On Wednesday evening a female bicyclist was sucker punched as she passed by a gang of 6-7 men in black jeans and red shirts hanging out near the trail. She didn't have enough time to turn around so instead she just hammered past them but was punched in the face.
Amazingly she didn't fall off her bike and was able to get away. According to police there has been an increase in gang activity in the area and that may (or may not)explain the red shirts. We had another report earlier in the day of 4 men in red shirts but that cyclist reported other people around.
This location (Schuylkill River Trail at Haws Avenue) has had isolated cyclist harassment problems in the past in the late spring and summer although there have been no serious injuries to date. The county has responded by clearing brush to prevent bad guys from hiding in the shrubbery.
We recommend that you should not travel alone in the vicinity of Haws Avenue in the late afternoon or evening. If you are alone carry your cell phone and wait for other bicyclists before proceeding. If you see trouble get yourself to a safe place and call police and render aid if you need to.
Members of the Bicycle Coalition's Montgomery County Committee are talking to the Norristown Police about this incident. The location is less than a mile west of the Norristown Transportation Center you should see signs as the Norristown Farm Park Connector Route which begins at Haws Avenue.
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