Shimanos tech guru Peter Harrison today limped out of the ambulance bringing him home from Newcastles General hospital and told BikeBiz the full gory details of the day he was victim of a road rage assault. It happened last Sunday.
I was out on my own riding when a car came a bit too close for comfort. I shouted at the car but didnt swear or throw a V-sign. As the car passed I saw that it had L-plates on it. 200 yards up the road the car pulled up and a biggish man got out of the passenger side. I thought he was going to apologise but, from his colourful language, it soon became clear he wanted me to stop.
I tried to speed up and detour round him but there was a Range Rover in the oncoming lane so I couldnt swerve too much. The next thing I knew I had been grabbed by my neck and arm and swung on to the ground. I landed on my hip.
I was screaming in agony but the man shouted that I was alright and that I should stand up to be giving a good kicking. When I stayed down he dragged me across the road, bounced me off a kerb and was about to lay into me when two army lads pulled him off.
Harrison ended up in hospital with a fractured pelvis. He will be on crutches for up to three months. He can do some work at home but will be unable to attend the Cycle & Leisure Show where he was due to man the Shimano stand.
He will also be unable to attend a variety of CyTech training days.
The first assault was witnessed by the driving instructors pupil and the dragging across the road was witnessed by the pupil, a surgeon, the two squaddies and a hospital pastor (who just happens to be a roadie).
Harrison is keen to see charges pressed against the driving instructor.
This could have happened to any cyclist, he said. Sure, I shouted at him because the car came far too close but I think anybody would do that. I wasnt aggressive in any way.
This is a man who should be teaching learner drivers to keep well clear of cyclists. The car was frighteningly close yet there were no cars in the other carriageway at the time so it had lots of room to pass me. A novice cyclist might have wobbled and gone under the cars rear wheels.
Harrisons bike was undamaged.
My bikes not too bad. Luckily my body took most of the impact.