A Manchester cyclist who uses helmet cam footage to try and shame drivers into improving their behaviour has spoken of his successes in getting apologies from some drivers — but is still remaining anonymous because of abuse from others.
The 24-year-old from Rusholme rides 500 miles a month through the meanstreets of Manchester and posts his videos on his YouTube channel MCR CYclist.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “Drivers who were abusive on the roadside when incidents have happened then view the footage and get in touch to say they are now seeing it from a whole new perspective and are genuinely apologetic. On those occasions, I take down the video because it’s done its job and the drivers seem genuinely aware that what they did was wrong.”
“If I get just one driver to change their ways - and potentially save a cyclist or pedestrian from harm - then what I’m doing is worth it.”
Here's his compilation of his greatest hits - literally in a few cases.
He says uploads only videos where a driver's action has caused serious risk. “If I’m in danger or if I had to take some form of action to prevent myself or others being harmed I upload it.”
Nevertheless, he's asked that his identity be kept hidden so he doesn't get targeted while riding.
“The police have seen my videos and they have spoken to some drivers and considered taking action so I get quite a lot of abuse," he said.
“I don’t want to be vulnerable if people recognise me on my way to work for my own safety.”
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 Farrelly, 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.