Police are investigating an attempted abduction outside Tamatea High School in Napier.
Police said the man cycled past a student about 8.30am, before turning around and following her.
He then grabbed her by the hair, but the student was able to kick him off his mountain bike and free herself, suffering minor injuries to her face.
The offender was described as being a skinny man of European descent, aged in his 40s or 50s, and around six feet tall, with blonde or sandy brown hair.
He was wearing a green jersey and smelled of alcohol.
Tamatea High School principal Robin Fabish met police this morning.
He said the girl's parents and the other students at the school had been told what had happened.
The police are asking anyone with information to contact them.