A dozen bikes belonging to injured former armed forces personnel and staff of the charity Help for Heroes were stolen from a campsite in Gloucestershire early on Sunday morning – just hours before they were to be ridden in a triathlon.
Gloucestershire Constabulary has issued an appeal to help track down the bikes, which were stolen from the Go-by-Cycle campsite in Someford Keynes, where supporters of the charity, as well as members of staf, were spending the night prior to the Cotswold 113 triathlon, reports BBC News.
In a statement, the charity said that the stolen bikes “were fully prepared for some of the 40 members of H4H Team True Spirit to do today’s Cotswold Half Iron Man Triathlon.
“Thanks to the generosity of other campers and local people, some participants can still take part after the loan of bikes, but others were unable to. The police have come out and tried their best but to no avail.
“What was taken? 12 bikes made by Bianchi, Specialized, Scott and others, some with water bottles still attached, and they were taken around 1am on Sunday 15th June.
"The thieves would have clearly seen a Help for Heroes banner on the tent as they carried the bikes away as it was a moonlit night.”
The statement concluded: “If anyone has any information the number to call is 101 and quote incident number ‘115 of 15th June’.”
Bryan Parry, co-founder of the charity, added that it was "unforgivable that someone might choose to steal from servicemen, women and veterans who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.