Mountain Bikers Targeted With Air Weapon in Leamington Spa

Jan 21, 2019 at 8:23
by James Smurthwaite  
A pellet chip on a rider's frame

Members of Royal Leamington Spa Cycling Club were shot at with an air rifle near a local traveller camp last week.

The group, which organizes frequent XC and road cycling club rides, were on a night ride between Black Lane and Campion Hills on Thursday at around 9pm when they were targeted. Multiple shots were fired and one rider, Dave Pugh, was hit in the leg, receiving superficial injuries. Another member of the club cycled past the following day and their bike frame was also hit by a pellet.

The ride took place in a public area near the Campion Hills BMX track. The group apparently deviated from their planned route to avoid the travellers' camp as they were worried about safety but they were still targeted by the shooter.

Andy Robson, the Regional Secretary for British Cycling in the West Midlands, said, "I was the first rider behind Dave and noticed a pellet whistle between us as we went past the traveller's encampment near the 4X track. They use that spot occasionally but we have not had issues in the past.
The injuries of the rider hit by the air rifle pellet

"I didn't say anything at the time as I didn't want to cause any commotion with the other riders, but the guy behind me had clocked it too, and said that we should get a move on. As we went into the woods at the end of the trail, another shot came past me and I heard it go through the foliage at the side of the trail. The rest of us hadn't realised that Dave had been hit at some point and he didn't make a big deal of it at the time - he definitely earned his post-ride pint that day."

The rider whose bike was hit the next day posted on the group's Facebook page, "I got shot at as well, just about and hour ago now. They missed me but that can't be said about my bike. A bit disheartened at the moment to be fair."

Campion Hills BMX track, near where the incidents took place.

Warwickshire Police will be increasing patrols in the area over the following days. A spokesperson said, "We were called at 9.15pm on Thursday night (17 January) to an incident at Campion Hills, Leamington. An investigation is now ongoing. If anyone witnessed the incident, please call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 394 of 17 January. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."


72 Comments

  • 44 0
 Unfortunately travellers in the U.K. have more than enough cash to keep most of the best lawyers in the country employed on a permanent basis & therefore on their side.
When I was 14 I ended up a fight with a traveller around the same age, I won the fight that day. The next day a white transit van pulled up in front of me, 8 adults got out & put me in hospital for a week, then in a wheelchair, casts & crutches for a lot longer. It was thrown out of court almost instantly.
Sadly, shooting a few pellets at some bikers will probably amount to nothing!
  • 3 26
flag maclife (Jan 23, 2019 at 6:35) (Below Threshold)
 @charliexdi: I know loads of travellers they have better morals than most people this was probably some young kid. No proof anywhere that it was a Traveller just because it was near there homes just as bad as saying all muslims are terrorists.
  • 4 2
 @maclife: your profile pic explains it all
  • 1 0
 @Eazy668: What does it explain that I believe the uk law is innocent until proven guilty and that there are good and bad in all walks of life and you clearly are a poorly educated far right fascist. Then yes I guess it explains it all.
  • 33 1
 Sad to say it but when it comes to travellers in the UK the police are too scared to do anything about it. Nothing will come of this, no information will be shared and the police will get no leads what so ever from the camp.
  • 8 2
 @cunning-linguist: it's funny, if you read that last paragraph in isolation you'd think 'oh good who's this knuckle dragging daily mail bigot ranting about, poles, brown people?..... Oh shit gypsies?? Yeah put a roof on too so they can't climb out'. The one time whatever 'ism it is, was right.
TV has done no good portraying them as loveable rogues having tacky weddings, they're utter scum.
  • 7 32
flag Matt115lamb (Jan 22, 2019 at 23:43) (Below Threshold)
 @pbuser2299: think I’ll use that crime stoppers number to report all these nazis on this post ! This country is going downhill rapidly! !
  • 18 0
 @Matt115lamb: the only people who dont have a problem with pikeys clearly havent had the misfortune of an encounter with them. Theyre absolute wankers and they would literally steal candy from a baby given the chance.
  • 7 20
flag Matt115lamb (Jan 23, 2019 at 0:14) (Below Threshold)
 @drfunsocks: I’ve had dealings with gypsy’s and some haven’t been fun however you can’t right on a website forum “there all cxnts, scum and should ALL BE ROUND UP IN A HOLE AND NAPALM THE FXCK OUT OF THE LOT OF THEM . Cxnts “ and not expect me to pull them up on it !
  • 1 1
 @Matt115lamb: what he (drfunsocks) said.
  • 5 7
 Careful with putting everyone into the same basket

I know a few people who live permanently in vans, some are among my closest friends, and I'm not talking mtb road trippers here. They sometimes camp on 'traveller' sites for months/years but definitely aren't part of the traveller community that gets involved in this sort of stuff.

