A cyclist in Bath was yesterday stopped by a police officer for not wearing the “appropriate gear” while riding a fixed gear bike, due to suspicions he may have stolen it – proof of Avon & Somerset Constabulary’s determination to stamp out bike theft.
The cyclist, Tim Burton, while a little taken aback by the incident in Keynsham yesterday afternoon, said on Twitter that he was happy to see that the force is taking the issue of bike theft seriously.
"Just got stopped by the police for 'not wearing Lycra' but being on a road bike," he tweeted.
"The PC said I wasn't dressed in appropriate gear to be riding my bike so had I stolen it?
"I was clipped in. No scruffy trainers but clean(ish) SPD shoes.” Burton’s bike is equipped with Crank Bros Candy pedals.
“Maybe I didn't look hipster enough? Apparently there have been some shed break-ins locally. The bike looks too good for me to own, obviously!"
Due to the hills around Bath you don't see as many fixies as in some places with flatter terrain, and we're guessing that Burton's bike had drop bars and so at casual glance would look like a road bike, which have been the subject of targeted thefts in the area.
After checking the bike’s frame number and performing a background check on Burton, he was allowed to go on his way.
The cyclist, who admitted that the sight of him on the bike probably looked “dodgy” said: "It is nice to see them looking out for pinched bikes, I told [the PC] I appreciated it."
He added: “I'm not saying they were wrong. It's amusing that I've been stopped for no Lycra!”
PC Keith James, who did the stop check, said: "Bike thefts are a priority for us in this area as we've had a number of garage and shed break-ins. I'm a cyclist myself and it was unusual to see an expensive bike being ridden by someone in non-cycling clothes and without a helmet. It soon became clear that Mr Burton was the genuine owner and I'm glad he's supportive of what we're doing to try to catch bike thieves."
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.