A cyclist who was stabbed in the legs when he was attacked while riding home on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path before Christmas has said that he was a “whisker away” from an artery being severed, with potentially fatal consequences.
Earlier this week, Avon & Somerset Police put out a fresh appeal for information on the incident, which happened near Fishponds at the Bristol end of the popular commuting and leisure route at 7.15pm on Wednesday 18 December.
The 33-year-old man, who did not want to be named found his path blocked by two men, who demanded his possessions.
Following a scuffle, the pair fled empty-handed, but the victim quickly realised he had been wounded.
He told the Bristol Post: “Paramedics said it was the adrenaline which I was thankful for.
“I remember feeling something wasn't quite right. I looked down and there was blood everywhere. Blood running down my legs, my shoes were red.
“I then collapsed because my legs couldn't take my weight any longer.”
A passing cyclist dialled 999, while another used a scarf as a tourniquet and rang the victim’s girlfriend, who soon arrived on the scene.
“I'll never forget the scream when she arrived, it's a sound I never want to hear again,” the cyclist said.
“She came running over and one of the men told her she needed to calm down before she saw me.”
He needed to undergo surgery on both legs, and said that it was once in hospital he went into shock.
“I broke down,” he explained. “The doctor told me if they had hit an artery I'd only have a minute to get help. That was the first time in the whole ordeal I felt scared.
“I didn't feel scared at the time. The whole thing lasted about ten seconds. I didn't know they had knives, I didn't have time to think.
“I wish I had just given them my phone or my bike. I remember at the time just thinking this isn't happening.
“It was fight or flight and unfortunately for me my brain picked fight.”
He said that the attack still affected him. “I have nightmares. I think about what happened every day. I keep replaying what happened and thinking 'what if'?
“I was working late that night and I think what if I left on time? But then they would have still been there and it would have happened to another cycliist.
“Because it was so dark I have very little descriptions of them. They are still out there – they could do this again.”
However, he said: “I think they never meant to stab me. I think they wanted to intimate me. They panicked after it happened. They didn't take my bike or my bag.”
Police officers recovered a knife at the scene and found another nearby.
The suspects are described as “white, approximately 5ft 7ins, slim and in their late-teens or early 20s.
“One man is said to have worn a dark olive coat with a white furry hood. His hood was up and he had a distinctive face mask to cover himself. He was also wearing dark jeans. The second man was wearing similar clothing.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call officers on 101, quoting reference 5219291413.
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.