Theft of bikes puts Paralympic cyclist's dreams on hold

Machines worth £9k stolen from athlete's home

by Mark Appleton   July 18, 2011  

Matt Plested.jpg

A British Paralympic cyclist fears the theft of his three bikes, worth £9000 in total, may jeopardise his cycling future, reports the Henley Standard.

Matt Plested, 38, has battled back from serious injuries sustained in a motorbike crash in 1999 which left him with a broken neck and back and which resulted in paralysis in his left leg and hand. He took up cycling in 2001 as part of his rehabilitation and and despite only being able to pedal with his right leg, he rode from Land's End to John O’Groats in just ten days the following year.

Since then he has gone on to represent Great Britain as a Paralympic cyclist. He has had success in both road and track events, setting numerous track records in his disability category and winning a variety of medals, races and awards. As a track cyclist he is a member of Team Terminator.

Matt’s three bikes, an Isaac, a Pinarello and a Dolan were stolen when thieves disabled an alarm and cut through several locks protecting the machines which were stored in a garden shed at his home in Caversham, Berks.

Matt told the Standard: “The bikes are my life. I do quite a lot of racing and have got a triathlon in London coming up at the end of this month. Without a bike to do it, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“I also have a 54km race in September and a time trial in France which I have won for the last three years with a friend of mine.

“Then there are the national championships, where I was hoping to break the world record. The bikes are not toys, they help me with my rehabilitation and if I can’t compete, my body seizes up and I can’t walk.”

Dc Kirsty Bowles, of Reading police, told the Standard: “The victim was set for a race in a couple of weeks’ time but it does not look like he will be able to take part as a result of his bikes being stolen and the time needed to customise a bike to his needs.

"He has spent the last three years getting his bike into the perfect position for his cycling but as a result of the theft will now have to start back at the beginning.”

The bikes are as follows:

An Isaac, predominantly black with the maker’s name written in yellow across the frame. Custom-built, it only has one brake lever and has wheels with thick carbon rims bearing the words “Handmade in Germany”.

A Pinarello FP-5, serial number F88385 in white, red and black.

A silver Dolan track bike.

Anyone with any information should call Dc Bowles on 08458 505505 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

6 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I feel sorry for this guy - who wouldn't? But I do feel I have to ask the question, what on earth was he doing storing £9,000 of kit in his garden shed?

My bike is in my hallway, where I can see it - and it's only worth £500!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
18th July 2011 - 16:05


londonplayer wrote:
I feel sorry for this guy - who wouldn't? But I do feel I have to ask the question, what on earth was he doing storing £9,000 of kit in his garden shed?

My bike is in my hallway, where I can see it - and it's only worth £500!

Give the poor chap some credit

"when thieves disabled an alarm and cut through several locks protecting the machines"

Doesn't read to me as if they were exactly left unsecured..

Sounds sadly very much like a targeted theft. If they're sufficiently interested in the bikes to go to those lengths would you rather they broke into your shed to get the bikes or your house?

posted by Mr_M [2 posts]
18th July 2011 - 17:57

1 Like

sorry - double post

posted by Mr_M [2 posts]
18th July 2011 - 17:58


Jeez, sounds like he's been targeted deliberately. It'd take a lot of security to keep determined thieves at bay. What kind of scum does this? Given the effort involved, it can't have been some opportunist junkie. It'll have been carried out by someone with skills and who really wanted those bikes.


posted by OldRidgeback [2551 posts]
18th July 2011 - 21:44


Does sound that way, poor guy! What kind of low life are around these days?

It is difficult when you come home from a ride, 'showing off' an expensive machine, and people must take note if they are that way inclined.

My bike was in a locked shed due to lack of space, with two gold secure D locks on front and back, both secured to a big gold secure motorcycle chain, secured into the floor with a mounting point, but still the insurance company (British Cycling) wouldn't insure it. The fact it was in a shed and not a brick or stone structure meant it wasn't attached to an 'immovable' object and therefore not insured. Only by pouring a concrete screed under the shed would it have been attached to an immovable object and deemed correct to insure. But being in a shed, an excess based on the cost of the bike of £1000 was needed if any claim were to be made.

By putting it in my house, albeit a pain in the ar5e
( a stone or brick structure) it's insured with no excess attached and i hope, is less likely to be stolen. I would say that bike thieves are probably less likely to break into a house to get a bike than a shed, but i guess if they want something they find a way of getting it

Being adapted machines i imagine it's not just a case of picking them 'off the shelf'.

Lets hope he gets them back.

Cervelo S1, Zipp 404, SRAM Rival/Force, Rotor crankset and Vittoria.

stuartpeck1's picture

posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
19th July 2011 - 0:54


WHAT BASTARDS ! Targeted crime for sure ! Had this been a case of lending a bike i would have been happy to help !

" SKY team " ride Pinerello so should be able to use their resources to get " Matt " into a wind tunnel and back into contention ! Matt has a talent even " Able bodied " riders must envy !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [406 posts]
24th July 2011 - 12:19