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Rider has resorted to being followed and videoed by his wife due to abuse on the roads

A recumbent rider in South Derbyshire has been singled out for abuse by a councillor and other attendees at a Safer Neighbourhood meeting - because he 'might kill someone'.

The mystery cyclist, who rides around the Repton area, often followed and videoed by his wife in a van for his own protection, was the subject of animated discussion.

Michael Stanton, who represents Repton on South Derbyshire District Council, said that the cyclist got in his path as he attempted to leave the driveway of his home in his pickup truck.

According to the Burton News, he said to uproarious laughter: “I was about to pull out when I noticed this wire going past the bonnet with a pennant on it, then I saw this fellow go past lying on his back in a cylindrical type object.

“If it had been one second later I would have killed him. If he gets killed it probably serves him right, but the problem is, he may end up killing or injuring someone else.”

After the meeting he added that the cyclist would be "better off going to Dignitas" — the Swiss clinic which carries out assisted suicide.

One man who attended the council meeting but did not want to be named, said: “We see a lot of cyclists on the road and it’s not a problem because we keep out of their way and they keep out of ours, but we just can’t see this guy. He’s out of control.”

According to the paper, this man "said the same cyclist had recently collided with the back of his tractor and was now claiming £9,000 compensation as he had to import replacement parts from Australia," although it's not clear from his description who was at fault.

Police Sergeant Steve Todd, safer neighbourhood officer for the area, told the meeting: “If we have evidence of offences we could act, but just cycling down the road on that vehicle is perfectly legal.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

64 comments

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 3 years ago
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Recumbents are the cycles of Satan's minions, ridden by inhuman fiends - they've already sold their souls anyway.  19

Seriously though, the comments are stupid yes, but it sounds like this guy is asking for trouble.

His wife follows him in a van and videos him ? So he's out looking for an argument by the sounds of it.

Sadly quite a few cyclists have a self-righteous streak, which cameras have only encouraged.

Many people posting video and stories about their frequent conflicts with cars seem to have a lot more trouble than the average cyclist. They insist on total enforcement of every right on the road, rather than acting sensibly and compromising in the way 95% of road users do.

It's by no means exclusive - like that guy in the video from Portland (I think it was linked here once). Driving behind cyclists at 15mph constantly blowing his horn even though he can overtake on a clear road. But that would mean putting one wheel on a double line so he wants them to pull over and stop.

Or there was a single guy who blocked a shared-use cycle path through the common near my home for years, I believe because of some bylaw he claimed would make it a right of way and allow the council to turn it into a road.

There are pricks everywhere and we should recognise them in all forms - cyclists, drivers, walkers. They don't deserve to die but if they get people's backs up we shouldn't defend them through some tribal loyalty.

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Sudor [186 posts] 3 years ago
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So, If the prat Stanton's neighbours' toddler on his trike gets crushed to death by him as he leaves his drive the toddler would be to blame?

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fatbeggaronabike [815 posts] 3 years ago
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 102

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ratherbeintobago [29 posts] 3 years ago
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abudhabichris has hit the nail on the head on this one. While some of the comments made by the Councillor aren't acceptable, it does sound like this chap is going round looking for trouble.

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 3 years ago
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“I was about to pull out when I noticed this wire going past the bonnet with a pennant on it" From the description the rider was in front of the car and the driver never looked right before setting off at the junction of the drive and road. Sounds like an admission of dangerous driving to me.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow, some "great" comments already. I sometimes ride my recumbent's and prefer it to my uprights, they are no more or less dangerous than a normal bike.

I would argue that because of their unusual shape and position, they draw more attention and therefore are seen clearer by other road users, especially when, like my other recumbent riders, I have mine decked out like a Christmas tree.

I'm off to stir it up with other recumbent riders and see if 1, we can find out who the rider is and 2, get this twats head on a plate (well my just his resignation)  14

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STATO [502 posts] 3 years ago
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He had his wife follow him and film him? well according to the witness statements he does, no comment from the rider I note! Is that confrontational, perhaps he was just going on a ride and wanted a shot of him riding his new bike?

I note the usual criticisms about cyclists are suspiciously missing...

Been abusive? nope.
Assaulted another road user? nope.
Ridden in a dangerous manner? nope.
Ran red lights? nope.
Ridden on the pavement and knocked over a granny? nope.

Sounds like they are struggling to find a reason to hate him...

Ok so he has had an altercation with a tractor, plenty of stories on here are about people getting knocked off so hardly worthy of note. Basically this is all about him being a 'menace' purely because of his choice of bike, he rides a recumbent... lots of people do, hardly a crime.

