Woman was riding past group of youths on towpath when assault happened on Thursday evening

Police in East London have launched an appeal for information and witnesses after a woman was pushed into the Regent’s Canal as she rode her bike along the towpath.

The Metropolitan Police say the incident happened on Thursday evening at around 7.30pm, on a section of the canal at Limehouse between Commercial Road and Salmon Lane.

Officers say the 33-year-old victim was heading north on the towpath when she spotted a group of youths walking towards her.

After slowing down, she heard one “shout out an order to push her in,” according to the police, with a female among the group pushing her, resulting in the cyclist and her bike ending up in the water.

The group – numbering five or six people and including males and females, and described as between 16 and 18 years of age and Asian – then ran off under the Commercial Road foot tunnel towards Limehouse DLR station.

A passing jogger rescued the woman, who was grazed and said to be suffering from shock, and got her bike out of the canal before calling police.

Officers from Tower Hamlets as well as the Metropolitan Police’s Marine Policing Unit later arrived at the scene.

The cyclist’s assailant is said to have long hair and was wearing dark sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call Tower Hamlets CID at Limehouse police station on 020 7275 4546 or the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, 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.