Cyclist Hospitalized After Trail Rage Attack in Northern Virginia

"There's absolutely no reason to be violent with anyone on the trail"

Road rage isn't limited to people driving cars.

A 63-year-old man man riding his bike on the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail was hospitalized this weekend after he tried to pass a slower cyclist and a man on a high-end bike headed the opposite direction reached out and knocked him off bike, witnesses said.

The man, a 63-year-old McLean, Virginia, resident, was knocked unconscious by the attack.

Witnesses said he was riding west near the Ashburn Village Boulevard overpass about 2:15 p.m. Sunday when he pulled onto or near the center line to pass slower traffic. As he did so, an oncoming cyclist, apparently angered, reached out and smacked him, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said.

A woman riding right behind the man said he fell hard.

"[The other cyclist] reached out his arm and just knocked one of them off his bike, clear off his bike, and the victim just fell down on the pavement and hit his head," she said. She asked News4 not to share her name.

The man was knocked unconscious. She and four other cyclists stopped to help him and call 911.

The suspect was riding a time trial bike or triathlon bike. The bars on the bike were "aero bars," and his helmet was an "aero" helmet covered with a sun shade, which covered half of his face. He was about 6 feet tall.

The incident sparked some angry conversations among cyclists on social media. Some riders questioned whether the victim had been passing properly.

At the nearby bike shop Spokes, employee Stacey Privia said the aggressor was at fault.

"Absolutely uncalled for," she said. "One was a mistake, and another one is a crime, or an assault. There's absolutely no reason to be violent with anyone on the trail."

The victim was expected to be released from the hospital as early as Monday.

Anyone with information for the sheriff's office is asked to call 703-777-1021.

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