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The presenter has taken to two wheels to engage in the odd skirmish himself before now

Say what you like about Jeremy Clarkson, he knows his audience and he knows his brand. Today’s Sun column does more than just flirt with self-parody as he takes aim at cyclists.

London’s Boris Bikes are his main concern. He questions the worth of last year’s 10.3 million hires on the basis that “eagle-eyed researchers have discovered that nine of the ten most popular trips on the bikes in the past five years were around Hyde Park.”

His position therefore is that “the bikes are mainly being used by tourists who just want to pootle around looking at Mrs Queen’s swans.”

But then he broadens things out, asserting that “the only people who use bikes instead of cars are lunatics who are waging some kind of idiotic war with anyone normal.”

Odd, considering that Clarkson himself was out on his bike one day after being fired by the BBC.

He goes on to describe last week’s video of a truck driver losing it with a bunch of cyclists – one of whom had been hit after going straight on from a left-turn lane – and presents it as if it were a typical example of the kind of thing being targeted by West Midlands Police’s close-pass operation.

He describes the case of Dean Littleford, the truck driver who was baffled to become the operation’s first court conviction, and takes issue with the recommendation that drivers allow 1.5m when passing cyclists.

“So let’s just work that out,” he writes. “The bike needs to be two feet from the kerb to be safe. It is a foot wide and it needs five feet of clearance. That’s eight feet for a bicycle, which on most normal British roads leaves two feet for the car or truck to get past safely.”

You’d think after all his years of driving, Clarkson would have discovered that those broken white lines down the middle of the road aren’t actually impenetrable.

Or perhaps he’s just adopting an exaggerated and confrontational position purely for his column.

It’s worth remembering that the presenter has previously spoken effusively about the cycling-centric nature of Copenhagen and said that he would move there “in a heartbeat”.

Perhaps his position is best summed up by his assertion that in Britain “cycling is a political statement” whereas in Copenhagen “it’s just a pleasant way of getting about.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

48 comments

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Ramuz [309 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

How can I report him for encouraging reckless/dangerous driving?

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ChetManley [44 posts] 3 months ago
18 likes

Nobody with an IQ over 40 cares what Clarkson says or what's in the Sun.

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pockstone [132 posts] 3 months ago
12 likes
ChetManley wrote:

Nobody with an IQ over 40 cares what Clarkson says or what's in the Sun.

...and neither do I!

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tourdelound [169 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
ChetManley wrote:

Nobody with an IQ over 40 cares what Clarkson says or what's in the Sun.

Unfortunately that's quite a lot of people, according to the Press Gazette, The Sun, online & print, is read by 26.2 million people per month.  It gets worse though, the Daily Mail is read by by 29 million people per month. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/nrs-the-sun-moves-up-to-become-second-most...

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Petethepump [30 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes
ChetManley wrote:

Nobody with an IQ over 40 cares what Clarkson says or what's in the Sun.

I dont either. 

Clarkson's an arse. 

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Blandman [21 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Yep , Clarkson is a F^%$wit !

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
tourdelound wrote:
ChetManley wrote:

Nobody with an IQ over 40 cares what Clarkson says or what's in the Sun.

Unfortunately that's quite a lot of people, according to the Press Gazette, The Sun, online & print, is read by 26.2 million people per month.  It gets worse though, the Daily Mail is read by by 29 million people per month. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/nrs-the-sun-moves-up-to-become-second-most...

Does this include those who just look at the pictures?

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hawkinspeter [945 posts] 3 months ago
9 likes

I actually enjoy his brand of humour. The only problem is when people mistake his rhetoric for sincerety.

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Yorkshire wallet [1426 posts] 3 months ago
12 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I actually enjoy his brand of humour. The only problem is when people mistake his rhetoric for sincerety.

Well exactly. The guy was trolling for decades before trolling even became 'a thing', he knows exactly what buttons he's pressing.

The rules of satire make for great fun - take Alf Garnett for example. All the 'clever' people who get that the joke is on him as he's a bigot, are happy. All the people who take it as they see are happy as their bigot views are confirmed by someone else. EVERYONE'S A WINNER! Clarkson is a master of the game and a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE.

 

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Lincolnshire Mamil [5 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
Ramuz wrote:

How can I report him for encouraging reckless/dangerous driving?

Don't worry. He'll expedite his own eventual demise via his excessive consumption of Marlboros. 

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handlebarcam [1043 posts] 3 months ago
12 likes

Another public-school-educated member of the 1% who claims to speak for the "normal" silent majority despite not having had to work a nine-to-five job for decades, if ever. People like him and Nigel Farage represent everything that is sick and wrong in the British psyche. And yet, like Toad of Toad Hall, people love them. Ha ha ha, he said something rude about a group to which I don't belong, making me feel a bigger man by comparison, give him a knighthood. Pathetic.

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mike the bike [955 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

 

Into his fifties, career on the wane, pulling power diminishing in proportion to his weight; I'd be looking for cheap shots too.

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Stumps [3496 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

He's brilliant, love him to bits. The simple answer to all those who don't like him, don't watch or read about him because regardless of your views on him he ain't going to change.

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srchar [654 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

I think he's funny. I don't agree with him, but he does make me laugh. As Stewart Lee says, he holds his views weekly, in the Sun, for money. That millions of people are unable to see that and follow the cult-of-Clarkson says more about them than him.

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FrankH [57 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

I actually enjoy his brand of humour. The only problem is when people mistake his rhetoric for sincerety.

Well exactly. The guy was trolling for decades before trolling even became 'a thing', he knows exactly what buttons he's pressing.

