication whilst doing so.

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miuzikboy [59 posts] 3 years ago
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Bez wrote:

Whilst it's a fair point that there are more consequential things to complain about, I think things like this contribute to the foundation that underpins those consequential things. The consequential things are the symptoms, not the disease.

...

Verbal discrimination and demeaning language have been made unacceptable not because it's an actual physical oppression but because it undermines equality in terms of people's attitudes. If the article had essentially said that "a temperate view is that the only good gay man is a dead one, so I find it very strange that I enjoyed George Michael's bit at the closing ceremony, but then I saw a chap coming out of a gay nightclub and vomiting the pavement so I shouted abuse at him and was so relieved to be able to feel able to hate gay people again" then would we still be saying, "yeah, that's fine, it's just a bit of comic exaggeration"? Of course not: you don't publish stuff that says it's ok to hate gay people, because it's not and as a society we don't put up with that any more.

...

+1 Well put Bez.

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spen [125 posts] 3 years ago
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You've probably just quadrupled the number of people who bothered to read the editorial. Well done

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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its now top read story on thetimes website

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nellybuck@msn.com [165 posts] 3 years ago
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Milky88 wrote:

This road.cc article could equally well have harped on about how Team GB's cyclists are turning even the most ardent cycle-haters into bike lovers... well, maybe that's stretching it too far.

Can I just point out (as you've said it twice) that this isn't a road.cc article, it's a post on the discussion forum which has been posted by a user. Nothing to do with the road.cc editorial team (who incidentally do bring us a wide variety of stories from the cycling world)

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moonbucket [63 posts] 3 years ago
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Sure we might look reactionary to a point, but when our lives are actually endangered by irresponsible, reckless drivers, then anything that may firm up a person's "anti-cyclist" sentiment is not something that we should take lightly.

We don't need to lose our sense of humour over it, but it should still be highlighted. The pressure brought to bear on the Auto Express article did cause a rethink of sorts (even if just to protect the commercial interests of the publishing group).

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fixer [24 posts] 3 years ago
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On-line lynch mob? How about a real lynch mob. Much more fun.

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Bez,

As I said above I'm not suggesting that his comments should be ignored just that the response should be proportionate to the likely harm they will cause - ekynoxe was spot on to post this on the forum and bring it to wider attention. What people need to decide is what is the right way to respond to stuff like this.

Personally while I think it's great that people react so quickly to face down stuff like this it's also slightly depressing that a forum post about a man whose influence stretches barely to the end of his desk is the most read item on roadcc today above the story about the convicted careless driver who broke a cyclist's neck in two place and who has just been given influence over the UK transport network.

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daddyELVIS [654 posts] 3 years ago
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Not exactly the worst anti-cycling artice I've ever read. His 2 negative comments seem to be a rather exaggerated (for comedy effect) position of his real feelings towards cyclists, which I suspect are slight anoyance mixed with mild envy. Nothing to get worked up about.

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Simon E [2539 posts] 3 years ago
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This seems to be a prominent editorial piece, not some sad old geezer's attention-seeking whine hidden on a narrow column in the fold on page 7. It sets the tone for the rest of the publication. If you substitute 'cyclist' for another outgroup (muslims, gays, gyspies, racial minorities?) the tone may be seen for what it is: abusive and hateful. There is really nothing humorous in it.

The reaction may seem disproportionate but road cyclists of all persuasions are sick and tired of this unwillingness to share the road, of being abused and threatened or the victims of selfish, inconsiderate driving. We're only getting from A to B like everyone else!

If we don't highlight this kind of offensive crap as unacceptable it will grow and cyclists will be even more vulnerable; it will be seized on by some as acceptable. It could well lead to an increase in road rage and I have a very real fear that someone will die as a result. @daddyELVIS is it still OK if that is a member of your family?

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