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"I apologise for my ludicrous comments"...

Daisy Abela, the driver at the centre of a twitter storm over the weekend after she claimed to have ‘purposely knocked off a cyclist’ apologised on Twitter this morning.

Ms Abela has changed the username of her primary account, which remains protected, and apologised via an account that shares the username from which she posted about driving into a cyclist and still being drunk.

Here are Ms Abela’s tweets. We’ve edited only misspellings and minor punctuation.

“I would like to start off firstly by apologising for any offence I may have caused other cyclists with my tweets on Saturday.

“I did not intend to upset anybody. Truth is I was joking with a friend, I thought it was a conversation between two people...

“Not one that would be broadcast to the rest of the world and cause such uproar.

“I understand and accept that my tweets sound incriminating and when reading them back sound frankly disgraceful

“But in fact they have been largely exaggerated and blown out of proportion. This incident was NOT a drunken hit and run.

“This was investigated by the Metropolitan Police and has been resolved. But for peace of mind I'd like to explain myself...

“On Saturday morning at around 9am I was driving behind a group of cyclists riding 3 abreast when I attempted to overtake at a clear point.

“As I did so, a fourth cyclist also tried to get ahead of the others leading to a near collision.

“I then shouted out of my open window "you're going to cause a crash riding like that" to which I received angry shrieks of abuse.

“I continued driving at around 10mph (approaching traffic) when the said cyclist caught up with me. He began hammering on my roof...

“And spitting at me as he shouted through my window "what's your fucking problem with cyclists?"

“I do not have a problem with cyclists, my issue was with the dangerous way he was cycling. We exchanged words whilst near enough stationary.

“Then there was a brief collision in which nobody was hurt. Not a "hit and run". This could equally have been caused by him cycling into me.

“Nobody was injured during the incident, there was no impact on the cyclist as he continued to scream abuse as he rode off!

“I did not lose a wing mirror it was merely pushed in. I appreciate how my tweet may have been misinterpreted.

“I strongly deny the allegations of drink driving seeing as the incident happened at 9am in the morning I was certainly not drunk.

“My tweet was referring to my silly behaviour the night before - a joke with my friend. I was NOT drunk at the time of the incident.

“My comments were terribly exaggerated and made in anger after being physically and verbally attacked by the cyclist.

“I should not have generalised all cyclists in such a way and once again I apologise for doing so and for my ludicrous comments. Thank you.”

At the time of writing, we’re waiting for a response from the Metropolitan Police to our questions about this incident. Ms Abela says she spoke to officers from Bromley police, but that is not yet corroborated.

If anyone knows the riders involved in this incident, please get in touch with the other side of the story.

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.

47 comments

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md6 [181 posts] 4 years ago
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firstly 9am doesn't mean she wasn't drunk - it is very possible (and happens alot) that people are still drunk from the night before - as implied with her 'definately still drunk' tweet. I have to question how she can expect credibitlity now the old 'i was lying before but I'm not now honest' approach just doesn't hold water. The tweets havent been exaggerated - they have been read as she wrote them. Sounds to me like someone has pointed out that another f**kwit made some similar comments on twitter and is in the process of legal action, damage limitation perchance?

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Michael Healey [7 posts] 4 years ago
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I suppose there's always two sides to every story. The rider/riders need to come forward with their side of the story. It does make you wonder why they haven't as yet.

I do know that with the rise in popularity of cycling, the number of idiots riding bikes has also increased. Riding two/three abreast on narrow roads whilst ignoring traffic conditions is not on. A small minority are giving us all a bad name.

Show the same amount of respect to other road users as you would like to be shown yourself.

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pepita1 [176 posts] 4 years ago
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Once again, another idiot behind the wheel of "two tons of steel". If she wanted to apologise she should've stopped at “I would like to start off firstly by apologising for any offence I may have caused other cyclists with my tweets on Saturday.

“I did not intend to upset anybody."

The statements that follow only negate the apology.

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notfastenough [3727 posts] 4 years ago
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Without the cyclists coming forward this is all just nonsense spouted by a fool.

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zanf [960 posts] 4 years ago
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Michael Healey wrote:

A small minority are giving us all a bad name.

Seriously, fuck off with that collective responsibility bullshit. Its ignorant and does nothing to assert individual responsibility.

Her actions do not tarnish every other car driver so don't give it that crap that riding a bike somehow makes us automatically part of a collective.

I am only obligated to take responsibility my actions, no-one elses. Just as you are not responsible for mine.

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swelbo [33 posts] 4 years ago
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Not another rehearsed apology. They just make the driver look like even more of an idiot. She has described the cyclist as public enemy number one while she is a well versed super-aware-driver who did everything by the books.

