Written by Cycling

Scooter Takes Out Cyclist

I’ve been a cyclist for years to a greater or lesser extent. And for the last 12 months or so, I’ve been regularly using a Brompton as part of my London commute, meaning that I get to avoid using the tube. Over that time, I’ve been lucky enough not to have had – or seen – any major incidents. Nor, indeed, minor incidents.
Yesterday that changed.
It was the final stage of the Tour of Britain, which took place in two parts. A time-trial in the morning, and then after a gap of a few hours (during which there were a couple of charity events), a criterium race in the afternoon. I’ve been going to see the London stage of these races since the Tour returned to our calendars. I usually bring my camera and take a lot of photos of cyclists going past me very fast.
Anyway, I’d watched the time-trial, and had gone out in search of lunch (and a top, because it’s quite chilly all of a sudden isn’t it?).
Then I cycled down The Strand on my Brompton, which I was using to get about. My plan was to drop down to Victoria Embankment where the criterium, which was due to start shortly, would lap around. The Strand was pretty snarled up. It always is, but the road closures caused by the cycling probably didn’t help.
But that’s par for the course if you’re a motorist in London. Embankment’s used for lots of events on lots of days of the year and motorists just need to avoid those days – usually Sundays.
Anyway, I was following a group of other cyclists in the bus lane of The Strand which was pretty empty. A guy in racing gear who’d taken part in the charity ride joined the lane with a friend also on a bike. At that point a motor scooter who didn’t really look and cut in from the traffic to the much emptier bus lane. Motorcycles and scooters are allowed to use bus lanes alongside cyclists as part of an experimental scheme.
There was a little alteraction between the cyclist and the scooter rider. But they got over it. The scooter driver had not looked properly before dropping into the bus lane.
Then another scooter rider decided to get in on the action for an unknown reason. He was riding very close to the aforementioned cyclist crowding him and pushing him towards the curb. The cyclist – a largish male – was rightly agrieved having already experienced one scooter coming too close to him, and he wasn’t afraid to shout at this new scooter driver to tell him not to crowd him.
The scooter driver took offence at this, and then in the most malicious piece of riding I’ve ever experienced directly, he pointed his front wheel at the back wheel of the cyclist and deliberately hit him.
With complete inevitability the bike slid from under the cyclist, and he had to leap off to avoid ending up on the tarmac – or worse – under the wheels of the scooter.
I saw all of this – aghast – from a few metres behind. I jumped off and shouted out the number plate of the scooter to ensure I didn’t forget it – LK55 EOJ.
I couldn’t get my phone out fast enough to get a photo or video of the rider. But I did record a voice memo of the number plate. I passed it on the cyclist and his friend who immediately reported the incident to the police on the phone.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt. But the rider of the dark scooter – LK55 EOJ – was criminally dangerous in deliberately attempting to knock someone off their bike.
I passed on my details in case a witness statement is needed. I trust that the police will follow this up and arrest the driver of the scooter.