Cyclist 'lucky to be alive' after attack on West Stafford bypass

Dorset Echo: Cyclist Richard Gould was pushed into the road by an angry pedestrian Cyclist Richard Gould was pushed into the road by an angry pedestrian

A CYCLIST says he is lucky to be alive after he was barged into a road by an irate pedestrian.

Richard Gould was riding along a designated footpath and cyclepath by the West Stafford bypass when he was confronted by the angry man and knocked off his bike and into the carriageway.

Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic at the time, otherwise Mr Gould said he would have been killed.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the assault, which took place at around 7.30pm on Wednesday. Mr Gould, 61, who is retired and lives in Dorchester, said he had been cycling with a group of 14 riders but was on his own as he peddled towards the county town along the path.

He said: “There was a guy walking towards me, he initially appeared okay and he was walking on the left of the footpath so I moved across to the right.

“He then moved across to the right of the path so I moved back to the left.

“I slowed right down to not a great speed and as I passed him he gave me a shove in the right shoulder which forced me onto the main road carriageway and I fell off my bike.”

Mr Gould said the man then walked over to him as he lay on the ground and was verbally abusing him.

He said: “He was ranting and raving and using an awful lot of unprintable language about how I shouldn’t be cycling on a footpath, that seemed to be his main beef.

“He then wandered off up the path towards West Stafford still shouting and hollering.”

Mr Gould escaped without serious injury and said his bike only received ‘cosmetic damage’, but he said it could have been so much worse if any traffic had been passing at the time.

He said: “If there had been anything within 20 feet I would have been dead without a shadow of a doubt, because they wouldn’t have been able to stop.”

Mr Gould added: “This guy needs to be found.

“I hate to think what would have happened if that had been a young girl or an old woman or a child, they would be thinking: ‘I’m not ever going out on my bike again’.”

Comments (14)

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7:09pm Sat 23 Apr 11

Galliano says...

What a really horrible incident, poor you Mr Gould. I hope you find the courage to go cycling again soon and put this behind you.
What a really horrible incident, poor you Mr Gould. I hope you find the courage to go cycling again soon and put this behind you. Galliano

7:41pm Sat 23 Apr 11

martaaay2 says...

A case of being in the wrong place at wrong time unfortunately for this gentleman, however it highlights some people attitudes to cyclists sharing the same path as them, I too have had people try to play chicken with me whilst riding towards them on a bike with the sole aim of trying to provoke an aggressive reaction back towards them, although nowhere near as serious as besides a busy main road, what a moron!
You have my sympathy sir, I'm sure the cycle-bashers will be along soon...
A case of being in the wrong place at wrong time unfortunately for this gentleman, however it highlights some people attitudes to cyclists sharing the same path as them, I too have had people try to play chicken with me whilst riding towards them on a bike with the sole aim of trying to provoke an aggressive reaction back towards them, although nowhere near as serious as besides a busy main road, what a moron! You have my sympathy sir, I'm sure the cycle-bashers will be along soon... martaaay2

8:50pm Sat 23 Apr 11

Genghis says...

I agree with Mr Gould, this guy does need to be found.
I agree with Mr Gould, this guy does need to be found. Genghis

9:19am Sun 24 Apr 11

jlseagull says...

One of the problems is that, unfortunately, Mr Gould has been tarred with the same brush as the many cyclists who think they have the right of way over pedestrians and ride at ridiculous speeds with no prior warning of their approach. I have been close to being flattened on numerous occasions on the Rodwell Trail, the Prom and Lodmoor. I'm sure Mr Gould would not have encountered any problems had such irresponsible and arogant cyclists shown a little more consideration for pedestrians. This does not excuse the actions of this pedestrian but the actions of a few cyclists are creating considerable frustration among some of us.
One of the problems is that, unfortunately, Mr Gould has been tarred with the same brush as the many cyclists who think they have the right of way over pedestrians and ride at ridiculous speeds with no prior warning of their approach. I have been close to being flattened on numerous occasions on the Rodwell Trail, the Prom and Lodmoor. I'm sure Mr Gould would not have encountered any problems had such irresponsible and arogant cyclists shown a little more consideration for pedestrians. This does not excuse the actions of this pedestrian but the actions of a few cyclists are creating considerable frustration among some of us. jlseagull

10:27am Sun 24 Apr 11

Fishbox says...

'Pedalled' not 'peddled', Mr Hogger, unless he was selling stuff from his bike.
'Pedalled' not 'peddled', Mr Hogger, unless he was selling stuff from his bike. Fishbox

12:22pm Sun 24 Apr 11

iampuzzled says...

