Assaults on cyclists

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  • Assaults on cyclists
  • pingu66

    It appears that assaults on cyclists are far to common however the police generally from what I read are not interested.

    However if a cyclist were to knock said aggressor on his arse no doubt they would go and complain leaving out the point of being the agressor and the cyclist could potentially be in trouble if they chose to defend themselves.

    What can we do to firstly defend ourselves, realistically, and also get the police to treat it more seriously.


    I was cycling along once and someone threw some sodium chloride in my face. I said to him ‘do you know thats a salt….’



    It’s verbal too: I was riding up Ditchling Beacon today and a guy in a pick-up truck going in the opposite direction shouted out “get off the road you four-eyed c**t”


    If you have proof of an assault the police have to take it seriously. If you can defend yourself and can justify the self defence then thats an option. Personally I try to let it go if its just a verbal assault. But if a driver deliberately puts me in danger and i can escape quick off the road i’ll just hit their mirror off and disappear fast.


    the roads are full of aggressive morons dont become one of them -be the change you want to see – be chilled , be polite, be courteous and obey the rules whether on your bike or in your car

    Never been physically assaulted only threatened with it.

    Verbal assault response: Shrug and get on with enjoying the rest of the ride.

    Physical assault response: Report to Police, although without an independent eye witness I wouldn’t expect too much to come from filing the report.


    I had an altercation with a motorist recently and the police were very good.

    I was knocked off my bike and the driver got out and punched me, I hit him back and he came of worst from the event. Police were involved it was recorded as incident with the other guy as the offender. I decided not to press charges but the option was offered.

    When I was giving my statement couldn’t help noticing pictures of the copper time trialling πŸ™‚


    Wise words Junky.

    I also agree with MW about verbal, just crack on.

    with physical threats, I am quite capable of defending but mayby not straddling a bike and breathless and we shouldn’t have to but we are easy targets. However as in the other post here if someone actually grabs you then what.

    Also why don’t the police take greater interest.


    I threw a punch wearing the road shoes once. It didn’t go well, they don’t have much grip.

    Luckily I was just trying to give my mate a dead arm rather than defend myself because I think that would have ended badly.


    Although vehicles weren’t mentioned in the OP, we mostly relate assaults on cyclists with road rage incidents. However, I’m amazed (and relieved) that aggressive bike theft hasn’t become a major issue yet especially given the value of some bikes and the trade in stolen bikes and parts.

    I originally posted this on bikeradar a couple of years ago. I’ve copied direct from there.

    Ok, it’s a small victory but I feel so pleased I had to post the result.

    I had been out on my fixie and was trying to turn right back into my road. I sgnalled and moved out to the middle of the road. A hay lorry was coming the other way so I slowed to a crawl (remember, I was on a 42×16 fixed) to allow him to come past before I turned. I heard a loud rev from behind me and before I knew it a White BMW pushed through on my left, missing me by millimeters and forcing me to swerve into the path of the oncoming Hay Lorry!I I managed to just miss the hay lorry and swerve back into my lane. Shocked, I took off after the BMW as I knew he was about to get caught at a traffic light.

    I tapped on his window and (my langauge was a touch colourful but non threatening) asked him what he thought he was playing at. He replied in a similar fashion that he was in the right and had caused me no harm!

    Heres the good bit…..

    I asked him if he wanted to come to the Police Station around the corner and say the same thing to the Police.

    HE AGREED!!!

    SO off we went to the cop shop. I got there first and pushed the Duty bell and comended Him and his Wife for the bravery in coming to stand up for their actions (bit cheeky but couldn’t resist)

    I told the Duty Sargent that I had come with a complaint about the agressive nature of the mans driving. He was a bit shocked that we were both there voluntarilly.

    He took me off to get my side of the story and then questioned the BMW driver about his side of events. I think it helped that the Bobby was a cyclist too but he came down wholly on my side of the fence and told the guy off for not taking enough care around cyclists!
    The BMW driver had to apologise to me and take a telling off from the bobby! Now I know thats not much in the grand scheme but firstly I can’t believe he came to the cops with me and then the fact that I was belived and supported by the police. I felt vindicated in my actions and a warm sense of support from the local police. To me, a victory.


    In my experience the police do take road rage and assault seriously. But it has to be reported.

    Take number plates, witness details if there are any.

    I reported being followed by a driver and assaulted, the police took it very seriously. Arrested the person and he admitted it and took a caution.

    They didn’t follow up the witnesses, took my word for it.

    Premier Icon sc-xc

    i’ll just hit their mirror off and disappear fast.

