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But he's staying anonymous to ward off those who aren't...

A Manchester cyclist who uses helmet cam footage to try and shame drivers into improving their behaviour has spoken of his successes in getting apologies from some drivers — but is still remaining anonymous because of abuse from others.

The 24-year-old from Rusholme rides 500 miles a month through the meanstreets of Manchester and posts his videos on his YouTube channel MCR CYclist.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “Drivers who were abusive on the roadside when incidents have happened then view the footage and get in touch to say they are now seeing it from a whole new perspective and are genuinely apologetic. On those occasions, I take down the video because it’s done its job and the drivers seem genuinely aware that what they did was wrong.”

“If I get just one driver to change their ways - and potentially save a cyclist or pedestrian from harm - then what I’m doing is worth it.”

Here's his compilation of his greatest hits - literally in a few cases.

He says uploads only videos where a driver's action has caused serious risk. “If I’m in danger or if I had to take some form of action to prevent myself or others being harmed I upload it.”

Nevertheless, he's asked that his identity be kept hidden so he doesn't get targeted while riding.

“The police have seen my videos and they have spoken to some drivers and considered taking action so I get quite a lot of abuse," he said.

“I don’t want to be vulnerable if people recognise me on my way to work for my own safety.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

50 comments

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Angelfishsolo [134 posts] 3 years ago
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A few of those are not reckless at all. The cyclist is in the wrong. On the occasions he/she undertakes the bus he/she is invisible to the car turning and on the second occasion you will note there is a bus stop so the driver has to pull in to stop.

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MuddyGoose [53 posts] 3 years ago
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Angelfishsolo wrote:

A few of those are not reckless at all. The cyclist is in the wrong. On the occasions he/she undertakes the bus he/she is invisible to the car turning and on the second occasion you will note there is a bus stop so the driver has to pull in to stop.

Agreed. There are several occasions in this video where the cyclist is at fault as there's no way the car/ped could have seen him/her. If you 'filter' through traffic you do so at your own risk.

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fennesz [151 posts] 3 years ago
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and the music is shit.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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Angelfishsolo wrote:

The cyclist is in the wrong

Not sure which incidents you mean - I don't see that. Of course buses have to stop but the driver has to be clear - either ahead or behind - of other users to the left. There's a few classic 'overtaking-while-pulling-in/turning-left' manoeuvres going on.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1941 posts] 3 years ago
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Didn't have the attention span to watch more than a few, some seemed like arrogant/inconsiderate driving for sure, but I don't know about the ones involving undertaking a bus - that's always going to be risky.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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MuddyGoose wrote:

there's no way the car/ped could have seen him/her

I disagree. It's *more difficult* to see, certainly - but that's why the motorist/pedestrian should take extra care. But many don't imagine there might be a cyclist approaching - so it's incumbent on us to take extra care too and proceed cautiously in these situations.

Everyone using the roads needs to good judgement and caution appropriate to the circumstances. Filtering through high-sided vehicles is a good example - because other users often assume there's nothing coming.

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dunnoh [214 posts] 3 years ago
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I ride everyday in Manchester. I think those incidents are pretty tame really. I love tanking along but junctions, pinch points and slow moving traffic means I ride very defensively and accept that most people on the road are very poor drivers. I still get caught out by the people who genuinely want to kill me - I have something like that every 6 months

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pdw [64 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

there is a bus stop so the driver has to pull in to stop.

Huh? Looks like the bus started an overtake that (s)he couldn't complete before needing to pull in again.

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Gkam84 [9110 posts] 3 years ago
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Reckless driver number 2....you are going up the inside of a bus, the driver is not to know you are there and you should take care when coming out from behind the bus....

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

the driver is not to know you are there and you should take care when coming out from behind the bus....

I think he did take care - he wasn't barrelling along at 20mph. This one seemed quite tame - poor driver judgement that *could* lead to a collision but didn't seem likely in this case.

Drivers quite often wrongly *assume* in these circumstances that it's clear (because many don't expect cyclists (safety in numbers?)). It shouldn't be thus - but it is, so we should ride cautiously.

