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Bike made famous in Downing Street row attracts unwanted attention from thieves and passers-by

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.

11 comments

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 3 years ago
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He plans to replace it with a freesytle fixie with dildo bars.

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djcritchley [181 posts] 3 years ago
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Is the bicycle really that distinct or are people just recognising Andrew Mitchell.
 39

Saying that, I don't think I'd be able to pick him out of a line-up.

Seems a bit like a PR exercise to me.

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Stumps [3413 posts] 3 years ago
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It's the tories trying to win over a few voters with "all money goes to charity". Why not give the bike away and put his hand in his own pocket to give to charity.

After all he'll only claim the cost of the new bike back through expenses. So a new bike for nothing and a few good will votes. Stinks  14

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pdw [56 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow, that's an impressively negative spin on this.

Ignore for a moment the fact that he's a politician, and look at the facts: the guy was forced to resign after the Police (apparently) fabricated evidence against him, following an incident in which they (possibly deliberately) hindered him from going about his business on a bicycle. He's now doing something which may result in a reasonable donation to charity.

Would you be this negative and vitriolic about someone in any other walk of life?

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Dr_Lex [350 posts] 3 years ago
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pdw wrote:

[...]
Would you be this negative and vitriolic about someone in any other walk of life?

Well said, but this is the internet, where anonymity allows the inner angry man free rein.
Personally, the more people on bikes the better, irrespective of their class/political affiliation/perceived attitudes to those employed to protect them.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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Perhaps, despite his butler scrubbing it with bleach for hours, until his plebby hands were raw, and his master was tired from all the horsewhipping, he couldn't get rid of the stench of pleb from when the coppers touched the handlebars while escorting it, and him, through what will forever more be known as the pleb-gate?

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wild man [297 posts] 3 years ago
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The woman who asked for a photo was just trying to provoke 'another' foulmouthed outburst, right?

And I'd have loved to hear exactly how he 'persuaded' the would- be thieves to leave his bike alone.

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Nzlucas [125 posts] 3 years ago
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Its funny how he thinks the bike is getting undue attention. No mate thats another day in London of bikes getting nicked.....

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Stumps [3413 posts] 3 years ago
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pdw wrote:

Wow, that's an impressively negative spin on this.

Ignore for a moment the fact that he's a politician, and look at the facts: the guy was forced to resign after the Police (apparently) fabricated evidence against him, following an incident in which they (possibly deliberately) hindered him from going about his business on a bicycle. He's now doing something which may result in a reasonable donation to charity.

Would you be this negative and vitriolic about someone in any other walk of life?

If it was an ordinary member of the public we would not be reading about it. As for Mitchell, if he had not bumped his gums about it then he would still be in his job and without the need to chase off nasty bike thieves

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pdw [56 posts] 3 years ago
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So you think it's acceptable for the Police to grossly exaggerate Mitchell's expression of frustration at being told to use a different gate from the one that he used every other day, accuse him of using a pejorative word that he almost certainly never said, and for him to lose his job as a result?

In other words, antagonise a politician until they swear, and it's OK to end their career?

Whether you like or loathe Mitchell, the fact the you think that this is an acceptable way to treat anyone kind of explains why we have the press and the politicians that we do.