A cyclist who uses video cameras to highlight instances of bad driving has had drawing pins sprinkled on his driveway in what he believes was a deliberate act, and one he describes as “pretty sinister”.
Dave Brennan, who posts videos to YouTube under the user name Magnatom and who co-founded Scotland’s annual Pedal on Parliament ride, discovered the drawing pins after he punctured when leaving home to ride to work on Wednesday morning.
Police officers visited him at his home in Glasgow to discuss the incident but have said there is little they can do other than record the incident and increase patrols in the area.
Brennan told road.cc: “This morning I set off for work as normal. I jump on my bike on my path, and cross the main path (legal thing to do from your own home I might add!) to start cycling on the road.
“I quickly notice a clicking noise. It sounded like something stuck in the front tyre. I stop and have a look, and there is nothing there. I have a look at the rear tyre and I see a drawing pin.
“Reluctantly I pull it out and I hear the hiss of air. I cycle gingerly back to the house. I go back as I can use the track pump to re-inflate. Back on the path I start looking at the tyre.
“It's then I notice a second pin in the tyre. A few seconds later I realise that at the end of my path (only comes from my house) is a pile of carefully placed drawing pins. Nowhere else, just at the end of my path.”
He continued: “Effectively I've been deliberately targeted. Yes, I can repair the tyre fairly quickly, and drawing pins on the ground are something that happens from time to time, but not right at the end of your path.
“In fact I seriously think this was in relation to what I do either through the helmet camming or campaigning.”
He told road.cc that he is keen to highlight the incident and get it publicised since he is “pretty sure that the coward that did this is more likely to be scared off doing anything else by making a fuss about it.
“Had they been a proper hard man, they wouldn't have left drawing pins at the end of my path,” he concluded.
Footage shot by Brennan has featured in TV documentaries to highlight examples of the kind of poor driving cyclists regularly have to deal with.
It has also been used in court, with a man convicted last year of dangerous driving, breach of the peace, driving without insurance and driving without a licence after Brennan submitted footage of an incident to police.
While cyclists such as Brennan record their rides primarily for reasons of personal safety, at times riders using helmet cameras have been branded “vigilantes” by some elements of the press – including Essex resident Dave Sherry who claimed last year to have secured 60 convictions of law-breaking drivers through the footage he has shot.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.