One of the good things to happen in London in recent years is that drivers are much more likely to expect cyclists to "appear from nowhere", and drive more cautiously as a result.

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andyp [1549 posts] 3 years ago
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some terrible riding on there.

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GREGJONES [298 posts] 3 years ago
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I also cycle in Manchester, 100 miles a week commuting and another 50 with the club.

Those incident shown are but the tip of the iceberg, it doesn't show the physical assault and threats from drivers that I've experienced. In no cases have GMP taken this further than recording it on their licence, not even a single point has been issued. In one case a motorist pubched me on the helmet when I objected to his driving, he admitted fault when approached by an officer who subsequently informed me no further action would be taken. The conclusion being that each one of us has a quota of at least once punching someone before it's considered an offence.

My truck in not with the drivers, who in plenty of cases are simply too poorly trained to control a large piece of fast moving machinery, but with the GMP.

It is the responsibility of GMP to police the streets, identify poor driving/parking and take the appropriate action. Yet I commonly see them (GMP) parking on the ASL and even on Zig-Zags at crossings. In contrast I did not see the same level of flagrant rule breaking on my travels in London. How can drivers be expected to obey rules when the GMP themselves break them?

Further to that since the penalty is a very small fine the principle remains that this penalises the poor more than the rich, surely applying points for bad parking/driving would be a better system.

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Paul_C [526 posts] 3 years ago
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Angelfishsolo wrote:

A few of those are not reckless at all. The cyclist is in the wrong. On the occasions he/she undertakes the bus he/she is invisible to the car turning and on the second occasion you will note there is a bus stop so the driver has to pull in to stop.

the BUS did not have to overtake him and then immediately pull over... it should have hung back behind him and then pulled into the stop...

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rggfddne [221 posts] 3 years ago
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MuddyGoose wrote:
Angelfishsolo wrote:

A few of those are not reckless at all. The cyclist is in the wrong. On the occasions he/she undertakes the bus he/she is invisible to the car turning and on the second occasion you will note there is a bus stop so the driver has to pull in to stop.

Agreed. There are several occasions in this video where the cyclist is at fault as there's no way the car/ped could have seen him/her. If you 'filter' through traffic you do so at your own risk.

Also (partially) agreed. Criticising others can be a dangerous game when you're not free from blame yourself. If your fault is not relevant, fire away, but undertaking large vehicles at junctions and then blaming others for not seeing you?

Just because filtering is not explicitly illegal doesn't mean you can do it and expect a guarantee of safety.

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srchar [717 posts] 3 years ago
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I stopped watching after number 2, as nobody's doing anything wrong. The cyclist slows down to filter inside the bus, then brakes when he encounters a car turning into a side street. The driver of that car wouldn't have been able to see the cyclist.

I don't know why road.cc give sanctimonious riders like this guy, plus others ("Traffic Droid" springs to mind) the oxygen of publicity.

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ricky1980 [26 posts] 3 years ago
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Angelfishsolo wrote:

A few of those are not reckless at all. The cyclist is in the wrong. On the occasions he/she undertakes the bus he/she is invisible to the car turning and on the second occasion you will note there is a bus stop so the driver has to pull in to stop.

I don't think you understand either of the situations properly and certainly don't have an appreciation of vulnarable road users need protection or the flipside of that is when you drive a car/bus you have greater responsibilies as you can easily kill someone.

Agreed that the incident of right turn car when he was on the inside of the bus is most likely no one's fault other than everyone in the situation...but the cyclist is not in the wrong as much both the car and the cyclist should be vigilant. Just because it is a blind spot does not take the responsiblity away from the right turning car to drive as if it is a clear road. The fact is that the car is making a turn and yes the bus has stopped to give way, but the car should be more vigilant and should anticipate if there is a cyclist. and the other side is that the cyclist should be a lot more aware in this situation and should have slowed right down to check things out.

in terms of the bus stop incident. the bus could have easily just stayed behind the cylist, but instead it choose to overtake and effectively sandwich the cyclist. That is reckless! Using your vehicle as a road block is reckless and dangerous driving in eye of the law of the land in this country. It may be ok in South Africa where famour people walk scot free after committing murder and admitting to the killing. but not in this country.

