A PAIR of drunken bike bandits who attacked and robbed a cyclist – before throwing him in a burn - are being hunted by police.
The 50-year-old victim was forced to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the men, who were drunkenly weaving along a Trinity cycle path.
After politely telling them “be careful guys”, the shocked victim was repeatedly punched and kicked in the face before being thrown into the water. He then had his bike thrown on top of him.
The victim suffered a suspected fractured cheekbone in the assault and his wallet stolen.
Police issued suspect descriptions and appealed for anyone who may have spotted them in the area to come forward. The incident happened at around 6.45pm on Sunday on the path between Wardie Road and South Trinity Road.
Detective Constable Alison Wyllie, of Police Scotland, said the cyclist suffered a nasty injury to his cheek.
He said: “The two men appeared to be intoxicated and the cyclist had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting them. He very politely said ‘be careful guys’, and the men have taken that as an antagonistic comment and an excuse to attack.
“The victim ended up in the burn, then they threw his bike on top of him.
“Fortunately, a couple of people saw this happening and that perhaps stopped the victim being attacked any further.”
The cyclist, who was wearing a high-visibility jacket, was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He is set to attend St John’s Hospital in Livingston for further treatment.
DC Wyllie added: “We’re not linking this incident to anything else at present. There’s nothing to suggest these men were looking for a victim. The cyclist was unfortunate to come across them.
“I’d appeal to anyone who saw men matching the descriptions in the area to contact police. There’s no CCTV on the path but someone may have spotted them on a street with security cameras.”
The first suspect is white, aged between 20 and 30, gaunt and of average height. He was wearing a bomber jacket, jeans and trainers. The second is white, aged between 20 and 25, 5ft tall and was wearing a light-coloured tracksuit and black beanie hat.
The pair made off towards Warriston Road.
The attack follows another incident on the Roseburn Path cycling route. In November, a cyclist narrowly escaped serious injury after being caught in the face by a wire strung at head height in Davidson’s Mains.
Ian Maxwell, from city cycling charity Spokes, said: “Any attack on a cyclist, whether on a road or path, is serious. We’re reassured that police do carry out regular patrols on the path, as they should because it’s very popular.
“There’s been the odd incident over the years but I would urge people to continue using the path and be reassured it’s adequately policed. A busy path is a safer path for everyone.”