Someone else I knew a few years ago, though lost touch with, did grow up in that community and didn't have much good to say about it. Said most were using class A drugs from the age of around 13 and her mum was one of the rare exceptions. She got out, and became one of the most crazily focused adults I have ever met: left university because she couldn't stand how much the average student was slacking off.

I'm well aware of the major problems some communities have had with travellers, but like with any group of people, some are good, some are arseholes, who'd have thought it?
  • 9 2
 @sideshowb: the things that irritates me most about people having to make your point is as follows:

If 99% of them aren’t that great, then a broad brush approach is okay.

Also, if you have to try and argue a stereotype, you’re already wrong. A stereotype is only there as more often than not, that’s what happens, so once one has been around for, let’s say, donkeys years, I’d suggest you’ve missed the boat.

If equal rights for all were even an actual thing, they wouldn’t deserve them, due to the unequal treatment they get and hand out. Karma.
  • 8 1
 @sideshowb: sounds like she's not very focused saying everyone else slacking for a reason to slack imo
  • 4 3
 @cunning-linguist: "if you have to try and argue a stereotype, you’re already wrong"

really? dude if you're supporting every racial, sexual, gay stereotype out there then you are most certainly on the wrong side of history

"If 99% of them aren’t that great, then a broad brush approach is okay"

We don't know its 99% though. I gave you a sample of 2 sub communities who are both classified as travellers by the general public. 100% of the first community did not fit the stereotype, and by 3rd hand account 99% of the second community probably did. The actual percentage for the two combined could be anywhere. But see my first point. Would you argue the same thing about racial stereotypes?
  • 3 4
 @albrow22: having met the person in question I can tell you you're wrong, based on what she was doing before and after uni, but feel free to assume things about somebody based on near zero information. oh wait. don't.
  • 5 3
 @sideshowb: Yes, I see what you're getting at trying your best to make me look like an evil beast. Well done.

The other stereotypes you talk of have all but been dis-proved since about the 1970's... Pikeys however continue to ruin the countryside, mug over old and vulnerable people and don't pay any tax. If you think that's cool, then crack on mate, but I'm pretty sure most people are in agreement that they don't have a great affect in society.
  • 4 0
 @cunning-linguist: now you're confusing two different groups of people

if you read my first post you'd find I agreed there's plenty of problems in some parts of the traveller community

A few fragile pinkbike snowflakes seem to be downvoting me for suggesting something as controversial as the idea that not all people are the same. Crazy huh. PB comment threads looking increasingly like the daily mail - shouldn't surprise me I guess

Oh and those other stereotypes. The reason they're disproved is because people argued them once, and weren't wrong.
  • 4 0
 @cunning-linguist: While I appreciate the concern and had my own unpleasant encounters with Gypsies (yeah "fellow minorities" don't get any preferential treatment from the arseholes among them...), I can't get behind this:

"Also, if you have to try and argue a stereotype, you’re already wrong. A stereotype is only there as more often than not, that’s what happens, so once one has been around for, let’s say, donkeys years, I’d suggest you’ve missed the boat."

Lots of stereotypes are based on tiny, but visible (in a negative way) minorities within groups and sub-groups, not on what generally happens. You realise this when you're on the receiving end. I'm a Pole making an honest living in the UK, paying pretty hefty taxes and barely using any services meaning my net contribution is surely way above average. Never caused any trouble except for a couple speeding fines. The majority of us here are like me, this is a fact. And we still have to be extra careful and go the extra mile to be treated with respect, because of a small bunch of dickheads having a disproportionate effect on our reputation. I.e. we don't just have to work as hard as a local to get equal treatment, we have to work twice as hard. Local "lads" acting like knobs on a night out? Yeah boys will be boys. Not me though as I'll be "the drunk Pole". And even if we do try hard, we still occasionally hear how we're milking the system, driving wages down (hilarious this one usually coming from people on half my salary) or taking someone's job (newsflash, if you're a chav on benefits, I'm not taking "your" job mate, you wouldn't get my job if you were the last human on planet Earth). Shit, my English is actually better than some locals' but somehow it's me who gets questioned where I'm from at the slightest hint of an accent while I haven't noticed anyone asking oldschool Bristolians about this even though they speak so distinctively. Hint: hearing that question every day and then the other person saying some random Polish word they had learned gets old very quickly and is not remotely funny (certainly Brits can do better with their famous sense of humour).

The sad thing? Some Poles back home reinforce similar stereotypes about e.g. Ukrainian workers but then complain about being treated this way further west. It's a stupid, unnecessary vicious circle.

