A GRANDFATHER was knocked off his bike and kicked in the head after asking teenagers to make way.

But Bob Keen, 79, said he will not allow the incident, which took place in Yate, to put him off cycling.

Mr Keen was attacked when he stopped his bike to talk to four youths who were obstructing the Goose Green Way cycle path.

The attack happened when the pensioner, a keen cyclist, was making his way home to Chipping Sodbury on Thursday, November 9, around midday.

“Essentially, I made the mistake of trying to engage the youngsters in conversation,” said Mr Keen.

“I rode through the group and one of them swore at me.

“I thought ‘That’s not very nice’, and I stopped to talk to them about it.

“I did turn it over in my mind first, whether or not to make a fuss, but then I thought ‘This is Yate, it’s not not the middle of Bristol’, where you might have to worry about people carrying knives, and such like."

The pensioner highlighted to the youngsters that he was trying to avoid cycling on the highway, and suggested that rather than obstructing the cyclepath, they should show more respect to their elders.

“Then it all started to kick off. One of them said, ‘We’ll slash your tyres’, and another took up a boxer’s stance.

“I started riding away and one of the lads ran after me and kicked my back wheel.

“I went right over the handlebars and onto the ground and then one of them started kicking me in the head."

Mr Keen was kicked in the neck and head several times, and only his helmet prevented more serious injuries.

“It’s not really good enough, not in Yate,” he said.

“When I was young and I misbehaved, someone would shout at me, but that doesn’t happen now. Kids can do what they like.”

But despite what has happened, the retired university lecturer has decided not to press charges.

“I know this might sound odd, but I don’t want those lads to have this on their records for the rest of their lives.

“I just think someone should take them to one side and say ‘This isn’t good enough’. And tell them to moderate their behaviour.

“The policeman I spoke to said he thinks he has an idea who they might be, and he’ll go and give them a talking to.

“I also have doubts about the legal process. It can be a long and protracted affair and you don't always get the outcome you want.

“I don’t want to put people off riding bikes - one of the reasons I stopped is that I’m interested in cycling.”