Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

'Police' scold cyclist riding with pet cat in basket for not wearing a helmet after moped rider knocks them off bike

The Metropolitan Police has since confirmed the advice came from a plain-clothes officer, who stopped to dish out the unwanted rebuke following the collision in central London

Footage of a cyclist in London, riding with their pet cat in the bike's basket, has gone viral online, the video showing the moment the pair were knocked off their bike by a moped rider, only for advice from a police officer pulling up at the scene in an unmarked car with blue lights flashing recommending the cyclist wears a helmet.

Travis Nelson and his feline passenger Sigrid, a deaf Norwegian Forest cat, have become something of an internet sensation, the Londoner sharing videos of the pair exploring the English capital by bike. Travis has been a guest on the road.cc Podcast, the double-act having more than 150,000 followers on Instagram and more than 21 million likes on TikTok.

> Meet Travis the human and Sigrid the cat, the viral sensations who have just switched to an e-bike

The pair's most recent video has been viewed more than 2.4 million times on X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter, and captured the moment an "impatient, close passing moped driver knocked us off our bike" in London on Monday.

The crash footage is shocking enough, with Sigrid falling from the HumanForest hire bike's basket towards the moped. All involved were thankfully uninjured, aside from a "bruised up butt cheek and aching knee", Travis tells us.

In the aftermath of the collision, an unmarked vehicle with blue flashing lights stopped at the scene. A woman, later confirmed by the Met to be a police officer, got out to first check everyone was okay, but then advised Travis to wear a helmet when cycling.

> Cyclist and granddaughter, 8, stopped for helmet "safety" advice by police who "sounded their sirens" and pulled pair over "because it's dangerous"

"You've not got a helmet on," the plain-clothes officer said. "I recommend wearing a helmet."

Travis later told his social media followers, "If anyone can fill me on how a helmet would have prevent this motorist from driving into me, I'd love to hear it."

Recalling the possible police advice given at the scene of the incident on Clerkenwell Road near Old Street, Travis told road.cc: "She asked if I was ok, asked if I was sure, then said the helmet thing. She didn't mention being police or anything (that's why I had the question mark in my post)... but they had the blue lights."

Travis and Sigrid

Responding to road.cc’s request for clarification on the vehicle and the police’s role following the incident, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers in an unmarked car had indeed stopped at the scene of the collision, offering medical assistance and creating a police incident report.

However, the Met also claimed that both parties involved in the collision told the officers that they did not wish to report the matter to the police.

“Police are aware of a road traffic collision that occurred at around 13.45hrs on Monday, 13 November in Clerkenwell Road EC1. A moped was in collision with a bicycle,” the Met spokesperson told road.cc.

“An unmarked police car was passing the scene during the aftermath of the collision and stopped at the scene.

“Blue lights were utilised to ensure the safety of all road users and an officer offered medical assistance. This was declined by both parties – with no injuries disclosed.

“Neither party indicated a wish to report the matter and a police incident report was created. Road safety advice was given to both parties, who then left the scene. Should any of the parties involved wish to report any concerns to police we would encourage them to do so.”

The spokesperson continued: “Police are aware of video footage of the collision and interactions afterwards circulating on social media platforms. It should be noted that this footage is heavily edited.

“All road users should be mindful and abide by the Highway Code and Road Traffic Act and consider the space needed for themselves and other road users when using London roads.”

> Government shuts down mandatory cycling helmets question from Conservative MP

It is Travis' first time off his bike since 2007, but fortunately "Sigrid is fine; my knee is messed up, can't ride for a bit".

"This is exactly why I don't like to stop for red lights," he wrote on social media. "Inattentive or impatient motorists frequently hit cyclists when the light turns green. Note also, I was in an ASL (Advanced Stop Line), meant to prevent exactly this kind of negligence."

Speaking to our sister website e-bike tips back in September, Travis explained how Sigrid usually travels in a unique set-up, with a specially designed pet basket which attaches to the bars of Travis' bike, a fixed gear track bike built for street riding, and even occasionally wears goggles specifically designed for pets.

At the time of Monday's incident however, he was using one of HumanForest's hire bikes.

