By Isaac Stacey Stronge
A cyclist campaigning for active travel in Greater Manchester has sparked fury online following a video he posted of his perilous commute.
Harry Gray, 27, posted the tweet on Saturday, January 28, which went on to be viewed more than five million times, but not all were sympathetic to his cause.
The Walk Ride GM member, who featured on Quays News on Wednesday, wasn’t wearing a helmet on the video, leading some tweeters to question his commitment to safety and others to actively wish him harm on his travels.
Mr Gray said: “I’m not going downhill at like 50 miles an hour. I’m just going to the shops, it’s quite a difference, so it didn’t really pass my mind that the helmet thing would come into it if I’m honest.
“It’s quite ironic, isn’t it? That people are wishing harm on someone, and their point is that there’s a danger there for me, that I could get hurt.”
The fashion business owner points out that wearing a helmet for cycling in this country is personal choice and not the law, unlike seatbelts in cars.
This didn’t deter some Twitter users from wishing worst case scenarios on Mr Gray through private messages, one read: “F**k you, you f**king freak show I hope to god a car crushes you”.
The 27-year-old insists that such messages won’t dampen his spirit for campaigning. He said: “I’m of the generation growing up with social media, when people comment about something that I’ve done I don’t take it too seriously.
“It’s just like water off a duck’s back to me sometimes with stuff like this.”
Despite this, Mr Gray admits that he’s taken to using external software to limit the number of notifications he receives, and content he sees, from certain accounts.
The cyclist helps run the Walk Ride GM campaign along with three other members, which alongside campaigning also work with various local bodies to improve cycling safety and infrastructure across Greater Manchester.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, January 31, Walk Ride GM helped co-ordinate a sold-out event which hosted a panel including Mayor Andy Burnham. At the event, Mr Burnham covered various upcoming policies designed to improve active travel in the region.
More information about the Walk Ride GM campaign is available here.