A CYCLIST suffered a punctured lung and broken bones - when a yob reached out of a passing car and shoved him from his bike as he raced along a South Yorkshire road at 30mph. writes Richard Blackledge.
Dave Scargill, aged 58, was riding fast with pals when a gang of young men pulled up alongside him in a black Vauxhall Corsa.
A passenger in the car then stretched out of the side window and, using both arms, pushed Dave from his bike as he cycled along in Hooton Pagnell, near Thurnscoe.
Dave toppled from his bike and crashed to the road, breaking two ribs, fracturing his collar bone and puncturing a lung.
He is currently on heavy painkillers in Barnsley Hospital, awaiting an operation to treat his injuries.
He is also facing the prospect of being unable to work as a self-employed gas fitter.
His wife, Christine, told The Star she felt ‘very angry’.
“I can’t believe somebody would deliberately lean out of a window and push someone over,” she said.
“It just beggars belief. They knew what they were doing. Every time I think about it I just get more angry.”
Dave, from Wombwell, Barnsley, is a member of the Birdwell Wheelers cycling club, and competes in races across the country. He also takes part in regular training sessions with cyclists from other local teams.
Dave’s friend James Allen, 34, who was there when the incident happened, said the pals were in a group of around 20 cyclists riding two-abreast on Bilham Lane when the car pulled up.
“Dave was in about sixth place when the car came up with these lads inside,” said James.
“I thought they were just skidding and revving their engines but then I heard a crash, looked behind me, and saw chaos.
“Dave was down on the ground. He had cuts all over him and had ripped his kit. He was in a bad way, he could barely speak. I felt terrible.”
James said one cyclist managed to take down the Corsa’s registration number as it sped away.
“It could have been far worse,” he added. “Dave is the most dedicated, hard-working bloke. The only thing he’s worried about is his clients and whether they will be inconvenienced. I hope he rides again.”
He said Dave’s bike - a replica of the one used by Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins and worth around £3,000 - was ‘a write-off’.
Ken Woodhouse, training manager from Sheffield cycling organisation Pedal Ready, said attacks on riders were ‘a fairly rare occurrence’.
“I wouldn’t want it to put people off cycling,” he said. “Obviously it’s just people being stupid and not thinking through the consequences of what they’re doing.”
He said cyclists experiencing aggression from motorists should try not to escalate the situation.
“That’s going to make the situation worse. Cyclists should stay calm if drivers become threatening and then report the matter to the police.”
Anyone with information about the incident at around 7pm on Thursday should call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 973 of August 23.
n The attack on Dave came just days after a 50-year-old cyclist was knocked over by a teenage off-road biker on the Transpennine Trail. The 50-year-old was riding between Hoyle Mill Road and Stairfoot on Monday, when two off-road motorbikes sped up behind him.
One of the bikes then hit the cyclist before the riders, both around 16 years old, fled the scene without stopping. The cross-country style motorbike had a white mudguard, and one of the riders wore a red and white helmet.
The victim suffered grazes and bruises.