Fishbox, Wyke
Mr. Hogger may have been correct, perhaps Mr Gould IS an itinerant onion seller in his spare time. Glad he is OK though.
Fishbox, Wyke Mr. Hogger may have been correct, perhaps Mr Gould IS an itinerant onion seller in his spare time. Glad he is OK though. iampuzzled

12:23pm Sun 24 Apr 11

itsallaboutthebike says...

I think pedestrians like it all ways, I was cycling into Westbay today and I lost count of the amount that just walked straight out in front of me causing me to swerve and take avoiding action, and I was on the road!
I think pedestrians like it all ways, I was cycling into Westbay today and I lost count of the amount that just walked straight out in front of me causing me to swerve and take avoiding action, and I was on the road! itsallaboutthebike

12:48pm Sun 24 Apr 11

downfader says...

jlseagull wrote:
One of the problems is that, unfortunately, Mr Gould has been tarred with the same brush as the many cyclists who think they have the right of way over pedestrians and ride at ridiculous speeds with no prior warning of their approach. I have been close to being flattened on numerous occasions on the Rodwell Trail, the Prom and Lodmoor. I'm sure Mr Gould would not have encountered any problems had such irresponsible and arogant cyclists shown a little more consideration for pedestrians. This does not excuse the actions of this pedestrian but the actions of a few cyclists are creating considerable frustration among some of us.
I think you have to ask yourself: why?
.
Why should the many good be labelled the same as the few idiots? It doesnt read as if the guy rode towards the pedestrian at any great speed and even suggests that he'd slowed and attemped to give the guy some space.
.
Do we label other groups such as drivers as mobile phone using drink drivers? No, because that would be rediculous. I think this attitude towards cyclists has to change...
.
I for one hope they catch the man, thats a public order offence in the least and assault in the main.
[quote][p][bold]jlseagull[/bold] wrote: One of the problems is that, unfortunately, Mr Gould has been tarred with the same brush as the many cyclists who think they have the right of way over pedestrians and ride at ridiculous speeds with no prior warning of their approach. I have been close to being flattened on numerous occasions on the Rodwell Trail, the Prom and Lodmoor. I'm sure Mr Gould would not have encountered any problems had such irresponsible and arogant cyclists shown a little more consideration for pedestrians. This does not excuse the actions of this pedestrian but the actions of a few cyclists are creating considerable frustration among some of us.[/p][/quote]I think you have to ask yourself: why? . Why should the many good be labelled the same as the few idiots? It doesnt read as if the guy rode towards the pedestrian at any great speed and even suggests that he'd slowed and attemped to give the guy some space. . Do we label other groups such as drivers as mobile phone using drink drivers? No, because that would be rediculous. I think this attitude towards cyclists has to change... . I for one hope they catch the man, thats a public order offence in the least and assault in the main. downfader

3:38pm Sun 24 Apr 11

CoogarUK.com says...

Although I concur with jlseagull, I have every sympathy for the cyclist on this occasion as he was clearly riding along a designated cycle path, albeit one shared with a footpath. The problem as I see it is that cycling along pavements and other footpaths has almost become the norm and unless that issue is properly tackled attacks such as this will only be on the increase, along with pedestrians' frustrations. I for one certainly tend to stand my ground along Riverside Walk.
Although I concur with jlseagull, I have every sympathy for the cyclist on this occasion as he was clearly riding along a designated cycle path, albeit one shared with a footpath. The problem as I see it is that cycling along pavements and other footpaths has almost become the norm and unless that issue is properly tackled attacks such as this will only be on the increase, along with pedestrians' frustrations. I for one certainly tend to stand my ground along Riverside Walk. CoogarUK.com

8:10am Mon 25 Apr 11

Ethel Rankin says...

The problem cyclists face is that pedestrians don't want them on the path and motorists don't want them on the road. I do have a bike but I rarely use it these days because of the abuse. I do walk to work but would prefer to cycle. My husband is a cyclist and has been spat at, had coke poured over him from a taxi, been knocked off his bike by a pensioner who just pulled out on him and the police did nothing. He came off recently along the quay. The traffic had been diverted that way and he had no choice but to cycle over the dangerous rails. He also suffered a torrent of abuse from motorists on the Relief Road. There is a sign near Came Down telling cyclists to move off the path onto the road so once again he had no choice. The local police(who also use bikes) aren't really interested when you call them.
The problem cyclists face is that pedestrians don't want them on the path and motorists don't want them on the road. I do have a bike but I rarely use it these days because of the abuse. I do walk to work but would prefer to cycle. My husband is a cyclist and has been spat at, had coke poured over him from a taxi, been knocked off his bike by a pensioner who just pulled out on him and the police did nothing. He came off recently along the quay. The traffic had been diverted that way and he had no choice but to cycle over the dangerous rails. He also suffered a torrent of abuse from motorists on the Relief Road. There is a sign near Came Down telling cyclists to move off the path onto the road so once again he had no choice. The local police(who also use bikes) aren't really interested when you call them. Ethel Rankin

9:46am Mon 25 Apr 11

downfader says...

