Thieves have stolen a £3,000 custom tricycle from a disabled man who uses it to stay active.
Simon Stevens, who has cerebral palsy, and who was the star of Channel 4’s I’m Spazticus, had completed the HSBC UK City Ride, when he woke to hear thieves breaking into the secure cage he used to lock his bike in.
Stevens, 43, from Coventry, told the Coventry Telegraph: “This £3,000 bike was built for me specifically to ride for physical and mental health.
“It was stolen from my home - I heard them cut the bars to the caged, locked area.”
The bike, known as The Bullet, was made by Tomcat and allows him to get about in spite of his issues with speech, balance and hand control that mean he usually has to use a wheelchair.
He said of the bike when he got it: “I believe the Bullet will certainly help me keep fit, strengthen my muscles, and allow me to lose some weight when I need to.
“More importantly, I also believe it will assist me with managing my mental well-being.
"When I feel frustrated with the everyday stresses of work and passionate interactions on social media, a ride on the Bullet will be an enjoyable and positive way to relieve that frustration.
“The lack of support from services obliges individuals such as myself to try and self-fund or hunt down alternatives if we are to maintain a better quality of life.”
He added that its loss has made him concerned for his ongoing health.
“It means any hope of staying fit physically and mentally is dashed and my personal safety compromised.
“This bike was designed for me, why do this?
“I just want it back.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We are investigating reports of a theft of a trike in Stoney Stanton Road, Foleshill, at around 6.30am today.
“Anyone with information can call us on 101 quoting the reference 20CV/201374U/17.”
Friends are helping to raise money to replace the bike and have already managed to generate nearly £1900 from generous backers. To view the crowdfunding campaign click here.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.