Travis and Sigrid (e-bike tips)

Explaining their usual set-up, Travis told ebiketips: "The basket is a Doggy Shopper by Klickfix Rixen & Kaul. They were the first sponsor we ever had and sent us their top-of-the-line basket to replace my cheap Amazon one. Over the past couple years I've customised it quite a bit to suit our particular needs."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment

130 comments

Avatar
karlssberg | 8 months ago
5 likes

The hypocracy of police officer for lecturing the victim on safety whilst not wearing a hiviz while standing in the middle of a busy road

Avatar
Bungle_52 replied to karlssberg | 8 months ago
1 like

Sorry can't let this one go. The police have a difficult job to do. The car stopped with the blue lights on for safety, the female officer got out and checked that every one was OK, checked if any one wanted to make a complaint and just mentioned that she recommended wearing a helmet, something which, rightly or wrongly, many organisations and the highway code support. I think helmets are now compulsory for cycle races, presumably for good reason. I really can't think how she could have handled it better.

PS It's hypocrisy.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Bungle_52 | 8 months ago
5 likes
Bungle_52 wrote:

I think helmets are now compulsory for cycle races, presumably for good reason.

Yes, because racing is dangerous. same way formula 1 and rally drivers wear helmets, but granny driving her cat to the vet does not. Cyclist in question has not had a fall in over 10 years according to his video. And even in this case where actions of others caused a fall he still did not hit his head on the ground. So Helmet would have been zero benefit.

Having seen the incident the best piece of safety advice that could have been given is "When turning, don't leave a gap on the side you are turning to big enough for a moped because crazy delivero/just eat/pizza delivery guy will go for any gap" 

My motorbike test examiner nearly failed me for this, it's a minor fault, he saw me do it twice then allowed extra left turns to give me the opportunity to fail, but I didn't do it again. Always sticks with me. Instructor and examiner called it "sealing the corner"

Avatar
30psi replied to wycombewheeler | 8 months ago
0 likes

To say a helmet would have been zero benefit is the same argument for Lewis Hamilton not wearing one, because he hasn't been involved in an accident where he needed one either.

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to 30psi | 8 months ago
1 like
30psi wrote:

To say a helmet would have been zero benefit is the same argument for Lewis Hamilton not wearing one, because he hasn't been involved in an accident where he needed one either.

But racing drivers are often involved in crashes that do require them, so it's not really the same argument at all (you'd also have to reference a specific crash that Hamilton had for it to even be a related argument). People are expected to wear full face helmets for motor sport due to the inherent dangers, whereas there's very little publicity given to getting ordinary motorists to wear helmets even though car inhabitants are at risk of head injury in crashes.

Avatar
brooksby | 8 months ago
8 likes
Quote:

It should be noted that this footage is heavily edited.

As opposed to "accidentally" switching off a bodycam...

Avatar
Benthic | 8 months ago
1 like

Motor vehicle operators are more respectable than cyclists. This is why cyclists must always be blamed.

Avatar
wtjs replied to Benthic | 8 months ago
6 likes

Motor vehicle operators are more respectable than cyclists. This is why cyclists must always be blamed

This ironic comment has been misunderstood!

Avatar
EK Spinner | 8 months ago
8 likes

listening to the while clip, there is a third voice, I suspect it is the moped rider ! He stayed at the scene and can be seen riding away at the same time as the cyclist (going straight on while the rider is going right)

Surely at the very least she should have gathered contact details from both involved.

 

Avatar
Rome73 | 8 months ago
5 likes

Got to say - moped riders are an effing menace. They hurtle around London at tremendous speeds. I never understand why the tabloids don't target them for criticism rather than cyclists. The other thing they do (and I've seen this a thousand times) is they hurtle through LTNs and cycle lanes and cover their rear plate with their foot as they do so to avoid a camera fine. They simply bend their leg around the moped and their foot completely or partially covers the reg plate. 

Avatar
Brauchsel | 8 months ago
8 likes

'"This is exactly why I don't like to stop for red lights," he wrote on social media.'

'Because I'm an antisocial prick only concerned for myself' he should have added. 

