March 16 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
One of the cyclists who helped raise £900 to buy a tandem for a 11-year-old boy with a sight disability was “gutted” to discover his custom made cycle had been stolen from his Ely home.
Thieves broke into a double glazed cabin in Ian Smith’s garden in Back Hill last week, and removed the £1,500 machine through a window.
Mr Smith, a member of Octagon Cycling who bought the tandem for Luke Salvador, said: “I think the thieves climbed over a five-foot high brick wall between my garden and Cherry Hill Park. They took a spade from my garden shed, and used it to prise open a small window. They must have taken the wheels off the bike to get it through such a small space.”
The distinctive bike is a Ribble Sportive. It has a black and white frame, and was custom made to Ian’s specifications about 18 months ago.
Mr Smith, who runs a kitchens and bathrooms company in Ely, said: “I spent a year saving up, I got the bike I wanted and now its gone. It was a new design for 2012, and I was absolutely gutted when I found it had been stolen. It is something I have looked after, I clean it every week and go out on it every weekend.
“Now I have got to save another £1,500, so its unlikely I will replace it until next year.”
The theft has forced Mr Smith to improve his security precautions. His old bike and his children’s mountain bikes are now locked together in the cabin, and he has installed an alarm and security lights.
The missing bike was used by Ian this autumn when the Octagon Cycling group cycled 100 miles to raise funds to buy a tandem for Luke Salvador from Swaffham, who suffers from nystagmus, which causes involuntary eye movement and makes it difficult to focus on objects or recognise people more than a few metres away.
Mr Smith also used the machine this year for a 155-mile ride from Blackpool to Bridlington, to raise funds for a travelling youth service bus.
He said: “You raise money for these good causes, and then someone takes it away from you, it is very annoying.”
Anyone with information about the bike is asked to contact the police.
* Octagon cycling (www.octagoncycling.co.uk) is a social road cycling group that meets at 8am every Saturday and 8.15am on Sundays in Ely Market Place. New riders are always welcome and membership is free. During the summer, additional rides are organised on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.