Cape Town - The car gunned for him, threatening to knock him off his mountain bike on to the tarmac. But, with visions of being shot or stabbed, Simon Kemp kept pedalling, determined to make it out of there alive.
This is what the Cape Town cyclist experienced after a gang of robbers picked him out as an easy target on the streets of Hout Bay on Tuesday morning. Kemp, who has only recently started cycling to work, was riding his bike along the coastal Victoria Road, which runs between Hout Bay and Camps Bay, at around 5am.
As he neared Llandudno, a silver Toyota Yaris sped past him.
“They switched off their lights and parked at one of the beaches. I thought it was probably just a couple looking for some privacy.”
But when he passed the car, three men opened the doors and started running towards him.
Reacting quickly, the cyclist pedalled furiously to reach the opposite side of the road, and for a few seconds the chase seemed to be over as he saw the robbers trailing in the distance.
“Then I heard the sound of their car behind me.”
This sparked a hair-raising pursuit as he moved between both lanes on the quiet road to avoid the car.
“They kept nudging me, almost knocking me over… All I could think was that I hope they only want to rob me, not kill me.”
At some points during the chase, the car would speed ahead of him and then come to a sudden stop.
“They would open the doors and all launch themselves at me again, but I managed to dodge them.”
But eventually Kemp’s luck ran out. His pursuers nudged him off the road. A few seconds later they were pointing a gun in his face.
“I gave them everything, my bike, my bag – which had my wallet and everything in it… I tell you, eight years ago, before I had my daughter, I may have fought for my bike.”
Apart from feeling shaken, Kemp said he was not hurt.
There was also a silver lining to the incident, police reported, after they had returned to the scene of the crime.
“Seems they couldn’t fit the bike into their car so they just left it there. At least I didn’t lose that.
“It’s sitting at the Camps Bay police station and being dusted for fingerprints.”
Kemp spent the day filling in forms to replace his lost driving licence, ID book and credit cards.
“We have to be careful out there as cyclists. We are exposed and alone, so they pick us out as easy targets.”
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that a case had been opened at the Camps Bay police station and was under investigation.