The undisputed champion of London helmet camera users, Cycling Mikey, has claimed another notable scalp after catching former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion boxer Chris Eubank driving through a red traffic light in London’s Hyde Park.
As happened in November 2019, when he caught film director Guy Ritchie using a handheld mobile phone in Regent’s Park, Mikey – real name Mike van Erp – initially had no idea who the driver was when he spotted Eubank with his phone in his hand. He was sat at the wheel of his Rolls-Royce convertible near the junction of West Carriage Drive and South Carriage Drive, which run alongside the city’s Cycleway 3.
The Evening Standard reports Miikey told Bromley Magistrates’ Court that on 2 September last year, he was “filtering up past the queue of traffic and noticed this Rolls-Royce driver holding his phone.”
In the video, he said to Eubank, “Nice car, mate,” before adding, “I hope you are not using the phone.”
He continued: “I was the person who got Guy Ritchie. I didn’t know who he was. Are you famous? I wouldn’t know who you were either.”
Eubank told him: “Go away, go away, I’m an officer,” and when Mikey sought clarification of whether he meant he was a police officer, the former boxer said, “Yeah, off you go, off you go.”
“The traffic lights then changed, and we moved along,” Mikey said. “He drove through an early red light,”
Mikey told the court: “I’m not particularly good with faces, especially those of famous people I’ve never seen in real life,” but said, “I thought that he [Eubank] was so well dressed that he must most likely be someone famous.
“I googled the numberplate to discover who he was, and it turns out that he was given status of a certified law enforcement marshal in Louisiana in the USA due to his fame.”
Eubank, who was born in London but lived as a youngster in Jamaica then New York City’s South Bronx, was granted that position by the city of Opelousas when he visited it in 2018.
At the time, he said in a tweet accompanied by a video of him attending a road traffic collision: “Sergeant Eubank proudly on duty in Louisiana. All warriors protect and serve, whether one wears a badge or not.”
In court, Eubank said he was trying to get away from the cyclist, whom he claimed is a “stalker.”
He said: “I unintentionally ran the red light trying to get away from this man who admits he is a stalker.
“He admits this when talking online and in a newspaper article, how he proudly had the famous director, Guy Ritchie, banned for six months.”
After pleading guilty to failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign, Eubank was given three penalty points and told to pay £280 in fines, court costs and fees.
Eubank has been in court several times over the years for motoring-related offences and in 1992, he was fined £250 for driving without due care and attention after he lost control of his Range Rover and crashed into a building site, killing 33-year-old Kevin Lawlor.
In 2013, he was found guilty of taking a vehicle without consent after he drove a beer delivery lorry parked outside his home in Hove 150 yards down the road, only coming to a halt when he hit a road sign.
Many of the videos from Cycling Mikey which have resulted in drivers being prosecuted were filmed at a spot on the Outer Circle of London’s Regent’s Park which has been nicknamed Gandalf Corner. This is a nod to the scene in the Lord of the Rings film The Fellowship of the Ring in which the wizard, played by Sir Ian McKellen, tells a balrog, “You shall not pass!”
Mikey, who has said that his efforts to bring law-breaking drivers to justice is in part motivated by his experience as a teenager when his father was killed by a drunk driver, has said that in 2019 alone he caught 358 drivers – and two cyclists – breaking the law, with fines totalling tens of thousands of pounds after his submission of footage to the police.
In the 'about' section of his YouTube channel, he says: “I seem to upload an average of roughly 1 in 5,000 driver interactions to YouTube. That surprised me – far fewer than I expected, and it shows just how nice most people are to other road users. I tend to thank tens or hundreds of people on every commute for nice driving. It makes for boring footage though, so only the exceptionally good driving gets uploaded.
“I'm a driver too, I love cars, but I don't like dangerous driving and people taking risks with vulnerable road users,” he adds.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.