Sorry he got hit and all that, but having yet again narrowly avoided being hit by someone cycling through a red light at a pedestrian crossing (he was coming up the inside of a stationary bus), I'm not all that sorry.

I've never been hit as a cyclist by anyone behind me at a red light, but I have been hit by people cycling through junctions when my light was green. The closest times I've come to being rear-ended at traffic lights have all been from cyclists who weren't expecting me to stop just because the lights were red. 

Avatar
Stephankernow replied to Brauchsel | 8 months ago
3 likes
Brauchsel wrote:

'"This is exactly why I don't like to stop for red lights," he wrote on social media.'

'Because I'm an antisocial prick only concerned for myself' he should have added. 

Sorry he got hit and all that, but having yet again narrowly avoided being hit by someone cycling through a red light at a pedestrian crossing (he was coming up the inside of a stationary bus), I'm not all that sorry.

I've never been hit as a cyclist by anyone behind me at a red light, but I have been hit by people cycling through junctions when my light was green. The closest times I've come to being rear-ended at traffic lights have all been from cyclists who weren't expecting me to stop just because the lights were red. 

Its the same with me especially in Oxford, I stop at a red light and the only times ive been almost rear ended or abused has sadly been by other cyclists for stopping at a redlight or giving way to the right to traffic on a roundabout.
Get out of the way, Why have you stopped you idiot!
Not from motorists but from fellow cyclists, I also drive and my dogs as the law states travel in secure cages.
I ride a Pashley a strong cycle but i would never dream of travelling on it with an animal loose in a basket.
I" dont like to stop at red lights"! Tough its the law.

Avatar
Velo-drone replied to Stephankernow | 8 months ago
5 likes

I cycle regularly through central London and only once in 15 years have I had abuse / near miss from a cyclist at a red light. I would have to query if you're inclined to gun it to the lights and slam the brakes on last minute if they change if you're getting that experience regularly.

The closes I've come to being hit at lights has been:

- actually being rear ended, once by a taxi driver who had both hands off the wheel to get a chocolate bar unwrapped and into his gob (police somehow gave this NFA)

- driver who clipped my trailer at Euston junction. Probably actually partly my fault in retrospect, as I'd tried to squeeze through the inside to position ahead of the traffic, but there's no bike box there. And I doubt he could actually see the trailer.

- left-hooked by a moped rider gunning it up Gray's Inn Road from my right in the ASL box when I was going straight on

Avatar
Michael Lang replied to Brauchsel | 8 months ago
0 likes

Your a bloody cunt

Avatar
rct replied to Brauchsel | 8 months ago
3 likes

'"This is exactly why I don't like to stop for red lights," he wrote on social media.'

Reread his words again.  He said he doesn't like to stop at red lights, not that he  doesn't stop.

Avatar
jestriding replied to Brauchsel | 8 months ago
4 likes

The study was blunt in its conclusions: "Women may be over-represented in (collisions with goods vehicles) because they are less likely than men to disobey red lights."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/may/21/women-cyclists-most-accidents

Avatar
IanMSpencer | 8 months ago
12 likes

While I'm happy for helmets to be personal choice, this is actually an example of a fall where a helmet had a significant probability of improving the outcome. From the video it is clear they had an uncontrolled fall, and that head ended up very close to the island kerb.

Useless against HGVs, cars and mopeds, but very useful against the ground and kerb.

So this is not a great video to argue that helmets would have made no difference. One of our wrinklies was a never helmeter until she was hospitalised pottering back from the shops and she took a tumble and was concussed from hitting her head on the kerb.

I was hospitalised back in 1980 cycling to work when I hit a patch of ice. One moment you are cycling, next second unconscious on the floor - agility not a factor. Ditto for daughter and the Sheffield tram lines.

As to the accident - first rule of cycling is you should always leave cyclists enough space to fall off. Cyclist was doing a perfectly predictable starting wobble - probably exacerbated by poor gear choice, but I would never rely on a cyclist to hold a line - the moped rider 100% at fault for neither respecting the 1.5m, and should have let the cyclist have time and space to move off. The passing vehicle has responsibility.

