A Beckenham cyclist is asking drivers to be more considerate of road users on bikes, after being called a "w***er" for years.

Simon Harrison, 44, spoke to News Shopper after initially posting his frustrations on a Facebook group following a particularly "lousy journey" home on his usual route from East Croydon station.

Two cars came dangerously close to him at speed, something he calls "buzzing", making the trip home on Monday evening a little scarier than it should have been.

Simon, who said he was reluctant to generalise, said most of the cars which speed close to cyclists are BMWs, Audis or Mercedes.

"The white van man stereotype rarely is true," he added.

His journey became more perilous when he had two "near misses" when drivers edged into a cycling lane to join a main road.

After struggling along a poorly surfaced road, containing potholes, or "trenches", Simon then cycled over glass from a broken bottle in Shirley.

The only saving grace was not being called a "w***er" or a "c***", the type of abuse he said was all too common.


Simon, who works in TV broadcasting and also drives, said he battles at least one of the above problems everyday.

Is it now too unsafe?

"Maybe," Simon said. "It is not safe and that’s why more people don’t do it. Unfortunately, cycling ticks too many boxes for me.

"It’s quicker, more practical, cheaper, but it’s not safe. I sometimes pass cars sitting in a queue, and I think crikey, that’s no way to spend your time."

He believes cyclists, who are a minority, are seen as "tossers" and "liberal", but argued they are just normal people trying to get from A to B like everyone else.

What advice would Simon offer to drivers?

"I am straying into hippy and w***erish territory here," he said. "But there are really practical things like the Dutch method of opening your door with the opposite hand so you look behind you.

"Lorry drivers give more space to cyclists. People can be just more considerate. Unfortunately, the world works by talking about something for five minutes and then it moves on."

Simon said if even three people adopt the Dutch method, or a few people reduce their hostility, then speaking out will have been worthwhile.