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.