Former UK international among riders attacked

Leicester police are investigating a possible link between three recent incidents in which cyclists were knocked off their bikes by the driver of a silver BMW and his passenger, reports the Leicester Mercury.

In the most recent incident, on Saturday July 6, 55-year-old lorry driver Andy Limb sustained a broken collarbone after being forced off the road into a ditch.

He said: “The car pulled up alongside and then dived into me, forcing me on to the gravel and sending me over the handlebars.

“My crash helmet saved my life, but I didn’t even feel the impact, it all went so quickly.

“I didn’t really hear him coming and I didn’t see who was in the car because they appeared from behind. Before I knew it I was in a heap and in a lot of pain.”

They could kill

Colin Haynes, 48, was the first reported victim of the driver and his passenger.

On Monday July 1 he was riding home from work when a silver BMW came alongside him. The passenger leaned out and shoved him from his bike.

He said: “I landed awkwardly and thought I’d broken my ribs. Luckily they were only bruised.”

Colin Haynes later told the BBC: “I just can’t believe somebody could do that. They could quite easily have killed somebody.”

Bike shop owner attacked

Haynes reported the attack after reading about another victim, 49-year-old Martin Webster, in the Leicester Mercury.

Webster, a former international cyclist who now runs a bike shop, said he was going downhill at 20 to 30mph on Thursday July 4 when he was attacked.

“I heard a horn behind me and I looked behind and didn’t recognise the car.

“As it passed someone on the passenger side – either the front or back seat – leaned out and pushed me.

“They hit me on my thigh, so I didn’t go straight over but I lost control and bumped up on to the grass. The verge was pretty ploughed up and I was thrown off, bashing my shoulder pretty badly and grazing my right leg.

“It hurt my neck as well, but overall I think I got off lightly. I could have hit a tree or the fence or been catapulted into the barbed wire.

“I could have been killed.”

Colin Haynes believes the three attacks may not be the only incidents involving the silver BMW.

He said: “After it happened I was speaking to someone who told me they heard the same thing happened near the Shell garage in Broughton Astley. If it’s the same people, something needs to be done to catch them and put an end to this.”

Police say they are looking into the possibility of a link between the three incidents, which all happened in the south-west of the county and involved an old silver BMW.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.