Soft-Headed And Hard-Hearted


From top: Friday’s Late Late Show; Letter of complaint from the Dublin Cycling Campaign

A response to Friday’s Late Late Show, where RTÉ presenter Maura Derrane consigned a helmet into the trash to represent her aversion to cyclists traveling two abreast on on country roads.

Dublin Cycling Campaign writes:

We have sent the above complaint to RTÉ about Friday’s RTÉ’s Late Late Show segment on cyclists which we believe contravened the code of standards of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Individual complaints can be sent to…

Watch item here (@ 50 minutes)



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79 thoughts on “Soft-Headed And Hard-Hearted

  1. Fact Checker

    As a daily cyclist I fully agree that cyclists need more protection, not less. That episode on the Late Late was pretty silly.

    At the same time, the requirement for RTÉ to have enforced balance on every topic has a sterlising effect:
    -it assumes that every argument has a counter-argument of equal merit
    -it means the same talking heads (usually vested interests) appear incessantly
    -it assumes that viewers are dumb and incapable of thinking or finding out information themselves

    Mature people in a democracy need to be able to disagree and should not try to censor each others’ points of view.

    1. Nigel

      I don’t necessarily fault the cycling activists for using the tools available to make their point, but I agree it’s a poor system.

    2. theo kretschmar schuldorff

      Perhaps, but Ryan has form, and often uses his publicly funded platform to decry cycling and cyclists – usually in an ill-informed aside. I haven’t once heard him carry a positive piece about cycling.

      1. Fact Checker

        It is impossible for any human to talk off the cuff live on air for ten hours a week and never utter one of their own opinions.

    3. Mansions

      What balance was there?
      Which is more arrogant, someone going out for a Saturday cycle, or a driver who wants to beep them out of the way and rush along the road without being inconvenienced?

      1. Sam

        MGIF syndrome is far too common, and under appreciated by the type of audience that watches the Late Late Show.
        It’s no harm from inside your steel cage to make a close pass on a bollard or other road furniture, but too many impatient drivers making dangerous moves in their 1000kg+ vehicles with blatant disregard for the safety of others.
        Given the 50% increase of cyclists deaths in 2017 vs 2016, one might have expected some sort of cop on from Tubs, but then again, he’s Tubs.

        1. Robert

          Categorising “the need to get to where I’m going” as “MGIF Syndrome” (Must Get In Front) is extremely arrogant and infantilises the needs of drivers (i.e. “other road users”).

          Of course cyclists deserve to feel safe but for gods sake innate vulnerability doesn’t give the right to overcompensate by taking over the road.

          1. manolo

            In fairness, it is quite an infantile attitude. It is frequently followed by a left hook because the driver is so obsessed with getting in front he/she/it forgets to plan for taking the next step safely.

          2. Sam

            Hey Rob,
            the need to get where you’re going is not MGIF. It’s the psychopathic urge to be in front of everyone else, even in slow moving traffic.
            Before you decry anyone else for mischaracterising behaviour how about you quit accusing people of “taking over the road” simply by being in their lane in front of you.
            When I’m doing 30kph in a 30kph zone, I’m not ‘taking over the road’ by refusing to ride in the gutter. Nobody is entitled to break the speed limit to pass me unless they’ve got blue flashing lights.
            For my trip to work, I am faster than car traffic. I’m not the one holding anyone else up, but still meet idiots with no foresight rushing to pass me, just to slow and turn across me.

          3. Robert

            As is typical of this debate you have mischaracterised the people you don’t agree with.

            Please tell me of these bikes that are going at 30kph? What about 50kph zones?

            Also, you’ve shifted the discussion from “a group of cyclists” to “me on my way to work”.

            You are an eijit.

    4. Pete

      I hate the RTÉ Player so much. Three minutes of ads before anything starts to play. Built in commercial breaks with another three minutes of ads every time. So rude to a licence fee paying captive audience that has already been force fed the same ads on tv. It also shows complete misunderstanding of how people consume video online. They can stick their ‘player’where the sun don’t shine afaic.