    After reading that on here, I tried it once. It didn’t come off, just really hurt my hand, and I had to pedal away looking like a right knob.

    I have opened rear passenger doors on a couple of occasions and had 1 stand up fight.

    Interestingly, the time I was knocked off the worst – I was that shaken up I found myself shaking the guys hand!


    A few years ago now, I got assaulted by a guy working for on of the local farms round here. He comes running through the woods and I assume he’s lost his dog…..until he pushes me off he bike (clipped in). I get up and he starts going on abou how us cyclists are wrecking the wood while continualyy pushing me in the chest. I try to point out all the horse damage around compared to none by bikes.

    At this point I realize he has a mate who has approached from behind and I start to think I’m going to get a good kicking / have the bike stolen. Somehow after a lot of shoutingit all calms down.

    When I get home I tell my wife who convinces me to report it. 6 months later the local cops turn up to get a statement. Apologizes that they lost my paperwork. They speak with the guy who obviously denies it all except having words (his mate backs him up) – result…nothing. No shocks there.

    The big deal was that just as some people here have said, I thought I was perfectly capable of looking after myself. The reality is that when disadvantaged by being attached to a bike, outnumbered and miles from anywhere / anyone you’re stuffed !

    This came as a shock to me but I only noticed when my wife mentioned some time later that I hadn’t been out for a while. She was right and it continued for a couple years.

    I’m no pushover, years of rugby and pretty stocky but that experience really shook me more than I ever thought. If I’d realised I’d probably have talked to someone about it. As it was I spent around 3 years away from a sport I love and really only got back to it a couple of years ago. I felt / feel robbed and still feel more vulnerable than before.

    Not sure if I have a point here, sorry for that, but it feels better to share.



    Thanks for that humble story Pym, makes a nice change from the big men who post likely stories on here

    Premier Icon muddydwarf

    Ive had a couple of run ins with motorists, both fortunately stayed at the shouting level. One i was the aggressor and I’m not proud of myself as i completely lost the plot, screaming, smashing a wing mirror off and ultimately trying to throw my bike through his rear windshield.
    Not a good point in my life really.

    The other was a driver who obviously wanted a fight, getting out of his vehicle and crossing two lanes of traffic to get at me. This time i stayed calm and just kept pointing out i had his reg number, there were lots of witnesses and what exactly was he planning to do next?

    Both times i had elevated adrenaline levels but i know which one i felt better about afterwards.



    That gives me hope for humanity.


    Leave the UK and live just about anywhere else. The amount of violence on UK roads is just weird. Used to commute in London so I know it all to well.

    Riding a road bike in Spain is a pleasure, cars hang back then give a gentle pip of the horn when they see that the road is safe for an overtake and do so swiftly and safely.

    The longer I live away from the UK the weirder I find it when I come back.

    I got pretty much beaten up waiting at some lights in London a few years back.


    Continuing on the tangent – you http://www.hardmen are all well and good, but it’s fight or flight in’t it..?

    You can never really odds how you are going to react in a chaotic violent situation can you..?

    Unless you are very much accustomed to dealing with violent confrontation, and are primed and ready..
    who knows what cocktail of psychology, hormones and chemicals will be running through you when the next psychopathic raging animal unleashes his fury..?

    Or are some of you riding around in a state of simmering aggression, waiting for someone to turn up the heat..?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    In my experience the police do take road rage and assault seriously. But it has to be reported.

    My most serious incident was a few years ago getting cut up by a small lorry – one of those “man with a van” outfits. He floored it past me dangerously close in order to get to the back of the next traffic jam 2 seconds quicker then when I overtook him again, he chased me through the lights, pulled alongside and swung the truck into me, boxing me off. Got out the van screaming and shouting abuse although amazingly didn’t actually hit me.

    Fortunately he had his name and number printed on the back of the van and I got the reg too. The police took it very seriously, went round to “have a chat” and remind him of his responsibilities although sadly there were no witnesses to the incident.

    As said above though, unless you’re actually trained in handling agressive incidents, most people have no idea how to respond and in spite of whatever Walter Mitty fantasies they harbour about dropping the assailant with a well aimed punch or two, they just stand there in shock or terrified.


    some shoitehouse child spat on me from an overhead walkway once, didn’t realise till I took my helmet off a bit further along and there was a big greeny on it (vomming emoji needed).

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    The driver who assaulted me got a caution – I laughed in the face of the copper who came round to check I was Ok with this when he told me the driver’s defence was that he had felt threatened and was acting in self defence – so scared that he got out of his safe steel box, threatened to kill the overweight middle aged cyclist who was by that point desperately trying to defuse the situation before pushing him through a hedge.

