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Bike went more than 10,000 miles to be pinched in Bristol

A bike that made it more than 10,000 miles around the world, through Europe and Asia, was stolen soon after it returned home.

Sam Swain, 22, took his Dawes Super Galaxy hybrid touring bike from Ireland to Japan – through Turkey and Iran – before riding it to India and Thailand. He then travelled to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China and South Korea - all accompanied by his father Mark, 54.

The trip took 10 months and took in some of the world's poorest areas, an irony that was not lost on Sam.

He said: "We were in places like Iran where people are really struggling and they were so much more united.

"I used that bike to go around the world and have had so many memories on it. You simply cannot get that back by buying another one."

On his return to Bristol  his bronze coloured bike - worth £1,000 - was stolen at 8.30pm on June 1 from a rack in Quakers Friars, while Sam worked at Carluccio's restaurant.

Cabot Circus security guards rewatched the CCTV footage and saw of a woman with a boy aged about 13 by the bike and the same boy riding off on it while the woman left on foot.

The footage was passed on to police but they later told Sam there was a "slim chance" of recovering the bike.

Sam said: "It really annoys me because there's footage of the person stealing it but little prospect of getting it back.

"There seems no point in having security cameras and patrols in Cabot Circus if they can't crack down on it straight away."

Sam will now have to look for another bike to ride on his next epic ride - a journey to Poland starting next month.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "CCTV of the incident is being examined to try and identify the person who stole the bike in order that they can be dealt with and the bike recovered.

"The theft of bikes is taken seriously and we would encourage anyone who knows people who steal or handle stolen bikes to get in touch with us.

Sam and Mark's book about the trip Long Road, Hard Lessons is available on Amazon from Monday.

This theft follows a spate of bicycles being stolen in the Bristol area, including some belonging to roadcc tester John Whittington.

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.