A Birmingham cyclist has spoken of how three youths attacked him with a metal pipe and stole his £3,500 mountain bike as he rode home from work along a canal towpath.
Dave Frisby also revealed that after he posted details of the incident to social media, he was contacted by two other cyclists who had been targeted in the area shortly beforehand, but managed to escape with their bikes.
The attack happened at around 5pm on Tuesday 12 October at bridge 91 on the canal, with Mr Frisby sustaining injuries to his arm, wrist and back, reports Birmingham Live.
The 47-year-old, who had been heading home to Hampton in Arden, said that the three suspects – described as Asian males aged 18-22, dressed in grey tracksuits and black trainers – attacked him as he passed beneath the bridge.
“It was a bit of a shock,” he said. “There were three lads in tracksuits waiting at that bridge. I thought they were just messing around. One grabbed my arm as I cycled by. I came down with a wallop and hit some railings.
“I turned around and asked them what they were doing? They then pounced and I realised they were after the bike.
“I jumped on the bike, but I must have hit the railings so hard that I popped both the tyres,” he continued. “They caught up with me and pulled me off the bike. One of them had a pipe or a stick and hit me over the back.
“One of them turned around and said that if I didn't let go of the bike, they'd stab me. I didn't see a knife, but as soon as they said that I let go of the bike. It was over quite quickly.”
He added: “I’m quite shaken and upset. I’m a relatively positive guy, I just need to get back on the horse – but ultimately I need to go find a new horse!
“I don't want this to happen to anyone else – that's why I posted it on social media. The bike can be replaced regardless of the cost.
“But those lads need to be taken off the street or someone is going to get seriously hurt.”
Mr Frisby’s bike is a Trek ProCaliber 9.7 mountain bike, with the frame number WTU102XD0229R.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: “okeswoman told BirminghamLive: "A man in his 40s was robbed of his mountain bike near a bridge on the canal off Armoury Road, Birmingham, just after 5pm yesterday (Tuesday).
"He suffered an injury to his hand and attended hospital for further checks. Neighbourhood officers carried out a patrol of the area later in the evening and checked along the towpath but nothing was found.
“An appointment has been made for us to speak again with the victim later this week.”
Anyone who has information is requested to contact police via 101 quoting log 3181 of 12 October, or the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
We’ve covered a number of incidents here on road.cc in which cyclists have been attacked or robbed while using towpaths in Birmingham and other parts of the West Midlands.
In July, a cyclist, together with his bike, was pushed into the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Selly Oak, while in March, police stepped up patrols on the Birmingham to Fazeley Canal towpath after two cyclists were robbed of their bikes in separate incidents there.
Last year also saw a spate of attacks on women riding on the Worcester and Birmingham canal towpath close to Birmingham University.
There's also been a number of violent bikejackings in London recently, including the notorious incident in which pro cyclist Alexandar Richardson was threatened with a machete and robbed in Richmond Park. A number of similar attacks have happened since, with the Metropolitan Police saying in a statement that it will "carry out every reasonable line of enquiry to recover the property and bring any suspect to justice."
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.