An off-duty paramedic was participating in a charity bike ride when he was knocked over his handlebars and reportedly set upon by at least three young troublemakers south of Sydney.
Daniel Mansbridge, 42, said he was 7km into a 1000km campaign for the Great Cycle Challenge when a teenager jumped out at him on Windang Bridge near Shellharbour on Friday morning.
"They were just kids, so I was shocked," he told reporters today.
"I didn't know what to do. I wasn't looking for that kind of thing."
Mansbridge said he had given them a "yell" to move out of the way as he approached.
"One of them jumped out in front of me and yelled, brushed my shoulder (and) knocked me off my bike over the handlebars," he said.
The Wollongong father said he was bashed and was on the ground with blood "pouring out" of his face.
"I think, sort of, once I'd said to them I just wanted to have a chat about how silly it was, they might have realised they'd gone too far," he said.
Mansbridge is expected to undergo surgery for a fractured eye socket in the coming weeks.
"I was just out to enjoy a big long ride and the next thing I know, I'm in the hospital," he said.
Lake Illawarra Chief Inspector Brian Pedersen said it was a disgraceful attack.
"For this to happen to any member of the public is totally outrageous," he said today.
The nationwide Great Cycle Challenge runs throughout October.
Cyclists are encouraged to set themselves a personal monthly ride target and garner support to raise money for children fighting cancer.
Police are investigating the incident, believed to have involved at least three young males.