And after all this time, people STILL don't realise when their buttons are being pressed.

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ConcordeCX [431 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
FrankH wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

I actually enjoy his brand of humour. The only problem is when people mistake his rhetoric for sincerety.

Well exactly. The guy was trolling for decades before trolling even became 'a thing', he knows exactly what buttons he's pressing.

And after all this time, people STILL don't realise when their buttons are being pressed.

they're all finite-state automata. They don't even know they have buttons.

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jasecd [473 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

He is ideally suited to writing in the Sun - spewing his effluent into a stinking shit filled creek makes perfect sense.

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BehindTheBikesheds [714 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes
Ramuz wrote:

How can I report him for encouraging reckless/dangerous driving?

Won't work, you can get two or three years in jail for hate crimes but anything against people on bikes even threats to kill that are in the public domain, the police aren't interested.

Two tier justice system and people on bikes are bottom of the pile by a LONG way.

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burtthebike [1110 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

There are two possibilities: either the Sun have threatened to drop him unless he gets more clicks, or he's got a new book coming out.

Either way, he's an arrogant, pathetic producer puncher.

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davel [1680 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

I actually enjoy his brand of humour. The only problem is when people mistake his rhetoric for sincerety.

Well exactly. The guy was trolling for decades before trolling even became 'a thing', he knows exactly what buttons he's pressing.

The rules of satire make for great fun - take Alf Garnett for example. All the 'clever' people who get that the joke is on him as he's a bigot, are happy. All the people who take it as they see are happy as their bigot views are confirmed by someone else. EVERYONE'S A WINNER! Clarkson is a master of the game and a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE.

 

Agree to an extent, but...

The joke ultimately isn't on him, or Alf Garnett, is it?

Much as 'darkies' and 'Scouse gits' will have had much stronger, yet valid, responses than admiring the satire, Clarkson can be held to account for playing to the cheap seats.

Next time I'm punishment-passed for just being on the road and there's a split second when I wonder whether my kids are about to lose their dad, I'm sure I'll be forgiven for seeing the irresponsible prick making a mint out of rabble-rousing, as opposed to the master satirist passing comment on cultural issues.

(plus, as burt mentions, the whole producer-punching thing did make him out to be a diva who takes himself just a tad too seriously, rather than the self-deprecating wit that I'm sure he'd rather we saw him as)

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atgni [432 posts] 3 months ago
10 likes

“So let’s just work that out,” he writes. “The bike needs to be two feet from the kerb to be safe. It is a foot wide and it needs five feet of clearance. That’s eight feet for a bicycle, which on most normal British roads leaves two feet for the car or truck to get past safely.”

Isn't that the point? You can't squeeze past a person on a bike; you have to overtake using the other lane. As a car or truck is wider than 2 foot.

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Boss Hogg [107 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
handlebarcam wrote:

Another public-school-educated member of the 1% who claims to speak for the "normal" silent majority despite not having had to work a nine-to-five job for decades, if ever. People like him and Nigel Farage represent everything that is sick and wrong in the British psyche. And yet, like Toad of Toad Hall, people love them. Ha ha ha, he said something rude about a group to which I don't belong, making me feel a bigger man by comparison, give him a knighthood. Pathetic.

Well said!

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Critchio [230 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

I'm a petrol head like JC, I'm also a motorcyclist and a cycling enthusiast, I love anything with wheels. JC is just a whiffy leftover from an age long gone, and well, he's a big nobhead too. Nothing he says can be taken with any credibility or seriously.

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velodinho [104 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Clarkson. LOL. It's just noise.

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dreadcast [4 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I remember yet another Top Gear episode whose goal was to determine once for all which car was the best. All time. 

Two finalists were Ford Transit and a typical Japanese Honda bike because both contributed to let people just get the stuff to one's door. In other words, the best car is the one you don't have. 

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SteppenHerring [342 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Obligatory link to Stewart Lee on Top Gear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7CnMQ4L9Pc

 

But yes, his outrageous polically incorrect opinions that he has every week to a deadline ...

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brooksby [2578 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

I've tried so hard not to post a comment on here... Look: Clarkson is paid a lot of money to express and to create outrage on a given subject , with the sole aim of creating clicks and making money. He doesn't need to actually believe what he's writing, and I doubt anyone (even he, by now) knows what his real opinion is.  Like Katie Hopkins in dad jeans.

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don simon [1309 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

What would Matt LeBlanc say?

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rliu [112 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Infuriating stuff to read but the optimist in me says maybe it's better we have idiotic pieces like this for the penis-size issue drivers out there to vent, rather than them take their pent up aggression out on a real life unsuspecting cyclist. 

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pockstone [132 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes
brooksby wrote:

I've tried so hard not to post a comment on here... Look: Clarkson is paid a lot of money to express and to create outrage on a given subject , with the sole aim of creating clicks and making money. He doesn't need to actually believe what he's writing, and I doubt anyone (even he, by now) knows what his real opinion is.  Like Katie Hopkins in dad jeans.

All well and good if he bashes it out on his Amstrad in the privacy of his smelly bedsit, and then tears it up and cries himself to sleep because nobody is listening, but he (and Katie Hopkins et al) know full well that thousands of impressionable people do read them and then let those nasty ramblings inform their opinions and actions.

Next time some entitled fucker close passes you, or throws a Coke bottle of piss at you, or beeps their horn aggressively at you just for having the temerity to check over your shoulder at the traffic lights (other car based acts of intimidation are available..), ask yourself ; where does all this aggression come from and who is perpetuating it?

Jeremy and Katie might  just be making an honest living, but I manage to house and feed a family without being an utter c..t. Why can't they?

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