  2. Chris

    Jesus, I don’t cycle but if I did I’d be terrified. These motorists are out for your blood! Personally I’ve never had a problem with cyclists on the road, I just give them a wide berth, or even offer up a tap of the brakes and a friendly wave if they accidently get in the way.

    1. Robert

      That’s all well and good, but have you ever encountered a Pelleton? This is a thing that happens and it’s infuriating to be stuck behind.

      Individual cyclists are fine. It’s what happens when they get into groups that’s the problem.

      A mob mentality takes over and they end up taking over the road.

      It’s similar to being stuck behind a granny or a tractor but more infuriating because you just “know” they could let you past if they wanted to.

      1. spudnick

        You’ll only encounter a peleton on a Sunday when the club cycles go out. Our club is pretty big so unfortunately there can be up to five or so, bumbling up the roads to get out of the city as fast as possible. Believe me, we want to get off the city roads as fast as you want us off. We go two abreast as it is legal and faster for you to overtake than a long single line. Give it a go sometime, you might like it!

        1. Robert

          I’ll only encounter on a Sunday?

          Oh that’s alright so.

          I don’t need to use the road on a Sunday.

          Oh and “of course” you only ever cycle two abreast. “Of Course”!

      2. Blonto

        Utter poopy. What you know they “know” and what they actually think are different things.
        Roads are for the use of everyone. If you’re stuck behind a slower moving car/cyclist/tractor/herd of cows, you just have to wait until its safe to pass.
        Everyone is in such a bloody rush to get where they’re going. Leave 5 minutes earlier next time and chill the flip out. Don’t put someones life at risk just because you’re inconvenienced.
        And here’s something you might never have thought of…….everyone is delayed, slowed down, bothered, annoyed at some stage. Maybe you’re the cause of that sometimes. Does that mean your life and/or health deserves to be put at risk.
        And it’s a peleton (no capitals) or bunch. Next time try and work up a unique though and stop spouting “mob mentality” poop.

        1. Robert

          “Roads are for the use of everyone. If you’re stuck behind a slower moving car/cyclist/tractor/herd of cows, you just have to wait until its safe to pass.”

          This is exactly the kind of attitude I’m talking about.

    1. Robert

      Yes what a load of hoop. How much time did they put into this? Seems more like publicity generating self promotion. Stop wasting everybody’s time with this drivel.

    2. Increasing_Displacement

      +1 moany tootlers
      If anything it will make the general public dislike cyclists more

        1. Robert

          No just get them to accept that some cyclists are grassholes, much the way we accept some motorists are …

  3. Rob_G

    First, I hope Paul Merton sues the LLS for stealing his bit.

    Second: people, when giving out about cyclists, seem to lose perspective that they are talking about other living breathing human beings. If Maura Derrane had have said “oh, I’d like to bin old people, because I sometimes get stuck behind them and they slow me down”, I think she would have gotten an awkward silence instead of laughter and applause.

    We are all just trying to get from A to B, folks – let’s try to show a little bit of patience and consideration for other road users, whether on two wheels or four.

      1. godIV

        I think she had her opportunity to make her view known already. Although I’m sure, given the chance, she’ll come out with some mealy mouthed retraction.

  4. Andrew

    I’m beginning to think ‘cycledub’ (look him up on youtube) is actually fairly representative of most Dublin cycling campaign cyclists. Thin skinned and seeking offence.
    If you willingly watch the Late Late Show, then I have no sympathy. It’s very existence is offensive.

