Home

You're not gonna believe this.

On a club ride out of Sheffield, into Derbyshire and back again this evening the following occured:

When we were on the road between Hathersage and Calver, just after turning right at the junction in Grindleford- we were pulled over by a police car.

I say pulled over, but what actually happened was he wound down his passenger window, turned on his blues and started screaming at us that we had to ride single file- I shouldn't need to explain that we took exception to this.

So, after some exchange of words through the window of a moving police car, he pulled over and we obliged by stopping with him to see what ill-informed gems of made up law that he had up his sleeve. And gems they were.

He started by puffing out his chest and shouting "right then, who was it that had a problem?", which was (a threatening and b) wholly uncalled for. He went on to shout and spit about the highway code saying that cyclists had to ride single file and that we were in the wrong. We all know this is bollocks and tried to point this out to him, but he'd clearly made up his mind.

He then went on to say that he had it all on camera so I asked to see it, he put it on the dashboard screen and I watched the back of a bus for 3 minutes- not a cyclist in site. Apparently we were "all over the road", even though he couldn't actually see us and we were riding 2-by-2.

Then the cracker came- what I believe is a made-up story. PC ' I am the law' recently attended a coroners hearing about a car that had made a dangerous overtake move on a blind bend and killed a kid in a car on the other side of the road that it crashed into. The nugget is that he blamed it on a cyclist on the inside that had- and I quote- "made the driver do it"!!!!!!

It was eventually diffused when we pointed out that we were actually blocking the road now and that we disagree with everything he was saying. Surely, if we'd committed an offence at least one of us would have been booked?

I think this is a simple case of someone in a car (this time a copper no less) getting frustrated at being held up and taking it out on the easiest, most vulnerable target. Us. It would be nice if they'd teach our police officers the law, so that when they attempt to relay it to unwary 'offenders' that they actually got it right.

Just another case of the abuse of perceived power and the harassment and victimization of innocent cyclists.

A complaint will be duly posted with the IPCC. If the other 4 riders would like to be included I think that will help prevent this ill-informed bully from picking on any more cyclists for taking in part in the sport that they love.

More to come........

41 comments

Avatar
37monkey [139 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

...........

Avatar
gazza_d [471 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Was it PC littledick by any chance?

Making a complaint is fully the correct course of action. I would also copy in your local Chief Constable and the PCC.

Avatar
mike_ibcyclist [65 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Just remember local plods are lucky to have the odd A-level in wood work, they don't know the highway code until a barrister rips them apart in court.

Horrible situation, an educated PC could have suggested riding in single file if they believed both cars and riders would be safer, but the lecture and the assumed wrong-doing are completely out of order. He'll no doubt get a ticking off and if he's good he'll realise that he did the wrong thing and if he's not he'll hold a grudge forever.

Avatar
Hypoglycaemic [20 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Did you get the pc's number? Report him officially and get an apology. If police can't do their job we are all in trouble.

Avatar
therealsmallboy [169 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Thanks for the comments guys,

It was definitely a case of PC littledick, stuck behind a bus and feeling that he'd lost control of a situation- so we copped the blame!

Being advised to ride single file is often well-founded, but would have been the wrong advice there too, as it's a 'normal' road with a broken white line down the middle, but with no cycleway and a solid wall on the outside right up against the road. If we conceded to riding single file we'd be going against all modern thinking and DFT advice about defending your space. It would encourage drivers to make an unsafe overtake and possibly squash us straight into the wall. Better to stay put.

Unfortunately we didn't get his number or reg. I think we were in a mixed state of adrenaline and surprise and didn't think to ask. That's my biggest regret about it all, but the Police track their vehicles don't they? We know what time it was and our GPS data can show exactly where....

Avatar
Al__S [1246 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Ride single file. In the Primary position. Demonstrate how much harder that is to overtake...

Avatar
notfastenough [3727 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Christ. It's getting to the point that I'm wondering whether to have a copy of the highway code on me.

Avatar
therealsmallboy [169 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Yeah, I was thinking that too. Just the 4 or 5 pages relating to cycling, reduced down onto one A4 page and folded up in my pocket. Just in case.

Avatar
netclectic [136 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The highway code is pretty vague at best in it's coverage of cycling. Here is the current wording from https://www.gov.uk/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82/overview-59-to-71

"never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends"

All he has to say to justify his actions is that he is of the opinion the road was narrow. I suspect your complaint will fall on deaf ears.

Avatar
phax71 [287 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Pulled by the fuzz, that's gotta hurt ..

I was swung round by the t1ts once, that was murder ..

AN OLDIE BUT A GOODIE EH..  1

Avatar
therealsmallboy [169 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

"All he has to say to justify his actions is that he is of the opinion the road was narrow. I suspect your complaint will fall on deaf ears."

I fear that you could well be correct netclectic. Although the road is fairly major, two seperated lanes with a broken white line. If he'd quoted the code and told us that he percieved our behaviour as in conflict with it, we would have had a different situation.

Our main objection is to the manor in which he conducted himself, followed by the crash and death example that he blamed on a cyclist to bolster his point. He had a very 'them and us' attitude and was standing behind the 'cars have priority' argument. Just not right.

Avatar
Nevis the cat [34 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I was stopped there a couple of years ago, for having fog lights on. I had just come down the hill (the top of which was foggy). They park in the car park at Outside looking for someone to pull fo the slightest thing - real hearts and minds stuff.

