Olympic champion Callum Skiner among those questioning experience of rider shown in police footage


A police officer shown in a Metropolitan Police video showing comparative stopping distances between a bike with front and rear brakes and one without either has experience of riding a fixed-wheel bike on the track, the force has told road.cc.

The video was made public by the Met following the conclusion on Wednesday of the trial of Charlie Alliston, who was found guilty of causing bodily injury through wanton and furious driving of pedestrian Kim Briggs.

> Metropolitan Police stopping distance video in Charlie Alliston trial raises questions

Alliston, aged 20, was acquitted of manslaughter in connection with the 44-year-old’s death following their collision on London’s Old Street in February 2014.

He had been riding a track bike without brakes, meaning it was not legal for use on the public highway, one of the prosecution’s chief arguments and which led to police seeking to assess different stopping distances.

The Met told road.cc that they had been unable to speak with the officer who gave evidence in court, so were unable to confirm whether the footage shown was identical to that shown during the trial at the Old Bailey.

They did say that several runs were carried out on each bike, and that “the footage released on the Met’s website was designed to give an example of the test.”

Also, while many people who watched the video questioned whether the rider shown had experience of riding a bike with no brakes, they confirmed that he is a police officer with experience of riding a fixed-wheel bike on a track, points they said were covered during the trial.

Among those with doubts about the rider’s level of experience in handling a fixed-wheel bike, including Rio 2016 Olympic team sprint track cycling champion and individual sprint silver medallist, Callum Skinner.

Retweeting our story from yesterday, he said: “Very misleading video. Maybe find someone who has ridden a fixie before, not a complete amateur.”

We’ve also asked the Met for clarification on other aspects of the video, specifically:

Was the fixed-wheel bike tested the one that was actually involved in the collision in the case? If not, can you confirm the make and model?

Was the fixed-wheel bike tested with and without a front brake, and if so what were the respective results?

Did you test another rim-braked bike with thinner road tyres? From the video it appears the first bike (a police issue one?) is heavier and has fatter tyres which should help it stop in a shorter distance than a lighter bike with thinner tyres.

We are awaiting their response, and will update this story once it is received.

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.