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Threeh [35 posts] 3 years ago
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The first clip of him filtering between two busses into a junction is just silly, there's no way the driver turning right could spot him. I've done this once before, never again.

While in a few clips he's undoubtedly being cut up by busses and cars, he seems to follow this up with some slightly aggressive acceleration into the left hand rear quarter of the vehicle. I can only assume this makes it appear more dangerous than it really was.

Surely helmet cams are only really useful for the (rare) occasions when someone does something more intentionally dangerous or violent rather than just dumb. Otherwise I'd find myself uploading stuff after every commute.

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farrell [1946 posts] 3 years ago
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For those criticising him being in the inside of buses, that road is reportedly the busiest bus route in Europe.

To not end up on the left hand side of a bus on that stretch would take some sort of sorcery or the use of technology not yet invented by humans.

Or for bus drivers to drive with some respect for the lives and safety of cyclists.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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Threeh wrote:

helmet cams are only really useful for the (rare) occasions when someone does something more intentionally dangerous or violent rather than just dumb

Dumb=dangerous and is by far the greater risk to road users. It's also no defence in law, should it come to that - the (two in twenty years) people who've knocked me off my bike were stupid, not bad. But they were still dangerous and legally liable.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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There’s an interesting theme in many comments here around the issue of drivers not being able to see.

It *is* difficult for drivers to see past buses/trucks, and cyclists on the other side may be rare but the idea that it’s OK to set 1-2 tonnes of machinery in motion without knowing whether it’s safe to do so – or that you can be sure of stopping it in time if a *foreseeable* risk emerges - is bonkers. Can you imagine doing this in a factory or building site? ("Sorry, your Honour, I started the huge saw without knowing if there was anyone working on the other side. Well, it's too big to see around, y'know, and there isn't usually anyone there") The law would rightly hammer you.

This is the argument around strict liability – while everyone has a duty to themselves and others around them, it applies particularly to those who can do the most harm.

Can’t see? Don’t go. If you must go, you accept liability – so should go in such a way as you can react suitably to foreseeable events, which includes legally filtering/undertaking cyclists.

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bikebot [2118 posts] 3 years ago
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The worst thing in that video was the horrible shutter role, please buy a new camera.

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jacknorell [995 posts] 3 years ago
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Totally with Duncann on this one.

The default (and legal obligation, btw) is to proceed ONLY when the road is CLEAR. That means, stop moving forward unless you can see where the hell you're going, and there's nobody/nothing in the way.

The fact that even cyclists can't understand this principle is frightening me more than drivers maneuvering this way.

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FrogBucket [26 posts] 3 years ago
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I think it is a sorry state of affairs where someone needs to record in order to protect themselves. But thats another debate, for another day. I think overall he’s doing the right thing, I can only see a few issues:-

Reckless #2: He’s at fault. Having just looked at his YouTube channel at the original even he admits so. Maybe he shouldn’t have included it in.

Bus Cutting in: Having just looked at the original too, he hasn’t done very good editing but the bus has cut him up, he’s ahead of the bus. Bus should have waited. Also the weather condition don’t look too appealing.

Video compilation: He’s taken all his videos out of context, in one compilation it isn’t good. Looks messy. I had to go look at a few incidents in the original video before I knew what was happening and could appreciate it. Also, some of his wording about “reckless” is very strong.

I’m not sure I can fault him to much (except above). What he is posting is no different to the numerous other YouTube cam cyclists. But, I guess sometimes its about perspective, hindsight and experience.

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Critchio [240 posts] 3 years ago
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Stopped watching at the bus one. The cyclist in my humble opinion knew exactly what the bus was trying to do yet didn't back off, which he could have done so very easily. Buses have to stop and its easy enough to anticipate by any cyclist over the age of 16... That was just a determination to show everyone he was cut up by a bus when it was totally and easily avoidable.