  5. martco

    that 2 abreast vid @SafeCyclingEire posted there is a disingenuous load of kak

    /s yea cos definitely the only cyclists out on the roads are those neat peletons of roadsmart well behaved club cyclists on their Sunday spin and nooo there’s definitely not another 90% odd of – a fupping a danger to themselves because they don’t have basic road and bike handling skills – eejits 2/3/4 abreast in existence atall

    shure Anne Doyle could also have said that if yer man had dug out that bit of extra cash when he was buying his Seat he could have had the Cupra R instead and then he’d have been able to shave another 3 seconds off the fastest overtaking time

    1. Robert

      This is a fair observation. Too many cyclists are overly defensive of any criticism. It’s as if physical vulnerability confers the right to lash out more. When I’m on my bike I respond to my vulnerability by being extra careful. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter too much who is right or wrong if you’re smeared across asphalt.

      1. edalicious

        This is not a fair observation. Cyclists are defensive of criticism because people like you insist that all cyclists are to blame for the actions of all other cyclists and, because some cyclists misbehave, no improvements should be made to cycling infrastructure.

        It’s like saying that YOU are personally responsible for drink driving deaths and that we’re not going to improve the roads or fix potholes until they stop happening.

        1. Martco

          happens I’m both, I’m a club cyclist so I know the difference

          what I can tell you is there’s idiot drivers and idiot cyclists out there….add them together and you’ll get problems guaranteed

          that video is idiotic

          1. Robert

            This point here.

            I think everybody is quite happy to admit that there are idiot drivers.

            But there seems to be a lot of oversensitivey when we suggest that cyclists might be in the wrong sometimes too.

        2. Robert

          “Cyclists are defensive of criticism because people like you insist that all cyclists are to blame for the actions of all other cyclists”

          Exactly not.

          There is this overarching position taken by the “cycling community” that all cyclists are exempt from criticism. There is an ongoing discussion that certain “legal” cycling behaviour is okay, and a load of us are saying “no it’s not”. Being a doo doo head is legal but doesn’t make it okay.

          The response is typically “oh but poor vulnerable me shame on you motorist for expecting me to share the road with you”.

  6. Tina Tequila

    the segment shows just how low standards are in RTE
    – what on earth was that woman wearing
    – why have a game show segment in the middle of a talk show
    – the game show segment is clearly a rip-off of the BBC’s Room 101
    – who exactly are these people? (ans. RTE insiders)

    and that’s before you get to the cycling thing.

  7. some old queen

    Off topic but speaking of silly, who was that camp screecher and what exactly was his contribution? Stereotypical cliché doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  8. Dhaughton99

    I adore cycling and cycle every day but have to say that the 2 a breast thing does my head in when I see it. If you want to chat with your buddy, leave it til you are off the road.

    1. Mary

      I’m grateful of groups cycling 2 a breast as it means the group is only half as long, so easier to overtake.

      1. Robert

        This remark is disingenuous and facile.

        If it was easier to overtake I don’t think we’d be getting annoyed.

        1. Sam

          It’s neither disingenuous nor facile. There have been numerous studies in this field and the “Must Get In Front” mentality is real.
          Even when a simpler, more sensible solution exists some people will become outraged at having to momentarily slow down and wait for a safe and appropriate opportunity to pass.

          1. Robert

            You are presuming that all cases where drivers don’t want to be stuck behind you is MGIF.

            That is indeed facile.

          2. Robert

            Your WHOLE TONE suggests it’s universal.

            Like, the fact that it somehow exists debunks the line of argument that maybe it’s not okay for cyclists to get in the way “all the time”.

          3. Sam

            Ah, cop on Bobby, you’ve no argument and plenty of bile to go around.
            ‘Some’ is a four letter word. It’s not compatible with ‘universal’.
            You’re the one throwing around the word “all” so quit boring me. I’m not going to give you a full lecture on the correct use of words unless you’re prepared to pay me for my time.

          4. Robert

            The old bait and switch.

            Focusing on my use of language rather than the topic at hand.

            I’m done here and I’m off home, on my bike as it happens. Good luck to ye.

          5. Sam

            Well, would you rather I had a go at your non-existent mind reading powers?
            There’s not much else worth commenting on from your post.

