Police appeal for witnesses after unwelcome return of traps set for cyclists on Britain's busiest bike path...

Avon & Somerset Police have warned bike riders using the Bristol and Bath cycle path to be extra vigilant after a cyclist was left unconscious, and his bike stolen, after being brought down by a clothes line strung across the path at wheel height.

The incident happened at around 8pm on the evening of Monday 12 December, with a passer-by finding the 28-year-old man, a soldier who has served in Afghanistan, unconscious.

The cyclist’s bike, a blue and black Trek Madone which he uses for races, was stolen, presumably by the person or persons who had put the clothes line in place.

The victim, who comes from Kingswood, was treated by paramedics at the location of the incident, which took place as he headed towards a bridge in the Siston Common area, shortly after he had passed Mangotsfield station.

There have been similar incidents on the Bristol and Bath bike path in the past, and we at road.cc are aware of a number of actual incidents and near misses.

In 2004, the Bristol Observer reported how a cyclist was left with lacerations on his neck as he rode his recumbent – which would put the height of the trap at a similar one to the clothes line used in Monday’s incident.

That article can be found on the website of the cyclist involved, Danny Colyer, also of Kingswood, found a second snare the following morning and a third when he returned there with a journalist from the newspaper.

Located on the route of a former railway line, the path was put in place for cyclists and walkers between 1979 and 1986, giving birth to sustainable transport charity Sustrans along the way, founded as Cyclebag in 1977.

Most of the path, which is 13 miles long, is owned by Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council or Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Anyone who has information about Monday’s incident is requested to contact South Gloucestershire CID on 101, or Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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.