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Police in Cornwall appeal for help in tracing bike after cyclist found dead

Body discovered at popular mountain biking spot but mystery surrounds final movements and bike is missing

Police in Cornwall have appealed for help in ascertaining the last movements of a keen cyclist found dead at a popular mountain biking venue – but while he was dressed in riding kid, his bike has not been found.

The body of David Alderson, aged 72, was discovered at Wheal Maid near Carharrack at around 9am on the morning of Saturday 18 January, reports the Western Morning News.

The retired driving instructor, who lived in Falmouth, was a keen cyclist and is said to have suffered a head injury consistent with a fall from a bike.

The 72-year-old was an enthusiastic cyclist. He had suffered a head injury consistent with a fall, although it is not known whether that caused his death, and his bike has still not been found.

Police say it may have looked as though it was abandoned and it is possible someone may have taken it for safekeeping.

Detective Constable Julian Lewis of Devon & Cornwall Police said: “Mr Alderson’s neighbours said he cycled daily.”

“However none of them saw him set off on Saturday morning.

“He was found in cycling clothes and the presumption is that he went up there on his bike.

“However, we do need to find that bike. It’s possible someone found it and couldn’t see the owner so took it home.

“We would like anyone who has found that bike to get in touch. It is the last piece of the jigsaw.”

Police deployed a helicopter to search for the bike to no avail, and one theory is that the location where Mr Alderson’s body was found is not the same as the one where whatever mishap befell him occurred.

DC Lewis explained: “Perhaps he cycled up there and had an accident but was able to walk off from where that accident took place, then perhaps somebody came along and took the bike away.”

Initially, police also appealed for help in finding Mr Alderson's Ford Fiesta car, which was subsequently found in a street close to his home.

His son, Christopher Alderson, said his father, originally from Yorkshire, had moved to Cornwall some 30 years ago and the pair had not seen each other for eight years.

He told the newspaper: “It’s quite emotional, a bit of a shock.

“A bit sad to know that, even though we didn’t see each other that much, he won’t be there to talk to anymore.”

Devon & Cornwall Police can be contacted via the non-emergency number, 101.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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