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Cancer-surviving young cyclist takes on Children in Need charity ride – and gets branded a “selfish a***hole” by motorists for riding three abreast

19-year-old Angelos and riding partner Jermaine Jenas were featured on the BBC’s Morning Live during their charity cycle – but one viewer asked, “Do these egos know no bounds?”

A teenager who overcame a rare form of cancer last year was featured on the BBC’s Morning Live programme yesterday morning as he embarked on a charity cycle, having only recently learned how to ride a bike, to raise money for a youth cancer foundation. However, 19-year-old Angelos’ altruistic endeavour didn’t go down too well with a section of Morning Live’s viewership, who branded him and his riding partners “selfish a***holes” for riding three abreast and holding up traffic during their brief piece to camera.

Angelos was joined yesterday morning by retired footballer-turned-television presenter Jermaine Jenas, as he aimed to complete a roughly 50 mile ride from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, to central London, in a bid to raise funds as part of Children in Need for the Teens Unite Fighting Cancer charity, an organisation that helped the teenager adapt to life following his cancer diagnosis and overcome the lasting impact of the disease.

The 19-year-old, who is part of Children in Need’s Challenge Squad for 2023, was diagnosed with sclerosing rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely rare form of cancer (with only six cases diagnosed in England each year) in 2021.

After being given the all-clear last year, following a difficult treatment period punctuated by restricted hospital visits, Angelos says he was then able to overcome the “traumatic experience” of returning to everyday life by attending Teens Unite Fighting Cancer’s activities and residential stays, where he learned new skills and bonded with other young people affected by cancer.

The 19-year-old was then inspired to finally learn how to ride a bike to raise money for the charity that helped him during his recovery from cancer, and appeared on Morning Live yesterday not long after he set off from Wallingford, as he rode alongside former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and current One Show host Jenas and another cyclist.

Speaking during the segment, Angelos described every metre cycled as “another pound donated” for the charity, while Jenas, suffering his way up a particularly draggy section of road, added: “This is all part of what we’re doing for Children in Need, Angelos has pushed himself so far, so get behind us and keep supporting us.”

Children in Need charity cycle, 2023 (Morning Live, BBC)

However, some daytime TV viewers – evidently tired of critiquing Rylan’s onscreen chemistry with Cat Deeley on the other channel – weren’t impressed by the heartwarming segment and, more specifically, the charity cyclist’s decision to ride three abreast while speaking to camera.

“Just seen on BBC’s Morning Live, three cyclists (one interviewer and two others) abreast a single carriage road, barely pedalling, so they can talk,” Ricky commented on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I know it’s for charity but have a thought for the f***ing miles of traffic being held up by these selfish a***holes.”

“Those cyclists wanna be more considerate of the queue of traffic behind them,” another social media user concurred.

“Look at them holding up all those people! Peddle [sic] for the love of God!!!!” exclaimed one exasperated viewer, while another added: “Car drivers pissed off behind holding them up. Road rage alert!”

“Can you imagine you’re a delivery driver up against a deadline or on the way to a hospital appointment or work and Jermaine Jenas is on a bike cycling slowly while he does a live piece to camera for Morning Live?” a fifth viewer, presumably an Arsenal fan, wrote.

“Do these egos know no bounds? It may be for charity but selfish and dangerous!”

> “This shouldn’t be normal, but it is”: Chris Boardman blasts “common criminal behaviour” after overtaking driver “almost kills” cyclists – “protected by hi-vis” – on charity ride

The criticism of Angelos and his riding partners’ positioning on the road isn’t the first time this year that charity cyclists have been attacked on social media.

In September, Lady Bathurst was accused of “showboating” and “lacking concentration” by online motorists after she was on the receiving end of an extremely close pass by an oncoming driver during a charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Lady Bathurst was cycling the length of Britain to raise awareness of her charity, the National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA), when she was captured on camera almost being struck by a motorist who was overtaking a lorry on the other side of the road at speed.

