The cyclist photographed by Jeremy Clarkson from the wheel of his car has responded to the TV presenter’s criticism of his perfectly legal and Highway Code-advised taking of the lane.
Twitter erupted on Friday afternoon when clarkson posted: "It’s middle of the road point makers like this who make car drivers so angry about cyclists".
Having been reportedly dangerously overtaken just minutes earlier on the same stretch of road, the cyclist is pictured having just stopped for a pedestrian at the crossing, before assuming the correct position on the road to turn right at the junction.
With 2,762,556 followers and counting, Clarkson has quite a siginificant platform to spout his views, while the cyclist has since turned to the less-public Singletrack forum to put across his side of the story.
The irony of Clarkson’s accusation is that the TV presenter himself is breaking the law by using a mobile phone at the wheel of a car. The MET police were notified by Twitter users, though it is unclear if any action will be taken.
The cyclist, dubbed ItsMe on the Singletrack forum, posted Google Street View images to document his journey, telling readers: "Keeping up with the traffic in Draycott Place is easy as well, and as I approached the crossing at the end someone was waiting to cross so I stopped (I always do this, and stop at red lights as well believe it or not!), before it, and not on the crossing as some have suggested.
"I was turning right at this junction to go down to Sloane Square, so as I moved off I was positioning myself for this.
"At the junction I looked behind me and saw Jeremy Clarkson just pulling up behind me with his head and arm out of the window, holding his phone and shouting ‘gotcha’ and looking well smug with himself. He was driving, and there was nobody else in the car. I got off my bike and pushed it back to his car and pointed out that he was overtaking me going in to a hazard, and made me change course. He just kept shouting increduously ‘you were four feet from the kerb, but you were four feet from the kerb, I’m a cyclist and you were four feet from the kerb!’.
"After a couple of attempts to explain to him why I thought he was wrong I gave up as he just kept shouting, I then rode off. Throughout this exchange I stayed reasonably calm.
"What JC’s pic on twitter doesn’t show is how much traffic was about at the time. Before I stopped at the crossing the junction was busy, and the traffic was queing all the way down to Sloane Square. I was probably well on my way to Parliament Square by the time JC got through Sloane Square. The ambulance wasn’t parked either, it was moving.”
Following Clarkson’s initial tweet thousands waded in with responses such as "should have just run him over", before Radio host Jeremy Vine, a regular London cyclist tweeted "He has every right – you muppet".
Vine has since written a column for the Daily Mail detailing his experiences cycling on the streets of London, recalling one incident in which he caught up with a motorist who nearly collided with him. Knocking on the driver’s window, Vine let the motorist know how close he had come to killing him, to which the driver apparently said "I want to kill you."