Just as premature news of Mark Twain’s death were, as the writer said, “an exaggeration,” so too it appears were reports yesterday the "chaos" caused by a cyclist sent onto the M25 by mistake thanks to a not-so-smartphone app.
That word was used in more than one headline - the Mirror and ITV Meridian News, for example - and some motorists took to Twitter to complain about the delay the cyclist’s presence had caused to their journey.
But it now seems that as on any normal day when bike riders haven’t strayed onto the M25, something else was behind the traffic jams they encountered.
A video released by Surrey Police shows traffic speeding past the unwitting bike rider with not a tailback in sight as he made his way onto the motorway, directed there by the app as he sought a shorter route home.
The video continues to show traffic flowing past smoothly as a police car is sent to intercept him, and it continues to do so as he is moved out of harm's way.
Sergeant Phil Dix of Surrey Police Road's Policing Unit, who was dispatched to intercept the errant cyclist, said: "The cyclist was apparently taking a short cut home and was following a satellite navigation system on his mobile phone.
"It is extremely fortunate that there was a safe outcome and that the cyclist was not injured, or worse - especially as he had crossed several slip roads coming off the motorway.
“This is a good example of why motorists should always remain alert and vigilant on the roads as you never know what you may come across on your travels."
He added: "I would urge all road users to use a common sense approach when using a satnav, whether that be on foot, two wheels or more."
The rider received a £50 fine for ignoring a sign prohibiting bicycles from the motorway, before Sergeant Dix helped him find his way back off it.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.