Leicester police are investigating a possible link between three recent incidents in which cyclists were knocked off their bikes by the driver of a silver BMW and his passenger, reports the Leicester Mercury.
In the most recent incident, on Saturday July 6, 55-year-old lorry driver Andy Limb sustained a broken collarbone after being forced off the road into a ditch.
He said: “The car pulled up alongside and then dived into me, forcing me on to the gravel and sending me over the handlebars.
“My crash helmet saved my life, but I didn’t even feel the impact, it all went so quickly.
“I didn’t really hear him coming and I didn’t see who was in the car because they appeared from behind. Before I knew it I was in a heap and in a lot of pain.”
Colin Haynes, 48, was the first reported victim of the driver and his passenger.
On Monday July 1 he was riding home from work when a silver BMW came alongside him. The passenger leaned out and shoved him from his bike.
He said: “I landed awkwardly and thought I’d broken my ribs. Luckily they were only bruised.”
Colin Haynes later told the BBC: “I just can’t believe somebody could do that. They could quite easily have killed somebody.”
Haynes reported the attack after reading about another victim, 49-year-old Martin Webster, in the Leicester Mercury.
Webster, a former international cyclist who now runs a bike shop, said he was going downhill at 20 to 30mph on Thursday July 4 when he was attacked.
“I heard a horn behind me and I looked behind and didn’t recognise the car.
“As it passed someone on the passenger side – either the front or back seat – leaned out and pushed me.
“They hit me on my thigh, so I didn’t go straight over but I lost control and bumped up on to the grass. The verge was pretty ploughed up and I was thrown off, bashing my shoulder pretty badly and grazing my right leg.
“It hurt my neck as well, but overall I think I got off lightly. I could have hit a tree or the fence or been catapulted into the barbed wire.
“I could have been killed.”
Colin Haynes believes the three attacks may not be the only incidents involving the silver BMW.
He said: “After it happened I was speaking to someone who told me they heard the same thing happened near the Shell garage in Broughton Astley. If it’s the same people, something needs to be done to catch them and put an end to this.”
Police say they are looking into the possibility of a link between the three incidents, which all happened in the south-west of the county and involved an old silver BMW.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson 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 editor Tony Farelly, 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 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.