Home
Pedal on Parliament co-founder Dave Brennan contacts police after puncturing when he set off for work

A cyclist who uses video cameras to highlight instances of bad driving has had drawing pins sprinkled on his driveway in what he believes was a deliberate act, and one he describes as “pretty sinister”.

Dave Brennan, who posts videos to YouTube under the user name Magnatom and who co-founded Scotland’s annual Pedal on Parliament ride, discovered the drawing pins after he punctured when leaving home to ride to work on Wednesday morning.

Police officers visited him at his home in Glasgow to discuss the incident but have said there is little they can do other than record the incident and increase patrols in the area.

Brennan told road.cc:  “This morning I set off for work as normal. I jump on my bike on my path, and cross the main path (legal thing to do from your own home I might add!) to start cycling on the road.

“I quickly notice a clicking noise. It sounded like something stuck in the front tyre. I stop and have a look, and there is nothing there. I have a look at the rear tyre and I see a drawing pin.

“Reluctantly I pull it out and I hear the hiss of air. I cycle gingerly back to the house. I go back as I can use the track pump to re-inflate. Back on the path I start looking at the tyre.

“It's then I notice a second pin in the tyre. A few seconds later I realise that at the end of my path (only comes from my house) is a pile of carefully placed drawing pins. Nowhere else, just at the end of my path.”

He continued: “Effectively I've been deliberately targeted. Yes, I can repair the tyre fairly quickly, and drawing pins on the ground are something that happens from time to time, but not right at the end of your path.

“In fact I seriously think this was in relation to what I do either through the helmet camming or campaigning.”

He told road.cc that he is keen to highlight the incident and get it publicised since he is “pretty sure that the coward that did this is more likely to be scared off doing anything else by making a fuss about it.

“Had they been a proper hard man, they wouldn't have left drawing pins at the end of my path,” he concluded.

Footage shot by Brennan has featured in TV documentaries to highlight examples of the kind of poor driving cyclists regularly have to deal with.

It has also been used in court, with a man convicted last year of dangerous driving, breach of the peace, driving without insurance and driving without a licence after Brennan submitted footage of an incident to police.

While cyclists such as Brennan record their rides primarily for reasons of personal safety, at times riders using helmet cameras have been branded “vigilantes” by some elements of the press – including Essex resident Dave Sherry who claimed last year to have secured 60 convictions of law-breaking drivers through the footage he has shot.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

26 comments

Avatar
OldMixte [74 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Why didn't plod check pins for DNA, might be an existing criminal, but then they have better things to do no doubt.

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2492 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Hmmm. That's assuming that the perp didn't just sprinkle them out of the box without ever touching any of them.

Luckily, Dave wasn't injured, so in such a case, you'd have to wonder whether costly DNA analysis, in an outside hope you might find who was responsible, is the best use of resources given the financial pressures police are under?

Avatar
felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Simon_MacMichael wrote:

Hmmm. That's assuming that the perp didn't just sprinkle them out of the box without ever touching any of them.

From the article above,

"It's then I notice a second pin in the tyre. A few seconds later I realise that at the end of my path (only comes from my house) is a pile of carefully placed drawing pins. Nowhere else, just at the end of my path.”

Presumably the pins were all point up, not in different attitudes as shaking the box would produce.

On the one hand a forensic DNA test might seem an overeaction to a bicycle puncture, but on the other hand the perp has taken the trouble to find out where Dave Brennan lives, and to go there. This is stalking.

Avatar
bikebot [2120 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I think you'd be lucky to get enough cells for a DNA sample off of a pin even if it was placed by hand.

Avatar
kwi [294 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Blood or body fluids is what police need for DNA, a few dead skin cells just not enough.

Avatar
felixcat [486 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
bikebot wrote:

I think you'd be lucky to get enough cells for a DNA sample off of a pin even if it was placed by hand.

And kwi, "Blood or body fluids is what police need for DNA, a few dead skin cells just not enough."

Well that's a pity, but really this is irrelevant. The polis don't bother to prosecute much more concrete threats to cyclists, including to Magnatom.

I do find, though, that maybe all hope need not be lost.

" It is theoretically possible to obtain DNA from evidence such as urine, faeces and dead skin cells, though this is often classed as a poor source due to the lack of intact cells and high levels of contaminants preventing successful analysis. "

" Several types of biological evidence are commonly used in forensic science for the purpose of DNA analysis, including blood, saliva, semen, skin, urine and hair, though some are more useful than others."

http://aboutforensics.co.uk/dna-analysis/

Avatar
racyrich [287 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Time to point the helmet cam out of the bedroom window overnight

Avatar
vonhelmet [843 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

DNA off a drawing pin? Yeah, alright, CSI Glasgow.

Avatar
fukawitribe [1928 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

DNA off a drawing pin? Yeah, alright, CSI Glasgow.