Ethel Rankin wrote:
The problem cyclists face is that pedestrians don't want them on the path and motorists don't want them on the road. I do have a bike but I rarely use it these days because of the abuse. I do walk to work but would prefer to cycle. My husband is a cyclist and has been spat at, had coke poured over him from a taxi, been knocked off his bike by a pensioner who just pulled out on him and the police did nothing. He came off recently along the quay. The traffic had been diverted that way and he had no choice but to cycle over the dangerous rails. He also suffered a torrent of abuse from motorists on the Relief Road. There is a sign near Came Down telling cyclists to move off the path onto the road so once again he had no choice. The local police(who also use bikes) aren't really interested when you call them.
Ethel, the CTC is collating evidence of abuse towards cyclists, lack of Police interest etc at stopSMIDSY.org.uk
.
You don't have to be a cyclist to add information to the campaign, even. I would urge all cyclists to take part in this campaign as they're trying to build a national picture and help get problem areas sorted out.
[quote][p][bold]Ethel Rankin[/bold] wrote: The problem cyclists face is that pedestrians don't want them on the path and motorists don't want them on the road. I do have a bike but I rarely use it these days because of the abuse. I do walk to work but would prefer to cycle. My husband is a cyclist and has been spat at, had coke poured over him from a taxi, been knocked off his bike by a pensioner who just pulled out on him and the police did nothing. He came off recently along the quay. The traffic had been diverted that way and he had no choice but to cycle over the dangerous rails. He also suffered a torrent of abuse from motorists on the Relief Road. There is a sign near Came Down telling cyclists to move off the path onto the road so once again he had no choice. The local police(who also use bikes) aren't really interested when you call them.[/p][/quote]Ethel, the CTC is collating evidence of abuse towards cyclists, lack of Police interest etc at stopSMIDSY.org.uk . You don't have to be a cyclist to add information to the campaign, even. I would urge all cyclists to take part in this campaign as they're trying to build a national picture and help get problem areas sorted out. downfader

11:31am Mon 25 Apr 11

MaidofDorset says...

When I hear of trolley rage in Tesco or cyclists like Mr Gould being off-roaded by some idiot I wonder what sort of people these are.

What are they like to be married to or work with?

Life is too short to be spoilt by this sort of childish behaviour. None of us know what's around the corner and to go through life lashing out at someone because they are in your space really is wasting your time on this earth.
When I hear of trolley rage in Tesco or cyclists like Mr Gould being off-roaded by some idiot I wonder what sort of people these are. What are they like to be married to or work with? Life is too short to be spoilt by this sort of childish behaviour. None of us know what's around the corner and to go through life lashing out at someone because they are in your space really is wasting your time on this earth. MaidofDorset

7:14pm Mon 25 Apr 11

siratb says...

This is a common problem on shared bike/footpaths around Weymouth. I think many pedestrians feel that their personal space has been invaded by the cyclist and take (great) offence. I had one old boy deliberately move into my path when he saw me coming (Lodmoor), so I passed him on the left extremely slowly. I was then met with a torrent of abuse and then when I stopped he squared up to me. I thought he was going to hit me at one point as he shouted and screamed in my face like a mad dog.....so I rode off (pointing out that he had let his dog sh*t on the cycle path which was highly dangerous to children who end up covered in the mess).....
This is a common problem on shared bike/footpaths around Weymouth. I think many pedestrians feel that their personal space has been invaded by the cyclist and take (great) offence. I had one old boy deliberately move into my path when he saw me coming (Lodmoor), so I passed him on the left extremely slowly. I was then met with a torrent of abuse and then when I stopped he squared up to me. I thought he was going to hit me at one point as he shouted and screamed in my face like a mad dog.....so I rode off (pointing out that he had let his dog sh*t on the cycle path which was highly dangerous to children who end up covered in the mess)..... siratb

7:30pm Mon 25 Apr 11

Genghis says...

Here we go again. Those models of saintliness, the poor cyclists and how everybody else is rotten towards them. Open your eyes for a change. You'll find just as many ill-tempered, ignorant cyclists out there as there are ill-tempered, ignorant pedestrians and motorists.
Here we go again. Those models of saintliness, the poor cyclists and how everybody else is rotten towards them. Open your eyes for a change. You'll find just as many ill-tempered, ignorant cyclists out there as there are ill-tempered, ignorant pedestrians and motorists. Genghis

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