Break out the pitchforks and fire up the flaming torches! Twitter’s Angry Brigade is mobilising against the Tour de France selfie and their latest target is a young woman with the Twitter handle @zodoyle who yesterday morning posted this:
— zoe (@zodoyle) July 6, 2014
The idea that she could just have been perhaps exaggerating a smidgeon about “nearly dying”, or that the optics of mobile phone cameras often give a very misleading view, doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Angry Brigade, who responded by calling Zoe “idiotic and completely selfish”, “Stupido” and “moron”.
Demonstrating that the Angry Brigade can be just as dumb as those they complain about one commented: “too bad she didn't vet [sic] clipped by a rider.” That wouldn’t have caused exactly the kind of pile-up you’re worried about, now would it?
This morning Zoe replied to her critics:
Getting so much abuse for taking tdfselfie hahaha!! I wasn't even in the way LEAVE ME ALONE YOU BULLIES
— zoe (@zodoyle) July 7, 2014
Since the riders behind her don't seem unduly alarmed or to be taking evasive action, we see no reason not to believe her, but doubtless this will just make the Angry Brigade even more cross.
You might be wondering how this whole #TDFselfie craze got started. A scroll back through the top tweets for the hashtag reveals this horrifying image:
— Le Tour de France (@letour) July 2, 2014
Yes, that’s Welcome to Yorkshire’s Gary Verity and Tour de France head honch Christian Prudhomme kicking off the craze in Leeds just a few days ago. They’re probably pretty well defended against the pitchforks and flaming torches of social media, though. Far easier to pick on someone you’ve never met from behind your keyboard.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson 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 editor 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 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.