..and even if they were hooded, you could always get the CCTV from the drive and zoom in on the reflection of the perpetrators face on the top of the drawing pin..

Avatar
zanf [920 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

DNA off a drawing pin? Yeah, alright, CSI Glasgow.

..and even if they were hooded, you could always get the CCTV from the drive and zoom in on the reflection of the perpetrators face on the top of the drawing pin..

//i.imgur.com/he9aSvL.gif)

Avatar
Joeinpoole [444 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

From what I've seen from his videos Dave Brennan is an aggressive, confrontational arsehole who is doing his best to create a war between cyclists and motorists. He's uploading about one video a week supposedly 'exposing' motorists who for the most part aren't doing too much wrong as far as I can see. Sure, some of the 'close passes' are less than ideal but surely little different to what most of us experience almost daily? Fortunately most of us don't go chasing after the motorist and start 'effing and jeffing' them in a shouty voice if he manages to catch up with them. It's hardly surprising that some of them react aggressively back.

It's outrageous that someone has tracked him to his house and spread drawing pins on his drive but he is at least partly culpable in provoking such law-breaking. He's made himself a lot of enemies in Glasgow and has probably hardened the attitudes of a lot of local motorists to other cyclists.

Leave the policing to the police ... not to YouTube. If he has video evidence of an offence being committed then he should report it to the police.

IMHO Dave Brennan is misguided in his actions and is actually making the roads more dangerous for us cyclists, not safer.

Avatar
fenix [637 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Get some schwalbe marathons and you should be fine.

Avatar
A V Lowe [608 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Stalking and whatever other action has been taken, has been taken by an individual, who, unless they have a very high level of training and skills will betray their involvement in conversation or other deeds, and thus be exposed. It may take time but.....

Avatar
Gkam84 [9100 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

From what I've seen from his videos Dave Brennan is an aggressive, confrontational arsehole who is doing his best to create a war between cyclists and motorists. He's uploading about one video a week supposedly 'exposing' motorists who for the most part aren't doing too much wrong as far as I can see. Sure, some of the 'close passes' are less than ideal but surely little different to what most of us experience almost daily? Fortunately most of us don't go chasing after the motorist and start 'effing and jeffing' them in a shouty voice if he manages to catch up with them. It's hardly surprising that some of them react aggressively back.

It's outrageous that someone has tracked him to his house and spread drawing pins on his drive but he is at least partly culpable in provoking such law-breaking. He's made himself a lot of enemies in Glasgow and has probably hardened the attitudes of a lot of local motorists to other cyclists.

Leave the policing to the police ... not to YouTube. If he has video evidence of an offence being committed then he should report it to the police.

IMHO Dave Brennan is misguided in his actions and is actually making the roads more dangerous for us cyclists, not safer.

 41 41 41 41

I was going to write something along those lines, I might not have put it so "nicely". plus I would just get abuse for it....from everything I have seen in his videos, he likes the attention, likes to ball, shout and moan at drivers who do the slightest thing wrong. If I'm totally honest, doing that in Glasgow, I'm surprised he's not been knocked out yet.

Avatar
Darkerside [76 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

[various gumph]...and is actually making the roads more dangerous for us cyclists, not safer.

When you've created a national campaign that has brought over 16,000 people together to the capital over the past four years and secured several £m extra funding for cycling, we'll all be delighted to listen to you atop that pedestal...

Avatar
gazza_d [470 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

From what I've seen from his videos Dave Brennan is an aggressive, confrontational arsehole who is doing his best to create a war between cyclists and motorists. He's uploading about one video a week supposedly 'exposing' motorists who for the most part aren't doing too much wrong as far as I can see. Sure, some of the 'close passes' are less than ideal but surely little different to what most of us experience almost daily? Fortunately most of us don't go chasing after the motorist and start 'effing and jeffing' them in a shouty voice if he manages to catch up with them. It's hardly surprising that some of them react aggressively back.

It's outrageous that someone has tracked him to his house and spread drawing pins on his drive but he is at least partly culpable in provoking such law-breaking. He's made himself a lot of enemies in Glasgow and has probably hardened the attitudes of a lot of local motorists to other cyclists.

Leave the policing to the police ... not to YouTube. If he has video evidence of an offence being committed then he should report it to the police.

IMHO Dave Brennan is misguided in his actions and is actually making the roads more dangerous for us cyclists, not safer.

Bullshit!

If you bother to watch any of Dave's videos, he doesn't get any more shouty than anyone else, certainly me. I've reported drivers to their company.
he reports to the police. he doesn't take the law into his own hands.

If a driver drives like a twat and is caught on camera then they should be reported and dealt with by the authorities. I don;t see how that makes the roads more dangerous, compared with the bile that the Sun printed last week, or the way Radio 4 tried to rustle up hatred recently.

