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"Sheer good luck these innocent cyclists weren’t seriously injured or even killed," says detective...

Two Manchester cyclists were injured earlier this month when they rode into a rope that had been deliberately strung across a path in Bryn, Manchester police have revealed.

The incidents happened within an hour of each other on 5 September, but details have only today been released.

The first crash happened at 5.30am in the morning, when the 51-year-old victim was making his usual cycle trip to work.

As he cycled along a temporary footpath, installed due to roadworks on Bryn Road, Bryn, he struck a rope that had been attached over the path at head level.

He was knocked off his bike and suffered an injury to his nose and a dislocated shoulder. He was taken to hospital for treatment and police say he is now making a good recovery.

Around an hour later a 41-year-old man was cycling along the same stretch when he was also knocked off his bike. He suffered an injury to his nose and bruising to his faced and had treatment at his GP surgery.

Detective Constable Andrew Hill of Wigan CID, said: “This is one of the stupidest and most reckless acts I have ever seen.

“It’s only by sheer good luck that these innocent cyclists weren’t seriously injured or even killed. Whoever did this deliberately placed the rope at head height for optimum effect, and it could so easily have proved devastatingly successful.

“The victims were using a temporary footpath so it’s conceivable that the culprit had been annoyed at cyclists riding on the path. However, no amount of frustration can ever justify this crime.

“I now want to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 5307 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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.