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Lycra-clad criminals caught on CCTV taking bikes

Bike thieves in cycling gear rode away on two carbon fibre bikes that had been briefly parked while their owners took a comfort break at Sunday’s Tour of Britain Ride at Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent.

Adrian Lomas and David Nimmo say the bikes were only out of their sight for a moment before they were taken. The culprits were captured on CCTV riding out of the park, turning left and heading to the corner of Boma and Allerton Road, Trentham Gardens.

A few parts were found at this location, including the headset bolt, small front light, race number, and drink bottle top. Adrian believes the thieves removed them in case they contained trackers.

The bikes are a white and blue Fondriest TF2 belonging to Adrian and a Focus Cayo belonging to David. They are offering a reward for their return.

Adrian’s bike was built for his recent ride following the route of the Tour de France. He says the loss is “Bit sentimental as I've just ridden the whole Tour De France route on this bike without a puncture or mechanical and first event back in the UK, bike is ridden off. Pissed off.”

This is the second time this year we’ve reported on a bike being ridden off at at event by a thief. A helmet-wearing thief helped himself to a Trek Madone 4.9 at the RideLondon FreeCycle last month and was spotted in official event photos.

Both David and Adrian want to stress that you should never leave your bike out of sight. Adrian says, it’s not worth the risk even “where they feel safe with other cyclists around, on early Sunday mornings.”

“Pay particular attention when leaving bikes out of your sight for even a minute,” says David. “That was an expensive pee.”

The bikes

Adrian’s bike, shown above is a white and blue size 50 Fondriest TF2 frame, serial number AA110642, with Shimano Ultegra 10 speed groupset, Mavic Cosmic wheels, wWhite handlebar tape, a Garmin 810 GPS computer, and Time pedals.

David’s bike is  red, white and black Focus Cayo 105 2010, size 60cm/XXL. It has Shimano 105 components, but with FSA SL-K Light carbon cranks. The front wheel is the standard Cole Rollen that came with the bike, but the back one has been changed to a Mavic rim with a Hope hub. It has Time i-Clic 2 pedals, white Fizik bar tape a Garmin Edge 200 GPS and red and black Michelin Pro 4 Race tyres. DIstinguishing marks include a white section at the top of the seat stays that has been slightly damaged by an old light fitting (the white has been rubbed down to the red material underneath); a missing self-extracting plastic crank bolt; and the left-hand shifter is cocked slightly to the right.

Anyone with information about the missing bikes should contact Crimestoppers or Fenton police.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

23 comments

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Angelfishsolo [132 posts] 2 years ago
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This must have been a planned theft. So frustrating but also a valuable lesson in why you should never leave your bike out of your sight!

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sfichele [141 posts] 2 years ago
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At the Cheshire Cat, there was a strictly enforced, secure bike park. You had to have a valid number to enter, and it had to match your bike when you left.

The TOB is a massive sportive, organisers really should consider doing the same! Can you really expect everybody to bring a massive chain-lock to a sportive just so they can take a piss before the start-line?

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Angelfishsolo [132 posts] 2 years ago
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sfichele wrote:

At the Cheshire Cat, there was a strictly enforced, secure bike park. You had to have a valid number to enter, and it had to match your bike when you left.

The TOB is a massive sportive, organisers really should consider doing the same! Can you really expect everybody to bring a massive chain-lock to a sportive just so
they can take a piss before the start-line?

I got the impression this was an "en route" break. I agree The Cat had fantastic security at the start/finish line. The ToB Sportive is a joke. The year I did it a removal company was hired to take the bikes back to Buith Wells. The van arrived without any means of securing the bikes and the driver stated "Oh I thought it would be a bunch of cheep mountain bikes"!!!

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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So did these guys just rock up in bike kit and happen upon two bikes to make off with or did they turn up on other bikes and abandon them after getting on these?

There's never a lorry driver turning left without paying attention when you need one...

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fancynancy [78 posts] 2 years ago
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Weird how they choose high vis helmets... that alone would stick out like a sore thumb, as anyone on a high end bike would not be seen dead in a high vis helmet  24

Still I really hope the bikes are recovered. This does seem to be a new breed of bike thief!

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crazy-legs [753 posts] 2 years ago
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farrell wrote:

So did these guys just rock up in bike kit and happen upon two bikes to make off with or did they turn up on other bikes and abandon them after getting on these?

There's never a lorry driver turning left without paying attention when you need one...

Either/or.
Once they start mingling, it's usually pretty hard to spot anything amiss. Unless someone clocks them getting out of a car or riding up on a BSO...

Anyone trying that at a road race usually stands out due to mismatched kit, hairy legs or a "non-cyclist" physique but at a Sportive you get such a range of people (and so many more of them) that it's much harder to spot.

On the plus side though, there's a lot of people to chase them down and beat them if they get caught in the act!