    The copper wasn’t impressed by my laughing, but I hadn’t been hurt, the guy got a caution for a relatively mild breach of the law (in the scale of things), he hopefully learned a lesson, the Police cleared a reported crime and they also had a record of the ignorant tosser in case he did it again. I was prepared to call that a result.


    Or are some of you riding around in a state of simmering aggression, waiting for someone to turn up the heat..?

    “Hi, my names Doctor Bannah, and I like to ride bikes.” Would be interesting for the next Avengers movie.


    The guy that chased me down, tried to drive into me several times then jumped out his car and took a swing at me got a caution for common assault.

    I thought he got off lightly, as a nurse fetching an elderly pateint from a waiting room touching their arm )with out their consent) is Technically committing common assault.

    The fact that in many of these examples from several threads today the drivers have gone out of their way to follow and repeatedly try to stop cyclists suggests to me a this is not a quick error of judgement but something more serious. To me it shows intent and where this can proven, either with witnesses or video, the police and CPS should be looking at more serious charges.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf

    Ive reported two separate incidents, both times the police took my statement etc and said they would ‘have a word’ and as no violence occurred i suppose that was fair. My understanding is that threats of violence are assaults though.

    There does appear to be a worrying tendency by the police to treat assaults on cyclists by motorists as something not serious at all, when drivers are getting of lightly when they cause a cyclists death then i suppose i shouldn’t be surprised.


    Once had the remains of 2 bags of chips thrown at me out of a car, got my own back at the lights with the water bottle full of blackcurrant that I sprayed through the open passengers window while very loudly telling them why I was doing it. That was the first and only time I’ve ran a red light.

    Had one incident when a bloke got out of the van to have a go at me. He had overtaken me to have a go so had only seen me from behind. Was going up hill so hunckered down on bike. Stood up on pedals 6 foot and 14.5 stone. Think the bloke thought I might have been smaller as he just got straight back in the van and drove off. I did call him a **** though.m


    It all adds to the fun of road riding – without it, where would the excitement come from? (im joking)

    There’s a bit of misunderstanding about assault on here and what constitutes it – the nurse scenario above is just nonsense….from my experience, public order stuff would cover it better in many situations.

    Fact is, although serious to us a cyclists – in the grand scheme of things its all fairly petty and minor…..or often starts that way. I think people got to realise that as a cyclist you are very vulnerable, and pride has to be put aside so a situation doesn’t escalate to the point where some cock is using his vehicle as a weapon.

    I once got overtook by a lorry and he clipped my rucksack with his mirror – a few meters down the road I overtook him at a redlight and didn’t say anything – just let it go. He then overtakes me again, with his passenger window down and starts screaming at me for ripping his wing mirror off (despite it not even moving), and then he proceeds to try and crush me against the kerb with the side of his truck. I don’t know what happens to people when they get behind the wheel , but they lose it – being mindful of this, and our vulnerability as a cyclist is essential.


    however the police generally from what I read are not interested

    They took my assault VERY seriously (punched by a motorist). Unfortunately the car was not registered, and ANPR has failed to show it. This included visiting various locations in the mornings to look for it.

    So what is your assertion based on?


    I agree with the feelings above, if when we are confronted we may behave differently to what we expect. Out for a nice ride then confronted by an angry person. Us mind set differently not looking at confrontation and with a bike between our legs is not the place t be in a fracas.

    Nt really how we behave but what can we do about it. We all make mistakes on the road as drivers and cyclists but as cyclists I feel we offer a soft target. How should we behave/ Suck it up as even if we were capable of defending ourselves we may be caught off canter, ie astride our bike, miles from help, breathless.

    Should crimes against cyclists be treated as crimes against cyclists who are more vulnerable, physically or as road rage.

    Is enough done by the police?

    I have been in the situation where I have defended myself only for the aggressor to come off the worst and make their own complaint and subsequently been investigated and had a case hanging over me. So even if you successfully defend yourself it can be traumatic in other ways.


    I’ve had water thrown over me, my arse slapped by a person in a passing car, one car did a u-turn around a roundabout and chased me up a hill to have a go at me for doing something I was well within my rights to do.

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand it.


