Steve Abraham was stopped by police officers on Saturday (December 5) night as he rode down the A47 Norwich bypass during his on-going attempt to break the world cycling annual mileage record.
Abraham was riding along the road in the evening towards the end of the day’s 233-mile ride, which started in Cardiff, when he was halted by officers who evidently considered that he should not have been riding on the road – even though he is perfectly entitled to do so.
“I wouldn’t normally use that road as it’s like a motorway without a hard shoulder most of the time,” explained Abraham on his Facebook page. “But some of these big roads are good for a fast night run when the traffic is very light.
“Much better than riding through villages at speed in the night with drunks and parked cars everywhere.”
Initial reports that the police had tried to arrest the 41-year-old were dismissed by him.
“I seriously doubt the police were going to arrest me. It was just a case of them feeling the need to talk to me as if I was a five-year-old child. ‘But there are cars and lorries on this road!’ said he. I merely pointed out that this was the case on all roads.”
After engaging in a discussion, Abraham remounted his bike and carried on to complete his ride, although he said the incident left a “bitter taste”, he said he understood the reasons behind the interruption.
“Don’t forget that when things go wrong, they [police] do have the very horrible job of informing families of the loss of lives,” said Abraham. “The police are the good guys and we’d do better to help inform them better than attack those who make our lives better.
“They are human and have a lot to deal with. In the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal and the way to stop this nonsense is via good campaigning and publicity.”
CTC’s road safety and legal campaigns officer Duncan Dollimore wrote in a blog: “A police officer stopping and questioning Steve for cycling on an A road reflects the same reluctance to accept and acknowledge both the rights of cyclists to use the highway, and the responsibilities of others towards them.
“It is crucial that cyclists do not feel bullied off certain roads which motorists would rather we did not use, because if we lose the right to use those roads we are unlikely to retrieve it, which could be the thin end of the wedge with cyclists’ legal rights.”
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Abraham is attempting to better the record of 75,065 miles set by Tommy Goodwin in 1935. His attempt hit a drawback in March when he was involved in a collision with a moped, resulting in him fracturing his ankle.
Due to the setback, Abraham ‘reset’ his year record attempt to start in August, although he is also continuing with his original January-December plan. As well as attempting to beat Goodwin’s record, Abraham has competition from American Kurt Searvogel, who currently has ridden more miles than Abraham in 2015.
You can follow Abraham’s progress via his website.