Bull. Sh*t.

Does she think everybody was born yesterday..

Both parties were probably being stupid.

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qwerky [183 posts] 4 years ago
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zanf wrote:

don't give it that crap that riding a bike somehow makes us automatically part of a collective.

It depends on your point of view. From your perspective you may not feel part of a bicycling collective but others may not share your point of view. I can assure you that there are quite a number of people who do see you as part of the collective. Depending on who you talk to you may well be a red light jumping, tax dodging, pavement riding lycra lout; despite them not knowing the slightest thing about you other than you regularly ride a bicycle.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 4 years ago
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It's a clear overtake point but so clear that it requires 10 mph because of traffic?

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jasecd [473 posts] 4 years ago
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zanf wrote:
Michael Healey wrote:

A small minority are giving us all a bad name.

Seriously, fuck off with that collective responsibility bullshit. Its ignorant and does nothing to assert individual responsibility.

Her actions do not tarnish every other car driver so don't give it that crap that riding a bike somehow makes us automatically part of a collective.

I am only obligated to take responsibility my actions, no-one elses. Just as you are not responsible for mine.

A pretty aggressive and unnecessary tone.

As cycling is growing and becoming more visible, non-cyclists can and do see cyclists as a homogenous group, much like horse-riders or motorcyclists - it's only really motorists or pedestrians who aren't grouped together as they are such large majorities.

This is incorrect and I am no more responsible for other cyclists as I am motorists when driving. However, this perception remains for non-cyclists and those who break the rules of the road or ride aggressively do tarnish us all - it might not be right but it is the case.

Accordingly there is an element of collective responsibility, although I would agree that individual responsibility is far more important. I love cycling in it's many guises and as such I would be disappointed if my actions were to be seen to damage cycling.

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vasgko2 [23 posts] 4 years ago
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From stupid to sophisticated in just 3 days...
I bet that half of the words in her statement are actually unknown to her vocabulary. Nice job Mr Lawyer...

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

It's a clear overtake point but so clear that it requires 10 mph because of traffic?

read the comment better, i personnally have overtaken a cyclist at 60 only to be caught shortly afterwards at traffic lights. you can overtake on a clear road and still be caught a few minutes later.

As an aside, i was overtaken a month or two back by a white beemer, driver beeped at me, i saw red caught him at traffic lights and went off on one. His point was that there was plenty of room to get past and i should have been closer to the gutter, my point was the road surface was crap and he should read the highway code as there wasn't plenty of room.

Plenty of drivers don't realise their actions are dangerous. They think they are giving enough room, think about this, how many drivers are actually taught how to drive around cyclists? I know what the highway code says, but people are people,you learn by seeing what others do, you see other people overtake closely and assume it is an acceptable thing to do.

Was she guilty or not? i would wait on the cyclist to come forward. My feeling is that she gave what she THOUGHT was enough room and misjudged the fourth cyclists position.

Hopefully she has learnt a few lessons and won't be so stupid in future.

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Colin Peyresourde [1819 posts] 4 years ago
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I agree, we should wait for the offended cyclist to come forward for balance.

As much as I dislike cars coming too close, I also dislike it when cyclists show no regard for fellow road users and hog a road (like riding three abreast). It's the sort of attitude that seems abundant at sportive scene these days - as if paying your entrance fee means you command the road for the day - just the sort of attitude that will get sportives banned (action and consequence).

Her tweets were silly, but that is not a crime in itself.

I like the individuality of cycling, but I also realise, that like other people in a community, that my actions have a bearing on others. If I want people to respect the rules of the road I should too. We are all role models of a sort - so saying that one persons actions do not have a bearing is pretty silly in my book. Demonising this woman without the full facts does not make you a hero, and only serves to create the idea that cyclists are a law unto themselves. We should let the police do their job and if a cyclist has been knocked over then let him come forward with his story.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 4 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

It's a clear overtake point but so clear that it requires 10 mph because of traffic?

read the comment better, i personnally have overtaken a cyclist at 60 only to be caught shortly afterwards at traffic lights. you can overtake on a clear road and still be caught a few minutes later.

.

Yes. But that means reading the comment differently or, if you want better, with the benefit of the doubt.

Your example is pretty much one of the most common occurences on the road. Drivers fail to look through cyclists to see what is ahead. The overtake may be safe, but is it pointless?

It's interesting how many times motorists claim that a particular cyclist has held them up "several times."

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

Yes. But that means reading the comment differently or, if you want better, with the benefit of the doubt.

Your example is pretty much one of the most common occurences on the road. Drivers fail to look through cyclists to see what is ahead. The overtake may be safe, but is it pointless?

