Contractor sends abusive email to cyclist

17:52, Mar 27 2014

A Canterbury tradesman's abusive email has left a cyclist shocked after she was forced to swerve to avoid being hit by his ute.

The cyclist posted the tradesman's message online, and it has since gone viral on social media. 

Kiri Jarden, 44, had emailed the tradesman at MB Roofing with a firm but polite complaint about the ute driver's aggressive road behaviour while she was cycling in central Christchurch. 

The reply from a company email address was swift. It read: "lol f*** off b***, learn how to ride a f***ing bike."

Jarden said when she saw the response her mouth "fell open". 

What she had expected was an apology and a pledge to have a word with the driver, even if it was simply to "fob me off", she said. 


"It's a pretty foul response. It's laden with profanities."

Jarden commutes to work by bicycle and said most city drivers were fine. 

This incident, about 8.40am yesterday, was "reckless". She had lurched over to the left of the road to avoid being hit by the trailer. 

"Those vehicles are all bigger and can do much more damage. It's just a few seconds they have to wait."

Jarden had not taken the number plate, but the ute had the contractor's name emblazoned on the back. 

She said she wrote to the company using the company's website-embedded email form.

The ute driver appeared to have taken offence at her cycling alongside him as she approached a red light at the intersection of Manchester and St Asaph streets, she wrote. 

"He was towing a trailer and decided to race past me at a point where the road was narrow and cluttered with road cones. Totally unacceptable aggressive and dangerous driver behaviour when I was cycling responsibly, legally and visibly.

"Next time - and I hope there isn't one - the complaint will go to CERA [Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] and the police."

Tweeters were equally appalled, who commented that the tradesman "apparently has never heard of douchey emails going viral", and, "in the age of social media businesses can't respond to criticism like this".

The contractor could not be reached for comment this morning.

The company did not respond to email and phone messages. 

Jarden said she did not phone the company since receiving the email, as she did not think it was worth engaging with them further. 

"It's a surprise someone would do that through their official business email."

Instead, she has laid a driving complaint with police and alerted Cera, in case the company worked on the central city rebuild. 

"He is welcome to come back and apologise and say he was having a bad day."

The Press