    Quite shocking really how many people have stories to tell. As if it is accepted practice on the roads. Sure there are occurrences of road rage in all vehicles, but not to that extent. Sadly, the closest I have been to getting into a fight since school, has been whilst out cycling.

    am sick and tired of hearing (and occasionally experiencing myself) of drivers thinking we don’t exist/we shouldn’t be on the roads.also of the blatant disregard for cyclists by some people (who write basically they would be more than happy to kill cyclists 😑 who have the gall to be on their roads e.t.c

    racism/sexism/homophobia e.t.c is rightly despicable,so why is it then acceptable for media/people online e.t.c to be this aggressive/downright nasty about cyclists.
    and for the law to do absolutely nothing about it 😑

    am sick and tired of reading/hearing all this hate (and how people who have killed/injured cyclists get off scott free wtf 😑

    oh and as for their argument cyclists don’t pay road tax so have no rights to be on the road (read the law NO ROAD TAX HAS BEEN PAID SINCE THE 1920’S) also bikes were here first (if you want to get into that argument).
    apologies for the rant/coming across as naive (imagining that we could all get along on the roads πŸ˜‰ but i just had to vent πŸ˜‰


    In Oz we have people who scream at you as they drive past. It really unnerves you. I have never physically retalliated. The thought of hitting someone, them dropping and smacking their head on the pavement scares the hell out of me. I just hope that karma works it’s magic. I don’t want to go to prison for a moments stupidity on my part.

    Honestly, I’m a very happy chappy, never more so than when fleeing about on my bike. And I’m extremely aware of my surroundings, cycle defensively and take the view that I’d rather be held up than be dead. But I’ve had a guy try to run me over in a bus lane, purely because he thought I shouldn’t be there, I’ve had a guy trying to run me over on a garage forecourt – no idea why. I’ve been run over twice, once on a roundabout and once by a car failing to stop at a stop sign. Both times, I saw it coming and was able to land on the bonnet rather than going under the wheels. I’ve been bloody lucky.

    I’ve also often been on the receiving end of dangerously thoughtless driving – no malice involved, just people driving whilst thinking about what they might have for dinner, applying make-up or dealing with screaming kids in the back seat.

    We talk about this a lot on this forum. As has been said above, everyone has a tale or two to tell. Our only recourse is to report every incident, every time. GET WITNESSES, remember the number plate and change driving habits through sheer force of will and numbers of reports.


    Just remember something that happened to me a few years ago.

    Commuting and minding my own business in London. Stopped at the lights and a cop car pulls right up next to me into and beyond the ‘cycle forward’ box.

    I know these lights are slow so I gently tap on the window, the window is lowered and I ask, politely, why the car was now stopped where it was.

    The coppa next to me had 3 stripes – I think that makes him a….

    w@@ker, to be honest. I simply got a mouthful from him – I think he was trying to impress the 3 subordinates with him in the car. When I informed him that I paid his wages and he should give me a little respect he threatened to arrest me. I asked what grounds he was going to do that on and was that not ‘wasting police time’ and maybe he should be arrested. It all got rather heated from his end then I got somewhat worried that they would take me to the station and allow me to ‘fall down the stairs’ repeatedly.

    This sums up my feelings towards the Polis. Tey’re no better than the perpetrators of violence.


    jambon – Member
    When I informed him that I paid his wages



    are some of you riding around in a state of simmering aggression, waiting for someone to turn up the heat..?

    Yes – those people who film all of their commutes then post them up on youtube.

    They all seem to get themselves into an inordinate number of scrapes/incidents.

    It’s almost as if they’re deliberately looking for it.


    They all seem to get themselves into an inordinate number of scrapes/incidents.

    I ride about a mile to work everyday, go home for lunch etc so about 4 miles total per day, and there’s not a week goes by where someone doesnt pull out on me without looking, start to pull out at a roundabout or a pedestrian steps out in front of me without looking. Usually I’m aware that this sort of shit happens so I’m ready to brake, but some particularly stupid/agressive drivers get a a wave of the fist or a shout. If I were to start filming them and uploading all these incidents then I’d very quickly have a large collection of (not very interesting) youTube clips….

    Premier Icon Painey

    Had a few scrapes in my time and even been put in hospital via ambulance thanks to some careless idiot on the road.

    Whilst out on my mountain bike once I was riding along a popular bridleway near the South Downs and when I came round a corner a guy was driving back to his farm which uses the same track/road. Seeing me he got out, ran over and started pushing me around saying I was wrecking his driveway. Upon pointing out that it’s a public bridleway (a rather large sign saying so was 20ft away) he went berserk saying “no it’s no it’s my road”.

    He kept telling his mate “Ray” in the car to call the police and tried to steal my bike. Things got heated at this point and I “politely explained to him it wouldn’t be a good idea”. If anybody on Strava ever comes across a segment near Ditchling called “Ray, call the police” this explains the name!

    What amazed me was the instant hatred that came over this guy. Part of me wishes it’d gotten physical and he’d learnt a lesson from it but I’m glad I calmly rode away from such an idiot.

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