Sorry for the rant, but let's flip the coin: do you like the stereotypes about ALL Brits on holidays abroad being loud, arrogant, obnoxious knobheads who assume everyone should speak their language? I don't either because I know it's not true for most (I even went so far as to take my Brit mates back to Poland for my stag do which according to stereotypes should have ended in disaster).

Peace, love and let's go ride our f*cking bikes. And let's not get shot with airguns.
  • 3 0
 @bananowy: I think the Polish community get a very poor rap in this country, in my experience you're generally hard working,honest, decent people, a lot of you are doing the crap jobs that most British people wouldn't touch. I work in a lot of houses rented by Eastern Europeans and I find as a general rule that the houses are well taken care of, the kids are well behaved and the parents are contributing to our society.
My experiences of the travelling community in this country are nowhere near as positive.
  • 2 0
 @metaam: i fully concur, i have never met a Pole i didn't like, and i never met a traveller that i did.
I grew up around Orpington, Star Lane was the UK's first site, f*cking hell, calling them travellers
makes them sound human
  • 19 0
 It's sad that the police won't dare do anything about travellers as if they're somehow above the law but they always set up in relatively nice areas, you never see them set up places where there are gangs of quite serious lad's that wouldn't take kindly to their shenanigans
  • 7 0
 very good point
  • 12 0
 This reminds me of a time back in the early 90's when I was working on a big new housing site, Pikeys broke in overnight, the builders gave the cops a chance to get it sorted, but after a week of everyone being laid off, the builders took action and created a massive bund of clay encompassing the Pikey caravans, turned on the hoses and flooded them out. They all slunk away in the one white transit they had left.
  • 2 0
 @neureye SHOCKING: people want to live in nice areas and not around gangs Big Grin
  • 13 0
 They are utter scum. Took over a park near us last year and were shitting under the slide. Robbed from local shops for a couple of weeks and then moved on. It is fantastic they bring so much to society.
  • 11 0
 Weather your a traveller or not..(why there called that I don't know.. they never seem to travel far enough AWAY!) if your fu*king about with anything gun shaped in the UK, you need not be too surprized if you get half a dozen armed SO19 officer's telling you to kindly kiss the floor and not move a muscle when and if, they find you. whist they check out what you've bought to the party.

Hopefully this fu*kwit that's actually firing at folk, has such a case of stupiditous that they may well move, at the sight of many very real, and loaded weapon's pointed directly them, and the world will become a bit brighter for it.
  • 9 0
 People never cease to amaze me with their stupidity and arrogance! hope this shooter gets whats coming to him!
  • 11 1
 Very little will be done about it I fear though. Anything that involves the "local traveller camp"* here and they pretty much get away with anything. What will happen is bikers will be advised to avoid the area shots have been fired. The police probably know who it was but can't really do anything as it will cause more issues, sad but real.