I'm sure some of the clips show downright horrendous driving from motorists but I am seeing the same old thing with helmet cammers. They continue to put themselves at risk or encourage and almost will motorists to drive badly simply because they have a camera strapped to their head.

I'm not anti-head cammers, I sometimes where my own Contour when I'm out, but I never publish stuff or go hunting for bad drivers. Its just some of them are a breed apart.

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MJBarry [5 posts] 3 years ago
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To put 'the bus incident' into context, the bus stop is about 200 metres beyond a major set of lights. The bus/cycle lane is obviously on the left hand side. There is always a huge volume of traffic turning left at these lights so many buses start from the right hand lane while cyclists start from the left in the alloted box. What frequently happens is that you find buses from the right end up out of position when someone puts there hand out at the bus stop. Most wait and hold back to filter into the traffic and pull over. Some, like this guy feel the need to do the opposite and bully their way across cars and into the cyclists path. From experience the cyclist will now be stuck in a line of buses all waiting to get into that space. He would have had a bus behind and coming alongside in a dangerous manner if he had done anything but continue with the assumption that the driver had seen him as he would have been at the same set of lights.

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imcdonnell [2 posts] 3 years ago
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If the pedestrian stepping out from behind a bus into the path of the cyclist is at fault from the view point of the cyclist... then by logic the cyclist riding out from the blind side of a bus must also be at fault from the view point of the car driver that was truning right.

If we are to presume the car is at fault then a car could never turn right through a gap in stationary traffic just in case a cyclist decides to undertake a bus or similar large vehicle.

Defensive riding surely is about not putting yourself at risk and passing any large vehicle on the left is a risky thing to do.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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Critchio wrote:

the cyclist ... didn't back off, which he could have done so very easily

I find this quite worrying. Road safety shouldn't depend on courtesy. It's nice to be nice but the cyclist behaved reasonably and lawfully and the bus driver - in charge of a far more dangerous vehicle and who should had that in mind - did not.

It's nice to be nice but such gestures need to be used with care. Will a gesture be understood as intended? What if there had been another cyclist close behind - would he/she understand/comply? And you'd prefer to force the cyclist(s) into faster-moving traffic on the right?

The law exists to mediate between the competing interests of road users and just about everyone knows the rules. I'd prioritise being safe and being legal before waiving the rules in the name of being nice.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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imcdonnell wrote:

If the pedestrian stepping out from behind a bus into the path of the cyclist is at fault from the view point of the cyclist... then by logic the cyclist riding out from the blind side of a bus must also be at fault from the view point of the car driver that was truning right.

If we are to presume the car is at fault then a car could never turn right through a gap in stationary traffic just in case a cyclist decides to undertake a bus or similar large vehicle.

Defensive riding surely is about not putting yourself at risk and passing any large vehicle on the left is a risky thing to do.

Re: your first paragraph - the cyclist has right of way. They, like everyone else, should use due care and attention, of course. The pedestrian had neither right of way, nor did they exercise due care and attention.

Re: your second paragraph. Everyone is perfectly entitled to turn right through stationary traffic. The traffic *wasn't* stationary and the driver did not appear exercise due care and attention in his/her manoeuvre. I'm unclear how far you'd take your argument - what if there had been a cycle lane across that junction? Should cyclists be expected to automatically waive their rights to accommodate others bad behaviour?

I agree with your third paragraph - cyclists should be alert to these sorts of danger, of course, and this one seems to have been so to some extent - it was his/her actions that avoided collision. It doesn't mean that others' wrongdoing should be accepted though.

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dazwan [323 posts] 3 years ago
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Looking at the second bus, he was still alongside it when it pulled in. I didn't realise being passed by a bus was considered undertaking, if it is, I must undertake hundreds of cars on my commute as they whizz past at 50mph.

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Duncann [1190 posts] 3 years ago
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Are you... surely not... are you... http://is.gd/ZTZGWv ?
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