Several cyclists have reported large sticks being left or thrown on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path in recent days in what appears to be another wave of attacks on the popular route. The Bristol Post also reports that a man was robbed of his electric scooter at knifepoint last week.
Writing on the Bristol Cyclists Facebook page, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous recounted a horrifying experience she had while riding from Bristol centre to Warmley last Monday.
While riding in the early evening, after dark, she said some very large tree branches came onto the path near Mangotsfield Old Railway Station, “and I realised that they were being thrown at me.”
She stopped to look around and saw a teenage boy hiding behind a tree.
“I expressed my annoyance and started to move on... I heard other voices behind me that shouted out, 'Rape her! Rape her!'
“Understandably I started to panic and realising that there was more than one adolescent present, I cycled as fast as I could. I didn't know if that was their intention or an empty taunt – but either way it was horrible.
“When I got home I was shaken up and reported the incident to the police.”
Responding to the post, several others said that they too had encountered large branches left on the path, apparently deliberately.
One said they had been riding near the same spot on Wednesday and found a branch across the path as well as three people nearby. “I just jumped the branch and carried on. There were a few shouts but nothing audible.”
Another user said there had been regular instances of branches being left on the path since the summer.
The e-scooter theft occurred on Thursday November 19.
The 26-year-old victim said he was surrounded by a group of teenagers, one of whom threatened him with a knife. He ran to a house in nearby Junction Way, Mangotsfield to report the incident.
The Bristol and Bath Railway Path has regularly suffered waves of attacks on cyclists, many of which we have reported on.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that 29 offences were reported on the route between March 2019 and March 2020.
Police have tended to respond by increasing patrols and have on occasion made arrests. In March 2019, a 15-year-old boy was given a 12-month referral order and ordered to pay his victims compensation after stealing three bikes.
Avon and Somerset Police have been contacted for comment.