Lady Bathurst close passed by overtaking motorist during charity ride (National Foundation for Retired Service Animals)

While National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman described the shocking incident as “common criminal behaviour” and something that “shouldn’t be normal, but it is”, others on social media responded to the clip of the near miss by arguing that Lady Bathurst should have been wearing hi-vis and that the charity cyclist was lacking “concentration” at the time of the close pass.

Attempting to pin at least some of the blame for the incident on the charity cyclist, one social media user argued that “you took your eyes off the situation unfolding in front of you to smile and converse with the cyclist across the road instead of moving over to the left of the cycle lane as a precaution. That wave almost cost you your life.”

“I could have been doing a handstand and cartwheels,” Lady Bathurst pithily replied. “The fact is at whatever stage, I was safely within the lines of the bike lane. The motorist overtaking did so in a reckless manner and was doing well over 70.

“I’d argue the stupidity of the driver nearly cost me my life.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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28 comments

Avatar
Born_peddling | 8 months ago
0 likes

I'd hate to see bad karma but it would serve these moaning s$#@£ right if they were stricken with something awful (also sound like the kind that would also set their insurance co on a cyclist 🤷‍♂️). I've supported my fair share of good causes. Charity is everywhere, yes we don't all agree how to be charitable but we're a society after all "differences" is how we survive /compromise, I'm a carer myself and I honestly hope more youth are inspired to do just as good, as for the young man in question definitely more achievements ahead to be had!

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longassballs | 8 months ago
2 likes

Agree with Ricky. Whatever happened to sitting in a bath of baked beans outside a supermarket?

Saw this live and laughed at Jermain Jenas’ negatively emphasising how shit a rider the lad was for the full 5 min clip. Very encouraging.

Reminds me of the time 3 or 4 years ago the BBC North West Tonight presenting team pushed a 4 wheel cart with people in it around the region for a week to raise money for children in need. 20 mile tailbacks. Remember particularly Owain the camp weatherman (since famous for drumming) using his 40kg bodyweight to push the cart through central Manchester half a mile per hour all day in the pissing rain. His usual cheery disposition was replaced by him visibly regretting ever volunteering. The traffic behind stretched to Yorkshire. He was off work for a week afterwards.

Not every way of raising money is a good idea

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chrisonabike replied to longassballs | 8 months ago
1 like

Good point - maybe Just Stop Oil / Extinction Rebellion etc. could be doing some fundraising at the same time? Can't believe they don't have some member with eg. circus skills among them.

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hawkinspeter replied to longassballs | 8 months ago
5 likes
longassballs wrote:

Agree with Ricky. Whatever happened to sitting in a bath of baked beans outside a supermarket? Saw this live and laughed at Jermain Jenas’ negatively emphasising how shit a rider the lad was for the full 5 min clip. Very encouraging. Reminds me of the time 3 or 4 years ago the BBC North West Tonight presenting team pushed a 4 wheel cart with people in it around the region for a week to raise money for children in need. 20 mile tailbacks. Remember particularly Owain the camp weatherman (since famous for drumming) using his 40kg bodyweight to push the cart through central Manchester half a mile per hour all day in the pissing rain. His usual cheery disposition was replaced by him visibly regretting ever volunteering. The traffic behind stretched to Yorkshire. He was off work for a week afterwards. Not every way of raising money is a good idea

Personally, I think that most charities are highlighting a failure of social services and poor allocation of tax money.

(I particularly dislike supermarkets encouraging food bank donations - the donations will have been fully taxed and of course the supermarket keeps their profit on the sold item. And then the checkout asks if I want to round up my bill - how about the rich owners start paying their way a bit more?)

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longassballs replied to hawkinspeter | 8 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Personally, I think that most charities are highlighting a failure of social services and poor allocation of tax money.

(I particularly dislike supermarkets encouraging food bank donations - the donations will have been fully taxed and of course the supermarket keeps their profit on the sold item. And then the checkout asks if I want to round up my bill - how about the rich owners start paying their way a bit more?)

Quite.

