Police have condemned the behaviour of a cyclist filmed in Staffordshire seen taking a tow uphill from a car – and that of the driver of the vehicle – as “unacceptable” after footage of the episode was sent to a local newspaper.
It’s something we’d expect to report on more in the context of a pro cyclist getting illegal assistance from his team car – remember Vincenzo Nibali getting kicked off the Vuelta a couple of years ago? – but this incident happened on a road between Tutbury and Burton-on-Trent.
> Video: Vincenzo Nibali thrown off Vuelta after being towed by team car
The Burton Mail says it was sent dashcam footage by Porsche Cayenne owner Eric Dowding, who had been following the cyclist when he saw him grab onto the car on the driver’s side, with vehicles coming in the opposite direction, including an ambulance, narrowly missing him.
Mr Dowding, who said he was travelling at around 30mph, told the newspaper: "I went to pick my lad up from Beavers, and as I was coming back I noticed there was a cyclist slap bang in the middle of the road and I couldn't quite understand why.
"Then it looked as though there was a car trying to undertake him, and the next thing he took hold of the vehicle and they were travelling up the hill.
"It was wobbling all over the place, on every pot-hole, and it was a road bike so it had very skinny tyres and he was just wearing Lycra.
"I think it's just ridiculous, absolutely bonkers.”
He added: "I can only imagine that they did know each other. The driver's window was open, so I can't imagine he would just say 'here mate just hang onto my car' if he didn't know him.
“So I think they know each other, and he's given him a lift up the hill."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police told the Burton Mail: "Such behaviour on our roads is illegal, and unacceptable.
"Both driver and cyclist have a responsibility to act safely on the road to ensure their own safety and that of other road users.
"We will not tolerate such dangerous behaviour and would urge anyone who witnesses such activity to report it immediately, providing as much detail about the car and cyclist as possible," he added.
As far as we are aware, Staffordshire Police are not among the forces that have adopted the widely acclaimed close pass initiative originally launched by West Midlands Police last year.
However, in February they did retweet a road.cc story on the subject, asking whether they should adopt it – with some predictable responses from non-cyclists ensuing.
Is air pollution the reason why all our southern and urban squirrels now look grey, not red?
The only sense I can think for the idiotic manoeuvre is the driver thought the cyclist was going into the little lane too, where it would have been...
Ebay can be quite good but list it when they have one of their 80% off selling fees weekends (seem to be every second Friday-Monday), or else you...
Same with me! Hope they reset the counter soon, so I can enter the new competition.
Alleged camber issue not obvious in the picture; would it not be easier to close the road all together, rather than have all the broken wing mirrors?
Manufacturing defect, send it back for a refund. Could be any number of reasons. Inconvenient but it won't take long to fix.
It's not the same without a lirpa loof reference, but that's going back a few years now
I'm pleased that local businesses seem to be more aware of issues than the council are - maybe they should volunteer to walk/cycle along the path...
That is true but I'm not sure that Shell's sponsorship of cycling will have much of an impact on the climate either....
Totally apropos that the Shell logo appears to be British Cycling up in flames