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Cardiff cylist 'gutted' after specially imported bike to fit her 4ft 9in frame nicked after two rides

Barbara Ann Wren raised £600 in savings so she could get cycling to beat depression

A cyclist who saved for months to import a special undersized bike to suit her frame has been left ‘gutted’ after it was stolen from her garden in Cardiff.

Barbara Ann Wren raised £600 in savings from her insurance job to buy the Ladies Scott Contessa Mountain Bike that would fit her 4ft 9in height but was devastated when she only had a chance to ride it twice.

She has appealed for other cyclists to keep an eye out for it, hoping that it will be distinctive by its small 13 inch frame size.

“It has an extra small frame of 13 inches which is so rare it had to be ordered and shipped from abroad,” she told Wales Online.

“It will pretty much look brand new as it has only been used twice. It cost me my savings.”

The bike was kept in a high walled garden since Barbara bought it to get back into a sport after suffering clinical depression, but it was stolen on the night of the 12th January.

“I really wanted to get back into cycling because it was something I enjoyed in my teens and now this happens.

“There is a 7ft fence and 5ft wall around my garden and I thought the bike was safe. I think someone must have known it was here because you can’t see over the wall.”

If you’re worried about keeping your own bike safe, take a look at our community Bike Locking Bible:

  • Lock your bike to a secure, immovable object. Trees and certain pieces of street furniture don’t make particularly good locking locations; trees limbs can be sawed through, and your bike can often be lifted over bollards and signposts.
  • Your wheels are the most vulnerable part of your bike. Make sure that your lock goes through both wheels and the frame, or use two locks: one for each wheel. Alternatively you can invest in a locking wheel skewer for your front wheel.
  • It doesn’t take long to steal a bike. Make sure that you lock your bike up properly whether you are leaving it for 30 seconds or half an hour.
  • Bike lights and other items and accessories that are not secured to your bike are easy pickings for thieves. Take them with you whenever you leave your bike.
  • No matter how safe you feel in your home, your bike is still at risk, especially if it’s in your garage or your shed.
  • Lock it up at home like you would if you were on the street.
  • Not all bike locks are cheap, but you really do get what you pay for. If you treasure your bike, buying the best locks that you can afford would be a wise investment.
  • If you come back to your bike and it's got a mysterious puncture or damage, walk it home. It's probably been marked in the hope that you'll leave it there overnight.
  • Consider using a registration service, such as Bike Register, to physically mark your bike with an identifying feature and link it to your identity on the police database. Certain councils and police constabularies offer free solutions, and there are alternatives to Bike Register.
  • If it does go missing you must report it. The police will only take bike crime more seriously if they have reason to do so.
  • If you're down to one lock, or are particularly worried about the security of your wheel, taking your front wheel with you eliminates half of the risk of theft immediately.
  • Use secure bike parking wherever possible. Even for a price, your bike will be far better protected from theft inside a designated secure location rather than on the street, no matter how well you think you’ve locked it up.
  • Make sure that you lock your bike up in as public of a place as possible. If you leave it in a secluded location, it will give any would-be thief time to work on your lock undisturbed.
  • Make the lock mechanism itself hard to access. For example if you're locking your bike to railings, point the lock mechanism away from the street so it's harder for a thief to attack.
  • Don't leave space in your shackle - any extra space gives evil bike stealing tools the room they need to do their dirty work. Don't give them that opportunity.
  • If you’ve taken out insurance on your bike don’t buy any old lock. Make sure that the locks that you have purchased are featured on Sold Secure’s approved products list as many insurance companies insist on their use.
  • But most importantly, wherever you’re going, please do not forget your lock!

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