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antonio [1124 posts] 3 years ago
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"better off going to Dignitas" . This quote appealed instantly to the black side of my humour, could be a great one liner in the series 'the thick of it' equally applies to the kid in the car with go faster stripes and clapped out engine and the motor cyclist doing wheelies while weaving in and out of traffic. However coming from a councillor at a meeting discussing general safety shows a lack of community respect.

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nbrus [293 posts] 3 years ago
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If your not easily visible to other road users, then that could be regarded as unsafe. The Sinclair C5 (back in the day) got panned as being 'unsafe' due to its low profile, and recumbent's are no different. I wouldn't ride one...  39

Gkam84 wrote:

...I would argue that because of their unusual shape and position, they draw more attention and therefore are seen clearer by other road users...

Are you for real?  13

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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nbrus wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:

...I would argue that because of their unusual shape and position, they draw more attention and therefore are seen clearer by other road users...

Are you for real?  13

Yes I'm serious, are you blind?

Of course they are clearer to other road users, everyone is used to normal cyclist on the road, its alot rarer to see a recumbent and drivers seem to take more caution as they pass. There is always the idiot driver, but for the most part I am alot safer on my recumbent over my upright.

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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I once read 'There are two sides to every story and then there's the truth' which I think we need to bear in mind here. The idiot councillor said the sort of thing an overweight, 71 year old pick up driver would say. The comments about the collision with the tractor are hearsay.

If you read any bent riders' forum there are lots of comments on how they are noticed because they are so low and most say that motorists give them more room on the road than upright bikes.

I would like to hear the recumbent rider's side of things before jumping to any conclusions. However, if the old fart can't see a recumbent, can he see a person in a wheelchair or a baby in a pushchair? As has been commented, a look to the left and right before emerging from his drive might be helpful.

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stevenshand [5 posts] 3 years ago
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"I was about to pull out when I noticed this wire going past the bonnet with a pennant on it, then I saw this fellow go past. If it had been one second later I would have killed him."

Is that not the point? He did see it. Because the bent rider had taken the appropriate measures to help with his visibility.

compare with:

"I was about to pull out when I noticed a man pushing a pram with small baby in it. If it had been one second later I would have killed them both."

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

Or there was a single guy who blocked a shared-use cycle path through the common near my home for years, I believe because of some bylaw he claimed would make it a right of way and allow the council to turn it into a road.

I think I know who you mean. Tooting Common?

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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As the copper says in the story, riding a recumbent is perfectly legal. Driving out of a side road or drive without looking properly is not.

Whether this recumbent rider is "looking for trouble" I don't know. His wife could be making a film (assuming the reports of her following him around filming are true).

Either way, he's within his rights to ride a bicycle on the roads, of any description.

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

= its alot rarer to see a recumbent and drivers seem to take more caution as they pass.=

Recumbent owners I know would second this. The WFT?? factor when a driver sees a recumbent is considerable.

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STATO [502 posts] 3 years ago
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JohnS wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:

= its alot rarer to see a recumbent and drivers seem to take more caution as they pass.=

Recumbent owners I know would second this. The WFT?? factor when a driver sees a recumbent is considerable.

I dont think anyone is disputing the WTF factor, more that as you are lower to the ground it could be possible to be 'lost' behind the bonnet of another car or whatever, the potential is higher to be 'missed' by inattentive drivers (of course if drivers are inattentive then prob dosnt matter what your riding they will still act like idiots) but there ARE some (admitedly few) additional risks from a recumbent. If you see this as massively outweighed by the general getting more space and more consideration the other 99.9% of the time then maybe overal you are better off, never riden one so cant comment from that perspective.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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Mostly what abudhabichris said up there.

But just to add my own noise to the chatter, I must admit i get terrified when I see recumbents in London. Pennant or not, if you're a car behind the bike you just can't see it. This has got to make it dangerous for cars passing through no fault of their own.

And fuck it, I'm really gonna play devil's advocate for a moment here - why would you ride a recumbent? It's more dangerous from a visibility point of view, it's slower for anything except on the flat in a straight line, and people assume you're a neck beard so treat you with utter contempt.
And this is coming from someone whose ideal number of bikes is n+85.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 3 years ago
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@ JohnS Yes, Tooting Common.

Even after it was put in the guy would walk along it with his dogs on long leads and refuse to do anything to allow cyclists to pass.

Because apparently that was his right as well.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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bashthebox wrote:

it's slower for anything except on the flat in a straight line

I'd love to challenge you to a race. The only part I lose any time to an upright is going up a steep climb where they can get out of the seat, but that is more than made up for by my flat and downhill speed. I can corner MUCH faster than any upright apart from maybe the pro's as my centre of gravity is very low and I have no worries about coming off.

