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Three arrested after gang attacks on cyclists in North London

Local cycling advocate suggests riders pair up for safety

Police have arrested three men in connection with a series of attacks on cyclists in the Walthamstow Marshes area, including the knifepoint theft of a bike.

There have been more than five gang attacks on people riding through the area, according to Zoie O'Brien of the Waltham Forest Guardian.

A cyclist was attacked by a group of 12 men on Sunday April 5. He was threatened with a knife and hit on the head before his bike and other items were stolen.

On March 24 another rider was punched to the ground and his bike stolen by a gang on the same route.

Officers from Hackney arrested three men last Thursday. They were questioned at a station in Stoke Newington and bailed unti May 20.

Enquiries continue and other suspects “remain unidentified” according to police, though it has not been confirmed what the men were arrested on suspicion of.

The Metropolitan Police has not responded to road.cc's requests for comments on the spate of attacks and thefts on cyclists, or advice on how cyclists should keep themselves safe.

Simon Munk of Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign told Waltham Forest Guardian the police response had been poor.

Munk said: “Keep cycling, but keep your wits about you.

“What’s worrying is most of these attacks aren’t taking place in the dark but in the early evening.

“Maybe consider 'buddying up' by riding alongside others when going through isolated areas.”

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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