A cyclist was knocked off his bike during the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk on Sunday by a driver who then decided to tweet about the incident publicly.
Rather than pull over and see if cyclist Toby Hockley was alive and well, the driver reportedly sped off and later posted on Twitter: “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way – he doesn’t even pay road tax!” The tweet was accompanied by the hashtag “#bloodycyclists”.
It wasn’t long before Twitter, and ultimately Norwich police, caught wind of Emma Way’s alleged actions. “We have had tweets ref an RTA [road traffic accident] with a bike,” the force tweeted. “We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then DM [direct message] us.”
Mr Hockley, a freelance chef from Norwich, explained the ordeal in an interview with the BBC. “A car came tearing round the blind corner and narrowly missed a cyclist in front of me,” he said. ”She came on to my side of the road, I took the wing mirror off and I went flying off my bike into a hedge.
“She hit me hard, really hard. I am lucky to be alive,” he added, before identifying the driver as a blonde girl.
Mr Hockley of the Iceni Velo cycling club was cycling along a narrow road just five miles from the finish line at Snetterton before he was sent flying.
Rather than dwell over the ordeal, he got back on his bike and finished what he started. “I burst out laughing, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was and that I was still in one piece. I had a hug with my co-rider at the side of the road and was just full of adrenaline. But when I finished, the aches and pains set in and I had a bit of a sulk in the cafe and had an ice-cream,” he said.
Mr Hockley expressed disbelief at the stupidity of the driver’s actions. “I think she came across as a very silly girl and made herself look like a bit of a fool,” he said. “I’m not angry, I would just like it known that her stupid comment that I don’t pay road tax is not an excuse to treat cyclists like second-class citizens.”
Technically the ‘road tax’ Emma Way refers to does not exist. UK taxpayers, whether on a bike, car, donkey or elephant, fund roads with general and local taxes, giving cyclist the same right as drivers to be on the roads as anyone else.
Norfolk Police is said to be looking into the matter, having spoken to both parties involved. Reports suggest Ms Way’s employer has also been informed of the incident.
Cyclists and drivers already share a rocky relationship and the incident is unlikely to help matters.