I've been off work for 18 months. Often bed-bound by an autoimmune condition. Been waiting for a first hospital appointment this entire time, never mind receiving treatment. Told by GP it will be another year. Expect the despair I feel will turn in to killing myself before then (get the violins out). When the country is so visibly broken I think it's the sign of a sick society that grandmas from Wigan are expected to donate to a young cancer survivor riding a bike for the first time and then the whole endeavour is celebrated.

I'm sure the young lad is a lovely fella with the best of intentions who has been through hell... but is it really so wrong to complain about being held up behind a slow moving convoy by cars behind who are just trying to navigate their shit life? Probably all these people raising money for charity also believe that it's backwards but are just trying to do something about it to not feel inert. The whole "I'm climbing Everest for charity" thing can be irritating though.

chrisonatrike wrote:

Good point - maybe Just Stop Oil / Extinction Rebellion etc. could be doing some fundraising at the same time? Can't believe they don't have some member with eg. circus skills among them.

Surely one of them could be shaking an orange bucket for loose change?

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Thetruthasiseeit | 8 months ago
6 likes

When I saw this headline, I thought those comments must have been made by the drivers behind them and how ashamed they would feel when they realised what was actually going on.

Imagine my shock when I realise that, no, those comments came from people who knew full well what they were doing it for AND that it would be all over and cleared in 5 minutes.

Calm yourselves people, I know you need to be in places by certain times but things happen on the roads, at least this 'delay' didn't involve ambulances and dead bodies. Now, that, really would have made you late.

Just take a moment to reflect on what this kid has been through, how he is unselfish enough to want to raise money to stop others going through it, and be grateful it's not you or one of your kids affected.

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ubercurmudgeon | 8 months ago
12 likes

The MGIF mind-virus has infected some people so badly that they feel the need to berate a cancer-survivor on behalf of other drivers they don't know. It must be like an unscratchable itch in their brain, seeing a cyclist not immediately deferring to a motorist, and there's nothing they can do about it. The horror, the horror.

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Steve K | 8 months ago
9 likes

I bet there's loads of times TV filming has held up traffic, but no-one's got bothered about it as there weren't cyclists involved.

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Velo-drone | 8 months ago
2 likes

To be fair, they are going particularly slowly and clearly building up a significant queue behind the safety vehicle

The HC recommendation in such circumstances is to pull over periodically to allow traffic to pass, which I hope that they did.

Obviously that's not going to be the bit you choose to film though ...cue the mouth-breathing imbeciles and their obnoxious rants.

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chrisonabike | 8 months ago
14 likes

Three abreast - so at least 1.5 times as space-efficient as a car behind (assuming they've even got a passenger sat next to them...)?

Fundamentally it's "in the way and don't even pay!" (that's "road tax" obvs.)

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IanMK | 8 months ago
5 likes

Is the vehicle behind a support vehicle? The drivers behind that are surely being held up by the support vehicle. In that case cyclists three abreast is irrelevant.

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mark1a replied to IanMK | 8 months ago
11 likes
IanMK wrote:

Is the vehicle behind a support vehicle? The drivers behind that are surely being held up by the support vehicle. In that case cyclists three abreast is irrelevant.

Saw them arrive in London on The One Show last night, there was a Land Rover Discovery 4 in front with camera operator, sound & lighting, and 2x Ford Transits and a couple of paramedic motos behind. Number of cyclists and their abreastedness as you say irrelevant. 

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NotNigel | 8 months ago
11 likes

Thoughts and prayers for all them delivery drivers.

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Mr Hoopdriver | 8 months ago
5 likes

The second clip shows them in a double white line area as well with t he same car behind them so even if they were single file, the motorists couldn't have passed them anyway.

Where's the problem ?

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Hywel replied to Mr Hoopdriver | 8 months ago
0 likes

Up to 10mph you can cross double white lines where the line next to you is solid to pass cyclists, horses, parked vehicles, or road maintenance vehicles.

Highway Code, rule 129.