  9. Kevin Quinn

    Come on Broadsheet, stop pandering to the cycling cranks. That Late Late clip was just a piece of lame fun.

    I’m both a driver and a cyclist, and I can tell you that some cyclists, filled with sanctimonious selfishness, do indeed deliberately block drivers at traffic lights and elsewhere. I’m sure they justify this to themselves (‘It’s safer for me and let the cars wait for me for a change,’ or whatever), and they are just being arseholes. It’s also really counter-productive: Drivers are not stupid, they know those cyclists are being selfish toodle-oos, and some of them will, for example, try to block cyclists from getting ahead of them at a red light by going close to the kerb before the cyclist has arrived (in order to avoid themselves being blocked by cyclists going three abreast at the red light).

    There are some drivers who do not give cyclists enough space when overtaking them, and this is extremely dangerous twinkle-binkle behaviour. Everyone knows that if the road is narrow and a driver is forced to choose between hitting a cyclist on the left or a car on their right, a driver’s self-preservation instinct will always swerve away from the oncoming car and into the cyclist (who aside from his or her comparatively flimsy bulk, is also on the passenger side of the car not the driver’s side). The point is, if a driver has to choose it’s already too late – drivers should make sure they never put themselves in that position. And cyclists should help them do it, not deliberately goad them by blocking them.

    1. ZeligIsJaded


      Most traffic lights in the city have a box for cyclists at the front of the traffic queue. Between a kerb and a car is not a suitable, safe or sane place for a cyclist to be waiting to move away from the lights.

      Drivers become agitated when cyclists are able to get to the front of every traffic queue at lights, but this is simply one of the benefits of cycling.

      Its almost as if a bicycle is a better way of navigating the city than a car!

      For a definitive list of what irks drivers, simply open your eyes in traffic.

      I think top of the list, strangely enough, is being in a car in traffic!

      1. Robert

        “Most traffic lights” this is “no true scotsman” argument.

        “Drivers become agitated when ” this is “begging the question” i.e. you have assumed the point (that drivers are unreasonable) you are trying to prove, as a premise.

        “Its almost as if a bicycle is a better way of navigating the city” – this is “shifting the goal posts” since the discussion is about country roads.

        Come on now. Grow up. We’re trying to form a dialogue about what is and isn’t “okay” – try and at least listen to your detractors rather than just trying to “win the argument”.

  10. Iseult

    I have no beef with cyclists in the main (although they contain many as many examples of selfishness and carelessness as motorists)

    I live in Meath, and can frequently be blocked travelling through my own village by numerous pelethons in the summer. All a bit of fun…I grit my teeth & wait it out. It could be worse.

    But, the day I found myself driving behind 3 abreast, with one specimen cycling slowly, hands-free and texting on his phone was the day I lost my goodwill

      1. Robert

        No, I’m sure, but because of all the shrill cyclists arguing that he should be entitled to do this.

        1. Sam

          You want to rephrase that? “he” referring to Iseult or the cyclist with the phone?
          I’ve never heard anyone defend that practice. It’s even more dangerous to fellow cyclists than it is to motorists. I’ve yet to hear of a truck driver being killed by a cyclist, but I’ve seen inconsiderate cyclists injure other cyclists or almost knock them into the path of other cyclists.
          Do you maintain a group of imaginary strawman cyclists in your head for arguments like this?

          1. Robert

            A group of imaginary strawmen LOL such poetry!

            No! But my point is there’s a whole heap of people giving out about cyclists behaviour and your stock response is “it’s the drivers fault”!

            Well maybe it isn’t, all the time.

            Take some responsibility.

            That’s precisely the difference between a cyclist and a motorist. A motorist has to take responsibility for the fact they’re driving a 1 tonne death machine.

            A cyclist only has to look out for “herself”, and it shows in the quality of this debate.

