Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell is planning to sell the bike made famous during last year’s ‘Plebgate’ row on eBay after it attracted unwanted attention from thieves and passers-by, reports Telegraph.co.uk.
A friend of Mr Mitchell says that the Sutton Coldfield MP is often stopped by people wanting to take a picture of him and his bike as he walks it through St James’s Park on his way to the Palace of Westminster.
One woman even handed him her phone so he could take her picture of her with the black bicycle, which has a basket at the front.
The friend also revealed how that thieves had targeted the bike, although there is no way of knowing whether it was specifically targeted or whether the attempted thefts were opportunistic.
"There was an attempt to take it from outside Andrew's house where it was bolted to a railing, but they couldn't get through the bolt," he said.
"On the other occasion, Andrew was in a restaurant when he saw a couple of kids outside trying to remove the bike.
"He went out and persuaded them to leave it alone. It's very recognisable, partly because of the basket.
"If he sells it he'll be buying a new one because cycling is just about the only exercise he gets – but the proceeds of the sale will go to charity."
Mr Mitchell resigned from the Cabinet after he was alleged to have called police officers “f*cking plebs” last September after they declined to open the vehicle gates to Downing Street so he could wheel his bike out, telling him to use the pedestrian gate instead.
CCTV footage subsequently cast doubts over some of the claims made against him.
A police investigation into the handling of the affair, officially called Operation Alice, but dubbed ‘Plodgate’ in the media, has resulted in three arrests to date, including two serving police officers.
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.