Two riders in Manchester knocked off by rope strung across path; police appeal for help

"Sheer good luck these innocent cyclists weren’t seriously injured or even killed," says detective...

Two Manchester cyclists were injured earlier this month when they rode into a rope that had been deliberately strung across a path in Bryn, Manchester police have revealed.

The incidents happened within an hour of each other on 5 September, but details have only today been released.

The first crash happened at 5.30am in the morning, when the 51-year-old victim was making his usual cycle trip to work.

As he cycled along a temporary footpath, installed due to roadworks on Bryn Road, Bryn, he struck a rope that had been attached over the path at head level.

He was knocked off his bike and suffered an injury to his nose and a dislocated shoulder. He was taken to hospital for treatment and police say he is now making a good recovery.

Around an hour later a 41-year-old man was cycling along the same stretch when he was also knocked off his bike. He suffered an injury to his nose and bruising to his faced and had treatment at his GP surgery.

Detective Constable Andrew Hill of Wigan CID, said: “This is one of the stupidest and most reckless acts I have ever seen.

“It’s only by sheer good luck that these innocent cyclists weren’t seriously injured or even killed. Whoever did this deliberately placed the rope at head height for optimum effect, and it could so easily have proved devastatingly successful.

“The victims were using a temporary footpath so it’s conceivable that the culprit had been annoyed at cyclists riding on the path. However, no amount of frustration can ever justify this crime.

“I now want to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 5307 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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.

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