Photo: Laughingcow, Twitter

Crimestoppers have launched a manhunt for a cyclist who jumped a level crossing – putting up a £2000 reward for anyone who can provide information which leads to his identification.

Now, first thing is first. There’s anti-cycling talk, and there’s anti-idiot talk, and we put this story firmly in the category of the latter.

This dude lifted his bike over train barriers and after a great struggle forced himself through those same barriers, just seconds before a speeding train flew past at North Sheen in Richmond upon Thames on 11 May.

WHO DOES THAT?

The cyclist managed to get across the train tracks safe in the end, with the train powering past and honking away while he stood and gave off, but not only did he risk his own life, Crimestoppers report that the train driver was left with “psychological trauma" as well.

They also added that commuters standing nearby for the event pleaded with the cyclist at the time, and begged with him just to wait until the train had passed.

We realise that this is the kind of story that can often cue a backlash against cyclists in general from the general public, for no good reason of course, so it’s important to highlight in this case that this plonker does not represent cyclists as a community, and nearly everyone would be in agreement that this guy should have been a bit more patient. Though we imagine telling our own audience this is very much preaching to the choir.

Seriously, what’s the rush? What are you so in a rush for that you can’t wait 30 seconds for a train to go past and would rather risk your life than be ever-so-slightly late for? This is some seriously questionable decision making.

https://twitter.com/theJeremyVine/status/862757305661747201

Dave Hunter, head of operations at Crimestoppers, said: "This man could have caused himself serious injury or even death. His actions were incredibly dangerous.

“Someone will know who he is and we hope they will see that there is no excuse for this behaviour. The barriers are there for a very good reason."

We say: be careful when you’re out on the bike. For a variety of reasons – not least cars, buses and taxis – the roads are a dangerous place. But you need to use your own common sense as well.

We've written a whole range of stuff in the past on keeping safe on the roads and the perils that us cyclists seem to face from the road ragers, who, let's face it, band around the term "I hate cyclists" all too easily and contribute to the ever-increasingly sinister vibes we see on the roads as a consequence.

And of course this kind of shit is going to add to that "reckless" image often conjured up of cyclists, when in fact riders tend to be some of the most controlled folk on the road, and in most cases, it's not the cyclists fault when something does go wrong.

So bottom line: keep riding your bike.

BUT DON'T BE AN IDIOT.

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