          2. Sam

            A motorist has to take responsibility? Yeah, I’m sure the hit and run driver who pulled out from a side road (making an illegal right turn) into my bike agrees with you… or perhaps she doesn’t. But I think the judge will tell her that she is supposed to take responsibility.
            Maybe you get a chip for the other shoulder, just to maintain some balance.

    1. Rob_G

      “I live in Meath, and can frequently be blocked travelling through my own village by numerous pelethons in the summer.”

      – how many times during the year would your journey be delayed by other cars? I’ll bet it’s more often than being stuck behind bicycles.

        1. Rob_G

          Falsehood. Cars move at the speed of other traffic.

          – what speed do you go at at 8:30 in the morning when you are stuck behind the ‘other traffic’?

          Motorists get stuck behind other motorists all the time – twice a day for 20-30 minutes at a time, in some cases, and don’t get too worked up about it. But when they get stuck behind a group of cyclists for 90 seconds on a Saturday or Sunday morning, suddenly its some sort of grave injustice…

  11. Hansel

    Yesterday: a group of 4 of us 2×2 quite close together on extremely quiet wide rural roads, with wide lined lanes and a solid white line. A BMW pulls up beside us and veers to within a foot of my knee, on a blind bend, 200m from a crossroads. Revs the engine a bit and drives on.

    The classic “punishment pass”.

    Thanks RTE: we really need more of this.

    1. Robert

      No doubt you’re painting a picture favourable to yourself but did you stop to think you might have been goading the motorist? I’m inclined to think given your BMW characterisation that the guy was a NAS but it could equally be the case that on the road you were on he or she might have been better able to pass you were you going single file?

      It’s easy to say “tell that cat to chill” behind you, but you don’t know someone elses story. Sure it could be some evil impatient property developer but it could just as easily be a doctor en route to a patient. Doctors drive BMWs too. You don’t know, and you should never assume.

      1. Anon1

        I was too busy trying to stay alive TBH Robert, it scared the poop out of me.
        I was at the back-right and I didn’t even look round so I can guarantee that neither I nor anybody else did anything untoward and we were very tightly grouped together.

        My point with the BMW is that it probably wasn’t a short-sighted and spatially-challenged old dear on her way to mass, doing her one drive a week. Which would be unfortunate but forgivable: everyone makes mistakes after all.

        But I cycle a lot, and this was the classic “punishment pass”. If you don’t believe these exist I implore you to try cycling and see what it feels like.

        You might get only one lunatic like this for every 1000 motorists that passes you, but the media “I hate when cyclists are in front of me” love-in panders to these lunatic’s sense of self-righteousness. Which is a bad thing for everyone.

      2. Barry

        I have read the various nonsense arguments from all sides here but can’t let this one go. ‘goading the motorist’ – are you listening to yourself?

        I commute by bike, sometimes in car and sometimes public transport. I ride my bike in a club and sometimes solo in the country as is this is the area being ‘discussed’. As a club we always create smaller groups at the beginning of a club ride for safety and other reasons. Riding 2×2 in a group is the safest way to ride, picture the above situation where a single line is being used – the driver believes there is now enough space to pass on the corner (you argue there may have been but given the solid white line it may possibly have not been an ideal place to pas) – passes the line, car comes against around corner – where does he go? Left into the group and mayhem ensues.

        You appear to have an embedded view of cyclists if you think by riding two abreast was in some way ‘goading’ a driver – why would anyone do that? The result of goading the wrong person is serious injury. riding defensively is not ‘goading’. Bizarre.

    1. Mansions

      When you say “cyclists” are a scourge, eric cartman, are you talking about every person who rides a bicycle? Your grandson? My auntie? The disabled people who can’t walk easily but can ride a bike ok?
      Why do you think they and I are “a scourge” because we use the same form of transport? It’s handy for me to get on my bike and go to the shop, buy my groceries and put them in my basket and bring them home. How does this make me a scourge, exactly? It doesn’t seem a very rational attitude, to be honest.

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