A newspaper says that a number of recent incidents in Kent in which cyclists have been pushed off their bikes by van passengers reflects a “warped trend” – although some commenters to the article believe they deserve it.
Earlier this month, we reported how the passenger of a Volkswagen Transporter van had pushed a cyclist from his bike in Frittenden, resulting in him sustaining a cut to his chin.
The Kent Online article we cited mentioned that two similar incidents had happened in the weeks beforehand, one i between Stilebridge Lane and Marden, the other in Pattenden Lane, Marden.
Two further incidents have now come to light, one in Boxley Hill., the other on Underlyn Lane, again in Marden.
The victim of the Boxley Hill assault, 46-yedar-old Duncan Hall, told Kent Online that he was riding from Grove Hill to his home in Lordswood when the incident happened at around 6.30pm on the evening of Sunday 6 January.
“I was heading through Boxley and there was a car behind me and a van behind that,” he said.
“The car behind me wasn’t overtaking because there were other cars coming in the other direction.
“The car went past me later and then the white van turned right into Pilgrims Way.
“I turned left towards Boxley Hill and then the van behind me came close to me.
“The next minute I saw this hand come out and push my hip and I ended up landing in a bush.”
“I wasn’t hurt but there could have been glass on the ground. I was more angry than anything,” he added.
Motorist Ian Roots told Kent Online that he had encountered a cyclist who had been the victim of a similar incident on Underlyn Lane in Marden on Sunday 30 December.
“When I came round the corner there was a guy who had fallen off his bike,” he said.
“As he was going along he said a van slowed down and someone leaned out the window and shoved him.
“I work with vehicles all the time and I could tell it was a Transit Connect but we didn’t see the number plate.
“He wasn’t hurt but he was shocked and angry.
“The man was a similar age to the person who was pushed in Frittenden so “He was maybe aged in his 60s.
“You don’t want to see anyone pushed off their bike,” he added.
While most comments to yesterday’s Kent Online report expressed shock at the incidents, one commenter, going by the name Angry of Chatham, said: “Rough justice, but justice never the less. When cycle lanes are supplied these lycra clad half-wits don't use them.”
Another, using the name DIMWIT, with caps lock key firmly engaged, said: “GET OUT OF THE WAY THEN!!! IDIOTS ON BIKES THINK THEY OWN THE ROAD.”
While according to witnesses there appear to be at least two separate vehicles involved in the three incidents for which details have been reported, it’s worth noting that all three happened on a Sunday.
Kent Police told road.cc that they could not trace having been notified of any of the incidents, and have urged the victims or witnesses to contact them on the non-emergency number 101 so they can investigate.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.