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Cambridge cyclist rides into wire stretched across path

Garry Seddon has reported incident on Jublilee cycle path on Saturday to police

A man from Cambridge says he could have been garrotted by a wire stretched across a cycle path in the city on a path he was cycling along while towing his toddler son in a trailer.

Garry Seddon, aged 42, had been shopping with the two-year-old in the city centre on Saturday afternoon and chose to take a scenic home to Fulbourn.

After riding along the River Cam and through Ditton Fields, he decided to continue to ride on a traffic-free route, the Jubilee Cycle Path, rather than following more direct main roads.

The married father-of-two told “By the time I got to the Jubilee cycle path, it was dark and had started raining.

“As the path took the 90-degree right turn to exit into the Newmarket Road Park and Ride car park, I found myself in a tunnel-like tree-lined section that was completely dark.

“I suddenly saw a horizontal line across my path less than a metre ahead and I was on a collision course with the line at a height somewhere beneath my nose and above my nipple-line.

“No sooner had I begun to squeeze the brake levers I felt the wire or washing-line cord tighten across my chest and both shoulders and it snapped with a twang.”

Mr Seddon, who works as a clonical data manager, went on: “My initial feeling was of embarrassment, that someone might be hiding in the bushes laughing at my predicament but I then wondered if this was a prelude to a street robbery so I continued on my journey without hanging around to inspect the wire.

“When I got home, I tweeted the incident to warn fellow cyclists. My feeling is that this was some prank by teenagers rather than an anti-cyclist attack, or malicious attempt to cause harm.

“However, the fact is that I was unharmed because of good luck rather than anything else: my riding position is quite upright, on a sit-up-and-beg hybrid.

“Had I been on a bike with drop-handlebars or triathlon aerobars, the wire could have connected with my throat or eyes.”

He added that he had contacted Cambridgeshire Constabulary on Saturday evening to report the incident.

“I didn’t want to cause any fuss or waste anybody’s time but I did feel it should be logged and contribute to the statistics,” he explained.

“However, the lady I spoke to on the 101 phone service felt it important enough that I be given an appointment to attend my local station to speak directly to a local officer.

“While the incident wasn’t targeted at me personally, she added, it was a deliberate act and could be construed as a GBH-with-intent crime.”

Mr Seddon was due to attend his local police station today.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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nowasps | 8 years ago


Eric D | 8 years ago

In other news

Better to resolve things than escalate them ?

DaveE128 replied to Eric D | 8 years ago
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Eric D wrote:

In other news

A reminder to all of us (whether driving or cycling) that we must always be able to stop well within the space we can see, even allowing time for recognition and reaction time. The dashcam footage shows that wasn't the case for that driver, but I think that unfortunately isn't unusual for night-time driving and suspect it may be true for cycling too.

Thin wires stretched across paths are pretty hard to spot at a reasonable distance however. These incidents encourage me to use a head-mounted light more often as I think I'll be more likely to spot such hazards with one than with just a bar-mounted light.

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