A cyclist in Cambridge has spoken of how he was left bloodied after being assaulted by a gang of youths as he rode along one of the city’s guided busways.
Johan Henriksson, aged 33, was riding home from the gym along the off-road route between Addenbrooke’s Hospital to his home close to the city’s railway station at around 5pm on the evening of Thursday 11 January.
Cambridge News reports that the post-doctoral student found his way blocked by a group of youths aged between 16 and 18.
At around 5pm he was heading north along the cycle path connecting the station to Addenbrooke's Hospital when he saw a group of teenagers he estimated were 16 to 18 years old wearing dark clothing.
He said: "Four to five of them were just blocking the route. They were just looking for trouble from whoever.
"I slowed down, they had no lights on and they were blocking the path. We had a discussion. One of the guys was spitting at me."
A fellow cyclist stopped to help him. The pair were able to ride past the youths, but after the other person rode off, the teenagers continued to harass Mr Henriksson.
"We were just cycling away, but these people were still following me and driving into my bike," he said.
"They were pushing me around and I was close to hitting some people on the path.
"At some point things escalated. I don’t really remember what happened. One guy tried to take me down.
"Somehow I fell over. I might have run into the fence.
"I recall being surrounded by them. They were kicking me. They most likely went toward the station after that."
His bike and spectacles were damaged in the incident and he sustained a gash to the head and a swollen hand.
"I’m not that easy to scare,” he said. “
I’ve never seen that much blood in my life coming out of me," he said.
Posting on Facebook, he wrote: “Early Halloween! Or - 5 kids picked a fight with the wrong guy. All white male with bikes on the Addenbrooke’s cycle path. 16-18 my guess … Sounded British.
Other people commenting on the thread believe they have seen the same youths in the area recently, and Mr Henriksson added: "Given they have probably been there for a few weeks, they are clearly amateurs. If something like this happens you don’t do more crime in the same area.
"They just go there to see how far they can push you but this time it just escalated."
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Constabulary said the force did not have records of any similar incidents, but people with information are requested to call 101 and quote incident number CF0008590118 or make a report on their website.
Alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers can be contacted 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.