And that's besides the good done by being the driving force behind Pedal on Parliament for safer cycling across Scotland.

Avatar
SRD [7 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

If this is the sort of response that other cyclists give to someone who doesn't just ignore dangerous driving, and expects laws to be enforced, then no wonder we get such crap about cyclists on twitter, in the Daily Mail etc.

Avatar
zanf [920 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
gazza_d wrote:
Joeinpoole wrote:

From what I've seen from his videos Dave Brennan is an aggressive, confrontational arsehole who is doing his best to create a war between cyclists and motorists. He's uploading about one video a week supposedly 'exposing' motorists who for the most part aren't doing too much wrong as far as I can see. Sure, some of the 'close passes' are less than ideal but surely little different to what most of us experience almost daily? Fortunately most of us don't go chasing after the motorist and start 'effing and jeffing' them in a shouty voice if he manages to catch up with them. It's hardly surprising that some of them react aggressively back.

It's outrageous that someone has tracked him to his house and spread drawing pins on his drive but he is at least partly culpable in provoking such law-breaking. He's made himself a lot of enemies in Glasgow and has probably hardened the attitudes of a lot of local motorists to other cyclists.

Leave the policing to the police ... not to YouTube. If he has video evidence of an offence being committed then he should report it to the police.

IMHO Dave Brennan is misguided in his actions and is actually making the roads more dangerous for us cyclists, not safer.

Bullshit!

If you bother to watch any of Dave's videos, he doesn't get any more shouty than anyone else, certainly me. I've reported drivers to their company.
he reports to the police. he doesn't take the law into his own hands.

Dont let that get in the way of two people who like to have a moan about others quite a lot but could have equally, if not more, disparaging things pointing out about themselves.

Avatar
magnatom [16 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Thanks for the comments guys. With regards to the drawing pins, when I say carefully placed I meant placed just outside my path and no-where else. They weren't all placed up the way. Whilst I'd love DNA and fingerprint work, I can total understand why the police wouldn't have the time and resources to do this. I did keep the drawing pins though, which will help put up posters etc in the kids rooms.  1

As for the other comments....meh!

Avatar
Glasgow Cyclist [35 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

...

but he is at least partly culpable in provoking such law-breaking....

Nice bit of victim-blaming there.

Avatar
brooksby [2295 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

Sure, some of the 'close passes' are less than ideal but surely little different to what most of us experience almost daily?

So, you are saying that most of us experience close passes (you know, the kind that are shocking and dangerous) almost daily. You do know that that is a Bad Thing, right? And that we shouldn't have to put up with it.

Me - I just shout after them, put my heart back in my chest, and then use some creative hand signals as they disappear into the distance. Mr Brennan chases them down and/or shames them on Youtube, but so what? Good on him.

Once again - we are not a community. We are not a homogeneous group. We are all individuals, and we are not responsible for the actions of someone at the other end of the country. If anyone really believes that we are, or that the actions of one bloke on a bike affect those of some other bloke on a bike a hundred miles away like some sort of two-wheeled butterfly effect, then  35 35

Avatar
Evo Lucas [24 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Joe, I think you have your Davids mixed up. Let me help you out.

David Brennan (magnatom) is the respectful gentleman commuter (aside from a POP Scotland campaigner) who uses a camera as a defensive mechanism for unduly road conduct.

David Sherry (sueperb) is a half baked nincompoop that see's himself (amongst others) as a road warrior type vigilante.

Know your camera cyclist!

Avatar
Gkam84 [9100 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
magnatom wrote:

Thanks for the comments guys. With regards to the drawing pins, when I say carefully placed I meant placed just outside my path and no-where else. They weren't all placed up the way. Whilst I'd love DNA and fingerprint work, I can total understand why the police wouldn't have the time and resources to do this. I did keep the drawing pins though, which will help put up posters etc in the kids rooms.  1

As for the other comments....meh!

If they weren't all neatly facing up, it could have been someone walking along with stationary items for work, tripped, fell and their box of pins went all over the place, not having time to pick them all up, they grabbed what they could and went on their way.

At least you are not Dave Sherry and his "Justice league of video cyclists"  19 19https://twitter.com/Sueperb2

Avatar
alansmurphy [449 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I think Magna Dave may well be calling for a fight seemingly offering the 'proper hard man' out... Wonder if the pugilism will be recorded by go pro and available on pay per view...

Avatar
magnatom [16 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

No. Road.cc edited out the next bit where I asked whomever d8d it to contact me via my website so we can chat about whatever the issue is. I'm sure road.cc could confirm that for me.

Avatar
CommotionLotion [47 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Well said sir. The last thing I need is to face aggressive behaviour from motorists because of one self-righteous vigilante. He should stay in more.