Avatar
Barraob1 replied to IanMSpencer | 8 months ago
4 likes

Yeah, his knee would be fine

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to IanMSpencer | 8 months ago
9 likes
IanMSpencer wrote:

While I'm happy for helmets to be personal choice, this is actually an example of a fall where a helmet had a significant probability of improving the outcome. From the video it is clear they had an uncontrolled fall, and that head ended up very close to the island kerb. Useless against HGVs, cars and mopeds, but very useful against the ground and kerb. So this is not a great video to argue that helmets would have made no difference. One of our wrinklies was a never helmeter until she was hospitalised pottering back from the shops and she took a tumble and was concussed from hitting her head on the kerb. I was hospitalised back in 1980 cycling to work when I hit a patch of ice. One moment you are cycling, next second unconscious on the floor - agility not a factor. Ditto for daughter and the Sheffield tram lines. As to the accident - first rule of cycling is you should always leave cyclists enough space to fall off. Cyclist was doing a perfectly predictable starting wobble - probably exacerbated by poor gear choice, but I would never rely on a cyclist to hold a line - the moped rider 100% at fault for neither respecting the 1.5m, and should have let the cyclist have time and space to move off. The passing vehicle has responsibility.

As he didn't hit his head, I fail to see how a helmet would have improved the outcome at all.

Avatar
IanMSpencer replied to hawkinspeter | 8 months ago
8 likes

I deliberately spoke about probabilities rather than the outcome of this specific event. All I am saying is that the fact that they happened not to hit their head in this instance was not by skill or design so it doesn't make the case that they don't help overall.

And, yes, you can argue that as they haven't had a fall since 2007, that's still a small probability. I'm more of a "small chance, high adverse outcome" sort of a guy. After all, hands up who can genuinely claim their seatbelt has saved their life but accept they are rightly mandated?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to IanMSpencer | 8 months ago
9 likes
IanMSpencer wrote:

I deliberately spoke about probabilities rather than the outcome of this specific event. All I am saying is that the fact that they happened not to hit their head in this instance was not by skill or design so it doesn't make the case that they don't help overall.

And, yes, you can argue that as they haven't had a fall since 2007, that's still a small probability. I'm more of a "small chance, high adverse outcome" sort of a guy. After all, hands up who can genuinely claim their seatbelt has saved their life but accept they are rightly mandated?

Despite the situation being that for which bike helmets are actually designed for, the outcome demonstrates that even then, a helmet is often unnecessary. If you saw a pedestrian fall over, would your first reaction be that a helmet would have protected their head, even if they didn't hit their head?

I think you're using an imagined scenario to try to give weight to bike helmet use when the facts actually demonstrate otherwise. It's nonsensical.

Avatar
IanMSpencer replied to hawkinspeter | 8 months ago
6 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
IanMSpencer wrote:

I deliberately spoke about probabilities rather than the outcome of this specific event. All I am saying is that the fact that they happened not to hit their head in this instance was not by skill or design so it doesn't make the case that they don't help overall.

And, yes, you can argue that as they haven't had a fall since 2007, that's still a small probability. I'm more of a "small chance, high adverse outcome" sort of a guy. After all, hands up who can genuinely claim their seatbelt has saved their life but accept they are rightly mandated?

Despite the situation being that for which bike helmets are actually designed for, the outcome demonstrates that even then, a helmet is often unnecessary. If you saw a pedestrian fall over, would your first reaction be that a helmet would have protected their head, even if they didn't hit their head?

I think you're using an imagined scenario to try to give weight to bike helmet use when the facts actually demonstrate otherwise. It's nonsensical.

It's not nonsensical, in that I've given my reasoning. Wearing a seatbelt will make no difference 99.99% of the miles you drive, even in an accident, but we accept that the result in a rare case offsets the minor irritation that wearing one.

All I am saying is don't use this case to prove helmets are pointless. Nothing about the tumble was within the cyclist's control, so the outcome was unpredictable and I am noting the factors that could easily have worked against it.

In part, one of the problems of falling is that your back or shoulder hits the ground and then you will instinctively resist your head hitting the ground. When a kerb is present, it makes it more likely that the head can be in contact with a hard surface before your body has absorbed the impact.