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GiantGhostBike [46 posts] 2 years ago
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I rode the dunwich dynamo this year and apparently bikes went missing at the good stop then. Granted this is an unsupported event but if rides are exactly the same routes each year it makes for easy planning for thieves.
I feel very safe with these rides and whilst my bike isn't that fancy I presume it would be fine amongst all these other bikes.
Would hate to carry a gold secure lock around with me everywhere.

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workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
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Dress like a commuting cyclist, board a commuter train from Victoria or Waterloo, help yourself to the first Brompton you come across. It happens more often than folk think.

Trouble is we see people wearing cycling kit and we think we can trust them, that we are just one big happy family. We can't. We ain't.

Everywhere bikes are left unattended and unsecured bike thieves will operate. Everywhere.

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thelimopit [139 posts] 2 years ago
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Why don't the CCTV operators know where the Print Screen button is?

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Dutchie [67 posts] 2 years ago
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sfichele wrote:

Can you really expect everybody to bring a massive chain-lock to a sportive just so they can take a piss before the start-line?

No need for a massive chain lock. There are small and lightweight locks available (i have a BBB combination lock, costs a fiver!). They may not be very hard to break, but it does mean people can't just pick up a bike and ride off with it.

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Alan Tullett [1568 posts] 2 years ago
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I took a proper D-lock on a 200k sportive last year and used it if I stopped for any length of time. Sometimes I don't take a lock with me if I'm trying for a few Strava segments as my bike is heavy enough as it is. Even in obscure places I'll lock it to something and I double lock in Cambridge city centre at all times.

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A V Lowe [575 posts] 2 years ago
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Amazed in London to see Bromptons even left overnight in station bike parks, and on train left in vestibule areas whilst owner sits in saloon.

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sfichele [141 posts] 2 years ago
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"No need for a massive chain lock"

"BBB combination lock, costs a fiver!)."

Watch this then to see how piss poor a lock like that might be

http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsandevents/newsstories/2013/august/properlockit.aspx

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notfastenough [3674 posts] 2 years ago
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Scumbags, utter scumbags. That Fondriest is a nice bike.

I believe you can buy a cheap cable lock that is alarmed and makes a hell of a racket when tampered with - that would probably work quite well in this scenario.

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wildnorthlands [32 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah but one of these will stop a thief just walking off with your bike while you're having a pee or whatever: http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/abus-combiflex-pro-202-retractable-25-mm-stee...

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notfastenough [3674 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks for that link, might have myself one of those.

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davethomas [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Seems the CCTV system wasn't up to scratch...

http://www.cctv.co.uk/bike-thieves-caught-cctv-tour-britain-ride/

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Pierre [95 posts] 2 years ago
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wildnorthlands wrote:

Yeah but one of these will stop a thief just walking off with your bike while you're having a pee or whatever: http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/abus-combiflex-pro-202-retractable-25-mm-stee...

That's one of these, in a slightly lumpier case:
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeventure-mini-cable-lock/
...£8. I've got one, it fits neatly in the saddle pack (OK, "European Posterior Man Satchel", if you must) and does just enough to deter an opportunist thief. Of course it's not strong enough to leave the bike locked up for any length of time, but it's meant a tiny bit of piece of mind when I've nipped into a cafe, pub or toilet.

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Adrian Lomas [1 post] 2 years ago
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Hi Guys, it was damned annoying as was at the start 8am on a sunday morning in a high security car park. Video cameras and security guys all around the place. Load of cyclists, great atmosphere. We went over with a group to the toilet, parked up as every single person does. Quick pee, and two bikes gone.

On the Camera you see that the guys have walked in wearing cycling clothes and trainers, and just walked over with total confidence and rode off.

They rode past the security guards, on the back of the bunch, then turned off into an estate where they stripped anything that could possibly be a tracker, leaving it on the floor and drove of with the bikes, in which direction - you guess.

There are cameras everywhere, the one on the actual spot is on a 2 minute 360degree loop, and they timed it to be in between the loop. The best shot was the one we got. That was my photo by the way which was unofficial but i thought sod it get it out there.

Like everyone there we all went to the toilet, mainly in our groups, and no one locks there bikes, Ive done that for 30 years at events. But clearly these guys are totally geared up to go to big events and to ride off on a bike of their choice.

WATCH YOUR BIKES EVEN MORE GUYS  102

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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Cycling is getting popular... with thieves too. If you're not locking your bikes, leave a member of the group as a guard.

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sfichele [141 posts] 2 years ago
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I guess no-one seems to have watched the link I posted, as following posts go on to recommend really piss poor cheap locks that wont last a second.

http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsandevents/newsstories/2013/august/prope...

The guy in the movie just yanks the lock, and snap, it's broke, and he walks off with bike in seconds. These cheap locks that were posted wont protect your bike.

The Cheshire Cat was well run and had secure bike parking. Large sportives need to do the same...

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ragtag [217 posts] 2 years ago
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What a lovely world we live in  102

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MamilYG-UK [12 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd be so gutted