Dave Douglas, 60, was on his morning ride when a man jumped in to the cycle lane near the mangrove swamp turret staircases. Blocked off, Douglas dismounted and used his bicycle as a shield. The man broke a bottle on the pillars, and lunged at Douglas with it.
“There was not much time to think. I was concerned for a moment that he might stab me in my chest or face. He kept saying he was going to kill me,” Douglas said.
In the fracas, Douglas, a retired graphic designer and art teacher, was stabbed in his forearm. Despite blood pouring from the wound, he grabbed the man and held him down as cars whisked by.
“I then heard the sound of a Taser and caught a glimpse of a motorist running towards me. His car was parked on the side. The (attacker) then pushed me off him and ran towards Durban North,” he said.
Douglas, who has South African colours for mountain biking, lives in the CBD and rides with a group in Durban North twice a week. He also cycles to Ballito on weekends.
“Cyclists must not be easy targets. Criminals know we carry phones. It is sad that the municipality tried to make cycling grow in the city, but this hampers it. What I should have done was turn around. Now I will have to ride carefully and keep my eyes open in this section. All I can say is I was lucky,” he said.
Garrith Jamieson, spokesperson for Rescue Care Paramedics, urged cyclists to ride in groups, especially in the morning and evening.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane encouraged Douglas to open a case at the Durban North police station.
Since Saturday, guards have been deployed to the Riverside area between Durban Bird Park and Blue Lagoon bridge.
Durban North ward councillor Shaun Ryley said: “We are meeting the security company that has deployed guards as well as other stakeholders to discuss adjustments to the starting times of the shifts. The roads maintenance unit has committed to having fencing placed on the ‘turrets’ to close possible escape routes for assailants.”