* I'm fully aware there are different types of 'Traveller Communities', I live within a mile of two and one is law abiding and really helps themselves integrate with the other locals, some will do anything to help with local projects and keep their plot of land clean and presentable. The other group trash everywhere, don't give a toss about any rules and will then use the 'Race' card to get out of any repercussions. They have closed off main roads just by parking on them, trashed local wildlife areas with burning rubbish, intimidated local businesses and ransacked the Local supermarket on a few occasions. It's always the few ruining it for the many and these ones shooting will fall into that category.
  • 1 0
 It still baffles me how "Travellers" in the UK pull out the race card as most of them here are probably whiter than me... Where I come from most in that community are very clearly Romanic (and even prefer to be called "Romanic" instead of "Gypsies" just like the UK ones choose the term "Travellers") so that would be more understandable. Maybe I'm just ignorant to some nuances so happy to get educated.
  • 4 0
 Haha, this was the first thing that came to my mind too. You've got to admit, he's not alone with that opinion.
  • 4 0
 Happened to me on a ride 30-odd years ago when I was about 17. It was a few kids and I saw them in the distance and did an about turn, when the first pellet whistled past. Second one got me in the back - didn't break the skin, I just ended up with a fist sized bruise. My ego was hurt more than anything else...
  • 3 0
 Would the moderators tolerate such racism against the Québécois? Moderate to your code of conduct, or just delete it, and accept a hate filled community. Don't pretend to care in writing if you can't draw motivation to do anything about it.
  • 2 0
 I'm sick of bikers not being able to ride a trail out of fear for someone else. some trails near me people were putting barbed wire across two trees to catch riders coming down the hill. This is what's wrong with the world when someone is having a fun social ride and has to think "better avoid this section don't want to get shot or tangled in hidden wire!" Boils my piss stuff like this. I don't like to ride in my local town because I had a loop I did and someone kept seeing me watched where I lived then came at night and stole 2x of my bikes. Should have to worry about riding a nice bike around either!
  • 1 0
 I remember that! Always sits in the back of my mind when I'm flying round a corner in Guisborough hoping I'm not going to hit some neck high barbed wire! Pretty sad really. Seems like there's enough people from all walks of life all to willing to ruin other peoples fun!
  • 2 1
 I was in a garage not far from Leam Spa the other day, a Pikey or might have been a Didicoy walked in, ordered some food from the counter, took it then told them he didn't have any money but would be back the next day to pay ! Obviously that was bullcrap but goes to show exactly what they are like.
  • 5 1
 Bet any money it’ll be kids, 9-12 years old.
  • 3 0
 Bet any money it’ll be “traveller” kids, 9-12 years old. That is likely to be more accurate.
  • 1 0
 @StevieJB: yes exactly what I meant...
  • 3 1
 why the hell you are calling them travellers, I don't know. They are gypsies, they call themselves gypsies, nothing wrong with it.
  • 3 0
 I was thinking of another word, gypsie is still PC
  • 6 0
 Gypsies used to be the travelling folk who would weave baskets or produce goods to sell to townsfolk, they had respect by others and a proper living and principles but modern ways means they have now all but died out. These people are way below proper gypsies, somewhere between white trash and scum.
  • 9 0
 @jaha222: fecking pikeys!
  • 5 0
 @kipvr: Agreed, my father is a Romany Gypsy, descended from the basket weaving horse drawn wooden caravan sort, and they hate Pikeys even worse than the rest of us and can't stand it when they get called Gypsy's, bringing them down by association.
  • 5 0
 @kipvr: This is an important fact, thing is it’s easy to identify the difference between the two. That’s why the whole racism thing should absolutely not come into it. It’s quite simple one group tidies up after them selves and are inviting, wanting people to approach them the buy the wood carvings or similar from them and are genuine nice people. The other group described by the press in the uk as ‘travellers’ are quite simply theiving scum who shit on everyone and get off on being aggressive bastards that leave a trail of destruction behind themselves and only travel to get new victims to steal from. They are not a racial group they are just the same as anyone else except they have decided to lead a life of crime living on the fringes.
  • 4 0
 Muppets
  • 1 2
 I'm a tree surgeon and am constantly under threat from the gypo (aka traveller) scum either stealing my tools or knocking on doors and offering to do (bad) work very cheaply.
The best solution for these a*sholes is military bombing! They cost the tax bayer hundreds of millions of £££s every year and contribute nothing!
  • 1 0
 "He definitely earned his post ride pint" Lad, such a British MTB statement haha!
  • 1 0
 Not good for the 4X national this year :/
  • 1 0
 Pikey, just nick it!
  • 1 0
 fucking knackers
  • 6 9
 Whole lot of racism going on here.
  • 9 4
 Racism is when people attack others for qualities associated with their race, Pikeys are from Ireland, but no one here is attacking the Irish, it's not a race issue, it's a humanity issue and Pikeys have none which is the whole problem. They epitomise the very worst in our society, so naturally the people who have been on the receiving end are going to be pretty riled about it.
  • 4 7
 'Lets put everyone from this ethnic demographic in a camp' is a pretty bad look to be backing up champ.
  • 6 2
 @Blacknose: I'm not an advocate for causing people any suffering or for placing anyone in a "camp", I'm just stating the obvious. The people on here who have suffered at the hands of Pikeys have good reason to be upset and it's not racism. If anyone moves to another Country to live and work, then they can rightfully be expected to respect the culture and to abide by it's laws.
  • 3 2
 There’s some badass dudes on here , pinkbike should know better to post such speculative articles that will windup the nazis fascists of the world !
  • 3 1
 @landscapeben: so being racist to a black man isn’t racist if you don’t attach Africans ! Get a grip
  • 2 1
 @Matt115lamb: I'm not the one who needs to get a grip mate, take the time to look at the definition of these words before bandying them about.
  • 1 0
 Good on ya Blacknose, and Matt115lamb. My kind of riders. ????????
  • 1 0
 Oops, mystery emoji
  • 2 0
 @landscapeben: I’ve never mentioned the racist word , I said Nazis fascists , which I think describes someone correctly if they want to round up a whole ethnic community and napalm the effing lot of them ! Would you agree ?
  • 1 1
 @Matt115lamb: Yes I would agree with that, but it wasn't me who suggested or supported killing them, i've only stated that people have good reason to be upset. We all know that the anonymity that forums like this provide is abused when people use it to vent their frustrations and often say much more than they mean. That said, they do have reason to be upset.
  • 1 0
 @landscapeben: fair enough , you never know , the shooter might be some half blind old man rabbiting ! Debate over Wink
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