PC Sadsack put the full blues on and tried to give me the hairdryer treatment. I'm hardly a boy racer - sensible saloon - just had not turned th lights off.

I found him aggressive and patronising, and i say this as an police officer myself.

Maybe it was the same guy, maybe he was bullied as child and his wife's getting it from the neighbour.

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1663 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Looking forward to seeing the IPCC response. It's coming to the point where if I have to deal with any security/police/etc I note names and numbers before starting to talk to them...

Avatar
Mostyn [400 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
mike_ibcyclist wrote:

Just remember local plods are lucky to have the odd A-level in wood work, they don't know the highway code until a barrister rips them apart in court.

Horrible situation, an educated PC could have suggested riding in single file if they believed both cars and riders would be safer, but the lecture and the assumed wrong-doing are completely out of order. He'll no doubt get a ticking off and if he's good he'll realise that he did the wrong thing and if he's not he'll hold a grudge forever.

Mike, I agree! They don't call them "Wooden-tops" for no-reason.

A suggestion from the PC that it would be far safer to cycle in single file on that particular road; would surely have been appreciated far more than being shouted at, or lectured incorrectly on a point of law and the highway code.

Numpty probably will hold a grudge; I'm never wrong PC nod!

Avatar
mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
notfastenough wrote:

Christ. It's getting to the point that I'm wondering whether to have a copy of the highway code on me.

A thought occurs - is it possible to get the highway code in PDF or eBook format? - which would allow it to be carried on my phone

Avatar
badkneestom [135 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

mad_scot beat me to it. There have to be regulations somewhere online, I've got a copy of my city's bike law pamphlet on my smartphone.

Avatar
farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Avatar
julesprichards [1 post] 4 years ago
0 likes

Could carry and share one of these:
http://julesprichards.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/lifes-too-short-to-finish...

...but then again, I have found that it's pointless - idiots win, cyclists get injured (or killed).

What hope is there when the law's bent.  31

Avatar
700c [1139 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

This kind of thing gets me so annoyed, I really do hope you make then think about their behaviour when you complain.

I've lost count of the number of times I've encountered this from tw@ts in cars - you shouldn't have to put up with that attitude from the general public let alone the police. At least with the public you can abuse them back!

Good luck with the IPCC

Avatar
maxburgoyne [34 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

What foul snobbery. By all means criticise this poor police officer but to question the intelligence and education of all officers tells us more about you then them. For what it is worth, new recruits must now have A levels.

Avatar
Bigpikle [94 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

1 of the worst incidents of unnecessary close overtake by a car was a police motorway patrol car just a mile or so from its base, passing our club ride on a wide empty road and nearly removing the front 2 rows of the group. Needless to say he didn't stop despite all of us noisily raising alarm and simultaneously giving him gestures of our appreciation... I was quite looking forward to him/her stopping to discuss our feedback.

Avatar
Karbon Kev [690 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The highway code to a policeman should be the same as 'the knowledge' is to a cabbie ...

Avatar
Mat Brett [656 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Karbon Kev wrote:

The highway code to a policeman should be the same as 'the knowledge' is to a cabbie ...

Agree. It's not difficult. There are pictures in there and everything.

Avatar
mrhallorann [16 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The fact of the matter is we desperately need clarification on the issue of riding two abreast on our roads. The Highway Code is clear as mud on this matter and, in my opinion, only serves to support the arguments on both sides of the debate, rather than providing clear guidance on how and where it is appropriate to ride two abreast.

Avatar
smernicki [28 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
maxburgoyne wrote:

What foul snobbery. By all means criticise this poor police officer but to question the intelligence and education of all officers tells us more about you then them. For what it is worth, new recruits must now have A levels.

Agree. Some of the responses on this totally undermine any credibility the authors might think they have.

And there is a concern about a "them and us" situation?

Avatar
Gero [18 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Just because the law says we can ride 2 abreast, doesn't make it right to do so.
Inconsiderate club riders in groups of 30 odd with massive q's of vehicles behind them. I'd be cheesed off too.
It's why I choose not to ride with the club that I belong to.

Avatar
nostromo [55 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Sounds to me that even if you were riding single file on that road, nobody should overtake until it was absolutely safe to do so.

If motorists approached overtaking cyclists as if they were overtaking another car - IE waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic and moving out into the opposite lane - then it wouldn't matter if riders were cycling two abreast would it?

Unfortunately a lot of drivers believe they don't need to slow down and wait to pass cyclists safely. That's the problem.

Avatar
Al__S [1246 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

If the road is too narrow/twisty to be able to overtake a pair (or lines of pairs) safely and the cyclist isn't riding in the gutter, there's no way being single file makes it easier to safely overtake.

Avatar
John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Al__S wrote:

If the road is too narrow/twisty to be able to overtake a pair (or lines of pairs) safely and the cyclist isn't riding in the gutter, there's no way being single file makes it easier to safely overtake.

This - absolutely this. If an overtake is made safely, it's no harder to overtake a pair of riders than a single.

Avatar
pirnie [199 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Also, it's far harder to overtake one line of say 10 riders than a group of 10 riders riding 2-up. You've got effectively twice the length of vehicle to overtake, so it can actually make it easier to pass a line of riders in pairs

Pages