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Attack in Essex has left couple afraid to go out

A group of men in a car punched a cyclist and pelted her husband with eggs, leaving them both afraid to go out on their weekend rides.

Fiona and Stephen Collopy were cycling near Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex at the beginning of the month when four "screaming" youths in a burgundy Nissan Navara approached, and one leant out and punched Fiona, 39, in the side.

She told the Essex Chronicle: "He just leant out of the window of the car and punched me really hard. I was screaming and crying and he was just laughing at me.

"They punched me so hard I had the guy's signet ring printed in my stomach. It pushed me so far forward that my foot stopped the bike, but luckily I didn't fall off."

They said another of the men stood out of the sunroof and began pelting Stephen, 44, with eggs.

"He had a good aim and hit Stephen all down his back, I even took a photo after because I couldn't believe it. I feel so angry because I'm sure these guys were deliberately out to cause trouble.

"It all happened so fast. They were driving erratically and screaming into the distance and I didn't manage to get their registration number."

Fiona said that she was afraid the men might be waiting for her next time she went for a ride.

She added: "I was wearing a bright pink cycling top and pink and black shorts and I have a long brown pony tail all down my back, so there is no mistaking that I am a woman.

"It upsets me more because they must have known I was a woman as well. All I can think is that they might do it again."

Essex Police have urged anyone who witnessed the car or the incident on Sunday, August 4, to call 101.

We've regularly reported in recent months on cyclists facing attack from passing cars. Earlier this month we reported that 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.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.