Spate of mountain attacks on cyclists

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cyclist attacked DAVID RITCHIE Cyclist Andy Wright demonstrates how his attackers held him when he was mugged on Table Mountain. Picture: David Ritchie

Cape Town - A cyclist riding on Table Mountain on Friday was attacked by four men who robbed him of his bicycle and personal belongings.

This is the third such attack since early January.

Pinelands resident Andy Wright, 54, was riding by himself about 5.30pm near Plum Pudding Hill between Rhodes Memorial and the King’s Blockhouse when he was approached by a man walking along the track.

“He started running towards me and as he ran, three others approached from behind a bush. They knocked me off my bike, then lifted me up and pushed me off the road and down the side of the mountain.”

Wright said although the men did not appear to be armed, they threatened to kill him about 10 times and they beat him up before making off with his bicycle, helmet, shoes and other belongings.

Shaken, he climbed back up to the road where he was helped by another cyclist.

Wright said he rode on the mountain about 120 times a year and because there were always other cyclists, hikers and people walking their dogs, he had never felt unsafe until now. He reported the incident at the Mowbray police station.

Merle Collins, spokeswoman for Sanparks, confirmed the attack and said it was the third since early January.

“Table Mountain National Park had a very successful crime fighting year in 2012 with muggings almost halved. The park therefore is very concerned about the latest flare ups of robberies and will be adjusting their modus operandi with a view to catch the perpetrators.”

Robert Vogel, founder of the Table Mountain Bikers and an executive member of the Pedal Power Association, said all three attacks happened in the same hotspot.

It was close to a big bush at the concrete causeway, about 60m short of the Plum Pudding intersection, and the robbers hide behind this bush.

He said the other two incidents happened on January 7 and 25.

In the first, the cyclist was attacked by two men who took the cyclist’s bicycle, and in the second, two men had made off with the cyclist’s money but not his bike.

Vogel said his attackers had been well dressed and did not appear to be vagrants. He estimated they were in their 20s or early 30s.

Vogel said he had put up signs to warn cyclists that the area was a hotspot.

He was hoping to meet Sanparks representatives to discuss removing the bush behind which the attackers hid.

If this was not an option, then more visible patrols should be put in the area or at the King’s Blockhouse, because the spot was easily visible from there.

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Cape Argus

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