61-year-old says only lack of oncoming traffic saved his life following incident on shared-use path

A cyclist from Dorset claims that he is fortunate to be alive after a pedestrian pushed him into the road as he cycled along a designated shared-use path. Richard Gould, aged 61, believes that had there been traffic approaching at the time, he would almost certainly have been killed, reports the Dorset Echo.

The incident took place at 7.30pm last Wednesday evening as Mr Gould rode along the mixed-use footpath and cycle track running alongside the West Stafford bypass, near Dorchester. Earlier, he had been riding in a 14-strong group but he was alone when the irate pedestrian assaulted him.

“There was a guy walking towards me, he initially appeared okay and he was walking on the left of the footpath so I moved across to the right,” explained Mr Gould, who is retired.

“He then moved across to the right of the path so I moved back to the left.

“I slowed right down to not a great speed and as I passed him he gave me a shove in the right shoulder which forced me onto the main road carriageway and I fell off my bike.”

The man then stood over the cyclist as he lay on the road and berated him.

“He was ranting and raving and using an awful lot of unprintable language about how I shouldn’t be cycling on a footpath, that seemed to be his main beef.

“He then wandered off up the path towards West Stafford still shouting and hollering.”

Luckily for Mr Gould, no vehicles were approaching. “If there had been anything within 20 feet I would have been dead without a shadow of a doubt, because they wouldn’t have been able to stop.”

Police are appealing for witnesses, and Mr Gould insisted: “This guy needs to be found. I hate to think what would have happened if that had been a young girl or an old woman or a child, they would be thinking: ‘I’m not ever going out on my bike again’.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.