So I reiterate my point. Wearing a helmet is personal choice, but don't take this one data point of outcome as an example to show that they are unnecessary.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to IanMSpencer | 8 months ago
4 likes
IanMSpencer wrote:

It's not nonsensical, in that I've given my reasoning. Wearing a seatbelt will make no difference 99.99% of the miles you drive, even in an accident, but we accept that the result in a rare case offsets the minor irritation that wearing one. All I am saying is don't use this case to prove helmets are pointless. Nothing about the tumble was within the cyclist's control, so the outcome was unpredictable and I am noting the factors that could easily have worked against it. In part, one of the problems of falling is that your back or shoulder hits the ground and then you will instinctively resist your head hitting the ground. When a kerb is present, it makes it more likely that the head can be in contact with a hard surface before your body has absorbed the impact. So I reiterate my point. Wearing a helmet is personal choice, but don't take this one data point of outcome as an example to show that they are unnecessary.

My point is that this particular scenario doesn't make a case for or against wearing bike helmets as there was no head contact. You could just as easily make the (nonsensical) point that a stab vest would have protected him against any knives that had been left on the road. Yes, stab vests aren't useful for 99.99% of the miles you cycle, but you'd be glad to be wearing one in the rare case that you fall onto a knife or get mugged for your bike.

Now, I do wear a bike helmet, but I'm just sick of people bending all logic in an attempt to justify them.

Avatar
Robert Hardy replied to hawkinspeter | 8 months ago
4 likes

Almost every single pedestrian who has died from a fall consequential to a collision with a cyclist would have lived had they been wearing a suitable helmet, or even perhaps, a well structured padded felt hat.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Robert Hardy | 8 months ago
3 likes
Robert Hardy wrote:

Almost every single pedestrian who has died from a fall consequential to a collision with a cyclist would have lived had they been wearing a suitable helmet, or even perhaps, a well structured padded felt hat.

Quite possibly, but as it's such a low probability event, it would be strange to campaign for pedestrian helmets based on that particular danger.

However, shower helmets would definitely be a good thing.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to hawkinspeter | 8 months ago
6 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
Robert Hardy wrote:

Almost every single pedestrian who has died from a fall consequential to a collision with a cyclist would have lived had they been wearing a suitable helmet, or even perhaps, a well structured padded felt hat.

Quite possibly, but as it's such a low probability event, it would be strange to campaign for pedestrian helmets based on that particular danger.

However, shower helmets would definitely be a good thing.

a low probability event, just like cycling traumatic brain injuries.  11 head injury deaths per billion km travelled (compares with 23 per billion km travelled for pedestrians)

But it certainly highlights a difference in approach

Pedestrian hit by car and dies - little response

Pedestrian hit by cyclist and dies - cyclists need controlling, they are dangerouns

Cyclist hit by car and dies - cyclists should wear helmets.

In all three the outcomes are similar and the benefits of helmets may equally apply, but as drivers and pedestrians are most people, then there is no call to impose restrictions on them, but cyclists are a minority group that can be pointed at and told they should be more careful.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Robert Hardy | 8 months ago
2 likes
Robert Hardy wrote:

Almost every single pedestrian who has died from a fall consequential to a collision with a cyclist would have lived had they been wearing a suitable helmet, or even perhaps, a well structured padded felt hat.

felt hat like this?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to wycombewheeler | 8 months ago
0 likes

Bloody outlaws!  Wandering all over the roads forest paths on their phones horns and getting in the way of your bike horse, the police verderers should sort them out.

EDIT - and they're completely invisible in that Lincoln green...

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to IanMSpencer | 8 months ago
1 like
IanMSpencer wrote:

After all, hands up who can genuinely claim their seatbelt has saved their life but accept they are rightly mandated?

Not me, but then I've looked at the evidence, and the evidence that seat belts save lives is similar to helmets: missing or deliberately misinterpreted.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to hawkinspeter | 8 months ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

As he didn't hit his head, I fail to see how a helmet would have improved the outcome at all.

Missing the point that if he'd worn a helmet, and the increased diameter of his head meant that it did hit the ground, the helmet zealots could claim that it saved his life: that's the better outcome that the helmet zealots wanted.

Pages

Latest Comments