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HollisJ replied to Hywel | 8 months ago
2 likes

Given most cyclists ride at more than 10mph your point isnt really relevant. 

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chrisonabike replied to HollisJ | 8 months ago
5 likes
HollisJ wrote:

Given most cyclists ride at more than 10mph your point isnt really relevant. 

I think I'm channelling wtjs but apparently cyclists never go above 10mph when many drivers (and indeed the police) want to think it so.  Perhaps they've convinced themselves that they're not really doing much more than 20 or 30 (or whatever the limit is) so the cyclists they're gaining rapidly on must be well below 10mph?

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wycombewheeler replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
7 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
HollisJ wrote:

Given most cyclists ride at more than 10mph your point isnt really relevant. 

I think I'm channelling wtjs but apparently cyclists never go above 10mph when many drivers (and indeed the police) want to think it so.  Perhaps they've convinced themselves that they're not really doing much more than 20 or 30 (or whatever the limit is) so the cyclists they're gaining rapidly on must be well below 10mph?

Keep up, we all know that cyclists on the road are doing 5mph holding up drivers, while cyclists on bridleways and shared use paths are tearing around at 25mph putting lives at risk.

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wtjs replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
2 likes

I think I'm channelling wtjs but apparently cyclists never go above 10mph when many drivers (and indeed the police) want to think it so

Indeed! Lancashire has again shown itself to be far in advance of the rest of the UK (apart from, maybe, Scotland where the police have invented the revolutionary- 'I can't remember committing that offence', so it didn't happen- defence) in freeing go-getting drivers to 'Go for growth' by removing the tiresome bureacracy of restrictive traffic laws about unbroken white lines, red traffic lights, MOT etc

https://upride.cc/incident/pk11jzg_booths44tonner_closepassuwlcross/

https://upride.cc/incident/yl16rnv_infiniti_closepassdwlcross/

https://upride.cc/incident/ku15ekc_royalmailbigvan_dwlcrossclosepass/

https://upride.cc/incident/px62cea_stagecoach42_uwlcrossclosepass/

https://upride.cc/incident/md68fwc_apcovernight_whitelinecross/

etc. etc. There are loads of these. Initially the police just said things like 'the driver has overtaken safely'- meaning that there hadn't been a collision. Now they just don't respond at all.

 

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Velo-drone replied to HollisJ | 8 months ago
0 likes

Given that these folks are clearly doing less than 10mph a good amount of the time, it is most certainly relevant

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Velo-drone replied to Hywel | 8 months ago
0 likes

I don't believe that the law even specifies the type of vehicle, just the speed, so they are just examples.

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Buckland420 replied to Velo-drone | 8 months ago
0 likes
Velo-drone wrote:

I don't believe that the law even specifies the type of vehicle, just the speed, so they are just examples.

these are specific exceptions for when you are allowed to cross a solid white line - see https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/3113/regulation/26/made

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wtjs replied to Buckland420 | 8 months ago
2 likes

these are specific exceptions for when you are allowed to cross a solid white line - see https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/3113/regulation/26/made

But the laws do not apply at all in some areas of the country where the police have determined that you can legally always cross any number of unbroken white lines to overtake a cyclist, whatever the circumstances. It's all day every day here

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Brauchsel | 8 months ago
26 likes

Just imagine watching a whole piece about a teenage cancer survivor raising money for charity, and not only having anti-cyclist rage being your main takeaway but being so convinced of your rightness that you'd publish it to the world. What a life. 

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OldRidgeback replied to Brauchsel | 8 months ago
13 likes

The fact that someone had the gall to accuse a teenage cancer survivor doing a charity ride selfish tells you everything you need to know about the prick that made the comment.

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morgoth985 replied to OldRidgeback | 8 months ago
4 likes

True, but there are an awful lot of pricks out there.

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morgoth985 replied to Brauchsel | 8 months ago
6 likes

This is the most accurate analysis.  Some (ie frighteningly many) people are seriously warped.

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hutchdaddy replied to morgoth985 | 8 months ago
2 likes

Don't go on twitter

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