A Kent cyclist has once again raised the alarm about bikejackings in the area, sharing video footage of two moped-riding attackers forcing him off the road in a frightening incident on a busy road in broad daylight.
Peter Roper sent road.cc the video of the attempted bikejacking which happened on the A25 in Brasted on Tuesday afternoon. He was riding his Trek e-bike when he saw the moped pass in the opposite direction, the rider and passenger shortly afterwards pulling alongside the cyclist to threaten him.
"Bro, bro, get off the bike bro," one of the attackers shouted. "Get off the bike, get off the bike now. Get off the bike. I got a shank [knife], bro. Get off the bike, bro... Give me the f****** bike now."
Peter was then pushed from the road, fortunately able to mount the pavement due to the dropped kerb, ending the attack.
"They rode off and then turned up a side lane," he told road.cc, explaining how he is a 76-year-old rider who was enjoying a ride through "a quiet, rural village in Kent... or so I thought."
"Very unpleasant experience. The riders were fully covered with balaclavas (no helmets) and of course no registration number on the moped. So, the police don't have enough to work with, probably.
"The police have been helpful, but seem to think that this is a new problem that they hadn't heard of before!"
Peter responded to the police's surprise at the incident by forwarding another of our stories, from last summer, when British Cycling stepped in to say it was "deeply concerned" by a spate of violent bikejackings across south London.
In the most high-profile incident, in autumn 2021, professional cyclist Alexandar Richardson was knocked off his bike, dragged for 100 metres by muggers on motorbikes, and threatened with a machete during a shocking bikejacking in Richmond Park.
In April, a teenager, aged 15 when Richardson was attacked, was jailed for 12 months for the bikejacking.
Another professional cyclist, former Scottish champion Jennifer George said she no longer rides alone after she was similarly attacked by two people on a motorbike during a long ride from her home in south east London out to Surrey.
"I've never felt so vulnerable in my life. I've never felt so terrified in my life," she said.
A chase ensued, with the attackers trying to veer into the 39-year-old. When George asked them to leave her alone, one of the attackers said "no, why should we?" She managed to make it to a busy pub nearby, and collapsed having a panic attack.
Seven weeks later George was targeted by two more would-be attackers on mopeds, and she was forced to wait in a driveway for half an hour until they had gone. She reported both incidents to the police, with Surrey Police filing details of the first incident due to limited lines of enquiry, and Kent Police failing to respond at all.
Last summer, a member of Penge Cycling Club narrowly escaped a robbery attempt near West Wickham, around five miles west of Orpington, during which the rider was told he would be stabbed if he did not give up his 2022 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7.
While another incident saw a Trek Domane SL6 and Wilier GTR forcefully taken by a group, described as "youths on mopeds" by one victim and "four males on mopeds" by the other.
Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said he believes criminals are attracted towards stealing high-end bikes because the potential money to be made from selling them on far outweighs the chances of getting caught.
"It is possibly perceived as a low-risk crime if the numbers of people being caught are so low," he explained. "It may be seen as a high-reward, low-risk crime.
"There have been increasing concerns about people cycling out of London to the Kent and Surrey hills who have been victims of muggings or robbery. There are a limited number of routes where people would cycle out of London.
"Somebody has posted on Strava what they are doing on their ride. The criminals will know it is someone on a £3,000 to £4,000 carbon fibre bike who has unwittingly signposted the fact that they are likely to be heading out to Kent or the Surrey Hills. It is on the police's radar."
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.