Who is to say the overtake is pointless, we don't know enough detail to say one way or other why was there a queue of traffic, how far ahead etc. I should also point out if you don't make the overtake in a driving test you may well fail as your not making progress.

also the detail of aggression from other drivers if you drive in a way they deem to be holding them up.

There are far too many ****s on the road, in cars, on bikes, on foot.

And yes i am giving the benefit of the doubt, she screwed up, she knows that, she isn't going to loose her licence unless the cyclist comes forward. I would rather she understands what the problem is, what she did wrong, and doesn't repeat it rather than seeing all cyclists as a bunch of self righteous *******s.

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sim1515 [142 posts] 4 years ago
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I think the point about collective responsibility being crap is valid, people may perceive cyclists as a group and treat us all the same due to their experiences with others but this is their problem, not cyclists. It's their view which is wrong and smacks of the same kind of discrimination we no longer stand for when judging people on race or gender. I don't hold all drivers responsible for the actions of idiots that cut me up, just as I wouldn't hate someone of a certain appearance just 'cos one attacked me once.

People can talk about the idiot they saw doing this or that but there are idiots in cars, on bikes etc, lets judge and condemn them regardless of their mode of transport. If people had that view, that everyone was responsible for their own actions, I think there would be far less hatred on the roads.

We could then try and get the idiots to act better and it'd be safer too.

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sim1515 [142 posts] 4 years ago
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Also, on the pointless overtake, I often point this out to drivers if I think it's the case. My view is that if they overtake when they can see queuing traffic or a red light and I can catch them up in the queue, it's pointless. They have not made any 'progress' if I've managed to filter past them again therefore they have performed a pointless manoeuvre and potentially put my life at risk for nothing. It's worth pointing out if you can as people genuinely don't know or have a very warped perception of how much time they'll save by overtaking cyclists.

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spen [193 posts] 4 years ago
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At 10mph she wouldn't have dropped me let alone someone on a club run

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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spen wrote:

At 10mph she wouldn't have dropped me let alone someone on a club run

Which is why i think she overtook at a more normal speed and then slowed approaching traffic.

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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sim1515 wrote:

Also, on the pointless overtake, I often point this out to drivers if I think it's the case. My view is that if they overtake when they can see queuing traffic or a red light and I can catch them up in the queue, it's pointless.

Agreed, but if your approaching a green light and overtake, but the light turns to red before you get there, was it a pointless overtake? I have ridden the 10miles between Cheltenham and Gloucester and taken just as long as a car to drive. I went faster in town and slower between towns. if the car had stuck behind me the whole way i would have gotten a tad paranoid!

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 4 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
spen wrote:

At 10mph she wouldn't have dropped me let alone someone on a club run

Which is why i think she overtook at a more normal speed and then slowed approaching traffic.

I thought we didn't have enough detail a moment ago?

Also:

“On Saturday morning at around 9am I was driving behind a group of cyclists riding 3 abreast when I attempted to overtake at a clear point.

“As I did so, a fourth cyclist also tried to get ahead of the others leading to a near collision."

Where does the 4th come from? Is the 4th behind the 3? And her behind the 4th? Is the 4th legitimately overtaking the 3 only for a car to try to overtake the lot?

We don't have enough detail. But the lack of detail is, of itself, worthy of comment.

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:
mrmo wrote:
spen wrote:

At 10mph she wouldn't have dropped me let alone someone on a club run

Which is why i think she overtook at a more normal speed and then slowed approaching traffic.

I thought we didn't have enough detail a moment ago?

we don't, it is called interpretation of what is stated, won't find many groups of cyclists traveling as slowly as 10mph to be overtaken.

Quote:

“On Saturday morning at around 9am I was driving behind a group of cyclists riding 3 abreast when I attempted to overtake at a clear point.

“As I did so, a fourth cyclist also tried to get ahead of the others leading to a near collision."

Where does the 4th come from? Is the 4th behind the 3? And her behind the 4th? Is the 4th legitimately overtaking the 3 only for a car to try to overtake the lot?

We don't have enough detail. But the lack of detail is, of itself, worthy of comment.

Agreed, lack of awareness, not giving enough room in the overtaking manoeuvre, but then again why were the cyclist riding three/four abreast in traffic? why did the cyclist "supposedly" spit at her through the open car window. Was the fourth cyclist paying attention to the overtaking car? Lots of things are missing, particularly the cyclists.

I don't think anyone is coming out of this well to be honest, and i don't believe the cyclist will come forward, i hope they do, and can give their side of the story.

As i said before i believe she is a stupid little girl with ALOT of growing up todo. I also don't think a public witch hunt actually helps cyclists. It doesn't matter whether any cyclist thinks cyclists are or are not a group, enough of the population at large regards cyclists as a group.

