How do you stop a disagreement between a driver and a cyclist from turning ugly? If you’re comedian Russell Brand you jump out of your own car and give the bike rider a big hug.
That’s how the sometimes-controversial TV personality reacted when he encountered a full and frank exchange of views developing between a van driver and bike rider in London’s Tottenham Court Road last week.
— Joe Stas (@Joe_Stas) May 8, 2014
After the van almost collided with the rider a heated argument began to develop until Brand got out of his Mercedes to intervene.
Witness Joe Stas, who tweeted pictures of the incident, told the Evening Standard’s Alexandra Rucki: “I was working and could hear an argument taking place outside.
— Joe Stas (@Joe_Stas) May 14, 2014
“By the time I got outside the argument between a cyclist and a van driver was getting heated, the traffic had stopped, then Russell gets out of his car and approached the guy on the bike and gives him a hug. The cyclist then smiled and laughed and cycled off.”
Brand subsequently retweeted Joe’s pic of the hug with the hashtag #allyouneedislove. Regular London cyclists might well want to add “and #space4cycling.”
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.