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Near Miss of the Day 27: Tailgaiting driver inches from rider's rear wheel - then issues threats

Our regular feature highlighting close passes caught on camera from around the country – today it’s London's Old Kent Road...

WARNING - Today's video includes a LOT of extreme swearing

Today's video in our regular Near Miss of the Day feature highlights something many of us will have experienced - an impatient driver who, frustrated at not being able to pass a cyclist, uses their vehicle to intimidate the rider, with this episode also escalating into threats against him from the driver and his passenger.

The footage was shot on Monday evening on London's Old Kent Road by reader Mark Hood, who said he was left shaken by the encounter, which happened as he rode alongside a lorry.

In the description on YouTube, he said the driver beeped at him before tailgaiting just inches from his back wheel, before driving alongside with the bonnet of his Honda car "literally 2 inches from my pedals."

Mark continued: "I’m screaming at him that he will hit me but he continues. I literally have nowhere to go, even if I move to the gutter there is not space to pass me because there is a large lorry to his right.

"Finally I reach a red light and slow down, he squeezes alongside me. Him and his passenger proceed to threaten me, saying they will rip my camera off and kill me. All because they could not pass me and beat me to the red light? I am understandably shaken and angry. I make no apologies for my bad language. When the lights turn green I tell them to proceed but they want me to ride in front of them! No thank you.

"Sadly it is dark so their faces are not captured on camera. Unfortunately I do not have a rear camera and my front facing one does not fully show how close their bumper was to knocking me off.

"It’s the closest I’ve ever come to a serious collision at speed. If they had hit me I’m sure I would have fallen off in front of them and been run over.

"My speed was 20mph which is a reasonable speed and there was no need to be impatient and try to force their way past unsafely.

"I was shaking for a good half an hour after this incident. Now I’m angry that I do not have their faces captured on camera and the distance between their car and my bike isn’t captured fully on camera."

Mark added that he was "disappointed that the cyclist behind me went on past without a word. He would have witnessed the appalling tailgating and verbal assault, if I was in his position I would have at least stopped to witness in case it escalated. I feel let down because he offered no support."

Over the years has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] or send us a message via the Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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