Think Critical Mass, it might be a nice idea, but is it really doing cyclists any favours annoying car drivers when most people are car drivers?

All i want to be able to do is ride my bike and not worry about stupid prats on the road. I would rather crap drivers are re-educated/punished as appropriate. Than some twitter witch hunt.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 4 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

we don't, it is called interpretation of what is stated, won't find many groups of cyclists traveling as slowly as 10mph to be overtaken.

[.

I think you're misinterpreting my interpretation. At no point did I claim that she was doing 10 mph all the time. The point is that immediately afterwards she had to drop to that speed because of traffic. Suggesting that it was, as usual, that type of pointless manoeuvre. That's my interpretation of it. A failure to look, ascertain what's ahead and consider whether there's a point to it.

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alronald [58 posts] 4 years ago
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Sounds like she's taken advice from Ms Way's brief

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

The point is that immediately afterwards she had to drop to that speed because of traffic.

I think this is the bit where we differ, not sure it was immediately after, no hint given. I have chased after a car for a mile before when a tad annoyed!!!! Purely so i could get the cars number plate to pass to the police....

Anyway i am out,

We only have her side of the story, which to be honest i can believe. I would want to hear the other side before lynching her.

Crap driver, young, stupid, boastful, etc etc. yes, deliberately trying to kill someone, i don't think so.

Think what the lease company would say when she handed back her mini if it had a cyclist shaped dent in the bonnet. And how would she explain it to her mum?

very finally

i hate to link to the daily mail, but the comments are educational about some people. It is these people who scarely seem to dominate public opinion!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2384794/I-purposely-run-LOL-Poli...

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moonbucket [63 posts] 4 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

All i want to be able to do is ride my bike and not worry about stupid prats on the road. I would rather crap drivers are re-educated/punished as appropriate. Than some twitter witch hunt.

I agree to the extent that sending abuse to this silly girl only loses the cycling community it's moral high ground and fuels the anti-cyclist mob.

But I very much doubt this young lady will be re-educated or punished further than a small chat with a car-centric Plod, a bit of bad publicity, a lawyer/pr written "apology" and will, in time, re-write the whole affair in her head so she believes she was in the right all along.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 4 years ago
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The Daily Mail is a very scary place indeed.

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mrmo [2094 posts] 4 years ago
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moonbucket wrote:
mrmo wrote:

But I very much doubt this young lady will be re-educated or punished further than a small chat with a car-centric Plod, a bit of bad publicity, a lawyer/pr written "apology" and will, in time, re-write the whole affair in her head so she believes she was in the right all along.

I said i wouldn't comment again, ho hum,

She does believe she is right, the point is to hopefully get her to understand what she did that may have led to the confrontation and hopefully she won't do it again.

If in future she gives cyclists a bit more room then that is a win. If other motorists can be educated and do the same then even better, but as per the twitter rape comments, abuse doesn't do you any favours and could even be detrimental.

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DrJDog [421 posts] 4 years ago
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Her mother does work in a law firm, so the careful wording is no surprise

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alun [45 posts] 4 years ago
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pepita1 wrote:

Once again, another idiot behind the wheel of "two tons of steel". If she wanted to apologise she should've stopped at “I would like to start off firstly by apologising for any offence I may have caused other cyclists with my tweets on Saturday.

“I did not intend to upset anybody."

The statements that follow only negate the apology.

"two tons of steel" Crikey, what sort of car was she driving?

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eurotrash [88 posts] 4 years ago
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Well I guess what she's said is pretty much as could have been expected. Sobered tone, apology, "it was actually the other guy's fault and no one was hurt". Which may well be true for all we know, but can't come to any conclusions yet if we only have one side.

On the other hand the story is a little unbelievable; a cyclist shouting abuse, spitting on her, banging on her car, and all she did was tell him "you're going to cause a crash riding like that". Really? He went into a fit because of that? Whilst not impossible... it seems very implausible. Certainly it gives the distinct impression that the story is quite biased. (I like how the cyclist is shown to swear at her. Naughty, naughty cyclists.)

Then the casual mention of a "brief collision" (as opposed to a... lengthy collision?). Does that mean she drove into him (albeit briefly)? It "could equally have been caused by him cycling into" her. Again it sounds kinda funny... not in a ha-ha way.

In fact her version really reminds me of Mr Burns' version of events in the "Bart gets hit by a car" episode of the Simpsons...

Overall I think it would be safe to imagine that there was verbal abuse and anger coming from both sides. Perhaps the cyclist did do a stupid manoeuvre, perhaps the motorist then did a punishment pass, causing the type of anger that usually only happens to cyclists after nearly getting killed.

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