For the folks who are saying being on a recumbent and cars not seeing you.....Here is an example of the exact thing on an upright

http://youtu.be/RU3I0tVtv7M

No-one can see everything all of the time. But in general, recumbent gets me more respect from drivers as they are wary to what they are passing, interested as to what it is and also, sometimes I am overtaking them  3

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AWPeleton [3331 posts] 3 years ago
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Depending on how his driveway ended makes all the difference if you ask me.

My brothers driveway ends at the roadside with no pavements. The previous property owners had large shrubs planted along the front and until you very slowly pull out you cant see whats coming. Not dangerous driving by any means.

He will be cutting the bushes down lower to make viewing easier but it shows you cant just assume its a driveway, pavement then road set up can you  39

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 3 years ago
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@Gkam84

Yeah, walking down the street with a tinfoil helmet while talking loudly to invisible aliens will get you a lot more room as well.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

@Gkam84

Yeah, walking down the street with a tinfoil helmet while talking loudly to invisible aliens will get you a lot more room as well.

 19 19 Exactly the same, you do stand out a mile and people are wary of you. I don't mind what people think. I ride upright most of the time, but because of past injuries, certain times I struggle, so jump on the recumbent's. In a few years, I dare say it might be recumbent's only or knee surgery  20

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felixcat [472 posts] 3 years ago
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Some contributors here seem to think drivers can't see things close to the ground. The Highwaymen don't agree. They paint lane division lines on the road, and label these lanes with the names of directions or destinations. They put stop lines across the road and expect drivers to stop in the right place. They bury cats' eyes in the tarmac.
All these things are a lot lower than a recumbent. My head on my recumbent is at much the same height as the head of the driver of an open top sports car. I use the usual road position safety strategies as I do on my uprights, and find I have no more problems than I do on them. There is a problem when emerging from behind a car, this is the same problem as a standard bike emerging from behind a larger vehicle, and it is quite straightforward to allow for.Some non-cyclists are horrified at the danger of riding any sort of bike on the road. All reading this must know that whilst there is danger, it is more apparent than real.

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

@ JohnS Yes, Tooting Common.

Even after it was put in the guy would walk along it with his dogs on long leads and refuse to do anything to allow cyclists to pass.

Because apparently that was his right as well.

His final trick was whipping out a flexible steel tape measure and prodding it towards your spokes, allegedly in an attempt to demonstrate there wasn't room for both peds and bikes on the path.

He also once grabbed the bars of a small female cycling friend of mine and harangued her. This was not at all funny.

Shortly after that he disappeared and I haven't seen him there for about five years.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 3 years ago
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We really need to sort out 'like' buttons for comments… I'm with felixcat all the way on this one

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mattsccm [330 posts] 3 years ago
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'bents are more noticed when they can be seen. Sadly this isn't the case always. It's the one thing that has stopped me so far from having one. Its the same as missing the Ferrari because they are hidden between 2 transits. It happens. the various commentators at the council etc do seem especially daft though.

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Simon E [2727 posts] 3 years ago
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felixcat has made an important point. Does this idiot councillor not look for potholes, kerbs, road signs and markings either? Is he saying he reverses out of his driveway without due care and attention? If the cyclist was "in his path" then I would suggest that the cyclist had right of way.

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Viro Indovina [81 posts] 3 years ago
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I think the photo above the article should possibly be of a capsule bike or velo-car from Councillor Stanton's description.

Even if he was riding a giant dildo, that's an unfortunate attitude from a public official, and not very clever considering he has clearly admitted to not checking his mirrors or blind spot before pulling out.

I have to chuckle at the haters because recumbents were world beaters from the beginning. I think the UCI's ban in the 1930s has more to do with the problems of mixing frame sizes in the peloton than an admission these machines are inferior.

I've owned a few, and have never pushed such big rings. Their speed and handling is as good as if not better than "normal" cycles. Sure they make you look a bit freakish. But any one who has ever waddled into a country pub wearing a nappy-assed lycra body stocking ought to be used to a few sniggers. It's worth it.

In future, plenty of aging cyclists will endure the "indignities" of riding bent if they want to keep riding long distances without pain. Hopefully some of them will live in South Derbyshire.

I think this man and his wife are owed an apology from Mr. Stanton, whose bullying rhetoric and fear mongering is shameful behavior, and unacceptable considering the abysmal relations between motorists and ALL cyclists.

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trevorparsons [17 posts] 3 years ago
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The anonymous tractor driver will easily be able to dismiss the supposed £9000 claim from the mystery cyclist if, as implied, the latter rode into the back of his vehicle. I wonder if that's what actually happened... if indeed anything happened at all.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Viro Indovina wrote:

I think the photo above the article should possibly be of a capsule bike or velo-car from Councillor Stanton's description.

Even if he was riding a giant dildo

A velomobile something like this, has in the past been described as a giant dildo.

It also happens to be my winter project, building one of these but slightly different  3http://youtu.be/cE3KLphD73c

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