Edinburgh cyclist injured by clothes line strung across cycle path

Police investigating; second cyclist narrowly avoided another trap nearby

Police in Edinburgh are investigating an incident in which a cyclist was injured when he was thrown from his bike after riding into a potentially lethal clothes line positioned at head height across a busy cycle path.

The rider, believed to be aged in his early 50s, sustained cuts on his cheek and nose, leaving him "bleeding and dazed" following the incident at around 7pm yesterday evening, reports STV.

It took place on the Roseburn path behind the Davidsons Mains branch of Tesco in the northwest of the city.

The broadcaster says that logs and branches had been placed on the path, possibly to distract riders’ vision as the approached the wire.

A 27-year-old female cyclist had to brake to avoid a second trap nearby, placed at a lower level, and managed to escape injury.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I saw the low level one and skidded to a stop. I had a look around and wondered what the hell was going on.

“I got off my bike to take it down and was looking at the knots when I caught a glimpse of the man who had come off.

“I shouted out to him to see if he was OK and walked over. He had lost his glasses and was quite dazed and confused.

“He said he was cycling and saw the logs. Then he saw the rope at the last second and turned his head before it got him. He had a nasty cut on his nose and his cheek where he struck the rope.

“As we were taking them down, both of us were wondering if there was anyone watching us. It was a little horrifying to be honest.”

The woman, who said she would not be deterred from cycling but would be “very cautious,” reported the incident to police, who have said that they are investigating.

Her boyfriend, Alex Robertson, told STV that the perpetrators had committed
“the equivalent of attempted murder”.

He continued: “They are putting up something that could easily kill someone. It’s shocking.

“The man was bleeding and clearly shaken up by it. I imagine he’s been put off cycling and that’s on a path where they’re meant to be safe.

“I’m pretty angry at whoever’s done this. If my girlfriend hadn’t stopped in time, she would have gone flying and who knows the damage it could have caused.

“I remember something similar happening at the Meadows a couple of years ago. A guy had to undergo reconstructive surgery because it caused so much damage to his face.”

Ian Maxwell from the Lothian cycle campaign group, Spokes, commented: “This is a horrible incident. Similar things have happened on the path network before and the police have targeted the relevant area.”

He added: “The busier the paths are the less likely it is to happen.”

In December 2011, we reported how a cyclist using the Bristol-Bath Railway Path had been rendered unconscious and his bike stolen after he was brought down by a clothes line strung across the route.

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.

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